Life at St James C of E Primary Life at St James C of E Primary Life at St James C of E Primary Life at St James C of E Primary Life at St James C of E Primary Life at St James C of E Primary Life at St James C of E Primary


Head of School

After a lengthy interview process which involved myself, the Head Teacher and Chair of Governors at Bury School and a local authority adviser, I am delighted to inform parents that Mrs Martin has been appointed as Head of School from September. Mrs Martin will be the first point of contact for parents and will take on the day to day management of the school under the direction of Mr Moore who will be the executive Head Teacher of St James’, Amberley and Bury schools.


New Parent Meetings

We are looking forward to welcoming 15 children into Reception in September.  Parents of the new children met with myself, Mr Moore and Mrs Watt last week.  It has not been possible for these children to have settling in visits at school this term, but parents will be informed of transition arrangements nearer the time.


Yew Class – Express Yourself Through Nature

Yew Class were set the task of “Expressing Themselves Through Nature” this week.  They created art and sculpture in the school grounds using the natural materials available to them.  The tree stumps and logs from the recently felled trees provided inspiration for sculptures of dragons and a “bee slide” amongst other things. 


Elm Class (Key Worker Group) – “Round the World Trip”

Elm Class’s “Round The World Trip” has taken them to Moscow in Russia where they spent an afternoon exploring St Basil’s Cathedral via virtual tour.  The class loved looking at the architecture and had a go at drawing their own Russian inspired palace exploring colour, shape and pattern.


World Book Day

If you were lucky enough to be in the vicinity yesterday you might have spotted Anne Shirley from Green Gables, Fantastic Mr Fox, Pippi Longstocking, Mr Bump, Harry Potter and Meg March walking up the lane to the school.

The children made a wonderful effort to dress up as their favourite characters and brought with them the corresponding book to share with their schoolmates as part of the mission to share a million stories. Children confidently came to the front of the hall to talk about their most loved stories and, afterwards, offered to read books

to their classmates or children in younger years. Many of the children brought with them a book they had purchased

or claimed in exchange for a £1 World Book Day token earlier in in the week.  The whole day was a great success, the children had a wonderful time reading and sharing books together.

Eden ‘I love dressing up because I get to be my favourite character for the day!’

Ben ‘I love getting to hear all of the different adventures that characters go on.’





Our Lollypop Lady is leaving

After many years of loyal and dedicated service, Tracey Nicholson will be hanging up her “high vis” for the last time on Friday 3rd April.  I’m sure you will join me in thanking her for keeping our children safe over the years.  Tracey will be joining us at Church on the last day of term where we will all have the opportunity to thank her.



The eco-council will be collecting crisp packets and cake bar wrappers at the end of lunchtimes from the beginning of next week.



Little Bookworm book sale - new reading books

Thank you for supporting the book sale on Monday.  All the children had the chance to choose their free World Book Day book and due to the success of the sale, the school received eleven free books which were chosen by the teachers from each class.  The school has also spent over £800 on new reading books for the youngest children which we hope the children are enjoying.


Head Teacher recruitment

A committee of governors are in the process of recruiting a Head Teacher for the federation; parents will be given more information once this becomes available.


Sport Relief – Friday 13th March 2020

Children are invited to wear sports kit to school for Sport Relief. From 2:30pm Joe, the sports coach from 1:1, will organise a number of sports events including a whole school aerobics session which parents are invited to join in with.

The children are asked to make a voluntary donation of £1 towards the Sport Relief charity.  Please ask your child to give their money to their teacher at the start of the school day.


Cross Country Run at Midhurst Rother College

Congratulations to the children who represented St James’ at the Rother Valley Cross Country running competition.  All the children showed great perseverance to complete the long course.  A special congratulations go to Grant and Megan who qualified for the District Finals.



A group of pupils from across the school have formed an eco-council.  Their purpose is to eliminate litter around the school, reduce the use of plastics and make the school more eco-friendly.  After half term the school will launch a recycling scheme which will involve collection of crisp packets and cake bar wrappers which will be collected and recycled.


New reading books

The school have invested a considerable sum of money in purchasing new books to support early reading in the school.  These books are a valuable resource for future cohorts of children who pass through the school.  We ask parents to ensure great care is taken when using the books and that they are returned once they have been read.



A team of nine players represented the school at the very first Petworth Area Schools dodgeball tournament.  The children played well in this highly competitive completion and finished in joint third place.


Cello Lessons

There are vacancies for children who would like to learn the cello at school and the visiting cello teacher, Judith Rae, is keen to start some new young cellists. Judith would be pleased to arrange a free trial lesson for anyone who is interested.  

St James’ are very proud of Sam and Lillie-Belle, both in Year 6, who have between them earned no less than 7 Music Medals for cello playing over the last three years. They are aiming to achieve one more medal each before they leave this summer. 


Whole School Art Project

The children continue to work on the school mosaic which will shortly take its place at the entrance to the school.  Once completed, the children will begin work on a ceramic art display for the school lobby area. Thanks go to FoSJ who have kindly agreed to fund these exciting projects.



Children’s Concert

Elm and Yew Class had a fantastic time at the Children’s Concert at Chichester Festival Theatre last week.  They enjoyed experiencing a full orchestra who played a variety of classical music pieces as well as being dazzled by the tricks of the magician.  Thanks go to FoSJ who contributed to the overall cost of this visit, enabling our pupils to experience performing arts in a special venue.


Athletics Tournament at Midhurst Rother College

A team of athletes from years 5 and 6 competed in an athletics tournament with ten other schools from the Rother Valley.  St James’ finished fourth overall with Grant notching up the quickest overall time in the 600m event.       


Dance Enrichment Day

A number of children in Yew Class enjoyed a dance enrichment day with other children from across the Rother Valley.


“We started with warmups, dodging and rolling.  Lee Smickle and his team showed us some parts of the dance from Hansel and Gretel and we all learned the “Crow” dance, it was very confusing and creepy.  We choreographed our own dance with someone from another school and at the end we all danced for the parents.  It was really fun, we really enjoyed it.”

Article by Louise and Megan

Whole School Art project

I am delighted to inform parents that for much of this term on Friday afternoons, ceramic artist Janet Steele will be working with all the children on a number of art projects.  Janet – Mrs Hall’s mum - has already begun inspiring the children with her clay workshop.  The children will be setting to work on a large mosaic of the school logo which will hang by the main entrance and then will be embarking on a ceramics display which will completely transform the entrance lobby. Janet will then be working on a number of projects in the school hall.  We are hugely privileged to have a resident artist working with us at St James’ and are excited to see the new artworks in the school.


Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

The children were visited by eco-enthusiast, Carrie Court, last week. She spoke to the children about landfill and the amount of waste that is being produced. The children are all engaged in this topic and have elected an eco-council who will be leading the collection items for recycling which usually go to landfill.  Shortly we will be collecting crisp packets and wrappers from cake/biscuit bars.  The children can also bring in toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes for recycling as well as laundry packaging ie plastic boxes, empty wipe packets etc. We are also hoping to make St James’ a single-use plastic bottle free zone school, so please try and send children’s drinks in reusable bottles.


Personnel changes

Mrs Kirby, the School Business Manager, is temporarily supporting Duncton and Graffham Schools whose Business Manager is currently unwell.  She will be working at St James’ on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays up until mid-June and spending the other two days at Duncton and Graffham.  Mrs Lewis has increased her hours to full time in the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays.


Yew Class - Forest School “Seasons Tree” project

The windy weather on Thursday meant that Yew Class moved indoors for their Forest School session.  They had a very creative afternoon creating “Seasons’ Trees”, illustrating a tree with fruits, flowers, fruits and birds from different seasons. 

