ACADEMIC YEAR 2020-21
We really got into the festive spirit this week with a fantastic Christmas lunch. We pulled crackers, wore hats, had a sing-song and enjoyed a delicious turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Thank you so much to the kitchen and lunchtime staff for all their hard work.
In science, we have been learning about microorganisms, particularly bacteria (also called germs). We have been investigating how bacteria spreads using glitter as our ‘germ’. Each child submerged their hands in a glitter and water mixture to represent the transfer of germs from a sneeze or cough. After this, all children washed their hands in the way they normally would. We tracked the spread of germs around the classroom and Year 6 building. Between children ‘sneezing’ and washing their hands, germs had already spread to their tables, door handles, doors, chairs and books. Even after washing hands, some germs remained and spread further to equipment they used throughout the day. We learnt more about the importance of the ‘Catch it! Kill it! Bin it!’ campaign and also discussed, again, the importance of regular and thorough hand washing given the current global pandemic we are living through. We have become even more germ-conscious than we already were!
VE Day Party
As a celebration at the end of our WWII topic, we held a themed day in school this week. All the children (and adults) dressed up in costumes appropriate to the era – we had evacuees, soldiers, land girls, pilots and more. Everyone looked fantastic! Thank you to all the adults at home for helping create such wonderful costumes. On the day, we created artwork inspired by The Blitz, decorated for a celebration and attended a VE Day party. At the party, we listened to Churchill’s end of war speech, ate scones, learnt about the celebrations across Great Britain (and in Yeovil) and played Beetle Drive. As you can see from the photos, we have all enjoyed a fantastic day.
We have been learning about how yeast works. We set up an experiment to see if yeast could make balloons rise. We put a teaspoon of yeast, some warm water and a teaspoon of sugar in a measuring cylinder and placed a balloon on top. We then took a photograph of the balloons every five minutes and gradually, we saw them inflate. We discovered that the yeast was activated by the warm water and that, once activated, it ‘ate’ the sugar. This caused the mixture to rise, which, in turn, caused the balloon to inflate.
We have been practising counting forwards and backwards through zero. We played negative number tug of war – one of us was ‘positive’ (trying to reach 20) and the other ‘negative’ (trying to reach -20). We rolled a dice and flipped a counter to determine the operation and how many to add/subtract. The winner was the first to reach negative 20, or positive 20. Some of us got very frustrated at moving in the wrong direction, but we all had great fun!
In history, we have been learning about the fantastic work of codebreakers during World War Two. We learnt about life at Bletchley Park, Enigma and the work of Alan Turing, who created the foundation for modern computers. We were amazed to discover that ‘Computer’ was a job title given to people (often women) during WWII.
We created our own ciphers and tried to crack some secret codes. Then, we created our own codes for our friends to crack.
As part of Maths Week England 2020, Year 6 have taken part in several maths challenges. The first challenge they competed in was the annual ‘Maths Week England Quiz’. Children in Year 6 across the country are given the same three challenging problems to solve and create a total answer, which can then be submitted to the competition.
Following this, children chose problems from a selection that tested their reasoning and problem-solving skills. Finally, those wanting an extra challenge solved some mathematical logic problems of increasing difficulty, earning points for each one completed.
Children worked collaboratively, in teams, on all challenges, stretched their brains and really worked very hard. There were lots of cheers of celebration (and relief) when they realised they had successfully solved each problem. Well done, Year 6!
Year 6 Remembrance Assembly
The children of Year 6 produced their Remembrance Assembly last Friday. The assembly can be viewed below.
This week, we have been learning about how and why gas masks were used during WWII. We examined information from a range of sources: eye-witness accounts, propaganda videos and real artefacts. Children produced some fantastic, informative work to show their understanding.
'Dig for Victory'
During WWII, propaganda was used to encourage the people of Britain to do certain things. One of the big campaigns of the Second World War was ‘Dig for Victory’. As part of this movement, people were encouraged to use any green space - no matter how small - to grow and produce their own vegetables. The posters created were bright and bold, yet simple and effective. We watched a campaign video too, which explained in easy steps how a novice could begin to ‘grow their own’. Once we had discussed the campaign and examined lots of examples of propaganda and sources of information, we created our own ‘Dig for Victory’ posters.
