Welcome to Year 6L!
Welcome to a new and exciting school year for the Year 6 students. It will be their last at St. Thomas of Canterbury and definitely the best! We've got lots of enjoyable learning to do this year and we can't wait to see the progress that the children will make.
Year 6 is an extremely important year as we prepare for the children to become independent and reflective learners. As well as enjoying a broad and balanced curriculum, the children work incredibly hard and take on many extra responsibilities. All children in Year 6 are considered role models for the rest of the school and make a valuable contribution to the wider school community.
For all year 6 pupils, school is open from 8.30am if they wish to complete any additional work or simply settle into the morning by reading their favourite book. Well done to the children who are already taking full advantage of this!
Our first DT topic of the year was certainly filled with enjoyment, creativity and challenge. After researching where gingerbread houses originated, we designed a template, before creating and testing a prototype.
We made the gingerbread from scratch, ensuring that it would be suitable to build a stable structure from. After baking, we trimmed our pieces down and constructed a house, using royal icing. Finally, our creativity was unleashed when decorating our houses.
The background of the gingerbread house...
The witch’s house in the two-centuries-old tale of Hansel and Gretel is today inspiring ever more extravagant gingerbread creations and constructions.
Figure-shaped gingerbread is often credited to the court of Queen Elizabeth I, where biscuits were made in the likeness of important guests. It was even referred to in Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost in 1598: “And I had but one penny in the world, thou should’st have it to buy gingerbread.” In the following centuries, shaped gingerbread became popular across Europe, with figures and models used as window decorations, or given as gifts on religious holidays or birthdays.
The Circulatory System
To learn about the circulatory system, a large figure of eight was drawn on the floor to represent the main blood vessels, which carry blood around our bodies. One child acted as the heart in the middle and pumped the ‘blood’ around the body (using a bicycle pump). Another child represented the lungs and another as the body. Additional children acted as the blood who travelled through the blood vessels, starting from the heart, walked up the left side of the figure eight to the lungs, past the lungs and back down the right side to the heart. They then travelled from the heart to the body along the right side of the eight and then back to the heart. These children then held cards with a red side (to show it had oxygen in it) and a blue side (to show de-oxygenated blood). They became oxygenated blood when they reached the lungs, and then de-oxygenated blood when they had made their way around the body.
During our first few weeks back, we have been consolidating the children’s understanding of time, moving onto solving difficult time problems. It is important that the children continue to practise telling the time, interchangeably between analogue and digital clocks, in everyday, real life contexts. Please continually question your child about the time on a daily basis in order to embed these learnt skills.
The following skills and facts will be practised and daily to secure the children’s mathematical understanding:
Times tables up to 12 x 12 and related facts e.g. 40 x 90;
Counting forwards and backwards in positive/negative numbers as well as decimal numbers from any given starting point;
Formal written methods of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division;
Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of fractions;
Explaining and reasoning;
Problem solving to ensure thorough understanding.
Our Class Novel
With Year six's first topic being WWII, our class novel is ‘Letters from the Lighthouse’ by Emma Carroll. Set in February, 1941, twelve-year-old Olive Bradshaw and her little brother Cliff are subjected to months of bombing raids in London, finally resulting in them being evacuated to the Devon coast. The only person with two spare beds is Mr Ephraim, the local lighthouse keeper. But he’s not used to company and he certainly doesn’t want any evacuees.
Desperate to be helpful, Olive becomes his post-girl, carrying secret messages (as she likes to think of the letters) to the villagers. But Olive has a secret of her own. Her older sister Sukie went missing in an air raid, and she’s desperate to discover what happened to her. And then she finds a strange coded note which seems to link Sukie to Devon, and to something dark and impossibly dangerous.
I am incredibly excited to see what the children think of this thrilling book... the book that brought their teacher to tears...
We will use this story as a basis for our writing throughout the term, reading sections, paragraphs and chapters at a time. This will then allow the children to explore different text types and styles of writing. For example, they will write precise summaries, plot predictions, diary entries, emotive letters, character and setting descriptions, alternative chapters and endings.
Handwriting is a focus for us this term as they cannot be assessed as year 6 expected level without writing legibly and fluently, in accordance with the school’s handwriting policy. All children are now mature enough to be writing in pen, rather than pencil by this stage and should be expected to join consistently, excluding the break letters b, p, q, y, g, and f. They might still need reminding of certain rules such as: never joining capital letters to the following letter.
Children in Year 6 will be taught explicit skills to help them in their understanding of difficult texts, including top tips of how to answer questions to prepare them for their assessments in May.
They will be encouraged to read a wide range of stories, non-fiction texts, poetry, plays and textbooks in order to understand that texts are structured in different ways and written for different purposes.
Children will be reminded to check their reading makes sense, discussing their understanding of the meaning of certain vocabulary as they read. They might also be encouraged to ask questions about the text to further develop their understanding of what is going on and draw inference about character actions, speech or motives, providing evidence. Inference involves using the clues in the story or picture to make a good guess. It involves figuring something out which isn’t fully explained and draws on a child’s existing knowledge of the world. They may story map in order to follow the story or re-read sentences or sections.
They might also be encouraged to make predictions based on what they’ve already read, summarise key points to show good comprehension and look out for interesting phrases that authors uses.
As the children are now in year 6, they are allowed to come to school on a Friday in their PE kits, consisting of black shorts (they may wear tracksuit bottoms to come to school in), a white t-shirt and pumps or trainers. They will be working with our sports coach throughout the year to develop various skills. Some of these skills will be tailored to meet the on going competition calendar. Your child may therefore be asked to represent the school in various competitions throughout the year, both within and after school time.
What can you do to help your child in Year 6?
It is important that in year 6, we support and encourage your child to allow them to fulfill their potential. It is also paramount to prepare and develop them so that they are ready for their move to high school. To ease this transition, your child will move between the two year 6 classes for the teaching of various different aspects of the curriculum and they will be taught by various adults including Miss Lomas, Mr Stenton, Miss Chronnell, Miss Abbott, Miss Kendall and Miss Downie, so that their learning is tailored to their ability.