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  • Ofsted 'Good' grading praises St James pupil's confidence in their learning

    Published 06/05/24

    "Pupils thrive in this friendly and welcoming school. It is a nurturing and inclusive place in which to learn. The school has high expectations of pupils’ achievements, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). As a result, pupils achieve well."

    After Ofsted visited St James CE Primary in Hanney at the end of February the school is now celebrating official confirmation of its continued status as a ‘Good’ school.  St James, part of the Vale Academy Trust, was last inspected in October 2018 when it was also found to be ‘Good’.

    Inspectors found it to be a ‘friendly and welcoming school’ and ‘an inclusive place in which to learn’. Pupils’ politeness and consideration of others was also noted.

    Headteacher Lucy Ottaway said “Ofsted recognised that we have high expectations of our pupils’ achievements, including those with special educational needs and disabilities, and that everyone is supported to achieve well. Our ambitious curriculum has reading at its heart and provides the stepping stones for building understanding and deep learning.”

    “We are currently in the process of refining assessment in foundation subjects so that we can identify early knowledge gaps and to this end deepen children’s knowledge.”

    “As a result of our staff developing caring relationships with our children, Ofsted reported that our pupils said they feel safe, happy and supported when they might have any worries or concerns.  It’s very heartening to hear this from our pupils.”

    Ofsted commented that through a raft of opportunities both inside and outside of school St James pupils learn how to be thoughtful, responsible members of the community, ‘buddying up’ with younger pupils, raising money for charity and proving themselves to be good role models.

    Ms Ottaway added “I am extremely proud of them all, as I am of my staff, governors, parents and the community that surrounds St James CE Primary. We’ve all played our part in achieving our ‘Good’ grading.”

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  • Foundation Governor Vacancy

    Published 10/02/24

    Foundation governor vacancy

    St James Church of England Primary Academy has a vacancy for a foundation governor. While the whole governing body has agreed to uphold the Christian foundation of the school, a foundation governor has a special responsibility to ensure the Christian ethos, vision and principles are supported and developed in all aspects of school governance and life. Foundation governors are likely to be part of their church community. No experience of the education sector is required.

    Become a governor at St James Church of England Primary Academy
    “There are immediate and lasting benefits to becoming a school governor. In volunteering your time, you are making a positive contribution to the success of your school and are therefore having an impact on the lives of its pupils, staff and the local community.”

    About the school

    St James Church of England Primary Academy is part of the Vale Academy Trust, a family of state funded primary and secondary schools, all located in south Oxfordshire. The Trust is a ‘Multi-Academy Trust’ and as such provides non-selective education for children in the catchment areas served by its schools.

    St James Primary is located between East and West Hanney and provides education for up to 210 pupils from age 4 to 11 plus a nursery. It was last inspected by Ofsted in 2018 when it received a ‘Good’ rating and it received a positive Church (SIAMS) inspection in 2023.
    The Local Governing Body

    The Local Governing Body (LGB) of St James is comprised of 2 foundation governors appointed by the Oxford Diocese, 1 staff governor, 2 parent governor places, and 3 director-appointed governors. The term ‘director-appointed’ refers to governors that are officially appointed by the Board of the Trust, rather than through parent or staff elections. Regardless of type, all governors have exactly the same powers.

    What does the LGB do?

    The LGB has three core functions:

    1. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction for the school

    2. Holding the Headteacher to account for both the educational performance of the school and the performance management of staff

    3. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent

    The Headteacher is responsible for the internal organisation, management and control of the school and the implementation of the strategic plan agreed with the LGB.

    Do I need education sector experience or have children at the school to be a governor?

    Absolutely not. You do need to be committed to your school, willing to ask questions and offer appropriate support and challenge to the Headteacher. As well as the support you’ll get from fellow governors, the Trust runs a full programme of induction, training and tools, and provides ongoing assistance from our dedicated governance team, all designed to help make being a governor as straightforward as possible.

    How much time would I have to commit?

    Governors are expected to attend circa 6 evening meetings of the LGB each year. These typically last around 2 hours each. In addition, the Trust runs governance development sessions on about 4 evenings each year, and encourages all governors to attend as many as possible. These events are a great way to network with governors from other schools, learn about new ideas and receive training in governance matters. Other time commitments will depend on whether you step up to additional roles on the LGB, which could, for example, see you visiting the school on a normal school day to monitor activity and meet with school leaders.

    OK, I’m interested. What next?

    Further information and an application form can be found on the Oxford Diocese Board of Education website:

    Appointing Governors - Oxford Diocesan Board of Education (

    Alternatively contact the school to arrange a conversation:

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  • Fabulous St James Engineering Fair

    Published 10/02/24

    Well done to all the pupils of St James, who produced some brilliant ideas and creating some very inventive protypes for our engineering fair! 

