Beech Grove

 

 

WELCOME TO KITES

 We are a Year 6 class and our teacher is Mrs Caroline Whiteman  

Summer 1 Class News

In has been an eventful and fulfilling half term in Kites class and we have fitted so much in to the last 5 weeks: Environment Week, SATs, a trip to the Houses of Parliament, Court Field's transition work and the Queen’s Jubilee celebration afternoon!

The children came back to school after the Easter holidays refreshed and ready to learn and immediately launched into Environment Week. They enjoyed learning about the different ways to reduce, reuse and recycle in order to protect and preserve the local, national and international environment. There were many great activities over the week but the two highlights were having an electric car visit and doing some yoga in Wellington Park. The children really relished getting back to nature and the healing and restorative powers of the natural world. Kites class have continued to build on this with walks around the local area, playing in the park and reading their books outside in the sun shine. They have also begun regular meditation sessions after lunchtime which the children have said are helping them to feel calm and ready for learning. 

As writers, we have delved into the world of portal stories and written exciting narratives where the main character is transported to another place. We based our writing on ‘Time Slip Scarab’, where the main character is transported to Ancient Egypt, and had our characters disappearing and reappearing in Anglo-Saxon Britain, the Houses of Parliament, a minotaur’s maze and a Jumanji style board game, to name just a few. Using a range of sentence structures, ambitious vocabulary and imaginative descriptions, the children really showed how they were thinking about the reader and the impact they wanted their writing to have. The more the children read their writing out loud to each other, the more they were able to edit and improve their work, showing what great authors they have become over the year.

As mathematicians, the children have shown great resilience and stamina in preparation for their SATs. The first couple of weeks of the half term were spent re-visiting some key areas that the children felt unsure about. This ensured they went into their SATs feeling calm and confident.  

As scientists, we have focused on the natural world and the life cycles between different species. The children have enjoyed researching a variety of animals and comparing and contrasting their life cycles. We will be concluding our learning on this topic after half term.

As historians, we have continued along the AD timeline from 1066 up to the present day and learnt about some of the monarchs in between, most notably King John and Queen Victoria. The children were fascinated with the differing interpretations there are of King John and how historical bias must always be considered when looking at any primary source of evidence. As their interpretation skills have developed, so has their ability to decide on the reliability of different sources and they are beginning to develop an analytical side to their thinking. They also focused on how the power each monarch had has changed over time, what led up to these changes and what the consequences were for the people of Britain.

The children thoroughly enjoyed the trip to the Houses of Parliament and, even though it was linked to the children’s Civic Award, it couldn’t have come at a better time in their history learning. It brought into focus how the power between the monarch and the government has changed over time. The children began learning about these pathways in the Autumn term with the Anglo-Saxons all the way up to Queen Elizabeth II; their knowledge about how monarchy and government are entwined throughout our tumultuous and incredible history, is very impressive. To say the children had a wonderful time on the trip is an understatement; the excitement and enrichment it brought to their lives was amazing. Many had never been to London before so the excitement began straightaway and carried on as we began passing well known landmarks. All the children were excellent ambassador’s for Beech Grove and showed off their knowledge and learning to the guides who took us round the Houses of Lords and Commons. It was a wonderful day!

The half term was rounded off in true Beech Grove style, with an afternoon dedicated to the Queen’s Jubilee. Kites class produced a timeline of the Queen’s reign, taking our parents through each decade in turn and highlighting the key achievements and events both at home and abroad. Fascinated by their findings, the children continued their research the following week and explored the Commonwealth and State Opening of Parliament. 

Well done on a really productive, rewarding and jam-packed half term!

 

Spring 2 Class News

In their own words, Kite's Class have had "an amazing, half term!"

The children have continued to show all of our school values, but especially courage; the residential to Pinkery Outdoor Learning Centre and the Easter concert were excellent examples of this.

We began the half term as geographers, scientists and explorers, but most importantly adventurers as we headed off on our Year 6 residential to Pinkery Outdoor Learning Centre. To say the children had a wonderful time is an understatement; the excitement and enrichment it brought to their lives was amazing. They enjoyed bog jumping, bush craft, getting back to and experiencing nature, low ropes, tunneling and the all-important life lesson of how to put on a duvet cover! They showed great courage, resilience, determination and perseverance in adverse weather conditions and all with smiles on their faces and a love of what they were experiencing. It was wonderful to see the children enjoying a different setting and discovering more about them; we all came back with memories we will treasure forever.

