Zephaniah

Year 6

“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 11:13

 

Welcome to Year 6 Zephaniah. Our teacher is Miss Marchant and our TA is Miss Charrington.

Class Updates

Friday 3rd December 2021

The 1st of December is upon us and we are well and truly in the Christmas spirit now that our classroom has been decorated so beautifully with paper snowflakes and we have been practicing our song for the Christmas Carol Concert in two weeks’ time.

Yesterday we had a great tag-rugby tournament at Play Football. Despite the cold weather, the children played well in their teams, demonstrated great sportsmanship and remained in good spirits all afternoon.

We of course still managed to fit in our regular lessons and in English we continued with our poetry unit based on Benjamin Zephaniah’s work ‘No Problem’. This is a poem that talks about the racism Benjamin Zephaniah received and how he does not let it affect him in his day to day life. As a result, the children have planned and written their own poems based on issues that are important to them. Once they were written, the class performed them to the rest of the class. They had some really great ideas about climate change, animal cruelty, coronavirus and racism and spoke really passionately about each subject.

In Maths we have looked at multiplying a fraction by an integer and then another fraction, before moving on to dividing fractions by integers and then fractions using the KFC method (keep, flip, change – so 1/5 divided by ½ is the same as 1/5 x 2). Fractions has been a very long topic, but we only have a few lessons to go and then we can move onto our new unit!

Next week, the children will be completing a number of assessments based upon the SATs. This will help us continue to identify gaps and to help the children get used to the SAT format and test conditions. We will use these practice papers as our assessments every half term. We have been doing lots of work in class so I know the class will get higher results each time we do them. If you have any questions on this, do let me know.

Please remember that Mathletics is as important as homework we send out in the green books. Sadly, some of Year 6 do not do their Maths homework. This homework is to help consolidate what they have learnt in Maths that week and really does help their learning. This is set every Friday and due back the following Friday. Thank to you those that consistently do it – you do not go unnoticed!

Finally, a reminder that we are off to Eton on Monday for a visit. Please remember to wrap up warm and bring a packed lunch. We will be leaving at 9am sharp.

Have a lovely weekend,

Miss Marchant

Friday 26th November 2021

Another busy week, what with our trip to the Panto where we saw Aladdin. The children really enjoyed it and we left the theatre feeling all Christmassy.

In English this week we finished off our work on Alfred Lord Tennyson’s Kraken by editing and then performing to the rest of the class. They performed confidently to an audience and really thought about their intonation as they spoke. Next up we looked at a new poem called ‘No Problem’ by Benjamin Zephaniah. We started off by analysing the more spoken language he uses and discussed how he has picked a topic important to him to talk about through his poem.

In Maths we are still working with fractions, this week adding and subtracting mixed numbers. This can be a tricky concept but the children have done so well this week and Miss Charrington, Miss Williams and I have been so impressed. I can tell they have been practising their times tables and this is showing through their work, please keep it up!

In Science we looked at creating our own scientific experiment; investigating how we can improve the brightness of a bulb. The children loved doing this as they were able to test out different theories and discovered that the thicker the wire, the brighter the bulb, but that the longer the wire, the dimmer the bulb. This is because wires have a certain amount of resistance and as the energy travels around, some of it gets lost along the way, resulting in a dimmer bulb. Once they had finished the experiment, they had a go at creating a giant circuit around the classroom – always great fun.

In RE, we have moved on to our unit on Advent (much to the children’s excitement) with this lesson seeing us looking at how Christmas is portrayed in adverts we see on TV today. Excitingly, 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, however very few mentioned anything about Jesus being born. 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.

In two weeks’ time we will be doing another SATs practice, again this is nothing to worry about, it is just there to tell Mr Gane and me what we still need to teach and to get the children used to sitting exam style questions.

Have a good weekend.

Miss Marchant

Friday 19th November 2021

In English this week we started a new topic based on poetry. We looked at Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem ‘The Kraken’, first identifying all the tricky old English words and then looking at the description used by Tennyson. We used this description to inspire our own sea creatures. Once designed, the class wrote their poems, making sure to include a range of excellent words and phrases to create imagery – I really felt like I could see every one of their ‘beasts’.

In Maths, we have continued with fractions, this week putting all we have learnt about adding and subtracting fractions with different denominators into practice by attempting some word problems. These can be tricky but the class got into the swing of underlining the key vocabulary that helped them identify what the question was asking. For example ‘total’ tells them they need to add and ‘more…than’ means subtract. They did really well and I feel they have grasped this concept. We are now beginning to look at multiplying fractions by whole numbers.

