Welcome back to term 3. I hope that you all enjoyed a great Christmas! Below is an overview of learning and development. Please do not hesitate to speak to me if you have any further questions.
We shall begin term 3 with a focus on 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. We shall then move swiftly onto fractions. The children will initially recap prior learning in order for me to assess where I need to begin. They will demonstrate, for example, their ability to: identify, name and write equivalent fractions, recognise mixed numbers and improper fractions and convert from one form to the other, and add and subtract fractions with the same denominator. We shall then move into the year 6 curriculum; examples of learning opportunities include simplifying, comparing and ordering fractions, multiplying and dividing proper fractions and using equivalences between simple fractions, decimals and percentages. Future learning this term will focus on measurement and geometry.
Daily warm-up sessions will focus this term on counting and consolidation of prior learning, as well as continuing with revision of all times tables and division facts up to 12 x 12.
We shall continue with a focus 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. Later in the term, we will move onto instructional texts which will provide children with the opportunity to develop and refine their skills in using adverbs to qualify the imperative verb, modal verbs to indicate necessity and possibility and finally the passive form.
Once again, 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 (see above for examples of grammar). 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.
We are continuing the topic, ‘Evolution’. Having studied fossils and the information that can be gleaned from them, as well as learning about the characteristics of off-spring, children will move onto to identify how animals and plants are adapted to suit their environment in different ways and that adaptation may lead to evolution. They will use secondary sources, the internet and artefacts to develop their knowledge. The development of scientific skills will involve raising questions, observing, planning a scientific enquiry, presenting results and forming conclusions based on scientific evidence.
Our theme this term is Programme it! Children will develop their ability to code computer programmes. They will use Scratch, a programming language, to design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals. They will also learn to solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts. Children will move on to using more advanced commands to function more advanced projects. For example, pupils will use sequence, selection, and repetition in programs; they will work with variables and various forms of input and output. As children’s confidence, understanding and skills progress, they will move onto programming an advanced floor turtle (InO-Bot). The InO-Bot connects to Scratch via a bluetooth connection and has a two-way communication so children can see the outputs respond in real time. They will be able to apply their skills to program the InO-Bot and watch it perform the instructions given in front of them. Children will record key learning points through diagrams, instructions and explanations.
PE will take place each week on Wednesday. The focus of term three is hockey. 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. The children will therefore need trainers in their lockers all week. Long hair must be tied back and all earrings removed for safety during PE sessions. Thank you!
The term will begin with a continuation of the study of Christianity and specifically the Bible. The children will then be introduced to Sikhism: to Guru Nanak, the ten Gurus, the Guru Granth Sahib and the Gurdwara. They will learn to make comparisons between religious beliefs and practices and apply religious teachings, ideas and values to both their own lives and other people’s.
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.
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.
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.
Many thanks for your continued support.