Welcome to Year 6

Welcome back to a new year in Year 6. What an exciting time ahead, as the children enter their final year at St John’s School.  We are looking forward to seeing them flourish as our school leaders and role models.

The team:
We are lucky to have a team of three in the class this year.

  • Ms Mhairi Mackelworth (Monday-Wednesday), Mrs Jane Gillhouley (Thur-Fri), and Mrs Debbie Barnett, our experienced teaching assistant, will be supporting throughout the week.
  • In addition, we have focussed support from Sharon Pinder (Mon, Thurs and Fri) and Ms Helen Reynolds (Tue-Wed)

Curriculum:

  • Our curriculum map and our themes are on the school website. It can be found at https://stjohnssevenoaks.co.uk/our-curriculum/
  • We are always evolving the curriculum taking advantage of learning opportunities, such as trips and visits, which means there may be slight changes to the published map on the website.
  • On Wednesday, we have our specialist teachers of computing, music and Spanish.

Homework:

  • Spellings are taught at the start of the week and are based on a spelling rule. Spelling is about patterns, etymology and meaning. We have two spelling books, one that the children keep in class and the other that they keep at home. Each week we teach a new spelling rule and the children need to learn that set of spellings ready for the test on Friday. Results will be recorded in their planner.
  • If the whole class achieve 10/10, they are rewarded with ‘minutes’ which the children have chosen to bank and cash in at the end of the year. Our expectation is that they will get no less than 9/10 as they are consolidating Year 5 spellings. There will be an adjusted expectation for some children.
  • On Fridays, we will also test the children on their times tables and those results will also be in their planner.
  • Schofield and Sims Maths books (one page per week to complete) and Grammar homework will come home every Thursday. The grammar homework consolidates the class learning from that week. All homework will need to be returned by the following Tuesday but please bring it in earlier if your child has completed it as this helps us address any errors and misconceptions.
  • Occasionally, there will be topic-based homework instead of or in addition to the usual weekly homework.
  • Whilst the children get the opportunity for whole class reading in school, it is still very important for them to be reading for at least 30 minutes daily at home. Even though they are Year 6 and can read very well independently, it is still invaluable for them to be heard and, where appropriate, to read books together. This enables them to hear texts which may be less accessible if they were reading purely on their own.

PE:

  • PE is on Wednesday. Come to school in your PE kit – house colours please.
  • From Tuesday 14th September the children will be swimming at Wally Hall pool. They will need to bring in their swimming costume/trunks, towel and hat in a separate bag each week.

Responsibilities:

  • The children will meet their reception buddies in the week commencing 13th
  • They will support their buddies in the dinner hall at lunch time and in the playground, during term 1.
  • This term the children will apply for the coveted year 6 roles and responsibilities and these will be announced in our celebration assembly once all applications have been read and positions allocated.

Reading circle:

  • This is something new and exciting for the Year 6 pupils.
  • There will be an opportunity to present a book of their choice twice during the year and a letter has already been sent out with further details.

Secondary transition:
Over the coming weeks and months we anticipate that children will be visiting potential secondary schools.

  • These open days are invaluable. We suggest that parents and carers visit a range of schools.  Once these have been narrowed to a manageable selection, it is a good time to visit the selected schools together with your child during the school day and in the evenings, so that you can make an informed decision about which school is most suitable for them.
  • Please let the office know the dates and times your child will be out of class.
  • If you require any help with submitting secondary application forms, Theresa Shrubb in the office is happy to help. Online applications for transfer to Secondary school for September 2022 opens on Wednesday 1 September and closes on Monday 1 November 2021.

Residential:

  • We are in the process of organising the Year 6 residential trip. As soon as we have more details we will let you know.

We are looking forward to an exciting year full of challenge and learning opportunities. If you have any queries or questions, please do feel free to come and discuss them with us. We may be looking for helpers on trips. Please let us know if you are interested and available.

Kind regards,

The Year 6 Team

 

 

PGL Day 3

What a wonderful final morning.  After another restful night’s sleep and hearty breakfast, we packed our bags, squeezed in two more activities before a delicious lunch and bordered the coach with waves and cheers to the staff at PGL who have been brilliant throughout.  We will all be tired tonight, with heads full of new memories and experiences.  The Year 6 Team.

