Welcome back to term 4. This is our final term before the children sit their statutory tests in May. There will continue to be a significant focus on applying skills in mathematics, spelling, punctuation and grammar. Towards the end of term we will focus on test techniques, after which children will take a number of practice tests. All tests will be re-visited with the class to address misconceptions. Please continue to support me and my team in ensuring that your child completes all pieces of set homework.
Once we have finished using equivalences between simple fractions, decimals and percentages, we will be moving onto measurement, solving problems involving the calculation and conversion of units of measure. For example, children will solve problems involving time, length and height. They will then move onto geometry and shape, comparing and classifying geometric shapes based on their properties and sizes and finding unknown angles in triangles, quadrilaterals and regular polygons. They will also find missing angles on a straight line. We will then move swiftly onto position and direction; the children will develop their skills in describing positions on a full coordinate grid and draw and translate simple shapes on a coordinate plane, reflecting them in the axes. Finally, we will move onto algebra where they will solve missing number problems and begin to express problems algebraically, and ratio and proportion which will involve pupils solving problems involving the relative sizes of two quantities.
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.
Daily warm-up sessions will continue to focus this term on counting and consolidation of prior learning, revision of all times tables and division facts up to 12 x 12 and strengthening children’s ability to calculate mentally in all areas of mathematics. These warm-up sessions will also take place in the afternoon for a short period of time and on a daily basis in preparation for tests in May.
We shall begin this term with a continued focus on diary entries which will provide the context for children as they develop the use of emotive and descriptive language. Children will also continue to secure the use of linking ideas within and across paragraphs using a variety of connectives, conjunctions, adverbs and adverbial clauses. We will then move to a focus on non-fiction. Children will be given a number of starting points and scenarios which will inspire writing within the following genres: persuasion, instructions and explanation texts.
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.
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.
After a very successful term which involved the children using their knowledge and understanding of electricity to power a fairground ride that included a rotating part, they will continue to study ‘electricity’ with a focus on scientific enquiry. For example, they will investigate how the brightness of a lamp or the volume of a buzzer is associated with the number and voltage of cells used in the circuit. Children will also compare and give reasons for variations in how components function, including the brightness of bulbs, the loudness of buzzers and the on/off position of switches. They will study a short biography of Michael Faraday and follow this by writing an article about him for a newspaper. Finally, children will be able to make links between their work in class to the real world, in the context of an electrical engineer working on more complex circuitry.
Ancient Egypt After an exciting theme last term, children will focus their studies primarily on history this term. As one of the oldest and longest lasting world civilizations, ancient Egypt was located along the Nile River in the northeast part of Africa and lasted for over three thousand years. We shall explore various aspects of this civilisation. For example, the children will ask questions and make deductions about the past using secondary sources such as images of tomb paintings and replica artefacts such as a ‘pitcher’, a scribe’s writing set, a mummy, a sarcophagus and a set of amulets. Children will demonstrate their understanding and knowledge in a variety of ways, including art and design, flow diagrams, written instructions and persuasive pieces and the creation of a short message in hieroglyphics on papyrus paper.
PE will take place each week this term on Thursday. The focus of term four is dance. 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!
This term children will study Christianity with a focus on prayer. For example, they will consider the following questions: What is prayer? Who do people pray to? Who prays? What do people pray for? We will then move onto a study of ‘Jesus’, using the following questions as starting points: Who was Jesus? What did he look like? What was he like and how do we know?
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.
An additional piece of homework will be set each Friday, to be completed by Monday. For the foreseeable future, this homework will focus on reading to ensure that every opportunity is taken for children to develop their reading pace, comprehension skills and understanding of vocabulary.