“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
- History Visitor in school: WW1 expert
- 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!
The pictures above show how Year 6 decided to organise values in order of priority. This proved to be a challenged task and sparked some excellent discussions about which one was deemed to be the most important and why. In the end, the children decided that all values are equally important so arranged them in a way of their choice to represent this.
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.
Year 6 are enjoying their music lessons with Mr Jennings who really brings a fantastic energy and superb knowledge and skills to our music lessons. They have been learning to play tuned percussion instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency and control, sometimes as a solo and sometimes as part of an ensemble. They started with a simple Twinkle, Twinkle and progressed to:
When the Saints Go Marching In
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 also experimented with dynamics by exploding planets. This was created by cutting up images of planets and arranging the pieces to reflect a force pushing outwards. The children then had to select appropriate art materials to add more dynamics to the picture. They look fab! 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.
The children experimented with collage to create images of Joey the War Horse. The classroom looked like a bomb had gone off but the children enjoyed the lessons and the effect they created. Each horse is individual and interesting to look close up at. Some children even brought in pictures of their ancestors who were in the war, and combined their images in the collage.
MacMillan Coffee Morning
Mrs Doran enjoyed taking part in the MacMillan Coffee Morning this week. It was well attended and the donations of cake offered by the parents from school was absolutely amazing! The smell in the room was heavenly! There were so many cakes left that they were sold after school to the delight of all the children in school! Thank you to the Year 6 children who helped to set up and tidy up.
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!
Year 6 are learning all about justice this half term. They started by thinking about what the word ‘justice’ means and then talked about different experiences they have had or heard about in the news. The children then heard a scenario about Himalayan villagers who rely on the forest for all their needs. Some woodcutters were coming to cut the trees down so that they could make sports equipment and sell them to make money. The children wrote formal letters as the woodcutters to apologies for their actions.
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!
RE: Advent Prayer Bags
During the period of Advent, we are encouraging the children to prepare for the coming of Jesus both in school and at home. To support with this, we have put together several prayer bags for the children to take home and use with their family. Each child will get the opportunity to take it home at least once. We are hoping that siblings and parents will also join in and spend a few extra minutes making use of the prayer bag as a focus for their evening prayers.
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!
Robi the Robot visited this week and we had a super session in the ICT suite improving Robi’s story by editing and improving parts where we felt the story just moved on too quickly. We did this by adding more detail through prepositions and prepositional phrases. The children worked in pairs and every pair was able to feed their ideas into the story which Robi then read again at the end. We were delighted with the final version of the story and could see a big difference due to detail and precision which meant that you could visualise the story much better. Thank you Mrs Waterhouse for looking after Robi this week!
English: Cinema Trip Beauty and the Beast
Year 6 had a lovely morning at Harrogate Odeon this week when they went to see the newest version of Beauty and the Beast. This was part of the annual Into Film Festival where children can visit the cinema for free. We all had a great time! We will be using parts of the film in the coming weeks as a stimulus for writing. Thank you to Mrs Venn and Mrs Riddington for being helpers on the trip.
The children enjoyed doing some maths linked to robots; we had puzzles to solve and coordinates to plot to make robots. The coordinates were really tricky and the children showed great resilience to complete these. The children have also been learning to translate shapes and then plot new positions using coordinates. They have revised parallel, perpendicular and intersecting lines. They have also been simplifying fractions to their simplest forms. They had a puzzle to solve using simplified fractions and it spelt out a joke of mine – not all the children appreciated my joke! Why did the bike fall over? Because it was two tyred!
In science, the children have been focusing on their topic ‘healthy living’ and had a creative lesson linked to design technology where they learnt about the organs in the body. This was a really fun, hands-on lesson where the children had to research the function of vital organs and think about their size and position in the body to create a human collage. This lesson was very useful in preparation for their learning about the circulatory system.
Science Trip: Headingley Water Treatment Works
Year 6 enjoyed another trip this week to enrich their science and geography learning. They revisited the water cycle and the scientific processes involved including condensation, evaporation, transpiration, solids, liquids and gases. The water treatment site has a fantastic educational centre where the children can learn about the water cycle and then see the process that water follows to become drinkable. It was amazing!
We visited the actual water treatment plant and saw how the water from the reservoirs is cleaned. Some of the tanks were full of brown sludge which looked rather revolting! It’s incredible to see the water becoming cleaner and safer after each part of the process. Thank you to Mrs Venn for volunteering to help on the trip, and thank you to the staff at the works for making us so welcome!
