Officially Ofsted Good!

April 2022


Last term, Ofsted inspectors visited King James for a two-day inspection and we have now received the official report. We are happy to confirm that we have retained the Good status awarded to us in our previous inspection in 2017.

Inspectors identified a number of positives during the visit. They were impressed by our Student Council and the regular meetings our leaders have with representatives to ensure students have the opportunity to share their views and give suggestions on how to improve Academy life. They also commended our high expectations of pupils which are set out in our ‘7 Standards’; these include values such as ‘be prepared’ and ‘engage and succeed’.

It was noted that the atmosphere throughout King James is calm and orderly and that pupils conduct themselves well in lessons and make visitors feel welcome. Students told inspectors that they feel safe and value the help that they can get from our student support team. They also confirmed that when bullying occurs, it is handled well by staff. Inspectors spoke to our Safeguarding Team and praised their strong understanding of the local risks that pupils may face. Staff know what signs could indicate that a pupil might be at risk of harm and know how to raise a concern and organise help swiftly.

When commenting on what King James does well, inspectors reported that our

leaders have developed an ambitious and well-structured curriculum and that pupils study a broad range of subjects, including those in Sixth Form who have a rich choice of both academic and vocational qualifications.

In relation to building knowledge, it was noted that teachers make effective choices in lessons to ensure that pupils learn and remember important information. They said that leaders and teachers are clear on what they want pupils to learn in each subject and this is regularly checked to help pupils build knowledge over time. To confirm this, they spoke about how in subjects such as English and history, pupils were able to talk confidently about their learning from previous years.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) get the right support. For example, in physical education, some pupils with SEND use adapted resources. They receive targeted support from teachers and this helps pupils to build their confidence in sports such as badminton and trampolining.

Inspectors were impressed by the improvement in modern foreign languages and the fact that next year, around a quarter of our Year 10 pupils will study GCSE French or Spanish. This means that more pupils will study the full range of qualifications that make up the English Baccalaureate in the future.

They praised the high priority given to reading at King James and the range of effective support on offer to build pupils’ fluency and confidence in reading. This includes daily sessions for weaker readers and investments to strengthen the support for pupils so that they can catch up more quickly. It was also noted that leaders place high importance on pupils’ personal development. Students talk confidently about aspects of PSHE. Inspectors spoke directly to Year 13 students who told them how careers education helps them to make the right decision when planning the next step when they leave school.

When Ofsted have judged a school to be good, they will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good. This is called a section 8 inspection of a good or outstanding school, because it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. You can read the full Ofsted report via our website at