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King James's School Closed - academy converter Aug. 31, 2012

see new King James's School

King James's School
St Helen's Gate
West Yorkshire

phone: 01484 *** ***

headteacher: Mr Robert Lamb


school holidays: via Kirklees council

Secondary — Community School

Education phase
Establishment type
Community School
Establishment #
Close date
Aug. 31, 2012
Reason closed
Academy Converter
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 417129, Northing: 414790
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 53.629, Longitude: -1.7425
Accepting pupils
11—16 years old
Ofsted last inspection
Sept. 28, 2009
Region › Const. › Ward
Yorkshire and the Humber › Huddersfield › Almondbury
Urban > 10k - less sparse
Admissions policy
Main specialism
Science (Operational)
Investor in People
Committed IiP Status
Learning provider ref #

rooms to rent in Huddersfield

Schools nearby

  1. King James's School HD46SG (889 pupils)
  2. 0.4 miles Almondbury CofE (VA) Infant & Nursery HD58XW (152 pupils)
  3. 0.5 miles Almondbury Junior School HD58TG (260 pupils)
  4. 0.6 miles Almondbury Community School HD58PQ (322 pupils)
  5. 0.8 miles Greenside Infant and Nursery School HD58YE (157 pupils)
  6. 0.9 miles Rosemeade School HD58ES
  7. 1 mile Lowerhouses CofE (Voluntary Controlled) Junior Infant and Early Years School HD58JY (189 pupils)
  8. 1.1 mile Lepton Church of England Voluntary Controlled Junior, Infant and Nursery School HD80DE (217 pupils)
  9. 1.2 mile Dalton Junior School HD59HN
  10. 1.2 mile Dalton Infant and Nursery School HD59HN
  11. 1.2 mile Rowley Lane Junior Infant and Nursery School HD80JD (490 pupils)
  12. 1.2 mile St Joseph's Catholic Primary School (Huddersfield) HD59HU (308 pupils)
  13. 1.2 mile Dalton School HD59HN (521 pupils)
  14. 1.3 mile Moldgreen Community Primary School HD58AE (390 pupils)
  15. 1.3 mile Longley School HD58JE (138 pupils)
  16. 1.4 mile Lepton Middle School HD80JD
  17. 1.5 mile Farnley Tyas Church of England Voluntary Controlled First School HD46TZ (45 pupils)
  18. 1.6 mile Stile Common Infant and Nursery School HD46DF
  19. 1.6 mile Highburton Church of England Voluntary Controlled First School HD80QT (175 pupils)
  20. 1.7 mile Rawthorpe Junior School HD59NT (195 pupils)
  21. 1.7 mile Stile Common Junior School HD46LU
  22. 1.7 mile Hillside Primary School HD46LU (328 pupils)
  23. 1.7 mile New Directions College HD16RX (33 pupils)
  24. 1.8 mile Rawthorpe St James CofE (VC) Infant and Nursery School HD59NT (228 pupils)

List of schools in Huddersfield

King James's School

Inspection report

Unique Reference Number107754
Local AuthorityKirklees
Inspection number336945
Inspection dates28–29 September 2009
Reporting inspectorChristine Harrison

This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
Type of schoolSecondary
School categoryCommunity
Age range of pupils11–16
Gender of pupilsMixed
Number of pupils on the school roll878
Appropriate authorityThe governing body
ChairMr Brian Stahelin
HeadteacherMr Robert Lamb
Date of previous school inspection 10 January 2007
School addressSt Helen's Gate
Almondbury, Huddersfield
West Yorkshire HD4 6SG
Telephone number01484 223930
Fax number01484 223934
Email address reveal email: head…

Age group11–16
Inspection dates28–29 September 2009
Inspection number336945

© Crown copyright 2009


This inspection was carried out by five additional inspectors. The inspectors visited 36 lessons, and held meetings with governors, staff and four groups of students. They observed the school's work; and looked at documentation, including the school improvement plan, assessment information that tracks students' attainment and progress, and the school's records of lesson observations. In addition, 406 questionnaires returned by parents and carers were scrutinised, along with questionnaires returned by staff and a representative sample of students.

The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school's work. It looked in detail at the following:

    • whether students' progress has continued to improve in line with the trend that was evident in assessment information for 2008
    • the pace of students' learning and the level of challenge that teachers provide for students of higher ability and those who are gifted and talented
    • the effectiveness of the school's action on the European and global aspects of community cohesion
    • the success of the school's leadership and management in improving students' achievement in subjects where they were not doing as well.

