Term One, Week Six
Book Week started early when we had a visit from our first author, James Campbell, on Friday afternoon. James has written eight books for children including 'The Funny Life of Pets', 'The Funny Life of Teachers' and the Boyface series of novels. He was absolutely hilarious and had the whole of KS2 in fits of giggles throughout his talk. He explained how he went about writing his books and that the 'Funny' books were designed to be read in any order, with lots of signposts throughout the books sending the reader to completely different pages. Tom, in particular, was very excited to learn that James's next book, due out in 2020, is to be 'The Funny Life of Sharks'. Sharks being Tom's favourite subject, we are sure this book will be on his Christmas/Easter/Birthday list next year! When asked at what age he decided to become a writer, he replied: 'At the age of seven, when I realised that I couldn't become a duck (which is what I really wanted to be!' After talking a little more about his books in our celebration assembly, James stayed behind to sell signed copies of his books and the very long queue of excited children was testament to how much they had enjoyed his talk and were keen to read more of what he writes.
Earlier in the week, in literacy, we moved on from Shakespeare's Macbeth on to Romeo and Juliet. Mrs Short introduced us to the prologue to the play. We learnt that much of the story is foretold in the fourteen-line sonnet (poem) at the very beginning of the play. We also discussed the meaning behind each line in preparation for writing our own versions of the prologue in modern English next week.
We had fun in our maths lessons this week as we were learning about the properties of circles and had lots of opportunities to draw them - this proved easier for some than others! We learnt that the diameter is twice the radius and that the circumference is roughly three times the diameter. We also learnt about a very special number called pi which is used to calculate the circumference accurately.
We are also loving playing Maths Prodigy during our early-morning sessions. Letters went home this week with our logon details so that we may play at home too. Each week's questions are matched to what we are learning in class, so it is all great for consolodating our learning whilst having fun at the same time.
Next week, we are looking forward to a busy Book Week with lots of author visits and drama sessions, and not forgetting that next Friday is dressing-up day. Don't forget to come along as your favourite Shakespearian character.
Term One, Week Five
Another week has just flown by, culminating in a wonderful Harvest Festival service at the Methodist Church where we performed the French song 'J'aime les fruits' (I like fruits). A video of us singing will be posted below very soon - please excuse Mrs Godden's singing though! As we couldn't get the song video playing on Youtube, we had to sing acapella.
We have continued our work on Shakespeare this week and will be moving on to Romeo and Juliet next week. In maths with Mrs Godden we have been investigating what angles add up to in triangles and quadrilaterals and then using this information to calculate missing angles. Next week we will be learning all about circles.
On Thursday morning we read a short comprehension text as a class, then answer questions about it individually. This week was very interesting as we learnt about Georges de Mestral, the Swiss inventor of Velcro. Did you know that Velcro is a biomimetic material - this means that it copies an idea from nature. In Georges's case, he noticed how burrs stuck to his dog's fur and then developed a nylon strips with hooks on to mimic how this happens. His invention is now used for many different purposes worldwide, including holding a heart together during cardiac surgery.
Finally, on Friday morning, we were visited by Ms Shepherd during our RE lesson. She was investigating what it is like to be a learner in our school. She was amazed by our discussions about creation, the Big Bang and evolution and when she spoke to some of use individually she was impressed with our enthusiasm for learning at Elham School.
Keep up the good work Year 6!
Term One, Week Four
Shakespeare's Macbeth has been the focus of our literacy this week in Oak Class. We have investigated who was responsible for the murder of King Duncan - the Weird Sisters, Macbeth or Lady Macbeth. We each had our own opinions of which we had to persuade the rest of the class. There is perhaps no one person who is wholly responsible - Macbeth, without the idea being planted in his mind by the Weird Sisters and then being encouraged by his ambitious wife, may well not have had the courage to murder the king. But then Shakespeare would never have written one of his best plays! We have also been retelling the story of Duncan's murder as a newspaper report, complete with snappy headlines.
