Year 6 News 2022-2023
Year 6 have very much enjoyed their two recent trips to our local beach as part of their Beach School programme.
Our first trip involved enthusiastic and positive team work as the children worked hard on designing their group sandcastle: which group could build the biggest sandcastle? As the tide was advancing, the children enjoyed using water in their constructions (which worked well until one of the sandcastles was washed away by the tide). There was much fun and learning.
On our second beach visit, we participated in an outdoor learning experience when we were joined by a coastguard and a lifeboat volunteer. The two volunteers and the children discussed the dangers of beaches and the sea, how to keep safe and how to help themselves and others if they find themselves in a dangerous situation.
We are looking forward to our final beach visit.
Is There Anybody Out There?
Year 6 have enjoyed our STEAM week discussions based on the Science and Science Fiction concepts of UFOs and parallel universes. Two questions that we have been looking at are: do UFOs exist, and what are the theories behind the concept of parallel universes?
The children were challenged by many of the ideas presented on a video interview with Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock. The greatly respected Space scientist encouraged girls to pursue science as an interest or a career; she herself faced difficulties at school but, as she loved the science of Space, she followed her dreams.
Embracing Imagination for World Book Day!
Year 6 had a wonderful World Book Day on Thursday 2nd March. Part of the day is about being able to dress up as characters from books. In Year 6, we had a range of characters from Narnia, Harry Potter, and fantasy characters such as Chewbacca and Sith Lords.
The children really enjoyed reading to the Nursery and Pre-school children, showing great understanding of how to relate to them.
The Narnia Experience created further interest in the story of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, especially as the actors fully involved the children in their performance. One of the highlights of the day was when the actors visited the class, giving the children the opportunity to interact with them. The children loved being up close to the Narnia characters and asking the characters’ questions about the book, their roles and their understanding of the story.
Moving Vehicle Project
Year 6 have been taking part in a very exciting project in Science this half term to make a working moving vehicle. Using their knowledge of circuits as part of their electricity topic, the children first constructed a circuit to make a motor turn. Next, the pupils created a frame using their DT wood working skills and used their knowledge of forces to create a mechanism to turn wheels on an axle with a pulley. Year 6 showed very impressive teamwork and communication skills throughout the design, creation and evaluation stages of the project.
Most impressively, every single group was able to make their vehicle move!
There is No 'I' in 'Team'
On Monday, Year 6 had a change from developing their Lacrosse skills in P.E. Instead, the children engaged in lively, enthusiastic and competitive games of Team Tag, soon learning that co-operation and teamwork were essential. During one rest period, the children noticed the beautiful cloud formations above.
Year 6's Amazing World War 2 Assembly
On Monday, Year 6 amazed, impressed and wowed their audience in their World War 2 cross curricular sharing assembly. Prior to starting, the children showed their incredible art work, History projects and English work, which covered the hall, to their parents. Then, the parents were invited to sit down at beautifully decorated tables to experience a World War 2 style afternoon tea provided by Mrs Probert and her team.
For fifty minutes, the children, without putting a foot wrong, entertained their parents in a variety of styles. Songs such as ‘We’ll meet again’ and ‘The White cliffs of Dover’, ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’ and, to great amusement, ‘The Quarter Master Stores’ were performed. Many children confidently, and with great emotion, sang solos.
In between informative readings detailing many major themes of World War 2 such as the causes of the war, the Blitz, Operation Dynamo, and the role of the Bevin boys, the children performed, with feeling and flare, some of the poems which had been studied in class.
Accompanying the assembly was a powerful PowerPoint showing such information as images, the significant speeches of Churchill and Chamberlain, and, very movingly, the Esther Rantzen interview with Nicolas Winton and the Jewish children he had saved.
It was a magnificent performance, hailed by many parents and teachers alike, as the best assembly they had ever seen.
Chinese New Year Spectacular
As part of the PSHCEE curriculum, Year 6 children were treated to a visit from one of our Year 6 parents who came to school to talk to the children about Chinese New Year and explained how the biggest festival for Chinese people is celebrated.
The festival, which lasts for 15 days, traditionally begins with a monster being chased away by the bright colours and noisy fireworks. The idea is that the old year is ushered out and the new year is welcomed in. Young people and children are given money in red and gold envelopes as a gesture of good luck and prosperity and families and friends will come together to share special meals which will include sweet dumplings, noodles, salad and other foods. Following dragon (lion) dances there will be gift exchange and fireworks and the festival will generally end with a lantern procession.
We also learnt that in Chinese tradition, each year is represented by one of 12 different animals, which feature in the Chinese zodiac: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. This year is the year of the Rabbit and each child also learnt which animal year they were born into.
The children were fascinated by the facts they learnt and immensely enjoyed the activities, which included making rabbits out of red card, Chinese writing and learning some Chinese words.
Having had a great discussion about the themes in Friend or Foe, the Year 6 children have applied their skills to their work by thinking about the themes in the books they are reading independently. Many of the children demonstrated great awareness of the themes.
Year 6 have been immersed in the World War 2 Warsaw ghetto this week. After learning how and why the ghetto was established, we read the part of The Silver Sword in which the three children – Ruth, Edek and Bronia – have to learn how to survive in the ghetto without their parents
We then read the poem The Little Smuggler by Henryka tazowertowna describing how a young child living in the ghetto would sneak out the ghetto to bring food back to his family. The Year 6 children discussed the vocabulary used to depict the poverty, the risk and the resilience.
