Welcome to Year 6

Dear Parents /Carers,

Welcome back! The new school year is here and we hope you had a good break and are well rested. This is a crucial year for your children and we expect them to be punctual, focused and hard-working so that we can all help them achieve their full potential. We look to Upper Key Stage 2 to set an excellent example for the entire school and we are sure they will rise to the challenges that are put before them. We hope you will find the information below useful.

This term we shall be focusing on units including: historical fiction, discussion, poetry and autobiography/biography which will be supported by a number of key texts. A great deal of this work will also incorporate drama, speaking and listening and link with our history topic. The children will continue to develop their use of grammar, punctuation and spelling.

Class Novel
We have time set aside each week to read a novel to the class. Our book this term is ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ which links with our World War II topic. It is a thoughtful and amazing book which we hope will help inspire and inform the children.

In all classes we will be developing the children’s mental agility with number and problem solving. They will also be focusing on place value and numbers to 10 million, extending written methods of multiplication and division and finding common factors of numbers. The children will develop their ability to add, subtract, multiply and divide fractions, as well as simplify and compare fractions. Later in the term, the children will tackle work on decimal place value, multiplying and dividing with decimal numbers as well as complete a unit on measurement.

We begin the term with a topic on ‘The Nature Library’. The children will build knowledge of living things and deepen their understanding of why and how organisms are classified. After half term, children will study living things and how they adapt and evolve through natural selection in the unit ‘Everything Changes’. During all of these lessons, children will develop their enquiry and investigative skills.

During this term, we will be exploring World War II through a variety of primary and secondary sources shedding light on the mixed experiences of evacuated children. Throughout the unit we will also touch upon other ways in which Britain was affected during the war such as rationing and the varied roles of both men and women. This topic will also be extended into elements of English, ICT, RE (Religious Education) and DT (Design Technology). We would encourage the children to carry out their own extra research at home – this could be on the internet, in books, in libraries or through speaking to relatives or friends who may have had first-hand experience.

Design and Technology
The children will be designing and making shelters, linking with our history topic. They will examine the features of different shelters and use some of these features to create their own. After completion, we will evaluate how effective they are and consider how they could be improved.

For ICT this year we will be having an initial focus on online safety. We will inform you of future learning later in the term.

With Ms Hughes, Year 6 at Webbs Road (6W, 6S, 6H) will be learning to play the Djembe Drums this term. This will include learning different ways of playing the drums, exploring different rhythm patterns and simple and compound rhythm.  Children will also get the opportunity to compose their own simple and compound rhythm pieces.

As we cannot move the drums from each site every week, 6G will do drumming in the summer term. This term 6G will be learning how to use Live Loops in GarageBand to arrange and compose their own music using a range of genres.

Year 6 will be developing their drawing skills, focussing on the Elements of Art and making a series of observational drawings experimenting with mixed media and exploring the qualities of different materials. They will then go on to look at the work of German artist Anselm Keifer, making a mixed media collage on the theme of Decay.

Outdoor games will be taught by Ms Ogunyemi and will initially focus on outdoor and adventurous activities, with an emphasis on team building, problem solving, communication and decision making through a variety of tasks. After half term we will build on team work through invasion games, focusing on fundamental movement skills for attack, defense, dodging and spatial awareness. Pupils will improve their skills of passing, receiving, aiming and tactics. They will work in small groups both cooperatively and competitively, with an emphasis on team skills, fair play and good sportsmanship. All classes will have a weekly gymnastics lesson with our gymnastics coaches.

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It is essential that the children bring a change of t-shirt, shorts/jogging bottoms in the school colours of light blue, navy blue or white and suitable footwear. Your child can come to school dressed in their PE kit if they have PE in period 1 or 2 if you wish but they must bring their school uniform to change into after their PE lesson for hygiene reasons. Could you please ensure all kits and school uniform are clearly marked with your child’s full name. Children are allowed to bring in a roll-on deodorant if they wish (no sprays please).

RE (Religious Education)
In RE pupils will be studying Judaism, linking this work with our World War II topic. This will take place throughout the autumn term and will include a visit to a local synagogue to further the children’s understanding of the Jewish faith and practices.  

Personal, Social, Citizenship and Health Education (PSCHE)
In PSCHE the autumn term the theme is: ‘Understanding our Feelings’. A range of feelings (e.g. happy, sad, brave, afraid, angry, calm, generous and selfish) will be explored through storybooks, poetry, role-play and discussion activities. We will be developing children’s language to describe different feelings, how an emotion may feel in our bodies and how our feelings can link to our actions. We will also be participating in Anti-Bullying week in November and this year the theme is: ‘Choose Respect’.
The children will also have a weekly Circle Time session. This is a structured class discussion which helps children to understand and support each other. The children have been introduced to Sage, the Circle Time puppet, and will be sharing their ideas about a range of themes, for example: saying good things about ourselves, cooperating with others in work and play, learning from mistakes, knowing what to do if anyone is being hurt, trying to be fair, how to show we are sorry and what makes us all special.

This term, Y6 will continue to learn ‘All about France’ — they will be introduced to the location of some French cities and some monuments in Paris.  The unit begins with the traditional French song ‘Sur le Pont d’Avignon (On the Bridge of Avignon)’.  Pupils will also learn how to say the points of the compass, how to form some more past tense verbs and how to discuss which countries speak French. They will also learn about family, and build on their family vocabulary, as well as being introduced to vocabulary for some extended family members. The unit also covers how to talk about household tasks. The lessons in this unit include reading and writing sentences in the present and past tenses.  
English and maths homework will both be set on Wednesdays and should be completed by Monday. English and maths homework will start next week and will first be set on Wednesday 11th September. A letter will be sent home with Mathletics login details and instructions.

Children will also be given a list of spellings in their reading records each week. They should practise spelling these words at home using a range of strategies (as shown in the Reading Records). They will then be tested on these spellings through dictations in class.

Every pupil will be given a new Reading Record. In the Reading Record, the children can record and complete their reading homework as well as using it to record their independent reading both at home and at school. We will note your child’s reading targets for that half term in the record and comment on their reading and comprehension skills every two weeks. We recommend that all children spend 30 minutes each day reading independently at home to improve fluency, vocabulary and confidence. We will also write specific notes to parents should the need arise.

Children will need to bring their record with them every day. Please sign the record each week, as this is an essential form of parent/teacher communication and to show that your child has practised their spellings and that you have seen the reading homework.

Healthy Eating at Playtime
As you are aware, we monitor the children’s snacks. They are allowed to bring a piece of fresh or dried fruit or vegetable, or a small savoury sandwich. We would encourage the children to bring a small refillable bottle of plain water to drink throughout the day. This can be refilled using the school’s water fountains.

Communication between home and school
In Year 6, many children already come to school by themselves and this increases over the year as they start to get ready for travelling to secondary school. If you would like your child to walk home alone, please give permission to your child’s class teacher or directly to the office, either face-to-face or in writing.

It is important for your child’s safety that the school has two accurate contact numbers in case of an emergency but also for us to be able to contact you and discuss what is happening in school. Please can you check that home and any mobile contact numbers that have been sent into school are correct and up to date.

We aim to work in partnership with families to make your child’s time at school successful – if you have any queries concerning your child’s education or welfare please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher, on the playground or through the office, and we will be glad to discuss your concerns with you.

Yours faithfully,

Daniel Griffin (6G)    Simon Hudd (6H)    Noemi Suarez (6S)    Adam Wood (6W)    

Ben Matthews (Year 6 Leader)