Darwin Class 2021-2022
Welcome to Darwin Class! I hope you all had a fantastic Summer - it felt so good to have a bit of 'normality' back in our lives didn't it? It's only been a few days, but the children have been brilliant so far. They have settled into the new routines of Year 6 really well, and have impressed me with their attitude and behaviour. They've sat through information overload from me in a very hot classroom, so well done them!
On our first day back, we looked through our school Mission Star to remind ourselves of what we want orur pupils to achieve at Brentry. We then used it to create our Class Charter. Our new History topic - the Maya Civilisation - was introduced with making hot chocolate - with a twist! See the photos below to see their reactions!
There will be a 'Back to School' meeting via Zoom on Monday after school (exact time TBC). I will send out the Zoom link very soon, so I hope to see all of you there. Don't worry if you can't make it though. I will send out a letter with all of the information next week.
Hopefully, your child will have brought home a revision pack on Friday, in preparation for our Assessment Week coming up on the 14th June. Each pack contains study books and question books for maths and English, plus some practice papers. The pack also includes a blank timetable, which the children can use to plan out their revision sessions. How you want to organise this is completely up to you, but I would recommend planning in at least a couple of sessions per week. Every night would be too much, but once a week probably wouldn't be enough to make a difference. Little and often (with breaks in between) is the best approach! Remember that there will be no homework set between now and the assessments - revision will take its place.
If there is anything your child is really struggling with, or doesn't understand, please encourage them to bring their books into school so that we can go through it with them. Also, bear in mind that we haven't covered everything in the books yet, so if something seems very alien to them, it could be that we haven't even taught it in class yet.
At the end of the assessments, we will be asking for the study books to be returned (the red and blue books only), plus the plastic wallet that the books come in. Please look after them and do your best to keep them in good condition!
We did a spot of gardening and general tidying up around the Outdoor Classroom area this week. The children worked hard on weeding, pulling up brambles, litter picking and raking up dead leaves. Thank you Year 6!
The children chose a water fight as their class treat. What a way to end the term! I think they all went home with soggy shoes....
It's been so good to have the children back in class, and to have the school busy again. We really did miss them all! As always, they have adapted brilliantly to being back, and have enjoyed catching up with their friends. Last week, we focused on getting them used to the routines of school life again, socialising and playing with their friends, and learning outside.
It was Science Week, so we welcomed back our student teacher, Mr Speirs, for a fun lesson all about Science and Engineering. The children were set various challenges, such as to make an object that can float, using different materials. They had to choose carefully, depending on their properties. Some were more successful than others! Take a look at the photos below.
We also spent some time in the Outdoor Classroom, measuring the entire area so that we can map it out and start to plan how we are going to improve it. The children have got some interesting ideas, so watch this space!
This week, we are back into the swing of things, with a focus on fractions, decimals and percentages in maths. Literacy has been all about reminding the children of the basic punctuation and sentence structure needed in their writing, as well as lots of reading comprehension. We have been learning all about the changing coastline of the UK in geography, and have started a new unit - 'What do religions say when life gets hard?' - in RE. Phew!
This Friday is Red Nose Day, so don't forget to wear something red, and have a go at the competitions coming home today. Good luck!
Can you guess which member of the Brentry staff team is behind each mask?
Fill in the entry form below and email it to Mrs Ochiltree at firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday 10th March for a chance to win prizes!
Happy New Year!
Hello everyone! We hope you all had a fantastic Christmas, despite the restrictions. We were very much looking forward to seeing all of the children and hearing their holiday news, and are disappointed we can't see all of your lovely faces in real life. It's hard to believe we're in another Lockdown, but fingers crossed it won't last long!
We are currently working really hard to get online learning set up and ready to go for Monday 11th, and in the meantime, there are plenty of links to websites, games and videos to keep the children busy. There is also a Home Learning pack with various activities in if you have an extra-keen bean at home! Just take a look in the Home Learning tab above and scroll down to the bottom.
We will be in touch again before Monday to outline our expectations for Home Learning, but for now, please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
It's a strange time for all of us, so let's be kind to each other, and to ourselves. We're all in this together!
Mrs Ochiltree and Mr Butters
Happy Christmas to all of the children in Darwin Class, and their brilliant families! Make sure you watch our Christmas treat (link above) - the Reindeer Rap - as the children are very proud of it. Here are some photos of the children enjoying their festive lunch during the last week of term.
Happy holidays to all!
