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.’


Monday 25th April 2016

Saturday 23rd April was the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death. Shakepeare was wonderfully creative, coining more than 1,700 words and phrases. Research has shown that the average teenager has about 40,000 words in their vocabulary, but they only use around 8,000 of these words, which is a real shame. Last week's assemblies were about Shakespeare, his influence, and the importance of language. I encouraged students to read lots, to learn new words, and to use language to access their other subjects as well as enrich their daily lives. A copy of the assembly is below.

Shakespeare Facts

  • Shakespeare wrote 38 plays and 154 sonnets
  • He is the second most quoted writer in the English language
  • Shakespeare wrote a 10th of the most quoted lines ever spoken or written in English
  • Four hundred years after Shakespeare’s death there have been 157 million pages referring to him on Google. There are 132 million for God, and 2.7 for Elvis Presley.
  • He coined 1,700 words
  • His plays are made up of at least 17,677 words
  • “Shakespeare was so facile in employing words that he was able to use over 7,000 of them only once and never again.” Professor Loius Marder
  • Shakespeare’s plays have been translated into many languages and are so popular that people estimate that every minute of every day, someone in the world is watching a play by Shakespeare!
  • We still use his words and sayings today.....
Shakespeare Phrases
  • A laughing stock – The Merry Wives of Windsor
  • In stitches – Twelfth Night
  • Dead as a doornail – King Henry VI
  • Vanish into thin air – Othello
  • A sorry sight – Macbeth  
  • In a pickle – The Tempest
  • Set your teeth on edge – King Henry IV, Part I
  • There's method in my madness – Hamlet
  • Fair play – The Tempest,
  • Mum's the word – King Henry VI, Part II
  • Send him packing – King Henry IV, Part I.
Shakespeare Insults
  • Thou art like a toad; ugly and venemous’ - As You Like It
  • 'A most notable coward, an infinite and endless liar, an hourly promise breaker, the owner of no one good quality’ - All’s Well That Ends Well
  • ‘You scullion! You rampallian! You fustilarian! I’ll tickle your catastrophe!’ - King Henry IV, Part II
  • ‘There’s no more faith in thee than in a stewed prune’ - King Henry V
  • ‘Thou cream-faced loon’ - Macbeth.