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.
History: Trench Warfare
Year 6 dressed up today ready for battle on the front line. They have learnt about the horrific conditions in the trenches and were ready to get into their dug outs to prepare for battle. This was serious business! However, before battle commenced, they learnt about the Christmas Day Truce. We watched the Sainsbury’s Christmas advert from 2014 which tells about peace at Christmas time when the soldiers came together and played football, leaving their differences aside for a short time. All the children has some accessories to help them get into role. They took photos of their loved ones in their pockets for good luck. They had some camouflage face paints, cargo netting and medical kits for the wounded.
After battle, the German side started to sing Silent Night. Then the British side joined in. Night time fell and all went quiet. In the morning, brave Jim Hawkins stepped forward in No-Man’s Land making the sign of the peace. His comrades thought he was mad! The German’s raised their weapons but Otto thankfully noticed that Jim was not armed.
“Halt! Er ist nicht bewaffnet!” he shouted.
Otto cautiously stepped out on to No-Man’s Land and went towards Jim. The two men met and shook hands. The events that followed were miraculous! The enemies played football together. Some soldiers cut each other’s hair or shaved their faces, some relaxed and played cards together or shared photos of loved ones. Unfortunately, the reminder of war signalled in the air and the soldiers returned to their trenches. For a short time, their was peace on Christmas day!
The soldiers returned to class, some wounded, but they got settled down and wrote letters to their loved ones to tell them about the amazing events of the day!
History Visitor in School: Little Suitcase Girl
Year 6 were visited by Judith Rhodes who is the daughter of Ursula Michel. Judith came to share her mother’s story with the children as part of our war topic. Ursula was one of the last children to escape Nazi Germany to England in 1938, just after the persecution of Jewish people began. She was sent to Stoke-On-Trent with only a tiny suitcase of belongings, without her parents and little sister at 14 years old. She went to school with her host family’s children and went on to become a secretary after school. Unfortunately Ursula’s family did not survive the war and were last known to be in Dachau where they died. Ursula’s story was made in to a documentary in 2011 and the children were very lucky to watch it, as well as seeing the original little suitcase which she brought with her from Germany. The children thoroughly enjoyed the experience and asked some excellent questions. Thank you to Judith for sharing such a powerful story with us!
History Visitor in School: Mr Stanistreet
Mr Stanistreet (Florence’s grandad) came to visit this week to teach us all about why the Great War started. He is a real expert with an wealth of knowledge about the subject as he was a secondary school history teacher. Although retired now, we are grateful that he was happy to come and teach the children about how Europe was organised at the time in 1914 and why there were tensions between the countries. The children had a fantastic time learning as they became different countries and started to experience why some countries felt threatened. Thank you Mr Stanistreet – you’re a cool grandad!
Year 6 have planned their own robot design which they are going to be stitching on to binka using a variety of different stitches. We have some very good sewers in class so we’ve been able to teach them some more challenging stitches. Once the robots have been stitched, the photos will be shared!
Year 6 have used their stitching techniques to make Christmas Stockings for their trees. Hopefully, they might find a little treat inside them before they break up for Christmas! Our class Christmas tree looks gorgeous with these homemade decorations on. The children have also made their own Christmas cards. These were really tricky and took a lot of patience but they look super! They had to use a stencil to make each layer of the Christmas Tree, cut really carefully around the lines to make a neat effect, then build up the tree and embellish it with buttons (to represent baubles) and sparkles (to represent the lights on the tree). They also trimmed the card with an effect of their choice, included inserts in the card to make it look professional, and of course wrote lovely message with their best handwriting.
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.
Spring Term 1 2018
Happy New Year and welcome back!
I hope all the children and their families had a wonderful Christmas holiday. I’m really looking forward to seeing the children return to class after their Christmas break – I’m sure we’ll need to put some time aside to catch up on all the things that happened at Christmas!
I can’t believe it’s already Spring term and 2018! I have lots planned for the coming term which I’m sure will engage and interest the children as they continue to learn and thrive in Year 6. As usual, I will be building on the children’s interests whenever possible as they are always full of fabulous ideas which can really enhance the curriculum.
