Welcome back to term 2 which always promises to be exciting and busy! Below is an overview of learning and development. Please do not hesitate to speak to me if you have any further questions.

Mathematics

We shall begin term 2 by revising the use of formal methods for addition and subtraction of large numbers. This will involve solving multi-step problems in context, deciding which operations to use and why, and using inverse to check calculations. We will swiftly move on to multiplying multi-digit numbers by a two-digit whole number and dividing numbers by a two-digit whole number using formal column methods. Children will again solve problems involving multiplication and division and use inverse to check their answers. Working on these areas of maths will then lead nicely into harder calculations in which children will build on their skills in knowing and using the order of operations in order to carry out problems which involve all four operations in one calculation.

We shall then move onto working with decimals. Children will be given the opportunity to build, then apply skills in contexts of varying degrees of challenge. If appropriate, they will use concrete objects, manipulatives and pictorial representations to support understanding.

Daily warm-up sessions will focus this term on counting and consolidation of prior learning, as well as revision of all times tables and division facts up to 12 x 12.

English

Our main focus this term will be on narrative which will enable children to: develop the use of settings and characterisation in their own written pieces with a focus on how a writer evokes the setting and the feelings of characters through detail such as the use of adjectives and figurative language: develop the use of paragraphs to, for example, to intrigue the reader, introduce the main character and problem or to create suspense. There will be a particular focus on developing children’s use of vocabulary; we shall manipulate sentences, improving them and using a thesaurus to help us, varying the way sentences begin and the length of sentences for effect, and finally developing and extending skills in understanding and using complex sentence structures.

After investigating a variety of written models to identify the above features and language, the children will continue to write in sections following teacher modelling and shared writing to complete an extended piece. They will then apply their skills to write independently. Editing, improving and re-drafting written work will continue to form an essential part of the writing process and can be used as concrete evidence of progress.

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. A dictionary at home is the perfect tool to help the children. They will have daily ‘SPAG’ sessions (spelling, punctuation and grammar) and some of their homework will be linked to various aspects of this area of the English Curriculum.

Science

Our science topic this term is ‘Evolution’. Children will learn how living things have changed over time and that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago. They will learn: that living things produce offspring of the same kind, but normally offspring vary and are not identical to their parents; to identify how animals are adapted to suit their environment in different ways and that adaptation may lead to evolution. Children will use secondary sources, the internet and artefacts to develop their knowledge of fossils. They will create their own model of a fossil to support their understanding. The development of scientific skills will involve raising questions, observing, planning a scientific enquiry, presenting results and forming conclusions based on scientific evidence.

Theme

Our theme this term is ‘The Vikings’. Children will find out about this period in history using a range of sources, including some replica artefacts borrowed from the Canterbury Archaeological Trust. They will use sources of information to make observations, inferences and evaluations. This area of study provides the opportunity for pupils to develop key enquiry skills and their understanding of characteristic features of the society. Following an initial discussion to find out what the children would like to learn about, we shall focus on the Viking invasion and settlement of Britain and look in detail at everyday life during this period. In addition, the children would also like to design and make a Viking longship. Finally, I am hoping that the children’s learning can be enriched through a visit to Dover Museum in order to take part in a Viking workshop; details will follow this letter in due course!

Physical Education

PE will take place each week on Wednesday. The focus of term two is football and rugby. Prior skills will be reviewed, new skills will be taught and children will have the opportunity to practise and apply these skills consistently in a variety of contexts. 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. Although this sounds daunting the children love it, working in pairs and challenging themselves to better their score (laps) each time. The children will therefore need trainers in their lockers every day. Long hair must be tied back and all earrings removed for safety during PE sessions.  Thank you!

RE

We shall begin this term studying Remembrance. The children will create a wreath for display in our school over this period. We will then finish our work on Judaism, focusing on the Passover, which will then lead us into Christianity, with a focus on The Bible. Towards the end of term we will consider the birth of Jesus as seen from different perspectives.

Homework

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 word list for each year group and 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. 

Mathematics 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 to develop their ability to read fluently. If your child is reading independently (perhaps in their bedroom), 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. These tasks may involve some preparation for future learning and could be linked to any of the subject areas.