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Here are the posts for 2013

Creepy Crawly Christmas

Cracking Creepy Crawly Christmas

The brilliant year 4 play was in the St. James Junior School hall. This wonderful play was on 10th December 2013. This is a play about a young caterpillar on a quest to return a star in the sky. All of year 4 were in it. If you weren’t there shame on you! Because it was epic.

The fleas were amazing with their gymnastics performance and so were the flies with their violins. We also had a surprise in the last scene. There was lots of fantastic dancing and lots of brave solo’s and duet singing. It was very funny and Mr. Smith said our singing was fantastic! Also Mr. Tutt said it was one of the best plays ever.

Report by Scarlett, year 4.

JS - 12 December 2013 14:56 - GeneralTrinity Theatre Puppeteers

Trinity Theatre Puppeteers Perform Hansel & Gretel.

On Tuesday the 26th November, puppeteers came from the Trinity Theatre to perform the tale of Hansel & Gretel at St. James Junior School. After lunch the two puppets and puppeteers came and introduced themselves. Hansel was good at chess and mathematics and Gretel was good at Karate. Trinity changed the story a bit by adding Waitrose in Ashdown Forest and they added a crow as a narrator. Once the puppet show was over the actors came out and answered questions. One of the puppeteers asked if anyone wanted to be an actor, there were quite a few people who raised their hand. The puppeteer said you have to work really hard to be an actor and have to keep on trying. My favorite part in the show was when the crow was in Waitrose. I thought the play was really good and it was very funny.

Report by Eden, year 5.

JS - 28 November 2013 14:23 - GeneralMaidstone Museum

Year 5 trip to Maidstone Museum

On Wednesday 6th November, the whole of Year 5 went to Maidstone Museum to learn about the Ancient Egyptians. The first thing we did was to split into groups. The first group went to learn about mummification in the Great Hall while the second group went to round the museum to look at the artifacts; the third group went to mummify an orange! The group in the Great Hall organized the stages of mummification then looked at some artifacts that were 3000 years old and some that were just replicas on the different stages. After that they went into a circle again and observed some real parts of Egyptian mummies such as two hands, one belonging to a boy and the other to a girl, a foot & a cats head.

The second group went to see Egyptian exhibits. There were lots of interesting objects, such as real canopic jars and a mummified bird and cat’s head. Strangely there was some Victorian pottery there as well! At the end of the corridor was a little chapel with a real dead body. Her name was Ta-Kesh and she was the daughter of the doorkeeper of Osiris. We predicted she was about sixteen years old. There was also some real hieroglyphics on a piece of Ancient Egyptian papyrus. The museum thought it was from the Book of the Dead which helped a dead person get into the afterlife. We also saw the Victorian clothes section, (which was full of interesting and funny clothes), the dinosaur section (that roared!) a wildlife section full of dead and stuffed creatures, and a section on World Wars which was stuffed with medals and achievements.

The third group went to a room to mummify oranges. The first stage was to make a hole in the top of the orange and then hollow out the inside. The next stage was to fill the orange with cloth, bicarbonate of soda and salt. The last stage was to wrap the orange neatly with bandages. Then we were told to take them home and put them in a warm and dry place for 2 weeks.

All the groups got to take part in all the activities and have lunch.
All in all we had an excellent day out and would love to go again. Thank you to Miss Mallion and Mrs Holwell for organizing it.

Report by Sophie & Tilly

JS - 14 November 2013 15:25 - GeneralExpansion Plans Update

During last term, the Governing Body set up a School Expansion Working Group comprising the Head Teacher, the Chairman of the Governors and four other governors, including two parent governors. The Group met with the Kent County Council (KCC) Project Manager and the Architect on 9 and 21 October and will continue to meet on a regular basis until the expansion has been completed.

Formal planning consent for the building works, which include a new four classroom block, was granted on 17 October. Six contractors have been invited to tender for the works; two will be selected for interview before Christmas and the successful contractor will be appointed in early January. KCC anticipate that work will begin during the February half term holiday with the new classroom block ready for use by the start of the Autumn Term.

