Nord Anglia Education
St Andrews Bangkok
02 March, 2021

Primary and Foundation Stage: Our parents learn from the best.

Primary and Foundation Stage: Our parents learn from the best. A warm welcome back after half-term! We look back at some of the exciting events from before the break... and book week is fast approaching. header PS

A warm welcome back after half-term! We look back at some of the exciting events from before the break... and book week is fast approaching. 

A warm welcome back after half-term! Here’s a look back at some of the interesting events that took place before the break...

Maths Mastery in Year 1
Thank you to all the parents that attended the Year 1 parent session on Maths Mastery. Here is a very in depth write-up of what Mastery is from Mr Colin:

Parents, fresh from their Virtual School Experience, attended this workshop, to get a deeper understanding of the Mastery method of maths that we use here in St Andrews. Having these very recent experiences in mind meant that they had some very interesting insights into how their own child was learning and could explain some of the obstacles to learning that they may have come across. 

We covered the two key concepts about the process of developing a mastery of a new skill or concept in Mathematics. The first key concept is that young children develop their understanding in three stages: concrete, pictorial, then abstract. When they first approach a new idea children most quickly understand the new idea by using concrete manipulable objects such as counters or cars or blocks.  As their confidence grows, we can then go onto using pictorial representations of the objects they were using and finally, as they become secure with drawings, they can proceed to using abstract forms such as numbers, simple equations or fractions. 

We take this three step journey into account throughout the year and jump from step to step as required.  So if your child is finding something difficult it could likely be easier to understand by drawing pictures or better still using real objects. 

The other key concept underpinning our maths mastery based curriculum is that to become a master of a particular skill or concept, they will need to show fluency in the simplest aspects of the skill (e.g. know how to add pairs of numbers to make 10 rapidly). When children become fluent, they can then start to reason about the maths that they are encountering.  For example, being able to explain why even numbers always end in the same 5 digits.  When they reach this stage, they are ready to apply their new understanding to problem solving. 

Think of the process of mastery in the field of woodwork. Then, fluency skills would correspond to being able to simply use the tools: a saw or a hammer. To master woodwork they need to be able to solve woodworking problems (problem solving) such as being able to build a table or a chair. Imagine trying to build a table you have seen in the shops! 

Here’s one I made earlier…

The emphasis on reasoning and problem solving is why St Andrews have adopted this curriculum.  If children can explain their mathematical thinking and apply it to solving problems we will have given them lifelong immensely valuable skills.

During the workshop the parents had the opportunity to explore these concepts and work through some of the real problems we pose in the classroom.  They came to realise that we ask their children to solve some pretty tough problems, and wrestle with some challenging ideas even though they have only just learned to count to 50!

Chocolate Fantasy Dioramas in Year 4

The week before half-term, the Year 4's entered a world of pure imagination. Their task was to create a diorama of a new room in Willy Wonka's chocolate factory.

After planning and organising materials, they used a range of art and DT skills to create their fantastic dioramas. The students created chocolate mazes, relaxation rooms for Oompa Loompas, chocolate jungles and more!

The project culminated on Friday with a visit from the Year 3's.

New Topics

One of the most exciting things for the students to look forward to in the new half term is the focus on new topics. KS1 will be both focussing on the natural world with Year 1 looking at habitats and Year 2 concentrating on Seas and Oceans. Year 3 will be continuing with their Greek topic which has been excellent so far, producing some fantastic writing and Year 4 will be continuing with their chocolate topic and you have seen some fantastic work from them above. Year 5 takes on the amazing subject of Space which is very topical at the moment as a result of the latest exploration of Mars and Year 6 will be looking at superheroes and creating their own superhero!

Book Week is back!
After the cancellation of last year’s Book Week due to the pandemic, we are happy to announce that this year’s Book Week is on the calendar for 2nd - 9th April, and we have some homegrown talent for the visiting author.

More details will be sent out soon, but for now, you should know that the Book Character Parades will be on Monday 5th April to start our Book Week in style. The theme is ‘Celebrating the Love of Reading’ so it’s now time to get creative with your book character costume designs!