Headteacher’s welcome

 St James is a thriving, diverse and ambitious community with 980 pupils. We are an 11-16 mixed comprehensive school that is consistently one of the highest performing in the area. We perform so well because from the moment they join us, we ask our pupils to work hard and be kind. These two behaviours epitomise what we think is important for both pupils and staff alike.

Our school is situated in the East of Exeter on a new, purpose-built site which means we benefit from excellent facilities, including an art and photography suite with gallery, an amphitheatre, a drama studio and a theatre with full rigged lighting and raked seating, a 4G full sized pitch, a greenhouse, allotments and significant school fields.

We ensure that our students are outward facing and enjoy a full range of experiences and opportunities whilst they are at St James. Our disruption free classrooms enable them to develop into open minded, receptive and kind people, who embrace new ideas and change and who enjoy life and want to explore it by experiencing new things. The arts are core to our curriculum and are the beating heart of our school. All students partake in the arts and are given the opportunity to take the full range of arts qualifications at KS4.

Additionally, more than 70% of our pupils complete the English Baccalaureate, and, as a result, we see our students invited to join elite post-16 programs, such as the Exeter Maths School and the Reach Academy. The high percentage of students entered for the Ebacc and the strong achievement in French are two of the reasons why St James has been asked to become an MFL Hub by the Department for Education (one of only nine hubs in the country).

Ofsted judged us to be a strong Good in our inspection in 2018. Our results in 2019 saw our students sustain the high level of performance of recent years. Headline figures show that 65% of students left with a grade 9-4 in English & Maths (a ‘standard’ pass) and 42% with a grade 9-5 in English & Maths. 77% of students achieved a 4 or above in English, and 62% a 5 or above, whilst in Maths 70% achieved a 4 or above, and 48% a 5 or above. The school’s strong performance in the Ebacc has also continued.

At the core of our ambitious learning culture is a broad, knowledge-rich curriculum, which is cohesive, cumulative and effectively sequenced. Our common curriculum is academic, rigorous and challenging, and designed with long-term memory in mind; students’ knowledge, skills and understanding are cemented by frequent and systematic revisiting.

Our curriculum aims not only to provide students with the knowledge and skills to obtain optimum GCSE outcomes but also to develop a love for subjects, acquiring knowledge and skills which set them up for future studies. Through a curriculum which, for us, encompasses every aspect of school life, we are developing our community of young people to have deep agency with their learning: they are curious about the world around them and proud to be learning with us.

We value kindness at St James and work to be kind in all of our interactions and engender the same in our students. So, if you like to work hard and be kind, St James School is the place for you.

 

Lindsay Skinner

Lindsay Skinner

Headteacher