2023 Spring Term (Year 1) - Lower School - St Thomas of Canterbury Junior School

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2023 Spring Term (Year 1) - Lower School

Curriculum Advice for Parents

Happy New Year! We hope that the information below will give you helpful details of planned work for the new spring term. Please assist your child in exploring and discussing these areas throughout the term.
For general expectations regarding school and home learning, continue to refer to your child’s homework diary as well as Google Classroom. Weekly updates regarding maths and English lessons will be set on Google Classroom by your child’s classteacher.
We encourage all children to read to somebody at home each day. Children should aim to read a range of genres during the school year. Please refer to and discuss our reading tree scheme with your child. Year 4 children will also be set a comprehension task to complete each week at home. Spelling lists will continue to be set on Spelling Frame and we continue to encourage your child to use Times Table Rock Stars (TTRS) to practise their multiplication and division facts. You will also find weekly updates regarding taught lessons for your child’s class on Marvellous Me.  
Examples of areas we plan to cover

Art & Design
We are studying Egyptian paintings and will replicate their patterns, motifs and hieroglyphics, before designing and painting our own Egyptian cartouches.

Using our knowledge from Geography and English we will be creating an information text about Spain in the form of a pop-up book.

Children will be learning about the digital footprint that we create through our use of the internet and how we can keep ourselves safe online. Children will be exploring Excel and Purple Mash software and will be learning how to organise and interpret databases.

The classes will start the term with a focus on net and wall skills through tennis. They will develop the key skills such as the ready position, racket control, forehand and backhand ground strokes. They will learn how to score points and how to use skills, strategies and tactics to outwit the opposition. The children will then move onto focusing on football-based games. They will develop competencies in key skills such as defending, attacking, sending, receiving and dribbling a ball. They will learn to work co-operatively within a team, showing respect for their teammates, opposition and referee.

This term’s unit is ‘Catalonia here we come!’ This unit begins with an overview of Europe, Spain and the region of Catalonia, and then focuses on Barcelona, enabling children to compare and contrast with other areas of the world.

We will still be learning about the Egyptians, focusing more on how they lived and their jobs. Following the half term break, the children will learn about the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings. They will explore areas such as the invasions and resistance from rulers such as Alfred the Great, settlements, art and culture, conversions to Christianity and the Norman Conquest.

This term the children will be having class keyboard lessons. They will learn how to read music and find the notes on the keyboard. There will be opportunities for composition and performance.

The children are now moving onto dance during their indoor PE lessons. They will focus on creating characters and narrative through movement and gesture. They will gain inspiration from a range of stimuli, working individually, in pairs and small groups. They will think about how to use movement to explore and communicate ideas and issues, and their own feelings and thoughts. The children will develop confidence in performing and will be given the opportunity to provide feedback and utilise feedback to improve their own work.

Our focus during the first half term will be on our dreams and goals. We will be looking at the fact that sometimes we face disappointment and that things can go wrong but that we need to try again and keep positive. We will look at planning new goals even after disappointment and how if we are resilient this can help us have greater chances at success. During the second half term we will be looking at Healthy Me. We will discuss peer pressure and the feelings of anxiety that can come with that and how we can resist this. We will problem-solve a variety of strategies to help us make safe and healthy choices.

To start the term, we will be continuing to explore how different groups of people may make moral decisions. Then, we will be investigating the big question 'What do Hindus believe about God?' In this unit, we will be looking at Brahman, the Trimurti, the Hindu creation story, the Aum symbol, puja, and murtis, amongst other things.

We are investigating sound this term. We will think about the way we hear sound, the way sound travels and how to vary the pitch (high/low) and volume (loud/quiet) of a range of musical instruments. We will use our knowledge and understanding of sound to create our own musical instruments.

At the start of the term, we will be extending our day-to-day vocabulary (days of the week, months of the year, conversational Spanish) and looking at different modes of transport, including explaining how we travel to different areas. In the second half-term, we will be linking with our Geography topic to look at the similarities and differences between our culture and that of Spain, particularly in regards to Spanish cuisine.
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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