PGL Day 2

After a misty start first thing, the sun shone for us and we have had another busy day with archery, rifle shooting, zip wire, low ropes and abseiling, a trip to the site shop, where many careful purchases were made, all topped off with tonight’s magical campfire in the wood.  It was noticeable how well the different groups worked together today, especially supporting and cheering on those that were a little nervous on the higher activities and there was a noticeable groan when we discussed packing bags for the homeward journey…a sign of a perfect break.  We will see you all tomorrow and expect to be back in time for usual school pick up, but will keep you posted.

The Year 6 team

PGL Day 1

Lovely first day and we luckily missed the thundery showers until this evening when we were cosy and settling into our rooms.  We’ve had an active start – with a combination of abseiling, giant swing and raft building.  We loved it all!  Dinner was a treat.  Just like a cafe with generous portions and doughnuts for dessert.  We topped that off with birthday cake for Barney and we’re just about to begin our evening activities.  Hopefully we will all sleep well after last night’s football.  The Year 6 Team.

 

Forest Fun!

Let me start by saying it has been a pleasure for Ms Mackelworth, Mrs Barnett and I to teach this fabulous group of Year 6 pupils.

I ran a competition to see who could write a Forest Day recount which captured the fun, hard work and joy of the forest. The class made it super hard by writing such fabulous recounts but in the end I have chosen Emilio’s and Ben’s to share with you – along with a multitude of photos.

The Forest Day Experience

As the frosty mist parted, it revealed a whole new world to us. The adventure bubbled in us as we got closer.

Eager to find our way to camp, we strode on through the welcoming grass to see Fin Kedinn (Mrs. Gillhouley) waiting for us to gather around her.

Before we know it, we were set a quest to find our clan tree and a brown envelope. After searching for our tree, I was united with our clan members and we were set tasks to do, such as electing a clan leader, marking our faces with symbols and much more.

After completing all of our tasks, we set back to camp for more work. In minutes, we were given our jobs and started them quickly. My job was making weapons for combat: I was called the tool maker. Harry and Steven were our den constructors, Emily our cook, Mia was the tree decorator and also the maker of our journey stick to guide us to our spot. Finally, Megan was our clan doctor.

In the end, I made a spear from a stick and I also made a dagger for Steven.

Once our time was up, we had a quick look at what everyone had done. Sadly, our forest day was over and we took one last look at Watstcok Woods in its autumn glory and returned home.

 

Emilio

 

From the second I stepped onto the dew-encased crisp leaves of Watstock Woods, I knew it was going to be an exceptional day in the forest.

Battling my way through the thicket of brambles and long, overgrown grass, I finally stood in the great Clan Circle with my fellow friends. Fin Kedinn (Mrs Gillhouley) welcomed us to the clan meet as some of us had travelled far (St. John’s or from home) to arrive there today. As I sat on my wooden bench (a log) I felt my heart in my chest beating at a fast pace as I itched to know what my clan tree would be. My tummy was tingling as I was handed my clan leaf. I huddled together with my clan members, Eloise, James B, Hettie Andrew and Elspeth. We crowded around our clan tree with a brown envelope which held our activities for the day.

My head almost exploded with excitement. I hurried on with my shelter-creating partner, Hettie. Firstly, I jogged off to find some robust, stout logs. There, naturally, being scattered amongst the leaf-carpeted forest, I stacked them up against a sturdy trunk. Eventually, with support of thick sticks and branches, and the help of a small bush, the shelter was built.

After all the muscle-aching tasks had been accomplished, I took one last glance back at the excitement that had happened a few hours before and I knew I would not experience such fun for quite some time.

At the end of an exhilarating forest day trip, we returned to Sevenoaks with grass stained knees and great, big, broad smiles upon our faces.

Ben

 

Forest Day Gallery

Good Bye and Thank You from Year 6

We have to say goodbye to all of our wonderful Year 6 pupils and in doing so we decided to let them write the final blog! Every child wrote a piece, the children voted and 5 winners emerged. Here they are! Congratulations to all of Year 6  – we wish you well.

