Latest news from around the school

Living and learning

Posted on 06 September 2017 by Mr Roundtree

Living and Learning is our new name for SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning).

Living and Learning will continue to cover SEAL learning but will also incorporate other aspects of PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) such as keeping safe, identity, drug education, physical health, rights and responsibilities and healthy minds.

We begin our Living and Learning learning this week with a focus on manners: I can greet someone politely.

For the rest of this half-term, we’re thinking about the ‘8 Rs for learning’. This theme is about promoting good learning behaviour for your child.

Each week, we’ll focus on two different ‘Rs’. We use an animal to symbolise each ‘R’, which might help your child remember all eight – can your child remember which animal matches the correct ‘R’?

You can support your child at home – we’ve listed a few ideas to help you below. Ask us if you’ve any questions or comments.

Download top tips for promoting the 8Rs for good learning behaviour.

I can show I am ready to learn.

Make sure your child is at school for a prompt start of 08:50.
Make sure your child has had plenty of sleep so they are alert and ready to learn at all times.
Encourage your child to ask lots of questions – that shows they want to learn!

I respond to feedback.

Ask your child if they remember their ‘stars’ and ‘steps’ in English and Maths.

I take a safe risk.

Talk about the difference between a safe and unsafe risk. At school, we want your child to take a safe risk by having a go at answering, even if unsure; trying something new and attempting harder learning.

I take responsibility for my own learning.

Provide time and space at home so your child is able to organise themselves: their PE kit, reading book, homework, spellings and tables… Don’t organise everything for them!
Make a link between rights and responsibilities: your child has the right to a great education, but needs to be responsible for their own learning.

I am resourceful.

Encourage your child to be organised so they can play with a range of different toys.
Encourage your child to try new ways to solve a tricky problem.

I am resilient.

Encourage your child to keep going! Set a tricky challenge or puzzle for your child to do.
Encourage your child to think of different ways of doing things.
Don’t let your child win when they play a game – they need to experience losing, too!
Celebrate mistakes as opportunities to learn – be happy that your child found some learning hard and encourage them to ‘bounce back’ and learn from the experience.

I remember.

Make sure they have time to learn spellings, number bonds and times tables – a little practice daily is best.
Play memory games:

Kim’s game: show them objects for 30 seconds… can they remember all the objects?
Can they build up the sequence, ‘I went to the shop and I bought an apple’… ‘I went to the shop and I bought an apple and a bike.’… ‘I went to the shop and I bought an apple, a bike and a cucumber.’ etc … Take turns!

I reflect about my learning.

Talk with your child about what they’ve learnt, asking questions about:

how they learnt
why they learnt it
when they’ll use their learning
how they would teach this to someone else
what learning might link with what they’ve learnt today etc

Christmas card competition

Posted on 22 August 2017 by Mrs Quirk

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Jane Dowson, is looking to have her Christmas card 2017 designed by a child from Leeds (aged up to 13 years). The card will be sent out by the Lord Mayor across the city and beyond. The theme is “Leeds at Christmas”.

The rules/details are on the attached poster and the closing date is 09 October. The winner will be presented with a copy of the card and a special gift by the Lord Mayor.

This is a really exciting and unique opportunity for children.

How to enter: Designs should be completed on A4 paper. Please write (in pencil) the child’s name and age on the reverse and a parent or guardian’s contact number. Crayons, felt tip, pen and paint can be used for the design, however items should not be stuck on to the paper as this will not replicate when the design is scanned. Entries should be sent to: Lord Mayor Christmas Card Competition, 8 Woodhouse Square, Leeds LS3 1AD by the closing date of Monday 09 October 2017.

Our annual parents/carers survey

Posted on 27 July 2017 by Mr Roundtree

Thanks to all those of you who took the time to complete our recent parent / carer survey. Like last year, there wasn’t a huge number of responses – around one in eight of you – but we did see an increase. Most responses come from parents / carers in F1,2, Y1,2 and Y5,6 – so, a fairly even spread covering all ages.

Below is a summary of what you’ve said.

Lots of you added some comments after each question; we’ve included here just one or two positive and negative comments that represent typical responses. Please do contact us directly if you said something which might help us improve further. We can’t guarantee we can accommodate everyone’s wishes or opinions, but we do guarantee we consider each one.

When we analysed the results, we begun to wonder if the same parent / carer had indicated they disagreed with many of the statements – in around half of the questions, all the responses are positive bar one. If it is the case that one parent / carer disagreed, and left no comments, we urge you to get in touch so you can talk through the concerns (and perhaps help us to improve what we do.

