05 June, 2013
Legendary Cricket commentator Henry Blofeld came to speak to the boys in assembly this week, inspiring them with his humorous stories while giving them a lesson in public speaking!
Many of the boys did not recognise Mr Blofeld's face, but as soon as he began to speak recognition dawned on all. It was a delight listening to him as he shared stories of his work as a commentator on BBC Radio 4's Test Match Special. He spoke warmly of his colleagues and likened his experience with them to the camaraderie he feels within St James. Bouncing around subjects and covering everything from Cricket to cakes - including a fruit cake baked under the watchful eye of the Queen - Mr Blofeld entertained the boys for a good half hour. Even those with little understanding of cricket listened attentively to his witty anecdotes and he had everyone chuckling several times. Mr Blofeld generously gave his time to answer questions from the boys and even signed a few autographs as he left the hall. His words about the school were very kind, with him describing it as ‘to die for!' and it was clear he enjoyed the grounds and atmosphere, and, most of all, the boys.
20 May, 2013
Mr John Story, Deputy Chair of St James' Governors with special responsibility for the Senior Boys, introduced Mr Boddy, "...even though he certainly needs no introduction". The overall thrust of the lecture was to outline what Mr Boddy called, "...a new educational paradigm", however, it soon became clear that what Mr Boddy was discussing was nothing other than the daily experience of boys and staff at St James.
The four key elements Mr Boddy described were:
- Teaching children how to concentrate and experience the present moment.
- Allowing children to understand experientially the reality of human interdependence ("No man is an island").
- Introducing children to "..love, care and service, one for the other."
- Recognising that every child is innately brilliant.
Mr Boddy's talk was peppered throughout by personal anecdotes of boys currently at St James, highlighting the reality of what "The St James Family" really means; every boy, every parent and every staff member is known and valued as an individual.
It is available to watch here.
13 May, 2013
On Friday afternoon, boys from Years 7 - 10 took part in the annual Fun Run. The challenge was to run as many laps of the school grounds as possible in 30 minutes. Abraham, Year 9, finished with most laps under his belt - 10 in total! Also managing 10 were Mr Lempriere and Mr Moss. The other teachers who were taking part did well too: Ms Brennan (8 laps), Miss Murphy (8 laps) and Mrs O'Brien (6 laps).
Several boys managed to complete 9 full laps (pictured).
Of the rest - they really took the 'fun' to heart! We had piggy-backs, walking backwards, crawling and even rolling around the course. We're expecting to have raised a good amount of money for the MS Trust - the school's chosen charity this term.
10 May, 2013
Today, Years 11, 12 and 13 have left us to begin their study leave.
With exams looming, we thought we'd give them a hearty meal before sending them on their way so, joined by Form Teachers, they all enjoyed a full English (vegetarian!) breakfast.
Mr Boddy addressed the boys, reminding them of the importance of practising pausing during their revision sessions - emptying their minds so that the knowledge which is latent within them can enter the mind at the right time and in the right way.
We look forward to seeing them again before the end of the year and we wish them all luck in their important public exams.
23 April, 2013
Ben Wassell, Head of PE, took part in the London Marathon on Sunday finishing in a time of 4 hours 4 minutes!
Running for the MS Trust, one of the School's Charities this term, he has so far raised over £1,600.
Ben has trained incredibly hard for this event and has had endless support from the boys here at St James, who relished every opportunity to put him through his paces. We are all very proud of him!
Read more about his motivation, and the MS Trust, at his Just Giving page.
17 April, 2013
Year 7 jetted off to Naples, following a programme designed to tell the story of the eruption of Vesuvius and letting the pupils learn about the historical Roman civilisation which once lived at its foot. This included visits to Pompeii, Herculaneum and, of course, a trek to the top of Vesuvius. The boys also had the chance to explore Sorrento and to have a fascinating - if slightly scary! - tour of the underground city of Naples.
Meanwhile, Year 8 were busy exploring Greece, learning about lots of great stories from the classical origins of our civilisation. Visits included the ancient Byzantine city of Mystra, the impressive theatre at Epidauros (where the boys were encouraged to perform a speech!) and, later, to Myceanae, an impressive fortress on top a hill, which is over 4000 years old. The boys also took in the site of the original Olympic games, where the traditional ‘Greek trip race' took place in the ancient stadium. The next day was spent visiting Delphi, an ancient oracle perched high up on the side of a mountain before heading back to Athens to visit the amazing Acropolis.
