Darwin Discoveries!

In English this week, we have been writing adventure stories based on our ‘Curse of the Maya’ class text. We stopped the story at a key point and the children had to write the next chapter in the story, thinking about how they could make the plot full of adventure and exciting twists. We have seen some fantastic writing this week and we look forward to putting the finishing touches to them next week through our editing process and writing up into their writing portfolios.

In Miss Hodgkinson’s group for Maths this week, we have been continuing our focus on angles. However, this week we have been applying what we learnt last week to angles in triangles. Children have been working on finding missing angles and understanding that angles in a triangle add up to 180 degrees. Some children have found remembering the different types of triangles (equilateral, scalene, isosceles and right angled) and their properties if this is something you would like to work on at home. In Miss Pearce’s group this week, we have been developing our work on fractions. Children have been working really hard at consolidating their knowledge around multiplying and dividing fractions and finding fractions of amounts. Remembering all the different methods is really tricky, therefore any help with this at home would be much appreciated. If you are unsure of what methods to use at home, please feel free to contact either Miss Pearce or Miss Hodgkinson.

Our experience lessons this week have been science themed, we have been looking at the theory of evolution and adaptation. We have been looking at how animals have adapted to their environments over the years, leading to evolution. The children were tasked with creating their own animal species, they were given a specific environment that they needed to adapt to and the children had to demonstrate how they would adapt to the environment. They came up with some very interesting new species! Charles Darwin would be impressed! On Thursday we also found our more about Maya beliefs and started creating some beautiful double-page spreads in our experience books – we are going to finish these off on Monday!

The Curse of the Maya

This week the children have been getting stuck in with our class text. We have been exploring the different character’s perspectives in the text, empathising with characters and comparing their personality traits. Today we finished planning our own section of the story and began writing the opening. We have chosen to write from different perspectives and some of us are also including flashbacks. We will be continuing on with this next week.

In Miss Pearce’s maths group, we have continued our work on fractions and the four operations. We have been revising our methods of adding, subtracting and multiplying fractions, extending this also to mixed numbers. The children have worked really hard this week as some of these processes can be very lengthy! Next week we will move on to looking at dividing fractions. Miss Hodgkinson’s maths group have been looking at angles this week: getting to grips with how to use a protractor to measure and draw angles; looking at angles around a point and exploring angles on a straight line.

In our experience lessons, we have been learning about micro-organisms and how they are classified into three groups: protists, fungi and bacteria. The children have presented some beautiful work in their books to show the differences between the three different groups.

We have also shared the cast for our Mary Poppins production and are all very much looking forward to getting stuck in to rehearsals!

Lights, Camera, Action!

This week we have been developing our grammar skills further in our English lessons. Based on our cold tasks, written last week, we have identified some areas that the children needed some additional work on and have been working on these this week. Throughout the week, we have been continuing to read our class text ‘The Curse of the Maya’. We have now reached a very exciting point in the story and are looking forward to reading the next instalment next week.

In Maths this week, Miss Hodgkinson’s group have been investigating pie charts. This has been a new concept for the children and one they have found quite tricky! On Friday, the mean, median, mode and range was introduced – this proved quite mind blowing! These are areas that the children could work on further, if you would like an area of Maths to consolidate at home. In Miss Pearce’s group, we have been continuing to revisit fractions. This week, our focus has been comparing and ordering fractions. Next week, we will be beginning to look at adding and subtracting fractions.

This week we have looked at the differences between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres in Geography and have begun to look closer at the differences between the Mayan’s and the Aztecs in History. We have also held our, much awaited, auditions for our production! Well done to all the children for giving the audition their best shot – despite their nerves! We hope to tell them their parts in a few weeks…!

Festival De Mexico!

It has been lovely to have all the children back in school! We started our new experience on Tuesday by decorating our festival t-shirts. We will be learning all about Mexico and the ancient Mayas. At the end of the half term, the children will be hosting their own Mexican festival where they will wear their t-shirt and carnival masks, enjoy some Mexican food and celebrate in style!

In English, we started our unit on adventure stories. As as well as learning the conventions of this genre, the children have been exploring different story structures and perspectives. Next week, we will start honing in on some specific grammar and punctuation work with the children.

In our history lessons, we have been introduced to the ancient Mayas and have been learning about the context surrounding them (e.g. where and when did they exist). We also tried our hand at some chocolate tasting in our DT lesson on market research. The Mayas were famous for drinking hot chocolate so this half term we are going to create some of our own chocolate products for our festival!

Escape Room Challenge!

At the start of this week, we had some time to enjoy some of our escape room challenges that were set during remote learning. We cracked crosswords, tangrams and even had a go at painting a self portrait using only our feet!

During our English lessons this week we have been drafting and editing our own suspense stories. The children have worked incredibly hard to listen to the advice they have been given and act on the class feedback. They have been thinking critically about their language choices and different techniques they can use to create suspense. Yesterday and this morning they have been finishing writing up their stories using their best handwriting!

