Welcome to the South America Year 6 Class Page. Here, you can find out about everything that we've been doing this term.
Thursday 22nd December
Primary School truly is the best place to be on the lead up to Christmas. With only a few days to go until Christmas Day, the festive spirit was well and truly in the air at Emmaville, and what a wonderful week we have had, spending this exciting time together.
We started the week with an assembly celebrating all things musical, and it was so lovely to see members of our class demonstrating the piano skills they have been practising in after school club, as well as sharing in some whole class carols and singing.
On Tuesday, we then partied the afternoon away with our Christmas party, which included a tense team quiz, a highly competitive game of pass the angel and some absolutely outstanding dance moves! This was then followed on Wednesday with a trip to the Tyne Theatre so see Beauty and the Beast. It was so lovely to hear the laughter and usual pantomime puns being shouted enthusiastically from the Emmaville audience - a brilliant way to spend the afternoon.
All that is left to say is thank you Year 6 for a wonderful Autumn term, and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and I look forward to seeing you in 2023, and seeing what the year has in store for you all!
Friday 16th December
This week has been Enrichment Week, where we have spent a lot of time learning about festivals and different traditions in different religions, cultures and countries all over the world.
Each year group across school were given a different country to explore, and learn about how Christmas was celebrated there. We were given China, which in some ways presented us with a challenge, as only 2% of the population of China are Christian. Despite this, there are still over 13 million people living in China who celebrate Christmas in some way.
In Mandarin, the word ‘apple’ (pronounced píngguo) sounds similar to ‘peace’ (píngan). Due to this similarity, and in keeping with the Christmas tradition of gift-giving, some Chinese people give apples to their friends. Christmas apples are wrapped in decorative paper and sold at markets and stores. This is a relatively new phenomenon embraced by the younger generation. We decided to replicate this tradition, and made apple gifts as a sign of peace, and decorated these with a message reading Merry Christmas in Mandarin.
We also enjoyed a range of other Christmas related activities, including completing some fantastic writing based around Charles Dickens' tale of a Christmas Carol, learning about Christingle, and of course, enjoying a delicious Christmas Dinner!
I feel very privileged to work with such a great group of children, and they continue to impress on a weekly basis. Their attitude to learning, and school life in general, is second to none and makes the classroom a wonderful place to be.
One thing which really impresses me is the children's ability to discuss what can be serious and poignant topics with such maturity. This half term, our PSHE focus has been Celebrating Differences. We have spent time discussing the equality act and why this is such an important piece of legislation.
We then looked more closely at one aspect of this - disability - and considered what potential barriers people with disabilities may have to overcome. We watched a trailer for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic games, and felt very inspired by the athletes.
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We finished the lesson by writing some "admiration accolades" for a Paralympian, talking about why we admire their achievements and how they inspire others; however, some of the children approached me to say could they award their accolade to a family member or friend who they admire for overcoming potential barriers. I was really moved by some of the comments that the children made, and the maturity they showed throughout the lesson.
Friday 2nd December
On Tuesday, we had a workshop with Brian Costello from Samba Bamba percussion workshops. We learnt all about the origins of samba music and then had a go at playing a range of instruments ourselves including surdo, ganza, reco-reco, agogo bells, tambourim and jam blocks. We followed different rhythms, followed along with the samba whistle and learnt about breaks in the music. It was a thoroughly enjoyable morning, and it was lovely to see the children playing, and dancing, along to the samba music. It almost felt like we were at carnival ourselves!
Football fever has hit us this week with the start of the World Cup, and the children have really enjoyed tracking the stats, updating our class results chart and of course, watching England win 6-2 on Monday.
Aside from football results tracking, we have had another busy week in class. In Geography, we used our map skills to identify rivers around the world; in PSHE, we had really mature conversations about what identity means, and what makes us who we are and in maths, we have shown resilience as we learn to divide larger numbers - a skill we will continue to build on next week.
We then finished our week with with a live session with well known children's author Cressida Cowell, who explained the planning and writing process for her books and showed us the most amazing scrap books which she has kept for her books. An inspiring woman to listen to.
Enjoy the weekend everyone!
Friday 18th November
This week, we finished our English unit looking at flashback stories. We have been working very hard to learn about writing in different tenses, and maintaining this throughout. We have learnt about using the simple past and simple present tense, as well as the past progressive and present progressive tense.
As switching between tenses and controlling this effectively is quite a tricky task, we decided to keep the content of our writing based around something familiar to us, and adapted traditional fairytales. I have been so impressed with the writing produced by the children, and have thoroughly enjoyed reading their stories. Here is just one example below.
Through the crack of the cupboard, I can see the giant getting closer and closer. His heavy footsteps thump as I tremble in fear. Lightning flashes and the rain banging on the roof is really loud., but not as loud as the giant's rasping voice around the room. "Fe, fi, fo, fum!"
Sweat is dripping down my cheek as I anxiously think of ideas to get myself away from this devious giant.
I know what you're thinking, so let me explain how I ended up in this mess.
It was only yesterday when it all started; I was sitting at the breakfast table when mother stomped into the room. Her face was as red as the tomatoes we grow and her teeth were clenched together. "Jack," she snarled, "I need you to sell our horse at the market, now... And make sure we get a good deal. Ok?"
Not Betty I thought, and why today? But I didn't want to argue, not when Mum's in a bad mood. So, I pulled myself together and headed outside.
As me and Betty walked to market, I thought about mother having money problems again; I just wished we were rich.
Finally, we got to the market; however, no one would buy Betty. When all my hope was gone, I sat on the bench with my head in my hands.
Then a voice appeared out of nowhere. I turned my head to find a scruffy man with bright ginger hair that stuck up like wires.
"Boy, I will buy your horse," exclaimed the man, staring hard into my eyes.
I questioned him, "Well what have you got in exchange?"
The man scratched his head and muttered, "Erm, magic. Magic beans!"
"Magic beans! What will they do?" I cried.
Then a wide grin spread across the stranger's face. "Just take them, and I promise you will be very wealthy indeed," he said proudly, and reached out his hand to reveal three glowing beans.
"I'll take them," I beamed and snatched the small vegetables out of his hand.
Happily, I skipped away with the beans in my pocket and a chance for my dream to come true.
Looking back now makes me feel so stupid, especially with the giant climbing like mad. Now if I don't do something, I'll be in his stomach!
When I got home, suddenly butterflies danced in my stomach. "What will Mum say?" I thought. So I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best as I entered the kitchen.
"Finally, you're here," huffed mother. "What did you get?"
Trying not to look suspicious, I reached into my pocket and pulled out the seeds.
"What are those?" she shrieked.
"Magic beans, they'll make us rich mother!" I mumbled.
Mother's face crumpled; she was mad. Really mad. She yelled, "You sold our horse for three nasty beans, you horrible child! Go to bed without supper now!" and with that, she seized the beans out of my hand and threw them out of the window.
Shamefaced, I climbed upstairs into bed. Maybe it was a big scam after all!
The next morning, I woke to a towering beanstalk growing in my garden. Astonished, I ran outside and hopped on a leaf which lifted me up like an elevator. It carried me higher and higher until I was at the top of the clouds.
And there stood a majestic castle with huge doors that welcomed me in.
So that's how I am in this life or death situation. I think I am going to run; wish me luck.
I creep out of the cupboard and race toward the door. I know the giant has seen me because he's coming my way!
"Give up now, there's no where to go but my tum tum!" boomed the giant. Panicking, I slip under the door and dash down the beanstalk. My trembling hands grip on the beanstalk, while I slide down. I get to the bottom and grab an axe and start beating at the beanstalk.
After a while, the beanstalk falls down slowly and in the distance, I hear the faint scream of the giant falling to his death.
We have finished our week with a very busy Friday! The children love to support Children in Need and recognise the amazing work this charity does supporting many children who find themselves in challenging circumstances. Well done, and a big thanks, to all of the children in South America class who baked delicious cakes to help raise money as part of our great Emmaville bake off, and another big thank you to Alfie and Ava, our school councilors, who worked their socks off in the hall all day running different stalls for all of the children in school to enjoy as part of our fundraising efforts.
Friday 11th November
Wow - so much going on in Year 6 this week! The sporting opportunities have continued to come this week, with organised events from both Thorp Academy and Gateshead School Sports Partnership.
On Wednesday, all of Year 6 walked up to Thorp Academy to take part in an orienteering event with other schools from our cluster. The event was supervised by Year 7 Sports Leaders from Thorp, some of whom had only left us at Emmaville in July. Thankfully, the sun was shining as the children used their navigational and teamwork skills to explore the school grounds hunting for waypoints.
