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St. James' School (India)

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Title: St. James' School (India)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: George Cotton, Education in Kolkata, Places of interest in Kolkata, Pritam Chakraborty, Saint James School, Somnath Bharadwaj, John Mason (schoolmaster), Beighton Cup, H. S. S. Lawrence, St. James' School
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

St. James' School (India)

St. James' School

Pro Ecclesia Et Pro Patria

(Eng. For Church and For Country)
Established 1864
Type Private
Principal Terence Hamilton Ireland
Admin. staff Varies
Students Varies
Location Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Campus Urban
Nickname Jacobeans
Affiliations Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations
165/166, A. J. C. Bose Rd, Kolkata - 700014 Ph: +91-33-2244-1545

Other meanings, see Saint James School

St. James' School, Kolkata, India, is a CNI school, one of the oldest and most prestigious private schools in India. It is associated with the ICSE Board of Education. It was established in 1864 by Bishop Cotton.

The school is associated with St. James' Church, Kolkata, which is a historic building.

The principal is T.H Ireland; past principals have included John Mason and D.L. Bloud. The school has a double steepled church. The school is equipped with a covered basketball court, an Olympic size swimming pool and a very big field.


St. James' School was established in 1864. It was inaugurated by the then Most Revd. George Edward Cotton- the Bishop of Calcutta on 25th July 1864. Almost from its inception, reports show that these were years of stress and struggle. In the first twenty years of its existence the school faced intensive financial difficulties and had to be closed in December 1904. According to reports, there was an upsurge of sentiment on the part of parents, well wishers and old boys at the closure of the school. In 1907, with financial assistance from the Church Education League, the school was reopened. However, again it ran into difficulties and closed in 1918. Relying on the evidence of a few surviving records, we find that the tenacious spirit of the school made it open its doors again in 1924 under the Rectorship of The Rev. Thomas H. Cashmore, also the Vicar of St. James' Church. Rev. Cashmore established a renaissance in the life of both church and school. He had a strong feeling for the traditions the school had established in the half century of its existence, particularly in the field of sport, looking back to school's triumphant winning of the Beighton Cup in hockey in 1900.

So refreshingly different from the desiccated bureaucratic attitude that had condemned the school to closure, Rev. Cashmore's faith in the vitality of his pupils and his humanism indemnified the morale and reputation of the institution. Sports was greatly encouraged as essential to character development and the feats of his pupils in hockey, football, cricket, boxing, swimming and athletics are remembered with affection. Rev. Cashmore left in 1933 to return to England and was succeeded by Mr. I. M. Valentine who contributed much to the consolidation of his predecessor's work during his tenure from 1933 to 1950.

The impact of World War II was felt in the period between 1942 and 1946. Air raid shelters were constructed in the school compound and the school premises requisitioned by the R.A.F. on rent. The boarders were sent off to Christ Church School, Jabalpore, and to Bishop Westcott School, Allahabad. The school itself functioned from two rented premises on Ripon Street and Lower Circular Road. The school moved back to its own premises in July 1947. In 1950 Mr. Valentine resigned as Rector and Mr. F. R. Marshall had a short two-year tenure and was succeeded by Mr. E. C. Chippendale in 1952, who ushered in a period of considerable change. There was an increased emphasis on the teaching of science and streaming into Science and Humanities began in Class IX. In 1960 the school had above six hundred pupils on its rolls, and with the care of the Rector and the Board of Governors, was at last financially sound. A new science block was constructed and named after Mr. Chippendale, on his departure in 1961, after nine years of service. Mr. L. N. Bird took charge as Rector in 1961, the designation of Rector being changed shortly thereafter to Principal.

Mr. F. P. Pakianathan succeeded Mr. L. N. Bird in 1971 and the numbers of pupils on rolls now increased from 640 in 1971 to 1200 in 1977. Mr. Pakianathan gave a much needed face-lift to the school.

Mr. J. A. Mason (Above) joined this institution as Principal in 1978. The scope of academic, cultural and extra-curricular activities was greatly increased, the school buildings renovated and the gardens nurtured with care. In this phase the school enjoyed increasingly, the goodwill and respect of the people of Calcutta. The expansion programme initiated by Mr. Pakianathan required additional accommodation, which was provided in December 1979 with the opening of the Schunker Block constructed over the school hall and annex, consisting of fourteen large and airy classrooms to accommodate the Junior School. Numbers during this period rose to 1800 with as much as ten per cent of the pupils studying at concessional rates or on freeships.

Mr. D.L. Bloud (Above) took over from Mr. Mason in 1992. The number of qualified teachers rose to 70 and there was a steady all round development of the school. The school began to receive recognition at the national and international levels.

Mr. T. H. Ireland joined as Principal in April 2000 and is still guiding the school with dedication and bountiful enthusiasm. Major structural changes have taken place under his stewardship. The school now has a covered basketball court, a state-of-the-art sports facility with 2 swimming pools and well equipped science laboratories and computer centre. Today, our school enjoys not only an excellent profile among the educational institutions of the city, it preserves a spirit of vigour and participation in life and a refusal to give in to the vicissitudes it has faced in the 148 years of existence. Over this period, this institution has shown a remarkable ability to bounce back in meeting the uncertainty of changing times, and its spirit of commitment and faith which characterizes the ethos of our school.

