Summer 2 - Jammin' Jamaica
Our final half term of the year has been as jam packed as ever, albeit a little emotional too knowing that it was our final few weeks together at Great Binfields. Nevertheless, we have been busy squeezing in an abundance of fun and learning as we continued to study the Jamaican topic we started last half term. The children have thoroughly enjoyed learning about this Caribbean island and the impact that it has had on the UK in a variety of different ways. For example, in History, we have been learning about the government’s 1948 initiative to encourage Jamaicans to set sail aboard HMT Empire Windrush to come and live and work in Britain, helping to rebuild our country after the war. Following this, many more people from the Commonwealth started to migrate to the UK which helped to create the diverse nation that we now have. This linked back to our WW2 topic that we studied in the autumn term; therefore we also looked at Jamaican war heroes and significant people who have impacted our nation in modern times too.
In Art, we focused on representing perspective and proportion by painting Jamaican beach scenes. This took a lot of skill and consideration of foreground, background and the horizon line to help create an effective piece. In DT, we have been busy creating Jamaican themed headdresses, making our very own exotic smoothies using a variety of fruits and using nets to design our own smoothie cartons, appealing to a specific audience and customer.
In addition, in our Indoor PE sessions, we learnt a Jamaican dance to perform as part of our Leaver’s Assembly. We also had a wonderful local fitness instructor called Jenna deliver a variety of sessions with the Year 6 children, such as Pound, circuits and combat style fitness sessions. Jenna was incredible at engaging the children in all of the different styles of fitness styles and it was great to see them enjoying getting active and not realising it! The Year 6s also took part in their final primary school sports day in which they all encouraged and supported one another amazingly well.
This half term, our Science and Jigsaw units have focused on reproduction of plants and animals, including learning more about how our bodies change during puberty. The children have been incredibly sensible during lessons and felt comfortable to ask mature questions to clarify their own understanding about these topics. The children were also fascinated by Mrs Roberts’ spider plant which, as we now know, is a plant that reproduces asexually by creating identical offspring all by itself – the offspring inherits the full set of genes from their single parent. Let’s hope this plant continues to survive under Mrs Roberts’ care so that it can be a source of learning for next year too! We also enjoyed an amazing Science week focusing on Air Pollution. The children became experts in their field and delivered presentations to the school about all they had learnt. I think we have a few budding teachers in our midst!
To top the term off, our wonderful Year 5 and 6 children sang and danced their hearts out in our end of year performance ‘Robin Hood and the Sherwood Hoodies’. As I’m sure you will agree, they were absolutely fantastic and blew us away with their acting ability and determination to put on a fabulous show even in the soaring heat.
These examples provide just a few highlights of the wonderful learning that the children have been immersing themselves in this half term. Alongside this, and arguably most importantly, the children have been thinking ahead to Year 7. Most children have been able to visit their new Secondary Schools and have started to get to know the children who will be in their tutor groups in September. Despite feeling nervous and apprehensive, we feel that they have gained confidence and clarity by discussing this huge transition period with their peers. We have focused on what makes them amazing and provided top tips about struggles they may encounter in their first few weeks. We know that the children are more than ready to fly the nest and wish them every success in the future.
Finally, we just wanted to mention how incredibly proud we are of our Year 6 cohort. We could burst with pride at how far they have come in both their academic and personal achievements and know that the future has big things in store for each and every one of them. Despite the continued challenges, this year has been a blast and we hope that the children will look back on their time at Binfields with a smile and treasured memories. Good luck Year 6 and don’t forget to come back and visit anytime!
Summer 1 - Jammin' Jamaica
This half-term has been filled to the brim with learning and we would like to say a huge thank you to the children for having worked so hard and having behaved so maturely during SATs week. It was a real joy to see the children come in early each day to partake in our SATs café; to see them looking so relaxed and enjoying each other’s company (whilst enjoying their breakfast) was a great start to everybody’s day and certainly put them at ease. The children loved their end of SATs week treat when we visited Alice Holt Park, to take part in some fun outdoor team activities and the Go Ape adventure course. All of the children gave it their best shot and some showed really good growth mind-set, whilst some managed to overcome their fear of heights!
This half term the children have enjoyed beginning our ‘Jammin Jamaica’ topic. They have loved learning about the diverse culture of this island and have written some beautiful descriptive accounts of the Jamaican carnival. We have also introduced them to the amazing poet Benjamin Zephaniah and this has really made the children think about the themes that he pursues within his poetry writing. From this, the children enjoyed working collaboratively to create and perform their own poems, based around a theme of their own choosing.
In Science this half term, we have been exploring evolution and offspring and the difference between inheritance and variation. The children then went on to learn all about the famous palaeontologist Mary Anning and how fossils have formed over time. We explored how fossils allow us to gain unique insights into what life may have looked like hundreds of thousands of year, but also how we can trace ancestors of modern day species using comparisons and careful analysis.
During our Art sessions this half term, the children have really impressed us with their sketches of Bob Marley. Furthermore, they have created some truly beautiful art work during our Art Festival Week based around the themes of the Platinum Jubilee and Diversity. Particular highlights have included: amazing portraits of the Queen in the style of Sir Henry James Gunn, Jubilee bunting and collages of her Majesty. Also they have enjoyed producing some stunning mountainous landscapes, oil pastel trees in the style of Canadian artist Emily Carr and vibrant Inuit artwork.
We have also been very fortunate to have a visitor (Mrs Khawaja), who came into school to run workshops with the children. These tied in with our RE enquiry, which looked at how ritual is incorporated in Ramadan and Eid. She allowed the children to explore religious artefacts and items of clothing and some children even sampled some henna.
Our Love of Day this half term had the theme of ‘Relationships’ and the children were very respectful of each other’s feelings when discussing loss.
We are now very much looking forward to our final half term in year 6, where we will continue our ‘Jammin Jamaica’ theme and learn more about the history of this island. We will be working hard on our end of year production, which the children will be excited to share with you! Furthermore, we have Science week, Sports Day and a few more exciting events to come! We hope you all have a wonderful half term and thank you as always for your support.
Spring Term 2 - Amazingstoke
Wow, we have managed to squeeze SO much in this half term! The children and adults are certainly ready to put their feet up after all of the exciting things we have been up to. In just six weeks, we have undertaken exciting adventures at Avon Tyrrell, conducted our Basingstoke Trail trip, taken part in Book and Writing week and managed to complete some fabulous canvas art designs inspired by a local artist (Kev Munday). Here are just a few highlights from the half term.
This half term the children have enjoyed learning about their local town – Amazing Basingstoke (Amazingstoke!). Even though most of the children in Year 6 have lived in Basingstoke all of their lives, we have continued to learn many interesting and historical facts, including focusing on how Basingstoke has changed through time in its human and physical features. We also planned and conducted our very own fieldwork study by thinking about how Basingstoke meets the needs of the local people and whether they classify our town as urban or rural due to its features. Whilst on our Basingstoke trail trip, the children were able to ask the opinions of the local townspeople and analysed the results once back at school. The children loved the experience and spoke so respectfully with a range of Basingstoke locals.
Within our English lessons, the children wrote an informal recount about our Basingstoke trip but also focused on the traditional heritage text, ‘The Borrowers’. Having been inspired by Mary Norton’s imaginative world, the children wrote their very own non-chronological reports detailing all a reader might need to know about the miniature menaces (Borrowers). Furthermore, our Science lessons have been jam packed with a multitude of different experiments as the children explored whether substances are soluble or insoluble as well as examining reversible and irreversible changes. The children certainly enjoyed ‘The Exploding Bag’ experiment, where we mixed vinegar and bicarbonate of soda. Why not ask your child how we knew these substances were reacting with one another and what this resulted in?
During our Computing sessions, the children gained a new insight into the importance of technology within our everyday lives, including how crucial it is to ensure we remain critical of our privacy and security when using online devices. As we continue to rely on technology more and more within our daily lives, the children were encouraged to remain curious yet sceptical when working online. We also discussed how crucial it is to remain vigilant to the possibility of scamming and hacking. Within PE, the children collaborated to explore rhythmic dance moves and also developed their tennis skills, building up to a full rally by the end of the half term. Last but not least, within our PSHE (Jigsaw) sessions, we focused on our ‘Healthy Me’ unit whereby we explored a vast range of ways in which we can make healthy lifestyle choices both now at a Year 6 level and also beyond, into adulthood.
Please take a look at the pictures below to see just how much fun we’ve had this half term.
We hope you enjoy a wonderful Easter break and would like to thank you for your continued support this half term.
Spring Term 1 - The Terrible Tudors
This half term the children have absolutely loved learning about the Tudors and carefully considering our controversial enquiry question: Kings vs Queens – who had the greatest impact on history? The children’s high level of intrigue and love of learning around this topic has simply blown Miss Crossley, Mrs Byrne and Mrs Roberts away. This was abundantly apparent when we visited Hampton Court – a primary source of evidence from the Tudor period – where the children were awe-struck with the magnificence and grandeur that the palace had to offer.
Throughout the half term, we have managed to weave our Tudor topic into a wide range of subject areas including PE and English. This has meant that the children have been able to thoroughly absorb themselves within this time period and therefore empathise with some of the most famous monarchs in our English history. During our English lessons, we used the text ‘The Thief, The Fool and The Big Fat King’ (Terry Deary) to inspire us when writing our very own historical stories, as the children wrote their own ending to the exhilarating story. As well as this, the children were able to step into the shoes of a Tudor journalist as they wrote newspaper articles which reported the demise of Anne Boleyn. In addition, the children also chose to take on the role of either Anne Boleyn or Catherine of Aragon in order to write persuasive and heart wrenching letters which aimed to convince Henry not to execute or divorce them! During our Blended Reading sessions, we studied Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and were captivated by the tale of true romance and tragedy.
Our Science lessons have been electrifying this half term as the children became circuit experts, investigating the causes which affect component performance and also conducting their own experiments based on an enquiry of their choice. During our Computing sessions, the children developed great independent research skills as they gathered superb facts to fuel their Tudor newspaper reports and persuasive letters. The children also used their skills to create an engaging Tudor presentation using the programme Keynote which included a wide range of multimedia – you may have seen this uploaded to the children’s Seesaw accounts.
