Ayres

“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 3rd December 2021

Two weeks to go…

Our focused work on Fractions in Maths is coming to an end as this week the children continued learning varying mutations of multiplying, dividing using Bar Models, fractions of an amount and dividing fractions by other fractions using our KFC method (keep, flip, change – so 1/5 divided by ½ is the same as 1/5 x 2). That’s enough on Maths…

English proved far more entertaining. The children finished off their Benjamin Zephaniah inspired poems based on his ‘No Problem’ poem, which the children had analysed previously, which confronts his experiences of racism and how he is now able to not let it affect him in his day to day life. As a result, the children planned and wrote their own poems based on issues that are important to them. Once they were written and edited with the expert help of Mrs Lowrey, the class performed them with some powerful messages hitting home on major issues including bullying, climate change, inequalities and racism – each recited the ‘dab’ poem really passionately.

A dark Wednesday afternoon was the ideal time for the children to complete their Science topic investigating simple electrical circuits. Let loose with a vast assortment of wires, batteries, switches, lightbulbs and motors, the children created all sorts of circuits in series and in parallel aimed at embedding their learning prior to a brief assessment. They hardly noticed it was a test! The previous day Mr Schumm was back in the afternoon to teach them all about the Battle of Marathon in History. The children learned about General Miltiades, who led the Athenians against a vastly greater Persian army, and how he sought to ally with the Spartans against a common enemy. They wrote to the Spartans, as the general, using their very best persuasive writing skills, to illicit their former enemy’s assistance.

We had our own mini Tag Rugby Festival on Thursday, courtesy of Clare and Alastair, who had organised it perfectly. Pupils from both classes made eight mixed teams that played in two mini leagues. It was end to end stuff with some high scoring matches, once the children had warmed up and cottoned on to the idiosyncrasies and inconsistencies of the two refs – Alastair and me.

After the spelling test this morning, Art this afternoon began with revisiting the Gormley work from last week before the children made large paper snowflakes – what a difference decorations make to the classroom. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… Not, however, before there’s another SATs practice, which will start on Tuesday and should be completed by Thursday. Then it will be Christmas!

Have a great weekend.

Mr Gane

 

IMPORTANT

Just as a reminder, the trip to Eton College will go ahead as planned on Monday, so as per the previous ParentMail and WhatsApp message this morning, please ensure that children arrive in good time, as the coach will depart at 9am sharp. A packed lunch and full water bottle is required as well as appropriate clothing i.e. a coat at minimum – we should be back in good time, so collection at the end of the day will be as normal.

Friday 26th November

What a week! Early starts every day for the ISEB candidates arriving sleepy-eyed at 7.45am; a trip to the panto to see Aladdin at the Lyric – “Oh yes we did!” – and a visit from historian and non-fiction author Christopher Lloyd (no not that one) too.

On the work front, in English the children finished their Kraken poems making a final edit before many recited theirs to the class to great acclaim. The on Thursday they were introduced to Birmingham born performance poet, Benjamin Zephaniah and his ‘dub poetry’. They listened to his life-story on Desert Island Discs learning that this dyslexic, ex-convict and advisor to Nelson Mandela, now holds sixteen honorary doctorates and has a wing named after him in Ealing Hospital in recognition of his work. A definite late starter! The children listened to him perform his iconic work, ‘No Problem’ before analysing his non-standard English style and powerful themes.

In Maths this week both groups have continued to work their way through ‘fractions’ focusing on mixed numbers and improper fractions as well as multiplying. I find if you think of multiplying as ‘lots of’, then finding half (a lot of) a quarter gives some logic to the equation ½ x ¼ =  The children learnt that the calculation is actually very straight forward and they all did very well when asked to simply ‘Times the Tops’ and then ‘Times the Bottoms’. So in our example it is 1 x 1 = 1, and 2 x 4 = 8 giving us the product ⅛. Whilst the children have seen much of this in Y5, our work in Y6 aims to instil a greater depth of learning, challenging the children with word problems that are aimed at making them use the understanding they have in order to solve more complex problems – getting them ready for the practice SATs Week beginning 6th December, brought forward due to Christmas preparations the week after… Watch this space.

