The Masterminds

Summer 2 Newsletter

The children will work in their new classes all day during Rio Week (5.7.16-8.7.16) and in the mornings from 11.7.16 until 22.7.16.They will return to 4/5P for the final two days of term.

Subject updates


(until 4. 7.16)

Play writing – I will be continuing and finishing our work on WW1, writing a play about the football match on Christmas Day  1914 .I am hoping to take a sample of the children`s work to display at The Courage of Conscience event at the Donut Studio  in Chesterfield (sounds promising!)  on Thurs 23rd  June .This event celebrates a local project exploring the lives of Conscientious Objectors during WW1.

Mrs De Villiers will be revising story writing.



Miss Parsons` set- data handling ,geometry

Multiplication two step problems

Fractions problems


Miss Edwards` set- fractions


Miss Harbottle`s set –decimals percentages and shape


Animals including humans cont

Skeletons and muscles for support, protection and movement

Types of teeth in humans and simple functions

-Food chains – producers, predators and prey



 Climate zones(Biomes)

Manaus – rain forest city- links with the rest of the world

Threats to the rainforest.


Year 5P will be practising the songs for the year 5/6 play This takes place on Fri 22nd July and Mon 25th July.

You are welcome to attend either performance .However, the Mon performance will be the “Leavers` Performance” and you may prefer to come to the Thurs show.


Music in the style of the Samba to fit in with Brazil topic.



-Rainforest/ Tiger Surprise!/ Henri Rousseau/ Brazilian artist

-Different media for foreground, tone and texture in collage, specific use of different paper for texture and tone


Programming cont

Using Scratch


Continue tennis




Year 4

What is the purpose and value of a sacred place?

The Gurdwara and the Sikh religion

 Year 5

The Muslim religion – the Mosque and pilgrimage.


Relationships and Sex Education.

You will receive a separate letter about this with a permission slip attached. Children will be taught in year groups.



Reading targets

Diamond Brothers Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third


Identify the theme of a story and compare it with stories with a similar theme.

Identify the styles of different poets and authors.

Mr Gum

Just William

Investigate the ways in which an author builds up the suspense in a story.

Summarise the main ideas in a non-fiction text.

Horrid Henry

Marvin Redpost

Compare different non-fiction texts on the same subject.

Decide which is the most effective and why.

Investigate the ways in which an author builds up the suspense in a story.

Summer 1 Newsletter

Dear parents/carers,

I hope you had a good Easter break. Thank you for the time you have taken to help your children find out more about World War One, a topic they were very excited about researching.

The timetable will alter this half term. I will be teaching all day Monday, Tuesday and Friday and Thursday from 11am. This will include teaching year 4 Science. Mrs Findley will be teaching year 5 Science. Mrs de Villiers will take the class all day Wednesday and 1st lesson Thursday. She will take over the teaching of Computing.  PE lessons will still take place on Weds and Thurs.

You can find out more details about the work we are covering this half term on the back of this letter. The work on World War One  is an English unit of work. Our actual topic this half term is called You`re Hired ! The children will be working in teams and using enterprise skills to do market research and make a savoury dish to sell in order to make the most money. Class 4/5P will be holding a sale of their food on Tues 24th May from 3pm until about 3.30pm to give parents the opportunity to come and spend their money!

This half term, the year 4s will be joining up with the year 3s to stage their production-A Big Green Adventure. The performances will take place on Thurs May 5th and Fri May 6th at 2pm.We would be grateful if you would help your child learn any lines they have as the performances will soon be upon us! I will be sending out ideas for costumes soon and a letter giving details of how you can order tickets will be sent out in due course.

I enclose this half term`s reading targets.
V. Parsons

Reading targets

could even

summarise the main ideas drawn from more than one paragraph


compare, contrast  and  evaluate different non-fiction texts


locate information by skim reading , looking for key words.


use a range of organisational features to locate information

e.g. knowing the introduction is general and the main information is contained within the middle paragraphs, using subheadings and pictures and captions .


Summer 1 Topic Web:

Click to view and download our topic web with all the exciting things we will learn this term:

Do try this at home!

Last half term, we looked at explanation writing in English. For one task, the children had to observe what happens when you drop sultanas into fizzy lemonade then explain why it happens. The experiment was very POPular .(Sorry.)

St David`s Day

To remind us that March 1st is a most important day for all Welsh people, Mrs Mackie made some all some most delicious Welsh cakes. No- one refused one!

