Autumn Term 2 2020

Welcome back! I hope you all had a lovely half term and feel rested and ready for another fun half term together! We have lots of exciting things planned this half term including our preparations for Christmas during Advent. I was so proud of every single child in Year 5 as they were all so excited to be back in school and wow, we worked hard! They really pushed themselves to achieve their very best and I can’t wait to see them come back to school fresh faced and ready to learn more and most importantly, have more fun!

Collective Worship

We will begin collective worship this half term by thinking about and understanding the importance of peace in the world. We will pray for those who died fighting for our country in the war and also pray for their families. This year, Remembrance Sunday will take place on Sunday 14th November and Remembrance Day will be held on Thursday 11th November.


RE: God’s Covenants & The Ten Commandments

This half term we will learn about some of God’s covenants but specifically the covenant he made with Noah when he flooded the world and Moses when he gave him the Ten Commandments. Both of these stories are found in the Old Testament in the Bible. We will learn about the importance of the Ten Commandments and how they can inform how we behave and how we live our lives. Towards the end of the half term, we will then begin to start preparing for Christmas during Advent, where we will consider the importance of Christmas time in our religion and why the Jesus’ birth was so important for the world.

We started our learning journey this half term by developing our knowledge of the key vocabulary that we need throughout the unit. Vocabulary is at the heart of everything we do so this is always a good start to any new topic. Year 5 then started to make connections with their previous experiences either at school, in Church or at home, their previous learning, knowledge and understanding about Noah. Year 5 enjoyed watching a cartoon video of the Bible story ‘Noah’s Ark’ to support them with their understanding of the story. They then considered the questions they would have liked to ask Noah and the questions they would have liked to ask God. Finally, the children attempted to answer the two following questions:

  • Why did God choose Noah?
  • Why did God flood the world?

We moved on in our learning journey to think about life with and without rules and our own commitments in our own life. Year 5 enjoyed the ‘Commitments Game’ where they had to work in small groups to explore what was important to them in their life. They had a tiered grid with things they were committed to, things they weren’t sure about and things they knew they weren’t committed to: such as playstation, dancing or football (these were some examples).

Some of the commitments they had to consider and talk about where:

  • Loving my family
  • Being a good person
  • Never being racist
  • My God
  • Being a spiritual person
  • Worshipping at my holy place
  • Getting better at my sport
  • My future
  • Doing my homework
  • Listening to my parents

There were many more… but the children worked together, discussed and debated about what they felt was their top commitment. This was different in every group but was a great activity to get the children discussing what is important to them and their life and how this is similar/different to their peers.


CAFOD Workshop – Catholic Social Teachings

Year 5 enjoyed a hands on workshop with Maggie from CAFOD where they learnt more about the catholic social teachings that underpin everything we do. Take a look at the catholic social teachings we learnt about. These teachings are already integrated into our daily life in school and at home but putting a name to some of these teachings/values and what this would look like at home, at school, in the local area and globally was really useful. We also considered how we are also taught to live: The Bible, Ten Commandments, actions and legacies from Saints and leteters from Pope Francis. 

Year 5 then had a range of scenarios where they had to ‘SEE’, ‘CHOOSE’ and ‘ACT’. Based on these scenarios, they decided which catholic social teaching was most fitting to the scenario and they had to explain their reasoning. For some, many were fitting but they had to decide on the most fitting CST. This promoted a lot of discussion and turned into the children thinking about what they can do to help our common home (the world).






Romeo and Juliet 

We kick started our next exciting stimulus in English with a fantastic experience from the Shakespeare Theatre Company who performed Romeo and Juliet. The performance lasted all morning and the children were fully involved from start to end. They were captivated by the story and range of contrasting characters. Using this stimulus over the next few weeks is going to be fantastic: I can’t wait. Thank you to the Friends of St Joseph and all the parents, grandparents and carers who support their fundraising, as without this, we simply couldn’t have these experience for the children.

