Curriculum Evening Resources

E-Safety Resources

Online Safety Parents (Primary) – November 2018

YouTube Safety Factsheet for Parents

Mathematics Resources

Key Learning in Mathematics – Year 2

Key Learning in Mathematics – Year 3

Key Learning in Mathematics – Year 4

Progression in Calculations

Bar Modelling Examples

KS1 & KS2 SATs

Useful Websites for Mathematics

Singapore’ Bar Modelling Questions for Parents – Too tough for Harvard

Answers as follows:

1. There are 14 ducks, 7 cows and 21 sheep.
2. There are 1040 French, German & Spanish books.
3. Mr Ali had £144.00 at the beginning. One book cost £5.00.

If you fancy another challenge, then…

Singapore Sling Problem
There is twice as much soda water as lime juice and twice as much lime juice as cherry brandy. There is 3 times as much gin as cherry brandy and twice as much cherry brandy as there is grenadine. If there is 60ml of lime juice how large is the Singapore Sling?



Reading Prompt Questions

General Questions

What is the title of the book?
Can you find the author?
Have you read any other books by this author?
What kind of text is this?
What do you think the book is about?
What does the blurb tell us?
Where is the story set?
What genre is this?
Have you read anything like this before?

Decoding Unfamiliar Words and Understanding Language Used

How are you going to work out that new word?
Was that the best strategy to use?
Does it make sense?
What does that word mean?
What other words would work well?
Did the author choose this word on purpose?
What makes you think this?
What effect was the author trying to create?
Find three words you don’t know the meaning of.
What do you think these new words mean?

Opinions About the Text

Do you like the book?
What would you tell a friend about the book?
Was there anything you liked?
Was there anything you disliked?
Was there anything that puzzled you?
Have you read anything that puzzled you?
Have you read any other stories like this?
When you first saw the book what did you think it was going to be about?
Were you surprised by anything in the book?

Non Fiction

How do you read a non-fiction book?
How would you choose where to start?
What do the contents/glossary/index tell us?
What new information have you learned from this book?
Where would you find the information about…?
What would happen if I changed the order of instructions?
What happens after?
Can you find the instruction words?

Questions About the Characters and Settings

Describe the main character to me. How do you know?
What questions would you ask the character?
Can you compare this character to another?
What do you know about this character? How did you find this out?
Can you think of other words to describe the character?
Would you like this character as a friend?
What character interested you the most?
Can you compare this setting to another?
If you were the author would you change the character/setting?
Can you think of any other words to describe the character/setting?
Which character interested you most?

Understanding the Text

Why did x do that?
What would you have done?
How would you describe him?
Which words tell us that?
Why has the author used print like that (bold, italic etc)?
Look at the illustration, how does she feel etc?
Are there any words you don’t understand?
Who do you think the main character is?
What is the chapter/paragraph about?
What type of opening is that?
Is it effective? Explain
Describe the main character to me. How do you know?

Phonics and Reading

Learning the Letter Sounds

Children should learn each letter by its sound initially and then by its name. The letter sound is known as a phoneme and the written form of the sound is referred to as the grapheme. Two letters which make one sound are referred to as digraphs and three letters which make one sound are called trigraphs. We may also refer to these as blends.

The letters are taught in a particular order. The order is taken from the Government produced Letters and Sounds programme. The first set consists of a group of six letters, from which many common words can be made. Attached is our Phonics Passport, which details the order in which we teach the sounds.

Remember, text is everywhere and you can point out written words to children everywhere you go; shops, signs, advertisements to name but a few. I spy is a useful game to support reading.

Games can be played at home using a pack of alphabet flash cards or magnetic letters. Make an arc with the letters in the order of the alphabet. You could sing the alphabet song together. Then say a cvc word such as cat or dog. Ask the child to make the word taking the letters they need from the arc. Reinforce learning by asking the child to write the word once they have made it correctly.