School Song

           Ecclesia et Patria,
           We vow again our loyalty,
           To  Mother-Church and to our land,
           We Jacobeans proudly stand,
           Knit by this bond of fealty;
           Ecclesia et Patria
           Our Church comes first, Ecclesia,
           God’s brotherhood of every race,
           God’s children of the second birth,
           We’ll spread its message o’er the earth.
           We’ll raise the Cross in every place,
           Ecclesia et Patria.

           Our land comes next, our Patria,
           This land of Ind, where God has cast
           Our lot that we with service true
           May bring to her some treasures new
           To swell the glories of the past;
           Ecclesia et Patria.

           Hail Alma Mater! Hail, all hail!
           Unsullied will we bear abroad
           The honour of the school we love;
           The past, the present, those above
           Joined in one comradeship of God;
           Ecclesia et Patria.


The students are divided into four houses, each named after one of the school's founding members. They are Copleston (gold, motto "Duty Before Self"), Westcott (red, motto "Work Is Worship"), Cotton (green, motto "Never Despair") and Lefroy (blue, motto "Love Conquers All"). They are named after bishops of the Anglican Church in India. Competition between the houses takes place in the form of interhouse activities like quizzing, debating, athletics, drama, and elocution, as also the Monday morning uniform inspection. Meritorious houses are awarded house points and the house with the most points at the end of the year wins the Cockhouse cup, which was instituted following a gift from the RAF after the school buildings were used as barracks during World War II.There is one house master and one house mistress in each house.


Annual sports day for the junior school is held in February and the meet for the middle and senior school takes place in November–December. Events like march past, relay races, tug of war, and javelin throw are part of this event.

The students competing are divided into divisions according to their age group. All these activities take place on a house basis. The house with the most number of wins and points from the events emerges to be the winner. At the end of sports day the following awards are given:

  • Ranjit Sen Trophy for the fastest boy('B' division)
  • James Chippendale Trophy for the best athlete ('A' division)
  • Archie Edwards Challeng Trophy for the best athlete in field events('A' division)
  • Jibran Tyabbi Trophy for the best athlete ('A' division)
  • R.S. Paul Challenge Trophy for the best athlete ('B' division)
  • Most promising athlete ( 'C' division)
  • Aftab Alam (Best Wrestler)

The following awards are given out on the Annual Prize Day:

  • Robertson Award for the best sportsman
  • Balachander Award for the most promising sportsman.

Activities and achievements

Interschool activities are stressed at St James', the school having won The Telegraph School of the Year award (given by a local English daily) a number of times for its prowess at interschool activities. In 2005, the school, after having won the award for a sixth time, was inducted into The Telegraph Hall of Fame. This meant that the school would not be eligible for this award again in the future so as to give other schools a fair chance.

School clubs include Interact Club, Drama Club, Nature Club, Bible Club, Space Club, Eastern Cultural Club, Quiz Club, SPICMACAY and others, each hosting public events throughout the year, ranging from the photography contest of the photography club to the interschool quiz organised by the quiz club, known as 'Jaco-Iz'. The Debating society of St. James' School, has organized a new event, Jaco-MUN, 2009 being its inaugural year, which is a Model United Nations.

The Interact Club, which is involved in community service activities in collaboration with The Rotary Club of Calcutta Victoria, had been awarded best Interact Club in town in the academic year 2006-07. One of the most sought after fests, Jaco-Synthesis is hosted by this school, though the year 2009 sees a fest called Jaco-Sanskriti, a cultural fest.

The students call themselves Jacobeans.

Games like cricket, hockey, football, table tennis, rugby are a part of the school's extra curriculum. Cricket, hockey and football are played at three levels i.e. class, house and school. Swimming also constitutes the activities.

In 1900, St. James' School won the Beighton Cup and has till date been the only school to ever win the oldest hockey tournament in the world.[1]

St. James' School Alumni Association

Former students of the School got together in 1998, under the leadership of Mr. Marcus Rodrick (student of St. James’ School and former Senior Headmaster and Vice Principal), and approached the Principal at the time - Mr. Daryl Bloud - to form an Alumni Association. The society now has over 200 members.

The society holds the annual Independence Cup for football, played with teams comprising four house teams, one prefects’ team, one senior staff team, one service staff team, two alumni teams and one parents team, on 15 August.

The society hosts an Annual Dinner. The society has a website

The members of the Alumni are encouraged to be present at the annual Founder's Day Service, held on 25 July. Students of class 12 are encouraged to join the Alumni.

Notable alumni


  1. ^ O’Brien, Barry (4 December 2004). "All hail hockey on history high". Eye on Calcutta (Calcutta, India: The Telegraph, 4 December 2004). Retrieved 2007-04-13. 

External links

  • Official site
  • newspaperThe TelegraphOfficial website of - conducts the School of the Year award
  • Student's quizzing blog

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