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.’

Youth SVP Visit to Abbeyfields

Thursday 14th May 2015

‘Today we went to the Abbeyfield residential home, where we met some of the residents, such as George and Yvonne. Niamh and Josh played dominoes with George, while Penny and I played cards with Yvonne and Joan. We also had a lovely chat with Evyerinth. ‘

Tara Delahoyde


‘Today we went to the Abbeyfields Care Home to meet the residents. First of all we walked around and talked to them, discussing school, the royal baby and the dog Bella.

We played some traditional games with them, including dominoes with the ‘Domino King’, George. We also played snap with Yvonne and talked about her family and how she used to be a doctor’s secretary.

It was a lovely home with friendly residents and caring helpers, and I really hope that we can go and visit again soon. ‘

Penny Lodder & Melissa Calderon


‘On arrival we met the residents and chatted about the royal baby, Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana. Some of us played games - Mrs Bennett and Josh played Connect4 with Vera, and Mrs Bennett beat Josh four times on the run! We all got chance to play George, the ‘King of Dominoes’.

After  a busy and fun morning we returned to school to allow the residents to have their lunch in peace!’

Josh Murphy, Niamh Sparrow Saunt & Aine Egan-Savage