During art week, Year 6 learnt about impressionism and post-impressionism. They spent time learning about impressionist artists and their most famous works and then focused on post-impressionist, Vincent Van Gogh. After learning more about this life, the children spent time studying ‘Starry Night’. They re-created focus parts of the piece in their sketchbooks, thinking carefully about how to show texture and light. They then experimented with warm and cool toned colour palettes before creating their own ‘Starry Night’.
'The Night of Power'
As part of our Islam topic, we learnt about ‘The Night of Power’ – a very special story to Muslim people, in which Muhammad is visited by the angel, Gabriel (Jibril), and given word from God. Muslim people still celebrate this story with the festival of Lailat al Qadr, which is held on the 27th night of the month of Ramadan each year.
We used drama and freeze-frames to act out parts of the story.
First Week in Class 13
Class 13 started their new science topic by investigating the presence of living things within the school grounds. They certainly found plenty of evidence!
We discussed how to tell the difference between living, non-living and once-living evidence, using the acronym MRS GREN to help us.
We started our new history topic – WW2 – by placing the war on a timeline of other events that occurred in the twentieth century. Class 13 tried to arrange the events in chronological order and then freeze-framed the events to create a human timeline – they did a great job!
You should be able to sp
- Queen Victoria
- The sinking of the Titanic
- Outbreak of the First World War
- Outbreak of WW2
- England winning the World Cup
- Neil Armstrong landing on the moon
- The internet going live to the world
- Nelson Mandela being freed
Bonus points if you can also guess the correct year!
In science this week, we learnt about the work of Carl Linnaeus: the botanist and zoologist who created the system of taxonomy that we still use today for classifying all living things.
At the start of this lesson, we were all ‘labelled’ as a different living thing. Our task was to organise (classify) ourselves into groups of living things by whatever method we thought was most appropriate. We found this very challenging as there were some living things that we thought could have been classified into more than one group. Have a look at the labels we came up with!
After learning about Carl Linnaeus’ system of taxonomy, we better understood how living things could be more easily classified and we learnt about the classification of a lion (Panthera Leo). At the beginning of this activity, everyone was standing as we were all living things. As the kingdoms of classification eliminated more living things, there were fewer of us left standing. Eventually, just the lion remained.
Academic Year 2019-2020
Class 13 are a creative bunch! Here are some of the other activities they have been getting up to at home…..
Look at these fantastic pieces of art! Class 13 have been learning about creating perspective in their artwork and you can tell they’ve managed it brilliantly. The bright, bold colours really make them stand out!
Year 6 have been thinking about their favourite books recently. They've written some fantastic poetry with hidden clues for their teachers to try and guess which book they were describing. We really enjoyed reading them and guessing - well done! They’ve also recreated the book covers of their favourite books and written a short review. Perhaps you’ll try one of these wonderful recommendations next…….
Class 13 have been learning about the importance of prayer to Muslims. They have thought carefully about the colours and patterns used and designed some wonderful prayer mats of their own.
Class 13 have been creating word clouds for some of their favourite books. They thought carefully about the vocabulary the used to describe the characters from those books.
Class 13 have been ‘re-creating’ natural disasters at home. Have a look at the tornadoes and volcanic eruptions - aren’t they fantastic?
Class 13 have been learning abut the heart and circulatory system in science. Here are some of their fantastic diagrams!
Nature Scavenger Hunt
Class 13 have enjoyed getting outside and completing a nature scavenger hunt. Here are some of the things they found…….
Class 13 have been creating some graffiti-style artwork inspired by the artist Keith Haring. They are fantastic!
Year 6 produced some fantastic dragon-eye artwork last week, inspired by St. George’s Day. They look fantastic! The children all commented that it has been one of their favourite activities so far!
Year 6 have been learning about natural disasters and how people prepare for these in countries where they occur more frequently. They designed a ‘natural disaster survival kit’ of several items that they would keep in a shoe box to grab if they had to seek shelter during a natural disaster. They had to think carefully about what they would like to include for recreation versus what would actually be useful! We were glad to see no games consoles made it into the kits!
