This week…

In Maths this week, we have started fractions and decimals. The children can now distinguish between a unit and a non-unit fraction and they can recognise fractions in a number of ways i.e. shapes and fraction lines. We moved on to looking at finding fractions of numbers and quantities, using concrete apparatus and pictorial representations and we even did a class practical which involved moving around after being split (or shared equally!) into different groups. They know the terms ‘numerator’ and ‘denominator’ too.


In Art/DT, we used the Iron Man theme from literacy as a stimulus to start looking at robotics. The children drew around their own hands and using straws and string, they created a prototype robotic hand where the index finger could flex. We linked this in to Science and PE, discussing the role of tendons and muscles. The children felt their own Achilles tendon as well as those in the hands and wrist. They are covering this in Science with Miss Turner, so there are plenty of cross-curricular links!!



Parents evening feedback – Maths

In light of the recent parents evening, I thought that I would clarify about what goes on in the classroom and what type of support the children are receiving in maths…

Firstly we don’t have ‘groups’ or ‘sets’. The children are given work which suits their ability and they have the choice of which questions/word problems they start on. These are differentiated and range from easier to harder. There is usually a whole-class input where concepts are introduced, explained, demonstrated etc. This is then displayed on the learning wall for the children to refer back to, should they need reminding or to look again at the example.

We work on the rule of ‘try 5 and move on’. After 5 questions, wherever possible, an adult will check to see how they have got on. If successful, they move on. If partly successful, after dialogue, the child would correct the errors using the purple ‘fix it’ pen. If successful, move on.

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If a child is struggling, or what we refer to as ‘amber’ (understand some of it but need some guidance) or ‘red’ (completely confused), then we ask them to come to the support table. Occasionally, a small group may be taken into the hall (after the input), to work quietly with concrete apparatus. We encourage the children to move to the support table on their own accord, and they do feel comfortable in doing this. It is vital if they are amber/red. Sometimes children are asked to move to the support table; it really depends on the circumstances. Once a child is happy and feels that they have moved to green (and have demonstrated this in their book and/or verbally), they can move off the table. It’s a fluid process and it works well.

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At the support table, the children use ‘concrete apparatus’. These include base 10 blocks, multi link, place value cards, number lines, bead strings etc.


Concrete is the “doing” stage, using concrete objects to model problems. Instead of the traditional method of maths teaching, where a teacher demonstrates how to solve a problem, the CPA approach brings concepts to life by allowing children to experience and handle physical objects themselves. Every new abstract concept is learned first with a “concrete” or physical experience.

Image result for maths beads Image result for base 10 blocks    Image result for place value cards  Image result for multilink


Pictorial is the “seeing” stage, using representations of the objects to model problems. This stage encourages children to make a mental connection between the physical object and abstract levels of understanding by drawing or looking at pictures, circles, diagrams or models which represent the objects in the problem.

CPA Approach


Abstract is the “symbolic” stage, where children are able to use abstract symbols to model problems (Hauser).


Those that are green will work on building their mathematical fluency (recall and apply mathematical knowledge both rapidly and accurately). This is not just memorising though. At this stage, they are recognising relationships and making connections. Then there is reasoning. This involves explaining the maths in full sentences. They should be able to say not just what the answer is, but how they know it’s right. This is key to building mathematical language and reasoning skills. Finally, there is problem solving. The children are encouraged to identify, understand and apply relevant mathematical principles and make connections between different ideas. Maths concepts are explored in a variety of representations and problem-solving contexts to give the children a richer and deeper learning experience. They are required to combine different concepts to solve complex problems, and apply knowledge to real-life situations.


Remembrance assembly

This week, Miss Hill led a remembrance assembly to the whole of the school. She discussed the significance of wearing poppies and we finished with a thinking poem. In singing assembly on Tuesday, Miss Cutter taught the school the song ‘Make me a channel of your peace’, again linking to remembrance day. The children really enjoyed this.

Wonderful work this week!

Chapter 5 of The Iron Man was completed, meaning that we have now finished out class text. The ending of the book finished with a lovely message about earth becoming ‘wonderfully peaceful’. This was all thanks to the space-bat-angel-dragon’s ‘deep weird singing, like millions of voices singing together’. They stopped making weapons. The countries began to think of how they could live pleasantly alongside each other, rather than how to get rid of each other. All they wanted to do was to have peace. What a lovely thought. If only it was that simple!

We have continued to collect a number of nouns, adjectives and verbs which were a little tricky, and have added them to our learning wall. Learning new vocabulary is important to develop quality writing.


We have looked at alliteration in readiness for writing a newspaper article next week.


In maths, we looked at dividing mentally and different techniques of how to achieve this.

Thursday and Friday saw the focus shift to working out word problems. How can we use our knowledge from earlier in the week and from making a number x10 bigger and smaller to solve them? The children worked in pairs to solve the word problems and most importantly, they had to explain how they did it. Thanks to Henry and Poppie and Tyler and Bonnie for being brave and explaining how they worked it out to the rest of the class.

In History, the children were looking at artefacts from the Stone age and Iron age periods.

First week back…

Back into the swing of things again! We welcomed everyone back after what was hopefully, a restful holidays.

We started to read our class text this week which is The Iron Man, by Ted Hughes. Reading comprehension is a vital skill and we started the week by predicting what might happen by looking at the cover and reading the blurb. Whilst reading the book, we discussed words and phrases that the children are perhaps uncertain of, such as ‘sheer’, ‘brink’ and ‘windshield’.

We identified how language contributes to meaning by describing what a simile is and finding examples in the text. Ted Hughes uses a lot of similes to describe the iron man, e.g “His great iron head, shaped like a dustbin but as big as a bedroom…”

In Maths, we looked at mental multiplication, looking at making numbers 10, 100 and 1000 times bigger. This linked in nicely to place value, which was covered before half term. Some children were taken into the hall to look at this concept in a practical way and it worked really well!

Mufti day

Well done to everyone who dressed up for the ‘Wear it Wild’ mufti day, with money raised going to the World Wildlife Fund. We had a variety of costumes, including wildlife explorers, a red squirrel, a panda and cats, to name but a few! Excellent effort!