- PGL 2017
On Friday 24th March, 32 of us piled into a coach and headed to the South Downs for this year’s PGL residential trip. Over the course of the weekend, we got to try our hands at a huge range of activities that we’d never even thought about trying before, from zip wire to raft-building, aeroball and giant swing. Launching ourselves into puddles for a very muddy 'Challenge Course' was a definite highlight, as were our evenings round the camp fire and playing hide-and-seek in the forests - and we loved the house we were staying in, too.
- Indoor Athletics Festival
We all thoroughly enjoyed being involved in training for this year's Stevenage Indoor Athletics Festival - and as a result team selection was really tricky, with many of us excelling at different events. All that training certainly paid-off when we reached the competition itself, with our Girls and Boys teams both securing bronze medals - click here to find out more about the event.
- A busy term for our sports teams...
It’s been a really busy few weeks for our sportier girls, in particular, with a run of netball and football matches that have seen teams in action seven times in just three weeks. Click here to find out more about our Football results - including an impressive run in the Stevenage Cup for our boys - or here to read the latest on our Netball squad.
- Sport On Tour
Earlier this term we had the chance to take part in Sporting Futures On Tour - a sports workshop session run by coaches from the Stevenage Sporting Futures Team, which involved a series of ball skills drills and stacking-cup games. Working in pairs, we kept careful score of our results in each activity, as these all counted towards our overall school score, which will be compared with every other school in town to decide the overall Stevenage On Tour champion.
In return for our hard work so far this year, those of us who had achieved our Silver Merit Award by the start of February were rewarded with a bonus trampolining session, run by coaches from Rising Stars. Almost half of the class were able to take part, showing how much effort we’ve put into making maximum progress and producing our best work already this year, and thoroughly enjoyed their treat. Following positive feedback from across the school, School Council have now decided that those of us who achieve Platinum level by the end of the year will get to take part in another reward session - something that we’ll all be working extra hard to secure.
- Christmas Performances
We rounded-off the Autumn Term with two nerve-wracking performances in front of the whole school. On the penultimate Wednesday of the year, we had the chance to sing the Christmas-themed songs we had written and rehearsed in our music lessons this term. We were very nervous about sharing our work in front of such a large audience, but the practice paid-off and we stayed in time, sang with confidence and earned lots of applause from the rest of the school!
- Rugby Festival
We thoroughly enjoyed taking part in our first intra-school sports fesitval of the year, taking on the rest of Year 5/6 in a 5-a-side Tag Rugby tournament. To find out more, check out the full story here.
- Secret Agents!
To support our work on instructions, we took on the role of secret agents, battling to break into the lair of an evil mastermind and retrieve vital information. We started by working in groups, blindfolding one of our team and then giving them instructions to make their way through a maze of lasers, moving walls, suction pits and gun turrets, some of which you can see in the pictures below. We quickly discovered that this was a lot harder than it might seem - and that shouting at someone wearing a blindfold really doesn’t help!
- Table Tennis
Our table tennis team were delighted to be able to take part in a second tournament this year, having been invited to take part in a Rising Stars event organised by our coach, Mr Butler, at the Leisure Centre. Edy, Connor, Cristiano, Taskia, Honey and Kate played in a mix of singles, doubles and triples matches (playing on some interestingly shaped, six-player tables), against schools from across town - and, thanks to some excellent teamwork and a lot of time spent on the practice table, they won almost all their games. Eventually, they reached the final, where another confident display saw them win through, securing gold medals and an impressive trophy to bring back to school, which they proudly shared in assembly.
What we've learnt about this term:
- Geography - Capitals
Our topic for the term has seen us exploring Capital Cities. We began the half-term by thinking about what makes somewhere a capital, what we’d expect to find there and why cities like London, Paris, Washington and Mexico City are situated in their particular locations. We located these (and many other) capitals on a range of maps and globes, and then explored the way they have changed over time. We produced some excellent posters, too, packed with information about capital cities. Building on all this, we then imagined what it would be like to live in one of these cities, and wrote diary entries in the character of a child living in Mexico City
- you can read Shelly's example below:
It’s been an exhausting day. I had to drag myself out of bed at 6.25am, ready to start school at 8am... I am hating the early morning shifts this term, and can’t wait to go back on to afternoon school next month! Walking to school takes an hour and 20 minutes, and with all the rush hour traffic, it’s a horrible way to start the day.
