2020 Autumn Term - Upper School - St Thomas of Canterbury Junior School

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2020 Autumn Term - Upper School

Curriculum Advice for Parents

Welcome back to the beginning of a new academic year. It is wonderful to have all the children back at school again! We hope that this information will give you helpful details of planned work for this term. Please assist your son/daughter in exploring and discussing these areas. We trust you to continue to find the homework diary useful and intend to continue to suggest activities in it.

All year groups will be having English and Mathematics every day. The most important way to help your children is to read with them on a daily basis. The more you read together the better they will do in school and (this is not an overstatement) in life! "Families that read together succeed together!" We will also continue to suggest spellings and times tables to learn in the homework diary too as this type of work is also very beneficial.

A few things to note are that we are staying in our class bubbles for Maths and English. In addition, we have altered how Geography and History are taught during the term and you may have noticed that we now have a rolling two-week programme, teaching every subject every other week as opposed to teaching them in blocks a term at a time.

Please continue to refer to the homework diary for general expectations, such as those relating to uniform (summer uniform expectations are in place until October half term). Thank you for your continued support!
Examples of areas we plan to cover

Art & Design
We will be developing a range of techniques from drawing, to colour, to mixing; all with the aim to create a fresco. We start with looking at still life drawings, which then leads us on to discovering the history behind the Maya Stelae created by Catherwood and creating our own versions of a Maya fresco.

This term we will be studying food and healthy lifestyles. We aim to study the history of Maya foods and some of the recipes that we still use today. We hope the children will enjoy trying a variety of different food and learn the importance of a healthy diet.

In Computing this term, the children will be studying computer coding on Purple Mash. The children will learn coding skills such as loops, debugging and computational thinking. Please feel free to experiment with this at home by accessing 2Code with your child on the Purple Mash website.

This term, our geography unit is studying, 'The World From Above'. Information is gleaned from satellite images and maps and the children will describe what they see and suggest reasons why the geography of the area is as it is. They will also explore the world's continents, their features, climates and biomes and think about human features including World Cities and Urban areas and make 3D models exploring topography to support their investigations.

This term we will be studying the culture of the Ancient Maya. We will be looking at their buildings, beliefs, artwork and day-to-day life and comparing aspects of these with periods of history we have previously studied.

In music we will explore our music appreciation and listen to and reflect upon orchestral music studying Beethoven and his Fifth Symphony. Influenced by this, we will compose our own music and evaluate our performances to make improvements.

In PE this term, we will be developing our fitness and stamina with various games and circuits. The children will develop their physical literacy as they reflect on the effects of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). In addition, they will aim to increase their stamina, flexibility, co-ordination and core strength during a number of "rebalance" sessions. They will also be given opportunities to use rebalance exercises to manage stress, improve concentration and increase self-awareness.

We will be thinking about 'Being Me in My World'; learning to value who we are and our new class members. We will also learn about our rights and responsibilities and how we need to respect ourselves and others. After half term we will be working on a 'Celebrating Difference' unit and thinking about the importance and benefits of diversity in our world.

In RE this term, we will be exploring the Christian viewpoint on creation and considering how this complements or conflicts with science. We will then look at the Hindu creation story and beliefs about the Trimurti. Finally, we will study incarnation and explore the big question, “Was Jesus the Messiah?”

This term in science, children will be exploring how animals and humans grow and change throughout their different stages of development. We will also be looking in detail at the purposes and functions of the circulatory and digestive systems. We will investigate what constitutes a healthy diet, and understanding the impact of drugs and harmful substances.

We will be learning the names of the most common types of shop such as butchers, bakers, supermarket and the items which you may find in them. Then we will go on to look in more detail about how to order food and drink within a Spanish restaurant.
You may like to talk to your child about these topics. The prospectus (which details how the different subjects are taught) is available for download by clicking here.

In addition, you may also wish to:

: research ideas at the local library and help your child to develop his/her library skills;

: search the internet for relevant websites and activities;

: watch relevant television programmes that may support their work, or visit a museum or place of interest;

: simply talk to your child about what they are learning!

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