Welcome from the Headteacher

Welcome back to the new term and I hope you have all had a fabulous, restful Holy Christmas and New Year.

Thank you to all the students, staff, parents and governors for giving me such a warm welcome to St James’ this week.

I have been asked on numerous occasions what my main priority is during this first term; it is to listen. Over this coming term I aim to learn more about St James’ and establish what effective practice already exists in our school and how we can move forward together. This began with teachers at their INSET on Monday where we discussed our core values as a school community and how we want these portrayed, understood and shared going forward.
On Tuesday I was delighted to deliver assemblies to all students across all Year groups to introduce myself to them and to share our vision of St James’ and how it will develop over the coming years.

Throughout this week I have been visiting classrooms and have been extremely impressed by the behaviour, work ethic and enthusiasm that I have seen from all students. The lessons that I have seen have been dynamic, exciting and challenging for the young people we serve. As parents and carers, I look forward to the support that you will offer in ensuring that all of our young people are both Ready To Learn (in and out of school) and have an excellent Attitude To Learning, in addition to sustaining the highest standards of attendance.

Even though this is the first week back, a number of events have taken place, including Rock Climbing for the Year 10 PE GCSE cohort, and a number of Year 1 I s have also sat their Creative Media exam.

Next Thursday, 17th January, there is a Year 10 work experience information evening starting at 6:30pm – it is essential that this event is attended by students and parents as this provides key information about the process. Please contact Mrs Helen Grainger, our Work-Related Learning Coordinator, if you have any questions about the evening.

This week I have been working on the redevelopment of the St James’ image in our communication with parents. Communications will continue with parents but this will not be in the current newsletter format. An exciting redevelopment of the newsletter and website is currently underway and will be launched this term, fitting in directly with our St James’ values.

I am looking forward to working with our parents and students in the coming weeks and sharing exciting times ahead

Anthony Pontifex