Information about the school

This average-sized school serves an area on the eastern outskirts of Huddersfield. The number of students has increased steadily since the previous inspection. The proportion of students eligible for free school meals is below average. Most students come from White British backgrounds, with one in ten coming from a wide range of other groups. Almost all students speak English as their first language. The proportion of students with special educational needs and/or disabilities is well below average. The school has held specialist status in science since 2004. It now also has specialist status in mathematics. The school holds a number of awards, including the Healthy Schools Award, and has, more recently, gained the ICT Mark and Artsmark.

Inspection grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is satisfactory, and 4 is inadequate
Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

Inspection judgements

Overall effectiveness: how good is the school?


The school's capacity for sustained improvement


Main findings

This is a good and improving school where students of all abilities and from all backgrounds are happy and achieve well. The headteacher has a passion for improvement, shared with a skilful and enthusiastic leadership team, and is constantly seeking to make things better for students. As a result, the curriculum continues to evolve to meet the needs of all groups and examination results have risen steadily over recent years.

The school provides a good environment for learning. Students are very well cared for and safeguarding arrangements are exemplary. As a result, students feel safe and say how much they enjoy the friendly atmosphere around school. Behaviour is good so that lessons almost always proceed without interruption. Students understand that teachers want them to do as well as they can and they respond by working hard. As a result of the good teaching they receive, students make good progress during their time in school, reaching levels of attainment that are above the national average.

Students know their targets and the level or grade at which they are currently working. They generally get good advice from teachers about how their work could be improved. However, these suggestions for improvement are not always written down, making it more difficult for students to refer back to them in the future.

Extra-curricular activities are a strength of the school and participation rates are high. In particular, the many sporting activities are much appreciated by students and make an important contribution to developing healthy lifestyles. The use of time with tutors at the beginning of the day varies from group to group but, in too many of these sessions, teachers do not make enough use of the time to enhance students' personal development and give them opportunities for reflection. The school's specialism makes a strong contribution to the links developed with local primary schools, enhancing the quality of transition arrangements.

The school makes a satisfactory and improving contribution to community cohesion. It has forged new and successful partnerships with schools from different parts of the local area. However, it has not yet fully evaluated the impact of this work on students. Links with communities further afield, both nationally and globally, remain underdeveloped.

The school's track record in improving students' achievement, together with its accurate self-assessment, comprehensive and detailed plans for further improvement and the whole-hearted commitment of the staff, indicate that the school is well placed for further improvement.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Improve community cohesion by:
    • extending links with communities further afield, both nationally and globally
    • fully evaluating the impact on students of the school's actions to promote community cohesion.
  • Ensure that students have regular written feedback on how their work could be improved so that they can refer back to the advice they have been given.
  • Make consistently good use of time with tutors to enrich students' personal development.

Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils


Students concentrate well and learn quickly in most lessons throughout the school. As a result, they make good progress over time and gain examination results that are above average and better than might be expected from their test results when they arrive in Year 7. Hence their achievement is good. There is no significant difference between the achievement of students from different ethnic groups; all do well. Students with special educational needs and/or disabilities receive very effective support and make particularly good progress. In recent years, the higher ability students and those who are gifted and talented have not made as much progress as other groups. However, in 2009, the proportion of A and A* grades, in line with other aspects of GCSE results, improved and it is clear that the gap is closing and these students now make good progress. The school's specialist status has had a significant impact on academic outcomes for pupils, particularly in GCSE results for science and mathematics.

Students enjoy their learning and show respect for each other and their teachers. They value the opportunities they are given to take responsibility and contribute to the school community as buddies, senior students and members of the school council or sports council. They gain good basic skills including literacy, numeracy, and information and communication technology. Their attendance is good and they work successfully together in teams so that they are well equipped for their future working lives. Year 11 students prepared carefully for their 'mock interviews' and obviously appreciated the opportunity they were given. Students have good understanding of social and moral issues but their opportunities for spiritual development are less well developed.

These are the grades for pupils' outcomes

Pupils' achievement and the extent to which they enjoy their learning
Taking into account:
          Pupils' attainment¹
          The quality of pupils' learning and their progress
          The quality of learning for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities and their progress
The extent to which pupils feel safe2
Pupils' behaviour2
The extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifestyles2
The extent to which pupils contribute to the school and wider community2
The extent to which pupils develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being
Taking into account:
          Pupils' attendance¹
The extent of pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development2

1 The grades for attainment and attendance are: 1 is high; 2 is above average; 3 is broadly average; and 4 is low

How effective is the provision?

Teachers generally have high expectations of all students and provide effective support to ensure that they make good progress. The good range of teaching styles and activities helps students to maintain their concentration, although some students said they would prefer more practical activities in their lessons. Teachers use good questioning techniques to check that students have fully understood the topics they are studying. They make imaginative use of interactive whiteboards, provided through funding from the school's science specialism, to add interest and reinforce the major points that students need to remember. Teachers usually plan lessons thoroughly, taking into account the needs of all groups in the class. However, in some lessons the activities planned are not sufficiently challenging to enable the higher ability students to make the best possible progress.

