Autumn Term 1 2022
Year 6 have settled really quickly in to Year 6. Their behaviour is excellent, the children are very motivated and we are getting lots of learning done! The class love the secret student idea where, if they have followed the classroom rules all day, the secret student is revealed and they get to collect 2 secret student badges to add to our display. Once the class have collected 40, they will have some well-earned golden time. We also have Pokemon rewards which are characters given to children for growth mindset demonstrated like perseverance, resilience, seeking help at the right time whilst still being an independent learner. These are going down a treat!
School councillors will soon be elected and we have several children thinking about what skills they have which would make them an effective councillor. The candidates will have to bravely came to the front of the class to make their speeches and then their peers will cast their votes in the ballot boxes; this is an exciting process which also helps with their understanding of democracy which we have been learning about this week too.
The children in Year 6 plan and lead class collective worship. The children enjoy dressing the worship table themselves and explaining their choice of artefact for the table. For example, one child chose a green cloth to reflect that it’s ordinary time in the liturgical calendar; one child chose a mirrored ornament which reminds us that we are made in the image of God and that our actions should mirror those of Jesus. One child chose a plant to reflect that we grow when we are close to God. One child chose a crucifix to remind us that we are so special that Jesus died for us. We also include time for some quiet meditation. We have lovely calming music on in the background and focus on our breathing to try to clear our minds and be still so that we could focus on feeling God’s presence and be ready to hear God’s word in the reading that follows.
Each week, we have a different virtue to live by and worship is centred around this. “Virtues to Live By” enable us to improve the school community’s virtue literacy and to deepen understanding and appreciation of the essential role the virtues play in the education of the whole child towards human flourishing. The virtues chosen are common across cultures and faiths, but are sourced from the Christian tradition.
The children have been praying and reflecting on the life of our Majesty the Queen who sadly died. They participated in a wonderful assembly with prayers delivered by Miss Waite, our school RE leader. The children had such lovely comments to share, and with Platinum Jubilee celebrations only a few months ago, they had remembered so many facts about her role, life and impact on others. We ended the assembly watching the Queen with Paddington Bear and the children’s faces were lit up! What a wonderful way to remember a wonderful Queen who modelled the importance of faith, family and the act of service to so many people for so long!
Later in class, Y6 wrote their own prayers and placed them around the altar. We will keep her Majesty in our prayers during this period of mourning, and pray for King Charles III.
In class collective worship, we have been focussing on the following virtues: love of learning, and citizenship. We learnt about what those virtues look like in practice. We’ve been learning about different types of love and the important words Jesus taught us about love.
‘A new commandment I give you; love one another, as I have loved you. By this, everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another’ John 13:34-35
If you would like to share this message together as a family at home, here is a song we have used in class worship.
Year 6 enjoyed taking part in the Harvest Liturgy where the whole school community came together in prayer, song and worship. Over the past week, our Y6 Mini Vinnies have been working hard for their Harvest Appeal and we are extremely grateful to all our families and members of our school community for supporting this appeal. We have been overwhelmed with the number of donations, both foods and other items which we have now donated to Wetherby Food Bank and monetary donations which we will be donating to CAFOD, in support of their work to support those in need around the world.
In RE we have been thinking about what a kingdom is. The children enjoyed drawing what comes into their mind when they think of a kingdom and then described their kingdom in detail. Lots of their ideas came from stories, films and video games that they have experienced.
The children then started to think about what the kingdom of God is like and asked lots of questions which are very appropriate for their age. Hopefully, as we work our way through the term, the children will be able to answer many of their own questions themselves as we learn more about the God’s kingdom.
Y6 also enjoyed a really good debate about the values in the Kingdom of God. I was impressed with how the children challenged ideas respectfully and made reference to scripture to justify their ideas, for example, some children said they wanted love as the most important value as Jesus said, ‘the greatest commandment is to love one another as I have loved you.’
We are now learning about what parables reveal about the Kingdom of God.