As you may have seen from earlier posts on the blog, Year 6 were gearing up to help with Yeovil’s commemorative VE Day celebrations this May. Some children had already made bunting and we were hoping to visit a local residential home to make some with the residents too. While we are unable to do those things, children have been busy writing stories about VE Day in Yeovil in 1945. What fantastic work!
Class 13 have been working hard at home on their 'Natural Disasters' geography topic. Here is some of the fantastic work they have produced…..
Year 6 have been having fun with their spelling work this week! Some used scrabble tiles, some used morse code and others got messy with ingredients from the cupboard. The strawberry sauce sounded delicious!
World Book Day
Class 13 celebrated World Book Day this year by dressing up as their favourite book characters. We had characters from magical books, classics, family favourites and more! Can you spot Anne Frank? Stanley Yelnats? Alice and friends? How about some of Mr Dahl’s wonderful creations?
At the start of our persuasive writing unit, Class 13 turned detective to discover the features of persuasive writing from some tourist leaflets. They were able to find rhetorical questions, persuasive vocabulary, examples of emphasis and exaggeration, ambitious adjectives, short, snappy sentences and key information.
Creative Minds Workshop
As part of Yeovil’s plans to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of VE Day on May 8th this year, Natasha Rand, a local community artist, visited Huish to start an inter-generational art project. Children from Year 6 took part in a workshop to create bunting that will be displayed in Yeovil town centre when the celebrations take place in May. Children used the colours red, white and blue to design their bunting and decorated them with silhouettes of recognisable figures or objects from WWII. This linked perfectly with Year 6’s previous WWII history topic. Natasha commented on the amazing designs the children produced and was very impressed with the creativity and enthusiasm of the children involved. The second part of this project will see ten children from Year 6 join Natasha at a local elderly care home to create more bunting with some of the residents.
Year 6 continued their science this week with learning more about how light travels; in particular, they tried to find a solution to make light ‘bend’ so they could see around corners. Year 6 already knew that light travels in straight lines so they learnt about periscopes and how they are a solution to this problem. This also linked back to our previous WWII history topic and we discussed the use of periscopes on submarines. Children made and tested their own periscopes, ensuring they positioned the mirrors correctly so they could see around corners with them.
We have been learning lots about California’s history and all the advantages of living there but what are the disadvantages of living in California?
This is the list Class 13 came up with…
• Wild fires
• Avalanches in the mountainous areas
• Extremes of weather
• Gun crime because you’re allowed to carry a gun in America
• Lots of underdeveloped areas where poorer people live
• Donald Trump is in charge
• If you go to jail, the experience is worse than in the UK
• More litter, especially in the big cities
• Lots of other animals and creatures live there and they may be poisonous
• Higher rates of serious crime
After discussing which of these has happened (or could happen), we focused on one of these: earthquakes.
The San Andreas Fault is located in California. It is the tectonic plate boundary where the Pacific Plate meets the North American Plate. The fault line is approximately 750 miles long. In July 2019, some parts of California experienced its largest earthquake in twenty years.
Class 13 have been researching and preparing a news report of this event. They are writing a script to be performed and filmed as a news bulletin. Recently, the children have been learning about journalistic writing in English, so they have been using this knowledge to help them.
For ‘International Day’ this year, Huish has been celebrating the continent of Africa. With such a rich and varied culture, we were spoilt for choice with ideas of how to celebrate! In Year Six, we chose to create some African-inspired artwork. We used the colours: red, gold, green and black (influenced by many of the African flags). Our main inspiration came from the geometric patterns seen in a lot of African art. We also thought about the wildlife found in Africa and incorporated this into our pieces too. We created silhouettes of some African wildlife and placed these at the centre of our work and then created geometric patterns around them. Some children chose to create geometric patterns on longer strips of paper as well.
In addition to the artwork we created for ‘International Day’, Year Six also took part in an African dance workshop. They danced to a Ghanaian piece of music and learnt that many typical dance moves in African culture have strong links to slavery. Year Six had a great time learning and performing their dance.
