Autumn Term 1 2022

Year 5 have settled really well and quickly back into their school routine. They are so eager to learn and are showing that they are active, resilient and independent learners already! They are certainly showing ready to be UKS2 role models which is fantastic! Year 5 enjoyed their first day of working towards earning their ‘Oscars’ that leads to a ‘Golden Time’ of their choice (decided when they earn all the Oscars). We also have one child a day who receives the Oscar for something that has really wowed myself, Miss Quenby or Mrs Boyes during the day. This could be working really hard, showing resilience, behaving excellently, showing kindness and so much more! The children were extremely excited about this. We have considered our class rules and revisited our school rules of TRUST so Year 5 know exactly what to do to earn the class oscar. We have two class targets to support on settling into Year 5 which is quick and sensible transitions (from break to lessons, lessons to lunch, in between lessons etc.) and to ensure we are listening when others are speaking (and not talking when others are talking). Year 5 are going to work really hard towards these targets and will achieve a class reward once they achieve them!

Collective Worship

Collective Worship is more important than ever at the moment to come together in prayer and create a peaceful, safe atmosphere where we can share our thoughts and feelings with God. We always start our collective worships with relaxing and calm music where we then bring a focus to the centre of our table. We have listened to the Creation story from the Book of Genesis which is also a focus for our RE topic and we have reflected on our gifts and talents from God.

Each week, we have a different virtue to live by and worship is centred around this. “Virtues to Live By” enable us to improve the school community’s virtue literacy and to deepen understanding and appreciation of the essential role the virtues play in the education of the whole child towards human flourishing. The virtues chosen are common across cultures and faiths, but are sourced from the Christian tradition.

The children have been praying and reflecting on the life of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II who sadly died. They participated in an assembly with prayers the morning after Buckingham Palace made their announcement. The children had such lovely comments to share, and with Platinum Jubilee celebrations only a few months ago, they had remembered so many facts about her role, life and impact on others. We ended the assembly watching the Queen with Paddington Bear and the children’s faces were lit up! What a wonderful way to remember a wonderful Queen who modelled the importance of faith, family and the act of service to so many people for so long! Later in class, Y5 wrote their own prayers and placed them around our prayer table.  We will be keeping the Late Queen in our thoughts and prayers during this time of mourning.

Franciscan Sisters of Renewal – Morning Retreat

On Tuesday 20th September, we had Brother Jonathan, Father Franpisek, Sister John-Paul, Sister Emmanuel and Sister Ciara from The Franciscan Sisters of Renewal visit us for a morning retreat. We started the day with a whole school collective worship where the children heard some lovely key messages that they could reflect on. We had a reflection on the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, where we remembered how so many people talked about God, and the Queen’s strong faith. We sang songs and followed this up with actions and we also learnt different ways of prayers we can use in our lives to remind ourselves that ‘God is good all the time!’

In class, we then had a further exploration with our visitors about prayer. We learnt about several ways that we can pray, as well as singing. The children have a chance to explore these ways of prayer and consider how they can feel God and Jesus close to them whilst they pray. We learnt some more new songs, that gave us a ‘feel good’ feeling, and reminded us that God is always with us. Year 5 shared with our visitors some of the ways we participate in class collective worship, such as opening our hands up to the Lord when we want to share or keeping our prayer hands close to our heart when we want to keep our reflections to ourselves. Father Franpisek, Brother Jonathan and Sister Ciara thought this was a wonderful way to share with others, and share with God too.




RE – Gifts from God

This half term we will spend time reflecting on our Gifts from God and parables that link to this. We will begin by digging deep into the meaning of the Creation Story (Genesis 1) and will think about how this story has shapes religion and how it shapes our lives too. We will consider our own gifts and talents and will think about how we can show our gratitude and thanks to God.

