“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
Y6 Class Curriculum Newsletters
Read what we are learning about each half term here:
Academic Year 2018/2019
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 Workshops!
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!
- Geography field trip to Nidd Gorge and Knaresborough waterside
- RE trip: Big Sing Liturgy Thing
- English: Shakespeare Theatre Production of Twelfth Night
- History: WWI 100th Centenary workshop
- Marine Engineering workshop
- Speed safety workshop
- RE trip: Mosque
- Y6 Residential Trip to Robinwood
Autumn Term 1 2018
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 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. 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! We also have a Shakespeare Theatre production of Twelfth Night and a WW1 workshop to look forward to near the end of term. Obviously the Robinwood residential is the highlight of the Year and the children are already asking questions about it!
Class Collective Worship:
We have class worship together 3 times each week. This week, the children enjoyed 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.
The children also had time for some quiet meditation. We had lovely calming music on in the background and focused 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 followed.
After reflection on the reading, the children responded by drawing pictures in their mind of something that show’s God’s love. We gathered their ideas on little cards which were displayed on the worship table for the morning. Some children them asked if they could decorate our small tree with their ideas, which they did. We finished with a joyful song of praise: Our God is a Great Big God – this always makes us happy!
The children will be starting planning and leading their own class worship next week. I’m looking forward to it!
Year 6 enjoyed class worship in the prayer garden this week. Our theme was creation, and the prayer garden is the perfect place to reflect on the wonder of creation. We settled our minds and spent a few moments just breathing in the fresh air with our eyes closed. We then started to listen to signs of God’s creation – we could hear the birds and the breeze in the trees. We could also feel the breeze on our faces and the autumn sunshine on our backs. It was so lovely to pause and appreciate God’s creation which surrounds us every day but often we over look it. We listened to God’s word and had time for reflection. We finished with the children’s own prayer intentions. As a result of this week’s theme of creation, Year 6 will be bringing in some objects to put together an autumn box to use in our worship for the next few weeks.
Children’s comments about class worship:
“I like praying for others and talking about our feelings. I like sitting with the people we love and care about.”
” I like the songs we sing.”
“It gives you a warm feeling and a good start to the day.”
“I like how we pray to God and talk to him.”
“I like watching the prayer table being dressed.”
“I like having time to relax and realise how lucky we are. It also starts the morning with a happy and joyful thought.”
“I like sitting together in peace. It starts the day off calmly and reminds us that everything comes from God.”
“I like sharing my prayer intentions with everybody.”
“I enjoy being calm and close to God.”
Class Saint Feast Day:
Today was the Feast Day of Saint John Paul II so Year 6 had a celebration day. They enjoyed having a non-uniform day just for them and a tea party in the afternoon with sweet treats, tea or hot chocolate and some free time. St John Paul remains an inspiration to us today, and our prayers and worship for the week will focus on how we can learn from St John Paul.
KS2 Collective Worship:
Each week, KS2 gather together in the hall to take part in collective worship. Each year group takes responsibility to plan and lead the worship. A group of children from Year 6 started the year off with a very thoughtful worship which they planned in their own time. They included a candle prayer, morning prayer, a reading, time for children to reflect and respond, and a hymn. Year 6 did a great job and felt proud. I’m looking forward to seeing the worship developing further as their confidence grows. Well done.
This morning we had a lovely Harvest liturgy gathered together as a community. The hall was bursting with children, teachers, parents, younger siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles. the Harvest liturgy included singing, dancing, art, readings, Makaton signing and prayers and was a chance to thank and praised God for the wonderful things provided whilst also considering those less fortunate and in need of our support in our local community and in the wider world.
We know that there are many people who suffer in poorer countries and we aim to support these people throughout the year with our fundraising events with CAFOD. This harvest, we wanted to focus on those people in our closer community of Wetherby and just beyond in Leeds who are also experiencing difficulties and in need of food supplies. We asked for food donations from our school community and the response was generous and overwhelming! The Mini-Vinnies have shared the food donations with the SVP Centre in Leeds and the Franciscan Sisters in Wetherby. Thank you to everyone who made donations and well done to all involved for another fantastic Harvest Liturgy!
One of the things that Year 6 really look forward to in Y6 is being buddies with our new children in Foundation Stage 2. The Year 6 children play a huge role in helping our new children settle quickly. They help them in the lunch hall to build up their confidence, and then play with them in the playground at lunch time whilst encouraging them to play with their peers and have independence too.
Called to Serve in The Kingdom of God
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. 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.