We have continued with circuits in Science and our lesson on Monday saw us learning the symbols for each component so we could draw scientific circuits. Electricity is always a fun topic as the children love using the resources to create their own circuits to see how bulbs and buzzers work.

In Relationships and Health Education we started the lesson by looking at cultural norms from different countries and how it can appear disrespectful to behave one way in a country, even if this is normal in our own. We then spoke about how we should react to people perhaps displaying behaviour or saying things we do not agree with. Instead of being aggressive towards this person, we can be respectful and speak calmly as we do not know what it is like to be in someone else’s shoes – maybe there is a reason for the way that they are acting. We thought the quote from Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mocking Bird really supported this idea – ‘You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view – until you climb into his skin and walk around in it’.

We finished off a good week by looking at advertising during advent in RE. We watched many well-known Christmas adverts and discussed how they show the Christmas message. Whilst not many adverts showed the story of Christmas, they still focused on family, love, kindness and sharing, which are still key values at Christmas time.

Next Tuesday we have our outing to Aladdin, please bring a packed lunch for this trip.

Have a good weekend.

Miss Marchant

Friday 12th November

Thank you to all those I saw at Parents’ Evening this week, it was lovely to see you all. The two evenings went ahead with very few technical problems so that was a huge relief! Do let me know if you have any other questions and I will be happy to help.

In English we finished off our unit on persuasive writing by drafting a letter to Mr Schumm, hoping to persuade him to install something in the school so the current cohort can be remembered for years to come. Their letters have been great – packed full of expressions of conviction, powerful adjectives and adverbs to ‘sell’ their idea and many reasons to support their argument. They worked hard on this unit and should be proud of the work they produced.

In my Maths class we started to work on fractions – always a tricky topic, but so far the children have remembered all they learnt last year. They successfully managed to simplify and compare fractions with different denominators.

For RE we finished our two week topic on Remembrance by talking about peace and how it can help the cause of Remembrance. The children made ‘origami peace cranes’. These were created by a 10 year old Japanese girl who had developed leukaemia some years after the Hiroshima bomb in 1945. She had planned to make 1000 but sadly died before completing them. Inspired by her courage and in memory of all who died due to the atom bomb, children across Japan raised money for a monument in her memory at the Hiroshima Peace Park with the inscription ‘paper crane, I will write peace on your wings and you will fly all over the world’. People all over the world now make these paper cranes and send them in to the monument. We have boxed ours up and will be sending them to the peace park.

The boys were very lucky to have a football tournament on Monday this week, where two of the teams were awarded second place in their section – well done everyone!

Have a lovely weekend.

Miss Marchant

Friday 5th November

Welcome back! I hope you all had a lovely half term. It has been lovely to have the children back and feeling ready to learn.

In English we have been introduced to different examples of persuasive writing and came up with a list of features we think should be included in every piece. These included: using verbs in the present tense, forceful language, modal verbs, reasons for viewpoint and powerful adjectives just to name a few. The class exemplar was then introduced, which is a letter to Mr Schumm persuading him to let Year 6 paint the blue wall in the playground. Next week, we will be analysing more persuasive texts and planning our own letters to Mr Schumm.

My class finished off our four operations unit by looking at prime numbers and square and cube numbers, before we moved on to the end of topic test. Everyone has worked really hard on this unit and I believe the children have really got to grips with some of these tricky methods – I am sure the results from today will reflect this.

For our History work this half term, we are very lucky to have Mr Schumm helping out. This week he gave a lesson on the different philosophers and scholars. The children learnt about Socrates, Plato, Pythagoras, Hippocrates, Aristotle and Archimedes. It was a very interesting lesson and the class loved being taught by Mr Schumm!

This week Miss Charrington and I planned a fun Art lesson where we looked at using oil pastels on black card to create pieces of art. As it is the 5th of November today, we used the oil pastels to create drawings of fireworks using a range of different techniques. The work the children produced looked lovely. We are very lucky to have Miss Charrington with us during Art, as she is much more creative than me!

Next week is Parents’ Evening, so do sign up if you haven’t already. We have tested the new video system and all seems to be working well, so fingers crossed for no technology problems.

As always, well done to those that are signing their homework diary regularly. This will really prepare the class for secondary school. A gentle reminder to parents that you are meant to be signing that they have read a certain number of pages and this needs to be noted down in the homework diary.