Additional information on the expansion plans can be seen in our Expansion Plan Pages

- 8 November 2013 11:45 - GeneralVictorian Afternoon

Our Victorian School Afternoon

Firstly we got changed into our Victorian outfits. Lots of us had lovely outfits that actually looked real! After we got changed we got told that we were going to be having a Victorian playtime. Mr. Smith told us how the children would have played and that a lot of the games included skipping, hoop games and other various old fashioned games. I played Granny’s footstep with my friends. After playtime we had a small drill. The girls had to walk whilst balancing books on their heads, while the boys had to march in rows.

We got into the hall and said a prayer and then said the Lord’s Prayer altogether.
Afterwards, we started our first lesson: Handwriting. We wrote in our copy books and just had to copy letters, not write sentences or anything like that. I did well with my handwriting. My letters were neat and looked quite identical to the printed letters at the top of the page. All the left handed people had to write right handed. I enjoyed our handwriting very much even though I was quite worried I did not do it right.

Everyone did ok on their handwriting but only two people got told that they had to write either neater or right handed.  

We then did math’s work. We had to say our times tables out loud, but you were not the only one, everyone did it at the same time. Mr. Smith asked me what 11 x 12 is and I really muddled my words up. Firstly I said that the answer was 121 but then I knew I got that very wrong so I changed my mind. I then said 131 and I chose that as my answer.

My brain got muddled up and I got worried. Mr. Smith asked Emily what 11 x 12 was and she said 132. I then knew I was one number out. I got told I had to wear the dunce’s hat. I started to have a tear in my eye but I never cried because otherwise I would look silly in front of everyone. Mr. Smith sounded really angry and everyone could probably agree with me.

I walked over to the front of the hall to put the dunce’s hat on. I started to laugh a little bit but luckily I did not laugh loudly! I put on the white dunce’s hat that I could not feel when it was on my head. The black dunce’s hat looked much better than the white one but who cares!!

After the math’s we had a reading lesson. A few people got called out to the front but no one knew what it was for. My name did not get called out so I could stay safe in my seat. We then found out that the people who were out the front had to say a sentence from a piece of paper how many times Mr. Smith and Miss. Baker told them to. After every one had said their sentence they had to say a row of words that were at the top of their sheet. They had to say about three to four words. Then after they all said their words they had to sit down.  When they sat down a few more children got called out to the front to read out a sentence and a few words. This time I hoped I would not get called out just in case I did not say something correct. Then again I did not get called out to the front.

We started to do some word problems. Mr. Smith called out some math word problems. I could only work out two answers because the rest were hard. If you asked everyone if the word problems were hard they probably would say yes. Most of us said “I don’t know sir” if they did not know the answer. Only a few people had to be the dunce’s hat, so in the end I was not the only one!

Soon after, Mr. Smith read out a poem to us that we could follow along with, because it said it on paper on the board. We read out the poem altogether and then some children’s names got called out to answer a question about the poem. I did not get called to answer a question this time either.

I had a good afternoon and enjoyed it very much. I found out that there is a difference between Victorian times and now days.
Written by Emilie, Year 6.

JS - 7 November 2013 14:07 - GeneralYear 4 Visit Drusillas

Our Trip to Drusillas

Year 4 visited Drusillas as part of their African Topic; Report by Tess.

We went onto the coach at about 9:30am and everyone was buzzing with excitement. After that everyone started to sing songs. Eventually we got to the zoo and everyone was shouting ‘Drusillas!’ The first thing that my group saw was mice living in a painted house. Each group were given three things: a stamp book, a Zoolympics book and an information sheet. The second animal that I saw was a python and it was really big! Next to his case I saw a chameleon which was bigger than I thought. After, we went into a room and learnt about the Maasai tribe who live in Africa. The best bit was when I got to dress up infront of the class. Also, we got to feel animal skins. After our snack we had a look at the Fennec Foxes and they were so cute! Then we had lunch with all the other groups and afterwards we got to go in the maze and on the adventure playground.

JS - 7 November 2013 14:00 - GeneralWelcome to our new teachers

Welcome to our new teachers.

