Happy New Year!

Welcome back. I hope that the festive break was as good as it could be.  It seems that Santa has been very generous indeed. When I was a young lad (in a time where Amazon meant a rainforest and the Argos catalogue was a thing of wonder), I remember that Christmas morning was all about Buzz Lightyears, Tamagotchis and Furbies. Well it seems that the simple things in life are back in fashion – who would have thought that water bottles would cause such a stir? Anyway… it was nice to see some new books found their way into the children’s stockings.

I’m sure you’ve already heard my big year six message – that READING IS EVERYTHING. Well, this half term will make that more the case than ever. The children will be pestering you to hear them read and to sign their reading record. Don’t worry – they’ll come to you with their reading book, a pen and their reading record in hand without needing to be reminded. They’ve promised. In addition to this, I’d love to see the children reading to a range of different people. I shall be running a competition to see who can get the greatest range of signatures in their reading record. It’s the perfect opportunity to make a visit to that great aunt… The winning child gets to pick a new book for our bookshelves. We even get to watch me click ‘add to basket’ on the screen in the classroom. How modern.

Aside from reading, we’ve already begun our geography focused unit of work. There are more details on this overleaf. Something that may be of interest is a little challenge that I set the children. Participants should create a hand drawn map of the world, from memory, (not by copying). I’ve already had a few entries, including drawings from Mrs Roper in the office. The question many of the children were interested in was whether or not it would be Mum or Dad that would do a better job. Or perhaps Grandad? Either way, if your child appears to be obsessively copying out the world map in an effort to learn it, you know why!

In terms of homework, year six have been very diligent. Those who have either missed or misunderstood the tasks have come to find myself or Mrs Armitage in plenty of time so that everyone gets their work handed in on time. As before, homework will be handed out on a Friday and should be returned by the following Friday.

Mr Magner is also due to return to teaching the class on Thursdays whilst I continue to work with Mrs Ballard. For those of you who do not know, Mr Magner is a highly skilled and experienced teacher who worked with the class closely last year. He will continue working on the same curriculum areas that have been covered earlier on in the week whilst all the time building those skills of confidence and independence that are so vital to children in their last year of primary school.

The children will also take part in the Bikeability scheme which will equip children with the skills that they need to safely ride their bicycles on the roads. The children have been given separate permission forms to fill in and return to school.

The children will also start their D.A.R.E. life skills education course on Thursday afternoon. These sessions are led by Mr Appleyard, a trained and qualified D.A.R.E Officer. These lessons are very structured and tackle some quite mature content, exactly the sort of things that children need the skills to tackle as they move into the next phase of their lives. If your child comes home talking about knife crime or drug abuse, you can rest assured that they have not learned these things from my maths lessons! If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

If, for whatever reason you need to get in touch with me, don’t hesitate. I prefer face to face meetings and will happily chat on the playground, or on the phone. The absolute best way to contact me is with a handwritten note placed in your child’s hand. It’s the quickest way to get a resolution.

Mr Jones