I hope you have all had a wonderful summer holiday and the chance to create some very precious memories with your children.
I am delighted to be working with your children once again and as we are all very familiar with each other, we can most certainly hit the ground running this year!
The term kicks off with our first topic: Coastal Catastrophe! We will be looking at both physical and human geographical themes relating to coastlines which will tie in very nicely with our ‘holiday’ to Calshot in the week beginning 18/09/17.
The children will explore how coasts are formed and how they are affected by weathering, erosion and deposition. They will learn how to use geographical terminology to describe coastal features and identify how they were formed. We will also spend some time discussing how we can protect our coastlines and the different options available for communities at risk from changing coastal landscapes. If you have any photographs of amazing coastline features you can share with us, please do email them to the office (with a note telling us where they were taken.)
We will be exploring journalistic writing inspired by “Tuesday”, written by David Weisner before moving onto a rather emotional short story set on the Cornish coast.
In science, we will link to our topic as we investigate how living organisms are classified and identified using the Linnaeus’s system. We will identify animals and plants that live in and around coastlines and discuss how they are adapted to their environments. At Calshot, we will be able to go trawling for sea life and have an opportunity to look at coastal erosion in action.
Looking closely at coastlines and their associated animals and plants will inspire our work in art and with textiles this term as we explore different ways of using wax resist. Look out for our amazing batik pieces which the children will be able to take home towards the end of the term.
This year Mr Coulson will be teaching us everything he knows about computing and music – these lessons will take place on a Wednesday morning whilst Mrs Lock has her weekly release time.
In Year Six, to aid the preparation for their transition to secondary school, the children are set two pieces of homework each week.
One will be maths based and the other will focus on English across the wider curriculum so may be linked to their science, topic or perhaps art. They will have two homework books (so that they get used to juggling more than one) and both tasks will be set on a Tuesday to be completed by the following Monday. This will give you an opportunity to decide when during the week, it is best for your child to complete their tasks as we do appreciate that there are many demands on family life.
Spellings will be tested on Wednesday.
Your child will be bringing home a list of all the spellings they will be asked to learn for this half-term – it can be useful to stick this up somewhere safe at home so that you will always know what they need to learn rather than having to rely on the spelling book appearing each week.
Please do make time to support your child with learning their spellings, each week we will teach them a key spelling rule which will remain with them for life. There are many fun APPs you can use to make practicing spellings at home a bit more bearable – the key is to do short, sharp bursts often rather than a marathon on a Tuesday night.
Swimming begins again this half-term for Year Six and lessons will take place on a Tuesday morning. Every child will need their costume/close fitting trunks, towel, swimming hat and googles if your child wears them. The children will also participate in a Games session on Monday afternoon which will be taught by Mrs Herbert. It is really important that your child has a full P.E kit in school for these sessions – most secondary schools dish out detentions for not having the correct kit so this really is an opportunity for your child to realise the importance of remembering their kit. Every child must participate in PE as it is part of the National Curriculum unless, of course, there is a genuine medical reason for them not to. I am sure you won’t be surprised that occasionally older children may ‘invent’ reasons as to why they cannot participate in physical activities and so to help me sift out the genuine from the ‘hmmm, it’s a bit cold today’, I really would appreciate an email or written note explaining exactly what your child cannot do and for how long so that I can adjust the lessons to meet their needs accordingly.
The children will initially focus on consolidating their ability to manipulate number in a range of contexts using a variety of strategies in efficient ways.
END OF KEY STAGE TESTS, ALSO CALLED (INCORRECTLY) SATS BY THE MEDIA!
Yes - we do have to do them
Yes – we will prepare your child emotionally and academically for them
No - we won’t make it the sole focus for Year Six.
No – it will not define your child’s life, no one has ever been asked their SATs results on a university or job application form.??
Jokes aside, if you have any questions regarding SATS (or indeed anything about Year Six and transition to secondary school) please do just ask – my own daughter has just been through this phase of her life so I really do understand the journey your family faces this year.
Here’s looking forward to a wonderful half-term together,
Caroline Lock, Caroline Barefield and Shelley Jarvis (a.k.a. The Chiltern team!)