We are delighted to welcome three new teachers to St James’ Junior School. Harriet Butler, Holly Mallion and Vicky Baker all started with us at the beginning of term and we feel very lucky to have them as a part of our team. Vicky is teaching in Year 6, Holly in Year 5 and Harriet in Year 4. They have made a great start to the term and look forward to working together in the weeks and months to come.


JS - 19 September 2013 14:37 - GeneralBig Little Award

Big Little Award July 2013.

Donated by the Little Family when their children left the school, this shield is awarded to two children in year 5 at the end of each year. The award is for constantly looking on the bright side and for showing outstanding levels of thoughtfulness, kindness and consideration during the year. The award was presented by the Head teacher to Ollie B and Olivia C. Congratulations to both children who had big smiles and were delighted to receive their award. They were awarded certificates, and will share the shield over the year.

JS - 24 July 2013 11:19 - GeneralPirates of the Curry Bean

Pirates of the Curry Bean - Year 6 Panto 2013. 

This summer’s Year 6 production was a swashbuckling adventure starting in Old London Docks and ending on the tropical island of Lumbago in the Sea of Sciatica.  We are guided through a plethora of puns by the mischievous pirate Deadeye who has a taste for stirring things up.  He introduces us to the local landlady Pearl Periwinkle and her children who find a treasure map.  They encounter Captain Redbeard (don’t call it pink) and the smelly pirates of The Curry Bean - the ship which always has the wind behind it!   After insults from the cheeky parrot Squawk, the safe is blown and the map and Pearl (’Grab the bag!’) are taken.  Jack, Liza and their rat-catching cat Fiddlesticks persuade Captain Cod of HMS Crunchy Frog to help them in the pursuit.   We meet the hilarious Scuttle and Slack, the delightful Admiral Hornhonker, the chaotic crew, the short-sighted lookout, Lofty, and the ship’s barber-surgeon Cutthroat Clegg.  Thanks to some meddling by Deadeye, the two ships meet and a battle ensues.  A storm washes everyone ashore on Lumbago and they meet monkeys, natives and their chief Wonga.  After a fishy blow to the head (administered by Pearl) Wonga’s memory returns and the Periwinkle family is reunited; Stanley Periwinkle (Wonga) is none other than the infamous pirate Swaggersword.  Scuttle and Slack arrive with the treasure chest and it only remains to punish Redbeard with a close shave.


‘The Pirates of the Curry Bean’ was greatly enhanced by the fantastic piano-playing of Mr Smith, the new coloured lights, and the terrific props assembled by Mrs Gilman, Mrs Lewis and Mrs Simkins and the brilliant direction by Mrs Holwell.


Congratulations Year 6!  You performed wonderfully – with ‘piratical style’!


JS - 19 July 2013 11:52 - GeneralHever Castle

On 11th July year 5 went on a school trip to Hever Castle.


We had a tour of the castle and the tour guides were very nice. They showed us around the castle thoroughly and we learnt a lot about it. Most of us liked the instruments of torture, especially the masks. The statues of Henry VIII and his wives were amazing. We learnt a lot.


After the tour we had lunch by the lake and were invaded by ducks wanting to be fed! They were as hungry as us.


Eventually we went to the water maze. Most of us got completely soaked, but it was great fun! Then we needed a warm place to dry off, although on a scorching hot day like that one, it was easy to find. Soon we were relaxing by a fountain and were reluctant to get up to leave.


In a short time we had devoured ice-creams and were playing in the adventure playground, where there was a big wooden adventure maze.


It was a great school trip.


JS - 18 July 2013 11:21 - General End of Year Music Concert

End of Year Music Concert July 2013.

On Tuesday 9th July, parents were invited to an afternoon of music and singing.
The choir began the afternoon singing ‘I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing’ and ‘My Way’. Then followed violins, solos on piano, flute, saxophone & drums. Some children were brave enough to sing solo. Many varied pieces of music were played ranging from, ‘Swan Lake’, ‘Bring Me Sunshine’ & ‘Shine Bright Like A Diamond’. The choir joined the top recorder group with a rendition of ‘I’ve Got Rhythm’. The concert ended with the choir singing ‘Lullaby of Broadway’, which has become their favourite piece of this year.

