Latest news from around the school

Summer Reading Challenge 2018

Posted on 17 July 2018 by Miss Beatson

This year’s summer reading challenge is ‘Mischief Makers’, celebrating the 80th anniversary of the much loved comic, Beano. To complete the challenge, you need to read 6 books over the summer holidays. It’s free to join and you’ll receive stickers and prizes along the way. Visit the local library to sign up for the challenge!

Remember to send us a postcard!

Posted on 16 July 2018 by Mr Roundtree

Over the summer, we’d love to hear from you!

When your child returns to school after the summer holidays, the first topic they’ll be learning will be Where in the World?

To help with this, we’d love it if your child sends us a postcard. There will be prizes for the best-written postcard, and, naturally, they’ll all go on display.

The postcard could be from Spain or Scarborough, a city-break or an outdoor adventure, a day-trip or a fortnight away. More importantly, it could be real or made-up… we might get postcards recounting your child’s adventures in space, even!

Your child doesn’t need to go anywhere this summer to write about what they’ve got up to, so there’s no excuse for them not to join in.

All we ask is that your postcards arrive by Monday 10 September – that’s the start of the second week back (so they could even write a postcard from that weekend!).

The Where in the World? topic will develop the children’s geographical knowledge and skills. The world is a big place that is getting more and more accessible but how much do we know about it? We’ll be swotting up on names of capital cities, countries, continents and oceans (depending on the age of your child). Get out your maps and test each other at home. Who knows all the capital cities in the UK? Can anyone name the five continents? We’ll also develop map skills so get out there and give each other directions to get from ‘A’ to ‘B’!

Does your child play Fortnite?

Posted on 15 July 2018 by Mr Roundtree

Fortnite is an online video game where players compete to be the last person standing in a post-apocalyptic world. The most popular version is Fortnite: Battle Royale, which sees up to 100 players pitted against each other to stay alive on an island. Players can build and demolish structures, and collect weapons, supplies and armour to help them along the way.

Players shoot each other using a range of lethal weapons, but the brightly-coloured, cartoon-style graphics and lack of bloodshed mean it doesn’t feel too gory or graphic.

To play, the age recommendation is 12 and above due to ‘mild violence’, although you don’t have to provide your age when creating an account, so younger children can still log on easily.

Fortnite: Battle Royale is free to download on PC/Mac, Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo Switch and iOS devices (Apple phones and tablets). It’s coming to Android soon.

What are the concerns?

You may have seen news reports or heard concerns raised about the:

·     Communication between players: a chat function allows players to talk to each other either over a headset and microphone, or using messaging. Children could use it to speak to strangers, or it could put them at risk of cyberbullying

·     In-app purchases: players can build up large bills on their parents’ accounts by buying cosmetic items like outfits for your character and better-looking weapons (otherwise known as ‘skins’)

·     Addictive nature of the game: anecdotal stories tell of children staying up all night to play, or falling asleep in lessons after playing for too long. Some commentators attribute this to the communal feel of the game – you can play with your friends – and the game is different every time you play, keeping it fresh.

Read this factsheet for parents / carers to find out more about Fortnite and how you can make sure your child is staying safe when playing.

Leavers' Service

Posted on 12 July 2018 by Miss Beatson

Thank you to Reverend Stroma and St James’ Church for hosting our year 6 leavers’ service last week.  It was a special afternoon where the children reflected on their primary school years together. We are incredibly proud of our year 6 pupils.


Congratulations Mr Mills!

Posted on 11 July 2018 by Miss Beatson

Congratulations to Mr Mills, who has been ranked 13th in the world, after competing in the Duathlon Championships in Denmark at the weekend. We are all very proud of his achievements. Well done Mr Mills!


Are you a YouTube user?

Posted on 09 July 2018 by Mr Roundtree

Alan Mackenzie, the eSafety advisor, has published the latest edition of his ‘DITTO’ magazine, on the theme of YouTube.

Download a copy.

“Are we there yet?” - how to survive summer travel

Posted on 08 July 2018 by Mr Roundtree

The Safer Roads Team writes:

With all this wonderful weather we’ve been having, you’re possibly starting to plan some family adventures, pack up the car and head out to the beach or to enjoy a picnic with friends or family. Whether you are going on a long road trip or just hoping for a few days out over the summer holidays, sometimes travelling with kids (and adults) isn’t as much fun as you imagined.  Long journeys can be challenging, but they are doable, and can be memorable. However, a little bit of planning beforehand may just help save your sanity.

No one wants a summer holiday to be remembered for the wrong reasons. We want our children to have great memories to go back  to school with and share with their friends.

Planning your perfect road trip can be a stressful and exhausting ordeal, but Leeds City Council’s ITB team is here to help. Here are some practical tips on how to make your journey as successful as possible:


Is your car road-ready? Highways England recommend carrying out a few quick and easy checks to ensure you and your vehicle are safely equipped to drive.
Find out what to check the week before your journey
Just a little point to consider – do you have breakdown cover? If not…do you need it? And if you do…have you got the number to hand?

Your safety

Firstly, always make sure you are well rested before travelling and have had a good night’s sleep. Sleep deprivation can contribute to frazzled nerves and unsafe driving. It’s helpful if your children are also rested at the start of the trip.
Never drive when under the influence of alcohol or drugs (including prescribed medication). If you need to visit your GP before travelling, make sure you have allowed plenty of time to do this.


