Welcome to Year 6

On these pages you will find important information about life in Year 6, including our termly topic sheet, and photos of the Year 6 staff, so you can put a face to the names your child mentions. Please also take the time to visit the Learning in Year 6 page for photos of recent activities and examples of the children's work. 

We are on duty on the Key Stage 2 playground after school on Fridays. Do catch us if you would like a quick chat, or, if you want to talk in more depth, you can also arrange an appointment by sending in a note, or contacting the school office.

Miss Thurston and Miss McIlveen

Topic overviews

2017 - 18

Autumn Term

January – Cambridge Topic
In Year 6 this spring, children will spend the half term learning about Cambridge University, including the history and some of its famous alumni. We have already started to look at Quentin Blake’s ‘800, An Informal Panorama’ to inform our studies. 


January – Science - Classification
In Science we have started to study living things and their habitats by classifying plants and animals according to their characteristics.  This week in Science we have learned about vertebrates and invertebrates and discussed what both exoskeletons and endoskeletons are and watched a couple of videos of animals shedding their shells/skin. We learned that 90% of animals in the world are invertebrates. Year 6 also started to research a previously unknown animal to look at its features, habitat and adaptations.  We have looked at animals like the Capybara, Echidna, Jerboa, Leafy Sea Dragon and Okapi.  Over the term, we will also look at Darwin’s theories of evolution and inheritance; identifying how animals and plants have adapted to suit their environment.


Christmas Concert
This year, our KS2 Christmas Concert was titled ‘Christmas Times’. This history themed production showed our audience how Christmas has been celebrated over different times. In both Monday and Tuesday’s performance, we found out about the first Nativity from the hilarious (and very cute) Year 3s as well as the introduction of the Christmas tree from a particularly knowledgeable Year 4 cast. Next, Year 5 told the story of the Christmas Day truce in World War I and Year 6 finished by looking to the future as they imagined what Christmas may be like a hundred years from now. It was a hugely enjoyable performance on both nights and both casts performed to their best ability – what a wonderful way to start our holiday celebrations! 


December – Bikeability
This week, most of Year 6 have been getting to grips with Levels 1 and 2 of Bikeability training. This is a free scheme offered to children, which we believe creates more confident and more able cyclists, through interactive and engaging cycle training and bike maintenance training. On Monday, Year 6 spent the day on the playground cycling around and checking their bikes with the instructors.  On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday they have ventured out to the roads near our school for further road safety advice.

December - Christmas Concert Rehearsals  

Children in Key Stage 2 have been rehearsing well for our Christmas Concert this year.  Year 6 have been imagining a futuristic Christmas as part of the ‘Christmas Times’ history theme. We look forward performing it next week!


November - DT Update! 
Year 6 were very excited to begin making their fairground carousel! The children worked in their groups to build a motor and band mechanism, first making a fixed axle using dowel and a spool. They then created an electric circuit which enabled the motor to work; when the motor is attached to an elastic band, the dowel rotates! The next step is to begin decorating their carousels, collecting resources from school and home. Watch this space for more updates soon!


November - Fitness
Year 6 participated in a fitness test this week in PE.  We tried a bleep test, where you run continuously between two points from side to side (like a shuttle run). The runs are synchronized with an audio track which plays bleeps at set intervals.  As the test goes on, the interval between each beep gets smaller, forcing pupils to increase their speed over the course of the test. As it is a multi-stage fitness test, children were encouraged to persevere and just try their best – recording themselves which stage they had reached. The girls and boys took part in groups, each trying to determine their endurance capacity in this exercise where they were not flat-out sprinting all the time. We will revisit it in a few weeks to see what we have learned about pacing and conserving energy and to see if our fitness levels have improved.


November - Position and Direction in Maths
This week, Year 6 have started to look at geometry in Maths. We had our first lesson using positional language; discussing the vocabulary of full (390°C), half (180°C) and quarter (90°C) turns. We had an active lesson where, after watching some athletic events like diving and gymnastics, we tried different rotations ourselves using some sporting equipment. We tried rolls and turns to change our positions, but also made it harder for ourselves by trying these whilst hula hooping or skipping. Some of us were able to turn better in a clockwise direction and others by going anti-clockwise.


November - 6.1’s Pen Pals in France
6.1 have been lucky enough to receive individual letters from a pen pal in France. The letters were written in English and included information about their age, hobbies, pets and families. We spent time in our French lessons carefully crafting our replies, thinking about all of the French phrases and vocabulary we have learnt since Year 3. After drafting our responses, we then wrote them up neatly, checking our spelling very carefully. The letters are now on their way to France and we can’t wait for them to arrive!


