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11th May

Mrs Santry says..


Dear Parents,

I have been hugely impressed with the projects I have seen.  All children have worked incredibly hard and seem to have a good understanding of the comparisons between their lives and those of children in other countries.   I hope this created a lot of discussion and wonderful questions. 

Hopefully this week, we will have more of an idea about the future and I am looking forward to returning to the classroom and my wonderful Robins.  I appreciate, although hugely enjoyable being with your children, how difficult it is to deliver home schooling (especially with children of different ages) so I am trying to make this a little easier with the planning.  Once again, only do what you can.  A happy child during this time is far more important than their academic progress.  It is our job to get them to where they need to be – and rest assured we will do it!  We are professionals and I promise will catch up on everything missed   


This week we are going to revise subtraction.  I hope you are finding the work books useful, as they show how we calculate in class.  The tens frame is something that may be new to us parents but it is an invaluable tool for them.  All children know how to draw their own so it is a good idea to have scrap paper around for them to draw on.  Their tens frames do not need to be neat with a ruler, it is just a concept.  Children have learned how to cross off counters in a tens frame but Unit 8 will introduce how to subtract a two-digit number by removing the tens first and then the units (1’s).  This step will be new for them as, in previous learning, we have only removed units (and not tens) and obviously they take those from the incomplete tens frame.  Please help them understand the importance of removing the tens first (from complete tens frames) when subtracting a two digit number.

 It would be wonderful if you children could try counting backwards as a warm-up in 1’s, 2’s. 5’s or 10’s.  Please do try and cross the tens and 100’s barrier and give them specific numbers to start and stop at ie count backwards in 1’s from 106 to 94.  They do find it tricky knowing when to stop so this is a skill they need to practise and develop.  When counting in 10’s please include numbers that do not end in zero eg count back in 10’s from 86 to 36. 

As an additional resource, the Oak National Academy is a hub created by teachers to deliver math lessons.  It allows you to select specific year groups and then has daily lessons with activities to support.   I appreciate I have put a lot here this week, but it is for you to choose which activities suit your current situation best. 

Task One to Five  Unit 8 pages 34 to 69

Again this week, support their subtraction using online games.  This give simple mental subtraction up to 20.  How many can you do in a minute.   This is a teaching tool allowing them to fill in and remove counters to practise.  This uses the bar model to work out how many more are needed to make a number.  It is subtraction by counting forwards. 



We are finishing off fantasy stories this week.  Over the week I would like them to plan and then create their own on a story board with a picture above and a few sentences below each section. (see below). Rather than attaching one, I would prefer the children to do their own, as when I include an example they work to fill it rather than developing their ideas with the relevant number of sections.  They can do fewer or more pages.  It’s really up to their story. 

If you wish they can also write it as a story first and then turn it into a storyboard after.  I am allowing the whole week for this as the illustrations are as important as their writing and it normally takes up a few days to complete.   Allow one whole session for them to discuss ideas and plan their story.


I would also like them to spend some time on their phonics and High Frequency Words.  Mr Thorne’s phonics on facebook is wonderful for the earlier sounds, however is fantastic for their current level.  They need to be secure with all sounds up to the end of phase 5.  At this time in the academic year, we really push this focus in class.  As you can appreciate, phonics can be boring to learn so in our class all of our games are interactive and fun, often relying on playing in a larger group.  I understand this is not feasible in our current clime.  However, I am listing a couple of fun activities we do which you may be able to modify.

  • Laser challenge.   I often create a web of wool across our outdoor play area. (Think Catherine Zeta Jones in Entrapment, but no-where near as glamourous!) The strands are the ‘lasers’ that cannot be touched.  I then peg various phonics throughout this.  I then call out a word or a sound and they race through the lasers to bring it back and write the word. 
  • Water and big brushes.  Getting them to write their High Frequency Words or spellings I call out on the pavement or outside walls using water.
  • Stepping stones.  I spread stepping stones (paper) around the floor.  They all start at the beginning with a wipeboard.  I either call out a word and they spell it and show or I hold up a word and they have to read it.  If correct, they can move forwards / sideways etc.  I always have goblins who start 2 paces behind who try to catch them when it’s their turn.  It is not a straight forward race, but meanders around and back with different pathways branching off, they especially enjoy being chased.  
  • Treasure stones.  I have lots of gold painted stones with sounds on them.  I hide these around outside.  I call out a word and they have to go and find the matching stone.  It is a race.  They bring it back and write the word.  Or I call out a sound and they have to find all the stones with that sound on.  Even creating their own stone sound bank would be fun for them.
  • Sound rugby.  I use the tag rugby belts (an ordinary belt would work).  The tags have different sounds on.  I call out a word or sound and they have to take that sound off their opponents. 
  • Target or bowling.  Either using sound cards in rings or writing them on plastic bottles.  I call out a sound or word and they either throw a beanbag on the card or knock the bottle over. 

There are many more games I use but it would be lovely if your child wants to make their own game up and we can share them.


Please see the Indian Powerpoint.  I understand that many of you filled in this column on the sheet last week but this powerpoint was to do this.  We would compare our lifestyle to theirs.  Why not have an Indian themed night with food, making a Sari out of sheets / scarves, playing background Indian Music. 


See attachment.  I have passed your photos and work onto Mrs Bridel and she is incredibly impressed.  Keep it up Robins!


We look at  Rousseau (see powerpoint).  In class the children then follow me as I do step by step on how to paint a tiger.  I would like them to have a go at doing their own using this example.  Parents feel free to do step by step with them.  I start with the nose and work outwards.