The children also took part in a group discussion about values. They had to try and sort them into order of priority. This was quite a task and it was interesting to listen to the children’s reasons. What was even more rewarding to see and hear was how the children respected each other’s opinions and negotiated their way through the task. In the end, the children decided that all the values are important so arranged them in a shape to reflect that.
Year 6 have also been learning about parables and particularly what they reveal about the Kingdom of God. We have looked at the Parable of the Mustard Seed, the Parable of the Yeast, the Parable of the Adulterous Woman and the Parable of the Lost Son. With lots of talk partner time and private time to reflect, the children have really developed a good understanding of what these parables tell us about God’s kingdom. Importantly, we then thought about how this should impact on our own actions so that we truly put our faith into action on a daily basis. Each child had some good ideas about how this should look for them.
We have also been considering the advantages and possible challenges that Christians face being part of God’s Kingdom. The children worked in groups and each contributed to the lists that were made and later discussed.
After this, we all went outside for some physically active learning and played a game linked to the parables. The children enjoyed running around in the fresh air whilst also reinforcing the themes of the parables learnt earlier. Year 6 love physical activities like this.
The Pit and the Pendulum: Edgar Allan Poe
Year 6 are enjoying an adapted version of The Pit and the Pendulum. They have been looking up words in the first extract to improve their own understanding of vocabulary. These words are then displayed on the Worthy Word Wall for them to use in their own writing at a later date.
It’s only week two 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 so far. 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!
The children have been working on their reasoning skills to develop their ability to double check if their answers are reasonable. This skill really involves some deep mathematical thinking and lots of knowledge of maths language. We collect words on our Maths vocabulary wall which the children have found tricky so that we can keep referring back to them regularly. Hopefully, this will build their confidence and understanding!
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.
Then the children enjoyed listening to the poem – you could feel the tension in the room as I read!
The Highwayman poem has many metaphors in it so we have been discussing the impact of these and how they help to create a vivid image in the reader’s mind. Our working wall has some super examples of metaphors on too.
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.
The children also worked well as a group to find synonyms for some of the key themes and emotions in the Highwayman poem. These are now on our Improvin’ It display in the reading area and can be accessed by the children at any time to support their writing further.
The children have also been working really hard to improve their writing skills. They have evaluated some love letters written by King George’s men and given some very useful feedback about the positive parts and the things that need improving. The children then planned their own love letters in role as the Highwayman writing to Bess. Then they wrote their letters using their plans and the top tips they created from evaluating other love letters. The results were superb! The language choices were ambitious, with many words being taken from our Worthy Word Wall or the Improving It display – I was so pleased to see the children independently selecting these words which had previously been discussed in guided reading. The finished letters were fantastic! We had some fun afterwards reading the letters in role as the Highwayman with romantic music in the background.
English: Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night
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 are busy reading to make their way through the Book Tucker Trial. They can read their school reading books and other books of their choice 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. After every 5 books, they have to write a book review of their favourite one and recommend it to a friend. Who will be first to reach Rats Den?
Healthy Lifestyle, including Circulatory System
Year 6 have been learning about how ideas about diet were tested in the past and how this has contributed to our knowledge of a balanced diet. They learnt about James Lind who conducted the first clinical trials into the effects of citrus fruit in diet. They have also learnt about different food groups. They looked at different food labels to see which foods contained the most fat, carbohydrates, proteins, etc.This was quite tricky and involved lots of maths skills involving decimal numbers, comparing and ordering.
Year 6 enjoyed being active outside playing ‘Tiggy Triangles’ with a science focus on food groups. The game is fast and fun, and provides them with an opportunity to practise using the scientific words and develop their understanding.
We are soon going to be making a life-size circulatory system – watch this space!
Year 6 were really interested in science this week when they learnt all about how muscles work in the human body. They learnt about the different types of muscles: cardiac, smooth and skeletal muscles. They did some different exercises to focus on which muscles were being used. They learnt about how muscles contract and relax, and learnt to name many of the main muscles in the body. They then had to look at different types of exercise and decide which muscles were being worked harder during the exercise. After that, they chose their own muscle group and pretended to be personal trainers; they recommended advice to clients who wanted to exercise these muscles.
Year 6 were really interested to learn about the circulatory system this week. It’s quite complicated and includes lots of scientific language but the children’s interests meant that they listen carefully and had plenty of time to discuss the key words and ideas. The children compared blood cells to a delivery driver who delivers oxygen but takes away the waste carbon dioxide to aid their understanding. They then enjoyed trying to find their pulses and measured their resting pulse rate 5 times to work out an average. This was tricky and once they have cracked finding it and counting the beats accurately, they will conduct an investigation into the effects of exercise on their heart rates.
