After (cancelled) SATs – 6 fun learning ideas!

Update for 2020:

We realise that SATs have not happened of course, but we wanted to update this post as it has been very popular over the last year with teachers looking for fun activities for classes at any time. We also know that with some classes and “bubbles” coming back to school, including Year 6, the kind of projects and ideas in this blog may come in handy to help ease students back into school and also challenge them to go beyond their usual learning this summer. These may also be projects you want to send for home learning and see how families approach them too. Longer projects can help parents to keep motivated and also means teachers who are in school with bubbles do not have to set new work quite as often!

Blended learning may be a key feature of schooling for the coming weeks/months. The projects in this blog and the ideas are all ones which could work at home or at school with a bit of imagination or you could even just signpost parents to this blog and let them choose some activities for home learning from it. They are not just for Year 6 either really, they can all be done in some form with most ages and phases.

The SATs are over! Celebrations are now pretty much done with (apart from a few packs of Party Rings left in the staffroom of course) and you have a summer term left to fit in all the productions, sports days, parents’ evenings, transition days and….well you get the picture! There is still a lot to do so we wanted to make things a bit easier for you and offer some links to resources you can use to cut down on your post-SATs lesson planning time at least.

Here are some of our top finds:

1. Flight 619

Teacher and author Stephen Lockyer has very kindly created a free-to-use cross-curricular immersive unit of work to ensure great learning around an interesting hook. Go to https://flight619.carrd.co/ to download everything you need. With opportunities for writing, maths, art, geography and more you are bound to spark the creative minds in your class. Stephen would love to know what your students produce to so do contact him to let him know!

“This is a three week long, immersive unit of work, based around a fictional account of a solo flyer whose plane crashes on a deserted island. Each day is a combination of the following elements, based around a common daily theme.”

Flight 619 

2. Pupil Parliament from litfilmfest

Litfilmfest has a number of units of work for download for members (starting at £4 a month) but the Pupil Parliament unit is free for anyone if you register for a free account. Get signed up to download it by clicking here https://litfilmfest.com/shop/pupil-parliament/.

The unit includes 10 hours of lesson plans, whiteboard resources, stimulus videos, writing frames and more. Students will carry out research, write news reports and speeches focused on persuasive writing.

Update for 2020: What a fascinating time our children are living through right now. You may use this time to focus on the current pandemic and help students to work through their worries or queries as part of this parliament project. PSHE built right in! Or you may want to look at the issues which maybe government have had to put on the back burner for now. What work has been suspended which your students are still really passionate about?

3. Send My Friend

Get your pupils interested in the Send my Friend campaign which aims to put pressure on governments to hit their targets for making sure every child in the world has access to free primary education. The free resources for 2019 can be found here https://sendmyfriend.org/resource/2019-teachers-pack/

The campaign film for 2020 (focus this year is on climate change which could expand into some great work for geography and science) is here: https://sendmyfriend.org/resource/2020-campaign-film/ 

Although this pack does not cover all your planning for you it has a whole host of resources which will hook your children into the work of the charity and you can build a lot of work around this – How else could we help children get an education? What would change in your life if you didn’t go to school? Potentially children can come up with their own ideas for raising funds to help a link school elsewhere too – sending pencils or filling shoe boxes etc if you link with a local charity.

4. Make some Money!

There are resources around for this but they are usually paid for. We are sure you can think of your own though with Year 6 if you simply task them with the challenge of making money. Have them come up with an idea of something they can make and sell at school (ice creams, soaps, snacks etc) and they must create a brand (art and design), plan the resources needed and cost up their product (maths with profit and loss accounts), and create great adverts.

A good inspiration for this is The Apprentice and you can find some pupil-friendly clips to use in class. Maybe your headteacher could be Sir Alan Sugar for the week and can “hire” the winners at the end of the week and give them a treat to celebrate their win. Money made all goes towards school funds or, for extra motivation for Year 6, pays for their end of year party and disco.

Update for 2020: for this year this challenge may prove a bit trickier to admin with social distancing but this also means a bit more creative thinking! Collaboration can happen between bubbles in school and those at home too if they work through a platform such as Google Classroom or Microsoft Teams. Maybe those in school are making a product and those at home are working on the brand and logo?

5. Challenge That – Ideas for Literacy projects

Although an old blog now, the ideas on this blog are still very useful and interesting for post-SATs plans.

https://challengethat.wordpress.com/2010/06/16/year-6-literacy-projects/

A few different options of hooks which could lead to even using one of the ideas a week and building the curriculum around them or just using them for literacy lessons. Lots of potential to go past the ideas with even more too such as actually building an island with papier mache if using Option 3. Plan and design your island then bring it to life using a 1:10 scale for a D&T project. Or for Option 1 you could plan playground equipment for your own school playground and then try and bid for the money to do it via local or national competitions or even use it to kickstart a fundraising project with your PTA or equivalent.

6. Growth Mindset Lesson

In the aftermath of SATs, if you have been concerned about stress levels of students (And indeed teachers!), then a Growth Mindset lesson could be key to unlocking some of that before you move on to new things. This blog from Rising Stars has some useful ideas which you may wish to try https://www.risingstars-uk.com/blog/june-2017/a-post-sats-growth-mindset-lesson

Let us know if you have any more ideas we can share with our schools for after SATs! Have a great summer term.

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