Year 5



Summer Term

Our new topic, Ancient Egyptians, is proving a big hit with the children. The variety of ‘Do What You Like’ home-learning projects that they’ve bought in has been amazing – thank you to all!

During the term, we are going to study several books including our core text, ‘Antony and Cleopatra’, as well as ‘Stories from Egypt’ and ‘The Egyptian Cinderella’. These books, in addition to our non-fiction collection, will provide inspiration for the children’s writing where we will be concentrating on action-narrative plus the powerful use of dialogue to convey character and advance plot.

Our forthcoming class trip (with Y6) to Birmingham Museum looks set to be a super exciting day out for all the children. I know that they will find looking around the Ancient Egypt gallery absolutely fascinating (not to mention the Romans, Greeks and Staffordshire Hoard galleries). They are particularly looking forward to the ‘Mummification’ workshop – I just can’t think why…

Finally, our ‘Ancient Egyptians’ class assembly is on the morning of Friday 23rd June.  Accordingly, the children will be asked to research and create costumes after half-term – many thanks in advance for your support with this. We hope that you will be able to join us for this fun and entertaining journey back through history!

Spring Term

Book Week

Tudor Day

Our new topic for this term is Kings and Queens and the children have already been tasked with their DWYL projects which we’re really looking forward to sharing in February. Complimenting this “history” topic is our new core text, Treason, by Bertie Doherty. Set in Tudor times, it’s a story about a page boy to Prince Edward (son of King Henry VIII) who, as the King’s favourite, gains many enemies in Court. The boy’s enemies convince the King that his father has committed treason, so he embarks on a great adventure to set his father free from imprisonment and possible death… The children all rated their last core text, The Girl of Ink and Stars, 4 or 5 stars out of 5 so I hope they all love this one just as much!

Another book that we have recently enjoyed immensely is The Crow’s Tale by Naomi Howarth. Inspired by the beautiful prose, the children wrote and developed their own poems/prose, incorporating many different language features such as metaphors, onomatopoeia and personification. They are on display, so please enjoy reading them when you next visit.

In maths, we are exploring fractions and the children are having fun investigating equivalents etc. using Lego, cubes and Cuisenaire rods. Later on in the term, we will study decimals and percentages, as well as how to convert from one to another. Of course, Big Maths continues with great excitement, determination and pride.

In Science, we are moving on to Animals including Humans which examines the life-cycle of a human being from birth to death. Likewise, we will be discussing and debating some life and death concepts in RE, including the Christian festival of Easter next half-term. In PE and PSHE, the children are learning about respect, teamwork, leadership and how to resolve ‘issues’.

Autumn Termpow

Superheroes and superheroines in the classroom every day! So far, the children have loved designing ‘Maths Superheroes’, exploring appropriate materials for superhero costumes in Science and composing prepositional superhero poems in English. They have compared comic-book superhero theme tunes and studied the song/video ‘Titanium’. In addition, they really enjoyed the opportunity to ‘bring and share’ a photo/object about someone who is their very own ‘superhero’. It transpires that their parents and grandparents – and, yes, even some of their siblings – are an inspirational lot!

Going forward, we will move from modern-day mythical and legendary characters to those of old. In particular, we will focus on some of the famous Greek myths such as Icarus, Medusa and Pandora’s Box. Throughout the term, we will be reading together ‘Girl of Ink and Stars’ by Kiran Millwood Hargrave, using this core text to develop the children’s reading and comprehension skills. For their termly DWYL home-learning, the children will be asked to complete a project on Ancient Greece. I can’t wait to see what they come up with!


Summer Term

The children have been introduced to their new topic for this term: Back to the Future. They have already visited the Henley Heritage Centre and the Guild Hall to find out more about our local history, including a fascinating insight into the Mount, Motte and Bailey castles, weaponry, and coats of arms. These visits were also part of our collaboration with Yew Tree school which always includes a local tour of both towns.

Currently, the pupils are writing biographies on William Shakespeare, as it’s 400 years since his death on 23rd April 1616. Interestingly, this date also coincides with St. George’s Day! So, fitting in with our study of British Values, Y5 are busy composing and performing their own play versions of St. George and the Dragon.

