January 7th 2021

Dear Parents / Carers 

Happy New Year! It seems so strange saying that given the current circumstances; It is so sad that we have not been able to return as normal but we did have some children in today; mostly those whose parents are critical workers.

For those learning remotely from home, we have set up some exciting learning using a digital learning platform called Dojo. Information has already been sent to all of you and you can access all of the information from your phones. We have, Miss Matthews tells me, already received 71 parental confirmations from parents. This is fantastic but we wish to ensure that every single parent whose child is not attending school at the moment accesses this. The remote learning will be of a high quality and staff will post at least one video a week, do a class story time and ensure that the contact before our St James Family remains close and the learning remains excellent. Do note that the Dojo digital platform is completely safe to use.

All the staff are missing you and your children and they are busy working away either as part of a staff rota supporting the children in school or working at home on the children’s remote learning and ringing parents and children.

We will keep in regular contact to ensure that you and your children feel well supported during this challenging time. In the meantime, we will remain assures that God is with us and will guide us through this crisis ensuring that we emerge stronger than ever.

Kindest regards,



Dear Parents and carers,

As the clocks have now been set back an hour, summer time has ended and the dark nights draw in more rapidly, I would like you when you have the chance to read the articles below about how we keep our children safe on the road. Road traffic collisions increase by 20% in the fortnight after the time change. Sadly, some of those collisions will involve child pedestrians and cyclists. Children under-16 are one of the most vulnerable groups of road users.
The latest available government statistics (2015)* show that 58% of children who die or are seriously injured in a road collision are involved in incidents between 3 and 7pm; much of those will happen in darkness.
Whilst younger children are at risk, the data shows that 11 – 15 year olds are actually at more at risk from accidents that kill or result in serious injury.
The resources below will help remind children, especially teenagers, about road safety and safe cycling. We will of course do all we can at the school to teach the children about Road safety.


Dear Parents/Carers,

I hope that you are still remaining in good health and are remaining well.

You will be aware that several Lewisham School have reported at least one positive case of Coronavirus. It is with deep relieve that I can report that we have had no positive cases but I would ask you to continue to be vigilant especially at the gates and ensure that you remain at a social distance.

All Reception chi8ldren have started full time school now and it has been lovely watching them play and learn. I wanted to give a special thank you to Ameerah Shittu who, when she saw that a child in her class had lost his shoe, found it for him and kindly gave it to him. Some of the other children giggled but Ameerah just wanted to ensure that the other child was okay.

Such kindness really fit so well into our school values of Love, Peace, Hope and Joy.

As you know, we do not celebrate Black History Month at St James as we believe that it is tokenistic and does not recognize that black History is British history. Your children instead have an element of black history and culture play a part in their learning every term. Staff training this year will focus on further embedding black history and anti-racism into the curriculum. This we know will ensure that there is a more socially cohesive happy community regardless of the race, culture or ethnicity. We are all one family at St James Hatcham School.

Finally, just to let you know that I shall be starting my Headteacher message again on the Coronavirus Tab on the school website. These won’t be daily ones but I will endeavor to post a message on there on a weekly basis.

Kind regards,





Dear St James Hatcham Family,

I am so sorry that I have not written a daily message for a while; it has been so incredibly busy! Team 6/London Plane Bubble, have been learning all about the importance of sleep during their Mindfulness Workshops. Today, I include a link to a page where you can watch a three minute video about the importance of sleep. This, I hope, will encourage children to get a good bedtime routine.




Dear St James Hatcham Family,

It has been so busy recently that I have forgotten to place a message each day for you but please rest assured that I have not forgotten you.

Today my lovely Deputy, Ms Omobooni, gave me a book to look at. The book is called The Boy, the Mole and the Fox and it has the most beautiful illustrations and the most moving self-affirming phrases. It is perfect for our time especially considering all that is going on in the world. This week I would like to share some of the quotes in the book with you.

“Sometimes all you hear about is the hate, but there is more love in the world than you could possibly imagine “.

Have a lovely week everyone!


