Welcome back to term 5. This is the term in which the children will sit their statutory tests (week beginning 8thMay); the results of these tests are also passed on to secondary schools so they can be used in planning for Year 7 teaching. More details will be sent to you all nearer the time. There will continue to be a significant focus on applying skills in mathematics, spelling, punctuation and grammar. I shall be continuing to teach each morning and use some time in the afternoons to revise work taught and practise in test conditions. Please continue to support me and my team in ensuring that your child completes all set pieces of homework and has plenty of sleep before each school day so that they have the stamina and focus required over these next four weeks.

Mathematics We will begin this term by finishing our work on geometry, solving problems involving the properties, surface area, perimeter and volume of 2D and 3D shapes. We will then move onto describing positions on the full coordinate grid (all four quadrants) and solving problems in context such as the translation and reflection of shapes. After this we will revise time and children will be introduced to algebra, learning to express missing number problems algebraically and to find numbers that satisfy an equation in which there are two unknown values.

Planning will continue to take a mastery approach to teaching and learning so that children are given the opportunity to build, then apply skills in contexts of varying degrees of challenge. The children will have the opportunity to use concrete objects, manipulatives and pictorial representations to help them understand what they are doing and to support them as they reason and solve problems.

English We shall begin this term with the study biographical writing. The level of reading and writing expected and the word and sentence skills integrated within it will build on from previous learning. Therefore, there will continue to be a particular focus on developing children’s use and understanding of a range of higher level vocabulary. We shall manipulate sentences, improve them using a thesaurus to help us, vary the way sentences begin and the length of sentences for effect, and continue to develop and extend skills in understanding and using complex sentence structures. I have purposely linked this genre to our theme for this term; the children will research the artist John Constable with the purpose of writing a biography of his life and work. I would like you to be their audience as this has proved to be an effective motivator in the past. The children will bring home their published work which includes all improvements made to the original piece, for you to read and comment on so ‘thank you’ in advance!

As always, there will be a huge emphasis on spelling, punctuation and grammar. This is very important as these skills feed into the children’s reading and particularly their writing. The spelling of every word they use is vital as the children’s writing is heavily judged on their ability to spell the words they use correctly. With this in mind we continue to ask you to work in partnership with us, encouraging and helping your children to learn and understand a variety of vocabulary. There will continue to be daily ‘SPAG’ sessions (spelling, punctuation and grammar) and some of the pupils’ homework will be linked to various aspects of this area of the English Curriculum.

Science This term the children will study ‘light’, an area of science in which I know they have shown a particular interest in the past. There is much scope within this topic to work scientifically. For example, the children will plan enquiries, control variables, collect and record results.  Pupils will draw conclusions based on their data and observations, use evidence to justify their ideas, and use their scientific knowledge and understanding to explain their findings. We will explore how light travels and use this knowledge to explain how we see and how objects are seen by us. We will study shadows in order to explain why shadows have the same shape as the objects that cast them. Key concepts and vocabulary include:  The Ray model of light, reflection, refraction, apparent movement of the sun, opaque, translucent, transparent, beam and shadow.

An interactive display and table will motivate and encourage children’s independence. Equipment includes a dark den, log box, home-made ray box, a range of torches and prisms and mirrors, protractors  and resources for making scientific equipment such as a ray box. I have set challenges which will enable children to solve problems, thinking scientifically and trying out ideas with independence. 

Theme – 19th Century Art The children have expressed their interest in a number of areas of art linked to the above title and I have used these to plan this topic. Children will study the artist John Constable who enjoyed painting landscapes of familiar scenes; he is best known for his paintings of the English countryside around his home in Suffolk. He would make many outdoor sketches and use these to build the final paintings back in his studio. Painting familiar surroundings will provide a perfect starting point for the children; they will sketch the view from the far end of the school field and return to the classroom to paint it using acrylic paints. The journey to this end will involve exploring and developing their skills in: creating depth in their work – foreground, middle ground and background, the use of pencil and tone to create a three-dimensional effect, off-centre composition, skills in colour-mixing and the use of acrylic paints. The starting point for all skills development will involve the study of Constable’s work.

I have created an interactive display and table which will enable the children to pursue several of their initiated ideas for this topic. For example, they will be able to be creative in their approach as they design and cut outfits to style them on 2D figurines, design and create a 3D character using Djeco Volubo connecting pieces and sketch freely using art pencils and watercolour paints, recording in a class art book. Questions on the display promote independent thinking, exploration of and response to various Constable artworks.

Physical Education PE will take place each week this term on Wednesday. The focus of term five will be three weeks of games, consolidating and securing the skills taught in previous terms, followed by three weeks of outdoors and adventurous activity. As I am sure you are aware, it is really important that PE kits are in school for that day each week and are clearly labelled. We will continue to challenge ourselves to undertake the ‘Golden Mile’ which entails running 60 metres every day. The children will therefore need trainers in their lockers each day. Long hair must be tied back and all earrings removed for safety during PE sessions.  Thank you!

RE This term children will study Sikhism and Christianity, the latter focusing on Pentecost. Examples of learning experiences include exploring: the Khalsa and making connections with their own school community, the festival of Baisakhi, and ‘The Gifts of the Spirit’ and the difference that these gifts might make to a religious believer.

Spellings Every Monday, children will be given a list of spelling words to practise in class each morning.  These will, for the most part, consist of the National Curriculum list of words which are a mixture of words pupils frequently use in their writing and those which they often misspell.  On Friday the children will bring their spellings home for you to test them and bring them back for a class discussion on Monday. The end of year statutory tests places a significant emphasis on children’s ability to spell, not only the National Curriculum statutory word list for their year group, but also the word lists from previous year groups. 

Maths and English Homework will be set and given to children on Monday, to be returned by Thursday. The content will enable children to practise what they have learnt in class.   Reading Fluency in reading, coupled with developing comprehension, plays a vital role in your child’s learning. In class we have daily guided sessions of reading and actively seek out opportunities to read across the curriculum, but it is essential that children are able to practise this skill at home. Reading can include a range of text-types and media; not just the school reading book that comes home each day.  Children should be reading four at least fifteen minutes, five out of seven nights of the week. If your child is reading independently, please encourage him/her to clarify unfamiliar word-meanings with you or with a dictionary. Also, it is very important that the children understand what they are reading as this feeds into their ability to engage in comprehension tasks in class. Of course, this all leads to their final statutory end of Key Stage assessments.

Friday An additional piece of homework will be set each Friday, to be completed by Monday. Many thanks for your continued support.