Really useful websites
In the run up to the SATs tests, here are a selection of useful website links that can help with learning at home and revision to keep those skills sharp
As a school, we are currently in the process of completely overhauling and re-writing our school curriculum. The one we currently have in place has been thoroughly interesting and has served us well, but now is a decisive time to move on to something more dynamic and ultimately better for our school.
We want to design and deliver a curriculum that is right for the children at our school. We do not want to adopt a generic scheme that does not match the needs, interests and abilities of our children.
Over the next half term, we will be working closely together to create new and exciting topics and units to ensure that the children are experiencing a knowledge rich, skills based, vibrant and dynamic curriculum.
We are going to start the new year by joining the rest of key stage two in studying a text by the significant children’s author Philip Pullman. The novel that we are going to focus on will be The Ruby in the Smoke. We will be following the wild and thrilling adventures of Sally Lockhart and finding out which secrets she knows and the ones that she finds out.
We will continue our learning journey in English using a text called 'There's a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom' by Louis Sachar. The focus of the story is a young boy called Bradley who has a few problems making friends. We will follow his ups and his downs as he begins to realise what friendship is and what it entails. The book forms the basis of our English lessons.
In mathematics, we continue the year 6 curriculum with a focus upon fractions, decimals and precentages. We will also begin to look at algebra this term. The children will continue to develop the skills necessary to approach and solve a variety of mathematical problems. This includes the skill of persevering when we find some problems difficult.
As this is now, for year 6, the steady run up to SATs, we will be offering booster classes for those individuals that we feel could benefit from some extra sessions targeted at their level of ability. This could be in the area of; mathematics, reading, writing and spelling. Please keep an eye out for a letter coming home to you about the extra sessions that we will be offering.
Our afternoons will consist of rotation activities, which have a focus on the areas of reading, spelling, punctuation and grammar and also mathematics. These sessions involve the children working in small groups. They will be guided sessions with adults working with the class and on other occasions the children will be working independently. The carefully planned activities are short revision sessions based on the key areas of learning. They last about 20 minutes approximately which means that the children are able to focus upon one discreet area to develop their ability and deepen their understanding. This has proved very successful in all previous years by addressing areas of misconception and developing understanding and success. The children’s progress in y6 was highly praised during our last inspection.
We will also be completing a focused practical task of making a toy. For this the children will need a pair of socks that they are able to use. You will rceive a letter about this later this term.
We look forward to 2020 and hope that this year is just as successful as the previous one.
It has been lovely to see how well the children in Year 6 are developing as learners and preparing themselves both for the challenges of this year and also looking ahead to their transfer to high school next year. I am sure that they will be ready for their next set of challenges, this half term.
In English, we begin with the whole school topic of War and our classes will be studying war in words. We will be studying Carrie’s War, Goodnight Mr Tom, Private Peaceful and Rose Blanche. (The first three would make excellent y6 Christmas presents.) We then complete our study of the full length story Stormbreaker (which we enjoyed) and then we will be reading and analysing classic older fiction in the form of Oliver Twist. During Write on Friday, we are doing assessment pieces regularlywhere the children are able to ‘show off’ their writing skills and it is clear that the children are making good progress.
Once again in mathematics, we are looking at calculating with the four rules of number (+ - x and division). We have worked with decimal numbers, fractions and percentages. The children are really good at dividing fractions. Ask them to show you how easy it is. One thing that parents always ask is what they can do at home to help with mathematics. We always say that speeding upis a vital skill to work on. Asking your child to rehearse their times tables to 12 x 12 is really essential or number bonds to 20 (14+?=20), 50 (38+?=50) or 100 (82+?=100). You could ask what would you add to 38 to make 50, for example or round £3.95 to the nearest pound or nearest £5 or £10.
The children need to remember that regular focus on the basics will allow them to make good progress. They should be reading everydayfor about 15 to 20 minutes and should have their reading books in school every day. They will continue to get home learning every Monday and it needs to be back in school and complete by Friday. We are pleased that the children do this – ready for high school. When the children are given weekly spellings these must be learned as all spelling strategies covered will be tested in the Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (GPS) assessment next year. We also have spelling tests every Friday and the test sheets are glued into home learning books for you to see.
Don’t forget that we have Parents Consultation evening this half term and soon, we will begin booster groups for different children to ensure that they are ready for their SATs tests. Look out for letters coming home and please do let your child take part in these.
We look forward to welcoming Year 6 back on Tuesday 3rd September. We know they will return with an excellent attitude to learning and be thoroughly ready for the next stage in their learning journey. This is a very important year in many ways and we look forward to guiding them through the many challenges that they will encounter.
We begin with a three-week unit of learning entitled ‘Journeys.’ This is a shared unit across the school, and our focus for journeys is all about child evacuees during WWII and imaginary journeys to fantasy kingdoms as we share the classic CS Lewis story, ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. All our learning from English to history and geography will be based on the story.
Later on during the half term, a letter is sent to us from Alex. We have no further details to give you at this point as MI5 will not allow us to tell you more. The children should be prepared to write back to Alex and ask him all about the contents of his letter; maybe even in code.
In mathematics, we will begin with place value, sequences and solving problems. As usual, we would recommend that all Year 6 children keep rehearsing their times tables to 12x12 on a daily basis.
Finally, toward the end of the first week we will be creating our art works entitled: “ME, ME, ME!” We would like to encourage all children in Year 6 to think about what they would want on a canvas whose theme is all about them.
The children need to remember that regular focus on the basics will ensure that they make good progress this year. They should be reading daily (at home) for at least 15 to 20 minutes (y6 minimum is 4 times in a week – parents please record in their reading diaries) and should have their reading books in school every day as we have guided reading during Monday to Friday. They will get home learning each Monday and it needs to be back in school and complete by Friday. When the children are given weekly spellings these must be learned as all spelling strategies covered will be in the Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling (GPS) test next May. During the year, the children may be invited to attend after school booster groups. We do expect the children to attend these as they are provided to ensure that the children make the best progress and get the results that they deserve in their National Curriculum tests next May. Over the last seven years that we have offered these booster sessions, the children that have attended have always achieved their aspirational targets. Many of these children have achieved a score well over 100 in reading, GPS or mathematics. Some children have also achieved a score above 111 (working at greater depth).