Rowan Class is a group of 27 Year 3 and Year 4 children led by a hardworking team of Mr Lewis and Miss Rowland. We study Writing, Spellings, Reading and Maths during the morning and explore a range of topics and subjects including Geography, History, Science, French, Art, ICT and PE in the afternoon. The class have a specialist PE teacher taking the class for an hour and Miss Hill takes the class for RE and PSHE for another hour on a Monday morning when Mr Lewis has some time for planning and assessment with other LKS2 teachers.
Miss Hill also takes music for an hour on a Tuesday morning and Mr Gilding will take the class on a Thursday afternoon for Science whilst Mr Lewis is taking on senior roles in school such as Maths, data analysis and staff performance management. Throughout these times Miss Rowland will continue to be in class.
Keep checking the twitter account, news feed and class web page for updates of what we have been up to this year!
Welcome back to a brand new academic year. Please check out the class newsletter below or via the link on the side of the page which hopefully will answer many of your questions. A big welcome to new and returning parents with me this year. I hope this will be an incredible year and build upon the positive OFSTED we had last summer.
The homework project this term will be related to the Ancient Greeks, We will once again be showing off all the homework projects during the final week before Christmas after school plus discussing them all in class. Please ensure they are in class by FRIDAY 14th DECEMBER. Writing this in the garden in the early September sunshine makes this date seem far away but before we know it the month will soon be upon us!
Please see the Long Term plan below for LKS2 which gives an overview of what we are learning this academic year. For a little more detail please also see the medium term plans and class newsletter which is added during September, January and April.
How can you help??
Reading - Many of the children are close to or are already FREE READERS. Those that are have a Green Book Review booklet which they need to complete after each book they read. The idea is that they read longer, thicker books that are read over a period of time rather than the shorter banded books. There is a sheet stuck inside to help us monitor children are also reading a selection of Fiction, Non Fiction and Poetry books. Children need to tick the genre off as they complete a book. Children who are free readers will be listened to read through our guided reading sessions as they are now concentrating on the reading comprehension skills as they have all the skills needed to read aloud. We will still continue to develop expression and fluency within reading in these sessions. Please continue to listen to your child at home and date and sign the yellow reading record. During guided reading I will stamp these books weekly so that I can see this and check for any message you may have written.
For those children still within the coloured book bands Miss Rowland or myself will try to hear your child each week on a 1:1 basis as well as also taking part in guided reading sessions. The final levels are White and Lime band. Children need to be able to read these books with some level of fluency and expression and decode at least 90% of words. It is not as simple as just reading all the books on that level in school and children will pass through these bands at differing speeds. It is important to listen to your child a few times a week as all children should be a free reader by the end of Year 3 and the little and often approach will help this the most. Please sign and date the yellow reading record each time you hear your child.
All children need to ensure that their YELLOW reading records are in school at all times as we use them for reading and spelling lessons daily.
Spelling - Spellings are taught daily during the morning for 30 minutes. Across KS2 we have the same approach and timetable as below.
Our spelling week in KS2:
Monday - exploring words with a similar sound or spelling - writing them out and exploring a selection of words including some of those from the Y3/4 government spelling list (see below). Sticking spelling list in reading record.
Tuesday - dictionary skills and writing definitions of the word including which word class they are from.
Wednesday - writing the word in context - using the word correctly within a sentence, especially important within homophones (words that sound the same with different meanings: here/hear).
Thursday & Friday: Spelling games, personal spelling list - children enter any words they have spelt incorrectly during the week into their yellow reading records, they practice these words and any they may have left over from Y2 (the slips of paper stapled into reading record).
All children will take part in their specific year group spellings, taught either by myself or Miss Rowland. Any children who we deem to be behind in their spellings will also have some small group support during an afternoon each week with Miss Rowland. Please see the documents below for information about which spellings we are looking at each week in each year group. I also enclose the KS1 and LKS2 word lists as created by the government which are interwined within our spelling lessons. The spelling rule and words related to that rule will be stuck in their yellow reading records each week. We will test a selection, but not all of these, at the end of each half term. The idea is that children will still need to learn all of them both in school and at home.
A key part of the spelling process is the 'Personal Spelling List' which myself and Miss Rowlands test at the end of the week. All children make mistakes with spellings during writing, whether in their Science, Maths, English, Topic or any other books. During the marking process I will note these down in the margin of your child's book and the expectation is that children will then add these spellings to their Personal Spelling List sheet located at the back of their Yellow reading record. This whole process is so important as it is highly personal to each and every child and will help to fill any gaps from previous years. We will try and get to each child on a Thursday and Friday over the course of a couple of weeks. This is because some weeks there will be higher level of intense marking than on others. Please help your child to learn both their weekly spellings and any personal spellings that they may have.
