Information for Year 5 Parents and Carer
Dear Parents and Children
Welcome back to school and a very special welcome to Year 5 and upper Key Stage 2. We hope you all had a fantastic summer and are feeling refreshed and ready for the exciting challenges ahead. We have enjoyed greatly seeing the children back in school and hearing about the interesting things that everyone has been doing over the break! We are all looking forward to a very exciting year ahead.
Year 5 Staff
This year, Mr Marchant (5RM) and Miss Cheshire (5KC) will continue to teach in Year 5 and we are pleased to be joined by Mr Norton (5AN) who, after some time in Year 6, has returned to Year 5. We are also pleased to be supported by Mrs Rose and Mrs Laidler, our Year 5 teaching assistants, who will work across the year group. In addition, we welcome Mrs Stanbrook, Mrs Aksoy and Mrs Mohan, TAs who will work with children on a small group and/or one-to-one basis.
Curriculum and learning
We are all very excited about our theme for the first term; ‘JAPAN’. This is a geography-based theme in which we will be discovering lots about earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes while learning much more about Japanese culture, life and language.
In English, children will have daily opportunities to develop their writing and reading skills, using a range of fiction and non-fiction genres throughout the term, including some super picture books. To link with our Japan theme, our first class reading book will be ‘Kensuke’s Kingdom’, an adventure book written by Michael Morpurgo. The books tells the story of a boy who ends up on a desert island. The idea for Kensuke’s Kingdom came when someone sent Morpurgo a newspaper cutting about a Japanese soldier who had survived on a remote island for 40 years after the end of the Second World War. Ideas and extracts from this book will underpin much of what we do this term in English. We will be using this book as inspiration for our writing and reading lessons. We will also use it to develop children’s reading comprehension skills and general appreciation and understanding of literature. Parents may wish to obtain a copy of this book for their child to read at home and in our reading sessions in school (something that we would encourage). Details of the book can be found below.
In Guided Reading we will develop further children’s comprehension skills, giving the opportunity for children to explore and understand a range text types in greater detail. It is vital that children read as frequently as possible and we ask parents to support us in ensuring that their child always has a ‘book on the go’ which is brought into school every day. This book can be from home, the library or borrowed from our class bookshelves. These books will be used in our class reading sessions, for one-to-one reading and in some of our guided reading lessons. Children may keep their book at school or may take it home each evening to read there as well. Teachers will monitor the books that children are reading and all children will be encouraged to read a range of different genres (both fiction and non-fiction) throughout the year.
Mathematics will follow the 2014 National Curriculum starting with number work, place value, addition and subtraction, division and multiplication, along with measurement and money. Children will be encouraged to use these skills to solve maths puzzles in our class mental maths sessions and to apply their knowledge across the curriculum and in everyday situations at school and at home.
In science we will be using the ‘Science Bug’ curriculum, an exciting hands-on science programme designed to promote children’s curiosity while developing their scientific skills. Our first science topic of the Year will be Earth and Space. In our weekly science lessons, children will be discovering more about planets and stars and learning about space exploration. In the second half of the term we will move on to learn more about forces, what they are and how they can help us. Children will be encouraged to develop their scientific skills through research and experimentation.
Children will also have regular art and design and technology (DT) lessons. To link with our Japan theme, we will begin by using various media to create pieces of Japanese art including a study of The Great Wave off Kanagawa by the artist Hokusai, and a celebration of Sakura (the celebrated Japanese cherry tree) alongside some origami!
In computing, we will follow in the footsteps of Fusajiro Yamauchi (the inventor of the Nintendo) by beginning to learn how to design and code our own computer games.
In RE/PSHE, we will be studying peace. Linked to our Japan theme, we will begin by learning about the story of Sadako Sasaki and the Cranes for Peace, moving on to discover how peace across nations is promoted by different religions then finally looking at how individuals gain inner peace through activities such as worship, mindfulness and meditation.