Year 5 have started our topic in RE this half term by reflecting on their own gifts and talents from God. We thought about all of our values and qualities that we possess such as kindness, generosity, care, love, compassion, empathy, resilience...Year 5 came up with so many more qualities too. We then thought about our own specific gifts and talents that God blessed us with such as being good as a certain sport or dancing or singing or being really artistic or creative. We remembered that God made us all to be unique and special and that we were all created in His image. Year 5 enjoyed hearing the Creation story in the Bible. They first had a go at ordering the Creation story and considering their existing knowledge and understanding about this Bible story. We made connections to their prior learning in Foundation Stage 2 and Year 1 where they learnt about God’s creation and other occasions they have used the story of creation in RE, or where they have heard it being talked about at Mass for example. They then considered their own gifts and talents in more detail, wrote a prayer to thank God for their gifts and talents and considered the importance of the Creation story in the Bible as after all, it is the very first story in the Bible!

Year 5 enjoyed a collaborative activity to explore actions and decisions made that have a positive or negative impact on the planet. They were asked to use and apply their mathematical skills to sort the scenarios into a Venn diagram. Year 5 then applied their existing knowledge and understanding about prefixes to learn about the terms ‘co-creator’ and ‘de-creator’.


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Our class text this half term is going to be “Who Let the Gods Out” by Maz Evans. This book is fun, witty but also quite thought provoking too and it links perfectly to our topic of Ancient Greece for the half term! I can’t wait to get stuck in and reading this again with you all.

We will start by revisiting our key core objectives which are the use of apostrophes and using commas for fronted adverbials.

Photo Credit: Teachwire

We have started the half term with exploring our brand new class text, Who Let the Gods Out! Year 5 worked collaboratively to make predictions based on the front cover and the blurb. We discussed as a class how the front cover, title of a book and blurb can help us find out what the book is about. The children’s understanding of a blurb was fantastic and they said its purpose was to give us clues about the story to make us want to read it! Year 5 thought about what they already know about the story because of the information give on the front cover/blurb. They came up with the following:

  • Main character is Elliot
  • The gods will be released, especially Thanatos the demon of death

The children then made predictions on what they thought the story would be about.

Our learning journey is now building up to writing a diary entry. Year 5 enjoyed a hot seating activity where they used the questions they had asked Elliot, the main character of our class text this half term. The children had to ask delving questions – questions which would require Elliot to really open up. Year 5 then had the chance to step into the shoes of Elliot and answer the questions themselves. They worked in groups, giving every single child the chance to hot seat as Elliot. Then we used lollipop sticks to randomly select 4 children to hot seat in front of the whole class. This allowed us to really consider what Elliot might think and how he might feel. We then all stepped into the shoes of Elliot for our main activity and considered this in more detail. All of this will help us when we move on to the next step in our learning journey where we will be writing a diary entry in role as Elliot.


In Mathematics, we expand our understanding of place value which involves reading, writing, ordering and comparing numbers to 1,000,000 as well as rounding numbers up to 1,000,000 within the nearest 100,000. We will also investigate negative numbers and will use powers of 10s to count forwards and backwards. We will incorporate reasoning and problem solving throughout to ensure that we have a concrete understanding of the concepts that underpin the whole of the subject. We will then move on to using column methods for addition and subtraction of numbers with up to 4 digits – this will also include lots of mental maths! Again, involving lots of reasoning and problem solving to get our brains working really hard! We are also going to be developing our statistic skills and will be learning how to read and use line graphs, tables and timetables (in case we ever need to catch a bus or a train)! To support your child at home, please ensure your child continues to practise their times tables up to 12×12 (including division facts). This is crucial in all concepts in maths so the more confident your child is, the more it will help them in their learning in school.



Science – Earth & Space

This half term, we are learning all about Earth and Space. We began our learning journey by looking at key vocabulary we will be using within the topic and considering what we already know about Earth and Space. We then moved on to learning about the planets within our solar system. We began by using fruit and discussing that we were using round fruit as the planets are roughly spherical in shape. The children then had to label the fruit as the different planets and put them in order. The children enjoyed talking about the order of the planets, using their learning environment to help them and to use each other’s previous knowledge. Once the children finished, we talked about their choices, corrected any errors/misconceptions and then the children used their new knowledge to create informative posters about the planets, their key features and the order in which they are positioned from the sun.

