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 9 Study Days

Monday 15th January 2018

Last week Dr Guscott, Mrs Livesey and Miss Trainor led very successful study sessions for all Year 9 students, with the focus being on revision techniques, and a particular emphasis on Mind-Maps. It would be great if parents and carers could talk to their children about this, and help us to establish a successful culture of on-going revision by encouraging it at home.


As mentioned last week, Year 11 students received their December examination results and termly data during assembly on Friday, and over the course of this week Year 11 students will be seen by a member of the Senior Leadership Team, either individually or in groups. I would encourage you to discuss these results with your child - a paper copy has been posted home, along with a more detailed plan of the forthcoming term. Reports that students receive may be asked for by colleges for interviews, so please do ensure that they are close to hand. I also wrote to Year 11 parents last week to assure them that we are working together in partnership to ensure the very best results for our students in the Summer GCSEs, and at times the messages we give have to be challenging but supportive, and all actions taken are in the best interests of all our students.


I also mentioned forthcoming parents’ evenings in last week’s newsletter – there is a list of all important dates for this term in this newsletter. I would, however, like to bring to your attention the information evening for the Berlin Trip, this evening at 6pm, and the Year 10 Work Experience Information Evening on Thursday at 6.30pm (students in full uniform), Also, another reminder that the next PTA meeting is this evening at 7.00pm in the staff room.