Crab Lane Primary School

Thought for the Week - To make friends I must act in a kind way.

Hello children, I hope you are all keeping well. I miss you and look forward to seeing you soon. In the meantime, here are some links to help you to practise your English whilst you are at home. Stay safe everyone.

                             Mrs Fercsi

Links for practising English

  1. This website is full of other useful websites for EAL learners. 
  2. Read Write Inc. Phonics – learning to read at home. 
  4. Please don't forget the Oxford Owl website either for more phonics and ebooks:
  5. Phonics games and activities:
  6. Interactive storybooks free for parents for a month:
  7.   Look for the EAL section.
  8. LearnEnglish Kids is brought to you by the British Council, the world's English teaching experts. Lots of free online games, songs, stories and activities for children.
  9. Language can be changed on the website to make navigation easier. Choose English as the language the children would like to learn. This can also be downloaded as an APP for phones and children can also practice the French they learn at school as Modern Foreign Language.
  10. Aimed at younger learners: 
  11. The activities are divided into levels taken from the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). As children move through the levels in this section, the activities will start to get more difficult.  
  12. Younger learners practice your numbers with number blocks or Oxford owls are doing Maths activities too for 3-11 years old children. 
  13. A game that makes learning to read fun. Covers everything from letters and sounds to reading full sentences.
  15. Homophones, they are everywhere 


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The Big School Bird Watch

Last year, at Crab Lane Primary School, the EAL Teaching Assistant, who teaches English to small groups of children, decided to ‘clue up on birds’ and took part in the RSPB Big Schools’ Birdwatch, with children from Nursery to Year 5. It was such an enjoyable and rewarding project that she and the children just had to do it again this year. We’ve been learning about how we can help and protect birds and this year we added extra learning activities. We all agreed that we wanted to become the kind of individual that cares and looks after our feathery friends.

First, all the children analysed a bird information chart and were asked what they knew about birds. Surprisingly, the children knew very little. Some children thought birds ate grass and some did not realise that birds needed fresh water to drink too. So, our first step was to learn about birds’ diets. The children looked at lots of different books on birds, learning about their needs. They chose their favourite book, and favourite bird, and some of them imitated their favourite birdsong too.

We then learnt about bird body parts. The Nursery children looked at bird feathers, talked about their colours and the different shapes of feet, beaks and body sizes. In Reception, we read a story about a cockerel's voice and how important it was for birds to communicate, just like us. Some birds use it to attract attention, some to scare others away, or just to exchange information, to call others for food and so on.

Every year group went into our Forest Garden. They took fat ball bird food with them, and broke them up to see what they consisted of. We talked about how we could help the birds survive cold winter months, when there is little natural food available. Some of the children told me, following our learning, that they had put bird feeders out in their gardens. We discussed that feeding the birds in the same place all year round was best, so they knew where there would be a steady and sure supply of food.

We listened to the birds’ songs and watched them eagerly. The children each had a Bird Counting Sheet which showed the most popular British birds, and on this, they logged all the birds they saw. It was a great opportunity for the Nursery children to practise their counting skills too.

At this point, the project grew into a whole school event. We made a Big Birdwatch display and recruited more “Bird Detectives”. The RSPB provided a huge colourful bird poster which we surrounded with our filled in Bird Counting Sheets. Our fellow classmates could see how much we cared for the birds by all the work we had done in our Forest Garden. Our aim now was to encourage more children to do the same at home in their gardens. So, some Bird Counting Sheets were put out for the children to take home and when they brought their completed sheets back, we used this vital information to see the number of birds we had seen ‘as a school.’

The display then grew to show how the bird population had changed over the years. As most of the children who took part in this project are new to English, we tried to use our writing and maths skills too.

The KS2 children read books and searched online for facts about birds and why birds are so important to us. They then completed a questionnaire about five common British birds. This information certainly broadened our knowledge and after a few lessons we had learnt so many new interesting facts. 

All the children agreed that we needed to help the birds as much as we could. The children spread the word by taking their worksheets and Counting Sheets home, where they involved families in their bird watching sessions, excitedly reporting back at school what they had seen.

It's been a great journey, learning about birds and there’s so much more we can do to help them and our environment. For example: protecting them from our waste. Last year, our year 2 teacher organised a whole school Great Spring Spring Clean which gave the birds a safer space in our school grounds and local area.

Last year, we put a bird bath in our Forest Garden and installed a camera in one of our nesting boxes, and this year there has been great excitement about activities in the bird box. And even though we are all at home, doing our learning, we can still see regular updates on our ‘Forest Garden’ website page. And don’t worry about the birds as the Forest Garden is still visited regularly, when the bird feeder and the bird bath and tended to.

We recently federated with Crumpsall Lane Primary school and everyone at both schools is on task to monitor the nesting box and report any progress. For a while, there was a nest inside the bird box and the children searched on the internet for facts about nests. But we did not have to wait long until one of our teachers then spotted a bird in the bird box… a great tit getting comfortable on her nest. This fantastic news is on our website and children can follow it from home too.

We can’t wait to see how many eggs will hatch and how many little chicks there will be!
Crab Lane School is taking pride in looking after the local environment and as responsible humans, we are becoming ‘totally clued up on birds.’

International Mother Language Day poetry Mushaira event

I feel so proud of our Crab Lane children, who took part in the International Mother Language Day poetry Mushaira event about HOME. We visited one of the four big libraries in Manchester where they performed their poems which are now being shared on youtube and after the 21st Feb (Mother Language Day) social occasion, organisers will put them on the UNESCO City of Literature website.

I joined the children at North City Library's ‘Indian dance and Drum Rhythms of traditional Kathak with Kancharan Maradan’ and there were multilingual games, as well as fun and colourful creative crafts all about HOME and how it makes us feel. There was ‘A Taste of Home’ - lots of tasty snacks and drinks. We had a great time!

Congratulate to all the brave children who performed their poems whilst being filmed. Did you know there are about 6,500 languages in the world, and 200 languages spoken in Manchester at any one time!

Take a look at our photos on the library window.

Big Schools' Bird Watch
Before the holiday, some EAL children from Nursery up to Year 5 had a chance to take part in the RSPB BIG SCHOOLS' BIRDWATCH.

First, we looked at photos of different kind of birds. We talked about what they eat, learnt about parts of the the bird and made some bird feeders (some of them were quickly emptied by hungry squirrels robbing the wild birds of a tasty meal).

We practised the nursery rhyme, "Two Little Dickie Birds" with Nursery and Reception children. We named and coloured our favourite birds and we fed chicks on the iPad.

With the older children, we learnt lots of interesting facts:
Why birds are so important and what migration means?
Why the bird population is decreasing and how we can protect them?
Then finally, we went out in our fabulous Woodland Garden for the Crab Lane Big Schools' bird count. Luckily we saw many different birds and listened to their lovely songs too.

This is the certificate we earned and above are some photos of the event.

"When you are learning another language, you learn to think in that language, you learn to speak in that language and you learn to believe in that language and it allows you to think from a completely different perspective: it's not just about the words and the grammar but the culture and the language it is associated with."

"It's a skill - a talent -
and I hope those of you learning a new language continue to do so because the more you learn, the broader your mind becomes and allows you to think big.”

Malala Yousafza Youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner and education activist

'Mother Tongue Other Tongue' is a multilingual poetry competition that celebrates cultural diversity and the many languages spoken in schools in the UK. There are two separate parts to the poetry competition and children can enter one or both parts of the competition.

The 'Mother Tongue' part of the competition requires children who do not have English as a first language, or who speak a different language at home, to share a lullaby, poem or song from their Mother Tongue. They then write a short piece in English to explain the poem’s significance to them.  The 'Other Tongue' part of the competition encourages children learning another language in school to use that language creatively to write a poem.

Last year our school went to the 'Mother Tongue Other Tongue' competition celebration at Manchester University. And this year, we were privileged to have four fantastic guests in our school to help us with our preparation for this year's competition.

Malika Booker is a British poet, writer and artist. She is considered "a pioneer of the present spoken word movement" in the UK.

Organisations for which she has worked include Arts Council England, the BBC, British Council, Wellcome Trust, National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Arvon, and Hampton Court Palace.

Basir Kazmi won a North-west playwrights’ workshops award in 1992. His plays have been performed at many northern theatres. His poem, ‘Taking Time’, selected by the Poems for the Waiting Room project (2001), was displayed in UK hospitals and clinics. One of his couplets, with English translation (‘The true-hearted can settle - no matter which land. A flower wants to bloom, wherever its garden.’), was carved in stone and installed at McKenzie Square in Slough in 2008. Basir has been awarded an MBE (2013) for services to literature as a poet.

Noor Mohammad, the 'Mother Tongue Other Tongue' Project Support Officer and Robert Nelson were our guests from Manchester Metropolitan University.

Twenty year 5 and 6 children listened to Mr Basir Kazmi who educated them about poetry; what a rhyme, ghazal, refrain and couplets are. After they understood how a poem builds up, they had chances to write poems in their mother language, which they then presented to each other. Children translated it to Mr Kazmi, whom then commented on their written works and praised their creativity.

Children wrote in eleven languages: Polish, Spanish, Farsi, Urdu, Cantonese, Ugandan, Portuguese, English, Italian, Arabic and Deutch. First, they wrote poems that rhymed, secondly, free style.

We had a great afternoon; the children enjoyed all the advice from the experts and gorgeous poems were created that day and the children that took part in the poetry afternoon for the Mother Tongue Other Tongue competition continued their hard work and some of them wrote new poems.

The deadline is 15th of May, so we are sending the best ones off and keeping our fingers crossed for a "WINNER" outcome. Take a look at their beautiful work, hopefully we will see all of these again at the Award Ceremony.

Premier League Poetry Competition
Last year more than 25,000 primary school children in England and Wales took part in the Premier League Writing Stars Poetry Competition.

Crab Lane was one of the first 1,000 schools to take part and today we received a Premier League bag filled with fantastic poetry books, from authors including Joseph Coelho and Julia Donaldson. All the books have been specially picked by the National Literacy Trust.

Mrs. Fercsi entered poems written by our EAL children. "Try try again" was the book they read, full of highly commended entries by 5-11 year old children, as well as poems penned by special guests. The children used their poems to inspire them.

Nursery & Reception

For our Racing To English task, Nursery and Reception EAL children took a walk along Crab Lane and back. Take a look at the list to see what we were looking for on our journey.

We all enjoyed our Local Area walk and we found almost everything on our list. 

The children were so excited and learnt lots of new words, such as bench, hedge, fence, railing, street light, wheelie bin... and more. They really enjoyed doing something with a difference.

Years 1, 2, 3 & 5

We walked down on Crab Lane, as far as Higher Blackley Post Office, then walked back along Tweedle Hill Road on our way back to school. Went to the little park on Poolton Road where we saw a squirrel. 

We enjoyed our local area walk and we found everything on the list!! :) Children were so excited to learn new words, such as bench, hedge, fence, railing, street light, wheelie bin...etc. :) They all really enjoyed doing something different. 

Years 3,4,5 & 6

We looked at a compass on my phone and we had a look for directions on it. The children were then given a riddle about a MAP and they had to find Crab Lane on one as I gave them directions to where we were going.

We walked down Crab Lane, until Higher Blackley Post Office, then walked back along Tweedle Hill Road, calling in at the little park on Poolton Road. The children each had a clip board and had to circle the objects, streets and buildings listed or named on the map. They also drew a line of the roads we had walked along on our journey. 

In The Park

After learning about rooms in the house and the objects there; the things we can find in the garden and in front yards, we looked at different types of houses and visited our local area to see what was on the street. We expanded our learning area to nearby parks too where people can spend their free time. Heaton Park provided the perfect opportunity to see not just the park itself but some animals that lived around the Hall as well, like chickens, pigs, rabbits and goat. We also saw lots of squirrels and ducks. The children enjoyed the fresh air and played some games. We talked about what activities people could do there. We really had a great time learning about parks.

Sainsbury's Shopping Trip

Shopping is part of our daily life, we need to know where we can find things in the shop. If we can’t find something, we have to know the English name for what we want to buy and we can then ask an assistant for the whereabouts of the product. We learnt that when we have finished our shopping, we have to queue, then have to have enough money on us to pay. We went to Sainsbury’s to practise all of this and we learnt how to use the self check out machine. Children had to follow the instructions on the screen, take the receipt and the change.