On Friday 24th January, the junior playground played host to the Bikeability team from First Grade Sports who put 33 Year 6s through their paces on their bikes, learning control, awareness of others, and use of the gears and brakes. Listening was fantastic and the instructors were most impressed - the word used to describe behaviour was 'impeccable'. Everyone passed Level 1 and will thus be eligible to take part in next week's road training (don't forget to bring gloves, a waterproof coat and a change of clothes.) Well done, everyone!
We would like to wish everyone a warm welcome back to school for 2020! It's going to be an exciting half term in Year 6; please see our Mind Map (below) for an outline of our learning for the term. In addition, we will be hosting First Grade Sports for our annual Bikeability training on January 24th, 27th and 28th - all the information on this exciting and important safety training is on the school Letters page. The Year 6 Pound Project will also continue, with another home baking sale on Tuesday 14th January at 3:25 pm on the junior playground - please bring some money to support us.
Normal PE days will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so please make sure that your child has their full PE kit in school on those days; Daily Mile run will continue every day - please bring trainers as usual. Our parent and carer reading mornings will continue to be on Wednesday mornings from 8:50-9:10 am.
Miss Kyle, Mr Morris, Mr Mitchell, Mrs Hosker and Mr Barber - Year 6 Team
Year 6 Mind Map Spring Term 1 2020
Y6 Miniature Gaming Club - model making
15 of our Year 6s have been beavering away on our new miniature gaming project with the help of Mr Morris, Mr Barber, Mike Duffield and his grandson Dan. The club members have turned in some astonishingly realistic models for our woodland and snow settings and also devised and written their own cards for our developing board game.
We are now taking a break until 24th Feb 2020, when we will be introducing some Year 4s into the club and developing our painting and game design skills.
Y6 Miniature Gaming Club - model making
Y6 Visit to Woolsthorpe Manor 5.12.19
Having studied Sir Isaac Newton and his impact upon the world of science in school, it was time to get out and see the great man's home. Woolsthorpe Manor has been a place of scientific interest ever since Newton's groundbreaking work there in the late 1600s and early 1700s (we saw photos of Albert Einstein, Patrick Moore and Stephen Hawking visiting over the years), and is now run by the National Trust with a science discovery centre.
Up bright and early on Thursday, Year 6 boarded the bus and headed for Lincolnshire. It was cold! I was hoping for roaring log fires inside the farmhouse, but it was not to be. Nevertheless, we got to Woolsthorpe Manor and were greated by a veritable horde of enthusiastic National Trust staff and volunteers who had turned out to help us find out more about Newton and his work. After a very informative film and visit to the famous apple tree where Sir Isaac began to formulate his theory of gravity, we split up into different groups to tour the farmhouse and carry out various science experiments.
The house was a typical Lincolnshire farmhouse of the time, although this one had drawings on the walls in many of the rooms by Isaac at various stages of his development; clearly his mum was quite tolerant of his genius! We saw his bedroom where he drilled a hole in a shutter and carried out his groundbreaking work on light and the colour spectrum. In the workshops, we had a great time reflecting and refracting light in different ways using mirrors and prisms (see photos below). We also made colour wheel spinners, experimented with different colour filters and refracting lenses, and carried out experiments in the science discovery centre. We certainly crammed a great deal into a four-hour visit and came back to school with a lot more understanding of Newton and his theories. Some wonderful discussions went on during the day and we came back with a lot of inspired minds.
Thank you to Mrs Long in the office for her fantastic support behind the scenes, to Miss Kyle (who organised the trip but was unable to attend due to training) and to parent helpers Mrs Bradshaw and Ms Stancer.
Woolsthorpe Manor Visit 5.12.19
Reading at Home and Parents' Reading Mornings
As you know, reading is essential to a child's success in school and later life. A keen reader will widen their vocabulary and knowledge of the world, helping themself to access the curriculum. It's been a great pleasure to see so many families recording their children's reading at home in communication diaries (see the great example from Ospreys below - thank you, Baljinder and mum), although we still have several where reading is not being recorded. Please can you make sure that your child's reading at home is recorded - thank you.
