The Friends of St James
A very warm welcome to our wonderful school!
We wanted to let you know about the Friends of St James, our school’s Parent Teachers Association, and our role in enriching the learning environment and community at the school.
Each school year our events include summer and Christmas fairs, a kids disco, an Easter egg hunt and parent socials. We also run regular cake and second-hand uniform sales. At our volunteer days, families help clean, tidy, paint and prune around the grounds. Last school year, we hosted a very special event at St James Church – a charity auction and dinner, with live music. We run this event every 2-3 years, selling amazing donated items and experiences.
The Friends is a registered charity run by parent volunteers. Our structure is designed to involve parents in ways that work for them. A small team takes care of admin and planning. Class reps are the link into every class, finding ways that parents can support different events.
The Friends has two main jobs: fundraising and community-building.
Over the past eight years the Friends have raised a remarkable £275,000 for the school, including £75,000 last school year. The money raised goes straight back to St James to benefit all our children. Last year we put our funds towards our class libraries, funded the brand-new key-stage 1 climbing frame, as well as benches, planters, sports equipment, and science lab materials. Soon, we will contribute to new tablets, IT and performance facilities.
We also work to build a vibrant and inclusive school community. Through our events, our goal is to create a warm and supportive atmosphere for children and parents during these formative years.
In recent years, we have helped the school plan and launch an extended hours after-school club, which in turn led to a breakfast club and holiday clubs being offered too. Access to flexible and high-quality childcare, including at short notice, makes a real difference to our families as they balance work and other commitments.
Find out more
If you would like to find out more about the Friends, or to hear more from current parents, please do not hesitate to contact us on email@example.com. We look forward to welcoming you again, as St James parents, in the next school year.
Paul Freeman, Pree Jha, Remi Crisp, & Liam Morton
The Friends admin team
Our 2022/23 activities and impact
Your generosity with time, skills, materials, and financial support continues to enrich the learning environment and experience for St James school pupils. Your support is unlocking ever growing ambition. We’ve reflected some of your support below. Thank you for your support!
The weather wasn’t kind for our 2023 Summer Fair but being nearly as wet as our brave dunk tank volunteers, didn’t deter the crowds or spoil their fun!
Our Promises Auction in June was an incredible evening. More than 90 people enjoyed food and music, with unique items donated by parents and teachers auctioned live and online.
The 2022 Christmas Fair was super popular! Changing the venue from the Church to the school really added to the occasion; it was standing room only for Caroling. You rose to the new venue challenge, with new stall formats and more free activities.
Woodland Easter Egg Hunt; our first off-site devise a fun format and work with the woods authority to make it possible. The weather was reasonably kind and it was lots of fun. More woodland events will follow!
Cake sales continue to be ever popular! Uniform and second-hand sales offer a way to reduce, reuse and recycle. One resourceful Friend landed an amazing deal – selling second-hand uniforms in bulk as costumes for a stage production of Matilda!
The sponsored readathon and matched giving scheme raised an incredible amount. We are so grateful for time spent on sponsored reading and the matched giving! Cranium Craig, and a wealth of other science room and sports equipment was funded by this amazing effort, as was the new key stage 1 climbing frame, recently installed!
Access to expertise
This type of support is incredibly valuable! Over the past year, Friends helped the school with new signage and branding and learning space renovation plans. This benefits the school and frees up budget and staff time for other uses.
The kids have also benefitted from expert dance lessons provided by a school parent dance teacher. Parent led activities also add to our diverse and creative afterschool programme.
Our Breath London science programme bid was successful, thanks to science and media expertise given by Friends. We now have air quality monitoring kit installed onsite. The children get to use the kit and analyse the data in their science lessons, helping inspire the scientists of tomorrow!