To support individual learning styles the actions from Jolly Phonics are taught as part of our phonics lessons and can be used at home. There is an action for each sound which can help the child to remember a sound. There is a teaching leaflet which can be down-loaded as a PDF from

Learning to Write Letters

Pencil control is extremely important. At St. Paul’s we use triangular pencils which encourage a tripod grip. Children who have difficulty with writing should be encouraged to use play dough and small malleable toys which will improve muscular development and control.

Learning to Blend

When we teach children to blend, we use sound buttons to support fluency in blending. A word is written and under each grapheme, digraph or trigraph, a sound button is placed. This indicates how many sounds are in the word. I.e. cat has three sound buttons, as does fish because sh is a digraph. The children very quickly get used to this system and we would encourage you to use sound buttons at home. Please refer to our Phonics Passport which shows individual sounds and blends.

Tricky Words

Some words are phonetically implausible and cannot be decoded.

For example, all, are, we, said, you, laugh, because. These words are referred to as tricky words.

For these words, sight learning must be applied. Children need to remember the shape of the word. Repetition is key; show the child the word and ask them to write it. Gradually, this system should enable the child to remember a word simply by the shape it makes.

You could make a bingo board and word cards to support learning. Making learning fun is extremely important in Early Years.

Helping Your Child to Read and Enjoy Stories

Whilst teaching letters and sounds is important, developing a love of story should be nurtured and encouraged. Children learn to enjoy story by first listening to stories being read to them. Reading to your child is just as important as hearing them read.

Phonics skills should be applied to reading, but the picture cues are equally important. They allow a child to appreciate the full sense of the story and they encourage the child to make story predictions. Talking about a story is a skill to be encouraged and enjoyed and supports comprehension. Please encourage your child to follow the text with their finger as they read. This helps them to follow text accurately and encourages use of their phonics and blending skills.

Moving on through our reading scheme, The Oxford Reading Tree, should be done at the right pace for each individual child. Some children may stay on a stage for some time, developing necessary skills before they are ready to move on.

We provide a Bug Club book each half term for the children to enjoy alongside our reading scheme should they wish to.  Bug Club is an electronic teaching programme used in phonics lessons to support learning. Children enjoy short lessons using the interactive whiteboard and enjoy singing the Bug Club alphabet song. They are encouraged to blend and spell.

Some children enjoy reading e books at home and this should also be encouraged alongside our scheme books.
We hope this information will help you to support your child at home with their reading. Please continue to use the Reading Record to let us know of any specific reading difficulties or successes each week.

Reading Records


Oxford Reading Tree book. Daily reading. 2 parents’ comments – beginning of week and day before child‘s reading group.

Phonics and high frequency words focus.

Year 1

ORT – reading comprehension in later stages. Parents’ comments each time they read during the week – at least 3 comments per week but daily reading. Good to know if child read willingly.

Weekly spelling lists using phonics and spelling patterns taught that week.

Year 2

ORT – reading comprehension. 3 entries per week. Free readers – book review at end of book, 1 entry from child in answer to AF focus question.

Weekly spelling lists using phonics and spelling patterns taught that week.

Year 3

ORT – parents to continue to read with children and make 4 entries per week. Children to make 1 entry in answer to AF question set by teacher. Free readers – children to make 3 entries per week including answer to question set by class teacher. Parents to continue to hear child read and make 2 entries per week.

Spellings stuck in back of reading record. 3 definitions and sentences using word in back of reading record.

Year 4

4 entries per week including answer to AF question set by class teacher. Parents to continue to hear child read and sign reading record.

Stuck in back. 4 definitions and sentences in back of reading record.

Year 5

3 entries per week plus answer to AF question set by class teacher. Parents to continue to hear child read and sign reading record.

Stuck in back. 5 definitions and sentences in back of reading record.

Year 6

3 entries per week plus answer to AF question set by class teacher. Mini book review on completion of each book.

Stuck in back. 3 definitions and words used to create complex sentence in back of reading record.