Full Steam Ahead

Last half term, we learnt about the difference made by the invention of the steam engine to the course of British History. We visited Kelham Island Museum to see the steam engines and learn all about the steel industry in Sheffield. The children formed a production line on which they had to make as many spoons as possible. Year 6`s productivity was definitely better than ours!

Hola Barcelona!

Last term, our Geography topic was all about looking at the differences and similarities between Sheffield and Barcelona. The class was very interested in learning more about the home of (arguably) the world`s top football team. They also had a look at the architecture of Gaudi ,whose buildings can be seen all over the city. They painted pictures of buildings in his style. In the pictures, you can see the class performing their class assembly. Some tourists are being shown around Barcelona. It`s their lucky day as Suarez and Messi have taken some time out from training to welcome them to the Nou Camp. Some of the visitors are trying out the Spanish phrases they have learnt with Mrs Caballero.

Safer Internet Day

In February the whole school took part in this very important day .We thought about how the messages we send online should always be positive ones. To get into practice, everyone wrote positive and affirming messages on one another`s T shirts.

Spring 2 Letter

Dear parents/carers,

Thank you for the attractive and effective posters about Victorian children at work that you helped your children produce over the half term holiday. These, together with a very interesting trip to Kelham Island Museum, have successfully launched our Full Steam Ahead topic.

We welcome back Mrs de Villiers, who will be teaching the children English, Maths, and Computing on Fridays until Easter. Our timetable may change after the holiday. Mr Abbott will continue to teach year 5 Science on a Monday afternoon and Mrs Findley the year 4s.

Details of the work we will be covering this half term can be found on the back of this letter. You are invited to come and see what we have been doing in our topic on Thurs 24th March at 2.45pm.

I`ll also take this opportunity to give you advance notice of the dates of the years 3 and 4 show-Thurs 5th May and Fri 6th May . (The years 5 and 6 show will take place towards the end of the Summer Term.)

You can read the reading targets for this half term below. I have written them a little differently this time- each reading group has been given their own targets, which they will work on in their group reading sessions together. Ask your child which group they are in!

Best wishes,


Reading Targets

Marvin Redpost

Can I predict what is going to happen next in a story?                                        


Can I use what I know about similar stories to help me?

Horrid Henry

Can I find lots of clues from what characters in a story say and do to tell me how those characters behave?


Can I locate information effectively and quickly by skim reading and looking for key words?

Mr Gum

Just William

Can I locate information effectively and quickly by skim reading and looking for key words?


Can I compare, contrast and evaluate information texts?

Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third

Can I recognise ways in which authors present issues and points of view in non-fiction texts?


Can I summarise the main ideas from more than one paragraph?

The Diamond Brothers

Can I recognise ways in which authors present issues and points of view in non-fiction texts?


Can I understand the plot where the storyline is not straightforward?

Spring 2 Topic Web

Topic Web


Historical story  “Trouble at `mill……”

Explanation-How the invention of the Steam Engine changed Britain.


Miss Parsons` set

Addition and Subtraction word problems

Multiplication word problems

Division – formal method TU divided by U


Perimeter and area


Miss Harbottle`s set

Decimals percentages

Multiplication and division


Mrs Caballero`s set


Mrs Hadfield`s set



Year 5

Electricity - Electrical inventions and the discovery of electricity

How the number of bulbs affects the brightness.

Year 4

States of Matter - solid liquid and gas

Processes - evaporation condensation melting freezing


Full Steam Ahead

The effect of the invention of the steam engine

Factories , mines , mills.

Children at work


Year 4

Muslim prayer

Make links between what Christians and Muslims believe about prayer

- Relate the values and commitments shown in Muslim prayer and link to Christianity

Year 5

Religions and the natural world

Creation stories

Religious organisations working to protect the environment

Design Technology

Pneumatic mechanisms

Making moving monsters


Machines – composing and playing the sounds of machines in small groups

Altering the speed (Tempo) and volume (dynamics)


Continue Difference and Diversity - Gender


Netball skills

Tag rugby and hockey games



We protest! Give us our rights!

The Masterminds have been discussing the topic of Difference and Diversity in their PSHE lessons. We looked at photos of all kinds of people who looked a bit “different” including Professor Stephen Hawking. We concluded that appearances can be deceptive and that we need to learn to accept people as they are .We went on to explore, through drama, the life of Baroness Jane Campbell, who lives with a disability and campaigns for rights for disabled people  .We wrote balanced arguments about the issues.  For our final lesson, we staged a Parliamentary debate preceded by a noisy demonstration outside the Houses of Parliament! I`m pleased to announce that, when it came to the vote, the Disability Discrimination Act was passed by a resounding majority!

