Windrush Valley Preparatory School Oxfordshire – Year 6
Mr William Hone
(Head of Academic Studies)
BA (Hons) PGCE
Windrush Valley Preparatory School Oxfordshire
Academically, the final years 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.
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.
Highlights of the pupils’ final year include starring roles in the Easter musical performance, a 3 day activity residential trip and providing the game stalls at the end of year family social. 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 Form 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 Form 6 continues in chronological order, entering the twentieth century and studying the First World War, changes in Britain since 1945 and the technological revolutions of the twenty first century.
Pupils in Form 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 Forms 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 publically 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.
The Final Act is in early May at our May Dancing afternoon. As the name suggests, 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 Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons. There is a wide range of sport on offer to Form 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.
The science and geography curriculum plan runs over a two year cycle and includes the new national curriculum objectives. Practical work and field studies are done outside and traditional ‘book work’ is completed in the classroom. Due to the outdoor focus of these lessons, topic planning is related to the seasons and weather. Therefore, from late October to March lessons are largely indoors. From April, through the summer term until October they will be outdoors.
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. There are 3 different trips so that pupils who wish to go every year do not repeat a visit. Other local school trips are organised throughout the academic year (usually) in support of history or geography topics.
While spelling rules and patterns are taught and practised in class, common exception words are learned throughout the term and tested, along with times tables,. Maths and English homework, which generally consolidates the week’s learning is set on Friday and due in the following Thursday.