Friends of St James
The Friends of St James is our PTA. When your child starts here, parents automatically become a member of The Friends which is a registered school charity. Loads of school mums and dads are actively involved in it and it's our job to do two things…
The first is to raise money for our school. Parents here have always been extremely generous of their time and their money and everything that is raised goes straight back to the school to benefit all the children. In the past we’ve equipped the school with interactive computers in each classroom and new playground equipment. We also give each class an allowance every term that goes towards things like the cost of cooking ingredients or small art projects that the teachers can use to bring their lessons to life.
Our second and equally important job, is to make everyone at St James’ feel like part of a community and to organise things that are fun for our children and their families. Each year we run all school events such as a Summer Fair, Christmas Discos, Quiz Nights and Bonfire Evening. But we also get involved in smaller things such as uniform sales and class cake sales. All these are put on by the Friends and help to bridge the gap between home and school.
Teachers and support
This year you have helped us to recruit a number of specialist teachers to enrich our curriculum and provide additional support from our teaching assistants. Staffing is one of our biggest costs as a school – in fact it takes up 85% of our budget. We wouldn’t be the school we are without our amazing teachers and teaching assistants and support staff.
But at St James we want to offer our children as many different opportunities as we possible can and you help us to do this in a number of ways.
We have been able to recruit two Mandarin teachers and offer Mandarin lessons to every class as well as start an after school club this term. We have added Miss Kozakou a specialist music teacher to our team. She comes every Friday to teach music to all our children and also runs our school orchestra. We have had a French student with us for the Autumn and Spring terms who helped to provide some teaching assistant support in class and teach French to our younger children.
You have made it possible for us to bring in other specialist teachers such as football coaches from the LFA and Kick and musicians from Haringey who teach our Year 4 guitar. These professionals are not only able to teach our children their skills, but also allow us to use some of our budget for additional teaching assistant hours.
Workshops and assemblies are wonderful ways of introducing new experiences, skills and thinking to our children. So far this year, the Friends have helped us to run the following.
A display of BMX skills in the playground for the whole school.
A virtual reality workshop that enabled us to take a tour of space.
A circus skills assembly and workshops as part of our World Book Day celebrations to help inspire our writing
A beautiful display of Chinese culture and traditions to celebrate Chinese New Year .
In December this year, the Friends paid for all our classes to go to the Christmas experience at St James Church.
To all our parents and Friends of St James CofE Primary School
from Ms O'Brien and everyone here at St James
We wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of you for your generousity, fundraising, volunteering, positivity and support in helping to make St James Primary the very special school that it is.
In the past we have always had a wonderful group of parents who have ensured that the Friends play an active and crucial role in the life of our school. Not only raising money for us, but also bringing school and home lives closer together. We find that when our children look back on their time at St James it is more often the Summer Fair or a workshop where they’ve learnt to juggle that they remember most, rather than when they learnt their 8 times table or where to use a question mark!
This year, with the huge reduction in our budget by the government, the Friends have had an even more important role to play and you have been amazing. Your energy, creativity and enthusiasm for raising funds to support us has meant we have been able to provide our children with some incredible experiences
and learning opportunities that they might not have been able to have if without you.
Every single penny you raise or time that you volunteer makes a difference in what we can do for our children and so once again thank you to Liam and his team and to every parent at St James. These are just some of the fantastic things you have enabled us to do this year (and we’re only half way through!).
With our very highest regards and thanks
Ms O’Brien and everyone at St James CofE Primary School
You may not know that each term the Friends donate £150 to every class in school to help pay for additional resources our teachers might need to make a lesson or a topic really come to life.
Sometimes this can be for a special art project or to buy supplies for a cookery lesson or to purchase materials for experiements during Science week.
Reception last term spent some of their budget on a buying a model of Noah’s Ark. The model - with all the animals and Noah and his family - helped to bring to life the story of the great flood and helped our four and five year olds to learn about telling stories and counting in twos.
It’s a resource that they have treasured in that class and used frequently and we know it will be loved by our new Reception children who join us in September.
Your donations at the start of the year
Every time you brought us in a box of tissues or a ream of paper and every time you send your children in with a full pencil case, it is money we can save from our budget and divert to other areas of learning.
You might not think that one glue stick makes a huge difference, but we get through over 600 a year and when you provide your child with one of these each term it means we can save around £400. And when you add pens and pencils and rulers to that it’s a VERY big difference, so thank you!