Surprisingly, not all of the children completed their RE homework (part of) which was to watch adverts on TV or any other device. To much joy, therefore, we were able to watch some in class, which then enabled the children to ‘analyse’ the ads to find their messages. Of course there was lots of generic ‘goodness’, ‘kindness’ and anticipation of gifts, with the whole ‘Black Friday’ thing, a big message to buy, but not a lot, or indeed anything at all, about the main man himself: Jesus. We used this to talk about the difference between a secular or consumer Christmas and a religious one, which we will continue working on over the next three weeks.

The children ended this week’s Science investigation by building one massive electrical circuit using just one battery and one bulb, but with both connected using lots and lots of wires. They observed the brightness of the bulb in this circuit, comparing it with their first circuit using only one set of wires, concluding that the ‘resistance’ of the longer wires, sapped the energy from the circuit, causing a dulling in the bulb – all good stuff! Meanwhile in Humanities, Mr Schumm did his best ‘Fiona Bruce’, introducing the children to the antique pottery of Ancient Greece – he’s so versatile. The decorative friezes of everyday events have been a huge source of information for historians. Your lucky children will soon see these artefacts for real when we go on our very own ‘Antiques Roadshow’ to Eton College next month. Nos visitabimus, discemus, fruemur!

Wrap up warm this weekend,

Mr Gane

Friday 19th November 2021

Dear Parents & Carers,

Following an initial grammar brush up on identifying the past, present and future progressive (continuous) tenses at the start of each lesson, we continued each day this week in English with a focus on Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s poem ‘The Kraken’. After analysing the Victorian language, the children recited the poem before then planning and writing a detailed description of the legendary creature. Inspired by his grot and polypi, they conjured up with their very own sea beastie planned and wrote a poem – we packed it in, with book reviews too.

Meanwhile in Maths it was adding and subtracting; fractions, fractions, fractions, fractions, fractions, Improper Fractions, fractions, fractions, Mixed Numbers with Word Problems involving fractions. And there’s more for Homework; set on Mathletics!

The religious theme for the whole year in Y6 is ‘Hope’, so in preparation for the start of Advent, the children this week learned about the symbolism of the Christmas Wreath and particularly the candles, which are lit in church on it each Sunday of Advent and finally on Christmas Day itself. Next week they will be examining TV adverts, so they were overjoyed when I told them that part of their homework was to watch telly….. they should also revisit our bible verse that they have already learned by heart – Jeremiah 29:11

 

“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.”

 

The children are enjoying the ‘Relationship & Health Education’ lessons and following the ‘Me & My Relationships’ topic last term, our theme at the moment is ‘Valuing Difference’ which involves lots of very interesting discussion as well as role playing of challenging scenarios. Mrs Pereira had a few pieces of Spanish homework missing this week, which was a shame, but is all part of the children’s learning for high school, as they come to terms with homework set by different teachers with different due dates. In the Spanish meanwhile, it was the very tricky task of ensuring that adjectives and nouns ending were in agreement! Oh how lucky we are with English grammar, it’s so straight forward – by comparison.

That’s it for this week, other than a reminder that we’re off to the panto on Tuesday, so please remember that children should be in school uniform (not PE kit) and have a packed lunch. There’s also an author coming in to speak with the children on Wednesday when there’ll also be a book sale too.

Enjoy your weekend,

Mr Gane

Friday 12th November

Can I really start off the blog with ‘what a busy week it’s been’ again….? Every week is a busy week here! It was great to catch up with so many of you for Parents’ Evening on Wednesday and Thursday, and to share with you all of the super work and efforts of your children.

So to matters in hand, or more literally, in the classroom. All of the children continued developing their understanding of fractions in Maths this week, as they first recapped on simplifying fractions, placing them on a numberline and then comparing different fractions using the lowest common denominator (LCD). In English persuasive writing has been the order of the day with the children preparing to bombard Mr Schumm with their exquisitely crafted letters packed full of well-reasoned ideas on how to improve the school. I bet he can’t wait to receive those! Finally, the Book Reviews continued apace this week with some expert analysis by Milad, Alex, Cherrie & Ava followed by incisive questioning from their peers.

Part of our RE lesson this week included the story of Sadako Sasaki – a 12 year old from Hiroshima – and her origami paper cranes. Her dying wish for peace inspired your children to learn how to make her famous cranes, following the ancient Japanese legend which says that your greatest wish will come true if you fold 1,000 origami cranes. Some of those that the children made went home; some are in their RE books and others have been placed on the RE display board. On Remembrance Day itself, the children took part in a special assembly led by Mr Perry with Nyla reading a poem written for the occasion in last week’s RE lesson.

