Monday 13th May 2019
We've made it! SATs are finally here. The children have worked really hard over the last 3 weeks to ensure they are as prepared as they can be for the week. Through this week, we've been working on some simple mindfulness exercises to help with staying calm and focused. Today, we spent some time thinking about the Top Tips each child needs to remember for the tests. Each child wrote a different set of tips, depending on what they felt they needed. They all used this poem, which I rather like.
I have advised the class not to do revision from this point onwards, as I feel it may be counterproductive. The most important thing next week is wellbeing. If they are feeling relaxed, they will do their best.
I found this list of 10 ideas to help reduce tension during the week. I wonder how many you can tick off?
BACON ROLLS ETC. WILL BE SERVED FROM 8:30, NOT 8:15 AS I WROTE IN MY ORIGINAL LETTER (ROOKIE ERROR SORRY!).
I am super proud of my amazing Sapphires and look forward to seeing them being brilliant next week. Miss C
Summer term 2019
This term, our topic will be 'Who let the Gods out?', based on the Ancient Greeks. Due to SATs and the fact that we have a few things to finish from last term's topic, this topic will start in the last 2 weeks of this half term. See below for our topic web and homework grid.
Monday 18th March
This week, we will continue working on a fantastic new book in English- The Wind Singer by William Nicholson. It has already inspired the children's writing and has sparked some fantastic discussions. In maths, we continue learning about algebra (I keep telling them letters aren't scary) before dipping our toes into the world of ratio and proportion. We will also we starting to make Maya clay pots in art, continuing to perfect our hockey skills in PE and learning about blogs/wikis in computing. We will also look at Maya inventions.
Revision club continues on a Monday. The children should be bringing their revision books home in between, so that they can continue to work on them at home if they'd like to. Because of this, I am no longer providing homework sheets for maths/grammar, as I don't want to overload the children. I've been really impressed with their hardworking attitudes and positives mindsets.
Have a great week everyone, Miss C
Monday 18th March
2 weeks until our PGL trip!
This is later than I said it would be (my apologies), but here are the main pieces of information that you need for the trip:
1) Itinerary- Please arrive at school at the normal time and send your child into the school hall with their luggage. If the building work is finished, we will open the rear door to the hall to make this a little easier. On the Monday, we leave at 9:30 and travel to Colchester Zoo. We will leave the Zoo mid afternoon and travel on to Bawdsey Manor. (see web link below) On day 1 we will settle in and take part in an evening activity all together. Each day, we wake at 7 (which I know will probably mean about 5!) and following breakfast, take part in four activities (lunch in between) followed by dinner and an evening activity. Lights out is 9:30-10:00. Experience tells us they will find this hard oon the first night, but after that are physically exhausted by bedtime and so will sleep well. On the Friday, we will leave Bawdsey after lunch. The earliest we can expect to be back is 3:30, but this is probably not realistic due to it being Friday and the fact that we have to cross the Thames. We will keep you updated with an ETA.
2) activities- these are all provisional at the moment but this is the list I currently have: Giant Swing, Fencing Archery or rifle shooting (hopefully the latter), Aeroball, Problem solving, Zip wire, Jacob’s ladder, Orienteering, Trapeze, Beach/Coastal walk, Climbing, Campfire, DISCO!, Capture the flag, Ambush
3) Food. The food is amazing. Special diets are catered for. They work hard to make sure even fussy eaters have something to eat.
4) Kit- as per list, but no swim stuff is required. A torch would be helpful. Nothing electrical apart from a camera and possibly a hairdryer. ( I will bring mine and am willing to share).
5) Extra things to bring: 5 SMALL individual packets of sweets- one per day. Up to £5 in a named wallet/bag. Medication if required, clearly labelled. All of these items must be handed in on arrival in the hall on Monday 1st April.
It's going to be great!
Monday 25th February
Welcome back. I hope you've had a good week, enjoying the sunshine and relaxing. This half term is a crucial one in terms of working towards SATs in May. Revision club starts tomorrow- your child will receive their revision books at the club (or during the day if they aren't going to attending the club.)