We would also like to remind you that it is Parents' Reading Morning for Year 6 on Wednesdays from 8:50-9:05 am; please do feel free to drop in and read with your child and find out about our topic work. Year 6s are not too old for this and secretly enjoy having a parent or carer drop in! If you wish to come in to a Parents' Reading Morning, just come in through the back door with your child's class - you don't need to sign in, your child's teacher will register your attendance [NB: though please remember that, at any other time you need to get into school, you will need to enter via the buzzer at the front entrance for safeguarding purposes].
Thank you from the Y6 team.
Reading at home
Science: Periscope-Making 4.12.19
Having learned how light travels and all about Newton's experiments with light, it was time for an afternoon of putting it into practice! Both Ospreys and Bluebirds organised themselves into teams and set themselves the challenge of making a functional periscope in just over an hour, then tested them on the playground. It was impressive how many children managed to get them working, many having to adapt their designs as they went along, prompting some excellent questions (Does the position of the vision holes matter? What happens if the mirrors are not parallel to each other? Can you make a periscope with just one mirror? Can you really see around that corner?) Some imagined themselves as the pilot of a submarine, or a soldier in the trenches of WW1; I think we all came out with a better understanding of how reflection works and can be used in different ways.
Year 6 Periscopes
WW1: Life in the Trenches
While some of the Year 6s were away at Kingswood, the others embarked on a special project linked to our study of the footballer and war hero Walter Tull. With the support of Mr Mitchell and Mrs King, the group researched the Great War and built these amazing models showing the realities of life in a trench. They also wrote letters home in the persona of soldiers and read commemorative poetry. You can see the trench models and letters on display in school on the stairs heading up towards the Y6 classes, and in Ospreys classroom.
Life in a WW1 Trench
Kingswood Residential Day 5
And we're back! We will leave you with some of the zipwire photos from today - jumping from a 10-metre tower had my heart in my mouth, so I am full of admiration for our amazing Year 6s who managed it.
Thank you all for a brilliant week. Sleep well and we look forward to seeing you in school on Monday.
Kingswood Residential Trip Photos Day 5
Kingswood Residential Day 4 and 5
The weather was not kind to us on Thursday, but we transferred some activities indoors and braved the elements for others! The day concluded with the much-anticipated disco with some funky dance moves, followed by hot chocolate and bed.
We have a couple of activities lined up for Friday morning (zipwire for two groups - we are very excited about this one!) and will be heading home after lunch, arriving back at school around 3:30pm. An important reminder for parents and carers collecting Y6s after the trip: please wait for us on the playground and do not meet us at the coach. We need to make sure that everyone is safely collected after the visit and cannot do this from the pavement. Thank you for your understanding.
Kingswood Residential Day 3 and 4
On Wednesday, we had a beautiful sunny day and got outside to do archery and climbing. There were quite a few budding Robin Hoods in the group! The climbing wall was higher than most of the children had experienced before, but had a fantastic view if you got to the top. Our leader Joe also ran a terrific and very closely-matched game of quick cricket; team 14 beat team 13 by 74 runs to 73! Other activities included team tech, working blindfolded on an obstacle course and zipline.
Everyone has slept well and is wrapping up warm for today's activities.
Kingswood Residential Day 3 Photos
Kingswood Residential Day 2
Tuesday: a packed day of activity! Caving, fire-lighting, climbing, high ropes, orienteering, fencing - everyone's going to sleep well tonight. We have had some lovely moments with children supporting each other through challenging activities and some amazing teamwork. There were some huge grins on the ''jungle vines" high ropes activity as we got to the top. Weather has been variable with some showers but a super sunrise and sunset. Today's American-themed menu was very popular with the children - we are being very well-fed and looked after here. Looking forward to Wednesday.
Kingswood Residential Photos Day 2
Kingswood Residential Day 1
After leaving school in pouring rain, we drove into some very welcome sunshine as we crossed into Staffordshire. First stop was the RAF Museum at Cosford with both awesome antique aircraft and some great interactive flying displays (some of the children also tried their hands at the controls of a trainer aircraft).
Then it was on to Kingswood where we got comfortably established in our cosy dorms before our first activities. Anyone looking for muddy adventure was not to be disappointed by the caving activity! Other groups worked on a technology project before a tasty hot dinner, then everyone joined forces to plan our objectives for the week and get outside for a much-needed run-around. We finished off with a slightly crazy Mini-Olympics involving some new Olympic sports: hula-hooping, horse-riding a stick and pushing a ball with your nose... Just had hot chocolate and then everyone's off to bed. More tomorrow.
