“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord: plans to prosper you and not harm you; plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11


Teacher, Mr Gane with Teaching Assistant, Miss Williams.

Class Updates

Friday 30th September

It was back to reality with a bump on Monday as the intrepid pupils of Y6 Ayres (well most of them) returned to class fully rested after a hard week’s fun and games at PGL.

In a fully focused week of learning, the children rattled through a unit on narrative writing using Neil Gaiman’s graphic novel, ‘Wolves in the Walls’ as their foil. They analysed the text to identify how the author used lots of different techniques to help to build tension and suspense, before using these to plan their own work. They wrote then edited to up-level their story openings, which included this week’s grammar focus relative clauses, to make their writing more interesting to read and… ‘cohesive’ – that’s for OFSTED.

In Maths, the children have been picking up where they left off on the four mathematical operations, with division recapping on ‘short’ division aka the Bus Stop method as well as how to use factors of the divisor, to breakdown more complicated calculations in to easier chunks. See the Mathletics homework for more. Next up… the much anticipated Long Division. I would also like to add that the children’s Times Table recall is improving from the first rusty week back at the start of the month, which is great news. They should continue to focus on the Tables that are slowing them down when it comes to their two minute Times Table Challenge. Have you seen their papers?

Having started RE by focusing on our Y6 word of HOPE, the theme now until half term is ‘Understanding Faith in our Community’. This week, in a cross-curricula activity, the children used their geographical map reading skills to identify locations of places of worship in the locality, before then tracing their routes to school, annotating any faith centres along the way. There’s a special visitor joining us for the next lesson… Yesterday, it was great to see many of you in the church celebrating Harvest Festival with us; a huge thanks for all of your kind donations, especially welcome in these straitened times.

For Relationships and Health Education (RHE) this afternoon, the children were discussing how friendships can have ups and downs, which are a completely normal thing that can happen. They spoke about the problems that can arise and how they could solve them to make sure our friendships are positive, happy and balanced. They worked through six scenarios that are very common of typical friendship problems and decided how they would deal with them to improve the situation.

In our other subjects, we have looked at classifying animals in Science, how to stay safe online in Computing and created portraits of King Charles III in Art, some of which will be put on display around the school.

Next week the children will have a go at their first ever KS2 SATs papers as we continue their preparation for the real things in May next year. Rest assured that our tried and trusted programme is gentle, with these first assessments being sat mostly in class as a whole and timings somewhat more fluid than they will be on the day. That said, we will be using the results to help to assess where the children stand and there may be some movement, particularly between the two Maths groups – parents will be advised in advance of any changes that might be required. Our aim, as always, is to ensure that the children have the best learning opportunities.

Finally, next Friday is Hispanic Day, when the whole school’s focus will be on Mexico; Mr Schumm is dusting off his sombrero in preparation for the Mariachi Band… I jest not! Here in Y6, the children will also learn about Bolivia, so they’ll need to be wearing red, yellow and green clothes that day taken from the flag.

Hasta la vista,

Mr Gane

Friday 16th September

And so to the end of week two, all of the children are assimilating well in to the pace and expectations of Y6. We have already come to the end of the first, very brief Maths unit on Place Value, an essential understanding of which is key to all, going forward. After an End of Unit Assessment, next up after PGL next week, is a review of the four Maths operations to get everyone fully back up to speed.

‘Life in Trinidad’, the autobiography of Floella Benjamin, whose birthday it is next week (73), was examined further by  the children who investigated unfamiliar words and phrases and identified adverbials, before writing a brief summary of her early childhood. Later in the week they planned, drafted, wrote and then edited their own short autobiography.

Perhaps the highlight of the week though was the much anticipated House Captain presentations, which took place yesterday afternoon with a bumper crop of candidates. Your children really did themselves proud, delivering thoughtful and inspired talks that included some zany fundraising ideas for many personally heart-warming and deserving charities. The votes were counted overnight and Mr Schumm announced the election results just after lunch today. Really well done to everyone who took part – the children of the school voted as follows:

  • Aylward – Annebelle, Hal, Louis & Nicola
  • Crummell – Scarlett K, Lucas S, Alexa & Felix
  • Liddell – Archie, Rose, Stephanie & Thelma
  • Wesley – Essya, Albie, Sophie & Ella

The standard of presentations was very high indeed this year and I must praise again every single person who put themselves forward for what can be a very daunting challenge; win or lose, you all did yourselves proud!

Sports Captains were also selected today based, not only on their love and individual ability in sport, but also on their ability to encourage and motivate other team members, as well as their organisational skills and ability to help Clare and Alastair prepare for events. So give a cheer to: Eliza, Igor, Josiah and Kanece. Well done for shining in PE over the years and enjoy the new sporting calendar as it picks up again from the last few years.