Mrs Ochiltree and Mr Butters x
For a few weeks, the children have been reading a 'choose your own adventure' style story, set in the town of Storyhaven, online. The children have been working in teams, with each team member playing a different character. Along the way, the teams have been able to gain reputation, increase their stamina, spend gold and make choices depending on their team members' skills. At the end of the adventure, they used the story runes they had found to create stories, which they shared with the Shaman yesterday, via the time portal.
The children did brilliantly. The Shaman was very impressed, and they made me a very proud teacher!
'It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...' Too early? I think with everything going on at the moment, it's only fair that we get a bit of an extended lead up to Christmas this year. Sadly, we won't be able to enjoy one of my absolute highlights of the year, Carols by Candlelight, next month. However, we are hoping to put together a little treat for the Year 6 parents - watch this space!
In class, the children have been working on fractions in maths. This is a tricky unit, with so many new strategies and methods to learn, but as always, the children are impressing me with the way they have picked things up. In literacy, we are writing diary entries from the perspective of a WW1 soldier in the trenches. The children are so engaged with this topic, and love learning all about life in the trenches. I've been hearing all about their projects too - they sound great! As usual, on Fridays, Mr Butters is teaching the children science, and has just started our new unit, Animals Including Humans. He is also teaching Geometry, including coordinates.
And finally, a reminder that if your child is isolating, please have a look at the Home Learning page above. You will find links to plenty of resources to support your child to continue their learning at home. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email me at email@example.com
Hope you all had a great half term, and managed to get out and about before Lockdown #2 began!
This term, our topic changes to WW1, which I know the children are really excited about. We've already looked at how and why the war began, and will be covering topics such as life in the trenches, the Battle of the Somme and how life changed for those at home. It is such a shame that we aren't able to go to France this year, as the trip really brings this topic to life for the children, but hopefully the activities we have planned in class will help the children to get a good understanding of the war and how it affected life in Britain.
Linked to this, the homework for this term will be a project based on WW1. There are three options for the project, which can be found in the Homework section above. The deadline isn't until 14th December, but please encourage your child to start having a think about what they are going to do. Please don't leave it all until the last minute!
Next week, we will start a new reading and writing project called Storyhaven. It is an online reading game which takes the children on their own 'choose your own adventure'. They will create their own characters and settings, and collect special objects along the way, with the ultimate aim of creating a story to share over Zoom with the Storyhaven team. Please look out for an email asking for your permission for your child to take part in this. This week, the children created their own 'Adventure Journal', which they will use to record their Storyhaven journey. The journals look fab!
Well Autumn is well and truly here, and wet playtimes are becoming more and more common. The children have been coping brilliantly with the new lunch time system though, and seem to be enjoying their takeaway-style lunches! Fingers crossed the rain eases next week though, as it's great for them to get outside, even if it's just for a quick runaround.
In class, we've been revising column addition and subtraction, and exploring factors and prime numbers. Literacy has been all about writing our mythical stories, linked to the Mayans. I have been so impressed with their attitude towards writing. They seem to really love it, which makes me very happy! I am looking forward to reading their stories once we've put the finishing touches to them next week.
We continue to learn about the Maya Civilisation in our History lessons, with this week's focus on their writing and number systems. Turns out the Mayans were a very clever bunch!
Next Wednesday, the children will be treated to an afternoon of Forest School activities, so they will need to come into school dressed appropriately. A text will be sent home with more information nearer the time. Even more reason to wish for dry weather next week!
Don't forget, you can find this week's homework in the Homework section above. Have a great weekend everybody!
We're having another great week in Darwin Class. The sun has been shining (typical, now that we're back at school!) and the children seem to be enjoying spending time playing with their classmates again in the playground.
In class, we have been continuing our work on Place Value in maths, this week exploring numbers up to 10 million. Next week, we will move on to addition and subtraction. In English, we are still looking at mythical stories, and will begin to plan our own next week. This links well to our topic work this week on Mayan Gods and religion.
One of our tasks in PSHE this week involved discussing our hopes and dreams for Year 6. The children had some really sensible ideas about what they would like to achieve by the end of the year, and they made some spirals with their ideas on, which look very pretty hung up in the classroom!
Don't forget that homework has been set this week. It can be found in the Homework section above. Completed homework should be emailed to Mr Butters by next Thursday .
We made it through the first week! The class have settled in so well, and it's been great to see every single one of Year 6 back in school. They have adapted to the new rules and systems brilliantly, even reminding me of one or two throughout the week! Alongside our Recovery Curriculum work, in which we have been focusing on the children's mental health and well being after such a long time away from school, we have already been getting stuck in to some hard work.