Survive and Explore with Bear Grylls
This half term, our topic is geography based and all about rivers. The children enjoyed their first topic lesson where they had an active game to get them moving, engaged and learning new geographical vocabulary whilst having lots of fun too. The children then used the topic words which they found in the ball game to write a glossary of the words all linked to different features of a river. They also completed diagrams to support the glossary.
Year 6 really enjoyed another geography lesson today where they needed to use their maths understanding to read an eight-point compass to make sure that Bear Grylls didn’t get lost. They used the following language: clockwise, anti-clockwise, full turn, degrees, quarter turn, clockwise, north, north east, north west, south, south east, south west, east and west and direction!
To understand rivers, we also need to understand the water cycle, so we learnt about each stage of the water cycle using an interactive illustration. The children then made their own water cycle on freezer bags and were very excited to see the cycle starting so quickly as the autumn sun got to work in our classroom. We very quickly had evaporation and condensation taking place. By the end of the day, it was raining inside the bags! The children really enjoyed this activity and it certainly will help them with their developing understanding of the water cycle.
Nidd Gorge and Knaresborough Waterside Geography 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. 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.
We enjoyed a picnic in the ruins at Conyngham Hall and then walked along the riverside. A very friendly shop called PJ’s ice-creams 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. We saw the castle ravens who were enormous and a little bit cheeky!
The children’s behaviour was exceptional all day – Mrs Frost, Mrs Prestwich and I were very proud of them. Well done Year 6 – I loved this trip and I know you did too. Thank you to Mr Capitano for helping out on the day. Check out some of the children’s comments below:
- “I enjoyed paddling and the rope swing, I also 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. 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.”
- “The ice-cream was my favourite part. It was a very useful trip because I learnt lots of new things about rivers.”
- “I liked the ravens. They were huge!”
The children were exhausted by the end of the day as we had walked over 10,000 steps (4.5 miles).
Year 6 enjoyed 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. Sometimes the movements would look slow and laboured and other movements looked energetic or rapid. The children then started to add bulk to their stick men to give a more human shape. This wasn’t always successful and we ended up with some really muscly figures, but practice makes perfect and we know that our first attempts will always need developing more. It was fun experimenting!
Year 6 also enjoyed trying to add a feeling of dynamic action to space pictures. They experimented with different sizes of pieces , spacing and direction to try and give the feeling of an explosion. Some children also used paint splashes or chalks and crayons to enhance the feeling of movement. The final results look great!
Year 6 enjoy their weekly PE lessons with Mr Cooper from PE Partners. This half term the children have been focusing on improving their games skills. They have been working on dribbling, tactical awareness, power, peer mentoring, passing, fielding and their agility. Mrs Frost also takes the class for their second PE lesson of the week which focuses on applying the skills learnt with Mr Cooper. Year 6 are always very enthusiastic about PE and love being outside and active.
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 in Y6.
Road Safety & Speed Awareness Training
Year 6 took part in a morning of activities learning about road safety when out walking without adults, car safety and speed awareness training. The children measured the speed that cars were travelling and learnt how the difference between 30 miles an hour and 20 miles an hour can make a huge difference to surviving a car accident. Year 6 also did some road crossing safety reminders as many of the children are now allowed to walk to and from school without an adult so it’s really important that they put their training into practice. Stay staff Y6. Stop, look, listen, think!
Mental Health & Emotional Well-being
Year 6 have been learning about this half term. This was a word that most of the class had heard of but their understanding of it was very unclear to start with, so we addressed many misconceptions around the term ‘Mental Health’ before we started to learn more about it. The lessons allowed us to learn what mental health is, what can affect mental health and some ways of dealing with this along with learning some everyday ways to look after mental health and who to go to if we are worried.
The children found it interesting to learn that mental health problems can affect anyone!
We learnt all about the Duchess of Cambridge and her involvement as the Royal Patron on the Place2Be charity, which is the charity that organises Children’s Mental Health Week established very recently back in 2015. Y6 school council will be taking the idea of the whole school taking part in the next Children’s Mental Health Week to their next meeting.
Mental Health is a huge subject that needs exploring with children much further, but we made a good start this half term and ended with the focus being on us working on our own self esteem so that we can be happy with who we are. To kick start this, the children work a poem about their qualities and personalities; the poems were called Unique! We enjoyed listening to some and I loved how each poem reflected the individual child.