The children learnt that Romeo and Juliet was a tragedy written by William Shakespeare early in his career about two young Italian star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately reconciled their feuding families.

After watching the production, Year 5 used their reading skills to recap the plot of the story, including the plot twist where both Romeo and Juliet die at the end of the play. They then enjoyed exploring the links between all of the characters and the feelings of the characters at different points during the play.




We will begin our half term by identifying multiples and factors of numbers to support our mental recall of key multiplication and division facts. We will then move on to multiplying and dividing by 10, 100, 1000 and beyond. Then, we will focus on written methods for multiplication and division. We will continue to keep skills from last half term bubbling as well as applying new skills in reasoning and problem solving contexts as this is one of our key core objectives in year 5.

To identify multiples.

Year 5 enjoyed a Tagtiv8 activity where they played tag rugby to collect as many numbers as they could. Then, they had to apply their existing knowledge of times tables to work out whether the numbers they had were multiples of given numbers. For example, firstly, they had to identify the multiples of 2 and reason why the numbers they had chosen were multiples of 2 and why the other numbers were not multiples of 2. They had to do this for multiples of 5 and so on. They worked in groups and enjoyed a tag rugby game to collect their tags. They then had to identify patterns in specific multiples.

To identify factors.

Year 5 absolutely loved the Tagtiv8 activity for identifying multiples so we repeated a similar activity using the Tagtiv8 resources but with a focus instead of finding factors of any given number. We first learnt how to find factors of numbers using the ‘curtain’ or ‘rainbow’ method. See examples of these methods below. We talked about closing the curtains so we start at the first factor which is 1 and we know if the factor is 1 then we multiply 1 by the number we are finding factors of. For example, factors of 24 – the first factor pair would be 1 and 24.

The children learn the following key mathematical vocabulary:

  • factor
  • factor pair
  • common factor

We also revised our new knowledge of the word product.

The children practised this skill in class and then took this outside for their Tagtiv8 activity to get active, take their learning outside, have fun and continue to practise finding factors of any given number.

To establish whether a number is a prime number and to recall prime numbers to 19.

Year 5 applied their knowledge and understanding of multiples and factors to explore prime numbers. The first task was to find the factors of 11, 13 and 17 and comment on what the children noticed. They noticed that these numbers only had 2 factors: 1 and the number itself. They also learnt that 2 is the only prime number that is even. Year 5 then developed their understanding of key mathematical vocabulary: prime number, composite number, prime factor

  1. A prime number is a number that is only divisible by 1 and itself. Its only factors are 1 and itself. E.g. 2 is a prime number because its only factors are 2 x 1.
  2. A prime factor is a factor of any number that is prime E.g. a prime factor of 24 is 2. 2’s only factors are 2 and 1.
  3. A composite number is a whole number that can be made by multiplying other whole numbers. E.g. 12 because 2×6=12 and 3×4=12



We will start the half term by spending some time consolidating all of our new knowledge and understanding from our prior learning last half term in Space. Then, we will begin the first half of our Materials topic where we explore mixtures and solutions. We will explore how to separate mixtures and recover substances from a solution using our knowledge of solids, liquids and gases.

L.O: To revise states of matter.

Year 5 made links back to their previous learning in Year 4 during their states of matter topic. They considered what they had learnt, what they did in the topic and what they now remember. One thing all the children remembered was a practical, Burn2Learn activity to show how the particles in solids, liquids and gases moved. We recreated this activity outside to help the children to remember this learning even more. Year 5 then also enjoyed recapping on melting and how solid items need heat to melt. They did this through holding a chocolate button in one open hand, in one closed hand and also placing the chocolate button on their tongue.



Pottery was important to the Ancient Greeks for storage. Everything from wheat to wine was stored in pottery. Pottery was made by shaping clay, decorating the pot and then heating the clay in a kiln. In early Greece, pots were decorated with geometric designs. Year 5 will be using our Ancient Greece topic as a stimulus for an Art project this half term. Watch this space!