November - Carousels – Market Research
Year 6 met with Year 2 pupils this week in a bid to research what fairy-tales would make a good theme for their fairground ride. Each Year 6 child asked their Year 2 counterpart a series of questions linked to design (colour and material preferences) or fairy tales (favourite character, worst villain). Year 6 then formed groups to discuss their findings before making some compromises due to individual preferences but their carousel group have now decided upon an themed aesthetic for their rides.


November - Librarians
Our new librarians have been appointed! Excitingly these children will be the first to inhabit our new library.  They’re looking forward to the challenge and want as many pupils to benefit from our beautiful new reading space.


November - Mechanism for our carousel
This week in DT, we’ve moved on to trialling a motor and band mechanism (with the help of Snowy, of course!)  We looked at how a carousel turns and tried a few different options before settling on a wooden spool around a dowel.  The spool moves, but the dowel does not.  We’ll need to learn a little more about axels to help us.


November - Computing
Year 6 have been on the netbooks this week trialling different applications on Purple Mash.  We’ve enjoyed looking at programmes which help us create topic work, make pictograms and graphs and draw.  Snowy (our attendance bear) joined 6.2 as we’re delighted to have him with us all week! 


November - Electrical Circuits
To begin our new topic on Fairgrounds and Fairy-tales, Year 6 have been exploring the movement and mechanisms of fairground rides. We were then challenged to come up with a simple electrical circuit to turn on a motor and we have thought about how this might help us to create our own fairground rides in DT this half term.


October - Perseverance
In assemblies last half term, Mrs Peet spoke to us about perseverance.  This week, Year 6 have looked at a range of quotes which relate to all of our learning behaviours.  We got into groups to understand the quotes and linked them to our school learning behaviours of Working Together, Challenging Ourselves, Perseverance and Focus + Concentration.  We then realised that some of the quotes were linked to two or more behaviours! We created our own posters to show what we had found out – some were split into quarters and some made Venn diagrams. We highlighted our favourite quotes to inspire us!


October - WW2 Board Games
Over half term, Year 6 were set the challenge of coming up with a game to show off all the facts they had learned in our topic.  We had a wide variety of games in and we were able to spend some time this week playing each other’s games!


October - World War II Day – 18.10.17 
To celebrate the end our World War II topic, Year 6 enjoyed an experiential day where they participated in a range of exciting activities. These included  baking honey cakes with rationed ingredients, creating replica model spitfires, embroidering individual pieces of fabric to create our celebratory bunting and translating Morse code messages. In the afternoon, we had lots of fun dancing to traditional 1940s music! Later, parents came to join us for our VE Day street party and had a chance to look at our topic books, as well as sample our delicious jam sandwiches and honey cakes. Here are some of the children’s highlights: 

Callum: My favourite parts of WWII day were the dancing and seeing everyone’s costumes. I liked the dancing because of how funny and tiring it was. I enjoyed seeing costumes due to how realistic they looked and because people had also thought about smaller details like gas mask boxes, hats and identity labels. 

Alex: The most fun and realistic parts of WWII day were the incredibly fun and captivating baking and air raid drill events. In these activities, we could actually step into the lives of WWII evacuees and take part in their daily activities. 

Sienna: My favourite part was when we danced because it put a smile on everyone’s face and it was really fun! 

Asha: I loved the dancing because it was a fantastic way to get me into a joyful mood! I also enjoyed the Morse code activity because it was challenging but fun. 


October - Blitz Artwork
Year 6 used images of Britain in the aftermath of the Blitz to imagine and recreate a watercolour cityscape. We used what we already knew from Topic lessons to first practise drawing buildings of a skyline before, during and after the Blitz. Next, we use watercolours to wash a large sheet of paper with colour, mixing and using our own colours. Finally, we used black paper to cut our skyline, having drawn it out with pencil. We think the finished product looks lovely!


October - Performing in Gymnastics
To finish our gymnastics unit on symmetry and asymmetry, we joined forces with students across classes and practised, performed and perfected these routines.  There were some outstanding ‘challenge yourself’ behaviours being shown and wonderful teamwork across the year group.  Well done to everyone!


October - Swing and Big Band music
In music lessons this half term we have been learning to identify swing instruments and discussing different performance styles. As our topic is WW2 we have been developing an understanding of the history of music. This week, we have been following a walking bass line in Glenn Miller’s A String of Pearls and playing syncopated rhythms on the glockenspiels.


October - Science - refraction
Furthering our learning in our current topic of Light; Year 6 this week looked at how an image changes when you look at it through a glass of water! It was incredible!




October - House Captains
Our new House Captains have just been appointed!  These are the faces you will see organising events, helping adults out around school and these are the great examples of behaviour and learning that you could follow. Do ask them if you need anything!


October - Sports Captains
We have just announced new Sports Captains for this year! You’ll see them helping Mr Alexander with lunchtime clubs, leading house sporting tournaments and even refereeing matches. They are all sports enthusiasts and are happy to help with all your sporting questions!


