Year 5 & 6 - Acacia, Maple and Oak classes
Dear Parents and Children,
Welcome back Year 5 and 6! We hope you have had a wonderful break and are ready to learn lots of new things in school. We are really excited about all of the learning we have planned for you this year and know that you will all enjoy it too. We will continue with our Experience Curriculum, using interesting and thought-provoking key questions as the basis for much of our learning.
Term 1 and 2 Experiences
‘The Arrival’ – We will be using the text ‘The Arrival’ by Shaun Tan which is a beautifully illustrated graphic novel depicting the challenges of modern migration. The children will consider their own opinions and thoughts around this topic and it will link in with our RE big question - ‘what would Jesus do?’ The children will create various types of writing based on this text and will also make their own clay ‘companion creatures’, as well as developing their sketching techniques to re-create the skyline found in the text.
‘Heartbeats’ – This experience will have a large scientific focus of the human circulatory system and will involve many immersive experiences. The children will have the opportunity to explore how the human heart works, as well as the components that make up blood. We will carefully observe the function of our hearts during PE lessons and discuss our own fitness levels. In Literacy, we will use the text ‘The Water Tower’ by Gary Crew, to study how an author builds and sustains tension in a story. We will use some of these techniques to write our own tension-building pieces, following the ‘Write Stuff’ approach.
‘World War Poetry’ – We will explore the lives of the people who have come before us to protect our freedom through the use of a range of poetry written about the world wars. We will look at the language used to evoke emotion and work to emulate this in our own poems. We will also look at extracts from two of Michael Morpurgo’s books – ‘War Horse’ and ‘Private Peaceful’ – both of which portray the period of time in a vivid yet child-sensitive way.
‘The Polar Express’ – Through this experience, children will be transported to the snow-covered mountain tops of magical lands where they will be absorbed in detailed descriptive writing. We will look at the processes of melting and freezing and explore the concepts of insulation through making observations and completing our own investigations. We will think about ethical issues that may present themselves around this time of year, such as generosity and greed, and consider these within our own school values.
You will be able to see more information on each of our experiences on the website, including an overview, long and medium term plans, and a knowledge organiser which we will be using regularly in school, and expecting you to use at home. Ways in which you can use these include, reading it through together to find out what learning will take place, discussing the key vocabulary (possibly looking up the definitions at home, practicing the spellings and using the language together) and engaging with your children about what they are learning in school. These will be used throughout the experience in school, as well as at the end of the unit to help us assess the children’s achievements.
There is an expectation that children read daily at home, for at least 20 minutes. The children should bring home a book at their appropriate reading level, using our Accelerated Reader scheme, as well as another book of their choice. Reading records should be completed each evening and brought to school every day to be looked at with an adult. The children should be ready to explain to an adult in school what they have read, including any interesting vocabulary they have discovered along the way. Just a gentle reminder that parents can still be reading to their children at this age as well – many children will enjoy the quality time together sharing a book, and it is hugely beneficial for their own reading skills and enthusiasm for reading.
Additional homework will be stapled into the reading records at the start of each new experience. There will be a task for each week, and there will be discussions about these in school. The tasks are open-ended, allowing children to take the learning as far as they wish, and there are many opportunities for children to learn alongside their parents at home, so parents please enable this to happen.
Year 5 and 6 Jobs
As well as House Captains and Sports Captains, there are many opportunities for the children in Years 5 and 6 to develop their sense of responsibility. A range of jobs will be discussed in class during the first two weeks of term and children will have the chance to apply for a role which they would like to take on this year. Many of the jobs involve the whole school and the school environment and some are based more in classrooms, however all jobs enable children to be good role models to the rest of the school.
The school council is a vital part of BGPS as the pupil’s voice is important to us! A child from each class will be elected by their peers to represent their class. They will join other elected children from across the school to make key decisions on the things they feel are important to their school experience. For example this could be to do with playtimes or the play environment, particular experiences they would like to have or improve upon, a school charity to support, and other issues that may arise as the year goes on. There will be regular meetings as a group and children will need to come to these meetings ready to share their ideas! Teachers will discuss this role with their classes over the next two weeks.