RE: Jesus, Bread of Life
Year 6 have been learning about the Jewish festival of Passover. They have researched the Sedar Plate and what each part of the meal symbolises. They drew their own Sedar Plate meal and then completed a matching activity to apply their new knowledge. They then wrote a prayer that a Jewish child might say at the end of the Passover festival, giving thanks to God for freedom and remembering the suffering of their ancestors.
Year 6 have also been learning about the different parts of Mass. They thought about the different ways that they might make mistakes; this included in what they say, their actions, their thoughts and what they might forget to do. They also learnt about the importance of asking for forgiveness before receiving Holy Communion. They looked at readings from the Bible which teach us about forgiveness.
English: Painting a Vivid Picture through Detail
The class are working on adding extra detail to their writing by using many different tricks. Today the class focused on adding extra information by using relative clauses. These can be quite tricky to punctuate as it depends on if the information is essential or not as to how you punctuate it. Nevertheless, I saw some super writing today.
Class 6 have also worked on identifying verbs and then looking to see which verbs are powerful verbs. They then learnt to use verbs to show how characters were feeling through their actions without telling the reader first. Show rather than tell was the key to success with this task. Using some of the pictures from the Harris Burdick book, they wrote extracts to practise this skill as well as using their other writing skills to create a vivid picture. Their writing skills are coming along a treat!
English: Basic English Editing Skills (BEE Zone)
Year 6 continue to work on perfecting the very basics in their writing as it’s quite easy to let these slip when you’re also learning lots of other writing skills too. Our class BEE zone is all about those very basics that we need in every piece of writing. The children have time to check their work to avoid being stung! They enjoy checking their partner’s work too to try to sting them; if they do find a basic mistake from the BEE zone, they are not allowed to tell their partner what it is, just that they’ve missed something simple, so this encourages the writer to check their work more carefully, so their partners don’t manage to sting them and win 5 house points. It’s all done in a supportive way and helps to polish up on the basics which are so important.
English: Exploding the moment
Year 6 have worked this week on ‘exploding the moment’ in their stories from last week. I modelled how to ‘explode’ my work in slow motion so that the story slows down and includes more detail to draw the reader in. The impact was instant! The children now realise that they need to slow their stories down rather than rush on to the next part. As a class. we exploded one line from a child’s story and it turned into a full paragraph; it was impressive! They went back to their story starters from last week and edited/improved them by exploding them. It was exciting for me to see their work instantly improving by modelling something so simple to do. Well done Year 6. Keep up the great effort.
English: Promoting Authors and Wider Reading
Year 6 are encouraged to share their reading experiences with each other by doing book recommends. Any child who has read a great book and thinks it’s worth sharing, comes to the front of the class and gives a brief synopsis of the book without giving away all the details. Just enough to tempt someone is what we are aiming for! Thank you to all the children who have taken part in this so far; your efforts are helping other children to try new authors and read more challenging books which is just what I was hoping for!
Year 6 are also really enjoying the new selection of reading books we now have in class. We had a really good sort out of the book shelves and made space for some super new collections by a range of different authors. We have gone with a theme of mystery, suspense and classics for now. Hopefully, we will be able to build on this in the future. For now, the books are brand new and flying off the shelves. We had a little sniff of the lovely pages and took a moment to consider that our eyes were the very first ones to see the words on the pages! We tried to imagine a world without books……and couldn’t! Hopefully, some of the new books will be getting recommended in class in the next few days.
Thank you to the Friends of St Joseph and all the parents who contribute to the fundraising events who have helped to enhance our reading area. We have some lovely wooden-looking beans bags for the children to relax on too while they enjoy a good book.
English: Books Linked to 100 Year Anniversary of Women’s Right to Vote
We are very lucky to have great quality books sent to us by the Schools Library Service. They recently asked if anyone was interested in a set of books to celebrate the centenary of women’s right to vote. I snapped up the offer and within days, a lovely set of books arrived for me to share with the class.
There is a great selection of fiction, non-fiction and some picture books too. Both boys and girls were interested in reading them and they were snapped up before they could even make it to the book shelf! The children were so interested in this topic that they were keen to decorate our reading area to promote the books and the anniversary itself. Boys and girls stayed in at playtime to do this as a team project. It looks great. Happy reading Y6!
Inspired by the mystery behind the disappearance of Harris Burdick, Year 6 had a detective day where they dressed up as detectives and had different missions to complete during the day. The costumes were amazing! The class were given a briefing about the missions to complete and then they got down to business. They had to write their own stories using a picture of their choice from the Mysteries of Harris Burdick book, complete a picture to complement the story using hatching and cross hatching techniques, and also solve mystery number problems in maths where numbers had disappeared and been replaced by symbols. We all had a great day!
