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.’

Work Experience Information

Monday 22nd January 2018

Thank you to those parents who attended the Work Experience Information Evening last Thursday. As explained at the meeting, Work Experience is an invaluable opportunity for students to ‘try something different’. They will meet new people, develop new skills, and dip their toes into the ‘real’ world of work. The presentation delivered by Dr Guscott is available below and on the PSHCE tab on the school website, but please be mindful of the deadline for returning all Work Experience forms – Friday23rd March. On Friday 16th February 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.


Thank you to those parents who have been in touch regarding the Yr 11 December exam and termly data reports. All Yr 11 students have now been seen individually or in groups, and they have been reminded about the importance of regular and consistent work at home - they should be working for at least an hour and a half each evening, and four hours over the weekend. Some of their work will continue to be homework, but ‘having no homework’ should not be an excuse for Year 11 students, as they all have ongoing revision / exam preparation to be getting on with. This message is also relevant to students in all other year groups, as they should be getting into the habit of ‘reviewing’ work on daily basis, even if there has been no actual ‘homework’ set.


There have been a couple if incidents recently, at the end of the school day, where mobile phones have been confiscated and returned to parents, as per our behaviour policy. All students have been reminded of our policy, and for clarification I attach the following section from our policy below. I would like to emphasise that if any student needs to contact home if, for example, a school bus is late, the school will always facilitate this, either by allowing them to use the school phone or by giving them permission to use their own. Permission, however, must be given.


Mobile phones and electronic devices including Smart watches are not allowed in school. Any pupil’s phone that is seen or heard should have it confiscated.

Mobile phones are not to be used outside the front of the school, students would be able to use such devices when they have left the school grounds or boarded their bus to go home.

When students are arriving at school they must make sure that they are not seen with a mobile phone or electronic device as they are leaving the bus/car that they have made their journey in or entering the outer school gate if they have walked to school.

If students have missed a bus or have stayed late at school for whatever reason and they need to contact home they should either wait until they have left the school grounds to use a mobile phone or ask permission from any member of staff to either use the school phone or their own to make contact with a parent/carer.

School will not be accountable for the loss, theft or damage to personal equipment such as i-pods or mobile phones and we will not investigate any such incidents.

Confiscated items will be put in an envelope and be placed in the school safe as soon as is practical. Confiscated items must be collected from the reception by a parent or carer.


Finally, another request about parking – we have received a request from a resident in St James’ Court asking that parents and carers do not use their private parking facilities.