Design Technology

Food Safety & Hygiene

Our first lesson in our DT topic was to explore food safety and hygiene. Year 5 started by making connections to their own experiences and how they have kept safe and clean when cooking or baking in the past. They came up with lots of ideas and showed a really good understanding of food hygiene and safety. We captured this discussion on a flipchart. Take a look at some of their ideas:

We talked about the importance of preparing ourselves before cooking such as washing our hands, tying our hair up. This image will help us when cooking this half term to remember the ways to be hygienic before cooking.



In MFL, we will continue to develop our listening skills through listening to spoken language in French and show understanding by joining in and responding—we are going to continue to develop our understanding and fluency of colours and we will also learn how to describe the weather in French and link this to our learning about Ancient Greek gods and goddesses. We will also encourage children to speak in sentences, using familiar vocabulary and phrases. The children will be encouraged to engage in conversations in French and this will progress to broadening their vocabulary and developing the ability to understand new words that are introduced. The children will then write phrases from memory and adapt these to create new sentences.




This half term, we are working on developing our computing skills in iMovie – an application to help users create their own movies or trailers. We are using iMovie to create a documentary style video about Ancient Greek gods and goddesses, linked to our History topic. The skills we will develop over the half term are:

  • Choosing the most suitable applications and devices for the purposes of communication.
  • Recording, uploading sounds and editing them.
  • Adding effects such as fade in and out and control their implementation.
  • Changing the position of objects between screen layers (send to back, bring to front).

We have started our Computing project by learning new skills on the app iMovie. Year 5 have never been taught how to use iMovie in school (some children have experience of it at home) so this is all brand new! We first started by looking at the features of a documentary by watching the following video. We weren’t focusing on the historical content of the video but instead the technical and computing features in it. The children identified the following:

  • images that pan across the screen and zoom in/out
  • voice overs (2 different voices)
  • background music
  • text on the screen: content as well as titles
  • range of images to showcase the content – they were black and white to reflect the time period

We then looked at what ‘green screen‘ is as this is something we are going to be using in our project this half term – again, none of the children have used green screen before. They were all extremely excited to see how green screen works!

Year 5 were then eager to get going on iMovie so we broke down how to create a movie on the app into small steps. The children had clear instructions and top tips to support them in being active and independent learners. All of this was brand new to the children so there was a lot of collaborative discussion going on in the room! Year 5 had to search and find 4 photos that were high quality (whilst understanding the term ‘copyright‘), save them, add them to their iMovie, have a play with Ken Burns effects to pan/zoom in and out of the picture, add a voice over and begin to use audio effects. We will continue developing our skills in the app before we move on to using green screen to further enhance the movies.




We are continuing our fantastic topic of Ancient Greece this half term. Year 5 absolutely loved learning about Ancient Greece last half term and have expressed an interest in learning more about Ancient Greek gods and goddesses, the Olympics, wars and much more! This half term is going to be all around Year 5’s interests so it’s going to be a great one! Year 5 will then dive deeper into comparing Ancient Greece with other significant time periods they have studied. We will present this information using a Venn diagram where we will apply our mathematical skills. We have a very exciting Ancient Greek themed day towards the end of the half term where we will dress up as Ancient Greeks and continue to explore this time period including the Olympics and the food they ate! We also have an exciting Ancient Greek workshop this half term too! We have so much more to learn about Ancient Greece so it is going to be a busy half term!

Trojan War

Last half term, Year 5 expressed a real interest to learning about war and other stories from Ancient Greece so we kick started this half term by learning more about the story of the Trojan War, which is famous in the Ancient Greek poet Homer’s poem ‘The Odyssey’. We applied our English reading skills by using non-fiction books as a source of retrieving information. The children had to use the index to locate information about the Trojan War and then use their fact retrieval skills of skimming and scanning to find the information on the page, decode it and interpret it.

