Happy New Year!
New challenges await as we enter 2020 and we will be working hard to make progress with both our academic learning and personal growth.
This term's topic focus is 'Exploration' and we will be looking at the journey of The Beagle along with the work of its most famous passenger, Charles Darwin.
Over this term we will be working hard to ensure we have full portfolios of work to be assessed as part of the writing assessment and moderation programme for year 6. We will be aiming to complete a different genre of writing each week and will begin by writing a 'Fairy Tale with a Twist' based upon the traditional tale of Hansel and Gretel. We will continue to use a cross-curricular approach to our learning and will be writing non-fiction pieces to do with our topic of 'Exploration' and the work of Charles Darwin.
Reading will be taught through the 'Hooked on Books' programme that the children are familiar with.
Spellings will change this term and we will be trialling a new programme that we hope will further support the children with their understanding of spelling rules.
Our Maths learning will see us revisiting key areas of number as well as introducing statistics, geometry and algebra in preparation for the SATs next term. We would like our pupils to continue to complete Times Table Rockstars on a regular basis to ensure their recall is fast and accurate - a key skill for many areas of the maths curriculum.
Maths Booster groups will be changing and letters will be sent out to those children who we have identified as needing extra support in the term prior to their final assessments. If your child has been offered a space PLEASE ensure that they attend - it is free, small group tuition that is proven to help pupils to achieve their full potential.
This term we will be covering the statutory areas of 'Living Things and Their Habitats' where will will look at classification of living things through the work of Carl Linnaeus and 'Evolution and Inheritance' where we will use Charles Darwin's work in the Galapagos Islands as a basis for our research into evolution and we will be looking at inherited and acquired characteristics. The children will all need to provide a photograph of a parent (and grandparent if they would like) to enable them to see physical characteristics they have inherited through their DNA. If this is an issue, please contact your child's class teacher to discuss. Reminders will be sent out through homework sheets at the beginning of term.
Humanism will be our first focus for this term and the children will have the opportunity to discuss their own belief systems as well as understand the beliefs of others. These lessons offer the chance for debate within a safe environment and we learn how to disagree in an appropriate and respectful way as well as to share our own experiences. During the second half term we will be concentrating on the Christian period of Easter and will be learning about the resurrection of Christ, through the stories of the New Testament.
Our PSHE focus for the first half term is 'Healthy and Unhealthy Relationships'. We will be thinking about how to maintain relationships with friends and family and how to recognise when relationships are not good for us and where to go to for help. As always, much of each PSHE lesson is child led and the topics that we discuss will be based upon the children's own concerns and enquiries. These sessions will always be led appropriately and with consideration to the age, maturity and needs of the class.
Through our topic work of 'Exploration' we will be looking at the impact of Victorian culture within our local area as well as writing a biography on Charles Darwin and producing a time-line of his life.
Our geography focus will also incorporate the 'Exploration' topic and we will be learning about the different parts of the world that The Beagle visited during its round the world expedition. We will also be producing fact files about different areas which will include the geographical position, weather, climate and the human and physical features of the area.
During topic lessons we will use ICT to research different aspects of the topic and be learning to take notes of important information. We will also be using Python to code the iPads. Safer Internet Day is Tuesday 11th February and we will be participating in activities to remind everybody the importance of keeping themselves safe on-line.
We will be producing a range of sketches following the 'Austin's Butterfly' ethos of critiquing one anothers work and re-drafting. Both self-portraits and still life will be the focus of this term, using pencils and charcoal to produce light and shade in our work.
Our music programme for this term will include appreciation, composition and interpretation using the focus of 'Rivers' to support our creative writing and work within our topic.
Indoor PE will focus on building core strength through a pilates approach to exercise. Outdoor PE will be building on the tennis skills taught in lower key stage 2 where we will increase our accuracy in serving and returning the ball.