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 11 Presentation Evening

Monday 13th November 2017

Last Thursday was our Year 11 Presentation Evening at Stockport Town Hall, and it was lovely to see all the young people gather together one last time, to celebrate their achievements. Each Form Tutor said a few words about their class before inviting them all onto the stage together to receive their certificates.  Each Faculty was also invited to give their own gift to the one student who they thought had ‘shone’ in their subject over the last five years. We received really positive feedback at the end of the evening, from family and friends, who felt that the event had been a real ‘family of St James’’ experience. Thank you to all involved in making it such a lovely evening. Photos from the evening will be available on the school website later this week. I concluded my short address with the following few words for the Class of 2017, but they are also relevant to all our current students:


The Challenge by Jim Rohn


Let others lead small lives,

But not you.

Let others argue over small things,

But not you.

Let others cry over small hurts,

But not you.

Let others leave their future

In someone else’s hands,

But not you.



The Year 10 History trip to the Western Front returned on Wednesday evening and it was a fantastic experience for all involved. Thank you to Mrs Birch and all the staff involved for making it so successful. You can see exactly where the party went on our Twitter feed, @StJames_CHS.


This week we are giving all our Year 7 pupils the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, with all classes having been prepared during their RE lessons. The Community prefects have also started the Christmas Wellspring and SVP collections, delivering boxes to all Form groups. We would like all students in Years 7-10 to bring in any tins, food items etc so that we can create Christmas hampers for the SVP, whilst the Wellspring rucksack project is Year 11’s main focus.


This Thursday, 16th November, is our Year 9 Apprenticeship Evening. The development of apprenticeships is one of the current government’s educational priorities, with apprenticeships now seen as an alternative pathway to further study, through as far as degree level. There are a wide range of opportunities available and it is important that pupils and parents are aware of them. As such we are inviting Year 9 pupils and parents to attend an information evening, starting at 6.30pm and lasting for about 45 minutes. Students must be in full school uniform. As mentioned in last week’s newsletter, Year 7 Parent / Tutor Evening is on Thursday 23rd November. As usual there will also be presentations about important information, including E-Safety, Show My Homework and the new reporting system at Key Stage 3. As this system is also new for parents of Year 8 & 9 students, they are also invited to the presentation at 6.30pm, if they wish to attend. However, a presentation about the reporting system will also be placed on the school website, later this week.


Finally, could I please remind you about the PTA Christmas Shopping Event, on Tuesday 21st November, between 7pm & 9pm. The stalls booked so far are: Allure (Children’s Gifts & Prosecco-Inspired Gifts), Lisa’s Sweet Boutique, The Bubbly Wine Company, Jewlz Cheshire Hidden Gem, Catfish Kids, Daisy Imprints, Cupcake Glory, Andrea’s Bodyshop, Wendy’s Home-Made Gifts, Flamingo Cards, Knitted Baby/Toddler Stall, Blankets And Bows, Honeyz Boutique (Clothes), Bespoke Planners, Tori Star Design, Luxury Gift Hampers, Cheshire Home Fragrance, Cheshire Energy Therapies, A Benefit Make-Up Stall, A Clarins Pop-Up Stall, Forever (Aloe Vera). There will also be refreshments available, including mulled wine, mince pies, stolen, and non-alcoholic punch.