Aim Big to be Big!
Class teacher – Mr Douglas
Mrs Staples, Mrs Thornton, Mrs Smith and Mrs Moffitt also help us with our learning
In English, we have studied the novel ‘Goodnight, Mister Tom.’ We unpicked unfamiliar vocabulary and shared some of new words with the class, we also made connections to the text such as text to text and text to self. Following our analysis of the text, we watched the film and listened to the audio book to look at different interpretations of the text.
We learnt the opening extract using Talk4Writing and discussed the themes within the text. We talked about how the author has used non-standard English in the speech and how this helps the reader imagine the character. Following this, we got to know the two main characters, Mister Tom and William. Choosing different scenarios from the opening chapter, we thought about how the character would be feeling and what they would’ve been thinking, using P.E.E to support our thoughts.
Our next challenge was to compare the text to other similar books. In groups we used Reciprocal Reading to enjoy different stories including: Letters from the Lighthouse, Carrie’s War and Whistling in the Dark. Each group shared their new text with the class and shared new vocabulary for our working wall.
We moved onto our writing towards the end of the half term. Our outcome was to create a new opening extract in the style of Goodnight, Mister Tom. We created new characters, used the Descriptasaurus to gather words and phrases and thought about the setting. We created a scaffolded version, helping Mrs Staples with her writing first and then creating our drafts. We then self and peer-reviewed our writing and then listened to feedback from the teacher using Seesaw and improved our writing further.
For our independent piece, we used what we have learnt throughout our journey and developed new characters. We have peer-reviewed our writing, supporting one another to ensure our writing was the best it could be. Finally, we published our writing in our Presentation books and some children wrote it up for the corridor display!
History – UKS2
Our overall enquiry is ‘Why was winning the Battle of Britain, in June 1940, so important?’ For this half term we have focussed on the question ‘How serious was the risk of invasion by Nazi Germany in 1940?’
We have used lots of different primary and secondary sources of information to help us answer this question. We have looked at maps, diaries, top secret documents, photographs and video footage. Using discussion skills, we talked about how reliable the information was and how we could interpret it in different ways.
To support our learning in History, we visited The Imperial War Museum North. During this visit, we looked at historical artefacts and evidence from WW2. We also spoke to Frank, a WW2 veteran who was a pilot in WW2. He spoke to us about his experiences and answered our questions.
After half term we will be writing up our answer to the question ‘How serious was the risk of invasion by Nazi Germany in 1940?’ before moving on to our next question ‘What did Hitler need if an invasion was to succeed?’
Geography – UKS2.
Our overall enquiry is ‘How is Climate Change affecting the world?’ For this half term we have focussed on the question ‘Why is Elhaji cleaning shoes on the streets on Banjul?’
We have been learning all about Elhaji, a little boy living in The Gambia, and how Climate Change is affecting his life. We have used lots of different photographs to make inferences about his lifestyle and why his life is so different compared to ours. We have also used maps to locate The Gambia and Banjul where Elhaji lives and works, but also Njau where his mother and sisters live and work.
We developed many of our skills over the half term, particularly reaching informed conclusions and categorising. One activity that we enjoyed was a detective activity. We were given lots of clues about Elhaji’s life to help us answer the question ‘Why is Elhaji cleaning shoes on the streets on Banjul?’ We had to put these into four categories and discuss how they helped us to understand the reasons why he wasn’t in school and why he was working. Using our knowledge of Climate Change, we quickly recognised that Drought was the main geographical cause of poverty for Elhaji’s family and therefore the reason he was working on the streets. We talked about drought and what it means and using the map discussed how it would affect the people who lived and worked in villages as they were mainly farmers, working around a river.
Next half term we will be travelling to Australia to investigate how Climate Change is affecting Olivia and her family.
In Maths, we focused on our key skills in place value which involved a lot of learning around the value of each digit in a number. We then moved on to solving number problems using our place value knowledge of numbers up to seven digits.
After that, we moved onto addition and subtraction. This began by learning about different methods to help the children mentally add and subtract numbers and we have now moved onto using formal methods to solve addition problems with up to seven digit numbers. Again, we used our knowledge of place value to help us with our understanding.
Our science topic this half term has been electricity. The children have shown excellent subject knowledge and have worked scientifically to create their own circuits and carry out their own investigation on the size of batteries and how the number of wires affect the current.
