Welcome to Poplar - Year 6!
This was the question we asked in our science lesson but we began by playing a game and creating our own species between us. There was a great deal of variety!
This led onto us thinking about why there is the variety in the species we see around us, even our pet dogs. After much discussion we decided that we are all varied due to two things: inheritance and environmental factors.
We have made an exciting start to our new science topics; evolution and classification, under the theme of 'How the camel got its hump'. The children were fascinated to learn about the island of Borneo, watching extracts from the BBC Earth's Tropical Islands programme which enabled us to start to explore the amazing number of species of animals there are on the island and also how the landscape and environment have led to the evolution of the animals which call it home.
They also began to focus their thoughts on some environmental issues.
When do you feel most alive?
We've been reading Alastair Humphrey's book, "The Boy who Biked the World" and looking at his website at the adventures he has enjoyed. We read his nine reasons why he goes on adventures and focussed particularly on number 9 - because he feels alive! We then read Steinbeck's description and used it to inspire us -
“Sometimes a kind of glory lights up the mind of a man. It happens to nearly everyone. You can feel it growing or preparing like a fuse burning toward dynamite. It is a feeling in the stomach, a delight of the nerves, of the forearms. The skin tastes the air, and every deep-drawn breath is sweet. Its beginning has the pleasure of a great stretching yawn; it flashes in the brain and the whole world glows outside your eyes. A man may have lived all his life in the gray, and the land and trees of him dark and somber. The events, even the important ones, may have trooped by faceless and pale. And then—the glory—so that a cricket song sweetens the ears, the smell of the earth rises chanting to his nose, and dappling light under a tree blesses his eyes. Then a man pours outward, a torrent of him, and yet he is not diminished…”
Read when we feel most alive!
"Where the Poppies now Grow" - A week of Remembrance
After reading the poem, “In Flanders Fields” Year 6 wrote their own versions. They then researched the lives of soldiers and the letters they wrote home as well as the letters the soldiers received; they wrote their own in a similar style.
Harvest Workshops at St Mary's Hertingfordbury
Year 6 walked to church to take part in the Harvest Workshops. There were 5 stations each of which focused on aspects of God's goodness to us which we can harvest in different ways; from the sea, the fields, our gardens. Each station had lots of resources which helped the children to realise what bounty God has given to us which we use each day; for example wheat in bread, pasta,cakes and, vegetables and clay, which can be made in to different pots, from the land.
Creation and Science - Conflicting or Complementary
In RE we have been studying the story of Creation in the first chapter of the book of Genesis. The artwork captures the images in the children's minds of the stages of Creation that are depicted.
This week we have enjoyed a challenging discussion about the science behind the Big Bang Theory and the development of living things in evolution.
We have been studying 'The Savage' written by David Almond and illustrated by Dave McKean. Today we wrote our own descriptions of him using Anthony Horowitz's description of Matt Freeman as our inspiration.
He was crouched on the remains of a dilapidated chapel, long, muscular arms draped over his knees, unmoving. Ravens whirled overhead in the dusky sky, shrieking, and even then he did not flinch. The Savage's trousers hung off his skeletal frame in bags, and his torso - scratched and scarred from years of living in the wilderness - was bare. Behind him, a rat struggled out from its burrow before scampering rapidly away into the gloom. Then, it began to rain. Icy droplets streaked down his back, and through his matted hair, which had been left to run wild. Foreboding storm clouds grumbled and rolled across the moon, causing shadows to stretch across his definite jaw.
A footstep crunched nearby. The Savage glanced up briefly. Nobody came. Good. It was better that way.
Written by Martha
He was alone. No one else. Just him.
The sun was setting in Burgess Woods, it was still early evening but no on e was out. Savage crouched on top of a rock lost in thoughts. He had a strange sense of fashion, dog and rabbit skin for trousers, no T-shirt and bare foot. Around him was close to silent, only the odd bird whistling and the deer scampering past. His tangled, murky brown hair hiding his face from reality.
Orange, yellow and red light was stalking its way after Savage. The gentle wind, making trees rustle, cooled Savage down which made him feel calm. Even though the forest dared people to come in, no one came. Savage liked it that way.
Written by Isabella
A slight movement in the oak tree, his back ached yet still ne maintained his position. The chilling wind climbed through pieces of his damp black hair.
Gradually the noise began to build, the shouts and screams of the bushes as a peaceful ant scuttled over the roots. The communication between the birds of the forest filled the air and travelled through the valley over to him.
