Year 6 – The Last Half-Term

What the hell is the point of the last half term in Year 6?

If you are the parent of a child just finishing primary school or you have older kids and have already been there, seriously – what’s the point of that last half term?

My Son has done practically nothing at school for the last few weeks.  The whole aim of primary school was focussed on the SATs they took in May, which in my opinion are for the benefit of the school rather than the children.

As soon as those tests were done and out of the way it just seems like school have sat back and said ‘ok, we’ve done our bit – now it’s just a matter of waiting until the end of term and then its off with you to High School’.

They did their tests in May, then they went away for a week on their ‘school journey’.  – OK, fair enough – they deserved some fun and those trips away are a great growing experience, bonding, team building, confidence building and great for developing independence skills.  They came back from that trip in time for the half-term holiday.

There are 6 weeks of school after half-term.  Plenty of time for lots of interesting learning that doesn’t have to fit into the narrow box of the National Curriculum, at least thats what I would have thought.  But no.

The children have been involved in a drama project where they have put on a play at the local children’s theatre.  It was great, and a nice experience, but surely practicing for that doesn’t take 4 solid weeks of school time? – It wouldn’t have been so unbelievable if they had also written the play, designed and made the scenery, props and costumes etc. as well, but they didn’t, the play was written by a specially commissioned writer!

Other than the play they appear to have done very little apart from help with the younger children’s sports day and sit around and chat.  and to quote my Son ‘we had ICT and we were allowed to use the computers for whatever we wanted’.  Well excuse me, but they can do that at home!

I sound like a right grump, after all they’ve worked hard, they’ve done their tests so don’t they deserve a bit of fun?  Of course they do, but couldn’t they have fun in a more constructive, educational way?  My Son and several of his friends have been bored.  They are asking what the point of going to school for this half term is – and I honestly can’t give him a sensible answer apart form ‘its the law, so you have to’.

Perhaps its just our school.  I do wonder why they couldn’t have organised some little projects for the kids to do, may be some research into things they’re interested in, to help get them used to working independently and organising their thoughts and time, it could have been made fun and interesting, yet still have had an educational purpose without feeling like ‘school work’. And they could have done this in between rehearsals for the play. These little projects could have involved going out on visits or doing something different.

So come on teachers, parents, anyone, – enlighten me – what is the point and why can’t schools make that half term more meaningful.  Or perhaps your kids have done more interesting things with that last half term.  In which case give me some ideas.  I might share them with school so that my daughter isn’t in the same position in 2 years time.


About Violets Diary

Visually impaired Mum, with VI hubby, 2 disabled children. Disability campaigner, novice blogger and tweeter. Trying to put the world to rights and share our journey and positive stories.
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15 Responses to Year 6 – The Last Half-Term

  1. solodialogue says:

    Your school system is something I know nothing about. My own experience with schools is very limited having only just gone through my son’s very first year in kindergarten in a private school in America. So I simply cannot offer any advice of ‘experience’. Those caveats aside, I will share the thought that popped into my head.

    You are a disability advocate. The school’s curriculum is lacking. Why not create your own proposed learning program about acceptance? You are a great writer, an advocate and you are seeking to enlighten so I see this as an opportunity to step forward with a prepared plan proposal and say I see the children have lost some interest and I thought this program may inspire and educate…

    Just a thought. 🙂

    • That’s a great idea, there are so many things they could learn about different perspectives on life that would give them something to think about in that last few weeks. Thanks 🙂

  2. I do agree with you. Once the SATS are out of the way, real, interesting and creative learning can begin, unfettered by restraints of the national curriculum.

  3. clairelouise82 says:

    My sons in a special school and it’s been very different. They have already started the transition to secondary and school have been working extra hard this term.x

  4. Suzanne says:

    Totally agree with you. Why do they do the testing so early anyway? They get bored and the naughty ones then misbehave. Wasted opportunity IMO.

  5. Lea says:

    I think it is down to the school – we have a curriculum which is split in to 6 – my identity, my, heritage, my community present, my community past, my world global and my world environmental – which means after Sats there is a whole topic left! However, this year we had a project all about the Olympics and paraolympics – taking a value each week.
    If we let our year 6 s have time to breath the trouble usually starts!
    There are lots of transition issues to cover including a sex and relationships project. We also have a university (!) in our last half term where all ks2 children pick a module to sign up to and attend classes in for two mornings a week. This all linked to towards a production on the Olympics – with children signing up to take the acting module, dance module, sound and lighting module, (they run it all on the night), scenery and props and marketing ( designing the programme, tickets, selling refreshments, talking local businesses into sponsoring the show etc)
    So as I said …down to the school and my school is fantastic!!!!!!!!!!

    • See, I knew there must be some that are – when are you moving up here 🙂 I think I might be having words with our Head. These are exactly the kinds of things I would expect and it dosen’t seem like rocket science to me.

      See you in a couple of weeks 🙂

  6. Pingback: Last Half Term of Year 6 : Love All Blogs

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  8. marylou says:

    I totally agree! Check out my blog!

  9. I have to learn so much about how the English system is working. To tell you the truth I’m scared to even start looking into it. 🙂

    • I don’t think the system is too complicated. It just depends on where you live and how good the local schools are. I think sometimes people make it more complicated than it needs to be. My moan was really about our school ( which on the whole has bee n very good). I was just disappointed that they didn’t do a bit more with the children in their last few weeks of primary school Thank you for reading and commenting 😊

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