Finally, look out for a post box in the front hall area so you can post any sort of feedback, as and when you like. And, of course, teachers, including Miss Beatson, responsible for teaching and learning, are often around at the start and end of the school day. We’ve started noticing more parents give us more positive comments, which is great – but we do welcome all constructive feedback.

1. My child is happy at St James’ CE Primary School.

91% agreed or strongly agreed with this.

All of the comments for this statement were positive. Typical feedback includes:
‘My son always comes out of school with a smile on his face and happy and open to talk about his day.’
‘Both my children are very happy at St James School.’

Just one respondent disagreed here, but obviously we want all children to feel happy at school. Please contact the school if you feel that your child isn’t as happy as they might.

2. My child feels safe at this school.

The same proportion (91%) agreed or strongly agreed with this.

There was just one comment: ‘They have never said otherwise.’
As before, there was just one respondent who disagreed: please contact the school if your child doesn’t feel safe.

3. My child makes good progress at this school.

It’s the same again: 91% agreed or strongly agreed with this.

Similarly, all comments were positive, such as:
‘Both my children are doing very well at school. My first is an August born and I worried how she would cope but she is doing amazingly. My second is in F1 and has come on in leaps and bounds since he started.’
‘Happy with both my children’s progress.’

4. My child is well looked after.

We’re really pleased that 100% of you agreed or strongly agreed – this is what we’re aiming for throughout the survey next year!
‘All the teacher look out for every child from what I can see.’

5. My child is taught well at St James’ CE Primary School.

Here, we’ve another statement with 91% in agreement.

‘I think the teaching for the class has been wonderful. The teacher has done a fantastic job and I could not be happier with the way she has kept my son engaged and ready to learn all the time.’
‘Both are taught to the highest standard in my opinion although I feel years 1/2 should read to a teacher more often.’
We’re delighted with comments such as these.

Reading attainment and progress in Year 1 and 2 is broadly in line with national expectations, and it’s difficult for the teacher to hear readers as often as we would all like – there’s only so much time in the school day. However, Mrs Rowley will explore how she might be able to act on this comment.

6. Adults in school make sure pupils are well behaved.

100% of you were in agreement here. That’s fantastic feedback, and I couldn’t agree more: children at St James’ CE are very well-behaved.
‘The children know boundaries, behaviour rules and what’s not acceptable.’

7. St James’ CE Primary School deals effectively with bullying.

This is where your responses are less positive. 55% agreed, 27% disagreed and 18% were unsure.

It’s often the case with this question in surveys to see a high proportion saying they are unsure – comments indicate that this is because parents / carers are happy they’re child hasn’t encountered bullying, so they are unsure as to how well the school deals with it.

However, it’s the proportion who disagreed that concerns us. Please talk to school if you feel your child is being bullied – we will act on it straight away.

Incidentally, it’s always worth mentioning two core messages about bullying. We define bullying as upsetting or harmful behaviour which is Several Times On Purpose, and we encourage children to Start Telling Other People before it becomes a problem. Please help us reinforce this message at home, too.
Check out our Positive Relationships Policy on our website.

8. The school is well led and managed.

82% agreed or strong agreed to this statement.
There’s clearly still room for improvement here, but your comments are encouraging:
‘I think it is improving quickly which is great.’
‘With the changes that are now being made with the new executive headmaster I would hope this now improves this aspect.’
‘I feel the school is led very well and to the highest standard.’

It hasn’t helped this year that Mr Williams has been absent due to illness for so long. Next year, the federation Early Years Leader will be in school for a large part of the week, and Miss Beatson, who will have responsibility for teaching and learning, begins her role. We’re confident we’ll see further improvements.

9. The school responds well to any concerns I raise.

73.0% agreed or strongly agreed here. Two respondents disagreed and the rest were unsure (perhaps a result of not having raised concerns).

Comments were positive: ‘Any concerns I have raised have been dealt with straight away’.

We’d love to be able to respond directly to the two people with concerns – contact us to talk things through, please!

10. I receive useful information from the school about my child’s progress.

Here, we’re back to the same proportions as before: 91% agreed or strongly agreed.

There was just one comment: ‘We only receive updates on our children’s progress at parents evening. A few more updates other than once a year would be good so as a parent we can help our children in areas ASAP and not wait a year for parents evening.’

We do have two parents’ evenings. However, based on this response, we have changed the timing of these so that the come earlier, therefore enabling us to alert you sooner in the year of any concerns and areas for support. 2017-18 parents’ evenings will be the week before the October and February half-terms (rather than near Easter as was the case for the second round of appointments).

