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.’


As part of our SHINE ethos, students at St. James’ and within the wider St. James’ community understand the importance of Charity and of helping others. Throughout the school year, staff and pupils work constantly to raise money for our designated charities, and to build awareness of the aims and objectives of each. In assemblies and form time, pupils learn about their charities, and begin to see themselves as part of a wider local, national and international Catholic family.

Every half term, one year group is responsible for supporting one of the five key local, national and international charities that we support.

Year 7 - Cafod

Year 8 - Retrak, www.retrak.org

Year 9 - St. Ann's Hospice, www.sah.org.uk

Year 10 Prem Dan www.premdan.org

Year 11 The Wellspring www.thewellspring.co.uk


Equally, there are also other charities supported throughout the year, as staff and students request them. Raising money at Christmas, during Lent (as part of our Lenten Effort) and at other times in the year has been an essential part of being a St. James' pupil as long as the school has been in existence. St. James’ students have also responded quickly to emergencies and disasters that require immediate assistance as and when they emerge across the world.

So far in this academic year (since September 2017), students across the school have raised money for CAFOD (the Harvest Fast appeal). Year 9 have raised money for St. Ann’s Hospice, and at present Year 11 are focusing on the Wellspring. In 2013, 2015 and 2017 our Whole School Sponsored Walks raised a total of over £25,000 for our charities. In May 2016, 35 staff ran the Great Manchester Run for the Christie's Hospital and raised £7,500 with the help of friends, family and the generosity of our school community.