Aim Big to be Big!
Class teacher – Mr Douglas
Mrs Staples and Mrs Smith also help us with our learning
During Autumn 1, we have begun our new scheme for maths- Maths No Problem. This follows a mastery approach which allows children to gain a deeper understanding of maths so they can apply it in lots of situations.
Each lesson begins with a problem which leads to a class discussion where the children get to share how they have solved the problem. So far, Year 6 have covered Place value, which included reading and writing numbers, comparing and rounding numbers up to 10 million.
We have also begun the second unit of mixed operations. This involves solving problems using addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
Our science topic has been electricity. The children have enjoyed learning about how electrical appliances work and have had a go at creating their own circuits. Once we were confident in creating a complete circuit, we were able to investigate how different elements can affect a circuit. The children tested voltage, wire length and the number of appliances on a circuit.
In English, this half term, we have been focussing on a novel from a different culture. To tie in with our History, Geography, Art and RE we have read stories from ‘Arabian Nights.’ We began with the story of ‘Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves’ where we learnt some fantastic new words including ‘flagon’ and ‘silk.’ Following on from this, we created a story map of the novel to help us remember all the twists and turns! We discussed the characters we met and created a character profile using point, evidence, explanation. The children used very strong and specific adjectives such as manipulative and generous. Continuing with our reading phase, we had to separate statements into fact and opinion, which led to some debating within our class! Next, we read Aladdin and The Magic Lamp, we had watched the film at the beginning of term and so made comparisons to the novel and found it to be very different! We used this story to create our own, we developed our own characters and plot. As it has been a long time since we have written a story, we found it quite a challenge to draft and write the story – but we managed it and created some fantastic Arabian tales!
This term our enquiry is ‘What was life like in the Golden Age of Islam?’ Which links into our learning in lots of other subjects this term. Our first ancillary question was ‘What did Abu Jafar Al-Mansur’s ‘City of Peace’ look like?’ We learnt about Al-Mansur and his role in Early Islamic Civilisation. We listened to a description of his city and attempted to draw what it looked like! We then discussed our illustrations with others and talked about what they had in common and what was different. After this, we looked at illustrations created by historians of the city and compared these to our own drawings. Our next investigation was about people travelling along a road with lots of things on the back of camels, we later learnt the word ‘commodities’ which is what the camels were carrying. We found out, using different historical sources, that these were merchants travelling along a very famous trade route – The Silk Road and this linked in with our Geography learning.
This term and into the first half term of Spring, our enquiry is ‘Why is Fair Trade fair?’ Our first ancillary question led us to a discussion about roads and how important these are in our lives. We looked at a photograph of a steep, windy road and had to speculate where it was and why it was considered the most important road in the world, 2000 years ago. We remembered that they would not have had cars or buses 2000 years ago, but they may have travelled by animal – such as horse or camel. We discovered that this was part of The Silk Road, one of the most famous trade routes in the world. We found out that China produced a very valuable commodity called silk and that merchants travelled to collect it to sell in Baghdad, which was Al-Mansur’s ‘City of Peace.’ To develop our atlas skills, we tried to make a list of all the countries the road passed through – we found this a real challenge!
Our next lesson was our favourite! We learnt about Marco Polo and his journals. We listened to a description of an animal that he had seen and had to try and draw it – some of our illustrations we bob on and some were a little on the wild side! As we enjoyed this activity so much, we watched a clip of an unusual creature and created our own description in the style of Marco Polo for another class to try and draw!
In Art, we are creating some Islamic patterns to link with our learning in History and RE. We analysed some patterns and pieces first, focussing on the line, pattern, and shape. We then used some geometric shapes to create patterns that we could make an observational drawing of. We haven’t finished our Artwork just yet, so we will be working on it next half term as well.
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 athletics this term. They have been practicing how to run, jump and throw effectively powerfully. They have also taken responsibility for leading their own activities and groups. The children have used stopwatches and tape measures to accurately measure and record the scores of their peers.
This term, we have been going over basic greetings and conversations. The children have revisited how to ask and tell basic information about themselves and others in Spanish. We have recorded this verbally as well as in writing.
Our topic this half term was ‘Islam.’ During this unit of work, we were aiming to answer the question ‘What is Hajj and why is it important to Muslims?’
Firstly, we discussed a time of guidance and how this was followed. We thought about our own personal achievements and recognised the people who guided us.
Next, we made links with the Five Pillars of Islam. We were able to name the five pillars and understand what each pillar represents.
In addition to this, we learned about the stages of Hajj. We gained an understanding of Hajj and recognised the importance of pilgrimage to Muslims.
After that, we thought about the purposes of pilgrimage to a Muslim. We learned about the sights of Hajj, the experience and recognised the feelings that would be experienced. We demonstrated this by writing a diary entry as if we had been on pilgrimage.
Next, we reflected on our own life journey so far. We thought about important events and achievements in our lives and who has helped us.
Finally, to finish our topic and as a link to art week, we studied Islamic art and created our own geometric patterns.
The BFG’s have enjoyed their music topic – Britain Since 1930. They have studied the famous songs of Dame Vera Lynn – The White Cliffs of Dover and We’ll meet again and Glenn Miller – In the Mood and Chattanooga Choo Choo. They have had great fun attempting a simple version of the Lindy Hop ! As a group they discussed the dimensions of music and tried to recognise them in the 1930’s music they listened to.
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