St James'CE VA Primary School

Creating a school family founded upon Christian values

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

School Closure 2020

On this page, we will publish all relevant updates as we stay closed



Another gloriously sunny day for Rainbow Club. The children started the day with Joe Wicks and then began prepping lunch for us all. On today's menu was a Japanese style katsu curry and yes, it was just as delicious as it sounds! The children also worked on their home learning projects and made kites from scratch using twigs, bags, string and tape - look at T testing his kite out. Luckily the gentle breeze in Biddenham today helped with the launch.

A fun-filled day for Rainbow Club today. We started the day with Just Dance - everyone was up and moving! The children then completed some home learning. Kelly served up another feast at lunchtime - toad in the hole today, with a Yorkshire pudding bigger than the trays. Thanks again Kelly - we are so well looked after. Mrs Pillai and Rainbow Club been working on a beautiful new display to welcome the children as they gradually return to school - take a look at a sneak preview below. Finally, Miss Robson discovered a set of speed stacking cups. Being a former school champion stacker, Miss R just had to give us all a demo. By the end of the afternoon there was an impressive stack created - teamwork!



What a delicious treat - the Rainbow Club chefs prepared vegetarian lasagne today. Just look at how their chopping skills and cookery confidence are improving. Inspired by a webinar with her own children, Mrs Warren led a Picasso masterclass in school this afternoon. The resulting self-portraits are fantastic!

11.5.2020 A busy start to the week for everyone! Rainbow Club kick-started the week with Joe Wicks, they've completed some home learning activities, and after a lovely pizza lunch, have spent the afternoon flying kits and doing a spot of gardening. Meanwhile, Mr Tapley has sanded the last bench which Ms Soulsby will paint, and our Rainbow Garden is beginning to take shape. Lots of updates from home which are just lovely to see, especially your VE Day celebrations. Ms Soulsby has sent home a letter today in response to the Prime Minister's announcement last night, and she will be putting together the plan in response to his aspiration that schools may start to re-open in June. Plus we had a socially distanced visit from some of our friends, who were out on their daily walk, it was just lovely to see you!

8.5.2020 VE Day Bank Holiday and we're happy to stay open for children of our critical workers, including an ex-pupil who we're really pleased to see back at St James'!. The day has started with a Joe Wicks workout, we've decorated biscuits, completed some home learning, had a VE Day picnic and then created some different flying machines. Our latest video 'hope' has been published today - we hope you enjoy it! A few bits of learning from home received today, so good to see what children are getting up to; I'm very impressed with Lily's fantastic handwriting. We've also sent home Ms Soulsby's latest newsletter, with another video challenge and also a request for children to help make sure every member of our team gets a special 'thankyou' for this year's Thank a Teacher Day. Have lovely weekends everyone, we'll be back on Monday!

7.5.2020 Rainbow Club started the day with a yoga session. They then completed some home learning, and then this afternoon, started to paint their mural on the fence, based on the designs they completed last week. Huge thanks to Mr Tapley for organising all this and helping the children create a colourful display. At home, we continue to be impressed with how well you're all getting on with your learning activities, and we just love receiving all your updates - thank you for keeping in touch. Ms Soulsby has also received some very lovely emails from families - thank you for finding the time to share your appreciation and pass on your encouragement and support, which I always share with staff; your friendship at this time is so very much appreciated - thank you! Ms Soulsby's Thursday Shout Out is for Miss Robson; very sadly, Miss Robson's dad passed away recently, but she has returned to school showing such a positive and hopeful attitude, and is just an inspiration to us all - we're all just so pleased to see her back with us. I know you will all join us in wishing Jade and her family lots of love and prayers at this difficult time.  VE Day tomorrow! Some of us will be in school, and will listen out for St James' bells tolling 75 times from 12.00.


Rainbow Club started their day with an energetic Just Dance session. The children then cracked on with some of their home-learning activities. Now that Rainbow Club has settled into a routine, from next week we will be putting a bit more home learning into our mornings. With VE day approaching on Friday the children designed bunting. They then worked together to potato-print onto cotton. Don't the results look fantastic? The children also watched a YouTube video explaining VE day - produced by  the Imperial War Museum. If you haven't seen these clips, they are well worth watching. Amongst the wonderful activities that the staff have been planning for the children and the concentration for home learning, there are some special little moments which shows the children really feel at home here. Sometimes this is the children tapping out a tune on the piano, or sharing a hobby. Today Miss Pillai captured E and T happily helping Kelly out in the kitchen - well done boys!

