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What are we learning this half term?
In English, we are continuing to develop our sentence structure before moving on to using the text, The Arrival to inspire our writing. We will then write an explanation text for how to make an intruder alarm, based on our learning in Science this half term.
In Maths, we will continue to multiply and divide by 10, 100 and 1000 and use this to help us multiply and divide decimals. We will then explore solving problems involving the calculation of percentages before converting decimal fractions to percentages.
In Science, we will be learning about Electricity. The children will recap that electricity carried energy that can be converted into heat, light and energy in our homes, schools and places of work. Children will develop this knowledge to understand that electricity can only travel if there is a complete circuit.
In this unit, children will use symbols to represent components of a circuit including batteries, wires, bulbs and switches. Children will learn about the importance of switches for conserving energy and for safety reasons. Children will build their understanding of batteries and their voltage. They will learn that adding more batteries to a circuit can increase the brightness of a bulb.
In this unit children will design, make and evaluate an electrical device. They will design a device for a purpose, which can be set by the teacher. They will work scientifically to consider the purpose for which they are designing their device and what it must be capable of. They will make their device using simple materials such as wires, batteries, buzzers and switches. They will create labelled diagrams when planning their design, using symbols. At the end of the unit they will apply their knowledge to design an intruder alarm.
In History, having previously studied ‘World War I’, the pupils would have learnt about the signing of the Armistice officially ending the war, in 1918. The Armistice was an agreement between Germany and the allies to end the fighting. In 1919, the Treaty of Versailles outlined the punishments and reparations imposed on the German nation. In this unit, the pupils will examine the impact of the Armistice and the Treaty of Versailles had on German citizens, many of whom believed the punishments to be harsh and unjust. The pupils will learn about the rise of Adolf Hitler, and how the surrender of Germany in 1918 shocked him. As previously discussed in Year 5 ‘The French Revolution’, pupils grapple with the idea that during times of political instability, there is growth in dictatorship. Throughout the unit, the pupils will be building on their substantive concept of nationalism. They will learn about the nationalist political party known as the Nazi party, and their racist ideology. Pupils will learn how the Nazis controlled many aspects of life in Germany during this period, including roles of men and women and education. They will learn about Adolf Hitler and how he blamed Jewish people for things that were wrong and commanded that the German people avoid Jewish businesses, ordered books by Jewish authors to be burned, banned marriages between Jews and Germans and stopped Jewish children attending school. Kristallnacht, or ‘Night of the Broken Glass’, will be studied and pupils will learn about how Jewish homes, businesses and Synagogues were attacked by rioters and the authorities did nothing to prevent the destruction, and instead, arrested 30,000 Jewish people and sent them to concentration camps. Many Jews tried to leave Germany to seek refuge elsewhere. When learning about this, pupils will read primary sources from people who witnessed this event, including diary entries. Unit Rationale In 1939, Germany invaded Poland to regain land, enslave Polish people and take power. Later that year, Britain declared war on Germany as a response to the invasion of Poland. The final lesson in this unit, supports pupils with accessing the first lesson on their next history unit: World War II.
In Geography, we are learning about North America. The first lesson in this unit offers an introduction to the North American continent. Children will identify the countries within this continent including the United States of America, Canada and Mexico. When looking at the United States of America, children will learn that the states have not always been united, and many battles have been fought over land and power. Children will study the biomes of the North American continent including coniferous forest, deciduous forest, temperate grassland semi-desert and tundra. They will learn about the permafrost that lies under the ground in the most northern parts of North America, creating a cold, tree-less landscape. They will contrast this with the temperate grassland in the Great Plains, and the prairie. In turn, this is will provide contrast with the tropical forest biome of some regions in Central America.
Turning to the physical geographical feature of rivers, children will learn that rivers are important to the economy, for trade and transport and also help to sustain a large population. In this unit, children will build on their knowledge of the world’s rivers and will study the Mississippi River, one of the longest rivers in the world. Children will study how this huge physical geographical feature changes along its path and also how people’s interactions with the river are changing it. The question of sustainability is addressed in the context of the Mississippi River. This understanding will be built upon in the forthcoming unit on Australia when children study the Murray-Darling.
Children will then study a region of North America and compare it with a region of the United Kingdom. Anchorage in Alaska will be compared with the local area, providing some important contrasts including climate, physical features, population, environment and regional activities. To conclude the unit, children will write an essay to explain why a geographer would describe North America as ‘a large and diverse’ continent.
In Art, we are learning about Victorian art and architecture. They start by looking at the architecture of the Houses of Parliament and how this important building was influenced by both gothic and classical style. The children then study examples of Victorian architecture which they see in their local environment, identifying where it has either classical or gothic influences. Over the course of three lessons they do detailed drawings of famous London buildings (the Houses of Parliament, St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey) which show gothic or classical influence. The children then study the work of the Victorian pre-Raphaelite artists. This necessitates reference to rejection the idealized forms of Raphael which they will be familiar with from the unit at the beginning of year 6 on the renaissance. They look in detail at Ophelia by Millais and The Annunciation by Rossetti and consider how these artists wanted to reflect reality in their paintings by engaging in careful observation. They practise careful observation themselves, by using watercolours to paint flowers. Through this activity they learn different techniques of painting with watercolour, painting wet-on-dry and wet-on-wet, as well as working from light to dark, in contrast to working from dark to light as they have previously done with opaque materials such as acrylics and oil pastels.
In PSHE, we are learning about diversity and community where they will explore how others’ perception can influence identity. They will show respect for those with different lifestyles, beliefs and traditions whilst considering how the media can affect them.
In RE, we are learning about justice and poverty, exploring how faith can make a difference.
For regular updates and photographs of our learning please be sure to visit your child’s class story on Class Dojo.
Below you will find knowledge organisers for Art, History and Science for this half term. These detail the key knowledge and vocabulary that we will be learning in these subjects. Please use them to help you discuss what the children are learning.
Here you will find some information which shows the end of year 6 expectations in spelling, punctuation and grammar as well as some useful posters which show you how we approach formal written methods in maths when adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing.