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Helping your child with Telling the Time

The dreaded Maths Unit! This is always something I struggled with as a child, and it is often an area that children find difficult due to its abstract nature. We hear many "1 past 3"s and "50 to 9"s. Teaching time is a long process and cannot be taught in one night/one go! Obviously, the notes I have written below are quite wordy, but it may be helpful to use the same sort of terminology to help the children to understand.

Here's a few pointers we use in class and the sort of 'learning process' we go through:


1. They need to know and understand the concept of how many hours in a day, minutes in an hour and seconds in a minute. This will really help and is also a curriculum objective.

2. To understand the long hand is the minute hand and the short hand is the hour hand. (I teach the children to remember it as 'minute' is the longer word so it is the longer hand). At this point its a good idea to write on the hours (numbers in the middle).

TEACH O'CLOCK - Key points: short/hour hand is the o'clock/hour, minute hand on the 12/60 minutes/the hour/o'clock.

3. Draw an empty clock. Draw a line to cut the clock in half. If theres 60 minutes all the way around the clock, how many minutes is it to half way (30 minutes).

TEACH HALF PAST- Key points: short/hour hand half way past the hour, minute hand on the 6/30 minutes.

4. Now show a quarter. What's a quarter of 60? We can halve it and halve it again to find 1/4 of 60 (15 minutes). Draw these minutes around the clock (15, 30 and 45). Children need to know that 60 minutes is the hour/o'clock.

TEACH QUARTER PAST - Key points: short/hour hand past the hour, minute hand on the 3/15 minutes.

4. Colour in each side of the clock a different colour. Write past on one side, to on the other to remind them that one side is going past the hour (o'clock), and the other side is on the way to the hour (or until the hour/o'clock).

5. Now show three quarters of the clock, which only needs to travel another quarter of the clock to reach the whole hour. This means there's quarter of the clock until/to the next hour (quarter to, 45 minutes or 15 minutes to).

TEACH QUARTER TO- Key points: short/hour hand past the hour, minute hand on the 9/45 minutes.

6. Can the children fill in the missing minutes? See if they can spot the five minute increments.

TEACH 5 minute increment 'past'- Key points: short/hour hand past the hour, minute hand covers the hour/big number because it doesn't mean the big number, it means the secret minutes that the clock doesn't tell you! e.g. 1 means 5 minutes, 2 means 10 minutes.

7. When the minute hand goes past the 6/30 minutes, it moves to the 'to' side. We have to count how many minutes it is until the next hour, and counting in 5's really helps.

TEACH 5 minute increment 'to'- Key points: short/hour hand past the hour, minute hand covers the hour/big number because it doesn't mean the big number, it means the secret minutes that the clock doesn't tell you! e.g. 8 means 540 minutes or 20 minutes until the next hour minutes, 10 means 50 minutes or 10 minutes until the next hour.

The key with this is getting the children to count how many minutes UNTIL the next hour.


There are lots of board games out there to play, but the best thing is to have their own watch! We are always asking the children what the time is in class and this is the best way to learn so that they understand the concept of time, when things happen, and they become motivated to tell the time so they can work out how long it is until something they enjoy happens e.g. home time!


Here are some online games you might find helpful:

I hope this is of use to some of you!

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Maths Revision and Reading Strategies

I have listed some helpful hints for revision below, particularly some strategies for reading that you can be using at home to help your child significantly.

Please continue to use the CGP books if you have them. If not, you can find many activities online to help support your child.

Maths Revision

We have recently covered the following which would be good to revise:

- Pictograms/Bar Graphs - being able to read them, gather information from them and compare the data etc.

E.g. how many more people like red than green? Which is most popular?


- Positional language - clockwise, anti-clockwise, quarter turn, half turn, three quarter turn.

E.g. If the shape starts like this ¬ and makes a quarter turn clockwise, what does it look like now?


- Time - o'clock, quarter past, half past, quarter to and 5 minute increments, comparing sequences of time, ordering time, knowing how many minutes in an hour, hours in a day, seconds in a minute etc.


- ALWAYS practising number bonds as this helps in every area of addition - we even use them in year 6! 


Reading Revision

It's not about how fluently and quickly you can read, but your understanding of the text. Children are assessed on inference and understanding of events.

These are reading strategies we have been using in class. It would be great if you could refer to these at home with your reading too:


1. MAGIC FINGER: Break up the words into smaller words and sounds. If you still can't read the word, what MIGHT it say? What does it sound like?

2. FIND THE KEY WORDS: Look to find the important words in the question and see if the same important words are in the text. Is the answer nearby?

3. SEQUENCING/ORDERING: If you are being asked to number some sentences into the order of which they happened in the text, underline each part in the text. Then you can see what order they happened.

4. READ YOUR QUESTION AND ANSWER TOGETHER: Read your question and answer in your head. Does it make sense? E.g. What colour is the dog? The dog is soft and fluffy......NO!

