Year 6 - Diamond Class

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Home learning due Friday 23rd October

This week, the children have been given the following homework:

English: On Friday, the children will be writing a letter from the point of view of Matthew Alexander Henson who was the first African-American Arctic explorer. He made six exploration voyages over the course of 18 years and was part of the team of explorers who were first to reach the North Pole in 1909.
For homework, I would like the children to gather some research which will help them to write their letter. Areas which they could research are:

What is it like in the Arctic? What would you see, hear, feel etc?
What wildlife would be there?
What equipment and resources would have been available to them in 1909?
How would it have felt to have arrived at the North Pole?

All notes should be written in their homework book.

Maths: The children have been given some questions on solving addition and subtraction problems.

Spellings: This week's spelling pattern focuses on adding vowel suffixes to words ending in -fer. The list of words to learn this week are:

The children should continue to learn the words written in their spelling journals as we shall be testing them on these throughout the week.

Reading: I have been listening to individual children read this week and assessing whether their book is in line with their word reading skills and comprehension. Could you please ensure that your child has their school diary in school every day so that I can record what they have read during the week and make a note for you when I have listened to them read. I am also making notes for you of areas which we are working on together, so that you can pick up on this at home. The diary only needs to be signed once a week by a parent, but there will occasionally be messages from me written in the diary so it is worth checking daily.

Next week's learning: In maths next week, we shall be learning about short and long multiplication. In English, we shall be revising the present and past perfect tenses, the progressive tenses, modal verbs and adverbs. We shall be looking at how the tense helps the reader to know when things are happening. We shall also be practising our handwriting and spellings, and will be reading poems about the Second World War. In French, we are learning greetings and the numbers 1-20.

Autumn Term: You will find, listed below, the learning planned for this term, as well as important dates.

Well being: Our priority this year is to settle the children back into school life and to support their emotional health. We shall have various ways of doing this across the school, but will ensure that we balance learning with well being. We will teach the children different self-care strategies, but will enable them to express their feelings and views through class activities inside and outside of the classroom. For Year 6, this will include half a day of Forest Schools and half a day of PE, each week.

Writing: Over the next few weeks, we shall be writing a variety of different pieces to develop our understanding of basic punctuation, paragraphing, verb forms and sentence structures. We will then move on to more advanced punctuation such as brackets, dashes and commas, and will end with writing a magazine article celebrating past and current heroes, and raise awareness about some of the issues around racial discrimination. We will also be revising spelling patterns from Years 3 and 4, and will work on handwriting.

Reading: The children will begin with reading poems from World War two, as well as reading other texts about the war. We shall be learning how to make predictions, how to understand unfamiliar vocabulary and how to infer using evidence to support our answers. Reading is crucial for the understanding of many topics, and so we shall work on this in class in large and small groups, every day. Please support your child to develop their reading by ensuring that they read every day. Little and often is perfectly fine, although please try to listen to them read aloud at least once a week so that you can hear where your child may need support. Ideally, your child should aim to read for at least 20 minutes per day, but this can be from various sources such as books, magazines, newspapers, fact books, recipes or instructions, to name but a few.

Maths: For the first two weeks, we shall learn how to understand the value of each digit in numbers up to ten million, including decimals. We shall also look at rounding and ordering numbers, and calculating with negative numbers. After that, we look at written methods of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Our aim is that the children become fluent in using different methods as well as knowing when mental methods are more efficient. Mental calculation will be a key focus, this year, and will be part of the daily maths lesson. This includes learning all of the times tables, so it would be really helpful for your child to spend some time practising on Times Tables Rock Stars to improve their recall of key facts. Research shows that automatic recall of key facts allows children to work better at problem solving, another key aim of the maths curriculum.

History: Our first History topic is World War 2. We shall learn about the different theatres of war and the significant events throughout the period. Specifically, we shall look at the experience of children during the war and hope to have our own 'Evacuee' day in class. We shall also learn about the evacuation of the soldiers from Dunkirk, and will look at the role propaganda played to gain power and influence society. The children will develop their own historical questions about change, cause and consequence, similarities and differences, and will learn to understand the significance of evidence in constructing knowledge of the past.

Science: The children will learn about how light works, how we see things, and refraction (how light travels in different mediums). They will investigate shadows, reflections and colour, and will hopefully make their own periscopes.

Art: We shall study the role of war artists and look at the work of Henry Moore to develop our own sketching skills. We shall look at different methods of shading and use photographs to create some war art of our own. We also hope to also use watercolours to paint scenes of the battle of Dunkirk.

PE: Our PE lessons will be held on Wednesday afternoons, this term, and will be led by Sportscape. The children will need to come to school in their PE kits each Wednesday, so do not need to bring in their uniforms. We shall also be having Forest Schools every Monday morning from the 7th September until the 14th December (inclusive). This will be led by Mr Hadfield, a qualified Forest Schools instructor, and will run whatever the weather which means that the children should wear warm layers along with wellies, a waterproof jacket, and ideally, some waterproof trousers. As the children could get wet and muddy, the children will need to bring in a clean uniform and shoes to wear in the afternoons.

RE: This half-term, we shall reflect on questions such as: What do different people believe about God? How do people show their faith in action? We shall look at the role of Christian charities and compare beliefs between different religions. Further information will be provided when school church services are planned. However, we shall continue to hold our own assemblies in class and will address different themes each term.

Music: To begin the year, we intend to use a curriculum based on body percussion. The lessons will help the children learn about different rhythms and should be great fun, but will also support our well being programme by teaching the children about breathing techniques, as well as showing them how to use non-verbal actions to show their feelings.

If you have a worry, a question, or there's something I need to know, please feel free to contact me either by calling the school office or by emailing me on the class email address which is: . Please note that approval for any absences, including medical appointments, can only be made by contacting Mr Perry at Alternatively, you can contact the school office to request an absence form.

I hope your child is looking forward to returning to school, but if they are a little nervous or anxious then please be assured that their well being and safety is our priority. We have a range of support interventions available within school, and every class has a 'worry monster' for your child to write down and 'post' any worries they want to share, but don't want to talk about. I will then address your child's worry in a way which supports your child best.

I am looking forward to meeting you and your child, and hope that we can work together to support your child's journey through Year 6.

Best wishes

Mrs Bird

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