I Spy Christmas – Nativity by Reception and Years 1 and 2

Congratulations to the cast of I Spy Christmas who did two fantastic performances of the nativity play this week.  It was lovely to see their confidence and hear their beautiful singing.



School Christingle Service

The children made their Christingles at St Giles’ Church last week and joined in the Christingle Service with Father Peter. 


St James’ sent some children to a Basketball Tournament at Midhurst Rother College on 6th December. Our players combined with Amberley School and played magnificently despite many of the opposition being very tall.  They won all of their games with Harry S and Elliott both scoring,  Megan and Grant played a crucial role in defence.  The players displayed great teamwork and sportsmanship and were a credit to St James’.



Exciting Developments at St James’

We are delighted to inform parents of several developments which will be occurring at the school in the near future. 

The Local Authority will be replacing the school boilers shortly and the perimeter fencing around the entire school is also to be entirely replaced and there will be improved security systems installed; these investments combined total over £100,000.  The school have also recently been granted  over £25,000 from the South Downs National Park; there are specific stipulations on the spending of this money, some of which has to be spent on sustainable transport.  We will also be using the money to improve facilities in the Early Years.  

The Legacy Committee are now awaiting quotes for a new classroom which is planned be sited where the old climbing frame is.


Guitar Performance 

Parents were treated to a guitar ensemble on Wednesday as children in Elm and Yew Classes performed an end of term concert to parents.  The children have only been learning the instrument for ten lessons and we were all impressed with how much they have learnt and how well they played.


Yew Class – Pottery

The children in Yew Class had a fantastic afternoon working with clay to make their own Anglo-Saxon pottery.  Having designed their pots, the children got their hands dirty (and most of the classroom!) shaping, molding and creating their designs.  They have achieved brilliantly and all adult visitors to the class have been impressed with their creativity and skill.  


Poppy Appeal – Thank you

St James’ raised a fantastic total of £76.65 for the poppy appeal through the sale of poppies and other items.  Thank you for your support.


Michael Murpurgo’s “The Butterfly Lion” and Playtime Workshops

During the first half-term of this term, Yew Class took part in ‘Playtime’, a creative literacy project for Year 5/6 children run by Chichester Festival Theatre. The project aimed to develop creative writing and reading skills as well as building confidence and teamwork skills.

Back in September, Yew Class visited Chichester Festival Theatre for a workshop and backstage tour.  This was a highlight for many of them as they got to see the inner workings of a theatre which brought everything to life.

During this term Yew Class have taken part in a series of workshops themed around ‘The Butterfly Lion’.  The book deals with the themes of friendship, hope, love, loyalty and trust.  The workshops in school used games to build the children’s understanding of the theatre and used a range of dramatic techniques to develop freeze-frames, soundscapes and short role-plays.  Over the final four weeks of the workshops, the children developed their own storylines which they turned into playscripts and performed.  The children were wonderfully creative with their ideas and produced some fantastic playscripts.

The culmination of the project was to see the production of ‘The Butterfly Lion’.  It has been a fantastic learning experience for everyone who has been involved, children and staff alike. The Yew Class tickets were funded by Chichester Festival Theatre.  Year 3 and 4 children have not been involved in the workshops but we were very grateful to FOSJ who kindly paid for their tickets so they could also enjoy a visit to the theatre.


FOSJ Fireworks Night - 9th November 2019

Thank you to the Friends of St James’ who arranged the fantastic firework night last Saturday.  Despite the challenging weather conditions, everyone had a great time and enjoyed the bonfire, fireworks and refreshments that were on offer.  Special thanks go to Charlie’s Farm Shop for generously donanting the meat for the chilli.


FOSJ Christmas Fair - Friday 6th December 2019 6.00pm to 8.00pm

FOSJ are planning a Christmas Fair at school on Friday 6th December.  There will be stalls for your Christmas shopping, food, mulled wine, mince pies, a fantastic raffle, Elf Workshop and lots more. Please let FOSJ know if you are able to help at this event or donate vouchers or other items for raffle prizes.



ORCA Whale Workshop – Ash Class

Ash Class enjoyed a Whale Workshop on Monday.  They held real bones and teeth and found our that an Orca would just fit into the Amberley school hall.  Caroline said, “I loved the lifesized dolphin and porpoise.”


Peter Pan Theatre Trip – 13th December 2019

Friends of St James’ have kindly offered to part fund a trip to the pantomime at the Capital in Horsham.  This year’s pantomime is Peter Pan.  Planning for the trip is in its early stages but watch this space for further details.  Thank you to the Friends for this exciting opportunity.


Harvest Festival

Thank you for the generous donations of foodstuffs and toiletries at this morning’s Harvest Service; the items will be taken to the Horsham Matters depot in Horsham and will then be distributed to foodbanks in the Pulborough and Storrington area.



Yew Class residential visit

Year 5 and 6 pupils were blessed with fine weather on last week’s residential visit to Cobnor Activity Centre in Chichester Harbour.  The children experienced a range of outdoor activities including sailing, kayaking, canoeing, raft building, cycling, aeroball and archery.  


School Sign

A special thanks  to Rupert Cleaver who has kindly backed and erected our beautiful new school sign at the bottom of Church Lane.



Parents and friends were treated to an outstanding school production this year; the children in Yew and Elm Classes put on a show full of singing and humour that will remain in the memory for a long time.  A huge thanks must go to the tremendous team of teaching assistants and school friends who made some beautiful costumes, as well as the teaching team led by Mrs Martin who trained the cast to a very high standard.  


Educational Visits

Yew Class recently enjoyed “Connect with the Countryside” at Ardingly Showground where they saw chicks hatching and sheep being sheared.  They also sampled different local farm produce and watched a cookery demonstration. 

Ash Class were lucky to be invited to Brownings Farm in Kirdford; a working farm where they saw a herd of cattle and identified many different types of tree.  The children also built hotels for newts.


Sporting events

Congratulations to the combined Amberley/St James cricket team who performed magnificently in the Horsham District schools’ cricket tournament in Southwater. They won three of their five games, finishing third out of the six competing schools and narrowly missing out in a place in the county finals. To put the team’s achievement into context, all the competing schools were three or four form entry having between 90-120 pupils just in year 6! Well done to the team.

The children enjoyed a day of sporting activities with the children at Amberley School yesterday. Activities included golf, tennis, athletics, table tennis and cricket.


Yew Class to The Big Bang Science Fair

Yew Class visited the Big Bang Science Fair at Ardingly Showground last week where they enjoyed science workshops, watched sniffer dogs at work and met some exotic snakes.   


Gardening Club at Hampton Court Flower Show

The gardening club enjoyed a day at Hampton Court admiring gardens amongst which was the entry from the school gardening club. Thanks go to Kerry Geoghegan (Millie and Ben’s mum) and Kim Turner (Sam and Joe’s mum) who have worked so hard with the children throughout the year and also for putting the exhibit together at the weekend.  Thank you also to Sally Cleaver and The Vintage Garden Company who kindly sponsored the exhibit.


Football Tournaments

Congratulations to the Year 3 & 4 football team who played magnificently to finish second out of six competing schools.  The children worked well as a team with both Bens and Harry S scoring the goals. 



Malawi donation

Charity worker Averil Sessions collected the school’s donation of £150 to support the families of those affected by Cyclone Idia earlier in the year.  The money was raised through a cake sale and a sponsored walk by Thomas.  This is enough money to provide shelter, food and clothing for six families. 


