OFSTED April 2017 Key Comments: 

  • ‘Pupils shine at this school because they benefit enormously from being part of the ‘St James family’, a supportive and caring community. They are happy and safe in school.
  • ‘The conduct of pupils in this school, the way they interact with each other and adults, is impeccable – in fact, it is the best I have ever seen(Feedback from HMI to School Governors, Local Authority and Diocesan representatives)
  • Pupils readily respond to leaders’ high expectations evident in the ‘SHINE’ ethos. As a result, they ‘Speak politely, Have respect, follow Instructions, Never say never and Engage positively’ in all that they do
  • ‘Pupils work exceptionally well together’
  • ‘Pupils have excellent attitudes to learning, they are curious and want to achieve their best.’
  • ‘Pupils know what it means to be ‘ready to learn’’
  • ‘Pupils’ conduct is exemplary. They show high levels of respect for each other and for their teachers and teaching assistants.
  • ‘Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is a strength of the school’
  • ‘The school's work to promote pupils' personal development and welfare is outstanding. Leaders make sure that pupils are cared for exceptionally well’
  • ‘Staff are proud to be a member of staff at this school’
  • ‘Pupils, including the most able, are challenged by their work’
  • ‘Pupils are taught the skills needed to become thoughtful, self-confident citizens, able to express their views and opinions.’
  • ‘Progress overall is much better than that of similar-ability pupils nationally’
  • ‘Key stage 4 outcomes in GCSE examinations demonstrate consistently strong progress over each of the last three years’
  • ‘Parents have highly-positive views of the school and confirm their children are safe and happy at this school. They greatly appreciate the pastoral care and support provided.’
  • ‘Pupils say they feel safe at school, they say there are no bullies and are confident they would be listened to if they shared a concern with a teacher or pastoral leader.’
  • ‘Governors know the strengths of the school and where there are further improvements still to be made.’
  • ‘Pupils enjoy coming to school.’
  • ‘Pupils, including the most able, are challenged by their work because most teachers have high expectations of pupils and plan work which is hard enough for them.’
  • ‘Pupils learn well and make excellent progress because teaching in English, mathematics and most other subjects is consistently good.’
  • ‘Leaders have successfully introduced a more ambitious culture in the school based upon high expectations.’
  • ‘Pupils typically make good progress because teachers have strong subject knowledge, which they use well to plan interesting and challenging work for pupils.’
  • ‘Teaching assistants support pupils well in lessons, including low-ability pupils and those who have special educational needs and/or disabilities, who need extra help.’

An 'Outstanding' Catholic School

Monday 22nd May 2017

On Wednesday 3rd May, following on from our highly successful Ofsted Inspection, St James’ welcomed Mr John McCann, an Inspector from the Diocese of Shrewsbury.  A copy of his Inspection report can be found on the school’s website or by clicking here. Needless to say, we are delighted with the contents of the report, which recognises us as an ‘outstanding’ Catholic school. It also recognises us a school that ‘lives it’s mission statement’ and that ‘Much of this comes from the key leaders in the school embracing the Catholic ethos and letting it SHINE for everyone to see and give the glory to God.’

The areas of focus for the inspection were; Outcomes for Pupils, Leadership and Management and The Provision & Quality of Collective Worship. All three of these areas were judged to be outstanding. The Inspector, who thoroughly enjoyed his time with us, commented on our young people’s contribution to the ethos of our school - ‘Pupils understand the vision and values of the school and are very supportive of them.’ He also saw strong and clear evidence of the importance placed on spirituality and worship - ‘There is unequivocal and explicit evidence that the Catholic mission of the school is a priority, along with opportunities for spiritual and moral development and collective worship.’ Furthermore, ‘Collective Worship, in its many forms, is central to the daily life of the school and forms a key part of every school celebration.’

The leadership and management of the Catholic life of the school was judged to be ‘outstanding’ - ‘The Headteacher, senior leadership team and governing body are deeply committed to the Church’s mission in education.’ This is alsotestament to the hard work and commitment of all our ‘leaders’ - staff, clergy, governors, parents and pupils.

The report also recognises the outstanding outcomes that pupils achieve in Religious Education at St James’ - ‘The standard pupils achieve at GCSE RE are consistently significantly above average’, and that pupils enjoy their RE lessons: ‘From observation, 572 responses to pupil questionnaires and interviews with pupils it is evident that the pupils in each key stage are keen to do well, display an engaged and positive attitude to the subject and work with interest and engagement in lessons.’

Once more we have been seen as a school which is outstanding in so many ways.  Yet again, I would like to take the opportunity to thank all those involved with the Inspection, particularly the Religious Education department. I hope you enjoy reading the report, and that you continue to take pride in your own contribution to our success.