Information Sheet For Parents
Welcome to the academic school year 2018-2019 – you join us at a new and exciting point in our school’s history – the introduction of a new class in a new classroom and for the first time in the history of OLST, a pure year group! Your child will be in a class of eighteen children, all Year 6. This is a fabulous opportunity for them and I must say, I am honoured to be working with them in such a new environment. The builders completed work in the fifth week of the Summer Holidays and I have had great fun getting the classroom ready for your children since then. I really hope it is an environment that will stimulate and support their learning and give them something brand new to cherish.
This year sees exciting changes to our curriculum as well as Classes. Your child will not work on a rolling programme but access only pure Y6 objectives. This does mean that they will revisit some Science and RE topics but I have adapted these to ensure that they will not repeat actual lessons. In Maths and English a ‘top down’ approach will be taken. This means that all children will access the full range of concepts presented across Y6. We will continue to deliver Guided Reading in ability groups but will also offer whole Class sessions once a week. In my experience, children have an amazing capacity to learn and I am excited to move learning forward in this way in my classroom.
We will continue to deliver the full curriculum throughout the year as we always have at OLST – Maths and English will be covered from Monday to Thursday with the same hours as in previous years. Science, Humanities and RE will continue to be taught throughout the year between Monday and Thursday and Music, Art, DT, Citizenship, Outdoor learning, MFL and PE will be delivered on a Carousel system on Fridays. This is to further develop the embedding of a wide and varied curriculum for our pupils.
Y6 children sit their SATs in May.
THIS YEAR’S DATES ARE: WEEK BEGINNING: MONDAY MAY 13 2019 – THURSDAY MAY 16 2019
It is imperative that the children are in school during this week to sit the exams they will have prepared so diligently for. Throughout the year leading up to SATs, it is essential that your child attends school as often as possible as teaching is fast paced and it is easy to miss something vital if time is spent away from the classroom. Year on year, the SATS have become more challenging and the children are prepared for them throughout the year through classroom teaching , Intervention sessions and Booster classes The children are aware of SATs but we try not to dwell upon them and we certainly do not ‘coach’ the children for the tests. The children are well prepared in school and if they work hard and complete their homework tasks then they are ready for the tests. Calm children will attain better results. If your child does appear to worry excessively, it is important that you let me know. Please do not underestimate how stressful SATs can be for a Year 6 child – they seem to be the be all and end all for many children! I will keep you informed of your child’s progress through Parents Evenings and I will let you know if they need to work harder!
In Year 6 it is important to read as much as possible in order to develop the higher order skills they need to access SATs. They will develop the Comprehension skills they need in school but the fluency and speed which is essential to get through the Reading Comprehension paper will come from their own reading. Most children will come to the end of our reading scheme during their time in Class 5 and I truly hope that the children will continue to read for pleasure and to develop an understanding of what type of texts best suit them. When this happens, the children can read anything they choose. It is important that children cover a breadth of reading matter at this stage. They should have their reading material in school every day as there are often opportunities for them to read to an adult. They are responsible for changing their own reading books and there is a set routine for this which every child is aware of. I appreciate that you have lots of things to do, but I would ask that you please take a minute to date and initial each time they read at home. Your child will know the quickest way to record that they have read as I have shown them! This year, we will be reading a class novel whenever we have some spare time – this will be a book that is not connected to a particular topic or learning experience, rather something that I think they will enjoy and that is age appropriate.
Spellings and Grammar
A challenging Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation test forms part of the SAT examination and therefore it really is important that children internalise grammar and spelling rules over the four years in Key Stage 2. To address this, Spelling and Grammar rules are taught discretely within the school week. Spelling lessons will focus upon both spelling patterns and those words which the Curriculum demands all children know – high frequency words. The focus for home practise is a group of set words each week – these are linked to a spelling pattern being covered in school as well as the Y5/6 words. Whilst most of the class will learn the same words, if a child has specific needs these will be catered for. This individualised approach to spelling is beneficial for each child. Please support your children by encouraging them to practise daily. Grammar will be taught in weekly lessons in school and will occasionally form part of a child’s English homework.
