Fox Class – Autumn 2019.
Welcome back to all the children and parents, we hope you have had a lovely summer break and are ready for another exciting term ahead! Thanks to the transition period we had before the holidays, we are able to ‘hit the ground running’. All of our books are ready, seating plans set and routines established so everyone will be raring and ready to go from straight after Wednesday’s assembly! This year, we have a mixed Year 5/6 class, although we are lucky to be able to teach the two year groups as separate classes in the mornings for English and Maths. Year 6 will remain in the Foxes Classroom, while Year 5 children will form Fox Cub Class and will move across the corridor to their own classroom. This means we will be able to concentrate on preparing the Year 6s for that all-important move to secondary school, without impacting on the all-important Year 5 transition to their final year in primary school. It may seem like a long way away but it’s amazing how time flies.
Our theme for this term is World War 2, linking to the 80th anniversary of the start of the conflict in 1939, and, next year, to the 75th anniversary of VE Day. We will be looking at the impact the war had on civilians in particular, such as the population of Kent, child evacuees in England, and also on those in enemy/occupied countries. Both classes will do this by studying Anne Frank’s Diary and John Boyne’s ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ . One great aspect of studying this subject is that many children will have direct links through family members, many of whom are still alive. If you have any relatives who had first-hand experience of the war, no matter where in the world or on whose side, please encourage your children to contact them.
Maths and Times Tables
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 is paying for TT Rockstars for children to access both at school and home.
We are focussing on raising literacy standards and will be checking each child’s contact/reading record each week (a small yellow book). Please ensure your child brings in the book each day and that he/she is encouraged to read at home (it doesn’t have to be a book – it can be a magazine article or web site). Please sign the book each time they read with/to you. Accurate spelling is also core to the curriculum. The word-lists for years 5 and 6 are statutory. The lists are a mixture of words pupils frequently use in their writing and those which they often misspell. The word list of Years 5 and 6 can be accessed via the link on the Fox Class page of DB Primary (see below). It would really help children if parents/carers could practise these spellings with them. New spelling lists will be issued each week, and will be taught in class each Friday.
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. 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 1, the children will taking part in the ‘Tiger Troop’ personal development course. They will require PE kit, but also, on occasions, will need outdoor clothing suitable for adventurous actgivities. We will contact parents about this when required. An outline of the programme for the course can be found on DB Primary.
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.