Happy New Year to one and all! Welcome back to school for the Spring Term. It is quite a short one and we have the same amount to do so it will be, as usual, an extremely busy time.
I will echo Mrs Harrison’s sentiments in saying a huge thank you for the kind gifts Miss Pennington and I received at Christmas. We appreciate the thought a lot.
I will try to keep this brief to make up for the autumn letter. Much of what I wrote then still stands so I won’t repeat it. There have been no staffing changes: Miss Pennington still supports me in the classroom, Mrs Lupton runs a small group program and teaches the class on a Wednesday afternoon, Mrs Sweetman teaches French and Kenny does an hour of PE a week on a Wednesday. This term we are lucky to be getting a new student teacher, Miss Tilly, who will be with us until after half-term. The children will enjoy the fresh face in the classroom and I will get the chance to work with small groups.
This term’s topic is The Tudors. It is a history based topic but, as always, we will cover the full breadth and depth of the curriculum through it. If any of you feel they have an interest or area of expertise linked to this, it would be brilliant to hear from you. Please see the attached topic overview for more information on what we are going to cover.
Homework, Pink Ticket reading and reading pledge arrangements remain the same. However, I will again stress the importance of reading with your children as much as possible; it is invaluable to their progress and development.
I regularly get asked about how you can help at home, so I thought I’d put down a few universal tips.
- Telling the time. Both digitally and in analogue. Using am and pm and the 24hr clock.
- Handling money. Making amounts of money out of British coins. Finding change when paying with a denomination greater than the price of the item. Get them involved in the local shop paying for low value items, working out how much it will be and what change to expect.
- Help them learn their times tables so that they can recall them randomly and rapidly.
- Doubles, halves, number bonds to 10 and 100 (i.e. 6+4=10 or 45+55=100).
- When they are writing cards or thank you letters etc. make sure they put a capital for names and use punctuation.
- Correct them when they use incorrect English.
- Look at the sentences they write for homework and make sure they make sense and are punctuated.
- Read to them – they are never too old!
- Get them to use scissors, knives, rulers, tape measures and other tools. Get them to fold paper (wrap presents, make paper aeroplanes) get them to stick (Sellotape or sticker books).
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.
I have deliberately not mentioned the (whisper it…) p-r-o-j-e-c-t. I am considering having an overhaul of this so will be in touch in due course. Therefore, there is no need for anyone to worry or panic at this stage.
The residential ‘chatter’ in the classroom is already on the rise as the children start to look forward to it. So, rest assured, the planning is happening behind the scenes. I will be going to visit the hostel and area sometime in the next couple of months so will hold a meeting after I’ve been.
For information, SATs are during the week commencing the 14th May but, as always, I am not making a big thing out of them. The children should not be feeling pressured at this stage of their school life. My primary focus is for them to be able to perform to their full potential on the day. With that in mind I will again be sourcing revision/study books for you to buy if you want to. I will send a separate letter out about this in the next few weeks.
Finally, would any of you be able to offer any time, on a regular basis, to come into class and read with the children. This could be first thing in the morning or at 1pm. Contact me, with no obligation, if this is something you may be willing to do.
Well, there you go, a letter from me weighing in at less than 2 pages, wonders will never cease!! I look forward to seeing you all at parents’ evening.