engineering practice

Sharing primary school days in February

Another month has gone by and N’s year 3 is whizzing past. It’s nice to see all the old classic methods of maths are now in place, rather than the modern ways which are a good route to learning the standards ways. But now it means I know what he’s doing and can answer questions. 

Here’s what’s been going on in February.

engineering practice

Learner of the week

N finally got Learner of the Week. He was really chuffed with it, although it was 2 days before I found it in his book folder after seeing it in the Friday newsletter. He’d totally forgotten about it. It was for maths, which N is getting really confident about now.

They’ve been doing roman numerals recently, which takes me back to my school days studying those.

Class assembly

N’s class had their class assembly before half term. The theme was their rivers topic. They’d done artwork to hold up – I was quite impressed with N’s as art isn’t known to runin our family! They all had to say a line or two. I’m always surprised by the variation in abilities across the 2 years in their class, and it’s not always as you’d epect. N was happy enough with what he had to say – I think he really enjoyed the geography aspect of learning about rivers.

Topics – Ancient Rome

This half term they’ve moved on to Ancient Rome. Another topic I loved as a child and N is enjoying it too. Horrible Histories can take a lot of credit for his interest and knowledge of snippets of history. Plus the fact we’ve been to Fishbourne Roman Palace, Chedworth Roman villa and the Roman Baths in Bath. And we always talk about the Fosse Way when we drive along it.

We’ve also just got a Kindle fire stick and he’s discovered BBC iplayer and a Dan Snow Ancient Rome by technology documentary which he sat and watched over 2 days. N never sits and watches documentaries, even children’s focused ones, so for him to watch one aimed at adults was a surprise.

500 Words and creative writing

N isn’t a big story writer. He’s not one of those children who’ll sit down and write lots of different stories. Any story he has to write is largely based on fact rather than any off the wall creative adventure. So I was a little concerned how he’d cope with his half term homework to finish his 500 words story that they’d done planning for the week before.

I needn’t have worried. He’d done his plan, he wrote the basic sentences out. Then we left it a few days, and went back to it so he could pad it out. With a few prompts and questions from me about descriptions, asking why something happened and what they would say in the story, he got there. He has a story of 450 words, and it’s not bad. It might not be the most exciting, and he might have used his dad as the basis of a character. But he’s written a fable and it starts and ends like a proper story rather than just ending randomly. I think without prompts he wouldn’t have gone back to it though.

Not all the children in the class handed one in on time (having had 2 weeks fo it), so I was proud that he’d got on with it off his own back rather than me having to drag him away from playing to write it up.

Head bumps

After not having had a call from school for ages, N had a head bump. Evidently he was going through the door in the corridor and a younger girl was going the other way and opened the door onto him, bumping on his eye brow. What his head was doing so close to a door I have no idea! He moaned because the school couldn’t get through to me on my phones (I had no missed calls on either so that was a mystery), and had to call the OH to let him know. But no damage done apart from a bit of soreness over the next couple of days. And N wasn’t impressed that he missed hockey for it.

Questions in class

N’s class do a lot of buddy work, sharing dictionaries and ipads, working together. They mix up the partnerships every so often and depending on subjects. And N says the children are encouraged to help each other in the first instance, then asking the teachers. With a class their size, it’s a good idea although N does get frustrated. He finds it hard to focus and not be distracted and has been told he needs to do faster work to show what he can do. But he’s saying sometimes he finds it hard if others have lots of questions or are always talking about work, so he doesn’t get as much done.

I don’t think he’s keen on partner work because even when he’s working well with someone who’s similar to him, he seems to have a lot of views on other partnerships not working well, with one child holding another back or not applying themselves and messing around. I’d have been the same as a child – I was one of the children in the class expected to help others and listen to lots read, and if it’s with someone who doesn’t want to get on with it, it can be hard on the child who does.

N also had a moan because sometimes he feels like his question never gets answered because the teacher and TA have to spend more time on other tables. I tell him just to keep his hand up and they’ll get to him, but he says his arm hurts too much. Needs to obviously bulk up his arms to strengthen them. Or to write down his question in case it doesn’t get answered in general class so he’ll be able to ask at another time.


February has been a good swimming month too. The year 4 group going with them has changed over since half term, so I’d warned N he might end up moving down to the middle group as we knew there’d be some good swimmers back in the mix. But he’s held on to being in the top group and it seems to be going well. I’m pleased he’s still going to his normal lessons then I can still see how he’s doing (this week they were doing butterfly, working on adding arms in while wearing fins to help their kick).

So school is still going well, and he’s enjoying it. The further he goes through the school he seems to enjoy it more, even though he’ll admit the work is getting harder.

How’s school going at your end?

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