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Year 6 Curriculum

Year 6


English: In year 6 the skills of reading, Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling and the organisation and composition of different text types continue to be built upon and extended.

Reading: Skills are practised in a variety of ways. One way is through Guided reading sessions, where children work in groups with the teacher or other adult. They read, discuss and evaluate stories from different genre, such as Sci-Fi or Fantasy, poetry or non-fiction texts. Some of these texts will be short extracts whereas others will be complete books. In the summer term, this focuses on books by Michael Morpurgo – a significant children’s writer. During these times, teacher questioning is used to build children’s skills across the assessment focuses outlined in the front of their Reading Records. Inference and deduction skills and understanding why an author has used specific words or phrases in their writing are important at this level and so discussions will focus on developing these skills further.

Another way of improving reading skills and fostering enjoyment of reading is through individual reading. Although most children will make their own choices from the library and class reading materials, there are also some specific sets of books, such as Wolf Hill, that can be utilised to support children in developing their reading and comprehension skills. Children read to an adult regularly and it is hoped that they will continue to read a range of books on a daily basis at home.

There are also written comprehensions carried out regularly to help children develop their written responses to texts.

Grammar, punctuation and spelling: Sessions are carried out on a daily basis. In year 6 there is reinforcement of word classes, tenses, sentence types and how different punctuation is used. Children carry out short practical activities and answer questions to build on and reinforce the work carried out in previous years. Spelling is taught in a variety ways. specific letter strings and patterns as well as spelling rules are focussed on. Activities are carried out and ‘Fast Spelling’ is a method used to help children to practise and learn spellings. In year 6, the focus is on consolidating spellings from previous years; looking at words with a range of prefixes and suffixes; and learning the spelling and meaning of homophones.

Writing: The writing of different text types is a feature of English lessons throughout the year. Children are taught how to plan and write narrative text as well as reports, recounts, explanations, instructions, persuasive and discursive texts. There is a focus on adventurous vocabulary, the use of different connectives, applying a range of different sentence openers and extending their use of punctuation within the different texts they write.  They also become more familiar with more formal words and phrases and the types of writing that require a more formal approach.

In year 6, the children enjoy focussing on Science Fiction genre, creating a multi-choice adventure quest story in groups and writing flashbacks as well as focussing on Michael Morpurgo’s style of writing. They create poetry based on personification and other areas of the curriculum.

Non-narrative work focuses on a range of recounts such as autobiography and biography and journalistic writing.  Pupils also look at the structure and features of instructions and  explanations through focusing on other curriculum areas and a topic of robots and machines. Persuasive and discussion writing and more formal and impersonal texts and also linked to other topic areas such as Geography and History.

There are also planned opportunities for speaking and listening and drama activities both in English lessons and in other subjects across the curriculum.


Key Stage 1 and 2: The Programmes of study for mathematics are set out year by year for Key Stages 1 and 2 in the new National Curriculum (2014). The programmes of study are organised in a distinct sequence and structured into separate domains. Pupils should make connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.

Upper Key Stage 2: The principal focus of mathematics teaching in upper Key Stage 2 is to ensure that pupils extend their understanding of the number system and place value to include larger integers. This should develop the connections that pupils make between multiplication and division with fractions, decimals, percentages and ratio.

At this stage, pupils develop their ability to solve a wider range of problems, including increasingly complex properties of numbers and arithmetic, and problems demanding efficient written and mental methods of calculation. With this foundation in arithmetic, pupils are introduced to the language of algebra as a means for solving a variety of problems. Teaching in geometry and measures consolidates and extends knowledge developed in number. Teaching also ensures that pupils classify shapes with increasingly complex geometric properties and that they learn the vocabulary they need to describe them.

By the end of Year 6, pupils should be fluent in written methods for all four operations, including long multiplication and division, and in working with fractions, decimals and percentages. ‘Fast Maths’ is one method used to help children to improve the fluency of their addition and multiplication skills. Pupils should read, spell and pronounce mathematical vocabulary correctly.

Science: Science covers aspects of investigational skills through topics that involve life processes, materials and their properties and physical processes. Although pupils need to learn facts associated with these areas, the focus is on understanding the process of planning and carrying out an investigation, predicting what may happen, gathering, measuring and recording results and presenting them in tables and graphs in order to draw scientific conclusions.

In year 6, pupils enjoy topics on the interdependence of plants and animals, the different habitats that they live in and the adaptations that they have to these environments and microorganisms, including their positives and negative effects on different aspects of life.

They look at Evolution and inheritance and find out more about well known scientists that have carried out research and made discoveries in this area of science.

