Y6 - Herons

Summer Term.

Curriculum Overview - Year 6 Summer Term 2016

This week year 6 went on a trip to Northam Burrows as part of their science learning. The children learnt about how both animals and plants have adapted and evolved to meet the demanding conditions of the environments they live in. The children were taught, by the Northam Burrows Centre, about the species that live in the rock pools at Westward Ho!, how these have adapted to their surroundings and then had an opportunity to find these species in the rock pools. The children found many of the species that they learnt about including crabs, shrimps, sea anemones and muscles.    At the end of the session the children shared their findings with excitement.
Next, Year 6 walked the length of the beach, conducting a two minute beach clean as they walked, and were surprised by the amount of marine litter that lined our shore. Collecting litter on the way to the Burrows Centre, the children thought about how different debris has ended up on our coast. Finally, the children arrived at the Burrows centre where they could finally eat their lunches.

After lunch, the Burrows Centre led a trail around the sand dunes where the children learnt about the different animals that lived in these conditions, and how they have adapted to their surroundings. The children learnt about a range of species for example: kestrels, sky larks and stoats. Once complete, the children had some free time to enjoy playing football and explore the sand dunes.
The children were very well behaved throughout the day and we and thoroughly enjoyed their hands on science experience in a different place. We would like to thank Northam Burrows Centre and the staff that worked with St Mary’s throughout the day for an excellent, fun-filled and educational day.

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This week Year 6 undertook their first visit to the Wings barn. They were involved in different team building activities run by the youth work team. The children faced different challenges and had to develop their team work and communication skills in order to overcome the problems they were given. They are looking forward to their future visits where they complete the chosen task of their choice for a number of sessions.

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Year 6 have had a very productive two weeks, revising and preparing for SATS.  In grammar, we have been learning different verb forms, the passive and active voice and the use of direct and indirect (reported) speech. Much of the grammar learning has tied in with our English unit on newspapers, which has focused on developing skills of reporting on sporting news. Children are currently writing a news report on Usain Bolt’s incredible 100metre win at the 2012 London Olympics. In maths, children have revised data handling, measures and calculation methods through a range of problems in real life contexts.

We have ensured to maintain a focus on other curricular areas, such as PE. We have been playing Diamond Cricket in PE, developing throwing, catching, batting and bowling skills and their skills of collaborative working.

Spring Term.

Curriculum Overview - Year 6 Spring Term 2016

It has been an exciting few weeks in Year Six.

Through a  focus on science this week, children  visited a science dome at school that involved learning about the environment through engaging projections, music, games, and science stimulations. Within an hour, everyone involved gained a wealth of interesting knowledge, and they will now be writing a report on the Environment as part of Literacy homework over the next couple of weeks. Whilst in science in class, children are learning about electricity.

In Literacy, in class, we have moved on from writing our own Harry Potter stories to a unit on biographies, where children have explored the features of this text genre and have researched an inspiring person to write about. Of course, Literacy has also been celebrated with World Book Day last Thursday, where children came dressed as many book characters  as well as many of the staff who dressed in the  co-ordinated theme of Wally from the ‘Where’s Wally?’ books. In the assembly, Mr Harris did a fantastic performance in starring as the leading role of a giraffe for a whole school performance of ‘A Giraffe and a Half’ by Shel Silverstein. The children were also role-models in showing maturity in sharing books with younger children and participating in World Book Day activities with enthusiasm.

In Maths, over the last couple of weeks, children have studied algebra and ratio and proportion involving fun investigations, such as a Smarties investigation, which they particularly enjoyed as they were able to eat the smarties at the end. We have also focused on the revision of methods of calculation involving numbers, including fractions, in a lead up to doing practice maths tests this week. In doing  these tests, we have observed and felt proud of  children’s confidence, determination, perseverance and the progress that they have made.
Well Done Year 6!

Other interesting areas of study that we have covered include making comparisons between Bideford, Paris and Sao Paulo, Brazil, in geography and looking at mean performance in different fitness activities, such as press ups in PE. It has been an eventful start to the second half of the Spring Term.

The Spring term is progressing rapidly with year 6 immersed in the study of Harry Potter which has resulted in some very creative and engaging writing. In mathematics, children have been using their knowledge of the number system and place value to learn about fractions, decimals and percentages. As part of geography and art, children have begun to develop their geographical skills, including their understanding of physical features and developing atlas skills. We are looking forward to applying our geographical knowledge into fieldwork of our locality.

The children have been developing their writing using Harry Potter, focusing on their sentence structure and vocabulary. They have produced a detailed character description of the Troll from Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone, integrating actions, setting and description. We have had a continued focus on grammar, spelling and applying this to writing across the curriculum.

