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Mrs Gerrard goes to Shanghai

Mrs Claire Gerrard  has been selected to take part in a prestigious teacher exchange programme, focusing on mathematics, with a partner school in Shanghai.

Mrs Gerrard is among 70 expert mathematics teachers from schools across England taking part in the exchange as part of the Maths Hub programme, funded by the Department of Education. Thorndown Primary School is working with the Cambridgeshire Maths Hub.

The purpose of the exchange is to further develop the understanding and implementation of mastery approaches to teaching maths in Thorndown Primary School, and in local partner schools. This is one part of the Teaching Mastery Programme, run by the National Centre for excellence in the Teaching of Mastery (NCETM)  programme over the next four school years.

Mrs Gerrard, who completed the Mastery Specialists programme within her Maths Hub last year, is visiting Shanghai in the first half of November this year, and Thorndown Primary School will be hosting  the partner teachers from Shanghai in January 2017. Cambridgeshire schools will be invited to observe the maths lessons of the Shanghai teachers as well as having the opportunity to question them about maths mastery.

There are 35 Maths Hubs, spread across England, each led by a school with a record of high achievement in maths and of supporting improvements in maths teaching ad learning in neighbouring schools.

“Taking part in this Maths Mastery programme is an absolute honour and a ringing endorsement of the quality of and commitment to teaching at Thorndown Primary School. We are always happy to learn new teaching methods if it means that our pupils have the very best start to their education.” Miss Vicci Godbold, Headteacher

Number Sense and Fluency in Key Stage 1: Workshop for Parents

Number Sense and Fluency in Key Stage 1: Workshop for Parents


On Tuesday 1st November, we held a very successful maths workshop for Key Stage 1 parents. Over the last couple of years, we have participated in a research project to develop our children’s number sense and fluency in Years 1 and 2. We discussed findings from the research and shared some of the activities we use in school.  Parents who attended our morning session also visited classrooms and played games designed to develop children’s confidence, reasoning skills and fluency.


Here are some of the things that parents said about the workshop:

‘it’s interesting to know how the children learn maths. It taught me some new strategies!’

‘It’s great to be able to link in with what children are doing at school in the home.’

‘Useful presentation  and combination of activities to make it fun’.

‘Both teachers clearly have excellent subject knowledge! J’!

‘We will play the games shown today at home.’


We’re really pleased that parents will be using the strategies they learnt at home and playing games to help their children’s maths.

Look out for more news about Number Sense in the next few months


If you missed the session, a copy of the session notes and games can be found by clicking on the links below.

Click HERE for a copy Number sense Games

Click HERE for a copy of Ten Frames Deck of Cards

Click HERE for a copy of   Parents Information Session – Number sense and fluency in Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2)


Years 3 and 4 hold open classrooms

Parent Open Classroom in Years 3 and 4


On Thursday 4th February, the Year 3 and 4 teaching team, led by Mr Lemmon, opened their doors to parents to experience an open ended maths lesson on shape. Parents’ feedback from the evaluation forms was excellent:

“It was lovely to see how the teacher structures a class and what is expected of my child during a lesson.”

“Great to see how they learn.”

“It’s interesting to see how they work in groups trying to figure out solutions on their own.”


As it was so successful, we are running an open classroom in a few weeks for Year 5/6 parents.

Off to a flying start with maths

With just one week back at school, children are already flying in their maths learning. The winners of our first Maths Eyes of the year were Zebra and Dolphin classes, and Sophia and Madeline proudly wore our Maths Eyes glasses in assembly.

There were some wonderful questions about  the picture of a wedding cake, including:

If each cake took two hours to make, how long would it take to make 8 cakes?

What fractions of the flags are pink?

If the circumference of the bottom layer of the cake was 58cm and the circumference of the layers decreased by 2cm each layer it went up and there were 28 layers, what would the circumference of the top layer be? James P thinks the answer to his question is 2cm. Is he right?