Rainbow Club created their very own drawing challenge this morning. They allowed themselves 3 colours and each designed a vehicle. The results were discussion about technical drawings, plan views, exhausts and spoilers - complex vocabulary for 9am! Joe Wicks (and his wife) led our daily exercise, which really energises the children for the day. Mrs Doughty had planned another delicious cooking session – todays treat was cheesecake with raspberries, banana and caramel sauce. Tuesday’s are certainly a great day to be in school, the dessert was delicious! In the afternoon, the children created their own Rainbow Club badges. We also had postcard delivered from I. Thank you, it was so lovely to see you and your real-life smile. Thanks for keeping in touch and letting us know how you and E are.

4.5.2020 Rainbow Club kickstarted the week with their Joe Wicks workout (big thanks to Mrs Wicks!). They've spent the day thinking about and planning for VE Day later this week, and have learnt to sing & march as soldiers (Long Way to Tipperary). Some lovely cards arrived in school for Ms Soulsby, which really put a smile on my face - thank you! Elsewhere at home, children are working hard with their home learning - well done. Special mention for O who has raised over £400 for Keech by taking part in a home-based golf tournament - brilliant!

30.4.2020 Rainbow Club have stayed busy despite the nearly non-stop rain today! This morning we made and delivered some cards for our immediate neighbours, just to say hello and bring a bit of cheer. This afternoon, we completed some our home learning, and got together for our assembly, led by the National Oak Academy and featuring the Archbishop of Canterbury, all about Hope. At school, we've had lots of lovely messages: Kitty sent a special present to Mr Renzi (thank you!), and Ms Soulsby had a few thank you messages from children who have received a postcard this week. A has been doing a sterling job at home, helping to collect stamps from Capt Tom Moore's birthday cards. We continue to get lots of examples of your home learning as well, which we just love to see, and we also enjoyed seeing the Pasquariello family today, who braved the cold and rain to wave at the window while out for their exercise, so lovely to see you!This week's Thursday shout out goes to Mr Tapley, who has been working so hard to sand and paint the pallet furniture ready for our new garden area - thanks so much Pat, you've done an amazing job! Our staff have done an amazing job to keep school going for children of critical workers, and we know many of you have expressed to us your thanks, which is just so lovely of you. If you'd like to go one step further, please consider joining in with the National Thank a Teacher Day on 20th May -, and send your child's teacher or LSA or any other member of staff a special, personal message of thanks, they'd all so appreciate it!  Finally, our latest video 'Happy' is ready to go, so keep a look out for the newsletter tomorrow. Huge thanks to every single one of you who sent a clip in, it's a brilliant team effort!


A jam-packed Wednesday with a dance-off, biscuit decorating, den-building and home-learning all before lunchtime. Then as the rain cleared the children enjoyed some time outside and made dream catchers in the afternoon. The St James' family video is in the final stages of editing. The staff had a sneak preview earlier - we think that you are going to love it!

Rainbow club have been cooking up a storm again today! With the help of Mrs Doughty, Kelly, Miss Robson and Mrs Warren, the children made sticky rice with chicken and vegetable stir-fry. What a delicious lunch we all had, thank you Rainbow Club!

27.4.2020 Rainbow Club had a busy morning today building dens and learning the art of flower arranging. After lunch, they completed some home learning and had a good play outside. Today we also celebrated M's birthday - thank you for sharing a lovely cake with us all! Elsewhere, children are staying very busy at home and we just love seeing all your work, thank you for sharing! Particularly exciting are all the butterflies which are now emerging. L&C have sent me a video of their Coronavirus poem, and H has also written his own Lockdown poem - well done! Thank you to all the families who are sending us their dance video clips, I can't wait to start putting these together for our next St James' video - watch this space!

24.4.2020 Rainbow Club played in the mud kitchen today, completed their Joe Wicks work out and then created some 'hugs' which they could send to people. At home, J has been exploring plants in his garden, E & E now have chrysalises at home, and C sent a lovely message to Miss Pillai - we love to receive your messages!

23.4.2020 Rainbow Club have had a great day - they've designed some pictures to be painted onto one of our fences next week, plus they've had a go at tightrope walking, done their Joe Wicks workout and completed their home learning. Thank you to Mr Renzi, Mr Tapley and Mrs Reilly for all their help! We've also loved receiving your messages, updates and photos - you've been very busy indeed, well done! What is lovely to see is just how smiley and happy you are in your photos, you bring us joy! Our Thursday shout out this week is for Mrs Steed, who keeps all the admin-type tasks ticking over during closure, thanks Dawn, we think you're FAB!