In maths the children have carried out lots of investigations on 2D and 3D shapes. They have sorted shapes according to their properties, using correct shape vocabulary. The children have found out that a regular polygon has as many lines of symmetry as it does sides. We have now moved onto fractions, decimals and percentages and found fractions of shapes and quantities. The children can confidently simplify fractions and find equivalent fractions.

As part of our science learning, the children have carried out a research project, continuing for home learning, about healthy life styles. They have chosen one of the following topics: smoking, alcohol, drugs, exercise and healthy eating. Long term and short term risks as well as facts and statistics will be used to write a report about healthy lifestyles.

We have begun our new topic ‘From Bideford to Brazil’ focussing on geography. The children have started by using atlases to locate the world continents, key countries, the equator and line of longitude and latitude. As part of the topic we shall be walking around our locality identifying the physical and human features. These will later be compared to other contrasting locations.

Autumn Term.

Curriculum Overview – Year 6- Autumn Term 2015

Year 6 have had a fantastic few weeks in the run up to Christmas. We have continued our studies of Anne Frank  gaining inspiration from her positivity and her resilience in her time in hiding. Children produced recounts which Anne may have written after her capture. Many of these pieces of work showed the great empathy skills of children, reflecting their maturity. Currently, we are using the film and text version of Harry Potter –‘The Philosopher’s Stone’ to support and stimulate the writing produced in class.

In mathematics, children have made good progress in using a range of calculating skills, working on choosing the most efficient method depending on the numbers. They have applied their skills to problem solving, including multi step and challenging problems.  Currently, we are working on shapes and we are looking forward to using Christmas mathematical activities next week to develop our shape knowledge further.

Science has involved the study of the human body whilst PE classes have been expertly led by Mr Dowse (Herons)or Bailey and Reece (Wrens) in the teaching of football!

Some great art work has also been produced around the theme of Crime and Punishment.

Children have enjoyed the KS 1 and Foundation Stage Christmas performances, and are looking forward to the many Christmas events planned for next week, as well as continuing to learn!

It has been a very busy few weeks in Herons class. In our English lessons the children have been looking at Anne Frank’s Diary, identifying the features of diary writing ready to write their own diaries. This has fitted in with our current topic of Crime and Punishment.

In Maths the children have continued to work on their understanding on number and the four main operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. We have been learning a range of mental and written methods for division and have applied these into word problems. The children have used old SATS questions to test their understanding of division. The children work in mixed ability groups to investigate if divisibility rules are true or false and tried to find exceptions to given rules.

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Herons have just completed their first science block of this academic year – classification – where they made their own classification keys, using leaves collected from the school grounds. The children enjoyed this, despite having to go outside in the cold and wet! We are now starting our new science unit focussing on the Human Body and the role of the heart, blood and lungs.

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During our outdoor PE sessions this half term the children are learning to play football. These sessions are taught by Mr. Douse, who has very kindly agreed to give up his afternoon and teach Year 6. The children have proven to be very competitive.

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Before half term the children were learning about poetry in our English sessions. They have used the highway man to learn about crime and punishment and used drama to retell the poem. The children thought about their use of facial expression and posture to convince the audience.

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We have been focusing on multiplication within our mathematics learning, identifying different methods and shortcuts for calculations. The children are developing their range of methods to enable them to choose the most efficient method and solve calculations quickly as possible.

Having now completed our science work on classification, we are beginning to look at the human body with particular focus on the heart, blood and lungs. The children will learn about how their bodies work and the effects of exercise on the body.

Welcome back to Year 6. I hope you have all had a great summer. It has been a very busy first few weeks in Year 6 and the children have settled in well, developing their learning behaviours and have already produced some brilliant work of very high quality.

We have been focusing on place value in our maths lessons, learning all about the number system. The children have used the learning power of resilience when solving word problems during these lessons.


In English lessons the children have been developing their writing skills, extending their sentence work using subordinating and coordinating conjunctions to add detail to engage the reader. They have focused on the text Animalium which is an information text about animals. The children used drama to help familiarise themselves with the key text which they will later use as a framework to write their own information text.

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Our indoor PE sessions have focused on gymnastics. We started by thinking about the different shapes our bodies could make. The children manipulated themselves to be as tall, round, thin and spikey as possible (as seen in our photos). This was then developed by working as a group to achieve the same shapes.

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The children were very fortunate to receive the gift of an illustrated dictionary, during the start of term, from Bideford rotary club. We would like to thank them very much for their kind donation and these have already been put to good use by the children during their spelling and writing lessons.