Thursday, April 22, 2010

Term 2 2010

Dear Parents and Caregivers

Welcome back to the new term. Hopefully everyone had a relaxing Easter break and managed to eat their fair share of chocolate eggs – I certainly did!

A special thanks to all the parents who contributed to making our annual trip to Forest Lakes a real success. The children had a sensational time and it was an excellent opportunity to establish strong class and team cultures at the beginning of the year.
The teachers are all looking forward to getting stuck into a solid term of teaching in Term 2. Here is the run down of what is happening.


This term we are focusing on Science, in particular concepts of electricity. We will use the solar panels that are operating on the senior side of the school for motivation. Our big idea for this unit is Solar Energy is the best way to generate electricity in New Zealand.’ Throughout the course of this inquiry students will investigate pros and cons of a variety of renewable sources of energy so they can form an informative opinion on this big idea. This is going to be a very exciting unit with lots of hands-on tasks like making electrical circuits and learning from experts who will be visiting the school.


In writing we will be focusing on explanation writing where we will be writing factual accounts to explain how things work. This will be integrated with our Inquiry unit as much as possible, using our findings from scientific investigations.

Towards the middle of the term we will start preparing for speech presentations which will take place in classes at the end of the term. The best speeches from each class will be selected for the Team semi-finals. From there, the finalists will be chosen for the Finals on the 24th of June.

The majority of the speech preparation will occur through the homework programme although support will also be given in class.


Cross grouping will continue this term and commence in week 1. We start the term looking at Number, exploring addition, subtraction, multiplication & division. We then move into Geometry, exploring various forms of symmetry.

Visual Art
Students will be learning about various concepts of painting and will be building on their drawing skills using a variety of materials. The students will be focusing on portrait painting by looking at works from famous artists.

Physical Education

The start of the term sees us training for the school cross country in week 5. Training will take place every morning so it is essential the children have appropriate running shoes and clothes to wear.

We will also be focusing on developing throwing and catching skills of large balls along with improving team game strategies.


Homework will be completed on a weekly basis during term 2. Homework will be given out on Monday and will be due on the following Friday.
This term we will be trialling blogging homework tasks on this blog. We feel this is a great way to reduce the amount of paper we use plus it will encourage students to get more familiar with our blogging systems. Homework sheets will still be provided to students who have no or limited internet access at home. This is what you should expect to see in your child’s weekly homework:

Spelling: Each week your child will have between 8-10 spelling words to learn for the week. These words will be a combination of words taken from the Essential Spelling Lists (including extension lists if appropriate) and inquiry/literacy based words. There will usually be a spelling activity based on these words eg writing words in complex sentences, writing in alphabetical order, breaking words into syllables etc. Every Friday your child will be tested on their words either by the classroom teacher or a buddy.

Reading: Your child will also be required to read between 10-15 minutes every night and record what they read in their homework books. They will also be asked to write a brief summary (1-2 paragraphs) on what has happened in the story.

Maths: This will usually consist of maintenance on basic facts, especially timetables plus revising concepts of place value. It is essential that your child has a strong grounding of these facts and they need to have instant recall so regular practice is essential. Tasks will often involve playing or completing maths tasks that are linked from the classroom blogs.

Additional tasks: Most weeks students will be given an additional task to complete. This may be completing a task that was started in class or a reflection task based on a learning experience from the previous week.

As mentioned earlier, towards the middle of the term there will be a strong focus on preparing for speech delivery in class.

As the term goes on, we will add links on this blog for students who wish to do optional extension tasks.

When your child is completing their work at home please encourage them to present their work to a high standard so it is easy to follow and mark by their classroom teacher.

As teachers, we understand the weeks can be very busy and many children have a lot of after school activties to attend. If for any reason your child is unable to complete their homework, please write a brief note in their book or email your classroom teacher with an explanation.

T.G.I Friday Programme

Starting Friday Week 2 the classes from the Year 5/6 Syndicate will be mixed up to take part in a variety of high interest activities. The programme includes, Drama, Art, Music, Science experiments and Spanish. The structure of this programme has been altered slightly from last year. This term there will be 2 cycles that last for 4 weeks each. This will mean each activity will be longer so concepts will be taught more in-depth.

The students will have the opportunity to choose which activity they would like to take part in. This will encourage students to take part in an activity that will harness their talents and strengths. We will endeavour to give every student their first, second or third choice.

This programme is a great opportunity for the students to take part in fun, practical learning experiences with the possibility of showcasing their work at the end of the term.

Other things to note….

Slippers: In Term 2 we ask the children to bring a pair of slippers to wear in the classroom instead of their regular footwear. This eliminates the mud that is brought into the class from children playing on the field. Please ensure your child has a pair of slippers that are left at school for the next two terms.

Blogs: All classroom blogs are now up and running with some classes also operating literacy blogs to showcase the students writing. Thank you to everyone who has visited the blogs and have left comments for the children – they really appreciate your feedback. We will endeavour to keep the blogs updated regularly so make sure you visit frequently!
Click on the links in the sidebar to go to the classroom blogs.

Reports, Interviews & Portfolios:

In Week 11 of this term there will be an opportunity for you to make an appointment with your classroom teacher to discuss your child’s progress along with viewing their portfolio of work. Reports outlining your child's achievements will also be sent home at the end of this term.

Finally…. Please help your child remember to check they have everything they need each morning and they are at school in time for the first bell at 8.40. Students should see that being organised is part of growing up and an important life skill to be developing.

If you need to contact your child’s classroom teacher please feel free to drop by the classroom before or after school or make an appointment for an interview at the office. The easiest way to touch base with us is email e.g. teacher’s

Thank you again for your support

Stu Devenport

Year 5 and 6 Team Leader.

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