Sycamore Tree Class Curriculum Newsletter Spring 2016

Dear Parents/Carers,

Happy New Year! This term may be a short 11 weeks, but we intend to pack it full of learning.

In maths we will be consolidating understanding of numbers up to and beyond 1000. We will also be counting in multiples, based on the times tables set in the KIRFs for last term and this term. We will be adding and subtracting numbers up to 3 digits and will use estimation to check our answers. There is, as ever, a large focus on multiplication and division facts, which will be supported by frequent times tables practise. In our learning about fractions, we will build on our previous learning, particularly calculating fractions of quantities and understanding equivalence. We will also be working on time, which is in the year 3 KIRFs sheet this half term, while year 4 will begin to understand money. In our geometry, we will look at more complex shapes than previously and will learn how to translate these into different positions. Finally in statistics we will focus on bar graphs, presenting information and using this to solve problems.

In English we will be writing science fiction and fantasy stories, moving on to instructional texts and recounts next half term, which we will link to our DT project of building light houses and our history topic of Anglo Saxons. We will continue to build on our knowledge of grammar and our understanding of texts.

In science we are going to explore states of matter, learning about solids, liquids and gases, as well as changing states between these. We will then have a few weeks studying electricity, understanding electrical safety and making basic circuits.

As previously mentioned, our history topic is Anglo Saxons. We are very lucky to live in East Anglia when studying this fascinating part of our history and have a wealth of resources available to us. I am endeavouring to arrange a trip to Sutton Hoo at the end of the topic and will let you know in a few weeks.

Our area of study in RE for the first half term will be Hinduism; both the religion and how it affects individuals. Before Easter, we move on to study symbols and religious expression in Christianity.

In French, there is a strong focus on describing people; as family members, their appearance, personality and nationality. We will also be learning how to say the alphabet in French. We like to learn through songs in French and I will send home links for songs as we learn them, so the children can continue to sing them for you at home, consolidating their learning.

Our art focus this half term is drawing, but this is taught in a creative way, encouraging the children to explore with different techniques and styles. As previously mentioned, our DT topic next half term will be making lighthouses (with working lights) and if any parents feel they have knowledge in this area, any offers of help will be gratefully received!

Finally, our PE focus begins with dance and rugby. We are lucky to again have the expertise of Mrs Taplin for our dance lessons and I am sure the children will gain a lot from this. PE will take place on Tuesdays and Fridays. Please ensure children have full, named, kit every week and as we will be practising rugby skills outside, it would be a good idea for children to have leggings or jogging bottoms and a jumper - cold children do not enjoy PE! 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 Monday afternoon and every Friday afternoon Mrs Hammond will take the class for Forest School. The children will need to come with suitable clothing and footwear every week. Without this, for safety reasons, children will not be able to take part. If you have any questions, please speak to Mrs Hammond directly.

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 Tuesdays. Please continue to encourage your children to practise both of these regularly, as well as their KIRFs. I know sometimes it can seem there is a lot of home learning, but just 5 minutes a day practising spellings and maths skills makes a huge difference and can be enough for children to keep up with expectations in class. Home learning will continue to be sent out on Fridays and it is important that this is returned 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, but they will need to have their book with them. 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 Penistone