This week we completed our half-termly assessments. The assessments give us a chance to demonstrate our developed understanding and (hopefully!) show all of the fabulous progress we have made since the start of the year.
At the start of the week, we completed a reading comprehension paper. We were given a narrative text and a poem to read and analyse and were reminded to use evidence from the text to support our answers. As well as a reading assessment, we also completed a Maths paper, which looked at both arithmetic and reasoning. To assess the children's writing skills, we did not complete a writing assessment but instead will moderate several pieces of recent extended writing from across the half term.
As the week progressed, we completed a SPAG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) assessment, a Mental Maths test and also, a 100 word spelling test. (This is why we thought the children needed a break from learning spelling patterns and rules in their weekly Home Learning!). The 100 word test was the words that the children are expected to learn and know across Years 5 and 6. I will provide feedback on these assessments at the upcoming Parents' Evening.
After completing the assessments, we returned to our English unit on 'Mystery and Suspense Stories'. At the start of the week, we read the final chapters of Room 13 and were gripped by the dramatic final events. To develop our understanding of this style of writing further, we spent the second half of the week exploring a new book called 'The Mysteries of Harris Burdick'. It is a 1984 picture book by the American author Chris Van Allsburg and consists of a series of seemingly unrelated, highly detailed images. Each image is accompanied by a title and a single line of text, which compel readers to create their own stories. After discussing our thoughts about the images, we created plans for our own stories.
In Maths, we focused on subtraction mental methods. We spent the first lesson exploring the concept of subtraction and jotted down as many ways of solving a subtraction calculation as we could. We made references to our work on addition last week and using our vocab of week, which included partitioning, rounding, counting on/back, near doubles and number pairs, we explained how to solve a series of calculations. Next week, we are going to be using written methods to add and subtract. Those children who are confident with these methods will be asked to apply their understanding to a variety of problems and work with decimals in different contexts.
In Science, we completed another investigation in our 'Forces' unit. We were asked to research the concept of air resistance using parachutes or spinners. In small groups, we planned an investigation that involved changing the materials, shape, size or weight of a parachute or spinner in order for us to find out what impacts the amount of air resistance. We recorded our results in tables and bar chart and our next activity will be to interpret and analyse the data.