Dear St James Hatcham Family, as the lockdown eases, we may forget that handwashing is just as important as it has ever been. You may wish to download a poster to put up and remind your children and familiarise them with the posters they will be seeing in school:

The latest guidance and video on hand washing can be found at:


The e-Bug project is led by Public Health England and has a dedicated webpage for learning resources on hand washing and respiratory hygiene. E-Bug has published posters on hand hygiene, and covering coughs and sneezes, to display in bathrooms, classrooms and shared spaces.

The hand and respiratory hygiene posters and other educational resources can be found here:




Dear St James Family,

Today I would like to share a reassuring letter from The Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, Bishop of Southwark…

Please then attach a link to the letter.

Headteachers letter of appreciation


Dear Parents/Carers,

It was wonderful to see more of our Year 6 children today! They were so focused on their learning it was if they had never been away! Many of them were interested in talking about the issues they have seen on the news and especially the Black Lives Matter protests. Please see my letter about this and also view below some lovely photos of the learning today:

Wider opening of schol and Black Lives Matter

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Dear St James Family,

As a community with the value of love at its forefront, we have been outraged and saddened by the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Our school values must be fully appreciated at this time as we see the world come together to condemn the murder of an innocent man and against the racial injustices that have prevailed for so long. The widespread condemnation of the crime fills us with hope that racism and discrimination will end one day and we look forward to the joy we will feel when this happens and for peace to people of all colours.

Thank you to Jo for writing an extremely moving poem about Black Lives Matter and to Miracle for her powerful poster demonstrating our unity as a community no matter what our colour or ethnicity. Please have a look at these children’s work in the Sharing Assembly tab.

We look forward to more of our Year 6 children coming back next week as we begin the wider opening of our school.

Have  a lovely weekend.


Dear St James Family,

I would like to share this month’s Happiness calendar and the wise words:

“Every day may not be good, but there is something good in everyday”. Alice Morse Earle.




Welcome back St James Hatcham Family!

I hope that you all were able to enjoy some of the half term sunshine! We have been blessed with some glorious weather!

The first daily message of this term contains information about Coronavirus testing:

Testing for the general public (students and parents) is for those who are showing signs/symptoms, importantly within the first 4 days. You can request a test online (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-for-coronavirus/ask-for-a-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus/) or by calling 119. The tests are for any age, including children under 5 years old.


Dear St James Hatcham family,

You will have had quite a few letters from me recently and I hope that this has not been too overwhelming but there has been a lot of information to share about planning for the education of the pupils and the wider opening of the school from 9th June (8th June is an INSET day for staff only).

I would like to thank all my staff for the excellent work that they have put in making this unusual half term the most successful it could have been all considered. How fortunate we are to have each other!

God bless and keep safe over the half term one and all.

Ms SE McFarlane


I have been quiet for a while as I have been busy in discussions regarding the possible re-opening of our school to more pupils. This week I met with governors to talk about this and I have sent a letter to you about the decisions made when we met. I must say that we are extremely fortunate to have such committed, skilled governors. I am pleased to let you know that our Church Warden Christine Price has kindly accepted the role of Acting Vice-Chair. As you know Christine has continued to delivering our Church services via our Fred Paws for Thought mailings each Wednesday on our website. She also did her first assembly on the school premises this week. This was done outside in the area called Jenny’s Place and was absolutely wonderful! Please click on the link below to view:

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Please help in our plans to return by filling in the survey in the letter being sent out today. The survey is for Reception, Team 1 and Team 6 parents only. We hope to consult other parents in due time.

Finally, all parents, please remember to have a look at the wonderful nominations on the sharing assembly tab. Your children’s home learning is really bringing a smile to the teachers’ faces! Thank you!

Ms SE McFarlane


I hope that you have managed to have a look at the e-safety parents leaflet. For games and activities to teach your children more about online safety, please see the information below:

Be SMART: Online Safety Video Lessons for 6 – 9 year olds (Childnet)

Childnet have released six new easy-to-follow videos for parents and children to work through together. The 10 – 15 minute videos offer simple, clear online safety advice using fun activities, games and discussion. There are optional follow-up activities to extend children’s learning.

The videos can be found here: https://www.childnet.com/resources/video-lessons

Ms SE McFarlane


No doubt many of us have had people we know go into hospital or even die as a result of the virus. I shall be writing to you at some point about two deaths from Covid 19 in our community. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families along with the words:

Grief is not forever – but love is.