This half term, we will continue with our 'The greatest' topic, with a focus on the scientific and technological aspects of the topic. In maths, we will (this week) be turning our attention to the equivalence between fractions, decimals and percentages, then learning to solve problems involving percentages. In English, we will be spending the week writing our own '500 words' stories, using resources from the BBC site. We won't be able to submit these in school, but if you want to, there will be plenty of time to do so.
Homework sheets will continue to be provided in addition to revision books for the next 5 weeks, due in on Monday the week after they are handed out.
All systems go!
Oh - and we're in the Forest on Friday!
Thursday 14th February
This week has been great fun! The class have been working hard during science week, learning about forces. They've also done a lot of thinking about how scientists work accurately and have managed to apply this new knowledge to experiments. Please pop in if you can at 2:45 tomorrow, so that the children can show you what we've been doing.
On another note, I've had a number of requests for individual marks and feedback from the practice tests we did in January.
We do not publicise these results for the following reasons:
1) The tests were done when the majority of year 6 learning was still to come, and therefore there were several aspects we had not covered, which as I knew it would, affected their scores. The tests scores are therefore not a fair reflection of where the children are predicted to be by May.
2) I did not want to induce panic/low self-esteem/comparing etc. At this stage, confidence is the key with all of these tests.
3) The purpose of these tests was to inform my teaching so that I can tailor it to what they need between now and May. Many of the questions have been used as examples in subsequent lessons.
You will be receiving your child's annual report next half term in preparation for our parent consultation appointments just before Easter. As in previous years, the report will identify you child's strengths and areas for development.
In terms of helping at home, the weekly homework sheets are an excellent place to start as they have been carefully selected to target areas where children need support. We mark these together, so the discussion that follows is a key part of their learning. In addition to this, the main area of difficulty is applying the maths to problem solving and reasoning situations, which is a difficult area to practise at home, as the style of question has changed in recent years when the new curriculum was introduced. We are working hard on these types of questions in lessons. Parents can help with arithmetic questions in particular. See below for a great website with practice questions and answers at four levels of difficulty. There are also some fab 'explaining' videos with practice questions linked.
The children really are working very hard in lessons. Probably the best support you can provide at home at this stage in the year is to brush up on their times table (preferably by using a great CD/songs on Youtube) and ensure that they feel confident and positive about coming to school each day.
I hope this helps set your minds at rest.
Monday 4th February
How is it February already?
The children have been working really hard and I've been very pleased with how many of them are completing home learning and are keen to come to revision club. Keep up the hard work everyone!
This week, we continue looking at 'Greatest' inventions via our English topic on explanation texts. We will be using 2 brilliant books:
In maths, we will complete our work on decimals by learning to multiply and divide decimals, as well as tackling word problems involving all four operations with decimals.
Our 'The Greatest' topic continues apace. Last week, we learnt about Mayan architecture and life in the town of Chichen Itza- and decided that a school trip there would be a great idea!! Hmmmmmm. This week, we'll be looking at Maya beliefs and traditions. We will also be learning about balanced/unbalanced forces and specific forces such as friction and air resistance, in preparation for science week.
SCIENCE WEEK is next week- I really need some sports caps from disposable drinks bottles- the kind that function rather like a baby's bottle! If you have any please send in! In addition, if anyone has any unwanted blank CDs, I'd happily take them off your hands.
Have a great week, Miss C
Monday 21st January
The children were incredibly resilient and positive during their tests last week. These tests have given me really valuable information about what help each child needs between now and SATS and also which topics they are confident with. We will not be doing another set of mock tests for quite a while now- phew.
Your child should have brought home their sponsor form for the NSPCC maths challenge on Friday. These should have been handed out on Wednesday, but in true Miss C style, I forgot! The rest of the school will be doing their test on Tuesday, but we'll do ours on Friday (25th) For the children this involves gathering some sponsors and learning one set of facts- ideally KS2 set 3 or 4. I will send them home with a record of what they did to enable them to collect the promised sponsor money. The money and forms must be handed in at school by 31/1, as this is the day the NSPCC will return to collect and reward. All children will get a participation badge and the class that raises the most will get a special prize. Most importantly, this will raise money for an incredible charity that does a lot to help vulnerable children but also helps all children to speak up for themselves. We were lucky enough to have an hour's talk from the NSPCC in class, which was very informative and thought provoking.
