Lower Key Stage 2 – Years 3 and 4
See Information for Years 3&4
Welcome to the Lower School at Towers.
We are extremely proud of our children and our aim is to ensure that they are happy, have a love of learning and continue to develop positive relationships with others. We continue to reinforce our BUILD values on a daily basis throughout the school. In years 3 and 4, our children are supported by teachers, senior management, teaching assistants and peers to excel in all areas.
At Towers we ensure that every minute counts and
every hour matters.
Each morning, the children are allowed to enter the building from 8.45am and our teaching day begins at 8.55am. At the end of the day, each class is dismissed from their line at 3.30pm. At Towers we ensure that every minute counts and every hour matters.
Our Junior curriculum is broad and balanced whilst meeting the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum. We aim to develop the children’s differing interests and strengths by providing interesting and challenging lessons. In addition, we organise trips and visitors to enrich and extend the pupils’ knowledge and understanding out of the classroom setting. For more details about the topics we teach, please see our Curriculum Maps which provide a long term overview of each curriculum area.
All lessons are differentiated to ensure that identified groups of children are challenged appropriately.
English is taught through a daily literacy hour as well as a daily guided reading session. We also link key English skills to other subjects. Maths is taught through a daily mathematics lesson that includes a focused session of mental arithmetic and, as with English, maths skills are used in other subjects.
During lessons, we pay close attention to the levels of progress made in reading, writing and mathematics. All lessons are differentiated to ensure that identified groups of children are challenged appropriately. In maths, this is achieved by setting children according to their mathematical ability.
To ensure that all children reach the expected level of progress, there are intervention programmes in place which are implemented by teachers and teaching assistants. These take the form of short sessions in small groups outside of lessons where areas for improvement receive special attention.
We endeavor to work closely with our children’s parents/carers to support their well-being and learning both at school and at home. If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to send in a note or contact the school office for an appointment to be arranged with either the class teacher or the Year 4/5 Phase Leader, Mrs Spoor.
Upper Key Stage 2 – Years 5 and 6
See information for Years 5&6
Welcome to the Upper School at Towers. We are proud of the amazing children that we teach and aim to support and develop each individual to achieve their full potential during their time with us. Our aim is to create happy, confident children who enjoy learning and develop positive relationships with others, children and adults alike. We reinforce our BUILD values on a daily basis - in class, around the school and during assemblies.
Children are allowed to enter the building from 8.45am and our teaching day begins from 8.55am. Indeed, we encourage the children to arrive at school ready to enter the building when the doors open. This allows the children time to organise themselves and settle into the morning classroom routine quickly. We expect the children to enter their classrooms in a calm and motivated manner, ready to make an enthusiastic start to their day of learning aiming to achieve their best.
At the end of the day, each class is dismissed from their line at 3.30pm. If you wish your child to leave the junior playground on their own, then a permission form must be signed by a parent/carer at the school office. In year 6, children who bring a phone into school must place the phone in a class box on arrival at school and remember to collect their phone at the end of the day before they leave.
Although our main area of focus is upon ensuring that our children are confident when leaving our school in the core areas of reading, writing and mathematics, we strongly believe it is essential that our children experience a broad and balanced curriculum. We aim to provide interesting and challenging lessons which develop the children’s differing interests and strengths and contribute to a love of learning. All lessons are differentiated to ensure that all children are supported and challenged appropriately. In addition, we organise trips and visitors to enrich and extend the pupils’ knowledge and understanding out of the classroom setting.
We have large amphitheatre areas outside our classrooms in both year 5 and 6. At times, these areas are used to gather as a year group. At other times, they provide the space for drama, art and design, topic or science activities, whether working independently or collaboratively. The areas are also used for children working individually and in focused groups to enable specific learning tasks to take place.
We are also lucky to have a wide range of outdoor areas where teaching and learning can take place, from the decked areas outside classrooms to the garden area and gazebo.
Guided Reading takes place daily at the beginning of the day. Children are grouped according to reading and comprehension abilities. Additional comprehension groups are timetabled for targeted children. Dependent upon the task, children either work independently or as a group to read and complete activities about a range of fiction and non-fiction texts.
When working in Guided Reading, children are encouraged to use clues from the text to make predictions and to express their ideas about characters and events. Reading activities encourage children to explain their own views, drawing upon evidence from the text. The style or presentation of a text is discussed, with the children identifying the techniques used by the author. Children also learn how to understand unfamiliar words using the context of the text.
