I hope that you have all had a lovely summer break and are feeling refreshed and ready for the long autumn term! Fingers crossed that all goes smoothly!
Class 2 this year is evenly balanced with 6 Year 4s, 7 Year 3s and 6 Year 2s. I can already tell that we are all going to get on together very well! Once again, I will be assisted in the classroom by Miss Pennington. I will be having non-contact time for Planning, Preparation and Assessment (PPA) on alternate Fridays. On these days the class will be taught by Miss Pennington and Mrs Blackley.
Although there are still some restrictions in place, we are currently able to plan for a bit more normality than last year. We have been able to set up the classroom in the way we prefer, with the children sitting on the carpet for class teaching and working in groups around the tables rather than remaining in their seats in formal rows. We are able once again to do indoor as well as outdoor PE and some singing if we are spaced out. We are hopeful that we will be able to bring back festivals and performances as you will have seen on the list of provisional dates issued last week. Details will follow nearer the time once arrangements can be confirmed.
In terms of Covid, we are still trying to be careful as far as possible. We are maintaining frequent handwashing and sanitising routines and keeping the classrooms as well ventilated as possible. This means that, once the weather turns cooler, we are all likely to need to wear more layers than usual!
Daily Routines in Class 2
We open the class doors at 8.40am and parents are welcome to drop their children off any time between then and 8.55am when school officially starts. The children should wash their hands at the outdoor sinks when they arrive.
Following register, we all go off into our different phonics groups until 9.30am when our numeracy hour begins. After break we begin our literacy hour at 10.50am which takes us through to lunch.
The afternoon sessions vary depending on the activities. PE and ICT are timetabled due to resources. This term, we have PE on Wednesdays and Fridays when it is our turn for Rowan, although we recommend that PE kit is in school at all times so that we can take advantage of the good weather when we have it and so that the children have something to change into if the need arises.
During the second session of Monday afternoon, Mr Harrison and I swap for a lesson – I go up to Class 3 to teach French and Mr Harrison comes down to Class 2 to teach Computing.
The Creative Curriculum
Our class context for learning this term is Ancient Egypt. In Class 2 our focus for each subject area will be as follows:
- Art: Egyptian hieroglyphics, colours and patterns, sketching Egyptian gods and goddesses and ancient Egyptians at work, sculpture – Imhotep and the pyramids;
- Computing: e-safety and creating pictures and animations on screen using the Scratch coding resource;
- D and T: construction – making canopic jars using a range of materials and making a death mask;
- Geography: world mapping, climate zones, maps of Egypt, the river Nile – physical features and land use by humans;
- History: life in ancient Egypt, mummies, Tutankhamun, Egyptian gods and goddesses, hieroglyphics and papyrus;
- Music: exploring duration, long and short sounds;
- PSHE: Rules, rights and responsibilities, British Values – democracy and the rule of law, caring for our environment, money;
- PE: football with Rowan on Fridays, gymnastics and Egyptian dance;
- RE: how do Christians and Jews celebrate Harvest, Bible stories - the Feeding of the Five Thousand, the Widow’s Mite and the Good Samaritan, Christmas – angels as messengers;
- Science: animals including humans – basic needs for survival, staying healthy with good nutrition, exercise and hygiene, healthy growth, skeletons, muscles, teeth, the digestive system.
In Class 2 we aim to listen to every child read at least once a week, though ideally more often for the younger children. We are very grateful for your support in listening to your children read regularly at home. Little and often is the best way to help your child progress. Children can change their books independently each morning if they have read them at home. We assess when children are ready to move on to the next level by looking at how fluently they read and, more importantly, how well they understand and can talk about what they are reading.
Reading – Children will bring home their reading book and reading diary every day and I would encourage you to hear your children read as much as is possible, talking about the story and characters as well. Evidence in the reading record of reading at home will be rewarded with stickers on Friday mornings!
Spellings – all children will be given weekly spellings to learn on Fridays or Mondays, depending on their group, for a test on the following Friday. We encourage children to practise spellings every day using the Look, Cover, Write, Check method. Children in Year 3 & 4 will also be asked to give the definition of one of the words and put another into a sentence which makes sense. In Year 3 and 4, there is a statutory spelling list which children have to learn in addition to phonics linked words and for Year 3 these are marked in red. At intervals throughout the year we will give sets of these words as revision. Year 4 list words are issued at intervals throughout the year. There is a similar list of common exception words for Year 2. The full list of Y2, Y3 and Y4 spellings is available on the school website.
Numeracy- all children will be given a short weekly numeracy task on Mondays to be completed and returned on Wednesdays if possible, but if not by Friday.
Literacy homework – a short weekly literacy task will be given out on Wednesdays to be returned on Friday.
Times tables – Year 3 and 4 will continue to bring home weekly times tables to learn. For these year groups, tests on Fridays will be a little more challenging as we will be giving the children some verbal questions to answer as well, all of which will be sent home for you to practise with your Year 3 child. This will help children to develop their understanding of mathematical vocabulary which is increasingly important as they progress through school. We will ease Year 2 into tables a little bit later in the year when we feel that they are ready, probably after Christmas! Times tables will be given out on Mondays. Children should bring their times tables’ books to school on Friday mornings.
To help your child with their homework, you can:
- Set out a quiet work space,
- Provide the right materials to work with, i.e. a pencil rather than a colouring crayon, biro or felt tip,
- Check that your child understands the task and, if not, explain it to them;
- Check through the finished homework and help your child to correct any mistakes;
- Share any concerns with me or let me know if homework is posing a problem.
Just a reminder that all children should have the following items with them in school:
- A filled water bottle;
- Wellies (named);
- Spare trousers, preferably waterproof (named);
- Two pairs of PE shoes – trainers for outside PE and plimsolls or another pair of trainers for indoor PE (named);
- An extra fleece during the colder weather;
- A named purse or wallet, (if they want to buy snack).
I am always available for a chat at the beginning and end of the school day, so please do not hesitate to come and see me if you have any queries or concerns, or even if you would just like to know how the day has been. If necessary, an appointment can be made to discuss anything more confidential or simply for a lengthier discussion.
Thank you once again for your perseverance in reading to the end of this very long letter! I hope the information contained in it is useful but if there is anything else you would like to know just ask!
We have had an excellent start to the term which bodes well! Long may it last!