The Christmas holidays seem but a distant memory and we are already in full swing, two weeks into the Spring term! I hope that you all enjoyed the break.
We had an extremely busy and successful Autumn term with all the children making progress and working hard. I was really delighted and proud of them all at our “Strictly” Christmas play. They worked so hard and enthusiastically to put on a fantastic confident performance which we all enjoyed. I hope you did too!
As ever, we have another busy and exciting term ahead of us!
The Creative Curriculum
Our context for learning this term is The United Kingdom. Our focus for each subject area will be as follows:
• Art: temporary environmental art based on the work of Andy Goldsworthy, drawing and painting, making a sketchbook inspired by British Wildlife;
• Computing: copying and pasting pictures of UK landmarks and combining with text using Word;
• D & T: textiles: designing and making UK flag banners;
• Geography: UK mapping, counties, capital cities, flags and surrounding seas, making posters of famous landmarks in each of the capital cities, local mapping and aerial photos of Irthington and the surrounding area;
• History: historical change in Britain within and beyond living memory focussing on everyday life, (transport, schools, toys, music, football, jobs and so on);
• Music: Music Express – exploring sounds;
• PSHE: Rules, rights and responsibilities, Caring for the environment, Money;
• PE: netball, hockey, football with Rowan;
• RE: an introduction to Sikhism, the gurdwara, the five Ks, the 4 commands and retelling the Easter story;
• Science: Forces and magnets, pushes, pulls and twists, investigations into gravity and friction, exploring magnetic materials.
We hope to show case some of our learning to you at our class assembly which will take place on Tuesday 11th February at 3pm.
Homework (a reminder and an update!)
Homework will continue as before with the following changes.
English: Later in the term, we will be giving children in Year 2 a slightly different homework task to help prepare them for the reading comprehension that they will have to complete as part of their SATs tests at the end of Year 2. This will be given out on a Wednesday and should be returned to school before the following Wednesday at the latest. Although we have been doing a lot of this kind of activity in school, some of the children will probably need some support with this initially until they get more used to tackling it by themselves. Please help them by encouraging them to re-read the text to find or confirm the answers to the questions being asked. This is an essential skill, far more reliable than their preferred method of having a wild guess!
Times tables: The Year 3 children are now well used to times tables learning and testing and we will continue with this as before, each child working through at their own rate. I feel that Year 2 are now ready to begin weekly times tables practice also, although the tests will be simpler, based simply on remembering the tables. Children will bring their tables’ books home on Mondays. They should practise their tables daily at home and bring their books back to school on Fridays for the test! You can help your child by firing questions at them out of order! The target for Year 2 children is to know the 2, 5 and 10 times tables by the end of the year, anything extra is a bonus! We expect children to achieve full marks in the test 3 times before they move on to the next times table. These are interspersed with revision tests as well to re-inforce learning.
Spellings: In some cases, practising spellings 3 times a week may not be enough. Please help your child to write their spellings correctly on demand and out of order! For children in Year 3, please remember to check that the children know what each word means and are able to give an accurate definition as well as use each word correctly in a sentence. Each week, the children will be asked to put one of the words into a sentence and to write the definition of another.
Reading: Please do continue to hear your child read frequently, asking questions and talking about the book as you do so. This is important even if your child is a very able reader
Year 2 End of Key Stage 1 assessment
You may be aware that all children in Year 2 have to be assessed in key English and Maths skills using a range of tests produced by the government. The scores that the children achieve in these tests are combined with teacher assessments throughout the year and the children are given an end-of-key stage score. Although testing will not take place until the end of May, Mr Harrison and I will be holding an information meeting for the parents of children in Year 2 and Year 6 on Monday 3rd February at 3.30pm. Please rest assured that in our school we ensure that the whole testing process is as low key as possible. We usually find that the children quite enjoy the experience!
Going for Gold
The children will shortly be given their Silver targets. Before Christmas some of the children came home with highlighted spelling lists of words from their Bronze lists to show you which to focus on. Hopefully, they have been practising these with you and will achieve their bronze targets next time I assess them.
Please do pop in and ask if there is anything else you would like to know!