Fell Dyke Primary School

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Helping your child

Children learn best when they feel safe and secure. Part of this is knowing that their family supports them and shows a positive attitude towards school and an interest in their day-to-day school life.

  • Talk to your child about what they are doing at school.
  • Engage with the website and Twitter feed to find out more about what learning is taking place in school and celebrate what your child is doing at home.
  • Encourage them to find out things for themselves.
  • Read books with your child. Take them to the local library and help them to choose books.
  • Let your child help you in the kitchen and when you are doing other work in the home.
  • Listen to your child. Encourage them to ask questions. If you do not have the answer, why not find out together?

Welcome Meetings

At the beginning of the Autumn Term, we would like to welcome you in to school for our new academic year welcome meetings. This is an opportunity to meet the year group teams and find out more about the organisation and curriculum in your child’s new class. Early Years also offer several Stay and Play sessions through the year for you to experience this provision firsthand.

Curriculum Workshops

At the beginning of the Autumn Term, we would like to welcome you in to school for our new academic year welcome meetings. This is an opportunity to meet the year group teams and find out more about the organisation and curriculum in your child’s new class.

Family Learning

We are very lucky to be able to offer Family Learning Courses in school, led by the Gateshead Family Learning team. These short courses are advertised throughout the year and vary in content. Recent courses have supported children to help children regulate their emotions, plan for Christmas on a budget and help parents learn how to support language development in very young children. Courses will be advertised through Arbor and letters home. The courses are allocated to families on a first-come, first-served basis. Your children are involved in the learning with you.

Y1 Phonics Screening and Y6 SATs Meetings

In the Spring term, we hold information meetings about the Phonics Screening Test for Y1 children and the end of key stage Standard Attainment Tests (SATs) for Year 2 and Year 6 children. There will be information shared about the tests themselves and how to support your child. Please do ask any your child’s class teacher any questions in the meantime.

Curriculum Information Leaflets

Each half term, teachers will send home a Curriculum Information Leaflet. These are also available on the school website. These are specific to each year group and will provide information about the content of the learning taking place in school.


Children in Year 2 to Year 6 have a login to IXL, so homework can be completed online at a convenient time in the week. Teachers set tasks for children to complete, based on that week’s learning in class. IXL helps parents (and children) by explaining how to answer questions if incorrect answers are given.

We know it is better to spread homework over a few shorter sessions instead of one long session.

Reading, times tables and spelling practice is also provided.

Your interest in homework will increase their motivation and satisfaction. It should not take much time, and it is important that you see the work is completed within that week. If you have any concerns about your child’s progress or learning, you should speak to your child’s teacher in the first instance.

Reading at Home

Children learn about reading by listening to stories, by making up a story as they turn the pages of a book and by reading print of all kinds. Reading with your child is one of the best ways to help your child learn to read. If reading is fun, your child will want to read with you.

  • Children should read for 10 to 15 minutes each day.
  • Find a relaxing and comfortable place to read together away from distractions.
  • Choose a time when you both want to read. If your child is too tired, then choose an earlier time.
  • Let your child choose which book to read. It is important for them to feel engaged with the book. Children will often choose favourite stories which they know by heart. This is fine and a normal part of learning to read.
  • Before starting to read the story, talk about the cover, the title and the author and what the book may be about.
  • Do not always read the book straight through to the end. As you read, pause to talk about the pictures, discuss what has happened and what may happen next.
  • Try to engage your child in the text as well as the pictures. Even at an early stage, encourage them to read some of the words in the text.
  • Have your child look closely at words by finding those that look the same, rhyme or start with the same letter.
  • Encourage your child to:
    o use the pictures to guess what would make sense
    o guess what might come next
    o use the sounds of the first letter to help them
  • Always praise your child, particularly when they have corrected themselves. This helps build up confidence and makes reading pleasurable.
  • After finishing the book, talk about it together. Try asking:
    o Were you right about what you thought was going to happen in the book?
    o Have you read any other books like this?
    o Have you read any other books by the same author?
    o If the story carried on, what might happen?
    o Which character did you like best / least?
  • As your child becomes a more confident reader, encourage them to read by themselves a little each day. This should be in addition to them reading with you.


In school we are continually checking your children’s phonic development within our approach to the assessment of reading. This screening forms part of our overall assessment procedure. However, there are a number of things that parents can do to support early reading skill development.

