Chestnut Curriculum Newsletter - Autumn 2018

Chestnut Class Curriculum Newsletter - Autumn ‘18

Dear Parents/Carers,

Welcome back to another busy term in Chestnut Class - I hope you have all had a lovely summer break. We are all looking forward to our fast approaching residential visit to Thorpe Woodlands which is a new destination for us. Here is a snapshot of what will be going on in class this term.

In maths pupils will be focusing on a variety of areas including place value, shape, written and mental calculations, fractions and measurement.

Regular practise of times tables has a huge impact on your child’s maths and enables them to keep up with expectations in class. Pupils who do not have a speedy, confident recall of times tables are at a disadvantage in their learning. It is really important for KS2 pupils to know their times times and the corresponding division facts instantly. In Year 6 SATs the arithmetic paper requires pupils to complete 36 questions in 30 minutes - pupils who are confident in their tables have a greater chance of success not only in this test but also in their general maths attainment and readiness for high school. Pupils have regular weekly times tables tests.

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. CGP study books have also been used in the past by some Year 6 pupils. These are easily available on Amazon.

In English this half term we will be covering a variety of types of writing which will often link to our curriculum topics starting with a unit of work based on Rudyard Kipling’s ‘Jungle Book’ stories.  We will continue to build on our knowledge and application of grammar, spelling and punctuation. Our class guided reading text is ‘Rooftoppers’ by Katherine Rundell.

To help your child at home with writing you could:

  • Encourage any opportunity to write - lists, letters, notes, reminders

  • Encourage using a dictionary and thesaurus to investigate the spelling and meaning of new words they might see or hear

  • Talk together about current affairs or other issues to help them to formulate and express their thoughts and arguments and to hear you modelling doing this

  • Make use of IT to help with editing and improving writing - time to edit and improve writing is particularly important in this age group

  • Encourage your child to keep a diary or scrapbook - regular short bursts of writing can be beneficial and is something lovely to look back on in the future.

To help your child with reading:

  • Allow regular time for your child to read (independently or to you) and talk about what they are reading. This is still incredibly important even when you feel your child is a fluent reader. Our expectation is that children read at home to an adult three times a week and that this is recorded in your child’s reading record. Reading records will be checked each Monday.

  • Be a role model yourself - make sure your children see you reading too!

  • Or, if they are not keen on reading, by listening to audiobooks they can still experience the richness of language, different sentence structures and characterisation etc

  • All reading is valuable - it doesn’t need to be a school reading book. Reading newspapers can help to engage and interest some children. In school we subscribe to First News (a weekly children’s newspaper) - this can  also be purchased by parents through their website

To help your child with spelling, punctuation and grammar:

  • Make sure they practise and learn spellings that are sent home - this includes weekly spellings and the half termly essential spellings.

  • When reading with your child talk about the punctuation in what they are reading

  • Play word games such as Scrabble

In science we are going to be learning about evolution and inheritance. This includes finding out about the work of Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace, investigating fossils, and learning about how plants and animals are adapted to their habitats. The knowledge organiser in your child’s homework book gives more detailed information about the areas we will be studying.

Our history topic after half term will be ‘Stone Age to Iron Age. which is always a real favourite with pupils. Preceding this will be our geography study entitled ‘Investigating Coasts’. This is a new topic for UKS2 and one which I am really looking forward to teaching. This unit of work will include using maps and digital/computer mapping to locate coastal areas, finding out about the ways in which coastlines are managed and learning about how different coastlines and coastal features have been formed. Your child will be bringing home a knowledge organiser to share with you and study as part of their weekly homework.

Our area of study in Beliefs and Values for the first half term will be Christianity, with a particular focus on the idea of incarnation. After half term we move on to look at Islam.

In French the children will be learning how to talk about school and school routines, clothes and families. Mrs Pratt tells me that the children will also be learning some French songs and be revisiting vocabulary previously covered. New for this term is a French knowledge organiser - the children will be taking part in weekly quizzes based on this.

Our art focus this half term will be drawing skills. DT after half term will be a unit of work which is new to us - Chinese inventions.

In music our units of work are entitled ‘World Unite’ and ‘Journeys’.

In PSHE, we will start with some work relating to rights and responsibilities which includes rules, laws democracy and the role of parliament. This will be followed by a short unit of work about relationships which includes feelings and emotions and valuing difference.

Computing this term will include e-safety and cyberbullying as well as coding using the programme ‘Scratch’.

Finally, PE will be taught by Mrs Pratt (games) on a Thursday afternoon and myself and Mrs Taplin (dance) on a Monday morning. Please ensure children have full, named, kit every week. It would be useful for the children to have joggers as well as shorts and a change of socks in case the grass is damp or the weather is cold. It is really important that kit is in school every day, not just on the days when PE is timetabled,


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

Spellings will be tested on Fridays and times tables will be tested on Thursdays. Maths (arithmetic) will continue to be sent out on Mondays and it is important that this is returned by Friday. It makes it very difficult to mark and send out again if homework is handed in late. As always, children should ask for further help from me if they are struggling to understand their homework. Please ensure that the schedule is filled in by your child during the week and signed by an adult before returning the pink book for checking on a Friday.

Mrs Mathlin will teach the class on a Friday and we welcome her to the Chestnut team. Mrs Pratt will also continue to work with the class.

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

Best wishes

Mrs Sharpe