Mr Harrison and I then had the pleasure of taking the rugby team to the Gateshead finals at Blaydon Rugby Club. Once again, the children played with determination, skill and showed great enjoyment. In the group stages, we won two games, drew one and lost one, which made it a tense wait to see if we had progressed to the semi finals. However, it came down to try difference and we just missed out. This did not dampen the spirits of our children, who had thoroughly enjoyed their day, and they happily stayed to cheer on and support the other teams at the tournament, which left us as staff feeling incredibly proud of this attitude.
As well as enjoying the sporting opportunities this week, our other main theme for the week has been remembrance.
As part of our History learning in Year 6, we learn all about World War 2, so we have been able to explore the subject of remembrance with increased understanding and empathy, knowing more about war and conflict that people were forced to live through and the sacrifices which people have made, and continue to make across the world.
On Wednesday 9th November, we took part in a digital workshop called Remember Together which brought together 25,000 students across the world to take time to focus on remembrance. As part of the workshop, we spent time exploring the life of John McCrae and the In Flanders Field poem. Children had the opportunity to "remember together" and reflect on remembrance through creative writing and art.
We then had the opportunity to invite parents and carers into school on Thursday 10th so that they could watch our remembrance assembly. All of the children spoke, performed and sang with confidence and made all those around them feel very proud.
A busy week as you can see in Year 6!
Friday 4th November
This week in Year 6, we have been building on our knowledge of Islam and enjoyed a visit to Newcastle Central Mosque. We were met by Brother Kadim and Brother Ali and welcomed into the mosque. We were fascinated by the presentation given to us, telling us about many aspects of the Islam religion. All of the children listened intently, and asked interesting questions in order to gain even more knowledge. When we got back to school, we wrote thank you letters as we were very grateful to Brother Kadim and Brother Ali for giving up their time to talk to us.
In class, we have been planning for our class assembly, which is next week around the theme of Remembrance. This week, we have spent time exploring the importance of Remembrance Day, but have also considered those that Remembrance Day will be especially significant for as they continue to live through conflict.
We then looked at the symbol of the white poppy and how this is worn to represent peace. As adults of the future, the children recognise their role as a citizen in hope of a peaceful society. We read about an international campaign called "Pinwheels for Peace" and created our own pinwheels with images and thoughts about peace. These represent one united hope - "whirled peace".
Friday 21st October
The sporting opportunities continue to come in thick and fast for the children at Emmaville, and we love working with the Gateshead School Sports Partnership (GSSP) who organise a wide range of interschool competitions for the schools in Gateshead throughout the year.
On Tuesday, Mr Harrison and I had the pleasure of taking two teams of Year 6 children to Ryton Rugby Club to take part in a tag rugby tournament. There was a total of ten teams in attendance and the teams were split into two groups: Emmaville 1 in Group A and Emmaville 2 in Group B. Throughout the afternoon, both teams played with skill, determination, teamwork and most importantly, smiles on their faces. Emmaville 1 convincingly won three out of four of their games, and Emmaville 2 finished the group stages undefeated.
We waited excitedly as the points from the group stages were counted up, and for the semi-finals to be announced, with the added information that the teams who won the semi-finals would progress to the Gateshead finals in November. Semi-final one was between Ryton and Fellside, and you might have guessed it… semi-final two was between Emmaville 1 and Emmaville 2! An Emmaville derby was an exciting, but nerve-racking way, to finish the day but after a hard fought match, Emmaville 1 came out as winners. I was incredibly proud of the way in which both teams supported and encouraged one another, and felt sure they could all see the afternoon as a great success.
On Thursday 6th October, it was National Poetry Day, and this year's theme was "The Environment". From Year 1-6, we all spent the week looking at "The Lost Words", a beautiful book, based on the idea that all words used to describe nature were taken from children's vocabulary. The book is filled with "spells" used to bring all of these words back. In Year 6, we based our learning on the acrostic poem, "The Willow" which you can read below. The poem is written from two points of view: the willow (who holds secrets within their leaves and branches) and the listeners (who want to know these secrets).
We then used this poem as inspiration for writing our own, but rather than based on a tree, we based these on a bird. We explored personification, as well as features of a free verse poem, and produced some beautiful work which we have compiled together in a class book - "The Lost Birds".