Governing Body

The Full Governing Body will shortly be disbanded. A new Governing Body will be formed formed across St James’ and Amberley Schools later on in the term when the two schools federate.


Year 5 Fun Maths

On Friday 10th May, our year 5 pupils attended a 'Fun Maths' session at MRC. The children worked in pairs and were challenged to solve as many mathematical problems as they could in 45 minutes. The problems varied in difficulty and tested their use of logic, strategy and teamwork, as well as their mathematical knowledge.

The children had a great time and demonstrated some impressive problem solving skills. Well done year 5!


Team Point Treat

The Romans enjoyed their visit from the ice cream van on Tuesday as a reward for getting the most team points during the Spring Term.

Visit to The Anchorage       

On Wednesday 15th May, some of the children in Elm Class visited The Anchorage care home in Pulborough. The children have been eager to make links with the community and decided it would be a fantastic idea to widen their horizons beyond Coldwaltham so, after making contact with The Anchorage, they hopped on the minibus and made the short trip down the road to visit the residents. 

The children were armed with an item that was special to them as a way of starting conversation, which can be a little daunting when you’re 8 or 9 years old. The items ranged from wrestling belts, favourite teddies, books and games. As it transpired, the children didn’t really need the ice breakers, they instantly embarked on engaging conversations with the residents. It was such a wonderful opportunity to boost pupils’ confidence and to improve ability to hold a polite and interesting conversation with someone new. We’re sure from the laughter and the lit-up faces, that the residents gained a great deal from the burst of youthful chatter too! 

After tearing themselves away from talkof football tournaments yet to be played, facts about their current topic on Ancient Egypt, favourite lunches and details of new pets, the children played an exciting game of Yes or No. The children all agreed they’d love to return to The Anchorage again soon. 

Archie said ‘The people at the care home were very nice and kind. It was really fun talking to them.’ 

Margot agreed and said that ‘the lady I spoke to was very kind and lovely.’ 

Ben C said ‘It was very enjoyable because we got to interact with people who were older than us.’


Staff Changes

We welcome Lizzie Martin to the staff team.  Mrs Martin has joined us from Mayfield School in East Sussex to take up her role as senior teacher and teacher of Yew Class. In my absence, Mrs Martin is responsible for the leadership of the school and any concerns or issues should be relayed to her.  Mrs Martin is also the Deputy Safeguard Lead.  Mrs Kirby, the school’s Business Manager has agreed to continue in her role as Deputy Safeguard Lead; in my absence, please report any safeguarding issues that you may have to either of these two members of staff.


Football Tournaments

The Year 5 and 6 football teams have both been in action at the recent Petworth Area Schools’ 6-a-side tournaments at Watersfield.  The boys team finished 5th of the 6 competing schools and the girls team finished 3rd of the six competing schools. Both teams played very well and were fine ambassadors for the school.


New Intake 2019

We are waiting for confirmation from parents who have been offered a place at St James’ to start in Reception Year in 2019; numbers are encouraging and we are expecting the intake to be double figures again this year.


Money for Malawi

Thank you to parents for supporting our cake sale at the end of last term to help raise money for our pen friends in Malawi following Cyclone Idia earlier in the year. So far the school has raised £141 and there are still Smartie tubes arriving at the school office. A special mention must go to Thomas in Year 5 who raised £70 by walking along the South Downs Way.  The money will be sent directly to the families of the children who lost their homes in the cyclone and will make a tremendous difference to their lives.



Congratulations to the Year 6 children who completed their Stage 2 Bikeability Training before Easter.  All the children taking part rode their bicycles sensibly on the roads near to Amberley School and we are delighted that they all earned a certificate.  Ellie did especially well and passed the requirement of the Stage 3 course.


Joint Activity Day with Amberley School

Future rocket scientists, bridge engineers and pizza chefs were in action at school last week as we combined with Amberley School for a hugely enjoyable and successful science and technology day.

The children in Reception, Years 1 and 2 designed, created and cooked some delicious pizzas (pizza boxes kindly supplied by Dominos Pizza in Pulborough) which they all enjoyed for tea. Years 3 and 4 were given the challenge to design and build bridges which had to support a 1kg weight over a given distance; the children researched, designed, built and amended their bridges working collaboratively in small teams; all teams’ designs were unique and imaginative and they all succeeded.

Yew Class designed and created moon buggies and space rockets.  The day ended with a rocket launch using air and water pressure, some reached heights of over 10 metres. 

Science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) has been the focus of learning at both schools this year.  The children actively learn through first-hand activities and everyone experiences success in their learning through our exciting and innovative curriculum.


Elm Class visit to Wakehurst Place

Elm Class enjoyed a very informative trip to Wakehurst Place last week.  They learned which plants come from a rainforest and discovered what would not exist if we did not have these plants.  They crushed spices and found out where chocolate comes from and they enjoyed a close encounter with a duck that had strayed from its usual habitat!



Rother Valley Dance Festival

Congratulations to Miss Barnes and the Dance Club who took part in Rother Valley Arts Festival this week.  The group performed magnificently to a packed Midhurst Rother College on Thursday evening; they danced beautifully and should be very proud of themselves.


World Book Day  

We celebrated World Book Day on 7th March 2019 with a visit from inspiring local author, Philip Beicken.  Philip is the author of “The Ghosteelers” which features a magical cat called Morph.  It was great to see everyone dressed as cats to celebrate the character in the book and the children were transfixed by Philip who encouraged them to open the doors to their imaginations by asking “what if”.  

‘I really enjoyed dressing up as a cat,’ said Florrie.

‘Philip inspired us to read more and to write our own stories,’ explained Ben and Harry. 

Evie enjoyed the day too, ‘Philip encouraged us to make our own writing more exciting by using more interesting words’.

After hearing him speak the children planned their own stories featuring magical animal characters with a problem to overcome. 


Football v Amberley

Congratulations to the children who played in the football match against Amberley School last week.  It was the first time that some had represented our school and they played very well. The final score was 5-3 to Amberley.




Ash Class Trip to Arundel Fire Station

As part of Ash Class’ topic on “Heroes and Helpers” the class were invited to Arundel Fire Station last week where they met the fire fighters and tried on their uniforms.  They were very excited to sit in the fire engine and took turns to use the hose to wash the minibus.  Thank you to Mr Birt for arranging this visit. 

(There is a charity car wash at Arundel Fire Station on Saturday 30th March and you are invited to call in and have your car washed by the fire fighters between 9.00am to 2.00pm.)



Spirit FM

If you have missed our school on Spirit FM this week, there is still time to watch them sing and listen to the interviews on the Spirit FM website.


Red Nose Day

Thank you for supporting Red Nose Day; Chuckleberries sold out of Red Noses which raised over £100, the mufti day raised £41.05 and €2.00 for Comic Relief.  Thank you for your generous support.


Young Voices at the O2 Arena

Fifteen pupils in the school choir travelled to the O2 Arena in London to participate in a mass choir event with nearly 8,000 pupils from across the South East. This was a wonderful experience which the children thoroughly enjoyed with the Arena being sold out. Well done to all who performed so well.



Spirit FM

Spirit FM visited last week, the children did a great performance of “Moana Mashup”.  The school will be on the radio over the week of 11th to 15th March.  The song will be shown on the Spirit FM website and the children who were interviewed will be on air at 7.25am and 3.30pm every day during that week.


World Book Day – Thursday 7th March 2019

The author, Philip Beicken, will visit on World Book Day and talk to the children about how he created the characters for his new book, “The Ghosteelers”. 

