Latest news from around the school

Children in Need

Posted on 17 November 2017 by Miss Beatson

Thank you to everybody who donated money by dressing up or buying some cakes from our cake sale today. We raised a fantastic £191.03 for Children in Need.



Town Hall visit

Posted on 15 November 2017 by Miss Beatson

Today, the School Council visited the Town Hall, to look at proposed plans for playing areas in Wetherby. They were asked for their views and opinions to help developers design the best possible parks they can.

Here is some feedback our school council gave the planning team:

  • “I like the swings in the spider web park because they look like they go really high.”
  • “I like some of the ideas for the slides because there were different sizes so all ages could use them.”
  • “I thought in one of the parks they could have a big slide as well as a little slide.”  


Anti-bullying Week

Posted on 12 November 2017 by Miss Beatson

Next week is national Anti-Bullying Week and our Living and Learning statement is I know how to STOP bullying.

The theme this year is All Different, All Equal with the following key aim:

The idea is to help children and young people celebrate what makes them, and others, unique and help them understand why it’s important that every child feels included in school, able to be themselves, without fear of bullying.

Our school definition has recently been reviewed by the new School Council.

‘Bullying is when you hurt someone, physically or emotionally, several times on purpose.’

As part of their learning this week, children will discuss these aspects of bullying:

Remembrance Sunday Parade

Posted on 12 November 2017 by Miss Beatson

Thank you to our pupils who represented St James’ at the Wetherby Remembrance Sunday Parade today. There was a huge turnout from the local community and it was fantastic to be part of it.

Yesterday, you 'watched us while we work'...

Posted on 09 November 2017 by Mr Roundtree

…thanks very much to you if you came along yesterday to the first of our ‘Watch us while we work’ sessions. This was a visit to school to get a flavour of what Reading, Writing and Maths teaching and learning is like in school, and hopefully to help you understand more about your child’s progress and how you can support at home.

Thanks for the feedback, too. Following the visits to classes, you had the opportunity to speak with Miss Hague about what you saw and to raise any questions and comments.

Here’s some of the feedback:

“Excellent to see how the children respond in each class. Year 5,6 was fantastic – hands-on learning, helping each other and talking through problems. Year 3,4 – nice idea using dice to help so calculations. Will use this at home. Year 1,2 – nice to see the children working in groups. Liked the counters to help them.”

“All of it was very good to watch.”

“It was good to see the pride in children as parents watched, and good to see older children taking responsibility for showing children round.”

“The children seemed to be really enjoying the work but also they were challenged. It went really well. Very reassuring.”

“It was good to see what was going on in the classroom and how the children are taught so we can implement this at home.”

That’s great – thanks very much. Teachers will appreciate the comments.



Posted on 02 November 2017 by Mr Roundtree

Our Living and Learning theme this half-term is Identity. Pupils will learn about their rights and responsibilities, what makes themselves and others special, valuing the similarities and differences between themselves and others and what is meant by community. This will be taught through our Living and Learning sessions and also two focused weeks – Anti-bullying week (13 November) and Who do you think you are? (20 November).

Our full Living and Learning long term plan is now available on the health pages and you can keep up to date with our weekly Living and Learning statements on the parent noticeboard in the playground and also on the school calendar.

Attendance matters

Posted on 30 October 2017 by Mr Roundtree

We’re really happy to see that the first half-term of this school year has seen a really good rise in attendance compared to the same period last year.

  • Autumn 1 last year 96.9%
  • Autumn 1 this year 97.3%

Obviously, the more days your child is at school, the more days they’re learning, so this improvement is great – well done and thank you to pupils and parents/carers. Let’s keep this up throughout the year!

What about each year group? Well, it’s worth looking at to see just how well most of the years groups are doing. A big well done to pupils (and parents/carers!) in Year 2, 3, 4 and 5 – attendance for these year groups is all above the school average. Year 5 aren’t far behind, either!

  • Rec – 96.3%
  • Y1 – 93.3%
  • Y2 – 99.0%
  • Y3 – 98.9%
  • Y4 – 98.8%
  • Y5 – 97.2%
  • Y6 – 98.2%

Governing Body review

Posted on 24 October 2017 by Mr Roundtree

An external review of governance was carried out on Scholes (Elmet) Primary School on 13 March 2017, following a recommendation from the Ofsted inspection in January 2017. There was not exactly the same recommendation from the St James’ inspection in March – this is because the schools share the same Governing Body and the review was already taking place. However, the St James’ inspection recommended: ‘recommendations from the review of governance are used to improve the school’s overall effectiveness to be good’.

A follow-up review was arranged to consider progress since then. This took place on 27 September 2017. A summary of the findings is presented here (with key points added in bold – not part of the original text).

The reviewers found a good deal of evidence to demonstrate rapid development of the effectiveness of the governing body.

The governors who had completed the skills audit evidenced a good representation of essential and specialist skills and experience as described in the DfE’s Competency Framework for Governance and the Ofsted report, December 2016, “Improving Governance”.

There was one vacancy on the governing body for an LA governor due to a recent resignation. The governing body identified that they would benefit from someone with skills and experience in buildings and property management…

The governors’ knowledge of the school showed a marked improvement since the March 2017 audit in a number of areas…

Governors were aware of the importance of self-development and a governor has been assigned responsibility for training. The training governor will consider the completed skills audits alongside allocated responsibilities with a view to mapping out a training and development programme for the year.

This is a great conclusion for the Governing Body review: well done and thank you to our current team of governors. School leaders all report feeling supported but also challenged and held to account by current governors.

Parent/carer drop in sessions

Posted on 19 October 2017 by Mrs Quirk

The EPOSS Cluster supports parents, children and young people from the schools in Wetherby, Boston Spa and surrounding villages. This includes St James’ CE Primary School.

The support offered includes:
• Support managing unwanted or challenging behaviour at home.
• Emotional wellbeing.
• Support for anxious children.
• Support with areas of difficulty such as bedtimes or mealtimes.
• Advice for parents.
• Signposting to other support agencies.

The team are holding a drop-in session on WEDNESDAY 15 NOVEMBER from 1.30pm to 3.15pm at school.

The team contains a range of professionals including outreach workers, an art therapist and a counsellor that work together to identify and provide the most appropriate advice and support for all families.

We look forward to welcoming you!

A visit from a real-life explorer!

Posted on 14 October 2017 by Miss Beatson

This week, we had a visit from David Higgins, a well-known photographer and explorer. He talked to us about his wonderful, exciting adventures from around the world and he had many stories to tell. David showed us a selection of the extraordinary photographs he has taken of animals from across the globe and some of them can be seen on the National Geographic website.