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St James CofE Primary and Nursery School

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St James CofE Primary and Nursery School

Aims, Ethos & Vision

Our vision, ethos and aims are at the core of everything we do. They underpin our teaching and learning, and provide an environment which prepares our pupils as confident, happy citizens.




Like the Wise Man who built his house upon a rock (Matthew 7:24-28; Luke 6:46-49), St James Church  of England Primary and Nursery School is built with strong foundations and we encourage pupils to be resilient, like the Wise Man, by tackling all challenges with grit and determination to succeed.  The preface to this story is that everyone who hears these words will be wise.


The school vision is IGNITE, EXPLORE, BELIEVE.



Kindling a love of learning

“Remember to fan into flame the gift that is in you” (2 Timothy 1:6)

Valuing all children as unique, getting to know them as individuals, starting with Home Visits. 

Igniting a spark of interest from the child themselves.  Tailoring our learning around the children’s needs and interests.

Sparking children’s interests ensures that children feel motivated to learn, no matter what their background and previous knowledge.


Discovering the wonder of the world around

“How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!

How vast is the sum of them!

Were I to count them,

They would outnumber the grains of sand –

When I am awake, I am still with you.” (Psalm 139:17-18)

Valuing explorative learning opportunities.

Links to our Learning behaviour characters.

Links to our local area – exploring Dartmoor and lots of outdoor learning experiences.  Links to our history in Okehampton – the St James from Victorian times.  Links to our symbol – the shell and St James on a pilgrimage.

We want children to see learning as an adventure that they will undertake for life.


Inspiring high standards, self-confidence and faith in something greater than ourselves

Everything is possible for him who believes. Mark 9:23

We believe that everyone can achieve their full potential and have high expectations for all pupils.

Developing children’s self-belief and self-confidence as well as mental and physical health.

Believing in our community and local support.

Our belief in God to guide us to be the best that we can be.


School Values



In the Jordan River (Luke 3)

Wind and fire (Acts 2)

A voice in the night (1 Samuel 3)
Body/mind/spirit where children are lamps to be lit, not jugs to be filled.  Thriving to become the best that you were meant to be.

Helpers and friends (Luke 5 and 6)

Best friends (1 Samuel 18-20)

Community links with the seven churches within Okehampton;

Ethos of being part of a team, of belonging.
Joyful Celebrations

A wedding party (John 2)

The lost coin (Luke 15)

Solomon (1 Kings 1-8)

Celebrating events in the Christian and other faith calendars, as well as achievements;

All Welcome

The children (Matthew 19. Mark 10, Luke 18)

Naaman (2 Kings 5)

Inclusivity, everyone is equally important.  Welcoming to all.


Mental Wellbeing

The lost son (Luke 15)

A surprise visit (Genesis 42-46)

Hope, mindfulness and forgiveness encompassing prayer.


The woman who could not stand up (Luke 13)

A small man (Luke 19)

Ruth (Ruth 1-4)

Kindness, caring and compassion towards all living creatures


One touch (Mark 5 and Luke 8)

The blind beggar (Mark 10)

Spending the night with lions (Daniel 6)

Linked to St James – “faith isn’t worth anything, if it isn’t put into action.”


Our Ethos


A Christian ethos is at the heart of our school community but we embrace and learn from other religions, cultures and beliefs.


Our Aims


We aim for our children:


  • To be happy, self-confident and resilient;
  • To become responsible, mindful, caring and active members of the community and the wider world;
  • To be able to think and learn independently and develop a love of learning;
  • To feel included and be supported to flourish as unique individuals;
  • To be equipped with the learning and life skills needed to keep themselves safe and well prepared for the future and able to positively contribute to society.


The school pursues the highest standards of achievement and personal development within a climate that values the unique talents of everyone associated with the school. We promote a caring approach to teaching, encouraging good behaviour and developing a sense of right and wrong. Above all, we seek to recognise the special gifts of each individual.