    We look forward to seeing how our winning teams get on at our Trust event at Williams towards the end of next term.




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  • St James helps celebrate VAT 10th birthday!

    Published 10/02/24

    Well done to those pupils who volunteered to perform as part of the Vale Academy Trust 10th Birthday celebrations! An event enjoyed by all! And Happy Birthday to our wonderful Trust!

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  • Amazing fundraising at St James!

    Published 10/02/24

    Our St James community has done an amazing job fundraising for two amazing charities!

    For Helen & Douglas House, a charity that is so important to our community, we raised a massive £1084.30 from Festive Film Club and the Santa Run
    From our Number Day for the NSPCC we raised a brilliant £271.50

    Thank you to everyone for all your support!

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  • Beautiful Christmas Nativity Performance!

    Published 11/12/23

    Well done to Inkpen (Reception) & Rosen (Year 1) classes for such a wonderful performance of the Christmas Nativity! A beautiful performance with wonderful singing, acting and narration! Thank you to everyone who worked so hard on this, to the Helping Hands for providing refreshments and to all the families who supported it by coming along! It was AMAZING!!


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  • Santa fun Run for Helen & Douglas House

    Published 09/12/23

    Well done to all the children who completed the Santa Fun run for Helen & Douglas House! Everyone had so much fun and it brought a wonderful Christmasy atmosphere into school! Thank you so much if you were able to donate some sponsorship money; I know Helen & Douglas House will be so grateful!

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  • residential trip St James' Year 6 joined by st Nicholas pupils for an amazing adventure!

    Published 01/12/23

    Year 6 pupils of St James and St Nicholas CE Primary Schools were so lucky to have the most amazing adventure in Exmoor! The children were all brilliant, showing kindness, courage and determination! An unforgettable experience - and yes we did surf in November!!



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  • Remembrance at St James

    Published 13/11/23

    A week of Remembrance at St James CE school: Starting with a visit in Collective Worship from the Royal British Legion (Chris and Kirstine). The children spent the week supporting the Poppy Appeal. On Thursday the Rev. Alec led a Remembrance Collective Worship. On Friday everyone made a Poppy which some Year 6s made into a school reef, which was shared at Celebration Collective Worship. Then on Remembrance Sunday we were part of the parade through the village to the church, where our school reef was presented as part of the service.


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  • Brilliant SIAMs inspection report for St James CE school!

    Published 04/11/23

    I’m so pleased to share with you our fantastic SIAMs report and say a massive thank you to the amazing pupils, staff, parents, Governors and members of the VAT central team, who supported the process so brilliantly. We have received a judgement 1 - which celebrates ‘that St. James Church of England Primary School is living up to its foundation as a Church school’

    Highlights from the report include:

    “The vision underpins the decision making of leaders. This inspires and supports all pupils, enabling them to feel cherished and successful.”

    “ There are strong partnerships which enhance the vision of the school, supporting the wellbeing of children and adults. These provide a secure foundation for leaders when making courageous decisions”

    “It is clear there is a shared determination to ensure the vision has an impact on pupils’ abilities and character.

    “In line with the vision, all leaders consider the wellbeing of pupils and adults as a matter of great importance”

    “Such care is an example of the vision at work, helping all reach their potential.”

    “Individual pupils who require specialist activities are guided to learn and are valued for their uniqueness. Leaders promote inclusion and equality for all pupils, reinforcing the vision of all being part of ‘the one body.”

    “The school benefits from the strong relationship with the parish of St. James the Great. The clergy team provides weekly ’Open the Book’ inclusive worship that shares a variety of Bible stories. As a result, pupils are able to name their favourite stories and how they relate to being kind.”

    “Through engagement in the trust’s Character and Citizen Award, pupils develop a knowledge of themselves and how they can be courageous advocates. Pupil leadership is strongly encouraged, which develops kindness between ages. For example, new reception children delight in seeing their ‘Year 6 Buddy."

    “St.James Church of England Primary is clearly a place where all are cherished to enable them to flourish. The vision of ‘being one body’ provides all with the strongest possible foundation.”

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  • Harvest Festival celebrated at St James The Great Church

    Published 20/10/23

    We celebrated Harvest Festival at St James The Great Church this week. It was a wonderful service with the children performing poems and songs to a packed church! It was lovely to see the whole school performing and great to see so much food donated for the local food bank. Thank you to Reverend Alec for leading the service and Reverend John for the prayers. Finally thank you to all the families who were able to come and join us in this special celebration service.


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  • Ultimate Frisbee team flying high!

    Published 20/10/23

    St James' 'Ultimate Frisbee' team recently represented the school in flying fashion at a local tournament. Pupils came back full of excitement after the event, having shown some real courage as in some cases this was their first time playing! We were so proud to hear what a supportive team they were and securing second place was amazing! Well done team!

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St James C of E Primary School
OX12 0JN


01235 868232