Great Links - Year Five and Six

Welcome Back Great Links!
 
Welcome back to school ready for the second half of the Spring Term. 
 
Staff meetings will continue to be on Tuesday afternoons and my PPA will remain on a Wednesday afternoon, so I will be unavailable at these times.
 
If you need to speak to me with regards to you child's learning, please contact me vis Dojo or contact the office to arrange a time after school to speak to me. I am not able to check Dojo messages during my teaching time, so will not always respond to messages straight away.
 
As always, I look forward to seeing you at the school gates!
 
Mr Elliott
English
 
Our first text this half term will be 'The Lost Words' by Robert MacFarlane. We will be writing poems about things in nature. We will be using alliteration, assonance and onomatopoeia within our poetry as well as thinking about our use of description and punctuation to avoid ambiguity.

Maths

This half-term, we will be continuing with our focus on fractions, decimals and percentages. The children will be using their times table knowledge to find equivalent fractions as well as using this knowledge to simplify and compare fractions. They will also be using their understanding of times tables to support them with converting between mixed numbers and improper fractions and multiplying and dividing fractions.

 

A secure understanding and quick recall of their times tables (up to 12x12) is essential for the maths that we will be doing for the rest of the year. The processes involved with the types of calculation methods we will be using can be quite complicated and this can be hindered greatly when the children need to stop to think about their times tables. It is therefore essential that your children regularly engage with their times tables at home using Times Table Rockstars as part of their home learning. I will set the tables each week based on the ones that your individual children are finding difficult in class. For those who are generally secure, there will be a selection of several focus tables whereas there may only be one or two focus tables for those who are less secure. Please support your children with this and remind them to go on for at least 10 minutes a day in line with our home learning policy.

Theme Learning: History
 
In History this half-term, we will be studying World War 2. We will be learning about why the war started by looking at events that took place following the end of World War 1 and considering how these events led to the start of another war. 
Our main focus will be the impact the war had on the different communities it affected. We will be looking at the significance of the Blitz, thinking about evacuees and looking at how the war affected our local area.
We will be using a range of different sources within our lessons and thinking about how useful they are in terms of the evidence they provide. 
As we will be focusing on the skills that we need to learn within our sessions in the classroom, it is really important that the children engage with their Knowledge Organisers as part of their Home Learning. This will ensure that they have a basic understanding of the events we will be discussing and will support their understanding of some of the more complex themes we will be investigating.
Science
 
This half-term, our Science focus is Light.
 
We will be learning the difference between light sources and reflectors and will investigate how light travels. We will be discovering why shadows look the way they do and carrying out an investigation to find out how we can enable troops in the trenches to safely observe the battlfield.
 
Can each child please bring an empty show box to school for our final investigation please?
Thank you.

Home Learning

Just a reminder that your children need to access Times Table Rockstars and Spelling Shed each week for their home learning. This should be at least ten minutes each day as learning is more successful when practising little and often rather than once or twice a week in larger time slots.

As well as the above learning, your children also need to engage with their Knowledge Organisers. Last term, we looked at how to do this through the use of mind maps and spider diagrams to help support their learning and understanding.

Your children also need to ensure that they are reading regularly at home. The children then need to complete quizzes in school based on the books that they have read.

Should you require any support around any of the home learning, please feel free to message me on Dojo and I can go through it in greater detail.
Spellings
 
As well as our daily Read Write Inc. spelling scheme, we are also thinking about the statutory spellings for Year 5 and 6. The children need to be able to spell these within their writing and spot when they have been spelled incorrectly. We will also be revising the Year 3 and 4 spellings as these are expected to be spelled correctly within your children's writing. Can you please support your children with their spellings at home by encouraging them to practise their spellings and by quizzing them regularly. Thank you.
 
We often carry out proof-reading activities to spot spelling and grammatical errors within writing which look at spelling words from across Key Stage 2 (Year 3 - 6). This is an important skill to learn so that we can apply it to our own writing and spot our own mistakes.
English
 
Our first English text this half term will be 'Archipelago: An Atlas of Imagined Islands. We will be using the text to support our own non-chronological report writing about our own imagined islands. We will also be focusing on elements of the book within our Guided Reading.
 
We will be focusing on the grammar and vocabulary used within the text as well as its structure and features, which we will then use within our own writing.
KIRFs
 
As a school, we have decided to implement Key Instant Recall Facts (KIRFs) from Years 1 - 6. Please have a read of the guidelines which sets out the aims and rationale behind the introduction of these.

We will be starting these after half term and the children will be assessed on the key facts. The KIRFs for Spring 2 will be uploaded on to both the Dojo class pages and school website, should you need quick access to them.

