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.’


Reward Policy

Mission Statement

"St. James' Catholic High School aims to promote a Christ-centred, caring environment, where individuals develop their full potential and achievement is celebrated."


Our aims are to:

  • Move classroom ‘behaviour for learning’ at St. James’ to ‘outstanding’.
  • Further improve pupil progress by recognising and rewarding  achievements more consistently throughout Years 7-11


  • To reward those pupils who always try hard and behave well
  • To recognise and reward progress, attitude to learning, achievement and presentation regularly in Years 7-11
  • To support teachers to ensure that effective teaching and learning is taking place.


The agreed foci for rewards are

  1. Arriving to class ready to learn (RTL)
  2. Progress, attitude to learning, achievement and presentation over time (ATL)

All pupils will begin each half term with 10 points and will be rewarded for bringing the right books and equipment, arriving to class on time and wearing uniform correctly and completing homework. These points will be redeemed for raffle tickets in a prize draw, and pupils will receive a star in recognition of keeping the 10 points.

  • At the end of each half term a prize draw will be held.
  • There will be two draws in each year group – one for those with 10 points and then a second draw for all pupils with over 6 points. At the end of the year there will be a grand draw for pupils who have kept their 10 points throughout the whole year.
  • Sanctions will be awarded to pupils who have lost all their points.

Keeping points:

Classroom and form teachers can remove a point from a pupil for the following:

  • Arriving late to class (without good reason)
  • Being without the correct book(s), kit, equipment or planner (without good reason)
  • Arriving to class or leaving class wearing uniform incorrectly (without good reason)
  • No homework (without good reason)

Staff can give points back to students, in agreement with the Head of Year for:

  • A marked short-term or long-term improvement in any of the four criteria
  • Making a significant contribution to school life or extra-curricular activities.
  • Pupils on 10 points who are consistently showing the highest RTL standards

The final decision on awarding points to pupils lies with the Head of Year

Points and Attitude to Learning – the 123 Club

Every quarter, staff will provide an ATL score for pupils in their classes based on the four agreed criteria. All staff will keep a record of pupils who have had points deducted in their lessons over the quarter. Pupils who achieve 1s, 2s and 3s in all of their subjects join the 123 Club for that quarter.

The only criteria for the 123 Club are the ATL Criteria – see ATL diagram (Appendix)

Pupils in the 1, 12, and 123 Clubs will be rewarded at the end of each term.

In October of each school year, the school currently offers pupils in Years 8-11 the chance to go to Alton Towers as a reward.

The criteria for attending Alton Towers are:

  1. Being in the 123 Club for three out of four quarters and/or
  2. An average of 6 points on the RTL system for the six half terms

Final consideration of invitation is at the discretion of the Senior Leadership Team and may also be linked to attendance and lates.

If any pupil in meeting the RTL and ATL criteria has been excluded for any reason, invitation to the Alton Towers rewards trip is at Senior Leadership Team's discretion.

Progress, attitude to learning, achievement and presentation over time

Termly Subject Awards

Three times a year, all subjects nominate pupils for best attitude to learning, progress, achievement and presentation across all five years. Pupils are rewarded in special year assemblies, and receive a certificate. The reward for these pupils changes according to pupil demand


  • Outstanding pieces of work, e.g. a key assessment or a piece of classwork or homework that is well above the expected standard
  • Pieces of work that are significantly above what would be expected from a particular pupil e.g. a Level 6 from a pupil working at Level 4
  • Marked improvement in content or presentation of work over a sustained period of time e.g. over a half-term
  • Marked improvement in meeting particular targets, e.g. oral contributions, level of explanation, homework completed to the best of ability etc.

Departmental awards (throughout the year)

All departments have an internal rewards system, that rewards pupils throughout the year for progress, individual pieces of work etc. Heads of Faculty are to administer this, with prizes coming from the rewards budget.

Lower School Presentation Evening (June)

At the end of the year, all subjects nominate pupils for the following categories in Years 7-9:

  • Highest Attaining Pupil - Achievement
  • Most Improved Pupil - Progress
  • High Effort – Attitude to Learning

Each form tutor and Head of Year also nominates someone from each form for their contribution to the form and school life. There is also the active citizenship award for contributions to the school and local community, as well as three special awards (the Gary Cox Award, Martin Charnock Award and Joe Dalton Award).

Year 11 Prom

Entry to the Year 11 prom is by invitation only. For all students, individual ATL and RTL records will be taken into account when making the decision on attendance to the prom.

Other rewards

  • Non-uniform day revenues and other funds can be set aside for particular rewards
  • In form time, form tutors are encouraged to operate their own reward systems.
  • Postcards should be sent home to parents to inform them of progress, good work, and significant contributions to the school.
  • Pupils are awarded certificates for 100% attendance during the year.

Roles and responsibilities

All staff will:

  • Use the points system and ATL system consistently and fairly.

Form Tutors will:

  • Help coordinate the delivery of the rewards system by regularly monitoring their form’s points scores during form time
  • Use the points and ATL systems to praise and encourage pupils where appropriate.

Heads of Year will:

  • Work closely with form tutors to ensure that the rewards system is being implemented and monitored effectively
  • Act as the ‘gatekeeper’ for staff wishing to add points to particular pupils. 

SLT (AHT Teaching and Learning) will:

  • Have overall responsibility for the implementation of the rewards system
  • Regularly monitor the consistency of the points and ATL systems
  • Keep records of the numbers and groups of pupils being rewarded.

Pupils with Special Educational Needs

St James’ embraces the policy of inclusion. Where pupils have statements of special educational needs, due regard will be paid to the recommendations therein. There may be situations where the sanctions and rewards may need to be modified accordingly to suit the individual concerned. This would be done in consultation with the Headteacher, SENCO and class teacher.

For children who are on the SEN register for emotional and/or behavioural reasons the school will employ a differentiated rewards policy where necessary.

The class teacher liaises with the SENCO where appropriate. In turn the SENCO liaises with external agencies, as necessary, to support and guide the progress of each child. The school may, for example, discuss the needs of a child with the education social worker or LA behaviour support service.