St James Academy joined the Vantage trust in 2015. As with our other schools, St James had a long history of under performance and low expectations. Vantage has set out to work with staff, parents and children to unlock the potential that we know exists in this school.
Our starting point has been to raise aspirations and set high expectations for all children and adults within the school community. St James has already seen its learning environment – from the classrooms through to the offices and staffrooms – transformed over summer 2015. All classrooms have been altered so that they are more spacious and they now all lead out to our inspiring outdoor areas, which includes an all weather football pitch, gardens where we will now grow vegetables and other produce, and big spaces for outdoor learning and activities. We are very excited about making the most of our outdoor areas now that we are part of the trust.
We already have lots to celebrate and look forward to. Our children have achieved huge success in local football competitions – including gaining the chance to represent Manchester City and play in the stadium of West Ham United, in London. We have links with FC United of Manchester, who are helping to train a number of our pupils. Many of our children have experienced the school’s first ‘outdoor learning’ weekend – taking part in activities such as climbing and archery, and develop team building and problem solving skills.
We are now benefiting from the introduction of both the international Primary Curriculum and the Kagan approach to teaching and learning across our school. The world map has now been added to the school’s main display board and, through the new curriculum and our subjects, we are learning about places and events in the wider world around us.
In June 2016, our school received its first National Society Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools Report and was rated as ‘outstanding’. It said that our school “is extremely successful in creating a loving, caring and inclusive Christian environment which has a direct influence on children’s well-being and academic success.”
The children and the families are what makes this school so special. The children are always happy, they want to learn, and have such enquiring minds. St James is a great place to work and be
Parents comment that their children are happy and enthusiastic about learning and school life. They say that staff, governors and members of the church work together for the children. Parents believe that the school creates a calm atmosphere in which children learn to show respect and behave responsibly