Another day fuelled by sunshine! Rainbow Club started their day with Joe Wicks and their home learning. As it's Earth Day today, the children then spent a considerable amount of time outside. They enjoyed a nature hunt, decorated willow crowns, built dens and played hide and seek. 
The staff have been spoilt with delicious treats from two families today. Thank you very much Oliver, Lois, Georgiana and Edi.


Thanks to Mrs Doughty, Mrs Warren and Kelly, Rainbow Club baked their very own bread this morning! They measured ingredients, kneaded, proved, added garlic butter, baked and finally enjoyed with macaroni cheese for lunch! 
The children have been enjoying the sunshine this afternoon. Mrs Doughty has taught M how to make daisy caterpillars. Can you work out from the photograph how it has been made? This caterpillar used 12 daisies. Could you make one with more?

20.4.2020 A strange start to a new term this year! Rainbow Club started off with a Joe Wicks workout, and spent a lot of time in the sun today; Mrs Botrugno organised a scavenger hunt for them. Meanwhile, at home, A's caterpillars are growing well (not long before they transform into beautiful butterflies!). Lots of children are still working at home, M is very proud of all her writing! The teachers have sent home some new home learning packs, which we all hope you enjoy!

Another sunny day for Rainbow Club today. The children kicked off with Joe Wicks and ended the day with a drawing lesson from Rob Biddulph. If you havent tried #DrawWithRob yet, give it a try! In between they had story time courtesy of David Walliams, carefully threaded cereal birdfeeders and worked together to create Andy Goldsworthy inspired natural art. We also had a surprise delivery of an enormous Easter card from Darci - thank you, it is beautiful.

14.4.2020 We hope you enjoyed a peaceful and restful Easter weekend, and that you enjoyed the staff's very special Easter 'gift'! In Rainbow Club today, the children have been learning to draw with Rob and have also been looking after the new seedlings. Elsewhere, Mr Renzi says that there are even more baby fish appearing, possibly as many as 11 babies! Exciting news: Ryan has won a Little Garden Drawing competition, and has won 80 seedling kits for the school - well done & thank you, we can't wait to get them planted! Finally, one of our grandparents sent us a lovely 'thank you ' for school staff which he found on Facebook, we really do appreciate the support we get and we're all so proud to be able to help our critical worker parents at the moment.

9.4.2020 Rainbow Club spent a lot of time outdoors today - they made special bracelets while thinking about all the things for which they are grateful. They also enjoyed a very yummy picnic! Ms Soulsbe received a very special card in the post today, thank you Anna! At home, you are all still very busy, thank you for sending in all your photos! A very special shout out this week to Kelly, who comes in every day to make sure we are all well fed - thank you Kelly!

8.4.2020 Rainbow Club made some special thank you cards for people who work in the supermarkets, we'll be delivering these soon. They also made Easter chocolate crispie cakes! Yum. At home, you're staying busy and we love getting email and Twitter messages from you - please keep them coming!

7.4.2020 Rainbow Club have spent the day learning how to grow their own crystals; they're looking forward to seeing what happens over the next few weeks - thanks to Mrs Doughty & Mrs Warren for organising this. At home, Max has been researching the life of Florence Nightingale, and other children have stayed busy completing their home learning activities and Easter based learning. Meanwhile, the staff are working hard on a special surprise for the this space!!

6.4.2020 Not much contact from home today, which hopefully means you're all having a break from home-school and enjoying the start of your Easter break! I hope you've started to send some postcards to your friends & family & other people who you might not know. D has cooked her own lunch today, which looks yummy! H celebrated Palm Sunday yesterday, which is the start of Holy Week leading up to the Easter weekend. In amongst all this strangeness, Christians have entered into an extremely important week.... Rainbow Club continues this week - Mrs Wilding and Mrs Botrugno have been in and have helped the children to make some papier mache eggs and even tried to fly a kite! Hope you're all staying well!

3.4.2020 Rainbow Club have painted some stones, which will be placed around the village for people to discover, which will hopefully bring a bit of cheer to the day. If you see one, don't move or touch it, take a photo if you can and send it to us! Lots of children working hard at home, sending messages to the special people who are working had to keep us all safe. A & Ps caterpillars are growing well, and Green Jays fish are also doing well - and there's another baby! Lots of other creative learning is taking place at home - look at E & Bs marble run, it's huge! Next week is officially the Easter break - we'll still be opening for Rainbow Club. Teachers will send home more home learning after the break, but if you're stuck for things to do, there's loads of ideas on the Classes page. Please keep sending us your messages, we love hearing from you!

