At St. James', we strive to provide engaging and purposeful English lessons, to explicitly teach the skills necessary for reading, writing and speaking and listening making use, where necessary, of a range of Computing and Multimedia skills. We aim to deliver engaging lessons that are both dynamic and interactive. There is a heavy focus on using Talking Partners as part of a wider ethos of collaborative learning.
We have produced a 'Help your child with spelling' leaflet, which is at the bottom of this page for you to download.
Check our photo gallery for what we have been up to!
Each term, children at St. James' choose a piece of extended writing ('Big Write') that they are most proud of to publish in their Golden Book. The children carry these Golden Books with them through the school, to create a wonderful record of the progression of their work and a valuable keepsake of their favourite pieces of writing. Parents and carers will be invited to comment on their child's writing, as well as the children themselves and their class teachers.
Writing Wall of Fame
A huge congratulations to everyone who has made it on to the Writing Wall of Fame! Each term, class teachers select one piece of writing by one pupil to be displayed on the Wall of Fame, in our office. Please do stop by and have a look at some of the absolutely stunning written work.
National Poetry Day
We take part in National Poetry Day every year in October, with children mixing year groups and classes to read, recite and discuss poetry around the theme of 'messages'. The children create some wonderful work and write some beautiful poems inspired by the poets they look at.
Each class at St. James' has a Reading Champion representative, whose position is to maintain class reading areas, report to English subject leaders about books to order on behalf of classmates and also to be in charge of keeping the library in the Learning Hub at Key Stage 2 neat and orderly. Check on the right hand side of this page for a gallery of our Reading Champions!
Boys Enjoy Extreme Reading Clubs
Boys in Years 4 and 5 and Years 3 and 6 have teamed up for a weekly peer-reading club. All seem very enthusastic about the club and are building strong learning relationships.
Reading Area Competition
A huge congratulation to all of the hard work put in by the children to refresh their reading areas. Children have chosen class authors, written book recommendations, categorised books and, most importantly, chosen the overall look of their reading area themselves. Each class has worked incredibly hard!
Author visit: Gary Northfield
Years 3, 4 and 5 were treated to a visit by comic book maker, cartoonist and author, Gary Northfield! He had some fascinating things to say about his life, his inspiration and how we came to be such a successful writer and illustrator. Gary read an excerpt from one of his books (Julius Zebra and the Rumble with the Romans) and took the children through a drawing workshop, creating their very own Julius Zebra characters. At the end of the event many children had copies of the book signed by Gary too. You are welcome back any time Gary!
Have a look at some of our reading recommendations!
The Incredible Adventures of Professor Branestawm by Norman Hunter
Madcap adventures abound in this collection of short stories. Lots more to explore in two other Professor Branestawn titles out there as well. Reliably haphazard, blundering and somewhat reminiscent of a 1930s Doc Brown (of Back to the Future fame) , the Professor gets into all sorts of hilarious scrapes. The prose zips along, often shifting the narrative along through several quick developments in the space of a short paragraph and there’s lots of wordplay going on to unpick.
Suitable for a fluent reader.
In (around) 3 words: Classic character – Gadgets – Short stories
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
This tightly written book addresses death in a fairly explicit, if careful, manner and should therefore not be considered as recommendation for an individual without adequate thought. It would make a good companion piece to Noah Barleywater Runs Away. There’s also the film which allows for some rich, intertextual comparisons. It’s beautifully written and in particular it deals with Conor’s trouble at school in an insightful and yet original manner, as he comes to terms with the facts of his mother’s battle with cancer... Will have you weeping!
Suitable for an emotionally mature and experienced reader.
In (around) 3 words: Death – Dreams – School trouble
The Pearl by John Steinbeck
Ostensibly quite simple prose and unchallenging language, this short and tragic tale of a Mexican pearl diver does feature repetitive (although short) abstract passages as the main character hears ‘songs’ according to the action taking place. Used as a middle school text (ages 12-15), it could however suit an older reader who requires something beyond the standard canon of Y5/Y6 literature. It doesn’t end well for Kino’s young family in spite of a quick fortune found in a ginormous pearl, shorty following a scorpion sting to his baby son, so of course caution should be exercised when recommending to an individual.
Suitable for a(n emotionally) mature and independent reader.
In (around) 3 words: Mexico - Fortune – Classic author