Dear Parents,

I hope that you have had a lovely Christmas and would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy 2020! The children all seem to have had a wonderful time during the festive season and are now settling back into the routines of the school day.

Our topic for the first half term is Bright Lights, Big City! The children will take tea with the Queen when she visits on Friday and they will visit Buckingham Palace online! They will learn to identify key members of the royal family and develop an understanding of their roles and responsibilities. In their geography work, the children will use maps to locate Buckingham Palace and other famous London landmarks, to follow compass directions and plan routes around London. The children will learn about the countries that make up the United Kingdom and about their capital cities. History this term will involve the children learning about the sequence of events that led to the great fire of London and about what life was like in the capital city then. In design and technology, the children will work in groups to make models of famous London landmarks and to recreate Pudding lane as it would have been in 1666. They will bake bread rolls or buns like the ones sold by Thomas Farriner in his bakery. In science they will think about the materials that the houses and bakery were made of and how this could have contributed to the spreading of the fire, as they explore the properties of everyday materials in science.

During the second half term the topic will be Why do zebras have stripes? In this topic, the children will be learning some African dance and songs and they will be tapping out rhythms on drums. In Geography they will learn where Africa is and what the landscapes, people and wildlife are like across this stunning continent. Who are the Maasai? What is camouflage? Where is the Serengeti? These are all questions that they will be finding out about. They will learn about what school is like for African children, use their senses to explore a ‘market stall’ of African foods and make African-style pancakes to fill with delicious ingredients. In science they will learn about what African animals eat and their characteristics and physical features. They will create African landscape pictures and try their hand at African printing in art. They will count African animals and create African patterns using shapes in maths.

In addition to the English and Maths work that they will cover through topic, the children will have regular practise of the basic skills. In English they will have daily guided reading activities, phonics and grammar work. They will learn and perform poems and study a range of texts linked to their topics to support their English written work: - Paddington at the Palace, This is London by Miroslav Seek, Katie In London by James Mayhew. The Great Fire of London by Susanna Davidson and the Town House and Country Mouse. During the second half term the texts will have a flavour of Africa. Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andreae, Secrets of Animal Camouflage by Carron Brown and Wesley Robins, The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr and A village Tale from Kenya by Mary and Richard Chamberlin.

In maths the children will continue with their daily counting and practise of basic skills such as number formation, recognising and using number symbols. They will begin the term with addition and subtraction in which the children will use a range of methods to support their fluency and then solve problems using objects and diagrams. They will develop their skill in place value by practising counting forwards and backwards, writing and reading numbers in numerals and words. They will be learning to count in 2’s, 5’s and 10’s and then use this skill to help solve multiplication and division problems. The children will have opportunities to measure and weigh and record lengths and heights and to investigate capacity using a range of containers. At the front of their yellow home reading record are two websites with log on details for each child to use. Here they will find activities set to support them in their maths work, if they would like to try them.

In RE this half term the children will be learning about Christians, who they are and what they believe. They will learn about why Jesus is important to Christians and what the miracles teach us about Christians and their beliefs. After half term the children will be learning what it means to belong to a faith community. What it means for Christians, Jews and Muslims to belong to a faith, how they welcome children into their faith and how they show that they belong to one another.

P.E. – The children will be working outside, whenever possible, learning to master basic movements such as running, jumping, throwing, catching, balance, agility and co-ordination. During their hall time this term the children will be studying dance. P.E. will be on a Monday and Tuesday; your child will need suitable clothing and shoes for outdoor activities.

PSHE – Our theme for this half term is ‘My Healthy Lifestyle ‘which focuses on children learning about the importance of personal hygiene and how to make healthy eating choices and prepare simple healthy foods. During the second half term the theme is ‘Me and My Future’ in which the children will learn to recognise coins and notes and to develop an understanding of the value of money and why families need to budget.

If at any time you are anxious or have any questions, please come into class to see me and I will be happy to help.

With Regards

Mrs Rosemary Laverack