On a suitably dart Thursday afternoon the children continued their investigation into simple circuits. Itching to get their hands on the assorted wires, batteries and lightbulbs, the children first learned how the power in batteries in measured in volts and that by adding more batteries to a circuit, the voltage is increased. They also learned that components such as bulbs are designed to work on certain voltages and will ‘blow’ if supplied with too much power! Armed with this new knowledge, the children carried out a number of investigations recording the circuits they made each time by drawing circuit diagrams in their books.

Finishing the week with PE on a Friday (apologies for not advising you of the one-off chance); Art exploring Picasso’s Cubism work ‘Dora Maar’ (1937) making preparatory sketches and MIT’s Scratch coding in Computing, the children have packed a lot in!

Have a restful weekend.

Mr Gane

Friday 5th November

Half term already seems a distant memory particularly after such a packed week. In English we began with an intense grammar lesson on Monday revisiting our old friends, verb tenses: the Simple and Progressive (Continuous) in the Past, Present and Future. I’m pleased to say that most children now have an excellent understanding of when and how to use them, as well as how to spot them.

It’s been a week of finishing previous topics – in Maths we began by recapping the children’s learning on the four operations and finished with two end of unit assessments – as well as starting new topics, which means in English the children began by finding features and techniques used in Persuasive Writing. The darker nights of the autumn term make the Science unit on Electricity more interesting – this week the children trawled their memories from Y4 to recall circuits so that we can soon get some hands-on circuit making with batteries, light bulbs and buzzers – bring on the night. They have also been thoroughly enjoying Reading & Listening in English, which is sparked each day by a child’s oral Book Review. It has been really interesting to see each of them stand up and deliver their verdict on a favourite book and then answer some fairly incisive questions on the matter. A discussion often ensues about similar books and authors with the children recommending books to each other.

Remembrance, is our theme in RE for this week and next, and saw the children learning about what it is, why we do it and how it is done. They listened to the poem by John McCrae…

 

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders’ fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders’ fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe;
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high,
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders’ Fields.

…before then writing one of their own.

In Humanities the children are continuing their learning on ancient Greece, this week focusing on its famous philosophers with our very own philosopher-in-chief, Mr Schumm, who will continue to deliver this topic until the end of term. In RHE the new theme is very fitting for the moment, ‘Valuing Difference’. In our first session the children explored how the world might look and feel if everyone were to be the same – boring! They voted with their feet as they moved around the class to join groups of like-minded peers as we discussed issues of bullying in regard to people who are not like ‘us’.

It will be great to catch up with you all online for Parents’ Evening on Wednesday and Thursday next week. It looks like I have a full schedule already, but if you have not already done so, please do make a booking now using the link.

Remember, remember, the fifth of November, gunpowder, treason and plot! If you are celebrating Bonfire Night, then have fun and be safe. But finally, I was delighted to hear the strains of ‘Swing Low Sweet Chariot’ booming out from Y6 in Hymn Practice with Miss Ailsa on Tuesday, which reminded me that England kick off the Autumn Internationals tomorrow.

Enjoy your weekend, whatever you may be doing.

Mr Gane

Friday 22nd October - Half Term!

We’ve made it to Half Term, hurrah!

For our celebration of Black Voices Week, in English the children continued their work on Fairy Tales inspired by the work of Indian author, Jamila Gavin, planning then writing and editing their own endings to her Golden Carp fairy story. For their sins – and to enhance the quality of their writing – they were required to include at least one example of the Passive Voice in their work, which they had perfected in the Grammar lesson on Monday.  Maths continued all week, with both groups learning more on the four operations – we will quickly complete this after half term followed by two very short assessment tests.

On Monday afternoon, we were delighted to welcome Cristiano Ceccato to the class who spoke about his friend and work colleague, Zaha Hadid our focus for BVW. We learned that Zaha grew up in a well to do family in Baghdad and was a curious and confident child, who designed her own modernist bedroom at the age of just nine. She later studied Maths at University in Beirut, being described as the most outstanding pupil the teacher had ever met. With her spectacular vision and belief in the power of architecture, she founded her own firm and designed some of the most outstanding buildings in the world—including the London 2012 Olympic Aquatic Centre.