In maths, the focus this week and next is on Place Value. We have been exploring numbers up to 10 million and will be working on negative numbers and rounding next.
In literacy, we have been reading the Mayan myth, The Hero Twins. Our first literacy unit is based around this story (linked to our topic) and the children will eventually be writing their own mythical stories, complete with mythical beasts!
Finally, I thought I'd share some photos of the children making Mayan hot chocolate as an introduction to our Maya Civilisation topic earlier this week. I'm not sure they were expecting the secret ingredient - chili powder! Some were braver than others....
Welcome back Year 6!
We hope you're all excited about coming in on Monday with your new red sweatshirts on, looking so grown up . I know that it will feel a little bit strange, especially after spending so much time at home with your families, but hopefully you will feel much more relaxed once you've seen a few familiar faces. Although things are a little bit different in school, and we have new ways of doing some things, we will all soon get used to them. Remember that neither of us have been in the school for a while either, so you will need to look after us too!
Year 6 is a really exciting year - you're the oldest in the school now! - and we know that you're going to make a fantastic Year 6 class.
We are very much looking forward to seeing your smiling faces on Monday (and Friday for Mr Butters). Have a brilliant weekend and get plenty of sleep!
Mrs Ochiltree and Mr Butters
We had a brilliant day in the sunshine at Butlins today! The children did us proud with their fantastic behaviour and attitude. What a great bunch!
Friday 14th June
This week, we introduced Reading Buddies between the Year 6s and KS1. The pupils in Darwin Class all listen to children in Year 1 or 2 read, or they read a story to them. We do it three times a week, and the children absolutely love it!
Friday 7th June
What a week! We've had a fantastic Science Week this week. The focus has been on the environment, so we have been outside a lot, which the children have loved. As well as learning all about classification of living things as part of our current science unit, we've been identifying trees from their leaves, we've taken part in a scavenger hunt, and we've built dens, whittled wood for marshmallow-toasting and gone pond-dipping for minibeasts with Forest Schools. To top off the week, today was Art Day. A whole day of art linked to saving the planet - what more could you want?!
Friday 24th May
We've had a great final week of term 5 in Darwin Class. We've done lots of science, including an investigation all about electricity. We've also been writing newspaper reports for our end-of-year assessments, and today we have enjoyed Mojo Active Day. The children really impressed me with their 'have-a-go' attitude on the climbing wall and obstacle course. And then, of course, there was the slime making. Apologies for any sticky messes that came home with the children today! Lots of fun was had in the sunshine though.
Enjoy the week off! Lots to look forward to next term too. See the 'Y6 Camp' page above for important information, including a kit list, for the week beginning 17th June.
Friday 17th May
SATs Week is over! Congratulations Darwin Class! The children have all worked SO hard this week and have made me a very proud teacher. We’ll get the results on July 9th. Good luck everyone!
We spent Thursday afternoon in the sunshine creating some huge pieces of art to celebrate finishing. Sadly, the sunshine didn’t stick around for us when we went to Blaise on Friday, but the children loved it. A great way to let off steam after a tough week!
Friday 26th April
Welcome back to Term 5! It's going to be a short but very important term for Year 6, with SATs week coming up on the 13th May. Until then, we will be doing lots of revision of maths, SPaG and reading, both in class and in our booster sessions on a Monday and Thursday. We have two more after school Revision Club sessions left - the last one will be on Tuesday 7th May.
There will be a letter coming home soon with a SATs timetable, and information about Breakfast Club, which will run Monday to Thursday of SATs week. There will also be a consent form to sign for the children's end-of-SATs treat at Blaise.
Like I said, lots to think about this term! Any questions, please don't hesitate to come in and see me, or give the office a call.
Friday 5th April
It's been a busy end to the term this week, with assessments, Brentry's Got Talent, and of course Mr C's birthday celebrations. As always though, the children have done us very proud. A huge well done to Lashantai, Lacey, Ruby, River and Alice, who were all brave enough to take part in the talent show today. Alice, alongside her sister, was even crowned the overall winner! What a talented bunch they are.
Have a brilliant Easter everyone - enjoy the break!
Friday 22nd March
Today, we had a Greenpeace speaker in to talk to Year 6 all about the campaigns that they run to tackle global issues such as climate change, plastic in the ocean and deforestation. It was really interesting to hear his views on how we can work towards making positive changes, and the children felt inspired to come up with some possible fundraising ideas for later on in the year. So watch this space!
Friday 15th March
This week, we visited the old school, and it felt very strange to be back! There is still a lot of work to do, but we could see how things are shaping up over there. It's just a shame this lot won't be able to enjoy it in September!
