Spring Term 1 2023

Welcome back and happy new year! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas break where you spent lots of time with your families. We have so much planned for this half term so I hope you are ready to get right back into the swing of things for your third half term in Year 5!

Our half term theme is Exploring The Americas! We have a Geography focus this half term where we will explore North and South America (the continents)…inspired by our class text this half term will be The Explorer by Katherine Rundell – this is one of my favourites! I can’t wait to enjoy reading time together each day and hopefully we will get through a good chunk of the book together throughout the half term! Based on our first week back, already, the children are loving our new class text and are really excited to get stuck into their brand new Geography topic!

To find out more about what’s happening in Year 5 this half term, please read the curriculum newsletter and keep checking out this page which will be updated regularly.

RE – Inspirational People

In RE this half term, we will learn about the many inspirational people from all walks around the world that lived the way Jesus inspires us to live each day. We will reflect on what it means to be an inspirational person and what qualities and traits these inspirational people had. We will also make links to how the command ‘Love our neighbour’ informs our behaviour and actions. During this half term, we will be exploring the meaning of being a true disciple and will think about how we can live this out in our daily lives. We will learn about individuals (past and present) who are an inspiration to us. Throughout the half term, we will reflect on how we can serve others at home, school, locally and globally with our continued focus of “Living Simply” at the forefront.

We have started our half term’s unit by linking back to the previous half term’s themed week ‘Inspiring You Week’. We have considered other people that inspire us and our own inspirational qualities as well as what inspirational qualities someone who is inspirational needs to have. Year 5 came up with lots of different ideas and could really easily think about people that inspired them…some were even some of our visitors during Inspiring You Week last half term!


This half term, all of our English lessons (writing and reading) will link to our class text ‘The Explorer’ by Katherine Rundell.

Year 5 started by studying the front cover and blurb of the book, as well as the reviews from other authors and newspapers. They then spent time discussing what they already knew about the book based on this information: four characters that are children, there is a plane crash and they are stranded alone in the Amazon rainforest. We can’t wait to start reading this together!! Our class text will become our new stimulus for writing where Year 5 will enjoy stepping into the shoes of the characters to write diary entries, informal letters and descriptive narratives. We will develop our understanding of levels of formality even further and will also start to develop our understanding of figurative language (similes, alliteration, personification, onomatopoeia and metaphors).




In Maths this half term, we will continue to develop confidence in the four operations, including multiplication and division. Using skills of then four operations, we will move on to measusring and calculating the perimeter and area of rectilinear and composite shapes. The children will continue to develop their fluency and speed in times tables and key instant recall facts (KIRFs). Throughout the half term, we will keep all skills bubbling, as well as linking back to Y4 skills. We will revise symmetry and the properties of 2D shapes before we move on to learning about angles next half term.  To help your child at home, please continue to work on quick mental addition, subtraction, multiplication and division as well as being able to quickly recall multiples and factors of a given number. If you require any resources to support with this, please ask!




This half term we will continue with our topic of Materials where we will explore solutions and how to recover substances from a solution. We will create our own solutions using water and salt and will explore the terms ‘dissolving’ and ‘disappearing’. We will then consider how we can recover the salt from the solution and will observe this over a number of days.  We will compare and group everyday materials on the basis of their properties and will apply our Maths skills to do so using Venn diagrams and classification keys. The children will then explore reversible changes some more and will describe how to recover a substance from a solution, e.g. salt water. Finally, we will explore irreversible changes in Science and consider why these changes are irreversible, such as toasting bread, frying an egg and a more exciting investigation involving bicarb of soda, vinegar and a balloon!

