Windrush Valley Prep School Oxfordshire – Year 6
Mr William Hone BA (Hons) PGCE
Head of Academic Studies/Year 6 Teacher.
Throughout Year 6, pupils are encouraged to become increasingly independent in preparation for their transition to larger schools. This includes taking on monitor roles to help younger pupils and staff alike, less direct supervision out of lessons times, such as lunch and PE changing, and introducing different teachers for different subjects.
Academically, the final year of Primary School focuses on the end of Key Stage 2 SATs and preparing the children for secondary school. Considerable classroom time is spent perfecting their literacy and numeracy skills and exam techniques to ensure they perform well in their exams.
Careful consideration is given to the choice of secondary education. Guidance is provided for parents to help with entry exams and completing the application process for both independent and state secondary schools. ‘Moving on’ is a frequent topic of conversation, balancing the children’s nervous excitement and natural sadness for leaving, helping them understand their conflicting feelings and fears.
By July the children have had up to 8 years of opportunity and have developed the academic and social skills they need to be able to move forward with confidence to the next stage of their education.
Maths in Year 6 focuses on achieving mastery of previously taught concepts to enable children to not only do well in their SATs but also to give them confidence when they begin secondary school. Reasoning problems and puzzles are picked apart to help children use their maths in real-world contexts and more sophisticated concepts such as proportion, ratio and algebra.
In English, children will look at more subtle inferences and authorial techniques when analysing texts and consolidate and extend their knowledge of English Grammar. Reading for pleasure and gaining experience of a wide variety of genres is vital to success and reading aloud should still be practise at home where it will form an important part of the autumn English Speaking Board examination.
History in Year 6 continues in chronological order, this year entering the twentieth century and studying World War I, the Cold War and technological revolutions of the twenty first century. Art, Design and Technology and Computing all involves hands on creative work ranging from designing and making phone cases to programming and presentation skills.
Pupils in Year 6 have numerous opportunities open to them. In music, when they pass Grade 1 on a woodwind or brass instrument they will be invited to join the school band.
Act One (the autumn term) celebrates harvest at our Harvest Festival Assembly and inevitably December sees The Nativity Story performed in the local church.
Act Two (the New Year) kicks off in style as Years 5 and 6 join the Young Voices choir at the Genting Arena, Birmingham. The Chipping Norton Music Festival in March allows the band and choir to perform publicly and individuals may also enter solo classes in whichever available genre they are confident. The curtain falls on the spring term with a pantomime-style performance in the Chipping Norton Theatre. This is a musical extravaganza in which the main parts are generally given to year 6 pupils.
The Final Act is in early May at our May Dancing afternoon where there is plenty of traditional country dancing is on offer as well as the band and choirs’ performances.
Sport – Games/PE/Swimming
PE and sports take place on Wednesday afternoons and Thursday mornings. There is a wide range of sport on offer to Year 6 pupils through the year. Typically, these include football, tag-rugby, cross- country running, netball, hockey, rounders and athletics. Additionally, pupils continue to have a weekly swimming lesson. There are regular opportunities for children to be selected to compete against other schools in these sports.
Our World – Science and Geography
The science and geography curriculum plans run over a two-year cycle and includes the new national curriculum objectives. Children are taught to evaluate and analyse data, design experiments and come up with scientific hypotheses. There is a mix of theoretical and practical work with an emphasis on children asking questions and enquiring about the world we live in.
My World lessons support and develop the social, emotional and well-being of every child. The lessons consist of a combination of the PHSE curriculum and the RE Curriculum. Each child is taught to value and respect one another and celebrate differences and strengths, developing self-esteem and a positive growth mind-set.
Educational Visits/School Trips
In early October, pupils in Year 6 (along with Year 4 and Year 5) have the opportunity to go on a 5 day residential trip. When possible, other local school trips are organised throughout the academic year in support of history or geography topics. A big highlight of the pupils’ final year is a UK based 3-day activity residential trip in June, in celebration of their time at Windrush Valley Prep School Oxfordshire.
While spelling rules and patterns are taught and practised in class, common exception words are learned throughout the term and tested weekly, along with times tables. Maths and English homework, which generally consolidates the week’s learning, is set on Thursday and due in the following Thursday.
Suggested Reading List
Link to suggested reading list.