The children have begun to plan and draft a piece of writing of their choice, in response to our studies, using the prompt of: Imagine if you were a child in the Warsaw ghetto.
Working in Teams to Find Themes
In English, Year 6 have been discussing the main themes in 'Friend or Foe.' The themes included, 'It's never wrong to do what you feel is right' and 'Human beings have an immense capacity for bravery and courage.'
The children discussed the main themes with a partner and then in a small group. Whilst working in the small group, the children tried to agree on which three themes they felt were the most important. The children treated each other with respect, listening to each other's points of view, until they reached an agreement. The whole class then came together to share their thoughts on the main themes, giving evidence form the book.
Creating Cartoon Strips
Having had a focus on Friend or Foe this week, Year 6 are now nearing the end of their study of the book. Our work this week started with an analysis of how Michael Morpurgo created drama, fear and tension in chapter 4 when David falls into the river and is ‘dragged irresistibly downwards’. He is rescued by one of two German pilots who were in hiding on the moor, after their plane had crash landed. The children created some fabulous cartoon strip stories based on this event. The rescue by the German poses a moral dilemma for the boys as the airmen ask for the boys’ help: should David and Tucky help the pilots or should they report them to the authorities? (Are they, in fact, friends or foes?) Finding many reasons for both courses of action, we had a lively discussion.
The Importance of Sleep
This week, in between Reading, Writing and Mathematics assessments, the Year 6 children have been learning about sleep. They enjoyed moving around the classroom to research questions about sleep: changing sleep patterns and the amount of sleep needed depending on age; the advantages of good quality sleep and Top Tips for better sleep.
The work in class was followed up by a visit from Dr. Perry who, in her inter-active assembly, helped the children to understand more about all aspects of sleep.
This week, Year 6 have demonstrated their awareness of the types of bullying and its effects in our anti-bullying focus. They have been empathetic, open and insightful. Each child wrote their own contribution to our Kindness Rap, and we have had fun practising it. In addition, in groups, the children took one area of bullying – verbal, cyber, emotional or physical – and, with great results, wrote a poem in the style of their choice.
A WW2 Evacuees Journey
This half-term, to further their study of World War 2, Year 6 are reading Friend or Foe by Michael Morpurgo. The story is about two boys who are evacuated from London to Devon and find themselves with a very troubling dilemma. We have used the text to empathise with the boys as they leave home and undergo the long and arduous journey. The children have also carried out their own research on Michael Morpurgo, producing well-presented and interesting information texts.
Down at the Beach
Year 6 have enjoyed another fabulous session at the beach this week: we are so fortunate to be so close to the beach and to have Mrs. Gardner to lead us in our Beach School.
The children started off by doing some observational drawings and investigating the presence of animal and plant life on the beach and in the water.
Then, after a demonstration by Mrs Gardner, the task of making paddle boats began. The children worked hard to produce boats which they then loved testing out.
Studying the Highwayman
Year 6 have been studying The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes recently. We have investigated the similes and metaphors in the poem and they made some of their own up too. Changing the formal, old-fashioned language used in the poem to today’s informal style was a challenge which the children rose to. Having read half of the poem, the children chatted through their predictions for the second half and then wrote some excellent stories using their ideas. Today, the Year 6 children performed the poem as a class, with each child reading a verse, focusing on volume, pace, emphasis, expression and eye-contact: the overall result was extremely effective. To round off our work on The Highwayman, the children acted the poem out: narrators, Bess, the Highwayman, the ostler and King George’s men had fun telling the poem in dramatic form.
One with Nature
Year 6 have been looking forward to their first Beach School session, and they were not disappointed. Following a running game on the sand designed to check their listening skills, the children were asked to sit and take in their surroundings. They used their senses to note down adjectives, phrases, similes or metaphors to describe the atmosphere, the sand, the water, the rocks and the clouds, with great results.
Next, they were each given some lolly pop sticks and elastic bands and the task of designing a raft that would float on the sea. The children loved this project and were inventive, skilful and successful. They had great fun, testing the rafts out.
Rising to the Challenge in P.E.
Year 6 rose to the challenge in their P.E. lesson this week. The task: can two children using two sticks pick up and carry a ball? Two balls? How many balls? Once mastered, the next task was to play and experiment. The children developed many tricks, such as carrying twelve balls between the two sticks; kicking the ball up and catching it with the sticks and bouncing the ball and catching it.
European Day of Languages
Over the weekend, the Year 6 children threw themselves into researching a country of their choice for European languages Day. Between them, they managed to cover a wide range of countries from Scotland to Portugal. There were a great variety of research projects, such as: power points, clogs, national costumes, T shirts with key words and phrases on, and homemade booklets. Yet again Year 6, a great response to a set task.
WW2, Living History
In year 6 History, the children have been learning about World War 2. We have looked at the causes of the war and about the evacuation of children from Big cities. It was therefore a really amazing experience to be able to listen to a first-hand account of being evacuated by Canon John who is Mrs K’s father.
He spoke at length about hearing that war had broken out, being walked to the train, not knowing where he was going to go, the policeman making them all sing ‘roll out the barrel’ (which he sang to us all and got us to sing!) and about the different families he stayed with. He also recounted hearing the bombs fall when he returned to Liverpool, and being hurried into the bomb shelter in his backyard by his Grandparents.
Learning about an important historical event from someone who has lived through it, was something the children will remember for a long time. A huge thank you to Canon John for such a memorable afternoon.
Welcome back to school Year 6