A warm welcome from Miss Donnelly,Mr Norton, Mrs Roll and Mrs Carey to the Year 6 class page.
Year 6 is nearly always one of, if not the most, memorable times in a child's education. Old enough to fully appreciate the things going on around them and opportunities they receive, the final year of primary school is a chance to achieve, reflect and then celebrate this stage of their childhood. The transition to secondary school can be daunting for some (parents included!) but we will ensure that everyone in our class is adequately prepared as much as is possible, both academically and socially, for this crucial next step.
As ever, we will be working hard to keep our class safe, whilst providing them with lots of opportunities to learn, have fun and grow up to fulfil both their academic and personal potential.
If there is every anything we can do (or that you feel we need to know), please don't hesitate to get in touch.
As nearly all of you will be aware, Year 6 is especially important to both children and their primary school. The end of Year 6 National Curriculum tests are used to measure the progress of your child (and their year group) over their time in our school. The tests will take place early in May. A more detailed timetable will be relayed to you once it has been made available.
Please avoid booking any holidays during (or in the run up to) May. Furthermore, your child's regular attendance, including arriving at school on time, throughout the school year will play a significant part in allowing us to help them achieve their full potential.
They are vital to us in that they are an opportunity to show the excellent progress they have made to those outside of our school community in addition to giving the children's new schools an insight into a suitable starting point for them in Year 7.
We will be practicing for these tests throughout the year alongside our regular curriculum. If you have any questions, however trivial they might seem, please speak to me about them after school.
We ask all children in Year 6 to read for at least 15 minutes per day and quiz regularly using Accelerated Reader. While I recognise that families are sometimes busy on a night time, establishing a short daily routine of homework (rather than a block of time at the weekend) will make the transition to Year 7 a lot easier.
To support each child's fluency (how efficiently and effectively they can use specific skills) in Maths and English, Year 6 children have access to an online practice system called IXL. We use this regularly in school and it is fantastically simple. In any skill, it starts with easier questions and makes them harder/easier depending on how well the skills are being used. Whenever children get an answer wrong, there is a short explanation as to how to use the skill correctly.
Children have their own log-in for this system and a password. We would encourage regular use of this tool in short 10-15 minute bursts. I am able to review every single question the children answer, correct or incorrect, in order to see which skills they are strong with and those that require more work in school.
Links to specific current/past topics and skills are on our class website. Please ask if you need any further information.
From September, Maths and English homework will be set on a Friday and be due back into school no later than the following Wednesday.
In the spring term, we will hand out a short daily homework, usually based on work we've done in class that day or are about to cover the next day. This will help with preparations for secondary school. Children are expected to do as much as they can within 15 - 20 minutes and most tasks should be possible to complete within this time. This work will be marked together in class the next day or used within the next day's learning in another way.
We would expect that daily homework would be completed the vast majority of the time, though we do understand things might crop up preventing them from completing pieces from time to time.
Failure to hand homework in on time will result in a loss of Monster Points unless in exceptional circumstances - we expect Year 6 children to be able to organise themselves to bring in their homework and follow a regular routine.
Reading is always given in addition to these daily homework tasks and should be for a minimum of a further 15 minutes.
Spellings will be sent home on a Friday, with a test the following Wednesday.
Our scheduled PE days are Monday and Friday so please have your child bring in their PE shoes on this particular day. They will be provided with a kit (by school) as they were last year. This kit stays in school and will be washed by us.
Intervention and SATs Boosters
To help some Y6 children prepare for secondary school we will be running some 'booster classes' over the course of the year. Children will work with an adult in pairs or very small groups to help them meet their academic potential in Maths and English. These sessions will not necessarily just be for children who need to 'catch up' with other children, we hope to be able to run some sessions to push the more able children onto even greater things. All boosters will run after school and you will receive a letter if your child is selected, telling you who will be teaching them, which subject will be the focus and the day/finish time of the weekly session.
After a successful trial last year, there will again be a Prefect system running within Year 6. The aim of this is to recognise and reward children who consistently act as excellent role models for other children in our school. Prefects will be trusted to complete small jobs for adults around the school, set a good example when playing on a lunchtime and be a visible presence around school generally.
All children will begin the year as prefects. As long as children continue to demonstrate the six criteria (that they have decided upon together) they will remain prefects throughout they year. The main criteria is simply to take responsibility: we do not expect anyone to be perfect but we do expect everyone to be capable to trying to be the best person they can, even when things do go wrong. Throughout the year (and especially in the summer term) there will be rewards just for prefects to thank them for being such positive role models throughout their time in Year 6.
On a Thursday, Year 6 will be taught by Mrs Carey. This is to allow me to have PPA (planning, preparation and assessment) and Y4/5/6 phase management time, as well as giving the children experience of working with different adults within the school week.
The traditional Year 6 residential visit will go ahead this year as usual, with dates and additional information to be confirmed soon via the school office.
Secondary School Transition
Application information for parents can be found here and is usually updated to go live at some point in September.
Though we are happy to discuss the various options for different secondary schools, particularly if you have specific concerns linked to transition, ultimately the choice as to which schools to apply to is entirely at parental discretion.
Please note that we have no involvement in secondary school selection or the transition days each school will arrange for the summer term. If you have any questions it is always best to contact the relevant school directly.
Year 6 Leavers' Party
School, with the help of interested parents, traditionally organise a leavers' party for Year 6 children towards the end of the summer term. This typically involves a disco with decorations in the hall, pizza and other treats. I would be thrilled with any offers of help from parents to organise this event!
We are also happy to help with the logistics of any additional activities parents wish to organise for after the party (limousine rides have been popular over the last few years) though the activities themselves will have to be organised and supervised by willing volunteers.