We hope this end of Spring term blog finds you well!
Here is a round up of our week at school!
When writing these blogs we often find we don't include every curriculum subject as there would just be so much, but Miss Boyce teaches our R.E. and music lessons on a Wednesday. Therefore, she has given us a brief overview of what Year 6 have been learning in music and R.E this term. Thank you, Miss Boyce!
In RE this term, Year 6 have been exploring the question ‘Are science and creation conflicting or complementary’. We have recapped the book of Genesis and compared our own ideas about creation with those set out in the bible. We learnt that many Christians find science and faith can complement each, by seeing the bible as allegorical. We have been exploring artistic impressions of the big bang and the Christian creation story. We are looking forward to interviewing Reverend Spence next term! Year 6 have some very insightful thoughts and are becoming very good at justifying and expanding upon their ideas – we have had some great discussions this term!
In music, we have used the theme of waves to create music. We have been appraising the work of Mendelssohn and further developing improvisation and composition skills. We have been focusing on pitch, dynamics and texture in our compositions.
The children have been learning to:
In Maths we have been recapping how to find the volume of shapes, reading and interpreting graphs, finding out about the 'mean' in averages and about the four quadrants, focusing on co ordinates, translation and reflection.
Over the last couple of weeks in science we have been learning about speed and kinetic energy. We understand now that speed doesn't just refer to going fast but that it is the measure of the time taken to cover a distance. We carried out an investigation to measure our speed over a distance of 20 metres using the formula: speed = distance covered/time taken. We also carried out some research to find out which are the fastest (and slowest) animals in the world. the fastest being the peregrine falcon which can dive at speeds of up to 390km/h. The following lesson was about kinetic energy (the energy stored in moving objects). We realised that a lorry travelling at the same speed as a small car has far more kinetic energy and we can understand this because we can imagine the difference in the impact if the lorry collided with something compared to the impact of the car. We therefore understood that kinetic energy is affected by the speed and the mass of an object. We calculated the kinetic energy in different examples using the formula: KE=0.5 x mv². As you can tell, we are covering some challenging topics in science this term, but the children are showing a good understanding of these complex ideas.
We are always impressed with the children's use of language in our class and the way they are able to draw on a good vocabulary and apply these ideas to their own writing. This is due in no small part to their love of reading at home and to listening to the class novel(s) at school. They have been using this expressive (including figurative) language to complete the poems they started last week and to begin writing a story sequel to The Promise. We are encouraging them to show off their writing skills including using a range of punctuation and grammatical forms and giving them the time to really carefully proof-read their writing for correct spelling and grammatical sense. We are getting close now to the time when we will have to look through a collection of their work to decide upon their writing levels and it is important that they are always writing with focus, skill and stamina and to the best of their ability.
This term, our lessons have been about media literacy and digital resilience focussing on social media and online images and relationships. In this week's lesson we began the 'Selfie Project' where each child has taken a selfie of themselves or with their friend. All of these selfies have been stuck into our life skills book where the children can then write positive comments about their friends and peers. The idea of this, is to challenge the traditional view of what beauty is and to help them see that they are all beautiful and that being yourself and being different is really what beauty is all about. This idea was inspired by this video clip which we watched in the lesson. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFkm1Hg4dTI
Well done to the Year 6 Festival of Hope football team, who took part in the tournament held at Okehampton College. They played very well, were competitive but showed great sportsmanship and most of all were polite and respectful. They won 3 out of their 4 matches, with plenty of goals from many of our players! During our P.E. lessons we had a change of plan due to the weather! We played some team games involving crossing an imaginary toxic river and then bench ball. The children really enjoy playing these games and it's great ti see them working as a team!
This week has been as busy as ever, with various assemblies, meetings about SATS and sporting events. Thank you to those of you who attended parents evening and also managed to come to the information evening. The relevant information can now be found on our class dojo pages. I am sure we are all looking forwards to some time at home to enjoy the lighter evenings, the warmer weather (we can hope!) and time with our families! Happy Easter everyone, we will see you in the Summer term!
Thank you for your continued support as we venture into the last term of your child's primary school education!
This week has been another busy week and I am sure we are all looking forwards to a little break over the Easter holidays.
This week we wrote poems about seasons using figurative language such as similes and metaphors. Can you guess which season this is? Like a kiss, the snow falls on the bare limbs of trees, A thick, white blanket covers the earth, And nature sleeps beneath. Brown branches bare no fruit. But life is stored within.
The children had to make sure they started a line in their poem with a simile using ‘as’ or ‘like’ , used personification (attributes of humans), used metaphor e.g. a whiteblanket, used ambitious vocabulary – thesaurus and wrote their poem in lines using punctuation at the end of each line.
