Code Club is a popular part of our school – allowing children the chance to experiment with coding and problem solving. It is open to any child in Key Stage 2 (years 3 and up) – and takes place on a Monday after school – 3:30- 4:30, children are welcome to go on to after school club after this time. This year our Code Clubbers have led a ‘Mini Code Club’ for children from Class 1 who have wanted to try out some of the activities. Using programs such as ‘Scratch’ and the Hour of Code website!
Making Numbers Count!
Another area that the school is currently working on is our Mathematics attainment and progression.
Maths across the school – whilst meeting national progress targets – is one of our most challenging areas. Last year we worked at ensuring our mathematics curriculum progressed appropriately through the classes and that the children were challenged enough in class. We also looked at our Calculation Policy – which ensured that the children are taught the same methods of calculation throughout the year. Sharing this with parents via the website and in our Parent Maths Sessions has been a key area to work on.
What we are doing:
This year our emphasis is on consistency across the school – consistency with vocabulary, expectations and resources. As such some of the teachers have already attended training looking at the different resources available and how they can be used across school. We are having a whole school maths day at Talkin Tarn – linked with the Carlisle United Community Coaches who will be supporting us with orienteering and direction work. We are continuing to emphasise mental calculation methods – using Times Table Rock Star from Year 2 onwards – and asking our our older children to solve more calculations with mental methods.
What you can do:
Your help is vital for this; the children all have maths targets which detail what they are working on in class. For example in reception it may be about recognising and ordering numbers up to 20 whilst in Year 4 it may be about knowing all of their times tables by heart. Homework as they go through school will also help the children to reinforce learning at home.
Getting Ready for September!
Last week we held two days in school where the children moved into the new class and spent the morning with their new teacher. There are no changes to the teaching staff structure next year, and so for many of the children it is not a new teacher, merely a new year group with new challenges and new opportunities. Some children may have a few anxieties about next year, and we work to allay these.
For the younger children – those moving from Class 1 into Class 2 – Mr Kirby will be a familiar figure. Class 1 and Class 2 work together regularly over the year as this supports the Reception children in becoming used to the formal learning before Year 1. It also offers Year 1 the chance to experience the more familiar continuous provision and so support the development of interests and self confidence. We are looking to build on this successful work next year – exploring more continuous provision in Class 2.
For Class 3 and Class 4 they maintain their now familiar routine. Class 4 will keep Ms Stacey in the morning, with Mrs Buchanan as a Teaching Assistant, and Class 3 will keep Mr Tyrrell with support from Mrs McNeil. Key Stage 2 will continue to be supported by Sports Teacher Mr Burns next year as well and we also hope to build on a successful sports partnership with Carlisle United. Ben Draper will continue to provide choir and music support.
In the meantime we also have a few dates for your diary – the children return back to school on Tuesday September 4th and we have a ‘Meet the Teacher’ time on Wednesday 5th September at 4pm.
As usual, if you have any questions do get in touch!
As is our tradition we will once again celebrate Science Week this year.
Science Week – which explores all aspects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths is a great opportunity for the whole school community to get involved and to stretch their concept of what Science is!
This year we want to make it bigger than ever!
We will once again have a 3D Printer and we are planning our cross-school workshops. We are also looking to have a dress-up day and an assembly on the Friday where we welcome a variety of visitors! This dress up day (Ada Lovelace anyone?!) will replace World Book Day dress up the week before, though we will still celebrate World Book Day of course!
We need your help!
- Do you know anyone who works in any area of science, technology or engineering who could come along and speak to our children? We are very happy to Skype too?
- We are fundraising to be able to enjoy a science-themed trip, or but some fabulous, new, science books – so please look out for School Council events to support!
Finally – if you have any ideas for Science Week just get in touch!
As a small school we are always conscious that our children can find the transition to secondary school a bit scary and a bit daunting. One of the ways we can help with this is to link with other schools so that the children can meet each other and have some shared experiences before they go on to Secondary Schools.
This year we are linking with Warwick Bridge and Great Corby – and we started our shared sessions this week with an introduction to coding with the Microbit. The microbit is a mini computer which can be programmed in a number of different ways. We used a the ‘block’ interface to program it to flash letters and numbers and to react when it was shaken. Our challenge was to create a dice – which one group managed to do!
It was a fun session – and all of the children learnt a little bit more about programming computers (and what an algorithm is!)
If you want to know more about Microbits – check here