Kingswood Residential Day 1 Photos
JC parkrun 23rd November 9am
Autumn 2 Mind Map
Year 6 Pound Project Sale
at Friends of John Clifford Fireworks Display
Year 6 will be holding their first 'Pound Project' sale of the year at 6:00pm on Thursday 7th November at the Friends of John Clifford Fireworks Display. The Pound Project is an opportunity for Year 6s to work together and raise money towards a reward trip in July 2020. Look out for a letter on Monday 4th November with more details.
Half-Term Reading Challenge
The children in Year 6 are BUZZING about this challenge. Thank you in advance for your support with this exciting initiative.
Why not join us for our Reading Mornings?
After the half-term holiday, we are launching our Year 6 Parent Reading Mornings.
These will be every Wednesday from 8.50am until 9.10am, starting on 06.11.19. Come and read with your child and maybe find out a little bit more about what we are
learning in class!
In Year 6, this half-term, we have been having an incredible push on reading. Bluebird class have astonished me with their commitment and enthusiasm to all things book and the quality of their reading diaries has sky rocketed. I have been really impressed with the number of children who have gone from not reading at all at home to reading the required 3 x per week or even more! Thank you for your support with this at home.
Reading in Year 6 - Have a look at an example of an INCREDIBLE communication diary. Well done, Sahar!
Year 6 Local History Tram Trip 17.10.19
October finished on a high for Ospreys and Blue Birds as both classes headed in to town for a tour of some of Nottingham's 'hidden history', beginning with an invitation to 'look up' in Old Market Square. University of the 3rd Age member Mr Ian Hampton led a fascinating look at Watson Fothergill, the prolific local architect who designed around 100 buildings in Victorian Nottingham. The children quickly became experts at spotting WF's distinctive style and appreciated his little quirks: the grumpy-looking Queen Victoria on Queen's Chambers and the monkey on the Notts Bank building being particular favourites with the children!
Following a sketching activity during which many children showed a keen eye for detail and observation, the group caught another tram over the hill and headed off to the Arboretum, Nottingham's oldest park, for lunch and a good run-around. Many had never been there and thought they would like to return - the aviary and duck pond were particularly popular.
Another tram later and we were back in the city centre, tracking down Watson Fothergill's extraordinary office on George Street. We were also hunting for locations associated with George Africanus, whom we had learned about in our recent history lessons; George had started life as a three-year-old from Sierra Leone in West Africa, brought to England as a slave in 1766; fortunately finding himself working as a servant for philanthropic gentry (the Molineux family from Wolverhampton - Lukas made the link with the Wolverhampton Wanderers stadium name, which stands on the site of the old Molineux house), George Africanus ended up being freed and starting a successful business career in Nottingham. Sharp eyes located the blue plaque commemorating the place where George Africanus had lived and worked until his death at the age of 70 or 71 in 1834. The final part of our tour took us to the Lace Market and St Mary's Church, where our intrepid history hunters successfully located George's grave and that of his wife and son. The children's enthusiasm and knowledge were absolutely commendable - one of the parent helpers commented that her son had given her all the details of George Africanus's life while briefing her on the trip.
Thank you to Mrs Swailam, Mrs Bradshaw and Ms Stancer who generously gave up their time to support on the trip and were invaluable supporting Mrs Hosker, Mrs Jacques, Miss Kyle, Mrs Shah and Mr Morris with the task of assisting keeping 59 children together on four separate tram trips and a total of 10 km walked across Nottingham! Big thanks also to Mrs Long in the school office for her support in organising the visit, and Ian Hampton for his expert talk on Watson Fothergill.
Year 6 Local History Tram Trip 17.10.19
Restart A Heart Day
This week, children across the whole school worked with Mr and Mrs Roper and Mr Bailey to learn what do in the case of an emergency if someone is found unconscious. Bluebirds really listened well and learnt a great deal. Here are some photos of them practising CPR.
On Wednesday, Bluebirds presented the work we have been doing in music this term in their class assembly. As well as presenting their learning about Tchaikovsky and his ballets, the children introduced the audience to a 3/4 waltz beat. The audience participation and enthusiasm was really fantastic. We finished the assembly with a performance of our class composition which was inspired by an electronic piece of music by Norwegian band, Royksopp. The children performed brilliantly and they managed to stay in tune and, amazingly, in time!
