Welcome to Year 6 Zephaniah. Our teacher is Miss Marchant and our TA is Miss Charrington.
A change from our usual routine this week – we had our second SATs practice. Despite the number of tests they have done over the past few days, the children have remained in good spirits and worked very hard. The Maths papers kicked off the week, followed by spellings, grammar and the reading comprehension. 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 2022 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 and progress shown from our last mock week. However, these results will mean that some of our Maths groups will be changing, so please look out for that in the New Year.
We still managed to fit in some other lessons and 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 DT we have continued making our waistcoats using recycled fabrics from home. We have cut out the fabric using a pattern and started sewing the front and back parts together. They are looking fantastic!
Have a lovely weekend.
A busy week in year 6 with our regular timetable, as well as a trip to the local library with Reception. This went very well and the year 6 children looked after their reception buddies perfectly. In the library, they read many books and everyone looked very happy.
In English we have started a new book by Michael Morpurgo – The Giant’s Necklace. For this topic, we are using our comprehension skills to make inferences about what we think will happen next as well as understand more about the characters. This book focuses on the protagonist Cherry, who is on holiday in Cornwall with her family. We know she is a very head-strong character as she is determined to finish a necklace she is making out of cowrie shells. We finished the book today and the children were shocked by the ending. The book is very clever and doesn’t tell you what has happened right until the end, which kept the children wanting to read more.
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 going to look at multiplying fractions by whole numbers.
We have continued with circuits in Science and our lesson yesterday 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.
Next week is our half-termly mock SATs week. The children have been working really hard and we are hoping to see their best results yet, please do email me if you have any questions.
Have a lovely weekend.
Thank you to all those I saw at Parents’ Evening this week, it was lovely to see you. 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 leukemia 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.
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 Mockingbird 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’.
I sent out a ParentMail the other day about bringing in fabric for our textiles DT topic next week, if you have any pieces at home, please do bring it in!
Next week we also have a trip to the library with the children’s Reception buddies. We will be leaving at 11am and back before lunch, so no packed lunches needed.
Have a lovely weekend.
Welcome back! I hope you all had a lovely half term. It has been great to have the children back and feeling ready to learn.
In English the children have been introduced to different examples of persuasive writing and came up with a list of features they 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, the class will be analysing more persuasive texts and planning their own letters to Mr Schumm.
My Maths class finished off our four operations unit by looking at prime numbers and square and cube numbers, before they 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.
We have started our DT for the half term which has seen the class designing their own waistcoats. For the rest of the unit they will be using their textile knowledge to make waistcoats using a template, sew the fabric into a waistcoat shape as well as stich on extra decoration. It should be a fun unit!
For RHE our new topic looked at the differences between us and how they should be celebrated because they make us unique. Sadly, some people use these differences to be mean to other people and the children learnt what to do if they see this happen. For example, they could stand up to the person being mean, support the victim and go and get help from a trusted adult. We finished off our discussion by talking about our individual qualities and why we love them.
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,
And just like that our first half term together has come to an end. The past seven weeks have flown by and I have loved teaching the children. This week has been very busy, what with Black Voices Week and Red Card to Racism today, so it has been a fun end to the first half term.
For Black Voices Week, in English, we are studying a contrasting poem to last week’s – No Problem by our class poet Benjamin Zephaniah. We started off by analysing the colloquial language he uses and discussed how he has picked a topic important to him to talk about through his poem. As this is a poem that discusses the racism Zephaniah received and how he does not let it affect him in his day-to-day life, the children planned and wrote 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, such as climate change, animal cruelty, coronavirus and racism and spoke passionately about each subject.
In Maths, my class carried on with our four operations unit by finishing off long division and 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.
In RE we have researched the different religions in our local area and in groups, created PowerPoints talking about how these faith buildings in our area have changed over the past 50 years. The children then presented these to the class and did an excellent job.
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.
For homework over half term, the children have been sent home with five practice SATs papers. The papers are all due back on Monday 31st October – 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 next term!
Quite a quiet week here in 6 Zephaniah, a nice change from the SATs practice last week.
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 my Maths class, we have persevered with long division. The class has worked so hard on this aspect of division and the children 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 in an effort to ensure that every child is receiving the most suitable tuition for their needs.
On Tuesday we had our KS2 cross country afternoon as part of the LBHF Mini Marathon. Years 3-6 walked up to Wormwood Scrubs (a marathon in itself) and then ran through the scrubs tackling the uneven ground and weaving paths – a true cross-country experience. Everyone ran very well and demonstrated great sportsmanship.
