reading books tom gates and peter rabbit

End Of January school days round up

Going back to school after Christmas seems like so long ago. We’re already racing towards to half term. It’s been a fairly good month school wise, although N has had some flat weeks. He isn’t impressed that he has to still do the lessons that he doesn’t enjoy so much, or see the point of.

Parents evening

We always have parents evening near the start of term. N is still doing ok. His reading age is a bit above his age level so that’s going well (a relief given he doesn’t do as much homework reading as he should). His spelling needs a bit of work – tests are fine, but remembering and thinking how to spell things as he’s writing needs practice.

The one area he needs to get sorted is the amount he’s getting down on paper during lessons. I know what he’s like from homework. He gets easily distracted and bored, and frustrated when he has a question, and has to wait to get an answer. He says he’s writing a lot, but he’s not getting as much done as the teacher would expect for someone who knows what he’s doing. Even in maths which is his stronger subject. He needs to think and write faster.


Compared to previous years, N hasn’t been awarded VIP much. He had it once this month, although he does sometimes get a sticker for being one of the best at sitting nicely and listening in assembly. They all count toward his house tokens so he’s happy enough. But with a huge year group and class it means they do miss out compared to other smaller year groups.


I think I’m more excited about N’s topic this term than he is. It’s flow, with a lot of focus on rivers, so being a former geographer I’m very happy I know quite a lot about them. They do so much more researching than we ever did even at secondary school – having to find out facts about topics. It means he gets excited about using the computer, and prepares them well for future study.

PE changeover

N isn’t a big team sport fan but he does prefer being outside for sport. Luckily he likes their external sports coach, and is probably quite glad it’s no longer football for PE. However they’re now doing gymnastics and he’s definitely not a fan of that.

I’m not really getting much information back about what they’ve actually been doing, but he was going on about forward rolls earlier in the term. Let’s just say, he’s no gymnast.


This year is the first he’s really talked about SPAG (spelling punctuation and grammar). While he’ll moan about writing, he’s not too bad with SPAG because it’s precise, black or white, and his creativity isn’t needed as much.  This month fronted adverbials have hit them.

I might have done A level english and a year of English at university in my first year, but the terms they now call grammar is beyond me. To be honest, we weren’t ever taught grammar in english at school (french yes, english no). We weren’t taught nouns or pronouns, adjectives or sentence construction. We just had to write and learn to add in descriptive phrases, and various other simple things without knowing the technical side. I got As for my English exams so I obviously knew what I was doing.

But I had to google. It turns out fronted adverbials are usually learnt in year 4, but because N’s class is a mixed of year 4 and 3, he gets to learn ahead of what other year 3s might learn. Certainly ahead of my School Run online learning journey for his year.  I agree with him that this grammar was hard to get his head round and explain, but he does get to learn it again next year, so it’s not too concerning that he was having to really think about it.

Chapter book completion

N has been reading chapter books since being in Class 3. But he’s never finished a normal length book, only the shorter ‘starter’ chapter books. But January saw him finally finish the Tom Gates book he’d brought back from book club. It took him quite a few weeks, but hopefully he was proud of the achievement, to say he had got to the end of a chunky book without getting bored and giving up halfway through.

reading books tom gates and peter rabbit

So January school days is over. And we’ll have to see what February brings. More swimming and tennis lessons, I’m sure more non uniform days and maybe a trip, and definitely his class assembly.

What have your children been up to at school recently?

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  1. January does seem like an awful long time ago
    I’m so glad it’s not just me who is baffled by fronted adverbials and the like! It does seem as if they’re doing technical grammar much earlier. I’ve invested in a grammar book – helped me no end.
    I’m sure N will catch up on some more VIPs as he settles into the year

  2. We have parents evening next week so I’ll hear more then, but my two seem happy enough this year at school. Sounds like N’s doing well. My daughter loves the Tom Gates books and has read them all now. My son’s just finished all of the Dog Man books so I know they must be good as he’s flown through them!

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