Maths at home – Maths for busy parents


We would like to share with you ‘Maths at home’ . It is a new resource launched by the London Grid for Learning  to provide quick and easy to understand videos on all maths topics and organised by year group. The video above is just one of many videos, and accompanying worksheets, produced to help parents

click on this link to open the site then choose the year group appropriate to your child’s needs.

Eisteddfod – A big well done to everyone who entered!

Yesterday we held our first Eisteddfod at Charles Dickens and it was a huge success as we celebrated the many creative talents of pupils. The standard of entries was extremely high and all the judges were very impressed with the confidence and composure of all the pupils.

Next week, there will be an exhibition of entries into the homework competitions in the Artful Dodger gallery. We will also endeavour to share with you some video footage of some of the performers, just to give you a glimpse into the festival.

A huge thankyou and well done to Miss Sophie Alcock and Mr Dan Huxley, our Welsh teachers, for bringing us this wonderful event and for leading it so magnificently.

Here are photographs of all the winners announced so far and some of the wonderful cultural dress worn- more on Monday.


Fabulous Holiday Journals!

Congratulations to all the children who made holiday journals, books and folders over the Summer. They were beautiful to look and and wonderful to read with a wide selection including diaries, instructions, recipes, labelled diagrams and art and in a wide array of mediums.


In every class two children were selected for additional certificates based on how interesting and creative their entries were, the independence in their creation and the presentation involved. Well done to everyone selected for these additional prizes!

The Inter-house Geography Competition – Try the KS2 Quiz!

This term Ms Adams, our Head of Geography, organised an Interhouse Geography Competition to encourage all pupils to learn more key geography facts. Everyone did brilliantly and lots of pupils won prizes for their new found general knowledge! A big thank you to Ms Adams for inspiring us!

Why not have a go at the KS2 quiz questions, including the year 5 and 6 ‘India Round’ to support their topic on India  – you will need a world map which you can download below. Use an atlas and google to check your answers! If you can’t find out an answer then post your questions in the comment box and we will try to help.

Let us know how you got on!

map of the world to label

World round

1)   Label the 7 continents on the world map.

2)  Label the 6 oceans on the world map.

3)  Label, UK, China, India, Australia, France, Russia, Brazil, Canada, USA.

4)  Can you name the capital cities of France, Spain, Ireland, Italy?

Picture round

1)   What do these anagrams say?     OREUPE      DINAI       LNONOD

2)  Can you name the country these national flags (see images below)  belong to?

3)  Which countries are these famous landmarks (see images below)  in?

India round

1)   What is the capital city of India?

2)  Name two other cities in India.

3)  What is the famous River in India called?

4)  Name 3 neighbouring countries.

5)  What is the name of the bay surrounding India?

6)  What is the ocean surrounding India?

7)  What city is the Taj Mahal in?

Complete these sentences:

India is the _____________ biggest county in the world

India is _____________ most populous county in the world

UK round

Download this UK map  – uk map to label

1)  What are  the four countries that make up the UK

2)  Label London, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Dublin, Cardiff on your UK map

3)  Label the two seas that surround the UK

4)  What continent is the UK in?

5)    Name 4 famous London landmarks.

6)  What is the name of the River than runs through London?

Reading Tip Of The Week – Words Words WORDS!

Real reading is about getting the message to be found in the phrases and sentences between capital letters and full stops.But we do need to be able to recognise some individual words – it the and up etc Children will be able to read more fluently when they know lots of these ‘high frequency’ words instantly.You can play games to help your child with this instant recognition:
Write 10 or 12 high frequency words from books your child has read recently on little cards or bits of paper.(It is always helpful to relate words and letters to previous reading).Lay the words out on the table and tell your child what they say. Then ask your child to “Give me ‘the’… Give me ‘go’ and so on.Help as much as your child needs, in order to make sure he / she is being successful.
Next time you will be able to show these words as flashcards and your child will tell you what they say. You can make a game:’If you say the word straightaway, you keep it. If you don’t say it straightaway, I keep it.’Make sure your child ‘wins’ by keeping more words than you. If you get to keep a word because your child didn’t know it, it can still be fun for your child because you can be excited about winning a word.Always make sure your child wins. He / she won’t mind losing a few as long as he / she ends up with more words than you at the end of the game.Build up a bank of these known word cards.You will probably be amazed at how many words your child will be able to recognise effortlessly.

