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 7 Settling in Well

Monday 18th September 2017

Our new Year 7 pupils have continued to settle in really well, and their retreat days to Linnet Clough last week were a huge success. I managed to visit on two of the days and I was very impressed with the level of enthusiasm, participation and teamwork. The final form group to go are 7C, and I am sure that they will also have a fantastic experience today.


As mentioned last week, we are meeting individually with some of our Year 11 students to discuss progress across their subjects and how they can best prepare for the GCSEs in the summer. In my first assembly with them I also talked about what they can expect from their final year at St James’, and I will be writing separately to Year 11 parents, so that they also have this information. One of the opportunities for Year 11 students and their parents is the Careers Convention taking place in the school Hall on Thursday 28th September, between 5.30pm and 7.00pm. Letters have already been sent out, and I look forward to seeing as many parents and students (in full school uniform) there as possible.


I also mentioned Open Evening in last week’s newsletter as it will soon be upon us (Thursday 5th October). I am sure it does not seem that long ago that you were looking around High Schools and deciding which would be the most appropriate school for your son or daughter. If you know of anyone who would be interested in attending Open Evening, or would like to make an appointment at any other time to come and visit the school, then please encourage them to do so. We have made arrangements with Manchester Rugby Club to use their parking facilities for our Open Evening, as well as for other similar busy occasions, such as Lower School Presentation Evening. If you are coming yourself to these events, therefore, or if you know anyone else who is coming, could I please encourage you to use either the school car parking facilities or the rugby club, and so avoid any disruption to the local roads or streets. Unfortunately we do still continue to receive complaints about parking on local residential streets. Last week I received an email from a local resident about parking on Rushside Road and Leafield Drive; ‘I cannot park in front of my own house as someone is there waiting to collect a child from your school, so the road is blocked. I also would bring to your attention again the total disrespect and the speed used by the collecting parents.’ We also received a complaint about a parent parking on St James’ Court, which is a Private Road. Could I ask you once again, therefore, that if you are dropping off or picking your children up, could you have regard for local residents and ensure that you are acting safely, respectfully and legally at all times. I have contacted our local PCSO regarding these complaints, and I am sure that the Police will want to be monitoring the situation.


Finally, another reminder that all parents are invited to attend PTA meetings, the first of which is tonightat 6.30pm in the staffroom - new Year 7 parents are particularly welcome. Even if you cannot make the PTA meetings, you can still help out, particularly with Tea & Coffee at Parents’ Evenings and whole-school events. If you would like to help, please contact the school office and we will pass your details on. Thank you for your continued support, and if you ever wish to contact me about any issue, please do not hesitate to email me at headteacher@st-jamescatholic.stockport.sch.uk.