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Willowdown Primary Academy

Happy Children, Successful Learners, Confident Individuals

What will we be getting up to?

Dear Parent/Carer,


Term three is here, and after Bottle Rockets in term 1 and investigating the past in term 2, we are now going to ask and explore ‘Why do some creatures no-longer exist?' The book ‘Skellig’, by David Almond will be our text for the whole term and, will allow the children to unpick how authors use repeated themes, description as well as acting as the spring-board into further investigations and learning across the curriculum. In Science, it initiate investigations into the evolution of species, how the environment affects life and our study of skeletons. In British Values and in Core Learning Skills, it will provide starting points for a number of important discussion points relating to our attitudes and beliefs, difference, tolerance and empathy. We will dissect an owl pellet and using ICT, we will research what this tells us abut the diet, the eco system as well as allow us to professionally present out findings. We will also continue with ICT to explore coding.


With the swimming sessions complete, PE will now be on Wednesday morning and Thursday afternoon, so please ensure that appropriate kit is provided for each session. Children need to be properly equipped with daps or gripping trainers, shorts/joggers and Willowdown tops. As PE is a curriculum subject, children do need to participate.


Homework and spellings will be sent on Friday and will be due back on Wednesday, which is when the spelling test will take place and a homework competition will be initiated from Monday 9th. Reading at home to an adult is advised at least three times a week and Champion Reader awards will be given out for those that consistently have their reading signed off and commented on by an adult.  

As we are fast approaching SATs, occasional smaller tasks may come home through the week. These will relate to the work that we have done that day and are intended to consolidate their learning, not test it. Please ask them what they are doing as they should enjoy proudly showing you what they have done. It also helps them learn, as while we do retain 75% of what we do through practice, we typically retain 90% of what we show or teach or show others.


Further research: The time is school is finite and there is always more we could do than the time we have so if your child would like to continue to research and investigate this terms learning outside of school, I would suggest the following: researching birds, flight and their evolution over time. Looking at mythical creatures and listing their similarities and differences to the animal they are most like would be interesting. Finally, reading other David Almond books to help identify themes would be beneficial. ‘My Name is Mina’ is linked to Skellig, but common themes do feature in all his books. Used copies can be bought quite cheaply on-line, but please note that these are written predominantly for Y5-8 children, they can contain challenging ideas, so if I doubt, please talk to me first.


Please do keep an eye on our page to see what we are dong and especially for details of an opportunity in the final week of term, to come in a share the learning the children have achieved.

Welcome to year 6 and Neptune Class, at Willowdown Primary Academy. You are our very first year 6 class and so the first to be taking SAT’s and leaving for secondary school, which is I expect exciting if not making you a little nervous. The main thing I would say to you is don’t PANIC or WORRY about it, because rest assured, we will not be expecting you to do anything that we don’t KNOW you will able to achieve. We’ll also make sure we have FUN doing it.


This term our learning will be based around the science subjects of Space, Forces and light. We will be examining our universe, comparing planets, explaining night and day, building and launching Bottle Rockets, wondering why the moon glows and producing resources and games to help other year groups learn about space and the planets. In our writing we will use ‘The Iron Man’ as a starting point for writing with suspense, the science to produce instructions for rocket making and information posters to tell you how they work. Our maths will involve lots of number work, calculating how much our rockets will cost, looking at the vast distances in space and recording how high they fly.


As you can imagine the children will want to share all this wonderful learning with you, so we have planned in a SPACE and SCIENCE afternoon on Thursday 20th October. This will be an opportunity for parents, carers and family members to come and find out what children have been doing and possibly launch your own rocket.


Some additional information that you’ll need to know:


Reading books are allocated according to each child’s comprehension ability. They will be heard read aloud by an adult at least twice a week in school.   We would like this to be complimented by them reading to an adult at home at least FOUR times a week.  Please ensure that reading books and reading journals are brought in each day, as we need to record all reading they do in school on a daily basis.


Spelling: Spelling lists will be sent out on Friday and the spelling test will be on the following Thursday.


PE This will comprise of swimming on Monday and a taught PE session on Wednesday. Swimming kit will need to be taken home and brought back weekly and a simple wash through with warm water to get rid of the chlorine will be enough to clean it. Sport based PE kit can stay in school until the end of term, (October) when it should be taken home and washed. All children will be expected to undertake PE unless there is a medical reason, supported by a letter from a Doctor giving the reason why the child is unable to participate. Spare kit from previous years will be provided for children who forget to bring it in.


Trips: We are hoping to join the year 4/5 on their trip to the science show in Weston-super-Mare in October and details will be forwarded once we have them.


Homework:This will be given out on Friday and collected in on the following Wednesday.


Right, an exciting and engaging term one lies ahead of us