Sounds a silly question but ‘Do you know where you’re going?’ (winging it sounds fun…but I’ve heard from a reliable source that says it rarely is!).
If you’re using a Sat Nav, make sure it’s up to date and that you are able to charge it. Try having a backup in case it fails – you can always print out a copy of your route from Google maps and it would also be wise to check the latest traffic conditions.

Before you set off, plan your route. Why not identify opportunities for you to take a scenic (eg park or lake) break during your journey? This will not only benefit you, but it will help give your kids (or passengers) a chance to burn off some energy.


Driving requires the full attention of the driver at all times. Try and keep distractions to a minimum. Things like mobile phones and iPods are best placed in the glove box or boot.

The biggest unavoidable distraction on a road journey is other passengers ie the kids. So…

Be kid-prepared
If you are driving with kids, give them plenty of planned activities to do, especially if your destination is a long way from your home.

Before you hit the road, make sure you have any child car seats fitted correctly. Check out the new laws on car seats and to see if you have the right size for your child.

Keep an open mind

You might need a second route in mind if there are unexpected road works, breakdowns or accidents. If the weather is unexpectedly hot then you may also need extra comfort breaks.

Are you having a staycation?

Just one more point for those of us you who aren’t going on holiday and who will be going about our normal routines – watch out for the kids! They’re everywhere!

I know what you’re thinking – that you’re a ‘good, safe driver’ – but a little reminder won’t harm. Please take a little extra time to watch out for those children who aren’t going away on holiday, and who will be out and about with their friends, running, skating, scooting and cycling in the streets, parks and playgrounds. Unfortunately, some may be too occupied playing with their friends and being away from their bossy parents to remember all the road safety training they’ve had.

There are so many distractions affecting both pedestrians and drivers. As a driver, make sure your distractions are out of sight and that you’re prepared for and looking for those pedestrians who forget to look when they cross the road, because of their hand held devices or excitement at having freedom. If you’re driving, you are largely responsible for their safety. A child doesn’t have a chance against a 3,000-pound (or heavier) vehicle in the street.

So, with all this in mind, don’t forget your bucket and spade and sun cream and go have some fun. Have a safe and hassle free journey.


Have you considered leaving the car at home and exploring Yorkshire on your bicycle? How about taking the family out on some of our fantastic local cycle routes and explore what Leeds and the surrounding areas have to offer?

Leeds City Council has loads of information on how you can safely get about on your bike over the summer. Plan your family outing – there is information on cycle routes, city centre bike storage, cycle loans, bike maintenance and information about cycle to work schemes.

There are also interactive maps which will help you find those hidden places which you didn’t know existed. View cycle routes using City Connect’s interactive map or use the cycle journey planner to plan your route step by step.

Have a fun summer cycling and let us know what you get up to by following us and tweeting your sustainable activities @SaferRoadsLeeds.

Sports Day 2018

Posted on 05 July 2018 by Miss Beatson

Thank you to everybody who came and supported the children at our Sports Day. It was a very hot afternoon, but all the children tried their best and showed great resilience, determination and team-work.

Fab feedback

Posted on 04 July 2018 by Mr Roundtree

At St James’ CE Primary, we’re always keen to welcome professionals beyond our own school to provide an additional ‘pair of eyes’, to provide an external view on how we’re improving. This is obviously even more important following the Ofsted judgement of ‘requires improvement’ (March 2017).

One of the people who has visited throughout the year is our School Improvement Advisor (SIA). At the end of June, he visited again and we’ve received his report – it makes for really encouraging reading. Here are some extracts:

It is the view of the SIA that the school has made significant strides from the March 2017 Ofsted RI [‘requires improvement’] outcome…St James’ C of E Primary is now a good school. The Executive Headteacher communicates a clear vision for the school. He quickly and effectively [improved the quality of teaching] and the result is a more harmonious, effective and dynamic workforce. The appointment of an effective Head of School has been instrumental in improving relationships within the school, with parents and the school’s profile in the wider community.

The federation has benefited each of the three schools involved – allowing the sharing of good practices, CPD [continuing professional development], leadership development and moderation.

Since inspection in 2017, the SIA has noted dramatic improvements in the quality of teaching… Subsequently, productivity, higher levels of presentation and standards in pupil’s books have improved significantly.

As the learning walk evidenced, teachers have high expectations of pupils’ behaviour. The simple yet effective approach of teachers counting down from 3 to gain pupil’s attention is consistent across the school; subsequently, there is very little learning time lost. On this visit, even on a hot sunny day near to the end of a busy school year, pupils responded well to teacher instruction and were keen to engage in the learning activities set. Good teacher modelling of learning allied to systems of drafting and editing and peer-to-peer review and feedback all contribute to improvements in teaching and learning over time. Further to this, as evidenced at an earlier visit, pupils are able to verbalise how their school has improved over time. They are confident to talk about their learning and on how the feedback from teachers enables them to improve their work and understanding further.

Thank you to everyone who have supported and encouraged us this year as we continue to improve.

Health Week Launch

Posted on 02 July 2018 by Miss Beatson

Our health week has got off to a fantastic start. Today, we had a football themed play presented by the Tutti Frutti company, followed by a skip-a-thon and a tennis session.