Unfortunately, due to a camera malfunction, I have no photos of the magnificent event to share on here but I've had some fantastic feedback from other children, parents and staff about the assembly and am feeling very proud of the children. Well done, Bluebirds!
WAGOLL - What a good one looks like (Home reading log) - well done, Zach!
Happy Friday, everyone!
In Bluebird class this term, we are having a HUGE push on reading both in school and at home. I have been checking that the children are reading at least three times a week at home and am pleased to report that there has been a real improvement this week in terms of engagement. Last week, only 25% of the children were reading the required three times a week. This week, that figure was 38% which is fantastic. Furthermore, the number of children whose diaries suggested that no reading at all was going on at home has decreased from 41% to 34%. There is still some way to go towards the EVERYONE reading at home at least three times per week but we are one step closer to this. Well done!
We really do appreciate your support with this at home and, even if the children are not reading out loud to you all the time, it really does make a difference if you could listen to them reading out loud at least once a week.
English work - The Arrival by Shaun Tan
Weekly Update - W/C 23.09.19
We've had a fantastic week in Year 6, during which the children have admirably settled back into the routines of being back in their classrooms. Whilst there is still work going on around school, it appears that our classrooms are now finished, which is great news!
As you were informed in the Autumn 1 Mind Map, the book we are studying this term is The Arrival by Shaun Tan. This week, saw the children produce some outstanding setting descriptions based on pictures from the text. I really have been very impressed. Furthermore, the children have blown our minds with their ability to learn long division in maths! Almost the entire year group have tackled this with enthusiasm, resilience and skill. They've worked brilliantly!
The children have completed their first round of homework this week and I was really impressed with the number of children who completed this and brought it in on time; thank you all for your support with this. Please don't worry if your child finds something difficult. The most important thing for us is that they have a go at the homework. If they are really struggling, they can come and see us before the homework is due to be handed in and we will try to help them. Linked to this, is reading. We are having a real push with reading in Year 6 and are reading extensively at school in English lessons, across other subjects of the curriculum and during our designated reading slots in the afternoons. We ask that you support us with this at home by encouraging your child to read at home AT LEAST three times a week for 20 minutes. It would be great if at least one of these sessions was out loud to an adult, especially if this is something your child finds tricky. It's also a great opportunity to discuss with your child what it is that they are reading.
Just a reminder to register for a Parents' Evening slot on the online booking system. Any issues with this, please speak to the office.
Homework - 26.09.19
Design and Technology - cam mechanisms
It's been a busy week with both Year 6 classes having to move classrooms for a few days due to the ongoing heating works; however, the children have risen to the occasion and been a credit to the school. For this reason, the library hosted this week's DT lesson: Ospreys pupils got the opportunity to work on cam mechanisms, with some excellent hands-on teamwork on display as they came to terms with new technological terms and skills.
Engagement was brilliant with some excellent questions asked about how cams and pistons work inside various engines and motors, and one child declared that it had been 'the best lesson ever.' (Blue Birds, you'll get a go at this next week!)
Design and Technology - cam mechanisms
I have been informed by some of the children that they cannot access the Publisher version of the homework booklet below. With that in mind, I have now changed this to a PDF version of the same document and it should therefore be accessible through most devices.
Thanks and have a wonderful weekend!
Homework - 12.09.19 (Updated)
Autumn 1 Mind Map
Meet the Teacher 2019 Powerpoint for any parents who missed the meeting
Welcome back to a brand new academic year at John Clifford School and, more importantly, to Year 6! We have been really pleased with how focussed and engaged the children have been during their first week back after the long break. Many thanks to all parents and carers who have done a fabulous job in helping the children to look so smart.
A reminder about PE Kits: Trainers MUST be in school all week and PE Kits MUST be in school on Tuesdays and Thursday, although again, if at all possible, these should also be in school all week.
We look forward to seeing you at the Meet The Teacher meetings this week immediately after school. Miss Kyle (Bluebirds) will be meeting parents on Wednesday 11th September an Mr Morris (Ospreys) will be available on Thursday 12th September.
Homework will normally be issued and made available on this class page on a fortnightly basis on a Thursday.
We have many exciting things planned for the children over the course of the year and look forward to spending time with and working with your children.
Miss Kyle and Mr Morris
Some useful web-links to support learning: