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.’


At St. James’, pupils develop a range of social skills that enable them to develop a lifelong love of learning. In lessons, pupils work individually, in pairs and in small groups to gain the ability to work independently and with others. During the year, pupils also have many opportunities to meet people from other backgrounds, to participate in extra-curricular trips, and to gain experience that will help them in the world of work and careers. Underpinning all of this, the school’s SHINE ethos ensures that all pupils are aware of the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance. Above all else, pupils become both confident learners and acquire the skills needed to thrive in modern Britain.

Here are some ways in which St. James’ pupils demonstrate their social development:

Working with others in lessons and extra-curricular activities over time

Careers education in Years 7-11 and work experience (Year 10)

Careers Café and Careers Convention

Community work – Youth SVP and Abbeyfields residential home, reading with Year 4 and Year 5 pupils

Charity work - St. Ann’s Hospice, the Wellspring, CAFOD, Educaid, Prem Dam

Humanities and Enterprise (HAE) Week – meeting with Holocaust survivors, Multicultural Day, the Wise Up Challenge

Duke of Edinburgh Award

Whole School Sponsored Walks in 2013 and 2015 – over £20,000 raised for charity

Model UN activity