Still sitting, back aching, eyes staring, the deep pool of blue darkness flickered as he blinked. A sharp scream filled the air; his head slowly lifted.
Written by Charlotte
He was not known. No one alive had seen him. He occupied the stone pillar with no socks or T shirt, only a ripped pair of trousers and his dirt full hair to shield him from the weather. Scratches covered his body. His hands steadied him as he crouched.
The bony trees waved to the clouds, the think light licked through. The wind blew down the concourse, bats howled. A bug crawled up to the boy, he swept it to the side with his long claw-like fingers. His hunched shoulders carried his muscular arms, his knife limply hung down from his hip.
He thought about how he used to try and be solitary but now all he wanted was a friend. He wanted to know what having fun was like, how to be good, and most of all, how to act human. He was the Savage.
Written by Toby
the dimming sun had dropped down to the bottom of the sky and the glowing fireflies gently hummed, their voices stolen away by the wind. The old chapel was falling asleep - almost - the Savage was lonely. Water trickled down his face as he stifled a small breath, he was perched on top of his favourite rock - waiting.
He kept still, following a small hole with his eyes. The trees whispered behind his back, sharing their secrets. the rock crumbled away, but he didn't care. A few miles away children were being safely tucked away into their comfy beds - not knowing who was out there.
Written by Jamie
He had dark jet black hair which waved in the air as the wind passed by; his brown- almost black - eyes glanced as he gazed at the dead pieces of grass swaying in the wind. Looking into his eyes was the same as if you were looking into the universe. He had rough shoulders that were as solid as the strongest rocks you could ever find. His crouch was intimidating, like his personality.
Written by Chika
As the Savage sat there, with his worn dog-skin and ragged trousers, he watched rabbit sun; he remembered the boy who had drawn him. The grass swayed in the cold wind as he rested in the old church ruins. Trees stood bent away from the Savage. though motionless, he still appeared a threat.
He heard a bird in the distance and sighed a long thoughtful sigh as if remembering a beautiful more loving earth. Just then a bee hovered under the Savage's rough green hands. He had elongated arms and a wolf-like face, while the skin on his feet was as hard as hooves.
Written by Thomas
He was crouched upon a rock with the cool breeze of the seven o'clock wind rushing through his hair. He had teeth like a wolf and feet like a dog and carried a knife in the back-pocket of his ripped and faded trousers. He had just run - run for miles and miles on end, away from the fears of the town.
The Savage was glad to be away from the commotion of the village - he'd never fit in - how could he - he was a Savage. A small beetle crept up onto his finger, up his grubby arm and onto his neck. he twitched his neck and the beetle fell down to the rock and scuttled off. The Savage had an uncovered top half and bare feet - he wore chicken feathers in his hair and had deep green eyes with brown streaks.
Down in the village torches lit and hid the stars from the night. Songs played all night and the Savage ran deeper and deeper into the forest. Beer glasses clinked and men became unaware and careless of the children - they ran and didn't come back.
The Savage was one of those children.
Written by Lois
There he was, squatting low and looking down at the ground. His thick messy hair sat as a curtain around his face almost making his eyes unnoticeable. His long arms hung, resting on his knees, stopping his think fingers touch the brick below.
The ripped frayed trousers that could barely sit around his waist were the only clothes he wore. Shivering, his goose bumps peeked through the holes. Crowds of boys and girls laughing whilst walking to the park, were catching his fierce wide eyes. Street lamps started to flicker over Savage, making him more noticeable - he started to get more shy.
Written By Florrie
He sat staring at the ground with no conscience of what he was or if he was real. he sat there with his bloodstained trousers, bare feet and no shirt. He was nothing in the real world. He wasn't real. All he thought of was his next meal. An ant had crawled up to him, without thinking he demolished it with his thumb like a sledge hammer to a plank of wood.
Written by Oliver
He squatted, watching the shadows creep towards him, but still he was on his haunches, unflinching. The sky, shot with orange light, was darkening steadily. A wolf howled in the depths of the derelict chapel, calling to its brethren. Still the Savage waited.
On the plinth he crouched, tracing his finger across the rough surface of the cracked marble, thinking about his parents. He remembered soft hands, a warm voice, then a terrible scream. A deer slinked into the clearing, cast its soft, cocoa-coloured eyes on him and trotted swiftly away. Still he sat, motionless. He wasn't hungry. Yet.
