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Aquila – Year 6

Mr Yeldham and Mr Comer (Class Teachers)

Mrs Johnston, Mrs Way, Ms Branston and Miss Blackwell (Support Staff)

Autumn 2019

The children have made an excellent start to the new academic year and much of our first week was spent exploring the differences of being in Year 6 and looking at all of the exciting opportunities and responsibilities that await them. The children have made an impressive start to their English work and are thoroughly engrossed in our new class book, Skellig by David Almond, which we are using to develop our descriptive writing.
The children are also beginning to learn about the exciting world of genetics and evolution in science lessons and, again, will be using their knowledge in this area to inform a number of extended pieces of writing in class.

Summer 2019

We have been continuing with our program of workshops designed to support transition to Key Stage 3. STEP (who will be continuing to visit Harpenden and St Albans secondary schools next year) delivered a full day of games and activities designed to promote confident self identity and dispel common misconceptions. Links Academy have started their program of workshops which allow the children to learn some practical lessons linked to everyday secondary school practice such as using a timetable and management of homework activities. Both workshops have allowed the children to ask a full range of questions about life at Key Stage 3.

Aquila Class have recently worked really hard on creating their own Terracotta Warriors as part of our topic on Ancient China. The shaped the clay carefully and ensured that they contained features that were typical of the Terracotta Warriors but also elements that were unique.

Year 6’s final term at Manland School will be exciting, demanding and will hopefully help to prepare them for the challenges of Secondary School next year.

The first few weeks will be dominated by preparation for SATs (w/c May 13th). We will be revising key knowledge, looking at past papers but also trying to contextualize the week and ensuring that children are not overly concerned about the outcomes.

We are starting a new topic based around the ancient Chinese ‘Shang Dynasty’. As with previous topics, we will be using a variety of subject areas including Art, History and English to ensure a breadth of skills are covered.

After SATs we will be conducting a range of sessions designed to prepare the children academically, socially and emotionally for Secondary School. This will include the opportunity to explore areas of the Key Stage 3 curriculum, particularly Maths.

We will of course also be starting our KS2 production, which promises to be an all singing all dancing high point to the year – further details to follow!

Spring 2019

Aquila have worked really hard this term to construct their own WWII themed webpages. The children explored examples of posters from the Ministry of Information then coded their own equivalents in HTML and CSS text.

The children have been really excited to learn about our next topic, WWII. We will be finding many opportunities for cross-curricular learning, including stories, diaries and debates linked to key events or our class book ‘Friend or Foe’ by Michael Morpurgo. We will be looking at WWII photos and paintings and using these as a stimulus for key drawing skills, including shading and cross hatching. Music will focus on works composed during the wartime era. The children will revisit coding including HTML and CSS languages and will work towards creating web pages reflecting WWII content. The children are particularly looking forward to ‘History off the Page’ visiting in a few weeks time to spend a day living life as a 1940’s era school child.

Aquila Class had a fantastic day when Mr Lyness returned to Manland (in role) to recreate life in war time Britain. The children particularly enjoyed practising air raids and learning what they were able to purchase (and the kind of money they had to spend) in a fictional war time village.

Aquila enjoyed exploring the intricacies of the human respiratory system by constructing their own models of the trachea, bronchus and other smaller features using a combination of different sized straws and blue tack.

Autumn 2018

As we draw close to the end of term, Aquila class continue to work hard in a variety of subject areas. In Maths we are beginning to order operations in longer calculations and children are being introduced to formal algebra for the first time (ready for the many years of algebra that lie ahead at Secondary School!)

The children are using our class book, and some previous Year 6 examples, to help them compose a seasonal story, focusing in particular on high quality description and a use of speech to help with characterisation. All the children are looking forward to the Panto and Christingle service, which will be the last of their Manland years.

As part of our work on classification and micro organisms, the Year 6 children worked on an experiment to see which water temperature was best suited to the respiration of yeast. The children enjoyed seeing balloons inflate to varying degrees as the yeast produced different quantities of Carbon Dioxide in the bottles.


In the week before half term Year 6 spent the morning being trained as effective Play Leaders for the KS1 children. They discussed what made an effective leader and the types of activities that would work well for younger children. They then designed games and got to put their theories to the test with the Year 1 and Reception children.

In anticipation of the upcoming Harvest Assembly, Aquila class made the most of the produce growing within the school grounds to produce some fantastic apple and blackcurrant crumbles. Thanks go to the gardening club for maintaining and picking the blackcurrant bushes.

We have had an incredibly positive and focused start to year 6. In lessons we are already meeting the challenges and demands that year 6 requires.

In English we have been studying the characters in the book Skellig and using personification to create a poem based on the derelict garage.

In Maths we have been working extremely hard and already covered topics such as place value, up to 13 digits (hopefully not unlucky), reading and writing numbers, multiplying and dividing by 10,100 and 1000 and ordering numbers up do 3 decimal places.

Aquila have returned this week from a fantastic visit to Caythorpe. Children were challenged in a variety of unfamiliar ways and encouraged to set their own targets in a range of activities that included climbing, archery, fencing, quad biking and abseiling. All the staff were delighted with the way the children responded and the children are looking forward to sharing their adventures in the forthcoming Year Class Assemblies.