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Year Six

ENGLISH

Reading

At Thomson House we wish to foster positive attitudes to reading as a life skill. In Year 6 we consolidate and build on the skills developed in Year 5 and continue to provide pupils with many opportunities to read widely for pleasure and for information.  We develop the skills of information retrieval across the curriculum, making use of appropriate technologies and trips to galleries and museums.  Children will continue to be able to choose books from the school library and the local library in Sheen Lane, ensuring easy access to quality texts from a range of cultures and traditions.

By exploring fiction and non-fiction texts under the guidance of the class teacher, children will become more sophisticated readers and be able to discuss how authors use language, identify themes and give reasoned justifications for their views on what they have read. They will be encouraged to challenge ideas courteously.

Writing

At Thomson House we place a high value on sustaining good handwriting as we believe that children’s self-esteem and pride in their work can be raised by good quality presentation. In Year 6, teachers will emphasise the need to write legibly, fluently and with increasing speed as pupils begin to develop their own handwriting style.

Children will continue to plan their own writing according to their learning styles and preferences.  Teachers will increase pupils’ knowledge of language through quality stories, plays, poetry, fiction, non-fiction and text books, developing creativity and greater fluency in both reading and writing. They will consolidate and build on the writing skills in Year 5 to stimulate quality writing which is fit for purpose.

In addition to extended creative writing, children will be taught to summarise passages and to use organisational devices such as headings and bullet points to make their meaning clear. At Thomson House we prepare our children so that by the end of their time with us, their reading and writing should be sufficiently fluent and effortless to manage the demands of secondary school, across all subjects.

Speaking and Listening

By the end of Year 6 we expect the children at Thomson House to be clear and confident speakers, exhibiting enjoyment and mastery of the language.  To achieve this we provide a literacy rich environment with opportunities to use language in a variety of situations and for a variety of purposes and audiences. These may include drama productions, formal presentations of their work to the class, debates, assemblies, poetry or public speaking festivals and competitions. Weekly News encourages them to share with others what they have been doing; Current Affairs hones the skills of discussion and debate and engages children with their wider world.

 

Maths

At Thomson House we aim for all pupils to become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, with the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately, to reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry using mathematical language and to solve problems by applying their mathematical knowledge to a range of problems in different contexts.

In Upper key Stage 2 our primary focus is to ensure that pupils extend their understanding of the number system and place value, developing the connections between multiplication and division with fractions, decimals, percentages and ratio. We will develop their ability to solve a wider range of increasingly complex problems which demand efficient mental and written maths. By the end of Year 6 we expect our pupils to be fluent in written methods for all four operations, including long multiplication and division, and in working with fractions, decimals and percentages.

Maths can be divided into four different strands of learning – number; measurement; geometry and statistics (data handling). Maths at Thomson House will be taught through explicit teaching of skills, investigative work, rote learning, questioning assumptions and a creative and challenging curriculum which uses examples from everyday life.

In number pupils will be taught:

  • Number and place value (up to 10,000,000, interpreting negative numbers, rounding whole numbers with accuracy, negative numbers in context, solving problems)
  • Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division (multiplying multi-digit numbers, dividing numbers up to 4 digits by long and short division, mental calculations, common factors, common multiples and prime numbers, using estimating to check, solving multi-step problems in context)
  • Fractions, including decimals and percentages (comparing and ordering fractions, how to add, subtract, divide and multiply fractions and decimals, decimals to three places, percentages, solving problems requiring answers to be rounded to specified degrees of accuracy, recalling and using equivalences between simple fractions, decimals and percentage in different contexts)
  • Ratios and proportion (solving problems involving: relative sizes of two quantities, calculation and use of percentages for comparison, scale, unequal sharing or grouping)
  • Algebra (simple formulae, linear number sequences, expressing missing number problems algebraically, equations with two unknowns)

In measurement pupils will be taught to:

  • Use, read, write and convert between standard units of length, mass, volume and time
  • Convert between miles and kilometres
  • Recognise that shapes with the same area can have different perimeters
  • Recognise when it is possible to use formulae for area and volume of shapes
  • Calculate areas of parallelograms and triangles
  • Calculate, estimate and compare volumes of cubes and cuboids

