Children in Giraffe Class (Year 6) gain invaluable experience of working with different teachers, which prepares them for life in secondary school. During the year, we aim to offer the children a broad range of experiences, both in and out of school, and to develop their independence and sense of responsibility.
In the Autumn term we visit Calshot Activity Centre for our residential. With a 'challenge by choice' approach, the children make their own decisions about how far to push themselves and through team activities we help to build confidence and develop collaboration skills. What they learn at Calshot will stay with the children through the year...and beyond.
The Year 6 teaching team for 2019/20 is:
Mr Geraghty (Class Teacher), Mrs Cook (Class Teacher for three afternoons)
Mrs Simmons (Science Teacher - Monday pm), Mr Bagge (ICT Teacher - Wednesday pm)
Homework Rota: In year 6, children have a homework folder which can then be used for revision during the approach to SATs. Maths homework is handed out on a Thursday for completion and return by the following Tuesday. English and Topic homework (which will consist of written and creative tasks) will be given at the start of each topic unit with details of what needs to be completed in the following weeks. Other homework (including Science and ICT) might be provided to the children on an ad hoc basis. Children will be given extra time to allow them to complete this additional homework and we believe that this is -again- good practice for secondary school. During assessment weeks and holidays children are not given homework to complete but they are encouraged to use the time to improve their recall of multiplication and division facts (times-tables) or use the resources on the class page to support their learning.
Reading: Reading is part of our homework routine and the children have a reading diary in which to log their reading at home. It is widely proven that reading is essential to a child's education and we read in class regularly, but we also ask that children read at least five times a week at home (evidenced in their reading diary) and an adult signs each page of their diary.
Library Time : Year 6 children are trusted to use the library in their own time.
P.E.: Games is Friday afternoon (with R & R) and indoor PE is on a Thursday morning. We will also complete the daily mile on a regular basis - children must have a PE kit in school at all times.
If there is any aspect of your child's school experience that you would like to discuss, please call the school office to arrange a meeting.
Calshot - Day 4 - 7th November
It is fair to say that when we return them to you tomorrow, your children are going to be more accomplished (at what exactly is their story to tell), more confident, more self aware, and more able to recognise the value of taking just one more step to success. It is fair to say that your children have grasped this residential in both hands and they have ‘done’ Calshot. It is also fair to say that we are simply done!
They have given every ounce of energy on every activity and in every challenge and we have had a lot of fun doing it. And don’t let them fool you – they have all kept perfectly tidy bedrooms and clean bathrooms – it’s amazing what the chance of having a cuddly giraffe for a day can do!
There are many little stories I could share but I am sure you will hear all about them after the reunion hugs tomorrow. And just in case you get the usual reply of ‘nothing’ when you ask what they did at school this week, here are some comments in their own words:
Florence Terry: The initiative course was so much fun. I loved the massive see-saw as it needed teamwork to get the right balance.
Jay: We did abseiling and I didn’t do it all but I did go to the top and I’m proud.
Willow: I did abseiling and it was incredible. I wish I could do it again, but slightly faster. I absolutely loved it.
Lewis: I enjoyed the activities and the giant game of hide and seek.
Bella: On the team swing Eva was really nervous so I went on with her. She was still a little nervous at the end but she did do it. When Mr G tried to take a photo of us, I smiled but Eva just did a little scowl which was very funny.
Kylan: We did snowboarding. It was fun but I fell over. Then we did the velodrome which was so good. I went really fast. I also did abseiling. It was fun but I’ve done it before so I wasn’t scared.
Olivia-May: I managed to go to the top of the ski slope with the instructor. I’m so proud of myself. In the snow-boarding I realised that there is no harm in crying and ‘failing’ I picked myself up and went to the top and tried again. And guess what! I came down, on my own without falling off. I am so proud.
Jonny: My favourite initiative activity was the tunnel that is underground and inside it is pitch black.
Lucia: Charlotte, Amy and I had a ski race but we were all so fast that poor Mrs Armstrong was nearly run over.