We also took a moment to give each other compliments; we focused on qualities for the compliments and it was lovely to hear and see children giving and receiving compliments. I heard comments like, “I like how you are always kind. Thank you for being patient with me and helping me with my confidence. I like how you make people laugh. I like how you are encouraging when I am playing football. I like how you are patient and helpful” etc.
Moving forward, we will spend some time learning about the stigma and discrimination that can surround mental health so that we ensure we are fully knowledgeable and don’t ever discriminate.
DT and Computing: Lego Robotics
Year 6 enjoyed a workshop working with Lego WeDo to create and manipulate models using Lego. They used their building skills to create models and program them to move, use sound, motion sensors and speed. Some of the models were used in races – it was great fun!
The Lego Robotics Workshop covered the following knowledge and skills:
- Observation, modelling and solution design.
- Introduce students to scientific fields by making them tangible and relevant.
- Programming skills.
- Collaboration and presentation skills.
- Critical thinking and problem solving
The children absolutely loved the workshop.Here are a few comments from the children:
“I have developed coding skills. My best part was Milo because I raced it against Lizzy.” (Niamh)
“I loved it! 10/10 – it was brilliant!” (Isabelle)
“It was great fun and improved my understanding and skills in Lego robotics.”
“I learnt to tweak coding to make the robot do what I wanted it to do.”
“10/10 because I liked building and then racing our cars and robots.”
Thank you to Young Animators and Mrs Waterhouse for a fantastic experience which developed DT and Computing skills too.
Autumn Term 2 2018
I hope all the children had a lovely half term break and had lots of well-earned rest. There were certainly lots of things to talk about on the first day back in class, and we are very happy to welcome Mrs Mallory back to school after her maternity leave. Mrs Mallory will be in class 2 full days each week so we feel very fortunate to have such excellent support joining the Year 6 team.
After a very successful first half term, Year 6 have a lot to look forward to up to Christmas. See the class news letter for information about what we will be covering.
In RE we are continuing our topic Called to Serve in the Kingdom of God and will be focusing on justice this half term up to Christmas. We have already thought about what the word ‘justice’ means and how we are called to stand up for justice. To launch this area of learning, we learnt about a Oscar Romero who has recently been proclaimed a Saint! We learnt about his life as a child, his dreams to be a priest and how he had to postpone that dream to work and raise money to care for his sick mother. We learnt about how his beliefs and values called him to stand up to the injustice in El Salvador and how he died for his beliefs. The children were fascinated by his story which is summarised in a really child-friendly and powerfully moving animation on the CAFOD website.
The children took part in a hot seating exercise where I stepped into a pair of shoes and became Oscar Romero. The children asked me incredibly challenging and thought provoking questions. Volunteer pupils then had a go at stepping into his shoes and answering the questions themselves. It was an incredible lesson and all the staff were totally blown away by the depth of consideration given to the questions and the children’s ability to answer them whilst making links to his beliefs, values and often references from the Bible. After hot-seating, the children then answered more questions by completing speech bubbles in first person as Oscar Romero. If the children were finding it tricky, they were invited to put the shoes on as they wrote so that they could imagine being the man himself.
It was so powerful to see these large, adult shoes being filled by our Year 6 pupils (some who literally rattled around in them as their feet were so small) and the thought that these children are the future and hopefully their actions will be inspired moving forward by learning about this incredible Saint.
Later in class worship, the children who were given the job of preparing the prayer table which is completed as a procession as the other children sing, brought the black, shiny shoes as an object of meaning for our theme of ‘Peace’. The shoes were placed on the floor in front of the prayer focus and I thought it was the perfect choice for this week!
The children have lots to learn this half term in maths. So far they have polished up on their knowledge and skills of square numbers and learnt what a cube number is. They have practised squaring and cubing numbers and solving calculations involving these. They enjoyed learning a song about square numbers where a very bossy drill sergeant has them marching on the spot repeating square numbers. The children are working on recalling the first 12 square numbers at speed and are enjoying beating their fastest time. The fastest I have seen this done by a child in previous years is 7 seconds and Y6 are enjoying working towards this target.
Drawing and Collage
Year 6 enjoyed a morning of art with Mrs Doran where they experimented with a limited range of colours to create different effects. They were restricted to black, white, grey and red to create art work linked to Centenary of World War 1. Some children chose to collage, some children drew poppies in different positions and some children used string and glue to make coils and then painted then red to represent a poppy. Once the art work is fully completed, we’ll share some photos with you.