Mr. Mac Grianna

Week Ending 27th March

Creative Writing Competition

There are some fans of creative writing in 4th, 5th and 6th class. There is a link to an excellent creative writing competition here. Closing dates for entries is 13th April. Use all of your narrative writing tips to help you create your entry. All of the narrative writing tips can be found in Starlight. 

A reminder about good narrative writing:

Plan your story using the planning tips for narrative writing in Starlight.

When planning your story, make sure that there is a problem which comes to a head and gets resolved at the climax. There should be a really exciting event at the climax of the story which will lead to the problem being solved.

The conclusion should be used to tie up all the loose ends.

Remember the conclusions we heard in two of the stories we read together this year:

The Hobbit:

The Hobbit concludes with Thorin's funeral; we hear how Dain becomes the new 'King Under the Mountain'; Gandalf lectures Bilbo about his magic ring and everything finishes with Bilbo heading back home to The Shire where he is faced with the auction of all his belongings. All of the loose ends are tidied up after the climax which was The Battle of the Five Armies. We also learn that Bilbo has changed considerably as a person by the end of the book.

Gangsta Granny:

The climax of Gangsta Granny occurs when they try to steal the Crown Jewels. In the conclusion of the story, we learn how Ben and his Granny escape with a Royal personage and we also learn how Granny sadly does not make it to Christmas but her memory remains on in her charity.

Further tips on narrative:

Make sure your story opening has an exciting action which draws the reader in.

Use dialogue to show the personality of your characters.

Remember to use speech marks properly and to go to a new line every time a new character speaks.

General Tips for Learning at Home:

Create a pleasant, distraction free environment for your child to learn in. Keep noise down and switch off televisions. If your child is having difficulty settling down, allow them to do some quiet drawing or colouring for a few minutes then you can get them to turn their focus to their schoolwork. 

English Literacy


              Individual Novels: Listen to your child reading some of their novel aloud to you. It's important that your child reads their novel every day for at least 15 mins. This does not neccessarily have to be part of a formal schoolwork time. It's far better if your child is reading for his or herself. Some children need to be pushed to read so make sure you have a quiet, relaxed environment to read without distractions.

 Starlight :

Listen to your child read the some of the piece of writing aloud. Some pieces are quite long so read a paragraph or two to your child. Older children may be able to read the piece silently to themselves. When your child has finished reading, ask them some questions about the text to check their understanding. The children can then do the written activities. Below are some tips for each section of written activities:

Sections A & B:

For each question your child must: get the correct information. Encourage your child to write full sentences & use the correct puntuation (capital letters & full stops).

Sections C & D

Your child may need to use a dictionary if they dont know the meanings of the words. Help them use a dictionary or alternatively, let them use an online dictionary. There are loads of online dictioinaries which are very user friendly.

Section E: Grammar

Most children will need to be taught the specific aspect of grammar in question. Older children may already know the topic but it is important to go through the topic so they understand it properly.

Section F: Writing Skills

This section is very important because it improves your child's understanding of the writing genre and allows them to understand how the piece of writing is put together. Spend some time helping your child to understand the skill in question, then have them do the written activity.

Section G: Writing

Children study different writing genres in a two week cycle. 

Week 1: Planning the piece of writing. Follow the guidelines provided in this section. Make sure they plan the piece properly using the instructions.

Week 2: Composing the piece of writing. Allow the child to follow the directions and using their plan form the previous week, write the piece. When your child has written the 1st draft, get them to go back over it seeking ways to improve their piece of wiriting. They can then write their 2nd draft. Their 2nd draft can be typed on Microsoft Word if a computer is available. When correcting your child's writing, focus on the specific features that each genre requires. These requirements are laid out in section G. Try not to focus on the child's spelling in this part. The most important thing is that they understand how to write the specific genre.


All of the Operation Maths books are available online. You need to login to the site using these details:

Please note: The Teacher's Resource Book is not available to pupils and parents.

Username: primaryedcobooks        Password: edco2020

Senior class pupils are very familiar with the layout of the Operation Maths programme. I will provide details of what topic needs to be covered each week beginning with Thursday 19th and Friday 20th March. You will need to teach the skills and concepts to your child before asking them to complete written sums and questions.

Problem solving is a challenging skill for many children but Operation Maths is very good for teaching it. Use the RUCSAC method which is outlined in detail in the Operation Maths Pupil Book.

Your child does not need to do every single sum/question/activity in the chapter. The most important thing is that the child understands the concepts and get lots of opportunities to practice. There are great practical activities in the books so please use them. They are every bit as important as the sums that we all remember doing in school ourselves.

Week Ending 27/03

5th & 6th Class:

Topic: Weight

5th Class: Pupil Book Unit 18 pg 148

6th Class: Pupil Book Unit 21 pg. 167

Your kitchen is the perfect environment for exploring the topic weight. Allow your child to explore the labels on different food items in the kitchen, Give them loads of opportunity to investigate and experience the weight of different items. If you have a weighing scales, get your child to weigh different items and to record their weights. A very useful activity for your child would be to convert the weights of items into different units. Eg. mg to g; g to kg etc. This skill is the most important aspect of the topic weight.

4th Class Maths:

Unit 10: Patterns & Sequences

Operation Maths pg. 78-83 (one page per day is perfect)

Pg. 78, no. 1 Get your child to use the hundred square that they made last week (or just make one now). This will help your child to picture number sentences in their head.

Pg. 79 will require you child to have a copy of the multiplication tables to hand (homework diary). The key thing here is to get your child to identify rules of sequence, ie. how the pattern is repeated. 

eg. 38 is not a multiple of 5 or ten because 38 does not end in 5 or 0.

A calculator will also be needed for pg. 78 (phone).

Pg. 82 Revision

Remind your child that there are 60 mins in an hour not 100! 

Useful Number Activities:

Look at a hundred square and count in patterns of 3, 4, 5, etc.

Perhaps children could draw their own number square and shade these patterns of 3, 4, 5 (an excellent activity for learning tables).

Lots of Tables Practice: Children are famiiar with games such as 'Shoot the Sherrif'


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