‘I didn’t know that Mercury was so small!’

I knew Jupiter was big, but I didn’t know it was that big!

I thought Earth was bigger than it is. It’s tiny compared to other planets!


This half term in Art, Year 5 will learn about the modern artist Robin Moline. They will explore shading through the use of a range of pencils of different blackness and hardnesses. The children will learn how to create a 3D effect through shadow, reflection and definition in their shading. This will link with our Science topic of Earth & Space where we will study the spherical shapes of the planets in our solar system. Year 5 will then apply their skills to create a piece of artwork in the style of Robin Moline, following on from drawing a 3D sphere.




In Computing this half term, we will continue to develop skills that Year 5 have been developing during their time in LKS2. Through the use of the app Keynote, Year 5 will explore a range of computing concepts such as links, buttons and layering of objects and much more. We will link this to our Science topic where the children will showcase their understanding of the solar system as well as finding out more facts about all of the planets. We will then continue to link to our learning in Science and use SmartArt and Watermarks to demonstrate our understanding of the solar system. We will make diagrams to represent the order of the planets and Phases of the Moon. Online safety is embedded into all of our lessons. We ask that you continue to deliver the message of staying safe online at home through our STOP, BLOCK, TELL motto.





To start History in Year 5, before we even moved on to learning about our new topic, we spent time thinking back to our prior learning in History in different year groups. We talked about how for this task, Year 5 had to use the front of their brains which unlocked what they remember from their learning. The children recapped on the time periods they had studied, and key sticky knowledge (facts) they remembered.

We then spent time going even deeper, and thinking about all of the time periods we learn at St Joseph’s. We recapped the meaning of BC and AD (and this knowledge really did stick as the children remembered these terms with ease!) and we considered events that have happened a long time ago, and some that have happened more recently. Year 5 then ordered these time periods on a human timeline. Some children had to run up and down the timeline to show that their time period lasted for a long time, for example, the Romans (which the children studied in Year 4). We then used our whole school history timeline to show the time periods we have very recently studied. This was where I introduced that we would be learning about Ancient Greece this term in History. From looking at our history timeline in school, the children were able to see visually that Ancient Greece happened at the same time as the Romans. Next in our learning, we will move on to thinking about our sticky knowledge from the Romans and other time periods, and what we might be able to predict about life in Ancient Greece, based on our existing knowledge and understanding of other time periods. We will consider how history and the time periods we have already studied have impacted life today and how life today, in modern society, is different to life in Ancient Greece.

Wider reading is encouraged across the curriculum to develop knowledge and understanding. Next to our topic display we have a range of non-fiction books linked to our Ancient Greece topic for our children to do so. Take a look at some of our historical replica artefacts also that can promote the children’s understanding of the time period.


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Identifying, naming and locating the countries and capital cities in Europe.

Year 5 were resilient learners today during a practical and challenging geography lesson that involved a range of skills. They applied their existing mathematical knowledge and skills of coordinates whilst also applying the skill of map reading and using an atlas to identify, name and locate countries and capital cities in Europe. First, they had to locate Greece and consider how the map around Greece has changed so much compared to the city-states during Ancient Greece – linking this geography lesson to our History topic of Ancient Greece.

The children had maths top tips to help them with the skill of using coordinates as this was a link to previous learning in Year 4 where they learnt about coordinates. Some children were even challenged to use 4 quadrants, involving negative numbers.

  • Identify the country of each coordinate.
  • Write the coordinate accurately and the country it is in.
  • Find out that country’s capital city.
  • Example: (-3,0) sits in I The capital city in Ireland is Dublin.

Take a look at how the maps that the children used to complete this task.


