Chestnut Curriculum Newsletter Summer 2017

Chestnut Class Curriculum Newsletter - Summer ‘17

Dear Parents/Carers,

Welcome back to another busy term in Chestnut Class. Here is a snapshot of what will be going on in class this term.

In maths Year 5 will be focusing on place value, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division before half term and moving onto fractions, measurement and shape work after half term. Year 6 will be preparing for SATs by revisiting specific areas of the maths curriculum including decimal place value, missing angles, nets of shapes, finding the mean of a set of data and finding the area of triangles and parallelograms. After SATs Year 6 will be moving onto algebra, ratio and proportion, statistics, measurement and geometry.

Regular practise of KIRFs (which will be sent home at the beginning of term) and times tables have a huge impact on your child’s maths and enable 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.

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 aso been used in the past by some pupils. These are easily available on Amazon.

In English we will be writing descriptions based on ‘The Borrowers’ and looking at dialogue in fiction through studying part of ‘BFG’ by Roald Dahl. We will also be writing formal letters, diary entries and newspaper reports that link to our history topic of WW2.. We will continue to build on our knowledge and application of grammar, spelling and punctuation.

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.

  • 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, before half term we are going to be learning about forces including friction, gravity, air and water resistance and the effect of levers, gears and pulleys. You could help your child by looking at how the gears on a bike work. After half term we will be studying properties and changes of materials including sieving, filtering, evaporating and recovering a substance from a solution. You could help your child by allowing them to experiment with evaporating liquids at home and seeing if they could make salt crystals from a salt water solution.

Our history topic for the whole term is WW2. We will start by looking at the key events leading up to WW2, the Blitz, rationing, evacuation and the wider effects of the war. After half term we will be using this knowledge to complete a local history study looking at how our local area was affected during WW2. If you have relatives, friends or neighbours who lived in the area during WW2 we would love to hear from them as first hand knowledge always makes history come alive for the children.

Our area of study in RE for the first half term will be Christianity, in particular the journey of life and death. After half term we move on to look at Humanism.

In French the children will be learning how to talk about their clothes and talk about sport and their preferences.

Our art focus this half term is textiles. We will be dip-dying fabric, experiencing batik and weaving. We will look at the work of the architect Norman Foster and the artists Hundertwasser and Antonio Gaudi.  DT work will be a unit of work linked to our history topic - pupils will be taking part in ration cookery!

In music our units of work are entitled ‘Class Awards’’ and ‘Moving On’.

In PSHE, we will start with some work relating to relationships including secrets, dares and healthy friendships. We will also cover different types of relationships and managing disputes in friendships. This will be followed by a short unit of work about health and well-being and keeping safe.

Computing this term will include coding using the apps hopscotch and lightbot. This will include debugging, coding and conditionals. After half term we will be focusing on digital literacy using imovies or movie maker

Finally, our PE focus begins with dance on Mondays and rounders on Thursdays. Please ensure children have full, named, kit every week.


Forest School will start again for our class after half term.

Our collective worship value for this half term is perseverance. 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 Wednesdays 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