St Michael's School Blog

What are we learning this term?

LITERACY

Using the Talk 4 Writing approach, which is a writing approach that enables children to write independently for a variety of audience and purposes.  By learning the story ‘Escape to Pompeii’, which links to their topic of Romans, the children will imitate and internalise quality language structures that will help them when writing their own ‘tale of fear’ story.

Our reading text for this term is ‘Kensuke’s Kingdom’.  At St Michael’s we follow a whole class reading approach in Key Stage 2, which teaches children reading strategies to support their comprehension. We also have a dedicated ‘reading for pleasure’ slot after lunch as we want to foster a life-long love for reading.

Please continue to encourage your child to read regularly at home, as reading develops the children’s vocabulary and thoughts, keeps their minds active, it can provide endless knowledge and by promoting reading at home you give your child the message – reading is worthwhile!

NUMERACY

We teach the National Curriculum and in Year 4 children will continue to learn about number and place value and applying the 4 maths calculations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) as well as fractions when solving problems. After half term we teach properties of shapes; measures; statistics and position & direction.

Every lesson will start with ‘Big Maths’, which is a systematic and structured approach to embed number and calculation knowledge.

Please could you support your child’s learning at home by practising their timestables at home. Children should know all the timestables off by heart by the end of Year 4.

10 Minutes a Day Times Tables, by the educational publisher DK, is a great app that children can learn their timestables in short bursts.  You can choose whether you want to do them in order or out of sequence.

 

WIDER CURRICULUM

History:  Last term our focus was on Geography, when we learned about the continent ‘Asia‘ and this term the focus will be on History.  In our aim to develop the children’s understanding of British history, our topic this term is ‘Romans’.   To make our learning memorable, we will be visiting the British Museum – a letter will go out soon.

Science: This term we will be learning about States and Matter, where children will learn about the differences between solids, liquids and gases; classifying objects and identifying properties.  The children will have the opportunity to develop their scientific enquiry skills by conducting some exciting investigations.

Religious Education:  In the first half of this term the children will be learning about Passover from the Jewish religion and the second half term the focus will be on the Christian religion, with the topic of Forgiveness and the context of Easter.

At St Michael’s we have 7 school values and each half term we focus on one of our values in more depth – this half term we will discuss the value of Hope, and after February half term it will be the value of Resilience.

PE  is on Wednesday afternoons and this term our focus is on Gymnastics and Invasion Games. If your child has a school tracksuit, they may wear their tracksuit over PE clothes to school on a Wednesday.  Swimming is on Thursday mornings, so please remember to send in their swimming kit. Not only is swimming a fantastic sport to enhance fitness, but it is also an essential life-saving skills.

Art & DT: In addition to art work the children will be doing in class, we also do termly ‘whole school art project’ at St Michael’s and this term our topic will be Sculpture.  We also have a Design and Technology project around food technology planned for after half term, which will be super exciting!

Music: We use the Charanga scheme of work to teach music. In addition to our music lessons, the children also enjoy singing in our collective worships. The children will also have weekly drumming lessons.

Computing: Our children are growing up in a digital world and in the Autumn Term the children were learning about online safety.  It is important that parents monitor the content that children are accessing on the digital devices at home to ensure it is age appropriate. Also, please continue to remind them of how they can keep themselves safe online. NetAware has a great website which offers parents expert advice on the top apps, sites and games children are using as well as advice how to set up parental controls.

https://www.net-aware.org.uk/

This term in computing our focus is on computer skills such as word processing and applying.

Modern Foreign Language:  Research has shown that learning a second language has cognitive benefits and that learning another language gives children a new perspective on the world, encouraging them to understand their own cultures and of others. In Key Stage 2, at St Michael’s, we are teaching French and we are using resources to ensure that the learning of French is easy and fun!

Let’s Talk: At St Michael’s we have designed a ‘Healthy Body, Mind and Spirit’ curriculum and we deliver our teaching in what we call a ‘Let’s Talk’ session once a week. The theme for this term is ‘Very Important People’ (VIPs) in the children’s lives and the ways in which they can develop positive relationships with them.

LABEL ITEMS OF CLOTHING

Whilst the school cannot accept any liability for loss of school uniform items, we will do our best to return lost items of clothing… However, we can only do that if the item of clothing is LABELLED! So please ensure you have put your child’s name on especially their jumper or coat, as they often take it off during play and then forget it in the playground when they go back to class.

HOMEWORK

Maths: One Mathletics task will be set based upon the work from the coming or previous weeks class learning. If there is not access to a computer and/or the internet at home, please send a note in so that we can arrange for your child to access a computer during the week.   In addition, we also want the children to work on their times-tables at home, to see if they can learn all the times-tables off by heart.

Spelling: Spelling words must be learnt over the week and will be tested on a Friday afternoon.

Reading: Children will have a reading comprehension to complete at home, fortnightly.  Also, please encourage the children to read and home – reading logs are to be signed at least once in the week by somebody at home (any family member or adult).

Project:  This work is to be completed over a number of weeks this term. Time management should be encouraged so it is not all left until the last minute! A separate letter will follow with a folder which should be used to collect your work. Please do keep it safe!

HOW TO STAY INFORMED

We post blogs on our school website every week, so please use that platform to ‘check in’ on what is happening at St Michael’s. More information about the curriculum can also be seen our website.

We have our next parents meeting planned for the 25th March, but if you have any concerns, please feel free to book an appointment to see Ms Leo-Kelly, or alternatively, Ms Gillespie (Deputy Headteacher) or Ms Asante (Inclusion Manager) via the school office.

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