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Autumn Term in Oak Class - Ancient Greece Theme

We are already three weeks into our learning and all the children have settled in well into our class routines.  We have a lot to cover this year but it is good to see all the children are on board and ready to learn.


Maths learning has started with recapping place value in numbers and basic understanding of what numbers are. This will lead on to column addition, subtraction, multiplication and Division. If all goes to plan we should be able to fit in some Statistics before Christmas too. Maths in Oak class is fast paced but the children learn at the level that suits them – that means choosing to do work that is challenging enough for them – not too easy! Every day the children are encouraged to choose a ‘reasoning’ task too to broaden their thinking and think outside of the box. The children have really taken well to this and already and there is a real buzz of learning in our lessons.

We have introduced something new across the school for Maths learning this year called Assertive Mentoring to help raise achievement for everyone. ‘Maths Skills’ as the children know it by, is introduced once a week as a Maths lesson. This is an opportunity for children to revise everything that is taught in a whole school year in small bites and believe it or not – the children love it! They test themselves each week with as much help from a friend or a teacher as they want, whilst building up a bank of targets that they personally need to improve on. 

Our Maths Passports are still a prominent part of our class teaching and learning. I will be sending home the children’s current targets for these. PLEASE help your child to learn these. I can’t emphasise enough how important it is that children know these quickly and confidently to help them in other areas of Maths. There is not much time in the curriculum in Year 5 and 6 to go over the learning of times tables and so if your child is still on these – they could really do with your help.

Topic – Ancient Greece

We have already begun our topic on Ancient Greece and the children seem to be enjoying the freedom of being able to find out more on their own. The topic has been introduced to the children with an important historical discovery. The children were told that a group of cavers had recently come across a body found hidden in a cave in the mountains of the Kallídhromon massif in Northern Greece. The body is believed to be that of a young boy who died about 2500 years ago! Evidence points back to the time, place and location of the Battle of Thermopylae that the children have just been learning about.  As well as the skeletal remains, the cavers also found an array of different items from ancient Greece but questions remain unanswered….. Who was this young man? Why was the battle of Thermopylae so significant to the find?  Why did the young man have these objects with him? Why was the boy hiding in the cave? What might have been his story?

Our task over the next term we will be to try and solve this mystery by finding out more about Ancient Greece at the time he died and whom this boy may have been. At the end of the term, the children will bring their ideas and research together to invent a story about the young man’s life and tragic death. 


The ‘Just So Stories’  are a wonderful collection of stories written by Rudyard Kipling in 1902. Kipling began working on the book by telling the first three chapters as bedtime stories to his daughter Josephine. These had to be told "just so" (exactly in the words she was used to) or she would complain. The stories describe how one animal or another acquired its most distinctive features, such as how the Leopard got his spots. We will be using Kipling’s collection of stories to learn more about the writing of Classical texts, as well as understand the authors style of writing. At the end of this unit, the children will be writing their own collections of stories to turn into our very own class book. After this unit, we will move on to Non-fiction and learn how to write an explanation text and then just before Christmas we will study a poem called ‘ The highwayman’ with lots of lovely activities planned around this.

As always, children will be focusing on their individual English targets to improve their writing. We will also be having a big push on spelling this year with regular spelling lessons and time to practise. The children all now have their own personal dictionaries and are encouraged to use these and add words to them that they are still unsure of how to spell.


Guided reading takes place every week as an opportunity for me to hear your child read. This is not necessarily from the book they are reading at home – it will usually be a book that we are reading in class that I have chosen to challenge them. At the moment the year 5s are reading the Chronicles of Narnia and the Year 6s are reading Street Child. Both books are classics with some challenging words and good discussion to be had from them. PLEASE also ensure your child is reading their school books at home and that they are being given the opportunity to read aloud – preferably to an adult.


Our Science topic for this half term will be on Light and how we see things. We do have an awful lot to cover this year in Science and so we will be moving quite quickly through these topics. It would be very helpful if the Year 6s could bring back their old Science books please that were not supposed to have gone home. Swiftly after our topic on light, we will look at the link between art and science in the human body. Our aim will not only be to learn more about the human body but to create an exhibition of art work to reflect the beautiful complexity of the human body that makes us human.


In French Mrs Barrie will be recapping basic vocabulary and going over classroom commands, verbs, and how to present themselves eg: I am .... She will also help us to label up much of our topic display in French.

Religious Education

In RE the children will be discussing the very complex question of Creation and Science – Is it conflicting or could it be seen as complementary? Nearer Christmas the children will be learning and discussing the question - ‘Was Jesus the Messiah?


PE this half term and next will be Tag Rugby outdoors and Dance indoors. PLEASE make sure your child has their PE kit in school every day. I have planned our PE lessons for a Friday afternoon but some weeks we may like to fit in an extra one if the weather is looking good.


The children in our class, especially the Year 6s, are seen as leaders of the school and should therefore be leading by example.  Children should be coming to school neat and tidy in the correct school uniform. We have a lot of children in trainers, coloured fleeces, coloured socks, different coloured hair bands etc and it is not setting a good example for the rest of the school. Please check your child is wearing what they should be.

Thank you

Mrs Cowler

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01438 717378
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