Music with Mrs Hickman started last week and we were very excited to learn that we will be performing samba music from Rio Carnival, complete with a variety of drums and percussion instruments. We have already begun to practise the different rhythms prior to Mrs Hickman deciding who will play which instrument. She was very pleased with how well, as a class, we were able to keep the different rhythms going. We are very excited at the prospect of performing our South American samba later in the year.
Having learnt the names of many foods and drinks in French, we are now learning to express our food preferences using J'aime, Je n'aime pas, J'adore and Je détèste. Look our for us performing a song about our favourite fruits at next week's Harvest Festival in the Methodist church.
Finally, we truly had our minds expanded in RE this week when we watched videos explaining how the universe was created and how life evolved on Earth. There then followed a discussion as to who created Creation, with the inevitable question of 'Who created God?' We discussed the fact that different people's interpretations of creation depend on their faith, or lack of faith.
It has been another fact-packed week of learning where we had many opportunities to express our own opinions.
Term One, Week Three
Work has begun in earnest in Oak class this week. The children have been especially enthused with the story of Macbeth and have been examining who was responsible for the murder of Kind Duncan - the Weird Sisters, Lady Macbeth, or Macbeth himself. They will need to make up their own minds and create a piece of persuasive writing, justifying their choice.
On Thursday afternoon, we enjoyed a fascinating and enjoyable visit to Elham Manor House which is located at the top of the hill from the village shop. This historic house was built in 1387, but there has been a manor house in Elham since the 11th century when Edric of Elham was lord of the manor. The visit was arranged by the Elham Historical Society who have invited all the Key Stage 2 pupils to create a piece of creative writing based on an idea triggered by the house or its history. These will then be judged by the EHS. Oak class came up with many different ideas and have begun work on their pieces, which will be completed early next week.
On Friday afternoon we began this term's RE topic of Creation by listening to the story of creation from Genesis and drawing and writing about each day, before answering some more thought-provoking questions such as 'How does the story make you feel?' and 'What kind of text is Genesis 1 and what is its purpose?' As we worked we listened to two pieces of music which represent the creation and God the Almighty himself. Click the links below for more details.
Enjoy the sun and warmth on Saturday, but don't forget your raincoats on Sunday though.
Term One, Week Two
Having settled in so well last week, Oak Class had a very good week, punctuated only by the dreaded Kent Test on Thursday! It was evident that every child did their very best and stayed calm throughout the numerous individual tests. We hope that those who took the Shepway Test on Saturday found it a little easier and wish everyone luck as they wait for their results in October.
Term One, Week One
Firstly we would like to offer a big 'welcome' to all the pupils who have joined Oak class this September. They have all had a great start to their time as year 6s and we look forward to working with them all and seeing them make super progress throughout their final year at Elham Primary School.
It has already been a busy week for the class. We asked them to complete this year's SATs papers in English, Maths and GPS so that we could benchmark where each child is and to help us inform our planning for the year.
Reading Records were handed out and following a Star Reader test, the children were given their book levels for this term. Reading Records should be updated at least weekly and handed in on Mondays for Mrs Short to read. We expect every child to read every day and to try and complete at least one book quiz per week.
Spelling were also given on Friday and will also be tested on a Friday morning before our weekly GPS lesson. There are three groups and each child knows which group they are starting in, although they are able to move up or down a group depending on their results each week.
Finally, times tables are tested every Thursday morning. We do expect all the children to know their tables by heart up to 12x by the beginning of year 6, but if your child is still struggling with any of these, there are plenty of online resources to help them secure their knowledge. They can log on to Purple Mash at home and check their knowledge by completing a short test, then use their online game to practise any tables they are not secure with. If your child has forgotten their Purple Mash login, please have them ask Mrs Godden for a new login card.
We are looking forward to a busy but exciting year of learning in Oak Class.
Mrs Short, Mrs Godden and Mrs Vincent