Year 6

Dear Year 6,
As I told you in the Summer, I am so pleased and proud to be your teacher.  I know that we are going to have a terrific year together.  We will work hard in class but will always make sure that we make time for fun, laughter, play and enjoyment.
Year 6 is a family where we look out for one another.  We are a team.  We are a unit.  We are St Joey's.  Rest assured I will endeavour to ensure that each and every one of you has a positive, productive and happy experience in Year 6. 
It has been wonderful to meet lots of parents and carers already and I look forward to meeting and being in regular contact with all families/guardians in Year 6.  Remember how important it is to be in school, in class and making progress.  Every day is a new opportunity where we can learn new things and consolidate new skills!
Together, we can and we will do great things.
Mrs Lyon xx
Religious Education
'The Way, The Truth & The Life.'
 In Year 6, we aim to be living witnesses of our Faith.  We will study two topics in the Autumn term-'The Kingdom of God' and 'Justice'.  This half term our focus is 'The Kingdom of God' where we will discuss, write, role play, draw and paint as we consider these questions:
  • Where is the Kingdom of God?
  • is it for everyone?
  • What is it like?
  • What are the values of the Kingdom?
  • What can we do in order to be in the Kingdom of God?
  • What can we do for the Kingdom?
Religious Education Curriculum Directory states:
"The Kingdom belongs to the poor and lowly, which means those who have accepted it with humble hearts.  Jesus is sent to 'preach good news to the poor'; he declares them blessed for 'theirs is the Kingdom of heaven'.  To them - the 'little ones' - the Father is pleased to reveal what remains hidden from the wise and the learned.  Jesus shares the life of the poor, from the cradle to the cross; he experiences hunger, thirst and privation.  Jesus identifies himself with the poor of every kind and makes active love toward them the condition for entering the Kingdom" (CCC 544).
This half term, we will begin our Year 6 Read to Write unit of work based on the book 'Shackleton's Journey' by William Grill.
Read to Write units of work focus on engaging, vocabulary-rich texts, with a plothora of writing opportunities within and across the curriculum.
Shackleton's Journey is a fnatastic account of a famous and extremely hazardous Antarctic adventure.  This book is full of stunning details, facts and figures, which are brought to life with beautiful illustrations. With fabulous links to the Geography curriculum, Year 6 will not be in short supply of writing opportunities.
We will continue with our Accelerated Reading programme this year. All pupils will take a 'Star Reader' online
test which will determine their reading level.  From this, we will be able to allocate all pupils with reading material closely matched to their reading level. The best part is that pupils get to read a book of their choosing from our Accelerated Reader library.  At the moment, pupils will not be able to take books home due to Covid19 restrictions but hopefully this will change in the near future.  Every day in school, all pupils will read for 20 minutes independently.
Each Friday, pupils will receive a list of ten spellings to take home and practise ready for a spelling test the following Friday.  These spellings will also be posted on to our Class Dojo page so that parents are able to check their child's weekly spelling list and help them practise each evening at home.
Multiplication facts
We cannot stress enough the importance of all pupils knowing all of their times tables facts.  
It is always best to make sure that your child starts with the basics and works their way up to the more challenging questions and tasks, as without a solid grounding in multiplication facts, multiplication or otherwise, their chances of progressing quickly and smoothly are lowered.
If multiplication facts are secured, other methods become much faster and more like second nature.  As well as knowing 6 x 7 = 42, it is important that your child learns the vocabulary around multiplication too, so that they don't get caught out when faced with more challenging questions in their SATs.
Place Value
In Year 6, we are currently working on Place Value.  This is where we
  • Read, write and compare numbers up to 10,000,000. Pupils will be expected to know the value of each digit in numbers up to ten million (for example, they will understand that the 6 in 83,634,813 means the number includes six hundred thousands).
Please note that your child will use the word ones and not units when talking about place value.  
  • Round any whole number to the nearest 10, 100, 1,000, 10,000, 100,000 and 1,000,000 72,145,674 rounded to the nearest 100,000 would be 72,100,000.
           72,145,674 rounded to the nearest 1,000,000 would be 72,000,000.
