Grasshopper Class 2017-18
Welcome to the exciting beginning of the first ever term in Grasshopper Class! I am delighted to be teaching the newly combined Year 4/5 Class as I am sure it will provide some amazing new learning opportunities and am looking forward to a great year. I am joined by Mrs Walker who will be our Teaching Assistant in the mornings and Mrs Richards who will take the class for Art, Music and French on Wednesday afternoons. The beginning of term is always busy and so please read this letter carefully to find out what is happening in class over the coming months.
We are starting the Autumn Term “with a bang” with a four week mini Topic named “Starry night”. This topic intends to encompass learning about Vincent Van Gogh, the Solar System and Growth Mindset themes. For the rest of term our Topic is “Journeys”. In History and Geography we shall be examining the Shang Dynasty and East Asia. We shall also use the “Journeys” theme to examine Literature, R.E and Philosophy as well as forces and electricity in Science.
It is essential that your child reads as much as possible, especially at this stage in their primary education as expectations regarding independent thought, vocabulary and writing increase. Whilst there will be ample opportunities to read during school time, the children should also be reading out of school and discussing their books with adults other than their teachers. I will hear children read at least once every week and will work closely with them to determine the most appropriate reading book according to their level and preference.
In Grasshopper Class we will spend an hour and a half of every school day doing maths. This could include puzzles, construction, artwork, discussion and investigation as well as more traditional calculations and mental maths. There will be opportunities during the week for children to work in their mental maths books before a weekly marking session with me, but they are likely to have to take their books home at the weekend to make sure that they are finished in time. Mathletics is a fantastic free online resource provided by the school as a fun and engaging way to improve your maths. I strongly recommend that you encourage your child to use it at home if at all possible as it can make a very positive impact on their learning, enjoyment and confidence in the subject. Knowing their multiplication tables is vital for every child in a Year 4 or Year 5 Class. We shall work on this in Class but any support you can give your child outside of school time would be invaluable to their progress.
The main regular homework that children in Grasshopper Class will have is Mental Maths and Reading. I would also recommend practice of multiplication tables and using Mathletics if at all possible. Any extra homework will be occasional research relating to our Topics but I will give lots of warning beforehand!
Pencil cases are a really positive aspect of being in KS2 as they are not only useful but give the opportunity for the children to grow their independence. Named items are especially helpful and as the pencil cases need to fit into the children’s drawers, they should not be too big.
The suggested contents include:
A geometry set
Handwriting pen (when a pen licence [see below] 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).
You will notice that the list does not include a rubber. Mistakes are such an important marker of learning and progress that we do not want any of them removed from the children’s work!
P.E will take place on Friday afternoons. It is written in the school P.E. Policy that children get changed into P.E. clothes and shoes for all lessons. Children who do not have adequate P.E. clothing and footwear will not be allowed to participate.
Religious Education and Ethos
As a Church of England school we invite the children to participate in daily prayers as well as worshipping in assemblies. We have a great Christian ethos throughout the school and visit Thriplow Church for the Christian Festivals of Harvest, Christmas and Easter. Our R.E. this term will be centred on the themes of Harvest, the person of Jesus and Christmas. Over the course of the year we will study and reflect upon key aspects of Christianity and the other world religions.
If you have any other questions about any aspect of life in Grasshopper Class don’t hesitate to ask.