At St James Primary School, we offer children opportunities to engage in activities beyond the classroom to further support their personal and spritiual development. It is about the relationships and the values that we consider to be important, as well as the development of knowledge, concepts, skills and attitudes.
Here are just a few of the enrichment activities we offer:
St James Forest School is an exciting place to be! In Forest School the children get the opportunity to experience the outdoors and develop a real sense of outdoor learning and appreciate our environment. The children take part in all sorts of different activities from shelter building, investigating mini bugs, cooking on an open fire, using bush craft tools, learning how to tie knots and telling tales of long ago.
At St James we are currently in the process of developing our forest school areas. We have two log cabins where the children will be able to read, explore and learn in an alternative environment.
The children love being outdoors and gain a greater understanding of the environment and a sense of awe and wonder for the natural world. They are able to develop their physical strength and coordination through demanding fine and gross motor skills activities. Children will often have to cooperate with one another to succeed and as a consequence develop their team building and social skills.
Often children just love being outside and have the opportunity to interact in an exciting, natural environment. They learn to care for nature and living things, and as a church school, this is especially important.
Above all, the children love rolling around in the mud and not getting told off for it!!!
Residential trips from St James are a very important part of the school’s experiences. Residential trips offer a variety of opportunities for the children – from art, dance, music and drama courses to outward bound courses and environmental courses. This variety of opportunities ensures that there is something available to all.
These courses give many children the opportunity to take part in activities they may otherwise never have the chance to participate in. It gives a wider range of experiences to those who flourish in creative and active environments, or who struggle to fulfil their full potential within the classroom.
All the residential trips help to develop team building skills as the children will collaborate with one another to complete projects or tackle problems. The children also develop their independence hugely. Having to take care of their own belongings, make beds, help set tables and have responsibilities teaches them a lot.
For many, these settings are the first time they have stayed away from family or close friends and although often daunting to start with they soon relish the freedom to learn more about themselves, and their teachers!
Currently we alternate Residential sites yearly. Year 3 and 4 will have the opportunity to visit the Frank Chapman Centre and Edgmond Hall. Year 5 and 6 will have the opportunity to visit Plas Gwynant in Wales and Ingestre Hall.
At St James we offer a wide range of lunchtime clubs to ensure that all of our children are having fun and being active throughout the whole school day. Some of the clubs that the children have access to are tfootball club and art club. The children really enjoy them and sometimes discover a hidden talent!
Nurture groups are a short-term, focused intervention for children with particular social, emotional and mental health difficulties which are creating a barrier to learning within a mainstream class.
Nurture groups assess learning and social and emotional needs and give help that is needed to remove the barriers to learning. The relationship between the nurture staff is always nurturing and supportive, providing a role model for children. Food is shared at ‘breakfast’ or ‘snack time’ with much opportunity for social learning, helping children to attend to the needs of others, with time to listen and be listened to.
As the children learn academically and socially they develop confidence, become responsive to others, learn self-respect and take pride in behaving well and in achieving.
Nurture support is not limited to the nurture group, as schools uses nurturing principles and practice at a whole school level, providing appropriate support for all pupils attending our school.
Year 5 pupils have taken part in the Junior PCSO Scheme for a number of years, which is run by West Midlands Police.
Children are taught about the roles of PCSOs within the community. They complete their training and have a range of roles including to help PSCOs monitor anti-social behaviour, litter and parking in the local area. Under the supervision of officers, the children will even be able to issue parking tickets.
A group of Year 4 and Year 5 children worked with Public Health England and DECCA to support healthy lifestyle choices in relation to smoking, and in particular, promoting smoke free gates at school. Children developed their own resources including posters and quizzes to highlight the risks of smoking, including second hand smoke, and even attended parents' evening along with DECCA to offer more information to adults and were wonderful active community citizens.
They learnt about looking after their bodies whilst also promoting how important it is to consider other people's health through the dangers of passive smoking.