Autumn Term – Shark Parent Newsletter
‘Growing and learning together with God’
What an amazing start to the new term! The ferocious Sharks and the wider school community have made me feel very welcome indeed. We’ve already got our sharp teeth stuck into some tasty topics, and have demonstrated some great learning potential for the year ahead. I look forward to working together to prepare the children for their next step in education, but most importantly, to celebrate and enjoy their final year in primary school.
Communication is very important. I will always endeavour to meet a parent to discuss concerns at short notice – recognising how busy life can get managing work and family life. When problems occur, it is always preferable to discuss and deal with them in a timely manner to prevent issues escalating. Usually, aside from Tuesdays, I can try to make time after school. You can drop by to arrange a meeting or contact the office via email, who will forward on your messages, or use the home learning email, so that we can either respond by email, telephone, or arrange a meeting to discuss your concern in more detail. Keep an eye on the school newsletters to find out what we have been learning about each week. We will also be updating the Sharks Class page on the website a couple of times each term with news and photos of our learning journey, as well as sharing news via the school newsletter each term.
Project homework will continue to be set whereby children can choose from a variety of themes which projects they would like to complete; these will be shared with the class and children will receive feedback. Details about our ‘Evolution’ project options will be sent out on Friday 15th September and we look forward to sharing all the fantastic activities they complete at home. The presentation of this work to the rest of the class is an invaluable part of their learning experience and all the children develop their self-confidence and speaking skills as part of the process.
Spellings, Times Tables and Maths Key Skills
All children have Spelling/Maths Shed and Times Table Rock Stars log-ins which they should be using regularly to keep practising key skills.
- On Mondays, we will be checking that the children have done at least 20 minutes per week practise on their times tables. Times tables booklets are available for any children who do not have access to the internet. The children are tested weekly on their times tables.
- On Tuesdays, we will be checking that children have accessed Spelling Shed for a minimum of three times a week. Spelling practise sheets will also be available in school if children do not have internet access at home.
- On Fridays, we will check that the children have read at least three times per week.
Family group points will be given to those children who complete their homework, as well as additional recognition for those who read consistently over the term.
Reading – Children should be encouraged to read nightly and where possible to an adult, even if they are a fluent reader. This could include your child just talking to you about what they’ve read, what they are enjoying etc. Children are asked to show in their reading record that they have read at least 5 x each week. They will be rewarded in school when they have shown this in their diary. The children should bring their books and reading records to school daily, as they are given regular opportunities to read independently and where appropriate, to an adult.
Water bottles and snacks
Please remember to send your child in with a named water bottle (not squash) which they can keep in the classroom. This can be re-filled during the day. If children are bringing in snacks for break time, please remember this should be healthy food like a piece of fruit or fresh vegetables.
Our exciting new topic is Evolution! In this, we will explore Darwin’s journey to the Galapagos Isles and how he came to create his life’s work: The Theory of Evolution. With a science focus, this project teaches children how living things on Earth have changed over time and how fossils provide evidence for this. They learn how characteristics are passed from parents to their offspring and how variation in offspring can affect their survival, with changes (adaptations) possibly leading to the evolution of a species.
Most of our English work will be based on source texts with a link to the natural world, starting with creating non-chronological reports based upon the flora and fauna of the planet Pandora. This will lead onto the children using their skills as writers to create in-depth reports on our own natural world. As creative writers, we will be linking our texts – using our knowledge of an alien world to create exciting sci-fi stories.
In RE we will be learning about Christianity, considering the key question: What does it mean if God is holy and loving? Our SCARF PHSE will focus on Rights and Responsibilities and My Relationships; we will also have weekly Circle Time sessions to support the children in developing positive self-esteem and interactions.
PE days this term will usually be on Mondays and Fridays. Your child’s kit needs to be brought into school every Monday and taken home every Friday to be washed. Please make sure that they have navy blue shorts, t-shirt, trainers and appropriate clothing for going outside (navy tracksuit bottoms, sweatshirt etc.). Please remember to label all PE kit, school tops, jumpers and trainers/shoes. This is also important for all uniform and coats. Until October half term, the children will be participating in Forest School, so please make sure they bring in appropriate clothing - long trousers, long sleeved top, coat, change of footwear.
Rewards and certificates
We have really high expectations for our pupils and their hard work and excellent behaviour is rewarded weekly. Children are given family group points for good work, effort and behaviour and a range of certificates depending on how many they’ve achieved in total. Golden time will be awarded to the class for demonstrating Fritwell footsteps and values.
Good attendance is vital for success, so please bear in mind that if your child is well enough to potter about at home then they are probably well enough to be in school. As long as they always work hard and join in with enthusiasm, then they will have personal success.
We are looking forward to the new term with its many opportunities to learn together.
Mr Protherough, Mrs Weaver and Mrs O’Callaghan