Dear Year 6 Parents/Carers,

Happy New Year!

Welcome back and welcome to back to year 6! I hope you had a lovely, restful Christmas holiday. I am really excited about the spring term ahead, as we have many wonderful experiences and learning opportunities to enjoy during the next few months.

Our topic for this term is, ‘Exploration and Endeavour’. Whenever possible, this topic will be covered through cross curricular teaching and learning – linking subjects together to ensure a wholesome experience for the children.  

In English, during the spring term, we will be focusing our learning on Shackleton’s Journey by William Grill and Ice Trap! by Meredith Hooper. Both texts will provide rich opportunities for the children to develop their writing whilst learning about the famous explorer and his journey in Antarctica. Our writing outcomes will range from creating non-chronological reports on the fascinating continent to writing letters and diaries in role as members of the crew. The half-term will conclude with the creation of a biography on Ernest Shackleton himself. In addition, we will use drama and role play to develop empathy and understanding for what life must have been like on board The Endurance. Grammar will continue to be embedded within English lessons as well as taught discreetly to prepare for the summer assessments.

In Maths we are starting off the term with work on decimals, fractions and percentages before moving onto algebra, converting units and then perimeter and area. We will finish the term with some work on ratio and proportion. Children will consistently revisit prior learning through daily retrieval games and exercises to ensure they continue to practise all the learning we have covered so far. The children will have daily opportunities to develop their arithmetic skills to build speed as well as having regular times table tests to ensure these vital skills are fluent. This term, I will be setting additional arithmetic homework on MyMaths to encourage your child to practise regularly.

In Science, we will be learning about the circulatory system. In our lessons, the children will gain an understanding of the parts and functions of this system as well as an opportunity to explore the heart in more depth. They will be look at the effect of exercise on heart rate and carry out an investigation to develop their skills in scientific. This will link to learning about the importance of diet and exercise on the body in promoting lifelong health and well-being.

In Geography we will use Antarctica to gain an understanding of the significance of lines of longitude and latitude, the Equator and other locational features of the Earth. We will continue our study of maps by plotting the route of The Endurance and other expeditions to Antarctica. This will lead to learning about climate zones which will link to the importance of Antarctic research in current understandings of climate change and the environment.

For History the children will contextualise the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration in British history by creating a time line of global expeditions to the continent. They will compare and contrast these with contemporary examples of exploration. Furthermore, they will evaluate specific artefacts related to exploration and consider the differences to modern day resources.

Art and D & T. will begin with a link to our work in science by painting a red blood cell using watercolours. We will then look at the work of artists who have focused their art on Antarctica. We will look at the work of both Nerys Levy and David Bellamy and try and recreate their styles using a range of media. Our focus will then switch to link with history as we study the photographs of The Endurance’s on board photographer, Frank Hurley and recreate our own black and white photographs. In D&T, we will be constructing a model of The Endurance.

In Computing, we will use search technologies to research Antarctica and use Powerpoint to create a presentation on the physical geography and climate of the continent. At the end of the term, we will use stop motion animation to recreate the journey and sinking of The Endurance.

In R.E. and Citizenship we will be learning about Humanism by exploring the concept of what makes a good life.

In P.S.H.E., a the start of the year we will revisit our targets and goals and explore our new year’s resolutions. Following this, we will explore the value of money. We will also look at homelessness and the stereotypes associated with it. Towards the end of the term, we will learning strategies to cope with uncomfortable and challenging feelings.

PE/Games- Year 6 will have outdoor Games sessions on Tuesday afternoons with myself and Friday afternoons with Coach Charlie. This term I will be teaching Hockey and Charlie will be teaching Dance. It is vital that your child has the appropriate clothing and footwear in school for these lessons, wearing no jewellery and long hair must be tied back.

French– Year 6 will continue to have French lessons on Friday afternoons.

Music– Brass will continue to be on Tuesday mornings (9.00am – 10.00am) with our KS2 music teacher, Simon. Please ensure children practise at home and have their instrument in school on Tuesdays.

Home Learning- Every Friday your child will be given homework. This allows your child to share with you some of his/her school learning. Please participate in their homework but allow the child to take the lead, assisting only if they are unsure or need something reading or explaining.

Home Learning will consist of a maths, grammar and spelling task. The tasks will be an opportunity for the children to consolidate on the learning they have completed during the week in class.

Please also ensure that your child tries their best to ensure that their homework is of a good standard. Homework is due back on the following Thursday.

Reading is extremely important so please ensure your child is reading a book and reading to an adult at least three or four times a week. When reading with your child, please ask questions about the text to develop their comprehension skills.

Please remember that children should be in the classroom at 8.55 am each morning. If they are not in the room by this time they will be recorded as late.

Visits and workshops this term:
National Maritime Museum      –  Wednesday 22nd January 2020
The National Gallery         – Wednesday 11th March 2020
Residential in France      –     23rd – 27th March 2020  

Yours sincerely,

Melissa Law