Year 5 then continued to apply their reading skills and enjoyed listening to, learning and performing a poem all about the Trojan War, titled ‘The Walls’. They learnt about rhyming couplets and the rhythm of the poem. Working together in small groups, they created actions to help them remember and understand the poem. We then performed this as a whole class and read the poem in the same rhythm together.

Past Productions: Ancient Greece Workshop

Year 5 enjoyed a workshop today with the company, Past Productions. They consolidating their understanding of life in Ancient Greece and also learnt about democracy, marriage, role of men and women, the Olympics, myths and legends and the gods and goddesses. Take a look at the children in action during their full day’s workshop.



In Music this half term, the children will continue to build their understanding of rhythm and keeping in time with others and the beat. They will also have the opportunity to develop their own rhythms, including call & response. Holding a part within a round, playing from memory and playing solo or in an ensemble will also be skills that the children develop this half term. Year 5 are really enjoying learning about the Dhol drums and will continue to develop their historical understanding of this type of drumming this half term.



This half term in PE, Year 5 will continue to develop a range of skills through a unit on dance and gymnastics. They will develop their flexibility, strength, body posture and control and will have the opportunity to create and perform their own routines. Year 5 will continue swimming every Thursday where they will develop their confidence in a range of strokes, including their breathing techniques. They will swim at least 25m and up to 100m unaided and will work on their water safety understanding and skills.


Year 5 enjoyed their first PE lesson of the half term where they explored balance, control, strength and manipulating their body to create shapes and forms. They worked in pairs and threes to create different shapes and patterns and then practised their balancing skills and strength and control skills.



This half term in PSHE, we will consider how the media may manipulate pictures and that these may not reflect reality. Year 5 will have the opportunity to see how the media can do this and discuss the effect on young people because of this. We will also begin to develop our understanding of the terms ‘prejudice’ and ‘discrimination’. Year 5 will also learn about stereotyping, in particular: gender stereotyping. We will also consider the importance of a healthy diet which will link to our History and DT topic when we are exploring Ancient Greek foods. As always, our PSHE lessons and discussions are responsive and centred around the emotional wellbeing of all of our pupils.

Anti-Bullying Week: One Kind Word

We kicked off anti-bullying week with a key stage assembly with Miss Milivojevic who reminded us of some very important messages, especially our acronym that reminds us what to do if we are worried about bullying. It reminds us that bullying is several times on purpose and if children ever feel they or someone they know are being bullied that they should start telling other people. We also watched this video all about anti-bullying week 2021’s theme of One Kind Word!

Odd Socks Day

The beginning of anti-bullying week started with our annual ‘Odd Socks Day’ to reinforce the message: We are all the same but we are all different. We all wore socks which all did the same job but all of our socks were very different. The children showed such a good understanding of this statement and were able to give examples of how we are the same but how we are differen ttoo.

Fill your buckets!

We then enjoyed a PSHE lesson linked to anti-bullying week and our theme: ‘One Kind Word’. We listened to the story ‘Have you filled a bucket today?’ by Carol McCloud which is one the children have heard in previous years. This time, we enjoyed a video of the story that has been created using the book. This is the story we heard. 

The children then literally filled each other’s buckets. They all had a printed bucket with their name on and had to go and write one kind word in every member of the class’ bucket. This was a lovely activity which allowed the children to think of everyone’s good qualities and something kind they would like to say to their friends in their class. Year 5 thought of ways they could fill their family members’ invisible buckets and we all decided to be bucket fillers not bucket dippers or spillers!

Anti-Bullying Posters

This week, whilst thinking about One Kind Word, we also were reiterating our key school rules: TRUST and STOP! 

TRUST are our school rules that we all follow every single day. They remind us to be truthful, respectful, to use good manners, to stay safe and to talk to an adult if anything is upsetting or worrying us. 

STOP is an acronym that reminds us what to do if we are worried about bullying. It reminds us that bullying is several times on purpose and if children ever feel they or someone they know are being bullied that they should start telling other people.