Education is Freedom
I hope you all had a lovely summer. It’s the start of a new school year, and so I thought I should take this opportunity to share with you some important information about the term ahead.
Reading Books: All the children should have arrived home with a reading book that they have selected. I would like to ask for your support in the following areas: 1) Please encourage your child (as I will do) to read a balance of different book types (e.g. poetry, diaries, adventure stories, newspapers, non-fiction, etc). It’s really important that children are exposed to a range of genres. 2) Your child has been asked to read for at least ten minutes each evening. It really does make a difference. If you can ask your son / daughter some questions pertaining to the text, then that is even better. In Year Six, children need higher-level reading skills to pass the challenging test in May. By asking them thoughtful questions (open-ended) such, “Tell me about X’s personality,” and asking the children to support their answers with evidence (including quotations from the text), then children’s reading skills will begin to develop. All pupils will have a reading journal, and again, they’re encouraged to complete a wide range of activities.
Spellings: Pupils will receive spellings at one of three levels every week. These will go out on Friday, and will be tested the following Friday. We encourage pupils to practise them using the ‘Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check’ method- a proven way of helping children to acquire new spellings. They look at the word, say it to themselves, cover it up, write it down in joined form, and then finally they check it to see if they have done it correctly. Usually, pupils will receive the same spelling patterns (because this is what they will be tested on next May) but the complexity of the words and the quantity of spellings given will vary according to the spelling ability of your child. Spelling lists also include some ‘High Frequency Words’- this is a list of words the government wants all children to know. Please support your child in learning their spellings.
Homework: In addition to spellings and being expected to read at home, children will also receive one piece of homework per week. This will be in a three-week rotation block: Maths homework, ‘Talk’ homework and Punctuation / Grammar homework (online). If you have any questions about the homework, then please contact me so I can support you. The homework will be given out on Friday, and needs returning by the following Wednesday. As they’re in Year Six now, and need to take some responsibility for themselves, if the homework is not completed on time, pupils will miss Wednesday morning’s break-time where they will be given some additional work to do, with the expectation that the homework will be returned completed the following day. Thanks for your support with this.
PE: PE lessons this term are on Monday afternoons. Swimming starts on the Thursday of the second week back for ten sessions. We leave at 9.00 ready for our session starting at 9.15am, so it is important that everyone is in school for 8.50, so I can register the children. As there is no swimming this Thursday, we will have our second PE lesson during the morning. Please ensure that pupils have their full PE kits, including plimsolls or clean trainers, every day of the week (we do sometimes go outside for PE). All jewellery needs removing, and long hair needs tying back.
Punctuality: Please can all children arrive at school for 8.50am, so that registration can be completed for 9.00am, allowing our first lesson to start promptly. Thank you for your support with this.
Topics: In English, we will be covering a range of writing genres, including poetry, biographies, story-writing, diaries, instructions, journalism and reports. Just about everything is covered in maths during the first term! In science, our topics are Electricity and Light. In history, we will be completing a local history study. In French, the children will learn to describe people. Pupils will find out about Christianity in RE. Compass skills, grid references and reading maps all feature in Geography. We’ll be using ‘i-Compute in Computing, with lots of programming taking place!
Questions: Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions / concerns. I am here to help. We have a ‘Parents’ Evening’ in November, but do not hesitate to contact me at any time. If your child is prepared to try hard with their work, attitude and behaviour, then I have no doubt that they’ll be very happy in my class.