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St James` C E VC First School
Gaunts Common, BH21 4JN, UK Wimborne
+44 (0)1258 840669


The school was originally built in the late Victorian era and was considerably extended in the early ‘70s, following the closure of the schools at Holt and Hinton Martel.

We aim to give every individual the opportunity to develop unique gifts within a happy caring Christian environment


St. James’ First School serves the communities of Gaunts Common, Hinton Martel, Holt, Horton, Mannington and Chalbury.

Details of our admission policy can be obtained from the Local Authority’s publication, “Admissions to Dorset Schools: a parents’ guide”.

Children normally commence their schooling in the Reception class in the September after their fourth birthday. For the first term, in keeping with LEA policy, they attend mornings only.

Prior to the September admission, the school provides an “Acorn Club” in the summer term, when children and parents are invited to attend for one afternoon a week [over a 6 week period] as an introduction to the school. Children spend the time with their teacher, exploring and learning a little about the school whilst parents meet representatives from the various groups that make up the school community.


Our school aim is to give every individual the opportunity to develop his/her unique gifts within a happy, caring Christian environment and this underpins the entire teaching and learning programme.

The school has successfully adopted the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategies and follows many of the QCA programmes of study recommended for Foundation subjects in the National Curriculum.

Topics or Themes form the basis of teaching for the Foundation Subjects and are designed to give interesting and relevant links from one subject to another. These are designed on a 2-year rolling programme to avoid repetition in mixed-age classes.

Homework is encouraged and reflects the age and ability of the child. In Key Stage One [Years R to 2], homework takes the form of a regular reading book being sent home, along with the occasional short list of words to learn or number activities to enjoy. Children are also given a weekly task to complete in their ‘Snippets’ book. This may involve a drawing, short piece of writing, research for a topic or number work. In Key Stage Two [Years 3 and 4], daily reading and weekly spelling lists are given, as well as one piece of writing and/or number work per week.

The school greatly appreciates and encourages the added contribution of parents as co-educators of their children.


The school is situated at the edge of the village of Gaunts Common and enjoys generous grounds with a pleasant rural aspect. The main building consists of four teaching areas, a hall, library, computer suite and administrative area. The hall is a multipurpose space, being used for a daily act of worship, music, dance, gymn, games, drama, Literacy and Numeracy lessons, as well as a space for children to eat their lunch.

The extensive grounds provide two football pitches, an activity playground and wildlife area with pond.


After School Clubs are a popular feature of the school and we offer a wide range of activities depending upon the season, such as athletics; tag rugby; football with Southampton Football Club; rounders; kwik cricket; dance; tennis; computer skills; crafts; music; art and recorders.

A Saturday football club is also open to the children during the season.

primary schools in Wimborne, secondary schools in Wimborne, schools in Wimborne

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