Year 6 reflected on the similarities and differences between the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of God. They made notes and then inserted this into a Venn diagram to show what was similar and what was different. During these conversations in class, we have been talking a lot about equality for all people including race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, etc.
Year 6 have enjoyed reading and watching a range of parables, many they have heard before, but revisiting has provided a chance for deeper reflection about what they reveal about God’s kingdom and what we can learn from them to apply to our lives today. Year 6 asked for the parables to be put here on the website so they can watch them again at home. Here are two of them for you to enjoy.
The Franciscan Sisters of Renewal (Morning Retreat)
On Tuesday 20th September, we had Brother Jonathan, Father Franpisek, Sister John-Paul, Sister Emmanuel and Sister Ciara from The Franciscan Sisters of Renewal visiting us for a morning retreat. We started the day with a whole school collective worship where the children had some lovely key messages that they could reflect on. We had a reflection on the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, we sang songs and followed this up with actions and we also learnt different ways of prayers we can use in our lives to remind ourselves that ‘God is good all the time!’
Year 6 were told about Jesus’ parable of the Good Shepherd. The children were asked to reflect upon what it meant to be a shepherd and trust in someone to guide them. Sister Emmanuel led the children in a prayerful meditation where they pictured the face of Jesus and his smile. The Sisters are very musical and the children all enjoyed learning songs accompanied by live guitar playing and actions.
Maggie from Cafod, who is a regular visitor in our school, came in to deliver a whole school assembly to remind us about how we can live in solidarity with those in need in our world, as part of our Live Simply Mission. We reminded ourselves what CAFOD stands for: Catholic Agency for Overseas Development and just some of the work that CAFOD does to help those in the most need around the globe. We learnt global emergencies around the world, such as the floods in Pakistan, the drought in areas in Africa meaning no food and other global emergencies which means our neighbours become in need. We will soon be preparing for our Harvest Festival in school where we will be raising food donations and monetary donations to support those in need in our local community, at Wetherby Food Bank and to be able to support those in need around the world, through the work of Cafod.
To find out how you can help with current global emergencies, please click here.
To find out more about CAFOD’s work around Harvest, please watch the video below which some classes in school have also watched as part of our work around Harvest.
The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes
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. The children had a treasure hunt around the school to find the words first of all which they enjoyed. It was a great way to get active and have fun while learning. All the keywords for the English topic are displayed on our working wall with a visual to support understanding. We expect these to be spelt correctly now too as the words are all here as a way of self-checking.
Y6 also enjoyed hot-seating to ask questions to characters. The idea was that they would delve deep with open questions which demanded that the characters give detail. They wrote their questions first and practised punctuating them. Then children stepped into the shoes of the characters and answered the questions. This was great fun but also revealed how the children’s understanding of the characters and relationships were deepening.
The children also practised what we call ‘Talk: write’ which is them practising saying what they are going to write but not in a casual way that you would as a talker, more as a writer.’ This is helping the children not to write like they talk, and pushing their formality and language choices.
The children have also enjoyed writing a letter in role as the Highwayman and a ‘Wanted’ poster to catch the Highwayman. Both writing tasks allowed the children to plan, write, edit and publish written work to a high standard using their skills and really focusing on language to describe features of the characters and their feelings. We will spend the rest of the half term working on punctuation with a main focus on the use of commas, and turn the poem into a story allowing them to use their writing skills even further.
Year 6 have also enjoyed using their writing skills to turn this classic poem into a story. They wrote the first part of the story up until the two main characters were overheard by Tim, the Ostler. It was great to see the children applying improved use of vocabulary for description, commas which they have worked on, and their personalised writing targets too. They are all making progress and their work is beautifully presented too. Well done Y6. We will be moving onto our new stimulus of Twelfth Night shortly.
Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
We kick started our next exciting stimulus in English with a fantastic experience from the Shakespeare Theatre Company who performed Twelfth Night. The performance lasted all morning and the children were fully involved from start to end. They were captivated by the story and range of contrasting characters, particularly Sir Toby Belch and Malvolio who had us crying with laughter. Using this stimulus over the next few weeks is going to be fantastic; I can’t wait! Thank you to the Friends of St Joseph and all the parents, grandparents and carers who support their fundraising, as without this, we simply couldn’t have these experience for the children.
The Book Tucker Trial
Year 6 have enjoyed selecting a book of their choice from a lovely new selection we have on our book shelve, and are now making their way through the Book Tucker Trial. They can read their school reading books as well as long as they read! The children are encouraged to read a wide range of genres and work by different authors to expose them to different writing styles. To make their way through the Book Tucker Trial, they have reading challenges to complete in their reading journals.
In class we also have a wide range of non-fiction books linked to our topics so that the children can read about lots of real life subjects rather than just sticking to fiction. At the moment we have non-fiction books about the water cycle, rivers and coasts, human biology and inspirational people in sport.
We also have a selection of fiction books and poetry carefully linked to the topic of rivers and journeys. Mrs Ward has read these and recommended these to the children, and there is a lovely range of challenge in the books too – if you fancy a shorter book with some pictures but a superb story line, then you could read Michael Morporgo’s This Morning I Met a Whale: this book is really powerful and stirs up great emotion when you read about the relationship between the boy and the whale. If you fancy something with animals in, then you could read River Singers by Tom Moorhouse. If you fancy something with humans as the main characters, you could choose Journey to the River Sea which has a strong river theme of adventure. There are plenty so give them a try!
It’s only week one and Year 6 have already proved themselves to be willing and capable of being challenged in maths. They have completed some really tricky problem solving to show their understanding of place value, comparing and ordering numbers up to 10,000,000 so far and including decimals. Their self assessments at the end of lessons is showing a really good attitude to challenge and learning – having a growth mind-set and seeing challenge as a good thing will really help the children to progress with their maths. It needs to feel challenging! If your child needs any recaps to support their homework, here is a useful video.
Y6 have also been revisiting rounding numbers. Now they are in Y6, they are asked to round to any given degree so this includes decimal numbers too. Before rounding started, we revisited multiples and found multiples that numbers sat in between. Doing this is a visual way for children to understand why we round either up or down so that rhymes that help them later have more meaning. Here is a really useful video to help you at home with this.
Y6 loved exploring finding fact from known facts including decimals and multiples of 10,100 and 1000. It was great to see the children pick up in speed and confidence after a little bit of modelling so they could quickly find many related facts just from knowing a times table facts. We played BOGOF balls (Buy One Get One Free) and the children loved the time challenges and being outdoors to learn maths.
Year 6 have also made a great start to maths sessions with Ms Crolla, which will focus on the shape and space elements of the Year 6 curriculum. The children have started by consolidating their knowledge of both 2-D and 3-D shapes and learning more about 3-D polyhedrons and angles.
Next, the children got to grips with applying their shape skills to practical problem solving tasks, such as using paper triangles to make regular and irregular hexagons, along with heptagons and quadrilaterals.
After this work, the class looked at the nets of 3-D shapes. The children carefully constructed their own 3-D shapes from nets and using different construction equipment. The shapes they made included some wonderful dodecahedrons and heptagonal prisms. There was even a shape with 20 faces called an icosahedron. Well done Year 6.
Year 6 have made a quick start to their first Science topic of the year – the Human Body.
The children shared some thoughtful ideas about how to achieve a balanced diet and then found out about what happened to sailors in the past when they didn’t eat any food containing Vitamin C (it wasn’t very pleasant as the video below shows). The children found out about Dr James Lindt – a scientist who developed the first clinical trials to prove that sailors who ate Vitamin C did not get scurvy.
The class researched different food groups and looked closely at the packaging on lots of common snacks to discover where they could find the nutritional information about the amounts of sugar, salt, fat and fibre. The children used their maths skills to compare the different values on the nutrition labels and then designed their own favourite perfectly balanced nutritious meal with some weird and wonderful ingredients.