2.4.2020 Rainbow Club had fun devising ways to stop an egg from cracking when dropped - thanks Mr Renzi, Mr Tapley & Mrs Reilly for organising this! They also did some yoga and played some table tennis. At home, we've got lots of busy children - learning about pop art, creating Easter gardens, building dens, cooking, writing, geography, and of course making lots of rainbows! Mr Tapley & Mr Renzi took a maths course via Webinar this afternoon, and the staff got together and zoomed. Staff are also starting to phone families just to check in and stay in touch. Finally, a big shout out to Surjit, who is with us every day making sure the school stays clean for us all - thank you!We hope you are all well and staying busy. We miss you all!

1.4.2020 - No tricks played on me today! Just lots of children being very busy in home and at school. Rainbow Club was quiet today, with just 2 children in school (tomorrow looks busier!) The children created a model of a football stadium, looking forward to when we can all get out and about again. Children at home have been busy with their home learning and also saying thank you to all the wonderful people who are working hard to keep us all safe. We sent out a message today as well, asking children to create beautiful pictures to decorate the new Nightingale Hospital - remember to send us photos of your work before you post it all off. Your pictures will really help people feel better whilst in hospital! Finally, the staff are starting to zoom, so we can keep in touch with each other. We miss everyone! Take good care!

31.3.2020 Ms Soulsby had a work at home day today. Rainbow Club did some gymnastics with Miss Robson. Lots of children have been working hard at home and we love seeing their learning. Thank you cards & posters are also beginning to come in - well done, don't forget to send them/post them all, to help brighten up keyworkers' days, keeping them motivated in their hard work!

30.3.2020 So much to share today! Rainbow Club have completed some of their home learning tasks, made their own lunch, made some dream catchers from natural materials and have had some PE outside, all led by Mrs Wilding and Mrs Botrugno. Lots of children have shared their home learning as well, as well as their rainbows and special letters for key workers - well done everyone, and thank you for sharing. We love to see what you're all up to!

27.3.2020 No children in Rainbow Club today, so Ms Soulsby sent all the staff home so they could be safe, and she has spent the day trying to sort out the administrative tasks linked to making sure those people who are entitled to Free School Meals get their vouchers - it's been a huge job! Some of you have let us know what you've been up to today, it looks like you've had a good day! Thank you for your messages and photos! Ms Soulsby also sent out her newsletter, as usual on Friday. We hope you're all ok, and we'll catch up again on Monday. Take care everyone!

26.3.2020 We really appreciate your messages of support - here's a few, thank you so much! Plus some more rainbows, Rainbow Club have completed some home learning, researched their own topics and created presentations, and are now playing some computer games. Ms Soulsby also 'zoomed' with Canaries children - so lovely to see you all!


I also appreciate all the hard work you’ve done over the past days and weeks to prepare for the school closure. The information you’ve provided will be so helpful. The pencil case and note book are just perfect.

I really hope this situation can be resolved ASAP and he again gets to thrive in his learning at St James soon.

Wishing you good health and luck with the future


Well done, Maria, on all you and your team are doing for the children and for the village at large.

 We see your regular newsletter which are always beautifully and thoughtfully expressed, whatever may have come your way from wherever.

 It is a surreal and most unusual time but we think you and the team are doing a great job in coping particularly with so much being really unknown, and with things changing day by day.

 Take care and stay safe you all! And thank you again for all your amazing efforts.


I wanted to say thank you for the enormous efforts of the school lately with all that is going on. Cannot fully imagine how tough it has been! 

 The school is wonderful and we and the kids will miss everyone a great deal. 

 Hope that everyone keeps well. 

25.3.20 We are absolutely loving all your photos of your home learning, and your home rainbows - you are all really helping to brighten up our community! Rainbow Club joined in with Joe Wicks this morning, and have been busy brightening up our rainbow area - they've been painting the fence, and then have planted some wild flower seeds, all of which will really help brighten up a bit of a boring space! We miss you all and hope everyone is keeping well! Ms Soulsby joined in with Robins' Zoom session, it was so lovely to see you all!  Keep sending us your messages!


Some of our home and school rainbows. Rainbow Club have been making friendship bracelets (and learning how to tie knots!) and building dens outside in the glorious sun! Mr Renzi has been to collect the fish and has taken them home where they will be kept safe (the babies are now in their own nursery). Canaries' reindeer has planted some seeds to grow. Molly has written us a lovely letter! We've also uploaded a screenshot of some links to stories to listen to (sorry it's a screenshot and not links!) Hope everyone is still safe and healthy - please keep sending us your photos and messages!


The children of our key workers have named our reduced provision as Rainbow Club....they've spent the day creating their own rainbows, writing diaries, playing games outside with Mr Tapley & have watched a film. At home, our friends have been making rainbows and joining in with Joe Wicks' morning work out.