Year 6 Blog

First week back

Well this week has involved a wide variety of  activities.  We started the week with our mapping assembly and were presented with our sets of clues for our ‘treasure trail’, which we completed  in groups on Thursday afternoon.

At the beginning of each half term, the class change the places that they sit in and the children who they work with during our afternoon lessons.  This is a good opportunity for children to work with and build different relationships with a range of other children. This week the children have also been given new writing partners for our persuasive writing topic.  Writing partners are a great way for children to share their learning; very helpful when editing written work and help to deepen understanding.  The class were very excited to find out they will be writing and posting a persuasive letter to a family member as part of our writing unit.

Early this week, I was impressed with the ability of the class overall to recall equivalent fractions, decimals and percentages. The last piece of homework, which was to create a poster illustrating the different facts, has clearly helped a great number of pupils. Your help and support with homework is appreciated and makes a real difference.

Next week, we have two outdoor learning activities.  On Monday, we shall be visiting Heaton Park to carry out some fieldwork and then on Thursday afternoon we will be taking part in Crucial Crew, where the children will take part in a range of activities and think about all the different ways they can keep themselves safe.

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Myths, Maths and Maps!

What a great week we’ve had. I have been amazed with the growing confidence with which the children are tackling their work. The children are working brilliantly with each other and are supporting each other in their learning.

We started the week with sharing our brilliant mythical stories which the children enjoyed writing. I spent some time with each child, having learning conversations with them, giving them tips and advice on how they could improve their stories further. The children worked together, offering support with spelling and editing each other to improve their writing

In maths we have focused on multiplication methods and moved onto using both formal and informal methods. The children are getting better at choosing the best method to solve the question.

We began our Geography enquiry too, which is focusing on various mapping skills including using grid references to locate places! This can be pretty complicated but I was amazed at how quickly the children grasped the use of 4 figure and then 6 figure references. We located different places on an OS map for the Manchester area. We enjoyed creating our own treasure hunt by plotting points on an aerial view map of the school grounds and then creating a list of grid references for another teams to then go and find. We’ve really loved having the opportunity to develop our mapping skill and work in the outdoors.

Looking forward to our field trip to Heaton Park next week. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter to find out what we’ve been up to.


Latest News Reception Class Blog

The Easter Story in Reception

In Reception, children are introduced to the world of religion in terms of special people, books, times, places and objects. They listen to and talk about stories. They are introduced to religious words and they reflect on their own feelings and experiences.

Our Spring focus in RE has been ‘Belonging’ and has focused on Christianity. Today the children have been listening to the Easter story. After listening to the story, the children asked many questions, which were answered sensitively. The children then made small world Jesus’ and ‘palm’ crosses made from paper. Have a look at the photos to see some of the children hard at work. Can your child tell you about Jesus and the Easter story?

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Working together

We have had an exciting week since our return after half term. Three times each year we plan a ‘whole-school enquiry’ in which we develop a set of skills across every class. Our current enquiry is entitled ‘If you go down to the woods today..’ and focuses on developing mapping skills in geography. We have worked hard to plan some intriguing hunts and puzzles around the school and in the grounds.

The children have been using maps and plans and investigating how they help us to get about. It has been lovely to see their excitement and enthusiasm build across the week. You can follow our activities on Twitter or take a look at our special enquiry page by going to the curriculum tab on this website and following geography. We will further develop the enquiry next week.

On Thursday morning, we enjoyed seeing our Y1 children leading their class assembly. They have been working on a theme about being special and ‘being glad to be me.’ They wrote their own lines and spoke with confidence. They told us how they are different but how we should respect our differences and celebrate them. Well done, Y1, we were very proud of you!

On Friday, we held a training event in school for 17 primary school head teachers from schools all over Bury. We have designed this course to focus on assessment and to encourage schools to work together to develop their thinking when it comes to assessment. We spent time discussing the national picture but more importantly, we discussed what assessment looks like in the classroom.