This week in our science lessons, we used everything we had learnt about the circulatory system to create life size posters of it.
Using red and blue pens, we showed the difference between the veins and arteries in our bodies and the oxygenated and deoxygenated blood.
After that, we connected up all the blood vessels in loops visiting the surrounding organs, as well as the lungs and heart.
We took part in a Burn2Learn recreating the human circulatory system in the playground. Each member of year 6 was a blood cell travelling from the heart to the lungs and other organs in the human body to transport oxygen and nutrients.
Mr Foster: Orthopaedic Surgeon
Year 6 were lucky enough to be visited by Mr Foster, who came into school with a real human skeleton to show the children. The children learnt about the important jobs the bones do in protecting our bodies and helping us move around. He taught us the names of many of the important bones in the human skeleton and the jobs they do. The children also learnt about the roles of ligaments, cartilage and different types of joints.
As well as sharing his expertise in science and all things related to bones, he also did a super job of supporting our curriculum intent which includes having high aspirations for ourselves. Mr Foster did this by telling us all about his job as an orthopaedic consultant along with the different roles in the NHS and how these all work together to help people. Hopefully this has inspired some members of Year 6 to follow future careers in medicine and health as the variety is vast! Our thanks go to Mr Foster for sparing his time to visit us.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths)
Year 6 were really lucky to have a STEM workshop led by Sally from Marine Society & Sea Cadets. We started by discussing what jobs there are in engineering and science and then concentrated on what a marine engineer does and how they need to think. It was summarised as having ideas, designing, building, testing, fixing and improving but all linked to things that go in water or under water. We then moved onto learning about buoyancy. To understand this, we needed to understand all about forces, density and how particles behave in solids, liquids and gases so marbles, plasticine, sponges and candles were needed! The children observed what happened when you put the various items into the bowl of water: the children were able to summarise that the density of the object has to be less than the density of water for objects to float. They also learnt about water displacement as this needed to be a consideration in the next part of the task.
This led perfectly onto the problem that the children were going to work on in teams: they had to use this understanding of density and buoyancy to design, make and test a vessel of their own, working within restricted measurements just to make it a bit trickier. All the children were given the same limited materials to make the challenge fair: tin foil, sticky tape, A4 card and scissors, ruler and a pencil. The children had to design a vessel with the best buoyancy so that it would hold the most marbles. They had 20 minutes to design and make the vessel before the testing began. The excitement in the room was palpable! Once the time was up, it was time to get testing. To be efficient with time, the children took it in turns to put groups of 2 marbles into their vessels and recorded their data in tables. The winner had over 100 marbles in her vessel which was incredible! My favourite part of the day was watching their faces when the vessels finally sank!
Year 6 loved using the Ipads this half term and an app called Book Creator where you can create your own book. They children were given free choice about the topic of their book as long as it linked to the theme of journeys and rivers. The children decided as a class on some of the key things they needed to include to ensure a high quality finished product which could be used by a range of different users. They agreed that they had to include a title page, images, text, sound and select a colour scheme suitable for the theme. We had some non-fiction books on the table to refer to for good practice. Using the devices in this way supported many other computing skills as they had to use many of the advanced features in order to create a high quality, professional finish as a means of communication. Inserting sound allowed the children to consider users who may have additional needs and not be able to see the words to read, so they could listen to the text instead.
Once completed, the children shared their work by sending it to me using their Showbie accounts. They found this very exciting as they could see on the classroom interactive board when their attachments had been received. After feedback, Year 6 have been working on editing and improving their books by making small changes to text size, colour, font and spacing. They have also been working on the quality of the sound inserted so that the speaking book is nice and clear to hear with an interesting expression to engage the listener. Once the sound has been inserted, the children were able to make the icon invisible rather than having a speaker icon. By resizing the images, you can then click on the image to hear the text read.
Something else the children have been working on is remembering how to log on, store passwords safely and share their work attaching is as an epub or PDFs.