The Year 6 Team xxx

Macushla

St John’s is a kind, supportive and welcoming school. It includes every person with the same amount of care and attention. From the moment I walked through the doors of this beautiful building (seven years ago) I was instantly hit with a home-away-from-home feeling.

Year One was one of my best years at St John’s because my best friend started the school. From then on we never left each other’s side. Unfortunately in Year Four my best friend told me that she had to move to live abroad. Our friendship had been tested before but nothing could prepare us for this. When the day came for her to leave, I was fortunate enough to have so many amazing people to help me get through it.

When I got my reception buddy it was the best feeling. She is so cute and being a buddy not only helped the reception children settle, but it also helped the year sixes in the future.

You should definitely give your child the same opportunities I was given…like Seville or strawberry picking or trips to the theatre. I could not ask for a better school, it has prepared me for a great future, not only academically, but also in being a better person.

Thank you St John’s.

Mia

I cannot believe my St John’s journey is nearly over, I only have seven days left at my amazing school. Although my time is nearly over, along the way I have achieved great things and I have made lots of wonderful friends. It all started in reception, where I was welcomed with open arms.

Sometimes in the morning I would have trouble going in, but when I was in the class, my teachers helped me and made me feel better. If I was really bad I would go to Mrs. Smith, she is our school counsellor, she gave me breathing strategies. Just remember if you have trouble with something, go to Jane Smith!

I love to read, but I struggled with maths, that is why I went to Mrs. Old. She helped me on the stuff I struggled with the most, like fractions! Now I find those tricky things much easier than before.

Thank you for all the help, love and support, I will definitely come back and visit when I have gone.

Amelia A

Life can be so boring sometimes can’t it? St John’s can change that! One look inside and it will brighten up your day. With bright, decorative walls and smiling, cheery faces all around, this school stands out above the rest. We are one big family and I am proud to be part of it. You certainly will be too.

So, let us start with a day from MY perspective. Only having a week left here, this place means the world to me. One reason is because we have the best head teacher, Mrs. Quirk will do anything for us. She organises trips and fun days out.

Speaking of trips…. Our trip to Seville this year was the best moment in my whole life at St John’s. Which other schools get the opportunity to go to a different country in PRIMARY school? I’m just saying!

This year I have been gifted so much responsibility. Being a buddy for example. Guiding reception children through their St John’s journey and helping them with all their needs, great and small, holding their hands when things are tough for them. Also, in Year Six, every child will be assigned a certain role. From school council to house captains, peer mediators to class ambassadors.

We get so many opportunities to learn and grow and not just in the classroom! With a range of different clubs and sporting teams, every child will find something they love. Like me! I joined the netball club and not long after was accepted into our St John’s netball team and a table tennis team too. We may be a small school, but the sky’s the limit for us!

St John’s is so special to me, leaving a warm feeling inside every day I walk out those school gates. And I wouldn’t trade that for the world. This is the best school ever and I can’t ask for anything more than that!

 

Amelia L

If I had a choice of any school in Sevenoaks, I would choose St John’s….any here is why.

It doesn’t matter if you are first starting, or have been here for a while. You walk into this school feeling like you belong. It certainly makes me feel warm inside because I know I am part of a family.

In Year 6 you have A LOT of responsibilities. We all pair up with a reception child as part of our ‘buddy scheme’. Each Year 6 will be assigned a buddy to look after. It feels nice to know that you are helping a younger one to learn and to grow. It teaches us to be resilient and tolerant.

My time at St John’s is drawing to a close and in two weeks I will be walking out of those school gates as a student for the last time. So I feel like I have a lot of experience to tell you about the amazing opportunities which are given here.

Of course without doubt, Year 6 is a special year. But here at St John’s we make it turn more magical! For here is the highlight of the school year – the one-in-a-lifetime trip to Seville! It is an absolute privilege to grab our sunnies, hop on a plane and have the most incredible time. Majestic carriage rides, charming boat rides and even a splash (ok, a huge splash!) in a pool….this trip has it all.

