Did the summer holiday really happen? It’s as if we’ve never been away! Well, that is apart from the 29 fresh faces, bright eyed, eager to learn and hanging on Mr. Hurdman’s every word. Well, perhaps not quite…
Anyway, the new school year has begun and it was straight into the action in Y6. We’ve covered so much already! Here’s a brief summary of what we’re up to during Terms 1 and 2:
“Small minds discuss persons. Average minds discuss events. Great minds discuss ideas. Really great minds discuss mathematics.”
In mathematics the class have already made significant progress working with negative numbers. We’ve set up ‘Sumdog’ accounts to practise our mental maths skills too. In addition to this we will soon begin work on a new season of F1 Maths. Hopefully Mr. Hurdman won’t lose too many times though as he’ll be in a foul mood for the entire year if he does! We’ve also carried out an assessment of times-tables knowledge. This children had 5 seconds to recall a selection of tables facts from x2 up to x10 (and beyond). A few children still need to brush up on a few facts or learn tables completely. This will therefore be homework for many children for a few weeks. For most children, simply chanting the tables (e.g. one six is six, two sixes are twelve etc…) a few times a day will work wonders. It only takes a minute to do this too! Check out this simple maths training game at http://www.mathsisfun.com/numbers/images/math-trainer.swf Even if you know your facts, this will help you speed up even more! Year six maths will be much easier and much more fun if you know these basic facts so LEARN THEM! For 99% of children there is no excuse!
English work this year will focus quite substantially on punctuation and grammar, as well as a variety of genres. Mrs. Arnold is also working with the class on a weekly basis during term 1, focussing on this aspect of writing every Thursday morning. Main English topics include our current theme of ‘Recount Writing’ (focussing on diary entries), ‘Fiction Genres’ and ‘The Power of Imagery’ (poetry).
We have almost worked through the class reading individually. Everyone will usually read with an adult either in a group or individually (or both) on a weekly basis. The children are still expected to be reading at home on a regular basis. This doesn’t have to take the form of reading a school reading book to an adult though. It could be a magazine, newspaper, news articles on the web and so on. In fact, the more variety, the better! However, reading books will not be changed unless records have been signed by an adult in the previous seven days.
EXTRA MATHS AND ENGLISH
Over the course of the week, just about every child in the class will have the opportunity to do extra Mathematics or Reading work with one (or more) of a number of school adults. This may be because we feel you are capable of even more with a little ‘encouragement’ or might be because we feel you need an extra challenge. As you will see, its not just those who find things tricky who receive extra support!
Staying safe with communications technology has been a big focus in our initial Computing topic, with considerable time spent looking at the advantages, disadvantages and dangers of using text messaging, e-mail, the internet, chat rooms and social messaging sites. The school will be undergoing an extensive ‘under-the-hood’ ICT refresh mid-October, but forthcoming Computing topics look very exciting indeed – more details will follow soon once we are happy the new system is stable!
Our first Science topic in Term 1 is ‘Electricity’. During this short unit we will be revising the construction of circuits and the use of the correct symbols to represent these. You may be aware that many National Curriculum topics have changed this year, but in order to ensure the children don’t miss any important topics during this transition period we will also still be looking at (or should that be listening to) a unit on ‘Sound’ at the end of Term 1/beginning of Term 2.
Most of the Y6 topic foci are completely new for this year. During Term 1 we will investigate one of the most significant ancient civilisations – the Maya (although in fact this Central-American civilisation existed from 3000BC up until almost 1700AD!). This fascinating topic includes historical skills, geographical skills and, of course, a good helping of mathematical work!
Although Swimming is on a Wednesday in Term 1 and Hockey is on a Friday, please remember to bring in your kit (indoor and outdoor) on a Monday and take it home on Friday if it needs a wash. If you come to a sports club, please make sure your kit returns if you go home in it! Please note indoor kit is SHORTS, not tracksuit bottoms and that for this topic you should have trainers. The PE focus will change in Term 2.
Homework will usually be set on a Thursday and is due in by the following Monday unless specified otherwise. The focus may change as the weeks go by, but the weekly homework summary sheet should contain all the details each week. My advice is to get it done sooner rather than later and to come and see me if you have any problems. As already explained to the children, Y6 homework books must not be decorated and should be kept as neat and tidy as class books. As several children are taking the 11+ tests over the next couple of weeks, the first homework will be sent on Thursday 18th September. Y6 homework will not be set over holidays.
OTHER BITS AND PIECES
In Y6 the children take on more responsibilities in school. These include JRSOs (Junior Road Safety Officers), Team Captains and School Councillors. Every member of the class will read in Friday worship with Father Terry and also in church at some stage. Keep an eye on the Y6 blog (burghy6.wordpress.com – no www) as well as the school blog (burghschool.wordpress.com) to see what is going on and also to see some examples of children’s work. There are dozens of useful and/or interesting links on the Y6 blog too to keep you busy (and off Minecraft!).
As you can see, Y6 promises to be a busy but interesting year!