During the day, a bell went and the children had to get together with their puzzle partners. A puzzle/riddle was read aloud and they had to solve it. They had to use their knowledge of phonics, antonyms and homophones to work out the clues. The clues were posted under the Head Teacher’s office door without her seeing! At the end of the day, the Head Teacher had to put all the clues together to reveal a location as to where we would finally find out the answer to why Harris Burdick disappeared! Did they find out what happened? All will be revealed!
Miss Milivojevic managed to piece together the clues given to her across the course of the day. This lead us to the outdoor classroom where the children managed to find a letter! The letter told use what happened to Harris Burdick after he left Mr Wender, but unfortunately, the letter had been sabotaged at the bottom by a shredder and was unreadable! The photographs below say it all! The mystery continues…
Charlie loved the day. He said, “Today was a really fun day. I loved learning how to use the hatching method in art.”
Ryan said this about the day, “Today was an extraordinary day as we went around spying on other classes!”
Joseph said, “Today was a very different day because we were detectives and we went round spying on people. I learnt to find easier methods to find missing numbers in maths too.”
Cameron said, “Today has been a very sneaky day. I liked learning about the hatching method in art. I also liked writing the story. I think it was my best ever!”
Hannah enjoyed learning the new art techniques about how to create tone using hatching and cross hatching. She said, “The different techniques I have learnt made the tone look better than it did before.”
Angles: The children are off to a flying start this half term – it’s only day 2 and they have achieved so much already! They have revised different types of angles and can name them all. They made some pretty accurate estimates using their knowledge of acute, obtuse and reflex angles and enjoyed an interactive board game where they had to try and estimate within 10 degrees of accuracy. They have also learnt about the total number of degrees in triangles, quadrilaterals, straight lines and full turns. Today they applied this knowledge to calculate missing angles. This work can be tricky as you need to apply lots of knowledge in different problems, and a few children said, “I don’t get it….yet!”. It was wonderful to see the twinkle in their eyes as they started to get it and feel proud of themselves. In the end of lesson feedback where the children self-reflected, many children choose to use words from our Resilience Wall to sum up how they had persevered, stayed optimistic, bounced back, shown determination, etc. It’s so important to have the correct mindset when faced with challenges, and I’m pleased to say that I saw plenty of positive mental attitude today. Well done!
KIRFS: The class have gone KIRF mad practising their new targets for this half term. Some of the children even followed me on to playground duty to have some rapid fire rounds. My mind was blown by the speed that they were recalling table facts to 12 x 12, plus the division facts, related decimal facts and multiples of 10. They have also been inventing their own games using practical equipment to practise their KIRFS. Look at the photographs below:
Fractions: Year 6 started the week saying they didn’t like fractions, but thankfully as the week has progressed, their confidence has grown and they are now showing improved knowledge, understanding and skills with fractions. They have learnt to add and subtract fractions, finding common denominators when needed, and they can multiply fractions too now. They have a good rap which helps them to remember what to do when multiplying fractions, and they perform it with swagger! Now, they have also learnt to divide fractions and convert fractions, decimals and percentages so that they can be put in order. I’m so impressed with the progress so far this half term in this area. What’s particularly pleasing, is the children’s attitude to new learning which is excellent – if you believe you can do it, you’ll do it!
We revisited light sources looking at those that are natural and those that are man-made. We also discussed why some people wrongly think that the moon is a light source and why cat’s eyes are not light sources – these simply reflect light from another light source! The class have also looked at how light travels; this involved finding the darkest room in the school and blocking out as much light as possible so that we could see the light from a torch. Year 6 are now trying to improve their scientific diagrams so that they can show how light travels accurately. It is trickier than it sounds!
Science: Human Eye
Year 6 have learnt all about the human eye. They enjoyed looking close up at each others’ pupils and observed the changes that took place when closed eyes open after a few moments of being shut – they were amazed and gasps were actually heard when partners opened their eyes! I was amazed that they had never noticed this before!
We moved onto looking at a cross section of an eye. They learnt the names and function of all the different parts of the eye.
