Term 5: Circulation, worm charming and SATS.
Our topic this term was the circulatory system. We began by exploring the incredible muscle that is our heart; after children had been introduced to how the heart functions they explored a pigs heart with their peers to see how it functioned in reality. Many children were amazed and feelings of distaste were quickly overcome - we had to force some children to stop! It was incredible to listen to the children explaining what they had discovered about the chambers and valves of the heart.
During the term we made blood samples using golden syrup, oil and milk - each element then settling to symbolise the red blood cells, white blood cells and plasma in a blood sample.
At the beginning of term most of our literacy and maths learning was focused on revising our learning from year 3 to year 6 ready for the SATS tests. Children enjoyed the daily breakfasts (thanks Mel and Ange!) and were incredibly focused throughout each of the tests.
Below are a selection of photos from the trip - and evidence that several children didn't understand what paddling meant!
After Mr Houston brought his dog on the walk, Mrs Poole raised the bar and brought her lambs in for a St Mary's adventure! The year 6s were able to feed, hold and even round up the lambs.
Finally our year 6 netball team had great success at the Dorset school games tournament - coming first and making it onto the netball shield for the first time EVER! Congratulations to our amazing team for an incredible representation of St Mary's.
Term 4: World book day, fossils and beaks!
Our term began with a visit to the Bank of Dreams and Nightmares at the Lyric theatre. The wonderful team there inspired us to create our own tale of magic and mystery. Despite their rude bank manager suggesting that children could not write, we created an incredible story based on a tree called Demetrius with flowing locks! Nick joined us on World Book day with our story published and illustrated!
World Book day was filled with fun and wonderful costumes, including a great collection of characters from Matilda - can you name them all?
Our topic this term was called Darwin's Delights. We have been studying fossils and living animals to understand the incredible discoveries that Charles Darwin and local legend Mary Anning made leading to our understanding of adaptation, inheritance and evolution.
To kick start our topic we met with Alison, a paleontologist from the Charmouth Heritage centre. She taught us about the amazing fossils that Mary found, and that we can still find today.
We carried out several science experiments this term to understand Darwin's theories. In the experiment about inheritance - we mixed chromosomes from an imaginary mum and dad and created a range of children - we discovered that children inherit some but not all characteristics from their parents. We thought about and discussed what we had inherited from our parents.
We carried out an experiment where we investigated how different beaks affect how well a bird can eat and what it can eat. This was based on Darwin's research into finches beaks on the Galapagos Islands, which led to his understanding about evolution. We ate worms, squishy bugs, nuts and seeds!
Term 3: Icebergs, the whistlers, and suspense!
This term we have focused our literacy writing on the suspense genre. To hook the children in we worked with our year 5 buddies and explored the school, blindfolded. The teachers had great fun trying to spook us!
Here is a snippet from Xander's wonderful creation:
"Meena ordered Jane to venture into the deep, dark forest area. Jane reluctantly hopped the fence, sharp daggers piercing the sole of her shoes. Crows fled throughout the forest upon the arrival of this new presence. Jane paused, a metal scrape and a groan echoed through the floor. "Haha...very funny guys” Jane muttered. As she crept further into the forest, a ringing of the school bell called everyone in. Except, Jane."
Also in literacy we wrote non-chronological reports about polar animals that we created by blending a range of real animals. Here is an introduction to Ollie's fantastic creature:
"The octobuterguin is a mixture of a butterfly, an octopus, and a penguin. It was last seen in 2020, on the 6th of March, by the famous scientist, Ryan Beck. Unfortunately, he was savagely ripped into pieces by penguins later in 2020 on the 17th of October."
We were extremely fortunate to have the Red Herring theatre company join us for a creative writing workshop about the mystical Whistlers - people who live in harmony with birds. We had to go into full stealth mode to try and creep up on one!
We created our own Whistlers, with their own highly imaginative biographies!
In maths this term we have been focused on fractions: what is a fraction? what is an improper fraction? a mixed number?
How do you add and subtract fractions with different denominators? How do you simplify fractions? These are all things that your children have worked extremely hard to understand and practise.
Alongside this, we celebrated NSPCC number day where we dressed up, played maths games and took part in maths challenges. The dressing up was spectacular!
Our topic this term has been Frozen Kingdoms. During the topic we have investigated the Arctic and Antarctic and understood the impact that climate change is having upon these regions. To kick start the topic we investigated home-made icebergs - how they change shape, how they sit in the water and how they are affected by salt and salt water.
In topic we also explored the harsh environments of the polar regions and the animals and indigenous cultures that inhabit these places. Children designed and created soap carvings, which was a lot of fun but harder than we imagined!
Children also investigated how animals can survive in such low temperatures. Using an ice bucket challenge we investigated the impact that air and fat (blubber) have as thermal insulators. Children had to time how long their partner could keep their hand in a freezing cold bucket of ice with a glove, a glove filled with air and then a glove covered in lard. Having a lard hand massage from Mr Houston was one of the stranger experiences of the term. . .
Finally the children took part in their mock-SATs. They showed incredible recall and resilience. I am sure they told you all about it - or at least, the breakfast?!
Term 2 - Electricity, programming, geometry and Christmas!
Thankyou for you support for your children this term. With absence of both children and staff life has been quite changeable but your children have adapted brilliantly and we are very proud of them. Thankyou for joining us for the Christingle - it was great to see the class performing so confidently in front of you.
This term we've been exploring how technology around us works - including writing and debugging algorithms, exploring what networks are and how they enable us to access the internet. We particularly enjoyed Mr Houston being a robot and attempting to program him to make a jam sandwich - it got very messy!
We took part in a live tour with Amazon where we discovered some amazing ways in which technology is used to collect and deliver parcels.
In Science we completed our light learning by exploring how we can make colourful shadows by mixing different combinations of light - we also discovered that no-one in class seems to be colourblind!
We then moved on to our electricity topic where we investigated how electricity is produced, how to be safe around electricity and how to build circuits.
We discussed the future of electric vehicles and even charged one from Mrs Batorska's office!
In Literacy this term we used the fairytale of Hansel and Gretel as a basis to rewrite our own tales of fear before moving on to write explanation texts at the end of term about life at St Mary's.
In Maths we developed our confidence with multiplication and division strategies. At the end of term we explored a range of areas of geometry including shapes, angles and coordinates.
Wildside- Day 3
Wildside - Day 2
Wildside - Day 1
Term 1 - sailing, evacuees, air-raids and eggless sponges!
It has been a busy start to the term in year 6. Right at the beginning of the term we headed off to Portland to see a real working lighthouse and explore the amazing landscape of the Bill - children loved exploring the rocks and small caves. A great place to explore with the family!
I'll hand over to Tilly and Ryan to explain what happened next . . .
St Marys year 6s had the amazing opportunity to sail at the Weymouth and Portland National sailing Academy. 25 students (1 mum and 1 dad)
Last week we put away our uniform and replaced our outfits with those of children in the 1940s. Children explored the thoughts and emotions of children during this troubling time - those with younger siblings were particularly anxious about being left in charge! We used quills to write our own labels, drank tea and ate rationing favourites: an eggless sponge and honey biscuits
(Slightly concerned about this waxwork!)
In the afternoon we made gas masks, picked blackberries ready for hedgerow jam and shared the precious items that we would have brought with us.
Through these trips and events we grew stronger together as a class and as individuals. We as staff loved getting to know the children more and all their wonderful individual characteristics!