Dali Class

This week in Dali class

Monday, 28th January, 9:34 PM


This week, we are beginning a new block of work, looking at fractions.  We will build on work from Year 4 to recognise fractions, and to identify equivalent fractions.  We will develop our understanding of numerator and denominator, and look at how we can convert from one fraction to another.  Key to the children's understanding is their recognition that fractions are equal parts of a whole.  Knowledge of times tables will really help the children in their fractions work.


We are continuing our mission to the Middle Ages.  Last week, all the children wrote non chronological reports about life in the Middle Ages, using facts they had researched.  Our focus was upon using paragraphs and sub headings to organise different areas of their reports.

This week, we are moving on to recounts, looking in particular at diaries and personal recounts of events.  In addition, we are exploring adverbs of time, such as later, earlier, the next morning, which can be used to extend a sentence.  We are also learning more about pronouns and how to use them to replace nouns in a sentence.  The children will use their knowledge of the Middle Ages to inform their writing.


Our Destination Reader stem this week is making connections, and already the class is working hard, making links between the text we are using in English and our reading books, The Nowhere Emporium and The Explorer.  Children are also trying to link their reading to their own experience, perhaps another book they have read, a place they have been, or even a television programme they have watched.


Following our learning about evolution and Darwin, we are now starting to look at classification and the different ways of grouping the many living creatures that make up our world.  We have studied how creatures can be split into vertebrates and invertebrates, and we will now explore the sub classes within each group.  Many of the children were amazed to discover how many different types of living creature there are, including the microscopic ones!

Please keep working with your child on their times tables - they need to know up to 12 x 12 multiplication and division facts.  We are testing ourselves each week, and the children who know their tables are rising steadily through the ranks.  Please also encourage your child to learn their key spellings, included in their contact book.  Secure knowledge of these spellings will really help them in Year Six.

This week in Dali class

Monday, 7th January, 5:31 PM

Welcome back to the first full week of the New Year.  The Spring term is a really important one for making and consolidating progress, so please support your child by working with them on their times tables and spellings - the Year Five spellings are in the orange Contact Book you received in the Autumn.


We are now moving on to multiplication, using formal written methods to show multiplication of 4 digit numbers by one digit numbers.  We will review use of grid method as a strategy to ensure everybody is secure with place value before moving to more formal methods.  Times tables are invaluable in all the multiplication work we will now be doing.


We have a new mission for a new term!  This mission is taking us back in time to the Middle Ages, so we will be learning more about life in a village in the fourteenth century, and producing a number of different pieces of writing.  Our initial piece of work will be a report on life, comparing life eight hundred years ago with life now.

In Destination Reader, we continue to work on the key stems which will support children in their reading.  We are using e-books as a new way of accessing information, alongside more traditional texts.


Our Science work this term continues our study of evolution, by focusing upon classification of different species, and understanding how many different types of living creatures there are.  Today, we carried out a practical investigation linked to evolution, as pupils compared different 'beaks' (pegs, tweezers, cocktail sticks) to find the most efficient way of gathering seeds and fruit.  The children are writing up their results and the conclusions they drew.


Our topic work this term will take Shaun Tan's beautiful book The Arrival as its starting point.  The pictures will inform the Art and Computing work we undertake, and we will explore some of the issues raised in the book through PSHE and History.  The children are all really captivated by the illustrations, and have done some great detective work to understand their contents.  As part of the topic, we are asking children to bring in an object which has great significance for them (the one thing they would save if they had to suddenly leave their home and we will draw, paint and write about the object as well as creating formal portraits of the children with their precious belonging.  Please do not send anything in which is hugely fragile or irreplaceable, as we cannot take responsibility for any loss or breakage.

As ever, please do contact myself or Miss Ritchie if you have any concerns, or there is anything you wish to discuss.  We are always available at the end of the day, or you can make an appointment to see us at another time if more convenient.

This week in Dali class

Monday, 17th December, 5:30 PM

A huge Thank you to all parents and carers for getting the children through the Autumn term - it has been a long stretch, and there are a few tired faces now!  The Autumn term is so important for consolidating prior learning and introducing new skills.


We are revising place value and negative numbers, using a code breaking mystery.  Pupils need to solve clues by working out calculations, and discover who the lost Christmas present belongs to!


Following on from our work on poetry, the children are composing poems about the Nowhere Emporium, capturing its mysterious, magical nature through simile and metaphor.  Children will perform their finished poems to the rest of the class, and we will evaluate our work.

Carol Concert

Just a reminder that the Years 5 & 6 Carol Concert will take place at 6.30pm on Tuesday evening, and 9.15am on Wednesday morning.  If you do not yet have tickets, please speak to the Office as soon as possible.  Dali class have been practising hard, and we would be delighted if you could join us for some traditional festive songs and readings.

Children will be dismissed after lunch on Wednesday, so please make arrangements to collect your child at 1.30pm.  Please note that school starts again on Thursday 3 January 2019.  We will be sending home a pack of activities for the children to complete over the holidays - please encourage them to practise their times tables regularly, and to read each day.