This term, our P.E. topic has been invasion games and we have mainly focussed on rugby as the rugby world cup is currently being played in Japan. The children have practised skills such as throwing, catching and finding space and then have applied these in game-like situations.
Our Computing lessons have focussed on staying safe on the internet and coding. The children have been completing coding challenges in order to familiarise themselves with how to create algorithms and debugging code when there are any errors. We have also been concentrating on the vocabulary linked with computing so children can explain what they are doing.
This year, the BFG’s are sponsoring a rhino to help protect it in the wild. The children have done plenty of research about all species of rhino and were shocked to discover how endangered they are. As part of our learning the children used their information to create posters and a display in school to inform the other children and any other visitors about the struggles of the rhino.
Our topic this half term was ‘Christianity – The Church.’ During this unit of work, we were aiming to answer the question ‘What do we commit ourselves to on our journey?’
Firstly, we identified what rights and privileges adults have that children don’t. After discussing the definition of a privilege, we talked about how privileges often come with responsibilities and thought of examples of this.
Next, we looked at the difference between adult baptisms and infant baptisms and created a poster to show this. Differences included: Godparents being required at infant baptisms and how it’s the person’s choice to be baptised at an adult baptism as opposed to it being the parent’s choice at an infant baptism.
In addition to this, we used the internet to research the life of the committed Christian John Wesley. We then created a PowerPoint to display our research. Some of the information about him included: he was born in Epworth on 29th June 1703; he was an early founder of the Methodist movement; he spread the word of God in both America and England.
To complete our unit, we discovered what ‘commitment’ means. After finding a definition of commitment, we looked at some celebrities who were committed to their career. For example, the Olympic athlete Jessica Ennis-Hill spoke about how she had to adapt her life to accommodate the amount of training that was required to become an Olympic athlete.
Our topic this half term was ‘Being Me in My World’
As part of this topic, we identified our goals for the year. We also understood our fears and worries about the future and discussed how to express them.
We then investigated universal rights for all children and how unfortunately for many children these rights are not met.
In addition to this, we learned about how an individual’s behaviour can affect people locally and globally.
Next, we made choices about our own behaviour because we know how rewards and consequences feel and how these relates to our rights and responsibilities.
To finish our topic, we learned about democracy and how having a voice benefits our school community.
This half term we have continued with our WW2 theme, but we have read novels that have looked at the journey of children living in Nazi occupied countries such as Poland and Germany. We have read and analysed extracts from ‘The Silver Sword’ ‘When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit’ and ‘The Cats in Krasinski Square.’ We have used the point, evidence, explanation to answer inference questions around the texts and created video recommendations for The Cats in Krasinski Square. We learnt key scenes using Talk4Writing and discussed the characters and their qualities. We have written a description, using the Descriptasaurus and choosing appropriate vocabulary to paint a picture in the reader’s mind. We particularly enjoyed The Silver Sword, especially chapter six ‘The Night of The Stormtroopers.’ We developed empathy for Edek, who was left to save his sisters from the Nazi’s. Our writing outcome for this was a diary entry. Next half term we will be continuing to analyse these texts and making comparisons between them. Following on from this, we will be immersing ourselves in narrative poetry, specially The Highway Man. This will link to our next History focus, in Spring Two.
This half term we have continued to study The Battle of Britain. Our focus has been ‘What did Hitler need if an invasion was to succeed?’ We refreshed our memories of the situation in Europe in June 1940 and made predictions about what we thought the outcome of battle would be, using the evidence we had already analysed. We looked at numerical and written evidence to conclude what Hitler would need to successfully invade and occupy Britain. We compared The Royal Navy and The Kriegsmarine as well as the RAF and the Luftwaffe and concluded that Hitler would need to strengthen his Kriegsmarine, but to also increase the number of aircrafts he had to be successful. Most of us thought that Hitler would have enough power, money and weaponry to successfully invade Britain and we were interested to find out how Hitler failed. Our next enquiry is ‘Why did Britain win the Battle of Britain?’
We have continued to investigate how Climate Change is affecting people all over the world. Our enquiry this half term was ‘Why can’t Olivia afford to insure her home?’ We found out that Olivia lives in Kinglake, Australia, an area that has been affected by heatwaves and subsequently bushfires. We looked at the environment that Olivia lived in and noticed that there was a lot of vegetation in the area, we also learnt about the events of Black Saturday in 2009 and compared climate data to see how Climate Change has caused an increase in the number of heatwaves and bushfires. We then wrote a persuasive letter to the insurance company to encourage them to reduce the high cost of insurance for Olivia. Next half term we will be investigating how climate change is affecting Britain and Greenland and we will be learning about what the world is doing to tackle the effects of Climate Change.
