Thank you for your patience; I know I have been a little late in sharing information with you but hopefully the following will address some of your, “Hmm, I wonder what …?”
First of all, may I introduce myself – I am Mrs. Log-An. I believe last year the children’s teacher was a Mrs. Logan; a close relation of mine! This caused a giggle at the start of Term and was a good way to relax the children back into school.
We have had a determined focus on settling back into school life and adjusting to a few changes in what a ‘normal’ school day looks like. I am glad to share that P5 are now settled and are managing to focus on their learning with more commitment. There has also been discussion on expectations; those of the school but more importantly, their own.
However, central to all this has been an emphasis on kindness. We are working together to promote caring ways and random acts of kindness to establish a nurturing cultural in which we can all thrive.
Reading: I am delighted to report that everyone is enjoying their reading books. To complement their enjoyment, the children are engaging with reading activities which reflect Edward De Bono’s thinking skills. At the moment, the children have not bee introduce to Mr. De Bono and his thinking hats but when they mention his name in the future, you will understand the merit behind using his ‘hats’!
- Edward de Bono's Six Hats is a good decision-making technique and method for group discussions and individual thinking. Combined with the parallel thinking process, this technique helps groups think more effectively. It is a means to organise thinking processes in a detailed and cohesive manner.
As well as their group reading books and associated learning tasks, the children’s skills of comprehension are being supported by their engagement with the ‘Blue Box’ comprehension cards. The children enjoy these cards as they cover a wide range of genre, pitched at their own level of confidence and understanding and allows them to self-mark, so feedback is timely.
Another pathway to comprehension is being delivered through ‘On this Day…’. This online activity is supporting talking out loud and listening skills. Once again, ask your child what this is. I hope they will be able to share a fact or two which they found of interest.
Writing: Once again we are working hard to produce our writing to match any specific criteria; using our steps for success will support this. Remembering to use our skills for writing will be a good way forward to re-establish quality writing. Our first pieces of writing have been both imaginative and personal (Monday News) with the latest one being enriched with similes and metaphors. Future writing will also include factual texts linked predominantly to our topic.
There was the usual ‘in-house’ competition; the closing date is today so I hope some of your children have entered.
Numeracy: There has been a focus on assessing where the children are in their learning to ensure future learning is relevant to where each child is in his/her understanding of number etc., this will promote progress for all. Looking over the data, a good starting point was a revision of place value, (place value is all about calculating the value of each digit in a number. For example, the 5 in 350 represents 5 tens, or 50, however, the 5 in 5,006 represents 5 thousand, or 5,000. It is important that children understand that whilst a digit can be the same, its value depends on where it is in the number.)
Likewise, we have been engaging with daily practice across the four mathematical competencies (+, -, x, ÷) with new learning having been introduced for long multiplication and division. Future learning in this area will be supported appropriately. Hopefully, before the holidays we will revisit ‘time’ and progress to 24-hour clock and associated challenges in this area of learning.
This Term there will be a renewed impetus to improve our mental maths, pertinent to individual level of confidence. However, strategies to support mental calculations will be shared too, to allow everyone to enjoy successes. The understanding of how numbers ‘behave’ will make it possible for children to use mathematics reliably to solve problems and generate examples to test their mathematical ideas. This will support enjoyment and alleviate any anxiety.
Health and Wellbeing: As previously mentioned, we are concentrating on the theme of kindness, caring and consideration. Running in parallel will be a focus on aspects of resilience to help us to feel happy and secure and in a good place to learn.
We shared the story of Nelson Mandela, perhaps your child could share with you a little of what they remember? From this we introduced ‘life skill of the month’; this month’s is ‘caring’. Perhaps you could chat to your child about this? Do they like this idea or not?
Obviously, there have been and will continue to be, rich and appropriate opportunities to take the learning outside across all aspects of learning and of course, for P.E. (Where and when appropriate to do so.) We have discussed as a class how to keep ourselves safe, be responsible and make wise, informed choices and decisions. A happy and fun time for all learners will then ensue!
IDL: Our topic this Term is ‘Rocks and Soil’. Thought this would be a rock solid one with which to start! 😉 Although, it has been a bit of a slow start, the children have already shown genuine interest and asked some interesting and pertinent questions.
Thanks to all who brought in a rock or two; they have been used in a creative way to enhance our RRS display. We are actually needing more rocks for a number of experiments I have planned, so feel free to send your child in with one or two. Those of different shape, size, texture etc., would be greatly appreciated.
Lastly, may I wish you all a happy, peaceful and safe weekend and thank you very much for tuning in.