J Francis: January 2017
This week our Year 6 Newsfeed comes from our fabulous football team! We have had a great week and together the boys have written about all aspects of it as well as the term as a whole... settle down with a cup of tea — they have plenty to tell you!
Journeys by Ben
This term the whole-school topic is called 'Journeys'. Year 6 actually started work on this before Christmas when we had an art day to create materials for our brilliant display in the hall. The main book we will be reading is Sky Hawk by Gill Lewis. This is a story about the journey of an Osprey and the children who help her. We are just at the start of the book but so far a girl called Iona has been caught stealing fish from a stream with just her bare hands! We are waiting to see what will happen to her. We analysed the prologue of Sky Hawk and used it as a model to write our own prologue in a different setting. In our version a bird flew over the Wrenbury countryside and we described the aerial view. This inspired us to do some patchwork and, because we had no green fabric, we dyed some by hand to create different shades and patterns. In non-fiction writing we researched different migratory animals and wrote group reports about them. Penguins were one of these animals — they make a long journey from the sea, where they feed, to inland breeding grounds. We read the book Solo by Paul Geraghty, which tells of this journey.
Sky Hawk presents many cross-curricular opportunities — it is set in Scotland and Africa so allows us to study these very different places. The characters use Google Earth and GPS tracking systems to follow the Osprey's journey and we hope to do a similar thing. I hope we will also lean to cook some typical dishes from these two regions — anyone know how to make haggis?
Literacy by Harry
Throughout Year 6, we have learnt all about non-fiction writing as well as fiction in Literacy. We enjoyed learning all about non-chronological reports and newspapers in the autumn term. Now we are focusing on stories and developing our descriptive language. We are currently reading 'The Lost Happy Endings' and will be imitating its style and structure to write our own fairytale that weaves in ideas from The Snow Queen as well as using our own original ideas. This story has rich language and has given us inspiration to unlock our creativity and improve our sentences. I believe I speak for the whole class when I say Year 6 are enjoying their literacy lessons!
Thank you Harry!
This term our key text is Sky Hawk but we are also using a wide range of other texts to inspire writing and give us the skills that we need to meet expected standards. Some of the children have asked why I 'model' writing at the front of the class before asking the children to write themselves; this is a well-established teaching technique that helps pupils to really see what they need to do and understand the skills and techniques involved. This is an extract from Chloe's writing that was the result of this teaching technique:
Maths by Charlie
In our maths lessons Base 5 have covered many topics already this year. We have done: long-division, negative numbers, rounding, properties of circles (diameter, radius, pi etc), triangles, fractions, sequences, converying measures, place value, percentages and decimals... phew! We are also doing a few tests here and there to get ready for SATs but most of us like maths so enjoy the challenge! Everyday Mrs Francis pushes us to our limit so that we learn everything that we can fit into our heads.
Thank you Charlie!
Goodness me.... But I can't deny it — we have high expectations of the children in maths and they seem to thrive on it! When we begin each new topic we also teach 'steps for success' and add these to our 'Learning Wall'. We then move through fluency, reasoning and problem solving to develop deep understanding and provide the opportunity for the class to apply their learning. This 'journey' develops at a different speed for different children and we vary the support provided for different groups so no-one should ever be out of their depth. We are constantly assessing using techniques like 'ABCD cards', 'Exit Tickets', and 'Numbered Heads Together' amongst others, to see what each child's next step is. Our aim is for all children to be stretched within a zone that is comfortable for them — this will lead to the most learning.
RE by Raf
Last term — before Christmas — we researched some charities: Oxfam, Christian Aid, Tearfund, Send a Cow and Barnardo's. Each group created their own PowerPoint based on what their charity does. We were also able to design our very own charity, which we really enjoyed!
This term we are learning about Islam. In the first lesson, Mrs Clarke asked us to build a temple with 5 pillars... out of biscuits! The temple fell down if even one of the 5 pillars was removed and this helped us the understand how the pillars of Islam are all dependent on each other.
Mrs Clarke puts a great deal of energy and enthusiasm into her RE lessons. The children often do practical activities as well as using ICT. They get the opportunity to work in groups and really discuss and debate the ideas and concepts they are learning about. The lessons give them an excellent insight into different religions as well as developing their empathy and supporting PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education). If you get the chance, pop into school to look at the beautiful RE study books that Mrs Clarke creates with each class. Thank you Mrs Clarke!
PE by Ben
Over the past two weeks in PE, we have been playing football and rugby and focusing on kicking skills. In the first week we played at football match at the end of the lesson; Naomi and Joe were team captains. It was a great game and the final score was a draw — 4:4! In the second week we played rugby in the freezing cold. We started by tracking each other in partners by tagging the person with the ball. At the end of the lesson some of the boys went to practice for the Futsal competition.
Thank you Ben!
The children really enjoy their PE and Mr Ellis is really skilled in involving them all and encouraging all abilities. He chooses a star pupil at the end of each lesson and they get to choose the warm up game for the following week — the class love this! Setting up dates with Mr Sargeant for the extra PE sessions has not been easy (there seems to be so much going on in school at the moment!) but we have managed to plan in 3 Monday afternoons of PE for Year 6 before the half term holiday. There are also many tournaments going on at the moment and everyone in the class is doing something: basketball, dodgeball, football... the list goes on! Miss Phillips starts her Cross Country Running Club this week too, which I know several Year 6 pupils will take part in.
Please read Mr Sargeant's newsfeed to find out how the boys got on at the football match (reported by Ollie)...
Paul Geraghty by Joe
On Thursday 19th January, Paul Geraghty (who is an author/illustrator) visited Wrenbury Primary School. He has written at least 20 books and has illustrated all of them himself. Pupils were able to buy a signed book at the end of the day and many did. Paul taught us how to draw expressions on faces and talked to us about some of his books. He also did a workshop with us to help us 'loosen up' for writing. He used music and images to help spark ideas.
Thank you Joe!
We certainly had a great day with Paul Geraghty; the children were buzzing with inspiration afterwards. As a school, it is important for us to capitalize on this energy and excitement and all classes read several of Paul's books and completed follow-up work to build on the day. Examples of these and photographs from the day will be displayed in the school hall later this week — we hope you get the chance to come in to have a look on our 'Parent Sharing' afternoon.
I recently discussed homework with my class. There were a variety of opinions, with some children asking for more homework and others begging for less but together we agreed to add in an extra homework this half term — to write a story. Initially this was left wide open for the children and one or two have begun (or even finished) the story. However, Paul Geraghty gave us a story idea last week that the class could use if they choose. In this idea the main character is expecting a gift and they have high hopes for something exciting and special. When the gift arrives, it is a crashing disappointment, and the unwanted item is discarded. However, as night falls, the child realizes that there is more to this item then they realized and a wonderful adventure begins. Good luck with whatever storyline you choose — please hand them in before the half term holiday.
Enjoy the rest of the weekend and I'll see you tomorrow!
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