Pupils also carry out a range of investigations to find out about different electrical circuits, as well as light which involves finding out about the eyes, shadows and reflections.

Religious Education: Children learn from different religions and respond to a range of important questions related to their spiritual development. Pupils in year 6 focus on ‘How and why do Christians follow Jesus?’ and then look at ‘How can we make our village a more respectful place?’. They then think about the natural world and what different religions say about it and how we should care for it.  The purpose and value of a sacred space is focussed on. The children then look at different ways of ‘Expressing faith through the Arts’, where they are able to express their own feelings and beliefs through different media after investigating a range of other people’s art. Elements of ‘Understanding Christianity’ is also beginning to be incorporated into the work carried out.

Physical Education: Pupils take part in a wide range of activities. They develop their skills in Tag Rugby, Gymnastics, Cricket and Athletics while also taking part in a range of activities with visiting coaches. Children learn the importance of exercise and work individually, in pairs and in teams to improve their levels of fitness and understanding of each area of physical education. This subject is also enhanced by the prevision of a range of sports provided throughout the year in after school sessions.

Art and Design: This area of the curriculum is used to promote and progress the children’s creative skills by finding out about different artists and their works as well as encouraging them to experiment with different media and techniques. The topics focussed on in year 6 are ‘ What a performance’ where children look at different masks and create their own 3D version of a mask for a chosen character thinking about visual and tactile properties. Another topic is ‘People in Action’ where pupils extend their skills in drawing people using correct proportions and then look at different artists, such as Muybridge and Nolde, and their techniques for portraying motion in their art. A further topic, ‘A sense of place’, allows the children to look at the environment and how different artists have portrayed both rural and urban places. They also develop their skills of evaluating their own and others’ work.

Computing: The focus of the new computing curriculum is on aspects of Online safety and programming. In year 6 pupils still learn and use a range of skills associated with multimedia presentation, spreadsheets, music and sound and handling data and these skills are applied to other areas of the curriculum. There is, however, ongoing work on Internet research and Online safety that surrounds all aspects of Computing. Children are taught ways to stay safe online and how to deal with situations that might occur when they are using technology.

Programming and aspects of control are focussed on through a range of different programmes that include Scratch and Coco. These allow the children to learn how to code and use programming to create different movements of sprites and simulations. A range of peripherals such as Probots (programmable robots), video cameras, microphones and dataloggers are used as well as mobile devices such as I-pads and netbooks.

Design and Technology: In year 6 pupils extend their skills by drawing a range of diagrams to show their designs. In the topic ‘Shelters’, they work with wood, paper and card to create a shelter, thinking about how to make it strong and waterproof. They evaluate their own and others’ work, thinking about improvements that can be made. They then develop their Food Technology skills be making a range of dishes.

Geography: This area of the curriculum allows the children to find out more about different areas of the world. Mapping skills are extended and the pupils develop deep contextual knowledge of globally significant places, including human and physical geography.

In year 6 pupils focus on the topics of Rivers around the world, the Amazon Basin, including biomes and the natural resources associated with the region and a more local study of York and Malham in the Yorkshire Dales, which links well with the History topic of Vikings and Anglo Saxons.

History: Pupils develop chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British and World History and extend their historical skills through research, enquiry and looking at historical information from a range of sources including artefacts.

In year 6 they do this through three main topics: the Viking and Anglo Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor; crime and punishment from the Anglo Saxons to the present day and early Islamic civilisation, including a study of Baghdad.

Pupils carry out a range of activities involving role play, group work and practical research.

Music: A range of activities are carried out to develop children’s musical knowledge of terms and notation, singing and performing and listening and appraising skills. They learn how different parts are put together when singing and performing in a variety of contexts.  They also listen to and appraise music from a range of eras, composers and genres.

P.S.H.E.: Year 6 use this area to think about goals and target setting and this is applied to other areas of the curriculum. Anti-bullying work is carried out so that children are able to handle different situations appropriately. Drugs Education looks at the issues associated with alcohol and tobacco although other drugs are also discussed. Personal Relationships Education in year 6 focuses on how babies are made and the changes associated with puberty for girls and boys, including personal hygiene. As pupils near the end of primary school, this subject looks at changes and strategies for coping with them.

Modern Foreign Languages: French is taught throughout Key Stage 2 and children in year 6 expand their vocabulary as well as their knowledge of conjugating verbs. They learn about aspects of French culture and how to talk about the school day and what takes place during it.

For further information on any of the above please speak with your child’s class teacher.

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