If you have any questions regarding these, please message the class teacher.
Theme Learning: History
 
In our theme learning this half term, we will be focusing on the Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle.
We will be looking at the chronology of events from the attack on Lindisfarne through to the Vikings settling within the UK. We will be looking at how people can have differing viewpoints and opinions of the same event and learning how different historical evidence can lead to different conclusions.
Please encourage your children to study their knowledge organisers as part of their home learning so that we can focus on the historical skills within our sessions in class.
Science
 
Our Science focus this half term is Forces.
 
During this unit, we will be carrying out a selection of investigations to support our understanding of gravity, air resistance, water resistance and friction.
 
We will be ensure that we are working scientifically by planning inquiries, managing variables and using equipment to take measurements.
Happy New Year Great Links!
 
Welcome back to school ready for the Spring Term. I hope you all had a lovely Christmas break and are now ready to embrace the challenges of a new term. 
 
Staff meetings will continue to be on Tuesday afternoons and my PPA will remain on a Wednesday afternoon, so I will be unavailable at these times.
 
If you need to speak to me with regards to you child's learning, please contact me vis Dojo or contact the office to arrange a time after school to speak to me. I am not able to check Dojo messages during my teaching time, so will not always respond to messages straight away.
 
As always, I look forward to seeing you at the school gates!
 
Mr Elliott
 
 
English
 
Our first text this half term will be 'Everest' by Alexandra Stewart. 

We will be using the text to support our own writing, which will be based on our theme ‘Darwin’s Voyage of Discovery’. In our English sessions, we will be focusing on using appropriate grammar and vocabulary and considering the audience for our writing to ensure that we are using an appropriate register.

We will be revising our prior understanding of expanded noun phrases and adverbial phrases as well as introducing the use of modal verbs to indicate degrees of possibility and using passive verbs to affect the presentation of information in a sentence. We will also be focusing on our use of vocabulary and ensuring that we are using appropriate and ambitious language within our writing.

Maths

This half-term, we will be continuing with our unit on multiplication and division. The children will be using their times table knowledge to multiply by 2-digit numbers using the formal method of column multiplication (long multiplication). They will also be using their understanding of times tables to support them with formal methods of division, including long division for Year 6. We will then be moving on to work with fractions, including simplifying fractions, comparing and ordering, converting between mixed numbers and improper fractions and multiplying and dividing fractions.

A secure understanding and quick recall of their times tables (up to 12x12) is essential for the maths that we will be doing for the rest of the year. The processes involved with the types of calculation methods we will be using can be quite complicated and this can be hindered greatly when the children need to stop to think about their times tables. It is therefore essential that your children regularly engage with their times tables at home using Times Table Rockstars as part of their home learning. I will set the tables each week based on the ones that your individual children are finding difficult in class. For those who are generally secure, there will be a selection of several focus tables whereas there may only be one or two focus tables for those who are less secure. Please support your children with this and remind them to go on for at least 10 minutes a day in line with our home learning policy.

Theme Learning

Our theme learning this half term will focus on Darwin’s Voyage of Discovery, which we will be looking at within our Geography sessions.

We will be revising our use of atlases and online mapping tools to locate the different countries around the world that Darwin explored on his voyage. We will thinking about the human and physical geography of different counties and the types of biome on our planet, as well as researching how humans have had a negative impact on animals and their habitats by looking at some of the effects of Darwin’s discoveries.

Science

In science this half-term, we will be focusing on Evolution and Inheritance, which will link closely to our Darwin learning. We will look at fossils and recap our previous learning about how they are formed. We will then be thinking what fossils can tell us about how life on Earth has changed over time.

We will look at how plants and animals adapt to suit their environments and consider the term ‘survival of the fittest’. We will look at how these adaptations take place over time and can lead to evolution of a species. We will also learn how living things produce offspring of the same kind, but normally offspring vary and are not identical to their parents.

Religious Education

Our R.E. this half-term will be focusing on a different world religion other than Christianity. We will be focusing on Hinduism. Within our studies, we will recap what the children have learned in previous year groups about this faith and then trying to answer the question:

‘Why do Hindus want to be good?’

We will identify and explain different Hindu beliefs, e.g. dharma, karma, samsara and moksha using technical terms accurately. We will look at how different Hindu stories relate to their beliefs. We will investigate how Hindus put their beliefs into practice within their daily lives and why this is important to them.

Welcome back to school and to Great Links Tor!
 
It's great to be welcoming our new Great Links Tor this year. We have returned to a mixed Year 5/6 class for this year and I am looking forward to meeting the diversity that this can bring.
 
Year 6 is an important year for your children as it not only concludes their primary education, but also prepares them for their journey on to secondary school. As such, we encourage the children to be independent and resilient learners who see mistakes as a necessary part of their learning journey and are keen to accept the varying challenges that they face. It is a great opportunity for the Year 5 children to begin to think about the same things as Year 6 - we have a class focus on resilience and independence and see mistakes as essential.
 
