Dragonflies: Autumn term


Dear parents and carers,

I hope you all had an enjoyable summer and that your children are looking forward to their final year at Thriplow. 2021 has been a strange year so far. But, it has been exciting to come back to normal school.

Most of you already know me, but I wanted to introduce myself to the parents of the children who joined Mayflies:

I moved to Cambridge with my two sons seven years ago, having previously lived in: Singapore, the Netherlands, Norway, Turkey and Scotland, so have learnt to speak some unusual languages. I have worked as a teacher in most of those locations but also as a designer. I try to share my art school training with the children as much as possible.

Over the past two years I have led the enthusiastic Eco-Squad to gain the Eco-Schools Green Flag and am delighted to say that we intend to carry on this school year to maintain the gold standard. I hope to share this passion for environmental concerns with the children through the class curriculum.

Year 6 is a year of change and transition. So, Mrs. Maloney and I will be encouraging your children to become independent learners ready for secondary school. We will talk with them about making good choices; whether it is concerning behaviour, friendships or use of time. We will be working hard to be ready for SATs early in the Summer term, but getting used to taking tests is just a stepping stone on their way to GCSEs and A’ Levels. Homework is there to become used to the discipline of studying. Sharing a book with an adult is a means to talk about literacy, but also to become confident about their book choices. Through reading your child should hopefully start to be aware of who they are, and what they like.

Some important reminders:

  • Dress warmly: doors and windows will be open more.
  • Dress correctly: you will be playing on the field in all weathers; so have wellies and a jacket with you. Come to school in your gym kit on Thursdays, wearing a base layer as you will be outside most of the time.
  • Bring a small simple zipped pencil case: as detailed previously containing a couple of pencils, a black and purple pen, two highlighters, a sharpener that contains the sharpenings, a glue stick and a small clear ruler.
  • Bring a water bottle: it will be kept in the cloakroom.

Below is the curriculum plan for the coming term and the Dragonflies class timetable. If you have any concerns or questions, please do contact me via office@thriplow.cambs.sch.uk .

Kind regards,

Ms. Gilmour

Mrs Maloney




Dragonflies: Autumn term


Four mornings of the week begins with a burst of grammar or spelling, one day focusses on reading skills.

We will use two books as the inspiration for our literacy. The two authors are Michael’s Morpugo ‘Private Peaceful’ and Rudyard Kipling’s ‘Jungle Book’, two completely different fiction books. Each text gives rise to the various genres: writing balanced arguments, diary extracts, setting and character descriptions, newspaper reports, poetry, persuasive writing as well as their own stories. We use these books in our shared reading, though we will also read other books for pleasure. During this time I will be checking that the children have been reading regularly with an adult. We help them to choose quality aspirational texts to lift their language and literacy to a higher level.


Our term starts with Place Value, followed by Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division, Fractions and then Geometry. We start each unit with a pre-test to find out what we remember from Year 5 and end with a check-up to see our progress.


During this term, the children will be learning about The Human Body: the heart, circulation and blood components. Then Classification of Living Things: Taxonomy, vertebrates and invertebrates, cells types and organism classification.


Year 6 revisits the theme of Creation and The Fall, we will dig deeper into the subject. Then as the term finishes we look at Incarnation in more depth.


The children will be improving their rugby, netball and gymnastic skills. PE lessons will take place each Thursday afternoon, they need to come dressed in their sports clothes. Please ensure that your child has an appropriate kit for the colder weather. This includes a warm sweatshirt and possibly a base layer. Long hair should be tied up and all jewellery (especially earrings) are removed. Please let me know in writing if your child is not able to take part in PE. We will endeavour to run three times a week and share street dancing regularly.


Year 6 will learn about: networks, web searches, databases, bracelets and packets. Have a look at the website: https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/


Our history topics look at The First World War: the causes, life at home and the consequences of the War. The Suffragettes: looks at important figures, the campaign and how democracy was affected by the actions.


We start with Spatial Sense: understanding how maps were created, Latitude, Longitude, Polar and Time zones. British Geographical Issues: Air Pollution, Climate Change and looking after our environment coincides with the Transform Our World Conference, which will participate in.


The Self-esteem and self-awareness theme: we think about ourselves now and in the future and how others see us.


Dragonflies’ artist for the school year is Picasso, so we will regularly look at his art.

Initially we will look at Art in the Italian Renaissance: drawing and painting on plaster inspired by Michelangelo, da Vinci and Raphael. Renaissance Architecture and Sculpture: looks at the Duomo in Florence and St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, drawing and a clay relief tile.


The purpose is to design, make and evaluate products. Our project will be to research, create a process and investigate forces and the properties of materials and how they can use this knowledge to design and make various structures using STEM processes.


This term we will continue to learn the recorder, so please ensure that your child has their own (named) instrument in class for their lesson each Wednesday. Alongside learning how to make the notes, we will learn how to read music. Dragonflies’ composer for the school year is Benjamin Britten, so we will regularly listen to his music.


The emphasis is on listening, speaking, reading and then writing basic Spanish. Children will listen and learn from each other to discover new food vocabulary, on shopping in Spanish and body-related vocabulary.

We will often reference the Etymology of words, particularly Latin in both English and Spanish.


Homework expectations

Each Monday the children will be given homework to practise their spelling and writing skills. They will have a spelling test each Monday morning. We will check the Grammar and Writing homework together.

Also on Mondays we will check the most recent Mental Maths test. The children will start the new one in class and complete it at home for the following week. Maths homework will also include Times Table Rockstars challenges.

To ensure that children get used to doing some form of homework each night, we would ask that your child reads for at least 20 minutes a few times a week and practice times tables/mental maths for a similar amount of time regularly. This is not formal homework but does prepare the children for nightly homework at secondary school.