  • Use negative numbers in context
We will count forwards and backwards in positive and negative whole numbers.  Pupils will need to be able to count forwards and backwards through zero.
                      Count backwards from 6 to -3:  6,5,4,3,2,1,0,-1,-2,-3.
Your child will now be expected to calculate (for example, add and subtract)with negative numbers too.  for example, they might be asked to calculate 3 -7 =-4, or -2+4=2.  Using a number line is a great way to visualise calculations with negative numbers.
  •    Solve increasingly complex number problems
Your child will solve problems involving:
  • counting
  • ordering
  • comparing
  • rounding
  • negative numbers
Their knowledge of place value will be very useful for this.  they will use physical objects, drawings, diagrams, and mathematical symbols to visualise problems.
How to help at home.
There are lots of ways you can help your child to understand number and place value.  Here are just a few ideas:
  1. Talk about large numbers. In Year 6, your child should be able to use the whole number system, including saying, reading, and writing numbers accurately.  
Talk about large numbers in the real world, such as house prices, electricity meters, or football transfers.  When you see big numbers like these, see if your child can read them out loud.
     2. Use place value charts-these can be a great way to help your child represent numbers and understand how the number system works.  These charts will help your child to read, write, and compare numbers, as well as to understand how zero works as a placeholder.  (Please contact me at school or over Dojo for a place value chart).
    3.    Compare and order numbers-when comparing numbers up to 10,000,000, help your child understand that they need to look at the digit with the largest value.  For example, 2,132,654 is more than 1,123,432 as 2,132,654 has two millions, whereas 1,123,432 only has one million.  If the largest value of both numbers is the same, then move on to the second, and then the third, and so on.
    4.  Make estimates
Being able to make accurate estimates is a valuable skill we use in everyday life.  When calculating, encourage your child to use their rounding skills to estimate the answer before calculating precisely.  This will help them to check if their answer seems sensible.
Please contact me over Dojo if there is anything you need to ask, clarify etc.  We are here to support your child and you.  That dialogue between school and home is essential in terms of our wonderful children making the best progress they can make.  Please see below some resources for English and Mathematics.
Our Curriculum of Hope - Geography and History
We are very excited and very proud to be able to deliver a fabulous new curriculum-the Curriculum of Hope.  Written by teachers at St. Joseph's, the Curriculum of Hope aims to create:
  • Children who are desperate and thirsty for knowledge
  • Greater diversity eg. BAME literature, diverse heroes and representation
  • Children who see themselves and their reality in the characters and people they encounter across the curriculum
  • An awareness about local, relevant issues and dilemmas
  • A rich variety of significant individuals that reflect our community and the wider community
  • Children who feel more invested, involved and inspired
This is what we call a 'dilemma-led' curriculum whereby we introduce a problem or problems within a geographical/historical context to the children that need to be solved BY the children.  The problems are contextualised through a story/dilemma.  The children will be placed at the centre of the dilemma.  We all love stories, stories are memorable and we see something of ourselves in a story.  Therefore, if we are solving a problem within the framework of a story, there is the potential for something incredibly powerful.  
Stories are a key element of our curriculum-children become engaged in stories.  What we have tried to do is to create stories within our different Geography and History topics that will ignite the children's thirst for MORE knowledge.  This curriculum will give the children roles and responsibilities to be more engaged in their learning.
The Curriculum of Hope is comprised of five pillars:
  • Content: What the children will learn based on the National Curriculum
  • Coherence:  Learning will be connected and relevant
  • Creativity: Children will have opportunities to experience, develop and practise creativity in many different ways
  • Compassion: Children will be encouraged to have 'active' compassion and become solution-focused
  • Community: Children will become 'active' and 'serving' members of our community
These pillars do not stand alone but interweave with one another.  The beauty of this curriculum is that it does not just comprise of geography and history but incorporates every subject across the curriculum.
This is what we want for our children at every age, in every class at St. Joseph's:
 "The curriculum should indeed make children feel that they belong, that knowledge is theirs for the taking, that they should be hopeful that they too can add to this rich human heritage.  But it also needs to whisper to children that they matter now, that they can do something now, that they are not powerless or passive but that they are active agents of learning."
Debra Kidd-'The Curriculum of Hope.'