In geometry pupils will be taught to:

  • Draw 2D shapes from given dimensions and angles
  • recognise, describe and build simple 3D shapes, including making nets, compare and classifly geometric shapes based on their properties
  • parts of a circle
  • find missing angles on a straight line
  • describe positions  on a four quadrant grid
  • draw and translate simple shapes on the coordinate plane and reflect them

In statistics pupils will be taught to:

  • interpret and construct pie charts and line graphs and use them to solve problems
  • calculate and interpret the mean as an average

At Thomson House we ask children to explain how they arrived at the answer, to describe different strategies and methods, to be able to reason and justify their ideas. We understand that this ability is of equal importance to getting the answer right in maths. We encourage children to show curiosity in their learning and to show courage in participation.  We recognise that children can sometimes learn more from getting the answer wrong!  Children should not be afraid to fail as this is a vital part of the learning process; what we wish to imbue is resilience.

 

SCIENCE

By building up a body of key knowledge and concepts, children at Thomson House will learn to recognise the power of rational explanation and be encouraged to develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They will learn how science can be used to explain things, predict how things will behave and analyse causes. Wherever possible, their learning will be first hand and will make use of opportunities beyond the classroom.

Our science teaching aims to ensure that all children

  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
  • develop an understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science
  • are equipped with the scientific knowledge to understand the uses and implications of science in society.

In Year 6 of Upper Key Stage 2, pupils will develop a deeper understanding of a range of scientific ideas by analysing functions, relationships and interactions more systematically and by exploring and talking through ideas in greater depth, including more abstract concepts. They should  ‘work and think scientifically’, which includes planning different types of scientific enquiry, measuring accurately with a range of scientific equipment, recording data, using fair tests, reporting findings including supporting evidence, conclusions  and causal relationships. They will develop their skills through the scientific content of the programme of study:

Living things and their habitats

Pupils will build on their knowledge of classification by looking at commonly found invertebrates and vertebrates so they can explain how various groups are classified according to their characteristics.

Animals, including humans

Building on their knowledge of the body, pupils will learn about the circulatory system and recognise the impact of diet, exercise, drugs and lifestyle on the way their bodies function.

Evolution and inheritance

Building on their knowledge of rocks and fossils, pupils will learn that things change over time and that fossils provide information about the inhabitants of the earth millions of years ago. They will learn about Darwin, how organisms are adapted to their environments and how adaptations may lead to evolution.

Light

By recognising that light appears to travel in straight lines, pupils can explore shadows, mirrors and periscopes.  They will learn how we see objects by light travelling to our eyes.

Electricity

Pupils will build on their knowledge of series circuits by drawing circuit diagrams using recognised symbols. They will investigate different components and how they behave in different combinations.

 

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

At Thomson House we believe that healthy bodies link closely to healthy minds. We stipulate that all children from Year 1 onwards will have 3 hours of weekly curriculum time devoted to PE.

We aim for children to develop fundamental movement skills, to become increasingly competent and confident and to have access to a broad range of opportunities to extend their agility, balance and coordination, individually and with others. They will be engaging in competitive (both against self and against others) and co-operative physical activities, in a range of increasingly challenging situations.

Children will be taught to:

  • master basic movements including running, jumping, throwing and catching, as well as developing balance, agility, strength and co-ordination, and begin to apply these in a range of activities – the children will have a weekly gymnastics lesson and the opportunity to join a multi-sports lunchtime club.
  • participate in team games, developing simple tactics for attacking and defending – such as football.
  • perform dances using simple movement patterns to music.
  • master swimming strokes – front crawl, back stroke, breast stroke, butterfly and diving.

 

HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY

At Thomson House we encourage enquiring minds – we link history and geography to Philosophy For Children, exploring ideas, questioning assumptions, justifying explanations and reasoning with each other. Our creative curriculum will allow the children to learn history and geography in relevant and exciting topic based ways. 

Geographically, in Key Stage 2 we aim to ensure that all pupils:

  • Develop contextual knowledge of globally significant places. They will be taught locational knowledge and place knowledge.
  • Understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world, how these are interdependent and may change over time.
  • Are competent in the geographical skills needed to engage with fieldwork and to interpret maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and digital technologies.

