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.’

Prayer and Liturgy

The priests of our associated parishes support us in offering Mass and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Mass is celebrated to mark key events in students’ time at St. James, as well as key events in the liturgical year, including Holy Days of Obligation. Mass is also celebrated half termly for those students who wish to attend.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is offered to students at different times across the school years.

Collective Worship

“Collective worship and prayer are an integral part of the daily life of the school”

Diocesan Section 48 Report May 2017

The school day starts and ends with prayer – with students taking an active role. Spirituality Prefects have produced a series of booklets with prayers for use at the end of each day. Weekly assemblies are led by a variety of staff, students and outside speakers, and are planned with an awareness of the Christian year and other key events.

To mark key events in the liturgical year activities will happen across all forms. For example, during October the Rosary is prayed throughout the school. 

School Prayer

We pray to God our Father for all the people
who help make St James’ to be our special family.
Father, may our school be a family
which offers caring as well as learning,
which offers safety as well as knowledge,
which shares faith as well as instruction.
We make this prayer in Jesus’ name.
Morning Prayer

Morning Prayer is offered every Wednesday morning, at 8.35 in the Chapel. The Spirituality Prefects work with the form Leadership Teams to help students plan and deliver Morning Prayer.

Advent and Lent

All students attend a liturgy during these seasons of preparation, during the RE lesson time. These are planned and delivered by the Lay Chaplain and the RE faculty. Many staff attend the services.

Holy Week Liturgies

At the end of the Lent term, students from across the school deliver an Easter liturgy to each year group. This draws together the musical and dramatic talents of our students, and gives the school community the opportunity to reflect on what Easter means to us as a community and to them personally.