A trip into Barlborough`s History

In January, several classes in KS2  took a walk along High Street and Church Street to find out about some aspects of Barlborough`s History. We were particularly interested to find out who the de Rodes, Pole and Ruthyn families were, although nowhere could we find out anything about the Longfords. We subsequently used the local History website provided by the Local Studies Centre and wrote guidebooks to Barlborough  during  our English lessons.

Spring 1 2016 Newsletter

Dear parents/carers,

First of all, I'd like to wish you a Happy New Year. I hope you all had a good Christmas break. Thank you for all the carefully researched holiday homework which will make a colourful display.
We are intending to take classes 3/4F and 4/5PA for a walk along High Street next Tuesday at 9.30am to gather material to help us write a guide book to the village. Anyone who can spare about an hour to come with us would be most welcome.
Details of this half term`s topics can be found on the back of this letter.
Advance notice of this term`s trip- Classes 4/5P, 5B and 6H will be visiting Kelham Island Museum on Wednesday Feb 24th. I will send out a letter with further details in the next fortnight.
I enclose the children's Reading targets,



Could even

Identify and comment on expressive, figurative and descriptive language to create effects in poetry and prose.

e.g. figurative (not to be taken literally) expressions like tongue –tied, lump in my throat, similes and metaphors and any words and phrases that describe something well.


Spot words that the author has chosen which rhyme, or repeated words and phrases in a text. Discuss their effect on the reader.


Pick out words and phrases that we think are really good and capture our interest and imagination. Explain why.


Spot which words the author has put in to make the reader feel scared,

tense or to make them say, ”Yuck!“ or laugh!

Curriculum Map Spring 1 2016


Curriculum notes


Guide books - information writing about Barlborough and then Barcelona.

Realistic story based on books of Louis Sachar, our class author for the half term.


Mrs Biggin`s set- count up and down with positive and negative numbers.

Add/ subtract fractions with same denominator and multiples of same denominator

Multiply numbers up to 4 digits by U or TU number.

Divide numbers up to 4 digits by U numbers.

Recognise thousandths.


Miss Parsons` set

Revise formal addition method to 4 digits

Find change on a number to £20

Recognise hundredths .

Recognise decimals equivalent to 1/4/ ½ ¾

Addition and subtraction two step problems using appropriate calculation methods.


Mrs Hadfield`s set

Time on an analogue clock  inc 12 hour and 24 hour clocks

Roman numerals

Record and compare time in secs mins and hours.

Seconds in a min, mins in an hour ,days in month, year and leap year.

Fractions of a set – unit fractions and non- unit fractions with small denominators

Equal fractions using diagrams

Add and subtract fractions such as 1/6+3/6



Year 4 targets


Can I describe the function of different parts of flowing plants and trees?

Can I explore and describe the needs of different plants for survival?

Can I explore and describe how water is transported within plants?

Can I describe the plant life cycle, especially the importance of flowers?

Year 5 targets


Associate brightness of the lamp or the volume of a buzzer with the number of batteries

Use recognised symbols when representing a circuit in a diagram


Find Spain, Barcelona and Sheffield on maps.

Compare natural and man- made features of the cities and the city layouts.


Painting –warm and cool colours

Spanish artists


Composing and evaluating music with a Spanish theme


Why is prayer important to Christians?


Difference and Diversity

Examining the way people are labelled because of their disability.

Gender stereotypes.


Tag Rugby

Dance- salsa


Communication- producing a Wiki

Meet The Groovy Greeks

We have just completed our History  topic all about the Ancient Greeks. We began with a marathon session- literally.

All of the children learnt the story of the origin of the Marathon race .Then everyone ran as many laps of the Golden Mile as they could.

The children really enjoyed reading Greek myths , from  which they "magpied" ideas for their own stories.

They also found it fascinating to learn about the tough military training Spartan boys as young as seven had to endure. They explored their lives in a drama lesson before writing diaries from the viewpoint of a boy.  They read these diaries to their parents at our celebration.

They found out about the jobs of ordinary people in Ancient Greece . The children brought all their information into the agora (the marketplace  where everyone met  together) and went around asking one other about their job. 

