Year 6 is the final year in Key Stage 2 and brings primary school education to an end. It is an important year with many exciting challenges and learning opportunities. As well as preparing the children for the SATs examinations, it is an important year in terms of helping them to prepare for the transition in to secondary education. The positions of responsibility and the requirement to develop independence and organisational skills are a crucial part of the Year 6 experience. Year 6 are now considered to be the role models in the school, actively following in the footsteps of St. Joseph and representing the school at many key events.
It is an important year, which brings together the key skills developed throughout Key Stage 1 and 2 in English and Mathematics. It is imperative that the children develop a work ethic, which enables them to reach their full potential.
Lessons will focus on: Reading, Writing, Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar as well as Spoken Language/Drama.
Extreme Earth: Earthquakes and Volcanoes
In this topic, the children will learn all about earthquakes and volcanoes. Inspired by a powerful image, they will plan and write their own disaster stories, using sensory description and crafted dialogue. They will also learn how to analyse, plan, write and edit a newspaper article about the Nepal earthquake, including creating interviews with witnesses.
Living Things and Their Habitats: Sir David Attenborough
In this topic, the children will learn all about living things and their habitats. They will read and respond to fictional communications between their class and Sir David Attenborough. They will learn how to plan and write attraction leaflets, and respond to formal letters by planning and writing their own letters. Finally, they will use drama role play in a debate in order to immerse themselves in the issues facing fictional and real-life characters.
Space: The Golden Record
In this topic, the children will learn all about the Voyager missions launched by NASA in 1977 and the Golden Records they carried aboard. They will use the concept of sounds and images representing Earth to select their own representative images and attempt to persuade NASA of the value of their choices. They will also revise the features of letter writing and create non-chronological reports with the information they have learned.
The World: The Strangest Shop in the World
In this series of lessons, children will be introduced to a descriptive writing task through a 'Choose Your Own Adventure Story' created for the unit. They will then be given the opportunity to identify areas for development in their descriptive writing before returning to their original piece of writing to edit and improve it. Following this, they will complete the sequence by extending and continuing the story.
Explorers: Dreams & Anders Arnfield
In this topic, the children will investigate ‘Dreams’, in the contexts of both fiction and non-fiction. After exploring some factual research about why we dream, they will write an information (discussion) text by first planning and developing initial ideas, then drafting. They will analyse and discuss extracts of the story, 'The Dual World of Anders Arnfield', using these to plan and write tweets, blogs and postcards from the perspective of a character. Finally, they will build their own stories based on the links between dreams and reality.
Animals: The Tyger
In this topic children begin with the poetry-based lessons discussing and evaluating the classic poem, The Tyger by William Blake. After analysing language and effectiveness and using this as a stimulus, they plan and write their own tiger poems, building descriptive language and potential rhyming into their drafts. Building on the tiger theme, children then look at a new text, The Tiger Hunters, before planning and writing a recount from the tiger’s point view. Finally, with some knowledge and understanding of the tiger’s modern plight for survival, children look at information about the endangered creature and create their own persuasive adverts for a fictional charity to save the tiger.
Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar will be incorporated in to English lessons but will also be taught in standalone sessions throughout the school week. A grammar guidance booklet can be located on the school useful guidance on the school website.
Children in Year 6 will be sitting an English grammar, punctuation and spelling test.
Paper 1, the short-answer questions, consists of between 40 and 50 questions assessing grammar, punctuation and vocabulary. Each question is worth one or two marks with a total for the paper of 50 marks.
The questions are:
selected response items (such as multiple choice questions) or
short, open response items, in which children may have to write a word, a few words or a sentence.
Paper 2, the spelling task, consists of 20 sentences, which are read aloud by the test administrator. Each sentence has a word missing which the child must complete. The task is worth a total of 20 marks.
Spelling is an important skill to master and is one which is constantly used throughout our lives. Due to the usage of computers and the development of ‘text speak’ it is a skill which has suffered in recent years. End of year spellings are printed at the front of the home/school book. Working through these spellings will help prepare your child for the spelling sections in the SATs papers and will continue to help develop a lifelong skill. The children will be set weekly spellings. Spellings will be given each Monday and tested on Friday of the same week. It is important to practise these spellings daily in order to help with long term recall.
Helping your child with spelling
When we write we have to consider a number of aspects.
We need to know what the purpose of our writing is and for whom we are writing.
• We need to think about the content and what form our writing will take, for example, is it a shopping list, a report, a letter to a friend, an email?
• We then need to think about the structure appropriate to the purpose and form of our writing – the use of sentences, paragraphs and punctuation.
• We then select the vocabulary that will best convey our meaning.
• And finally we think about how to spell the words we write.