11. The school promotes its Christian ethos effectively.

Here, 91% agreed and the rest were unsure.

‘Myself and my partner are not religious but our children follow the Church of England structure within St James. They both have a good understanding of God and the Bible. Whether they carry on once they have left St James is up to them.’


We asked you to tell us about things you like and the things we could improve on. With a lot of praise and some constructive suggestions, it’s great to read these.

Communication remains the most common area to improve. We hope this will get better when our new office assistant starts in September – but please be patient if there are any settling in issues – there are a lot of new staff next year!
‘I think the communication could still do with some improvement but it has definitely got better in the last few months.’

The things you like include the school’s size and the progress children are making.
‘I certainly would recommend the school, I know a lot of people go on ofsted reports but as someone who’s worked in childcare settings for many years I know that a 1 day visit is not a true reflection, and you can tell as a parent from visiting and your child’s progress, and how happy they are at the setting/school.’

We hope...

Posted on 22 July 2017 by Mr Roundtree

…you have a happy and healthy summer holiday.

There’s a lot to get up to in and around Leeds. Breeze is a good place to start looking, and also check out What’s On in Leeds and Leeds List.

The summer holiday is a long one, so keep up with reading. Encourage your child to continue to read often – quarter of an hour, most days will be a great way to keep their reading skills strong and their love of reading alight.

It’s not just about books – reading a comic or magazine, a website, a recipe, First News newspaper are all good ways to keep your child reading. Why not take a trip to one of Leeds’ libraries – a local one, or why not try the Central Library in town for an afternoon trip out?

You might also want to keep your child’s number skills fresh, too. For younger ones, knowing their number bonds is a good start. For older children, knowing their times tables and corresponding division facts is so important.

Taking up these top tips for learning will be a great way for your child to return to school in September hitting the ground running as a confident learner.

Whatever you get up to, have a great holiday. See you on Tuesday 05 September.


Posted on 21 July 2017 by Mr Roundtree

…to our Year 6 children! We all wish you lots of success at high school.

Election of a parent governor - voting now open

Posted on 11 July 2017 by Mrs Quirk

We recently wrote to all parents and carers regarding the Parent Governor vacancy, and to seek nominations.  As the number of nominations received exceeds the number of Parent Governor vacancies, it is now necessary to hold a ballot.

There are seven candidates and you may vote for one candidate only.  The ballot can be accessed via

The ballot closes at 12 noon on Tuesday 18 July 2017.

The attached letter provides full details of the voting process and the candidates’ statements.

David Roundtree, Head of Federation

EPOSS Summer Holiday Programme

Posted on 11 July 2017 by Mrs Quirk

The EPOSS Extended Services summer holiday activity programme still has places available.

There’s something for everyone: cooking, multi-sports, snorkelling, lifesaving, water polo, synchronised swimming, athletics, racket sports, Gaelic football, squash, arts and crafts and even a ‘Little Mix’ party!

Take a look at the EPOSS Extended Services brochure and download a booking form to reserve a place for your child today!

Raffle winners

Posted on 10 July 2017 by Mr Roundtree

Did you win a prize at the PTA Summer Fair this year?

Unclaimed raffle prizes are for the following tickets:

  • pink 576
  • yellow 511
  • pink 586
  • white-blue 426
  • white-blue 406
  • white-yellow 411
  • green 566


Summer Disco

Posted on 10 July 2017 by Mr Roundtree

The PTA invites you to a summer disco on Tuesday 18 July, 6.00pm – 7.30pm.

All our children and parents / carers are welcome to attend. There will be lots of fun and games as well as plenty of refreshments and hot dogs available.

Entrance to the disco is £1 per child and adults are free. All funds raised will go to the PTA to save for equipment in school.

Children from Foundation, Years 1, 2, 3 and 4 must be accompanied by an adult. Children in years 5 and 6 may attend alone if we have signed permission.

Please complete and return the slip (see the letter sent home on Monday 17 July) to the school office before Tuesday 18 July along with payment.

Children's Day 2017

Posted on 08 July 2017 by Mr Roundtree

Children’s Day 2017 takes place at Headingley Carnegie Stadium on Sunday 16th July. The gates for the event will open at 10am and close at 4pm; admission is completely free for everyone, as are the activities when inside the ground.

Families attending the event can make a suggested donation of £3 per adult and £1 per child attending on entry; all proceeds will support the work of Leeds Rhinos Foundation and Yorkshire Cricket Foundation.