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Otter Class

Welcome to Otter Class! We are a mixed Year 5/6 class.

Our teacher is Mr. Riley Monday to Friday and Mrs Howe on Tuesday afternoons. 

Other adults in our class include Mrs Taber and Mrs Bonadie. 

Welcome from Mr Riley:

It is a privilege to be the Year 5/6 Teacher at East Harptree, and I am really looking forward to teaching your children. Please feel free to come and see me at the end of the day with any messages, or you can use Class Dojo to send me messages and I will reply as promptly as I can.

On this page, you will find some information that will help you understand some of the routines and learning that children in Otter Class will experience in the Autumn term.

Children will need to bring their own water bottles and if these could be taken home on a regular basis to be washed, that would be greatly appreciated. They can also bring in a healthy snack for break times.

If your child has any allergies or medication they need to take in school, please let me know. If your child needs any medication, please ensure it is in date.

Reading books:

Children must keep a reading book at school to read during a quiet reading session. They are also free to borrow one for reading at home or are welcome to read their own. We encourage all children to read daily at home. Children are expected to change their own books. However, we are always happy to help them with their choice. We also do regular checks on the books they are reading.


P.E. will be on Tuesday afternoons with PH Sports. Children will need to come to school in their P.E. kit on those days. Earrings should NOT be worn on P.E. or sports club days at all.

Autumn Term Learning:


In Term 1, we will be reading ‘Change Sings’ by Amanda Gorman as part of our English lessons, and we will be covering the following Literacy areas:

  • Letter writing
  • Story writing
  • Information booklets
  • Poetry

Our class books this term are ‘Clockwork’ by Philip Pullman, 'Pig Heart Boy' by Malorie Blackman and ‘Kensuke’s Kingdom’ by Michael Morpurgo.


In Term 1, we will be focusing on Place Value, comparing and ordering numbers, partitioning numbers, Roman Numerals and Negative Numbers.


In History this term, we will be exploring the following questions:

  • How did the Benin Kingdom begin?
  • What was life like for the Edo people?
  • What were the trade links like in Benin?
  • How significant was the Transatlantic Slave Trade?
  • Why did Britain invade Benin?


In Science, we will be looking at the circulatory system, how our heart and lungs work, how exercise affects our heart rate and there may be an opportunity to look at and examine some hearts.


We use computing throughout the Teach Computing Curriculum to support learning as well as covering computer skills in and of themselves. We will start with discussing computing systems and programming. Throughout the year, we will discuss Internet Safety and the school’s guidelines to safe computer use.


We are very lucky to have Señora Riddy to come in and teach Spanish on a Wednesday afternoon.

Ways in which you can support your child with their learning:

  • Encourage them to write for pleasure. Produce some writing together. Ask them ‘How can we make this sentence better?’ Discuss the impact of words.
  • Share books. Talk about the characters and predict what might happen in stories. Ask children their thoughts on a book and how it compares to other books they have read.
  • Have opportunities where all the family are involved in some sort of reading for example, newspapers and magazines.
  • Ask them questions about their Maths homework, such as 'What strategies do you know?', 'What is the best way to solve this?'
  • Play times-tables games.
  • Help them learn their spellings and find other words that fit the spelling pattern with them.
  • Discuss news events with them at their level.
  • Research around our topics.

Growth Mindset:

As a staff, we really believe in the importance of children developing a 'growth mindset' instead of a 'fixed mindset'. We want children to believe that their abilities are not fixed but that they can work towards the attainment of new skills. Just because they can’t solve a certain problem or achieve a specific goal right now, doesn’t mean they won’t be able to after working on it. We will be focussing on developing a growth mindset amongst all children, in all their learning.


Our key information comes through the weekly school newsletter. This contains a whole range of information that is useful to parents/carers.


I hope that I have covered most things that you feel that you need as a parent/carer of a child in Otter Class. If you have any questions, please feel free to come and have a chat with me at the end of the day or send me a message on Class Dojo.

Finally, as a staff, we ask you to encourage your child to be as independent as possible in school. All of us are very approachable and children can come to us to explain if they have forgotten such things as their homework. We understand that we all forget things at times! We also encourage them to come and talk to us if they have any friendship problems or concerns so that we can talk about how we can solve them together.

Mr. Riley