Latest news from around the school

This half-term's Christian value is...

Posted on 06 January 2020 by Mr Roundtree


In Mark Chapter 12, Jesus was asked which of the ten commandments was the most important, to which he replied, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength’. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There are no commandment greater than these.”

The challenge for us is how can we show love to each other on a daily basis. How can we encourage each other? How can we make someone smile? How can we show love for our school and our world?

The Church Council chose peace as a Christian value: ‘Love is why Jesus came into the world – to send out love.’ (Y2 Church Council member).

Home challenge:

Which is your favourite film or book? Think about the main characters in it – how do they show love? For example, Aslan in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – how does he show love?

Do everything in love.

(1 Corinthians 16:14)

We love because He first loved us.

((1 John 4:19)

New annual report format

Posted on 03 December 2019 by Mr Roundtree

At St James’ CE Primary, we seek your thoughts on lots of things, whether this is straight after an open-session in school like our Watch us while we work sessions, or in the annual surveys in the summer term.

Just before the summer term last year, we also asked for your views on the annual reports. We wanted to make sure we kept the reports as informative for you as possible, and we also wanted to relieve some of the workload for teachers when they write them.

You told us that the aspects of the reports you found most helpful were the teachers’ overall comments and the grades for progress, attitude and attainment – we’ll be keeping these aspects in the new reports (we’re going to make the grades even clearer and use them for attendance, behaviour and effort, too).

Some of the sections will be made smaller or not included. This is based on your feedback, too.

Thank you to all the parents/carers who helped us with this. Do speak with me if you’ve any questions, comments or concerns.

Taking pics at our productions

Posted on 02 December 2019 by Mr Roundtree

As we approach the time of year when many of you will be visiting school to enjoy our Christmas production, we thought it would be useful to send an extract of our Online Safety Policy (even though this new version is still in its draft format):

Staff and parents are reminded at least annually (eg during an assembly or performance) about the importance of not sharing digital images and video without permission, due to reasons of child protection, data protection, religious or cultural reasons, or simply for reasons of personal privacy.

We appreciate that families will treasure photographic/video memories, and the general rule is that parents and carers may take photos and videos of the children in their care, for personal use only. There may be rare exceptions to this, and parents / carers will be made aware in advance of particular events where no filming etc is possible.

When parents capture footage or still images of their children, there is a strong possibility that other children will also be visible or audible. For this reason, no such content should be shared publicly.

Live streaming, whether public or private, cannot be permitted on streaming platforms or ‘live’ features (e.g. Facebook Live) to stream events/circumstances as they occur. Parents / carers may be asked to leave the premises or event if this takes place.

Parents will be provided with clear direction by a senior member of staff in order to comply with this policy around public performances.

You can read more about this in an article written by a barrister specialising in education law.

Our new school charity is...

Posted on 01 December 2019 by Mr Roundtree


The charity was chosen with a double dose of democracy! Following Talk Time homework where your child will have discussed charities at home, a discussion in class took place, and then a class vote to decide which charity the class nominated.

Then, the school council discussed the short-list and then voted again on behalf of the school.

St James’ CE Primary will support this charity for the next 12 months. One way it will raise money will be to ask for voluntary donations for the performances we hold through the year.

Community Week

Posted on 30 November 2019 by Miss Beatson

We’ve had a busy and exciting week at St James’, learning all about community. We’ve thought about our school community, local community and wider community. Throughout the week, we’ve had lots of visitors and activities taking place. Some of these included Leeds United Foundation who spoke to us about how they support the community and how their values link with our own school values and vision; Wetherby in Bloom and Friends of Sandringham explained to us about the fantastic volunteer work that helps our local community; Salvation Army told us about the work they do to help people around the world and in our local community; Year 3 went litter picking at the local park to help keep Wetherby tidy; Year 5/6 had a DT lesson at Wetherby High School; Safer School Officer; Fire Service and much more. Thank you to all the children who brought in photographs of themselves in the local area and those who brought in an item for identity day.