Science: Mr Surtees Visits Year 6
Year 6 enjoyed a visit from Mr Surtees (Hannah’s dad) who is an optician. He came and explained all about the difference between long and short sighted and how the anatomy of the eye can is connected to all this. He brought contact lenses with him and all the children were able to have a set and touch them. He taught the children about how to keep their eyes healthy and avoid damage. The children also designed some wooden glasses which they really enjoyed. They used just about every colour and pattern possible!
PE: Judo Taster
Year 6 thoroughly enjoyed a Judo taster session today with Glynn. They had smiles on their faces from start to finish and all the children participated without hesitation. Glynn made it so much fun showing the actions in slow motion so that the children could pick it up. There were some incredible results instantly just by following what he said, as some of even the smallest members of the class were able to hold down their partner for at least 5 seconds. Some of the class now plan to take up Judo.
History: The Mystery Tour 1960s
In history, Year 6 have been learning what it takes to be a good historian. They have learnt about different ways to gather evidence of historical events and the importance of being a critical thinker to evaluate the accuracy of the evidence – it’s very much like being a detective! They then learnt about different sources of historical evidence (primary and secondary) and learnt to sort evidence into these groups.
They then listened to some 1960s music and had to decide if they thought it was a ‘hit’ or a ‘miss’. They really enjoyed singing along to The Beatles Yellow Submarine!
Year 6 have started to research Andy Warhol and will shortly be developing their own ‘Pop Art’ style artwork. Watch this space…
PSHE: Anti-bullying Week – All Different, All Equal
This week in school, we have been reminding ourselves about how different we all are, yet we are all equal! The Year 6 school councillors delivered an assembly to get the week started. We will spend the week doing activities which remind us that our differences make us unique and individual. Imagine the world if we were all the same…it would be so boring! We wore odd socks to remind us that our differences are a great thing and to be celebrated. We decorated socks with our pledges on as to how we can all contribute to stopping or preventing bullying. The washing line in class looks fabulous and is a reminder of how important it is to be ourselves and celebrate our differences.
Connor’s pledge is, “I will play my part in stopping bullying, by standing up to bullies.”
Grace’s pledge is, “I will play my part in stopping bullying by, if I see someone in the playground on their own, I will make sure they are happy and included.”
Roo’s pledge is, “My pledge to all the children is to stand up to bullies. You are amazing just the way you are!”
Ruby’s pledge is, “My pledge to the world is to treat everyone the same.”
Leah promises to help the anti-bullying campaign by trying to stand up to the bully to help the victim.
PSHE: Anti-bullying and Cyber-bullying
Today Year 6 watched a One Day Creative workshop called Tweet Town. This fantastic performance delivered so many important messages about anti-bullying and cyber-bullying within a child-friendly delivery by 2 very talented actresses. It addressed: the importance of choosing passwords carefully and storing them carefully; why not to click on links sent by emails or messages; social media age limits; what to do if a stranger asked for your personal details; what bullying is (STOP – several times on purpose); peer pressure; dangers of posting images of yourself and others on the internet; the dangers of chat rooms; different types of bullying (physical, emotional, verbal and cyber); how text messages and photos can be traced even if they have been deleted; the importance of privacy settings; and what to do if you felt you were being bullied or knew your friend was. Thank you to One Day for this fantastic experience!
Here are a few comments from the Year 6 children themselves:
“I liked it because it really taught you about the outcome and consequences of all types of bullying, and how it might feel to be the one bullied.” (Ryan)
“It taught me some great tips on how to use the internet safely so this will help me in the future. I think it was a great play!” (Katie)
“Ace!!! Good songs and lots of useful information to help me stay safe.” (Niamh)
We will follow up in class with these ideas in our PSHE lessons.
Year 6 children took part in Bikeability training to improve their cycling skills and knowledge of road safety. All the children loved the session which took place over the full week, so they had plenty of time to practise and improve! Thank goodness the weather stayed fine! Thanks to Chris and Danny who trained the children.
PSHE: Internet Safety Week – Go Wise Online
As part of internet safety week and the teaching we do in school to help safeguard our pupils, Y6 took part in a 2 hour workshop which covered the following important learning objectives and messages:
- What is social media?
- What should I share online? (covered safety of sharing information and pictures)
- Who can I chat to? (covered not talking to strangers online) ·
- Being kind online (covered cyber bullying)
- Online Games, am I safe? (covered blocking and reporting people they meet online)
- What pictures should I share (Covered sharing inappropriate photos, inappropriate selfies)
- Who do I tell that I am upset?
- What is a digital Footprint?