In small groups, the head teachers visited our classes. They saw guided reading, PE, geography, mathematics and writing lessons. They considered how teachers and teaching assistants work with our children and assess what they can do. They were so impressed with the behaviour and attitudes to learning shown by our children. They noticed their independence and engagement with their learning. They were particularly impressed with our Y4 tour guides who directed them from class to class and who demonstrated such pride in their school.

We asked for some written feedback from our visitors and were very proud when somebody said the our school motto ‘Together We build Understanding’ is evident throughout our school and shines through in everything we do. Thank you to all of our children and to their adults who work so hard to give them such wonderful experiences.

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Head Teachers Leading Assessment

I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the training session that Mrs Reynolds and Mr Rhodes were holding for 16 Bury Headteachers this morning in the new training room at school.  The focus of the session was “assessment”.  This morning’s session was the first of three and was very informative.  It was extremely well received by all participants and some very good feedback has already been received…..and best of all I got the opportunity to visit classrooms again and talk to the children.  During our visits to classrooms each group of Headteachers was “led” around the school extremely efficiently by five Year 4 children.  As in my last learning walk in November, all the children were extremely keen to speak to us, very well behaved, articulate and clearly enjoying the learning activities that they were participating in.  I particularly enjoyed playing with the “computerised” cars in Year 3;  myself and my Y3 “buddy” managed to get our car to travel halfway down the mat….quite an achievement we thought.  Thanks to all the children and staff for making us feel so welcome.  I am looking forward to session 2 in a couple of weeks [Sheila Gaskell, Vice Chair of Governors]

Featured Latest News Year 2 Blog


This week year 2 started work on learning about what makes a good fantasy story. I always think that to craft a good piece of writing, a writer needs some inspiration to start the process. With this in mind I introduced the children this week to the author Christopher Paolini. Paolini is the author of “The Inheritance Cycle”, which is a set of 4 books that tell the story of Eragon the Dragon Rider, who lives in the world of Alagaesia. His ability to paint a picture in the readers mind, is what makes his fantasy stories such a good read.

On looking at the front cover, the children were intrigued by the blue dragon and on reading just one paragraph about the main character Eragon, the children were hooked. A few years ago, the 1st book was made into a film, so as a class we watched a 1 minute trailer that introduced Eragon and the dragon in its egg. The day before, the children had worked in pairs to come up with adjectives and similes to describe a picture of a dragon, whilst also coming up with a name, such a Star Fly, Green Wing and Flame.

After watching the clip I asked the children to create a description of their dragon in the style of Paolini. I was so impressed with the writing that the children produced, but I was more impressed with the fact that they had been inspired. Inspiration can come from anything, be it a picture, word or experience. For me as a teacher, it is through inspiring our children that we achieve the best results. There is nothing better than seeing a set of 30 inspired children striving for their personal best. Hearing the buzz of children talking about their use of similes or having conversations about what adjectives to use highlights how proud the children are of their writing. Their compliments to each other on different phrases was also lovely to hear.

Christopher Paolini himself has also took an interest in year 2’s work this week on Twitter. We tweeted him a Pic collage of some of our dragon vocabulary, which he added onto his Twitter feed to share with his followers. We have also sent him some of our descriptions to  see what he thinks. Year 2 were thrilled that he had acknowledge their efforts and I think it is wonderful that the children’s source of inspiration has been able to use technology to acknowledge their efforts and inspire them to develop their writing further.

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Latest News Reception Class Blog

Land Ahoy!!!

We start our new term as ‘Pirates’ in Reception! Our role play area is a pirate ship and we will be setting sail for lots of adventures!

For the next two weeks, the children are taking part in a whole school ‘Geography’ enquiry. The enquiry focus for Reception is to create and read basic maps in the local environment. As well as ‘Treasure Islands’ and ‘Distant Lands’, we will be using the school grounds and local environment to explore. We will be spending some time working with Year 1&2 also which will be a fabulous experience.