In geography, we have been researching California’s rich history and development. We have learnt about the history of the Pony Express, the Transcontinental Railroad, industry and agriculture as well as Silicon Valley, Hollywood, Disneyland and the major cities and tourist attractions in California. Using our research we were able to explain why there was a boom of migration to California before it officially became a state and why it is still a popular destination for residents and tourists.
In English, we have started our new unit: journalistic writing. We turned detective to hunt down the features of journalistic writing in newspapers. We managed to identify many of the features by ourselves and generated a comprehensive list.
In science, we have started our new topic: light. We have been learning about how light travels. We designed our own investigation to prove that light travels in straight lines and to discover what materials allow/block the passage of light. We began by experimenting with torches and materials. After this, we refined our ideas and designed a formal investigation. Finally, we carried out our investigation.
We have been learning about the history of California. In this session we learnt about the Gold Rush in 1848. In groups, we re-enacted four scenarios :
1. James Marshall and John Sutter finding gold;
2. People from the east reading news about the discovery;
3. People journeying to California along one of the treacherous routes;
4. Miners digging and panning for gold under the harsh Californian sun.
Each group rehearsed a freeze-frame or short play and performed it with a narrator to the rest of the class.
In science this week, we have been investigating how yeast works to make bread rise. We were given some yeast, sugar, balloons, warm water and measuring cylinders. We decided to make our variables the amount of sugar and yeast we used but kept the amount of water and the measuring cylinder the same to make the test fair. We found the best conditions for yeast to work were when a packet of yeast was mixed with the water and two teaspoons of sugar. We discovered that the measuring cylinders were a little small so conducted a fourth experiment with a larger bottle containing warm water, two teaspoons of sugar and a packet of yeast. The measuring cylinders containing sugar, yeast and warm water all inflated. The ones with more sugar and yeast inflated at a quicker rate than the others. During the experiment, we noticed the bubbles created in the measuring cylinders caused by the reaction between the contents. Our conclusion was that yeast must react with the sugar content of dough and warmth to make bread rise.
In Science we have been learning about microorganisms, particularly bacteria (also called germs). We have been investigating how bacteria spreads using glitter as our ‘germ’. Each child had glitter sprinkled on their hand to represent the catching of a sneeze in their hands. After this, all children washed their hands in the way they normally would. We tracked the spread of the germs around the classroom and Year 6 building. Between children ‘sneezing’ and washing their hands, germs had already spread to their tables, door handles, doors, books, watches and their chairs. Even after washing hands in the way they normally would, some germs remained on hands and spread further to other equipment they used in the session. We learnt more about the importance of the ‘Catch it, Kill it, Bin it’ campaign against germs and watched a video that showed the importance of a thorough hand wash with soap before eating to ensure bacteria are removed. Some members of the class have been very germ-conscious since this experiment!
The PTFA have kindly donated new books to each class in the school. In order to familiarise themselves with the new books soon to join their bookshelves, Class 13 have been ‘speed dating’ with books. They were given five minutes to spend with six of these new books and then ranked them by order in which they would most like to read them. There are lots of lovely new titles and something to appeal to everyone – Class 13 are desperate to get reading! Thank you to the PTFA.
Class 13 have been working tirelessly to crack secret codes crucial to the war effort! We have been learning about the vital work of Alan Turing and other code-breakers who worked at Bletchley Park during WWII. The Enigma machine and how it helped crack secret German codes during the war fascinated us.
We made our own machines and cracked some codes before making our own codes for others to crack. We set our code-crackers to different settings each time we wrote a new code so that it couldn’t be guessed easily!
Fleet Airm Arm Museum
On Thursday 17th October, we visited the Fleet Air Arm Museum. The children dressed as World War Two evacuees for the day. During our visit, we took part in two workshops – one about rationing and one about The Battle of Britain. Both were fascinating and so engaging! We were able to be ‘hands-on’ and examine real artefacts.
