Bygrove Primary School

Bygrove Primary School
Life at Bygrove Primary School Life at Bygrove Primary School Life at Bygrove Primary School Life at Bygrove Primary School Life at Bygrove Primary School Life at Bygrove Primary School Life at Bygrove Primary School Life at Bygrove Primary School

Year 6 ~ Charles Darwin Class


Darwin used his deep understanding of nature to think about science in an entirely new way. His ‘Origin of Species’ demonstrated his great naturalist intelligence & changed the way that people looked at the world & themselves forever.

Autumn term – Blitz & Blackouts

Year 6 begins amid air raid sirens & crackly wireless broadcasts. There are blackout coverings over the windows & searchlights, gas masks & tin helmets, camouflage netting & ration cards. Spitfires take on Messerschmitts overhead & the walls are covered with war propaganda posters. Only the bunting suggests a happy ending. This term is all about the Second World War; what life in wartime London would have been like then & what it means for us now.

WWII invades everything we learn about in the autumn, not just the obvious historical bits like the Blitz & Churchill, evacuations & the Holocaust. We look at propaganda as a way of persuading people & examine the success of motivational speeches. We read books like ‘Goodbye Mr Tom’, ‘Rose Blanche’ & ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ set at the time. Our science involves nutrition, reversible & irreversible changes, materials & their properties, solids, liquids & gases & forces. Black history week falls during this term & we consider the critical role of soldiers from the far corners of the British Empire during the war. We look at the war artists and listen to Vera Lynne & the music of ‘big bands’ so popular at the time.


Early in the term we go on trips to the Imperial War Museum, the Museum in Docklands & to St Paul’s Cathedral, so miraculously spared during the bombing of London. But wherever possible we like to speak to real people around here with real stories to tell of their first-hand experiences of wartime London. That’s always the most amazing bit.

By the end of term, we have written newspaper articles as war correspondents & planned our own VE Day celebrations through dance & drama. We have also taken charge of ordering & selling poppies in school & led a Poppy Day assembly. And perhaps we’ve started to understand the nature of sacrifice a bit better.

Spring term – Water Worlds

Come spring term & it’s time to leave the security of dry land behind for a while. The room is blue & white & green with lily pads & sparkling sequins; it is full of artefacts designed by man to control, survive in & make use of their watery environments; snorkels & nets, boats & rubber rings, armbands & life jackets. In the corner there’s a beach hut & some coconuts. This term we examine marine environments & what happens when man come into contact with the sea.

Water washes over & soaks into everything that we learn about. We read adventure stories set at sea & information texts about life in the oceans. Science & English collide when we write explanations of the water cycle & persuasive texts to encourage greater personal responsibility in caring for the worlds marine resources. We also learn about living things in the ocean, food chains & habitats, evaporation, condensation & dissolving. Our DT work involves designing a Waterworld Theme Park & much of our maths time is devoted to working out a business plan; we do lots of problem solving involving percentages & money. We look at the watery world of Turner in art & consider the image of water as a purifying force in the world’s major religions.


Our Y6 residential trip to North Norfolk involves a hands-on element of coastal studies, erosion & deposition. We also go on a trip to experience the engineering masterpiece that is the Thames Barrier, practically on our doorstep here in East London.

By the end of the term our Waterworld Theme Parks are one step away from reality (just needing investment from the Dragons, perhaps?) & we have led a whole school assembly to raise awareness of the impact of human activity on the world’s oceans.

Summer term – Who Do We Think We Are?

It’s nearly time to move on to pastures new. Most of us having known no other school have spent 8 happy years here & it all seems quite a big deal. This term is all about learning about changes & reflecting on what really makes us us so that we feel confident to face those changes we’re going to experience.

Our classroom reflects the places & cultures we & our families all come from; there are maps & globes, family trees & autobiographies & the room is dotted with religious symbols from the faiths represented in our class & others. The themes of global connections & transition run through all of our work this term. We read & write autobiographies & discuss changes & growing up in PSHE. A mini-project on gangs gives us the opportunity to hone our research & historical enquiry skills; we examine primary & secondary sources & interview real people about their real experiences. We look at Romeo & Juliet & Westside Story & consider to what extent times have changed.Transition & reflection week at the end of term sees us preparing for & performing leavers’ assembly, the highlight of the year for the rest of the school! It’s usually packed full of drama & sketches, laughter & speeches & more than a few tears!


We always have an important trip to go on that gives us the opportunity to enjoy our friends’ company & say goodbye properly & all of us visit our new secondary schools this term.

By the end of the term, we have completed the ‘Identity Project’ & its associated work on photography & writing. We have learned about peer pressure & gained an insight into how to resist it & we have recognised our time at Bygrove for what it was – a chance to enjoy & explore childhood & to begin to piece together what it means to be a young adult. We’ve had a chance to reflect on who we are & learned to nurture & treasure good relationships. Not bad.


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