For their DWYL home-learning, the children are researching castle defence and attack systems with a view to building their own castle in DT later on in the term (please don’t forget to keep all that recyclable packaging). To make matters more interesting, their castles can be from the past, of the present or for the future…

Spring Term


The spring term has started with a flurry of fabulous “Do What You Like” projects on the rainforests of the world. The children’s ability to present to an audience has improved enormously. Some of them have grown in confidence so much that they are single-handedly running team quizzes, word-searches and “bug-tucker” challenges with authentic-looking maggots etc -don’t worry, we checked all food ingredients!

Talking of “bugs”, the class were fortunate enough to enjoy a visit from “Wild Creatures”. This included an interesting educational session on the habitats of the different rainforest animals as well as an opportunity to handle a whole range of creatures such as a cockroach, turtle, snake, tarantula, gecko, and millipede. The children were absolutely fascinated and very brave…

Currently, the pupils are honing their writing skills, learning about the five-step approach to being an effective author: planning, drafting, evaluating and editing, proof-reading and publishing (or presenting). They are using laptops to electronically produce their own non-chronological reports about rainforests. Watch this space!

In Art, the children have studied the biography of Henri Rousseau as well as some of his artwork. We are asking children to create “3D/layered” collages in the style of Rousseau as part of their home-learning. In addition, before half-term, they will have the opportunity to display their DT and maths skills in the form of a “rainforest shoebox”.

Autumn Term

Year 5 – “Around the World in Eighty Days” – December Update

The children continue to enjoy reading “Seasons of Splendour” (an anthology of Indian tales myths and legends), honing their acting skills along the way! Specifically, we have focused on the children being able to use volume, tone and intonation to help make the meaning of the story/play/text clear to the audience. In addition, we have almost completed our challenge of globetrotting around the world, writing travel blogs and researching the geography of each of the 7 continents along the way – PHEW!

In Science, the children are exploring “Forces”. They have really enjoyed completing a “fair test” on the friction between their shoes and different surfaces! We intend to complete the topic with a scientific DT project about cogs, cams and pulleys, resulting in a “moving toy”.

The favourite activity in Maths at the moment is our “beach ball” session where children practise their current mental maths target, progressing towards speedy recall of key facts. They have also explored the concept of weight as well as their ability to read scales accurately (in Science).

Our artwork, inspired by Stephen Wiltshire (the cityscape artist), continues to be a major favourite as the children improve their precision, pattern and perspective skills. We have completed skylines of famous buildings in Paris and London with a view to complete a “world-wide” cityscape by the end of the topic. We certainly have some talented artists in Year5!

Our PSHE and Re lessons have focused on our Collective Worship theme of “Respect and Reverence” this last half term. Children have shared their feelings and thoughts about current media events. In addition, we have debated various aspects about how to treat people from all different backgrounds  with respect, culminating in the children’s own poster about “Respect” and what it means to them.

The children have settled in well to Y5. In the first week, they were treated to a DVD of “Around the World in Eighty Days” so that they could compare the film to the original book by Jules Verne. In addition, they are developing their geography/mapping skills as they plan their own route around the world, stopping at the capital city of one country in every continent!

In English, the children have enjoyed some “outdoor theatre” entertainment – as provided by Mr Field and myself… We have re-enacted some of the incredible tales, myths and legends from our core text “Seasons of Splendour” by Madhur Jaffrey. In particular, we have linked “The Moon and the Heavenly Nectar” story to the actual lunar eclipse that happened in the early hours of late September. This fitted in brilliantly with our “Earth and Space” theme in science. Did you know that the Sun is over 1 million times bigger than the Earth?!

In Maths, the children have improved their ability to write their own word problems as well as convert them into number sentences. In addition, they have loved making 3D shapes out of straws and multilink as well as being “architects” designing different floor plans. They are enjoying our crazy “Mad Minutes” that challenges them to complete their personal xtables accurately and within a set time. The “Take Away” home-learning has proved very popular with most children, resulting in various examples of their work being displayed around the classroom. Please do come and take a look round at Parents’ Evening.