Every week we have a new Maths Eyes picture, which can be found on our website. Take a look and try to think of a few questions about it!



Year 6 Motivational Writing

Year 6 Motivational Writing

All of our Year 6s have been writing motivational speeches to send to the Olympic Get Set competition this week. The winning speeches will be read to our Olympic competitors. We thought all our Year 6s did a great job and all deserve to win. Oliva’s writing below is a great example of how well they have done.


What do you want to be? Do you want to be remembered as the person who kept going, or do you want to be remembered as the first person to give up at the first hurdle? Only you can make that dream you have come true. Only you can get back up when you fall. Only you can make your dreams a reality.

The world is a difficult place to live; you don’t become successful from sitting around. You need to get up, get out there and show the world what you are made of. Don’t be afraid to fail. Learn from your mistakes. He who says he can and he who says he can’t are both usually right. You are amazing no matter what anyone says and you can be the next person who wins a Great Britain gold medal.

Pain is only temporary. It can last a second, a minute. It could last a day or a year, but remember if you quit, it will last a lifetime. Every day we fall, we become stronger, stronger and stronger. Don’t cry because of the pain, do not cry to quit. Cry to keep on going.

Sacrifice what you are for what you will become. Nobody is going to hit you as hard as life will and nobody is going to pull you down. Sight can be replaced by guides, limbs replaced by wheelchairs but everybody has to overcome a challenge; even you. Show the world how amazing you are, how great you are!

Be an inspiration. Be resilient.

Now, what are you going to do?

Maths Workshop for KS1 parents.

On Tuesday 3rd May, we held a very successful maths workshop for Key Stage 1 parents. We shared findings from our recent research project, which has focused on strategies for developing children’s number sense.  Parents also visited classrooms and played games designed to develop children’s confidence, reasoning skills and fluency.

A copy of the session notes and guides can be found be clicking on the links below.

Presentation – Developing Number Sense and Fluency in KS1
Number Sense Games 
Ten Frames Deck of Cards

Science week at Thorndown

What an exciting weekIt all got started with a Science assembly led by Mrs Smith where the children’s natural curiosity of space travel was extended by looking at Tim Peake’s mission to the International Space Station (ISS).  Question stems were used to support the raising of Scientific Questions, such as, ‘How can the rocket go up in space when gravity is pulling it down?’ and ‘Did the other side of the rocket break in half?’

We explored Newton’s 3rd Law, built rockets and then launched them, researched famous scientists, had a talk about space and got thoroughly excited by science.

If you want to know more, click HERE to see the full report on the week.

SATs briefing for Year 6 parents

Mr Sweeney and Miss Collins have put together  short slide show regarding Year 6 SATs.

If you would like to view this briefing then please click HERE

Top achievement in Art

Top Achievements in Art

In November we selected work from four of our promising artists at Thorndown. We had been invited to enter their pieces in the Cambridgeshire Area Young Artist Competition, known as CAYAC.

We were delighted when we heard that Charlotte  in Year 2 had been awarded first prize in the Key Stage 1 section, for her imaginative picture of Rapunzel’s tower, beautifully painted by mixing warm colours in powder paint. Can you spot her work in one of the photos taken at the exhibition at Swavesey Village College? On Saturday 28th November, Lottie collected her prize at the awards ceremony.

Can you also spot Danisa’s deceptively challenging abstract design in blue, based on the ideas of Bridget Riley and her kinetic stripes; Benedict’s detailed collage of a burning Tudor house and Milan’s powerful African sunset with original silhouette designs?

Well done to all our artists at Thorndown for their ongoing bold and original work!

Benedict's collageDanisa's deignLottie's Painting

 Milan's ArtLottie prize


Thorndown girls get to English Competition finals

Congratulations to Jessica, Sophie, Lauren and Olivia who took part in the local English Challenge. They beat 6 other local schools in their heat and will now compete in the final at Ely Cathedral.

 English Challenge

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