This week, we will be finishing our work on Pandora by bringing our writing together to write a longer piece of information writing. In maths, we will look at decimal place value and ordering before learning about the equivalence between fractions, decimals and percentages. We will continue our science work on forces by looking at balanced and unbalanced forces. We will also learn about the Mayan number system and will compare it with Roman Numerals.
Homework sheets will be handed out on Monday. Less than half the class are currently taking the opportunity to do these. They aren't compulsory but will really help if they are tackled! They are due the following Monday and are marked together in class.
Monday 14th January
I hope by now Sapphire class have told you at home what a great day we had on Friday! Lisa (forest ranger) decided that, as the ashes from a fire the ranger set the previous day were still hot, we'd take the opportunity to bake potatoes on the fire! It was very cold, so these were very welcome- like central heating. She'd even brought us butter and forks. The class are expert den builders, so she set them the challenge of building survival shelters and they needed to be waterproof. I was very proud of the way they pulled together and made sure no-one was left out. Superb teamwork.
This week, we will be carrying out some initial SATS-style assessments on the children, so I can find out what help they need between now and the big week, in addition to our normal lessons. These are mostly for my information, but we will revisit questions from these assessments over the coming weeks. There is nothing extra the children need to do at home for these assessments at this stage. Due to these assessments, I will not be giving the children any additional spellings to learn at home this week.
We will be continuing our Pandora-focused information writing in our English lessons, trying to replicate David Attenborough's style. We'll be multiplying and dividing fractions in maths as well as learning about using co-ordinates in all four quadrants.
We continue our work on 'The Greatest Showan' dance in PE and carry on perfecting our Hockey skills outdoors. We'll also be learning about Maya writing and codices in our Topic lesson. Miss Carter
Friday 4th January
HAPPY NEW YEAR
Despite the shock to the system and some lingering tiredness from New Year, the children have begun the term well and are eager to learn. As stated previously, this term's topic is another new one and a Carter invention: THE GREATEST. The majority of our time will focus on great civilisations- Mayans and Aztecs; great inventions and inventors; forces in science and fictional civilisations in our English lessons. The topic web is below this message as well as a homework sheet. Regarding homework: I will still provide a homework grid, but you will see there is a reference to a weekly homework sheet for both maths and grammar. These will be marked together in class the week after they are set. As per our homework policy, they are not compulsory but I cannot stress enough what a benefit they will be to those who complete them, particularly as we work towards SATS.
Also to note this term: Our outdoor PE session has moved from a Friday afternoon to a Wednesday, in addition to our indoor slot on a Tuesday afternoon. Please ensure that PE kit is in school for these days in particular.
All systems go! Miss Carter
Tuesday 18th December
Today was the class' last primary School carol service. Many of them were involved in a key way- particular well done to the singing soloists, to Martha on violin and to Millie and Jack for reading so confidently and clearly. The class also helped to ensure that Ruby class got safely to their first carol service. It has been a real pleasure teaching Sapphire class this term and I look forward to next term.
I previously stated our topic was going to be based on the Mayans, but I've widened the scope a little- we'll still learn about the Mayans, but alongside many other things. The topic will be called 'The Greatest'. We will look at great civilisations, ancient and fictional; great inventions and the science behind some of them- especially in the realm of forces. We'll be using the fictional world of Pandora from the film Avatar (which we won't be watching in class due to its certificate)- using a documentary about this amazing planet. We'll also be reading a book set in the fictional city state of Aramanth, where the rules of living are pretty dreadful! This is another new topic, which I'm rather excited about. Watch this space...... Have a fabulous Christmas everyone. Miss C
Monday 3rd December
My goodness this term is flying by!
Thank you to those of you who came to the exhibition at the end of art week on Friday. We spent every afternoon working on our art, plus all day on Thursday, linked to the theme of 'Me, Myself and I'. We looked at portraits from various artists: Picasso, David Hockney and Frida Kahlo. We also learnt about some of the techniques behind graffiti.( I should add that this was accompanied by a long discussion about the safety and legality of graffiti in public spaces, including along train lines!) The children worked on a collaborative piece of graffiti- inspired art, which is currently on display in our cloakroom. The children also took part in friendship day with enthusiasm and generally embraced their role as leaders.
