Welcome to Class 2 ‘Côte d'Azur’! I hope you and your child have had an enjoyable, relaxing summer holiday. I am looking forward to working with the class and having a successful, enriching and fun year together! Below is an overview of the learning and development for this term. If you have any questions, then I am available in both the morning and afternoon, apart from Tuesday when an appointment would need to be made through the office.
This year pupils across the school will take a new project-based approach to learning. Each project will have a particular focus that will allow pupils to develop and deepen skills across a range of subjects.
Our theme project will be ‘What is it like to live here?’. The class will be invited to ask topic-related questions that will help to form the lessons in the following weeks. There will be the opportunity to develop map reading skills, compass reading skills and learn more about the UK. In the classroom, there will also be an interactive display that challenges the children to find some of Dover’s main landmarks (including our school) on a map. We will also write postcards that will allow the children to imagine they in Côte d'Azur, writing from the beach!
The science project for this term will be ‘Seasonal Change’ and will allow children to explore the school grounds. The class will begin by asking questions that they would like to investigate to do with our topic. After this we will investigate weather patterns, the impact the seasons have on the environment and we will explore the school to find signs of the changing seasons. Children will be encouraged to develop their investigational skills and to reflect and analyse data that they gather. Within the classroom, pupils will also have access to an iPad to regularly update our class weather map and be Aycliffe’s very own weather reporters!
Our text-based project will focus on traditional tales. This should be a genre of writing that the children feel familiar with and allow them to feel confident when writing. The class will start with the short story of Little Daisy and will use interactive storytelling to become familiar with its events and structure. Within the story, we will be focussing on identifying story openers, connectives and different types of words (e.g. nouns, verbs, etc.). As the class becomes more confident telling the story, the children will be able to innovate it and change key parts so they are able to create their own, original version. This will be done throughout the year with the help of story maps, plans and guided reading sessions. There will also be daily Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPAG) sessions and phonic sessions.
The first term focus will be on improving the children’s understanding of number value, how calculations are recorded and key strategies to help their calculations. Lessons will begin with tasks that encourage children to perform mental calculations in an active way as well as increasing their mathematical vocabulary. Key strategies (e.g. number square use) will help revisit and extend the children’s understanding of addition and subtraction, as well as creating a foundation for multiplication and division. The class will have a chance to apply these skills with questions involving length, weight and money. An extension of these skills will be the daily use of oral reasoning problems at the beginning and/or end of lessons.
In PE the children will be revisiting tennis in order to build on their existing skills, including techniques for hitting the ball and activities aimed at improving balance. As the term progresses the class will combine the skills they have developed to work towards more challenging games. PE will be on Thursday afternoon each week. Please can you make sure your children have their kits (polo shirts, jumper, shorts, jogging bottoms and plimsolls) and that earrings are removed for PE sessions.
The class will be studying Christianity this term. We will be looking at a range of parables and the children will be able to explore their meanings. This will include re-enacting stories from the bible and allowing children to discuss what each story is trying to teach us.
Every Friday Maths and English homework will be given out to the children. The homework will be targeted at giving pupils a chance to reinforce their learning or introducing them to an upcoming topic. There will also be a selection of spellings, which the children have practised during the week, which can be used as a short spelling test. We ask that the children could return their homework on Monday morning so that we can collectively mark and review the work. Within the classroom, we have also got our class ‘Learning Tree’. An adult or child may record any home learning that has taken place onto one of our paper apples (placed inside the homework folders) and proudly display it on our tree. The home learning can range from writing a story at home to regularly reading to their siblings. At the end of each term, the apples will be counted and the child with the most apples will receive a small prize!
Guided reading will happen daily and enable pupils to regularly read with an adult. Reading books will go home with children every day and it would be really good if they could read regularly at home as well.  Short, daily 10-15 minutes reading sessions can make a huge difference to a child’s reading progression and it can give them a chance to discuss the story with you. Book bags should be brought to school every day so that we can change books when necessary and listen to readers, ensuring we are supporting the children as much as possible. Asking your child questions when they are reading can allow them to further explore the story and practise their ability to interpret information. Below are some suggested questions that you may find helpful during reading sessions: Who is(are) the main character(s)?
What is the main idea? 
What is the problem?
How was it solved? 
Describe the setting using evidence from the text.  Where does the story take place? 
Did you think the story had a good ending?  If not, how could you have changed the ending? 
Are there any words you didn't understand?  How can you find out their meaning? 
Ask your child why certain characters are feeling like they are (happy, sad, angry, jealous, etc.), and ask if they know any other words that mean the same. 
Did they like the story?  Why or why not?