Historically, in Key Stage 2 we aim to give pupils a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world, helping them to understand the complexities of people’s lives, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups. We will:

  • develop a chronologic knowledge of British, local and world history
  • combine overview and depth studies to help pupils understand both the long arc of development and specific aspects of different periods
  • study aspects or themes, such as an aspect of social history or significant turning points in British history
  • learn about the achievements of the earliest civilisations, such as ancient Egypt, ancient China and ancient Greece
  • study a non-European society, such as early Islamic or Mayan civilization

 

MUSIC

At Thomson House we are devoted to our musical learning journey.

Each class will have two music lessons a week and a singing assembly. Every child has the opportunity to attend choir – one of our lunchtime clubs.

In lessons the children will be taught to:

  • use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes
  • play tuned and untuned instruments musically
  • listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music
  • experiment with, create, select and combine sounds using the inter-related dimensions of music

We believe that every child should learn to play a musical instrument so, following on from percussion in EYFS and recorder in Key Stage 1, we would encourage older children to have individual instrumental lessons at a small charge. Currently piano and cello are on offer but the list will be expanded as the school grows. Lessons take place during curriculum time although the timetable is rotated to ensure that no child misses the same lesson each week.

 

ART & DESIGN

At Thomson House we provide a high-quality art and design curriculum to engage, inspire and challenge children, equipping them with knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own work.  As they progress, we encourage them to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design. Pupils will be taught:

  • to create sketchbooks to record their observations and use them to review and revisit ideas
  • to use drawing, painting and sculpture proficiently, using a range of materials, to develop and share their ideas, experiences and imagination. 
  • to develop a wide range of art and design techniques in using colour, pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space
  • to know about the work of a range of artists, architects and designers in history, describing the differences and similarities between different practices, cultures and disciplines, and making links to their own work.

We will have themed weeks throughout the year which will incorporate art and design through a range of different mediums. As well as visiting galleries, we often have visiting artists and workshops to motivate and enthuse our budding artists.  Children’s art and design work is displayed throughout the school.

 

DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY

Design and Technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject.  Through a variety of creative and practical activities, we will teach the children at Thomson House the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in the process of designing and making products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts. They will learn to:

  • Design using research and design criteria to design innovative, functional and appealing products that are fit for purpose and they will communicate their ideas in a range of ways
  • Make things by selecting from a range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks, choosing materials and components for their functional and aesthetic qualities
  • Evaluate their ideas and products against existing products and their own design criteria, considering the views of others to improve their work
  • acquire Technical knowledge on strengthening complex structures, mechanical and electrical systems, applying their knowledge of computing to programme, monitor and control their products.
  • Cook and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating, understanding seasonality, provenance and how to cook a range of dishes using different techniques.

 

RE/PHILOSOPHY

At Thomson House we believe that RE should be taught through Philosophy For Children, SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural learning) and through our Well-being programme of assemblies, circle times and specific lessons. The children will be taught to respect the beliefs of others and to respect different cultures.

The children will attend assemblies which will cover emotional well-being; school values; morals, social skills and other cultures. Within the classrooms, teachers will implicitly teach skills through philosophy for children such as questioning, reasoning, explanation, justifying and debate.

Each class will debate and discuss issues which arise as the year progresses, such as, friendship, settling in, sharing, self-esteem and bullying.

Learning about different religions and beliefs, through Philosophy for Children, allows the children to explore ideas, challenge assumptions and debate ideas.  Exploring the concepts of religion and belief helps children to develop moral awareness and social understanding.

 

LANGUAGES

The focus of our teaching of modern foreign languages will be on practical communication: listening attentively, joining in simple conversations confidently and developing accurate pronunciation and intonation with familiar words and phrases so that others can understand. Reading and writing is also introduced at the appropriate time. All children from Reception onwards have access to lunchtime language clubs – these and others can be arranged subject to enough sustained demand. Languages become part of the formal curriculum from Year 1, when Italian will be taught. In Year 6 there will be the opportunity to continue to learn Mandarin Chinese.