Hello and welcome back! I hope you had a lovely break with family and friends.

2023 has already got off to a busy start for the children and it will be a half term that I know they’ll enjoy. The focus this term is my favourite subject to teach (after maths, of course): geography. Having travelled myself through South America for several months and slept in the Amazon rainforest amongst a cacophony of animals (not to mention bird eating spiders), I am really looking forward to bringing their learning alive.

You will see the various books we will be immersed in over the next few weeks – some fabulous stories and non-fiction texts. I cannot recommend Survivors by David Long strongly enough. It is a book I have used with Years 5 and 6 before and it is just loved by all children because of its retelling of gripping real-life stories of extraordinary adventures.

We’ll be continuing to focus on using our times tables skills this term and the children will need to know these facts inside out and back to front by the end of this year.  Some children need to be more solid in having those facts at their fingertips so that their cognitive load is not being taken up with times tables facts, put simply, they need to free up their brain power for what they do with those facts. Writing out, chanting, learning a times tables song from You Tube, playing Hit the Button or Monster Multiplication on Purple Mash are all strategies that can be used at home to help.

It goes without saying that reading is at the heart of learning and children should still be reading aloud at home as well as being read to. Please enjoy and devour stories together – as a busy Mum I know how time is tight! But, it is, without doubt, the single most influential thing you can do for your child’s education.

If you have any questions or worries, feel free to write me a note or reach me after school on the phone, if not in the playground.

Kind regards,

Mrs Smith