This fortnight, Year 5 have started delving into their new geography topic: rivers! To get us started, we visited Rainham Marshes where we learnt from some experts. They introduced the children to a range of interesting vocabulary that they will be using over the course of the unit, such as confluence, tributary, mouth and source to name but a few. Throughout the day they completed a number of fun activities, such as creating a field sketch of a section of the River Thames, identifying its physical and human features. As well as this, they labelled a river model with the new vocabulary they had learnt, and also discussed how a river is used. A great, informative day was had by all!
For the past fortnight in English, we have been exploring a short clip called 'The Piano'. Last week, we immersed into this video, which delves into the stream of consciousness of an elderly man as he plays his piano, reminiscing about his significant life experiences. After exploring this clip through role play and diary entries, we planned and wrote our first-person narrative; we wrote from the perspective of the elderly man and recalled some of his fondest memories, and some of his darkest. All week, we've worked arduously to ensure our work is as emotive as possible and pulls on our readers' heart strings - we focussed on how his emotions changed as different memories replayed in his mind, and how the music he was playing on the piano altered to portray his emotions. Have a read of our fantastic narratives, although you must be warned... they might bring a tear to your eye!
This week in history, Year 5 have delved into the fascinating (and at times, brutal) world of Viking crime and punishment! After deciding what they thought the Vikings may have done when faced with a criminal based on their existing knowledge of them, the children researched the punishments for specific crimes such as murder, theft, witchcraft, and even insulting a man and questioning his honour; shocking, we know! From this, they gained a solid enough understanding of law and order in the Viking era and held their own ‘thing’ in which they heard the crimes of numerous Viking characters and sentenced them appropriately. Though we had great fun, we decided after that we sure are grateful for our law-and-order system now!
This week in RE, we extended our knowledge of places of worship, focussing on the Jewish place of worship: a synagogue. We were surprised to find out that synagogues aren’t used the same by all Jewish people; the way the synagogue is run depends on whether the Jewish community using it are Orthodox (traditional) or Reform (modern). In pairs, the children read information on either Reform Jewish synagogues or Orthodox Jewish synagogues, then fed-back the information they had learnt to their partner! After this, we discussed the similarities and differences between the way each type of synagogue used and how the services are run, and finally made a comparison table in our books to demonstrate new knowledge.
Year 5 have continued their new art topic this week, creating some amazing sketches of flowers. Last week the children each had a piece of Van Gogh’s ‘Irises’ to recreate, which they then recombined to create a whole group piece of art, but this week they had further independence by being given half of an image of a flower that they needed to complete. The children used a range of skills such as shading, linework and hashing effectively to create some wonderfully detailed pieces of art. The effects they created and how they captured the depth of the flowers through sketch was fantastic; just look for yourselves!
For the past two weeks, Year 5 have been working on consolidating our learning of ‘structures’ in design and technology. At the start of the half term, we learnt the differences between beam and arch bridges and how their structure helps them carry heavy loads, and then we moved on to looking at truss bridges, the strongest of them all! The children then created their own truss bridges using wood. They impressed us with their ability to sensibly measure and cut the wood they would need (which required significant perseverance) and then used their problem-solving skills to assemble them, ensuring they were strong and could hold a heavy load. We had great fun testing out the weight they could carry and everyone was thoroughly proud of themselves by the end!
This week in Year 5 the children have been researching the famous and influential Greek ruler: Alexander the Great. Using a range of primary and secondary sources, the children researched the renowned warrior independently, making notes about his early life, military career, personal life and legacy. From this, they became budding historian/documentary-makers and created their own informative video fact files on his life. We definitely have a few children with a future in exploring the past, that’s for sure!
Our English topic in Year 5 these past two weeks has been the fantastic, incomprehensible world of Pandora! The children have worked hard to research this mythical moon from the popular film ‘Avatar’, finding out all the interesting facts about it that they can. From this, the children have written some brilliantly informative non-chronological reports about the satellite the Na’vi and many other dangerously beautiful creatures call home. They have impressed us with their use of challenging technical vocabulary and connecting sentence openers that have linked their ideas. Some even managed to master the difficult semi-colon this week too! Well done Year 5!
In RE this week, Year 5 have continued learning about Jesus’s teachings, particularly what he believed and taught about love. Looking at the 10 commandments, the children identified which ones related to the idea of love, and what they could inform Christians to do within their lives relating to this. This learning culminated in the children thinking about their own beliefs regarding the idea of love, resulting in some wonderful poems that showcases their ideas. Have a look at some yourself!