The rest of our available time has been spent practising for our class assembly, which you all got to see yesterday. I am sure you will agree, they were absolutely fantastic and did themselves proud. We had a lot of fun rehearsing and have learnt many interesting facts about the Ancient Greeks along the way.
A comment about Maths Homework from Mr Gane:
Mathletics is our eco-friendly homework setting system for Maths and children’s weekly work is monitored and assessed in the same manner as traditional written homework.
Homework tasks set on Mathletics are expected to be completed on rough paper, with the final answers then entered into the device – unless specifically stated, it is not mental Maths, so ‘workings out’ are expected/required at home, but not to be handed in. Remember that most questions have an animation that explicitly explains the method, demonstrating each step to solve the problem, if your child needs a reminder of how to complete the task.
There may have been a few technical issues this year, however we have checked that your child’s login details are correct, if in doubt do ask the teacher to check again. That means that for any other issues, parents/carers should contact the Mathletics helpline, as it will be an issue with your internet set up at home, or iPad setting or browser or any other number of issues. See the information below that might help.
Mathletics can be accessed by PC/Mac, iOS and Android devices as well as Windows tablets and Chromebooks – on the laptops at school we find that it works best using either the Microsoft Edge or Chrome browsers. See http://www.3plearning.com/tech/mathletics/ for more details and if you experience difficulty in loading the Mathletics website at home please contact Mathletics ‘LIVE Chat Online’ help or email via https://www.mathletics.com/in/contact/
….and finally, next Friday, 21st October, we will be holding our annual ‘Red Card to Racism’ day. For those of you unfamiliar, this is an opportunity to show support and raise money for the UK’s largest anti-racism charity. On the day, children can wear their own clothes and we encourage them all to wear something red. If you are able to, we ask that children make a contribution to the charity in the buckets that will be in the playground before school that morning. https://www.theredcard.org/.
Have a lovely weekend.
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 arithmetic. We then moved on to our comprehension and remaining Maths papers – the 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 RHE, while also preparing for Hispanic Day, which was today. We had some fantastic activities put on by Mrs Pereira, including Mexican dancing and a Mariachi band.
Of course we have also started to prepare for our class assembly next week! The children know what they are doing and are coming up with all sorts of costume ideas. I look forward to seeing you all next Thursday. The final versions of the scripts are up on Google Classroom so please get practicing. 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:
Have a lovely weekend,
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, we have started a new unit based on Neil Gaiman’s book ‘The Wolves in the Walls’ which is all about a girl who believes the noises she hears are wolves in the walls of her house. From this the children have created their own narratives which focus on building tension. To create tension the children used a mixture of complex sentences and short sentences, onomatopoeia, exciting synonyms which create a sense of fear in the reader as well as the idea of showing the reader how the characters feel rather than telling the reader. They produced some great narratives and I am so pleased with how their writing is coming along.
My Maths group has kept working on the four mathematical operations, revising addition and subtraction before moving on to multiplying 4-digit numbers 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. We have touched upon short division and next Maths lesson, we will be looking at long division.
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, 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, 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!
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, 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. They then 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 Maths, we have continued working on our place value knowledge, looking at rounding numbers, negative numbers before doing the end of topic test to practise everything they have learnt. Today we then looked at adding and subtracting large numbers.
In RE, we were introduced to our new topic which saw us looking at all the different faith communities in our local area. On our walks to school we may come across a Greek Orthodox Church, the Mosque, a Catholic Church, the Uxbridge Road Tabernacle as well as several Church of England Churches. We discussed how Shepherd’s Bush is a very diverse area and there is not one set religion. We are lucky, as the diversity means we can learn from all the different groups of people.
However it hasn’t been lessons all week! Today we held the ever popular House Captain elections. Mr Gane and I were 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!
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. Also, please don’t forget your sleeping bags! We will be heading off at around 7am on Tuesday 20th and will be returning just after the end of the school day on Friday 23rd. We will keep you posted with journey updates, in case we get stuck in some traffic.
Regular updates will be sent on a WhatsApp group so that you can see what we all get up to. It is set to be a great week.
Have a lovely weekend.
Autumn 2 Poem – Grand Old Duke of York
Autumn 1 Poem – Voices for Choices
Homework will now be set on Google Classroom both Mondays and Fridays.
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.