Last week we went to our second parent's evening at Lily's school. It felt more useful beforehand as she has now been at the school some time and I felt like we had more to discuss with her teacher compared to October.
Maths, Literacy and Reading
These are the two key lessons Lily's class do. They do things that revolve around history, art, geography and so on, but these are the two topics which have formal lessons. It was great to sit down as discuss where she was in relation to them. At home, we try to work with Lily and continue what she's been learning in school. Her teacher was extremely positive. I think you go into these things with some doubt, maybe as a barrier just incase, but it was great to her such lovely things. She's progressing well and actively engaging in lessons, something I wasn't great with at school..
In maths they've been working on measurements from height to distance. They've also worked on capacity and Lily will now comment on things like this when out and about. For example in Morrisons, they have a height chart to measure against and she enjoys pointing this out each time. She also likes to comment on the capacity of my coffee cup whenever I go out for a drink with her. They've also started using something called mathletics. It's an online portal with activities related to what they've done at school. Lily's class are able to just complete what they can when they want to, but Lily has really enjoyed it and managed to get through quite a few of the tasks, I think she enjoys the fact that it's something she can do independently and tries really hard, focusing on what she needs to do. She's also learnt about double checking your answers and really thinking about what the question is asking you to do, a skill which will prove useful in years to come, especially when she reaches the exam years.
In literacy, her writing is improving steadily. At first I struggled with using the phonics system at home. It wasn't how I had been teaching her to do things and it was quite a shift for me. Now though, we've again been doing more phonics at home and it has helped. She's starting to form quite long sentences and beginning to think about how it flows and if it makes sense. We're going to start working on spelling next. At the moment, the aim has been to just get the sounds of the word right and not to have too much of a focus on the actual spelling. Now that she's been through all of the sounds, digraphs and trigraphs at school, we can start looking into spelling. It's a big step though and something I think will start to really improve in September when she moves into year 1 and has more structure to class time at school.
Combined with what she's learnt in phonics and other literacy activities, her reading has also improved dramatically. She started off a little slow, but once she got the hang of sounding words out and blending them, she was off! We use the daily reading homework as a time to sit down and relax before bed and now Cecily is here, Lily loves reading to her each day. I think it's her favourite big sister job! It also helps to make it feel less like homework and as something fun. I struggled with loving reading when I was younger and it's something I want Lily to love so that she does become a strong reader. I feel if I'd taken more of an interest in reading, it would have helped me a lot more at university where I was having to read quite large sections of texts in a short time.
Friendships and more...
It was also lovely to hear about Lily's social life at school. It's a small year group (only 24 of them) and I sometimes worry that leaves them open to clique groups a bit more and that if a few fall out, then it has a bigger effect where there aren't as many other people to join in with. It's the complete opposite though. Her teacher said that she gets on well with the other children and mixes with both the girls and boys. From picking her up and dropping off, you can tell that they're a lovely group of children. There doesn't seem to be any stand out trouble makers or anything like that. They're all quite responsive to each other and know how to make each other happy which, at the ages of four and five, they could teach a lot of adults how to behave!
We also learnt more about what Lily does as a member of the school council. She attends the meetings with other students and teachers and apparently, is very confident when attending. her teacher said that she enjoys coming back from the meetings to tell the class what has gone on and when they have fundraising events coming up, she likes to tell them the ideas and what they need to do. This made me laugh so much as it's exactly how we see Lily at home. She's never really been a shy girl and being part of something like the school council gives her a positive situation to really take advantage of that confidence and use it for something good.