JS - 16 July 2013 13:49 - GeneralSports Day

Sports Day - 4th July 2013.

The day started with the Strictly Cool Dancers performing their dance to everyone. Children then got into their teams; Wellington in red, Livingstone in green, Nelson in blue and Scott in yellow.  The groups for the field events, which took place in the morning, were made up with a boy and girl from each year group.  Each group rotated round the 8 field events; Bean bag target, hockey, hop, step & jump, 5 strides (which had to be changed to a relay when the grass became slippery due to the heavy drizzle!) golf, shotput, over & under ball relay and netball shooting.  Each group collected their scores and points awarded for sportsmanship.  At the end of the morning all score cards were collected in.  Everyone then had lunch and although the morning had been dull, overcast with some heavy drizzle the sun came out in the afternoon in time for the parents to arrive to watch the track events which started at 1.15pm.  The PTA were on hand with refreshments for parents and also provided all the children with ice lollies at the end of the afternoon.  The track events started with the Bean Bag & Hoop race followed by, skipping, egg & spoon, bowl a hoop, the toddlers race, the Mums race, lots of Dads took part in their race.  It was then the distance race & sprints before the final relay races.  Mr Tutt then announced the results.  The winners of the Field Events were Nelson, they were presented with the cup.  The winners of the Track Events were Livingstone, who were also the winners of the Sportsmanship, they were presented with both cups. 

JS - 7 July 2013 10:52 - GeneralIsle of Wight

Isle of Wight 2013.


After an early start, we got stuck in traffic on M25, but then had a super crossing and arrived in time for lunch.  All groups did 2 activities in the afternoon, including problem solving, jacobs ladder, aeroball, cat walk, quad biking & archery.  Children now taking part in evening activities. Very weak internet signal, so apologies for lack of photos.


After a good nights sleep, we woke to see the sun trying to break through, however, at lunchtime we were still waiting for it!  Activities including archery, quad biking, sensory trail, Jacobs Ladder & climbing have taken place and chalet inspection took place before lunch. 

The sun shone in the afternoon, some great outdoor climbing, problem solving & lots of bouncing in aeroball was done.  The day ended with tales and songs round the camp fire.  Looking forward to canoeing in the morning.


A great morning with all groups out at sea canoeing and kayaking, the sun shone and everyone had a good time. After lunch, with the sun still shining, fencing, low ropes, abseiling, cat walk, quad bikes & sensory trail.  In the evening everyone took part in The Great Egg Race, which was great fun.


The sun continues to shine on us, all groups had a good morning in the sunshine.  Activities included abseiling, archery, sensory trail, cat walk, fencing & low ropes.  All groups looking forward to dragon boating after lunch. A good afternoon of activities.  Sadly the rain arrived late afternoon, but group photos still took place prior to the disco. 


Everyone packed and cleared their cabins and had breakfast before leaving Little Canada at 9.15am, in the rain.  We headed to Osbourne House and spent the morning there before getting the ferry back to Portsmouth and heading home.  Everyone had a great week.

JS - 24 June 2013 20:07 - GeneralLetter from Governors re Ofsted

Dear Parents,

You are aware that the school was inspected by Ofsted last week. We'd like to thank those of you who took the time to answer the Parent View questionnaire or wrote to the inspection team. We'd also like to say a big thank you to your children who showed off their school at its best.

Mr Tutt and some of the governors received immediate feedback from the inspectors at the end of the two day inspection. All teachers and governors are now aware of the outcome.

Regrettably, we are unable to share this with you at this time. We have been strongly warned by the Lead Inspector that all feedback should remain confidential until the results have been quality assured. We have been told that this process is likely to take at least two weeks and that the report itself will most likely be published in about four to six weeks' time. We will have the opportunity to comment on any points of factual accuracy before publication.

As soon as we are able to share the outcomes with you we shall. In the meantime we would be very grateful if you didn't approach governors or teachers to ask about the outcome.

Thank you once again for your support during the last week.

