Spring Term 2 2024

Welcome back after a lovely half term break. We have an exciting first week back to school with our annual Young Voices concert trip and then a Den Building Day on Thursday! I hope you are ready to start a lovely new topic called Our Precious Planet. Keep checking on this page to see some snapshots of what Year 6 get up to.

Class Worship

Now we are back to school, Lent has started so Y6 made their Lenten promises and also attended an Ashes Liturgy, seen as Ash Wednesday took place in half term. Our prayer monitors dressed our worship area in class and the children wrote their promises which have been placed on our worship table.

During Lent, we will focus on three things: praying more, fasting and almsgiving. The virtue being focused on at the moment is ‘charity and love which is the perfect time of year to consider this, especially as such a huge focus of Lent is to ‘give alms’. Please talk about Lent at home with your child. Here is a really simple, child-friendly video for you to watch at home together to help open up discussions around Lent promises.

This half term, we have been focusing on two new virtues: charity and love, and forgiveness. Our class collective worship drop ins for parents will take place this half term. This half term, we’ll be listening to new songs to enhance our collective worship. 

This wonderful worship song below really helped us to think about the different names that Jesus was given. This links to the work we are completing in RE at the moment, where we are learning about Jesus, the Son of God/Messiah.

 

 

 

 

RE

We are now moving onto our new RE topic called Jesus the Messiah. Year 6 looked at what the word ‘Messiah’ meant and recalled as many names/terms as we could think of that have been used to name Jesus. This included titles like Son of God, Servant King, King of Kings, Lamb of God, promised deliverer, Bread of Life, etc.

Before Year 6 worked independently to find evidence that shows Jesus is truly human and truly God, they explored scripture in the Bible through role play. Year 6 spent time reflecting back on what they have learnt previously about Jesus, including parables he told, and miracles he performed and other scripture in the Bible they have heard that shows how He is truly God and truly Human. Year 6 introduced the scripture using the appropriate responses when introducing a Gospel reading, and then whilst someone proclaimed the scripture, the group also acted it out. The rest of the class then needed to spot the evidence that showed whether Jesus was truly God or truly human, or whether the scripture in fact showed both. Year 6 then worked independently either with Bible sources given to them, or using a wider range of Bible sources from their own knowledge and understanding, to find evidence that shows that Jesus is truly human and truly God.

After this work, we have been looking at why Jesus started to gain enemies and who those enemies were. They looked at how the Jewish Pharisees were interpreting the Sabbath law and how Jesus’ criticism of this was received. Year 6 considered what they wouldn’t be able to do today in their own lives if they followed the strict rules set by the Pharisees at the time which Jesus was challenging.

 

English

Our new class text is called The Great Realisation by Tomfoolery which is a wonderful story told through a poem written in lockdown 2020. It is a poem of hope and resilience, and has a connection to the impact of humans on the environment.  It has been watched over 60, 000,000 times! To watch the poet himself reading this poem, you can click on the Youtube link below.

We started by just enjoying the content of the poem first, watching it several times on the screen as well as reading the book version. We then looked at the use of verbs in the poem and decided if we thought they were powerful verbs and effective, or if some could be improved. Children made suggestions for different verbs and had to justify their choices.

Year 6 also read non-fiction text about the damage that plastic is having on our environment, particularly wildlife, and came up with some short and snappy sentences to give the text a punch! These are displayed in our classroom to refer to later when the children write their own persuasive letters and non-chronological reports. Year 6 also referred back to prior learning about Martin Luther King in RE and his speech ‘I Have a Dream’ and how repetition of phrases can be very powerful. Using this idea, they wrote sentences with repetitive phrase in to experiment with the impact of their writing prior to applying this in the next few weeks. The stimulus of environment really captured the children’s interest quickly and these first few lessons have really produced some super skills to apply in longer pieces of writing soon!

We have also spent some time looking at verbs in other written texts such as extracts from persuasive letters. Again, the children improved the extracts by adding more powerful verbs or adverbs to have a greater impact on the audience. If you are studying powerful verbs at home with your child, this catchy song may be useful!

 

Reading 

In class, the books have changed to provide lots of opportunities for the children to read about our current topic of climate change. We have a super range of non-fiction, plus the class reading ambassadors chose some fiction books linked to animals and the environment to tempt the class to try something new.

World Book Day – Thursday 7th March 2024

As part of our World Book Day celebrations, on Wednesday 6th March, KS2 enjoyed a visit from author Kate Pankhurst who led an assembly to talk to us all about her new children’s book: “We are all Astronauts!” We have one of Kate Pankhurst’s books in our reading corner already which is called “Great Women who Changed the World.”

On World Book Day, Mrs Williams led an assembly with the whole school so that the children could share some of their wonderful outfits. In Year 6, we had a range of outfits: from King Kong, to aliens, to a soldier from War Horse and dinosaurs from children’s books. Lots of Year 6 also chose to come in their comfy clothing or PJs – comfies they’d wear when snuggling down to enjoy reading a book. Year 6 had time to read for pleasure, to get cosy and enjoy the book they’d brought into school to read, or the book they had from the school library.

