Spring Term 2018
I would like to wish everyone a happy New Year and warmly welcome you all back for the Spring term. Last term was such fun; from learning all about the Vikings to myth writing and advertising shields... Not forgetting the fantastic Christmas production – the children worked so hard and I was immensely proud of them all. Now we are starting a new term with lots of new learning, challenges and excitement. Hopefully Badger Class are feeling refreshed and ready for the adventures ahead of them. It was with great sadness that we said goodbye and good luck to Isabel at the end of last term but we wish her all the best at her new school and I am sure she will keep in touch.
I would also like to introduce Miss Hall, a PGCE student from the University of East Anglia, who will be working in Badger Class over the coming months. She has already spent some time getting to know the children and school. I will be mentoring her as she progresses through her course and gains more teaching experience. Supporting new teachers is something we, as a school, feel very passionate about and I know Badger Class will love working with her.
Badger Class’ main theme between now and Easter will be called ‘Frozen Kingdom’ and will be based on the polar regions of the Artic and Antarctica. This is a really exciting and inspiring topic that I am sure the children will love to use as a tool for new learning. We will explore the subject through Geography and Topic lessons, but there will also be links to other areas of the curriculum such as Art, DT and Literacy. To gain more information about all of the subject areas please see the attached curriculum overview. If the children have any books or information they want to share on the topic then please encourage them to bring it in.
PE lessons will be Mondays and Wednesdays this term as we have changed the timetable slightly to accommodate gymnastics sessions taught by, gym specialist, Mrs Palmer. However, we ask that children have their full, named PE kits in school every day just incase we need to change the timetable. It is very important that children have suitable PE kit for indoor and outdoor activities as well as a pair of trainers or plimsolls in school so that they can fully participate in these lessons. Also just a quick reminder that long hair should be tied back and earrings should be removed for these lessons.
The home-school diaries continue to be working really well and it is great to see lots of Badger Class taking responsibility for their own organisation and planning for the week ahead. Every Monday, the children record the dates and key events for that week as well as any additional activities that are personal to them. Please continue to support the use of home-school diaries at home by looking at them regularly with your child and discussing the things they need to arrange in order to be prepared and confident for that week. Between myself, Mrs Colchester and Mrs Read, we will try to ensure the diaries are checked daily but if there is anything extremely urgent then please come and see us in person. Please remind children that they are responsible for handing in the diary every morning so it can be checked in school.
I have already been extremely impressed by Badger Class’ eagerness to read but here is a reminder of the reading expectations in school. Please encourage and support your child to read regularly at home and record this in their home-school diary. Children are welcome to record reading sessions themselves but these need to be signed by an adult. Additionally, it would be great practice for Year 4 children to start recording some of their own comments in their home-school diaries in preparation for the expectations in oak Class next year. House points will be awarded for regular reading at home on a weekly basis. As well as developing children’s reading through the book bands, I am keen for children to develop a real love and passion for reading and I will try to encourage this through guided reading sessions, use of a range texts including magazines, comics, joke books and promoting an Author of the Term. This term our authors (sorry, I couldn’t choose just one!) are William Grill and Michael Morpurgo. We will be starting off by sharing Grill’s beautifully illustrated factual picture book - ‘Shackleton’s Journey’ before going on to read a selection of Morpurgo’s fictional stories set in snowy scenes throughout the rest of the term. If the children want to learn more about our authors then please see the following weblinks:
I hope the current homework system is working well for families. Children will continue to receive a variety of different homework tasks over the term and these will be outlined in their homework books. Their first homework task will be set on Friday 5th January and these tasks will usually relate to our topic, a school focus or current event. If you have any questions about homework then please do come and ask.
In maths, we have been focusing on the children’s maths fluency this term and it would be great if you could support this with a little practice at home. Maths fluency is defined as the ability to recall the answers to basic math facts automatically and without hesitation. Fact fluency is gained through significant practice, with mastery of basic maths facts being a goal. In class we are focusing on fluency when adding single digit numbers together and using quick mental strategies like bridging or close doubles to help us be speedy and accurate. For example 6+7 could be solved mentally by doing 7+3+3 or by doing 6+6+1. I will also send home a copy of the single digit addition sheet we are using to help with any practice and the link below has lots of maths fluency games to help children gain confidence. Please share any maths fluency work you do at home by making a note in diaries or bringing in examples so we can celebrate and reward children’s efforts.
If you have any questions about these or any other matters please do come and speak to me.
Many thanks for your continued support,
Miss Best, Mrs Colchester and Mrs Read