Tiny Tim’s Maths Tips – Year 1 and 2 Addition continued…

The next stage is children producing more formal recordings using their own ‘blank number lines‘ (often referred to as BNL). Children are able to ‘count on‘ in ones (they do this in their heads but record their ‘working out‘) and circle the answer. (Slides 1, 2, 3 and 4)

When dealing with adding two digit numbers (eg 14 as opposed to a one digit number such as 8) they need to ‘partition‘. They split the smaller number in to ‘tens‘ and ‘units‘ and then on their number line first of all ‘jump on’ the ‘T‘ and then the ‘U‘. (Slides 5, 6, 7 and 8). This is even more challenging when crossing the tens (in this case over 50)

In the final example (Slides 9 to 14)  the child models using the above method and a ‘more efficient‘ method. This can be solves by jumping in tens and ones or, as on slides 13 and 14, in a jump of 20 and a jump of 3.

I hope this helps with addition at home. Remember giving maths a context makes it more real, more fun and gives it a reason for learning it. Watch this space for the next blog on Multiplication…….

Tiny Tim’s Maths Tips – Year 1 and 2 Addition

Children understand addition best when it is taught alongside subtraction. Furthermore learning is better if given  a context as mathematical concepts are difficult to grasp without them. For younger children counting people and objects (toys, buttons etc.) and questions such as ‘There are three children at a table and two more sit down. How many now?’ leading to older children’s understanding of ‘A drink costs 56p and an apple 24p. How much do they cost altogether?’ provide children a reason for learning addition. Calculation methods are taught and learnt to be used to solve problems such as these.

As with subtraction, children first need to use ‘concrete‘ resources, such as cubes, and will physically combine and touch them to find the total. (Slides 1 and 2)


Children then start creating their own informal ways of recording this. (Slides 3 and 4)

As children experience ‘100 squares’ and ‘number lines’, they are able to count to higher numbers they use these to support their calculating skills. Children learn to  count forwards, ‘one more‘ (and later ‘ten more‘), and use given ‘number lines‘ to solve addition. (Slides 5 and 6)

Reading Tips for Early Readers – Use those pointing fingers


Beginners need to learn to point underneath each word as they read and understand that one word on the page corresponds to one spoken word.

Long, multisyllabic words still have one point each. When you are sure your child understands this, she / he no longer needs to point. You can then ask your child to ‘point with your eyes’. Eyes can move across the print more quickly than fingers. Your child will begin to read more fluently when fingers are not in the way.

Sometimes your child will ‘use your finger’ to help work something out. On longer books your child may need to keep track of the lines of print by moving a finger down the margin. These are both helpful strategies!


Year Group Curriculum Letters

Your child will have brought home a curriculum letter today relevant to their year group, please take time to read this document as it contains lots of important information about what the children will be learning about this term.  It also has days for PE etc.

These are attached if you have misplaced your curriculum letter.

Thank you.

Year 5 and 6 Curriculum Letter

Year 3 and 4 Curriculum Letter

Year 1 and 2 Curriculum Letter

Reception Class Curriculum Letter

Nursery Curriculum Letter

Supporting Reading At Home – tips for families!

At Charles Dickens School we are having lots of success with children learning to read when they are little and learning more and more as they get older.
Parent support is always very important in all children’s learning, and especially in reading.
The best readers are nearly always the ones who have had the most fun with books and reading at home.
Some of you at Parents Forum would like to know how to help your children even more. How exciting!
We are going to start with reading TIP OF THE WEEK and do our best to answer any questions you may have.
The non-negotiable tip for every week is that reading and books should always be fun – never a chore and never a stress.


If you read a story to your child it is good to sit side-by-side so that you both have the same view of the book.
Your child will soon begin to notice when it is time to turn the page.
How clever is that?!!
If the book is quite short, it is great to read it all so that your child hears the whole story, uninterrupted.
You can go back to chat about the pictures or the exciting bits after the reading? And before you read it next time?

Our resident reading specialist says,
“Please blog your question about reading.