Latest news from around the school

This week’s message (Friday 09 February 2024)

Posted on 09 February 2024 by Mr Roundtree

The Spring 1 half-term has been a short one, and a busy one as ever. Wrapping up the half-term were parent-teacher meetings – thanks for attending the meeting to find out more about your child’s learning.

Attendance prize draw – we’ve a winner!

St James’ CE Primary is a happy and healthy place to be – and even a lucky one for Isabella in Year 2 – well done for having amazing attendance this half-term.

All pupils with attendance of 96% or higher were entered into a prize draw to win a £50 Love to Shop voucher! Isabella was the lucky winner, announced this afternoon.

Well done to all the pupils (and their families) who had great attendance in Spring 1:

  • 65 pupils had 100% attendance
  • 89 pupils have over 96% attendance

We’re really pleased to see the whole school attendance figure rise in Spring 1, too.

Look out for another Attendance Prize Draw in the summer.

Holidays and training days 2024-25

While it seems we’re stuck in winter – certainly so with the snow yesterday – it’s worth looking ahead to brighter days! All the holidays and training dates for 2024-25 are confirmed – check out our school calendar if you want to start planning ahead.

Leeds Parent Carer Forum

The Leeds Parent Carer Forum is the way that the local authority and health partners engage and co-produce directly with parents and carers of children with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND). In Leeds, this is a very new organisation. We’ve been asked to share their promotional flyer with you.

School policies

Finally for this week, Sphere Federation governors have asked us to remind you that most policies are available on our website – the Policies and Other Points page. If you can’t find what you might be looking for, please do ask. Your views on any of the policies are always welcome, too.

On a similar subject, please ask if you’d prefer paper copies of anything on the website.

Thank you for your continued support, as ever. Have a happy and healthy half-term holiday.

Litter Picking Crew

Posted on 06 February 2024 by Miss Beatson

Thank you to some of our pupils who have been making a difference in our local community by picking up litter on Hallfield Lane. Some of the Year 4 children have noticed litter on the paths as they walk to swimming each week and they feel really strongly that they want to do something about it. Well done for suggesting a great way to keep our streets tidy!


Wear Red Day - an update

Posted on 04 February 2024 by Mr Roundtree

Friday was Wear Red Day. At the time of writing the weekly message on Friday, we’d raised £63.50. Including donations made later, we raised £95.45.

The money raised goes to our current school charity: the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund in Leeds.

If you and your child donated, thank you.

This week’s message (Friday 02 February 2024)

Posted on 02 February 2024 by Mr Roundtree

If you and your child made a donation for our Wear Red Day. At the time of writing this message, we raised £63.50 – thank you. It was great seeing the different creative styles pupils added to their uniform today!

Living and learning

Living and Learning is our name for Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) and other provision which helps to support the personal development of children at St James’ CE Primary.

Each week, we have a different Living and Learning theme – check out our Calendar to read about each week’s theme (it’s usually showing on each Monday). This week’s theme has been I know how to seek help.

We all need to seek help from time to time. Make sure your child knows it’s ok to ask for help. Explore different situations when you and your child might both need to seek help. What could the situation be (friendships, online problems, tricky situations when out and about…)? Who could they seek help from? How would they do it?

Linked to this week’s theme is STOP. Here at St James’ CE Primary, STOP stands for two things to do bullying:

  • the definition: hurting someone physically or emotionally Several Times On Purpose
  • the solution: Start Telling Other People

Remind your child of the STOP acronyms.

Watch us while we work

Thanks to all who came along last Friday for the second of our Watch Us While We Work sessions. Thanks also to the parents who completed our new online form for their feedback.

Children very well behaved and good to see what happens in class.


The session was well planned and Mr Nash explained what he was doing and why. Gave some good suggestions on how we, as parents can add to what is done in school. Also, loved seeing [my child] in class and how engaged he was.

We really appreciate your suggestions for improvement, too. We can’t always act on these – some suggested longer sessions while other people comment the sessions were the right length – but we’ll try.

Coffee mornings

Thanks to parents and carers of children of children in Reception, Year 1 and Year2 who dropped in this morning – it was good to see you. You’re welcome to let us know any comments – please use our online form. Coming up is another coffee morning – this one for parents and carers of children in Years 3-6 – it’s on Friday 01 March.