Year 6 learnt about Digital Wellbeing in IT this half term. The children discussed their ideas about what Digital Wellbeing means and came up with a lot of great ideas about how digital technology can make us feel positive about our lives but can also have negative impacts in certain scenarios.
The children used whiteboards to show how different scenarios might make them feel. One example was if they had been trying to beat their high score on a computer game for three hours instead of doing homework. Another was if they were chatting online to a close friend who had moved away. The children gave very sensible and well considered opinions and were able to talk honestly in groups about what they felt the good and bad things about using so much digital technology were.
Year 6 also offered some great advice to other children in made-up situations, whose digital wellbeing was low.
Here is a digital 5 day challenge for Y6 to try and to get you talking about this at home!
Year 6 have been learning the skill of using lines and experimenting with different lines and tools to make lines. This sounds really simple but it was quite interesting to see the children enjoying sketching in their art books and starting to think about how these lines could be used to add a feeling of movement to a picture which they will be starting to work on shortly.
Year 6 worked on explaining what the different lines could be used to represent. They had a WAGOLL (what a good one looks like) and a WABOLL (what a bad one looks like) to guide them, and then got busy with their creative minds and using their guided reading skills of PEEing to make their point, explain and give an example.
Year 6 have moved onto experimenting with their sketching skills to add dynamic action to their art work. They drew simple, yet effective stick men thinking about the emotions and actions they wanted to portray. Extra lines were added to emphasise the movement. They used their top tips to evaluate their work and had time after written feedback to make some small improvements where needed.
Here is a really great video to watch and follow to look at how simple lines can be added to create dynamic action. Lots of children said they wanted to have a go at home, so try this:
We have now moved onto evaluating some work by an inspirational great artist, Van Gogh. He is famous for using lines to create his masterpieces so we commented on his work looking particularly at line, colour and tone. We looked at a WAGOLL and a WAGOLL to help us learn how to evaluate and comment on art work and used work by Goudi for this.
We then tried to use lines to recreate our own version of Starry Night but with a Highwayman spin on it. In the Highwayman it describes the moon as a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas, and the road is a ribbon on moonlight over the purple moor. We wanted our Starry Night artwork to reflect the metaphors in this poem which we have been using in English. Photos will follow once our masterpieces are complete!
If you would like to try and draw Starry Night at home, here is a video clip to guide you but remember to be creative and put your own spin on it:
If you would like to learn more about Van Gogh at home, this video is a good starting point.
Bonjour! Year 6 have started their French learning by recapping what they have learnt about French numbers in previous years at St Joseph’s. Many children were confident saying and using the lower numbers up to ten or twenty. In Year 6, our aim is to learn how to use the French numbers system up to and including 100, so there is lots of work to do.
We have found that it is very useful to listen to a native French speaker, so we will be using videos of ‘Alexa’ in our lessons this year, to help us become more confident in pronouncing words correctly. Please see the video below, which is really useful for practising the numbers.
To start off, we have played lots of French Burn to Learn games outside, counting around the circle with a ball and answering fast fire French number questions. Those who dropped the ball or got their numbers mixed up had to run around the circle as fast as they could. We will go on to use maths in French and count in 10s, 2s, 3s and other times tables in French.
To kick start the topic, Year 6 were asked to reflect back on prior learning in other classes and think about what they had previously learnt which would support them with learning more about this topic in Y6. For an extra challenge, they were asked to consider if what they remember was a skill or knowledge. It was an interesting response: they were a little hesitate to start with but soon started to recall things from prior learning. As one child remembered one thing, another child in the group remembered something else and the atmosphere in the class started to buzz and they happily talked about prior learning with excitement. Making these links was a great confidence boost for the children as some had been worried that they had forgotten everything over the summer holidays. Some of their memories of prior learning actually went back as far as Year 2 which was incredible! We also discussed whether what they remembered was a skill or knowledge. We will be looking to build on the skills they already have this half term. Look at what we captured together as a class which we think is going to help us to continue learning about rivers in Y6.
