Spring 2 2022
This half term’s theme is Our Precious Planet where we will be responding to the encyclical letter from Pope Francis titled “Laudato Si” where he asks us all to care for our common home and take eco-action. Our class text will be Song of the Dolphin Boy which addresses themes of plastic pollution linking to climate change. Keep checking this webpage to see all the exciting things we get up to this half term!
Ash Wednesday marked the start of Lent so on this day, we enjoyed a very special liturgy from the Mark 10 Mission and then spent time thinking about our Lenten promises: how we can show loves to God, ourselves and others through fasting, giving and praying. If you would also like to watch the liturgy we shared together in class, please click on the video below.
The children then made their Lenten promises through a Lenten Promise wheel where they considered their understanding of Lent, fasting, praying and giving.
World Day of Prayer
On Thursday 3rd March in school, due to World Book Day taking place on Friday, we celebrated World Day of Prayer. We held a special collective worship and said bidding prayers to give our prayer intentions to God. We especially kept Ukrainian people in our thoughts and prayers and said a special prayer written by Cafod for Ukraine at this time.
Our topic this half term is Reconciliation where we will make links back to making the Sacrament of Reconciliation in Year 4, after preparing for the Sacrament in Year 3. We will also prepare for Lent in our RE lessons where we will learn about the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made when he died for the forgiveness of all our sins.
We started our half term by hearing the encyclical letter from Pope Francis titled ‘Laudato Si’. We considered the key points in the Pope’s letter and explored key vocabulary too.
We then made our pledge to care for our common home and thought of our ‘8 to be great’ – these are 8 eco-actions we can take to care for God’s world. We heard the Pope tell us that the world is a gift from God and that we should do all we can to care for the world we live in. Some of the suggestions the children came up with were recycling, saving water, saving electricity and energy, walking where we can, not buying fast fashion and using charity shops to donate and buy clothes as well as litter picking, being less selfish and more generous with time and our belongings and also making a conscious effort to eat less meat.
This half term we have been learning about reconciliation and the impact and consequences of wrong choices and how that, if we are truly sorry, we are forgiven for our mistakes. We learnt that sin hurts us, our relationship with others and our relationship with God. We considered how easy it is to forgive others and had different scenarios where we had to decide which scenario was the easiest to forgive or not. We talked about how we can show God and others that we are sorry through our actions and through what we say. We used all of this reflective learning to make links to our own experiences of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We reminded ourselves of the order of this sacrament, and talked about how it felt when the children did it last year. We also wrote prayers asking for God’s forgiveness and talked about the fact that Jesus died for the forgiveness of all our sins. We also considered how forgiveness and reconciliation are in fact, different. Reconciliation involves forgiveness. But it goes beyond forgiveness. When we forgive someone, there is no guarantee that we will have a restored relationship. It may well be that even after we have forgiven someone that we remain estranged. Reconciliation, however, restores the relationship.
Other Faiths: Islam
As part of their learning about other major world religions, Year 5 had an assembly delivered by Afsha from Lincoln Green mosque. In the KS2 assembly, the children learnt about Islam and thought about what a Muslim person looks like. We learnt that some Muslim women and men make the choice to wear head coverings, but that Muslims can have any colour of skin.
Afsha shared some of her key beliefs and the children were surprised to find how many similarities there were between their own Catholic faith and the Muslim religion. We found out that Jesus Christ and Mary are key figures in Islamic teachings and Muslims also believe that God created the world.
We watched some Year 6 pupils take a true or false quiz about Islam. The whole of KS2 were involved but the Year 6 pupils that got the answer wrong was squirted with water! This made it very enjoyable for all watching, perhaps not those involved. This activity allowed all of KS2 pupils to learn some new facts and information about Islam and Muslims. All of Year 5 said they learnt something new!
We had a special CAFOD assembly led by Maggie, who introduced CAFOD’s Walk Against Hunger on the Monday of our Walk to School Week. The children learnt more about how CAFOD is helping communities thrive even in the most difficult environments and how we can help by taking part in the walking and fundraising challenge.
World Book Day
On Friday 4th March, we celebrated World Book Day in school. All children were invited to dress up as their favourite book character and we had some fantastic characters come into school! Take a look at Year 5’s costumes! Throughout the day, the children enjoyed a range of reading activities: including book recommendations and reviews, drawing a setting from their favourite book and writing the author’s language used around the edge to show how they painted that image in their head as well as being introduced to a new book ‘Skysteppers’ by one of our favourite authors, Katherine Rundell. We talked about our favourite books, and a lot of our favourite books have been books that we enjoyed reading as a child. Year 5 also got chance to read for pleasure – lots of children brought in books from home to read or enjoyed choosing books from the library too.
Author Visit: Trish Cooke
We also had a virtual visit from author, Trish Cooke, who is passionate about increasing the amount of books available to buy that have black characters in as she felt growing up that she did not have enough books to read that she could relate to. Trish talked to us about her journey into becoming an author, the highs and lows, and what she enjoys most about writing books and plays. She also gave the children tips to becoming an author and read an excerpt from one of her books. The virtual visit was fascinating and left lots of our children totally inspired to become authors!
Her tips to the children were:
- keep writing, keep writing and keep writing
- the first thing isn’t going to be the best so keep re-drafting and editing and re-writing
- get feedback from others and be open to the feedback you receive
- be prepared to listen to criticism from others, including critics, peers, focus groups etc.
