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.’

Year 10 Study Skills Day

Monday 28th September 2015

As a school we are very aware that at times our pupils can struggle with revision and organisation. As a result we held  a Year 10 Study Morning on Thursday 24th September. All pupils received two hours of information as to how they could improve their own study skills.
  • Pupils were told how to divide up their time by using a technique called Pomodoro, where slots of 25 minutes are allocated to given tasks. They were also shown how to download and app to put on their phone or ipad. This has the added advantage of taking the phone out of use for that amount of time.
  • We advised pupils to REVIEW their work every day and to review the week's work every week end. It is very important that revision is over time and not crammed as an exam approaches. This means reading through the day's work and being ready to ask a teacher for support if a certain concept requires clarification.
  • Pupils were given a yellow booklet full of revision techniques. Pupils do need to work out what technique works best for them. Time was spent giving details about how to mind map, and a mind map of learning each week is a great way to review the week and build up a ready supply of revision materials.
  • We also took time to remind pupils to use Show My Homework but also to write homework in their planner. All Year 10 pupils should spend at least one and a half hours per night doing homework and two hours at a week end, this includes time to review their learning as detailed above.

There were also some key messages around being ‘Ready to Learn’ and the importance of resilience – never saying never! There is a link to the presentation below. Please look at what was covered, and maybe discuss it with your child. The messages are not just relevant to Year 10 students, but to pupils of all ages.