Dear God,

May we look backward with gratitude, forward with courage and upwards with confidence. Amen.

The website Winston’s Wish www.winstonswish.org.uk/ is a childhood bereavement charity with practical support and guidance to families and professionals.

Ms SE McFarlane


Here is something to start the Bank Holiday with a smile; a photo of Mrs Ryan’s baby.

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As we are remembering VE day today, I would like to share this link with you about black soldiers who helped with the victory in Europe during the Second World War:


 Ms SE McFarlane


In this crisis it is particularly lovely to share good news with you. As you know, Mrs Ryan has been off for some time as she was pregnant. You will be pleased to hear that she has now had the baby; a beautiful baby girl called Raegan. I am sure that you will join with the St James Hatcham family in wishing Mrs Ryan and her family well. God’s blessings on you all!

 Ms SE McFarlane


I hope that parents and children have all managed to log on to the Busy Things site now. Please do not hesitate to call the school office or email your child’s class teacher if you are having any difficulties logging on.

Here is one of my favourite Bible readings that I will leave you with until tomorrow:

“Trust in the Lord with all your hearts and do not rely on your own understanding. Think about Him in all your ways and He will make straight your paths”. Proverbs 3 v5-6

Please remember to clap for the NHS at 8pm tonight.

Ms SE McFarlane


During assembly today the children focused on this image. Ifijen said that it reminded him of “Hope sprouting in the darkness of worry” which I think is beautiful. I hope that these words and this image make you feel more at ease today.




Thank you for all the wonderful messages that we have had about the home learning and communication that you have had from our staff. It has been really lovely to see some of the work that has been sent to us. We will be sending you the information about the online tool Busy Things so please look out for this in Parent Mail.

Take care and stay safe.

Ms SE McFarlane


Reflecting on the silver lining in the dark cloud of the Coronavirus, the children contemplated about our environment and our families. They stated:

“Well, there is now reduced air pollution because less people are going out”. Ifijen

“People have more time to spend with their families”. Miracle

Hoping that these thoughts will begin your week with a smile.

Ms SE McFarlane


Today’s assembly for the children of critical workers focused on the altruistic efforts of Captain Tom Moore and his incredible effort to raise money for the NHS by walking 100 lengths of his garden before his 100th birthday raising £28 million. I will leave you this week with the words of Captain Moore:

“For all those finding it difficult: the sun will shine on you again and the clouds will go away”.

Have a lovely weekend and stay safe.

 Ms SE McFarlane



Today is Earth Day and a good time for a special prayer to thank God for his amazing creation and hope that the world comes together to take action on climate change. It was just a few months ago that the children at St James Hatcham went on a march calling for systems change.


Please ask your children  to  do some mini posters to remind them of their special march and of difference they can make. 


Dear St James Hatcham Family,

Following on from my message yesterday about monitoring children’s online activity, The Children’s Commissioner for England, in association with the privacy law firm Schillings, has produced a digital safety and well-being kit for parents and a safety guide for children to help keep children safe and well online during the Coronavirus outbreak. The children’s guide is really handy and I would urge you to share this with your children:

Read the news story: Digital safety and wellbeing kit
Download the kit: Parents’ digital safety and wellbeing kit (PDF)
Download the guide: Children’s guide to staying safe online (PDF)

Stay Safe.

Kind regards,

Ms SE McFarlane


Dear St James Hatcham Family,

I would normally be saying welcome back but of course these are not normal times. I do wish though that your Easter was a peaceful one and that you were able to pause for a moment to think about the Easter message of hope and forgiveness.

Many of your children will have been using their phones, computers or IPADs to do work or to socialise. I would like you to please continue to monitor your children ‘s screen time and also bear in mind that while screen-time is stimulating for the brain, it encourages a routine of inactivity which is not good. In fact, The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends no more than 2 hours a day of TV and screen-time for all.

Finally, please do talk to your children about not getting undressed in front of a camera as sexual predators sometimes use this opportunity to exploit children. There is a catchy song that deals with this issue:


Kindest regards,

Ms SE McFarlane


Dear St James Hatcham Family,

I do hope that you have had a week filled with fun learning. We are working on some more further learning activities for after the Easter holidays and this will be accessed easily by phone or computer with a learning tab for each class on this part of the website.