Have a lovely weekend,
Miss Marchant

Friday 22nd October

And just like that our first half term together has come to an end. The past eight weeks have flown by and I have loved teaching the children. This week has been very busy, what with Black Voices week, DT Day and Red Card to Racism today, so it has been a fun end to the first half term.

For Black Voices Week, we focused on many notable voices in the black community in science. This was a wonderful opportunity to highlight the significant contributions the Black Community has always made to UK culture. In Year 6, we had two talks: one from Christiano Caccato who spoke to us about the architect Zaha Hadid and one from scientist and DJ Mark Richards who specialises in researching the rates of air pollution. Both talks were really inspirational and we all learnt a lot about their journeys to success. This week is a step in the right direction for our school, however we endeavour to make every subject, every week reflective of all our pupils not just in these very special five days.

Our class read ‘The Golden Carp’ from Jamila Gavin’s book Blackberry Blue in English, where we wrote some amazing fairy tales of our own. They were full of all the literary techniques we have been learning about this half term and I really enjoyed reading them.

For DT Day, as a class we made our own string puppets. The class worked really hard and produced some great work that I hope you have already seen. They designed their puppets at home and in class created string puppets of the Ancient Greek Gods using recycled materials. We then discussed the importance of using recycled materials as this helps limit waste.

Today saw all of the children wearing red as we focused the day around the Show Racism the Red Card campaign. We watched a powerful SRtRC film and reading through some scenario cards, followed by a discussion – I was hugely impressed by the maturity of the children’s discussion as they independently shared their experiences, thoughts and ideas.

Despite the busy week, we still managed to squeeze in some Maths. My class carried on with our four operations unit by looking at common factors and multiplies. We will finish this unit next half term before moving on to fractions. Everyone has worked really hard on this unit and I believe the children have really got to grips with some of these tricky methods.

For homework over half term, the children have been sent home with five practice SATs papers as well. The papers are all due back on Monday 1st November – there is more detail about this on Google Classroom.

I hope you all have a lovely peaceful half term and I will see you all in November!

Miss Marchant

Friday 15th October 2021

Quite a quiet week here in 6 Zephaniah, a nice change from the SATs practice last week.

In English we started our new class book in aid of Black Voices Month. Blackberry Blue by Jamila Gavin contains many short fairy tales and we have chosen to focus on one called the Golden Carp which is a fairy tale all about magic and dreams. We started the week with a comprehension and then moved on to talking and writing about our own dreams. The class loved this lesson and we all laughed a lot about the randomness of some of them. Laughter aside, their written dreams were full of great description and really painted a picture of what was happening – well done Year 6.

In my Maths class, we have persevered with long division. The class has worked so hard on this aspect of division and are really understanding what to do, because of their strong understanding we have moved on to word problems which puts what they have learnt into practice. At this point I should mention that following our first assessments last week, Mr Gane 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. After half-term, we will also be starting some in-school Maths interventions. 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.

On Tuesday this week we had a special visit from Abigail’s mum Jo, as well as Sasha & Rachel, producer & head writers respectively of the latest CBBC series ‘Malory Towers’. 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. It was really interesting to listen to.

To end the week today we then had our famous Hispanic Day where the whole school celebrates all Spanish speaking countries. Year 6 had the country Guatemala and the class enjoyed researching this country, making Guatemalan worry dolls and weaving their own friendship bracelets. We ended a great day of all things Spanish with a Spanish dance lesson. I took a lot of pictures throughout the day, so keep an eye out for them being uploaded to the website!

Next week we have DT Day, so the children have been set some extra planning and collecting homework over the weekend. More information on this is on Google Classroom.

….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 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 lovely weekend.

Miss Marchant

 

Friday 8th October 2021

A change from our usual routine this week – we had our first SATs practice. Despite the number of tests they have done this week, the children have remained in good spirits and worked very hard. The grammar paper kicked off the week followed by the reading comprehension. We then moved on to our three Maths papers – the arithmetic and two reasoning tests. We peer marked a few of these in class and went through the mark schemes so the children know what is expected in their answers for future assessments. Thank goodness that’s out of the way.

I have stressed that this run through is just part of our, half-termly familiarisation process, so that by the time May 2021 is here, every child will be completely comfortable with what to expect and experienced in working carefully through each paper. As teachers, they also help us to identify individual needs so that we can work out which topics need more practice. Overall, Mr Gane and I were pleased with the results.

