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Summer Newsletter 10 [Friday 25th June]

Dear Parents & Carers


Over the past fortnight, we have seen a huge increase in the number of primary schools having to send bubbles of children home to isolate – not only across Sefton as a borough, but in three Formby primary schools too. I would like to remind everyone that it is Woodlands’ policy for parent & carers to wear masks (unless they are exempt) for the short time they are on the school site during drop-off & pick-up. Adults should also continue to keep socially distanced from other households whilst on the school grounds.


This week, our Y4 pupils have completed their MTC (Multiplication Tables Check). This would normally be a statutory assessment, but this year we have ‘volunteered’ to take it; the children have worked so hard improving their times tables we thought it would be a shame for them not to take it. The children really enjoyed this: it’s a short (25 questions), online, times tables quiz, where they have to answer multiplication questions (ranging from 1x1 to 12x12) – they are allowed 6 seconds to answer each question, with a 2 second break in between. I can confidently state that the children who have engaged most with TT Rock Stars will have performed best – luckily for us, this is the vast majority of our pupils in Y4. Across the whole school, we have children whose times for answering the questions are decreasing each week – so many children are now Headliners (3-4 seconds response time), Rock Legends (1-2 seconds) & we have a significant amount of Rock Heroes – these children take less than one second to answer each question! To be honest, it’s not how well the children do in ‘official’ government assessments that drives Woodlands’ staff to encourage children to learn their times tables, it's the knowledge of how vital a good knowledge of times tables & associated division facts is to the children’s education. Fractions, percentages, ratio, proportion, area, perimeter, to name but a few, are reliant on good times tables / division understanding & knowledge. If the children (in Y6) are struggling to calculate 8x7 quickly (a couple of seconds at most should be the target in Y6), how on earth are they going to be able to complete 5/6 x 540 or 8051 ÷ 83? In the last arithmetic paper our Y6 children took (SATs 2019), 27 out of the 36 questions were dependant on a sound knowledge of times tables & division. TT Rock Stars tests the children on multiplication AND division – playing on this regularly will not just help your children at Woodlands, but at high school too & then during the rest of their lives.


Here’s this week’s conversation starters to help you find out more about your children’s learning.



Think about the different sounds wild animals make. Can you make those sounds?

{Understanding the World: ‘The Tiger Who Came to Tea’}


Reception [Red & Blue]

Who was Mary Anning?

What did she do?

{People & Communities: ‘Dinosaurs’}


Y1&2 [Green, Yellow & Purple]

What is the difference between ‘needs’ & ‘wants’?

{Maths topic: ‘My Money Week’}


Y3&4 [3A, 3/4M & 4G]

What is a bank account & why is it beneficial?

{Maths topic: ‘My Money Week’}


Y5&6 [5D, 5/6P & 6R]

What evidence is there for the Earth being spherical?

{Science topic: ‘Earth & Space’}


This week, only one class achieved 100% in their attendance this week – congratulations to 5/6P. Our overall attendance for this week has stayed at 96.7%, this still needs to improve (anything under 97% is poor).


We had 8 classes who had no late marks this week: Red Class, Blue Class, Purple Class, Yellow Class, 3A, 4G, 5D & 5/6P. There were only 3 late marks across the whole school, which is the best that I can remember.


Ducklings update: the cute little ducklings are a thing of the past. They have grown into a dozen big, burly, bruisers. Daisy Duck is looking increasingly stressed with her offspring’s behaviour – they are continually making a mess, not tidying up after themselves & to be honest, they are treating the junior quad like a hotel. They waddle aggressively around simply looking to cause trouble: devouring anything that they can lay their beaks on; relentlessly terrorising the tadpoles in the pond; harassing passing butterflies as they meander through the quad. It’s starting to resemble a scene out of Mad Max…


Take care

KD Williams


Last word

Why do ducks make good detectives?

Because they always quack the case.