The curriculum is successful in meeting students' needs throughout the school. In Key Stage 3 the new 'learning to learn' course is well planned and much appreciated by students. In Key Stage 4, partnerships with the other local schools and colleges provide several vocational options, together with carefully tailored courses to meet the needs of those in danger of becoming disaffected. The higher ability students are well catered for, notably with separate science and statistics courses and the opportunity to study Latin. The school's specialism contributes strongly to curriculum enrichment, for example, enabling it to provide a range of activities to promote science and mathematics, including a science week, 'Mathematics Challenges' and a science roadshow.

Highly committed staff provide well-targeted care and support to meet the needs of all students. Staff work well with external agencies when necessary. Arrangements for supporting vulnerable students are excellent and the school is successful in helping these students to overcome any barriers to their education. Students feel confident in having someone to turn to when they experience problems. They and their parents value the good guidance and information provided, initially, for primary school pupils before they join the school and continuing, in most respects, throughout students' time in school. However, the planning for personal, social and health education is not as effective as it might be and students do not always see the relevance and value of those lessons.

These are the grades for the quality of provision

The quality of teaching
Taking into account:
          The use of assessment to support learning
The extent to which the curriculum meets pupils' needs, including, where relevant, through partnerships2
The effectiveness of care, guidance and support2

How effective are leadership and management?

The headteacher and senior leaders know their school very well. Inspectors agree with all the judgements the school has made about itself. The school makes excellent use of targets; if it is possible to set a numerical target for an aspect of its work, this school does so. These targets are challenging and, importantly, the school is generally successful in exceeding them. As the school has progressed, more staff have become involved in taking an active leadership role. Curriculum leaders are involved in the 'toolboxes' which provide a rigorous review of each department's work. The school's specialism is very effective in leading the way in improving the quality of teaching and learning across the whole curriculum, with much innovation being trialled through specialist subjects. As a result of these and other initiatives, previous weaknesses in specific subject areas, for example, in English, information and communication technology, art and religious education, have largely been overcome. Nevertheless, there are slight inconsistencies across the school, for example in teaching quality and in students' behaviour, that still require attention as the school strives to become outstanding.

The school is very determined to ensure that every student has an equal opportunity to succeed and is not in any way disadvantaged. The good achievement of all groups of students indicates the success of the school's policies and interventions. Nevertheless, the higher ability students are not always challenged sufficiently in lessons and this remains a minor inequality. Governors are skilled and knowledgeable about the school. They challenge the school where necessary, especially on curriculum and finance, and are meticulous in ensuring that all necessary safeguarding arrangements are in place.

These are the grades for leadership and management

The effectiveness of leadership and management in embedding ambition and driving improvement
Taking into account:
          The leadership and management of teaching and learning
The effectiveness of the governing body in challenging and supporting the
school so that weaknesses are tackled decisively and statutory responsibilities met
The effectiveness of the school's engagement with parents and carers2
The effectiveness of partnerships in promoting learning and well-being2
The effectiveness with which the school promotes equality of opportunity and tackles discrimination2
The effectiveness of safeguarding procedures1
The effectiveness with which the school promotes community cohesion3
The effectiveness with which the school deploys resources to achieve value for money2

Views of parents and carers

Inspectors received questionnaire responses from almost half of parents and carers. Analysis of responses indicates that a very large majority are happy with all aspects of the education that the school provides. A few parents and carers have concerns about behaviour. Inspectors recognise that there are a few incidents of poor behaviour but judge that behaviour both in lessons and around the site is good overall. Similarly, a few parents and carers are concerned that their children are not sufficiently helped to lead a healthy lifestyle. Inspectors did not find evidence to endorse this view and note that the school holds the Healthy Schools Award. The wide range of physical education activities offers opportunities for everyone to take regular exercise. Dining arrangements are well organised and offer a good range of healthy food.

Responses from parents and carers to Ofsted's questionnaire

Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at King James's School to complete a questionnaire about their views of the school.

In the questionnaire, parents and carers were asked to record how strongly they agreed with 13 statements about the school.

The inspection team received 406 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In total, there are 878 pupils registered at the school.

