Welcome to a new academic year. This letter is to share our class routines, which aim to ensure our oldest pupils have the organisational skills and independence so that they are secondary-ready. I feel it is important to clarify our expectations for the term, and year ahead, as early as possible so that we can work together to make the most of the opportunities available and have a fabulous, productive year.
We are lucky enough to have the support of Mrs Philps as our TA. Mrs Philps is a superb Teacher’s Assistant who has worked with Dragonflies for several years. She will be working with groups in English lessons. Mrs Gething, our excellent Maths specialist teacher, will also be supporting and delivering maths interventions once a week.
By Year Five and Six, pupils should be spending 20-30 minutes per evening on homework. They will be set Maths and English work from a CGP book each week and will be expected to read for at least an hour a week. This can be in longer or shorter sessions over the week but please could you sign your child’s log every week so that I can be sure they are reading. I will be checking their logs on a Friday as developing a reading habit will be crucial to your child’s success. It is the most essential part of their homework and if it is not signed then they will need to catch up reading at a break time.
The children will be learning spelling patterns at school and will correct and learn from their own errors. They may have some additional spelling lists as a part of their homework tasks, particularly from the prescribed spelling list for Y5/6 which is in their reading log. These are divided into a list of 15 words each half term which will be sent home separately. Please help us by working on these regularly.
Sometimes the children will have a half-termly challenge project for extra in-depth research of an area of their interest but connected to our class theme. If your child wishes to do some extra work at any time, this will always be welcomed and rewarded.
Homework is set on a Friday to be returned on the following Wednesday. They will be rewarded for completing their homework to a high standard and on time by Marvellous Me badges. If they have failed to complete homework, there will be a detention. This is to ensure that they do not fall behind. If a child has completed their homework but left it behind on the Wednesday when it is due in, they have a chance to bring it in on Thursday but I may be unable to check it before new work is set. We feel a mixture of rewards and sanctions is the most effective way to ensure the children develop good habits and to show we value what they do.
If there is a genuine reason why homework cannot be completed, or if your child has worked for 30 minutes and not completed a piece of homework, please write a note in in the relevant book for us to act upon. We hope homework will be a positive experience. Your child should be able to complete most pieces independently but there may be some where support is needed.
All year five and six pupils are expected to wear a shirt and tie to school with their shirt tucked in and their top button done up. Please encourage this at home. A few have ties that do not clip on but they are unable to tie them after PE/Games. Please can you help them by practising this at home.
PE and Games are on every Tuesday at present, but please ensure kit is in school every day as our creative curriculum means we may need it on other days. The children will need a note from home if they cannot do PE or do not have their kit for some reason. They will be given alternative work to do and if we have no parental note they will have a reminder sent home.
Most of the class are now ‘free readers’. This means they are responsible for choosing and supplying their own reading book, either from the school library, their local library or from home. Children are expected to have a reading book and their reading log in school every day. As mentioned above, I would like children to read for at least an hour over the course of a week. If you have the time to read with your child for at least a few minutes a week, this can be extremely encouraging, even for the most independent reader. Please support us in this matter by signing the reading log weekly and by informing us if your child has been unable to read for some reason. There is a large body of evidence that children who read regularly have much greater success at all stages of their education.
We will supply all the equipment that your child needs. They will receive a pen, a dry wipe marker and a pencil and will be responsible for keeping them safe. Please do not allow your child to bring in toys, fidget toys or special items unless related to our topic as it can lead to arguments or be a destraction.
End of Key Stage Two tests (SATs)
Year Six will have tests in Mathematics, Reading and Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling in May. These are an important indicator of the progress that your child has made in primary school and will form part of the assessments that we pass onto secondary school. I will organise an information session later in the year in order to help you and your child to prepare for these tests. Please be assured that Year Six will be adequately prepared over the course of the year through our curriculum, whilst Year Five learning will not be disrupted or compromised in any way. These tests will take place on the 11th to the 14th May 2020 and must be taken on the days allocated. Therefore, I politely ask that, if your child is in Year Six this year, you avoid booking any holidays during this week!
I hope that this letter answers many of your questions and that you are able to support us in achieving our aims this year. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to pop a note in the reading log or contact me via the office. I look forward to working with you all.