This year’s School Council representatives were also voted in by the class this afternoon, so Lilia & Ciara will be working with Miss Kelly & Mrs Jeffrey on all sorts of children-led projects over the year.

Finally, the first ‘Stars of the Week’ this year are Rehan and Lilia; really well done you guys and keep up your superb start to Y6.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Mr Gane



Please arrive promptly at 6.45am on Tuesday morning, we aim to leave at 7am sharp to arrive at PGL in time for breakfast at 8am. The children’s first activity is at 8:50am.

Friday 9th September

Dear Parents,

The death of HM The Queen yesterday was marked this morning by a church service led by Mr Schumm and Rev Denis, which was attended by the whole school. A celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s long life and reign, the children sang and gave thanks for her dedicated service to our country. Ciara and Ruth were amongst those who read prayers. Back in the classroom we watched BBC Newsround’s report that charted her life that lead to a very interesting discussion. At midday, lots of Y6 children took it in turns to ring the bells of St Stephen’s church, which tolled for an hour in unison with churches up and down the kingdom. There will be more information on how the school will mark this historic event from Mr Schumm in due course.

So with summer now well and truly over and those super summer ‘22 tans now on the wane, a very excited bunch turned in on Monday, ready and raring for the joys and rigours that face them in Y6. We’ve hit the ground running, as ever, with ‘letters to our future selves’ and our ‘Reach for the Stars’ goals for the year already on display. The children have created some impressive portraits and read the first chapter of Floella Benjamin’s ‘Coming to England’ autobiography features of which they will use when writing theirs, next week. In RE, they wrote a prayer of ‘Hope’ the theme for their last year at St Stephen’s, creating beautiful butterflies for the display. Just two days of Maths, focusing on Place Value – lots more next week.

Like the children, I have thoroughly enjoyed being back and getting to know lots of new faces. Y6 is a rigorous year, where the children learn to stand on their own two feet in preparation for this time next year. This leads me on nicely to the Homework Diaries which seem to be a hit (so far) and I would be most grateful for your support in asking to see them each evening and initialling or signing to confirm that work, especially some reading (recommended reading list), has been carried out. Written homework will be set on Google Classroom each Monday and Friday, but then you know that already as they had homework on day one – sorry. Knowing how to manage their work load will also set them in great stead for Y7.

The children have had a very busy week indeed with lots to think about, as in addition to all mentioned above there was Computing, Gymnastics, Spanish, PE, History, RHE and Music as well as special one-off Cricket and Drama sessions too. We have also focused on developing a ‘Growth Mindset’ – ways in which to have a positive approach to even the most dreaded of subjects while also not sitting on ones laurels. There are loads of motivational quotes around the classroom, one of which I have already had thrown back in my face!

Finally, we will be having our House Captain elections next Thursday 15th September.  Each House will elect four Year 6 Captains, who will help lead their Houses in certain events and activities throughout the year. Candidates will make a presentation to their fellow House members from across the year groups in the main school hall, who then vote for their preferred captains. As the election is now less than a week away, for anyone wanting to throw their hat in to the ring, they need to be preparing in earnest now… Whilst a PowerPoint/Google Slides presentation is not necessary, it might help as a prop and prompt for the nervous candidate; these can be submitted to Google Classroom or emailed to me on d.gane@ststephensce.lbhf.sch.uk ideally by end of the day on Tuesday so I can check them on Wednesday.  Below is a job description, which the children have already seen on Google Classroom containing a few ideas that might help.

House Captain’s Job Description

  • Each House will fundraise for a specific charity. In the presentation you should put forward your recommendations for your chosen charity and ideas for fundraising.
  • Lead regular House meetings
  • Help to organise your House for certain school events i.e. Sports Day
  • Representing the school at particular school events i.e. Grandparent’s Day
  • Acting as a role model for your House/ School
  • To meet regularly with the Headteacher
  • To present House Captain Awards at the end of the year.

Any speech or talk they give should be no more than five minutes.

Finally, as it stands, we’ll be off to PGL a week on Monday (19th Sept) so if you haven’t as yet completed the two forms that the children brought home and given them their £5 pocket money to bring in, please do so. A ParentMail will be going out separately with a recommended packing list, which DOES INCLUDE A SLEEPING BAG.

Can you believe that that little child who went fresh faced into Reception only seven years ago is now in Year 6 – how time flies! Thanks for your support and I look forward to the year ahead with you and your lovely children.

Kind regards,

Declan Gane


Homework is now set on the Y6 Ayres Google Classroom on;

  • Mondays due Wednesday
  • Fridays due Monday

Maths Assignments are on Mathletics

Autumn 1 Poem – Letter to Myself

See Y6 Ayres Google Classroom Assignment