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.’

Year 9

Every year our Year Group have a theme which underpins the work which we do.  The Theme this year is “The Year of Growth” as Year 9 is a time when pupils must grow in maturity as they are faced with difficult decisions regarding their future.  Pupils’ hopes and aspirations were buried with a tree in the prayer garden in September.  We have watched both our tree and pupils grow in mind, body and soul.

Within this “Year of Growth” we have seen pupils use their new found maturity to choose their options for KS4, under the guidance of the Pastoral team. This was supported by attendance at both a Careers Café and Options Evening.

Pupils have grown in spirituality as a result of form prayer time, assemblies, morning  prayer, retreat days, fund raising for PremDan and CAFOD plus Christmas and Harvest food collections.

Academically pupils have blossomed, using the skills learnt in the Study Skills day.  This took place in January and has helped them to prepare for internal assessments and German GCSE exams.  They have had first-hand experience of Geography on the River Bollin trip, of History on the Berlin trip, World War 1 and 2 workshops and of Science on a RSC lecture at Manchester University.

Rewards are an integral part of the pastoral teams work.  Weekly, pupils are rewarded for being “Ready to Learn” and for gaining achievement points.  These successes are celebrated in assembly as well as at termly rewards breakfasts. Attitude to Learning, attendance, academic achievement, improvement, presentation and progress are also rewarded with termly pizza lunches, voucher draws and certificates presented by SLT.

Good behaviour and a consistently good attitude to learning throughout the year are rewarded with a further invitation to Alton Towers.