Caterpillar Class 2017-18
After a thoroughly enjoyable (albeit quick!) first term here at Thriplow, we return to an equally jam-packed new term with a very exciting topic…
Our class topic for this term will be focusing on the Roman Empire. We will be exploring various aspects of this topic, across all of the curriculum and we’ll be taking an in-depth look at what life was like during the Roman Empire. To start, Caterpillar class will be transformed in the ‘Caterpillar’ legion. In order to do this, we will be designing our own helmets and shields and trying our hand at making the various formations that Roman soldiers would have performed in battle. As such, if you happen to hear the steady beat of marching feet, you can be sure that the Caterpillar legion are on the move. We’ll also be taking a look at the areas conquered as part of the Roman Empire, researching some key figures in Roman times, making mosaics, pottery and much, much more.
Later on this half term, there will be an opportunity for the children to do a research project on our topic over this term, but I will leave plenty of time between sending it out and when it is due back.
Independence and Reading
In Caterpillars Class we try very hard to help children become independent learners. Your child should be responsible for bringing their own lunch box, water bottle and book bag into the classroom and hanging their belonging on their peg, or putting them in their drawer after the bell goes.
Being an independent reader is an important part of life in Caterpillars. We make sure that your child is reading a book that is both appropriate for their level and one that they will enjoy reading independently. Your child will have the opportunity to read with an adult at least once a week. In addition to this, we will be having a weekly guided reading carousel, which will give them an opportunity to read, practise their spellings and check their comprehension of a range of texts.
Your child will also have a reading record, in which they will be able to write a comment about what they have read.
A positive aspect of increasing independence in Caterpillar Class is children having their own pencil cases.
The suggested contents include:
- HB pencils
- Pencil sharpener
- Small ruler
- Pritt stick
- Colouring crayons
- A geometry set
- Handwriting pen (when a pen licence has been issued). The school provides a rollerball pen, but we encourage the use of a fountain pen. We have a stock of fountain pens in House colours, which may be purchased for £4.00 (via Agora or by cheque or cash to the Office).
It is helpful if all the items are named. Pencil cases also need to fit into the children’s drawers, so they should not be too big.
You will notice that the list does not include a rubber. We do not want to encourage the routine rubbing out of possible errors, as the visible correction of these is a sign of learning rather than a ‘blot on the landscape.’
In Caterpillar Class we aim for high standards in the presentation of our written work. As such, pen licences are only issued when that standard has been attained and sustained throughout the curriculum. We will be doing weekly handwriting sessions in class, however you can support your child by helping them to practise their joined-up handwriting at home with a pencil. They must know how to join any letter to another and do this as a matter of course in their writing to gain a pen licence.
P.E. will take place on Wednesday and Friday afternoons. This half term we will be practising our ball handling skills, both on our own and as part of team.
The school P.E. policy requires that children get changed into P.E. clothes and shoes for all lessons. Your child will need appropriate footwear, shorts, a t-shirt and, in the Winter months, a jumper or sweatshirt.
Religious Education and Ethos
As a Church of England school we invite the children to participate in daily prayers at lunchtime (Grace) and end of the day prayers, as well as worshipping in assemblies. We have a great Christian ethos throughout the school in which we encourage the children to be polite and respectful when moving around the school, at lunchtime as well as when speaking to each other and adults.
This year, your child will receive weekly spellings for their homework. The spellings will be given out on a Friday and they will be a small test on the following Thursday.
Occasionally, children may be asked to do some research on a particular topic for homework, although a letter will accompany this, explaining what to do and clarifying any issues.
The expectations set out in the National Curriculum suggest that, by the end of Year 4, your child should know up to their 12 times table and the related division facts. As such, we will be using our times tables regularly. Not only will this support their transition from Year 3 to Year 4, but will also be invaluable for their work across the mathematics curriculum. Please help your child to practise their times tables at home. From January onwards, I will be sending out times tables homework each week. This will be sent out on Friday and, like spellings, there will be a small test on the following Thursday. If your child does not appear to be confident with the times tables from the previous week, they will be given the same times table to practise again.
As always, if you have any questions or queries about your child or about life in Caterpillar Class, please come and talk to me.
Mr Lewis and the Caterpillar Class Team