I leave you with the words of one of my favourite prayers and a wish for you to stay safe and strong over the weekend. Take care and keep well.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference. Amen.



Dear St James Family,

Yesterday I provided a link to a ‘Happiness Calendar’. The same company have provided information about how to keep mentally happy during uncertain times. There are some lovely ideas. Please do have a look:



Happy first day of the month St James Hatcham Family!

Please find a link below to the April Happiness Calendar. I have also included Spanish, Chinese and Lithuanian versions of the calendar. How many actions will you be able to do?





Dear St James Hatcham Family,

We wish all those children who have had birthdays since the Coronoa Virus outbreak an even more special birthday.

Wishing birthday wishes and God’s blessings this week to Elisha who turns 10 years old, Yolanda who turns 6 years old and to Jessica who turns 11. Chichebum has his 6th birthday during the Easter break.

 Our St James Food Bank is closed at the moment as the volunteers are over 70 years old and therefore, more vulnerable. Christine Price has said that people should be directed to this one:

Lewisham Food Bank,

Trussell Trust

Malham Rd Branch

Phone: 07938 071 854


Hello again St James Hatcham Family! I hope that you had as good a weekend as can be expected. I have been in daily contact with our Chair of Governors, Mr Malcolm Edwards, and he has been thinking of you all. I hope that you enjoy reading his letter and that it gives you some hope during this challenging time.  Speak to you tomorrow.


St James Hatcham staff have as ever, been absolutely amazing! My thanks go to Miss Mehtha, Mrs Burnage and Miss Miller for helping the children produce this giant rainbow of hope to put up on our school fence.

I have attached a timetable sent to us from Michelle Singh one of our outreach workers. It gives ideas for well-being as well as learning. Parents please do not feel pressure to do any of these things; they are just ideas for you. The most important thing is to choose what you would like to do and to look after yourselves and your families although  we do ask for you to continue daily reading with your children. The Amazon free audio books would be a great way to get your daily reading done.



Dear St James Hatcham Family,

It’s amazing that in a crisis, so many acts of kindness can emerge. One of our school governors has said that she has not been going out and spending as much as she would normally do. She has decided that she will donate all the money that she has saved to a charity linked to our school. I will ask her to donate the money either towards Mr Garrick’s defibrillator machine or to the Nursery/New Cross Deptford First/Family Learning Centre.

At 8pm tonight, families around the country will be standing by their doors and windows to clap and make some noise for all those working in the NHS. Please feel free to record yourselves doing this and send it to your child’s class teacher to put on our Instagram account; our username on the instagram app is stjameshatcham or alternately, parents can view the page through the internet – www.instagram.com/stjameshatcham


Dear St James Hatcham Family,
I was sent some handy tips for making food last longer/ stay fresh. These include keeping fresh ginger in a jar of water and baking wilted fresh herbs and then storing them as dried herbs instead of throwing them away. My favourite tip though is to put bay leaves in flour to stop insects appearing in the flour  if you have any tips to share please do so on a new tab we will be putting up called What have you been up to?   You will also be able to share the things that you have been doing at home with your children.
Take care and stay safe.


Dear St James Hatcham Family,

It has only been two days since the school closed for most of you and we are missing you already! However, we have been cheered up with a lovely email from one of our parents saying, “Thank you to yourself and your team for being a pillar of excellence, strength and love for our children and community”. How truly uplifting and kind. Bless you all!

We were deeply humbled by this comment received by a parent this week:

“…your staff change our children’s lives for their betterment every day and they have the best CONSISTANT leadership I’ve witnessed in all the schools I’ve sent my children to and also worked in… Combined!”

It is our pleasure to continue to serve our community during these uncertain times. The Prime Minister Boris Johnson has highlighted that people should stay at home regardless of any symptoms they may or may not have. Many people now more than ever feel socially isolated but we hope that our families will feel comforted by our daily contact and by the knowledge that we will be together again one day.

Stay safe and stay well.



Dear Parents/Carers,

The Corona Virus/Covid-19 pandemic has posed challenges for schools and the whole country. During these extremely unusual and challenging times we will continue to keep you updated on a regular basis with information to help you and your children.

All the very best to you and your families. Keep safe and let’s all pray for this crisis to be over soon.