Austin: I got to the top in climbing (note from Mr G: you also pushed yourself in the abseiling and did it on the second try – well done)
Amy: I had so much fun. I raced my ski group leader and he won by just 1 second.
Isaac: The food was good. I have done skiing, snowboarding, shooting and aerotrek. (note from Mr G: you also really impressed Ali with your bouldering skills)
Eva: Today was epic! I came third in archery! The velodrome was epic! I loved it to pieces, even going to the blue line. On the abseil, which was the most scary thing yet, I was not prepared. I went up with Mr G but I was shaking. But I went over and when I was going down I hurt my leg. I don’t know how I should feel about this activity: proud, scared? (note from Mr G: proud…definitely proud!)
Felix: I nearly wet my pants going down the team swing and it gave me a serious wedgie.
Emmy: When the whole of group three (11 of us) joined together on the ringos we all raced down the slope and bumped at the bottom.
Hugh: Today we did team swing. It was thrilling when it suddenly drops and it’s hilarious watching people scream as they swing down. The abseiling was really scary at the top of the wall but it was fine once the wall started to go inward.
Sky-Rose: I enjoyed the velodrome, abseiling, skiing and the beach explore.
Zach: We loved falling over on the ski slope – it was so awesome. In the shooting I got 3 bullseyes.
Livvy: I really enjoyed the snowboarding eventhough I fell over lots of times. I also enjoyed the swing as me and Florence screamed each time.
Ciara: I have really enjoyed this week with all its ups and downs.
Ben: Today was really fun. I loved snowboarding and I proud of what I achieved.
Aerin: I liked the week even though some of it was tough. I liked all of the activities.
Henry: I really liked the snowboarding.
Olivia: I loved quiz night but my favourite part was team swing.
Omar: I enjoyed the snowboarding as it is a hobby of mine which I love. I especially enjoyed the food but I have loved the whole of Calshot.
Emily: This week has been so good. The activities have been good and I have enjoyed it so much. It’s a shame we’re leaving tomorrow.
Jaggs: I enjoyed the AeroTrek, especially when I jumped off the zip line and was nervous about catching the net at the end. I also enjoyed team swing because when I had to pull the rope I made a very weird face.
Freya: Abseiling was so exciting. I was really proud of my rifle shooting as at first I couldn’t even shoot but at the end I got a score of 88.
Aalok: I enjoyed the velodrome because I got to bike on the blue line. I also did abseiling and I was a little nervous at first but Beth (the instructor) assured me and I was fine when I got down.
Florence Thomas: In the king swing we had the best thing so far as me and Livvy screamed a lot! Abseiling for me was really scary and I cried the whole way down. (note from Mr G: but you did it..you took the extra step and you should be really proud.)
Sorry about this one…
Charlotte: After grimacing at the thought of doing this, I tried baked beans, mashed potato and salad cream, and found that it tasted quite nice. Never say you don’t like something if you haven’t tried it.
It has been a great week. I am proud of them all.
Calshot - Day 3 - 6th November 2019
I hope that you are enjoying the daily updates and hearing about what your children are up to this week. It is now the end of what has been one of the best days I have ever had during a residential. Your children are amazing. They have such inner strength and even if not everything has been achievable none has given up without putting in a tremendous effort to overcome whatever fear they faced. It is a privilege to be spending such an incredible time with them and seeing all of the different aspects of their personalities.
I hope also that you won't mind that this is going to be more of a story by pictures tonight. I am exhausted. Florence (Terry) was disappointed when I said I wasn't going to have a go at snowboarding (and we can't let that happen so I went for it) and Freya convinced me to walk the high rope course (at one point the challenge was to do it all one-handed). Hot chocolate and a bedtime story beckon...so please enjoy the photos.
Ask yourself…did you sleep well in a home that was more silent than usual last night? Then think about us for a moment…31 children (the 32nd, Eva, joined us this morning) sharing rooms with one or two of their best friends, away from home for the first night in a long time (in most cases), fueled by lots of food and excited by lots of new activities…it should be a recipe for disaster. But it really wasn’t…it was delightful. We all settled down in the foyer of Mitchell House after our last activity of the day, which was team games, and enjoyed a hot chocolate (two in Omar’s case after the first was used to wash his sleeping bag!), a couple of biscuits, a bedtime story (ask them about the mouse, the bird and the sausage when they get home) and a quiet moment of reflection for what they had already achieved after only half a day at Calshot – although some (including Bella and Zach) were already asleep by this point...and the others weren't long to follow once all had settled in to bed.