In class, we also have lots of topic books to enjoy reading to give us depth to our learning. We have time to read around the subjects and we can take these books home too to further explore. This is a popular activity with the class as they can freely choose which book to choose and having time to explore non-fiction is great fun too.
Year 6 enjoyed some physically active outdoor learning using picture clues to locate areas around school where they would find a key word linked to our topic. Just for fun, some of the clues were red herrings so the children had to search really carefully around school and outside in the playground and woodland, eliminating the red herrings as they went. All the words were topic vocabulary about the different features of a river.
After the outdoor learning session, the children came back into class and researched the different parts of a river using the iPads. They made a glossary of all the different subject specific words and looked at images on iPads to reinforce the new meanings. These words are now displayed on the topic working wall and the children regularly reference these to support their spellings and understanding. The children will shortly be locating rivers around the United Kingdom and beyond, but we needed to revisit the difference between Britain, the United Kingdom and the British Isles. To do this, the children had two different representations of these to analyse and use to answer some statements made the teachers in KS2 who claim to know alot about this subject! The children had to spot the mistakes, give advice as to why the teachers were wrong and explain where they had gone wrong. Of course, not all the teachers were wrong but the children enjoyed spotting our mistakes. For another challenge, they then had to explain which visual representation they found the most useful and explain why using their developing guided reading skills of PEEing. They had a word back to push their skills of comparing and contrasting.
Y6 have also revisited the water cycle which they previously learnt in Y4. It was incredible to see how much knowledge was recalled so we had a strong starting point to start from. Year 6 loved outdoor learning and used natural items from outdoors to make a diagram of the water cycle. During this lesson, the Y6 adults all questioned the children to use their topic vocabulary and give more detailed explanations of the cycle. I loved seeing the children getting creative and having to justify their creation which, as first glance, may not look like it resembled the water cycle, but every group was able to explain their designs.
Nidd Gorge 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 – the weather was absolutely gorgeous too. 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.
We enjoyed a picnic in the ruins at Conyngham Hall and then walked along the riverside. A very friendly cafe called Marigolds 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.
Check out some of the children’s comments below:
- “I found the river exciting. I loved the woodland walk!”
- “I really enjoyed the experience at Nidd Gorge because it was great fun and I learnt lots. The trip also helped me to picture in my head what the different features of a river look like.”
- “The ice-cream was my favourite part. It was a very useful trip because I learnt lots of new things about rivers.”
Back in class the following week, the children took their practical experience and put it into good use. They made tally and bar charts to represent the footfall at each location visited on the field trip. This was then put into bar charts which was a skill in itself! After that, the children interpreted the data and made conclusions about how the physical and human geography of the locations impacts on the footfall. I have seen some great geography and maths skills being applied with this task. Well done Y6.
Yorkshire Water Headingley Trip
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.
Back in school, the children will build upon what they know and complete some extension tasks using the challenging vocabulary introduced in this workshop. More to follow on this soon.
This half term topic is geography focussed but we also have some history planned linked to the theme of journeys and rivers. Please check later in the half term for an update on the history included in this topic. In the meantime, if you’re keen to get started on this at home, here are some videos for you to watch about two significant people who played an important part in the identification of a water borne disease and the treatment of waste water .
Year 6 are enjoying their weekly music lessons with Miss Crowley who taught them music for the last two years. She knows the children really well and is the perfect person to build on their prior learning and really extend them in this final year of primary school.
Y6 have been working on rhythms with the use of crotchets, quavers and minims. They have had lots of fun and been creative using colourful batons to generate a rhythmic pattern. They enthusiastically joined Miss Crawley in following a video of a set rhythmic tune in order to ensure they understood the task in hand. Every child worked extremely hard in order to perfect the skill. This was essential in making sure their final tasks were completed in a successful way. Year 6 then followed a pattern of crochets, minims and quavers on an precomposed sheet. Ensuring the beats were held for the correct length of time.
