St Francis CofE Primary School

Year 6


Welcome to Year 6


Pencelli 2018

Thursday: Day Four

Once all the children had (finally) woken up (or been woken up), there were only a few minutes left before breakfast; however, even with only minimal time, a game of football was enjoyed by many.

Another fabulous cooked breakfast was served and devoured by all – the number of slices of toast consumed has risen each day. Sandwiches were made and chores completed and then onto the classroom for daily activity instructions. Although we have yet to see a drop of Welsh rain, the temperature today has dropped slightly and so the number of layers required jumped up by one.

Over the week, it has been wonderful to see how all the children have grown and progressed in so many skills, from supportive encouragement for each other to clear and precise communication, from personal responsibility to organisational strengths; today, their ability to organise their own kits and equipment has developed and so they were even quicker to be ready to climb onto their minibus.

The Reds and Greens have enjoyed a fantastic day of caving with so many children overcoming any nerves to climb through narrow passageways and crawl through the water. This day has been a day for both teams to excel and enjoy so many successes. Notably, Mrs Walker needed to be pulled through the Letter Box by Mr Dixon.

Blues have shown all they have learnt about trust and teamwork as they rock-climbed having found the only spot in the Brecon Beacons to have some sunshine; they looked after each other with great thought and kindness.

Yellows paddled the 3-mile route with excellent steering skills with very few trips towards the canal bank, they sailed a straight line down the 363metre tunnel and they managed to ‘limbo’ under the low bridge. They were patient when they needed to load the canoes back on the trailer, despite being eager to jump in the water. They finally got the chance to ‘bomb’ into the canal, with the inevitable screams as they entered.

Back at the house, they enjoyed warming hot chocolate before a wonderful dinner of fish fingers, chips and peas followed by pancakes, fruit and ice cream. The serving staff have complimented all of the children on their excellent manners and helpfulness, saying that they are all a credit to their parents and the school.

We said goodbye and a massive thank you to the evening chefs for delicious evening meals, and then set up for evening orienteering. Congratulations to Harriet and Rihanna, Charlotte L and Darcie for coming joint second and an excellent first place to Miles and Harry L.

Back in the warmth, the children were given a 10-point set of instructions for packing both their suitcase and their rucksacks ready for tomorrow’s gorge walking. We will update you tomorrow morning as to how successful they were in this endeavour.

Thank you to all the adults who have supported the children from morning to night: Mr Jones for his fantastic table tennis tournament, for his positivity in approaching every activity and for his booming voice; Miss Hall for running the Medical Centre with matron-like organisation and efficiency; Mrs Walker for running the Tuck Shop like a Waitrose Click and Collect service; and Mr Dixon for throwing himself whole-heartedly into every activity and keeping us St Francis staff in order.

We look forward to hearing all about the Macmillan Cake Sale tomorrow as well as all the fun and giggles as we go gorge walking in the morning, not having any lost property to hand out at the end of the week and to a quiet bus ride home. But most of all, we are looking forward to seeing you all, back at school at about 4:30pm. Thank you for reading our daily blog. (There will be an update about the Gorge walk, posted after our return.)


Day Four Thursday - At time of writing (7:30am) there were no persons aged 12 or less who were awake!

A callout to all of the children who are getting ready for tomorrow's Macmillan Cake sale - we are hearing fantastic reports of the work you are doing to get ready. Good Luck for the sale and we miss you all.

Day three: Wednesday 24th October 

Wednesday Photos.pdf

The weather continues to bless us here in sunny Wales.

After a much quieter night, the children were joined by Fraser and Mrs Murphy who arrived in time for a much-needed Welsh breakfast (excluding the egg, bacon mushroom and larva bread!)

Fraser joined the Green group who took to the Monmouth and Brecon Canal with instructors Becca and Josie. After a lovely leisurely paddle in the glorious sun, most of the children showed some excellent skills in their canoes including a tethered race to the end. At the end of their journey, the children took the opportunity to cool themselves down by jumping into the canal – a Pencelli rite of passage!