After a good night’s sleep, the morning started with a very early wake-up call thanks to Mrs Armstrong, but also a fabulous cooked breakfast to get everyone ready for the day ahead. And what a day it has been. The velodrome was in use today with the first of our groups trying their hand (or should that be feet – sorry, it’s quite late!) at fixed wheel cycling. Some of the children were able to show off their already substantial cycling skills but what really shone was how brilliantly they worked together in groups to help and support each other. A highlight for this activity was Jay, and how he pushed himself to have a go when he hasn’t been cycling for very long. We are incredibly proud of how he has taken full advantage of all that Calshot has to offer.
Some children have been on the ski slope today, and demonstrated some genuine talent and skill, especially Ben, Amy, Lucia, Felix and Charlotte. Because of this, some of the children moved on to racing each other (and Amy even raced with the instructor) – all very safely of course! But the true embodiment of the reason for coming away on a residential was when Olivia-May showed real determination to ski from the top of the slope.
Although she had an instructor in front of her, she completed the full run over and over again, with a big smile on her face each time.
On the climbing wall many children in Mrs Armstong’s group pushed themselves a little further than the day before but the progress Austin made in just his second session (he touched the top of the tallest wall today after a 20ft climb yesterday) was really incredible and the, rather energetic, high-five told me he was proud of himself.
Calshot’s newest activity, the AeroTrek, which resembles an indoor Go Ape!, was the afternoon destination for my group and it was difficult for some of the children as they navigated the high course on their own. Resilience was tested, determination was demonstrated and pride was clearly felt by those most challenged by the activity. I am really proud of how Willow and Kylan pushed through their initial fears on this activity.
Today also included shooting for my group, in which Bella and Willow took the top two spots, but we aren’t going to mention how they had the benefit of a scope. We aren’t…never again…especially when they pushed me in to third place!
Of course, Calshot isn’t all about the adrenaline fueled excitement and today two of our groups spent some time out on the surrounding beaches, giving them a bit of a tidy up but mostly discovering more about what gets washed up here. Another of today’s activities, Team swing - an activity that the children were already looking forward to before we got here - saw the children pulling a rope to raise the pair in the chair to a height of their choosing. At this point one of the passengers has to pull a small release rope, which sends the swing into an arc...downwards…quickly! The children all worked well as a team to ensure everyone enjoyed the activity to its fullest.
It’s been a fabulous day…enjoy the photographs.
Here’s to another great night’s sleep.
Just a short note from Calshot Activity Centre as the first day of our residential comes to a frantic close with the children running around playing fun games together. I’m fairly sure that normal home routine would be far less frenetic and much calmer…but how often does that normal home routine involve a sleepover for 32 children? By the time that the evening session ends around 9pm, the children will be ready for a bedtime story, a cup of hot chocolate and a good long night of sound sleep (well, you can always hope!).
When we arrived here just after 11am, we were welcomed by a full rainbow filling the sky to the North. It was such a lovely way to start our week as, even at this age, there was a lot of awe and wonder from the children. They were though, as you would expect, just a little more excited about finding out who they are sharing a room with this week; what their first activity was and, most importantly, what was for lunch and dinner. As always, the kitchen staff are friendly, generous and very considerate of the needs of our children: this evening the chef made a special vegan dish which was both appreciated and enjoyed.