On behalf of Ms Ritchie, Mrs Wilcock and myself, we hope that you enjoy a happy, wonderful holiday and look forward to welcoming Dali class back, refreshed and raring to go, in January.

This week in Dali class

Monday, 10th December, 4:56 PM


This week in Dali class we are developing our knowledge of Roman Numerals up to 1,000.  We have added D (500) and M (1,000) to the numerals we can use, and will look at how Roman numerals are still used today for dates on buildings etc.  Later in the week, we will be reviewing Time, focusing on duration and converting between different units of measurement.  Please help your child by discussing time with them - how long does the journey to school take?  How many minutes in an hour?  Hours in a day ?  How many hours until Christmas could be a challenge to work out!


We are studying simile, metaphor and personification this week as we plan and then write a poem linked to our timeslip stories.  We have been exploring different types of figurative language that can be used to create a picture in the reader's mind.  Our GPS focus is upon prefixes, and apostrophes used for possession and omission.  Please help your child to learn all the Year 3&4 spellings, focusing particularly upon prefixes (at the beginning of the words - un-, anti-, sub-, pro- etc.)

In Destination Reader, we are revisiting Asking Questions, linked to Clarifying.  Using The Nowhere Emporium, we are exploring the questions we would want to ask, discussing whether they are open or closed questions, and how we can back up our answers using evidence from the text.


As reported recently, Dali class enjoyed a workshop with Same Sky, making lanterns which were used at Glowild at Wakehurst Place.  I was lucky enough to visit last week, and spotted our beautiful stars hanging in the trees, lighting up one corner of the trail.  They attracted lots of favourable comment.  Pictures below show the lanterns in the making, and on display at Wakehurst.


We are practising hard for our concert of Winter songs next week.  Please do come along and support your child if you can - there are lots of old favourites to enjoy.

Your child will be bringing home the articles they made on Glitter Day last Friday.  We had a great day, with everybody working hard and enjoying the challenge.  The finished pieces look great.  I hope they will become part of your Christmas decorations.

Congratulations to all those who have received their pen licenses so far.  We are looking for the first boy to gain that honour.  All the children have been really focussing on their handwriting and the differences are becoming apparent in their books with an improvement in presentation.

Just a week and a half to go to the holidays - please make sure your child has a coat every day.  We will be outside unless the weather is dreadful, as the fresh air helps keep everyone healthy, so we need to be wrapped up and waterproof.

This week in Dali class

Monday, 3rd December, 6:20 PM

It is hard to think that we are suddenly in December, and there are only two and half weeks of term left!  This Autumn term has flown by.

in Maths this week, we are continuing our work on data handling by learning about tables and timetables.  Children will be exracting information from tables, as well as interpreting the information they contain.  In the second half of the week we will explore timetables, linking their learning to the real world through bus and train timetables.

Our writing Mission continues in English. We are exploring poetry, and looking at how we can turn our time slip stories into poems.  Children will be using rhythm and rhyme, and syllabification to help them understand how poetry is created, and will work on presenting a poem to the class.

We are also working on poetry in Destination Reader, using it as the basis for our Clarifying stem.  Children are investigating new vocabulary, and learning language which can help them understand words in different contexts.  It is really great to hear and see the children's discussion skills.  They have really improved since September, and all the children are now more confident to talk about what they are reading.

We will be enjoying some Design Technology on Friday during Glitter Day, as the children work together to make a series of items, from cheeky robins to glittering snowflakes.  I am sure their efforts will adorn your Christmas trees this year!

Please find below some suggestions of web sites where children can practise their time tables.  We are now working on them every Friday, trying to build up speed and accuracy, and the children who are practising regularly are moving ahead rapidly.   Please make sure they are learning the whole tables sentence, and not just the final product.  Saying '2 x 5 = 10' makes it stick in your brain much better than just saying '10, 20, 30 etc.' 

ww.topmarks.co.uk           Hit the Button is excellent far practising speed tables work

www.math-games.org         This site collects examples of good games from other sites, and has lots of fun activities

www.primaryhomeworkhelp.co.uk       Again, access to lots of different sites with different games to help you practise.

www.oxfordowl.co.uk/for-home/          Search for Times Tables in the Search box for lots of games linked to tables.

Helping your child learn and remember all their times tables and related division facts to 12 x 12 will really give them a boost in all their maths work in Year 5 and Year 6.  Without that fluency, they struggle to develop new concepts. 

This week in Dali class

Thursday, 29th November, 6:11 PM

This week in Dali class, we have been working on reading and drawing graphs in Maths.  We have looked at different ways of presenting information, particularly data linked to changes over the time.  We have been working with scales with different intervals, and exploring the types of questions we can ask and answer using the graph.

In English, we continued with our Big Writing Adventures mission by reviewing and improving time slip stories.  We have been looking at opinions, and how to express your views in formal and informal ways.  Next week, we will be working on poetry, so why not try learning a poem by heart at home?

In Science, we have been using our writing skills to create biographies of Charles Darwin, noting key events in his life, and explaining why he is such a famous and important scientist.

