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.’

Welcome Back!

Wednesday 2nd September 2015

It's been a lovely day, with the Year 11 students arriving in their new Year 11 jumpers, and the new Year 7 pupils being welcomed to school for the first time. Mrs Keenan, Head of Year 7, met them for their first assembly, and talked to them about setting the 'Bar' high - Balance, Attitude & Relationships. The children all looked incredibly smart in their St James' blazers and ties, as well as a little bit nervous. Most of the nerves disappeared, though, as they went off to spend time with their Form groups and to be given their timetables, before they were off to their different classes, meeting their teachers and making new friends.

Year 7 were allowed out to lunch a little earlier than usual, as they will be for the remainder of the week, and they had finished their lunches by the time the heavens opened and the rain began to fall! Seeing them safely onto the buses at the end of the day, they all seemed to have had a wonderful first day. I will be meeting them formally at my assembly in the morning, and I am looking forward to working with them and getting to know them better over the next five years.

We received a couple of complaints from neighbours at the end of the day, concerning parents blocking driveways and causing obstructions.  Could I please ask parents who are picking up their children, particularly parents of our new Year 7 pupils, to be considerate, as this could avoid any accidents happening as well as showing courtesy for local residents and pedestrian right of way. 

Thank you, as well, to those parents who followed the advice that was emailed out before the end of the summer term regarding shoes - 'they need to be dark brown or black, leather looking, not to look like a pump, not to have trainer laces or soles, and not to have logos across the shoe.' The vast majority of students arrived to school wearing appropriate footwear today, and a small number of parents have been contacted to advise that their child's shoes are not currently in line with school policy. I think that Mrs Mullen explained it very well at the Year 7 Intake Evening when she said to parents that if you have any doubt about whether or not you would wear the shoes to an interview for a job, then they are probably not suitable for school. If you do have any queries about footwear, however, do contact the school and we can advise you before you buy.