We aim for our children to become confident, enthusiastic readers who enjoy reading. Regular reading at home is essential. Indeed, time spent reading and discussing books at home will always help to further develop your child’s reading skills and comprehension.
Children are taught in their class groups for a daily English lesson. Sometimes, children work in ability groups within the classroom on learning tasks. At other times, children work collaboratively in partners or in mixed ability groups. We encourage the children to talk to each other, sharing ideas and verbalising their thoughts. Using correct grammar and varied vocabulary when speaking will have a positive impact upon children’s writing. We encourage the children to use a wide variety of vocabulary to produce writing which captures the attention of their reader and makes them want to read on. When writing, we expect that children begin their sentences with a variety of interesting sentence starters. They should be able use a range of appropriate connectives to extend their sentences and to use adjectives, adverbs and descriptive phrases to describe both nouns and actions. In upper school, children should also use an increasingly wide range of punctuation to record their ideas in written form. We look for every opportunity to develop the children’s written work in all subject areas.
Maths is taught in a daily Maths lesson. In the upper school, we group the children for Maths lessons. We believe that this allows children to develop their maths skills by providing opportunities for all children to succeed, whether they need a little more support or greater challenge. The children are regularly assessed and movement between groups is fluid, based upon classwork, assessments and teacher judgements.
During their Maths lesson, children complete a “fast maths” session which develops and extends the quick recall of number facts. In years 5 and 6, the focus is upon rapid recall of multiplication and division facts which can then be applied into everyday class work. We really appreciate support from home in developing and reinforcing these skills as they are fundamental in contributing to your child’s success in Maths. Our aim is for the children to successfully apply and transfer their mathematical skills to problem solving contexts. During lessons, we provide opportunities for children to work independently and collaboratively to complete maths investigations, which require the children to apply and explain their mathematical knowledge and understanding.
We have also introduced booster sessions for English and Maths, mainly for year 6 children. These focus on the children’s needs in order to successfully meet their targets.
Each year group completes work on five Science topics during the course of the year. We encourage the children to take an investigative approach towards Science, learning the key Science facts through practical experiences. Children create their own experiments to investigate scientific questions. We strongly believe that hands-on experience is crucial in the development of scientific understanding. We aim to encourage scientific thinking, with the children using the appropriate vocabulary and drawing their own conclusions from their work.
Each year group completes a term and a half of history work, before moving onto a term and a half of Geography. In year 5, the children learn about the Tudors, focusing upon the reigns of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. This is then followed by a topic about the Aztecs. In year 6, the children learn about World War II and the Victorians.
We aim to enrich the children’s learning about such topics with themed days and trips. Year 6 visit Gunpowder Mills for a World War II experiences, while year 5 celebrate a Tudor Christmas with a visiting company.
In Year 5, the first Geography topic is the study of Italy. The children will then move onto to focus upon North America. In Year 6, the children complete a local study, focusing upon developing map skills.
For more details about the topics we teach, please see our Curriculum Maps which provide a long-term overview of each curriculum area.
Children actively take part in assessing their own learning, as it is essential that they know what they need to do next to improve. Alongside verbal feedback during lessons, we provide feedback through our marking for the children about areas of their work that they can improve. In Maths, children regularly update a self-assessment booklet which contains the objectives children need to achieve. We build time into our lessons to enable the children to respond to the feedback given and to edit and make improvements to their work. We encourage the children to respond to all marking, providing their own personalised feedback about their learning. This is also invaluable for teachers, allowing us to adapt our planning so as to meet the children’s individual needs. Children’s progress is carefully monitored and tracked, allowing us to identify children who are struggling to make progress and those children who are excelling and need further challenge.
We ask that children read at home regularly and that their reading record is signed five times a week.
The children receive spelling homework on a Wednesday. Children need to learn the meaning of the words and practise them during the week. We also ask that the children write a sentence using the spelling word in the correct context. Spelling homework is handed in on Monday when the children are tested on their spelling words.
On a Friday, Maths homework is sent home by the group teacher. This needs to be completed and handed in on the following Wednesday.
At other times, additional homework which may be related to Topic or Science may be sent out by the year group to support and extend children’s learning.
Queries and Concerns
Please come and speak to any of our team if you have any queries or concerns. Either send a note in to the class teacher or contact the school office who will arrange an appointment with either the class teacher or Deputy Head Teacher, Mrs Lawless.