8th September 2017
Dear Parents and carers,
The start of a new school year is a time of excitement and curiosity about what the new term will bring. Hopefully, I will be able to answer many of your questions about the autumn term below.
Firstly, I would like to extend a warm welcome and introduce myself, I am Mr Harrison, my role is as the Year 4 class teacher, maths coordinator and the leader of Team Exe. I am very enthusiastic about returning to St John’s and re-joining its wonderful community. I am always very keen on developing strong relationships with the parents of the children in our school, as I believe we all share the vision of wanting what is best for the child. By working together, we will be able to improve the life chances of your children. If you wish to discuss any aspect of your child’s needs then you can always see me after school or you can contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our curriculum for the autumn term is based around the country of India. We will study the ancient civilisation of the Indus Valley, the human and physical geography of India as well as taking a closer look at traditional Indian art. Please refer to the curriculum overview for details of our other topics.
Home learning continues to plays vital part in supporting your child’s learning. Reading, spelling and times tables remain our key focus.
Research continues to prove the positive effect of frequently reading with your child. Please follow the link below to see the impact that you can make. (http://www.education.vic.gov.au/documents/about/research/readtoyoungchild.pdf) .
I suggest that children read at least five times a week and this is recorded in the children’s reading record. Reading records need to be brought into school each day. I will recognise the commitment of frequent readers with certificates, Dojo points and the opportunities to win books.
Spellings will be issued on a two-week cycle. The spellings will be a mixture of Year 3 and 4 statutory words, technical vocabulary linked to our topics and high frequency words. Strategies to help recall spelling patterns will be taught in class, as always your help in encouraging your children to learn their words is welcomed.
Your child should be aware of the times tables that they are practising in class, but if they are unsure please ask me. Please support your child in learning the multiplication and division facts for the times tables up to the 12s as this knowledge helps them access other areas of the maths curriculum more easily. Children should practise times tables daily in a variety of ways (rote, games, challenges, computer programs, songs etc.) Maths home learning will be issued on Fridays to be completed for Wednesday.
I would like to encourage the children to develop their independent learning, as such the topic home learning can be chosen by the children. The theme will be India, however, the home learning can be about any aspect of India and presented or shared in any way. Examples of home learning that children have shared in the past have included models, art, stories, songs, cooking, reviews, fact files, role-play, ICT presentations, quizzes and so on. Work that children have completed for ‘Home Learning’ in the past has always amazed me and I look forward to seeing more incredibly creative work this term. Home learning needs to be shared with the class at least every two weeks, on a Wednesday; this is to ensure that your child is able to complete their homework on time and to a high standard.
Physical Education (PE)
PE is an essential part of the curriculum, which teaches the skills to lead a healthy and active lifestyle. Your child will have PE twice a week and must have the following PE kit in school every week:
For the first part of autumn term, our P.E time will be on Friday and will involve taking part in Forestry School activities. This is a great opportunity to develop new skills. We will use our school grounds for the activities and as such, the children will require suitable clothing. It is recommended that the children have wellington boots, waterproof coats and suitable outdoor play clothes to change into.
For the second half of autumn term, we will have dance and Tag Rugby. PE Times will be Thursday and Friday.
Websites to help your children with their learning:
Here is the poem we wrote together as a class after our walk around school.
God is in everything.
Orchards full of scrumptious apples,
Delicate silky crispy leaves crunching under feet.
In the distance, rolling, misty hill,
Seeds floating on the autumn breeze.
Playground full of children’s laughter,
Red, juicy apples on a bountiful tree covered in golden leaves,
Extraordinarily beautiful leaves fluttering in the whistling wind.
Spirit of God in everything.
Exquisite berries red like rubies,
Naked tree, leaves all gone.
Thank you God for being with us.
We had a great time at Kent's Cavern learning about Stone Age Britain. We followed the Stone Age trail, we dug for 'gems', we handled real stone age artefacts (including fossilised hyena poo) and we had a tour of the fabulous caves. The children were given vouchers which entitle them to free entry back into Kent's Cavern with a paying adult. Be quick if you fancy going - the vouchers expire on 31st December!