We then continued with our class text, ‘The Promise’, where we planned and began to write our own sequels to this wonderful story. If you wish to see the story, here is the link The Promise - Full Film - YouTube.
This week we learnt about percentages. We looked at equivalent fractions, decimals and percentages, finding fractions of an amount and using percentages in problem solving that involved one or two steps. At the end of the week we also had a lesson on finding the area of any triangle using the formula: ½ base x perpendicular height and also finding the area of a parallelogram using the formula base x height.
In French this week we continued with our focus on eating breakfast but incorporated a small writing assessment to see how much progress the children had made. The children had to read sentences in English and write them out in French. They also had to read a short passage (a letter) and respond in French, using a checklist as they went. The children have made so much progress in French and for me, the best thing about this, is seeing their confidence grow to have a go, and not be afraid of making a mistake!
We have continued with our DT unit with a focus on sewing and the added theme of Easter! We began three weeks ago by designing an Easter Egg, that included the first letter of our name and then designed any added extras! We used this design to begin making a template for drawing around onto felt, which we then cut out and used a blanket stitch to fasten together. Today, we made sure we stuffed our egg and stitched it back together safely and neatly. This involved lots of perseverance and patience (from both staff and children!) but they are really starting to come together.
Year 7 Book Club Transition Activity
On Thursday afternoon Miss H and Mrs Skelton from Okehampton college visited us with a group of Year 7 students as part of their in school book club and transitional project. They shared bits of a Year 7 text (Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief) and together they summarised, questioned and clarified what they had read in order to form opinions about the text. The children worked in small groups and discussed their ideas. It was lovely to see three past pupils in that group and I know we have a brilliant group of readers this year, many of which may like the opportunity to join a book club in future!
Mrs Ware took part in the first parents evening of the two and I will look forwards to seeing you next week for the second part on Thursday 30th March. We also have our SATS information evening on Tuesday 28th (next week) where we hope to see as many of you as possible in the classroom.
Next Friday 31st March, the children who are going on the residential will also be taking part in an online assembly with other children attending to find out a bit more information about what the trip will look like, travelling arrangements, daily activities etc.
Thank you for reading! Have a wonderful weekend!
This week has been a busy week combining Science Week, Assessment/Progress Week and fitting in a Strike day as well.
Assessment Week/Progress Week
This week saw us undertake a ‘mock SATS week’ in school for the children in preparation for their actual SATS in seven week time; as well as measure the progress they have made since the start of the Spring term. This has been an incredibly important week for the children, and one we would like them to take seriously as the end of Year 6 draws near. This is the children’s chance to show off an accumulation of all they have learnt during their time in primary school in maths, reading, spelling punctuation and grammar enabling them to feel very proud of themselves. Any areas, that we feel need revising or reteaching, we will plan into our final few weeks accordingly or group the children together for group work. Our SATS meeting on Tuesday 28th March, will be a great opportunity for us to talk to you about this week and how we use this (as well as previous assessments) to inform our planning, preparation and support. At this time, we also fully appreciate any support you can give your child too. The SATS meeting will include details of SATS week, breakfast club, types of questions the children are asked, how they are scored/assessed, support and logistics.
On Monday we took part in a 'Physics Olympics' with Year 5. There were several challenges including building the tallest tower using newspaper, the longest marble run and constructing a boat from tin foil to float as many coins as possible before sinking. The children used their scientific and cooperative skills with varying degrees of success! On Tuesday we had a visit from the 'Don't let Devon go to waste' team who talked to us about recycling in Devon with a focus on composting. The children had the opportunity to explore the minibeasts that turn organic waste into compost. This week we also learnt about power (the amount of energy transferred per second) and how to calculate it. We thought about what questions we would like to ask the space scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock who we had a live streamed virtual visit from on Friday.
This week we looked at the question, "What does globalisation have to do with fashion?" We started off by looking at how the clothes industry has changed in recent years and advantages and disadvantages of these changes. We discussed 'fast fashion' (when clothes are made poorly and cheaply leading to a throw away society) and linked this with sustainability. We investigated the idea that clothes are much cheaper to import and be manufactured in different, often less developed countries and the disadvantages of this on the world but also on people living in these countries and we also read a true story about a clothing factory in Bangladesh that collapsed and killed over 1000 people. From this came discussions of exploitation, inequality and what we can do to change this in the future. The children were shocked to learn that the average wage for a woman working in a clothes factory for a whole year in Bangladesh , is less than what the average person can earn here in the UK in a month!
