Look at our writing!


Posted by sthomas | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 05-02-2015

Some of the Primary 1 children from Primary 1/2 have been working with Mrs Thomas to develop their writing skills. We are developing our understanding of sentences and word building. We are also learning to use a word wall to help us organise the words we want to use. We have also been developing our drawing skills adding as much detail as possible. I am so pleased with you boys, well done!

Take a look at this weeks work, what do you think?






Posted by sthomas | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 04-10-2014

Theraputty is a silicone based material, a bit like a very strong play dough. It is commonly used by Occupational Therapists to increase grip strength, finger and thumb strength and improve fine motor skills. We are using it to improve our fine motor skills by performing a range of exercises where we mould the Theraputty into different shapes. After doing these this morning we practiced our pinching skills by making hedgehogs and hammerhead sharks. We did a great job don’t you think?

More Fun with Fine Motor Skills!


Posted by sthomas | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 29-04-2014

We have been using lots of different media to practise our fine motor skills. We have been focusing on our fluency and speed of movement. We had lots of fun using finger paints this week! We practised our formations using the finger paints and then used whiteboards to see if our skills had improved. We all did really well!

Mrs Thomas






Fine Motor Skills


Posted by sthomas | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 30-01-2014

Fine motor skills are really important to us in everyday life. From doing up buttons and shoe laces to writing a shopping list or typing a blog, we couldn’t manage without them. Some children find them easier to master than others so we do lots of things to help us practise. We use theraputty (a bit like a hard playdough but with a plastic feel) to strengthen our fingers and grasp, we practise skills such as using scissors and doing up buttons, we use a variety of grips to help us hold our pencils correctly, we practise letter formations, joining dots for hand eye co-ordination, we practise drawing shapes and patterns to improve our fluency of movement.

Today the Primary 4 group were practising fluency of movement using different patterns. We practised some of this using the wall so that our hand was in the correct position and it was easier to get the pencil grip correct.

Fine Motor Skills Practise 002 Fine Motor Skills Practise 003 Fine Motor Skills Practise 004 Fine Motor Skills Practise 006

October Update – What do we do in Support for Learning Time?


Posted by sthomas | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 02-11-2013

Firstly apologies for the lack of blogs  in the first term. As I am sure you will appreciate I  have had rather a lot of things  to get my head around in my new role!

Anyway I thought  it was high  time I shared a little of what we have been doing so far this year so here goes:

Nursery – Pre-school Group

On a Tuesday I spend the morning in the nursery which I really enjoy (must be the big kid in me!). Whilst I’m there unfortunately I don’t just get to play but I am working with all the children to develop their pencil grip and hand eye-co-ordination. We  have  had great fun doing this and the children are always keen to come and ‘write’!

This term I will also be working with a small group to develop their listening and talking skills. This involves playing lots of fun games to encourage firstly the children’s confidence to speak in a group situation but also skills such as turn taking and listening to others.

If  your child is a pre-schooler in the afternoon session don’t panic Mrs Munro and I  have  plans up our sleeves for later in the school year to ensure your children don’t miss out! We will keep you posted.

Fine Motor Skills

I have several small groups of children from across the school that come to me for support with their fine motor skills. In these groups we look at different skills depending on age, stage and class teacher requests. For  example with my Primary 1 group we are looking at the formation of the letters and numbers they are learning with Mrs Jamieson. Other groups are following a programme called Write form the Start which allows the children to practise all the skills they need for good letter formation such as hand – eye co-ordination, fluency of movement, curves and straight line patterns. I am also hoping to introduce a programme called Speed Up which looks at using a more tactile and active approach to build the skills required to produce good fine motor control.

Sounds Knowledge and Word Building Skills

Again I have several small groups from across the school working at various different levels and abilities. The aim of these groups is to ensure that the children have a secure knowledge of the sounds we use in language and can apply this knowledge to help them decode words when reading and build words when writing. We do lots of fun games and activities to help us learn and practise using our sounds at whatever stage we are at with learning. For example Primary 4 and 7 had fun making bats for my Halloween wall last week. They had different learning objectives; Harry was practising his Hornet spelling rule on his bat whilst Jack and Daniel were building CVC rhyming words and practising common words on theirs.  There are a few photos below which show some of what we have been up to lately:


Numeracy Groups

Not only do I run groups to support children’s literacy but I am also running some numeracy groups too. Again these are small groups where  the class teacher has identified children who either have a gap in their knowledge, would benefit from time and support to practise skills learnt in class or children who have a specific learning need. At the moment I have a group working hard on their number bond skills and two groups working hard on their multiplication tables.  For the latter, it is about understanding how the tables are put together and learning strategies to  help them use the tables. This week we have been playing tables dominoes where one end of the domino has an answer and one end has a multiplication sum on it. We’ve had great fun doing this and we are definitely getting quick at working out the answers!

Short Term Memory Group

This is a new one for me so I have had to do lots of research into this. Some children who have a particular learning difficulty such as Dyslexia, often, but not always, have problems with their short term memory. Did you know that when your short-term memory is working correctly you can hold  7 pieces of information in it for approximately 20 seconds? However our short-term memory is very fragile and the information within it evaporates as and when direct attention is re-directed or disrupted. You use your short term memory to carry out tasks like mental arithmetic, responding to a verbal questions, memorising a phone number from the phone book whilst dialling, tallying a word when reading. When your short term memory is not working properly it is really difficult to carry out some tasks and as you can imagine this can be extremely frustrating for children that have this issue. The idea behind the group is that the children involved will maximise their short term memories by acquiring and implementing memory strategies. It is hoped that this in turn will increase confidence and self-esteem when carrying out tasks involving short term memory. I’ll let you know if it works, but in the meantime we are having lots of fun trying!

Look out for my next update where I will share with you the principles behind GIRFEC ( Getting it Right for Every Child) in East Lothian and hopefully have far more photos to show you, I have left the camera out in the  hope I remember to use it! As ever should you have any queries or wish to discuss your child please do get in touch through the school office.

Many Thanks,

Mrs Thomas

Welcome Back!


Posted by sthomas | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 19-08-2013

Where did the holiday go? I can’t believe it  is that time of year again when we start a fresh and all are excited about the new year ahead of us. I am really looking forward to working with you all again in my new role as Support for Learning teacher. I must say it is very strange  not having a class to prepare  for but I am sure that there will be more than enough  new challenges  to keep me occupied!

Watch this page for updates and information about what we have been getting up to in Support for Learning.


Mrs Thomas

Welcome Back!


Posted by sthomas | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 22-08-2012

Welcome back to another year at Yester. I am really looking forward to working with you all and I’m sure we will have great fun whilst building up our knowledge and learning skills. Watch this space for updates about what we have been getting up to in the SfL times.

Mrs Thomas

Alphabetical order


Posted by lcusack | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 30-05-2012

We had great fun in the P2/3 and P3/4 sounds group today. 

We are working on putting words into alphabetical order.

We sang as we sorted our alphabet puzzles into the correct order.

Great teamwork




Proud of our work

Stressing the unstressed vowels in two syllable words


Posted by lcusack | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 29-05-2012

 We have been working on spelling.  You must say the vowel sounds very clearly in these words so that you spell them properly. We also made a word wall showing some of the words we have been practising.



I can build words with 2 sounds.


Posted by lcusack | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 23-05-2012