Fox Class – Spring 2020.
Welcome back to all the children and parents, we hope you have had a lovely Christmas and New Year break and are ready for another exciting term ahead. It really is amazing how quickly the first two terms flew by; it is almost unbelievable to think that the Year 6 children are a third of the way through their last year in primary school, and that those in Year 5 will soon be the senior pupils in Bethersden.
Our theme for this term is the Anglo Saxons, leading up to the Norman invasion in 1066. The class book will be Michael Morpurgo’s Beowulf. Although the story is set in Scandinavia, it is one of the most important works of Old English literature. Beowulf is the oldest surviving English poem. It was told by the wave of Anglo Saxons who settled in England during the dark ages and was first written down sometime around the end of the first millennium AD. It tells the story of a hero, Beowulf, and his battles against the monster, Grendel, the sea hag that was Grendel’s mother and, the hardest battle of all, against a giant, treasure-hoarding dragon. We will also learn about Alfred the Great, the first ‘King of the English‘, who fought the Vikings and then made peace so that English and Vikings settled down to live together in harmony. He encouraged people to learn and he tried to govern well and fairly. They were also great craft workers who made intricate jewellery, musical instruments and homemade toys and games.
Maths and Times Tables
We will be progressing our maths work using Power Maths, based on the maths mastery principles of developing mathematical fluency, and which is already seeing the benefits of increased confidence and competence across all the children. Please encouraged your child to supplement this with times tables practise at home using TT Rockstars. Maths and Times Tables. Children in Years 5 and 6 should be proficient in all their tables up to the 12 times table. Times Tables are at the heart of mental arithmetic, which in itself helps form the basis of a child’s understanding and ability when working with numbers. Once children have learnt their times tables by heart, they are then able to work far more confidently – and efficiently – through a wide range of more advanced calculations. There is a multitude of web-based programs to help with this learning at home, most of which are free, and the school subscribes to TT Rockstars for children to access both at school and home (see link below).
We continue to focus on raising literacy standards. Reading is one of the most important activities that can increase the comprehension and writing skills of children, as it introduces them to a wide range of vocabulary and techniques. It is obvious when marking the children’s writing who are those who read regularly. Please encourage them to read at home and listen to them read where possible.
Computing has deep links with maths, science, and design and technology. The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation. Computing ensures that pupils become digitally literate at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world. At Bethersden, we have a range of resources (including laptops and tablets) to help us achieve the computing programme, and we currently use a programme called ‘DB Primary’ as a learning and information tool (see link below). All children in Fox class have log-in details for use at school as part of their lessons and at home, and we also use DB Primary to store useful information, such as details of events, spelling lists, homework and topic. Please encourage your children to demonstrate DB Primary to you and – don’t forget – if they claim they’ve lost their weekend homework, they can always find it on online!
Further details have already been sent out in our parent guide. Additional copies can be obtained from the school office.
In term 3, the Year 6 children will be swimming on a Tuesday afternoon. Please ensure they bring their swimming costumes (one piece) and towels each Monday morning. Year 5 will do PE with Mr Clark and will need their PE kits, suitable for outdoor lessons. In Term 4, the children will swap, with Year 5 Foxcubs swimming and Year 6 doing PE.
Residential trip – The Buschraft Company
Although a long way off, during Term 6 we will be staying with the Bushcraft Company in Penshurst, West Kent for our Year 5/6 residential trip. The Bushcraft Company is a leading provider of outdoor education, offering a range of real outdoor adventures to schools. The children and staff will be staying outdoors in large tents and will be taking part in several activities that will promote resilience, self-confidence and teamwork. Further details will be sent out in the New Year.