Our overarching topic for Term 1 is ‘Crime and Punishment’, which began with the dramatic discovery of a robbery at our school over the summer holidays! We returned to find police tape draped around trees and across the door of one of our storage sheds, where the prized ‘Sports Day’ trophy had been kept for safe-keeping.... We donned rubber gloves to investigate the crime scene aiming to find important clues in order to discover… ‘Whodunnit!’
We have already practiced taking finger prints, examining the ways in which fingerprints are analysed and compared to latent prints lifted from a crime scene and have also investigated witness and suspect statements in order to develop our detective prowess! However, at this point, we still haven’t found the culprit, or the trophy…
This enrichment activity has really brought the topic to life and engaged everyone in their learning, which will spark our creativity and enthusiasm. We have planned for lots of varied learning opportunities, asking you to consider, investigate and debate key questions, which will encourage the continued development of your key skills across the curriculum subject areas:
- What is the importance of rules? Why do we have rules & should we follow them?
- What is the relevance of the Ten Commandments today?
- How are laws passed and governed in Britain?
- Who is our local MP? How do they affect change and represent us?
- What are the consequences of breaking laws?
- How are criminals and crimes investigated?
- How do we question a suspect? How do we interpret responses?
- How has punishment for crimes changed through history? (Anglo Saxon, Tudor, Victorian times)
- How and why were criminals deported to Australia?
- Did all punishments fit the crime?
- How was Alcatraz the perfect prison?
- How did prisoners escape a prison island?
- How can we use spreadsheets to collate and analyse information?
As you can see, we are going to be very busy in Term 1 investigating and thinking about the questions above, and we’ll also be producing a soundtrack with instruments to play over a silent ‘Keystone Cops’ movie, undertaking many art projects and learning all about Reversible/Irreversible changes in Science sessions… (including using plaster of Paris for footprints and looking at invisible ink)
The topic lends itself fantastically to our work in Literacy, as we study and improve our understanding of grammar and punctuation by working alongside the detective, ‘Ivor Clue’. We will be looking at all of those tricky rules that help us to write with real variation and maturity, in order to help us in our SpAG test in May and also in order to develop our writing more generally.
Our focus in Maths this term will be number, place value and calculation, which are essential skills to then build on through the rest of the school year. We will continue to look for opportunities to work in a cross-curricula approach and have also invested in lots of online resources through Mathletics, Active Learning and My Maths. These websites also have lots of interactive tutorials, activities and fun games so we encourage you to access them in addition to your weekly maths homework tasks.
We also continue to have access to the excellent ‘Bug Club’, which offers fantastic opportunities to develop reading and comprehension skills at home, in addition to the good old fashion way of reading books and discussing them with adults and siblings.
Other online help will also be made available on our ‘soon to be re-launched’ website and will be found via our class pages, which have links to many helpful websites and also by taking the opportunity to develop creative and artistic stories through the online platform, ‘Story Bird’ (to be investigated shortly).
This will be given out on a Friday and will be expected to be completed by the following Friday.
- Numeracy will be given on a weekly basis utilising one of the online maths websites that we have access to. The task should take a maximum of 30 minutes to complete and we’ll let you know what you need to log into (your mum/dad/carer should login to all the sites on a weekly basis to check what is being set though to have a look at what we are up to!)
- Reading – the expectation is that at least 20 minutes each night is spent reading your home/school book (we are keeping a log of books read and will be checking up on you…)
- Reading/Comprehension – In addition we expect that at least one book is read each week on the Bug Club website, which gives the opportunity to earn reward points (this has recently been updated and is great fun, so take a look at all the new things you can do with your points!)
- Literacy/Topic – a piece of work to develop grammar & punctuation skills or to build on work looked at within our topic sessions will be set each week. This should take a maximum of 30 minutes to complete
- Spellings – weekly spellings will be given on a Monday and tested on the Friday, so make sure you practice them at home during the week to build on our spelling session in school
- Occasionally, we will set projects that will need to be worked on over a number of weeks (these could be partner or individual tasks). Clear guidance and deadlines will be set to give you the chance to develop your time management skills and to give you the opportunity to be creative!
Our PE session will be on a Monday morning and our Sports Enrichment will be on a Tuesday afternoon, so please make sure that you have the correct kit in school on these days. It will soon be getting colder outside so it is advisable to bring a tracksuit top and jogging bottoms to keep you warm on the Tuesday session.
Although we are challenging and pushing our children even more in this very important year of their school career, we are trying to keep a balance and aim to ensure that each child feels supported and cared for in order for them to reach their true potential and succeed to their own ability. We are making this experience as fun and as enriched as possible and would like to thank you for your continued support from home as we encourage your child to take ownership of his/her learning and to access the many different vehicles for learning that have been made available online, in school and at home.