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.’

Mission and Vision

‘You are the light that gives light to the world. A city that is built on a hill cannot be hidden. And people don't hide a light under a bowl. They put the light on a lampstand. Then the light shines for all the people in the house. In the same way, you should be a light for other people. Live so that they will see the good things you do. Live so that they will praise your Father in heaven.’

Matthew 5: 14-16

At St James’ Catholic High School our mission is to ‘promote a Christ-centred, caring environment, where individuals develop their full potential, and achievement is celebrated.’

Everything we do is guided by the Gospel values of love, forgiveness, reconciliation, justice, faith, integrity, humility, service, peace, hope and prayer. The School Mission Statement is on display in every room and guides us in everything we say and do. Each day begins with prayer and each Year Group has one formal assembly per week, which is led by a Senior Member of Staff, Heads of Year, the school Chaplain, or Form Classes.

We have a full time Chaplain, Mrs Emma Bennett, who gives important direction to the spiritual life of the school as well as supporting the work of the Pastoral Teams. We have our own Chapel, and have recently created a Prayer Garden, which is in effect an extension of our chapel facility.

We offer the opportunity for all pupils in Key Stage 3 to experience a retreat, using Animate (St Helens), Savio House (Bollington) and Linnet Clough (Mellor), as opportunities to pray, reflect, and build community together. We are currently planning to extend this provision into Key Stage 4. We engage in fundraising events for a variety of charities throughout the year, including the Aquinas College led Prem Dan appeal, Educaid, CAFOD and other local and global causes. We have our own SVP group supporting the poor and needy in our local community and have extensive links with our local parishes and clergy. Each Advent and Lent pupils are given the opportunity to pray and reflect during their individual classes’ Service. We also gather together as a community to celebrate whole-school Masses - a sign of our commitment and desire to ensure that our faith is celebrated for all to see.

As a Catholic school we aim to create a community which enables children to grow in faith, and where every child is known and valued.  We have the fantastic job of developing our youngsters into successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens. It is our job to help them shine!  Together, St James’ staff, parents, governors and, most importantly, the students themselves, will make this happen.