In French this week we continued with our focus on eating breakfast. We continued with learning about the question, ‘what do you have for breakfast?’ (Qu’est-ce que tu manges au petit déjeuner) and focused on how we might answer, (Au petit dejeuner je mange un croissant parce que c’est tres sucre) giving reasons for our choices. We then played matching games where we had to match the French food to it’s English translation and also label the breakfast foods in French.
We have continued with our DT unit with a focus on sewing and the added theme of Easter! We began two weeks ago by designing an Easter Egg, that included the first letter of our name and then designed any added extras! We used this design to begin making a template for drawing around onto felt, which today we cut out and used a blanket stitch to fasten together. Next week we will finish sewing together and adding any extras on.
Thank you for reading! Enjoy your weekend.
Here is a brief overview of our week in Year 6.
"Be the change that you wish to see in the world" Mahatma Gandhi
We began the week by talking about Gandhi and his quote and what he meant by it - this links to our new text, The Promise by Nicola Davies. The book covers themes of environment and responsibility and in it a girl makes a promise which changes the world for her and the people around her. We talked about promises we could make that would have the same impact and how difficult it would be to keep them. We wrote a list of promises using modal verbs (would, should, could, might, can, will...) We then looked at how Nicola Davies uses figurative language to describe the environments in the story and we then imitated how she did this by developing our own expanded noun phrases, similes, metaphor and personification. I was really impressed with some of the skilful use of language employed by the children to create imagery of their own.
We began the week by solving problems using decimals in a context involving money, measures and time. We then moved onto looking at fraction and decimal equivalents and fractions as division. We ended the week by understanding what percentages are and how they link to fractions and decimals.
In science we learnt about wasted energy (the energy produced by an appliance or machine that is not needed and therefore wasted) For example, sound and heat energy produced by a car, or heat energy produced by a light bulb. The children experienced this by making an electrical circuit with a bulb so they could see the useful energy produced(light energy) but also feel that the bulb got warm which was wasted heat energy. We then learnt how to measure efficiency by using a formula.
We asked the question, "How does globalisation affect trade?" We learnt about imports and exports and also discussed different scenarios across the world and how trade had changed due to globalisation.
We continued learning how to use spreadsheets and this week, learnt how to use formulas to calculate in a spreadsheet.
We used our oracy skills in our life skills lesson to discuss a scenario on social media. We talked about the reasons why some people use social media to present themselves and the things they do in a way which is not actually true to life. We then identified some celebrities by using more honest profiles.
Next week we have an assessment week and the week after that, we have parents/carers evening where we can talk to you about the progress your child has made in recent months. Please book an appointment to see us, we would love to see as many of you as possible.
Have a good weekend! Mrs Ware and Miss Ruby.
Good afternoon everyone,
We hope this weekly blog finds everyone well. Here is a round up of our week together in Year 6!
We have started a new unit this week, focusing on the short animation, 'Megacity'. The children were asked to recap/retell the story using Year 6 expectations with regards to punctuation, vocabulary choices, tense and sentence structure. It was also World Book day on Wednesday where we had a great array of characters in class. Well done Year 6!
This week in maths we have continued with our learning about decimals. We have mainly focused on multiplying and dividing decimals by 10, 100 and 1000 and looked at what happens when we do this, particularly using place value charts or Gattegno charts. We also focused on multiplying and dividing decimals by integers. Next week we begin our unit on percentages and will continue to look at the link between fractions, decimals, and percentages.
In our Geography lesson this week, our learning question was, "How has globalisation changed the way we communicate? We began by looking at ways in which we communicate and how these have changed over time from pigeons, telegrams, Morse code, phone boxes to mobile phones. We then looked at Internet usage across the world and compared usage across continents. We analysed maps using a key and completed bar charts using data from it. A key part of this was discussing reasons for this variation across the world and answering the question "globalisation has involved the expansion of the internet and this means an increase in numbers of people that are connected to the internet and rely on the internet. What are the advantages and disadvantages of internet usage?".
In French this week we continued with our focus on eating breakfast. We continued with learning about the question, ‘what do you have for breakfast?’ (Qu’est-ce que tu manges au petit déjeuner) and focused on how we might answer, (Au petit dejeuner je mange un croissant parce que c’est tres sucre) giving reasons for our choices. We then played a game with a partner where we had to fill in the missing words by listening to what they said about breakfasts.
The children continued with tag rugby taught by Coach Edwards.
We have begun our DT unit with a focus on sewing and the added theme of Easter! We began by designing an Easter Egg, that included the first letter of our name and then designed any added extras! We used this design to begin making a template for drawing around onto felt, which we will then cut out and use a blanket stitch to fasten together.
Welcome to the blog of Sycamore Class at North Tawton Primary School