School’s friends raise a fair sum

BIG BOOST ... the Mayor and Mayoress joined puipils from St James RC Primary School at their summer fair.
BIG BOOST ... the Mayor and Mayoress joined puipils from St James RC Primary School at their summer fair.

PARENTS and teachers are working in partnership to boost the learning environment at a South Tyneside school.

Money is being invested in St James RC Primary School in Solway Road, Hebburn, thanks to the efforts of a new fundraising group.

The Friends of St James is staging numerous events to improve the school and its facilities.

The latest venture was a summer fair, where special guests included the Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside, Coun Jim Sewell and his wife, Rosemary.

With parental and community support, the fair raised about £1,300.

The Friends of St James was formed earlier this year by parents and teaching staff to replace the Kids Under Cover group, which was previously run by teachers and raised thousands of pounds for outdoor equipment.

Headteacher Martin Clephane said: “A brand new bike shelter has been built so the children can now cycle to and from school, and the yard has new play equipment, so they can play structured games at break times.

“The aim of the new group is to raise further funds to buy equipment to enhance health and wellbeing for the children of St James.

“The children were asked what they would like to aim for next, and they suggested a covered outdoor area to shelter them from the heat or cold during break times.”

Events organised by the new group so far have included an Easter disco and raffle, a spellathon, art competition and last Friday’s summer fair.

Mr Clephane added: “The group is a great example of the school and parents working in partnership to make a better environment for our children to enjoy throughout their learning journey.

“I would like to take this opportunity to say a big ‘thank you’ to the Friends of St James group, the staff at St James, everyone in the area who has donated gifts for us to raffle, and to our parents who continually support us.”

The Friends of St James group meets at the school every two months, and new members are welcome.