Welcome to our class – Year 6!
Here you can see what Year 6 have in store as the year goes by, keep up-to-date with key dates for your diary and also access important documents such as letters, homework and other announcements. Additionally, here is link to our class blog which we will keep you up to date on what is happening in Year 6.
Year 6’s Autumn Term Newsletter can be accessed here.
Year 6 Staff
Mrs Hartwell – Class Teacher
“I am so excited for the year ahead, during which we have lots of exciting learning opportunities planned! I loved getting to know this class when they were in Year 4 and so feel very lucky to have the opportunity to teach such a kind, caring and hard-working bunch of individuals again for their final year of primary school. We are very lucky to have Miss Quinn with us in the mornings and Mrs McCloskey in the afternoons to help and support us in our learning.We are all thoroughly looking forward to the year ahead: we have a lot of hard work to do but also lots of fun to be had and many memories to be made. Please feel free to get in touch with me at any point throughout the year; I am always happy to help in whatever way I can.”
Miss Quinn – Teaching Assistant
Mrs McCloskey – Teaching Assistant
Year 6 Expectations
For many reasons, Year 6 will be the most important year of your child’s educational life so far and the class have a lot ahead of them this year. Year 6 is very much a transitional year as the children reach the end of Key Stage 2, end their time in Primary Education and take their first steps towards adulthood. I am confident that this class is capable of rising to the challenges presented by Year 6 and they have already shown this by establishing themselves as positive role models.
As the oldest children, there is an expectation that they will set the example to the rest of the school, in terms of their appearance, behaviour and attitude towards school life. Each morning we expect the children to arrive at school on time, in full school uniform and organised for the day ahead. It now needs to become very much their responsibility (not yours!) to ensure that this is the case so, if you need to, take a step back and allow them to learn to organise themselves, even if it goes wrong to begin with! The children have applied for and been awarded with various roles and responsibilities that they will carry out in the classroom and throughout the school. This gives them more opportunities to develop their organisational skills and practise being reliable and supportive members of the school. Children are expected to complete these jobs autonomously and to the best of their ability.
The Year 6 curriculum is a very tightly packed one and therefore it is vital that we use our time in the classroom efficiently this year. The children will be expected to work harder and more quickly than in previous years in order to cover the necessary amount of work. There will not be time available for children to finish off work that is not completed within the lesson, so there may be times when they will be expected to work through parts of their lunch times or take unfinished work home to complete if they have not kept up a reasonable pace. We ask that all children complete each piece of work to the best of their ability and organise it clearly, in accordance with the expectations of the school’s policy for presentation. Where work falls below this standard, children will be asked to repeat the work in their own time.
Autumn Term Curriculum
This year, All Souls’ have tailored the curriculum to make it more enjoyable and engaging for the children. Below is an overview of the curriculum that will be covered in Year 6 this term. However, like all good plans, there is likely to be some variance as the term progresses; this will be updated as and when necessary:
Maths: We have already begun our first unit building on our knowledge of place value. Understanding the meaning of the value of digits in numbers is an important area of maths and will underpin many of the more complex units we will be building up to such as solving problems involving the four operations. We will also be getting to grips with co-ordinate grids, reasoning with shape and working with fractions. It is even more important that your child’s times tables and related division facts are secure as this is an aspect of maths that provides the foundations to many other areas. Any extra practice at home would be of great benefit!
English: As a school, we are heavily focusing on exposing our children to a variety of different text types and equipping them with the skills necessary to be able to write their own versions of these independently. The text types we will be focusing on this term are:
- Factual and Literary Recounts
- Procedural Texts
- Descriptive Narrative
- Review Writing
- Formal and Informal Letter Writing
- Persuasive Leaflets
These units will be inspired through a range of stimuli and supplemented with discrete spelling, grammar and punctuation lessons to support their progression in each area of writing. They will also include plenty of opportunities to help develop our reading comprehension skills such as unpicking vocabulary, making inferences and predictions, explaining reasons fully using evidence, retrieving information and summarising.
RE: In our unit of ‘Prayers in the followers of Christ’, we have begun to develop our knowledge and understanding of the traditional prayers of the Church and some of the signs and actions associated with prayer. We will also study some prayers that are found in the scriptures and engage in the study of the Mass as the central prayer for Catholic Christians. Children will also be completing their unit of Sacramental preparation for Confirmation in which they will learn about the signs and symbols of Confirmation and gain an understanding of the gift of the Holy Spirit which they will be receiving. This term we will also be exploring the Hindu faith to encourage understanding of other religions.
Science: For the first half-term, our topic will be ‘Living things and their habitats’ (involving an interesting investigation surrounding mouldy bread!). Our following unit, ‘Evolution and Inheritance’, will see us exploring Charles Darwin’s theory and creating new breeds of dogs.
Geography: ‘Rivers and the Water Cycle’ is our first unit of geography which includes a hands-on trip to Coombe Abbey Country Park. Children will be studying the River Smite, measuring its depth, width and flow.
History: ‘Saxons and the Vikings’ will see us exploring invaders and settlers and understand how this period of history fits in with Britain’s chronology.
Art: We will be studying the work of L.S.Lowry, practising techniques for creating perspective and depth and using vanishing points, before creating our own masterpieces using oil pastels.
DT: Children will have the opportunity to research, design and make bird feeders.
PE: Disc Sports and Orienteering (Please note that this term’s PE lessons will take place on Tuesdays and Fridays. Children are expected to have their full PE kit with them on both of these days).
Music: Music Appreciation. Theory & Performance.
Spanish: We will be continuing to expand our knowledge of Spanish vocabulary and grammar, including learning the names of some key high street stores.