As a break from SATs practise, the children have enjoyed Gymnastics, Music and PE, while also preparing for Hispanic Day next Friday by staring to learn the Mexican folk song La Bamba. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9LP71ypf2qg.

Also during Hispanic Day, Phil’s mum from the other class is going to come in and read the Y6 book ‘El Tapiz de Abuela’ 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 Hispanic dancers…

Of course we have also started to prepare for our class assembly next week! The final versions of the scripts are up on Google Classroom so please get practicing. We will tackle costumes next week, but there will be nothing too ‘extreme’ for anybody to bring in. Due to PGL, we have had very little time to rehearse, but so far they have impressed me with their line learning so keep it up this weekend!

Finally, there is a huge focus on Times Tables now, especially with the new statutory Y4 test. 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

Have a lovely weekend,

Miss Marchant

Friday 1st October 2021

What a week we had last week! PGL was excellent and the children all had a fantastic time – I am sure you have heard all about the wonderful activities we did.

In English, the children finished off our autobiographies unit by writing about their life so far. I have marked most of them and they have been a pleasure to read – full of fantastic descriptive techniques, a range of punctuation, as well as all those conjunctions we have been learning about this term. Well done Year 6!

In my Maths class we have started looking at long division. This can be a tricky concept to grasp so we have been taking it slowly and as a result everyone has been doing really well. We have been dividing 3 digit by 2 digit numbers, as well as looking at some more challenging word problems. Because everyone has worked so hard in Maths, we finished the week by playing a partner division game which everyone enjoyed.

And before I move on from Maths, can I ask parents and carers to ensure that your children have completed their Mathletics homework, which you are signing to confirm they have completed in their homework diaries. We do not want to go back to setting work on paper. The children should be reading the questions online, accessing the animated ‘help’ if required, working out their answers on rough paper and then entering in their final answers.

For Relationships and Health Education (RHE), 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 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 our other subjects, we have looked at classifying plants in Science, discussed the differences between Sparta and Athens in our Ancient Greeks topic and continued our Art work inspired by artist Chris Ofili.

Next week, we will be having our first mock SATs week. These ‘mock’ tests are based on the SAT format and will help us identify gaps as well as help the children get used to this type of question paper. We will use these practice papers as our assessments every half term and they will also help determine your child’s group for Maths.

Have a great weekend!

Miss Marchant

Friday 17th September 2021

A busy week here in 6 Zephaniah, I can’t believe we are three weeks down already!

In English, the children continued their work on autobiographies, re-reading the first part of Floella Benjamin’s life in Trinidad in preparation for their own writing. They examined how she spoke about the key events in her life, before planning what they would write in their own autobiographies. It will be very exciting to read their thoughts and find out even more about them when they write their own! In grammar, they learned all about co-ordinating and subordinating conjunctions – how to identify them and use them. I expect to see many of these in their own work.

My Maths group have kept working on the four mathematical operations, revising addition and subtraction before moving on to multiplying 4-digit number by 2-digit numbers and word problems. These are tricky concepts but the children are working really hard to try and consolidate what they learnt in Year 5. I have set some Mathletics activities around these topics so the children can practice over the weekend. Next week we move on to division.

In History the class discovered more about the Ancient Greeks, this week looking at Democracies and Monarchies, thinking about the advantages and disadvantages of both. This topic promoted rich discussion from the children, which is always nice to see.

On the subject of democracies, Mr Gane and I counted up the House Captain votes and announced the winners to a very excited bunch of Year 6s. Congratulations to the following:

Liddell: Columba, Rory, Isabelle and Nyla

Wesley: Jemima, Louis S, Ernie and Aurelia

Aylward: Elena, Joe, Agnes and Alex

Crummell: Harry C, Milad, Caterina and Kit

I must say well done to all that ran for House Captain, everyone did a fantastic job and the votes were very close!

This means that Kyle and Isabella are now confirmed as Y6 Zephaniah’s School Councillors and Ronnie, Taff, Romilly, Isla and Savannah are Sport’s Captains.

Finally, as I am sure you are already aware, next week we are off to PGL! This is very exciting and will be a really fun trip. A packing list has been sent out, please remember to bring a spare outfit that you don’t mind getting wet/muddy for when we are raft building. As well as what is on the packing list, PGL has informed us that the children need to bring sleeping bags as well – sorry for the late notice on this. We will be heading off at around 10am on Monday 20th and will be returning before the end of the school day on Friday 24th so pick up will be at normal time. If however you would like to come and collect your child for when we arrive back, you are welcome to do so.

