27 January, 2019

It was great to bring the community together on Friday night primarily to enjoy each other's company and have fun. The fact that we raised some money for the school was really just a bonus! Thanks to the PTA for generating ideas and organising us to make them happen.

I have to admit to using an old Head Teacher trick of squeezing in a couple of important school messages into the content of the quiz to help our children make better progress.

Fluency is described as "the property of a person or a system that delivers information quickly and with expertise." The "Numbers" round of the quiz was deliberately included to demonstrate the need for this fluency with times tables.

Knowing our times tables by heart, helps to build confidence in the numbers system and reduces the anxiety that many of the participants felt when faced with a set of questions

based around Maths. This obviously leads to better, more accurate outcomes. Although everyone did well, the anxiety in the room was palpable.

A second reason for this fluency was also demonstrated through the quiz. From 2020, all Y4 children will have to take an online tables test where they will have just 6 seconds to answer single digit multiplication questions, such as 8x7 or 6x4. This is about 10 seconds less than participants had on Friday evening!

As parents, you can really help your children develop this fluency by spending time helping your child learn their tables by heart. Going through their tables chronologically or firing random tables at them can really make a difference to their mathematical ability and capacity and ultimately help them to perform well in their tests, both Tables and Y6 Key Skills.

Giving a context is also important. When you're

out shopping, maybe pose some multiplication questions with the things that you buy. How many tins would we have if we buy 8 packs of 6 tomatoes?How many days of snacks would we have if we bought 5 packs of 4 crumpets? This will not only help their fluency, but also support their problem solving skills.

The same is true with reading and spelling. The more children practice, the more fluent they become and the deeper their understanding becomes. This supports them in their future lives, helping them to become more successful.

On a broader, life skills level, this website has some good suggestions for things that children might be developing at different ages, https://www.busykidshappymom.org/life-skills. On there you will also find some of the essentials that we will also be asking of them as they come away on residentials with us.

Have a great weekend!