5. KEEP LOOKING! The answer is ALWAYS there! 




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Can you believe it?!

I hope you all had a wonderful and restful Easter Holidays. I am currently in disbelief that we are in our final term as Cherry Tree Class! Year 3 is just around the corner....ahh! Here is a little update on what to expect this term....



This week we are focussing on telling the time. The aim is to be able to tell the time to the hour, quarter past, half past, quarter to and to 5 minute increments. We will then compare and order sequences of time. After this we will be on a revision timetable in the run up to SAT's (double ahh!).


This week we are starting on our Myths and Legends unit where we will be focussing on The Little Red Riding Hood! If you read the previous blog post you will have seen how we have managed to use the money raised from the World Book Day event to buy some lovely role play equipment to help us in this unit - thank you :)


My favourite unit - Plants! We will be learning about the ideal environment to grow plants, how they pollinate, germinate and seed dispersal. If you have any pots, seeds or soil you would like to donate to us to use for this project we will would really grateful!


We will be focussing on Athletics this term in the run up to Sports Day so we can all be as fast as Miss. Tebbutt!.....(awkward silence..). We will eventually move onto Dance.


We are looking at 'Our Wonderful World' - looking at identifying and locating the 7 continents and 5 oceans. If any of you have done a significant amount of travelling and have some resources you would like to share with us, or you would like to come in and talk about your travels showing your journey on a map/globe, we would be really grateful!


We will be focussing on the Explorers Neil Armstrong and Christopher Columbus. We would love to have an 'in-class museum' to show off to you at some point during the school day, so keep an ear out for a time and date!


We are still looking at Christianity and Judaism.



If you read my Spring blog post you will have notived that I mentioned a possible trip about food. This did not happen but as soon as the SAT's are out of the way we will be looking to book a fun trip for the Summer term.



As mentioned, we are very close to becoming Year 3's. This means a harder curriculum and higher expectations of independent learning. To make the transition easier, I will be setting the children weekly homework (as currently in place) but I will be monitoring those who do and do not hand in their homework. As is carried out the same in year 3, those who do not bring in their homework on the due date will be staying in at lunch times to take time to complete it. The children will have a names homework folder sent home soon.



Please see separate blog post on my advice for revision for reading and maths.



You should have been told last year if you child did or did not pass their Phonics Screening check, but please let me know if you are not sure whether your child is retaking or not.


Miss Tebbutt x

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££ Thank you! ££

££ THANK YOU! ££


Thank you to all of you who have donated to any of the school fundraisers this year. As a class, we have been donated 2 sums of money; one from the Film night organised by the PTA and one from the World Book Day organised by Mrs. Shortland. I have reported bac to the PTA on what we have spent the money on but I thought you would all like to know too!


Film Night £100 donation:

All on D&T resources for our food unit - bread, sandwich fillings (ham, cheese, soft cheese, cucumber, sweet corn, houmous, pepers and many more) tasting food (yoghurts, pitta and more), paper plates, cleaning equipment, table cloths, plastic spoons, cups, party food for the packaging and tasting (jaffa cakes, mini jaffa cakes, party rings, mini party rings, fairy cakes, swiss rolls etc).


Thank you to the PTA for allowing us to thoroughly enjoy our DT project of making party food sandwiches!



World Books day £42.50:

- £8 6 glue sticks

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Belated Happy New Year!

Hello Cherries!


Well we have well and truly hit the ground running this term! It's a term packed with learning opportunities - always my favourite term!


In Maths this term we will be looking at Money (as you will know from the homework!), Shapes and Fractions. Fractions is my favourite unit to teach because it means we get to share and eat food :D

We are continuing with our Traditional Tales unit focusing on Cinderella. The children love it! We are learning so much Grammar that we are using in our writing such as conjunctions, prefixes and commas. We are also learning about different sentence types such as Statements, Commands, Exclamations and Questions. We learn these whilst planning towards our end outcome - our own story based on Cinderella.

Our Unit is Materials Matter. We have been finding out about their uses and properties such as absorbancy, hardness and softness and their uses in day to day life. We have already conducted a few experiments - what a bunch of Scientists we have!

FOOD! We are very lucky that our History, Geography and D&T units this term as based on FOOD! Food from around the world (Geography), food through time (History) and preparing healthy food for an event (D&T). We started our History unit in class last week. Watch this space for a trip involving food this term!

You may, or my not, have heard what we have been doing in PE this week and last. I'll be surprised if you haven't as the children have loved it! We have been learning skills in Hockey such as passing, dribbling and scoring goals. Our next unit for the second half of this half-term will be Modern Dance! 

Thank you for all of your support you have given to your children and us in our first ter - here's to another great one!


Miss Tebbutt x 

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  Our Address:
Tewin Cowper C of E Primary School
Cannons Meadow,
01438 717378
01438 718586