Our Church & Our Community

The Symbol of St. James the Great

The scallop shell is the traditional emblem of Saint James and has long been the badge of pilgrims on the way to the burial place of Saint James in Compostela in Spain. Medieval Christians making a pilgrimage to see Saint James’ shrine often wore a scallop shell as a symbol and, when carried, would present themselves at resting places along the way where they could expect to be given as much sustenance as they could pick up with one scoop.

The link between Saint James and the scallop can be traced to the legend that the disciple once rescued a knight covered in scallops or an alternate version that the horse of a knight fell into the water and emerged covered in shells whilst carrying the body of Saint James.

Our Church - One Community

St James the Great Church in Chapelthorpe and our school have formed a strong partnership of trust, friendship and mutual learning, involving regular visits to and from church throughout the year. Although the pandemic has meant that we were not able to physically visit the Church, we retained our links and had worships, led by Reverend Kevin, through Zoom. We have enjoyed being able to go back to Church this year, both celebrating children's work, as well as children being able to take part in Church services.

We have aimed to take our 'Ready for the Future' vision into our local community. During the pandemic, our community work has been limiited, but we have continued our links with the local Church through the following activities:

UNDERSTANDING COMMUNION - Reverend Kevin leads the children through the meaning of communion, the significance of the service and show them how communion is given. All children in KS2 visit church. Our KS1 and reception children share a special act of worship in the school hall.

COLLECTIVE WORSHIP - Reverend Kevin leads half termly worship at St James.

CHRISTMAS CARD COMPETITION - Our annual competition to outline 'what Christmas means to me'.

HARVEST FESTIVALS - Our school visits church to be thankful for all we have and to bring together our collective offering for St. Catherine's Foodbank in Wakefield.

HOLY WEEK - 'THE STATIONS OF THE CROSS' Together with the help of our friend, Reverend Kevin, the children represented the story of Jesus' journey during holy week leading towards his resurrection on Easter Sunday. In 2022, the stations that were in place in school were revised and recreated to form a journey through our school offering those who read the chance to reflect upon the values within them. These stations were shared with St James the Great church and our work culminated in our annual EASTER SERVICE at church where everyone in school attended. The stations were gifted to the Church and are there for the local commuity to see and enjoy.

Next year we, we look forward to resuming other annual celebrations that we have been unable to complete this year, including:

UNDERSTANDING BAPTISM - Reverend Kevin leads the children through the baptism service and its meaning. The children can watch the service and take part in some of the rituals.

CELEBRATION CHRISTMAS CONCERTS - our annual end of term celebration to celebrate the coming of our Lord and the hope it offers us during the season of advent.

THE TREASURES OF THE CHURCH - Previously, Reverend Kevin and Mrs Butterworth worked together to design a 'treasure hunt' at church to unearth the detail behind everything you see. Every child had the opportunity to take part in this as their class made a special visit to the church. We will look to revisit this again next year, as it is important that all children know and understand not only what a Church is, but what makes a Church.


Pre Covid-19, the school completed work in understanding what makes a community and how the school can support its local community. Below is a brief summary of this work:

MARA COMMUNITY VISIT 'FUND RAISING' 2017/2018 - Mr Wildey was given the opportunity to attend our partner region (Mara) and visit our partner school (Ragata) in February 2019. In order to make this happen, the church and school set about fundraising in order to cement those links and understand more about how we can help and learn from each other. Mr Wainwright, our local community historian, led a week long Crigglestone/Sandal/Durkar archive and local history event in school during the Summer break. Across each of the 10 hour days our school welcomed the community to know more about our past, research family history and at the same time raise funds for the community visit. The event was such a success that the target for the visit was exceeded by the end of the event. Mr Wainwright was wonderful, as usual, and it is great to see our vision in community firmly in place.

As a result, Tanzania is included as a unit of work in our curriculum. Children learn about Tanzania in Geography, and we also link to Tanzania in whole school and class worships, looking at how we can support and develop our children spirutally as well as academically. 

UNDERSTANDING MARA - Our children visited St James the Great Church to work alongside our friends there to develop their understanding of Tanzania. The parish shares a link with Mara and together we are creating a three way community link between school-parish-Mara. Reverend Kevin and Mr Wainwright studied our community and school partnership with the region of Mara and, in particular, Ragata School. Our friends are in our prayers and thoughts and we have learned much about respect and tolerance for beliefs and ways of life. It is interesting to see how an non-white Christian community live together and how they have the same beliefs as ourselves but often live in very different ways.

TANZANIA DAY 2017 & 2018 'Learning About & Learning From Tanzania' Our children were tour agents to 'promote' Tanzania. Should they focus upon the commercial, yet unique, Serengeti, the breathtaking Kilimanjaro or should their focus be upon the spiritual, social and cultural messages which resonate loudly? The children had to demonstrate their work in the form of class presentations to a panel of parish and community judges during the afternoon. In our most recent theme day our children had to become great inventors. Inspired by the children of Ragata School in Tanzania, our children were charged with inventing everyday items from the rubbish that we so often throw away.

GET TO KNOW YOUR CHURCH & COMMUNITY - Events held at church for each class in KS2. Mr Wainwright took the children on a journey through the church and its community history, putting our children's views about their local area in the context of everything that has gone before. Every class in KS2 took part in this.




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Who We Are

Crigglestone St JamesCE Primary Academy

St James Way,