We have high expectations across the school that the children are wearing the correct uniform. Year 5 and 6 are the role models for the rest of the school and so it is particularly important that they set a good example. Uniform promotes a sense of belonging and equality and we expect children to demonstrate pride in their appearance and respect for their uniform. Children wearing incorrect uniform will be asked to change. Below is a reminder of the correct school uniform:
Grey tailored trousers or shorts
Grey skirt, pinafore dress
White shirt/polo shirt
White short-sleeved shirt/blouse
School bottle green round neck/V-neck sweatshirt or sweatshirt fabric cardigan
School tie (optional)
Grey socks (white socks can be worn with dresses)
Green checked dress
Children should be well- presented and their white shirt/polo shirt must be tucked in at all times.
Children must wear sensible black shoes to school, NOT TRAINERS or BOOTS.
Makeup and nail varnish are not permitted. Excessive hair accessories or extreme hair styles or colour are also not permitted. No jewellery except for one, small, stud earring allowed in each ear.
Analogue watches are encouraged but SMART watches are not allowed.
Many items are available from the school office. To order uniform please click on the link https://www.brigade.uk.com/parents/ or visit the uniform section on our website. The Parent and Teachers’ Association also runs an excellent second-hand uniform shop on site.
This term, we have PE on a Wednesday. Please ensure that your child comes into school wearing their PE kit on these days. If a child is unable to join in with the P.E lessons due to injury they should still come in their full P.E. kit as they will contribute to the learning and assessment of skills covered. Pupils with long hair should have their hair tied back at all times and earrings must be taken out or protected with tape during P.E. lessons. Teachers are not allowed to take earrings out for children so please ensure it is done before they arrive to school that morning.
House colour T-shirt
White PE shorts
Green track suit bottoms or black skins underneath the white shorts maybe worn for outdoor games in cold weather. Skins must not be worn without white shorts over the top.
All items of uniform should be clearly labelled with your child’s name.
In addition, Year 5/6 will have swimming this term, starting the week commencing 12.09.22. Oak will swim on a Wednesday; Acacia will swim on a Thursday. Maple will swim on Wednesday or Thursday depending on the group they are in – they will be advised of this in advance. Children will require a named swimming costume, swimming hat, goggles and towel, all in a named bag.
There is an expectation that lunches brought in from home contain healthy items that will support the children’s concentration in school. Please see the image below to help you with deciding what your child should bring in.
If your child has a pen license, they may bring a blue ink pen to school. We highly recommend the friction pens that can be rubbed out. Pencils, sharpeners, rulers, glue sticks and scissors will be provided by the school. Please do not send your child to school with large pencil cases.
We hope to have lots of opportunities for outdoors learning so please make sure your children have suitable footwear and waterproof jackets in school every day. We now have a welly rack in each classroom so please send in a pair of named wellies that can stay in school. Walks and outdoor activities will take place in all weathers.
At BGPS we are very lucky to have so many clubs during lunchtimes, before and after school run voluntarily. The timetables will be issued shortly for these. Please remember if your child signs up to a club they must tell the adult in charge if they cannot attend for an important reason.
End of the Day
As you know safeguarding your children is paramount at BGPS and it is essential for all that this continues at the end of the school day. We ask for your support to help ensure that we are sending your children off the school site in the manner that you expect us to.
- If children are not leaving school with a parent or carer that we have on record, then you must advise us of this as otherwise a phone call will have to be made to confirm that you are happy for this to happen before we can release your child.
- If you have a child in Year 6 who you are happy to walk home from school on their own, please inform us in writing so we are aware of this. This is only for Year 6 children at this stage of the academic year.
If your child has a phone, due to walking home alone, these must be turned off and handed in to the class teacher first thing. They will be kept in the office during the school day and returned to them at the end of the day.
Please find below some important dates during term 1:
Thursday 8th September – Kent Test
Saturday 24th September – Meadowfest
Monday 26th September – The European Day of Languages
Finally, if you have any concerns that you would like to raise with us then please do so, we are always happy to discuss and issues with you and deal with these as soon as possible.
Mrs Martin, Mrs Lewis, Mrs Quantick, Mrs Rees-Porter and Miss Wilson