Welcome to Class 3

Here you will find what is happening in class 3. There will be curriculum help and links to other websites.

ROTA Kids

Our ROTA Kids are Jasmine, Honoré, Jade, Mark and Oliver

Class 3 Autumn Term Newsletter

Dear Parents,

A massive Class 3 welcome to you all, be you returning parents or new to us. I hope you all enjoyed your summer breaks, the children have given me the impression that you did. I must say that I have been extremely pleased with the enthusiasm and attitude that the children have come back to school with. And although it’s early days, I am really enjoying the new mix in the class. The atmosphere in the classroom is positive and it feels like this year will be a good one.

For many of you this will be repeated information (none-the-less riveting though, I hope) but I will attempt to cover everything so that everyone is clear on routines and expectations.

Firstly, Class 3 consists of me and Miss Pennington. However, on a Monday afternoon, the class has French with Mrs Sweetman and on a Wednesday afternoon the class is taught by Mrs Lupton and Miss Pennington while I get some time for planning, preparation and assessment (PPA). Mrs Lupton also assists the class by taking a small group of children out to provide learning in a quieter, more nurturing environment. This isn’t to say that I do not nurture the rest of the class - I do, but for some of the children their needs are best served by this arrangement. This is a fluid arrangement that is continually assessed and changes through the year according to need. The final piece of the regular Class 3 jigsaw is filled by Kenny, who provides an hour of multi-skills, team-building and football activities every Wednesday.

Reminders:
I will start with Kenny: every child must have their PE kit and shin pads in school on a Wednesday. They may also wish to bring boots too because as the field gets softer and softer they make a big difference to the ability to take part and stay upright. I would also recommend a pair of long socks and as we get closer to winter warm kit too.

As you all know, swimming is now on a Monday. We have changed the day to reduce the class time lost and after week 1, I must say it is working a lot better.

I say this every year, but I lose count of the number of children who fall foul of the flexibility in our weekly timetable. PE can happen on any day of the week so children should bring their kit into school every day or bring it on a Monday and take it home on a Friday for a wash. However, usually it happens on a Thursday.

Please remember to inform school if there is going to be a change to the normal pick-up arrangements for your child. I cannot let your child go to someone else unless I have got permission. If you want me to let your child walk home, I can, as long as you write to inform school.

The final reminder is that all children need their wellies, spares/waterproof trousers and a coat in school every day. The children are ushered out in pretty much all weather so it makes for a miserable play time if they don’t have the required clothing to survive 20 minutes in a Cumbrian Autumn and Winter (and probably Spring and Summer too!).

The school day:
The door opens at 8:40am and the children have free time to chat and catch-up with each other until 8:55am when the door and side gate is slammed shut. This period of time is also a good time to see me or Miss Pennington before the day officially starts. We then read for 15 minutes before a spelling session at 9:10am. We do an hour of maths before break then an hour of English before lunch.

In the afternoons, we do guided reading and cover the rest of the curriculum. This term the topic is India. Through this topic we will do a lot of geography, art, D&T and RE. If anyone feels they have anything else that would enhance the children’s experience of this please come and see me.

Helping the children with their learning at home:
Spelling

  • Once again, spelling results were extremely positive last year and the children continued to enjoy the challenge of climbing ‘Mount Spellings’ so that ideology will remain. However, the mountain has been replaced by Nintendo’s Donkey Kong. It takes six weeks to progress along the levels, climb the ladders and dodge the barrels until they finally meet Donkey Kong, who will give them a chocolate bar. They need to get full-marks 6 weeks in a row to achieve this. They return to the beginning if they don’t get full marks.
  • Spelling words are published on a Monday and over the week they need to learn them, learn their definition and learn how to use them in a sentence.

Reading

  • I cannot stress how important reading is to the children and their progress. I implore every one of you to make sure your child is reading every single night. This might be on their own, to an adult or to a sibling; on a kindle, an iPad or a real paper book, it doesn’t really matter in what guise. It could be a comic, a magazine, an encyclopaedia, a novel, a book of poetry or even War and Peace; reading is reading and it is beneficial to every aspect of their education. Therefore, we will continue to read with the children as often as possible. They will read to me or Miss Pennington at least once a week and get plenty of time during the day to read individually.
  • Reading Records:
    This book is for the adults to write in, not the children. The children are expected to read to an adult at least twice per week. If they do this they get a Pink Ticket. When you read with your child please make a comment in the book and sign the box.
  • As the children are now able, ‘to read’, it is important that we question them about the book: Ask them to retell sections in their own words; explain subtexts or characters feelings; comment on the use of certain words; work out what new words mean and explain the use of punctuation. 

Homework

  • This is in two parts: Maths and English. Maths homework is given out on a Monday and needs to be done and returned by Thursday. If it is not, they stay in at break time to complete it. All the children will benefit from adult input into the homework and for most children it is essential. It will give you a good indication of the standard required of them. Miss Pennington and I ask that they all look at their homework on a Monday and if they don’t understand it (and you can’t decipher it) then they come and see us on Tuesday or at the latest Wednesday so that we can do something about it.
  • The English homework is linked to their spellings. They are to write a good sentence for each of the words on the list. Again, they will probably need some adult support in doing this and it greatly helps their self-esteem if they come to school on Thursday armed with sentences that make sense. They should challenge themselves to make the sentences interesting or amusing and use a range of punctuation. By doing this over and over again it will seep into their written work. The sentence homework is homework and should be treated as such. It should be neatly written; have a capital at the start; a full stop, exclamation or question mark at the end; be spelt correctly and ideally be more than the most basic of sentences. We have a little competition on a Thursday to see who has come up with the most interesting/complex/amusing sentences. Again if they have not done this they will stay in at break time to do it.

