Four hundred years old and still improving. King James’ School in Almondbury is marking its big birthday. HAZEL ETTIENNE reports
A SCHOOL is continually building on its strong foundations after a 400-year history.
This year the marks the anniversary of the charter which set up King James’ School in Almondbury.
And as the oldest school in Kirklees and one of the most historic in Yorkshire it has many reasons to celebrate.
Just a month ago the school was named in Government league tables for the second time in a list of the 200 most improved schools nationwide according to the proportion of pupils gaining give GCSE grades A* to C.
Headteacher Robert Lamb attributed much of the success to the school’s personalised curriculum and learning approach by students.
He said: “We work very closely with students to ensure they take the right courses for them and this is something we are very proud of at King James’s.
“These results show the fantastic steps which the school has taken and indicates not just the hard work of students but the dedication of staff.”
Most recently, the school has had further success with its students’ creative writing.
Almost 100 students from Years 7, 8 and 9 are to have their work published in an anthology of young writer’s work in May.
Their work was entered in the Young Writers’ Association Mini Saga competition, when they were asked to retell a story in a maximum of 50 words.
They could choose any theme, with many using traditional fairytales as the basis for their new version.
Titles such as Rapunzel’s Revenge, Riding Gone Bad were among the work written by students, with others such as Goodbye Cruel World, I Wish I’d Done Better, In Hiding and Girl’s Night In, also chosen.
The anthology is to be published on May 31.
Jackie Armitage is the school’s coordinator for gifted and talented students.
She said: “Competitions give student another opportunity to show what they can do. The competitive element sometimes galvanises children in a way which an ordinary lesson may not. It’s all to do with having fun and trying something new.”
She added: “With children on the gifted and talented programme it’s not about giving them something different, but improving the educational diet for all children in school.
“It’s all about raising their aspirations and giving every child the chance to achieve their true potential.”
And the creative writing theme is to continue in the coming months, with students working on persuasive writing techniques.
They will be choosing the theme of a local issue – such as whether Huddersfield needs another large supermarket or the solution to youth crime – and meeting local MPs to help form ideas and opinions which they will then write down as part of their work.