Dear Parents / Carers,
Welcome back. The new school year is here and we are very much looking forward to meeting our new classes; we hope you had a great summer 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 Years 5 and 6 to set an excellent example for the entire school and we are sure they will rise to the challenges that are put before them.
This half-term, we will be studying some powerful and inspiring texts. Using Lori and Max (by award-winning author Catherine O'Flynn) - a gripping detective novel with a strong sense of social conscience - children will write diary entries, a persuasive letter seeking to reverse an injustice and their own choice of response to the text; each class will also produce an evidence wall to aid their prediction skills. Inspiration for writing poetry will then be provided by Karl Nova's award-winning collection of poems, Rhythm and Poetry; Nova's positive and empowering work should inspire rich discussion and excellent writing.
To start the year, 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.
Science – Making Electricity Work
In this unit, children will be getting out the electrical components to find out how to change the brightness of bulbs or volume of buzzers. They will learn all about recognised circuit symbols to represent a simple circuit they have made. Using all this knowledge, children will then design and make their own simple electrical toy.
History – How did the Second World War change Britain?
Starting with Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s speech declaring war, children will immerse themselves in the history of the Second World War, exploring how it started, key events and the impact the war had on our community. This unit will continue in the second half of Autumn Term.
RE – What is Humanism?
Children will reflect on their personal worldview, influences and their importance. They will learn about the key approaches of Humanism as well as Stephen Hawking’s scientific thinking. Children will be introduced to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and explain why they feel the rights enshrined it are important.
PSCHE – Understanding Our Feelings
Over the whole term, children will learn to reflect and develop their understanding of their own emotions, as well as improving their accuracy in the language they use. In circle time, children will reflect upon developing effective relationships with others in their class.
Computing - Sphero
Children will be hands-on programming with our pack of Spheros, writing code to guide these spherical robots around the room. They will be using Python to code with a textual programming language. In our online safety lessons, we will explore what place digital media has in our lives.
We are pleased to inform you that Year 6 will be participating in two projects this half term. One project is a drumming project where children will learn about complex rhythms and will work together as an ensemble to learn a performance piece. This will contain call and response rhythms, simple and complex rhythms, rhythm rounds and switch rhythms. The second project will be a GarageBand project (live loops), which involves composing, using sample music and composing their own samples to use. The children will then edit the music using various studio techniques.
Children at Meteor will do drumming first and 6G Webb’s classes will start with GarageBand.
Outdoor games will initially focus on team building through a variety of outdoor and adventurous activities, with an emphasis on problem solving, communication and decision-making. Through athletic activities, the children will also develop their running, jumping and throwing skills.
For indoor PE, children at Webb’s will have gymnastics; at Meteor, children will have dance, beginning to explore a variety of topics to compose solo, group and class dances that they are able to share and and comment on.
As last year, children should come to school in their PE kit and do not need to bring their normal uniform to change back into. Please do make sure that they have warm enough clothes for the whole day e.g. some jogging bottoms if they wear shorts for PE.
In all year groups we will be spending the first half term setting expectations for best French learning behaviour, getting to know each other and learning key classroom language to help us communicate in French in the classroom. This will be done using songs, movement and interactive activities, with a focus on spoken French.
English (spag.com - fortnightly) and maths (mathletics.com - weekly) homework will both be set on Wednesdays and should be completed by the following Monday. Homework will first be set on 13th September; a separate letter will be sent home with login details and instructions.
Children will also be given a list of spellings in their Reading Records each week starting in the week commencing 11th September. 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 in the following week.
Every pupil will be given a new Reading Record and Guided Reading homework will be set from the week commencing 13th September. 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 (in the Wider Reading section). 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 at least 30 minutes each day reading independently at home to improve fluency, vocabulary and confidence.
Children will need to bring their Reading Record to school with them every day. Please sign the record each week, as this is an essential form of parent/teacher communication to show that your child has practiced their spellings and that you have seen their reading homework.
Mobile Phones and Smart Watches
Some children are given mobile phones to let their parents know they have arrived/left school when they go home alone. All phones should be switched off when they come onto site and given to their teacher at the start of the day. We strongly recommend that your child have a simple, cheap phone for this as expensive smartphones can unfortunately make them a target for street robberies.
Children should not be bringing smart watches to school for any reason and will be asked to hand these in if they do bring them.
Healthy Eating at Playtime
Children can bring in a healthy snack to eat during break time. They are allowed to bring a piece of fresh or dried fruit or vegetable, or a small savoury sandwich (no crisps, biscuits, sweets, yogurts, cakes etc. please) – teachers will monitor these snacks to make sure they are suitable. There should be no foods containing nuts brought into school.
All children need to bring a small, labelled bottle of plain water to drink throughout the day and take it home each night to be washed. They can re-fill this bottle from the water stations in school during the day.
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 written permission to your child’s class teacher. At the end of the school day, whether they are collected or going home alone, your child must always say goodbye to their teacher before leaving the school premises.
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 ensure that any home and mobile contact numbers that have been sent into school are correct and current.
We will work in close partnership with families to ensure your child’s time at school is 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 any queries with you.
Adam Wood (6W, Year Leader)
Samuel Bevan (6B)
David Browning (6DB)
Felicity Hamilton (6H)
Suzi Telford (6T)