HAGBOURNE CE PRIMARY SCHOOL
Main Road, East Hagbourne, Didcot, Oxon, OX11 9LR
Wednesday 2nd November 2016
Welcome back once again! I hope you and your family had an enjoyable holiday. I just wanted to take this opportunity to send out a little more information/reminders for what always turns out to be a busy term in the run up to Christmas.
As before, if you have any questions or worries please don’t hesitate to write a note, pop in and see me after school or arrange a time if more appropriate. An indication of what you would like to discuss is always appreciated so I can be organised when we meet. If children are to be away from school for illness or any other reason, we ask that the school is informed either by telephone or with a written note as before.
Independence and High Expectations
We are continuing to promote a greater sense of independence. The children have been doing so well with this – please continue to support them with things such as taking responsibility for remembering their own belongings, coming in on their own and being ready to start the school day equipped with pencil case, homework diary and reading books. The school day starts at 8.35am and the doors are open from 8.35am until 8.45am. During this time, there will be an adult on the door to take any messages as required. After that please enter via the School Office.
We will be maintaining high expectations of both work and behaviour in Class 4 in order to promote a positive learning environment. This will be supported by our reward systems of Gold Stars and raffle tickets. One focus this term with regard to ‘high expectations’ will be on presentation and handwriting.
This term we will be looking at Roald Dahl and focussing on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Whilst we will cover all areas of the curriculum during the term, our main focus will be science – states of matter and animals including humans. Please see the attached topic web for more information about what we will cover this term. Please let me know if you have any expertise that you would like to share with us as part of our topic!
Weekly homework will continue to alternate between a maths task and an English task. Homework is set and discussed on a Friday and then marked together, in class, the following Friday. Please encourage your children to at least look at their homework over the weekend so that they can discuss anything they do not understand with us at the beginning of the week.
Some children have asked about longer project-based homework. We will not be setting any compulsory homework but if any children would like to complete a ‘project’ linked to our topic we would love to see them – this could be a poster, model, research, poem etc.
Spellings and Phonics
We are continuing with an increased focus on spelling and phonics in term 2. As well as continuing with our year 4 word list, we will also be looking in more detail at prefixes and suffixes that can be added to words and finding rules for using them. Children are encouraged to monitor their own spelling – spot and correct spelling errors in their own work, use spelling strategies etc.
This term, as well as our Times Tables Rockstars program, I am going to set the children the ‘Gold Star Challenge’. Their aim is to learn all times tables by heart, at random. When they feel they have mastered one, they can come to us for an impromptu test to earn a gold star.
In year 4, the children are expected to read for a minimum of 30-40 minutes spread throughout the week This may be shared with an adult or independent reading. If they are very able readers it may be that you spend a few minutes asking them questions about what they have read rather than listening to them read. This reading should be recorded in their diary (either by an adult or themselves and then just initialled by you). We also ask that you then sign the children’s diaries at the end of the week to confirm that they have read for the required amount of time. The children who read regularly at home, including independently, will be rewarded with a short extra play time.
We have a reading rota in Class 4 whereby children read in groups. Their group reading sessions will either be based on their guided reading book (usually a novel) or looking at a shorter text to develop skills such as inference and deduction, and look at use of language and structure. Many children are also heard regularly on an individual basis. We always welcome volunteers to hear readers!
It is also expected that children continue independent reading and should keep a book from the class bookshelves, library bus or home in school at all times.
The children will continue to write all homework, reading and reminders in their homework diaries. The diaries are checked on a Friday morning. Please initial that they have completed any homework or reading that week and make any comments as necessary for communication. It is important that homework diaries are in school every day.
A big thank you for all your support so far this year - we have had a fantastic start. We are fully into the swing of things and the children all seem happy and settled. We are really enjoying teaching them and are looking forward to the rest of the year.
Many thanks from your Year 4 team,
Sarah-Jane Lewis and Jilly Corcoran