Art & Design

Last term, Year 5 really enjoyed learning about the Ancient Greeks and next half term they will study the Maya Civilisation. The children already know that pottery was important in ancient time periods and that they are used by archaeologists to infer information about the past. Therefore, this is going to be our inspiration and stimulus. Year 5 will learn even more about the significance and importance of pottery for the Greeks and Mayans and will be able to plan their own vase/pot that they will make where they will draw inspiration from the Greeks and Mayans. Before creating their historical inspired vases/pots, Year 5 will have the opportunity to develop and practise skills for using clay. They will then create their vase/pot inspired by Greek/Mayan pottery and will decorate it.  They’ll spend time evaluating their creations and considering how they would improve them further and considering also how they are similar to the Greek/Mayan pottery they took inspiration from.



This half term in Computing, we will focus on coding. We will think about the need for coding within computing equipment such as iPads and computers and when else we use coding in our day to day lives. We will do this physically first, giving each other in-structions on how to get to a certain location or draw a certain picture so that we understand the need to be extremely clear with our instructions (code). This will lead us on to thinking about efficient coding. We will set IF conditions for movements and use our mathematical knowledge of degrees to specify types of rotation and we will use variables and functions to make efficient code. Finally, we will move on to using IF THEN ELSE conditions to control objects more precisely. We will be using a range of apps and programs to do this, examples including Swift Playgrounds and A.L.E.X (A.L.E.X. can be downloaded at home). Keep checking our web page to see what we get up to in Computing. Online safety is explicitly taught and embedded in all lessons.



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 will begin with a vocabulary focus so that we can learn the vocabulary needed. We will then work on translating sentences from French to English and write our own sentences in French before using all of our learning to translate a passage from French to English. It’s going to be a half term filled with physically active and fun learning, especially seeing as the best way to learn is by having fun!



Our learning in Music this half term will continue to be using the Dhol drums. Year 5 will continue to develop their rhythm, keeping in time with others and performing as a solo and in an ensemble, whilst developing their historical understanding of this type of music. So far, the children have learnt about a range of rhythms including the hip hop rhythm and other rhythms. The children really enjoyed their drumming sessions and feel they are getting better and better with each lesson. Please continue to check the class webpage for videos and pictures of the children in action! 



Year 5 will continue to develop their skills and ability in swimming, including their understanding and awareness of water safety. They will continue to develop their breathing using a range of strokes. In PE lessons, Year 5 will continue to develop their sportsmanship skills—encouraging and supporting their peers in lessons, including their coaching skills. In PE lessons in school, Year 5 will develop their skills in dance and gymnastics. We also have a Leeds Rhinos Foundation Coach coming in to deliver 3 taster rugby sessions for Year 5 this half term!

Leeds Rhinos Taster Rugby Sessions

The children really enjoyed their first Leeds Rhinos session with ex-player Harvey Whiteley. They begun their taster sessions by playing some fast paced games that linked directly to rugby skills, such as dodging, sprinting, handling the ball, placing the ball down on the ground (for when players score a try) and much more! Take a look at the children in action!



This half term, our PSHE lessons will explore two more of our British Values: individual liberty and the rule of law. We will explore the term discrimination, what this means and how we can ensure our own behaviour and self awareness as so not to discriminate against others. We will also explore and challenge common stereotypes during our PSHE lessons.

Collective Worship

Credit: svsc.info

In worship this week, we have been learning about Pope Benedict XVI who sadly passed away on New Year’s Eve. On the day of his funeral, we had a whole school assembly with reflections, prayers, reading and songs to remember this inspirational Christian. Miss Milivojevic taught us lots of interesting facts about him, and reminisced about how she took a group of pupils from St Joseph’s school back in 2010 to see Pope Benedict when he visited England. We watched real footage of the event in Twickenham and Miss Milivojevic shared fondly of how this experience impacted on her.

Miss Milivojevic reminded us of many key messages from the Bible that Pope Benedict XVI shared during his time as Pope and how he put this into practice. We then listened to readings from Corinthians, Ephesians, Isaiah and Proverbs. We gave thanks to God for Pope Benedict XVI.

Our school song ‘Siyahamba’ came as a result of this visit which is the first time that Miss Milivojevic heard it as a choir performed to Pope Benedict. We enjoyed singing the song together and finished with prayers for Pope Benedict XVI. May he rest in peace.