  • Let your child see you enjoying reading yourself – they are influenced by you and what you value!
  • Immerse your child in a love of reading: share books and magazines with your child, take them to the library to choose books, read to them regularly, point out texts around you, e.g. in the street etc.
  • Make time for your child to read school books to you regularly – encourage them by pointing to the words and ask them about the story they are reading
  • Use phonics play phonicsplay.co.uk. This is a website which is packed with interactive phonics games to help children to learn to hear sounds and blend sounds. We use this in school and some aspects of it are free to use at home.
  • Help your child to practice reading the pseudo words which will be sent home.
  • Communicate with your child’s teacher through their reading record
  • Attend our Parent Workshops

If your child is struggling to decode:

  • Say each sound in the word from left to right.
  • Blend the sounds by pointing to each letter, i.e. /b/ in bat, or letter group, i.e. /igh/ in sigh, as you say the sound, then run your finger under the whole word as you say it.
  • Talk about the meaning if your child does not understand the word they have read.
  • Work at your child’s pace and have FUN!

Encouraging Writing

Learning to write well is an important communication skill. Children learn about writing from watching others and from the writing they see around them – things like adverts, notes, papers and letters. One of the most important ways to encourage your child to write is by providing them with a model of a writer – you!

  • Always praise your child to develop their confidence as a writer. Even if their writing is not entirely recognisable.
  • Choose a time when your child wants to write and when you are able to help. However, if your child is reluctant, don’t insist.
  • Talk with your child before they begin to write. This will help them clarify their ideas.
  • Encourage your child to try to write for themselves, even if they make mistakes.
  • Suggest they have a go with words that they don’t know how to spell. They need to say the word slowly and write down the sounds they hear. If they really don’t want to, just spell out the word for them.
  • As your child begins to write at home, do not over-emphasise neatness in their writing attempts. When children write they need to get their ideas down first. To help them with their handwriting, have them practice copying poems or stories from books.
  • Ask your child to read their writing to you as they write and when they have finished. This will help them understand the importance of the reader.
  • Children need to feel that they are writing for a purpose. This can be in the form of letters to friends, stories, shopping lists, making and writing greeting cards, plans for a party, postcards and diaries.
  • Children can often be encouraged to write if they have nice notebooks or mini whiteboards to use.


‘Number sense’ is so important for young children. This means having a real sense of a number and therefore recognising it in many different forms.

Exposure to lots of different representations of numbers can help with this. For example, recognising the number in its numeral form e.g. ‘6’ but also seeing six spots on a game dice or six fingers held up and understanding that they also represent ‘6’. ‘Number Blocks’ on CBeebies is fantastic for young children. Follow the link below for videos, songs and games to promote number sense:


Multiplication tables: Having security with multiplication facts is vital for so many different areas of maths including multiplication, division, fractions, measures…. Support your child to work towards achieving their multiplication badges. Please see below the criteria for each year group badge. Help your child to learn their tables by chanting, singing or even rapping the multiplication tables required for their year group. Repetition is key!

All children in Key Stage 2 also have a Times Tables Rockstars account. If you have access to the internet, please encourage your child to practise their multiplication tables. The app is free to download to mobile and tablet devices or you can access the website via the following link in your internet browser: https://play.ttrockstars.com/ttrs/dashboard

Please contact your child’s teacher if your child is unsure of their log in details.

Here are some other suggestions of activities you can do with your child to support them in maths:

  • How many? – At home or when you are out, ask your child to count the number of objects they can see. At first, they may need to be able to touch the objects to count successfully. A good technique is to ‘touch, count, move’ so they do not count the same object more than once.
  • Counting up and down – Ask your child to count up e.g. from zero to twenty. Then count down from twenty to zero. Try asking them to count from a different number e.g. count up from 8 or count down from 14.
  • Number Spotting – During the day, ask your child what numbers they can see. There are often many numbers at home they can read. While out, ask your children to read house numbers, telephone numbers on shop signs, bus numbers etc.
  • Number Formation – Allow your child to practice writing numbers in different ways, and not always with a pencil, to help keep it fun. Try tracing the number in a tray with some shaving foam or in a tray of sand. Children love to get messy!
  • What time is it? Support your child to learn to read the time. As they become more confident, ask them ‘What time is it?’ at different points in the day.
  • Doubling and Halving Numbers – Give your child numbers to double. How many can they get correct in one minute?
  • Number Bonds – Ask your child to say two numbers that add up to 10, 20 or 100. Can they remember all the pairs of numbers by heart?
  • Board and Card Games – Snakes and Ladders, Ludo, Bingo etc.
  • Role play and Real-life Experiences – coin recognition when shopping or paying bus fare, cooking (dividing food into fractions, doubling a recipe), reading a bus timetable. Link it to your child’s interests – football league tables, tennis results, swimming lengths.
  • Measuring – lengths, weights, capacity, using tape measures, scales, and jugs.
  • Online Games – If you have online access, there are many good interactive games and activities to practice maths. Please remember to support your child and ensure they stay safe online.