In RE the children completed their PowerPoint Presentations about the different faith communities that they have been researching: St Stephen’s & St Thomas CE Church; Central Gurdwara (Khalsa Jatha); Shepherds Bush Mosque; Uxbridge Road Tabernacle Reformed Baptist Church; Trinity West Church and the Holy Ghost & St Stephen’s RC Church. In their small groups they then gave their presentations to their classmates who took notes on how the community worships, whether their place of worship has changed over the years, as well as what they say and do about helping those less fortunate within their community and outside. Interestingly, the children noticed that all of these communities were involved in assisting the less fortunate to varying degrees.

Coordinating our whole school DT Days is a HUGE job, so hats off to Miss Hall whose ‘Puppets’ concept was a big hit and also to Miss Williams who led our class sessions here on Wednesday. Before getting their hands on their materials, the children planned what their puppet would look like, how it would work and the materials that they would need to create a character from a Greek myth. They had some time to rethink and revise their plan, before setting to work on Wednesday. The end result delivered some amazingly creative characters from Oscar’s Cyclops, to various Medusas, a Pegasus and a plethora of other gods, some more distinct and recognisable than others… On Thursday morning, the children then critiqued their work and formally evaluated their DT learning.

Following Y5 Blackman’s Assembly, the children met their new classmate Vito on Thursday morning, who gave a short introductory talk. After a spot of English, a tad of Maths and Buddy Reading, it was off to Play Football in Hammersmith Park for a Y6 ‘friendly’ against St Peters. The highlight, however, was a brief visit by Vito who will be joining the class after half term, he popped in with his parents and said, “Hi!”

Today saw all of the children decked out in red as they once again played their part in the Red Card to Racism campaign. After another eye-opening assembly from Mr Schumm that included his father’s encounter with Ella Fitzgerald (of course), we played out some contentious scenarios in class, discussing the issues in a very mature manner. In the afternoon, with some Mayor’s Cup footballers out, the rest of the children gathered in the playground to take part in the annual ‘Great Y6 Conker Contest’, which would not have taken placed had it not been for Tegan’s efforts in collecting a humungous bag of conkers. The children quickly got in to the swing of it and had a cracking time!

Finally, we’ve had a few visits from Y7s who left St Stephen’s in the summer and have started their secondary education at a variety of different schools. It’s always wonderful to welcome back these children again and chat to them about the realities of high school, which I always try to do in front of my current class; it gives them a chance to hear what it’s like from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. The children are intrigued to hear what things are like from people they know and will fire lots of questions at them, which the visitors are delighted to answer. One of the shocks is often the sheer amount of homework that is expected to be completed by the Y7s – all subjects, every day – from one local school! Anyway, as part of our preparation in helping the children with a smooth transition to Y7 is to slightly ramp up the homework, so from now until the SATs in May, there will be homework set during the holidays; half terms, Christmas and Easter, which I have told the children – delighted, they were not.. However, the bit that they will remember though is that after the SATs there will be no more written homework!

Enjoy the break, see you in November!

Mr Gane

Friday 15th October

Well, things are building to a crescendo as ever as we approach half term, with another super busy week at St Stephen’s.

In the classroom, the children learned to identify the subject and object of sentences in Grammar which will be very helpful for their work next week… On the more creative front and to coincide with our Black Voices Week celebration that starts on Monday, the children read the fairy tale – The Golden Carp – from the book ‘Blackberry Blue’ by Jamila Gavin. The story inspired them to delve into the recesses of their minds to come up with, what turned out to be, some very weird and whacky dreams, which they committed to paper. There was also a super start to the oral Book Reviews, well done to Elena, Rory, Kit, Hannah and Oscar

Back down to earth with a bump; the children in my Maths group this week have been familiarising themselves with factors and common factors, after concluding their current learning on division in all its guises. At this point I should mention that following our first assessments last week, Miss Marchant and I are pleased at the current levels of Maths understanding, although there is no room for complacency. There will be some movement between our two Maths groups when we come back after half term, in an effort to ensure that every child is receiving the most suitable tuition for their needs; I will contact the parents concerned next week. We will also be starting some in-school Maths interventions. Finally on this point, just so that you are aware, in the New Year, after school SATs Booster Classes for both Maths and English will start for the majority of pupils – more about that later.

