St James'CE VA Primary School

Creating a school family founded upon Christian values

  • love
  • hope
  • peace
  • joy
  • forgiveness
  • compassion
  • honesty
  • patience
  • perseverance
  • koinonia

Head Teacher Welcome


I am so proud to be the Head Teacher of this special Church School. Every one of our children is special, and their welfare and learning is at the heart of everything we do. We have a commitment to the highest standards and highest quality of our work and in our lives, which is shared throughout our school family.

Our school is small in size, but big in heart and ambition—we know that when children feel safe and well looked after, they will flourish and grow as learners . We know our children and their families well, it is this close relationship, in tandem with Quality First Teaching, that ensures each child achieves their personal best.

Our children are proud of their school, which can be seen in the way in which they learn, care for and support each other and the way in which they look after their environment. We aim to work in partnership with our families, supporting their important work as the first educators for their child. We are well supported by our Governors, and enjoy good relationships with our local village, our Church, the Local Authority and our Diocese.

Choosing a school for your child is an important decision, and to help you in that decision making, we welcome families to come and visit. Please telephone the school office to make an appointment.


With very best wishes,


Maria Soulsby


Maria has enjoyed a varied career and has been a Head Teacher since 2004; St James' is her third headship, all in Church Schools. She has taught in Junior and Primary Schools Bristol and Berkshire, teaching year groups throughout Key Stages 1 and 2. She joined St James' in 2015 following her move back to Bedford, and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to our school.

She qualified as a teacher in 1990 at Bath Spa University, and holds a Dip H.E., B.Ed (Hons), and NPQH. In her early career she was a Literacy specialist, however, her great passion now is for maths. She has been a SENDCo previously, and has led a variety of subjects including English, maths, history, music, dance, RE and PSHME. She was a Leading Teacher for maths, has provided coaching and mentoring for new Heads, worked with the Department of Education on developing approaches for assessment, has led training for Local Authorities and the Diocese of Oxford, was involved in piloting the new SIAMS Inspections for the National Society and even features in a DVD training resource for clergy working with schools!  Maria was invited to become a Fellow of the Chartered College for Teaching in December 2019, in recognition of her work throughout her 30 year teaching career.