September Class Letter – Ruby

Dear Parents

I hope that you all had enjoyable holidays and that you are now thoroughly rested and relaxed! I’m excited to be teaching such a great bunch of children that make up the newly-named Ruby. This letter is just a quick introduction to the year and a few details about what will be happening.

Staff

During our Maths lessons, we will be continuing with our very successful Power Maths lessons. The children will all split up into individual year groups, and Year 5 and 6 will be taught by me and then supported during individual work by a combination of me and  Mrs Jackson, whilst the Year 4s will join the other Year 4s (from Sapphire).

Mrs Jackson will also be supporting our class in the afternoons through intervention groups and Guided Reading. Mrs Killford will be taking one lesson a week whilst I have some Planning, Preparation and Assessment time and hopefully, we will also have one or two teaching students from Sheffield Hallam University coming to work with us.

Topics

Our topic for the first half tern is Blood Heart.  Blood flows through our bodies in all its vibrant shades of red. We’re going to explore our circulation system. Today we dissected lambs’ hearts and examined the veins, arteries and chambers up close. We will learn how they work hard to move blood around our bodies. William Harvey was fascinated with anatomy, and made groundbreaking discoveries about valves. I wonder what we might uncover. We will think about why people give blood and find out how to keep our hearts happy with cardiovascular exercise and healthy food. We’ll kick-start a campaign to spread the word about the damage caused by smoking, to the lungs and heart.

After half term, we’ll look up and become Stargazers. We’ll journey through space, the final frontier and navigate beyond the Sun: the magnificent, blazing star at the centre of our Solar System! We’ll Investigate the eight planets – Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune and take a look at the Moon, a celestial body that orbits Earth. We’ll programme a ‘rover’ to traverse a lunar landscape and work scientifically to investigate gravity, and find what happens when there is none! We’ll compare the time of day at different places on the Earth and use GPS satellite navigation systems to track hidden treasure! We’ll get in a spin making simple models of the Solar System and listen to the haunting sounds of space-themed songs. Then it’s 3, 2, 1, BLAST OFF as we bbuild and launch a rocket for an important test mission. Exploring space is probably the greatest adventure that humankind has ever undertaken. Are we alone or are there other life forms out there? We’re also planning to visit the National Space Museum in Leicester and take part in some workshops there.

PE

Your children will have two PE lessons each week, which will be taught by specialist sports coaches from UK Sports Coaching. The lessons will take place on Tuesday mornings and Friday afternoons. Please ensure that they have the correct kit (blue or black shorts, white T-shirt and trainers or plimsolls) in school. After half term, it is a good idea for the children to bring a warm top and jogging bottoms (or a tracksuit), as it can be particularly cold at this time of year. Children with long hair must be able to tie it up for PE and all earrings must be removed.

Reading

Children at Bishop Pursglove make very good progress in Reading, but this year, we are having a particular focus on not just teaching children how to read, but nurturing a lifelong love of learning in them. It is vital that children continue to read regularly at home, as this helps not only their reading skills and increases their vocabulary, but also helps them to improve their writing and other areas of the curriculum. Children are able to choose a book from the school library, but I’m more than happy for them to choose a book from home if they prefer. We expect children in year 5 and 6 to read for 15mins on at least five occasions every week.  Please encourage your child to keep their reading record updated on a regular basis. A member of staff will check their records most weeks. Their new reading records this also contain a list of the compulsory spelling words from the National Curriculum.

Art Shirt

It would be very helpful if you could provide an old shirt or t-shirt (that your child could keep in school) to put over their uniform to help protect it when we are using paint and other messy stuff!

Homework

As well as regular reading at home, Year 4 and 5 children will receive a weekly arithmetic sheet (on Fridays) which they need to complete for the following Thursday (they can bring it in before if they prefer). We also provide every child with a Times Table Rock Stars (TTRS) account. Last year, those children that used TTRS regularly made incredible progress with their TT fluency. I would encourage every child to access TTRS at home a couple of times per week, but basically, the more they do it, the faster the get!

Year 6 children will also get a weekly piece of English homework which will also need to be handed in by Thursday.

Residential

This year we have planned a 3 day visit to The White Hall Centre near Buxton for Years 5 and 6.  The trip will take place on from 24th to 26th June. The Year 5/6 residential visits are always a huge highlight of children’s time at Bishop Pursglove and I look forward to giving you more details later on in the year, but please put in your diary now. Year 4 children will join Sapphire Class while we are away.

Year Six

I realise that some children may start Year Six anxious about some of the challenges that lie ahead, such as SATS (which will be held from Monday 11 May to Thursday 14 May) and the transition to secondary school.  However, Year Six also brings lots of opportunities for children to grow in self-confidence, take on new responsibilities and have fun along the way.

It’s time to start thinking about which secondary school your child will go to (the deadline for applying is the last day of October) and although I haven’t heard directly from either schools, according to their websites, the dates of open days are as follows. Please check the schools’ own websites for further details, as I don’t want to be held responsible if I have any of the details incorrect!

Lady Manners School

Thursday 26 September, 5:00 – 7.30pm

Tuesday 1 October, 4:00 – 6.30pm

Daytime Tours

Thursday 10 October (9.30am and 1.30pm)

Tuesday 15 October (9.30am and 1.30pm)

Hope Valley College

Wednesday 2 October 2019 (6:00pm and 8:30pm)

If you have any problems or concerns at any time please discuss them with me. Mornings are only suitable if it is an urgent matter, as I need to be with my class, but I am generally available for a quick chat at home time or I can arrange to meet at another time if we need to discuss something at length.  Otherwise, I look forward to speaking to you all at parents’ evening.

Many Thanks

Ben Twelves

Deputy Head and Ruby Teacher