What will my child learn in year six?
For even the most confident of 10 year olds (and their parents!), the move into year 6 can be a daunting time – but it really doesn’t have to be. Being in year 6 truly is the most memorable time in your child’s primary education.
Year 6 is a key moment in your child’s life; they will develop more independence, a huge amount of resilience and, most importantly, they should become very aware of who they are as both learners and as young adults. They will be given lots of chances to really show what they have learnt and how they can apply their knowledge.
Year 6 is about making memories which last a life time. Ultimately, it will involve moving on to new challenges and experiences.
Key Stage 2 SATs
Firstly, it is important to mention the SATs – the statutory assessment tasks that all year 6 pupils sit in May of each year. Children are often nervous about the SATs, but they shouyldn’t be seen as anything scary. Formal though they may be (displays are covered up and the tests take place in silence), the tests are achievable, spread throughout the week and most children will feel ready for them by the time SATs week arrives. The results of these will inform 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 9 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. However, they will still have access to (and deserve) a broad and balanced curriculum, including some of the fun subjects like drama and PE.
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 detailed answers in full sentences as well as orally explaining 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 key stage two, children are expected to be confident, able and independent mathematicians who can apply their knowledge and skills to a range of problem-solving contexts. Children are expected to know and confidently use all the addition, subtraction, multiplication and division methods and choose the most efficient methods. Maths in year 6 covers more on fractions, including multiplying fractions and converting them into decimals and percentages, plus concepts such as simple algebra, missing angles in a range of shapes and creating pie charts using percentages.
How can I help my key stage two learner at home?
- Carry on reading. As your child’s reading develops, help them to begin to develop fluency, accuracy and expressive reading. Allow them to hear you reading expressively so that they know what to aim for. Help them to develop strategies to read faster, too, by only sounding out when necessary and using their sight reading skills more and more. To access their learning fully, children in years 3-6 need to be reading at a speed of 110-150 words per minute. You can also ask more complex comprehension questions to help your child to more deeply understand what they are reading. For example:
- What do you think the writer means by….?
- How does the writer build suspense in this paragraph?
- What did the word ambled tell you about how the character is walking? How might he be feeling?
- Why is the character feeling ‘as light as a feather’? What do you think she means?
Focus on number. At school, we subscribe to Time Table Rock Stars from year two and above. These help children to develop more automaticity with number facts. Focusing on times tables through pictorial representation and quick-fire recall is the best way to reinforce the maths your child is learning at school.