His long, spindly fingers were placed beside him, gorilla-like arms stiff at his sides. He wore only a ripped pair of trousers, hanging off his frame. his raven black hair was wild - a bush-like texture with bits of leaves and twigs stuck in the many tangles and knots. he thought more. What was his name?
Written by Amelie
Such a great assembly year 6!
It was a real privilege to see you share your learning with parents and the rest of the school; well done - a fantastic presentation and an excellent dance to end.
It was fun to share some of our stop motion movies for everyone to see - we've now put them here on our class page to be enjoyed!
to sharing our learning with you tomorrow at our class assembly (Friday 15th March 2.40pm)
The Cactus Challenge
We've set ourselves a challenge to see if we can demonstrate that a cactus has adapted to a hot desert environment and therefore soaks up water. We're measuring and recording the circumference, angles of the pleats and the height of our little cacti while we water it over the next week or two. We're having to be very careful of the spikes though!
Big Bang Event at St Joseph's in the Park
Poplar class were thrilled to be invited to join other schools at St. Joseph's on Tuesday morning to participate in a Big Bang event. There will be photographs to share with you to come later as the event was covered by a single photographer.
The children took part in several workshops varying in focus from looking at 3D printers and simulating the way they worked by layer icing on biscuits which they could eat afterwards, to making their own environmentally friendly soap having discussed the devastation caused by our present over use of plastic in household goods.
Everyone really enjoyed the activities and I am hoping had lots to share with you when they came home.
Writing in the style of Rudyard Kipling
We have been enjoying studying Kipling's writing, especially his Just So Stories which he originally wrote for his five year old daughter Effie. After analysing his stories - looking at the language and structure - we were given the challenge to emulate his style and create our own Just So Story; we suggest you read them out loud - just as Kipling would have suggested!
Art or Science?
We've been looking at Darwin's observational drawings and paintings and then creating observational sketches of our own...while asking the question, when is art, science?
Spring Term 2018
Diversity and Equality
As part of our PSHE topic we have discussed ways in which people can be different; from this we have produced some art work.
Light Up Your World
We began our new science topic today with a knowledge harvest to see what knowledge we have. From this we were able to decide what questions we would like to answer in our learning this half term.
The photographs show our investigations in to what happens when we use a light source and a puppet to make a shadow.
A Week of Remembering...
We have spent a week remembering and pausing to reflect on the centenary of the end of World War One. Beginning with the inspirational book, "Where the Poppies Now Grow", we have thought about the poppy and its significance to the war; we then moved onto studying the beautiful poem, "In Flanders Fields" and finally read some letters written by soldiers on the front line and their families back at home.
Using these as our inspiration, we have written our own poetry and letters.
In Flanders fields where those asleep lay
Trampled by those who live to fight another day
Those screaming for their Mums
Were the ones who were hit by the guns.
We must pass our lives over to those brave soldiers
Who will lift up the torch
Those who will help us win this war
Before they find they're knocking on death's door.
We can only do one thing - wait.
Written by Jamie
In Flanders fields the poppies grow, from
Seed to plant, from row to row.
The sleeping bodies buried with hasty hands, now rest with
Peace under a new life, a symbol.
When the torch is passed down from old to young
And the responsibility of war is shifted, it seems so
Hopeless, until the poppies grew in Flanders fields.
On the hills and in the swamps, wherever you choose
They sprout from earth, torn and blown shifted and burnt,
They come to encourage.
And now, with victories under our belts, we charge towards
Victory, inspired by the poppies.
The poppies in Flanders fields.
Written by Thomas
In Flanders fields poppies will grow,
Beyond the darkness, light will glow.
When all is lost, though it seems,
Poppies will come and the sun will gleam.
We are the dead.
But never fear, I will always be there,
I will throw you the torch, stand really near
Hold it high and the wind will blow,
in Flanders fields the poppies will grow.
Written by Isabel
In Flanders fields the eternal lake of poppies flow,
They flow through the crosses row by row,
We rest underneath abundant scarlet,
Knowing that once we saw the sunrise glow.
We were the brave. But now we are the dead.
We fought for our country fearful and ahead;
We knew that one day we would lie here,
But it came too soon in Flanders fields.
One day we'll win this war, but
Many have come upon death's door
Many have lost their life by bombs
And guns filling them with strife.
But once you lay in Flanders fields
The poppies who heal your wounds
And end your life in peace.
Written by Alice
In Flanders fields the poppies grow
It is a vast sea of poppies
Reaching upwards, an explosion of scarlet
Growing in a brown sludge between the naked skeletal trees.