There was a real treat on Tuesday afternoon as we welcomed Abigail’s mum, Jo as well as Sasha and Rachel, producer and head writers respectively of the latest CBBC sensation, Enid Blyton’s ‘Malory Towers’ series. They gave us a crash course in script writing for TV, while also opening the children’s eyes to the vast amount of work that goes into making every episode. Mr Schumm was in his element.

In Science the children learned about Carl Linnaeus, famous for his work in Taxonomy: the science of identifying, naming and classifying organisms. They learned a song to remember the family tree like classification structure: kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus and species or there’s also the popular mnemonic “King Philip came over for good soup.”  It made a dry topic a little more palatable.

The children travelled back to classical times, learning about the two famous city-states of Athens and Sparta in Humanities this week, as they compared and contrasted their different governments, economies and societies. Working in small groups, they ‘produced’ their own TV news discussion reports so the class heard ‘first hand’ about the lives of the citizens in each place.

Computing combined with RE this week, with the children using the old laptops to research various different places of worship in small groups. Their brief is to develop a presentation (mostly PowerPoint) that gets across not only information on the fabric of the sites, but that also gives an insight in to each community, specifically what and how they support their own community as well as those outside. I hope they will finish this work on Monday when they will make their presentations to the rest of the class.

We continued with our theme, ‘Me and my Relationships’ (the grammar still grates) in RHE this week exploring ways in which to be ‘assertive’ – not aggressive or rude, but assertive. The children were impressive in their knowledge of the techniques they might use to bat back suggestions and counter pressure from ‘friends’ to take part in dangerous or unhealthy activities. In pairs, they set to making information posters that we will put up around the classroom.

Our regular Friday morning Stars’ Assembly was replaced today with an all singing, all dancing (literally) celebration of Hispanic Day, which culminated in a very energetic, whole school rendition of that old favourite, La Bamba. Guatemala was to be Y6’s focus, kicked off by Phil’s mum who came in to class today to read our class book ‘El Tapiz de abuela’ by Oscar S. Castañeda in Spanish. A Guatemalan story about intergenerational trust, love, and independence, this book introduced your children to the culture of Guatemala through the story of a little girl selling her grandmother’s beautiful weaving at the public market. Illustrated throughout with paintings of authentic Guatemalan scenery, giving life to the country’s radiant landscape and bustling city streets. There followed a quiz which the children loved. Muchas gracias.

A hard act to follow, next up was a dance workshop with ‘ilusion flamenca’. The trio with us taught the children how to ‘toca las palmas’ before then teaching them the rudiments of the popular flamenco dance the Sevillanas. There will be more of this when we go to Spain next year.

Then this afternoon, Miss Williams lead the class in the making of traditional Guatemalan Muñecas Quitapenas (Worry Dolls). Traditionally, they come in a pouch which usually contain up to six dolls that were given to children who had trouble sleeping due to worries or nightmares. The idea is that the child can share a worry with each doll and let the doll do the worrying so the child can sleep. Worth a try?

….and finally, next Friday, the 15th October, we’ll be getting behind ‘Red Card to Racism’ day once more. All children across the school are encouraged to come in wearing something red to show their support for the anti-racist movement. There will be a collection again too hopefully with buckets at the entrances but in case you miss them you are invited to donate via text. Please text ‘RED’ to 70470 to give £1, ‘RED5’ to give £5, ‘RED10’ to give £10 or ‘RED20’ to give £20 if you are able to.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Mr Gane

 

BREAKING NEWS

A successful afternoon on the trail of the Mayor’s Cup with wins against Wormholt for both the Boys A Team 2-1 (should have been 3) and the Girls A Team too 2-0.

 

NOTES FOR NEXT WEEK

DT Day is on Wednesday – the children have DT homework this weekend which is to plan what they will make; they might also like to gather any specific materials that they can bring in to use on Wednesday.

DESIGN COMPETITION – go down in history, or at least go down on to the road. Check out the competition to design a funky pelican crossing that will be right outside our school.

Conker Contest – we’re a few conkers short of being able to hold the contest newt week. I realise that it’s a bit late in the season now, but do keep your eyes open for any to swell the coffers.