“When the bungling Norman accidentally blows himself up, along with his pet cat Morph, they awake to find themselves in a new and mysterious world. Greeted by Sir Poop, the pair are invited to join an elite, highly-trained team of Ghosteleers. Their mission is to protect very special humans from harm by using their amazing telekinetic powers.

Unfortunately for Norman, he quickly discovers his smug cat is the one with the ability... and brains.”

Signed copies of the book, price £5.99 can be ordered before the day using the order form attached below.  This is a discounted price for World Book Day. 

As “The Ghosteelers” features a very clever cat, children are invited to dress as cats for the day.  Any type of feline will be welcome: lions, cougars, cheetahs or domestic cats. Children can also bring a book featuring a cat to read and share with their friends.


Joint Activity Day with Amberley School – Thursday 21st March

Following on from our successful science fayre, the children will be combining with the children of Amberley School in a combined design technology day. This joint activity day will be held at St James’ and further details will follow nearer the time.


Residential Trip – Current Years 4 and 5

A provisional booking has been made for a residential trip for the current Year 4 and 5 children at Cobnor Activities Centre near Chichester from Wednesday 18th to Friday 20th September.  Further details will be sent to parents in the second half of this term.



Year 6 will have the opportunity to take part in five 1½ hour Bikeability training sessions from 1st to 5th April at Amberley School. In order to take part in Bikeability, each child will require a correctly fitting cycle helmet and a roadworthy, appropriately sized bicycle; more details will follow shortly.


Yew Class Launch into their Space Topic

Last week Yew Class visited Chichester Planetarium as part of their topic on Space.  The class learnt about what life is like on the International Space Station and how the vessel moves through our solar system.  Through an amazing talk by one of the space authorities of the planetarium, the children learnt about how far away the planets are and how long the seasons last on Neptune….about 140 years just for one summer!

Millie and Ellie said “We learnt so much fascinating stuff about the planets and the stars!  The best bit about it was the Dome display of all the star constellations.  It was very fun but I was a bit scared, it was soooo dark that I had to hold my best friend’s hand!”

It was a great experience and the class highly recommend it as an educational and fun place of interest. 



Children’s Concert at Chichester Festival Theatre

The children in Yew and Elm classes enjoyed their trip to Chichester Festival Theatre last week.  They experienced an hour of wonderful music that included Tchaikovsky, Rameau and Offenbach. 

“We especially liked the story called the ‘Theatre Ghost’, the trumpet music and the cello.  The trombone made a funny noise”. Grace and Eden (Year 3)



Year 3 and 4 Trip to Lodge Hill

The Year 3 and 4 children were lucky to be invited to Lodge Hill to test a new tree based nature trail.  Afterwards the children looked for bugs in the new bug hotel.  Millipedes and spiders were found, among other creatures.  Thank you to Lodge Hill for inviting the children to visit. 

“I really liked finding the trees. The trees had numbers and we had a map to locate them and we had to find out what each tree was,” explained Barnaby.



Parent’s Forum – Tuesday 12th February 2019 at 2.30pm

Please come along to the Parent’s Discussion Forum led by Mrs Edwards and Mrs North.  This is an opportunity to support each other and learn from the experience of other parents.  Tea and biscuits will be provided.


Chuckleberries Ofsted Result

Congratulations to Chuckleberries who received a “Good” rating in their recent OfSted inspection. 


World Book Day 7th March 2019

We are excited that local author, Philip Beiken will be visiting St James’ to talk about his new book “The Ghosteelers” that will be released on World Book Day.  Further details can be found on his website at; there will be an opportunity for signed copies of the book to be purchased nearer the time.


Staff changes

I am delighted to inform parents that, subject to safeguarding checks, we have appointed a new senior teacher from a strong field of applicants.  Mrs Lizzy Martin is currently the Year 5/6 class teacher at Mayfield C.E. School in East Sussex where she has taught for seven years.  She has been on the school leadership team as well as the governing body and is looking forward to furthering her career here at St James’. Mrs Martin will take up her position of Senior Teacher at the beginning of the summer term; there will be opportunities for the children and parents to meet her before she begins.


Christingle Service

The children made Christingles at school this week. We lit the Christingle candles during the peaceful and reflective service at St Giles’ Church.


Christmas Lunch

The children enjoyed a fun Christmas lunch today with carols playing in the background and Christmas crackers kindly donated by Tesco, Pulborough.



Joint Activity Day at Amberley Primary School – Wednesday 7th November

The children had a wonderful day exploring music from different parts of the globe. Samba music, Chinese pentatonic scales and African songs were heard throughout the school and the children thoroughly enjoyed listening to, making and playing didgeridoos.  Thanks go to Mrs Cork from Amberley School for organising the whole event, to all the staff who embraced the day and to the Friends of St James’ who funded our share of the event.
















































Children in Need – Friday 16th November

Thank you for supporting the cake and hot chocolate sale last week. St James’ and Chuckleberries jointly raised £100 for Children in Need.


Football v Northchapel

Two children played in a match with Amberley School against Northchapel which resulted in a 15-1 win. Well done to William and Thomas.


Elm Class – Forest Schools



Unveiling of the Shackleton Chest at Shackleton Close

A group of children from school were involved with the opening of the new homes in Shackleton Close. The wooden sculpture was designed by the children and it was lovely to see the finished piece.



 News from FOSJ

We would like to thank everyone who braved the elements and made our first fireworks evening a huge success. We raised a staggering £303 which will be put to great use for all the children.


  • Christmas Fete - 30th November at 5pm
  • Please don’t forget our Christmas Fete. There will be lots to do for the children and a shopping event for the parents including our amazing raffle. There will be many lovely prizes including a Butlin’s family break. Bring your friends and family!  


Poppies and Remembrance

As from next week a range of poppy merchandise will be available from the office at the end of school.  There will be a Remembrance Service at St Giles’ Church at 10.45am on Friday 9th November.  Everyone is welcome to join us.  At this service the children of Yew Class will be laying the clay poppies they made in collaboration with Bury School. 


Science Fair and Open Afternoon - Thursday 11th October, 1:30-4pm

The Science Fair and Open Afternoon was a huge success.  Thank you for helping your children to create their fabulous experiments.  We were fortunate to have demonstrations in the hall by Southern Water, the Environment Agency, TESLA of Storrington, Sussex Inshore Fisheries Conservation Authority and Paul Steele, STEM Ambassador.  There was an article and photos about this event the County Times on Thursday 18th October 2018.


Parent Survey Results – July 2018

The results of the parent Survey sent to all families in July 2018 are shown here

There was some encouraging feedback, for example;

“Teaching is good, teachers have great subject knowledge and go the extra mile

to make subjects interesting and relevant.”

“Safe and nurturing environment.  Very approachable and deal with concerns quickly.”

“Family atmosphere caring, protective emotionally as well as physically.”


Year 1-3 Football Tournament at Watersfield

Well done to the team who represented St James’ at the football tournament on 8th October.  The team finished fourth of the six teams involved and performed admirably and with great enthusiasm.


Harvest Festival

Thank you for the generous donations of gifts at this morning’s Harvest Festival.  The donations will be taken to Horsham Matters and will be distributed to food banks in the Pulborough. 


Caretaker position

We are delighted to tell you that a new Caretaker has been appointed. Fred Cresswell will be starting at the school as soon as all the necessary safeguarding checks have been completed. In the meantime, I would like to express my thanks to the amazing staff team who, as well as fulfilling all their other duties, have been helping to keep the school clean and tidy; we are very fortunate here at St James’ to have such a dedicated team.