Here is just a very small sample of some of the pieces produced by the children in South America.
Eagle, you have flown from the highest ridge to the lowest cities,
and each of your impeccably golden brown feathers has a different tale to tell.
As we gather down below, come tell us the stories you have hidden.
Oh the mountains you eat upon, the sky you fly within and the rivers you hunt on.
Go away, for my feathers do hold secrets, but you shall not know them
For I am eagle, and you are not.
Learn from us oh majestic, mighty eagle.
Come to us and tell us of the rolling land, rushing sea and where you'll next be.
Evergreen trees will lose their leavers before I reveal.
For I am eagle, and you are not, and you will never know where my feathers go.
Hawk, you fly so high and far with such amazing prancing and dancing.
Oh, please tell me what your magic feathers hide,
What your eyes have seen, what your eyes have heard.
All I do, you shall not know.
My woes, my where I goes, are only told to the worthy.
Yes, I do dance well, for my feathers are magic.
But you will never know just where hawk can go.
Wind as dark as night knows your secret, so why can't I?
I'm worthy and ready, worthy and strong.
Not only does the wind dare to threaten, but I do not.
Kangaroo, koala, maggot, mice, they don't know my secrets,
So why should you?
For I am hawk, and you are not.
You will never know what it is like to be me.
Friday 30th September
Another busy week in Year 6. We celebrated the Year 5/6 girl's football team as they competed in a tournament at Gateshead Power League. As ever, the girls played with skill, determination, teamwork and most importantly, smiles on their faces. They won their group, and finished 4th in the tournament overall. Well done girls!
We have lots of sporting events coming up in Year 6 over the next term including more league games for the Year 5/6 football team, cross country, netball and tag rugby to name but a few! Make sure you check back to see how we progress in each of these events. E-M-M-A-V-I-L-L-E - Go team Emmaville!
Friday 23rd September
This week, we launched our learning in History by visiting the Victoria Tunnel in Newcastle. The Victoria Tunnel runs beneath the city from the Town Moor down to the Tyne. It was originally built in 1842 to transport coal but in 1939, was converted into an air-raid shelter to protect hundreds of Newcastle citizens during WW2.
Our visit consisted of a classroom session where we learnt all about life during the war, including evacuation and rationing, followed by a journey into the tunnel. As we were waiting outside the entrance, the air raid siren sounded, giving us a real insight into how it would have felt for children at the time of the war. We learnt many fascinating facts about what it would have been like sheltering in the tunnel. If you get a chance, ask a Year 6 about the infamous "Byker Grannies" or just exactly what a "gazunder" is.
Another great week in South America class. On Monday, we had our first football training session with "Score Mo" which was thoroughly enjoyed by all. He really emphasised some important skills of being a successful footballer: respect, teamwork and communication. We can't wait to do the rest of our sessions this half term.
Last week, we spent some time learning about Fair Trade and why this is an important thing to support. The children were then told that we would be nominating a Fair Trade committee, so if this was something they wished to be part of, they had to prepare and deliver a speech to the rest of the class. These speeches took place on Friday, and I must say I was blown away with the way in which the children had prepared. They spoke with confidence, about a subject which clearly mattered to them. Although the spaces could have gone to any one of the children who delivered a speech, the votes were cast, and South America's class representatives were chosen as Mina, Sophia and Poppy. Watch their speeches below, and I am sure you will agree that they will represent our class brilliantly.
Wednesday 7th September
What a pleasure it has been to be back at school with this delightful group of Year 6 children (although I can't quite believe it was that long since we were together in Year 2). Mr Harrison and I have been so impressed with the attitude the children have shown since returning to school after the holidays, and the positivity they show to all aspects of school life.
Yesterday, we had enjoyable day learning all about our class continent - South America. We explored the geography of the continent, and were fascinated to learn lots of facts, including that Brazil alone passes through 4 time zones! We then continued this learning through independent research, using the facts gathered to make interesting, eye-catching information posters. We then went on to learn about Brazilian artist, Romero Britto, and had the opportunity to explore his work, before recreating our own pictures in his style, which were seriously impressive!
We finished the day by working in groups to bake Argentina's favourite sweet treat - alfajores. These were then baked and enjoyed together outside on Wednesday. Thanks to Mina for the wonderful photo shoot as we were enjoying these! A great start to the week.
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