Yours faithfully

The Governing Body

JS - 19 June 2013 15:34 - GeneralExpansion Update May 23rd

Expansion update from The Governors 23.05.13

Dear Parents,

We now have some more information about the school expansion which we are able to share with you.

As you are aware we are moving to a three form entry of 90 children in total from September 2013. It is not possible to have a satisfactory new build in place before then and so as an interim measure the school will be using the current science room as an additional classroom. The school has been given a small sum of money to improve the room for this use and this will be spent on furniture and sound-proofing.

The use of the science room is temporary - for one academic year only. We have made it clear to KCC that we expect this room to be returned to its original use as soon as the new facilities are completed. KCC have agreed to this and we are completely confident that we will permanently retain this room for its original function.

Today the governors received a presentation from KCC and GDM architects. GDM architects have been selected through a tendering process to supply proposals for the new build. They presented to us some outline proposals for a four-classroom, two-storey building (with ancillary features such as lavatories and cloakrooms) which would be located in the bank between the current school building and the playing field. Their plans are still subject to some considerable change and propose to include increased staff accommodation and improved access to the current building as well. Much of this building work could take place off-site as the construction, although substantial, is modular in design.

We are impressed with the design. We are pleased with its aesthetic and practical considerations and we support the initial plans that have been shown to us. However, there are still several hurdles to jump and we will not have detailed and definitely feasible plans until towards the end of June. At this stage KCC and GDM architects have said that they will be pleased to meet with parents with the plans that will be submitted to KCC Planning Committee for consideration in July 2013.

Should planning permission be granted in July/August it is anticipated that work will begin in September 2013. We will have more details about the project plan in June.

We will make sure that we give you as much notice as possible of when the meeting with KCC and GDM will be, although we anticipate that this will be in the last week of June.

Yours faithfully

Governing Body, St James' Junior School

JS - 23 May 2013 13:35 - GeneralPresentation of Football League Trophy & Shield

St James 'A' & 'B' Football Teams both win their Leagues.

Carl Roberts & Glyn Hayward from MSporti attended Celebration Assembly to present the ‘A’ League Football Trophy. Carl is the West Kent Schools Football Manager and runs all the football leagues. He presented St. James 'A' Team with a fantastic trophy for winning the ‘A’ Team League, which they won on goal difference. Thomas M was the top scorer with 7 goals. The team played against some very tough teams; St. Johns, Southborough, Pembury, Paddock Wood and Claremont who were last years winners, but St. James managed to win the match against them.

Team; Jamie H, John C, Thomas M, Archie B, Thomas K, Martin, Raf & Jamie RW.

Glyn Hayward was present to represent NLCA who sponsored the league and announced that each member the winning team would receive a free Champions Pass, worth £60, to attend a holiday course in May half term to play football at Tunbridge Wells Boys Grammar School.

For more information you can follow these links to Msporti and NLCA

St. James 'B' Team win the 'B' League

St. James' 'B' Team won the final match of the season on Friday 3rd May.  They played in the final against Paddock Wood and won 4-0.  The shield was presented to the Captain, Jasper in Celebration Assembly. 

Team; Meet, Dominic, george E, Ollie, Jasper, Cyrus, Dan, Charlie, Max, Owan & Oscar.

Both teams had a fantastic season.

- 9 May 2013 10:12 - GeneralStrictly Cool Dancing

Strictly Cool Dancing 2013. - 27th March at Tonbridge School.

Children from every year group performed a fantastic group dance entitled ‘Globe Trotters’ at the annual Strictly Cool Dancing Festival. The judges were very impressed and said ‘who needs a geography lesson when you can have that’ and ‘wow’. Unfortunately we did not get through to the dance off. Hopefully next year will be third time lucky!

Thank you to Mrs Raistrick who choreographed and coached the dancers.

JS - 18 April 2013 15:00 - GeneralGoodbye Mrs Eriksen & Miss Church

The school had to say goodbye to two of our teachers this week.

Lizzie Eriksen, who teaches class 3A, left this week after nearly 17 years at our school. Throughout that time Mrs Eriksen has taught in Year 3 and given children the best possible start to their time at St James'. She was a hugely positive presense within the school, working hard for the children and the staff for whom she cared very deeply. She will be sadly missed by us all.

