Years 5 and 6
Unburdened by the need to prepare for SATs, our children are free to learn without the pressure of external exams in Years 5 and 6. Instead, the children are informally assessed at regular intervals and revision takes place within the classroom, without a formal exam in mind. Not only does this allow for better learning, but teachers are more informed of progress and are able to address any gaps needing attention more quickly.
Year 5 is an exciting time for the children at All Hallows as they move into the middle part of the school, often welcoming in children who have completed their time at one of the local First Schools or who have moved to the area.
The children continue to study the skill-based International Primary Curriculum (IPC), bringing their learning to life through cross-curricular termly units of work and developing their understanding of the world around them. Our teaching is child-centred whereby the children’s interests are explored and then incorporated into our teaching. As holds true throughout All Hallows, our aims are to excite, engage and inspire and to develop the whole child, not separate elements.
Additional specialist teaching is introduced at this stage including for science where lessons take place in the labs, enabling access to a wide range of equipment for their experiments. In addition to the core curriculum subjects, the children continue to study French and Spanish as well as enjoying an extensive games and PE programme and weekly lessons for music and drama. There are trips aplenty to support the children’s learning, the highlight of which perhaps is the overnight residential trip to the Wye Valley, really bringing their IPC module of rivers to life!
Once the children reach Year 6, they are taught by specialist teachers in all of their core subjects with a greater focus on learning through discreet subjects. We continue to focus on a skill-based approach, where they are learning the key skills that will support them as they move up the school, through experiences and high quality teaching. In preparation for the senior part of the school, the children are also given greater responsibility for their own learning and organisation. With support from their tutor, they are expected to follow their timetables and make sure they are in the right place at the right time.
Year 6 continue to have opportunities to enhance their learning outside of the classroom and start the year with an outward bound camp which takes place at an army training centre. There, the children are working together whilst they enjoy activities such as putting up tents, completing assault courses, scaling the climbing walls and navigating their way at night. All the while they are supporting one another, as they take risks and push personal boundaries, in developing qualities which we value such as courage and resilience.
In keeping with the school’s ethos to develop the child as a whole, the children have a greater access to competitive sport and extra-curricular activities in Years 5 and 6, with sports fixtures take place on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons against other schools. They also have the opportunities to explore different cultures through various excursions, including our optional French residential trip to Normandy. By Year 6 the children are also able to participate in our hugely popular Saturday morning enrichment programme where activities include bushcraft, cooking, clay pigeon shooting, photography, young enterprise and drama.
Whilst we appreciate that children need to be prepared to take exams by the time they leave All Hallows aged 13, our approach is gradated – an approach which is boosting the academic development of the children whilst eliminating any undue stress or anxiety for our younger children (and their parents!) that exams can cause.
Lastly, in Years 5 and 6 we encourage our parents to start thinking about where they would like their children to go on when they have completed Year 8 aged 13. We are here to support our families every step of the way, both in the decision-making process and in preparing the children to thrive whether going on to one of the many independent senior schools or transferring to the state sector – a move that a number of our pupils have made with great success.