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.’

Severe Weather Procedure

Monday 11th December 2017

This weekend has seen freezing cold weather conditions, resulting in patches of ice. The pathways around school have been gritted, and reminders have been given to students to stick to the pathways and to walk sensibly and safely. I sent an email out on Friday, reminding parents about procedures for severe weather:


We are at the time of the year when we face the forecast of snow showers, so we would like to remind you of the arrangements we will make in the event of severe weather. If, in the Headteacher’s opinion, to open the school would not be in the best interests of the health and safety of students and staff, or if difficulty with transport networks means the school would be inadequately staffed, the school will remain closed. The following procedure will then apply to keep the school community informed:


A message will be posted on the school website by 7.15 am. Please ask your child to check before setting out on their journey to school. This message will be updated regularly to keep you aware of plans for the following day. A text message will also be sent to all parents to keep you informed.


School uniform rules still apply, but pupils may wear more appropriate footwear, i.e., wellington boots, for their journey to and from school, and change into school shoes once they arrive.


Please note that a message will only usually be posted on the school website or on Twitter if the school is to close, either fully or partially. If there is no message, then the school will be open as normal.


You may recall that at this time last year there had been a number of cases of Flu verified at a local Stockport school. While there has been no similar concern so far this year, we want to ensure that our children remain healthy and take every precaution against the spread of the virus. The following link gives further information on Flu and its prevention: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/flu/prevention/. In brief, best practice to ensure a good respiratory hygiene regimes is:

  • make sure you wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water
  • use tissues to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in a bin as soon as possible
  • Catch it, Bin it, Kill it!

There are many opportunities on offer in the coming weeks for our young people as we continue to prepare for Christmas: I am taking a group of Year 9 students to help out at St Peter’s SVP lunch tomorrow, the Band & Choir are carol-singing on Wednesday at Morrisons and Sainsburys, and on Thursday evening we are hosting our Expressive Arts Christmas Celebration. Our catering staff are serving Christmas Lunch on Thursday and Form 10A have organised a Christmas Jumper day on Friday, in aid of their charity Prem Dan. Pupils are on their Christmas activities on Monday 18th Decemberand we are having our Christmas Liturgies on Tuesday 19th December. School also closes on Tuesday 19th December at 12.15pm andopens for the new term on Wednesday 3rd January 2018 at the usual time.