Sarah Church who teaches class 4A also left this week, as she is moving to Cambridge with her fiance. She has worked at the school for the last 8 years. Sarah has been a fantastic asset to our school, both in the classroom as an outstanding teacher and in the wider life of the school by running various after school activities. Her constant positvity and cheerful good humour will be missed by all of us at the school when we return after the Easter break.

We thank both teachers for their years of dedicated service to our school and wish them well for their future lives after St James'

J. Tutt, Head Teacher



JS - 28 March 2013 12:49 - GeneralWorld Book Day Celebrations

World Bood Day Celebrations at Waterstones with Mara Bergman.

As part of our World Book Day celebrations Year 4 went to Waterstones' book shop in Tunbridge Wells on Friday 8th March.

The author and book editor, Mara Bergman, read some of her stories to the children and also explained how she goes about writing her books. She showed us her first non-fiction book about seahorses which took her more than ten years to get published from her initial idea!  We also looked at all the differnt stages her books go through.  Everyone loved the tiny paper version of the book which the illustrator made!

JS - 13 March 2013 14:39 - GeneralOlympic Legacy Day Feb

Olympic Legacy Day February 2013

A group of children from year 5 were lucky enough to be chosen to take part in an Olympic style taster day as part of the Kent Schools Sports Legacy scheme.
We spent the day at Tonbridge Angel Centre taking part in activities as diverse as sitting volleyball, handball, fencing and Judo and were coached by highly qualified coaches who really put us through our paces.

“The Judo was great fun because we were able to throw ourselves and our friends about without getting told off!”

In Handball we practised the skills and learnt how to play the game before having a go. It was really fast and fun.

Most people enjoyed the fencing. We had to put on lots of protection before we were allowed to get anywhere near the foils. The coach made sure we knew how to move and it is very technical, but I loved it when we were finally allowed to go up against my friends. On guard!

The sitting volleyball was an exciting game too. We had to keep our bottoms on the floor and move around like crabs! We learned how to play the game, how to serve and then how to play as a team. We then had a great time playing with a balloon although we did get to try with a real volleyball.

Overall it was a fantastic day and all of us came back to school very tired but enthusiastic about the things that we had done and would love to have another go.

Taking part; Aidan, Hannah, Fin, Euan, Millie, Nathan, Lauren, James, Jessica & Ollie.

Thank you to Miss Gibson and Mrs Dick-Cleland for taking us. Mrs Waller for organising the day and both Mrs Waller and Mrs Lewis for driving the mini-bus.

JS - 28 February 2013 14:43 - GeneralNigel Hinton opens library

Author, Nigel Hinton opens refurbished School Library

On Thursday 31st January 2013, author Nigel Hinton, visited the school and joined in our Celebration Assembly, before officially opening the newly refurbished library. After receiving a Head Teachers sticker, to the amusement of everyone, he read Beaver Towers Mission to Kent, a book he wrote for Kent schools a few years ago. Following the assembly Nigel Hinton, with the help of some pupils, cut the ribbon to the library. He then spent time looking at books with children, and signed copies of his Beaver Towers books which will be in the library.

The PTA raised money to cover the costs of the exciting transformation and have also donated £2,000 for new books. Designed by Jo Smith, the library is a modern and fun haven with brightly coloured walls and furniture, stylised graffiti, giant scrabble letters and inspiring quotations. Other parents lent a hand to bring the concept to life by putting bookshelves together.

Head teacher Mr Tutt explained "We have moved from 'magnolia-land' to the 21st century and made our library a place the children will want to be. Reading is one of our key focuses and this year we aim to develop the children's love of books and reading. We involve the children in making decisions about their school and choosing which books go in their library seemed an obvious project. After all, they are the experts about what children enjoy."

The refurbishment also includes updating the book stock. A group of children took a trip to Waterstones Book shop in Tunbridge Wells to choose new fiction and non-fiction titles and families have been invited to donate a new copy of a favourite book.

JS - 31 January 2013 14:30 - General
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