The children are now expected to know their tables thoroughly by the end of Year 4 (children are now tested at the end of Y4). Many of our Y6 pupils still do not have the automatic recall of tables, mental agility and speed that are key features of the SAT tests. Children find it almost impossible to learn their tables without daily practise at home – please encourage your child to practise a few minutes each day to help them learn their tables off by heart. This is one of the most important skills a child can have and I cannot emphasise enough how much help it gives a child to know their tables by heart. Again, approximately ten minutes per day should enable children to have a sound knowledge of their tables.
As always, children are expected to spend some time reading and practising their tables and their spellings every night. In addition, they will have homework each weekend which should take about one hour to complete, although this does not have to be completed all at once. All homework is based upon subjects that have already been taught in class and will only ever be a consolidation of what they have learned, therefore, children should be able to complete the work independently. If your child finds the work a real struggle, or for some reason can’t complete their homework over the weekend, please still send the book into school on Monday with a short note advising me of the problem. I will then explain anything they have struggled with during lunchtime. On occasions, Y6 children may have other work to complete during the week.
PE will continue to be taught by Mrs Graham. This will be on Fridays and as you have already been informed, children will come to school in their PE kits. It is essential that they have the correct clothing and footwear to ensure their safety. We would ask that you also ensure that your child wears no jewellery ie earrings. There cannot be any movement on this as we are legally obliged to follow Health and Safety guidelines. After the SATs, Y6 will have more PE sessions at other times. In addition, Y6 will now be having an extra PE session on Thursday afternoons with a new PE coach and will therefore need to bring their PE kits on Thursdays.
Working collaboratively, the children agreed their own class charter at the beginning of the school year. This is displayed in the class room for the children to refer to. It links to our rewards system and following our charter earns rewards which contribute to each family point total. The charter is the way in which we all work together to achieve a peaceful and harmonious working atmosphere. In Class 5, there is a constant reinforcement of the Christian belief in the value of and respect for, other human beings.
The School Website
We have a lovely school website which is well worth a visit if you have not yet seen it! It is kept up to date on a weekly basis and is a good way of keeping abreast of any new events in school. Children are always encouraged to tell us of anything they achieve outside of school and they are mentioned in the current news section. If you want to know what your child has been doing in school then there are often articles referring to current affairs. Take a look to see images of our new classroom!
We try very hard to provide exciting and enjoyable educational visits throughout the school Year. Although it is always lovely to have a trip out of school, costs have escalated hugely over the past few years and we are aware that this has an impact on you. We must also ensure that we have the correct pupil: adult ratio which can be challenging (if anyone would like to volunteer their services to do this we would be very grateful!) Therefore we do limit the visits we have. However, we have adapted our practise over the past few years and have visitors coming IN to school to work with children – Sam Jackson is a regular visitor to each class and more recently we have had experts from many other services all paying us a call to provide those experiences which enhance the curriculum for our children.
In Year 6 there is usually the opportunity for a Residential Visit to the Kingsway Outdoor Adventure Centre in Middleton. It is hoped to repeat this visit in the coming year. You will hear more about that in due course.
In Year 6, children often face challenging times, not just academically, but in terms of the physical and mental changes within themselves as they enter Puberty. We are proud of the pastoral care we provide at OLST and as part of our curriculum, we spend lots of time exploring the common issues of this age group but there are still occasions when problems occur. If you or your child is concerned about something please do not hesitate to contact me – I am always available to discuss things with you (although you will probably need to make an appointment to see me). If your child is worried about something then they will not be able to focus upon their academic work. I can usually help them if I know what the problem is and if I can’t, I can usually find someone who can! I don’t want any child in my care to worry about something that can be remedied so please don’t feel that you cannot come to me. It is by working together that we can ensure your child achieves the very best they can whilst at the same time being happy.