Please have a look at the Andaras non-negotiables for Year 5 and 6 attached below. These detail the curriculum expectations for your children in their reading, writing and maths. Should you have any questions or concerns regarding your child's learning, feel free to message me on Class Dojo between the hours of 8.30 and 5 and I will endeavour to respond as soon as possible.
 
Our staff meetings this year are on Tuesdays and I am generally out of school on Wednesdays as this is my PPA time.
 
I look forward to seeing you on the school gates!
 
Mr Elliott
 
English
 
Our first text for English this year is 'The Tear Thief' by Carol Ann Duffy. This is a lovely picture book that uses adverbial phrases and prepositional phrases to create atmosphere. This is what we will be focusing on within our own writing as well as revising our use of speech punctuation.
 
The children will be using the structure of this text to have a go at writing their own stories which use these features to create atmosphere. We will also be looking at how to use speech to convey character.
Maths
 
This year, we will be continuing to take our maths from the White Rose Maths Hub. We start the year by focusing on number and place value. During these sessions, we will be getting to grips with the value of digits in different place value columns and learning how to round numbers to help with estimation. Year 5 will be focusing on numbers up to 1 million while Year 6 look at numbers up to 10 million.
 
We will work closely as a whole class for much of this unit to ensure that everyone has a firm grasp of place value before we move on to look at the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division). Understanding place value is a key aspect of all maths and so it is important to develop a secure knowledge base in this area.
 
Please see below for a list of the times tables that are covered in school. A secure and rapid recall of these tables is essential as it will support your child with the maths that we will be covering in class.
Theme Learning
 
Our theme for this term's learning is 'Contrast'. In History we will be studying the Ancient Maya Civilisation and comparing it with the British Civilisation c.AD900. We will trying to find out which was the 'better' civilisation!
 
For Geography this term, we will be studying 'Earthquakes, Mountains and Volcanoes'. The children will need to be able to describe and understand key aspects of physical geography including climate zones, biomes and vegetation belts, rivers and the water cycle. We will also be trying to ascertain why people choose to live in these extreme environments.
Autumn 2: Science
 
In science this half term, we will be looking at Animals including Humans. During this unit, we will be studying the circulatory system and its main components and functions. We will learn how water and nutrients are transported around the body and the effect that exercise, drugs and alcohol have on the way our bodies function.
As part of our working scientifically focus, we will carry out investigations on the impact of exercise on our heart rates. We will measure and record our pulse and create graphs to show the increase and decrease in heart rate following rest and exercise.
Science
 
For our science this half term, the children will be studying the topic 'Living Things and Their Habitats'. This is an area of science that they will have covered across the key stage but this time around they will be learning about how different living things can be classified according to their similarities. 
 
We will be looking at how we can classify living things in a variety of ways including the use of dichotomous keys and learning about the works of Carl Linnaeus. We will also carry out an investigation into the growth of micro-organisms.
Home Learning
 
As with last year, home learning will consist of Times Table Rock Stars and Spelling Shed. The children need to practice their tables using the 'Garage' section of TTRS and then use the 'Studio' to set their times. 
 
There will be regular games to play on Spelling Shed based on the spelling rules that we have been learning. Once the set games have been completed, the children will be able to access any of the games on Spelling Shed.
Please encourage your children to challenge themselves with tougher levels!
 
As well as weekly participation with spellings and times tables, children are also expected to read on a daily basis. This should consist of some time reading by themselves, as well as time reading to a grown up or other family member. This not only supports children's understanding of what they are reading, but reading aloud with a grown up can also help them with their intonation and expression.
 
English
 
In English this half term, we will be looking at the book 'Extreme Animals' by Nicola Davies. We will be looking at how the book presents information in a fun and informal way, using humour to make it more accessible.
 
We will be looking at the different grammatical features within the text and learning how to create cohesion within and across our paragraphs. We will also be revising our use of relative and subordinate clauses and expanded noun phrases.
 
We will also use this text for the majority of our guided reading this half term.
Guided Reading
 
In guided reading, we are looking at the same text as in English. We are looking at the way the author presents their information and their use of language. 
We will be thinking about how paragraphs are structured and finding information that relates to the topic sentence of each paragraph.
Future tasks will include looking at the authors' use of vocabulary and thinking about the presentational choices they have made and how they impact upon the reader. 
Welcome Back Great Links!
 
Welcome back to school ready for the Summer Term. 
 I can't believe that we have reached the last term of the academic year - it has really flown!
 
Staff meetings will continue to be on Tuesday afternoons and my PPA will remain on a Wednesday afternoon, so I will be unavailable at these times.
 
If you need to speak to me with regards to you child's learning, please contact me vis Dojo or contact the office to arrange a time after school to speak to me. I am not able to check Dojo messages during my teaching time, so will not always respond to messages straight away.
 
As always, I look forward to seeing you at the school gates!
 
Mr Elliott