Year 9's were busy exploring the streets of Paris, immersing themselves in the language and culture of the city. During the course of the week, the Eiffel Tower was climbed, with the heartiest of boys opting to take the stairs, the Sacre Coeur was reverently explored and time was spent at the Louvre, seeing some of the most famous paintings in the world. The Dali Museum was a particular highlight, with the boys responding to his surrealist style and having lots of fun finding the images in his paintings - a bit like extremely exclusive optic eye prints! They also enjoyed the Palais de la Decouverte, a science museum, and a boat trip along the Seine.
Elsewhere, the traditional Year 10 trip - to Lucca and Florence - was enjoyed by all involved. First, they stayed at the beautiful Villa Boccella in the foothills surrounding Lucca. There, the boys were engaged in a variety of leadership activities, focusing on service and team-work, before entertaining staff and each other with their after-dinner speeches and concert. Later in the week, they travelled to Florence. The boys were fascinated with the stories of the renaissance and saw Art works that enrich the soul; like Michelangelo's David and Botticelli's Venus.
14 March, 2013
12 March, 2013
Jordan, Ash and Nic, along with Mr Wassell, appeared on the ITV London News yesterday evening to share their success with the world. Picked up by a car and taken to the studios, the boys had a taste of the celebrity lifestyle as they were prepped for the live interview.
It is available to watch here.
11 March, 2013
The three Bobsleigh Boys are back in School today with excellent news - they finished fourth in the British Bobsleigh Championships at the weekend!
Below is an extract from their blog:
The St James Bobsleigh team have just finished 4th in the British Championships in Igls, Austria.
They kicked off their campaign with their fastest start yet of just 6.08 seconds, giving driver Lamin Deen the best possible opportunity to put in a good time. He did this in style finishing in 55.45 seconds with a top speed of 121.44 Km/h.
The team sat in 4th after the first run and knew that they had to put in something special to catch 3 time Olympian Lee Johnson.
Although the start time of 6.10 seconds was slightly slower, the load was close to perfect allowing the Bob to carry more speed into the first corners. Lamin put in his best drive with the St James team recording a down time of 55.19 hitting a top speed of 122.35 Km/h.
This is an amazing achievement for the three boys, who, until last week, had never even sat in a Bobsleigh. St James are so proud to have three star athletes walking their halls!
And, to top it off, Head of P.E Mr Wassell blagged his way onto a veteran team, competing with them and finishing in second place, securing a silver medal! Amazing!
Tonight, Monday 11 March, the boys will be interviewed on ITV London News. Tune in at 6pm to watch them.
Be sure to watch the videos on their blog - http://schoolrunnings2013.wordpress.com/
05 March, 2013
Three boys from St James Senior Boys' School, Ash, Nic and Jordan, will be setting records this weekend when they become the youngest team ever to enter the British Bobsleigh Championships being held in Igls, Austria on Saturday.
We are the first school team ever to enter the championship and the all-important brakeman Jordan, age 16, will become the youngest ever person charged with stopping a bobsleigh in competition.
The idea was the brain child of St James Head of Physical Education, Ben Wassell. Ben commented: ‘This is truly a remarkable experience and St James are very excited about it. The boys have shown dedication, courage and an adventurous spirit in taking on this project. We are proud of all three boys for the commitment they have shown so far and are confident they will do well in Austria!'
Headmaster, David Boddy, commented: ‘Young people need exciting challenges. The bobsleigh team requires real courage and skill. All good schools should test their pupils in these ways, not just academically.'
The sleigh will be piloted by 11 year bobsleigh veteran Mark Carter. He said: ‘I am delighted to be able to offer these boys the chance to experience a sport that I love. They will reach speeds of 70mph as they zoom down the track so I'm sure it is something they will remember forever.'
The boys are currently in Igles for a week of training before taking on elite GB athletes such as Olympian Craig Pickering, who are competing for places at the next Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. To follow their adventure, see their blog: www.schoolrunnings2013.wordpress.com