Maths - Every year group begin the academic year studying place value for the majority of the initial half term. In year 3 this means numbers to 1000 and in year 4 this now means numbers to 10 000. We use the CPA approach (Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract) to teach this. The main tools we use are Base 10 (blocks of 1000, squares of 100, sticks of 10 and cubes of 1 - if you are unsure please ask) and place value counters (small coloured counters with either 1,10,100 or 1000 written on them). Children are now taught not just the initial skills of maths (Fluency) but also to explain or argue their maths (reasoning) and solve a range of numerical problems (problem solving). Following the place value unit of work we then follow with the written methods for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division before exploring other areas of maths such as fractions, time, measure, statistics and shape. Maths lessons are generally taught during the morning. Further information on the written methods can be found in the maths section of the school website in the curriculum area.
Teaching is carried out as a whole class, some in year groups and some within smaller groups. Through discussion with Miss Rowland, what I have seen with my groups and through looking at independent work in books I can then decide where to continue the next lesson and if any children need further intervention support with Miss Rowland or myself in the afternoon.
All of the skills in maths needs a good level of mental maths understanding. The government are introducing a times table computerised test at the end of year 4 this year and the expectation for times tables is as follows.
Children can recall multiplication and division facts for:
Year 2: x2, x5, x10 (BRONZE level).
Year 3: x3, x4, x8 (GREEN and SILVER levels).
Year 4: All facts to 12 x 12 (GOLD, OLYMPIC, CHAMPIONSHIP levels).
In brackets above I have put the relevant Table Olympic levels. We test these fortnightly (alternating with our addition and subtraction tests - Solar System Superstars). All children find different ways that are best for them to learn these facts. We will be concentrating on the relevant tables for your children year group. Some suggestions to help at home could be:
Buying a times table poster (usually in pound shops).
A Times table CD - children tend to remember songs.
Mathletics multiverse - a section of mathletics - children earn points to buy things to save the universe whilst answering questions - children use their mathletics login for this!).
Hit the Button - my favourite free website, also can be a paid APP to record scores - type into google and children can practice all mental maths skills (multiplication, division, number bonds, doubles, halves, square numbers).
I will also continue to print off Mathletics certificates each week and display them for that week in class. Each class in school has a graph to note down who has achieved the most certificates this year. Last year Rowan class were top across all ranges of statistics for usage. I do not want to relinquish this crown! The Mathletics week runs from a Monday morning to Sunday evening. Points are reset to '0' each Sunday night automatically. Children need to earn 1000 points in order to get a certificate. I award house points for anybody earning 2000 points+ or whoever is the highest that week. Children earn points both for homework tasks that I set each term, usually related to something in class, and on Mathletics live which can only be accessed once all homework tasks are completed. For every 5th certificate a child earns a silver certificate and after 20 certificates a child earns a GOLD certificate. I have a special Gold wall in the school for this and their name is read out in our celebration assembly each half term.
Mathletics, Hit the Button and other programs will definitely improve recall of basic facts. Other skills such as adding and subtracting 10s, 100s and 1000s, rounding and doubling/halving are also so important. Children can add and subtract 9 or 11 using 10 as a starting point then either adding or subtracting the 1 and multiplication skills are needed for fractions too. Asking your child the time throughout the year is also important as we only really spend 2 or 3 weeks on time later in the Spring term.
PE kits - PE will usually be on a Monday and Wednesday. Children need labelled kit and fitting shoes as feet grow at extraordinary rates, trousers are also fine during winter months as we may still be outside.
Appointments: If you wish to speak to me please try and make an appointment. I do my best to be available at all times though I often have meetings after school on alternate Mondays and every Tuesday.
Performances: We will be having our LKS2 Christmas Carol Concert during the final week of term (provisionally the final Thursday but tbc).
Workload: I have an expectation of work that children should complete and effort made during a lesson. Miss Rowland also has good knowledge of those in her class last year. If a child is deemed to not put in the effort into a lesson they may have to complete work either in time out or the work could be sent home.
Clothing: I know it sounds silly but please ensure all jumpers, coats, water bottles and fruit snack boxes are clearly labelled as this saves us vital time and should ensure that if things are left lying around they eventually return to us.
Homework expectations in Y3:
Parents and Guardians - Please feel free to contact me in the usual way, just before or just after the school day. If this is not appropriate then you can make an appointment at the School Office.