School Garden

A dedicated team of parents came into school on Saturday morning to tidy up the school allotment area and also undertook some other maintenance work on the raised bedding, composter and some of the trees. They have done a fantastic job!  Our small school is dependent upon the time and skills that parent freely volunteer and I would like to thank them on behalf of all staff, children, parents and governors.


Yew Class Poppy Making Workshop

We went to a poppy making workshop at Bury Village hall with Bury and Dorset House Schools.  We found it really fun but it was also a bit tricky to get the clay in the right shape and size! The adults and Bury pupils were very polite and they helped us to perfect the poppies!  We were really nervous when the tv crew arrived because we didn’t know when we were being filmed or what they filmed us doing.  It was also quite exciting because not a lot of us have been on tv many times before.  We would definitely go again because it’s a great experience. 

Report by Ellie Hindman and Daisy Godfrey

Football Tournament at Watersfield

The football team played in a tournament with other primary schools from the Petworth area.  Despite not winning any of their games, there were some silky football skills on show and the team were resilient and gave their all in every moment of every match.


Thank you FOSJ

The amazing fund raising activities organised by the Friends of St James’ (FoSJ) the school have enabled us to purchase some new Read Write Inc phonics resources to support children throughout the school with their reading and phonics.  We are looking forward to use these resources straight away. A huge thank you to all who have helped at various events to raise funds; if you want to get involved with FoSJ fund raising, please speak to Charlotte Catton-Giltinane (Florrie’s mum)  or Laura Catton-Strugnell (Harrison and Lillie Belle’s mum).


Yew Class visit to Osmington Bay

Pupils in Years 5 and 6 had a wonderful three days away at the PGL site in Osmington Bay.  They experienced a range of outdoor pursuits including mountain biking, quad biking, abseiling, climbing and tunneling.  Photos will shortly be available on the school website.




There is an extensive list of clubs this term; a separate letter will give details of the clubs next week. Our very popular Breakfast Club has already begun; there is no need to book a place, just turn up on the day.  The cost of this club is £2.50/ child / day, £4:00 for two siblings and £5 for three siblings.  Jo Kent, supervisor at Chuckleberries is also offering after school care from 3:30-5:30pm every day that it is required for £5/hour per child.  Jo is an Ofsted registered childminder.  If you are interested in using this facility, please pop in and talk to Jo.


Leavers Service at Chichester Cathedral

Year 6’s attended a beautiful service at the cathedral on Monday after tucking into a McDonald’s meal.  A big well done to brave Abbie for her faultless reading in front of a packed congregation.



Elm Class Visit Goodwood Farm

Elm Class saw a working farm in action when they visited Goodwood Farm last week.  The children saw a herd of cows being milked in the dairy, they made butter, got close to a combine harvester and other farm machinery and they saw the cows and calves.



Rounders and Athletics

Children across Key Stage 2 competed in an athletics tournament with four local schools at Watersfield Recreation Ground.  We are still awaiting the final results, but a big well done to Drew who won the Year 5 100ms in some style!


A united rounders team from St James’ and Amberley played magnificently in a tournament with Fittleworth and Petworth schools. There was some hard hitting strikes on display and some super fielding too.


Transport and After School Feasibility Survey

We are currently considering the possibility of using the minibus to bring children into school from Pulborough in the mornings and also to establish the need for wrap-around care after school.  Please do complete the survey and return it to the school office by 6th July.


Library Summer Reading Challenge 

Thank you to Mrs Zatac who visited school last week to talk about the Reading Challenge running at West Sussex Libraries from 14th July.  The 2018 Reading Challenge is called “Mischief Makers “.    The children can sign up at their local library then read 6 books to complete the challenge.  There are exclusive rewards to collect along the way and it’s free to take part.  It would be wonderful if everyone who completes the reading challenge could bring their certificates and medal to school when we return in September.


Whole School outings and events

On Friday 8th June, the whole school enjoyed a visit to the Theatre Royal in Brighton to see David Walliams’ ’ Awful Auntie’, tickets funded by the Friends of St James’ (FOSJ).  For many pupils, this was their first trip to the theatre and for some pupils this was their first visit to Brighton.  The children had a simply wonderful morning at the theatre and enjoyed a picnic in front of Brighton Pavilion before returning to school. Huge thanks must be extended to FOSJ for funding this fabulous experience. 

On Wednesday, the whole school enjoyed a day out at Champs Hill where they studied art and sculpture and then enjoyed a picnic together before returning to school.  We are so fortunate to have such a wonderful resource on our doorstep and teachers who are prepared to organise such activities; a huge thanks goes to Mrs Leggatt for organising the day.



Cricket Success

Well done to the cricket team who performed magnificently in the Horsham Schools’ District Tournament at Horsham Cricket Club on Tuesday.  They won two of their four matches, beating  North Heath and Leechpool Schools to finish in the top six out of the fifteen schools who competed. The team were a united group of players from both St James’ and Amberley.


Waltham Fest II

This was a huge success with many parents from the school in attendance as well as parents and families from many other schools.  The catering, children’s entertainment and bands were fabulous and a huge thank you has to go to the FOSJ committee as well as to all the parents who volunteered to help and contributed to the success of the event.  The event raised the magnificent sum of £1,375.


Thank you to Petworth Masonic Lodge

Petworth Masonic Lodge have very kindly donated £500 to the school which will be put towards the redecoration of the hall.  


Sports Day

Sports Day was also a wonderful occasion with children enjoying a day of sports participation and healthy competition.  Congratulations to the Yellow Vikings on their success.


Royal Wedding Celebration Tea Party

Thanks to all the parents and Friends who helped St James’ celebrate the Royal Wedding last Friday.  The children enjoyed a splendid “Street Party” on the playground with an amazing array of food and snacks.  It was a great start to the weekend of Royal Wedding celebrations.


Elm Class – Visit from Send a Cow

Rosemary from the charity “Send a Cow” visited Elm Class this week.  This was part of the Elm Class topic “African Adventure” and Rosemary helped the children understand the differences between farming in Africa and the UK.  The children were astounded to hear the charity recently sent 25 cows to Africa on an aeroplane.


Chainsaw Design for Shackleton Close

Stonewater Developments and chainsaw carver, Dave Lucas, have made an initial design of the carving that is to be installed at the entrance to Shackleton Close from the ideas that the children gave them.  The design will be carved from one piece of wood and is likely to include a banjo, rope, globe, camping stove and compass, amongst other items.


Food Hygiene - 5* Rating

We are delighted to inform you that following an unannounced visit by Environmental  Health the school has retained its 5* food hygiene rating.


Football v Ashington

The football team played a friendly game against Ashington School on Tuesday. Drew scored and early goal which was later cancelled out by an Ashington equaliser.  Despite St James’ having greater possession and pressure, Ashington broke away in the last minute of the game to score a fabulous winning goal.  Well done to the team who played so well against such a big school!


Ash Class Forest Schools

Ash Class have been making the most of the lovely weather during their forest schools sessions.  They have discovered the wildlife in the pond including five newts and numerous dragon fly larva.  The children made their own flags with techniques including leaf printing.  There has been lots of den building and fun on the rope swing.




Yr 4 Christ’s Hospital Maths Challenge

Four children in Year 4 represented the school at this event.  They had to work as a team to solve some tricky maths problems.  I am delighted to announce that the team came 6th out of 32 teams; there are clearly some genius mathematicians at St James’!