We also have phenomenal sports teams, we may be small but we are mighty! Netball, football, you name it…we’ve got it. And, really, it’s all thanks to Mrs. Quirk, our amazing Head Teacher! She gets everything done with a click of her fingers. She is a superwoman and is the most organised person I’ve met.

 

Evelina

There are many schools in Sevenoaks that are pretty good but there’s one that stands out from all the rest…St John’s and here’s why. My time at St John’s is now ending, and in eight days I will be walking out of those tall, school gates for the very last time as a pupil. So I think I’m in a good position to tell you what’s so magical about this place.

Let me start with our trip to Seville which was phenomenal even when Covis-19 burst through our doors. We had fun eating churros, having a fancy dinner at a restaurant and buying things at a market by yourself IN SPANISH. We’ve all been given so much responsibility and independence this year. First of all we get our own buddies from reception to hold their hands when they’re scared and we are there for them when they’re sad. We have our own responsibility badges, mine was class rep for Year 4, we have Year 6 ties, went to Seville and lastly our leavers hoodies!

I will never forget this amazing school and kind staff.

A Carrot, an Egg, and a Cup of Coffee

It’s been another strange week with highs and lows. The story below made me think about how I respond to adversity.

BUT first, something thoroughly uplifting. Mia has two beautiful kittens: Tiggy and Biscuit! Eight weeks old and ready for adventure. How much fun will they be having together. Chasing string, climbing up curtains and enjoying crazy moments!

It was funny hats day on our zoom this week. We had sombreros, towels, caps and something utterly ridiculous from our head teacher!!! Well done everyone. We often see you with your pets which is lovely and makes us all smile.

Next zoom is in 2 weeks and it’s quiz week! Send me your favourite hobby (via email) and I will use it to make a quiz. Don’t tell anyone else!

A Carrot, an Egg and a Cup of Coffee

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. It seemed that as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on the fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

Twenty minutes later, she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me, what do you see?”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” the daughter replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, “But what does it mean, mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity—boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting in the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed themselves but the water.

“Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how would you like to respond? Will you be a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?”

Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity I wilt and become soft and lose my strength? Am I the egg that starts with a soft heart, but changes with the heat?  Does my shell look the same, but on the inside I am tough with a stiff, hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean changed the hot water. When the water became hot, it released its fragrance and flavour.

If you were like the bean, when things are at their worst, you might just find that when the hour is at its darkest and trials are at their greatest, you elevate yourself to another level and inspire and change those around you.

Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything—they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.

Keep positive Year 6; we can do this.

x

Spring Watch!

Beginning with Mrs Gillhouley’ s fledgling theme from the last Class 6 blog, we’ve been busy with Spring Watch in our garden too!  This little character managed to get its claws caught up in our trampoline netting on its maiden flight.  No real damage done, and after a couple of minutes it was free.  Meanwhile, it has been a hard-fought battle keeping the adolescent cats away from the various nests in the garden – they have been keeping us on our toes, but I think we are winning the war!

               

Staying outdoors, as lockdown eases we have all been enjoying a few new freedoms and it was with great excitement that we met my Mum in her garden a few days ago; the children perfected their ‘virtual granny hugs’ and had some cheerful distanced chats.   Hopefully, it will not be too long now before we can all hug our loved ones for real.

   

Year 6, you have demonstrated your continued adaptability and resolute good humour once more this week, with some of you coming into school for the first time and others continuing to work diligently from home.  In science, we have been exploring the theme of ‘Healthy Lifestyles’ and you have created thoughtful posters about ways to improve our mental as well as physical wellbeing through good sleep, fresh air and limited screen time…something to remember as you all move on to secondary school!  Here’s a selection from Tia, Tilly, Bailey and Lexie.

Finally. I would like to leave you with a quote from Michelle Obama, chosen by Eloise as her inspirational precept.  What wise words.

See you all next week on our year 6 zoom call – Wednesday at 2:30pm.  It will be lovely to be all together again.

Ms M.