This is part of our ongoing safeguarding learning and complements the work they have already completed in Computing lessons with Mrs Waterhouse. We will learn more about this during the summer term.
Art: Gaudi, Seurat & Signac Inspired
Year 6 enjoyed learning all about Gaudi. They learned about his life and his achievements which were plenty! They loved looking at all the architecture in Barcelona and learnt to use visual language to describe his work. They used language linked to mood/feelings, colour, tone, shape/lines, texture, form, size and tone. They also learnt about pointillism and geometric shapes, and were keen to start putting all this new knowledge into action. The work in progress looks great so far. I’ll post photos of the finished art work when it is complete.
Niamh said, “Today was really creative. It was fun!”
“I love art and designing!” said Kyle.
“Probably one of my favourite days because we got to learn about different types of artists and had a go at designing our own. I found out that I had to be really patient as you can’t rush it!” said Cian.
Charlie said, “Today was amazing because we learnt about Gaudi and his style. I think I did really well today.”
Katie said, “I loved looking at the extraordinary buildings by Gaudi. I also liked designed our own gecko. I would love to visit the Gaudi gardens in Barcelona one day.”
Lent is just around the corner and actually starts during the half term holidays. All the children will have the opportunity to take home a Lent prayer bag which Mrs Doran has thoughtfully put together. The prayers bags provide an opportunity for the children during Lent to prepare for Easter both in school and at home.The children can take them home and use with their family. There is also a puzzle in the bag if anyone would like to complete it and a jelly bean prayer and actions for them to try; all the colours of the jelly bean teach us something about Jesus. I hope the children and families enjoy these.
Spring Term 2 2018
I hope all the children and their families had a lovely half-term break.
We are ploughing through this academic year at great speed and it’s already Spring term 2 – where does time go? Year 6 had a very successful half-term in Spring 1 and I’m looking forward to building on this in Spring 2. As usual, we have lots planned which I’m sure will continue to engage and interest the children. Some of the most exciting things coming up this half-term include: War Horse West End Show at the Alhambra; visit to a mosque to learn about Islam; 1960s themed day; dental workshop from Openwide; and writing to Hotel Chocolat linked to Easter. We will also be exploding cream eggs, making Mother’s Day cards and continuing to work on our Lenten Proises. It’s sure to be a great half-term!
RE: Jesus, Son of God
Year 6 are moving onto a unit of work called Jesus, Son of God. To start the unit of work, they will look at the different miracles that Jesus performed and why he performed miracles. The children will retell the miracles using role-play and considered the different reactions of people who witnessed the them. More details and photos to follow…
RE: Christian Meditation
Year 6 learnt about and experienced Christian Meditation this week. They thought about the different ways to pray and learnt that Christian Meditation is a spiritual practice which can guide us into a state of prayer. It brings us silence, stillness and simplicity by a means that is itself silent, still and simple.
Year 6 made a great start to the new half term by looking at a range of biographies in guided reading. They completed guided reading tasks on Ed Sheeran, Usain Bolt and Jennifer Lawrence. Next week, the class will complete their own biographies so they have been looking for the key features as they have worked.
English: War Horse Alhambra Theatre Trip
English: World Book Day
Lessons for the whole day focused on English. We started with a guided reading session looking at a poem called ‘What Has Happened to Lulu?’ This stimulated some excellent discussion about what did happen to Lulu, but more importantly, how could we back up our view points with evidence from the text. Varies theories were suggested. The children then got to write the letter which Mother found and threw on the fire. Most children agreed that Lulu wrote the letter in a rush as she was either running away with her boyfriend, or running away to live with her dad; either way, the letter was scruffy and angry, so that’s what Y6 had to do. They wrote the letter and, for once, handwriting and spelling was excused – they had only 1 minute to write it! After that, the children had to step into the role of Lulu and read the letter she was leaving behind in a tone to reflect her mood. They then had to turn the tables and become the mother who discovered the note and read it with anger before screwing it up and throwing it on the fire. The children loved doing this!
In the afternoon, the whole class had to write emotive letters to Lulu from mother to persuade her to come home. We played sad music to get in to the mood. The emotion in class was excellent! We had a little time at the end of the day to listen to a few letters: Connie and Charlie were pleased to share their work as they were proud of what they had achieved in the afternoon. We’ll get some more time tomorrow to listen to a few more. Well done Y6.
