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Crystal & Opal – Mixed | Tinsley Meadows Primary Academy

Crystal & Opal

Mixed Year Group


Crystal class is made up of children from years 3 to 6. Families who arrive in the area and who have children who do not speak English enter into Crystal class first. Our class is total immersion, that is, we only speak English, even though the children know no English. So we learn to listen to, speak, read and write in English. We focus on key functional language such as names for family members, body parts, food, healthy living, clothing, animals, etc. Once pupils reach a good level of understanding and reading in English, they move into Opal class where the curriculum becomes more varied. Then when their understanding further improves, they transfer into their year group class. So far this year, 8 pupils have moved from Crystal into Opal and 3 pupils have moved from Opal into their year group classes.

Crystal and Opal classes are led by Ms. Oliver, Ms. Ibrahim and Mrs. Bloomer, and are supported by teaching assistants: Mr. Copestake, Mr. Khalid and Ms. Ali.

English Lessons

In Crystal we focus on learning how to speak, listen, read and write in English. To do this we work hard on developing our phonics, reading, spelling and grammar knowledge. Last term we learned about family members and how to talk about ourselves. This term we are learning about clothes and then about our local area.

Philosophy for Children (P4C)

This year the whole school has adopted the P4C approach to developing oral enquiry skills. In Crystal we now do two one-hour sessions a week. So far this term we have enquired about anti-social behaviour and sharing. Already, this longer time to learn and use discussion language such as ‘I agree with …’ or ‘I think that… because…’ or ‘I’d like to add to what … said…’ has led to longer and deeper discussions between pupils. They really are interested in and able to talk with one another about philosophical issues. It is fantastic to see them using this important language in order to share their thoughts and beliefs about wider, meaningful issues!


We do PE twice a week; Thursday and Friday mornings, to take a break from the intense work we do, that is, trying to learn new ideas in a new language! This term we’re learning throwing skills to then play dodgeball and handball, a popular game on the Continent and included in the Olympics. Last term we learned athletic skills, as well as how to play basketball and hockey. From February we will return to Ice Sheffield to improve the skating skills we learned last Spring.


In the Autumn term, Crystal made its annual visit to the English Institute of Sport (EIS), where many of the country’s Olympic athletes train. There they learned how to do the long jump, high jump and throw the javelin. This supported their learning about healthy living. In November, Crystal and Opal walked over to the Vue cinema in Meadowhall, to see Paddington the Bear, with which they were all enraptured! And for the first time in the EAL base, Crystal class went to the annual panto at the Rotherham Theatre, this year being Cinderella! They were so excited to see the spectacle, join in with the songs and banter and sway to the dancing.


Ms. Oliver – Teacher

Ms. Ibrahim – Teacher

Mrs. Bloomer – Teacher

Mr. Copestake – Teaching Assitstant

Mr. Khalid – Teaching Assitstant

Ms. Ali – Teaching Assitstant

Useful Dates

There are no upcoming events at this time.

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