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In Reception, children show good concentration in well planned, absorbing and imaginative activities - Latest Ofsted ReportLeaders have established a positive culture for learning mathematics - Latest Ofsted ReportThe use of pupil premium funding is well targeted to support disadvantaged pupils’ learning - Latest Ofsted ReportDisplay walls are providing effective support for learning - Latest Ofsted ReportThe school, through its distinctive Christian character, is outstanding - Latest SIAMS ReportA culture of collective worship and prayer enables this large school to resemble a united caring family - Latest SIAMS Report

Supporting Learning at Home

In school we teach phonics using Letters and Sounds as a core resource.  In order for your child/ren to make the maximum progress throughout their academic year, it is very important for their learning to continue outside of school. Your support is really valued in the following key areas:

 Reading at least once a day and recording sessions in the reading record books

  • Phonic sounds (especially in the earlier years). This is a really useful link for exploring the pure sounds that we teach within school http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwJx1NSineE
  • Homework
  • Spellings
  • Encourage your child/ren to talk about and use Maths in real life everyday situations e.g. money, measures and solving Maths problems.
  • Theme work – each child is sent home with a theme grid for each term. Any support regarding this theme is fantastic
  • Please click on the following links for more help with reading Booms Taxonomy Sheet, Top Tips for Parents and Reading Strategies

 

General hints for parents helping children with maths at home:
 

Encourage children to talk about their calculation strategies. Ask questions such as, ‘How did you work that out?’, ‘Can you think of other ways?’ and ‘What if you started with…?’

Don’t worry if some methods seem long winded or unfamiliar to you. Building confidence in mathematics is crucial so be pleased with their efforts and always encourage with praise. If your child is not in the mood it is the wrong time to be practising.

With younger children always have apparatus…toys, small objects, coins etc available so that they can work at a very practical level and check their mental calculations with real materials. Older children may choose to support their thinking with rough jottings. Ultimately we are encouraging children to ask themselves ‘Can I do this in my head?’ but they should always work at a level in which they feel secure. To rush and discourage support materials would slow down the development of their thinking in the longer term.

The best possible way to develop a real understanding of meaningful calculations with money is practise with real money and set up mini shopping situations. Involve older children in budgeting projects such as costing the purchase and weekly care cost of a new pet/the petrol costs of a regular shuttle service to swimming lessons etc.

A sensible place to develop an early understanding of capacity is in the bath! Provide a range of containers and allow children to experiment. They will soon learn that narrow tall bottles don’t necessarily hold as much water as they thought! With older children look together at labels on food and drink products. You will find some interesting facts! Some ‘liquids’ are measured in grams and millilitres and products such as bark chippings and other garden products are measured in litres.

Comparing different containers and converting litres to millilitres/kilograms to grams and talking about fractions of measurements is an excellent way to provide practical opportunities for your child.

Your help at home is really appreciated in school.

 

 Here are a few really great websites to help support your child in Maths:
 
In particular here is an an excellent link full of 60 short videos (1-3 mins long) on a range of Maths topics based around the new curriculum. 

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How to boost your child's literacy skills by asking the right questions.

Who are the storytellers?

 We are surrounded by stories in our everyday lives - in the classroom, in film and TV, and  in the lessons we pass down and the knowledge we impart to our children. But how do we put it to good use when trying to boost reading and writing confidence in our children? The answer lies on the questions we ask, and the interest we show.

We often hold up the importance of reading for our children, but the importance of comprehension and interaction is a welcome consequence. Even for younger readers, sharing their experiences and opinions is a vital part of how they see the world and their place in it. A confidence boosting exchange of ideas is often all about talking – what does your child think of the story, and why do they think it? There are a few useful sites on the web to help parents with this. They even split them up into six handy little categories – remembering, evaluating, understanding, applying, analysing, and if your children are enjoying it so much they want a go at producing their own writing, a creative section.

These questions, commonly known as Blooms Taxonomy question stems, are used all over the world to encourage children in their reading. For younger readers begin with simple remembering questions – where is, how many are, what happened after... Through analysing and evaluating their nightly stories, your children will be able to see how tales are created, how characters find their voices, and why writers write in a particular style. This critical thinking will aid them not just with their reading, but with their enthusiasm for the written word, their ability to concentrate on longer films or TV programmes, and their listening skills.

Reading in a group with brothers or sisters is also a good idea, as it not only calms down the whole house before bedtime, it also teaches children that reading can be a social experience. That their brother or sister also has an opinion or feelings on the story just read. This routine before bed will connect their at home and classroom reading experiences – allowing them to see that reading need never be a chore. So after the latest tale at bedtime, let your children have a go at telling their own stories and expressing their own views. You never know where it may lead....

Fresh Reading, Fresh Writing

You know your child's routines best. You know what inspires them, what bores them. If they're interested in reading, chances are they'll want to create stories of their own. There is nothing like seeing the proud look on your son or daughter's face when they've had something in print or online. Below are just a few ways to get them tuned into reading and writing, on the web, and also in a physical publishing format that will boost their confidence no end.  

 

Storybird.com

The website where you can write the stories and choose your own illustrations from a selection of artwork, and it's all free. Used widely by schools all over the world, the site has an information section for parents and teachers. The illustrations are beautifully done by a group of contributing artists, and the chance to bounce ideas off other writers is a great shared tool. Reading others work and commenting is widely encouraged also.  

Soundcloud

Soundcloud. com is a good resource for children's audio stories for long journeys, and can also be a separate format to harness their interest in the written word through another medium. Often sites like Gatwick Airport let you listen to their story selections for free.  

 

Knowonder.com

One of the best sites for free children's literature – they have a story a day initiative and are now producing chapter books for older readers, some of which are also free. Themes range from fairy tales to adventuring to animals. And the tales are ideal for bedtime reading – not too long before those lids begin to close.

 bbc.co.uk/schools 

The BBC's school literacy section has a great range of activities which are age appropriate for boosting confidence. Their early years section is also packed with interactive games and activities for children with special needs.   

Health and Wellbeing

Everyday worries are a part of life – so how do you help your children deal with them healthily and in a way that equips them in the future? And what do you do if your child begins to develop irrational worries?

This section will focus on how to boost your children’s wellbeing in and out of school – and will feature a range of tips, internet resources and strategies to help your child.

Worries are a natural part of life and if your child worries a lot, it can be good knowing that out there is just that little bit of extra help to guide them on their learning journey. Often if a child has an irrational worry - something that is not going to happen - they can't see the logic telling them it's not going to happen.

The first strategy you as a parent or guardian can use is trying to break down the worry into pieces with logical steps. For example, if a child feels he or she is going to get themselves in huge trouble if they get two or three times tables wrong in a test, the first thing you can ask them is - have they ever got into trouble for trying and getting things wrong before? The chances are that their teacher will be aware they are nervous about tests (if not have a word with them) and will understand the situation.

Children can often be worried about failure - when there is nothing to worry about if they have tried their best. Teaching children how to deal with failing as well as succeeding is they key to helping them with their worries surrounding schoolwork.

With bigger irrational worries, think of the worry as a house. Knocking down the walls of that house so it can't stand up means talking through the logical aspects of the worry, which means that there is a 99.9999% it won't happen.