We have started our Topic for the Summer term and are already getting our teeth into World War Two!
Click here to listen to authentic radio broadcasts, sirens and newsflashes from war times.
We are working hard on our topic around Ernest Shackleton and his ill-fated expedition to the Antarctic. All the children are really enjoying finding out more about the ship and crew, and learning about the different events as they unfold. The topic has given us lots of opportunities to engage in all kinds of activities, which have all supported the children's learning. From items frozen in a giant ice cube to letters of application for a job on board HMS Endurance, we have been busy writing in a variety of genres and developing our understanding of an important period in British history.
This week our writing is focusing upon the latter stages of Shackleton's adventure. We will be looking at the 800 mile boat journey made by the crew in an effort to find rescue, in a boat without a proper compass across the open sea. We will be using a balanced argument to weigh up the pros and cons of their actions, and writing a drama-filled narrative around their trip. We will also be using drama to create a series of freeze frames around the thoughts and feelings of the crew, which we will develop into a short playscript. Our spelling work is focusing upon prefixes which alter the root verb to give it the opposite meaning e.g disobey and misunderstand.
Our work in Maths brings us to the latter stages of our block of work on fractions. We have learnt to find equivalent fractions, and to convert from improper fractions to mixed numbers and back. We can also multiply fractions, and find fractions of amounts. We are now focusing upon decimals, and understanding the link with fractions. We will be working with numbers with up to 3 decimal places, and exploring how tenths, hundredths and thousandths relate to each other. The children's understanding of fractions, a tricky subject, is beginning to develop now.
We continue to use Destination Reader as the driver for our daily reading sessions. The stems we are working on at present are inference and making clarifying, and we are applying these to skimming and scanning, two techniques which help us to read a text quickly to locate key facts and information. We will be working on comprehension this term as well. We continue to read from The Explorer, and a wide range of other texts.
In Science, we are completing our work on electrical circuits, and understanding how electricity travels round a circuit, and will be moving on to investigate the heart and circulation system. We will be looking at the effect of exercise upon our heart rate, and learning how the heart and blood system help keep our bodies alive and kicking.
Our PE sessions have moved to a Tuesday and Friday afternoon, following some timetable changes. We will be doing pe outside whenever possible as the weather improves, so please make sure that your child has their kit with them every week. Plain black track suit bottoms or black shorts are suitable, and please ensure that your child has plain trainers to wear. Thank you.
Parents are always welcome to come and see the work that we have been doing - please come and visit the classroom at the end of the school day if you would like to visit, or to talk to Miss Ritchie or myself. You are always welcome!
Please keep reading regularly with your child and supporting them in learning their times tables and spellings - this term is an important one in your child's development and progress, and every little bit of support makes a difference. Thank you
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.