Moving on from this, Y6 started creating their own piece and practising ready for a visual performance. Teamwork was required and Year 6 did not disappoint! They worked well together in their groups and managed to compose some wonderfully rhythmic and beautifully visual pieces of music. Year 6 had an entertaining time, both spectating and performing their practised piece of music with their batons.
If you want to chat with your child at home about musical notation which is part of what the children are building on this half term, here is a useful video to share together.
Year 6 have also been working hard on re-capping how to identify note names and values (crotchets, quavers, minims, semibreve and semiquavers) by also using percussion instruments. As the half term has progressed, they have been challenged to compose our own rhythms and incorporate choreographed movement and notated their work as a graphic score. Year 6 have also been learning how to notate their own music by completing short tasks based around spelling words using the notes on the staff, using the treble clef pitch and creating their own rhyme to help us to remember these notes. They have composed their own story and challenged themselves to use the treble clef notes to incorporate into their piece while developing their vocal skills such as holding a melody line and building on articulation and how to support their breathing. We have learnt songs as a whole class ensemble to help us to remember. Year 6 have been very busy with their weekly music lessons!
Orienteering has been a focus for Tuesday PE sessions at the start of Year 6. This is particularly exciting as it allows the children to combine map reading skills and teamwork with running at speed. The children have played a variety of orienteering skills games such as using colour-coded maps to collect a series of French numbers and ‘Map matching’ different map key symbols to find places around the school grounds.
Part of the fun of orienteering is working as a team to complete the course quickly and efficiently. The children have also been learning to improve their running stamina by keeping a steady pace and negotiating different kinds of terrain.
Year 6 have used Competition Control Punches, which allow children to time themselves on orienteering courses in the school grounds and prove that they have completed all the markers using the special clipping tools. We have also been focussing on cross country running skills and building stamina to improve our personal best times for longer distance running. Everyone has pushed themselves to run further and I was particularly proud of those children who ran twice as far this week as they did last week.
Orienteering across the curriculum
Year 6 have been using their orienteering skills in a variety of different ways during PE lessons. We have used a variety of clues and different types of map to keep the activities challenging and diverse. This week, we have used our maths skills, had a memory challenge and kept our French number skills bubbling. All this mental challenge is taking place while the children are running and keeping track of where they are on the maps!
We have been lucky with the weather and the activities have taken place on all our school fields. By running the whole of the long course, the children are covering nearly one kilometre. Year 6 have also carried on challenging themselves to improve their personal bests in cross country running. By practising each week, it is great to see the improvement in stamina and self-confidence of all the children. There has been a really positive attitude and determination on show from the whole class. Most children are now able to run one kilometre without walking or stopping.
Year 6 had a PSHE lesson where they worked as a class to decide what the classroom rules should be for the year to ensure that we are happy, safe, valued and learning! We discussed what mutual respect is and how we need to be tolerant of different viewpoints so that we can build positive relationships. In our discussions, the importance of forgiveness came up as mistakes will be made over the year and forgiveness is essential for our relationships to be restored. We discussed how important the rule of law is so that we all learn in a fair classroom and how each member of the class plays their part in that. By the end of the lesson, Y6 had agreed the classroom rules and we have kept them as simple and positive as possible so that we know exactly what is expected.
To simplify rules in school, we just need to remember TRUST and STOP. Trust teaches us how to behave in school and STOP is our child friendly anti-bullying policy.
Pants are Private
Year 6 have been learning some key messages about keeping themselves safe, which we deliver with the NSPCC’s Pants are Private message. The children think about which areas of their bodies are private and we talk about the word ‘privates’. Children know that their privates are private and that their body belongs to them. Year 6 sensibly discussed the messages of ‘No means no’ and ‘Tell a trusted adult’. We also talked about scenarios like being at the doctor where being asked to show private parts might help us.
The children listened to the Pantosaurus song in class. If you would like to listen at home please watch the video below. Year 6 really showed us that they understood all the key messages by working hard to design Pants are Private posters. You can see some of these below.