Prep | Year 6 News
This term we have focussed on Measurement. Boys in Year 6 inquired into distance both inside and outside of the classroom. We then learnt to calculate speed by dividing distance over time and practised our algorithm by calculating the speed of a rolling ball, paper aeroplane and even how fast our classmates could run 30 metres. Mass was also a focus as we learnt how to estimate in tonnes, kilograms and grams. We challenged ourselves with some good questions about a petrol tanker that made stops to the petrol stations. Finally, we have been investigating time. It was interesting to learn about time zones around the world and calculate elapsed time when travelling.
We are loving our literacy groups in Year 6. Our small groups are reading some challenging novels such as Pennies for Hitler, Goodnight Mr Tom and Once. Boys enjoy reading aloud and discussing various literary devices. For writing we have focussed on narratives. Mrs Mansouri has helped us generate ideas and plan our narratives so that they will be more mature as well as have a good complication and resolution. We are really succeeding in making our story starts more interesting by setting the scene using the five senses.
Unit of Inquiry – Where We Are in Place and Time
Before we started this unit, we learnt all about TUBA. No, not the instrument, but the acronym. TUBA stands for Timeless, Universal, Broad and Abstract and it helps us decide what is a conceptual idea. This helps us to decide what things we should inquire into for our new Unit of Inquiry. For example, we learnt that space is a concept, but planets is a subject that is narrow. Similarly, natural disasters are a subject, but phenomena are a better concept to inquire into. After that we created our new central idea for this unit.
‘Society has evolved through scientific exploration’
We are looking forward to investigating all the amazing scientific discoveries about space and natural phenomena in human history.
In Steam we quickly recapped our understanding of contact and non-contact forces that we had learnt about in Year 4. The boys then followed the scientific method to prove that exerting a larger force on a rubber band makes it travel further – luckily, we could use the top court to measure just how far the bands travelled! They now need to apply this knowledge as engineers to consider how to combat the effects of forces in natural phenomena like earthquakes by designing structures that can withstand the effect of shaking.
Ozren Bogdanovic (genetics scientist) By Jaemin Yoo
On the 11th of June, Year 6 was very lucky to be able to have a Skype call with Dr Ozren Bogdanovic, a scientist from the University of New South Wales. Dr Ozren Bogdanovic obtained his PhD from Radboud University (Nijmegen, the Netherlands), where he worked on DNA methylation and methyl CpG-binding proteins during early embryogenesis. Ozren then moved to the Andalusian Centre for Developmental Biology (CABD, Seville – Spain) where he led multiple developmental genetics projects and participated in the adaptation of next-generation sequencing technologies to vertebrate embryonic material. Before the talk, we researched his work and wrote down a list of questions for him to answer. Dr Bogdanovic answered some of our questions and also talked about DNA methylation, Methyl CpG and embryogenesis he even talked about epigenomics. Dr Bogdanovic was amazed at the maturity and level of the questions and was astounded by the engagement and enthusiasm. He even emailed Mrs Nel telling her that we were the best class he has ever talked to!
What’s coming up in Year 6 Next Term?
Over the next few weeks in English we will:
- Continue inquiring into narratives and poems in our Creative Writing unit
- Hold workshops to develop skills associated with the creative process of narrative and poetry writing
- Continue developing oral reading, comprehension and grammar skills through our weekly Literacy Groups rotations.
In Mathematics we will:
- Delve into 3D Space and then fractions, decimals and percentages
- Hold workshops that target specific learning needs
- Show and justify mathematical thinking and problem solving
In Unit of Inquiry we will:
- Continue our investigation into natural phenomena and space. If you have a particular interest in this unit, or know someone who does, we’d love to hear from you!
- In STEAM we will look at how design thinking is used by engineers to prototype and test different structures; how science informs design and design must meet the needs of the community.
Boys continued with the stand-alone unit “Introduce a famous city” and used their Communication Skills (writing) and Research Skills to create a bilingual brochure of a city based on their choices, including city name, country name, city location, city feature, city attraction and local cuisine. It was great to see some Hanzi writing (Chinese characters) and various ways of creating the brochure such as doing graphic design, making an animation, and designing a booklet.
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