Lots of photos were taken on the GoPro but most of them were covered by Mr Jones’ thumb!

The Red and Yellow groups both went climbing at the quarry. Again, the sun shone on the righteous, with little wind. This enabled the children to go ‘bouldering’ before successfully climbing the lower level and then onto the more difficult ‘Windy passage’ section! All the children were enthusiastic and persevered to achieve beyond their expectations.

The Blue group descended into the depths of the cave system and all worked well together as a team to navigate the intrepid ‘washing machine’ and the dreaded ‘letterbox’. Even Miss Hall managed to get her toes wet!

In the evening, the children enjoyed their meatballs and pasta together with a slice of Liam’s birthday cake.

With the tuck shop opened, most of the children watched the table-tennis competition where Darcie and Liam won their respective tournaments.

Tomorrow, Green and Red groups are caving with Blue climbing and Yellow on the canal.

Good night to all our readers.

 Photos to follow.




Tuesday photos.pdf

(Apologies that some photos are quite small, but we hope they give you a feel of the adventures of our week. All photos will be on full display during our Pencelli/project week assembly next term.)

Day Two: Tuesday

Today has been a busy day for all and it began with an enthusiastic and early start. Football on the field before breakfast for some or diary writing for others. We then enjoyed our first cooked breakfast after piling the cereal bowls high first; bacon, hash browns and spaghetti hoops. For those not completely full, there was then a third course of toast and jams.

After breakfast, the children made their lunches and then took responsibility for cleaning an area of the house. By 9.30am, they were in the classrooms learning about their day’s activity and checking what to wear and pack in their ruck sack. All groups (all kitted out) had set off in their minibuses by 10am, once again enjoying the unseasonably warm weather.

Red group and Blue group started from opposite ends of the 3-mile canal journey, their canoes crossing at the half way point. Both teams made excellent progress and so were able to enjoy a relaxing picnic lunch before heading off for the second half of their adventure. It was wonderful to see such co-operative teamwork in each 3-man boat.  

Green group faced the challenge of the rock faces, with many children surpassing their own target by reaching the top of the highest climb. Here, teams of 3 children combined to operate the ropes by ‘belaying’ for one climber at a time, each child offering words of encouragement and advice.

Yellow group spent the day at Porth yr Ogof caves, each year 6 taking it in turns to lead the group through a range of tunnels or obstacles. As they began to feel more confident, they found the courage for everyone to turn their helmet lights off for a whole minute to experience total darkness. After a picnic lunch out of the cave, they returned with renewed vigour and negotiated the infamous ‘Letter Box’ and it can be reported that all 12 children completed the even more challenging narrow tunnel which they named ‘The Highway’.

The minibus return journeys were slightly quieter than the morning’s drives for all 45 children!

After a little diary time and then free time, the children devoured a chicken casserole with veg and Yorkshire pudding followed by syrup sponge and custard.

Now replete, they set off on the evening’s Dingle Descent. This can be a daunting challenge for some, as each group is attached as a whole to a rope and has to navigate in the dark down the gorge within Plas Pencelli grounds, with only a few head torches to help for guidance. Communication along the rope is key to the success and, despite the unfamiliarity of the exercise, the children should be very proud of the way they supported each other through some tricky manoeuvres and moments of difficulty in negotiating 12 people all attached together across wet and sometimes slippery rocks.

For some the warmth of a quick shower called as they finished the descent; for others, it was the lure of a cosy bed that beckoned.

It remains to be seen if Wednesday morning’s wake up call will be greeted with as much enthusiasm as Tuesday’s. Watch this space to find out.

Wednesday – Red and Yellow – rock climbing; Green – canoeing; Blue – caving.

Tuesday’s photos to follow very soon.