All children will continue to have weekly Spanish lessons taught by our specialist MFL teacher, Mrs Rodriguez, and children will have weekly music lessons and singing sessions led by Mr Perry.
Each term, our theme will change. In the Spring term our theme, which will be based around local history, will be ‘Buckingham – A Town through Time’ whilst in the summer term we will move on to learn more about the science of life cycles in our ‘Circle of Life’ theme.
PE and games will be taught by staff from the sports department led by Mr Giles. Outdoor games will be on Monday for 5AN and 5KC and on Tuesday for 5RM.
Indoor PE will be on Tuesday for 5KC and 5AN, and Thursday for 5RM. Sports kit should be stored in school in a small drawstring bag. We ask all parents to help us by ensuring that your child has the correct kit for games and PE and that all items are fully labelled with your child’s name and class. A full uniform and kit list can be found on the school website. As we head into autumn, we suggest that children are also provided with a warm sports top and jogging bottoms as our sports lessons take place outside, whatever the weather! A strong plastic bag for storing muddy clothes and shoes is also a good idea.
Spellings and Multiplication Homework
Children will have weekly spellings to learn based around words from the National Curriculum Spelling List for Year 5 and 6 plus topic words. Each week, children will need to complete entries in their personal spelling journals. Spellings will be on a three week cycle with children completing words in their spelling journals in weeks one and two, with a spelling assessment test following in the third week. Further details of how to complete the spelling journal will be provided alongside the spelling journal book. We ask that parents support their children in completing their spelling journal and encouraging to learn their spellings.
In maths, multiplication home learning tasks will be set by individual teachers based on specific class needs. By the end of Year 4 (ie last year) children should all be secure in their times tables up to 12 x 12. We recommend that, even if your child is confident with the times tables, they continue to revise and rehearse the times tables on a regular basis, extending their knowledge to think about related division facts as well.
Food and Nutrition
We always encourage health eating across the year group and the importance of a healthy, balanced diet and staying hydrated is covered in our PSHE sessions. We ask that children bring in a healthy snack (not chocolate please) to eat at break each day - a piece of fruit or cereal bar is ideal. Likewise, we ask that packed lunches consist of healthy, nutritious foods, alongside a carton of unsweetened juice (no fizzy drinks please). As we have a number of children who are severely allergic to nuts, we ask that parents do not send nuts or anything containing nuts into school. We know that children can be fussy and that creating a healthy and interesting lunchbox that children will actually eat can sometimes be a challenge. The NHS Change4Life website has some great lunch box ideas and advice which can be found here: www.nhs.uk/change4life-beta/recipes/healthier-lunchboxes#mU5CP8VjfrBCHt78.97
Staying hydrated is important and children are given regular opportunities to drink water at break times and lunchtime, during afternoon ‘pit stops’ and at other times as required. Children should bring a bottle of water into school each day. Water bottles should be clearly labelled with the child’s name and will be kept in designated areas of the classroom. Children are asked to take their water bottles home at the end of each day for a wash and a refill. If children forget their water bottle, they must inform their teacher who will ensure that they have access to water from a cup or from one of the water fountains around the school.
One of the highlights of Year 5 is our annual residential trip to Weymouth which takes place each year in May. The trip gives children the opportunity to experience time away from home and encompasses a range of activities which enhance children’s confidence, helping them to develop independence, interpersonal and group working skills, while having great fun with friends, teachers and familiar faces from school. It is our wish that all children will be able to take part in this trip and further details about this year’s trip, including details of payment instalments, has been sent to parents – please let us know if you haven’t received this letter. Nearer the time, there will be a number of meetings for parents and children to explain more about the details of the trip and to let everyone know key information and arrangements.
