Hotspur Primary School

Mowbray Street, Heaton, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne And Wear, NE6 5PA

0191 276 2762

admin@hotspur.newcastle.sch.uk

Y5 update July 2020

 

Dear Parents and Carers of Children in Y5

 

You will have received the new class lists for September if you attended the Reports Collection day yesterday. Following the release of the new groupings, there have been a small number of enquiries from parents about the possibility of their child moving to a different group. I would like to address this by sharing the rationale behind the changes being made. Arrangements for the year group were originally planned to begin after the Easter Holiday but due to the Covid-19 pandemic have been reviewed now for a September start.

 

Our current Y5 cohort has always had a larger proportion of children with complex additional needs than other year groups in school. Considerable support has been given to individual children and groups as appropriate. Some of these needs have become more significant as children have become older and the year group has also been joined by children, during the last few years, some of whom have further additional needs. We are in a position to create three classes with our Y5 year group and believe that this will enable more support to be targeted at those needs and also ensure that all children are able to benefit from being taught in smaller classes as learning has sometimes been interrupted. This is a considerable additional resource and cost but we believe is the right course of action to benefit all children’s learning.

 

When grouping children into the three new classes, class teachers, members of the Leadership Team and SENDCo have taken into account all that we know about the children including their specific needs and friendships. We have given a lot of thought to these plans and believe they will make a significant difference to all children. A couple of parents and carers have requested that children be moved away from certain other children, but this is not the basis by which we create classes. We strongly believe that each child is unique and special, and celebrate differences in a positive way. With a higher proportion of boys in the year group we have ensured this proportion is represented within each group but of course there will be fewer boys and girls due to the smaller sized groups. For some children it will be a fresh start and opportunity to refocus on their learning. For children with strong friendships with those in other groups, I can assure you they can continue as normal. This can be at break-times, lunchtimes, our summer term residential, future performances and through extra-curricular clubs. The classroom is primarily a place for high-quality learning.

 

Due to the pandemic, the carefully planned transition into new groups has not been possible and we are aware that some children find change challenging. Additionally, some children in Y5 experience challenges with their interactions with others in the year group. There will be a considerable emphasis on children’s well-being in the new academic year which will involve Thrive sessions, regular PHSE sessions, different structure at lunchtimes (with a greater range of activities) and support from our new counselling service, Anxious Minds. This will help children develop their social skills and resilience ahead of the crucial transition into secondary school where children move to a number of school and classes therein. Children working at greater depth will benefit from smaller numbers and enhanced opportunities for further academic challenge.

 

We understand that each of you would have your own way of wanting to organise the classes for your child but obviously this is not possible. If we were to start tinkering with the odd child here and there it would create an imbalance across the cohort which we have worked so hard to achieve with these groupings. As always we will review what we have in place. We will help children to overcome any anxiety they feel and ask that you trust us to provide the specific teaching and learning opportunities, environment and support your children need to thrive in Year 6. I hope that you understand why we are making these changes and that you will be able to support your children during their transition into Year 6.

Yours sincerely

Kevin McVittie

Deputy Headteacher