I hope that you and your families have all had a wonderful summer holiday and are looking forward to the autumn term ahead. It is already shaping up to be a busy one so it will soon feel like we’ve never been away I’m sure! The year 6s, Mrs Baker and I have very much enjoyed welcoming the new year 5s to Oak Class, and we hope that they will feel settled into the new routines and expectations very soon.
Oak class’ main theme between now and Christmas will be based around the topic of ‘Ancient Egypt’. We will look in depth at this period in time historically, but will also link it to other areas of the curriculum such as Art, Music and Literacy. You will find a curriculum overview attached to gain more information about all of the subject areas. We will continue to teach the foundation subjects in blocks of units, so we will start by doing our Topic work first, before moving on to other subjects such as Science, Art, RE and PSHE. Miss Hanton will continue to teach Oak Class their Music lessons when she is covering lessons.
PE lessons will be on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons this term, but we ask that students have their PE kits in school every day just incase we need to change the timetable. It is extremely important that children have the correct colour, school PE kit as well as a pair of trainers so that they can participate in these lessons fully; we encountered lots of problems with this towards the end of last term and so will be doing kit checks on a regular basis. Also a reminder here that long hair should be tied back and earrings should be removed for these lessons.
You should encourage your child to read regularly at home (at least three times a week) and they have been provided with new Reading diaries in which to record their progress. They have a list of questions stuck in the back on one of the ‘Notes’ pages to assist them in structuring their ideas and developing a range of different reading skills. Please ensure that they are answering a range of different questions and not just repeating the same ones – use the tick boxes to help you.
Please feel free to write in the students’ journals in the Comments box, but encourage them to complete all of the rest of the three comments themselves. Remember, that you should still hear your child read aloud at least once a week and ask them suitable challenging questions. You should also keep track of the books that your child is choosing once they become a Free Reader; many of the students tend to select books or authors which aren’t challenging them enough.
The children should hand their diaries in once a week on a Friday morning; again this was becoming a problem towards the end of term for some students, so could you please help them to make a fresh start and get into a routine with it.
We are lucky to have our exciting residential trip coming up at the beginning of October. We will be going to Eaton Vale for a two-night stay from Wednesday 3rd October through to Friday 5th. The week before, the children should bring home a comprehensive, hand-written list of what to pack and also, equally importantly, what not to pack! It is imperative that any medicines or asthma inhalers are given directly to either myself or Mrs Baker on the Wednesday morning. These must be named and in-date for your child to be able to come away with us on this trip.
We also have a trip to Norwich Theatre Royal booked in to see a Science show on Wednesday 10th October. Please ensure that you have fully paid up for both of these trips with the school office within the next week.
The students should have now received their homework project log relating to their topic work that will cover a range of different subject areas for this half term. It will require the students to be organised and to manage their time effectively as they will be expected to prioritise and select their own activities each week. We spent a long time with the children explaining each task to them, so they should be able to work through them all independently, but please get them to speak to one of us if they are still unclear about anything that they have to do. As explained on the log, homework tasks should be handed in on a Monday morning with the first piece is due in on Monday 17th September.
The Year 6s have also received their homework logs that contains two tasks which should be completed independently over the next five weeks. We expect them to complete both of these to a high standard, as is now required at upper Key Stage 2 level.
We are continuing to use the ‘No Nonsense Spelling’ scheme to teach spelling over the coming year. However, for the first couple of weeks we will focus on the spelling of children in the class’ names and our topic words. Over the next couple of weeks the class will be retested on the year 3-6 expected spelling words and we will send home a sheet highlighting which they still need to work on. The Year 5/6 expected Spelling Words are printed near the front of the children’s reading diaries so they can practise these at home on a regular basis.
Some students may also be asked to practise their handwriting or times tables/division facts at home to help to improve these areas.
Stationery and Writing Pens
After much discussion and a few problems with children and their pen choices last year, it has been decided that the children should only write in one of the following three blue pens:
– A fountain pen with blue ink;
– A blue Berol handwriting pen;
– A blue Manuscript handwriting pen.
We have both of the handwriting pens available in class for them to use, along with all other stationery. The children are permitted to bring one medium-sized pencil case into school with them which they can keep on their table. Items that this could contain are: coloured pencils, pencil, ruler, rubber, pen, a coloured marking pen, scissors, glue stick and a highlighter. They do not need gel pens, a calculator, a spell checker, scented pens or a bendy ruler. I’m sure you’ll agree that one of each of the above items is also sufficient!
If you have any questions at all about these or any other matters, please email me on email@example.com. If you would prefer to speak in person, then either email me to arrange a time or do so via the school office; it is extremely difficult to speak on the playground before school when I need to accompany Oak Class into their lessons. However, if you have a problem that your child could resolve themselves, please do encourage them to come and speak to me or Mrs Baker directly; we are very much trying to embolden them to develop their own independence and resolution skills in Year 5 and 6.
I am very much looking forward to a great term ahead!