This week, we continue our work on fractions in maths, looking at ordering fractions using common denominators, before turning our attention to adding/subtracting/multiplying and dividing fractions. In English, we are still using the book 'The arrival' as our inspiration. Having written 'a refugee's story' last week, we are now turning our attention to non-fiction, writing a letter to Mrs Stokes about welcoming refugees into our school, before moving on to discussion texts looking at the issue of whether countries should be forced to take in refugees. The afternoons this week will largely be focused on preparing for our carnival, about which you should have received a letter late last week.
Have a great week.
Friday 16 th November
My apologies for the lack of entries this month!
We are absolutely loving our ongoing 'Coming to England' topic. Having finished Floella Benjamin's biography and having studied the poetry of Benjamin Zephaniah, we have moved onto to studying the most incredible text in our English lessons. Shaun Tan is the writer/creator/illustrator of a number of wordless picture books, aimed at older children and often tackling quite complex and emotional issues. We are reading
It is a surrealist take on immigration and deals with a man's experience of forging a new life in a foreign country without his family. It is inspiring some very mature and creative writing from the children. Next week, we will write the story of one of the other immigrants, looking at why they may have felt they needed to leave their home country.
In maths, I am very proud of the increase in confidence many of the children are showing. We have been working on division, specifically long division and associated problem solving and reasoning. We have just begun learning about the order of operations, using BIDMAS to help us. This will continue next week, before we dive into fractions!
We will let you know of the specific date for our carnival at some point next week.
Monday 29th October
I hope you've all had a great half term and have been enjoying the sunshine.
Our first week back ends with a trip to the Ashdown Forest. Currently the weather forecast is not great, so I really hope the curse isn't back....
I'm quite excited about next half term, mostly due to the book I've chosen for our English lessons. It is a book with absolutely no words, called 'The Arrival' by Shaun Tan. It deals with the issues of immigration in a completely different way. We will begin looking at fiction, diary entries, character profiles etc. before moving on to persuasive writing- linking it to current world issues related to migration/immigration/refugees. We will then look at discussion texts: a new text type for year 6. We will be working towards writing a discussion text looking at the global response to asylum seekers. Big stuff! I will also link this to our new subject discovery: P4C- philosophy for children. Our first session, in which the children chose to discuss ' Animals fight for survival, what do we fight for?' was a great success- they showed real maturity in their responses and were able to disagree politely with each other! Some people even disagreed with themselves during the course of the discussion.
We will continue our work on multiplication this week, before moving on to the opposite- division. I'm enjoying the children's resilience when tackling reasoning/problem-solving questions.
We will also begin preparations for our Carnival. A date will be decided in the next week or so- parents/carers are very welcome to come and join in the fun!
Friday 19th October
Thank you to all of my Sapphires and parents for a great half term in year 6. The children have worked hard and deserve a good rest. I am aware that we haven't added up the reading minutes for two weeks and will get onto this on the first Monday back after the holidays.
Times tables: I spoke to many of you during parent consultations about this. I will be testing times tables every Friday using a grid of 70 questions to be completed in under 5 mins- Harsh! It is designed to help them to recall any times tables facts at any point in time. I will send home, for those who would like it, a times tables practice sheet each week, due by the Friday. See also the link to the 'transum' site with several good times tables games. Even proficient times tablers need to keep practising- use it or lose it as my old french teacher used to say! See link below this message.
We've been working on long multiplication over the last week in maths. It's quite tricky, so if your child would like to practice and raie their confidence, attached is a guide and some questions to try.
Most importantly, have a great holiday and come back refreshed.
Week beginning 8th October
This term is going very quickly! This week, we move on in both English and maths. In English, we'll be looking at poetry by Benjamin Zephaniah, celebrating Britain's diversity. In maths, having mastered addition and subtraction, including some rather tricky multi step problems, we will now be looking at multiplication and division. To begin with, we will consolidate our understanding of x and dividing by 10/100/1000 and applying this in a range of contexts. We will then secure our understanding of basic written long and short multiplication.
