Islands was the topic of the autumn term for year 6, linking in with our two class reads, Kensuke’s Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo, and Floodland by Marcus Sedgwick. We considered the financial and social implications of going off sailing around the world for a year like the main protagonist in Kensuke’s Kingdom. Newspaper reports detailing the discovery of a spy on the Eel island and diary extracts from the marooned boy’s point of view were some of the English writing tasks we completed.
How the United Kingdom’s borders changed over history, as well as how weathering affects our coastal landscape were investigated in creative curriculum, crossing over with Floodland where a futuristic England sees Norwich under water. Much closer to home, we also looked at historical records that documented the change over time of Welling High Street, Danson House and Bexleyheath Broadway, where the children considered the reasons for change as well as why some things change very little over many decades.
We have been focusing on number this term: place value with numbers up to 10 million; negative numbers; and fractions, decimals and percentages. We have been practising our mathematical reasoning, which is proving suitably challenging for our top mathematicians, who are finding they need to show great resilience as they battle their way out of the learning pit! Applying our ability to use formal written calculations to solve open-ended investigations and problems has been targeted, and we are growing in confidence in areas like long division with decimal answers, dividing fractions and working out percentage increase and decrease.
We greatly enjoyed Jules Howard’s visit (the “fossil man”!) where year 6 had the opportunity to put questions to an expert in the field of Evolution and Inheritance, which was one of our topics this term; handling real fossils and bones and studying how natural selection and mutation results in the animals we have on earth today was hugely fascinating for us all. Studying Darwin’s Theory of Evolution gave historical context to this enjoyable topic and enabled the students to consider how science itself is ever evolving as our knowledge increases.