By choosing a St James education for your children, you have given them one of the greatest gifts of their lives. For, at the very heart of this education, is the knowledge, practices and traditions which allow the children to live their lives consciously, to be aware of the here and now. What could possibly be more meaningful to a young child, standing at the beginning of their lives?
In nourishing the whole child, spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically, St James can serve the world through its students who receive this type of education. Thus prepared, St James students become shining role models of a good life in their families and communities and, in so doing, inevitably attract others towards this.
A StJames education is intended for everyone, regardless of their background or faith - it aims to be universal and inclusive.
Throughout their primary years, the children learn a simple, yet profound stillness and awareness exercise which has a grounding effect. We consider these techniques to be some of the most beneficial that St James Preparatory School offers.
Stillness and meditation teach the children to fall still and quiet which helps to focus the mind and develop an inner peace, strength and steadiness. It is then easier to turn to the task at hand with greater focus and clarity of mind. This process is often referred to as ‘being in the present’ and helps to optimise mental, physical, emotional and spiritual pursuits. The children are then equipped with lifelong skills beyond primary school.
From their first day at St James, children learn to ‘pause’ and be still and quiet for a few moments before and after each activity. The pause involves the children being asked to ‘come to rest’ in an upright position with good posture. Once there is silence, the children may then recite together a brief dedication; this is a prayer offering one’s efforts to the One True Self. The prayer is said in Sanskrit because of its pure sound, with a loose translation being “I dedicate this work to the Higher Power.” Before meals, the children are always asked to fall still and quiet before expressing acknowledgement and gratitude for the food provided.
From the age of 10, with parental approval, the children are invited to learn a mantra-based meditation. The primary purpose is to learn to still the body and mind at a deeper level, which enhances self-awareness, inner peace, greater focus and clarity of thinking and many more benefits.
St James school offers an aftercare service charged to parents for students who may not have been collected at the end of the school day and for parents/guardians who wish for students to benefit from the after-school care programme.
This service is coordinated by St James teachers who daily offer students:
- a period of rest/play directly afterschool,
- followed by assisted homework,
- a daily snack and
- additional rest/play or
- outdoor activities
before they are collected by 5pm.
Health and safety
St James has a health and safety policy which is updated on a regular basis and reviewed annually.
St James is in partnership with 24/7 Security Services that protects the building and grounds of the school.
The school takes the child’s safety as the first priority. With the supervision of staff members, the child is in the care of the school from the time he/she arrives, until the time he/she is handed over to their respective parent/guardian/transportation at the end of the school day.
Health and safety is monitored and maintained in the work environment. The staff and children are made aware of potential risks and hazards and are encouraged to work safely. Electrical checks, health checks, room checks, risk assessments, hazard checks and visitor checks are done monthly and reviewed annually.
St James has a trained First Aid team and a sick bay area. If a child falls ill, s/he is taken to the sick bay and the parents are immediately made aware of it. If necessary, the child will be treated or collected by their respective parent/guardian.
Covid-19 at St James
St James School follows all the covid-19 protocol set out by the South African Government and the World Health Organisation.
Upon arrival, each child has his/her temperature checked at the car. If the temperature exceeds 37 degrees, the child is sent home.
If his/her temperature is below 37 degrees, the temperature is recorded and the child is sanitised.
Every morning the hallways, classrooms, bathrooms are hygienically cleaned before anyone enters the school premises.
Social distancing, wearing of masks, washing hands and regular sanitising are strictly adhered to in the whole school, including the playground.
If a child shows any symptoms, the parent/guardian is immediately informed to collect their child from school. The child is quarantined at the sick bay before being collected by the parent/guardian.
If the child or their family members/friends they were in contact with display any symptoms or test positive for covid-19, they are advised to stay at home for the quarantine period and school work is sent home.
Fogging of St James School is done every fortnight.
Since its inception, St James has been offering vegetarian meals to the children during their lunch breaks, as do all the St James family of schools worldwide – whether lunches are provided by the school or whether the children bring their own.
The reason for this is to promote lightness and brightness in the child. A healthy, light and nutritious lunch is the preferred meal.
Currently the St James kitchen is closed. Parents are asked to provide a light, nutritious, vegetarian lunch that can be easily stored without refrigeration and consumed without need of heating.
The children are encouraged to practice Truth, Love and Service in their daily interactions with each other and at home. The school supports numerous charities in the community, which parents and kids happily participate in. This allows the kids to live the values, gaining experience in kindness, compassion and charity. Even we as parents have benefitted greatly from the online parent classes which teach us to maintain/continue the values and discipline which are practiced at school.
Allows the child to express themselves in a safe place. St James teachers have a nurturing approach towards the children. All children are then required to support one another and assist all big and small.
Truth love and service is embedded into every facets of the school day. The children serve each other during their sit down, school catered warm meal times as act of love and service. Truth is embedded into the curricula at all ages not just as a social concept but as a spiritual concept as well. Kindness exudes from every child and radiates from every staff members as well. Truth, love and service are the building blocks of a St James School Day, everyday.