Anyway, 5 hours quickly passed at school, and before I knew it, it was lunch time. We walked to the local park to have a picnic, and while eating we saw ponies being ridden and hundreds of children playing football all around us. It felt like everything was right with the world.
After lunch, we started walking towards the museum. Passing dozens of street children, all begging for change as usual, it felt horrid not to be able to help them properly. All we could do was give them the left-overs from our lunch and a drink, and try chatting to some of the kids who looked our age... And after all that, by the time we reached the museum it was closed! We set-off on the long walk home, and got back just in time for tea...
- English - The Last Princess
Our focus in the first half of the term was story writing. We were introduced to a mysterious room, overlooking the streets of Paris, with bars on the windows and a rope made out of sheets that had been tied together which disappeared out of the window - and we began by trying to work out what could have happened here, as you can see below…
The following day, our questions began to be answered when we were introduced to the story of The Last Princess, which described how the narrator (a young girl called Claudine Lafayette) had been kidnapped, locked in the room and then, over the course of eight months, had planned and executed her escape. We learnt the story by heart, using pictures and actions to support us, and then used this text as the base for our work in English throughout the term, building up to writing our own versions - examples of which you can see here.
English - Instructions
We've also explored instruction writing. We began by giving oral instructions, taking on the role of secret agents, attempting to infiltrate a HYRDA base, before learning a set of instructions that we’d been sent by heart. We were then set the task of guiding other agents to the heart of HYDRA HQ. With the floor-plan of the building laid-out in the hall, we planned our route in pairs, working out how to overcome lasers, motion sensors, electrified floors, heat sensors and a lot of guards - and came up with an impressive range of ingenious solutions, including some crazy high-tech gadgets. Over the course of the next week, with support from a model text and lots of shared writing, we all produced high-quality instructions, which we presented using ICT - click on the thumbnails below to view two examples of our finished work.
Our maths targets have focussed on place value, identifying, explaining and comparing the value of each digit in increasingly complex numbers (using whole numbers to ten million and decimals with up to 3 places). To support our understanding and help us to visualise problems (and amounts) in a variety of ways, we spent a lot of time making numbers using a range of resources, including bead strings, counters, base-ten equipment, number cards and grids. Representing decimals with these resources required all our ingenuity and helped us to ensure that over 70% of us achieved our “Should” target, the point we should be working at by the end of Year 6..
Over the course of this term, we have all also begun to get ready for our SATs tests through weekly Booster sessions. We split into small groups, each working with our own adult, and work our way through questions from previous tests, to help us improve the way we approach these tasks and get used to the style of the problems. We’ll continue with these sessions all the way through until SATs week (which is now only three months away), and really appreciate any help we can get at home with completing our question packs and other homework.
Our Summer Term Topic:
We will begin the term by completing our persuasion unit, writing speeches to convince the Mayor of London to invest in our solutions to the city’s transport problems (everything from hover cars to tunnelling machines to multi-level, multi-sided motorways). We will then use the understanding of persuasion we have developed throughout the unit to produce Dragons Den style presentations for our own inventions.
Following on from this, our focus will shift to reading for the remaining weeks leading up to our SATs in May, as we aim to build on all the fantastic work we have done this year and secure the very best scores possible in our tests.
As we build towards our SATs tests, we will be revising every part of the maths curriculum, from fractions to shape and measures. In particular, we will return to our core operations, really ensuring that we have fluency in numbers up to a million (including whole numbers and decimal numbers with up to three decimal places), to prepare us for the arithmetic test.
We will continue to focus on a different topic each week in our Booster sessions, as well as ensuring we speed-up our recall of tables facts, which we will be tested on every week.
We will be developing our understanding of animals by looking at the role of the heart, lungs and blood in humans and other animals. We will investigate the way that water and nutrients are transported around animal bodies, before exploring what it means to be ‘healthy’ and identifying ways in which we can lead healthy lives.
We will be studying the Amazon Rainforest, locating it on a variety of maps and globes, and discussing the large variety of habitats that are found there. This will include looking at the features of the rainforest and identifying what makes this area particularly special (and endangered). We will then research different species of animals, before learning about the importance that the rainforest has for the Earth as a whole.
Linked to our topic work, we will sketch rainforest creatures and habitats, improving our use of shading to create a sense of depth. We will then create 3d models of the rainforest using recycled items, thinking carefully about our choice of materials, so that they reflect the colours, textures, light and energy of the Amazon.