As part of Maths, we have continued to focus on arithmetic. The children have worked very hard on their times tables knowledge and have been applying this in order to help them solve a mixture of multiplication and division problems. We have looked at formal written methods, including long multiplication and division working with up to four-digit numbers.
In the last few weeks, we have changed our focus onto fractions. The children have learnt how to find fractions of amounts using bar models; how to find equivalent fractions and how to add fractions with different denominators.
Our science topic has been light. The children have built up a lot of knowledge around the topic and are able to explain how light enables us to see objects as well as how shadows are formed. The children have also investigated the properties of materials, testing whether they were transparent, translucent or opaque.
Design and Technology
The children have been designing and planning their steps for creating Christmas buns which will be sold at the Christmas Fayre. So far, they have researched ideas for different toppings; sketched and designed their ideal Christmas bun and planned the steps required to bake and decorate the buns.
In computing, the children have been practicing their coding. They have been creating algorithms using variables and functions. They have also been challenging themselves by de-bugging code which is not quite correct.
The children have enjoyed learning the skills required for basketball this term. They have been practicing how to dribble effectively and how to pass accurately. We have also discussed and applied tactics for game situations such as finding space and anticipating the ball.
Our art project has linked to Year 6’s History lessons. We have practiced our sketching skills using different media and created collages to use as the background to our artwork. For our final piece, the children have drawn a portrait of a soldier in front of a camouflaged background.
Fire Safety Talk
Members of Burnley Fire Service came into Year 6 to speak to them about fire safety. The talk was focused on road safety as well as fire safety.
Our topic this half term was ‘Christianity – God.’ During this unit of work, we were aiming to answer the question ‘How do Christians mark the ‘turning points’ on the journey of life?’
Firstly, we identified important events in our own life. In order to do this, we had to understand what a life event is, know what is important to us and think about our future. We mapped out our important life events and chose three that were important to us and why. As a part of our challenge, we thought about what we would like to achieve at different points in our future.
Next, we gave reasons for why Jesus wanted to be baptised. We interpreted information about this from a text. We then looked at a variety of religious artwork depicting the baptism of Jesus. We expressed our thoughts and opinions about these pieces of art and listened to the thoughts and opinions of others.
In addition to this, we identified the key parts of an infant baptism. We had to understand what baptism is as well as understand the features of an infant baptism and identify the key parts of the service. We created a thought shower and then as part of our challenge, we answered the question ‘Do you think infant baptism is fair or should children have a choice about being baptised?’
In our next lesson, we highlighted the difference between infant baptism and believer’s baptism. We thought about why Christians choose to be baptised, thought about the benefits of this and described what happened at a baptism. We then created an acrostic poem about baptism.
To complete our unit, we found out about what confirmation is and why it is an important part of a Christian’s life. We had to understand what confirmation is, understand why many Christians want to be confirmed and share our thoughts and opinions with others. After creating a thought shower of Christian confirmation, we answered the question ‘Do you think there should be an age limit to being confirmed?’
Our topic this half term was ‘Celebrating Difference’
As part of this topic, we empathised with people who are living with disabilities and understood how having a disability could affect someone’s life. To be able to do this, we had to be aware of our attitude towards people with disabilities. We watched a video clip of a little boy called Archie who has cerebral palsy and wrote him an email to respond to his story. We found him to be an inspiration because although he has a disability, he doesn’t let it stop him having friends and hobbies.
We then explained some of the ways in which one person or a group can have power over another. We thought about how it feels to be excluded or treated badly by being different in some way. We were then given some scenarios and had to identify who had the power and what advice we would give the victim.
In addition to this, we identified some of the reasons why people use bullying behaviours. We thought about a range of strategies to manage our feelings in bullying situations. We were then given a range of scenarios and identified the reasons for the person/people using bullying behaviour; we thought about how these behaviours make the recipient feel and how we could manage the situation.
Next, we took some time to look at various Paralympians and the achievements they have made. After researching our chosen Paralympian, we designed and labelled an admiration accolade that could be presented to them. One of the most popular Paralympians to be researched was the swimmer Ellie Simmonds.
To finish our topic, we explained ways in which difference can be a source of conflict and a cause of celebration. We showed empathy with people in either situation.
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