As writers, we have built on our knowledge of report writing by adapting our 'finding tale' from last half term into a newspaper report. We were inspired by the short story ‘Kidnapped!’, which we innovated into ‘Ambassador’s Anguish!’. The children showed great recollection of the toolkit of a newspaper report and were able to apply the complex language skills effectively. We have concluded the half term as poets and the children have really enjoyed writing all about an eagle, taking inspiration from ‘The Eagle’ by Tennyson. We began by exploring how an eagle moves, flies, swoops and catches its prey and the children then built on their knowledge of using precise verbs, adjectives and adverbs to create phrases. They then continued to embed their authorship by focusing on specific details such as the eyes, beak, talons and wings to really bring their eagle to life. Some of the poetry was so beautiful and evocative; it made us all quite emotional, as good poetry should.

As mathematicians, we have built on our knowledge of adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing to embed our arithmetic skills even further. We have used our knowledge of statistics and measurement to create bar and line graphs in geography, when comparing climate data.

As geographers, we have been to California and back and absolutely loved learning all about the Golden State! We have built on our learning from Autumn 2 (East Anglia) by comparing and contrasting the regions of Wellington and Somerset with Los Angeles, San Francisco and California. The children’s knowledge of what physical and human geography can look like in different regions is growing and they have been able to confidently compare and contrast the two regions. They have enjoyed learning about different physical features, such as volcanoes and earthquakes, as well embedding their human geography knowledge linked to tourism, crops and farming.

As scientists, we have continued to explore Space and the Solar System culminating with an out-of-this-world enrichment opportunity in a Planetarium. The children have continued to be fascinated with this topic and their thirst for knowledge has been insatiable. Science Day was a particular highlight. Our learning for the day was child led as they had requested more information about the Space Race and astronauts which fitted perfectly with the science theme this year of ‘Growth’. We spent the day exploring space flight from the earliest animals sent into space to the Apollo missions and found watching the International Space Station orbit the Earth, mesmerising. A number of children went onto complete further research at home and produced PowerPoints showing their continued learning. They have even mentioned to me now, 6 weeks on, that they regularly go to the NASA website to see what latest news is on there and to watch the ISS.

As part of their PSHE learning, we were delighted to take part in a 'Stand Up to Violence' workshop. The workshop was based on the death of a 17-year-old boy in Taunton in 2005. Whilst the subject was harrowing and upsetting, the children handled it with great maturity and respect and were able to show compassion; they made me so proud.

 

 

Spring 1 Class News 

Kites have had an industrious half term and have been very successful in all their learning. The children have continued to be amazing at showing all of our school values, but especially resilience and courage as they take on new challenges in their learning. 

As writers, we have been authors of a 'finding tale' with a focus on suspense. We were inspired by the short story ‘Kidnapped!’, which sparked our imaginations when writing our own finding tale. We had all sorts of amazing ideas about what could be found, including: lost jewels, abandoned children, treasure maps and ancient artefacts. The children's ability to think about the reader and use a range of writing techniques to achieve particular effects, is developing well. We honed our skills in using 'show not tell' and described a suspended moment in time which made for some very powerful writing.

The children really enjoyed our poetry unit based on ‘The Listeners’ by Walter de la Mare. We began by exploring the pace, tone, mood and atmosphere of the poem and developed our idea of who the listeners were and why the traveller had returned to the house. The writing, which focussed on the use of the senses, was very powerful. We then wrote our own poems using the idea of dreams and dream catchers.

As mathematicians, we have completed our fractions, decimals and percentages unit as well as continuing our recovery curriculum with a focus on perimeter and area from Year 5. The children’s mental arithmetic skills are developing and they are aiming to be able to answer each question in under a minute, which shows great perseverance and aspiration.

As historians, we have built on our learning from Autumn 1 about the Anglo-Saxons and continued further along the timeline to the Viking conflict. The children relished returning to this period of British history and seeing how the Anglo-Saxon and Viking conflict played out. They have learned about Alfred the Great and his descendants, Viking raiders, the Battle of Hastings and how to use and evaluate primary sources. It was wonderful to visit Escot and take part in their living history day. The children enjoyed learning about the animals the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings would have lived alongside and what life in an Anglo-Saxon village would have been like. They made bread, turned wood and made a mallet and door sign, worked in the forge to make a brooch and experienced life in the village. It was a wonderful day.