Within their Music lessons, the children enjoyed listening to traditional Tudor songs and developing their confidence when learning how to play the recorder. Next half term, the children will be composing their own Tudor music with the help and guidance of Mrs Irons. We can’t wait to see how the children get on. Within Art, the children sketched and painted beautiful Tudor portraits and studied the creation of the Tudor Rose through the use of collage. As you can see, the children have certainly been busy and loved immersing themselves in this wonderful topic.
Please take a look at the pictures below to see just how much fun we’ve had this half term.
Next half term is incredibly important for our Year 6 children as they prepare for their end of year statutory assessments. It is essential that the children are regularly reading and recording at home, practising their times tables in and out of order and also growing in confidence when reading the time on an analogue clock. By continuing to focus on these skills at home, it will ensure your child feels confident when applying their knowledge with increasing accuracy during lessons. Thank you for your continued support with this.
Have a wonderful half term. We can’t wait to continue the fun when we return as we have some exciting adventures up our sleeve such as Avon Tyrrell (fingers crossed!).
Autumn 2 – Space
The children in Year 6 could not have worked any harder this half term and we have been so proud of their resilience and flexibility considering some of the unforeseen changes we had to make throughout the term, for example, a sudden change in our Avon Tyrrell residential trip. Despite this, we have been able to squeeze in an abundance of wonderful learning opportunities and the children have LOVED learning about our Solar System.
Within our English sessions, the children created beautifully presented and informative non-chronological reports about the mythical moon Pandora in the style of Professor Brian Cox; we also wrote an emotive letter to the Man on the Moon inspired by the John Lewis’ 2015 Christmas advert. Throughout these pieces, we revised our knowledge of different sentence structures, definitions of different clauses and word classes too.
During our Maths lessons, the children have completed a range of Space themed word problems, calculated a variety of missing angles, including within triangles and have gained an understanding of how to find fractions and percentages of amounts. We have also been refining our mental arithmetic skills and have had a real focus on building our quick mental strategies to enhance our efficiency and accuracy as mathematicians.
Within our Art and Topic sessions, we were inspired by an incredible astronaut turned artist called Alexei Leonov. His work allowed us to explore different shading techniques and carefully consider how light can be represented on the page in order to create a more 3D effect; we used this technique when sketching our own astronauts. We also created our very own solar systems using a marbling technique to produce a unique set of planets.
As a year group, we also enjoyed exploring a mature and ethical line of enquiry within our Geography lessons: ‘Should we stay or should we go now?’. We argued that as a species on this planet, we have not placed enough emphasis upon the preservation and care of our home. Therefore, we considered the dilemma of whether we should be allowed to explore our Solar System for alternative inhabitable planets, or should we focus on trying to rectify the damage that we have caused here on Earth first. Through this ongoing debate, we were able to interweave our curriculum concepts of responsibility and consequences when considering our impact on this planet. In conclusion to this, the children designed their own planets to conquer and consider the aspects that we need as a human race but also some of the differences we would make to our way of life in order to thrive as a species.
Finally, Year 6 also managed to squeeze in gaining their road cycling proficiency (Bikeability) and also constructed their very own gingerbread houses in the final week of term. Reflecting back on this half term makes us all feel so incredibly proud. We truly hope the children have enjoyed this busy half term as much as the adults have!
Looking ahead to January, we will be starting our New Year learning about the Tudors. We will be looking at the trials and tribulations of Henry VIII’s reign during the Tudor period and will be eagerly anticipating our Hampton Court visit.
Thank you for all of your support and kind messages throughout the half term, particularly with our postponement of Avon Tyrrell. We feel so lucky to have such a wonderful cohort of children and supportive families.
Have a wonderful Christmas!
First Week Back
In Year 6 this week, we have been learning lots about our WWII topic and the concepts we will be studying this term. The children have all enjoyed sharing their understanding and own personal links to WWII; they are showing such enthusiasm towards broadening their knowledge about such a significant event in British history. We are looking forward to exploring the concepts of ‘morality’ and ‘conflict’ in further detail which will certainly spark some mature discussion. This term, we are focusing on our school value of ‘resilience’ and it’s been wonderful to see the children already demonstrating their growth mindset skills when approaching a challenge within their learning. A blue luggage label could be up for grabs if the children continue to shine within this area.
We have kick-started the term with a gruesome science experiment where the class created their very own ‘blood smoothie’. We discussed the varying components in blood and used real life ingredients to replicate each one. It was lovely to see the children applying their knowledge of the circulatory system and justifying their predictions.
We’re certain the children will sleep well this weekend after such a jam-packed week. Don’t forget to keep checking this page for more updates! Have a wonderful weekend.
Below you will see a picture of the Year 6 staff team.
Left to right: Miss Crossley (Maple class teacher), Mrs Folan, Mr Wood, Mrs Bryne, Mrs Lemar and Mrs Roberts (Oak class teacher). We look forward to working with your children this year.