Day One; Monday

What a glorious start to our week here! A fabulously sunny journey, through the beautiful Brecon countryside. The children were exceptionally well behaved on the coach with the excitement building as we approached Pencelli. They were also all very pleased to learn who their roommates are once the whispers had passed along the coach.

Once we had unloaded all the suitcases off the coach onto the trailer, (it was great to see so many year 6 hands willingly help to lift the cases) we walked the half a mile up the lane to the Plas Pencelli house, with many gasps of wonder as we approached the grounds. Once again, the children did us proud as they helped take over 50 cases from the trailer and they listened carefully to the introductory chat about where to find their bedrooms.

The first job was making the beds and there was some impressive and supportive teamwork as the children became lost inside their duvet covers; within 10 minutes, 50 beds had been made! The fire drill that followed went very smoothly, with the children taking this very seriously and listening to instructions carefully. Next, the children sat in a lecture about what they would be able to achieve while they were on their residential and the rules were discussed.

This took us to the much-appreciated lunch time; the children made themselves some creative combinations for their sandwiches, chose their fruit, crisps and snack bar and, like magic, it all disappeared very quickly. Then, they experienced their first activity preparation deadline – 6 mins to be ready wearing three layers of top, two pairs of socks and leggings. Deadline: met!

Once the wellies and waterproofs had been allocated and the safety gear chosen, all the groups set off on an adventure walk around the local area.

Word of the day: MUD. Quote of the day: ‘There’s more mud in my wellies than there is on the field’. It has been lovely to see the children encourage and motivate each other to face some challenges – climbing through the branches of some ancient trees, crawling through a tunnel full of water, sliding down a muddy bank or negotiating the length of the stream. Already, they are learning about clear and helpful communication, such as advice on how to extract a stray welly from the mud or how to keep your toes warm when your welly is full of water.

Heads held high following such a successful afternoon, the children raced off for well-deserved showers (not one single complaint!) They were then treated to some hot chocolate while they began to write diary entries, followed by a few minutes of free time to chat, play football or tidy their room (well maybe not the last one – yet!)

Monday dinner was pizza, wedges or vegetarian burger option with cheesecake, fruit or yogurt for pudding. Seconds were welcomed too. The children were all very conscientious about laying the tables, clearing the plates or pouring the drinks for their friends and they have already received compliments from the Pencelli staff for their wonderful manners and calm organisation in the dining room. The St Francis staff are very proud of each and every Year 6.

Once dinner was over, another deadline to be ready for the problem-solving evening. The teams were shuffled up to compete in a variety of team-building exercises and some wonderful leadership skills were demonstrated by each group. The final competition was to be able to design the protection for an egg (raw) so that it could be dropped from the rafters and survive intact. Suffice it to say, 3 out of 5 groups’ eggs were scrambled on reaching the floor in this egg-citing final event of the first day.

Bed time loomed and, at the time of writing, all children are fast asleep, dreaming no doubt of tomorrow’s activities (or of breakfast….)

Yellow – caving; Blue -    Canoeing  Red -   Canoeing  Green – Climbing

Photos will follow asap. Good night!


Monday Evening.pdf

More Monday.pdf 

Year 6 Staff: 

Mrs Mead, Mrs Sellars, Mrs Hawkins, Mrs Walker, Mrs Joseph, Mrs York


Autumn Term 2018

SCIENCE The children have been observing how we need light in order to be able to see anything, how we can prove that light travels in straight lines and how those on a submarine can see above the surface using a periscope which contains mirrors.


RE The children have been engrossed in their learning about SIkhism through their hands on learning at the Sikh temple. The generosity shown to the children by the people who volunteered there, has had a lasting impact on all the children.



Year 6 events 2018-19

Meet the parents powerpoint

Letter regarding Sikh temple visit:sikh temple on letterhead.pdf 

Autumn Term Topic Planner:topic autumn 2018.pdf

Kit list for Pencelli Residential: Pencelli Kit List.pdf

Age related spellings patterns for Year 6:   Yr6 spelling list updated.pdf