Grounds Day

Over the Easter Holidays a small group of parents came into school to prepare the school grounds in readiness for the summer term.  The greenhouse was erected, the raised beds were weeded, compost dug in, the hawthorn hedge was cut down and much of the winter debris around the school grounds was burnt in a huge bonfire. We are always grateful to parents who volunteer their time so willingly to support our little school so thank you.


Ash Class Trip to Brighton Toy Museum

Just before Easter, Ash Class enjoyed a visit to Brighton Toy Museum where they learned about and played with toys from the past and watched a traditional puppet show.


Woodcarving Workshop with Stonewater Developments

Stonewater Developments visited the School on Monday with chainsaw carver Dave Lucas.  The children have been asked to help develop ideas for a public artwork at the new housing development in Shackleton Close, so called because Sir Ernest Shackleton’s wife and daughter lived in the Parish and are buried in St Giles’ Church graveyard. The finished artwork is likely to be a large oak chest containing articles that Shackleton may have taken on his Antarctic expeditions.


Arrival of the Minibus and Opening of the Trim Trail

The 17 seater minibus has arrived and is ready and waiting to take the children on trips and to sporting fixtures; it has already been out three times this week and has enabled staff to plan visits at the drop of a hat and reduce transport costs. The children are thoroughly enjoying playing on the newly installed trim trail.


Easter Egg Hunt and Egg Rolling

Before Easter the children decorated eggs in class ahead of the Easter Egg Rolling Contest.  The competition was fiercely fought and the winning egg roller was Oliver Hunt, for the second year running. 

The Friends also organised an Easter Egg Hunt which was moved indoors due to the poor weather.  We were joined by some pre-school children for the event.  Everyone found and enjoyed their egg and there was a surprise visit by Spiderman.


Joint Activity Day 

World Book Day was enjoyed by the children from both St James’ and Amberley Schools.  The children participated in a number of activities based around the book ‘The Day the Crayons Quit’ and ‘The Dot’. The children always tell me how much they enjoy working and playing with the children from Amberley and it gives both groups of children a unique experience.  


Recorder Concert

Elm Class performed confidently to their parents at the Recorder Concert on Tuesday afternoon; the children can all now read musical notation and follow and play a tune.


Netball v Fittleworth

Fittleworth School brought 2 netball teams to St James’ last Friday afternoon.  Matt Dingle organised a fun tournament and all of the Year 5 and 6 children were able to play if they wished.


“The netball was fun because we got to practice applying the skills we learnt in netball training with Mr Dingle.  Also we got to make new friends from Fittleworth.  It was a great experience playing against new people because we got to learn from them, they could learn from us too as we have different techniques.  Our friends cheered us on to help us.”

Report by Ellie and Lily

Installation of Trim Trail

The Trim Trail has been completed and the children will be able to use it by the end of next week once the concrete has properly set and a detailed risk assessment has been carried out.  Huge thanks go to Mr and Mrs Cleaver for all they did in the preparation and installation of the equipment.



Rother Valley Dance Festival

Yesterday St James’ Dance Club joined with other schools at the Rother Valley Dance Festival.  There were rehearsals during the day and a performance to parents in the evening. 

 “It was a nice experience because we got to watch other schools dance and we learnt new moves from every school.  Also we got to show our dance to other schools and parents.  The space where we performed was big and was nice to dance on.  Other schools also did singing and playing instruments.”

                                                                            Report by Ellie and Lily



Football Tournament at Amberley 14th March 2018

Nine children from Years 4, 5 and 6 represented St James’ in the tournament at Amberley on 14th March.  The team played very well and only missed making the final due to a mathematical error made by myself.  Well done to the team for playing so well and for being so forgiving to your Head Teacher who got his sums wrong!




Snow Day

Wherever possible, the school remains open.  Whilst many other local schools had to close, our staff must be congratulated for braving the adverse weather conditions enabling the school to stay open last Friday. The children thoroughly enjoyed their morning, many experiencing snow for the first time and then warming up with hot chocolate and biscuits.  Photos of the children enjoying the snow can be found on the home page of the website.


World Book Day – Rescheduled to Wednesday 21st March

The children will be celebrating World Book Day a little later than originally planned.  Amberley School will be joining us for this event which is now rescheduled for Wednesday 21st March.  Normal drop off, pick up and lunch arrangements apply.  The children are asked to dress in one colour and to bring a book which they are happy to swap for another.


Installation of Trim Trail

Next week the new trim trail will be installed.  The old climbing equipment will be removed and the ground on the ‘second field’ will be levelled before the new equipment is installed.  The trim trail has been designed by the older children and is being funded by the legacy money left to the school.  We are hugely grateful to Ben and Lily’s parents who are giving up their time to help level the ground in preparation for the instalment, enabling the legacy funding to go even further.

The school is expecting to take delivery of the minibus before the end of term.


Open Event

FOSJ are holding an Easter Egg Hunt and a grand opening ceremony of the play equipment on the last day of term; details will follow shortly. 


Mothers’ Day Service

It was fabulous to see the church so full this morning as we celebrated Mothers’ Day.  I hope all mums enjoy the plants they were given this morning and thanks go to Father Peter and Hill Barn Nurseries in Bury for their generosity.


Cross Country Run at Petworth House

Children from Years 3-6 competed in a cross country race with other schools from the Petworth area.  Our boys’ and girls’ teams both finished 4th out of the five schools and congratulations to Abbie and Arran who both finished in 3rd place out of the 72 runner that competed in each race.


Football Match v Ashurst

The football team travelled to Ashurst for a friendly football match against another small school. Despite battling hard, they lost the game 8-0.


Sport Relief, Friday 23rd March

Lawrence will be organising a ‘Fun Run’ in the afternoon of March 23rd to raise money for Sport Relief.  Parents are welcome to come and run to support this good cause from 2:30pm. 

Sport Relief wristbands will be on sale at the office (lunchtimes only) from Monday 12th March priced at £1.00.


Awful Auntie 

The friends of the school have very generously offered to use their funds to take the whole school on a trip to see Awful Auntie at the Theatre Royal in Brighton.  This is a wonderful enrichment opportunity which, without the support of the Friends, we would not otherwise be able to access.  Further details will follow nearer the time.


Time Travellers visit Preston Manor

Yew Class travelled back in time over a century to discover what it would have been like to have been a child growing up in Victorian England.  The children made many items of their Victorian costumes including bags, crevettes and waistcoats during their lessons before venturing into Brighton to visit Preston Manor.  Once there, the children learnt how to do the chores of housemaids and footmen in service, including cooking, laundry, cleaning and bed making.

Abbie said, “It was a fabulous experience; we felt like we were actually placed in that time period. I especially enjoyed working in the laundry room where we had to posse the clothes, polish the shoes, brush the fur and mangle the socks.”

Before the children went time travelling, they tried to recreate a photo taken outside School at the end of the 18th Century.  If you would like to see more pictures of the children’s Victorian experience, please visit the Yew Class page of the school website.   


Visitors to Ash Class

Ash Class have been learning about stick insects this week.  Three stick insects have been visiting the classroom and the children have been caring for them.


Netball Tournament at Petworth

St James’ participated in the Petworth Area Schools’ netball tournament at Petworth in bitterly cold weather. We started against Fittleworth A (the eventual winners) and unfortunately lost 3-1. In the second game we were raring to go, and won a hard fought game against Fittleworth B 2-1. In our third game we won 3-0 against a Petworth side with Arran getting 2 goals and Alex scoring the other. Alex showed great character in this game, having come close to scoring on numerous occasions. Drew has a very good tournament as goal keeper, doing lots of work defending our D. Abbie was a very good addition to the side.  Ellie H worked very hard throughout and Fifi did very well playing Centre for 2 of the games. Everyone performed well, and as ever, behaviour was brilliant. 