Contact details

A quick reminder…

If you’ve got any new contact details for you or other contacts, please remember to let us know. We need up-to-date details for the people on our lists in case of emergencies. (The people on our lists are the ones you gave us when your child school – in most cases, this will be three different people.)

Reception survey

Another reminder…

If you’re a parent in Reception, please do complete our short survey. Your feedback is really important to us. the survey’s open for another week.

We hope you have a happy and healthy weekend, whatever you get up to.

Not long to go

Posted on 29 January 2024 by Miss Beatson

Our prize draw for good attendance is taking place on Friday 09 February.

All pupils with attendance of 96% or higher next half-term will be entered into a prize draw to win a £50 Love to Shop voucher!

If your child reaches a good level of attendance – that’s 96% – by the end of this half term, their name will be entered into a prize draw. We’ll select one lucky winner on the last day of the half-term (Friday 09 February).

St James’ CE Primary is a happy and healthy place to be – and maybe even a lucky one, too!

This week’s message (Friday 26 January 2024)

Posted on 26 January 2024 by Mr Roundtree

This week, we’ve messages about measles, free school meals and a couple of forthcoming events in school. Before that, a thank you…

Watch us while we work

For parents and carers of children in Years 1 -6, this afternoon we’ve had another Watch Us While We Work session – the second of the year. Thank you if you were able to come to school to find out ways to support your child at home.

Based on parent feedback, we’ve a new feedback form for planned-in visits like this – things like Watch Us While We Work, Topic review sessions and Reception Stay and Learns.

We’d love to hear your views.


This comes from the Department for Education (DfE):

There have been recent localised outbreaks of measles centred around the West Midlands. There is a risk of further outbreaks in other areas unless urgent action is taken to increase Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccination take up in areas with low MMR vaccine rates.

Measles spreads very easily among those who are unvaccinated, especially in nurseries and schools. The best protection against measles for children and adults is to get both doses of the MMR vaccine. It is never too late to have these vaccinations.

Read the NHS advice for parents and carers.

Read the DfE has published an Education Hub blog with guidance on measles and the MMR vaccine for parents.

Free School Meals

Circumstances can change for anyone, as the enormous impact from the pandemic continues to prove. Some families can suddenly find themselves trying to cope with a new financial strain and pressure, perhaps as a result of a stressful new situation: separation, loss of a job, decreased working
hours, illness etc. If your household income is low or has recently decreased, your child may well qualify for Free School Meals.

Find out whether you’re eligible.

In addition to securing free school meals, your child would also become eligible for pupil premium funding. This provides us with extra money that we use to support children.

Finally this week, a couple of events coming up…

Wear Red Day

Our school charity this year is Children’s Heart Surgery Fund.

Wear Red Day is an annual fund-raising event to support the Leeds Congenital Heart Unit, its patients and their families.

The day is still a uniform day, but we invite children to come to school wearing some red, too – how might they adapt their uniform? Red socks, red polo short, red shorts…

This is an optional event. We welcome any donations, all of which will go towards our charity.

Safer Internet Day

This is on Tuesday 06 February. We’ll be making the day in school, but you might want to check out some resources to use at home.

Have a great weekend!

A visit from Children's Heart Surgery Fund

Posted on 26 January 2024 by Miss Beatson

Yesterday, Lauren from Children’s Heart Surgery Fund came to talk to us about the charity and all the great things they do for children. Lauren gave us some good fundraising ideas including ‘Wear Red Day’ which we will be taking part in on Friday 02 February. The children had opportunity to ask questions about the charity and about Lauren’s important role as a charity fundraiser. The Junior Leadership Team are meeting today to discuss more fundraising ideas so we can raise as much money as possible for this worthy cause.


This week’s message (Friday 19 January 2024)

Posted on 19 January 2024 by Mr Roundtree

Early in each half-term, our weekly message centres around the current KS1 and KS2 topic. The message comes from Mr Wilks, who leads on foundation subjects (see page 7 for what foundation subjects are).

What is this half-term’s topic?

This half-term, we’re historians and will be developing our understanding of Britain’s past and the wider world.

I love history. It’s one of my favourite subjects to teach. There are so many amazing stories and characters from the past and although the people and events we study can be separated from our own lives by thousands of years, there are lots of relevant connections we can make with the world today. Children will use enquiry skills to answer questions about the past that require opinions. They’ll be ‘time detectives’, using sources of evidence to help them answer these questions.

