Ms Matthews

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At St. James Hatcham we understand the importance of English and intend to ensure all of our children:

  • Read and write with confidence, fluency and understanding, using a range of independent strategies to self-monitor and correct.
  • Have an interest in books and read for enjoyment
  • Have an interest in words, their meanings; developing a growing vocabulary in spoken and written forms.
  • Understand a range of text types and genres – be able to write in a variety of styles and forms appropriate to the situation.
  • Are developing the powers of imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness.
  • Have a suitable technical vocabulary to articulate their responses.
  • Are ambitiously aware of their journey as learners who celebrate the opportunity to improve

 We teach English throughout the day and through all different subjects however all classes have at least one hour of English learning each day. This will include creative literacy, drama, editing, reading, spelling, phonics and grammar. Additionally to this, children are read with, and to, throughout the week. 

We use our high quality Reading Diaries to keep track of the reading that your child does at home and to sharpen and enhance their skills in understanding what they have read. These Reading Diaries are much admired by local educators and by parents – all children receive one when they enter St James Hatcham and they then are monitored throughout their education with us as a means for teachers and parents to work in partnership to support both the ability to read and understand what has been read, and also to breed a love a reading. The tasks in the Reading Diaries have been well thought out to look at different aspects of reading and understanding, with a focus on the skills that will enable your child to become a fully competent reader ready for secondary school and beyond. The children begin with a burgundy Reading Diary with simpler tasks before moving on to tasks that require a more subtle skill set in the white Reading Diary when they are ready in Key Stage Two. Please do not hesitate to ask any member of staff if you need support in how to best use your child’s Reading Diary to get the best out of them at home. See some great examples of them being used effectively below:


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Remember that it’s important to listen to your child read but also to read to them for enjoyment. Don’t forget to let them see you read too – you are their number 1 role-model after all! And most importantly, reading is all around us; newspapers, magazines, football pamphlets, Lego / computer game instructions and recipes are all reading materials too!

Wow! What a fabulous week we have had celebrating World Book Day (yes; we love books so much at St James Hatcham that we celebrated books ALL WEEK)!

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We started our week with announcing our ‘Get Caught Reading’ competition – of course, so many children were caught reading well that the competition was tough! A massive congratulations to Jacob in Year 4 and Amelia in Year 1 who won a handful of bookie-prizes!

On Tuesday the whole school were in for a treat as both Key Stage 1, and Key Stage 2 Book Clubs for talented readers performed a selection of poetry from the classic to the most modern. We were stunned by their poise, performance and production of the poems and had to pinch ourselves to remember that some of Book Club were only five years old! The assembly finished with a rendition  of ‘Three-headed dog’ by Daniel, Maria & Toluwani which could have come straight from a professional theatre! Well done to you all and a great big THANK YOU to Mrs Hever and Ms Ludlow for running the book clubs with such passion and dedication.

Wednesday was a day shrouded in surprise as each class received a mystery reader! Have a look and see if you can work out who some of our mystery readers were:

Sonia MRSandra MRZeina MR
MC MROn the Thursday, we celebrated World Book Day by having a Book Quiz, a catwalk of our dress-up characters and then had our very own pop up book shop in the playground after school. We send huge thanks to David at ‘The Word’ book shop on New Cross Road for taking the time to come to our school. The pleasure was, of course, not only ours. David wrote to thank us and said, ‘I’m just writing to say thank you for letting me come along to your school yesterday – I thoroughly enjoyed myself. It was a very rewarding experience; I sold plenty of books but, more than this, it was heartening to see the enthusiasm on your pupils’ faces when presented with a sea of books.’ 

What a fabulous week and thanks to everyone who took part!

What next?      Image result for carnegie and kate greenaway awards 2017

Well, keep watching this space as our Book Clubs take part in shadowing the Kate Greenaway and Carnegie Book Awards. Last year our Book Club students won a country-wide competition to meet and interview the award winners themselves! I hope we will be as successful again this year. Fingers crossed.


It all just goes to show that, at St. James Hatcham, we LOVE reading!  Image result for reading makes your world big quotesHow to support your child at home with reading

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In Reception and Year 1, we use the high quality Ruth Miskin Read, Write Inc. phonics programme for teaching phonics and literacy. Some children in Years 2, 3 and 4 who require some additional support with their Literacy also take part in the scheme. The children love using ‘Fred talk’ (he’s our frog oral blending puppet) and he’s become a firm favourite. The excitement of the children as they take part in their phonics group is palpable and parents have been invited in to watch how we teach your children to expertly blend their sounds and learn to read in order to best support at home.

For more information and to learn how to use the phonics sounds correctly with your child, please follow this link:


Read write inc parent leaflet

Family Literacy Workshop:

As an opportunity to help  parents with understanding how to support their children at home, we ran a joint workshop with students from Goldsmith University. The experience was a very rewarding one as students demonstrated a range of activities that help to keep books interesting. The students then spoke with parents to find out about their child’s reading habits – they will then take this information back and use it to help shape their own learning. Thank you to Julia Hope from Goldsmiths, the students and to all the parents who turned up.




Spelling Lists 2016/2017

Spelling strategies for parents

Spelling strategies for parents document