St. Joseph's Catholic Primary School - Wetherby
“Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. You can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom!” Nelson Mandella
Mrs J Ward
Year 6 Teacher, Deputy Head and Designated Safeguarding Lead
Year 6 Teaching Assistant
Year 6 Worship
Christ at our Centre
Class Curriculum Newsletters
Read what we are learning about each half term here:
Newsletter Autumn 2 Y6 2017: http://www.stjosephswetherby.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Newsletter-Autumn-2-Y6-2017-1.pdf
Academic Year 2017/2018
Welcome back to school! I hope you’ve all had a fantastic summer holiday and you’re ready for a brilliant year in Year 6. I always feel very privileged to teach Year 6 and I will do everything I can to make sure that you are happy, engaged, learning and grow in confidence and skills ready for secondary school. We’ve got so many exciting things to do together that I have no doubt it will be the best year you’ve ever had!
Very soon, our class webpage will start to fill up with all the exciting activities that I have planned for the year. Watch this space!
School Trips, Visits and WorkshopsI
I am always looking for ways to enrich and enhance the Year 6 curriculum, therefore, I have planned many school trips, visitors to school and workshops for the year ahead. Please see the school calendar for full details. Look at some of the things that are already booked for the coming academic year!
- RE trip: Big Sing Liturgy Thing
- English: Shakespeare Theatre Production of Macbeth
- Author visit: Judith Rhodes
- Cinema trip: Beauty and the Beast
- RE trip: Oscar Romero Production
- Science trip: Headingley Water Treatment Works
- English trip: Alhambra Theatre Trip to see War Horse!!!
- RE trip: Mosque
- Y6 Residential Trip to Robinwood
Autumn Term 1 2017
Year 6 have settled really quickly in to Year 6. Their behaviour is excellent and we are getting lots of learning done! The class love the Pokemon themed class rewards which are given at the end of the day to the secret student if they have followed the classroom rules all day. The secret student is revealed and they get to choose 2 Pokemon toys to add to our display. Once the class have collected 40, they will have some well-earned golden time.
We have lots of school trips planned this year. Very shortly we will be going on a geography field trip to Nidd Gorge and Knaresborough riverside and Castle. We also have an RE trip organised to Mount St Mary’s in Leeds to attend the Big Sing Liturgy Thing – we are very excited about that! Just before Christmas, we will be visiting Headingley Water Treatment works which is a fascinating science trip, and then in the new year I have booked for us to see the West End Production of War Horse at the theatre in Bradford! Obviously the Robinwood residential is the highlight of the Year and the children are already asking questions about it!
The Kingdom of God
In RE we have been thinking about what a kingdom is. The children enjoyed drawing a kingdom and then described their kingdom in detail. We also thought about what God’s kingdom is like and how God’s kingdom is revealed to us.
We have been learning about the invitations to God’s kingdom and how we we can accept those invitations. We have learnt a lot about values, about how we can show we are committed to God’s kingdom and how our beliefs shape our decisions and lives. We also read many parables and learnt about the different types of miracles whilst considering what these reveal about God’s kingdom. Year 6 have worked hard to add more detail to their work and give fuller explanations by making reference to a wider range of sources. Well done Y6!
KS2 Collective Worship
Every Wednesday, KS2 have collective worship in the hall together as a group. Each week, a different class leads it. This week was the turn of Year 6 who reminded us that God created everything. The children are always very keen to take responsibility for collective worship; they plan and lead it completely independently now and give up their own time to do this. Thank you to the Year 6 children this week who did such a good job. It’s the perfect way to start the morning!
Some children in Year 6 worked really hard in their own time to plan a collective worship for class and KS2 using emojis to retell the story of the Good Samaritan. They did such a good job, and engagement and participation during the worship was fantastic. The emojis are now displayed on our worship table, and the girls who made them are now busy making a new set for their next assembly so that they can tell a different story.
We enjoyed a fantastic Harvest Festival celebration with songs, readings and prayers lead by children in all the classes, including our very youngest members of school in FS2. The singing was excellent and it was super to have Mr Jennings playing the piano for us. He taught us some new songs for the celebration as well as playing some of our old favourites. The whole school used Makaton for a number of the songs too which was super to see!
In English we are using the classic narrative poem by Alfred Noyes, The Highwayman, as inspiration to write. The children are already engrossed in the story and enjoyed exploring my box of tricks which was full of Highwayman goodies. In the box was a French cocked hat, a bunch of lace, a red ribbon, a rapier, a pistol, a black cape, a mask and lots of books about Highwaymen. Some of the children dressed up in the clothes to give us a good idea of what the Highwayman looked like. We also put a red love knot in one of the girl’s hair to give us an idea about what the character Bess might like look.
Before reading the poem, we created a glossary of words using the dictionaries and iPad to look up words which were new to our vocabulary. These included, rapier, breeches, doe, moor, musket galleon, and many more. Then the children enjoyed listening to the poem – you could feel the tension in the room as I read!
We have been writing metaphors to create a vivid image in the reader’s mind and our working wall has some excellent ones to describe The Highwayman, Tim, the Ostler, and Bess, the landlord’s daughter.
Before reading the poem, we created a glossary of words using the dictionaries and iPad to look up words which were new to our vocabulary. These included, rapier, breeches, doe, moor, musket galleon, and many more. Then the children dimmed the lights and enjoyed listening to the poem!
We also had a lot of fun outside using role-play to act out different parts of the poem. When the children heard ‘freeze’, they had to stop immediately and hold their positions. Activities like this really help the children to understand the characters and the relationships between the characters and this enhances their writing skills later.
“I’ll be back with gold before the morning light!” “Why doesn’t she love me?”
“What did you just say?” “No! My bonny sweetheart is dead!”
“Now’s our chance!” Shot down dead like a dog on the highway….
“He’ll come back for you so we’ll wait here!” “Stand guard by the casement!”
“I know he loves me….he’ll be back by morning light!”
We also had lots of fun writing love letters as the Highwayman to Bess. The letters were bursting with emotion and really caused an impact on the reader. Once the children had finished writing the love letters, some of them dressed up as the Highwayman and read them aloud to the class with some romantic music in the background, lights dimmed and candles lit (fake ones!) It was fantastic and we could have spent hours reading them all aloud. Well done Year 6. It was a super writing session and you really let yourselves get in to the right mood! The disguises are so good that it’s hard to tell who is behind the masks. Do you recognised anyone?
Young Shakespeare Theatre Company Visit to School
Year 6 enjoyed a fantastic performance of Macbeth in school this week. The children were gripped by the dramatic story which was performed by the fantastic Young Shakespeare Theatre Company. The children were fully engrossed in the performance, all playing important roles to add to the impact themselves. We will now be using this fantastic story by Shakespeare to do more writing in class.
Here is what some of the children said about the experience:
- I have rated it 10/10 because I absolutely loved it! I would definitely watch it again. My favourite part was when Macbeth died.” Abigail
- David said, “11/10 I loved the play and my favourite part was the witches because they were scary!”
- “I would love to have it again because the cast involved all of us. Also, I really liked the scary witches,” said Roo.
- Connor said, “I loved how good the forest battle scene was when we all battled in slow motion. I would recommend it to another class.”
In guided reading we have been practising our skimming and scanning skills so that we can retrieve information quickly. As we have been working on this skill, any new vocabulary that we come across that is interesting, ambitious or maybe a word that the children don’t know, we use dictionaries and iPads to learn the meaning of these words. The children have also been learning different synonyms for these words and then flipping it to antonyms. These words are then put onto our ‘Improvin’ it’ display so that they can retrieve them at a later date to use in their own writing. We’ll keep adding to this throughout the year. Take a look at this below and our lovely reading area. This is where each child can also display work they are proud of. It won’t be long before it’s full!
In guided reading, the children have also worked on their summarising skills which is quite a tricky thing to master. We have to read the text and look at just the key information, then put it in to our own words without losing too much of anything of importance. After 3 lessons, Year 6 have just about cracked this!
The River by Valerie Bloom
Year 6 have been looking at rhyming words and the use of metaphors in the poem The River by Valerie Bloom. This poem is a super stimulus for us, as the children have also been learning about the different features of rivers in Geography. As a result, they have been able to apply their geographical understanding to the use of metaphors even more! They made links to their own experiences of rivers first before they read the poem; there were some lovely stories to share as the children clearly have very fond memories of spending time with their families by a river. They then found the rhyming words in the poem and looked at the pattern of these words – some often have the same spelling at the end of the words but others didn’t although they still rhymed! After this, the children looked up unfamiliar words which, without knowing what they meant, would inhibit their comprehension of the poem. They made a small glossary of these words and added these to our ‘Improving it’ display which is already a favourite resource in class for the children to use in their writing. The children then enjoyed drawing what the metaphors made them visualise. Soon the children will be planning and writing their own poems about rivers which will link to their own experiences.