As scientists, we have explored space and the solar system. The children have been fascinated by this topic and their thirst for learning has been wonderful to see. A number of children have also completed independent learning at home, showing how enthralled they have been. They have learned about each planet and the order and movement of the planets in relation to the sun and have conducted different experiments to prove the curvature of the earth. They were spell bound watching Felix Baumgartner jump from space and I had to really convince some of them it was a real video, not a fake! We are continuing with our learning about space after half term.

In PE, we have focussed on our social skills and working as a team. The children have enjoyed negotiating, collaborating, cooperating, giving and receiving feedback, organising roles and responsibilities within their group and showing support and patience. Crossing a ‘river’ using only a few pieces of equipment was a real challenge!

We also enjoyed safer internet day and dressing up for TT Rockstars Day!

 

Autumn 2 Class News

Kites Class have had a brilliant half term and have been very successful in all their learning. The children have continued to be amazing at showing all of our school values, but especially resilience and aspiration, when tackling the challenges that come with being in Year 6.

As writers, we have been authors of a defeating the monster tale, a character description and an explanation text. We were inspired by our learning in history last term about the Anglo-Saxons and continued this forward with Beowulf. The children's imaginative, descriptive and thoughtful writing led to some very scary monsters being created! The children developed their skill in writing detailed description, just focusing on a single moment in time which made their writing very powerful. We then used our 'A Christmas Carol' drama workshop to develop this skill further when describing Scrooge and his counting house. Our explanation writing was linked to our science work on plants with the children explaining 'How Plants make Seeds'. This writing was equally successful and the children should be very proud of how they are developing as authors.

We have completed our addition, subtraction, multiplication and division unit in maths and have begun our learning on fractions.

As geographers, we have built on our understanding of what a region is, and used our Year 5 knowledge of the Amazon Basin, to discover all about East Anglia. We have also built on our understanding of the Anglo-Saxons and why they came to England during this unit of work. We have learnt about the location of East Anglia, the physical and human features found there, how the coastline has changed over time and how off-shore power stations are impacting the environment. Studying different types of maps at different scales helped us to really understand the landscape of East Anglia and the children were fascinated to learn how flooding actually helps farmers and the economy.

As scientists, we have deepened our understanding of how seeds are made and how plants reproduce. We really enjoyed looking at flowers and identifying the male and female parts; we even dissected lilies and used the pollen-containing anthers to create art.

In PE, we have played team games focusing on balancing, tactics and responding imaginatively to increase our chances of scoring. Seated volleyball with a balloon was a real challenge!

As engineers, we have designed, created and evaluated a moving carousel fairground ride using gears. The children showed great perseverance, aspiration and collaboration when creating their carousels and loved spinning the gears to make the ride rotate.

We also enjoyed 'Break the Rules Day', learning how to become playground leaders and the work we did during our Anti-Bullying Week.

 

Autumn 1 Class News

We have had an amazing half term! As writers, we have been authors of a tale of fear and an information text. We were inspired by Hansel and Gretel and the witch's house and then by the Anglo-Saxons. We have completed our place value unit in maths and have continued our learning on addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. 

As historians, we have delved into the past and revisited the time of the Anglo-Saxons. We have been engrossed in learning about where they came from, why they came to Britain and what impact they had. We were fascinated by Sutton Hoo and what the artefacts found in King Raewald's burial chamber tell us about Anglo-Saxon achievements, society, culture and beliefs.

As scientists, we have explored different forces such as air resistance, gravity and up thrust. We have experimented with surface area and made play dough boats to investigate which shaped objects travel best through water.

In PE, we have played team games focussing on blocking, passing and shooting.

As artists, we have developed pencil drawings of Anglo-Saxon houses moving on to creating 3D sculptures using cardboard, clay, willow, hazel and leaves.

We also had a very important visit from a police officer who works in the safeguarding team. From their visit, we learnt all about how to keep ourselves safe in the community and who to talk to if we have any worries.

 

Remote Learning

If your child is self-isolating because they are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 or they have tested positive for COVID-19, they can still access their learning from home, if they are well enough to do so. All remote learning will be emailed directly to you (it will no longer be uploaded on to the school website). 
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We appreciate that some children may be feeling unwell, and will therefore not be able to continue with their learning at home.     
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We hope you find your child's remote learning enjoyable and easy to follow. If you have any problems at all in accessing this learning, please do not hesitate to email your child’s class teacher; we are here to support and guide you. Please photograph and email your child's work to the class email address which is: kites@educ.somerset.gov.uk