Regular updates will be sent on a WhatsApp group so that you can see what we all get up to. This is my first time at PGL as well, so I am really looking forward to it.

Have a lovely weekend,

Miss Marchant

Friday 10th September 2021

A very busy week here in Year 6 Zephaniah, but it has been lovely to really get into teaching our first topics of Year 6. I am so pleased with the children’s enthusiasm and hardworking attitudes, which I am sure will continue over the year!

In English we were introduced to our topic on autobiographies and have been reading about actress and author Floella Benjamin’s life in Trinidad. We started the week by identifying the key features of autobiographies and then moved on to writing a short summary about Floella’s early life. Next week we will look at planning our own autobiography based on our lives so far. I am already looking forward to reading them.

In Maths we started our unit on place value, revising place value of numbers up to ten million – this included rounding and negative numbers. Next week we will have our end of topic test before moving on to column addition and subtraction.

The children have begun the first Y6 Science topic of the year, ‘Classification of Organisms’ as well as continuing their work in RE by looking at the different faiths in our community. We then travelled back in time to the Ancient Greeks and have started learning what their lives were like.

However it hasn’t been lessons all week! Today we held the ever popular House Captain elections. This is my first time being involved in the ‘in person’ elections and I have been so impressed by the confidence every candidate showed. It is not an easy task standing up in front of one’s peers and teachers, but everyone did so well. The standard of presentations was very high and I must congratulate all of you who put yourselves forward – win or lose, you all did yourselves proud! Votes will be in by next week so watch this space.

Data permission sheets for PGL were sent home earlier this week. Thank you to those that have returned them already, those that haven’t please could they be in by Monday. We will also be sending a packing list next week, so those of you keen to get started will have an idea of what to bring.

Have a lovely weekend.

Miss Marchant

Friday 3rd September

Welcome back and welcome to Year 6 Zephaniah! I’ve heard many lovely stories of your summers full of exciting adventures, so I hope you are well rested and ready for the chaos and fun of the new school year and final year at St Stephen’s. The first week back is always very busy for the pupils, parents and teachers and before you know it, it’s Friday and the first week is done.

So far this week, we have talked about our hopes and aspirations for the year, created self-portraits and discussed how having a growth mind-set will be critical to succeeding. Despite it being the first week back, we have still managed to include a little bit of English where we looked at exciting sentence starters when writing about our summer holiday. I have been impressed by their first piece of writing and look forward to reading much more of their future work.

I am excited to be back teaching and am looking forward to the challenging yet fun work ahead – the pupils tell me they are too. As you may know already, the children are expected to sign their homework diaries every week day as this will prepare them for next year. The children are expected to read every evening (even if only a couple of pages) and if you could sign saying they have done this, which would be great. They will bring them home Monday night so it will start from then.

Finally, we will be having our house captain elections soon. Each house will have four Year 6 Captains who will help lead their houses in certain events and activities. Candidates will make a presentation to their Y6 Housemates on why they should be elected, which will presented to all of the lower years. Votes from each house will then be collated. This will take place next Friday afternoon (10th), so they might like to start planning now – email any supporting PowerPoints to me on z.marchant@ststephensce.lbhf.sch.uk or upload to Google Classroom. 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.

 

Admin

Gymnastics is on Mondays and Kick London is on Thursdays. Please come in wearing PE kit for the whole day.

Homework will be set on a Monday and a Friday – please see the homework section on the class page for more information on this.

Library sessions are on Tuesdays (please encourage children to bring and change books)

Water bottles must be brought and kept in the classroom.

 

Please feel free to email me with any queries or issues and I’m looking forward to teaching this class again, I know we will have a great year.

 

Have a lovely weekend,

Miss Marchant

 

Welcome back

Hi everyone and 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 Zephaniah 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

Autumn 2 Poem – Grand Old Duke of York

Aut 2 poem Grand Old Duke of York

Autumn 1 Poem – Voices for Choices

Please learn this poem over the next few weeks. We will be performing it during the last week of term.

Aut 1 poem Voices for Choices

Homework:

Homework will now be set on Google Classroom both Mondays and Fridays.

Note:

Homework in Year 6 is set twice; on Mondays which is due on Wednesday morning and then on Fridays to be handed in on Monday mornings.

Y6 Curriculum Map 2021 – 22