The first half term at primary school // The end is near

**This is a collaborative post

I know a lot of the country is on half term already but we’ve got to make it through the rest of this week before we get our holidays. We all definitely ready for a break, although I have to say I think this first half term has gone pretty quickly. Maybe it’s because I’d got used to teaching in Scotland where the autumn term starts in the middle of August but you still don’t get a holiday until towards the end of October.

Anyway, after a few initial wobbles Toby seems to have settled in well to Reception. The first week he was great but then we had a couple of weeks of tears at the door and him even having to be dragged off me by the teaching assistant a couple of times. I think it was mostly because he was starting to realise he has to go to school every day, and the tiredness that brings was sinking in. And of course Daddy being away for two weeks didn’t help either.

Toby in his school reception picture

We still have some complaining in the mornings about getting dressed, and a few mornings I’ve actually had to wake him up which is very unusual. Usually once he’s got his uniform on though things are OK and he’s been going into the classroom without any trouble for a good few weeks now.

As for what Toby is actually learning at school, well I’m not entirely sure! He isn’t exactly forthcoming in telling us what he’s been up to, although we are treated to the occasional nugget of information. Of course we know that he’s learnt about God, and he is now having daily worship in school every day and going to church once a week. We’ve not heard much at home about God lately though, and the other day he told me that he knows that I made him in my tummy, when only a few weeks ago he was telling me that God made him. We’re still just making it up as we go along with the whole atheist parents versus a Church of England school but there haven’t been any major concerns so far.

What we do know is that Toby and his class have been learning all the letter sounds (even though he did these at nursery and already knows all the basic ones), and he’s now started bringing home books with words in and he seems to be making really good progress with his reading. His love of maths seems to be continuing too and he’s had a few Dojo points (do they use Class Dojo at your child’s school? It’s fab) for ‘Brilliant Maths’.

I don’t know if Toby is going to get any holiday homework (he hasn’t had any so far apart from reading) but I know he enjoys learning at home and practising his numbers and letters. He has some educational games on the Kindle that he likes to play, and he could also try some of the KS1 quizzes on the Education Quizzes website. They cover all sorts of different topics and the maths quizzes are definitely at a level that Toby could manage.

With my teacher hat on rather than my parent hat I would definitely recommend Education Quizzes to my pupils too. I might even use some of the Spanish quizzes myself to brush up on my language again before I head back to the classroom. Parents can pay for an individual subscription to Education Quizzes but it is much cheaper for the school to do it and give access to their pupils that way.

We’re off to our first parents’ evening tonight so we can actually find out what he’s been up to for the last two months, and we can find out if there’s anything we can help him with at home. I’m happy he’s settling in well though and hopefully his teacher will tell us the same thing tonight. And then tomorrow the first half term will be over and we have a week to rest and recover before it’s back to school ready for the countdown to Christmas.


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