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Writing Wizards

Autumn 1 Newsletter

Dear Parents/Carers,

Welcome back to a new school year and to what I am sure will be a busy but fun first half term! Our first topic this year is ‘Roald Dahl meets Charles Dickens’ and as many lessons as possible will be linked to this topic. As many of you like to know what we are learning about at school so that you can help your child, I am sending home a topic web for your information. It really is beneficial to the children if you can support and reinforce their learning at home. If your child has any books or artefacts that support our topic and they would like to bring them into school then that would be wonderful. Please make sure they are labelled with your child’s name though.

Roald Dahl Day
You will see on the topic web that we are going to be looking at the famous children’s author Roald Dahl. We will be finding out about him and his life and also looking at many of his books and characters. On Wednesday 13th September our class will hopefully be taken over by a whole host of mischief-making Mr and Mrs Twits, Oompa-Loompas and Matildas as we want to take part in The Dahlicious Dress Up Day, where children come to school dressed as their favourite Roald Dahl character to raise money for Roald Dahl’s Marvellous-Children’s Charity. The charity exists to make life better for seriously ill children and young people around the UK. It’s very easy to get involved – simply help your child choose a character, create a costume and remember to send them in with their donation on the day. Your child can dress up as any of Roald Dahl’s fantastic characters, or simply wear his favourite colour – yummy yellow! A donation of a £1 per pupil would be wonderful as it will help to raise money for specialist children’s nurses and other marvellous things like support for families living in poverty while caring for seriously ill child.

For further ideas visit the webpage: http://www.roalddahl.com/charity/fundraising-and-events/dahlicious-dress-up-day

Key Stage 1 SATs
This year is a very important year for your child as it is a statutory requirement that they are assessed at the end of the Key Stage in order to know what progress they have made during their time so far in school. There has been some talk in the media of these being scrapped but for now we are assuming they will go ahead as in previous years. Therefore the children will be sitting their SATs tests in May. They will take SATs in Reading, English Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling (GPS) and Maths. More information about this will be provided throughout the year.

Reading
Reading is a crucial part of children’s learning at this age and your child should be reading for at least 10 minutes a day at home. Some children can be fluent readers but struggle with comprehension questions about the text/book. As this is what the SATs reading test will assess them on it would be useful if you could get used to asking the following types of questions when hearing your child read:

  • What do you think this story will be about?
  • What might happen in the story?
  • What is happening in the pictures?
  • What has happened so far? Is it what you expected to happen?
  • What might happen next?
  • How do you think the story might end?
  • What sort of character is….? Is he/she friendly/ mean/ nice…?
  • Why did that character do … (give a situation/ event from the story)?
    • How do we know the character is happy/sad/lonely etc? Or which word tells us the character is        frightened/happy/excited etc?
  • Can you think of any other words or phrases the writer could have used instead of X?
  • What do we call the writing on the back of the book? (Blurb) or What does the blurb tell us?

Please make sure your child has their reading book and reading record diary in school daily. Our red, school reading folders are much easier to accommodate in the classroom than large rucksacks so where possible please encourage your child to bring one of these if they have one.

Science
Each half term your child will be working on specific science targets that go with their current unit of work. Our science topic this half term is ‘Living Things and Their Habitats’ and the children will be working on the following targets: 

Targets

Can I identify things that are living, dead and never lived?

Can I identify and name some plants and animals in a range of habitats around our school?

Can I match living things to their habitats?

Can I describe what animals and humans need to survive?

Maths
Maths targets will be shared with the children and stuck into their maths books and you will be able to see these during parents evening. It would be helpful if you could help your child to be able to count in 2’s, 3’s, 5’s & 10’s and then extend this to actually being able to recall the times table facts for these. Knowing the pairs to ten is also very beneficial (1+9, 4+6, 7+3, 2+8 etc) as is being able to double up to double 15.

Writing
Children’s writing targets are again shared in class with the children as they change all the time. Our biggest focus this half term is being able to punctuate sentences correctly using full stops and capital letters, then moving onto questions marks, exclamation marks commas in lists and apostrophes. Ask your child to show you their Kung Fu punctuation moves they have been working on!

Homework
Homework will always be set on a Friday and must be returned by the following Wednesday. Homework should be completed in pencil and should be of an acceptable standard.

This half term homework will all be paper based (not online) and may be something like a page in your child’s own maths book or sometimes a worksheet. The paper based English activity will be something like a grammar exercise, punctuation activity or something linked to a genre like finding out facts ready to write a report.

When children return their homework they should place it in the homework tray in their classroom. Don’t forget it needs your child’s name on it. 

Homework Timetable

8th Sept

Maths

15th Sept

Maths

22nd Sept

Maths

English – Grammar or punctuation

29th Sept

Maths

6th Oct

Maths

English – Reading Comprehension

13th Oct

Maths

20th Oct

Maths -

English - Writing

Occasionally children may bring home some extra work from the homework outlined above. This may be because they are working in a booster group to try and achieve a higher level or because they are working in an intervention group and need some extra practice or it may simply be that your child needs a little extra work on something they have not understood.

Spellings
As well as this homework your child will also receive spellings every Friday ready for a test the following Friday. The number of spellings your child has to learn each week will be 6. Last year your child may have received an overview of all the spellings to be learnt throughout the half term but unfortunately I am not able to do this at present due to us trialling a new spelling scheme. After each holiday we have a big spelling test on all previously learnt spellings.

Learning high frequency words that children use a lot such as was, said, have, like, are etc is really beneficial to children’s writing, along with  being able to spell the Y1 & Y2 common exception words. Please ask for these if you do not have them.

A few further bits of information:

  • Our P.E lessons will be Monday afternoon and Thursday afternoon. Please can you ensure your child has their P.E kit in school on these days as we have limited spare kit? Please send PE kits in a drawstring bag where possible, as large rucksacks are very difficult to store in the limited space in our cloakrooms. Children should also not be wearing any jewellery on PE days. If your child is not able to take their earrings out you must send them to school with earrings taped up on these days or children should have their own tape with them that they can put on themselves.
  • Mrs Beach will teach the children some afternoons and Mrs Attia will be working alongside our class in the mornings as our Teaching Assistant.
  • As there is a lot to remember to bring to school some days I have included a timetable to help you. Hopefully your child can put it up somewhere and start to become a little more independent by looking what they need to bring to school each day!!!

I realise this is a lengthy letter with a lot of information in it, but it is the first of an important year for your child! I hope you have found it informative and I look forward to seeing you all over the course of the year and getting to know you. If you have any questions about any of the above or any other queries please do not hesitate in coming & speaking to me.

Thank you,
A. Gee (Class Teacher)

Autumn 1 Topic Web

Click to download and view our topic web, with all the exciting things we'll be learning this term: