Year 6 is a year in which pupils begin to become more independent, explore new opportunities, and take on more responsibilities in preparation for life in the next phase of their education. Our extensive curriculum and tailored activities ensure this type of personal growth is fostered.
In English we examine a wide range of literature from Eoin Colfer, to Sam Angus, through to Shakespeare and Jonathan Swift. We also enjoy the works of poets such as Carol Ann Duffy and Hilaire Belloc. Lessons are sometimes formal, sometimes innovative as this gives the pupils a broad skills base – we may study apostrophes one day and be involved in role play the next. We like the variety!
Along with all the other KS2 Year Groups, we set for maths in order to both support and challenge pupils appropriately. All areas of the maths curriculum are covered and consolidated. There is no such thing as a ‘typical’ maths lesson here: it may be that we use the Smartboard, individual whiteboards, a wide variety of mathematical resources or formal textbooks. Basic skills are given importance and these are then put to practical use in investigations, for example, pupils may be asked to design a theme park. Science in the Junior Lab based in the Senior School, enables pupils to take a more kinaesthetic and practical approach to learning – including carrying out exciting experiments.
Just as historians find out about the past using primary and secondary sources, we try to make learning history an interactive experience, for example by looking at original artefacts, film and documents during our study of World War I. Our visit to the Wigston Records Office gives pupils the opportunity to carry out research using actual historical documents. Geography takes us on a journey along the coastline of Britain and beyond to France and the mountain ranges of the world, Europe and Britain.
We take an original approach to RE which involves the children going on a virtual journey to explore a number of ideas and experiences. Later, through the themes of Death and Temptation we examine a range of belief systems.
Our school places great emphasis on the social, moral, spiritual and cultural well-being of our pupils and this is central to all aspects of our teaching. Specifically, issues of personal growth, relationships, economic understanding, health and citizenship are covered weekly in PSHE lessons when we may debate current affairs, rules, safety and personal responsibilities. We also foster an understanding of the rule of law and British values.
In ICT skills are further developed to be put into practice both in discrete ICT lessons and in other subjects – pupils learn to create animations, use spreadsheets, control a variety of simulations and hone their desk top publishing skills. iPads are now an integral tool in all subjects.
In Art and Design Technology pupils design and build their own shelter, draw and paint in their own style inspired by Henry Moore, Leonardo da Vinci, and Andy Warhol. Pupils have the opportunity to work in media such as clay, paint, collage and pastels. In the final term, Year six pupils visit the Senior School Design Technology Department to take part in an exciting day of designing, building and testing products which are then put to the test in competition conditions.
There is a wealth of after-school clubs for our pupils, from sports and music, to art and craft, and languages, including Mandarin. Many children become involved in fixtures against other schools and we also have lots of inter-house competitions.
A popular aspect of increased responsibility for Year 6 is to become a volunteer helper for the younger children. This can involve anything from painting with Foundation Stage children to being a ball court referee. We also have the Playground Pals, a peer support group for KS2.
Amongst the highlights of the year are our annual production, performed in the Senior School Drama studio, and our residential week at a French chateau – we even have the chance to try frogs’ legs and snails, French style!