                                                                                       Report by Matt Dingle 


Elm Class – Ancient Greece

The children of Elm class had a chance to try Greek Food as part of their Ancient Greece topic.  They enjoyed dates, pitta, hummus, stuffed vine leaves (Lillie-Belle ate five of these!), honey and yogurt, feta and tzatziki.



Team Point treat

The Vikings enjoyed their team point treat, making and eating candyfloss.  Well done Vikings.


Coldwaltham St James’ C E School

To make “Coldwaltham” more prominent in the name of the school, Governors have decided, on some occasions, for marketing purposes, for the school to go by the name of “Coldwaltham St James’ C.E. School”.  There will be no other significant change. 


Yew Class – Visionary Victorians

“This year Yew Class have been leaning about Victorians in preparation for our trip to Preston Manor.  We will be making our own clothes like; aprons, cravats and some hats.  We are also learning how to sew to make our own clothes.”                                                                           

Report by Ella Short

Musical Performances – Cello, Saxophone and Singing

As the term has drawn to a close, we have been treated to a number of musical performances: Callum, Lille-Belle and Sam gave a cello concert, with their teacher Mrs Rae;  Fifi, Lily and Sofia, who have singing lessons, performed at a special assembly.


The Year 5 and 6 children, who are learning the saxophone this year performed to the rest of the school.


"The Nativity"

The children put on a fabulous Nativity Play this year. 


Christingle Service and Visit by Nick Herbert MP

Nick Herbert MP visited the school last week.   The children made Christingles and took them to St Giles’ for the service.  The following report appears on Nick Herbert’s website:

“Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert joined the children of St James’ School for their annual Christingle service at St Giles’ Church in Coldwaltham on Friday (15 December).

The service was taken by Father Peter Mallinson and included the lighting of the Paschal candle from which the children’s Christingles were lit.  This popular Advent service also helps to raise money and awareness for The Children’s Society.  Over £1 million is raised at Christingle events each year.   These funds are vital in helping the charity to continue supporting vulnerable children and young people.

Mr Herbert also met with the deputy headteacher and governors after the service.

He said: “I very much enjoyed visiting the school, joining the service and seeing the children who were all very proud of their handmade Christingles.  It was lovely to be able to take part in their celebration and to wish the children, parents and staff a very happy Christmas.” 


Christmas Carol Concert

The children sang beautifully at the concert at St Giles’ Church on Monday evening; thanks also to the anonymous donor who freely gave the mulled wine and mince pies for the after party!

Carol Singing at Tesco 

The choir recently entertained Christmas shoppers at Tesco with their repertoire of Christmas carols.  They raised £94.20 which will be donated to a Worthing Churches project, a charity supporting homeless people.  Thank you to Mrs North who helped the children make a fantastic Christmas tree display which is on show at Tesco.

Legacy Update

Following lengthy consultations and visits, the Governing body have approved the first spending of the legacy fund.  The school will be leasing a 17 seater minibus and are expecting to take delivery early in the New Year. This will enable the children to access school visits, sports events, local library, forest school, swimming etc at a reduced rate. There are also plans to collect children from the Pulborough area in the morning, thus alleviating some of the parking issues in the morning. The minibus will be partially funded from sponsorship of panels and doors; if your business (or if you know of a business) would like to sponsor the bus, please do let Mrs Kirby know in the office.  We expect the minibus will be operational most days so this is another way of getting our school name out there. 

The governors have also approved the funding of the replacement of the climbing equipment on the school field which is reaching the end of its useful life.  These are two projects which will benefit the children who are currently at the school. 

The bulk of the money is to be spent building a multi-functional outside classroom which will serve as a facility for outdoor learning to enhance the curriculum, for dance and drama productions and for technology.  The legacy committee is exploring the possibility of match funding for the project which could result in an additional 60% funds.  Plans for the building will shortly be going out to tender.


Children in Need

St James’ and Chuckleberries raised a combined total of £100.00 for Children in Need at the break time and after school cake sales.  Thank you for your support.


Elm Class – Living Water Topic

Elm class were visited by an Engineer from Southern Water and volunteers from the charity WaterAid.  They have learnt how precious water is. Did you know that because of the endless cycle of water, the water we are drinking was around at the time of the dinosaurs?



Planting Bulbs at Sandham Hall

Year 4 visited Sandham Hall last week.  They planted bulbs around the car park and popped into the coffee morning to chat with people from the local community.



Football Matches

A team of children took part in a small tournament with Petworth Area Schools at Amberley School last week and this week there was a match at Northchapel. The children all played very well but were beaten by Northchapel 6-4.


Anti Bullying Week

The children have been learning strategies to deal with bullying this week. They have been discussing plays which the older children have been performing during the week and have been recognising the difference between ’fall outs’ and bullying. Thank you for supporting the ‘odd socks’ week and please do ask your children about what they have learnt about bullying this week. 


Christmas Market and Fete - 9th December 11:30 - 14:00

This year our Christmas market has expanded with lots of exciting stalls including The Flower Shop, Saffron’s Gifts & Home, Tropic Skincare, Body Shop and Forelock books to name a few. A great opportunity to purchase Christmas gifts and wreaths!

There will also be a special guest appearance from Father Christmas, lots of children’s games and crafts, our very own Christmas Bake off and of course our infamous Raffle!

Hot food and drinks will be available so make sure you bring lots of friends and family to our fabulous event!                                


Yew Class Walk Around the Village

On the morning of Monday 6th November, the children of Yew class went on a local walk around Coldwaltham, to immerse them in the next phase of our ‘All Along the Arun’ topic, which will focus on aspects of local geography and history.  This walk gave the children first-hand experience of creating sketch maps and associated geographical skills, provided a creative stimulus for our writing over the next few weeks and allowed the children to explore the history of local buildings and landmarks. 



Africa Day at Amberley School   

The children thoroughly enjoyed an African themed day with the children at Amberley School last week.  African dancers and drummers gave tuition in these performing arts and visiting speakers shared their experiences and taught African songs. The children also took part in African arts and crafts as well as learning about what it would be like to go to school in Africa (and of course how different it is to rural Sussex).

The day culminated in a dance and drum performance enjoyed by the parents, staff and children of both schools. As rural schools, we are very conscious we need to ensure our children are aware of the wider world.  Global links are important to help our children learn about different cultures across the world and we hope to begin a link with an African school shortly.



Elm Class Trip to RSPB Pulborough Brooks

Elm class enjoyed their field trip to Pulborough Brooks.  They took part in workshops on ‘Pond Dipping’ and ‘Rocks and Soils’ had a break during the afternoon for a hot chocolate.  Thank you to the parents and grandparents who came along to help.


Rachel Long - Visiting Poet

We were very lucky to have a visit from the poet, Rachel Long, on Thursday 2nd November.  She visited Yew and Elm classes where the children did free flow writing. The children thoroughly enjoyed the visit

‘I learnt never to stop writing,’ said William in Elm Class.


Harvest Festival

Thank you for the generous donations of produce for today’s harvest festival.  The donations will be delivered to Horsham Foodbank and then will be distributed to foodbanks in the Storrington / Pulborough area.  Your donations will be gratefully received by families who really need support.



Art Enrichment Day at Fittleworth Village Hall.

Three children participated in an Arts Enrichment Day with children from other local schools. The children made springs and icosahedrons and bags out of cereal boxes. The children enjoyed the day – “It was really fun,” said Lily.


