Schofield & Sims Fractions Series

A little while ago Schofield & Sims sent us a pack of Fraction books (12 in total – 6 workbooks and 6 teacher’s guides).  This is our review of the set

Schofield & Sims series Fractions for Key stages 1 and key Stages 2 based on the UK Curriculum

The set consists of 6 workbooks for Key stages 1 and 2.  If you are following the UK curriculum this would be 1 book per year but with my kids we found that we combined activities out of a few of the year books (with my daughter we did some of the exercises out of the Year 3 book as and then worked onto the year 4 book and my son tore through the year 1 book and quickly started the year 2 book).  For Each workbook there is also a teacher’s guide.

So what is in the Teachers’s Guide ? Each teacher’s guide starts off with an explanation of how the books fit into the curriculum, some strategies for learning and how the assessments work.  The teacher’s guide directly correlates to the workbook.  For each double page in the workbook the Teachers guide has a double page explanation.  It breaks the explanations down into Starting Point, Spot the Mistake and Good to go.

The Teacher’s guide also contains all the answers for the workbooks.

The Workbooks all follow the same format.  Each workbook has double page “activities / lessons” which correlate back to the teacher’s guide.  At the start of each double page there is also a highlight box called Key Point.  This is a brief explanation of the fraction concept that the kids will be practicing. My daughter really likes these key points.(pictures below are from Fractions 3 book)

Schofield & Sims Fraction workbooks. Each double page includes Key Point explanations, get started excercises to practice

The practicing sections are then broken down into 3 sub-sections.  Get started (simpler versions of the exercises), followed by Now try these (harder) and then Challenge (harder examples).

Schofield & Sims Fractions workbook. Each double page includes challenge excercises for the kids to try

Each workbook contains  check-up tests and a Final test (we use these as revision exercises). And the very last page is a glossary of terms.  All the workbooks follow this structure.

So what is included in each year ?

Fractions 1 (this is the thinnest of the workbooks – 31 pages).

Fraction 1 only deals halves and quarters.  It has lots of practice for kids identifying what is a half, quarter, two quarters and three-quarters.  Lots of different visual examples of these different fractions, including  clock faces, jugs of water, shapes and what is half of a number, what is a quarter of a number, does 1/4 plus 1/4 equal 1/2.

Fractions 1 workbook by Schofield & Sims includes lots of excercises about halves and quarters

Fractions 2 (35 pages)

Starts off the quarters.  Sorting groups of objects into quarters of equal size.

What fractions make a whole and understanding that 2/4 is the same as 1/2.

Example of a page from the Fractions 2 workbook by Schofield & Sims. Aimed at UK Key Stage 2 ages

It moves onto fractions in a number line and introduces thirds, shows how thirds fits in with halves and quarters.

Also introduces how fractions are linked to multiplication and division facts.

Fractions 3 (51 pages)

Starts with some revision.  Recognising quarters, halves, counting up and down in fractions on a number line.  Then it goes on to talk about a what is a Numerator, how do you compare fractions with numerator 1.  More on fractions being a division of a quantity.  When the fraction has a numerator that is not 1 and introducing tenths.

Comparing fractions with the same denominator.  Recognising different fractions can represent the same amount and then onto equivalent fractions.

And adding and subtracting fractions with the same denominator.

Fractions 4 (51 pages)

Again starts with some revision, what is a numerator and denominator, basic fractions, mixed fractions, equivalent fractions using a fraction wall, adding and subtracting with the same denominator.

Then patterns within equivalent fractions.  Showing tenths as decimals and lots of work on decimals (show decimals on a number line, how you work out decimals using division, hundredths, comparing decimals, solving problems with decimals).

Fractions 4 by Schofield & Sims includes work on decimals

Fractions 5 (51 pages)

Revision of equivalent fractions, mixed fractions and adding and subtracting with the same denominator.

Then it goes onto adding and subtracting fractions with different denominators, multiplying fractions by numbers, rounding decimals and thousandths.

More practice with decimals and then introducing percentages, linking percentages to decimals and some problem solving with percentages

Fractions 6 by Schofield & Sims introduces percentages

Fractions 6 (51 pages)

Starts with simplifying fractions, adding and subtracting and multiplying fractions.

Dividing fractions by whole numbers.  Multiplying decimals by whole numbers.  Multiply and divide by 10, 100 or 1000.  Solving problems with fractions, decimals and percentages.

Converting between fractions, decimals and percentages. Understanding ratios and using a:b ration.  Solving problems with the ratios.

Fractions 6 by Schofield & Sims. Includes pages on ratios

Part of the Check-up Test 2 in Fractions 6

Check-up Test 2 in Fractions 6 workbook by Schofield & Sims

I have been using a number of the different Maths workbooks from Schofield & Sims with my daughter this past year. She likes the format and the way in which they gradually introduce concepts while giving her time to practice.  The Fraction books have been a great addition to her Maths learning activities.  She happily works through the activities and finds that the concepts are introduced at a rate that suits her and her learning style.

