AUTUMN TERM 2018-2019


"Secrets of a Sun King" (Emma Carroll's latest novel) will be at the heart of this term's English teaching. An adventure set in both 1922 and Ancient Egypt, this gripping story will enable us to reflect on how to shape a plot and develop characters, alongside endless opportunities for analysis of sentence and vocabulary choices. Our writing- both fiction and non-fiction will be rooted in the excitement of this adventure and what we discover about life in Britain in the '20s and life in Ancient Egypt. 

We shall also be going to the Cheltenham Literature festival  to work on our writing skills with author Christopher Edge (author of The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day) and listen to Abi Elphinstone (author of last year's class favourite, Sky Song) talk about her book-about what inspires her and how she writes.

As continued members of the Cheltenham Literature Festival Reading Teachers = Reading Pupils programme,  we shall work alongside other teachers and pupils, accessing new children’s literature, including meeting authors of the books.


We began the year with an in depth look at how we learn, with particular emphasis on Maths. Our philosophy centres around how vital a growth mindset is and the understanding that:

  • Brains grow and change
  • Mistakes are powerful: they are when we learn the most
  • Speed is not everything
  • Believe in yourself

We recognise that fast recall of our times table facts to 12 x 12 is really helpful in many aspects of our maths work. This includes aspects of arithmetic: using the formal methods to multiply and divide; comparing and converting fractions, as well as in reasoning work, eg calculating area of rectangles and compound shapes. So, being confident and fluent recalling these facts is a high priority as the year starts. 

Daily maths lessons will develop understanding of place value, addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, statistics (graphs, reading timetables, parts of circles and finding the mean average) and measurement (perimeter, area and volume).


Science focusses on properties and changing materials. Children will be taught to compare and group together everyday materials on the basis of their properties, including their hardness, solubility, transparency, conductivity (electrical and thermal), and response to magnets. They will learn that some materials will dissolve in liquid to form a solution, and describe how to recover a substance from a solution.They will be challenged to use their knowledge of solids, liquids and gases to decide how mixtures might be separated, including through filtering, sieving and evaporating. They will consider which changes are reversible and which are irreversible. Investigation work will help them learn that conclusions must be based on evidence from comparative and fair tests.


Humanities this term has a historical focus; children will be taught about the achievements and nature of one of the earliest civilizations - Ancient Egypt. Through their studies of Egyptian society, including its hierachy, the Egyptians belief in many Gods, their belief in the afterlife as well as through the study of archaeologists' discoveries, children will further their understanding of the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.




RE work considers the question of creation and science: conflicting or complementary?

This will include reflecting on Genesis 1, considering what it might mean, and comparing Christians' interpretations. Connections will be made between Genesis 1 and Christian belief about God as creator.  Children will weigh up how far the Genesis 1 creation narrative is in conflict, or is complementary, with a scientific account.


Swimming and gym will be taught at Thornbury Leisure Centre each week, whilst coaching in school in include the skills of invasion games.

In addition to weekly lessons, there will be opportunities for trying different sports. For example, week 2 of the term includes a street dancing workshop, whilst week 3 begins with watersports at South Cerney Outdoors for Year 6 children. 


Weekly music lessons focus on developing rhythm.

Throughout the term, practice and preparation will take place for our participation in Young Voices 2019! A date for your diaries - Monday 21st January 2019 - this will be the culmination of all our hard work, when we join with choirs from all over the country at the Birmingham NEC for the concert itself. Children have their own copies of the words for all the songs they will be performing. They will be taught all these songs in school alongside actions for a few. But its a lot of words so any extra practise at home is encouraged. Children will be given a code to access the YV Music Room where they can access:

  • Lyric videos - challenge your friends to see who knows the lyrics the best
  • Spotify links - listen on the go or right at home, anywhere there is wifi. There are 2 associated playlists: Young Voices Music Pack 2019 [all the songs and medleys the children will sing-great to practise to] and Young Voices 2019 [the original hits the YV playlist is taken from].
  • Special extras - be sure to check in daily to see if there is a message from someone cool! 



We have taken up the invitation from The Tyndale Arts week to decorate a sheep, based on the style of Mondian. The finished piece will form part of an exhibition of artwork (displayed at Kingshill House) during Tyndale Arts Week in October.

Willow Class parent information

(from parent's meeting Friday 14th September 2018)

File icon: pdf WILLOW Parent Information 2018-2019 [pdf 784KB] Click to download