Our mental health/wellbeing lessons continue apace and I'm determined to do a P4C lesson this week. This stands for Philosophy for children and is designed to foster critical thinking skills as well as develop language skills. We also have our CARNIVAL DANCE WORKSHOP on Wednesday afternoon, for which PE kit will be required. If you have not yet sent in your payment for this event, please do so as soon as possible. We will finish off our learning about refraction this week. In addition, we will be looking at some real accounts from the 'Windrush generation' and exploring why people chose to come to England.
Have a great week- keep the home learning coming!
P.s. I have learnt that the PTA have paid for another year of mathletics for us all. This is great! I will reintroduce the children to mathletics this week and set them some specific tasks. Please let me know if there are any problems.
Week beginning October 1st
I can't quite believe a whole month has passed since we started year 6!
This week, we will reach the end of Floella Benjamin's biography in our English lessons, which will raise all sorts of questions about issues such as discrimination, equality, racism, determination/resilience. The book has inspired some fantastic writing, showing the children's fantastic empathy skills. We will finish by writing a letter to someone back home in role as Floella after her first few weeks in England.
In maths, having perfected addition and subtraction, including decimals, we move on to multi step problems using these operations.
In our PSHE lessons, we have just begun looking at emotional wellbeing/mental health. We began by familiarising ourselves with feelings vocabulary and identifying feelings, both positive and negative, that we experience most often. We will carry on by looking at coping strategies for less comfortable feelings.My aim is to help to equip them for the massive changes that will happen over this year ad into next year.
In our topic lessons, we will research various aspects of life in Trinidad, such as: food, school, family life etc. Our science topic of light continues with a second look at reflection and an introduction to refraction. We also continue perfecting our carnival dance moves and improving our skills in lacrosse.
I am really enjoying the variety of home learning the children are completing and also how many of them have really grasped the round the world reading challenge. Keep it coming!
Have a great week.
Week beginning 24/9/18
We've had a great first 2 1/2 weeks in year 6! It really has been great having this lovely class back again and most of them, most of the time, are taking their learning very seriously and working hard. I'm impressed by the amount of homework that is being completed.
Spellings and tables are given on Monday and tested Friday. For times tables, I will ask them all to learn a times table each week (this week the 8x) and then they will choose their level of test (or T word as we like to call it!). Levels as follows:
1) x table questions
2) Division table questions
3) x 10/100/1000 questions e.g. 30 x 8, 500 x 8 or 6000 x 8. Find the answer then x by 10/100/1000.
4) Decimal questions e.g. 0.3 x 8, 0.07 x 8. Find the answer then divide by 10/100/1000.
We seem to be really interested in the topic- Coming to England- and have done quite a lot of map related work, including thinking about the British Empire and the Colonies. This week, we will focus more on the art/music side of the topic, alongside continuing our e safety lessons with Mrs Seltzer and our science lessons on the topic of light.
See below for a link to a helpful x tables site.
Have a great week, Miss Carter
Welcome back Sapphire Class! I hope you've all had a great Summer and are fully rested ready for the new term. I'm very much looking forward to teaching you again and am excited about how you will take on the extra challenges, responsibilities and rewards that will come your way this year. (I'm also rather excited about Sapphire being a PURPLE gem!) Patch has been washed as has his uniform, so he is also ready!
Please make sure that when you come back to school on Thursday, you are properly equipped for the new term: ONE fully stocked pencil case- the most important item being a whiteboard pen (or two) , LABELLED P.E. kit, full school uniform including appropriate footwear, a reading book if you'd like to bring one from home, water bottle etc. Our cloakroom space is quite limited, so please only bring what you actually need.
This week I will distribute the Welcome Letter, with essential information for the year ahead. I will also outline expectations regarding reading/spellings/times tables. Alongside this, I will send out the Home Learning gird, with suggestions for additional learning you can undertake at home.
One of the first 'Year sixy' things I would like yoto think about is whether or not you would like to apply for the role of House Captain. This role is open to all of you,irrespective of whether you are already a Behaviour Ambassador/Young Governor. At the moment, we are hoping to hold the election next Friday, 14th September. I will confirm this date this week. If you would like to take on this role, you need to prepare a short speech to present to the school. I will talk this through with you, but you'll need to write the speeches in your own time. I do hope many of you will make the effort to take part.
Excited! See you on Thursday,
If you would like to contact Miss Carter, please use the form below. Please note that the response time to this system of contact is three working days.