So to kick start our topic, we will be making Pirate hats and telescopes, eye patches and swords and setting off on a ‘Treasure Hunt’ around the school ground!


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Dance, sports crews and clubs!

It has been another eventful and energetic half term for sport at Unsworth! Across each week, every class takes part in 2 x one hour PE sessions. This involves the children taking part in a variety of sporting activities including gymnastics, invasion games and dance.

This half term, the focus has been on our dance curriculum within Y3 and Y5 by working alongside two trained dance coaches from Qfirst Sports to help enhance our teaching and learning. The children worked on a variety of coordination activities, balancing techniques and singular dance moves. Over the weeks, the children were taught how to put the separate moves together into a dance sequence. They practised mirroring, keeping in time and exercised every muscle in their body through stretching and movement. From a teacher’s point of view, it enabled me to visualise teaching dance in a different way, either based on the arrangement of the children or time spent on different aspects of dance. It also created many opportunities for dialogue between myself and the coach which informed my assessments. The purpose of having trained coaches in school is firstly for the enhancement of the curriculum for the children so that they have further sporting opportunities that are engaging, energetic and fun, but also to enable class teachers to reflect on their own practice and create vital assessment opportunities.

For the past six weeks, YR and Y1 have taken part in a dance club on a Wednesday after school. The coach worked on basic balancing techniques, coordination and rhythm. They also practised mirroring different dance movements and were given the opportunity to take part in a dance circle. After watching various sessions, it was clear to see how the children’s confidence grew from week to week. Some children seemed reluctant to take part in certain aspects of dance, mainly performing for a small audience. By the last week, all children could confidently perform their dance sequence for each other. During play times, I also spotted some of the Y1 children practising their sequences for some of the older children. Great moves!

Our Y2 ping pong club, every Thursday with Mrs Darby, has also proved to be a great success! The children have been building the skills needed to play a basic ping pong game such as control and coordination. Mrs Darby will now be inviting Y4 to her ping pong sessions after the half term break.

This year, I have started a sports crew with a group of 8 children from Y5 and Y6. We have had a great start! The idea is that the children initiate their own ideas for a sports club aimed at younger children. We discussed as a group an agenda for the upcoming weeks and how we were going to advertise the club. The children created sports crew posters using pic collage and put them up around school. They have also been busy creating certificates and planning fun activities to deliver. The children have now prepared 3 sessions to deliver to their first group of children. Y3 will be the first group to take part, 10 children have shown a keen interest and will join the sports crew on the first Wednesday back after half term.

The netball team are an absolute credit to the school! They train each Tuesday night and show dedication and enthusiasm week after week. This half term, the focus has been on positioning and playing as many matches as possible. The girls have learnt how to rotate positions so that they become familiar with the rules for each player on the court. It was a shame that their first match was cancelled last week due to bad weather, however the game will now be rearranged for after the half term. They are now ready for their upcoming 5 matches. As always, parents and carers are invited to all home games, letters will be sent out, like last week, to invite you to each game.

Y4 have enjoyed their first few weeks at Total Fitness for their swimming lessons. This year, due to having their sessions closer to school, the children can walk to their lessons. It also means that the children get more time in the pool. After speaking with staff who attend the sessions, they have mentioned how well behaved our children are and how hard they work once they are in the pool. The staff at Total Fitness are also challenging all children, regardless of their swimming abilities. Keep up the great work Y4!

The lunchtime leaders, a group of 8 Y6 children, are now confident at delivering their own sessions to the the younger children at lunchtime, after having support from Connor from QFirst Sports. Miss Costin said the leaders have been getting to know the Y1 and Y2 children and have been trying out some different activities for the children to take part in such as circuits, circle games and ball skills. The leaders were also delighted to receive their purple lunchtime leader caps!