Friday 8th October

Well, there can be no doubt as to the highlight of the week, it just has to be your children’s magnificent Class Assembly – Greeks’ Got Talent. What talent they have to produce the perfect performance to be proud of as a final assembly – not only the first since March 2020, but also with mass illness hitting their rehearsal schedule last week too. What stars they all are!

There’s never any rest here at St Stephen’s though, so in addition to all of the intensive practising this week, the children also managed to experience their first run of practice SATs. There are six papers which they sit over the week: Grammar; Reading Comprehension; Spelling; Maths Paper 1 – Arithmetic; Maths Paper 2 – Reasoning 1 and finally Maths Paper 3 – Reasoning 2. I have been gentle with them – they have sat the tests in the classroom as a class and as I have told the children, the whole idea of these assessments are for them to begin to get an idea of what they will be confronted with come May 2022 and for me to identify which parts of the curriculum I need to focus on moving forward. I will speak with you about these results and how the children have progressed since then, at Parents Evening in November.

Another big highlight of the week was the return of Buddy Reading. Y6, having been denied this particular rite of passage for the last two years, were once again paired up with children from Reception. Y6 Ayres have partnered with Miss Billington’s Ahlberg class each child having a Y6 reading buddy until the end of the term when all will be allocated new buddies. Each Thursday the children will get together in the main playground at break time for a run around, before splitting in to two groups with half of the class bringing theirs buddies to Y6 and the other taking theirs to Reception. The excitement was palpable and the joy on all of the children’s faces was a delight to see as your children so kindly, carefully and thoughtfully read to the younger ones.

It’s never all work (classwork) though the children had a super time at Gymnastics, in Music and of course with Alastair for PE, while also preparing for Hispanic Day, next Friday in Spanish by staring to learn the Mexican song La Bamba. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9LP71ypf2qg. Phil’s mum is going to come in and read the Y6 book ‘El Tapiz de Abuela’ with a quiz too and there’ll be a focus on all things Guatemalan with some craft work too in the afternoon. The children are asked to dress in the blue and white colours of the flag or as a Hispanic dancer…

The following Friday sees the return of the Great St Stephen’s Conker Contest, so as part of their homework this week and until the 22nd October, the children are asked to collect conkers and bring them in to be strung!

Short and sweet this week. Thanks so much for all of your help and assistance once again – learning lines, costumes etc, and because of that they are all my ‘Stars of the Week’ this week.

Have a great weekend.

Mr Gane

 

Times Tables

There is a huge focus on Times Tables now especially with the new statutory Y4 test, which your children missed out on. The practice SATs have highlighted that a good few children need to put in a bit more work. There are lots of sing-a-long songs for younger children but perhaps as Y6s, they might be motivated by something more interesting:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QU_E0u-tP4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7rYbk9PNuM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XT3vxohtBg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_BJjR9rdwA

Friday 1st October

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 completed their work on autobiographies in English preparing, then writing their own, before finally editing and up-levelling them too. They used their recent learning on co-ordinating and subordinating conjunctions, as well as this week’s grammar focus on adverbs and adverbials, 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, 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?

Sadly our special visitor for RE on Monday – Mrs Connor – was unable to come in to school, so instead sent us a long, very detailed letter. The famous Y5 TA, who actually attended St Stephen’s as a child herself, has lived in Shepherds Bush for 66 years and seen many changes to the area over her life time. In her letter she told in general about how the small independent shops used to be as much as a meeting place for the community as a place to buy things and explained that this part of London has always seen lots of different communities coming and going. She focused on places of worship close to our school some that have changed and ‘downsized’ like St Luke’s CE church on the Uxbridge Road and others that have sprung up and grown such as the Mosque and Muslim Cultural Centre just a few doors down. Also, as a past pupil of St Stephen’s herself, she told us that the whole school used to go in to the church for a service every single Friday – how things have changed!

It was the classification of plants this week in Science, with the children’s prime learning on the difference between vascular and non-vascular plants – that’s one to ask them about! In Humanities, meanwhile, the focus was on the different forms of government that were employed by the ancient Greeks ; the children explored the pros and cons of Monarchies, Oligarchies and Democracy, before deciding for themselves which they thought was the best.