After lunch, we were quickly into our schedule for the week with one of the groups donning skis for a few runs down Calshot’s dry slope. There were a couple of small falls but the children clearly remembered a lot from their year 4 residential and many were soon clambering on to the button lift and heading to the top of the ‘slope’. The other two groups headed to the climbing wall and pushed themselves to go higher than they thought possible. They also got to try the new controlled descent wall; timing themselves to reach the top. Our second activity of the day was the initiative course, designed to help build collaboration and communication skills – it was great to see the children work together in a different setting, and all groups completed their challenges (with maybe a little guidance from the fantastic group leaders from the centre). The final test was the tunnel. It’s dark! Very dark! Many (but not quite all) of the children pushed themselves to reach the end and were really proud of this achievement. All in all we have had a very good first day…only three and a half more to go…enjoy the silence!
Best wishes from Calshot.
Here is an example of 'Slow Writing' to support homework this week.
After the long hours of torrential rain, the river was fit to burst. Water was gently sloshing at the banks, threatening to spill over on to the river path. It was worrying! The path, which snaked alongside the usually calm river was already wet with individual droplets. The threat was worsening so the council put up a barrier. It was a sad sight to see something so wonderous hidden from view.
ST. MATTHEW'S ADVENT SERVICE - DECEMBER 2018
Giraffe Class recently presented an Advent service in St Matthew's Church. They fully embraced the responsibility they were given and worked collaboratively to bring together various elements into an entertaining and informative service.
These are just a few of the maths websites that we recommend. Any extra practice that the children can get at home would be really beneficial.
CALSHOT - DAY 4
Rain came to Calshot this morning and the children were worried about being cold and wet. Clearly they hadn’t quite realised that the first activity of the day was raft building and the chances of being cold and wet were already very high before the weather decided to play its part. It was really nice to finally have all of the children back together and enjoying an activity as a whole class. They were brilliant listening to the instructions about knots and how to bind the components of each raft together and they were brilliant working as a team during the races. Some were very vocal when they accidentally slipped a foot into the water (but then it was incredibly cold despite the wetsuits), so it was somewhat surprising that pretty much all of them decided they wanted to jump in at the end. But they thoroughly enjoyed themselves and were fabulous.
Later on in the day, the abseil tower once again threatened to be the end of the positivity as group 3 were challenged to take the metal staircase and descend with the power of gravity. There were a few tears and some uncertainty but all of the group made the jump (Miss Robinson made it in a super-quick time!) and were incredibly proud of themselves…so much so that they went again for a second attempt and the change in attitude was really warming to see. Miss Muchmore, Mr Slater and Miss Jones, showed real grit, pushing themselves up a second time despite grave reservations the first time around.
There was more snowboarding again today as well, and it was brilliant that the children were given a second chance to build on the first session earlier in the week. They all showed that they could remember the basics and were able to take on more of the challenges of the slopes – there are some tired legs this evening! The final activity for today was the shooting. After a day of energetic activities, it was interesting to see them try to calm things down and take on a precision skill. There were some very high scores in the first two rounds and Mr Marwood hit 3 incredible dead centres…then he admitted to having a telescopic sight on his rifle but the victory was still his.
Now, as I write this final daily update, the class are relaxing in front of a movie ahead of the ‘one more sleep’ before heading home. In front of me is the climbing wall, the abseil tower and the ski-slope – scenes of personal triumph for most, if not all, of your children – behind me are a few days of great memories that I will ensure they remember for as long as they are with me. They have been brave, supportive, kind, respectful, polite, determined, proud, generous, resilient, hungry, sleepy, homesick, tearful and fun. They have been giraffes, and they have all helped to make my week away from home much easier to survive. But now it is time for a bit of The Lego Movie to round off an amazing residential in which ‘everything has been awesome’. *
Best wishes from a very proud teacher and the amazing staff who have been supporting our class today: Mrs Compton, Mrs Armstrong, Mr and Mrs Flatman and Mrs Phillips.
Our week in review (a few more quotes):
I really enjoyed the archery this week, because I really managed to improve – Olivia
I was proud because I was able to get to the top of the rock wall – Faith
I am really proud of myself for going to the top of team swing because I was very nervous – Mia
I really enjoyed the skiing because I went to the highest slope and skied all the way down - Daisy
* Please ask the children if the reference doesn’t quite resonate.
