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St James Primary School

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St James E-News 

16th September 2022

Welcome to the St James Primary School's E-News, a weekly roundup of the latest goings on at the school.

Latest Headteachers Blog

Dear Parents, 

It has been a sad but hugely significant week for the country, as we mourn the death of Queen Elizabeth II.  In school we have been quietly reflecting with the children on national events and talking to them about it.  However, as a school we also feel it is important to mark the accession of the new King, after the period of national mourning, so on Tuesday 20th September at 3.30pm we have been invited to take part in a photograph on the village green around the flag pole.  Some of our Y6 children will raise and then lower the flag, and we are lucky to have Richard Awberry as official photographer to record the event. Photographs will then be kept in school to form part of the school archive and will be sent to local newspapers. The event will last 15 - 20 minutes and we would love as many children as possible to join us on the green, straight after school. (Please note that the children will remain your responsibility when on the green and please be mindful of the traffic passing.)

We are mindful of the fact that Y2 and Y3 are having their class meetings on Teams that day and have moved them to 4.30pm.  These meetings are being recorded so parents can access them later if they would prefer to.

Best wishes,

Valerie Elliott

School Notices 

  • Staff absence - the beginning of the school year is a particularly busy time for school staff and this has been compounded by sickness amongst our office staff.  This has lead to delays in some communications, particularly our autumn clubs letter.  We hope that we will be able to finalise our offering of clubs and send the letter out via email next week.  There may be a shorter deadline for parents to reply to allow us to notify you of club lists and begin the clubs as soon as possible.  We would be grateful if you would keep your requests to the office to a minimum at this time.
  • School Council Statement - The School Council met this week and would like to share this message on behalf of the whole school "We at the School Council would like to say, on behalf of the whole of St James Primary School, thank you to Her Majesty, for her 70 years of servitude, and we wish His Majesty King Charles lll a happy and long reign over the United Kingdom and Commonwealth nations"
  • Parking near St James Primary - Regrettably, Mrs Elliott received a complaint this week from a resident living in Moors Lane regarding illegal parking over the junction by one of our parents.  Please help us to maintain a good relationship with our neighbours and park safely, within the law and with consideration.  Please do not park over drives and do not park opposite or within 10 metres of a junction.  Please walk to school with your child if possible or park in the lay-bys opposite St James Church or the Village Hall.  There is also some parking available at The Pavilion near the cricket green.
  • School photographs - the school photographer will be in school on Tuesday 22nd September.  Please see the letter on the Parent Portal for more information.
  • Vacancies at St James Primary School - We currently have vacancies for catering staff, bank Teaching Assistants and bank  Higher Level Teaching Assistants.  Please follow the link to the Vacancies page on our website to learn more.  Please share this information with anyone you know who you think would be interested.
  • Meet The Author - Mr Gardner will be taking part in a Meet The Author evening at St Mary's Church Shackleford on Saturday, 2nd October at 2pm.  Please see the poster below for more information.

  • Drop in sessions with our Home School Link Worker, Helen Owen - The role of the Home School Link Worker (HSLW) is to support families with a range of issues at home or at school. 1:1 sessions are available on Wednesdays. To book an  appointment, email Helen on or ring the school office to request a call back.

Letters This Week 

The following classes have had letters uploaded to the Parent Portal this week.  Note: You will need to login to view this area.

  • Puffins
  • Owls
  • Kingfishers
  • Woodpeckers
  • Kestrels
  • Whole school  

PTA News

Please click on the link below to find out about activities planned for this term.

View the latest PTA News  

News Blogs

Blog of the WeekClick below to view all the latest News Blogs:

View recent blogs  

Dates For Your Diary

 View the school calendar for the latest information

View Full Website Calendar  

School Meals

View this week's school menu

View menu  

Safeguarding Information

Keeping our children safe is a partnership between school and home, so if we have any worries or concerns about your child we will always speak to you first to see what we can do to help.  If you would like to speak to a member of staff, in confidence, about a safeguarding concern about a child at St James Primary, or seek help or advice, please contact either Mr McArthur or Mrs Elliott via the office, they are the school’s Senior Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSL). 

If you would like to speak directly to Surrey Children’s Safeguarding Services, their contact details are 0300 470 9100 

There is also plenty of support and advice that parents, carers and families can access for further help and we’ve listed the main ones below. 

Helen Owen, our Home/School Link Worker, can signpost to further agencies who can support with a range of issues including financial hardship, housing issues or offer practical support with problems at school.  

The Surrey Family Information Service offer a free impartial information and signposting service on all aspects of family life for parents, including parenting advice and courses. 

Mental Health 

The Surrey website Mindworks offers a huge amount of advice for young adults and parents on a range of mental health issues. 

Online Safety 

The NSPCC website contains information and advice on many safeguarding issues, including keeping your child safe online. Information includes talking to your child about online safety, looking after your child’s online wellbeing and how to set up and manage parental controls.  

School Policy on Granting Leave of Absence

 Absences will be authorised for illness, and parents are requested not to send their child to school when they are unwell.  Apart from illness, absence will be authorised for medical appointments; attendance at religious festivals; visits to other schools at the age of transfer or when moving; and for exceptional circumstances.  

Absence will not be authorised for such reasons as looking after others at home, visiting friends or relatives, birthday treats or shopping trips. Unauthorised absence is also recorded if the child arrives after the close of registration at 9.15am unless for exceptional reasons. Parents are requested to arrange medical appointments out of school hours whenever possible.  

Parents should be aware that due to the pressure on the curriculum, absences may mean that children miss vital learning activities that will not be repeated.

Family Holidays 
There is a clear link between attendance at school and good progress.  

Children do not have a right to be withdrawn from school for holidays. School holiday dates are published a year in advance and parents should arrange their family holidays during these times. If an absence in term time is unavoidable, an Absence Authorisation form must be completed well in advance to gain prior authorisation. Forms are available from the school office and website.  

On submission of the form, the Headteacher will decide whether or not to authorise the absence having considered:  

· the child’s record of attendance  

· the ability of the child to catch up the work that they have missed  

· the reason why they are taking the time off during term time  

· the timing of the holiday, ensuring that it would not prevent the child from taking any important examinations or assessments.  

Leave may be requested in advance for attendance at religious festivals, visits to other schools at the age of transfer and for exceptional circumstances. Please note that Year 6 will not be granted leave of absence during the Key Stage 2 Standard Assessment Tests (SATs) week.  

The Headteacher reserves the right to issue parents with a Penalty Notice for unauthorised absence This can include parents who take their children on holiday during term time without getting authorisation from the school. The penalty is £60, rising to £120 if not paid within 28 days.   

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