Friday 22nd May – Birds, precepts and more

Hello to all our wonderful Year 6 families,

Thank you again for the incredible support we have received over the term. We never cease to be amazed at how hard the children are working, how positive you are all staying and how adaptable you continue to be in these challenging times. We make a great team!

We loved seeing you on zoom on Wednesday. Thank you for your patience, turn taking and good humour. We came away smiling and looking forward to the next one.

With the end of term 5, rapidly approaching, I have been reflecting on our journey to date and would like to share my reflections, if I may.

This week, I was hoping you wouldn’t mind me telling you about the birds nesting in my garden. Every year, a pair of Blue Tits return to nest in my bird box. This is them last year sitting on the eggs.

 

This year, I thought that my cat had eaten one of the parent birds as I hadn’t seen them flitting about and I was so sad. But to my delight, I saw some movement in the nearby tree giving me hope and a couple of weeks later, the eggs hatched. This clip below shows the newly hatched eggs. You can hear me tap on the box. Being blind at this point, the chicks think it’s their parent coming to feed them and they suddenly chirp into action. It’s amazing.

 

Over the weekend I sat for an hour just watching the bird box. I noticed how the parent birds take the utmost care when returning with food for their chicks. They work as a team looking out for danger, constantly talking to the chicks, telling them that they are on their way, to be quiet if there is a threat, that everything is ok. The parents are relentless in their job – feeding their chicks all day long, backwards and forwards, backwards and forwards.Sounds familiar doesn’t it!

The last time I looked, the chicks were really growing, with feathers and sight. They were thriving. It made me think of our team of children, parents and teachers. Our commitment to the children’s future and well-being, that we are all a part of this growth and development. Sometimes it is a relentless task but soon the chicks will fledge and start a new beginning, just like our children who will start a new journey at secondary school having fledged and left the nest. But like the birds in my garden, they will always belong to the St. John’s family and can always return.

So, year 6 never doubt. Everything will work out just as it is supposed to.

I will finish with some of the amazing precepts the children have written this week. What timing! As always, more work and more precepts can be found on the Year 6 gallery.

Have lovely half term break everyone. Be kind, be thoughtful and enjoy these moments.

The Year 6 Team x

 

If you look closely you can see the parent birds visiting their chicks…

 

A Zooming Great Week!

Dear Year 6 Families,

It’s funny to think that eight weeks ago I thought that zoom just meant ‘to travel very quickly.’  Little did I know that the digital version of ‘zoom’ was about to become such a significant part of our lives with piano lessons, scout meetings, social quizzes, family pictionary and synchronised swimming (?!) sessions all becoming regular features in my household. So, it was lovely that we were also able to zoom as a class this week.  When I saw all your cheerful faces, I realised how much I was missing you all but also how well you are all coping with lockdown: working hard, loving your pets, baking in the kitchen, making the most of outside spaces, braving DIY haircuts, supporting one another with phone calls and just generally getting on with life and online learning.  What a cool bunch you are!

This week you have all been getting stuck into our class text, Wonder, and I’m pleased that so many of you are enjoying it.  Your diary entries as the main character, Auggie, visiting his new school for the very first have been fabulous and you are writing with maturity and confidence.  I wonder whether you too have some of those same mixed emotions for the changes ahead.  Here’s a little selection of your wonderful writing…

 

and more vibrant Aztec inspired artwork…

and finally, can anyone work out who created these hieroglyphs…

Mrs Grimble has posted a new message in her English Blog.  She has added some links to online books, top reading tips and has requested photos of our unusual lock down reading spots!

You may have also noticed a new friendly face on our Zoom call, Mrs Hanna our music teacher.  Today she has been busy updating the Music Blog and there are separate posts for the orchestra, choir and for Year 6 – so lots to see and explore.

Finally, I want you all to kick back and relax this weekend…just like these two not so kitteny kittens (who still can’t work out how to use the new cat flap!).

        

 

Stay safe, keep cheerful, keep active and ‘see’ you all again on Monday.

Ms Mackelworth

x

p.s.  I noticed this on a recent walk and loved it.  Anyone else spotted it?