Schofield & Sims sent us these books in exchange for a review.  All opinions expressed are mine










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Complementary Colour Paintings for kids

We have been going through one of our painting phases lately.  Combination of trying out new paints, rainy weather and the fact the kids discovered a new book – Usborne Art Book About Colour.  I must admit I was actually surprised by how much the kids enjoyed this book.  But they loved reading about how colour developed over time and what natural items were used to create the old colours that artists used.  The book also talks about the colour wheel, primary colours, secondary colours and complementary colours.

My youngest was very taken with the idea of complementary colours (after he got over the fact that blue and red are not complementary colours) so we thought we would use it in some fun paintings.  He started off my dividing a tree in half.  The first half had green leaves so the second half needed to the red leaves (the complementary colour of green) and the first half has oranges hanging in the tree so the second half had “blues” hanging in the tree.

Complementary Tree painting by young kids.

We thought it such a fun idea so my daughter joined in and tried some flowers using the same idea of complementary colours.

Complementary Colour Flower Painting. Split the flower in half and paint each half with complementary colours


The following day my youngest wanted to stick with the idea so I suggested using complementary colours to show reflections of buildings in a lake.  He loved it and jumped in.

Using Complementary colours to paint the reflections of building in a lake. Fun, easy art project for children

The building reflection worked out so well so we also tried a flower reflection.

Using complementary colours in the reflection of a flower. Fun painting project for young kids

I really liked the idea of using complementary colours to split an object in half and it could be any object.  I would love to see the kids do it for a self-portrait.

Oh and one more.  The kids did a “mixed up” complementary colour flower just for fun.  Love it.  They were giggling away as they did the “confused flower” together.

Mixed up complementary colour flower






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Equivalent Fraction Learning Activity

We love playing around with fractions and my daughter enjoys making folding aids so I thought we would try to combine the two.  As we have already used the Twinkl Circle Fractions in our paper plate fractions (which the kids have used A LOT) I thought we would try the rectangle fraction pieces this time.

The Rectangle Fractions set is part of the paid for Twinkl Platinum account.  The set includes everything from 1 whole all the way to tenths.  For this activity we cut out all the fractions pieces and we used one-half, one-third and one-fifth as our starting points.

Twinkl Rectangel Fraction pieces cut out so they can be used to create equivalent fraction learning aids

She started off with one-half and added two-quarters on top and then three-sixths.  Each time she added the fraction on top she only glued the side edge so that each new fraction piece could flap over to reveal the fractions underneath it.

Equivalent Fraction folding activity. The kids stick the correct number of equivalent fractions on top.

By using these rectangular fraction pieces the kids have a built-in check.  They can see that one-third will not fit on the one-half piece (there will be sections of the one-half fraction piece sticking out).  For kids who are still getting used to equivalent fractions this is helpful as they can figure out for themselves which fractions match the one-half rectangle piece underneath.

Equivalent Fraction learning activity amde by children. They glue the equivalent factions ontop of the one-half piece. All rectangular fractions pieces are from Twinkl

She continued adding to the one-half page until she had an Equivalent fraction folding aid which included 1/2, 2/4, 3/6, 4/8 and 5/10.

Equivalent Fraction aid for one-half includes four-eigths and five-tenths. Made using Twinkl pages

She then moved onto doing the same activity but this time using one-third as her starting point.

Equivalent Fraction learning activity for one thirds. The kids stick the correct number of sixths and ninths on top to match the one-third fraction size

She ended up making this one slightly differently.  The two-sixths pieces were glued on either edge of the one-third piece so that they flap open and then the ninth pieces were all glued on the one-side.  It was just the way she fitted the pieces together.

And then onto fifths.  This one was the easiest as the only equivalent fractions that we had with the cut-outs where the two-tenths.

Equivalent Fraction activity. The kids need to decide what the equiavlent fractions are and then stick them ontop so they they fold out. REctangle fractions pieces used are from the Twinkl website

I really liked this activity.  It was very easy to put together.  Just print out the rectangle fraction pieces, cut them and get the kids to play around and figure out what the equivalent fraction is based on what fits on top of the underlying fraction (the one-half, one-third and one-fifth).

Equivalent Fraction learning aid made by my daughter for one-half. Using the twinkl rectangle fraction pieces

Equivalent Fraction activity. Made by children learning about equivalent fractions using pages from Twinkl Resources












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At Home With Spelling Book Review

My son has recently started using a workbook by Oxford Press called At Home With Spelling 2 which is aimed at ages 5 to 7. Since I am that person who always reads everything I can about a book before I order it I thought I would write one about this workbook in case anyone is looking for spelling workbooks.

At Home With Spelling 2 workbook by Oxford University Press

It starts off with a quick introduction of vowels and then what the difference is between a short vowel sound and a long vowel sound.

At Home With Spelling 2 by Oxford Press includes the difference between short vowel sound and long vowel sound activities

As you can see from the photo above my youngest still has large writing but he is managing to fit his words in the spaces provided (we have tried other workbooks where he could not write the words in the spaces provided).

When to use k and when to use ck (three pages on this which I like as I remember my daughter battled with this).  I also really like the way they explained this.

At Home With Spelling 2 by Oxford press includes pages on when to use k by itself and when it use ck in a word

Also includes pages on sounds like ore, y, oy, ay, days of the week and then on to the oo, ee and ow sounds.

At Home With Spelling 2 by Oxford Press includes pages on some of the harder phonic sounds like oy

It talks about double consonants, adding suffixes and compound words.

At Home With Spelling 2 by Oxford Press when do you double consonants

I like this workbook as the exercises are well laid out and they have good explanations of the rules at the top of the page.  We really like the explanations in this workbook, they are short and too the point but explain the rules perfectly.  But it is a 32 page workbook so it is not a full curriculum as such.  It is something that I am using along with other resources.

I find it helpful, my son likes the way the rules are explained and the fact that it is helping him remember spellings without endless writing and rewriting.

I see there is also a At Home With Spelling 1book – but I have not had a look at the exercises in this book as my youngest had already learnt how to spell the words included in the book.

The At Home With Spelling books can be purchased directly from the Oxford Press website (they have a number of other books in this range – like At Home with Handwriting, At Home with Phonics) or from Amazon – At Home With Spelling 1, At Home With Spelling 2

I approached Oxford Press and asked if they would us this book and some books for my daughter (I will be writing a post about the bond spelling books that they sent for my daughter in a few weeks).

I have included Affiliate links. If you follow an affiliate link and go on to purchase that product, I will be paid a very small commission, however your cost will remain the same. I only include affiliate links for products that we own, use and love.



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Dive Into Shapes

I have been eyeing out the Learning Resources Dive into Shapes set for some time.  I wanted to find a hands on, fun way for the kids to explore shapes both 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional and I kept coming back to this set.  So when Learning Resources approached me and asked if I wanted to test it out I immediately jumped at the opportunity (I possibly may have even squealed yes out loud when I read the email).

The set arrived at the absolute perfect time, my oldest was not feeling well and we were staying at home and getting slightly bored.  Both kids immediately started building shapes and objects without even looking at the cards.

Dive Into Shapes by Learning Resources. A fun set which allows the children to build many different 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional shapes and objects

The set comes with a combination of sticks (16 long straight sticks, 24 Medium long sticks, 20 small straight sticks and 20 curves) as well as round connectors (16 orange and 18 red).  And 15 double-sided cards – the cards are split into different activities – 2 dimensional shapes, 3 dimensional shapes, combining shapes and equal parts (ie basic fractions).

After spending the whole first day just doing their own “creations” the kids decided to try out the shape-building cards.

Dive into Shapes a fun maths set which allows the children to build 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional shapes

My daughter seemed to really enjoy the combining shape cards.

Dive into Shapes. One of the Combining shapes building cards that comes with the set

And my son really enjoyed the diving shapes into equal parts challenges.  He has been doing quite a few activities on halves and quarters lately so being able to use the pieces to divide shapes into halves and quarters was perfect for him.  And I loved that when he took a card showing dividing a circle into half he naturally tried to take it further and divide it into quarters (there is actually a card for splitting the circle into quarters but he had not seen that yet).

Dive into shapes set from Learning Resources come with some equal parts cards which reinforce basic fractions

We really have loved playing with this set and I can see both kids using it a LOT more.  I love all the creations that they have coming up with – crowns, goals for football, railway tracks, planets and so much more.

Dive into Shapes building their own creations like a crown

Dive into Shapes creating railway lines

I love that they are exploring shapes in such a fun, relaxed manner.  They are having fun while learning about shapes – how many sides different shapes have, angles in a shape, how 3 dimensional shapes can be built up from 2 dimensional shapes, basic fractions and so much more.  They are learning without even realizing it.  Learning by playing and being creative.

We LOVE this set.

You can get this set directly from Learning Resources or you can add it to your amazon basket Learning Resources Dive into Shapes! A “Sea” and Build Geometry Set

Dive into Shapes by Learning Resources. A fun, hands on maths set for children which encourages them to explore shapes

I was sent this set by Learning Resources in exchange for me completing a questionnaire and sharing my thoughts on it.  All opinions expressed are mine





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