As part of our topic, we made some Greek pottery. In the pictures, you can see us making the salt dough in preparation. 

Anti-Bullying Week

For more information on Anti-Bullying Week, visit our anti-bullying page.

Letter: Autumn 2

Dear Parents/Carers,

Thank you for the mouth-watering Greek menus you helped your children write! We began our Groovy Greeks topic on Wednesday by running a marathon around the Golden Mile.  There are more details of our new topic on the back of this letter.

The week commencing 16th November is Anti-Bullying Week. In class, the children will be taking part in a variety of activities to remind them of some important messages from  this topic.

The class have made a great start to learning their tables but do keep practising with them at home .Mrs Mackie and Mrs Walker have kindly volunteered to come in and test the children.

I enclose the reading targets for this half term. These progress from year 4 to year 5 targets.

Therefore, not all children will begin at the must target.

V. Parsons 


Could even

compare , contrast and evaluate different  non-fiction texts

 e.g. How exciting and informative are different books about the Ancient Greeks? How effective are the layout features?



summarise the main ideas drawn from more than one paragraph in a fiction or non- fiction text


use a range of organisational features such  as index, contents ,headings and subheadings to locate information


use alphabetically ordered texts  such as dictionaries to find information

This terms topics:

Topics Nov- Dec 2015


Greek myths - Theseus and the Minotaur, the Gorgon

Write their own myth.

Write an information text on Ancient Greece. Look at layout features of books and use some of the ideas in their own text.

Diary of  a Spartan child


Please ask your child`s teacher if you wish to know further details of Maths topics this half term.



Sound (Y4)

Can I describe how sound is made?

Can I explain how sound travels from a source to our ear?

Can I describe what happens to a sound as it travels away from its source?

Can I explain how the pitch and the volume of a sound can be altered?

Materials and their  properties  (Yr 5 )(cont)

Can I demonstrate that some changes are reversible and some are not?
Can I explain how some changes result in the formation of a new material?
Can I discuss reversible and irreversible changes?
Can I give evidenced reasons why materials are used for specific purposes?


Groovy Greeks

Types of evidence

Life in Athens and life in Sparta

Everyday life and jobs

Legacy of Ancient Greece


Dance styles – including street dance



3D Work

Ancient Greek clay pots

Form, joining components of clay, painting pattern onto 3D object


What does a bully look like?

Identifying bullying behaviours/different types of bullying

Discussing what to do if you’re a witness to bullying


Singing – the story of the Wooden Horse of Troy


How and why do believers show their commitment during the journey of life? Yr 4

Suggest some reasons why life is often described as a journey and express their own metaphors for life, giving reasons.

How and why do Christians follow Jesus? (Yr 5 )

Role models

Events in the life of a modern day Christian

Questions raised by the stories from the life of Jesus


Days of the week

The family


Performance poetry

We enjoyed reading our poems to Mrs Ferreday`s class. They were written in the style of Gervase Phinn, a poet from Yorkshire.

Building Bridges

In these pictures, we are doing some experiments with paper, trying to find out how we can strengthen the beam of the bridge by folding and rolling the paper and by adding an arch. We`ve also been drawing designs and sawing and sticking wood ready for the final part of the topic- actually making our model bridges. Watch out for some photos of the finished products!

Don`t fast forward through these adverts...

Once we had written adverts persuading people to visit tourist attractions in Yorkshire, we filmed them using a webcam. Everyone enjoyed watching themselves on camera.

We`ve almost dried out now

Class 4/5P visited Rother Valley Country Park this half term in order to find out more about the park and the activities it offers. This visit formed a part of our Geography topic about Yorkshire. Year 4 went bug hunting and pond dipping as well as building dens and investigating the available water sports. We even had a ride on the train! Unfortunately, it rained on us ALL day…

Year 5, meanwhile, enjoyed lovely weather as they practised their map skills on the orienteering course. Some people have all the luck!

Building Bridges

We are in the middle of designing and building either a new motorway bridge or a new footbridge for Rother Valley Country Park .We have looked at the designs of beam, arch and cable stayed bridges. In the photos, you can see the children investigating how much weight a beam bridge will hold and how to strengthen it. The challenge will be to build our designs from wood, card and any other materials that are available around the classroom. 

Newsletter Autumn 1 2015

Dear parents/carers,
I hope you have all had a good summer break although I’m sure you’re glad the children are now back at school!