It's my favourite week of the year - English Week! We've had a fantastic week in Year 6, with our visit to the library on Monday, a Spelling Bee on Wednesday (well done to our Spelling Champion, Viraj!), Bedtime Stories (eek!), our Family Read on Thursday and, to top it all off, some fantastic World Book Day costumes on Friday. Phew! Take a look at some of the photos below to see what we've been up to.
Friday 1st March
Welcome back to Term 4 - where is this year going?! We started our SATs Booster sessions this week. On Monday and Thursday mornings, the children are split into 3 groups for maths and literacy, and are taught in smaller groups by either myself, Mr Clarke, Miss Ransom or Mrs Peacock. So far, the children seem to be really enjoying the chance to work in more focused groups. They also took home their SATs revision packs this week, and I was so pleased with how many children came along to the SATs revision club on Tuesday. They are a hard working bunch!
Thanks to everyone who brought in their projects this week. As always, they are very impressive! The children shared them with the rest of the class today:
Friday 15th February
This week, we've been celebrating International Week. On Wednesday, the children were treated to Mr Clarke's International Quiz, where they worked brilliantly in mixed year group teams. On Thursday, it was 'Around the World' day, where the classes visited different countries, in different classes, throughout the day. They went to Russia, Iran, Ghana and China. A very busy day! On Friday, the children came in dressed up in some very impressive costumes, and they got the chance to try some food from around the world. Some were braver than others!
Thanks to everyone who has given in a £5 deposit for a SATs pack. These are essential for the children in the build up to SATs, and will be given out to those who have given in £5 at the end of the first week back.
A reminder that projects are due in on the first day back after half term - Monday 25th February.
Happy Half Term everyone!
Wednesday 13th February
The children have completed their deforestation balanced arguments, and they look fantastic on our display in the classroom. Well done Year 6!
Thank you to everyone who came along to the SATs / Camp information evening last night. For those of you who couldn't make it, I have saved the Powerpoint in both the SATs and Camp sections of this page. If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to come in and see me.
Deposits for Camp are due in today. Please do pay these as soon as possible, so that we can calculate the total cost for each pupil.
Thursday 31st January
This week, professional footballer Jack Rutter came to school to run a sports session with the children. Year 6 loved it and put in a huge amount of effort. I think it's fair to say that they were pretty exhausted after it - and then we went swimming!
Friday 18th January
We've had a great week this week in Darwin Class. The children are all enjoying their swimming lessons on a Monday and have already begun to make progress. We will continue with these sessions until the end of this term.
In class, we have been debating the pros and cons of deforestation, gathering ideas for our balanced arguments, which we will begin to write next week. As well as this, the children have been practising using adverbs such as 'however', 'therefore' and 'furthermore' - all of which are great to use in more formal writing.
In maths this week, we have moved on from coordinates to multiplying and dividing by 10, 100 and 1000. We have also been revising how to use the formal written short multiplication method to multiply larger numbers together. Hopefully, most of the children have cracked this one now!
I hope you're all getting on well with your projects, and have at least decided on what you're going to do. I will continue to send home a spelling rule to work on each week, ready for our weekly Friday test. It is important that the children do practise these, especially with SATs coming up.
Have a fantastic weekend!
Friday 11th January
Happy New Year! I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and are settling into 2019 well. We've been getting straight back into hard work in Year 6, with the focus on maths being coordinates this week. We have been plotting coordinates to create simple shapes, and learning new skills such as translating points on a grid.
In literacy, we are working towards writing a balanced argument all about deforestation. We have been thinking in particular this week about the effects of palm oil, and have enjoyed discussing Iceland's banned advert, 'Rang-Tan'. It provoked a lot of emotion from the children. They may try to convince you not to buy products with palm oil in them from now on!
Our new topics between now and Easter are 'Brazil' and 'Rainforests'. This week, I have sent home the instructions for this term's project, all about Brazil. Please have a look and encourage the children to think about which of the options they would like to have a go at. You can find a copy of the sheet in the Homework section of this page.
Please also look out for a letter all about Year 6 Camp. It should be in an envelope. It is a really important letter, so please ask for another one if your child has mislaid it.
Friday 30th November
This week, we have continued our work on fractions in maths. The children have really impressed me with how they've tackled some tricky fractions reasoning tasks. Next week, we will be looking at the relationship between fractions, decimals and percentages, and at how to calculate percentages of amounts.