Children can find writing a real challenge; they need encouragement, support and praise for their efforts. You can best support them by encouraging them to write on every possible occasion, praising their efforts and, importantly, by letting them see you writing whenever possible. You can play word games with them (e.g. I spy, Find the word puzzles), you can point to interesting or new words as you read to your child (without interrupting the flow of the story) and you can compose emails together. Most of us, even if we consider ourselves to be good spellers, make spelling mistakes at some point. What is important is that we know what to do when we get stuck and we know how to correct our mistakes. The English language is a rich but complex language but, despite its complexity, 85% of the English spelling system is predictable. Your child will learn the rules and conventions of the system and the spelling strategies needed to become a confident speller.
Here are some of the strategies that will help your child become a confident and accurate speller:
• sounding words out: breaking the word down into phonemes (e.g. c-a-t, sh-e-ll) – many words cannot be sounded out so other strategies are needed;
• dividing the word into syllables, say each syllable as they write the word (e.g. re-mem-ber);
• using the Look, say, cover, write, check strategy: look at the word and say it out aloud, then cover it, write it and check to see if it is correct. If not, highlight or underline the incorrect part and repeat the process;
• using mnemonics as an aid to memorise a tricky words (e.g. people: people eat orange peel like elephants);
• finding words within words (e.g. a rat in separate);
• making links between the meaning of words and their spelling (e.g. sign, signal, signature) – this strategy is used at a later stage than others;
• working out spelling rules for themselves – a later strategy;
• using a dictionary as soon as they know how to. Encourage your child to have a go at spelling words they are unsure of. This will give them the opportunity to try out spelling strategies and to find those that they find useful. You can help them to use the strategies outlined above and praise their efforts.
In Year 6 we will continue to develop mental, written and problem solving skills in Mathematics. There is a greater emphasis on knowledge and application of Mathematical language and this language will be referred to frequently in lessons.
Problem solving, has been a central focus in Mathematics in recent years. The aim of problem solving activities is to help prepare children for Mathematics in ‘real-life’ contexts. I would encourage you to continue this at home by exploring Mathematics when cooking or shopping, for example.
Mathletics will continue to be a central part of homework in Year 6. A weekly target of points will be set, occasionally with a specific focus, as well as set online tasks. Usage of Mathletics is regularly monitored and is used to assess your child’s progress throughout the year. It has proven to be highly effective when used daily to close gaps in Mathematical knowledge.
It is a government expectation that all children know their multiplication and division facts at the end of Year 4. In Year 6 it important to continue to practise times tables in order to ensure fast recall of both multiplication and division facts. Daily revision is required.
Homework will consist of English and Mathematics written work and/or online English and Maths tasks.
Children will occasionally be set an additional research homework.
Please ensure that all work is presented neatly.
Homework must be completed in the homework book provided, unless otherwise stated, and set out with a date and title.
It is important that the children learn to present their work to a high standard, taking pride in the work that they have produced. It is an expectation that homework is handed in/completed each week, as it is a consolidation of the work covered in class. We will review the homework in class on Thursday afternoons.
Homework Club will be every Monday – children have access to laptops, i-Pads, books and equipment.
Key Stage 2 Tests
Key Stage 2 tests are part of Year 6. The children are prepared for these tests with the work they carry out as they progress through Key Stage 2. Targets will be discussed throughout the year, as well as work, which could be revised at home.
Tests will commence on the week beginning the 11th May 2020.
English, Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar Test. (Test 1 – short questions and Test 2 – spelling test)
English Reading Test
Mathematics Test (Paper 1: Arithmetic, Paper 2: Reasoning and Paper 3: Reasoning)
Bikeability begins 8th-11th October 2019
Business Enterprise Week – Week beginning 14th October 2019
Mock SATs Week – January 2020
Ski Trip – 8th-14th February 2020
Year 6 Class Mass – 5th March 2020
SATS Week – 11th May 2020
Class Assembly – 17th June 2020
Isle of Wight – 13th July 2020
Leavers Mass – 23rd July 2020 at 09:30
Trip to Parliament - TBC
Here are some items that would be useful for your child to have. These are suggested only. Most of these items are in school, although children often like to choose their own things.
Pencil Case – pencils, rubber, sharpener, ink pen (blue), coloured pencils, highlighter, protractor, compass etc. Blue friction pens are permitted.
Pocket sized dictionary and thesaurus – highly recommended!
Watch – so that they can effectively manage their time.
Homework folder – to transport their homework to and from school.
I look forward to teaching the class in Year 6. Thank you for your anticipated support. I am available most days after school should you have any concerns/queries. Alternatively an appointment can be made via the school office or arranged through the home school book.