Spellings

Friday, 19 October 2018


Hello all,

I wish to start by saying how mature and understanding the children have proved themselves to be this week during our ‘Celebrating Differences’ topic. There were some very thought-provoking issues covered throughout the week which the children dealt with respectfully, showing their high levels of tolerance that they have for others who are different to them. I hope that your children have talked with you at home about some of the key issues that we have looked at throughout the week and that you have been able to further continue any discussions with them. It was unfortunate that the weather wasn’t kind enough in the end on the planned days to allow us to complete the filming of the ‘moving art’ creation, however we were still able to carry out a practise run and I know that the finished piece will look amazing when filming eventually takes place!

In English next week, we will be carrying out assessments, focussing on reading, spelling, punctuation and grammar. Like with the maths assessments which we carried out this week, we will discuss any findings from these during the parent consultations next week. The children will also have opportunities to edit and redraft some of their recent writing, which they will then create a final draft of using the laptops.

In maths, we will be focussing on subtraction of decimals, as well as gaining a greater understanding of the language of reasoning.

For their homework this week, I have asked the children to prepare for a short ‘presentation’ that they will share with us when they attend their parent consultation appointment along with you next week. They have been given 3 key areas to think about, which will form the basis of our discussion. They have an extra day –until Tuesday –to complete this, when the children will be given time in class to rehearse in preparation. Please note that the year 6 consultations will take place in Mrs Custis’ office.

Please encourage your child to use Mathletics regularly at home, reminding them to complete their Maths Records and ensure that they bring them into school every day. I have set them the challenge of competing with some of the other year groups, who are currently far exceeding the total use and points collection of our class.

I look forward to seeing you all next Thursday, but in the meantime enjoy your weekend.

Mr Gradwell

Saturday, 13 October 2018


Hello all,

Once again, another week has passed by all too quickly. I am looking forward to the theme of celebrating differences next week, which we will be linking much of our learning to. As Mrs Custis mentioned in the newsletter, this will be used to raise the awareness, tolerance and acceptance levels of the children, of the many differences that exist between people in different ways eg. skin colour, religion, sexual orientation.

In English this week, we finished our unit on Varjak Paw and this led to some excellent discussions regarding the issues that arose in the book. The children and I were all quite sad to finish reading it in the end as we wanted it to continue! You can look out for the sequel -the ‘Outlaw Varjak Paw’ –many of the children expressed an interest in reading this to find out what happens next to Varjak. Next week, we will be looking at forms of poetry and picture narratives, which the children will then use as a model to complete their own.

In maths, we will be carrying out assessments during the beginning part of the week in order to identify any areas in the children’s learning in arithmetic and mathematical reasoning to focus on. We will discuss any findings from this during the parent consultations the following week.

Homework this week is maths and will be used to consolidate our learning in class in multiplication. It is due to be returned on Monday.

Once again, please remind your child to complete their Maths Records and ensure that they continue to bring them into school every day.

Have a good weekend!

Mr Gradwell

Friday, 5 October 2018


Hello all,

Many of the children in the class mentioned today how quick this week has gone again and I have to agree! As they say, time flies when you’re having fun and I take it that the learning has been enjoyable and that the children have gained good knowledge of everything that we have covered this week as a result.

In English next week, we will be completing our unit on Varjak Paw, focussing on comprehension strategies as well as redrafting and editing writing.

In maths we will be focussing on using mental and written multiplication strategies.

In science, the children will be researching and classifying unfamiliar animals from a range of habitats.

Homework this week is a comprehension activity to be completed in the CGP books which were sent home today. The comprehension is set at year 6 level of challenge, but I explained to the children that if any of them find that it is not challenging enough, that they will then need to generate their own questions based on the text which they can bring in alongside the book. The homework is due to be returned on Monday.

I will end with my weekly reminder to the class to complete their Maths Records and ensure that they continue to bring them into school every day. We had quite a few certificates to give out this week, which was great, but I still haven’t had all of the records in to check yet!

Have a good weekend!

Mr Gradwell

Friday, 28 September 2018

Another week has flown by...


Hello all,

Monday saw the much anticipated House Captains elections and I have to say I was very impressed by the presentations and speeches from the children in their quest to be elected. Congratulations to the following children for being successfully chosen to represent their houses: Clara and Sophiya (Grangewood), Zara and Ellee (Frampton), Daisy and Fred (Osbourne) and Cobie and Daisy (Thornton). I want to commend all those who took part, even if they were not elected, for their dedication and hard work in putting their campaigns together –I would  not be surprised to see some of them representing their constituencies as MPs one day in the future!

In English next week, we will be writing newspaper reports based on the ‘Vanishings’ in Varjak Paw before writing a recount from a character’s point of view.

In maths we will be focussing on measurement –converting measures, solving problems and finding time intervals using the 24-hour clock.

In science, the children will be classifying plants and animals based on specific characteristics.

I will usually alternate the homework each week between maths and English, but homework will go out on Monday which will once again consolidate our learning in maths. This will be due back on Tuesday.

I know that many children continue to use Mathletics due to the certificates that they are being presented with, but I would like to once again remind the class to complete their Maths Record and ensure that they continue to bring it into school every day as not everyone is doing so.

Unfortunately, due to the continued building work, there will be no Harvest Festival celebration this year, but the school is joining in with a food collection in conjunction with Dame Alice Owen School. Donations of non-perishable food items (tins etc) are welcome, which will be donated to a local charity.

