Year 6 - Arguing, Alps… | Independent Primary School Buckinghamshire

# Year 6 - Arguing, Alps and Adobe

It has been a busy half-term for Year 6. They threw themselves enthusiastically into their Take One Picture work, and I’m sure you can all agree that the work they created was magnificent. They have since changed their focus to encompass topics from geometry and algebra, to written argument and mountain building! The term culminates with their long-awaited ESB examinations. The children impressed us all with their public speaking and taught us lots of interesting information through their varied presentations

The children are particularly enjoying ‘arguing’ in English, appreciating that it is a more complex skill than who can shout the loudest. They have honed their formal language, and thought carefully about how to structure their points and provide evidence to support them. During our Take One Picture work they discovered the importance of counter-argument and thinking ahead to be able to parry opponent’s points. This is such an important skill in life: do please encourage a few debates at home. We are also coming to the end of our War Horse unit. This has proved to be a very emotive text and one which we hope they have all enjoyed.

In Maths, following work on finding the area of a range of geometric shapes (and working out various costs involved in carpeting houses), Year 6 moved on to algebra, using expressions, formulae, equations and substitution to solve missing number problems. Although some children expressed initial apprehension to the new subject manner, they tackled the lessons admirably and surprised themselves with how successful they were.

So far this term, Year 6 have been working on various filming projects in Computing. We began by creating short films about this year’s ‘Take One Picture’ image and artist. The children enjoyed using Adobe Express for this, which allowed them to combine text, images, video and voiceover. Following this, we worked on creating short stop motion animation films using clay model figures and backdrops created by the children in their Art lessons. We hope many of you will have enjoyed watching these as part of our recent exhibition. We are now working on producing short films based on scenarios set around school with the children starring in these!

Our most recent Humanities focus has been on the geography of France and, in particular, the Alps. We began by becoming “human photocopiers”, absorbing as much information about France from a fact sheet as we could, before presenting it in our own words to our peers. We then honed our mapwork skills by locating mountainous areas in the country and continued to look at the different ways mountains can be formed, demonstrating our understanding with balloon pumps, tissue paper and triangular prisms to make working models. We are now learning more about the biggest source of income in the Alps: tourism. After discussing the different ways in which tourism can impact the economy, society and geography of the area, we discussed possible solutions to any negative impacts, which the children will no doubt enjoy applying when completing their homework project (design a sustainable ski-resort) over the holidays.

In Science we have enjoyed exploring the topic of adaptation and evolution. After researching both existing and extinct animals, we learnt how they are, or were, adapted to many different habitats around the world. Next, the children came up with creative ideas for their own imaginary creatures that would be suited to particular locations, explaining how their features would help them to survive. We then used our knowledge to explain natural selection. To help us understand this process, we played a game to mimic the feeding of birds, where only those with certain types of beak, that were most effective for gathering food, could collect enough to survive! This clearly demonstrated that the best adapted animals are the ones that survive and therefore pass on their genes to their offspring. Over many generations this is how animals adapt and evolve to best suit their environment.

We are now looking forward to investigating our new topic of ‘Light’.