We have audited our curriculum, to look at some of the difficulties children can have during their time at primary school and outlined these below.
The table pairs these with a range of fun activities which may support your child in making progress in these areas.
As always, if you are concerned about your child’s progress, please contact your child’s teacher who will be happy to discuss this with you, and suggest ways in which you could support your child at home.
If your child is on Read, Write, Inc or Freshstart and you feel you would like to support them further with their reading, please speak to our Reading Leader (RWI) or Lucy Neath who will be happy to discuss with you how you can support your child
further, linked specifically to the stage of the programme they are at. All children on these programmes bring home books to read, matched to their phonological knowledge. Reading these with your child will help them to develop fluency. Another strategy which will help your child to read with increasing fluency is to read to them at home. Reading a range of picture books, as well as those which are too difficult for your child to read themselves, but they enjoy listening to, help model fluency when reading. Listening to audio books can also support them in developing this skill as they hear great examples of what fluent readers sound like. You do not need to read story books alone to develop this skill, reading cookery books, newspapers, magazines, internet pages together will also help to model and practise fluency when reading.
The more opportunities you can create to discuss books and text the better! Children will learn this through practise and applying this skill to a range of texts. When reading with your child, try asking questions such as: * What do you think might happen next? * Does this character remind you of anybody/another character? * Can you think of another book where something like this happened? * Why do you think this character chose to act like this? * What would you do if you were this character? It will also help your child if you model how you would answer these questions, by offering your own answers if discussing the questions above.
Forming letters and numbers
Practising number and letter formation will help your child to master this skill. There are lots of different ways you can practise writing letters and numbers including the following: * Writing them in mud with a stick * Using chalk on the ground * With paint/crayons * Making the letters or numbers out of objects (e.g. make the letter d out of toy cars) * Writing the letters and numbers in shaving foam * Making letters and numbers out of playdoh. You could trace letters/numbers on each others backs, and ask each other to guess what letter you have created.
Knowing their numberbonds
This skill will come with practise and repetition. There are lots of games online which will help practise speed recall of these facts. Hit the Button is a great game online, and downloadable as an App. Playing games such as the following can help develop speed with number bonds: * Using a pack of playing cards, take jack, queen and king out. Use the remaining cards – split these in half and give half to each player. Turn over two cards, race each other to add the numbers up, whoever says the answer first wins the card, whoever has the most cards at the end wins. * Roll two dice together and race each other to find the answer if you add them together. * Take 10 or 20 counters or coins and put them under a cloth. Take it in turns to be the ‘robber’ and steal some coins whilst the other player has their eyes closed. Can you work out how many have been stolen using your number bond knowledge?
Knowing their times table facts
This skill will come with practise and repetition. There are lots of games online which will help practise speed recall of these facts. Hit the Button is a great game online, and downloadable as an App. Playing games such as the following can help develop speed with times tables: * Chanting – repetitively saying times tables will help children to remember these, try saying them forwards, backwards and in funny voices. * There are lots of songs online and on CD’s which can help children remember times tables. Playing these in the car, at home, when on journeys can help children to embed facts. * Using a pack of playing cards, take jack, queen and king out. Use the remaining cards – split these in half and give half to each player. Turn over two cards, race each other to multiply the numbers, whoever says the answer first wins the cards, whoever has the most cards at the end wins. * Roll two dice together and race each other to find the answer if you multiply them together. Regular practice on TimesTable Rockstar will help support this!
Some children find it hard to concentrate on something for an extended period of time. It is important to build this skill up gradually and praise children when they have managed to concentrate for a certain period. Make the chunks of time manageable – for example if your child has a target to concentrate for 15 minutes, start with concentrating for 5 minutes. You could set an activity for your child to do which requires them to concentrate (e.g. colouring a picture or their homework). Use a kitchen timer to show them how long they need to concentrate for and set this. Ensure they are happy with the instructions to complete this and then set the timer off.
When they are secure and show repeatedly that they can concentrate for 5 minutes, move this to 6 minutes. Repeat moving the time up slowly.
Organising themselves for activities
Some children find it hard to organise themselves for activities. These strategies may support in helping children to organise themselves (e.g. when getting ready for school, routines at home) * Use visual prompts – have a horizontal list with pictures on of what children need to do, (e.g. a picture of put on trousers, a picture of putting on socks, a picture of putting on t-shirt) give this to your child and show them how to do each thing in order and move across the list. When you have modelled this and they are confident using the list with support, encourage them to use this by themselves while you are in the room to support if needed, and then when confident with this use it by themselves independently. * Asking children to repeat back instructions can help them when following these to organise themselves. E.g. if you are asking them to go upstairs and brush their teeth, ask them to repeat this back to you a couple of times (you could do this in a funny voice to make it engaging). * If you are giving multiple step instructions, repeat back each instruction and for each one pinch a finger.
Playing memory games can help children develop their memory. Practising this regularly will help them develop this skill. Games such as pairs are good for this. If children are remembering specific information, chunking this up can help (48-83-45 is much easier to remember than 488345). Creating mnemonics to help children remember key information is also a good strategy – e.g. Mummy, Daddy, Sister, Brother, Rabbit to remember multiply, divide, subtract, bring down, remainder when remembering a long division strategy.