Building on our materials topic that we started last half term, this half term we’re going to be focussing on changes in materials. To kick this off, we tapped into our prior knowledge of gases by completing a mind map of what we already know about gases, then we researched different questions about gases to add new information to our mind maps (green pen). After this, we started to investigate a statement – sometimes an object can be / include two states of matter at once. To do this, we explored if gases are present in solids by undertaking a scientific enquiry involving 100g of four different solids – wooden blocks, plastic cubes, rice and soil. We explored how much water we had to add to each solid in order for it to be fully submerged. We discovered that gases are present in solids! The water took the place of the gases in the solids and those that had more area for gases in them then needed more water to submerge them. As you can see from our results graph, the wooden blocks and plastic cubes needed the highest volume of water to submerge them, therefore they had the most gas.
For our last RE lesson of 2022, Year 5 rounded up their learning from this term by writing a balanced discussion about the big question we have been investigating - ‘Is God real?’. In order to show all points of view, the children summarised how they explored the question, explained what they discovered about the beliefs of atheists, theists and agnostics and finally wrote their own opinion about the question.
This week in science, Year 5 built upon their knowledge of liquids by investigating one of its properties... viscosity! In this lesson, the children gained an understanding of viscosity – how thick or thin a liquid is – and then put this knowledge to the test by investigating how viscous different liquids were in a viscosity race! Ensuring we conducted a fair test, we investigated the viscosity of water, paint, glue and honey by pouring them down a slope at the same time and observing which liquid reached the bottom first. We concluded that honey was the most viscous liquid as it reached the bottom of the tray the slowest (since it is a very thick, gooey liquid) and the liquid with the lowest viscosity was water, which reached the bottom of the tray in record speed!
In today’s computing session, the children applied their knowledge of coding within different challenges to create their own game! The children practised making events by giving objects different commands, using different inputs and causing different outputs. They even practised changing variables within their code so that when certain events happened (such as a collision being detected), their game score would increase.
This week in English, Year 5 have been retelling the story of Robin Hood in their own words. Aiming to capture their reader’s attention by creating characters and settings linked by description and feeling, the children have been using adventurous vocabulary and looking at trying to vary their sentence starters. They've also been focusing on accurately applying the rules of speech and adding more to create extended speech tags that show what the characters were doing as they spoke. This has resulted in some fantastic stories that have really showcased the children’s growing writing skills. Well done Year 5!
To start off our new science topic (materials and their properties), Year 5 tapped into their prior learning about materials. Firstly, we thought of all the different ways we could describe materials and then upleveled these words using technical vocabulary (e.g., flexible, rigid, opaque, transparent, translucent, conductor, insulator and many more). After, we used this vocabulary to make comparisons between different materials and classify (group/sort/categorise) them based on their properties. We decided a Carrol diagram was the most appropriate way to classify them as we could use multiple properties all at once to sort them! However, some materials were trickier than others to classify, such as whether an item was magnetic / non-magnetic or a conductor / insulator, so we had to complete mini experiments to test these out. We’re so excited to expand our knowledge of materials and their properties over the coming weeks.
In our penultimate lesson on space, Year 5 have been exploring the different constellations in their night sky. Discussing the differences in constellations seen from the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, the children then researched some of the major and more famous constellations, then made comparative tables to show the facts they discovered. They even found out which constellation correlated with their star signs!
During our English lessons in Year 5, we have been immersing into a particular scene from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - where a dementor enters the Hogwarts Express. After generating interesting vocabulary to describe parts of the clip, we wrote a sinister setting description of the train, followed by an eerie character description of the dementor. Reading the excellent pieces of writing sent shivers down my spine! We worked extremely hard to include expanded noun phrases, prepositional language, personification and relative clauses to add extra detail within our work. Have a read and see if you can spot any of these techniques!
This week, Year 5 have been getting into the character of Bradley Chalkers, the protagonist (or anti-hero!) of our guided reading book ‘There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom’, as well as his best friend, Jeff. Using their knowledge of the story and the characters, the children have produced three different diary entries detailing key events in the story. Their writing was rife with all the focuses we had for the week: relative clauses, first person pronouns and adverbial phrases. They wrote so well, in fact, that both Miss Mathers and Miss Conway had to check the books to see if these diary entries had been included by the characters in the story after all!
This week in Science, Year 5 have been looking at the differences between the planets. Sorting them into rocky and gassy planets, they then looked at what the properties of each of these were and how they differed. Following this, the children then each researched one planet before trading information in a space marketplace! This all culminated in some fantastic non-chronological reports in which the children demonstrated their newfound and fantastic knowledge of each of the planets.
In our first history lesson of Year 5, the children explored the history of Britain’s monarchs. The children completed a treasure hunt to match up the information and pictures of our prior kings and queens to their names by searching for hidden clues within the information. After this, the children looked at the dates each monarch reigned and arranged them in chronological order to build a timeline of our monarchs. Eager to learn more, the children came up with some fantastic questions for us to explore on our learning journey this half term, such as ‘Why was Henry VII king twice?’ and ‘Why do we call Mary I “Bloody Mary”?’