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Year 6 – Mr Polak




Year six

 Welcome back!

Spring welcome letter 2018

Our topic this term is: Space and robots

Our key questions will be:

•What is the scale of the universe?

How is mathematics applied to space travel?

What does space travel tell us about human endeavour and ingenuity?

Topic web

I am delighted to introduce this next topic, as we’ll be sending a balloon into near space to record footage and test our own levels of ingenuity! You can see footage from similar launches on this website, which we’ll be using to gather the equipment.

This is a massive undertaking but will inspire our maths and literacy as we chronicle our journey in English and use our maths to create credible predictions about where the camera will end up! The footage of these sorts of launches is truly spectacular and I am so excited to run this project with our wonderful class, who are super enthusiastic (as usual) about the potential of sending something to space.


Great readers make great writers. We want to see as many children as possible reading five times a week. We’ve done a brilliant job so far this year in keeping these standards up- so thank you so much for this fantastic support.

Here is Mr Pleasance’s powerpoint which is really useful when talking about asking different types of questions. Our focus will be to evidence our inferences using modal verbs of possibility. When children answer your questions, do they say it definitely is the case when they mean it could be the case?


Mathematics is the music of reason,

James Joseph Sylvester

There is so much maths this term, as we’ll be using different metrics to predict (and act on these predictions) where our near space balloon will end up! We’ll have to measure acceleration, friction, windspeed and direction in order to reliably find landing points for our balloon. Here’s a website which does this for free- you can use the school’s latitude and longitude (51.1719, -4.2019) to predict the landing spots on different days. We’ll be doing these calculations by hand- a real challenge but something which we’ll always remember doing- even if we get it wrong…

. We will also look at the scale of the solar system and the universe beyond. There is a huge amount of scope for multiplicative reasoning so practising those formal methods at home will help our understanding massively.

Science will be wonderfully contextualised because we will be using different metrics to measure the potential for this balloon launch. We will collect data such as wind speed, direction and precipitation to ensure that we launch on an appropriate day. We will also design parachutes to bring our precious cargo back in one piece!


If you’re looking to help at home- here are some things we’ll need to practise:

•Formal methods of multiplication and division

•Times tables

•Drawing fractions- can you draw what happens to 4/5 when it is multiplied by 1/2?


I am so excited about the writing we have lined up. We will look at how language and influence a viewpoint and how emotive language has captured humanity’s relationship with their perception of the universe. We will look at the language first used against Galileo up to the famous narrative Carl Sagan used to describe our ‘pale blue dot.’

We will start our English by creating non-fictions texts about how to build a near-space balloon and ensure its safe return. Our narrative will be based on the journey of the balloon and what stories we can create watching the footage we will have recorded. Our science ambassadors will also keep journals of their experience we can adapt for our journalistic writing.


Spellings will come home every week with individualised lists, bu the statutory spelling list is at the bottom of the page.

Please catch me in the mornings for a chat about absolutely anything- for those of you who can’t get hold of me at those times my email is I am always available for any issue, or to provide any support I can.

Thank you,

Dan Polak

Spelling list We’ll be trying to use every single one of these words throughout the year to make sure we’ve seen them and understand them!

The writing assessment frame will be in everyone’s books as a guide to the skills we want to have mastered by the end of the year. It looks like this: