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HELP AT HOME

Video links at the bottom of this page

This page is being designed to give you possible ideas to help your child learn. You can certainly have an impact on how well your child does at school no matter what your educational background is. This page will soon have links to videos and websites. Please let us know if you would like us to cover an area or if something is not clear. We are very happy to have mistakes pointed out or be told that areas do not quite make sense. This will help us improve this page and maybe make it more helpful. Please let me know if you spot anything that can be improved or reworded.

If you want to see your child's curriculum go to Parents on the homepage and click on 'New Curriculum Parent Information Booklets'.

 Parent Workshops in Autumn Term 2016

It's been lovely to see so many parents attending our workshops this half term. Please let school know if you would like further workshops.

Click here to see the Key Stage 1 Maths Power Point presentation from the workshop on 27th September 2016.

Click here to see the Key Stage 2 Maths Power Point presentation from the workshop on 27th September 2016.

Click here to see the handout from the Maths Workshops on 27th September 2016.

Click here to see the Phonics Power Point presentation from the workshop on 4th October 2016

Click here to see the handout from the Phonics workshop on the 4th October 2016

Number Skills

You can help your child improve their number skills by asking them sums and helping them learn answers. Strong number skills help them quickly work out answers. Here are a few ideas.

  1. 1. Number Bonds to 10 and 20 and Partners to 10

Does your child know their number bonds up to 10 and 20. This means any combination of adding and subtracting up to 10 and then up to 20. This is important for building up basic number skills and it is beneficial to be able to instantly recall them. You can easily do this at any time, for example, shopping, in the car, walking. You can do it for as little or as long a time as you wish. If you have an older child (year 3 plus) who does not know these off by heart then it would be beneficial to help them learn these number bonds. It is not uncommon to see an older child do much more complicated maths but then get a number bond like 17 - 9 wrong in their answer.

 Partners to 10 , for example, 1 + 9,      2 + 8,      3 +7,      4 +6,      5 + 5

Add within Ten

Subtract  within ten

Add within 20

Subtract within 20

4 + 4

9 – 5

9 + 7

19 - 9

7 + 2

8 – 4

8 + 8

18 - 7

6 + 3

2 -1

9 + 3

16 - 6

2 + 7

7 - 4

14 + 4

12 - 5

             Have fun playing card games, adding up numbers, playing dominoes or adding up dice.

 

  2. Counting On...can Key Stage 1 children count on in groups of numbers, for example, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12. How far can they go ? 

2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14

3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21

4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24

10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60

Can Key Stage 2 children count on in numbers 3 to 9 from any number. How far can they go?

Count on in 3’s from 16

16, 19, 22, 25, 28, 31

Count on in 6’s from 19

19, 25, 31, 37, 43, 49

Count on in 7’s from 30

30, 37, 44, 51, 58, 65

Count on in 9’s fron 3

  3, 12, 21, 30, 39, 48

 

  3.Doubling and Halving Numbers 

It starts with doubling and halving numbers to 10, then 20, and then up to 100. This is another area that can be practised quickly and easily at any time. How well can your child double and halve numbers?

 

4. Can your child add 2 digit numbers mentally by splitting up the tens and units? This is a good skill to be able to do completely in their head.(maths)

22 + 22

Add 20 + 20 = 40

Add 2 + 2 = 4

Add 40 + 4 = 44

 

17 + 32

Add 10 and 30 = 40

Add 7 + 2 = 9

Add 40 + 9 = 49

12 + 14

Add 10 + 10 = 20

Add 2 + 4 = 6

Add 20 + 6 = 26

 

 5. Instant Recall of Times Tables and Division Tables

The children will learn times tables at school but they are likely to learn them more quickly and thoroughly if they work on them at home. Again, practising can be fun by making it a game and it can also be done quickly and at any time. Even 30 seconds can result in good revision and learning. There are lots of websites which have games based on times tables. Learning them gives the children lots of confidence and makes them better at answering many sums. In addition once they are thoroughly learnt then they will be remembered. It is well worth the effort for the impact it will have on their maths skills. 

Times table knowledge can easily be used to work out division sums. The children simply use the three numbers from the times table sum and swap them around.

E.g. 9 x 7 = 63 therefore

63 share 7 equals 9 and 

63 share 9 = 7

Some other tips for learning times tables.

the 2 x table is double the 1 x table

The 4 x table is double the 2 x table

The 8x table is double the 4x table

The 16x table is double the 8x table

The 6x table is double the 3x table

The 12 x table is double the 6x table

Knowing the above may help children find the correct answer to a times table. For example, a child may be stuck on 6 x 8 but knows what 6 x 4 is. Could they work out the answer by doubling the answer to 6 x 4. The aim is for the children to recall times tables like they do their name. Working out answers like this may help their brain establish that connection. It also helps with understanding patterns in numbers.

 

Sometimes it helps to break up a times table as the children may think they do not know a times table when they actually know most of the sums. For example they may know the 1x, 2x, 5x and 10x as a start. If they think about the 6x being only one lot of the number higher then this can help them here. The 4x is one lower than the 5x so now the children just take away one lot of the times table. The 9x is one lower than the 10 so the same principle applies. Testing repeatedly shows that the 6x, 7x and 8x of each table tend to be the most difficult to learn. A child may think they do not know their 8x table when, in fact, it may only be the 8 x 8 and 7 x 8 that they do not know. From a motivation point of view, it is much easier to think only 2 bits of my 8x table to learn rather than thinking you do not know the 8x tables. This also helps you to celebrate success along the way.

 

 

Written Calculations

You can see the written calculations for each year group on our website if you go to

'Our Curriculum' on the home web page and then

'Calculations by Year Group'. 

This will enable you to download lots of examples of the calculations taught in each year group in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

 

Spotting patterns

It is great to see children spotting patterns in maths as this helps them really understand number well. An example would be the 99x table. How many children or children would answer 99 x 9 by formally writing out 99 x 9 and then multiplying it using the column method. If a child or adult sees patterns then they may times a hundred by 9 in their head and then take away the 9. In many ways encouraging young children to seek out mental shortcuts helps them become strong at maths.

 

Reading

  1.Decoding (reading of the words) and Comprehension (understanding)

 It is not uncommon to listen to a child read each word correctly and make no mistakes. This is the decoding part of reading and it means that they can transfer the letters into the correct sounds and words. Their decoding level may be way above their actual age. However, this does not mean they are understanding what they are reading as they may not understand the words. This part of the reading is called the comprehension and refers to the understanding of the words. Often people will think their child is reading very well because they are decoding well. If they are not understanding the text then their comprehension is not good in relation to that particular text. Imagine reading French but not knowing French words. You may have a good go at decoding many of the words....but what are you understanding? This is a similar situation to a child who is decoding very well but not understanding what he is reading. Asking your child to retell the events of the page and asking questions about the text will quickly show you if they are understanding. Always thinking about comprehension ensures your child is working on all parts of reading and not just the decoding.

2. Reading at home 

Schools will teach reading in schools but do not forget your reading habits at home may well have a massive impact on your child's reading in a few years. Think how much time is spent over a year if you read stories to your child and listen to them read for 10 minutes a night. It becomes a lovely reading routine and certainly helps to make your child a better reader. Here are a few possible things to think about.

a) Make choosing books from the library or bookshops really special. They may be attracted to the toys in the book shop but keep making the experience special and exciting. Children with these experiences are probably the ones racing to our school library to find the latest David Walliams book or read the latest book in an exciting series four or five years later when they are in year 5 and 6 and loving reading.

b) Always talk about the story and ask what your child thinks of the characters. Have a great time. This ensures their understanding (comprehension) progresses alongside their reading (decoding).

 c) Mention the characters at other times of the day or pretend to be one of the characters. If your young child is laughing at you doing this then you are furthering their interest in reading.

d) Look at recommended reading lists or tips from libraries and reading websites. They will often have great ideas about books or general reading suggestions.

e) Do not get too focused on measuring progress by how many difficult words your child is reading. It is nice to see progress but remember pleasure reading is reading for enjoyment. Lots of children read difficult books but do not really understand what is taking place. If they are not really enjoying the book then this may put them off reading as time passes. This is an important point as the children will not really be enjoying the book if they do not understand it, however, they may think they are pleasing you or reading like a friend. Talking about the book (not grilling) will soon reveal to you their understanding of plot, characters and what is going on.

  

3. What if a good reader stops being interested in fiction books?

Sometimes the following situation arises with some older key stage 2 children especially boys.

1. They always loved reading with you at home.

2. They always did really well when reading at school.

3. They got very excited when they were reading books on their own.

4. Suddenly...they don't seem to want to read fiction books any more.

This can be worrying but here are a few questions and tips.

a) Do they still enjoy reading but have switched to more non-fiction style books or magazines? Remember it is still reading and a lot of your child's reading should be reading for pleasure.

b) In a typical school day your child may be studying a fiction novel in guided reading, reading websites as they research, answering questions based upon reading etc. It is important to establish whether he or she has gone off reading or is just reluctant to read fiction books. Chatting to your child about this will help. You may also want to chat to your child's teacher about this. Are they concerned?

c) I do not know if it is still true, but they used to say the children's literature market was the hardest market for authors to achieve publication. Competition has been fierce over the years. This is a good thing for the children because there are so many children's books that have been published since most parents were young. This means there are lots of books for your child to try. Asking people, looking at reading websites and browsing books may help to get them into reading fiction again.

d) Sometimes all it takes is a good book series and the children are loving reading again. They read one and can't wait to get the next. What are your child's particular interests, for example sport, fiction, fantasy video games. Is there a series that will meet their interests. Narnia, Watership Down, Geronimo Stilton, Percy Jackson? Will a film make them interested in reading the book that the film is based on? Responsible organisations publish their top children's books each year and you can get lists of the most popular ones from previous years. This wealth of information can help children find a suitable book that they will thoroughly enjoy.

e) What are their friends reading? Sometimes children may try a book because friends like it. This could be a possible area to research and then discuss with your child.

e) There is no doubt that video games can be a fierce competitor for a child's reading time. After all, both are pleasure activities. Video games are so much better in quality than when most parents were young and can tell epic tales themselves. Children tend to like them but, unlike films, they can last for many hours. You will have your own video game rules but ideally the children will be keeping a balance and not playing games so much that reading is neglected. Often children like both and have similar interests in their choice of genre in both categories. They certainly can be addictive so a good balance seems very important if your child plays games.

Grammar

1.Wow! The grammar that primary children have to learn can seem very hard to some of us adults simply because we were not taught it. Do you know what a modal verb is and what it does because year 5 children are supposed to know? Often people from other countries studying English knew more about grammar than many adults. The government plans to change this and has made grammar a bigger part of the primary years. Children complete a grammar and spelling test in year 6.

If you are really interested in helping your child in this area and you are not a grammar expert then get hold of a simple grammar book and learn some terms. Start with noun, adjective and verb and work your way through. If you check out what your child is supposed to know in their year group then you will have an idea what to focus on.

Remember it is harder for the older children because they have to learn grammar from previous years too. It also looks like the national 2016 grammar test for year 6 will be much harder than previous years. We know this because sample papers have been produced.

Here are some examples of activities that you can do with your child that might be fun.

Homophone (same sound words with different meanings)- Have fun telling each other homophones at any time. Your child may enjoy suddenly thinking that sea and see, tea and tee, sail and sale etc  have the same sound but mean different things. If they have this dialogue with you whenever they think of one then they are much more likely to remember.

Noun - A possible way to start a child's understanding of nouns is to explain that everything that they can see and touch in the world is a noun. Wherever they are and whatever they look at are nouns. Your child could walk around touching nouns.

Verb- The children usually love acting. The verb is a command so you could shout at a verb for them to act out. For example, David walks, David sings, David crawls, David dances (David does the action each time and you remind him he is learning verbs).

Adjective- The children usually like the idea of adjective loving noun so much that he follows noun everywhere to describe him. They may then get the idea that adjective describes noun. You could pick a noun and ask them for adjectives to describe it. This is also very good for their writing. Below are some examples.

Adjective      Noun

  gigantic      house

  horrible      teacher

  hungry       lion

  grumpy     daddy

 lovely         mummy

 

PUNCTUATION

.      ,       !      ?       :      ;      "

 

Think about the  following speech from a character.

                    "I am here.

             "I..I....a..am ..h..h..he..here.

                     "I am here!

Should the second set of speech marks go after the full stop or before?

Do you think the punctuation used will change the way the reader reads the sentence?

Lots of people have their own views on punctuation. Here are a few discussion points or issues for you to think about. These may be of use during homework activities or if you are teaching your child about punctuation.

Writing Punctuation

A. The children are learning what punctuation marks mean from an early age. They will become familiar with the inverted comma (speech mark), exclamation mark and question mark. They may start to use some of these when they write sentences. They gradually learn what other punctuation marks mean and use them in sentences.

B. It is not uncommon for a child to have a very good understanding of punctuation and perhaps get 20 out of 20 in a punctuation test but then neglect to use punctuation in a piece of independent writing. This may even involve missing some capital letters. What is going on?

In a punctuation test or punctuation meaning discussion the child is purely focused on the punctuation, however, when they are writing a story they are focused on other things such as character development, plot, using interesting vocabulary etc. The aim is to make them realise the importance of punctuation for their reader. If the children care about the reader then they may care about getting the punctuation correct. For example, my motivation to read this piece of work is to catch the many mistakes that I will have made. Punctuation helps the reader read the writing by organising it with commas, full stops etc. It can also be used to add impact to the writing through the use of ellipses or exclamation marks as in the example above.

It may be that you discuss how your child could add punctuation to a sentence. Alternatively, you may explain that their reader (you) has struggled to read bits because they have missed punctuation. On each occasion you could ask your child to correct the punctuation. For older children, the aim is to make them naturally check their writing for punctuation errors or to think about how punctuation could impact on their reader. If the child feels responsible to the reader or feels his or her writing will have an audience then they are likely to want to make it correct. It is the link to the real reader that may help to improve a child's independent punctuation.

Time is also a factor. If a child is flowing with his or her writing then the focus may not be punctuation. This is why proofreading and redrafting become important as children progress through primary school. Realising that proofreading and redrafting are a natural part of the writing process may help children to read through their work to check punctuation, change words and check spellings. This webpage will certainly have punctuation mistakes on it that will gradually be caught. Of course, there are also children who use punctuation correctly as they write. If this is the case then the key question may be do they use punctuation to add impact to their writing. Often children use a punctuation mark too much in years 3 and 4 as they become familiar and therefore use it over and over again. A good example of this is the exclamation mark which can certainly be initially overused as the children enjoy using it.

Similar to reading, the aim is to encourage the children to love writing. Punctuation and checking punctuation (also spelling) is important but not to be overdone so that the children become reluctant writers for fear of getting punctuation (or spellings) wrong.

Quick punctuation summary.

a) Children will learn the meaning of punctuation marks and respond to some of them when reading.

b) Children may do well in punctuation tests but miss out some punctuation when writing stories.

c) Reading through work will help children correct punctuation if they are reading through with purpose.

d) Punctuation organises the writing.

e) Punctuation impacts on the story and how characters do things.

f) Discussions about how punctuation helps the reader and punctuating a few sentences may help your child. In addition, discussing missed punctuation and encouraging a checking habit may aid progress in this area.

g) If a child is using punctuation to impact on the reader then are less likely to forget it when they write the first time. 

 

Video Links

  

 Maths Antics - helps teach many areas of maths.

Woodlands School has some great links to maths games.

 

Grammar videos for kids from the British Council. There are also quizzes, videos and games. You need to sign in to see additional worksheets (click any of me to see)