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Chestnut Class Curriculum Newsletter Spring Term 2016

Dear Parents/Carers,

Happy New Year and welcome back to another busy term in Chestnut Class.

In maths we will be continuing to work on fractions which now has a greater focus in the new curriculum. In Year 6 this will include multiplying, dividing, adding and subtracting fractions and using equivalent fractions, decimals and percentages. In Year 5 this will involve working with mixed numbers and improper fractions and starting to work with simple percentages. We will all be continuing with our arithmetic, using formal written methods for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Year 6 pupils will be working on missing number problems in algebra and calculating the area of parallelograms and triangles and the volume of cubes and cuboids. Year 5 will be interpreting timetables and solving problems of conversion between units of time eg: 12hr to 24hr clock.

Pupils have recently enjoyed playing the popular ‘Countdown’ maths game in class which is having an impressive effect on the speed and confidence of their mental calculations. This game can be accessed through the Woodlands Junior website or by using this link http://resources.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/maths/countdown/

Regular practise of KIRFs (which were sent home with pupils at the end of last term) and times tables have a huge impact on your child’s maths and enable them to keep up with expectations in class. If your child is not yet confident at telling the time, including calculating time intervals (eg: how many minutes between one given time and another) it would be a huge help if they could practise this at home.

Should you have any questions about the teaching of maths or how you can help your child, please do not hesitate to contact me. Parents often ask about how best to help their child with homework, in particular maths. I have previously recommended the Usborne Junior Maths Dictionary which can be used by adults and children alike. The new KS2 maths study book by CGP is also a useful guide. Both these books can be purchased through Amazon.

In English we will be writing a range of types of recounts, moving on to science fiction and fantasy stories. These will both link with our science topic of space and the solar system. After half term we will move onto discussion writing and explanations. We will continue to build on our knowledge and application of grammar, spelling and punctuation.

In science we are going to start by studying the Earth in space and the solar system. With the recent space mission involving a British astronaut, I’m hoping that this will really inspire the children’s learning. Later in the term we will be looking at light, involving shadows, reflections and light sources.

Our history topic towards the middle of term will be focusing on Vikings and their struggle for the Kingdom of England. We will be looking at raids and invasion, laws and justice and relating this to our previous topic of Anglo Saxons which the children studied in lower KS2.

Our area of study in RE for the first half term will be Hinduism, in particular teachings and authority. After half term we move on to revisit Judaism.

In French, pupils will be completing units of work entitled ‘Chez moi’ focusing on homes and ‘Le weekend’.

Our art focus this half term is print-making which will include press print and batik. DT work will relate to our history topic about Vikings. The unit will be textiles and will conclude with the children making their own story-telling piece in the style of the Bayeux tapestry!

In music we will be linking our learning with work on the solar system and Holst’s Planets Suite.

PSHE will begin with work on advertising and the media and continue with a unit on money.

Computing this term will be taught by Mrs Doherty and includes a digital literacy topic making online surveys and one on how search engines work.

Finally, our PE focus begins with hockey and dance. Mrs Taplin will be working with us on Friday mornings (hockey) and the other dance lesson will be on Monday afternoon. Please ensure children have full, named, kit every week and as we will be practising hockey skills outside, it would be a good idea for children to have leggings or jogging bottoms and a jumper or sweatshirt. They will also need trainers and/or plimsolls but please note that outside trainers will not be suitable for indoor gym or dance. Please ensure that all kit is clearly named as we frequently have misplaced items.


Mrs Doherty will continue to teach the class every Thursday afternoon and Friday afternoon Forest School will start again for our class after half term.

Our collective worship value for this half term is hope. We will be focusing on this area in assemblies and also other curriculum areas.        

As before, spellings will be tested on Fridays and times tables will be tested on Thursdays. Home learning will continue to be sent out on Fridays and it is important that this is returned by the following Thursday. It makes it very difficult to mark and send out again if homework is handed in late. Please remember we have homework club on Tuesdays for children who prefer to complete this in school. As always, children should ask for further help from me if they are struggling to understand their homework.


If you have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to ask.

Best wishes

Mrs Sharpe