Trip to St .Martin’s C of E Primary School

On Friday 29th September, Yew class together with Year 6 from Amberley went to visit our link school, St. Martins’ C of E Primary in Brighton.  The key purpose of the trip was not only to establish links but for our children to note the similarities and differences between a Village and an Urban School.  The day was really enjoyed by all the children - St. Martin’s Year 6 children gave us a tour of the whole school and then all the children had a chance to play with children from St. Martins at lunchtime.  The Head of St. Martin’s also took us for a walk to their local church so the children could have some time to explore a church on a bigger scale.  Overall it was a fantastic opportunity and the children have written some follow-up work about their visit.  We hope to receive visitors from St. Martin’s in the not too distant future. 


Residential Trip to Cobnor Activities Centre

The Year 5 and 6 children have returned from their 3 day residential trip to Cobnor Activities Centre.  The children took part in sailing, archery, canoeing, climbing, mountain biking, raft building and orienteering.  They have all learnt valuable lessons about team work and persevering to overcome fears and challenges.   

One member of staff at Cobnor said that “it was a true pleasure” working with the children.  Gary, head of the centre, described his highlight of the trip as seeing Hope and Aamir sailing their Wayfarer dinghy all by themselves: a true achievement.  



Yew Class Trip to the River Rother

On 15th September, Yew Class spent a day studying features of the River Rother near Petworth.  They were privileged to have the opportunity to explore the usually private Leconfield Estate, to gain first-hand experience of river features such as meanders, erosion and deposition.  They also had fun exploring wildlife in and around the river and even watched a demonstration of fly fishing by a kind fisherman who was passing.  There were also many opportunities for the children to sit and reflect on the beauty of their surroundings, recording sketches and poems in their field journals.       


Year 5 Maths Challenge

Four children from Year 5 represented St James’ at the annual Christ’s Hospital Maths Challenge.  They were invited to watch the spectacle of the Christ’s Hospital students marching in for lunch accompanied by the marching band. 




Friends of St James’ (FOSJ)

I am delighted to inform parents that 10 new high spec laptops have been purchased and are now fully operational enabling the children to access the internet and learn computing skills.  The laptops were fully funded by FOSJ and all the children will benefit from the spectacular fund raising efforts.  FOSJ are always looking for new recruits so if you are able to support the school fund raising team, please see Florrie and Lillie-Belle’s/Harrison’s mums.


Whole School Trip to the Beach - 13th July 2017

On Thursday the 13th July we went to West Wittering beach.  One of my favourite things was paddling because it was lots of fun! We could even see Chichester Harbour from the beach! The sea was very cold but it was nice because it was a very hot day!

At our visit to West Wittering beach we also did sand sculpting and sand art.  I worked in a group with Daisy, Lily Co and Lillie-Belle.  We made a rock pool by making a hill in a circle and making rocks out of sand.  We also made a fish out of seaweed and out it in the middle!  Our trip to West Wittering beach was really fun and I would recommend it to everyone!  Report by Ellie Hindman

 Beach Trip 1


Peace Child

What a fabulous end of term production we all enjoyed this week.  Well done to all our wonderful performers and staff for all their hard work in making it so successful.  One parent commented:

Thanks for a splendid production. I know how much effort goes into these things and it was fun to watch. I appreciated the Christian message buried at the heart of the play; some of the performances were quite extraordinary.


Link Schools

I am delighted to inform parents that both Amberley and St James’ Schools have now linked with a school in inner-city Brighton. The older children have St Martin’s School to see the contrast between a rural and urban school and we will be welcoming a return visit. 


School Fete 8th July

Thank you to everyone who came to the summer Fete it was a wonderful day and lots of fun was had by all.  There was lots to do from a huge inflatable slide, nerf knock out, water into wine and of course our brilliant raffle with amazing prizes up for grabs.  This year we saw the first St James Bake Off and we were overwhelmed by the number of entries in both the over and under 12 categories.  A huge thank you to our judges and of course Mrs North’s mum for running our delicious cake stall and crowning the winners who were Laura Catton-Strugnell, Matilda North and Fifi Craig.

We raised over £1,000 so a huge thank you to all the parents who helped in making the day possible and the FOSJ for putting on another successful event.

If you would like to be a part of FOSJ or get more involved with our events and fundraisers then please see a member of FOSJ.  Report by Charlotte Catton

Fete 2        

St James’ Celebrates Tracey Nicholson’s 10 years as a Lollipop Lady

Tracey was invited to a special assembly this week to celebrate the 10 years she has spent assisting the children across the A29.  She received some beautiful flowers and messages from the children.  We are all grateful for her guidance and cheerful greeting every morning and afternoon.  Thank you, Tracey.


Pop Up Art festival, Petworth

The Art Club has contributed artwork to the Popup Art Exhibition held within the Petworth Festival from 12th to 15th of July in the United Reformed Church in Golden Square, Petworth.   Open between noon and 5.30pm each day with the official opening on Wednesday 12th at 4.30pm, to which you are warmly invited.  Contributions from other local schools promises a great diversity and vibrancy of work.  In the previous exhibition there were over four hundred amazing art works, celebrating the creativity and imagination of our children. Please support the exhibition, taking your young people with you, you will be inspired and they will be very proud!


Leavers Service at Chichester Cathedral – Monday 26th June 2017

The Year 6’s attended Chichester Cathedral on Monday 26th June to attend a service to mark the end of their time at Primary school. 


Team Point Treat

Vikings received their team point treat on Tuesday when an ice-cream van arrived at the school to deliver a free ice cream.



Coultershaw Heritage Site – Year 4 Trip

The children of Year 4 visited Coultershaw Heritage site this week.  They took part in workshops to help them understand the history of the site from the Stone Age right up to the time when the canal was built.



Cricket Tournament at Horsham Cricket Club 14.07.2017

There were some very good displays all round from the children both in attitude on and off the pitch as well as their cricket skills. 


Computers for School

I am delighted to inform parents that we have now ordered a set of 10 high spec laptops costing £3,172.  These laptops have been fully funded by the Friends of St James’ and will be fully operational and in class as soon as possible.  Thanks go to all parents who have been involved with FOSJ in successfully fund raising for the school.


Stedham Football Tournament – 26th May 2017

Player behaviour was impeccable, with lots of hard work throughout and also lots of support for each other. The children also took the time to sit and watch the other games sensibly and enjoyed the day as a whole. In terms of football, the results certainly do not tell the story. Despite drawing one and losing the others, St James' played some of the best passing football at the tournament. The way that they were always looking to keep the ball on the floor and pass it to each other was a joy to watch.  (Report by Matt Dingle) 


Elm Class – Farms for City Children

The children were given £5 each to start up an enterprise which would make a profit. The children came up with a name for their business and a product;  friendship bracelets and slime were amongst the products made.  The children advertised their products before selling them in the playground.  The children made £78.55 in total, which is a profit of £53.55. All profits raise went to Farms for City Children.


St James’ School in the Community – Sandham Hall

Last week Sally Cleaver and the children from the Gardening Club put the finishing touches to the commemorative planter at Sandham Hall by filling it with summer flowers.  Thank you to Sally for organising this.



Waltham Fest

Thanks go to Laura, Charlotte and Natalie and all members of the Friends of St James’ for organising such a successful event.  It was lovely to see so many members of the school and village community enjoying the music, food and drink and the inflatable obstacle course.  Thanks also go to Paul Stenton for arranging to play with Oli and Willie Austin at no cost to the school.  The event raised over £1,250 which is being used to purchase ten much needed laptop computers.

Willie Austen



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