Emphasis on friendship and respect sees Emsworth school given stamp of approval 

Staff and students of St James' Primary School
Staff and students of St James' Primary School
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THE STAFF and children of St James School in Emsworth are celebrating being judged as an outstanding school in a recent inspection. 

The SIAMS – Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools – report said: ‘Pupils are proud of their school and have a hugely positive attitude towards their learning.’

SIAMS is carried out by the Diocese of Portsmouth and is in addition to Ofsted inspections.

Headteacher Erika Biddlecombe said: ‘I think this outcome is a true reflection of the staff and students who I feel have had the recognition they deserve.’

The report highlighted that students achieve above average attainment with ‘all students making progress’.

Deputy headteacher Neil Hall said: ‘End of key stage assessments have been above average for the last two years. We had a really big jump in attainment last year which has been consolidated this year.'

'We lead children to learn, we don't just teach. We want pupils to develop a love of learning to move forward for the rest of their lives,' added Ms Biddlecombe.

The report also praised the school for developing the 'whole child' and commended the school on the clearly visible values of respect, friendship and excellence witnessed in everyday relationships at the school.

"These values are embedded in the children in the way they behave and interact with the staff and each other,' explained Year 3 teacher, Hannah Mitchell.

The news was shared with the children at a celebratory assembly.

'When we told the students there was a big cheer. The students have a real sense of pride in this achievement,' said Ms Biddlecombe.

The school has been told it can improve by using the local church more and developing pupils’ understanding of the Anglican tradition, and to embed ‘opportunities for spiritual development’ throughout the work of school.

This report follows on from the school being judged as 'good with outstanding features’ in their latest Ofsted report from 2017.