MFL – French

In MFL, we have begun our learning journey for this year and have started by learning about number. We began with the children self-evaluating their own knowledge and confidence so we quickly revised counting to 10 using Burn2Learn activities which they thoroughly enjoyed and have continued to request to repeat! We were able to quickly move onto counting to 20 where the children applied their previous knowledge and gained confidence to apply this by completing mathematical problems and calculations in French. An impressive start to their MFL learning journey!


Avtar, from Artforms, will visit school every Thursday to teach Year 5 the Dhol drum and we are very excited to welcome him back to school again!

Year 5 were introduced to the Indian drum called the ‘Dhol’. They learnt where the origins of the drum came from and what it was used for. Year 5 played rhythms using body percussion and had to concentrate hard to keep a steady beat. They also learnt that every sound in Indian music has a name. The sounds they learnt today were called ‘na’ and ‘ding’.  The drum was extremely loud! Their ears were ringing! Year 5 really enjoyed their first music lesson of the year and they are excited to apply their new learning next week when they use the instrument. Take a look at Year 5 in action!


In PE this half term, Year 5 will start their weekly swimming lessons down at Wetherby Leisure Centre. They will build their confidence in the water, develop their use of breathing when swimming and build up to swimming 25m confidently using a range of strokes. In PE lessons, Year 5 will develop their agility, speed, tactics, technique, power, observation and communication skills and will improve on their decision making in a variety of in-game situations.










This half term in PSHE, we will spend time developing our class rules and targets to work on and also developing our understanding of the British Value ‘Democracy’. We will also spend a lot of time getting used to working as a class again. This will be through fun team building tasks and activities to support friendships and teamwork. learn about Physical Health and Wellbeing in the media. They will learn about role models, about misleading messages often given on food adverts and how the media can manipulate images and how these images often do not reflect reality. As always, PSHE is flexible depending on the children’s needs and topics or issues that may arise during the half term.

Emotional Wellbeing

We have daily check ins to give the children the opportunity to develop their emotional literacy. The first session we had included emoji visuals to help to understand the difference between some emotions. For example, the children thought that the adults in class would all feel excited and chose emojis to match this emotion. They were right that we all felt excited but all the staff in the classroom talking about also having what we might call butterfly feelings in our tummies too. We talked about openly about why we can experience a mixture of emotions and the children then selected different emojis to reflect this. Then it was chance for them to have a go and choose some emojis which reflected their first day feelings after being away from school during the summer holidays. As you can imagine, we have a mixture of emotions and any children who wanted a 1:1 session after that were able to discretely request one. There were lots of smiles on faces throughout the day and as they left school for the first day, but we will keep checking in daily to support their emotional well-being.

British Value: Democracy

Our British Value we are focusing on this half term is Democracy. This was perfectly fitting as the first important job of the school year is to elect our new School Council representatives. We used this to help us learn more about democracy. First, the children explored what they knew about democracy and made links to their current understanding – they already knew very much about this! The children knew that democracy means that everyone gets their say and that things are done fairly. Year 5 knew that you had to be 18 years old to vote and that in the UK, we vote for a Prime Minister and the USA, Americans vote for a President. Some of the children remembered that adults voted for Brexit – whether they wanted to leave or stay in the European Union. We watched a video on BBC Bitesize to learn more about what happens at a general election and we learnt the word ‘ballot’ which was similar to what we went on to do when voting for Y5’s school council reps. Click here to watch the video about what happens at a general election.  

Year 5 had time to prepare a speech at home if they wanted to put themselves forward to be a school council representative. We then held a ‘Manifesto Afternoon‘ in the hall where all school council candidates could deliver their speech to the class. The children then anonymously voted for the girl and boy they wanted to be our School Council representatives. Here were our candidates:

Here are candidates making their speeches whilst the rest of Year 5 listened carefully to their ideas. Year 5 had to vote for the ideas they liked best! Every candidate made it clear that they would listen to the their peers’ ideas, and would make their voice heard! Some ideas from the candidates were providing more play equipment for outside and for wet plays and working with school teachers to plan even more sporting competitions.