Welcome back to part ii of Autumn Term 2021 in Swallow Class!
The second part of the Autumn Term, and the run up to Christmas, continues in very much the same vein as it started, with two notable differences: 1. A change of topic from WW2 to space, with an emphasis on scientific and geographical aspects and 2. PE days will now be Tuesday and Thursday. PE kit should be worn to school on both these days. An overview of Science Week in Swallow Class is shown below for your information.
During the month of December, we have many activities planned to make this year's Christmas preparations and celebrations a whole lot more fun than last year's "bubbled" events, including decoration making, carol singing a Christmas Fair, class party and Christmas card designing. More information will follow, nearer the time, subject, as ever, to Government guideline changes.
Below, you will find some guidance about practical issues relating to the day to day running of Swallow Class, an overview of the subject areas we will be covering and other useful information to get us up and running again after the half term break.
Please bring your children to the school playground at 8.50 am where teaching staff will be there to greet them. If you need to pass on quick messages or letters, this is a good time to do so. See below for more information about communication. At 8.55 am the school bell will ring and all children will line up with their classes before processing into the school building for registration. Children will be expected to organise their own belongings on to pegs and into drawers.
Breaks and Lunchtimes
As normal, all children have a morning break each day. Each child should bring a healthy, nut free snack to school to eat at this time in a named container. Children who do not have snacks at break time often struggle to focus after break, when their energy begins to fall and their hunger rises. Afternoon breaks are at the discretion of the teaching staff. Lunches will be eaten together in the hall, staring at 12.15 pm.
Please pre-book lunches on the Dolce Live Kitchen site (https://www.live-kitchen.co.uk/see title page of website) or provide a packed lunch that will be stored on a central trolley. Children will not have access to their packed lunch boxes after registration, so please make sure that named snacks are stored separately in their school bags.
End of the Day Routines
Children in Swallow Class will be walked through the school at 3.25 pm to be collected from the playground by an adult family member. If you have arranged for your child to go home with someone other than the usual person, please let the office know by email or the teachers know in person that morning. They will be asked to stay with the class group until a family member (or nominated other) is identified. Where pick up is late for any reason, children will be taken back into the school to wait and family members should go to the reception area instead.
We aim to help your child to choose a suitable home reader withing the first few days of term. They will have a Reading Journal in which they should record their reading frequency, preferably also initialed by a grown up. Year 4 children can initial their own reading record. Year 3 and 4 children should read everyday for at least 20 minutes, raising to 30 - 45 minutes as their ability to sustain concentration develops. The Reading Journal also contains a selection of reading-related activities to do regularly and a summary of common exception words that year 3 and 4 children should be able to read and spell correctly. The Reading Journal should be brought into school each day, particularly Monday and their Guided Reading Day. Guided Reading Days will be allocated soon.
After last term's revision and consolidation of spellings from their previous year, we have reorganised groups and spelling foci in line with the demands of year 3 and 4. Each year group will have 10 spellings each week, all of which are linked to a particular spelling pattern e.g. "sion" words. The words will be shown in red and black. Any child who learns all 10 spellings and manages 9 or more correct answers in their Thursday spelling test will gain 1 house point for their house team. Children who learn the 5 red spellings and spell all 5 correctly will win one house point. We will let each child know how many spellings they are expected to learn. Any child who has been asked to learn only the 5 red spellings, but pushes themselves to learn all 10 and manages 9 or more correct spellings in the test will earn 2 house points. This is a new system for us, designed to give all children the opportunity to learn the correct spelling patterns for their year group, without unreasonable demands placed upon them to learn more spellings than they can cope with. We will review it in a few weeks' time. A small group of children will have a personalised spelling programme outside of this arrangement and will be taught separately. Spelling tests will be on Thursday. Spellings will be sent home in paper copy, for now, but further copies and a summary can be found in the Home Learning section of the website; we aim to have all spellings 'sent' home electronically on Google Classroom eventually.
We are continuing our work on number bonds as bond-recall is a vital skill for effective mental calculation strategy, but we will also begin to shift the focus on to the learning of tables. This is particularly important for Year 4 children who are required to sit a Government tables check computer-based test in June.
Year 3 children need to know 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10 times table and be able to recall or derive them quickly, including associated division facts. Year 4 children need to know all up to 12 x 12. We participate in Times Tables Rockstars to support the children with this, as well as the brilliant 99 Club. More information will be found in the Home Learning section of the website at the appropriate time. Each child has their own TTRS log-in and their tables work within this programme has been set by their teachers.
Home Learning Project
At the end of each half term, we ask the children to make a presentation about an area of personal interest linked to our project work. The most successful presentations are no more than 5 - 7 minutes long and are summarised as a PowerPoint, to support each child to organise their thoughts whilst addressing the class. In the past we have had home videos, quizzes, 3D models, cookery, art, music. Read the header at the top of the project suggestions sheet; the key point is that the child takes ownership of the project and achieves most of the work independently with a little help from a supportive adult. This half term, the projects are related to space.
PE: Tuesdays and Thursdays this half term.
Please send your child into school in PE kit on Tuesdays and Thursdays, preferably a plain, white tee shirt with black shorts. On colder days, plain jogging bottoms and a plain (or school) sweat shirt should be included. Your child will also need a named water bottle as well as trainers or plimsoles.
Essential Equipment for Everyday
Pencil cases are optional. Last year, we found that the children enjoyed having their own equipment in their own pencil case and it certainly helped us achieve more timely starts to each lesson. Ideally, pencil cases should stay in school for the whole half term in their drawer. We have spare resources such as pencils and glue, should they run out. Key contents for each pencil case includes: writing pencil, sharpener, ruler, glue stick, coloured pencils (no felt tips, please), scissors. Please do not include writing pens or rubbers. See below for more information about pens.
In Swallow Class, children are encouraged to work towards gaining their "Pen Licence". This is awarded to children once they have demonstrated that they can write consistently and at length using a neat, joined handwriting style. By the end of Year 4, most children achieve this objective and are presented with their new pen in Celebration Assembly on Fridays.
If you have a quick, non-urgent message to relay or question to ask the teaching team regarding the day ahead, please have a quick word in the playground in the morning before the line up bell. It is helpful if the message is summarised on a post-it or similar.
Urgent messages should come through the office, either by telephone (01223 262474) or by email (Office@barton.cambs.sch.uk) as these will be dealt with immediately. Generally speaking, teaching staff cannot access their emails during the school day.
If you would like to contact the teaching staff, particularly if you would like to make an appointment for a longer discussion, please email and cc both teachers in to your communication. Which ever teacher is "on duty" that day will respond as quickly as they can, normally on the same day.
In the first half if the term, children will be shown how to use Google Classroom to support their learning. They will be given their own log-in.
Below is a typical timetable for this half term. There is also a summary of the curriculum areas we shall be covering.