I’m writing to let you know what has been planned for Class 4/5PA – The Masterminds, this half term. First of all, I will be teaching the class on Tues, Weds, Thurs and Mon mornings and Mr Abbott will be teaching on Mon afternoons and Fridays. PE lessons will take place on Weds and Thurs.

Because we are teaching a mixed year 4/5 class, we have made several timetable arrangements to make sure that all the children cover the correct topics for their age group. The class will go to different teachers for Maths, a system we began at the end of the summer term. Classes 4/5PA – The Masterminds and 5B – The Brainy Bunch, will be taught Science on Monday afternoons by Mrs Biggin, Mr Abbott and Mrs Findley - the year 4 children will cover different work to the year 5 children. On Weds afternoons, I will teach RE to year 4 pupils and Mrs Findley will take year 5 pupils for this subject. We will swap groups after half term.

Our Geography topic for the whole of Key Stage 2 this half term is ‘Welcome to Yorkshire’. On Mon 21st September, all the years 3 and 4 children will be doing fieldwork at Rother Valley Country Park. All the year 5 and 6 children will go there on Tues 22nd September. The remaining pupils from 4/5PA – The Masterminds, will stay at school each day where I will provide suitable work for them. Please see the trip letter for further details.

I enclose the class’ Reading targets for the half term .The children will remain with me and Mr Abbott for their English lessons, supported by Mrs Lodge.  Further details of the curriculum can be found on the back of this letter.

Have any of you a little time to spare to come into school and help us with our new tables facts challenge? It would involve testing individual children on the facts that they were currently learning.

We are looking forward to a busy and exciting term. Please ask me if you are unclear about anything on this letter.




Identify and comment on expressive, figurative and descriptive language to create effects in poetry and prose (e.g. use of similes and metaphors, adjectives used to describe).


Recognise some different forms of poetry (e.g. haiku, acrostic, shape poem, rhyming verse, blank verse, cautionary verse).


Recognise the use and effect of  patterned language in a text (e.g. repeated  words and lines).


Discuss words and phrases that capture the reader’s interest and imagination.

Curriculum details Autumn 1 2015


Poetry writing about pets in the style of Gervase Phinn.

Promotional video to advertise Rother Valley Country Park. Recount of trip.


Miss Parsons’ maths class - comparing numbers and rounding to 10,100 1000.

Addition and subtraction – expanded and compact written methods.

Fractions of shapes and sets and decimal equivalents.

Mrs Biggin’s maths class - place value, addition and subtraction and multiplication facts and on measures with Mrs Wright. 


Year 4- Electricity

-Identify common appliances that use electricity.

-Construct a simple series electrical circuit and identify and name basic parts.

-Switches – opening and closing.  

-Common conductors and insulators.

 Year 5 - Properties and changes of materials

-Compare and group materials.

-Know that some materials will dissolve in liquid to form a solution.

-Use knowledge of solids, liquids and gases to separate mixtures.

-Demonstrate that dissolving, mixing and changes of state are reversible changes.


Rother Valley – Region of Britain – Yorkshire

-East coast erosion     -Yorkshire coast/ moors        -Tourism/ regeneration


Bridge building

-bridge building design fit for purpose/ basic joining techniques.


Computer networks -the school network, creating a website and apps.


Year 4- What can we learn from religions about deciding what is right and wrong?

Year 5-How and Why do Christians follow Jesus?

Role models - Jesus- how being a Christian affects people’s lives.


Why do we have rules?

-Establishing class rules and links to British Values.


Football – dribbling, passing and trapping; striking and scoring and making space.

Gymnastics – balances, rolls, sequences on floor and apparatus.


Explore music that is connected to England, e.g. Jerusalem (Parry), Land of Hope and Glory (Elgar), Zadok the Priest (Handel).



Mrs Caballero, who is a fluent Spanish speaker, will be taking all of years 3-5 for their first Spanish lessons.

Science targets

Year 4

Can I construct a simple circuit and predict whether a circuit will/will not work?

Can I name basic parts of circuits?

Can I investigate common conductors and insulators?

Year 5

Can I compare and group materials?

Do I understand that some materials will dissolve in liquid to form a solution?

Can I use my knowledge of solids, liquids and gases to separate mixtures?

Can I   demonstrate that dissolving, mixing and changes of state are reversible changes?





Given out

Handed in by..


Workbook/I am Learning





Worksheet/I am Learning





8 from weekly rule

2 tricky words