This week, the children have been revising calculation methods for addition, subtraction and multiplication. The children enjoyed making their own calculations using 5 digit cards to try and reach the target number of 10,000. This challenged their reasoning skills as they had to make adjustments to their calculations to get closer to 10,000. The children also enjoyed a word puzzle where each correct calculation revealed a letter. If all the calculations were completed, it revealed a fact. They worked with partners to share the work out as it was quite a challenge!
The children have also been working on their reasoning skills. They were given calculations with estimates and had to say if the estimates were reasonable giving at least 2 reasons for what they thought.
Today we used our reasoning skills to estimate numbers on a number line – this is harder than it sounds, particularly when you have to handle such large numbers, decimals numbers and negative numbers like Year 6 do!
This week in Year 6 children have worked hard classifying a variety of organisms. They have been using scientific vocabulary to construct their own classification keys and explain the differences between broad and specific groups of organisms. They particularly enjoying exploring the school grounds to find different plant types and use them in their work.4
The children have also been learning about micro organisms, in particular yeast and its reaction when mixed with sugar. Their experiment was to find out if enough carbon-dioxide was produced to inflate a balloon when yeast was mixed with sugar. Children used their own ideas to conduct a fair test and discussed different variables which may have affected their results.
We have a fantastic topic planned for this half term called Survive and Explore which is geography based. We’ll be going on a geography field trip to Nidd Gorge, Knaresborough riverside and Knaresborough Castle. More details to follow soon.
Year 6 have started their ‘Survive and Explore’ topic by learning about at the Hydrological Cycle. They understand the importance of each stage in the cycle and the effect it has if there is a shortage of rain. In our classroom the children are able to watch the Water Cycle in action! They have made their own miniature Water Cycle bags which display water evaporating and condensing.
Nidd Gorge Geography Field Trip
Year 6 enjoyed a trip to Nidd Gorge and Knaresborough Waterside as part of their geography learning this week. Nidd Gorge looked beautiful with all the autumn colours and there was a blanket of leaves for us to walk on. We enjoyed looking at all the different features of the river, and we were able to see first-hand the processes which change the shape of the river over time; we could see erosion of roots and deposition of materials at different parts of the river. The children also collected data about footfall in different locations: in the gorge itself and the woodland walk, compared to the riverside at Knaresborough where there are cafes, boats and antique shops. The children enjoyed skimming stones across the river and playing hide-and seek in the woods. We even found a rope swing to play on. Mrs Venn kindly volunteered to test the strength of the swing (brave parent helper!) and it held fast, so the children queued up for a couple of goes! We enjoyed a picnic in the ruins at Conyngham Hall and then walked along the riverside. A very friendly café were happy to serve all 33 of us with ice-cream and we all enjoyed a delicious treat! After that, we marched up the steps to the castle and took in the spectacular view and then marched back down again. The children’s behaviour was exceptional all day – Mrs Doran, Mrs Mallory and I were very proud of them. Well done Year 6 – I loved this trip and I know you did too. Thank you to Mrs Venn for helping out on the day. Check out some of the children’s comments below:
- Katie said, “I enjoyed paddling and the rope swing, I also found the river exciting, I loved the woodland walk!”
- Abigail said, “I really enjoyed the experience at Nidd Gorge because it was great fun and I learnt lots. My favourite part was the rope swing and paddling, The trip also helped me to picture in my head what the different features of a river look like.”
- Connor said, “The ice-cream was my favourite part. It was a very useful trip because I learnt lots of new things about rivers.”
Click on the picture below to see some memories of the day:
Year 6 enjoyed their first dance lesson of the year where they worked in pairs or small groups and put movements together to perform the Hakka! There were some very strange noises coming from the hall and sometimes a cheeky tongue!
Year 6 have been enjoying trying to add dynamics to their artwork. They started off by drawing stick men and adding simple lines to suggest movement; it’s incredible what a couple of lines can do to add a feeling of movement! We then moved on to looking at different weather pictures which included hurricanes, tornadoes, cloudy skies and lightening. The children planned their artwork and the effect they were going to try to achieve. They used colours and brush techniques to add dynamics to their art work. The children then had time to evaluate their artwork so that they could practise and improve their technique on a new piece of artwork – Mrs Doran and I have been so impressed with the final results, and the children have been engrossed in the whole project. Once the pictures are complete, we’ll put some on display for all to see.
