With half term seeming like ages away, and Christmas only a couple of weeks away, it feels like year 5 is rushing away from us. It’s good for all of us for the routine of school to be continuing in these strange times, although we are obviously lucky in that so far, no bubbles have been closed at our school due to Covid.

There are so many discussions on social media suggesting schools should be closing early for Christmas due to people worried that their now allowed bigger family Christmas plans might be kyboshed by children having to isolate at the last minute. I think people need to stop panicking and just suck it up if it happens. Having a bigger Christmas was always going to be a bonus this year (yes, I don’t want my brother having a Christmas on his own in his flat), but any normal year could end up being cancelled for other reasons like norovirus etc.

Schools themselves won’t be able to close for keyworkers, so the teachers wouldn’t get to be off, and while the run up to Christmas is full of fun things, I’d much rather N was in school than not, trying to persuade him to do home school as the teachers wouldn’t be able to teach key worker children in school and those at home. Anyway, enough of my lecture, and onto our November school days.

writing fun sories at bedtime

Star of the week

N’s done pretty well this school year so far. He was awarded star of the week, for bravery in learning. He wasn’t entirely sure what that meant, but hey, he was recognised for doing something positive and trying hard, so that’s a good thing.

Reading overlays

During half term N had a visual stress test to confirm which coloured overlays he would need to help his reading. At school he’d previously thought the blue was good, but doing the longer test came out with him needing yellow overlays instead. So school made the switch for him, as well as him having one he can keep at home from the opticians. He uses the overlays for reading to effectively dull the white page glare and make it easier to concentrate on the words, helping his fluidity of reading.. They also print out worksheets on yellow paper for him.

Evidently it’s quite common for people to find them useful for a whole range of reasons. Worth trying some self tests online and reading up about it if children struggle or don’t enjoy reading and school haven’t picked up on it as a potential solution.

Class assembly

Class 4 always do the first class assembly of the year and this year it was the same although virtually. They used their topic and science work they’d been learning to tell us about body organs and animals, as well as Black History Month information they’d learnt. It’s great to see how they’ve come on since being in reception year and taking part in assemblies there. Their personalities come out as well.

Assessment results

We’ve had teacher calls this term to discuss how our children have done in their class assessments. N is never bothered by assessments. He knows when he’s done them, he sometimes has a ‘script’ help although usually he says he doesn’t need one. I suppose it’s to help him get what he wants to say down on paper. I’m not really a fan because he can do it, he just forgets to concentrate on his spelling and making it make sense. I’m not convinced that at secondary he would get one, so he needs to get used to writing for himself. But I’m not a teacher so what do I know.

Anyway, parents were told results before children were told them, and so had to keep it quiet for a bit so all parents were called before children knew. N’s maths was well on the way to where they’d hope it would be for Year 6 SATs, and his reading comprehension paper wasn’t a cause for worry either. Comprehension isn’t his strongest point, but he’s certainly shown improvement this year in his understanding of what he needs to look for, and extend his thinking to when answering the questions. He was very pleased with his results when he got them, and had worked out where he was vs Y6 expectations. So let’s hope it continues into the rest of this year and beyond.

His reading is also on track which was always the area (along with spellings) he needed to work on.

Times tables

Last year N’s year were due to be the first ones o be assessed in the national multiplication tables check, but missed it due to Covid. His times tables are ok – he knows them all, and when he’s been doing it regularly, his times table grid completion had got to just under 4 minutes in the summer term.

For some reason he’s been doing non mixed up grids instead of the usual mixed up ones they’ve been doing since year 3. I think he felt like he should have been doing the mixed up ones, but he has now been given those back again. Having not done them for a while, it’s going to take him a bit of time to get back down to where he was with them, but hopefully he’ll rise to the challenge and get some best times.

Children in Need

Fundraising is always a challenge, but more so at the moment where everything has to be virtual. But for Children in Need they did bubble walks around the school field with the teacher’s dog joining them. Usually they go round the village for a ramble with parents and dogs going too, but this time it wasn’t obviously allowed.

Hockey goals

N is still loving his hockey. They’re pretty much playing twice a week, although it does make me laugh they’re playing with kids plastic stick and can use the back and front of the stick. It does concern me he says he’s been scoring goals from volleys. I’m not sure I’d want to be in goal. But he’s really enjoying it, and it’s nice he’s liking playing a proper team sport.

Onwards to December they go, and into the Christmas run up and fun.

How’s school going your end?

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