As part of our World Book Day celebrations, the children were really keen to watch the film adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse, the novel we have been reading together and that our most recent English topic was based around. The children loved having the War Horse book read to them and hearing about the life of Joey, the war horse, so seeing this novel come to life in the film was so exciting for the children. I had to capture some of their reactions at moments in the film!

We also arranged for Year 6 to enjoy some shared and paired reading time with their buddies in FS2 whilst they were visiting the library. World Book Day is all about celebrating reading, celebrating the wonderful books that authors write and create and celebrating the books that we enjoy reading….and we did just that in Year 6 today!

 

 

 

Maths

Year 6 have been finishing off some work from last half term about fractions, decimals and percentages. We just needed a little more time of word problems applying their skills and this has really paid off. We didn’t want to rush so had several lessons getting plenty of practise with multi-step work problems, and it was great to see the children growing in confidence. Well done Year 6.

We have now moved onto spending some time on time! The children converted lots of different units of time which demands a lot of key knowledge that you simply need to know. We shared a few tips to help each other remember the key knowledge and we’ll keep this bubbling with short bursts of practise regularly.

Year 6 have also been working hard on ratio and money problems. They have made super progress building their confidence with the increasing challenge of multi-step problems and applying knew learning as they have never encountered ratio before.

Year 6 have been recapping area and perimeter in maths with Ms Crolla. If you would like to revise area and perimeter at home, here are some quick videos to help you.

Science

 

Science Week

During this half term, we have celebrated British Science Week in school with extra science-based activities and special challenges.

Year 6 enjoyed doing a kahoots science quiz playing against other members of the class on the ipads to recap on all the knowledge that they have learnt in past topics and in previous years. As we have moved onto a new topic of animal and plant classification in science, another fun activity for science week was a picture stimulus with a discussion question about what would happen if we all ate insects. The children came up with some interesting arguments and ideas. The Y6 adults were surprised to find that several members of the Y6 class had actually tried eating insects at extra curricular settings! Children were able to think about the question in depth and discuss how it might impact food chains in nature and climate change.

Year 6 then played a nature guessing game where images of different creatures’ teeth were shown on the board magnified 200 times. We then zoomed out gradually and children won points when they guessed the correct animal.

We have now started the topic of Classification and children had a lesson on sorting and grouping animals with similar characteristics using a picture bank. We were impressed by the amount children remembered about the key groups such as mammals, reptiles and amphibians, so we moved on to learn about new groups such as myriapods, echinoderms, molluscs and arachnids.

During the week, we also completed two science challenges. The first of these was building the tallest free-standing towers we could using only spaghetti and marshmallows. The children then measured their towers and competed against others groups. Two groups got close to a metre in height!

The second challenge we completed was to build a bridge with the longest span we could only using paper and glue or tape. The children had to measure not only the bridge’s span, but how much weight the structure could bear. Staff chose the best bridges which had a combination of length and strength.

Part of Science Week is about inspiring children to go on to use science skills in their future careers. We talked particularly about electronics and the designer James Dyson, who we are studying in DT. Year 6 decided that good designs need to have good science behind them; it is no use designing a beautiful bridge if it can’t hold the weight of traffic going over it. We also looked at the different types of fingerprints and how criminologists might use these to solve crimes.

DT

Year 6 began their new learning journey about food preparation in DT. We started by mind mapping everything we knew about food hygiene and what can cause bacteria to contaminate things we eat and make us ill. We used Keynote to produce posters showing our top tips for good food hygiene.

French

This half term’s French lessons will start with learning how to describe people in French. The children began with a Burn 2 Learn, collecting topics words which describe people’s personality. The children then had to ‘gamble’ on whether they could translate each word they found for two points without the help of a dictionary, or ‘play it safe’ and use a dictionary to get one point. Some of these adjective words are similar in French and English, whereas others are tricky to guess.

A key part of our learning in Year 6 is based around the French rule that all nouns have a gender of either masculine or feminine. We learnt that when we use these adjectives to describe someone’s personality, the ending of the French word often changes depending on whether you are describing a girl or a boy. For example: Mrs Wright est serieuse but Mr Wright est serieux.

 

History

Den Building Day – links to WWI trenches

Y6 ended their WW1 topic with a den building day which was a chance to spend the full day outside, working together in teams, building shelters and trying to make them storm proof. Lots of planning, problem solving and strong communication was needed to ensure that the whole team were involved to make the best possible den. They spent the morning building their shelter and making them as storm proof as possible and then in the afternoon they had time to look at each others’ shelters, and further improve their own. We then tested how storm proof the shelters were….some of them were very good! We linked this day to trench warfare in WWI and talked about how the soldiers in WWI had to think carefully about the design of the trenches to be ableto live in them. To end the day, the children got the chance to try and start a fire, and we roasted marshmallows and enjoyed hot chocolate to warm us up. A wonderful day was had by all! Enjoy the photos of some very happy Year 6 children below!