CALSHOT - DAY 3
Well, day 3 can only be described as a day of ups and downs here at Calshot. We started the morning watching the sun come up, Mrs Phillips came down for a couple of days, and along with the tide (fact of the day: there are two high tides here!), there were children going higher up the climbing wall than earlier in the week…and then abseiling down; there were snowboarders running up and gliding gracefully down the slope (when I say ‘gracefully’ you know I’m being polite of course!) and there were pairs being pulled up to the roof by their classmates in the team swing - and then swinging VERY QUICKLY to the ground. The faces of the children coming down the swing were priceless. If your child was in group 3, just ask for an example of Livvy’s face, Thomas’ face or Mia’s face. We had great fun and the children worked brilliantly as a team. Their leader Jacob finished with a little pep talk and had this to say: “That was such a lovely session. You were all so supportive of each other.” I would have to agree.
In the cycling skills session there were a few small falls but all of the children soon managed to get to grips (pun intended) with the difficult fixed wheel bikes and the cleats. Again the team work was tremendous as the children helped each to stop the bikes safely. We were also out and about a lot today as we visited the beach to collect shells, seaweed and other items to once again create incredible artwork. Some of it really was quite good and the children fully engaged in the simple task of looking around the local shoreline. They also had the opportunity to see more of the grounds of Calshot as they completed an orienteering activity in pairs. They followed instructions to seek out the wayfinder signs and collect the letters to prove they had been successful.
It is clear that the children are fighting back the exhaustion and the adrenaline is also taking its toll on many of them but once again they have been incredible in the way they have taken on their personal challenges and pushed themselves in every activity. Young Miss Lane was phenomenal on the climbing wall, choosing to go one step further on her first attempt (3 blocks high) and then reaching the very top (some 7 blocks up) on her next. Her face was a picture of pride. During the climbing, Mr Essex seemed quite at home resting at one of the highest points of the climbing wall whilst having a good look around the centre. But, for me, Mr Coutts was my greatest source of pride today as he fought off his nervousness on the team swing and asked me to go on with him. He went higher than he intended but then wasn’t happy with just the one go…and on the second time up he went even further. He was brilliant. But then they all are.
We are having a great week here and your children continue to impress us with their ability to pull together and show support to each other.
Here are today’s quotes from some of your children:
Quiz night was really fun – it like I was on a proper quiz show – Loretta
I found the rock climbing very challenging but then I zoomed up the wall but then when I went down I went upside down - Harry
I got higher [on the team swing] than I thought I would – Livvy
Rock climbing was amazing and I pushed myself - Ralph
People who reached their achievements inspired me to on and never give up – Mariam
Awesome - William
I really enjoyed climbing. It was hard but fun – Emily
I flew up the climbing wall in 9 seconds on the blue – Toby M
I loved rock climbing as I got all the way to the top and it was a bigger wall to climb – Amy
I really enjoyed the music round in the quiz - James
I have learned to snowboard a little bit (but I fell over) – Emma
I enjoyed the team swing because I got to go very high - Taylor
Today we did snowboarding. It was easier than it looks but it hurts when you fall over. We have another session and I hope I will have improved – Ellie
I climbed to the top of the tall climbing wall twice for the first time ever – Charlie
A day of brilliance – Caleb
I really enjoyed today because of the quiz and snowboarding – Samuel
I really enjoyed snowboarding eventhough I fell over – Isaac
Snowboarding was fun eventhough I fell over – Jacob
Amongst everything else, we have seen a great deal of resilience today.
Best but slightly tired wishes from all at Calshot.
CALSHOT - DAY 2
A pleasant surprise awaited the adults this morning as all of the children worked hard in order to receive the award for the tidiest accommodation and every room looked well cared for and very homely. The boys’ competition was a close run contest (which may surprise many of the parents back home!) and the girl’s competition could only fairly be given as a draw. Our classroom mascot now sits proudly in the end window of their corridor…along with a few companion cuddlies. Almost all of the children started the day with a shower too…so if they complain in the future, just remind them of their week away!
Today has been a really long day and as I write this half of your children are running around following instructions in the orienteering, and the other half are running up (and sliding down) the ski slope in the ring-o races which include Mrs Simpson, who has given up her time to join the children for some of the day. It’s fair to say that sleep should come easy for your children tonight.