Have a lovely weekend in the sunshine!

Mr Gradwell

Friday, 21 September 2018

Elections next week...


Greetings from year 6.

As discussed in last week’s blog, next Monday will see the elections for House Captains. The class have been very excited about this and there has been much anticipation for the event! The posters that they have produced and put up have made for a pleasing sight around the school. It has been particularly pleasing to see the support being given to each other, including by those who have chosen not to actually stand as House Captain. Good luck to all those who have put themselves forward to represent their House.

In English next week, we are still continuing with our series of work based around the book, Varjak Paw. We will be writing short narratives based around Varjak’s adventures in the city.

In maths we will be using algebra, developing the use of trial and error skills and gaining knowledge of the order of operations including brackets (BODMAS).

In science, the class will be sorting and classifying insects, using ‘keys’.

In history, we will be continuing to look at Crime and Punishment within the Roman period before comparing and contrasting with that of the medieval period.

There is a homework sheet that has gone home this week to consolidate our learning in maths. This is due to be returned on Monday.

Please remind your child to complete their Maths Record and ensure that they continue to bring it into school every day. Well done to those who have received their Mathletics certificates –we will continue to give these out in class and celebrate the children's successes!

Have a good weekend

Mr Gradwell

Friday, 14 September 2018


Hello all!

I can’t believe we have come to the end of our first full week back already -I trust that it hasn’t been too stressful for the children!

In English next week, we will be continuing with our series of work based around the book, Varjak Paw. The writing focus will be a setting description, including the feelings of the main character Varjak, before we then write a diary entry from Varjak’s viewpoint.

In maths we will be consolidating mental and written methods for addition and subtraction, including decimals and percentages, problem solving and using algebra.

In science, we will be continuing with the topic on living things and their habitats by looking at sub-divisions of broad groupings such as micro-organisms, plants and animals.

In history, we will be focussing on Crime and Punishment specifically within the Roman period.

In computing, we will be focussing on using technology safely, respectfully and responsibly.

Our art will be the completion of self-portraits, which will then be used to compare to a further one completed at the end of the year to reflect on their progress in the subject.

Once again, no homework sheet has gone home this weekend, as most of the children in the class will be preparing their campaign speeches, posters and presentations in advance of our house captain elections to be held on Monday 24th September. Even if any of the children are not taking part in those elections, I have asked them to write a speech explaining why they would be a good choice of candidate for house captain if they were to stand. This is an opportunity for them to reflect on their own qualities and strengths and will not be shared with the class.

Please ensure that your child continues to use Mathletics at home and that they are completing their Maths Record, which should come into school every day. Well done to all of those children who have already received their certificates for participation!

A letter should have now come home to you about our residential visit to Kingswood Educational Activity Centre on the Isle of Wight. The date of the visit has now been confirmed and will be from Monday 17th to Friday 21st June. Further details can be found in the letter.

Finally, when I met parents in July, there were some who requested details regarding the children’s school email addresses. Each child has their own email address which they can access from home through the Office 365 homepage. Office 365 à Sign in à Outlook. Their username is their initial+surname (without a space between the two) followed by @littleheath.herts.sch.uk. They have all been told their password!

Have a good weekend

Mr Gradwell

Friday, 7 September 2018

New year, new school...


Hello to all of the parents and children of year 6!

I would like to start by saying thank you to all of the staff, children and parents who I have spoken to, for welcoming me to the school.

We have had a good first week back and have eased ourselves (fairly) gently into the new school year before the real hard work begins in earnest! It has been a pleasure to find out about the many similar and also varied interests that the class have and this has generated some excellent discussion, debate and writing as a result. While the shoeboxes themselves will now be brought home, pictures of the contents will be displayed in the class to generate further discussion points and writing.

While there is no formal homework sheet going home this weekend, I have asked the class to write about their summer holiday, recounting and describing key events, which will be used as part of our display. Some of the class will also be preparing a short speech (no more than 2 minutes) in advance of our school council election that we will be holding in class at the beginning of next week.

In English next week, we will be beginning a series of work based around the book, Varjak Paw. The writing focus will be short story narrative, conveying a range of different genres.

In maths we will be looking at place value and ordering and comparing numbers with up to 6 digits and 3 places. We will be multiplying and dividing numbers by 10, 100 and 1000 and rounding and converting decimals and fractions.

In science, our topic will be classifying living things and their habitats. The children will be describing how living things are classified based on differences and similarities.

In history, we will be beginning our unit on the trends of crime and punishment from the Romans to the present day. We will begin by identifying specific changes over the time period and how things have progressed rapidly in recent times.

In computing, we will be focussing on using technology safely, respectfully and responsibly.

Our art lesson will be focused on experimenting with different techniques to create texture, colour and pattern and will be used to create posters for the school fireworks.

We will be starting our spelling lessons next week and the children will have a pre-test on Monday to identify the words for them to practise which they will be retested on next Friday.

The class has PE on Monday, Thursday and Friday. All of the PE lessons will be outdoors for the next few weeks so please ensure PE kits are appropriate for cooler weather.

A letter should have come home to you yesterday regarding secondary transfer. The online application system has already opened and the deadline for applications is 31st October. Local secondary and upper schools will be holding their open events during this month and next so please go and visit them if you can.

Have a good weekend

Mr Gradwell