During English lessons in Year 5 and 6 children are encouraged to become increasingly independent and the thrill of discovering new texts and instilling a love of reading, is central to the creation of thoughtful and powerful writers.
Pupils study authors including Ted Hughes and Michael Morpurgo and learn about a variety of writing devices which they go on to deploy in developing their own characters and scenes. Pupils are then introduced to a variety of poetic styles including narrative poetry such as Alfred Noyes’ “The Highwayman”. Inspired by study of the Pearson short story collection, “Seize the Fire” pupils are encouraged to create their own short stories which are formally assessed.
At the start of Year 6, children move on to investigate biographical and autobiographical writing as well as understanding about the role of viewpoint in a novel. As well as being given a wealth of opportunities to engage with poetry, pupils also learn about structure and language within non-fiction writing.
In preparation for senior school study, pupils will then go on to learn more sophisticated literary analysis skills, identifying supporting quotations and annotating texts as well as how to structure a compelling argument in their first formal essay.
A great deal of importance is placed on key skills across both Years 5 and 6, not least around the all-important areas of spelling, punctuation and grammar. The pupils follow structured spelling programmes and hone their reading and comprehension skills with regular practice and assessments throughout the year and will learn good habits of proof-reading and the importance of checking their work.
Children at Bede’s follow the “Maths No Problem” programme of study. Since Bede’s adopted a “Mastery” approach to maths, where the children spend longer on each topic to really master it.
Children are increasingly encouraged to make independent choices about which method they will use to tackle different maths problems.
In Year 5, children use “Bar Modelling” techniques, stretching their mathematical comprehension well before the National Curriculum requires it.
Children will learn a range of maths concepts including work on fractions before moving on to explore how to describe patterns with algebra, solving equations and learning how to write their own.
In both Year 5 and 6, children are encouraged to develop skills through mental and oral starters and a range of online challenges which they are encouraged to tackle outside lessons, as well as the various maths competitions the school offers internally and enters into in partnership with the UK Maths Trust.
During Year 5 language lessons, pupils put new and familiar language structures to use.
Digital tools are used to learn the key skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing and whilst this plays an increasingly prominent part in language teaching at Bede’s, play through language also remains a vital tool.
As the year goes on children move on to learning language used in the home and a favourite project towards the end of the year, is the creation of cartoons.
Pupils study French and Spanish in Year 5 to enable them to make a more informed choice for further study, and choose one of these languages to continue from Years 6 to 8.
During Year 6, knowledge of core vocabulary is embedded and pupils move on to the language of school with a popular interlude based around the work of a visiting theatre company. Towards the end of the children engage in a project to create narratives based around training programmes for hobbies and sport.
As children develop increasing levels of self-discipline and confidence in their learning, Year 6 often sees children making quite outstanding leaps in progress.
Year 5 begins with a Physics-based study into the properties of materials, exploring concepts such as density, strength and magnetic behaviours before moving on to an introduction to Chemistry.
These projects are an opportunity for pupils to learn about empiricism, i.e. how to ask questions that can be investigated scientifically. They are challenged to answer some big questions and consider the best sources of information for their answer.
In the latter part of the year, pupils explore habitat, looking at the earth in comparison to other planets and the difference between animals and humans. The year culminates with an exploration of the South Downs and the beach, through which children learn about different animals and plants and their habitats.
In Year 6, children explore electricity, building circuits before moving on to look at the respiratory system. Later in the year, after getting stuck into some Chemistry, pupils study Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. Outside of the classroom, a range of science clubs provide opportunities for children to extend learning in topics of their choice.
During these years, the Bede’s curriculum is broadly based on ISEB Common Entrance themes and concepts. However, the study of science during these years is filled with so much more, and practical work in our Science Lab combined with a variety of trips and visits embeds the pupils’ learning and brings science to life.