The Quad Kids athletes (Arthur, Hannah, Isabelle, Jemima, Oscar, Phil, Rory & Seb) were en route to the Linford Christie Stadium early on Thursday morning, turning in a superb performance. We’re still waiting to hear how well we did in the competition, so watch this space. The big one is in the summer! Like these children, if you were unable to attend the Harvest Festival in church on Thursday morning you missed a treat – it was the first time since Christmas 2019 that we were able to celebrate as a whole school. Led by Mr Perry and the Children’s Prayer Group, we sang some favourite old hymns and thanked God for all of the blessing he bestows on us. Take a look on Twitter.

The now compulsory Relationships & Health Education curriculum, which we started here at St Stephen’s last year, is really developing in to an important part of the children’s learning. In our fist topic, ‘Me and My Relationships’ (we’ll not mention the bad grammar imposed on us) the children continued examining ‘friendships’, this week 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 we would deal with them to improve the situation. In small groups, the children ended the lesson by acting out each scenario as a radio call-in helpline – much fun was had.

In Art this afternoon, the children took inspiration from ‘No Woman, No Cry’ (1998) the work of Turner Prize winning artist, Chris Ofili, to create their own watercolour self-portraits – much harder said than done! After a quick wipe down, it was eagerly to the Chromebooks for a session on designing their own CyberHero after a very healthy discussion on how to stay safe online – ‘Trusted Adult’ came up a lot, so something’s going in!

Finally, please do make time to come along to the first class assembly of the year on Thursday; our Y6 Greeks’ Got Talent extravaganza. The children had been practising long and hard, on and off for some time now, so we were pretty hopeful that it would be alright on the night, however, with so many away this week, please be prepared for a last minute postponement depending on attendance numbers early next week. Continuing in expectation of a performance, we have talked about costumes in class and while some children will stay in uniform, I have asked the gods, birds, soldiers and others to bring in their costumes for Monday – thanks again for your on-going support.

So that’s it, many congratulations to our deserved ‘Stars of the Week’, Caterina and Cherrie and have a great weekend. See you on Monday.

Mr Gane

 

Dates for the Diary:

  • Hispanic Day Friday 15th Oct – Y6 will focus on Guatemala, so the children will need blue and white clothes to match the flag. Also if you have any connections that might be of interest, then please do let me know.
  • DT Day Wednesday 20th Oct – We’ll be making puppets on strings with a Greek theme, so please start saving useful odds and ends from the recycling that might be good for this arts and crafts activity.

 

BREAKING NEWS:

  • This afternoon’s Mayor’s Cup matches against Ark Swift resulted in a draw and a loss… Arthur, Harry C & Louis S went down to a 2-1 defeat for the Boys’ team while Caterina & Jemima were part of the Girls’ team that held the opposition to a 1-1 draw.

Friday 17th September

It’s been election results week here for Y6 and following their superb presentations last Friday the children of the school voted as follows:

  • Aylward – Elena, Alex, Joe & Agnes
  • Crummell – Harry C, Milad, Caterina & Kit
  • Liddell – Columba, Rory, Isabelle & Nyla
  • Wesley – Jemima, Louis S, Ernie & Aurelia

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 this week 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: Arthur, Ava, Louis DC, Olivia, Paul and Phil.  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.

More elections, this time to the School Council – a very influential organ – that works hard behind the scenes under Miss Mahon’s guidance. Each class elects Council Members, who from Y6 Ayres this year are: Tegan & Harry H. Congratulations and thanks in advance for all of your hard work.

Finally, Oscar and Prathana volunteered to represent the class on Mr Perry’s Pray Group which meets each fortnight to help facilitate prayer and contemplation throughout the school as well as to pray for us all.

…and we also had time for some teaching and learning!

After a brief assessment on Place Value, in Maths we began work on the four mathematical operations completing our review of methods of multiplication before moving on to ‘short’– More on Mathletics homework. ‘Life in Trinidad’, the autobiography of Floella Benjamin whose birthday it is next week (72), was examined further with the children who investigated unfamiliar words and phrases and identified relative clauses, before writing a brief summary of her early childhood. Later in the week they planned their own autobiography.

The children continued their Science learning on the somewhat dry ‘Classification of Organisms’ topic while in Humanities learning all about the various different Greek gods took the form of Class Assembly practice – cross curricular learning. Focussing on ‘No Woman, No Cry’ (1998) the work of Turner Prize winning artist, Chris Ofili, in Art this week the children developed their profile sketching skills while in Spanish the children recapped their learning around colours – see vocab homework set by Mrs Pereira – which is due on Monday.

