"Intelligence plus character -that is the goal of true education." Martin Luther King Junior
Year Six is an exciting and challenging year for our pupils as they take their place at the head of the school. For over thirty years, Year Six have acted as monitors for the younger children and are often rewarded with hugs from the Infants as they travel about the school. Each week, each member of Year Six takes on an Infant and a Junior duty. They become very well-known to the younger ones and we are always proud of the fine role models they are, the relationships they forge and the example they set to others.
In Year Six we also nominate a Headboy and a Headgirl to lead the school; and House Captains who run our House Meetings and inspire the children in their House to achieve great things and win the House Cup!
It is always a difficult decision for parents and children alike but we aim to support you in your decision-making and help you to find and achieve the best fit for your child. Much of the focus in the first term is on preparation for Entrance Exams to Independent and Grammar Schools; this includes studying interview technique in their HPSED lessons.
Each week the children will have 9 English lessons which will include the following:
(which will be assessed approximately every three weeks and given a level with targets set) In the Summer Term, this includes the production of the Year Six Gazette.
A great deal of time and attention is placed on Reading at Highfield. In Year 6, children are encouraged to make independent choices and to make progress through the Reading Challenge. Any reluctant readers will remain on a structured reading scheme. Regular reading is vital to the academic success of any child and we ask parents to support their child’s reading at home as well as devoting plenty of time and attention to reading in school.
Children in Year Six sit regular spelling tests which includes understanding the meaning as well as written accuracy. They are also given ten ambitious words which they are encouraged to use appropriately in their own writing across all subjects.
Children are set regular targets to keep them focused on remembering the basics and on using more advanced punctuation appropriately in their own writing. They practise and prepare for the SPAG NCT test in May.
If children are focused and follow the advice they are given, it is possible for them to achieve a level 5 in writing. Children who are working towards level 6, will be focusing on demonstrating that they can adapt their writing to suit purpose and audience with confidence. Small group work helps them to achieve this as well as being encouraged to read a variety of authors and genres.
All Year 6 children take part in this competition. In September, the children are given a list of 5 books to read before February. Questions will be asked about these books in the first round of the competition – in the first week of February.
The final is held on World Book Day – this usually involves 5 children.
It is a highly entertaining event which the children really enjoy. They are watched by the rest of the school and the competition is fierce –although it can be hard to take Mrs Haythornthwaite seriously when she is dressed as Eeyore!
Our teaching of Maths at Highfield is not only about taking children forward in their mathematical ability but also instilling in them a sense of enjoyment in their maths work through a variety of challenging activities and stimulating lessons. By Secondary School, our pupils should be confident in their ability and fully engaged with the subject.
We have 9 lessons a week which are divided into these key areas:
More able children will be invited to test their mental agility at Puzzle Club and will be helped to prepare for sitting the level 6 NCT paper.
Our teaching in these four areas aims to improve our children’s General Knowledge of the world and the people around them. We aim to challenge the children to ask questions and to demand to know more. We want our pupils to understand Great Britain in the context of Europe and the World; we want them to understand how our country is governed and how this differs from other countries; we look at different faiths, sacred texts and the many ways that people worship within our community; and we study the Seven Wonders of the World. The children’s study of the Ancient Egyptians is supported by an Egyptian Workshop at the World Museum in Liverpool. Their study of the Victorian era is supported by a trip to Leighton Hall.
Science lessons primarily take place in our Science laboratory and our outdoor classroom: Highfield Haven.
Our three key areas for focus in Year Six are:
Our pupils are encouraged to observe and challenge their environment, looking at how and why things operate in the way that they do. We also aim to give the children the tools they require to tackle the Science Curriculum with confidence in Year Seven.
We have a specialist teacher and Art and Design studio for the teaching of this subject and the standard attained by our Year Six pupils is often quite staggering. In Year Six, they focus on:
PSHEE takes on increasing importance as the children are nearing puberty and a new start in a new environment: High School. They have many questions, doubts and anxieties and our curriculum is focused on helping them through this confusing time:
Our Year Sixes enjoy a highly competitive year on the Sports Field as they have a busy fixture list which includes many tournaments and inter-school competitions in: Swimming, Athletics, Cross-Country, Football, Netball, Rugby, Rounders and Cricket.
In PE lessons, they advance their skills in Gymnastics, Basketball, Badminton, Athletics, Tennis and Kwik Cricket.
In Music, our Year Sixes explore rounds, lyrics, rhythm, pulse and melodies. They have music technology lessons and they work together to create their end of year performance. In addition, they are invited to audition for the school choir and to attend regular practices on a Friday lunchtime.
In ICT we have a specialist teacher and ICT suite and by Year Six, our pupils enjoy sophisticated computing skills: they learn how to develop and utilise a spreadsheet; they are introduced to programming in Java using the Greenfoot application; they design and create their own website; they create and access their own database and they produce and edit a short movie.
They are able to start at Secondary School as confident workers within IT, accessing the Year 7 curriculum at the highest level.
In Year Six, the pupils take their Grade Four HPSED Exams and continuous assessment in Drama. In the Autumn Term, we focus on improving Interview technique. The children are made aware of any annoying habits that might be creeping into their speech or body language. They are reminded of the importance of presenting themselves well at all times: in the manner of their dress, tidiness of their hair and general cleanliness; as well as smiling, making clear eye contact, holding their bodies with control and confidence and speaking clearly. They are asked to respond to art and literature, current affairs and something unexpected occurring, as well as talking about their likes and dislikes, past, present and future and their reason for attending the interview.
Once they have mastered this, they are deemed ready for “The Dragons’ Den”! The children come up with an idea for a new invention which they have to pitch to the dragons. They have to be sure of their facts and figures, the USP of their product and they must have conducted research to show that there is a market for their product. Their final pitch is in front of Mrs Duke and an external examiner.
In the Spring Term, the children become speech writers, emulating the style of Martin Luther King and coming up with their own vision of a perfect world. Their final speech is performed as an exam piece in front of an examiner and Mrs Duke. They then move on to creating persuasive speeches for the purpose of debate.
The Summer Term is dedicated to drama and the creation of their Leavers’ Assembly and their end of year/school production. They are continually assessed during this term.
Our expectations of our Year 6 are high and we expect and encourage them to aim high in all that they do, creating stimulation and challenge for them at every opportunity.