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

Monday 5th February 2018

Tomorrow is Safer Internet day and all Form Tutors have been provided with resources to use with their students during registration periods this week, including a ‘Digital Detox’ challenge. I am also providing a link to these resources below, in case you would like to have a look at them and discuss them with your child. 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.




Today Forms 9J & 9S are going on retreat to Animate in St Helens. These retreat days will build on the students’ experience from last year and give them the opportunity to further reflect upon their own beliefs and the teachings of the Church. 9A & 9C are going on Wednesday, with 9E & 9M on Thursday. As mentioned in last week’s newsletter, we are welcoming RISE Theatre, a professional Christian theatre company, to St James’ tomorrow. They will be performing ‘Romero - Heartbeat of El Salvador’ to Year 7 & 8 pupils. They are also visiting other local Catholic Primary and Secondary schools during the course of the week.

Thank you to those parents who attended Year 11 Parents’ Evening last Thursday. We had lots of very positive feedback and were able to give equally positive feedback to parents about their youngsters and their progress. What’s important now, though, is moving forward and preparing for the exams in the Summer. We want to work closely with parents and if you ever want to discuss your child’s progress please do contact school, either through an individual teacher, Head of Year, or Assistant Headteacher for Progress, Mrs Livesey.  A reminder that Year 9 Parents’ Evening is on Thursday 1st March and Year 7 Parents’ is on Thursday 8th March.

Finally, I would like to bring to your attention the letter below from Stockport Council Highways Division regarding road works close to St James’. This begins on Monday 12th February and will inevitably add to the congestion around school at the start and end of the school day. As always, please be careful and considerate when collecting and dropping off your children, to avoid accidents, but also to show courtesy to local residents and pedestrians’ right of way.