Staff Profiles


Ms Rebecca Matthews

FHEA; PGCHE; PGCE; BSc (Hons)

Senior Lecturer in Education

School of Education

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Rebecca Matthews

Phone number: +44 (0)1865 488508

Email: r.matthews@brookes.ac.uk

Location: Harcourt Hill Campus

Rebecca Matthews teaches Early Years education and Child Development on the undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Studies, and English and Child Development in Primary ITE. Currently, she is Module Lead for ‘Early Childhood Studies Placement’. which has a focus on effective Early Years practice. Rebecca supports Early Childhood Studies undergraduate students whilst on placement across a range of Oxfordshire’s Early Years settings, with a focus on developing theory-driven practice. Rebecca is also Module Lead for ‘English in the Earlier Years’ as part of the BA in Primary Education. This module focuses on early literacy, particularly the teaching of early reading and Systematic Synthetic Phonics. A key part of her role in Primary English is preparing student teachers for early literacy practice; including an early literacy focus placement. Since joining Oxford Brookes, Rebecca has been nominated for Best Module and Most Inspirational Lecturer in the Oxford Brookes Students’ Union Awards (2015).

Prior to joining Oxford Brookes as a tutor, Rebecca was a lecturer as part of St. Mary’s University’s Outstanding ITE provision. In her role as lecturer, Rebecca taught across Primary English and Professional Studies modules at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Rebecca was Module Lead for a Primary English Specialism module and Professional Studies modules with a focus on inclusive practice, assessment and feedback. Whilst at St. Mary’s, Rebecca was heavily involved with literacy curriculum development; developing both an Early Literacy Placement and Early Literacy Subject Knowledge Portfolio. Rebecca also held the role of Partnership Co-ordinator for which she developed school-university partnerships, School Expectation Audits and online evaluations for students and teacher-mentors. In her role as a Link Tutor, Rebecca coached student teachers during a range of primary placements and acted as a Lead Link Tutor for external examiner assessments and training.

Whilst at St. Mary’s, Rebecca was awarded the Henry Walpole Teaching & Learning Award for her research project: Online Writing Project (2012). This research adopted an innovative approach to improving pupils’ writing and student teachers’ assessment of writing through the use of class blogs. She also undertook a research project entitled Moving Beyond a 2:1 in your Academic Writing, which focused on improving academic standards. Rebecca also developed, and led, staff development training.

Prior to entering HE, Rebecca was class teacher and subject leader in primary and junior schools in both London and Essex. She has experience of supporting children with hearing impairments, and children with English as an Additional Language. Whilst teaching, Rebecca took a keen interest in developing a range of areas of professional practice; particularly focusing on the role of parents in assessment; the key role of talk in improving writing; and embedding speaking & listening opportunities through a creative curriculum, for which Rebecca was a local cluster leader.

Rebecca has a strong research interest in early literacy and language development; particularly the role of the Home Learning Environment and book sharing. She has recently been awarded a South East Network of Social Sciences PhD Studentship funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. Her PhD research will focus on the effects of parent-child dialogic reading on spoken language and phonological awareness; tracking children from toddlerhood to school entry. Rebecca is also interested in university students’ academic achievement and the role of assessment and feedback.