For most of the children, today included abseiling. This is generally considered to be the most challenging activity as it starts from a very high platform amongst the rafters of the hanger and ends with the children suspended in mid-air – safely of course – descending at their own pace to the ground below. Everyone pushed themselves to the edge and most went over, but the important thing is that all of the children recognised that they had gone further than they first thought and once again we are very proud of them. Young Mr Stockley finished his descent with my personal quote-of-the-day: “I feel really sad but really happy too and I think I just want to cry.” This was followed by wonderful tears of joy and pride which the whole group embraced. In Mrs Compton’s group, Mr Mack showed everyone a truly caring side as he helped Mrs Compton to challenge herself to reach the edge of the abseil tower – it’s not just about the children here you know!
During today’s beach-combing the children made a group octopus out of everything they could scavenge. It was a ‘beautiful octopus’ competition but on this occasion the word ‘beautiful’ should be used subjectively! The weather has turned bitter today so Mrs Armstrong’s group not only braved the beach but also the outdoor initiative course and once again all of the children pushed themselves through the tunnel…or helped each other to succeed. The ‘Team Giraffe’ spirit is strong here at Calshot but once again thoughts of home are not far from our minds and I’ve been asked if I can read a story tonight…which I am only too happy to do.
Best wishes from all of us at the seaside.
Here is today’s selection from the daily diaries:
I got a bullseye on the shooting – Livvy
Abseiling is hard but I did it – Emma
I got 74 on the shooting range – Thomas
Orienteering was super-fun - Emily
I was worried about the abseiling but I overcame my fear and did it. I feel proud - Harry
Abseiling was an exhilarating experience, coming down from an absolutely extreme height – Toby M
We have been here for a day and a half and I have tried everything; I feel really proud of myself - Helena
I enjoyed the ringoing, racing with my friends and spinning round - Taylor
Calshot so far has been amazing - Poppy
I cycled on the velodrome and it was really fun – Charlie
The ringoing was really fun as we got to spin round and have races, which were epic - Samual
When I got to the top of the abseiling I was so scared but I managed to get over my fear of heights. I felt happy and exhilarated - Loretta
Today was absolutely amazing – Alex
Today's word of the day = Proud
CALSHOT 2018 - DAY 1
There is nothing quite like a residential to make you remember why teaching is such a great profession. We have only been here half a day and already we have had tears of joy as children have pushed themselves to overcome fears of the dark and of heights…and a few tears from those missing home sadly. The first activity of the day was the initiative course and the groups soon realised that the only way to complete their challenges successfully was to pull together and work as a team. Collaboration was the key and the teams worked well to achieve their goals – whether it was to survive in shark infested waters or retrieve lost keys in the rope maze.
During the second session, the climbing wall witnessed many personal achievements and all of the children went further than they set as a target or even reached the top. The abseiling was somewhat questionable though with quite a few crash landings…but smiles of pride were evident across all of the children’s faces and we couldn’t have been more proud of them all.
The food and lodgings have lived up to all expectations and the children are well fed and watered and already looking forward to day two. Your children have been great fun to be with and incredibly supportive of each other…and the week has only just started.
During the week, the boys and girls are keeping a daily diary of events at Calshot. Here are a few of today’s comments:
The initiative course was really fun because we scaled a wall – Ella
We did the initiative course and we learned loads of new skills - Hannah
Everyone tried their best – Niamh
This week is going to be awesome – Ellie
I had a really fun time in archery…it was one of my favourite activities – Enrico
The initiative course was really fun. We had to go through a dark tunnel with lots of bends – Toby E
The tunnel underground was awesome – Caleb
I LOVED IT – William
Brilliant! – Jacob
I really enjoyed rock climbing. – Ralph
I am scared of heights but I still went to the top – Isaac
We think that we can confidently say that the word of the day is AWESOME and the children are having fun. But we are sure that they are missing you all.
Mr Geraghty, Mrs Compton and Mrs Armstrong.