My child enjoys school282364685924330
The school keeps my child safe241314796144610
My school informs me about my child's progress282374305626320
My child is making enough progress at this school216284856325300
The teaching is good at this school198265336917220
The school helps me to support my child's learning169224906463841
The school helps my child to have a healthy lifestyle1451949464941261
The school makes sure that my child is well prepared for the future (for example changing year group, changing school, and for children who are finishing school, entering further or higher education, or entering employment)183254686335500
The school meets my child's particular needs188255076634410
The school deals effectively with unacceptable behaviour2032742256871161
The school takes account of my suggestions and concerns133184836667961
The school is led and managed effectively253344175640520
Overall, I am happy with my child's experience at this school292384215518210

The table above summarises the responses that parents and carers made to each statement. The percentages indicate the proportion of parents and carers giving that response out of the total number of completed questionnaires. Where one or more parents and carers chose not to answer a particular question, the percentages will not add up to 100%.


What inspection judgements mean

Grade 1OutstandingThese features are highly effective. An oustanding school provides exceptionally well for all its pupils' needs.
Grade 2GoodThese are very positive features of a school. A school that is good is serving its pupils well.
Grade 3SatisfactoryThese features are of reasonable quality. A satisfactory school is providing adequately for its pupils.
Grade 4InadequateThese features are not of an acceptable standard. An inadequate school needs to make significant improvement in order to meet the needs of its pupils. Ofsted inspectors will make further visits until it improves.

Overall effectiveness of schools inspected between September 2007 and July 2008

Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)
Type of schoolOutstandingGoodSatisfactoryInadequate
Nursery schools395830
Primary schools1350334
Secondary schools1740349
Sixth forms1843372
Special schools2654182
Pupil referral
All schools1549325

New school inspection arrangements were introduced on 1 September 2009. This means that inspectors now make some additional judgements that were not made previously.

The data in the table above were reported in the Annual Report of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education, Children's Services and Skills 2007/08.

Percentages are rounded and do not always add exactly to 100. Secondary school figures include those that have sixth forms, and sixth form figures include only the data specifically for sixth form inspection judgements.

Common terminology used by inspectors


the progress and success of a pupil in their learning, development or training.


the standard of the pupils' work shown by test and examination results and in lessons.

Capacity to improve:

the proven ability of the school to continue improving. Inspectors base this judgement on what the school has accomplished so far and on the quality of its systems to maintain improvement.

Leadership and management:

the contribution of all the staff with responsibilities, not just the headteacher, to identifying priorities, directing and motivating staff and running the school.


how well pupils acquire knowledge, develop their understanding, learn and practise skills and are developing their competence as learners.

Overall effectiveness:

inspectors form a judgement on a school's overall effectiveness based on the findings from their inspection of the school. The following judgements, in particular, influence what the overall effectiveness judgement will be.

  • The school's capacity for sustained improvement.
  • Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils.
  • The quality of teaching.
  • The extent to which the curriculum meets pupils' needs,  including, where relevant, through partnerships.
  • The effectiveness of care, guidance and support.

the rate at which pupils are learning in lessons and over longer periods of time. It is often measured by comparing the pupils' attainment at the end of a key stage with their attainment when they started.

This letter is provided for the school, parents and
carers to share with their children. It describes Ofsted's
main findings from the inspection of their school.

Inspection of King James's School, Huddersfield, HD4 6SG

As you know, we have just finished inspecting your school and I am writing to tell you about our findings. First of all, I would like to thank you for making us feel so welcome and for talking to us about how you feel about your school. As a result of the inspection, I judged yours to be a good and improving school. I was particularly impressed by the friendly atmosphere around school and by the mature attitudes of Year 11 as they prepared for their mock interviews. The teaching you receive is good and this, together with your positive attitudes and hard work, enables you to learn quickly and achieve well. Your examination results in Year 11 are above the national average and getting better every year.

The headteacher and other leaders are constantly working to make things better for you, so there is now a good range of subjects and courses to meet everyone's needs. You told us how much you value the wide range of extra-curricular activities. I agree with your view that you are very well cared for in school and that there is always someone to help if you have a problem. The school's arrangements to keep you safe are outstanding.

However, even in a good school there are things that could be improved. The time you have with tutors is often not as well used as it might be to give you a chance to consider and discuss topics that are not generally covered in lessons. Similarly, I have asked the school to give you more opportunities to make links with other communities in this country and in other parts of the world. Some of you told inspectors that, although teachers give you good spoken feedback on how you could improve your work, it would be helpful if more of the comments were written down so that you could refer back to them. I agree with this suggestion and have asked teachers to provide more written feedback. In return, I hope you will make sure that you act on their advice and suggestions.

I wish you and the school all the very best for the future.

Any complaints about the inspection or the report should be made following the procedures set out in the guidance 'Complaining about inspections', which is available from Ofsted's website: If you would like Ofsted to send you a copy of the guidance, please telephone 08456 404045, or email reveal email: enqu…

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