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.’

Safer Internet Day, National Citizen Service and Work Experience

Monday 6th February 2017

Tomorrow is Safer Internet day and all Form Tutors have been provided with resources to use with their students during registration periods this week. As I have said to the students many times before, they live in a society very different to the one in which I grew up, and the rapid development in technology means that in some respects they have to be even more careful.  It is a shame that we have to give these messages to our youngsters, but it is also really important that they are prepared and understand the dangers. To help parents and carers to continue the discussion at home, there is some very good information on the Childline website: http://www.childline.org.uk/Explore/OnlineSafety/Pages/staying-safe-online.aspx. We have also provided information in our recent newsletters, including this one, that may be of further support.

Last Friday Year 11 had an assembly about the National Citizen Service, a fantastic opportunity available to them this summer - a three week experience of adventure, skills and making a difference. It costs £1400 to fund each place on the course, but this is heavily subsidised by the Government, so it only costs the young people £50 (£35 if they sign up in the next three weeks). St James’ was also presented with a ‘Champion School’ award for last year’s cohort, which was the largest group of participants out of all Stockport schools. I have not met a young person yet who hasn’t enjoyed their NCS experience, as it is great way to build confidence, develop skills, meet new friends and add to your CV. You can find out more at http://www.ncsyes.co.uk/

This Tuesday evening at 6.30pm our Work Experience coordinator, Mploy Solutions, are coming to school to meet with students and parents, and to share important information about this year's Work Experience. Information will be presented regarding the process of preparing for Work Experience and the time-scale and deadlines for all students. On Friday all Year 10 students will also be having their Mock Interviews, another way of helping prepare our youngsters for the world of careers and employment. This week Year 8 pupils are experiencing day retreats at Animate in St Helen’s, with 8J & 8M today, 8A & 8S on Wednesday and 8M & 8C on Thursday.

Don’t forget that our school production of ‘Dracula Spectacula’ takes place next week, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Tickets are available from Mrs Malins, and it would be lovely to see as many of you there as possible.

Thank you to those parents who attended Year 9 Parents’ Evening last Thursday, and may I please remind parents / carers of Year 11 and Year 7 students that Year 11 Parents’ Evening is on Thursday 2nd March and Year 7 Parents’ Evening is on Thursday 9th March