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. This term's topic is 'Blood Heart'. We will learn all about the human body - focusing on the circulatory system and the impact our lifestyles can have on our body. We will also carryout experiments to investigate the impact different situations can have on our heart rate.
The school day starts at 8:50am; however, children are encouraged to arrive at school when the door opens at 8:40am. 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 maths and English 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.
Due to current restrictions, school swimming lessons are not taking place. However, once normal service resumes, pupils in KS2 will go swimming weekly (Wednesday afternoons). 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.
Children are asked to arrive in school wearing their PE kits every Tuesday (they will stay in their kits all day). This term we will focus on cross country and circuit training. The children will develop their fundamental movement skills – agility, balance and co-ordination – whilst participating in a range of different circuits. They will also have the chance to consider aspects of fitness including: speed, strength, flexibility and stamina whilst planning and delivering circuit classes of their own to their peers.
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! Unfortunately, our trip to the coast was cancelled in June. We'll be sure to make up for it next summer!
This term we will use our class text ‘Pig Heart Boy’ as a stimulus. We will discuss key issues within the text as well as features of the text. It will also be used to produce related comprehension, grammar and punctuation questions to help the children develop all aspects of the English curriculum. The children will complete an extended piece of writing each week - again linked to either our class text or our science topic.
PSHE: Being Me
Linked to our science topic, the children will discuss what they consider to be a healthy lifestyle. They will then learn about different elements of a healthy lifestyle such as diet, water, exercise and sleep, before creating posters to display around school evidencing what they have learnt.
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 science topic):
· Create an exercise plan for maintaining a healthy heart.
· Be kind to your heart! Research information and plan ideas for a weekly menu of food that your heart would love. Spinach, porridge, blueberries, salmon and soy protein are all heart-healthy.
· Design and make decorative heart-shaped tokens to give to someone close to your heart.
· Find out about the historical tradition of Valentine’s Day. Why are hearts traditionally used as symbols of love?
· Songwriters are often inspired by the heart. Search for songs about heartbreak or cheer yourself up by making a playlist of songs to make your heart sing!
· Look out for heart shapes around you – in decorative ironwork, embellishments in clothing and jewellery, and even in nature itself. Photograph your findings and make a colourful montage.
· Think about what is meant by ‘heart-stopping’. Write about a ‘heart-stopping’ moment in your life. Describe to another person the bodily sensations experienced, and then capture the moment in words as accurately as you can.
· Find out about some famous heart surgeons. What do you need to study to become a heart surgeon? How long would it take if you started right now? What skills and personality would make you successful in this role?