Welcome to Summer Term Part i, everybody!
We are very excited to be starting this new term together and we have a jam-packed curriculum to share with you. In particular, we are very much looking forward to a day of adventure, water sports and derring-do at Grafham Water on Tuesday 15th June. More information to follow in due course.
This half term, our main topic will be the Tudors. We will be finding out what life was like for the common people of the time, investigating some of the key political and religious events, as well as the life and times of some of the most famous Tudor monarchs. This work will also feed into our English units, particularly biography writing. Have a look at the curriculum summary below for more information. Our class readers will be Terry Deary's Tudor historical stories.
A few important reminders:
We have already established efficient, regular cleansing of hands and furniture in class, with frequent hand washing/sanitising breaks alongside table and chair wiping, throughout the day. Frequently touched objects, such as light switches, are also cleaned regularly and doors throughout the school are propped open to reduce the opportunity to transmit germs between hands. The classroom is also properly ventilated throughout the day with windows open and a blow-through facilitated for as long as the temperature allows. Children are sitting facing forward and group work involving working face to face is minimised. Swallow Class have exclusive use of one set of toilets so that the integrity of bubbles indoors can be maintained. We will continue with these measures throughout this half term.
One of the few benefits to our recent Lockdown is that most children and their families are now comfortable and adept at using Google Classrooms at home. We intend to continue to use this means of sharing homework with you; we will continue to post it on the website too, for those of you who prefer this medium.
This term, children in Swallow Class will be expected to practice spellings and times tables in preparation for weekly tests, complete their projects for the end of half term presentation, and aim to read for 30 minutes each day. Please see below for more information about each of these.
Children have been divided into groups, based on their spelling scores in tests, retention of these spellings over the term, and spelling in their written work. There will be weekly spellings for each group, linked to their spelling patterns and phonics learning in class. These will be sent each Friday via the Home Learning section of the website. There is also a summary of the spellings for each group for the term in the Home Learning section of the website. Spelling tests will happen on Thursdays each week and scores will be shared with each child immediately. We are aiming to reduce the amount of paper copies sent home where possible.
Homework: Times Tables (99 Club)
99 club has proved to be a great success and the improvement in tables learning and recall has been fantastic. At the end of Year 4, children will be tested on all times tables facts, up to 12 x 12. Children should be able to answer each of these questions within 6 seconds. As a rough guide, a Year 4 child needs to be able to complete 66 - 77 times tables questions in 5 minutes to be able to pass the statutory test, normally sat in June. This test is suspended for this year only.
In the course of a week, children have two or more opportunities to practice their current level in school, before a timed test each Thursday. If they correctly answer all questions within the time, they will go on to the next level. All 99 club levels can be found in the Home Learning section of our class page. Additionally, children can access Times Tables Rock Stars to consolidate their times tables learning. We have reorganised the times tables levels and the corresponding tables-focus at each level to correspond with your child's current 99 club. "Hit the Button" is also worth looking at, especially for those children who find the timing element of TTRS stressful and off putting.
As in previous terms, each child will be expected to make a presentation to the class on an area of interest, selected from a range of ideas provided by class teachers, in the final two weeks of each half term. This term, the ideas will be linked primarily, but not exclusively, to our Tudor work. You will find a summary in the Home Learning section.
To help improve reading stamina, children should be aiming to read for 30 minutes each day at home. This could be independently, or to an adult. Children reading independently should be able to answer questions and tell an adult about what they have read, to ensure that they are understanding their reading properly. Our recent assessments at the end of Lock Down, suggest that fact retrieval from a text is very good across the class. Higher order reading skills will be our focus in guided reading groups: practicing inference and language analysis skills, predicting, drawing conclusions and making links between different books by the same author, for example.
We reestablished suitable reading levels for each child at the letter end of the Spring Term. Children may change their books as often as they wish. If they feel they are at the wrong level, they should flag this up to a member of staff and we will read with them and together decide upon the book level most suitable for their current skill level. Returned reading books will be isolated and covers cleaned before being put back into the general library.
Communication: CC both teachers in to all email correspondence if possible
Just a quick reminder of the best ways to communicate with the class teacher.
In the short term, teachers will not be at the school entrance, but waiting at the classroom ready to welcome the children. A member of the leadership team will be stationed at the two entrances. Swallow Class children should come to the School Lane entrance.
You can also contact us by email:
If the issue is urgent for that day, please email the office as emails to teachers are unlikely to receive an immediate response. If you need a longer conversation, we will happily arrange a mutually convenient slot to meet after school. Where possible, please try to copy in both teachers to maximise communication efficiency.
Please send your child to school in full, named, uniform each day, with the exception of Tuesday and Friday when children should arrive in their PE kit. See below for a reminder of what a PE kit includes. Named water bottles are essential.
Each child will need their own pencil case from home containing a glue stick, writing pencil, colouring pencils, pencil sharpener and scissors. Please avoid biros and felt tips. Any children who do not have the necessary equipment will be supplied with their own from our classroom resources. Pencil cases will not go home again until the end of each half term.
Children will be given a writing pen once they have demonstrated excellent presentation and letter formation in a joined style over a period of time. All children will start the term using a pencil.
PE will take place twice a week as usual. Children will come to school on their PE days dressed in their PE kit. As a reminder, PE kit should include suitable footwear (e.g. trainers) a white T-shirt, black shorts or joggers and a sweatshirt for outdoor lessons. Typically, PE in Swallow Class will happen on Tuesday and Friday. Named water bottles are essential. No PE bags in school, please.
Please could you ensure that your child has a waterproof coat in EVERY DAY, regardless of the weather first thing in the morning, as we do try to go outside as often as possible. Please ensure that all items are clearly named, particularly if you have inherited clothing from older children or families who have moved on to Secondary School.
Please book lunches in advance, either by the week or the half term. You can also do this on the day, but it helps the kitchen to plan ahead and speeds up registration time if you have already booked. See the Parent Information section on the website for the link. Lunches will be eaten in the hall on cleaned tables after hands are washed.