Summer 1 2022
Welcome back after a lovely Easter holiday. I hope you are well rested and ready to enjoy your last term at St Joseph’s before you leave for summer and start your new school.
We have an exciting and busy term, so let’s get started!
Keep checking this page for regular updates throughout summer term 1.
Year 6 have made good progress with their revision so far this half term and have already covered the following: possessive pronouns, noun phrases, modal verbs, prepositions, antonym, direct speech and active/passive voice. The children are in charge of their revision and select areas that they would like to polish up on. Of course, as they missed some school in Y4 and Y5, we find the odd gaps so we address these too. Year 6’s attitude to learning is so good that it makes learning much easier – they want to learn, so they do!
Here is a whistle stop tutorial of the very basics of SPAG to be confident with. The tutorial includes very simple examples to help you if you are revising at home. There is also a useful 10 minute practise test for you to join in with for extra practise. You will be very familiar with the style of these so get your pen and paper ready and give it a go!
We have also been working on vocabulary skills to widen our understanding of work meaning. The words we have covered so far are meagre, abundant, genuine, authentic, inferior and exceptional.
Year 6 have been reflecting on all the skills they have learnt over their time in school and how they can use these in reading tests which are coming up very shortly (SATS). They talked in a group and made a list of top tips to share with anyone who needs a bit of a helping hand to get through the reading assessments which are quite a challenge. They understand that in a reading test, you can’t just sit back and enjoy reading the text like you would if you were reading for pleasure!
We also talked about how to pace ourselves in tests so that we manage our time effectively. Then we had a go. The children had 11 marks to try to get in 11 minutes. Some of the questions were quick information retrieval, and some demanded more inference using evidence from the text.
The children enjoyed a few minutes of Burn2learn to help them remember what we call the three magic words for answering 3 mark questions: ‘the text says’. They know if you include this in your PEE answers, then it forces you to back up your ideas with evidence from the text.
We also discussed how these reading skills that we are practising are actually used across all subjects, in all assessments, in secondary school, university and work life too, so they are well worth practising!
Year 6 made a good start back to the new half term starting off with lots of revision of fractions, decimals and percentages. They answered lots of different style questions presented in many different ways for varied fluency in this area of maths. I was super impressed with how quickly they got back on to this topic which is something we have worked hard on earlier in the academic year.
if you’re working on this at home and need a quick reminder, here is a useful video to help you.
Building on the success of last half term in art, Y6 were keen to continue developing their drawing skills. We have started to look at developing a sense of perspective in a different type of landscape now. The children followed the tutorial and applied their knowledge and skills of scale values to add tone to their art to give it a feeling of 3d.
The children evaluated each others work giving them positive points and things to improve.
if you would like to continue practising this at home, here is the tutorial we used.
We have now moved onto understanding what a vanishing point is and drawing a landscape seen where there is one vanishing point. This is quite tricky and the children have just started it, but they are up for a challenge and keen to use their growth mindset approach to make progress in this skill. Examples of their work will follow soon.
Year 6 had a fantastic DT day making gas rattles with Mrs Phillips. Gas rattles were used in WW1 trenches as a noisy way to alert the troops about incoming gas attacks. They are still used today as a way of cheering at sporting events. Children had to use lots of maths skills to accurately measure and prepare the wood pieces for construction. All children sawed the pieces to the correct lengths using jigs and clamps.
The next job was drilling different types of holes in the pieces in order to use dowelling to glue together the rattles. There were three different types of drill to use. The children also honed their sanding skills to make sure that their work was smooth and rounded and each rattle looked a little bit different. The finished rattles were glued together and the children were amazed at the results. It was great to see so many proud faces and so much perseverance at learning these new skills and getting the finished rattles ready in such a short time. Well done Year 6!
Building on our Live Simply mission, last half term’s topic ‘Our Precious Planet’ and our ‘8 to be great’ pledges, Adrian from Boston Spa Green Group visited Year 5 and Year 6 to talk in more depth about the climate emergency through a morning workshop. The children started off looking at the carbon footprint of familiar foods and were surprised to learn of foods we eat on a daily basis having a high carbon footprint, such as meat, butter and eggs. We learnt that it is always best to shop locally and seasonally.
We compared and contrasted different countries and their carbon footprints through an active Burn2Learn game outside. We then explored materials and how we should dispose of them, e.g. general waste, recycling, composting or another way of disposal (e.g. charity shops, Teracycle points).
Adrian also talked to the children about biodiversity and we learnt that one simple oak tree can house up to 2,300 species. Throughout the workshop, the children were making links to their own experiences, prior learning and knowledge linked to our Live Simply mission and our ‘8 to be great’ pledges.
Adrian was extremely impressed with the children’s knowledge and understanding of the climate emergency and their current participation and practice in working towards achieving the goal of net zero and greener planet for all.
Thank you to Adrian for visiting our school! For more information, or to get involved, please visit