Today we held our final Sherlock Holmes escape room challenge! The children worked incredibly well in their teams to solve a number of different clues to solve the mystery. They had to listen carefully to try and put the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together!

Unfortunately, today we also say goodbye to Miss Ash. We would like to thank her greatly for all her hard work, not only this year in teaching us but also throughout our schooling. We will miss her lots but we wish her the best of luck as she starts her new adventure!

Science Circuits!

This week the children have been working exceptionally hard to hone some of their writing skills. We have been focusing on lots of technical aspects of their writing, including hyphens, using dashes for parenthesis and possessive apostrophes. The children have been applying these skills to short suspense paragraphs throughout the week. I have been blown away with the quality of their writing and am very much looking forward to reading what they produce next week when we start writing our final suspense story!

In our geography lesson this week, we explored different maps and the use of contouring. The children had a go at building their own contoured map to show the different levels of the land.

For the rest of our experience lessons, we have been planning and conducting a science investigation. The children have been working in pairs to choose a question to investigate and design their own experiment. They have been learning how to write up a formal investigation including writing an aim, prediction, information about the variables, a method, results table and conclusion.

To celebrate Comic Relief, the children were invited to dress up as superheroes for the day. In Year 6, we had a doctor, a zookeeper and even our very own Captain Tom! All of them are definitely superheroes in our eyes!

Welcome Back!

Smiles all round this week! It has been lovely to have the buzz of a full classroom again and to see the children looking forward to returning to school! We have had a great week settling back in to routines and enjoying our learning.

In English this week, we have started our unit on suspense writing. The children have done a brilliant job and we have been really impressed with the quality of the children’s writing. We have been exploring lots of different sentence structures and learning how to create atmosphere and pace.

In the afternoon, we have enjoyed sampling different soil types in our geography fieldwork. We learnt how this can be used by the police to help solve crimes. We carried out several different tests on each type of soil, including testing the pH levels of the soil using indicator paper and distilled water. Hopefully this may help us with our escape room challenge in the last week of term!

Today we celebrated Science week. The theme this year was innovations. We spent our morning, inventing and building tower structures that could withstand earthquakes and bridges that had to be strong enough to hold the weight of a can of soup. The children had lots of fun with this and worked well in teams to share their ideas and improve their designs.

Merry Christmas!

We’ve had a lovely week finishing off our Fairtrade iMovie campaigns. The children have worked exceptionally hard to script, film and edit these within their groups. They have also created some fantastic animations to tell the story of a Fairtrade farmer within their iMovie. We enjoyed sharing these and watching them back as a class.

We also thoroughly enjoyed the virtual panto (and ice cream!) that FFG kindly organised. That, along with the beautiful reception nativity, brought us lots of festive cheer!

All that’s left to say is that, from all of us in year 6, we wish you a merry Christmas and a lovely holiday. Stay safe and we look forward to seeing everyone in the new year!

Almost there…

We have made it to Friday at the end of a strange week for Year 6, we started the week by making poo (!) and ended dressed up in our Christmas clothes.

In our Science work this week we have been looking at the digestive system and how it works to extract the nutrients and energy we need from our food. As part of this session, we had great fun creating a model digestive system using, among other things, an old pair of tights. We took it in turns to be different parts of the system including a lot of squeezing in the intestines. The final product (made of a mixture of biscuits and lemonade) was unnervingly realistic!

This week we have been continuing to work on our Fairtrade i-Movies. This has included working in groups to write our scripts and storyboard our animation. Children have been working hard ‘screen testing’ sections of their script and creating all sorts of buildings and equipment out of paper. We hope to complete our final films next week before the end of term.

We finished off this week in two ways. First by donating food to a local food bank so that everyone in Dunmow and the surrounding area has enough food to eat over the Christmas holidays. Second by filming our Christmas messages for the online digital calendar. This was quite a challenge as it is hard to be sensible and pay attention when wearing a set of fairy lights or your Christmas jumper.

One more week till the Christmas holidays!

Advent!

I can’t believe we have already reached advent! Things have been starting to get a bit more festive in Comet class this week. We have been busy preparing a Christmas surprise for the school digital advent calendar, we can’t wait to share it with you! This week also saw the arrival of some class advent calendars. Each morning, we are doing a different wellbeing activity in the lead up to Christmas to help us look after our own mental health. On Tuesday, we had to come up with our favourite jokes to share with the rest of the class… needless to say, these needed a little bit of work! As a treat, we also have our own chocolate advent calendar that we do at the end of each day.

In our English lessons, we have started working in groups to put together our final iMovie campaign for Fairtrade. The children are going to script and edit their own iMovies and create animations about Fairtrade which we will send out at the end of the term. They have split their team into animators and script writers. The animators are working with Miss Ash to create their animators and the script writers are with Miss Pearce in Comet class. We are looking forward to showing you the finished product!