Welcome back to another school year, from the Upper Key Stage 2 team. We hope you have had a great summer and are ready for a really busy and exciting year.
Our shared aim is for your child to have a happy and successful year in Year 5/6. At the Dukes, we feel that openness and honesty are key factors in achieving this and would hope that you would come to talk to us as the first port-of-call should you have any questions or concerns. We will always do our best to help.
In this letter you will find some useful information about Year 5/6 and details of some of the routines in class. Please note: some details (such as PE times) change through the year and can be confirmed with your child’s class teacher as well as on the school’s website.
The children will engage in reading in many ways. Each day, the children will partake in Book Talk sessions which involve the children reading as a group, in partners and individually. The children are then expected to answer a range of statement stems which will then showcase their understanding of the text they have read. These will include, making reference to the text and using evidence to justify deductions and inferences. They will continue to learn to distinguish between layouts, styles and language of different text types. And throughout the year they will be looking more at the authors’ choice of language, literary techniques, layouts, context, then considering the effect on the reader. Each day we also have our ‘Ten Magical minutes’ where the children are read to and are able to observe their teacher modelling the reading process which includes ‘thinking aloud’ as how we as readers are able to make inferences and deductions from the authors choice of vocabulary.
The children who are on free readers are responsible for changing their own books and can do so in the classroom library, or bring in books from home or Glossop library. We do encourage children to try to persevere with books and not change them too often if they are unfinished. We also recommend that they try a range of text types as this helps them to expand their knowledge and interests and also helps them to become more proficient writers. We have an ever-expanding range of texts and can provide titles for reluctant readers or those with specific needs such as dyslexia. The children must bring in their reading records – signed to show they have read the previous day/night – each day. The reading records are checked daily either by the class teacher or TA and the children are able to collect house points each time their record is signed.
For any children who are on reading scheme books, their books will be changed twice a week on a Monday and Thursday. We will also start a library service weekly in class where the children can choose a ‘real’ book to take home. This needs to be brought back into school the week after and children can then choose another one.
We are more than aware that as children get older, parents tend not to listen to children read as often, but it is still vitally important to do so, so we would encourage parents to continue to do this regularly. This can be done at any time of the day and in a range of ways. It could involve the parent reading to the child and then the child answering questions on what they have read, or shared reading, where the parent is able to model the pace and tone required for the text and the child is then able to learn from this.
Your child will be taught maths in their own class. Your child’s learning will be pitched at an appropriate level to provide the best challenge and support possible. All children are expected to achieve the same learning objectives (which can be found on the website) in each year group. Children falling behind will be given extra support and parents will be informed. The more confident mathematicians will be working on the same objectives, but will be given greater challenge within these to expand and develop their understanding at a much broader and deeper level of mastery.
We plan a range of cross-curricular topics that are fun and engaging. Each term we create an overview of the topics and science that we will be covering which will be published on the school website. We sometimes link trips, theme days and homework projects to these topics which really help to get the children active and enthused in their learning.
Weekly spellings (whole term sent in first week of term)
Sentences linked to grammar/punctuation/vocabulary
20 mins reading per day
Calculation/sums per week in homework book
Times table squares.
Sometimes we may set a project linked to our topic which will be completed over the term.
Please encourage your child to complete homework on time. Homework will usually be checked and set on a Friday and spellings will be tested on a Monday.
Please check our class page on the website for specific details of PE lessons as these do change. Throughout the year, all of the children will have the opportunity to have PE with a qualified coach, and a term of swimming at Glossop Swimming Baths.
Please ensure that your child has their (correct) PE kit in school on these days and that jewellery is removed (as we are not allowed to remove it for them). Please make sure that PE kits and pumps have your child’s name in, as this will save a lot of time and prevent mix-ups! P.E is part of the curriculum and children must participate. If your child cannot participate in a lesson for health reasons, please send in a note.
This term, children will have Forest School with Mr. Ellison. You will be able to find the days which your child will have this session on our website. Please note that when your child has forest schools we ask that they come in their ‘forest schools’ clothes for the full school day. They will not be changing back into school uniform, therefore please be sure that they are wearing appropriate clothing, suitable for the classroom, underneath their waterproofs.
The pandemic has brought about a lot of changes within schools. One such change has been that our Year 6 children have not been required to carry out their SATs in the Summer term. Unfortunately, we are still unaware as to Government plans surrounding SATs for the academic year 2021/2022. Please be assured the curriculum taught will be the same, regardless of the final decision, and the children’s secondary schools will be informed of our teacher assessments in the Summer term when we have our annual transition meetings. Please be sure, however, not to book any holidays during the month of May as if SATs does go ahead, it is most likely to be in the month of May.
In school we carefully monitor children’s progress and plan their learning. There will be times when your child needs a boost on their journey and will be offered some focused support. This does not necessarily mean a child is ‘behind’ or ‘struggling’. It simply means we are trying to help them to achieve their potential. Children from all ability groups are involved in intervention sessions. The work done in these sessions will be directly linked to what they are learning in class or their targets for reading, writing and maths. We will not usually formally inform you of intervention sessions as they are part of a child’s normal programme of learning, and will consist of very short, focused sessions. Please feel free to come and have a chat if you have any concerns about your child’s progress or any extra support they are having. We will contact you if we feel that your child is falling behind the year expectations with ideas about how you can support them at home to close the gaps.
Behaviour - Rewards and Sanctions
We have very high expectations of behaviour and standards of work in our classes. We expect the children to always put their best effort in and take pride and ownership over their learning and their classrooms. We consistently challenge poor behaviour and make sure children know that our calm, purposeful learning environment will not be disrupted. At the same time, children are rewarded and praised for achievement and positive learning behaviour. Our school is a family and there is an expectation that everyone looks after each other. This culture of learning and support has had very positive results in previous years. We hope you can support us in achieving this.
We will give out certificates in our rewards assembly each week and children are invited to bring in awards or certificates from home. We award house points for a range of positive behaviour or good work, which feed into the whole school total, where children can win prizes, treats and non-uniform days for their house.
Occasionally, children find themselves involved in less positive situations. Poor behaviour will be dealt with according to the school behaviour policy. Some incidents will require a phone call to parents or a Code of Conduct letter being sent home. Hopefully, we will not see many of these this year!
We have a comprehensive anti-bullying policy in school and do lots of work to promote anti-bullying. Any form of unkind behaviour or bullying will not be tolerated in school. Children behaving in this way will be dealt with according to the school policy. However, in order to resolve issues, we need to know about them so please encourage your child to speak to us if any issues arise.
Please make sure that your child has the correct uniform and shoes, which are clearly labelled with their name. Please also make sure that they have a coat with them right throughout the year due to Glossop’s wonderfully changeable weather. If there is any problem with an item of uniform, please send in a quick note.
All that remains for us to do is to welcome you once more. If there are any questions we have not answered here, please feel free to pop in or contact us by telephone.