This year, children will continue to receive homework tasks which focus on their reading and regular practice of times tables and spellings. These basic skills are vital to their education. Keeping their knowledge sharp and learning to apply them in different ways will greatly benefit them this year. Homework will be set on a Monday and be due in the following Monday. If a child does not complete their homework or hand it in on time, they will be expected to attend Homework Club. We already have a reward system in place in the classroom which aims to help children strive to be each term’s Reading Rockstar, Spelling Superstar or Timestables Trooper!
Reading – Reading is the most valuable homework that your child could ever do and in Year 6 it is expected that they read for a minimum of 15 minutes every day outside of school. Whether loved or loathed, everybody has to read to get about their daily lives and so if your child has no interest in developing their reading as a passion, then they must develop it as a skill! Children have been provided with a home reading record which should be completed frequently, detailing what they have read and with whom. To encourage our children to read a greater variety of text types and take their reading skills further, we have included an extra page for each term. This page consists of two bingo-style challenges that we expect children to take an active part in completing to their best of their ability. I ask for your support in encouraging and monitoring your child’s reading, and that you sign their reading record each week to confirm that what is detailed is a true record (even if it says that they haven’t read anything!). This should be brought into school and taken home every day to ensure it is an ongoing record. We will collect them in on each Monday so that we can also sign it and monitor their reading diet.
Your child may still be on our school reading scheme, in which case they will bring a specific book home to read and return it to school to be changed. This does not mean that they are not able to read a book alongside this for pleasure but we do ask that the scheme book be prioritised as this is the one that will build their reading skills in a more scaffolded way. If your child is no longer on the scheme, then they are classed as a ‘Free Reader’ and may choose material of an appropriate ability to read. If they are struggling with what to read, please do encourage them to speak to me; I am more than happy to help and have a selection of personal books that I am willing to lend. We want to try and encourage children to read a variety of fiction and non-fiction books and genres. However, please remember that reading is reading, and that reading the sport section of the newspaper with a certain level of interest is far more beneficial than pretending to read a Harry Potter book! Please also remember that, whatever your child’s reading ability, there is much to be gained from spending time reading with your child and discussing books. Don’t battle with your child over reading: if you are really struggling to get them to do it, talk to me and I’ll battle with them instead!
Spelling – Every Monday, Year 6 will be tested on their spelling. This test will consist of 5 words from the Y5/6 statutory word list (sent home in the newsletter the week before) and 5 words that are chosen in relation to testing the spelling rule that we have been focusing on in lessons that week. Children who practise their spelling at home as well as at school will always have more success in their spellings tests.
Times tables – Children will be receive a times tables challenge every Monday to complete at home under timed conditions. Please do try to ensure that children are completing these within the 4 minutes set (or stop when the time is up) as we are trying to increase our speed of recall and want to monitor the progress of this. I encourage the children, once they have completed their 4 minutes, to use a different coloured pencil/pen to fill in the rest of the questions as a good way of practising. It will only be their original answers however that are recorded as their weekly result. Dedicated times tables practice at home as well as at school will have a positive impact on the speed and accuracy of their maths and boost children’s confidence.
Home Study Task – Every half term, children will receive a home study task which will in some way be linked to their learning in the classroom. They will have several weeks to complete each task and the freedom to choose how to respond to it. We hope that this will enable the children to continue to showcase their interests and individuality and look forward to seeing their hard work and talents. The first task has been sent home today and is due in on Wednesday 16th October. There will be an opportunity to come into school and view all of the children’s creations; further details of this will be sent home nearer the time.
Residential Trip to Plas Dol-y-Moch
As you will be aware, Year 6 are due to visit Plas Dol-y-Moch from the 17th-21st November 2019. Further details will be sent out nearer the time. We are all really looking forward to it and are sure that it will be the highlight of the year. Should you have any questions regarding this residential trip, please let me know.
Sacrament of Confirmation
Confirmation is due to take place on Sunday 17th May 2020. The children are very keen to be confirmed and take on the responsibility of becoming full adult members of the church; I am looking forward to guiding them on this journey of faith with the help of Mr Cooke, Mrs Quinn and Father Burch. Whilst the children are very excited to choose both their sponsor and saint, we ask that they take the time to make such big decisions, waiting until they have gained a better understanding of both of these roles through our lessons and sacramental programme. Father Paul is encouraging children receiving this Sacrament to attend Mass regularly and be seen to support the Parish. He has arranged this year for regular meetings with the Confirmandi and their parents and/or sponsor. Further details about the programme can be found in the letter which was sent home recently. Please return any outstanding reply slips for our ‘Silence and chips’ session and continue to check the diary and the website for any updates or changes to the Confirmation programme.
A responsibility which goes with being in Year 6 is becoming a ‘Prayer Friend’ to a child who has just entered Reception. As a prayer friend, your child will become a layer of support for them, looking after them on the playground when necessary, talking to them about school, and accompanying them to Mass in school time, modelling how to behave and engage in prayer. Being a Prayer Friend is something which all Year 6 children love and take very seriously – and many long term friendships have begun from Prayer Friends.
All Year 6 children working within National Curriculum requirements are legally obliged to participate in end of Key Stage 2 Statutory Assessment Tests (SATs) which identify the attainment of children in Reading, Writing and Mathematics for national comparison. These tests will take place on the week beginning 11th May 2020; it is crucial that your child attends school during this week. During the coming months, further information and guidance regarding SATs will be issued to you. SATs are not something which either you or your child should be worried about – that is our job! Instead, they should be approached as an opportunity to showcase everything they have learned throughout their time in Key Stage 2.
Please visit the Year 6 blog page which will be updated regularly to see what we have been up to!