We are the dead!
We only lived a couple of short days ago.
We heard the shot of the guns,
We had friends and family,
We gave our lives for those we loved and were loved by.
The blood of the poppies now grow.
Their graceful petals swaying in the misty wind.
Hold up the torch high and light will come,
I will be yours to hold high.
The poppies will grow in Flanders fields.
In Flanders fields the soldiers fight,
Guns down, what a horrible sight
We lay down by the skeletal trees
People got on their hands and knees ,
We were the warriors. Lying dead on the battle field
Under the decaying soil-like shield,
Where the poppies now grow,
In Flanders fields.
Written by Evie
Autumn Term 2, 2018
An Extra Challenge!
Martha has been working hard interviewing teachers and children from all years in order to write a half-termly report about the learning in the school. It's a super report Martha; thank you for sharing it with us all.
Year 6 have been reading and enjoying 'Holes' by Louis Sachar. At times we've been on the edge of our seats with suspense! It was at one of these moments that we all imagined we were Stanley, the main character, who was stuck in a hole on top of a nest of yellow spotted lizards. I wonder what you would be thinking if that was you; perhaps you would escape the reality of the situation with happy memories.
Read through Amelie and Jessica's interpretation of Stanley's thoughts.
All Wired Up! - Science
In our science we have been learning all about electricity and making electrical circuits. We began with many questions - things that we wanted to find out about electricity. We have learnt about the flow of electricity, circuit diagrams and how to draw the symbols, different types of switches and why they might be used and how to increase and decrease the resistance and what effect this has on the components.
Autumn Term 1, 2018
Academic Year 2018-2019
Year 6 have been writing short stories that contain an element of surprise; we hope you enjoy these
Cultural Day - Japan!
文化の日 - 日本
We have enjoyed learning about Japan on our whole school cultural day: discovering how to use chopsticks, learning about Japanese school, the geography, economy, manufacturing and food, amongst other subjects. Mrs Hemmens and Ms Meagher looked lovely in their kimonos (!) while the class all wore red and white like the country's flag. In addition, we learnt about the beautiful spring blossoms and painted them with watercolours. We have each taken a translation of our name home to practise.
In science we are looking at how our heart works and why; we began by role playing the blood!
Sam's research project
Sam enjoyed the challenge of an additional research project about birds which he presented to the class; it was a fantastic presentation and he taught us all a great deal! Please have a look at his power point; we thoroughly recommend it!
As part of our science learning about classification and the characteristics of all living things, Mrs Bayliss, a Biology teacher from Richard Hale, came in to help us to explore micro-organisms. We investigated the growth of these organisms which we found in various places in the classroom. We also investigated which hand cleaner was the most effective against bacteria. The final investigation was our experiment to grow yeast at different temperatures.
Creation and Faith - conflicting or complementing?
This is a question we've been asking in our topic, 'How the Camel got its Hump'; it's been part of our Science and RE learning and we've grappled with what it means to be human in our English lessons as well as we've been studying the novel, 'The Savage'. Big questions for year 6!
As we've looked at these issues we've thought about how we're made in the image of God and how we're all unique and yet we've put that alongside the theories of Cosmology and Evolution. This was our artistic response.
Did you work out who was who?!
What an amazing experience at the Royal Albert Hall!
Sunday 11th March saw twenty year 6 children, plus teachers and parents, take the coach up to the Royal Albert Hall for the Hertfordshire Music Gala. After a great deal of hard work learning the lyrics and practising the songs, we were able to give of our best and be part of something that was truly incredible.
Year 6 - I was so proud of you, you were a credit to the school. It was a "memory making" day that I was thrilled to share with you.
It'a a new term and a new topic...
"How the Camel got its Hump"
We are really enjoying connecting our Science, English, RE and Art learning in this new topic; do look at our curriculum overview to see all that we are learning.
Below is our new look Reading Hub - we feel we have out grown a "Reading Corner"!
The Launch Day provided exciting opportunities to learn about the conservation status of various species, playing Conservation Bingo and then creating masks of a number of different animals at various stages on the conservation scale.
Visit by Tim Prendergast - Para- Olympian
We were privileged today as the Gold medal Olympic runner came to talk to the school in assembly and also to do a workshop with both Year 6 and Year 4. In year 6 he talked to us about believing in yourself, how important it is to work as a team and ways to cope with nervousness or stress.
ACADEMIC YEAR 2017-18