Finally, and I’m sure I have no need to remind you, we’re off to PGL on Monday. The children should come in to school as normal from 8.45am for a 9am start as normal, leaving their suitcases in the Main Hall. Apologies again for our omission with regards to the sleeping bag which IS REQUIRED. The coach is scheduled to leave here at 10am if you would like to come back to school to wave them off, and we should be back for a normal pick-up on Friday. I will be in touch with the Class Reps throughout the week who will keep you updated with photos and any timings that may change.

Have a lovely weekend.

Mr Gane

Friday 10th September

Dear Parents & Carers,

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 – and explains why we no longer use Roman numerals… After an End of Unit assessment on Monday, next up is a review of the four Maths operations to get everyone fully back up to speed.

The children have been reading extracts of Floella Benjamin’s ‘Life in Trinidad’ autobiography as a basis for their learning in English this week, as they have learned more about the features of biographies and autobiographies and begun writing paragraphs of each type. We will continue the theme next week.

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 a special visitor joining us for the next lesson…

Perhaps the highlight of the week was the much anticipated House Captain presentations which took place this 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 are being counted and election results will be announced on Monday. Really well done to everyone who took part.

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

Have a wonderful weekend,

Mr Gane

Friday 3rd September

Dear Parents & Carers,

Can you believe that that little child who went fresh faced into Reception only six years ago is now in Year 6 – how time flies!

So with summer now officially over and tans (for what you could grab) fading, a very excited bunch turned in on Thursday, ready and raring for the joys and rigours that face them in Y6. We’ve hit the ground running and written recounts of our holiday highlights, ‘letters to our future selves’ and our ‘Reach for the Stars’ goals for the year – we’re saving Maths for next week!

I for one have thoroughly enjoyed being back with a full class in Y6 and getting to know lots of new faces. It’s great to be back in the saddle after the hols and I’m looking forward to the challenging new work ahead – they all tell me they are too. The Homework Diaries 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 Mondays and Fridays. Knowing how to manage this will set them in great stead for Y7, less than a year away now – gulp.

The children have had a busy couple of days with lots to think about. We have 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 Friday 10th September.  Each House will elect three 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 just a week away, for anyone wanting to throw their hat in to the ring, they need to start planning now… Whilst a PowerPoint presentation is not necessary, it might help as a prop and prompt for the nervous candidate; these should be email to me on d.gane@ststephensce.lbhf.sch.uk ideally by end of the day on Thursday. Below is a job description and 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.

 

Thanks for your support and I look forward to the year ahead with you and your lovely children.

Kind regards

Mr Gane

 

PS Coming in dressed in PE Kit is a Lockdown measure that we have embraced, so I have asked the children to make sure that this happens on Mondays and Thursdays.

Thursday 2nd September

Welcome to Year 6.

There will be a full blog entry on here on Friday, but in the meantime do please take a look at our Timetable Y6 Ayres and the Y6 Curriculum Map 2021 – 22 for the year.

Please note that the children will need to come in to school wearing their PE Kits on Mondays for Gym and Thursdays for PE, which they will wear all day. They will NOT need their uniforms on those days.

Homework

ENGLISH COMPREHENSION

This weekend we are asking you to complete a short comprehension in the CGP booklet. Read the ‘Poems about Seasons’ page 14 then answer the questions on page 15.

Make sure that you really do read the texts well so you are sure that you understand as the questions that you have to answer are harder than normal, looking at word meaning, summary and language. Please submit your work on Monday.

You must also practise the class poem.

MATHS

In your Homework book, write out two times tables (1 to 12) of your choice – focus on those that slowed you down in the Times Table Challenge – you decide which ones that you need to practise. Try Hit The Button.

NOTE: you should write out the whole equation eg 9 x 6 = 54, 10 x 6 = 60, 11 x 6 = 66 etc and NOT just the multiples 54, 60, 66 etc.

Please date your work, which is due on Monday.

MATHLETICS

Log on to your Mathletics account and complete the activities set only – try the ‘LIVE’ Mathletics afterwards if you would like to do more. This must be completed by 9am next Friday.

School Information

Y6 Curriculum Map 2021 – 22