We always encourage the children to take pride in their school uniform. We ask parents to support us by making sure that their child has the full school uniform –details of which can be found on the school website. We will occasionally do work outside (in all sorts of weather) and as a result it is essential that all children bring in a waterproof coat to school every day – even if the weather looks fine at the start of the day. Occasionally, pieces of uniform do go astray and we ask parents to help us by making sure all items of clothing are clearly labelled with your child’s name to help us in getting lost items back to their rightful owners.
The Pupil Premium is additional funding that school receives to support certain children. It helps the school to provide personalised, additional support for specific children. Funding is available for children who have been ‘looked after’, adopted, have parents in the forces or who have/have had free school meals. The funding does not come to us automatically so if you think you/your child falls into one of these categories then please contact your child’s class teacher, Mrs Sarah Jones or other members of the school inclusion team who can advise you confidentially how to apply.
Supporting learning at home
The children all work very hard at school and we all believe that children should have a full and enriching home life with time to relax. We love to hear that children are baking, playing football, pony riding, dancing, riding bikes, climbing trees, spending time with those they love and just relaxing – these are definitely things you should be doing when you are just 9 or 10 years old! However, there are a number of relatively small (but nonetheless very effective) tasks that can be done at home to support your child’s learning. These include:
- Ensuring that your child is completing the spelling journal activities which will be set on a three weekly cycle. In the first two weeks children should use a dictionary to create entries in their spelling journals, including writing sentences to include the target words. Sentences should be of a high standard and reflect the learning we have been doing in English (ie complex sentences, possibly including some similes, embedded clauses, higher level punctuation etc). Children should also learn their chosen lists of spelling words ready for the spelling assessment which takes place in week 3.
- Reading every day – we suggest that children read at least 15 minutes every day at home and that the child spends a similar amount of time describing and discussing what they have read with an adult. The Book Trust website (www.booktrust.org.uk/books/#/d/books/bookfinder/) and LoveReading4kids (http://www.lovereading4kids.co.uk) are both great places to find books that appeal to different tastes, ages and reading abilities, or to discover something new.
- Times tables underpin a lot of what children do in maths. Regularly practising times tables, a little and often, will greatly help children to develop their maths skills. The expectation is that children should be able to recall the times tables up to 12 x 12 confidently by the end of Year 5. Children should also practise related division facts. The TopMarks website has a great range of free online games which will help children to develop their maths skills (http://www.topmarks.co.uk/maths-games/7-11-years/ ). The Hit-The-Button games are particularly good for developing speed of recall and are available free online and as apps for tablets (http://www.topmarks.co.uk/maths-games/hit-the-button).
- Getting children involved in practical maths at home – encouraging children to be involved with activities such as cooking, planning trips out and paying for things when shopping all help to develop applied maths skills. Working out how to share things such as sweets involves addition and division, cutting-up and sharing a pizza uses fractions, doing baking involves weighing and measuring, planning a trip involves working out distances, scale and ratio, and playing Top Trumps involves comparing and ordering larger numbers! All these activities help to improve children’s maths skills and demonstrate that maths is something that we all do every day.
We want to have a year group full of happy, healthy children. Your child’s wellbeing is of the greatest importance to us. If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to make an appointment with your child’s class teacher, email us via the school office or catch us at the end of the day after school.
We are all looking forward to an exciting term and very much look forward to meeting you at the forthcoming parent’s evenings.
Mr Marchant, Miss Cheshire and Mr Norton
Year 5 Class Reading Book – Autumn Term
Our first class reading book for this term will be ‘Kensuke’s Kingdom’ by Michael Morpurgo. We will be using this book in our English writing and reading lessons and will also be reading the book together in some of our reading sessions. We have found that children enjoy owning their own copies of class books to read along at school and to share/read at home – something that we would very much encourage!
The copy that we are using in school is the illustrated edition (ISBN: 978-1-5052-4856-3), however, the non-illustrated edition is just as good and there are a number of cheap second-hand copies available online from places such as Amazon. The book can also be found in libraries and second-hand books shops such as Oxfam.