Each phase has age-related specific knowledge, skills and vocabulary that they’ll learn, use and apply across the topic. See pages 22, 23 and 24.

Years 1 and 2

In this topic, children will learn about how shopping has changed over time. They’ll develop chronological understanding by sequencing events in their own lives before learning about how shopping was different during their parents’ and grandparents’ and great grandparents’ childhoods. They’ll look at similar products from different times and try to sequence them chronologically using logical reasoning. They’ll use photographs and other sources of evidence to identify changes and similarities on the high street over time. They’ll learn about the history of a local shop, Marks and Spencer, and how it has changed over time.

The key historical concept which we’ll explore in this topic is trade. Trade is the exchange of goods and services, initially for other goods and services, and then for money.

Years 3 and 4

Children will learn about the Roman Empire and its invasion of Britain. They will examine how life changed for the people living in Britain at the time of the invasion. They will learn about the Celtic warrior, Boudicca, and how she resisted the Romans. Children will also consider what we know about Boudicca, how we know it, and whether we can trust it.

They’ll learn about the amazing inventions and advances that the Romans brought to Britain. Finally, they’ll find out why the Romans left Britain and who the Anglo-Saxons were.

There are two key historical concepts which we’ll explore in this topic: empire and invasion. An empire is a large group of countries or states ruled by an emperor or empress. An invasion is when a country or region is invaded by an armed force. 

Years 5 and 6

In this topic, children will learn about Viking Britain and an Early Islamic Civilisation centred around the city of Baghdad around 800AD.

During this period of time, Baghdad was the largest city in the world and was the centre of the world’s trade routes. Trade between Vikings and Baghdad happened and provides a real link between these two societies.

Through studying the Vikings, children will again learn about how people invaded and settled in Britain. Invasion is also relevant as it brought an end to the Islamic Golden Age.

The Islamic Golden Age was a period of great innovation. Learning and knowledge was key to their success. They built the world’s first hospitals, universities and observatories, as well as studied writing from scholars around the world. The contrast with Viking Britain during the Dark Ages is stark!

There are three key historical concepts which we’ll explore in this topic: trade, invasion and innovation. Trade is the exchange of goods and services, initially for other goods and services, and then for money. An innovation is an improvement or replacement for something. An invasion is when a country or region is invaded by an armed force.

Help at home

Talk to your child about what they’ve been learning in class. The class news page of the school website is a good place to go to find out more about what the children are doing.

Find some books from the library which match what the children are learning. This will be quite easy for children in Key Stage 2 as there will be plenty of books about Roman Britain and Viking Britain. You should also be able to find some about the Islamic Golden Age. For children in KS1, you may find it more difficult to find books about shopping over time. However, any book that looks at how an aspect of life has changed over time will be good. For example, you may find KS1 history books about toys and games, houses, transport, holidays. These will all help your child to sequence chronologically and explore similarities and differences.

Watch television shows about history. Horrible Histories is great – regardless of your age!

d:side visit

Posted on 19 January 2024 by Miss Beatson

This week, our Living and Learning statement is ‘I know that some drugs can be harmful’.

Dave from d:side came into school to speak to individual classes about drug and medicine awareness. In Reception and Year 1, he spoke to the children about taking care of our bodies and all about medicines; in Year 2, they talked about how our bodies work; in Year 3/4, they discussed smoking and vaping; and finally in Year 5/6 they talked about different types of drugs and if they are medical or not medical.

“I enjoyed the session with Dave and found out things I didn’t know such as solvents and how they are harmful.” Y5

“Dave explained all about drugs in a really clear way. He told us the drugs that are legal and illegal.” Y5

“He showed us what people look like when they take drugs and they didn’t look well. We then saw a picture of someone 10 months after not taking drugs and they looked a lot better.”  Y6

Don't forget...

Posted on 15 January 2024 by Miss Beatson

…our attendance competition.

All pupils with attendance of 96% or higher next half-term will be entered into a prize draw to win a £50 Love to Shop voucher!

So… for the full Spring 1 half-term, Monday 08 January to Friday 09 February (five weeks), if your child reaches a good level of attendance – that’s 96% – their name will be entered into a prize draw. We’ll select one lucky winner on the last day of the half-term (Friday 09 February).

St James’ CE Primary is a happy and healthy place to be – and maybe even a lucky one, too!