In literacy, we have been reading the Mayan myth, The Hero Twins. This links in with our current topic, The Maya Civilization. We will b working on planning and writing our own myths over the next few weeks.
We have been making Mayan masks in Art this week. Here are a few photos of the children hard at work:
Friday 23rd November
This week, we visited the Houses of Parliament in London. It was a brilliant day, and the children were fab. We even got to watch a live debate in the House of Commons! Apologies for the late return - I must remember to factor in traffic coming out of London next year!
Monday 5th November
Welcome back to Term 2 - where did that first term go?! It'll be Christmas before we know it!
This term, in maths, we will be focusing heavily on fractions. There are many different elements to this area of maths - equivalent fractions, adding fractions, multiplying fractions, finding fractions of amounts... - and I'm sure that by Christmas the children will be experts at it all!
In literacy, we will be finishing off our Battle of the Somme newspaper articles, and then moving on to persuasive writing in advertising. Alongside our writing, we will continue to work on our reading comprehension, grammar and spelling. Lots to fit in!
As well as literacy and maths, we will be learning about the Mayans in our new history topic, animals and their habitats in Science, and completing some more WW1-themed artwork. On top of all of that, we'll soon be starting rehearsals for Carols by Candlelight - eek! A busy, but exciting, half term ahead.
Hope to see you all for Parents' Meetings next week. A letter will be sent home shortly and a sign-up sheet will be out in the playground. :)
Friday 12th October
It's been very blustery and miserable outside today, but we've managed to stay cheerful in Darwin Class! This week, we have been working on written methods for multiplying and dividing larger numbers. This is an important skill in Year 6, and we will keep working on it throughout the year. Next week, we will be looking a factors and multiples, as well as prime and square numbers.
In literacy, the children have finished their fantastic diary entries, written from the perspective of a WW1 soldier. They also wrote some great letters home to their friends and families, which we wrote up on paper made to look old with tea and coffee. The display isn't quite finished, but I think it's going to look great!
Thank you to those of you who have already paid for the London trip. The children are getting very excited about it already, as am I! It's a fantastic trip and a brilliant opportunity to have a nose inside the Houses of Parliament.
Have a great weekend everyone. Let's hope this weather improves!
Friday 28th September
It's been a great week in Darwin Class. The children are fully settled into life in Year 6, and have been carrying out their roles and responsibilities brilliantly. In maths this week, we've been focusing on mental calculation. This group seem to be particularly good at it! Next week, we will be moving on to written formal addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. In literacy, we continue to work on our WW1 diary entries, with a focus on time and place adverbials this week.
The children have also started their WW1 artwork, which is already looking impressive. Here are a few photos of them hard at work:
Friday 21st September
We've had a busy week this week, with lots of activities going on outside of our usual lessons. Wednesday was particularly exciting, when St John Ambulance came in to train the lovely Year 6s in First Aid. They learnt so much, including how to put a bandage on, how to put someone in the recovery position, and what to do if someone is choking. The lovely leader Sarah commented on what a credit they all were to the school, and I totally agree!
In maths, we have been learning about negative numbers and how to calculate across zero. Next week, we move on to mental addition and subtraction strategies. Literacy is all about our topic, WW1, this term. The children have been working on creating powerful descriptions of a trench, in preparation for writing diary entries from the perspective of a WW1 soldier.
Letters went out about the France trip today. Don't forget, there is a meeting next Thursday at 6pm for those who are interested. It really is an amazing trip, and ties in brilliantly with the children's learning in class this term.
Have a great weekend!
Thursday 6th September
Welcome back to school! I hope you have all had a fantastic break - the children have been telling me about all of the exciting things they got up to in the holidays. It's always good to be back though, and we're enjoying our new temporary classrooms so far. There will be lots of things that we have to do differently, and it might take a while to get used to everything, but we'll get there!
The new Darwin Class settled in brilliantly today. They all look very grown up in their new red jumpers, and seem more than ready to take on the challenges (and excitement!) of Year 6. Today was all about getting to know how we do things in Year 6, new responsibilities and routines, and generally catching up after a long break. Next week, the hard work begins!
I have sent a letter home today with more details about homework, PE days, etc. The letter is saved in the 'letters' section above if you didn't get one. There will be a 'Back to School' meeting next Thursday, and I am in the playground every morning, so please just ask if you have any questions.
Last Year 2017 - 2018
Goodbye and Good Luck
We had a fantastic time at the Virtual Reality workshops today. We went to Space, dived into the bottom of the ocean, visited Brazil and flew to Italy! The children also really impressed me with their geography knowledge - I think they know more than me!