Year 6 enjoyed revising special numbers and mathematical vocabulary this week including factors, prime numbers, multiples, consecutive, ascending, descending, cube numbers, square numbers, palindromic numbers, quotient and product to name a few. Some children also learnt about perfect, abundant and deficient numbers.
Year 6 have also been really busy revising area, perimeter, fractions, data in tables and money word problems. They are also making great progress polishing up on arithmetic skills by doing a rapid fire round first thing in the morning. I’m so impressed with the progress I can see this term already. Keep this up year 6!
Year 6 are enjoying the Magical Mystery Tour in History. They are currently learning about significant people from that era and have chosen someone they find particularly interesting to research and write a biography about. I’m looking forward to seeing the final results. We will soon be learning about Beatlemania!
The children are also starting this week to make history suitcases to tell the story of a child who lived in the 1960s. Each child will work on their own suitcase of goodies – I can’t wait to see what turns up in these. We will them set the classroom up as a museum, make tickets, invite children from other classes to view the artefacts and give guided tours of our class museum. This should really bring history to life for everyone!
Music: 1960s Dress up Day
We had such a great 1960s day when all the children dressed up in their amazing costumes and lit the classroom up with their colour and style!
We learnt about a huge variety of instruments, how they are played and how they sound. We learnt all about the different sections of the orchestra and are now able to say which instruments belong in each section of the orchestra. We also listened to 1960s music and decided how it made us feel; we commented on the tempo and dynamics too which have a great impact on feelings, and used words like crescendo, diminuendo, largo, presto etc.
To finish the day, we had some traditional 1960s sweets and learnt some dances. Mrs Doran and Mrs Frost were so impressed with the dancing! A great day was had by all – well done to all the children (and parents) who made a huge effort to dress up for the occasion.
Mother’s Day Art Project:
Mrs Doran worked her magic with the children this week to make a really unique Mother’s Day card and messages which the mum’s would need to make themselves by completing the jigsaw. The children loved doing these. They carefully decorated a jigsaw and coloured it in beautifully. They chose their own words and messages to their mums so each one is unique and personal. The jigsaws were then laminated and the children cut the pieces out. After that, the children carefully embellished them with sparkles and gems. This was a fiddly job but the overall effect was superb. The jigsaws were then put in little organza draw string bags with a chocolate love heart too. I’m sure all the mums will love these!
PSHE: Open Wide Dentist Visit
Year 6 had a visit from Open Wide Dentists today and took part in an interactive workshop covering tooth brushing, healthy eating, members of the dental team and the role of the dentist. Our 3 visitors explained the different roles within the dental team which included the receptionists, hygienists, dental nurses, dentists and dental technicians. Each child got the chance to dress up in role as one of the dental team which they enjoyed. They also learnt how to clean their teeth properly and how eating healthily contributes to healthy teeth. They learnt to name the different types of teeth and the role of these, e,g, ripping, chewing, biting, grinding, etc. If you would like to know more about Openwide, please visit their website. Who knows, one day one of our pupils may work as part of the dental team!
Show & Share with Parents
Some parents joined our maths lesson this morning for a Show and Share session. It was a busy classroom with lots of parents joining in on whiteboards to show their understanding alongside their child. The children loved having parents in, mostly because they could challenge them and beat them! The parents earned a good cup of tea afterwards with a biscuit.Thank you to all the parents who attended. Now you know why your children are tired when they get home! Check out the photos and you’ll see many parents deep in thought…
St Joseph’s Feast Day
Today was a very special day for our school as it was St Joseph’s Day, the patron of our school. To celebrate this feast day, we started the afternoon with class worship; the children recalled all the special qualities of St Joseph and we thought about how he can inspire us on a daily basis. After that, the children enjoyed building dens in the classroom and had an afternoon tea party. We had tea and cake – there was not a drop of tea left over and the children really enjoyed their treat afternoon!
Kids Scholastic: This website has an extensive list of top children’s authors and illustrators. If you click on each author’s name, it then directs you to details about that author, interviews, fun facts, books by that author and lots more. https://clubs-kids.scholastic.co.uk/authors/2172
Reading Rockets: This website includes lots of practical advice for parents with monthly top tips and related short articles to help you to support reading different text types and genres. http://www.readingrockets.org/article/importance-reading-widely
BBC KS2 Bitesize to help with revision: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks2/
Parent information about 2018 SATS including dates of the tests:https://www.theschoolrun.com/key-stage-2-SATs-2018
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