What will my child do in Year 6?
As in all other year groups, Year 6 follow statutory curriculum set down by the government. Children are assessed at the end of the year as to whether they have met the ‘expected’ national standard.
1. Key Stage 2 SATs
Firstly, no guide to Year 6 would be complete without some mention of the SATs – the assessment tasks that all Year 6 pupils sit in May of each year. The results of these will determine whether your child has met the ‘expected’ level in English and maths. There are a wide range of expectations for the children. Some of the content previously covered in Year 7 in secondary school has now been moved to Year 6.
There is no doubt that that the testing will become a focus during the year and, like in most schools, a great deal of work will be carried out to prepare for this time. Your child’s teacher will aim to keep the stress levels down with plenty of fun and valuable learning.
2. English at the end of Key Stage 2
In reading, the children are now expected to read with speed and confidence. In order to comprehend the texts they are reading, it is essential they have a wide and secure vocabulary to draw upon. Children need to be able to write and well as orally explain their answers. They are increasingly expected to compare and contrast texts, and develop a sophisticated understanding of the nuances in fiction and non-fiction texts.
In writing, the children are now expected to understand how to use a full range of punctuation, to write with a wide variety of sentence structures, use powerful vocabulary and have generally accurate spelling.
By the end of Year 6, children expected to be confident mathematicians, who can apply their knowledge and skills to a range of problems solving contexts. Children are expected to know and confidently use all the addition, subtraction, multiplication and division methods. Maths in Year 6 also includes concepts like simple algebra, missing angles in a range of shapes and piecharts using percentages.
4. Science and the wider curriculum
The science topics in Year 6 include some tricky concepts. In evolution and inheritance, your child will get to look at dinosaurs, fossils, genetics, Darwin, and so much more. Other topics include the circulatory system, microorganisms, and light and electricity. Where possible, your child will carry out a variety of scientific investigations during all of these topics, building on the skills they have already acquired. Most children love practical lessons and the opportunity to use scientific equipment.
There are many other valuable subjects that are not assessed in the tests which many children excel in – and these are equally as important. In Year 6, the children always love the history topics. There are opportunities for some amazing cross-curricular learning involving art, drama, DT, music, geography, and fabulous English writing activities.
5. Moving on
Of course, a big part of your child’s Summer term in Year 6 will be preparing for the move to secondary school – a huge milestone in their lives. This may involve going to their new schools, a visit from some of their new teachers or shared classroom activities. Hopefully these should help with any concerns or questions they have. Your child is likely to have lots of fun in in their last year of primary school and make some wonderful memories.
How can I help my child in Year 6?
1. Help with homework
For parents/carers in Year 6, the most important thing is to continue to help where possible with reading, homework, times tables and projects, whilst stepping back just a little more than in previous years. Your child will learn during this year, possibly more than any other, that it is their own hard work and effort that matters, not someone else’s. Their teacher will be aiming to help them develop their independence, organisation and self-motivation, in time for the increased demands of secondary school. This stepping back can be tricky for both parents/carers and teachers!
2. Keep on reading
As ever, it is still important that your child continues to read, both alone and to you, as much as possible. It is never too late to develop a love of reading. Spend time finding the best books for your child – speak to their teacher too, or a librarian, if this is proving a challenge.
3. Prepare for SATs
You will probably want to support your child in the lead up to the SATs. Working with your child, when needed, will help you see where they need the most support. It is often a surprise to some parents/carers just how much the children are expected to know and just how much they do know – they may now know more than you!
Be sure to speak to your child’s teacher at various times during the year when you need to. They will be keen to help with any areas of concern you might have.