On Wednesday, the whole school took part in a wakey shakey Wednesday workout to raise money for the NSPCC. The children (and staff) really enjoyed taking part in the event and felt alert and ready for the day ahead! Good fun had by all!

Finally, the Y6 children spent the last few days of the term at Robinwood. The children were faced with a variety of sporting opportunities such as canoeing, caving, climbing and archery. The children were challenged to take part in different adventures and teamwork opportunities, what a fantastic experience for our children! Read Mrs Reynolds’ blog to find out more.

So what is happening in the next half term?
Y2 and Y5 will have the curriculum support sessions with the focus being on hockey.
A hockey after school club will also start for certain year groups,  the first week back. Letters have already been sent out for the relevant year groups.
The sports crew will kick start the term with a fast paced invasion game focused session for the Y3 children, sounds exciting!
Football training will recommence with Mr Evans every Friday, and the team will face their first friendly match with Hollins.
The netball team will continue their training each Tuesday and will play their 5 matches as part of the BJSSA league.
The cross country tournament will take place in March at Heaton Park, letters to follow.
We also have a Bury CC Junior Coach coming in to deliver some cricket sessions to the Y4, Y5 and Y6 children, letters to follow the first week back.
The lunchtime leaders will continue to create sporting activities for the younger children, working alongside Miss Costin.
Ping Pong sessions with Mrs Darby will start for the Y4 children, keep a look out for more information in the upcoming letters.
The after school children will also continue to have exciting sporting opportunities every Thursday and Friday, ask Miss Costin for more information.

Is your child interested in a particular sport? Are you looking for an out of school club? Since having our dance sessions in school this term, one child in Y3 has joined a dance club after talking with me about a possible dance club. If you would like any information regarding sports clubs for your child to attend outside of school, please ask me and I can point you in the right direction. We have a variety of links with out of school clubs such as football, cricket, netball, dance and gymnastics clubs within the local area, so please just ask. Mrs McLoughlin.

Featured Latest News Year 2 Blog

Learning to be a good digital citizen!

This week year 2 spent some time reflecting on what the Internet is and how they use it. The children had lots of different ideas about what they thought the Internet was, such as:

  • “something that is in the clouds”
  • “a place to play games”
  • “something you connect your wifi to”
  • “a virtual place where you can find out information”

After our discussion about the Internet, we started to think about how we use it and the different ways we need to protect ourselves and other people. Year 2 read a variety of different scenarios and considered different options that they could choose. The children came to the conclusion that it was always a good idea to tell an adult about any problems on the Internet and that they should always make sure that anything they post considers other people.

I was very impressed with how year 2 talked about how what people post online can affect others and it was good to hear the children talk about how they could help their friends if they were having problems. The children were challenged at the end of the afternoon to compose their own Tweet and hash tag to share their thoughts on keeping safe and making the Internet a better place. Why not rad their tweets below and comment on what they have said!

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A tearful end to the week!

Emotions were high in Y5 this week as we said goodbye to the chicks yesterday. The children had become attached to the little chicks. They really did enjoy caring for the chicks, cleaning the brooder box each day and ensuring they had clean water and food.  We were surprised with how rapidly the chicks were growing and the weight they gained each day.

On Thursday we let the chicks out of their brooder box and the children were delighted  watching them flap their wings and peck at the floor. But there were tears on Friday as we watched them being taken away.  The chickens have been taken to a farm in Bolton were they will remain.

On Wednesday the children showed off their amazing dancing skills.   I was impressed with the fantastic routine they have been working on over the last few weeks with the dance instructor.  There was movement across the space in different directions, set group formations and pair work.  Great coordination guys and I can’t wait to see the final performance next week.

In art the children have been looking at various ancient Egyptians artefacts and have been inspired the ornate pieces of craftwork.  They are creating their own canopic jars using modroc and paper  mache.  The finished designs will be on display in our very own Ancient Egyptian Museum which will be open very soon!