Posted on 29 November 2019 by Mr Roundtree

We recommend two videos which talk about the issue of consent.

We do suggest you watch them first. You might not feel they’re appropriate to show your child, but they should help you to feel better prepared to talk to your child about the notion of consent, and they might also be useful for an older child.

Tea and consent comes from Thames Valley Police – it likens sexual consent to agreeing to a cup of tea, or not agreeing, or changing your mind.

Consent for kids is an American clip – it gets across the message in a very matter-of-fact way (as long as you can cope with the very American accent of the narrator!).

Fab feedback from Leeds United

Posted on 27 November 2019 by Mr Roundtree

We’re all enjoying a community themed week at St James’ CE Primary this week. We’re learning all about identity and community.

As part of the week, we welcomed Mathew Everett, Primary Education Lead from Leeds United Foundation. After his visit, he sent us this complimentary email:

Thank you so much for the opportunity to support ‘My community’ themed week at St.James; I was made to feel welcome by all staff and children. It is evident that the school values are embedded into daily school life and clear to see that the children fully understand and work toward the school these in all areas of the curriculum. It really is a happy and healthy place to achieve and believe.

Look out for a competition coming up soon in school where children will link Leeds United values with our own Christian values – the winner will receive four tickets to a Leeds-Sheffield Wednesday game in January.

Watch us while we work

Posted on 25 November 2019 by Miss Beatson

We recently invited parents and carers into school to watch some fantastic learning in action! We had some wonderful feedback:

“I enjoyed seeing how the children are taught so I can use the same methods to help at home.”

“I liked how the lesson wasn’t just sat but the children got up and moved around.”

“Lovely positive encouragement from the lovely teachers.”

Our next watch us while we work session will be on Wednesday 22 January, 9am-10am.



A new edition of #Ditto

Posted on 25 November 2019 by Mr Roundtree

#Ditto is a downloadable e-safety magazine for schools, organisations and parents to keep you up to date with risks, issues, advice and guidance related to keeping children safe online, with a view to enjoying and learning about technology.

There’s a lot of interesting information in the November edition. We especially liked the articles on Deepfakes, Influencers and Notifications and Immediacy.

Read your way to a happy and healthy life

Posted on 24 November 2019 by Mr Roundtree

We can all agree that reading is important, but do you realise just how important reading actually is?

The Reading Agency outlines the powerful impact reading can have for your child, for you and for society.

The benefits of reading for pleasure for your child (and you!):

  • Reading for pleasure is more important for children’s cognitive development – their brain power – than their parents’ level of education.
  • Reading for pleasure is a more powerful factor in life achievement than socio-economic background.
  • 16-year-olds who choose to read books for pleasure outside of school are more likely to secure managerial or professional jobs in later life.
  • Having books in the home is associated with both reading enjoyment and confidence. Of children who report having fewer than 10 books in their homes, 42% say they do not like reading and only 32% say they are ‘very confident’ readers. For children who report having over 200 books at home, only 12% say they do not like reading and 73% consider themselves ‘very confident’ readers.
  • Children who read books often at age 10, and more than once a week at age 16, gain higher results in maths, vocabulary and spelling tests at age 16 than those who read less regularly.
  • Reading extensively and for pleasure at home can increase literacy skills at a greater rate than through formal lessons at school.
  • Incomes are higher in countries where more adults reach the highest levels of literacy proficiency and fewer adults are at the lowest levels of literacy.
  • An online poll reveals that regular readers for pleasure report fewer feelings of stress and depression than non-readers, and stronger feelings of relaxation from reading than from watching television or engaging with technology intensive activities.
  • Studies have shown that those who read for pleasure have higher levels of self-esteem and a greater ability to cope with difficult situations.
  • Reading for pleasure is associated with better sleeping patterns.
  • Adults who read for just 30 minutes a week are 20% more likely to report greater life satisfaction.

We’re often asked how you can support your child more at home. We think one of the best ways to help is to make sure you build into the daily routine some time for reading. For many families, this is a bedtime story every night just before lights out.

Happy reading!