In the rationing workshop, we planned a week’s menu for our teacher. We had to weigh our ingredients and spend our meat ration money wisely so it would last a whole week. Each group had a different focus: breakfast, lunch, dinner, celebrations and, most importantly, tea! We were tasked with planning seven lots of meals, a celebration cake for a birthday and how many cups of tea one person could have a week. Groups had to negotiate with each other too – the breakfast group had the whole milk ration for the week.
We also learnt about how Britain triumphed over Germany in The Battle of Britain. We discovered that this was a team effort and how all the parts worked together to make the British campaign a success. We researched and interrogated real artefacts, maps, the ‘roll of honour’ and saw demonstrations of how the command structure and radar system worked.
Finally, we toured the museum with a knowledgeable guide who told us about the planes that were involved in the war and how technology and manufacture advanced in such a short period of time to change the design and speed of them to keep up with the requirements of warfare.
We had a fantastic day! The learning centre team at the museum were extremely impressed by the attitude and behaviour of all the children who visited. They commented that they asked intelligent and thoughtful questions, worked well together and were completely engaged in what they were doing. Well done, Year 6!
History - Gas Masks
In Class 13, we have been continuing our history topic by researching how and why gas masks were used during World War Two. Children spent time undertaking their research at four ‘information stations’; they discovered how propaganda was used, studied real gas masks, researched the different purposes of gas masks and independently researched interesting facts about gas masks.
Living Things and Their Habitats
As part of our ‘Living things and their habitats’ unit in science, we have been learning about the work of Carl Linnaeus who developed the taxonomy for the classification of all living things. We have been learning about the six kingdoms of all living things and learning some challenging vocabulary along the way! To help us remember the six kingdoms and the difficult words, we made wheel spinners to test our friends. Once you have spun the arrow on the front of the wheel, you have to tell your partner a fact about that kingdom. Finally, you can lift the flap to check your answer.
In computing, we have started out first programming unit. We will be creating our own quiz games for our World War Two topic. During the first part of the unit, we are creating times table quiz games to test and refresh our programming skills. Initially, we mastered the basic programming for a question and response e.g. 7 x 6 = 42.
After this, we learned some new skills that enabled us to generate a random question, repeat this for a given number of ‘goes’ and add a score for a correct answer/remove a score for an incorrect answer. Next session, we plan to make the game more visually appealing and our challenge is to add programming for an additional player.
We have been discovering more about what life was like in Britain during World War Two. This week, we have been learning about the different types of air raid shelters used during the war. The two types of shelter we have been researching are Morrison shelters
and Anderson shelters. We were most surprised to learn that people had to build their own shelters and some had as many as 350 parts to assemble. Fortunately, the model Anderson shelters we made were slightly easier.
World War Two
In Year 6 this week, we have been learning about the events that occurred leading up to the beginning of World War Two. We listened to Neville Chamberlain’s infamous declaration of war speech and then had a go at writing our own. We practised ‘performing’ our speeches and then recorded them. Some of us got the giggles whilst trying to impersonate Chamberlain’s ‘received pronunciation’ accent!
Following this, we also had a lively discussion about whether war was the only option for Britain in 1939.
In science, we have been learning about the seven life processes of all living things. We searched our school grounds to find evidence of living things within them. In groups, we selected three separate areas to search and recorded our findings in photos, sketches, rubbings and pictograms. We discovered lots of creepy crawlies in the Forest School area but found it more difficult to find evidence of living things on the playground.
Following on from our investigation of living things in the school environment, we have been thinking about how we distinguish different types of living things from each other. We thought broadly to begin with but then tried to narrow down our ‘groups’. We learnt that living things are classified into groups based on similar characteristics. We all were given a living thing to ‘be’ and we had to sort ourselves into groups. To begin with, we organised ourselves based on the number of legs we had. After that, we tried to narrow down our categories to make smaller groups e.g. birds, fish, insects, mammals. We discussed how mammals can also be classified within that larger group, for example with the ‘cat family’. Our cat family included a lion, panther and tabby cat. Although all of these are cats, we realised that there were still a lot of differences between them, including their shape/size, habitat, appearance. We ended our lesson by posing a question for next session: How do scientists classify living things so that they can be easily distinguished?