Year 6 have been fantastic buddies to our new FS2 children so far this half term. The little ones are settling in well and developing in confidence which is supported by our proud Y6 children who love their role as buddies. The Year 6 children ensure that the buddies are developing friendships with peers of their own age whilst having the support of the older children when needed. There are some lovely bonds between the children already and I know buddies is a real highlight of the year for my Year 6 children. Well done Year 6! We will soon be having some golden time where we will go and see our buddies and have some 1:1 reading time which I’m sure you’ll all enjoy.
Autumn Term 2 2017
Year 6 worked extremely hard last half term and I’m confident that this will continue this half term. We’ve got so many things to look forward over the next 7 weeks, not including the Christmas countdown! We’ve got the Big Sing Liturgy Thing trip to Mount St Mary’s which I’m so excited about – I know the children are going to love it and it will be a day to remember for them. Our class Governor, Mrs Dent, is joining us for this trip too. We have an author visit to look forward to which links to our new topic in history, ‘Unsung Heroes of War’. We have lots of history and art work planned linked to unsung heroes. We will also be visiting the cinema to watch Beauty and the Beast – this will inspire our writing in class afterwards. As well as this, we will be going to church to watch a professional theatre production of Oscar Romero’s life which is a fantastic opportunity as he is one of the key people we will be studying in RE this half term. Robi the robot is also coming back to school this year and I have a week of themed activities linked to his visit which is sure to enhance the Year 6 curriculum even further. In the run up to Christmas, we will be practising our sewing skills to make some Christmas decorations. We will also make Christmas cards and have gorgeous coloured buttons and ribbons at the ready for this!
Year 6, it’s going to be a busy and fun half term so brace yourself!
RE Trip: Big Sing Liturgy Thing
Year 6 went to Mount St Mary’s to take part in The Big Sing Liturgy Thing and what an amazing experience it was! The whole day was totally uplifting. The children learnt new songs, prayers, Makaton actions, dances and readings to combine together to worship alongside other children from primary schools in the Catholic Compass. The energy in the room was incredible and smiles were on our faces from start to finish. This was a truly moving and inspiring experience which we will never forget! Our thanks go to Mount St Mary’s and all those involved in organising this very special event. Thanks go also to our Year 6 Governor, Mrs Dent, who came on the trip and thoroughly enjoyed the experience! The Big Sing is an event which Mrs Doran and I look forward to all year – we can’t wait for the next one!
RE Trip: Rise Theatre Production
Year 6 went to Church to watch Rise Theatre’s new production about Blessed Oscar Romero. It was called, ‘Romero – Heartbeat of El Salvador’. Year 6 learn all about Oscar Romero this half term in their RE unit of work which is all about Justice, so this was a perfect opportunity for us to learn about his life, his beliefs and how these shaped his life; usually we can only use textbooks or the internet, so to see this live on stage was a great experience. The children were gripped by this powerfully moving, real story, and we will follow up the story in class to help the children learn even more about this inspirational man!
Year 6 are really enjoying reading War Horse by Michael Morporgo. The children have revised the features of instructions and then wrote their own instructions on how to look after Joey. In guided reading, we are unpicking the relationships and language of the text. We are also building up our skills of adding extra detail in our writing now so that we paint a vivid picture in the reader’s mind. We will be using our developing writing skills to write linked to Macbeth too!
Year 6 have started the WW1 topic and are enjoying reading non-fiction text books about the war. We also have some interesting artefacts in class to look at from that era.
Book Tucker Trial
Year 6 have had a busy week so enjoyed a day in their pyjamas today to just relax and have time to read a book. The classroom was transformed into a range of dens using blankets, and the children squirrelled away in their dens with a range of pillows, teddies and friends! To warm the children up after playtime, ‘Starbooks’ opened and we served hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows, accompanied with a little sweet treat. Mrs Ward also read the next chapter of War Horse to them which they are currently really enjoying. The children really deserved this treat and didn’t stop smiling all morning.
BBC KS2 Bitesize to help with revision: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks2/
Parent information about 2017 SATS including dates of the tests: http://www.theschoolrun.com/key-stage-2-SATs-2017
Parent information to support your child at home: http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/parents/primary_support/
Fun science activities for children: http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/experiments.html
Fun maths activities for children: http://www.transum.org/Software/Fun_Maths/
Encourage creative writing at home: http://www.theschoolrun.com/english/creative-writing-and-fiction