"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.
Time is set aside each week to focus on this important aspect of a child’s development. We look at how they all operate as individuals, as members of the school community and as members of Society. We help children with the confusing and worrying questions that crop up in the course of a week and we create an environment of trust so that questions can be asked and answered without embarrassment. It is also a time when we focus on any difficulties that might be occurring in the playground or in the way the children interact with each other. We continually reinforce how children can help themselves and each other to stay safe. The children have a circle time session and a dedicated lesson each week.
PHSE 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. Sex and Relationship Education forms part of the Year 6 curriculum and parents are informed of the content of the lessons prior to them being taught. These lessons are taught in single sex groups.
There are 3 core themes to the curriculum which cover a variety of topics within them. These are:
Health and Wellbeing - Health, Nutrition & Food, Aspirations, Emotions and Safety
Relationships - Communication, Collaboration, Similarities & Differences, Healthy Relationships
Living in the Wider World - Rights & Responsibilities, Diversity and Economic awareness & Enterprise
These core themes are supplemented with work on the Fundamental British Values (FBV)
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 painting by responding to the work of great artist, Vincent Van Gogh. They also learn how to create a lino cut print based on the Ancient Egyptians, complementing history studied in the classroom. In Design and Technology lessons children learn how to build a powered car.
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 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 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.
By Year 6, the children are ready to take on the world!
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, Hockey, Rugby, Rounders and Cricket. In PE lessons, they advance their skills in Gymnastics, Basketball, Badminton, Athletics, Tennis and Kwik Cricket. We aim to keep our children fit and to teach them to respect their bodies and their health. We strive to give our children self-belief and to take the words, “I can’t” or “I’m no good at…” out of their vocabularies. As a result, our pupils are excited and energised by sport and are keen to participate in sporting fixtures.
A residential activity weekend is offered to children in Years 5 and 6. This helps the children to grow in confidence and independence as well as developing their ability to work with, and support each other, as part of a team. Their challenges include high wire ropes, an underground maze, abseiling and kayaking. It is an extremely popular weekend!
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.
Find out more about our Year Two Curriculum