In French, we are learning the names of pets, so that we can develop sentences about ourselves, telling others about our pets.  Dali class are becoming experts at recognising whether words are le or la – masculine or feminine words.  They have also been spotting cognates – words which look or sound very similar in English and French.

In Art this week, we have used some of the street art techniques developed by Banksy to create our own graffiti walls.  The results look great, and very authentic!

Just a reminder that Friday 7 December is Glitter Day, our chance to design and make lots of lovely winter themed creations.  Children are allowed to wear Christmas jumpers, but please do not come to school in anything that will be spoilt by glitter or PVA glue.  We will have a party in the afternoon, so children are invited to bring in a festive packed lunch or party food.  Because of food allergies, we will not be asking children to bring in to share.

This week in Dali class

Monday, 19th November, 6:01 PM

This week in Maths, we are continuing our exploration of Space by learning about Area.  We will be using multiplication methods to calculate area for regular shapes, and looking at methods to use for irregular shapes to work out the area.  We will be problem solving, using applications for area in the real world, such as ground plans and paint coverage.

We continue with our latest mission in Big Writing Adventures.  Having written a time slip story, where a character travels forwards or backwards in time, we will be working on reviewing, editing and up levelling our work. In addition, we will look at reviewing the work of others, and writing a formal review for a book, film or game.  Hand writing continues to be a focus - congratulations to Kaia, who gained our first pen licence for Year 5 last week.  Ms Ritchie and I are itching to give out more, so keep working on those joins!

In Destination Reader, we continue to use The Nowhere Emporium as the starting point for our discussions.  Our stem this week is Evaluating, and we will be considering how an author uses language and the organisation of the text to inform and affect their reader.

In Science, we are finding out about the life of one the great scientists, Charles Darwin.  We are gathering facts about his life and his journey on HMS Beagle this week, in order to produce a biography next week.  We have learnt about Darwin's voyage around the world, especially his trip to the Galapagos Islands, and the discoveries that he made there.  We are exploring adaptation and evolution, and discovering how different species have changed over time.

We are beginning to learn Badminton in P.E  We will do p.e outside this term wherever possible, unless the weather is very extreme, so please make sure that your child has black or navy track suit bottoms and a fleece that they can wear.  Our p.e session is usually on a TUESDAY.

It may only be November, but we are already starting to plan for Glitter Day (7 December)!  Please can you collect any clean, empty toilet roll middles and kitchen roll middles and bring them into school w/c 3 December.  They will be used for a craft activity.

Several parents at the recent parent consultations asked for information about times tables sites, so here are some suggestions:

www.topmarks.co.uk           Hit the Button is excellent far practising speed tables work

www.math-games.org         This site collects examples of good games from other sites, and has lots of fun activities

www.primaryhomeworkhelp.co.uk       Again, access to lots of different sites with different games to help you practise.

www.oxfordowl.co.uk/for-home/          Search for Times Tables in the Search box for lots of games linked to tables.

Helping your child learn and remember all their times tables and related division facts to 12 x 12 will really give them a boost in all their maths work in Year 5 and Year 6.  Without that fluency, they struggle to develop new concepts. 

This week in Dali class

Monday, 5th November, 5:46 PM

Last week was a really creative one for Dali class.  On Tuesday, we enjoyed a fantastic workshop with an artist from Same Sky, making lanterns which will become part of the Glow Wild event at Wakehurst Place from 22 to 25 November.  All the children worked really hard, and learnt new skills involving withies and tissue paper.  For many, the task was challenging but all showed great resilience and were rewarded by some beautiful lanterns.  The photos below give a glimpse of our work.

We have also been using Art as a medium for responding to history.  With the hundredth anniversary of the end of World War One approaching, Dali class made giant poppies, using poems from WWI and photographs of soldiers from West Sussex as the petals.  Each pupil then added their own message of hope for a peaceful future as the centre of the poppy.  The finished art work will be displayed in Tilgate Park's Walled garden to tie in with Remembrance Day.  Please do go and see them with your child if you have time.


Our learning in Maths this week is all related to multiples and factors of numbers.  We will be exploring which numbers share common factors, and how prime numbers differ from composite numbers.  All of this work relates to our pupils' understanding of their times tables, so please encourage them to practice their tables to 12 x 12.  We are also working on explaining our reasoning.


We are continuing with our new Mission in Big Writing Adventures, writing a Time Slip story.  As part of the mission, we will be exploring descriptive writing, including simile and metaphor, and looking at ways to use inference in our story telling.  Our focus is on using powerful verbs and adverbs to impart information.


We continue our work on Evolution by exploring the life of Charles Darwin, the scientist who published his theory of evolution over 160 years ago.  We will look at adaptation, and find out how organisms change in response to their environment.

Parent Consultations

This Tuesday and Wednesday evening see our Parent Consultations.  If you have not yet signed up for a slot, please do come along to talk about your child's progress in Year 5.  Ms Ritchie and I look forward to welcoming as many of you as possible.  If you are unable to attend but would like to meet us to talk about progress, please talk to Ms Ritchie or myself at the end of the school day to set up an appointment.