September - Science – Periscopes
In our science topic of light, we have been looking at sources, how light travels, how the eye processes light and this week we have focussed on angles.  The children made a periscope to show how mirrors can reflect light. When you look an object, you see it because the light from the sun or a lamp reflects off the object and goes into your eye.  If the object is round a corner, you can't see it anymore because the light reflecting off the object can't get into your eye. That's why you need a periscope.
Ummayya said ‘when light shines on mirrors it can reflect back to your eyes. I learned that the angle is very important when you’re making a periscope as if the mirror is in the wrong place you won’t be able to see anything! A periscope uses mirrors to reflect the light from the object around the corner and into your eye.’


September - Duxford - 26.9.17
On Tuesday, Year 6 went to Duxford Imperial War Museum to learn more about their current topic, World War II. We explored three different hangars, looking at a range of vehicles (land and air) and recreations of war scenes, including the A.R.P warden setting the time for the blackout, a family inside an Anderson shelter and life for soldiers in the trenches. The children followed trails made by Miss Mc and Miss T and worked in pairs to complete challenges around the exhibits. Everyone had a great day and some were disappointed that we couldn't spend longer there!


September - Gymnastics - Symmetry & Aysymmetry
Year 6 have been enjoying joint P.E lessons exploring different symmetrical and asymmetrical shapes. We have been working in partners and groups of four to create our own sequences which include a range of shapes, balances, rolls and movements.


September - Maths in Year 6
Year 6 have started the year with an extremely positive attitude towards maths! Miss Thurston's class have been reading and ordering numbers up to one hundred million; working out which celebrities have the highest number of Twitter followers. They used their whiteboards to draw place value grids which helped them to sort such huge numbers. In Miss McIlveen's class, children have been solving a variety of multiplication calculations and then applied this knowledge to a game called '4 in a line'. They had to find the answers to multiplication calculations and then place their counter on that number - whoever got 4 counters in a row was the winner!


September - Author Visit
Years 4, 5 and 6 were delighted to meet authors Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler who came to school to talk about their new book series ‘Defender of the Realm’,  a fantasy adventure books series for 8-12 year olds . Both guests are Emmy award winning scriptwriters of top children’s shows such as Danger Mouse, Thunderbirds Are Go, Peter Rabbit, The Octonauts, Shaun the Sheep and more.
The writers discussed their career as scriptwriters for television and revealed their writing processes.  We were even taught some Norse, a language used by the Vikings, which features  in the book. Afterwards, the children asked thoughtful questions which helped them to gain an insight into an author’s life.


September - World War II
This half term Year 6 are studying World War II and its impact on Britain. We have started investigating poignant events throughout the war and how life in Britain changed; during and after the end of the war. In Art, we are looking at Paul Nash’s work and focusing on what this tells us about the war. In RE we will question ‘Is war ever just?’ and in English we have started the topic by reading about Anne Frank. This week we’ve looked at excerpts of her diary and have used this knowledge to create our own biographies.  We are very much looking forward to a trip to Duxford Imperial War Museum soon as well as our themed WWII experience day at the end of the half term!

2016 - 17  

First Aid
In the last few weeks of term, all 3 Year 6 classes have had a whole day’s training in First Aid. We believe that this is hugely important in equipping them with the confidence and skills to help those who need it as well as the potential to save a life – a very powerful skill to learn before they leave us!  The children all enjoyed the day; learning about a broad range of topics such as asthma, allergic reactions, burns and scalds, seizures, low blood sugar, head injuries and severe bleeding. They also practised how to put on bandages, put someone in the recovery position, and discussed how to treat for shock. It was a very worthwhile day for them.


Mystery at Magpie Manor
Later Years wowed audiences with the production ‘Magpie Manor’, a whodunit set in the 1920’s. Lord and Lady Pica have an auction and ball in order to raise money for the run-down manor. Whilst everyone is preparing for the ball, the famous ‘Pica-pica solid silver pitcher with a magpie picture’ went missing. With help from Agatha Christie, they solved the mystery and had a great song and dance to celebrate.


Grafham Water
Year 6 ventured to Grafham Water for an exciting 3-day residential trip. Here, they got to try a huge range of adventure activities which included: raft building, windsurfing, sailing, kayaking, climbing, high ropes, archery, and learning survival skills to name a few. Year 6 were extremely courageous as they thoroughly enjoyed trying new activities and staying away from home for 2 nights. 

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Year 6 were invited to join members of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at The Netherhall School to compose music alongside Year 10. Year 6 experienced how melodies were created by single instruments and how other instruments in the orchestra were gradually layered on top to create a piece of music. The children composed harmonies with their voices and played their bodies as percussion to add to the pieces that were created. Year 6 were then invited to perform their composed music with the full Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Corn Exchange on Saturday 17th June, which they all thought was an amazing experience.

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