Times tables

  • These are tested on a Friday. The children progress through the tables until they reach the fabled ‘Speeds’. Times tables are taken incredibly seriously in Class 3 and the competition is hot. {I even take part from time to time so my times are there to be shot at and there are a few children who have beaten me which makes me incredibly pleased}. The children should know which table they are on and if they don’t they should ask. A little bit like with reading and English, times tables underpin the majority of the maths we do. Please help your child to learn them. There is a plethora of free apps, games and books to help with this so that it can be made fun. I have revamped the speed times table competition this year and now it is Sonic’s tables challenge. Sonic has brought with him layers, so eventually the children will be learning the associated division facts too. The final level of the challenge is a mix of everything from 1x1 to 12x12 and 1÷1 to 12÷12. I look forward to being beaten by as many children as possible over the year. It is a National Curriculum expectation that by the end of Year 4 the children should be able to quickly recall all the times tables to 12x12.

Going for Gold Targets
As mentioned in Mrs Harrison’s letter last week, we will be adapting the Going for Gold Targets to specifically target the end of year targets that the children find most difficult to achieve. These will be sent out before the October half-term break. It would be good if you could help your child with these targets.

General Gubbins:
Pink Tickets – for the Year 4 parents: Pink Tickets replace stickers and sticker charts. They are earned for instances of good work, behaviour, or attitude that is above and beyond the general everyday expectations. They can be awarded by any of the adults in the school and they are specifically for children in Class 3. When a child has built up 5 Pink Tickets they can swap them for a ‘Big Pink Ticket’ and a chocolate bar. When they have built up 10 Big Pink Tickets they get a £10 voucher, awarded at a celebration assembly. Therefore, if they pick up their reading Pink Ticket every week and try their very hardest in everything they might be expecting to get a chocolate treat every 4 weeks and one (possibly two) £10 voucher(s) in a year. If any of you have issues with the use of chocolate as a reward, I am happy to provide an alternative but I don’t think one chocolate bar once every 4-6 weeks is excessive. The children really like the system and respond well to the positive nature of it.

Reading Pledge – Last year I started the 10-minute reading pledge, after reading studies about the power of reading to children. It gives them access to literature that would otherwise be beyond them and, in theory, it fosters a love of reading. This will be continuing this year. However, it is a deal – a two-way street – a ‘there’s no such thing as a free lunch’ – a ‘I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine’ sort of thing! I will set-a-side 10 minutes every day to read to the children for the pure enjoyment of it and in return they will read, or be read to, for 10 minutes every day at home (or in the car, or at grandma’s, or in the dentist’s waiting room etc.). They will all be issued with a card that will need initialling to say that this has happened. This is over and above the ‘Pink Ticket’ reading that goes into the Reading Record so please do not write it into the record.

SATs – I will be holding an information evening sometime in the autumn and will write to the year 6 parents when the date is confirmed.

Residential – I have begun the process of sorting the 2018 residential. We will be using the same company again and it is likely to be a Lake District location again because the children have raved about the last two. Once all the details are confirmed, I will write again but if you know you want your child to go you can start saving because it will happen and it will be a similar price to last year (£275-£300).

William Howard School Sports Cluster - We have a Year 5 & 6 netball tournament coming up and I have just found out that this year’s football tournament will take place on Saturday 7th October. In addition to the tournaments that we take the children to wherever possible, WHS organise ‘Festivals’ 3 times per term. These are non-competitive sessions for children to experience new activities or take part in something they already enjoy. I have advertised these sessions previously and uptake has been pretty-much non-existent but I am going to push it again. They are open to anyone but it is the responsibility of the parent to take the children and stay there while the activities are taking place. In early November, they are running a lacrosse festival for Yr 3 & 4 and in December, a trampolining and badminton festival for Yr 5 & 6. We will send out details out nearer the time if anyone is interested.

Communication – Drop off and pick up times are the best times to have a ‘quick chat’ to ask questions, tell me things or generally find out how your child has been getting on. I am more than happy for you pop in so don’t feel like you shouldn’t just because your children are getting older.
If it is anything more lengthy or confidential you can make an appointment. Alternatively, you could e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Equally you could leave a message with Mrs Robinson or with me via the telephone message service, however, this has proved to be a little unreliable in the past so only use this for non-urgent matters.
If there is a matter that may affect the wellbeing of your child then please come to talk to me, Miss Pennington or Mrs Harrison in person at your earliest convenience so that we are able to take the necessary action.

Well done for getting this far! 5 pages and the best part of 2,500 words. Unless I’ve been gazumped at the last minute by the other classes, I think I have won the prize for the longest letter. I should add a little quiz question to see who gets this far… What is the capital of… No, I won’t!

Here’s looking forward to a great year.

Yours Sincerely,

Simon Bulmer

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Irthington Village School
Irthington Village School
Irthington Village School