 

Geography

Our topic this half term has a geography focus and is called ‘Our Precious Planet’. Building on prior learning about environmental issues like deforestation which the children learnt about in Y3, we will be looking particularly at the problem of plastic on our environment and how it is contributing to the climate crisis.

This topic builds beautifully on our Live Simply Mission, with our most recent ambitious whole school project of making hedgehog houses, bird tables, bird feeders, water sources, seeded wild flower paper, bird houses, bat boxes and bug hotels.

We started by looking at some key vocabulary which we need to understand as we learn more. The children RAG rated their understanding as a starting point and then the class shared their understanding of each word to build up their knowledge and apply the word in a verbal sentence. The words we are aiming to understand fully by the end of the topic are the following: biomes, elevation, vegetation belts, tundra, grassland, forest, tropical rainforest, deciduous, savanna, marine, freshwater, climates, inhospitable, abundance, deficit, drainage, resources,  convenience, consumers, environmental impact, economical, affordable, adaptable, versatile. durable, accessible, multi-faceted.

 

Music

To finish off their samba drumming topic, Y6 were brave enough to perform their work to the younger children in school. The audience was impressed to hear the children’s own rhythmic compositions, alongside the longer piece they had learnt with Miss Crowley. Well done Y6!

During the course of this half term the Year 6 will be building up to play 12-bar blues, the most prominent chord progression in popular music.

The children watched a short film on the origin of the blues to try and gain an understanding of the style of music in its original form compared to present day. They learned that the blues originated from work songs, spiritual songs and early southern country music in America around the end of the 1800s.

Year 6 moved onto playing chords and were absolutely brilliant at this; they grasped the concept immediately, working in unison and playing a wonderful ensemble. So to add dynamics, texture and fun to the already fabulous rhythm, Garageband was introduced and the class split in half. With a 100bpm to accompany their playing, the Garageband chord group and the chime bars group played together. The sound was amazing and Year 6 thoroughly enjoyed it! Look how well the children are concentrating in the photos below – no wonder they were absolutely spot on with their timing!

Young Voices

Year 6 enjoyed attending the annual Young Voices concert trip where they performed in a choir of over 4000 children!

PE

Tennis 

Year 6 have started their PE for this half term by being visited by Jada, who is delivering tennis workshops. The children started by playing some ball games to increase control of both the ball and the racquet. Some children had played tennis before and were given challenges such as bouncing the ball off the side of the racquet rather than the strings. Other activities included tennis races, dribbling and throwing and returning the ball with accuracy. There will be two sessions in total.

In PE lessons with Ms Crolla we have looked at developing our existing competitive skills to play netball. I have been blown away be just how much the children’s confidence has increased as we have put the skills to work in matches during lessons. We have worked hard on passing skills and being able to move into space so that effective passes can be made. Through our games, we have learnt more about attacking and defending skills. When children were confident with the different types of passes and had practised their shooting skills, we began to look at the different positions and roles on a netball court. This can seem quite complicated to learn at first, but children soon got their heads round the main shooting and defending positions.

We have rotated playing in the different positions in all our matches and analysed tactics of how to distribute the ball effectively and how to block and defend when you are on the team without the ball. The children have enjoyed playing in a range of teams and positions during this topic.

Finally, we discussed gender in sport. Netball is a good example of this as it is taught and played as a mixed sport until the age of 11, but currently there are very few boys’ teams at secondary school. We learnt about some grown up male netball players who are trying to promote men’s netball teams in international competitions and who want to challenge anyone who says any sport is just for boys or just for girls.

 

PSHE

Leeds United Foundation: Positive and Negative Choices

Vicky from the Leeds United Foundation visited today to deliver a workshop to Y6. She showed how the objectives for the day linked to our school mission statement and kick started the session asking the children to think about what they already know about positive and negative choices.

They learnt about what ‘anti-social behaviour’ and the age of criminal responsibility. They looked at a range of scenarios and identified examples of anti-social behaviour like graffiti, littering, theft, etc.

They were informed about the steady rise in knife related crimes and the impact that this crime has on people and communities. They learnt about what might happen if you are in possession of a knife and that it could be being arrested, going to court and possible prison. The impact of breaking the law was also discussed on long term goals and ambitions like travelling abroad, attending universities and getting jobs.

They watched a video with lots of sporting individuals encouraging us to make good choices.

Y6 then were given scenarios to act out. They had to discuss with their group how to act in the situation so that it ended in a positive way. They also thought about the people who might be affected by this, and possible consequences for if they scenario had ended negatively.

Thanks to the Leeds United Foundation for helping Year 6 to learn about these important messages so that they can make positive choices in the future.