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

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2023 Spring Term (Year 1) - Upper 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, please continue to refer to your child’s homework diary as well as Google Classroom. Weekly updates regarding maths and English lessons will continue to be set on Google Classroom by your child’s classteacher. You will also find weekly updates for your child’s class on Marvellous Me.  
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. Spellings 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.
Examples of areas we plan to cover

Art & Design
We will be studying ‘sculptures in motion’. We will work through a process of taking sporting photos, drawing them and using these drawings to inspire models made from wire, covered in newspaper, and finishing off with Modroc.  

During the spring term, we will be researching, designing and reviewing various structures for shelters and homes. We will examine different engineering techniques used around the world to ensure buildings survive a natural disaster. Children will then build a prototype model to withstand a mock earthquake.

In our computing lessons the Upper School will be learning how to effectively search the internet and creating binary databases. In the second half of the term, the children will be creating their own blogs and vlogs.

This term, the children will be learning about ‘Our Challenging World’ where the focus is on natural disasters around the world caused by extreme weather including flooding, tornados, tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes and droughts. Children will describe key aspects of physical and human geography particularly focusing on the impact severe weather has on people around the world including the social and environmental issues caused by disasters.

Children will be exploring the exciting topic: ‘The Changing Power of the British Monarchy’. They will learn how the power of the British monarchy has changed from 1066 to the present day through the study of key events such as the signing of the Magna Carter, Henry VIII's break with Rome and English revolution.

This term we will be working on our keyboard skills. The children will continue to learn to read music and play pieces using both hands and including background rhythms. There will be plenty of opportunities for performance.

During indoor PE lessons, the children will focus on developing an idea or theme into dance choreography. They will work in pairs and groups using different choreographing tools to create dances e.g., formations, timing, dynamics. They will have opportunities to choreograph, perform and provide feedback on dance. The children will think about how to use movement to convey ideas, emotions, feelings and characters. They will show an awareness of keeping others safe and will have the opportunity to lead others through short warm ups.
The classes will begin the term with football-related lessons during our games sessions. They will improve their defending and attacking play, developing further knowledge of the principles and tactics of each. The children will begin to develop consistency and control in dribbling, passing and receiving a ball. They will also learn the basics of goalkeeping. They will evaluate their own and other’s performances, suggesting improvements.
The children will then move on to develop their racket skills when playing tennis. They will learn specific skills such as a forehand, backhand, volley and underarm serve. They will develop their tactical awareness including how to play with a partner and against another pair. They will be encouraged to show respect for their teammates as well as their opponents when self-managing games. The children are also be given opportunities to reflect on their own and other's performances and identify areas to improve.


This term we will be thinking about Dreams and Goals, why it is important to stretch ourselves to achieve them. We will discuss issues that impact the world and consider how to talk about more challenging world matters that concern us, in addition to how we can work with others to help make the world a better place.  

To start the term, we will be continuing to explore possible answers as to why there is suffering in the world from different religious perspectives. Then, we will be investigating the big question 'How do religious groups contribute to society and culture?'

We will be comparing and grouping everyday materials by their properties; using our understanding of solids, liquids and gasses to separate mixtures by filtering, sieving, dissolving, evaporating and condensing. Also we aim to: understand, explain and test, to find examples of reversible and irreversible changes.

In Spanish, the children will be recapping vocabulary about items of stationery in their pencil cases, including introducing prepositions. We will also be looking at and describing everyday items around the classroom and locations around the school.

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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