In the Juniors we study a new topic each short term. We are currently using the ‘Cornerstones Curriculum’. The themes of our topics are varied, but usually focus around History, Geography or Science. We encourage cross-curricular learning and where possible make strong links across all subject areas, putting new skills into the context of each topic.
The school day starts at 8:50am; however, children are encouraged to arrive at school when the door opens at 8:30am. Registration time provides a great opportunity for the children to make a positive start to their day. In the Juniors, children will go through their daily homework as well as complete morning activities which help to consolidate their understanding and build confidence in fundamental numeracy and literacy skills. This time is also an opportunity for the children to respond to any of their teacher’s comments in their exercise books.
At 9:05am we have collective worship together, singing, reflecting on religious, spiritual and moral issues and celebrating our achievements. For the rest of the morning we have a English and maths lesson, both lasting an hour.
Before lunch, we make time for reading and support groups, working on meeting individual targets. After lunch, we cover a range of subjects often taught as cross-curricular. These include: PE (including swimming), PSHE, RE, History, Geography, Science, Computing, DT, Art, French, Forest Schools and Music.
We go swimming weekly (Wednesday afternoons) in KS2 and parents will be sent a copy of the swimming dates at the start of the year. Parents are encouraged to contact school if they are available to volunteer to help on the swimming rota. It is important children have their swimming kit (hat towel and goggles) with them each week. Parents are asked to ensure their children have their school PE kit in school at all times. At the moment PE is on Tuesdays; however, this can change due to the weather and other timetable reasons. Thank you!
We usually go on several visits each year, providing opportunities for children to learn about some topics first hand.
We take our Year 5 and 6 on a residential each year, alternating between outdoor and adventurous coastal activities in Pembrokeshire and a city break in London. These trips provide amazing out-of-the-classroom learning experiences as well as being lots of fun and creating lasting memories! After an exciting trip to the capital last June, Mrs Poole, Mr Figg and the pupils are looking forward to a few days in Pembrokeshire in the summer.
Following my visit earlier in the year, we will use India as inspiration for much of our independent writing throughout this term. We will aim to write across several different genres including: biographies, non-chronological reports and persuasive arguments. As well as independent writing, the children will also work together to produce class work—enabling opportunities to scaffold good writing and share good practice. Comprehension/guided reading and grammar and punctuation will be taught discretely—these lessons will also be focused around India.
Science: properties and changing materials
The children will:
Compare and group together everyday materials on the basis of their properties, including their hardness, solubility, transparency, conductivity (electrical and thermal), and response to magnets.
Know that some materials will dissolve in liquid to form a solution, and describe how to recover a substance from a solution.
Use knowledge of solids, liquids and gases to decide how mixtures might be separated, including through filtering, sieving and evaporating.
Demonstrate that dissolving, mixing and changes of state are reversible changes.
Explain that some changes result in the formation of new materials, and that this kind of change is not usually reversible, including changes associated with burning and the action of acid on bicarbonate of soda.
PSHE: Being Me
Exploring different kinds of responsibilities at school and in the community
Identifying where and how to get help.
Understanding the term 'habit.'.
Identifying what being part of a community means.
Listen and respond respectfully.
Appreciate the range of identities in the UK.
Identifying that differences and similarities between people arise from a number of factors
Each Tuesday afternoon, the children will focus on netball —they will also engage with mindfulness and yoga. To save time and enable us to fit more into the school day, we ask that your children arrive in school in their PE kits each Tuesday. As a result, PE kits will no longer need to be kept in school—children can spend their Tuesdays in their kits.
The children will work with Miss Birkin and use many aspects of our topic as inspiration to develop their drawing skills and techniques.
The children will work with Mr. Sizer—focusing on rhythm, tempo and beat.
Mrs. Males will introduce the children to simple phrases and they will learn about French culture and traditions.
Please ensure your child has suitable clothing in school for our forest schools sessions. We go out in all weathers and all conditions. Appropriate clothing (you don’t mind getting muddy) that keeps your child warm and dry is essential.
The children will be given one piece of homework (which should take no longer than 5 minutes) each night. Each piece of homework will consist of 5 questions and will be aimed specifically at your child’s current needs. The questions will help to reinforce what they have been doing in class. This ’little and often’ approach, has be very effective in previous years and resulted in the children becoming even more confident with their maths. Each child will have a homework book — please encourage them to show all their workings in these books. The children should be able to answer each question; however, if you provide any support PLEASE highlight this in their books so that I can provide further support at school to help them master that particular skill.
In addition to the weekly homework, the children will also have spellings and times-tables to practice at home. It would be great if you could encourage them to practice these, as they will help their development and support the work we do in class.
With strong links between reading and attainment, the children are given ample opportunities to read in school. However, they are also encouraged to read at home. Listening to them, reading to them and questioning them about what they have read will help to promote reading habits and have a positive impact on their development. Each child has a reading diary and in the Juniors it is their responsibility to fill it in each time they read, either at home or a school.
IXL maths and grammar
The school will continue with its online subscription of the maths and grammar website ‘IXL’. This will enable the children to practice all areas of the maths and grammar curriculum. Each child has an individual username and password, which enables them to access the site. This also provides me with a breakdown of what they have been studying, which gives me the opportunity to monitor their progress. Occasionally, the children get the chance to use this site in school; however, it is perfect for any extra maths or grammar practice they may wish to do at home. If any question is answered incorrectly, the correct method and answer is explained to them. Lots of children used this last year —keep it up! The site does have an app, which can be downloaded for free, or you can access the site by visiting the webpage: http://uk.ixl.com/
Ideas for additional homework and research
(linked to our India topic):
· Create a fact file about the Indian cricket team - what stadium do they play in? Who is their star player? Where do they play their home matches?
· What is Kolkata famous for? Which famous English Monarch had a palace there?
· Can you find India on a map—what are its neighbouring countries?
· Create a quiz or wordsearch for your classmates based on India.
· Research famous people from India - there are many!
· Make a model of the Taj Mahal.
· Prepare an Indian meal for your family—take photos and share the experience with your class.