Some of the questions that the children asked, along with Trish’s answers were:
- What is your favourite style of writing? It depends on the audience and the publisher.
- What is something that is important to you about being an author? To make sure my characters in my stories are black because when I was growing up, I didn’t read books with black characters in and neither did my children.
- What awards have you won? The smartest book prize, The Young Black Achiever’s Award, The Great British Panto Award…to name a few
- What is your most favourite book you’ve written? The Grandad Tree because it was about my Grandad.
If you would like to listen to her favourite book, you can watch it below:
Song of the Dolphin Boy
Our new class text linked to our theme ‘Our Precious Planet’ is Song of the Dolphin Boy by Elizabeth Laird.
We started our new class novel by exploring the poem at the beginning of the book which is explored throughout the novel. Our focus was using intonation, pace, volume and tone to add meaning to the poem whilst performing it. Year 5 were divided into groups and had to work collaboratively to learn and rehearse the poem, whilst adding actions to support the meaning too. Each group took one stanza to rehearse and we then put it together into one full poem.
We created character profiles of the main characters in the novel: Finn, Dougie, Charlie, Jas and Amir to aid our understanding of the text and help us to predict what was going to happen in the story. The poem also helped us to be able to predict what would happen and the class predicted that the woman described in the poem was Finn’s Mum. We also revised using inverted commas to show speech after exploring the dialogue used in the first chapter to give us more information about the characters. Year 5 explored this at sentence level, editing the punctuation for speech themselves before writing their own dialogue between the characters in our class text. We used a cheesy song to help us remember how to punctuate speech!
Year 5 then used their writing skills to write a diary entry in the role of Finn (the main character in our class novel). Year 5 have also been revising the use of the apostrophes for possession when using single and plural nouns.
Our focus this half term has been fractions. We began by recapping key knowledge and prior learning from Year 3 and Year 4 that we needed before moving on to new learning in Year 5. We reminded ourselves of what a fraction is and what the numerator and denominator represents and then spent time recapping how to find equivalent fractions and used the mantra “Do it to the bottom, do it to the top! Do it to the top, do it to the bottom!” We also explored different visuals that would help us with our learning, for example bar models. We will now move on to comparing and ordering fractions less than 1 before we move on to exploring and recognising mixed numbers and improper fractions, and converting between both forms.
In class, we moved on to learning about different types of fractions so needed to understand the following key vocabulary: proper fractions, improper fractions and mixed numbers. We watched the following video together to help us to remember what each different type of fraction represented with key actions and sounds.
The Unexpected Maths in Juggling
Year 5 enjoyed a virtual workshop with mathematician Colin Wright where they explored the unexpected maths of juggling. Colin shared his passion for juggling and how he uses maths to calculate how many juggling tricks he can do. This involved an understanding of positive and negative integers and how to add and subtract negative numbers as well as the relationship and patterns in single digit numbers. Year 5 were really engaged and active learners throughout the workshop and continued to practise the maths patterns to find new tricks as well as practising the juggling as well!
World Maths Day
We celebrated World Maths Day on Wednesday 23rd March. All children came dressed as either a number of an occupation linked to Maths. Some children even made their own calculators! We had a jam packed day full of Maths activities.
To get the children excited about World Maths Day, we had an assembly about the fun way they can challenge themselves on Mathletics on the day. We looked at the World Maths Day games and leader boards too. We also received prizes that the children were keen to compete for!
To get outside and get active on Worth Maths Day, Year 5 enjoyed a Burn2Learn orienteering activity to promote active learning. They had to use their map and orienteering skills to find the questions linked to improper fractions and mixed numbers (which was timed so they had to work as quickly as they could). They then had to return to class and quickly, using their new arithmetic skill of converting improper fractions to mixed numbers and vice versa, to answer the questions. They really enjoyed this fast paced, active Maths lesson which also really helped to consolidate their new learning with fractions.
Year 5 enjoyed a creative Maths activity during World Maths Day which links to the children’s high aspirations as we have many children wanting to become architects when they are older. The children could design their own house – at least two storeys. They had to calculate the perimeter and area of each room and the total perimeter and area of each floor. The children really enjoyed this practical maths activity whilst also revising how to calculate perimeter and area.
British Science Week
The theme of this year’s British Science Week has been ‘Growth‘ which has been a perfect theme for our topic in Science as we have been studying life cycles and how living things grow. Throughout Science week, Year 5 enjoyed a range of activities and a visit to Year 3 and Year 4’s Science fair which we all enjoyed very much! To allow the children to consider science in the real world, we considered what does a scientist look like? All children ‘drew’ what they thought a scientist would look like so that we could target any misconceptions or stereotypes they had about scientists. We made links to Dr Hodgson (a female scientist in dentistry) who visited us before Christmas during Inspiring You Week. We had Amelia in our class say that perhaps the reason we only really hear of male scientists is because when the inventions, such as the light bulb, gravity discovery etc. women didn’t really have a role in society. This allowed the children to consider how much society has changed and the opportunities they have in their life. This resulted in an investigation to find as many female scientists as possible in history!
This half term, we are learning about film animation and techniques used to create film. We will explore the history of film and how much it has evolved and advanced over the years. Our focus will be Stop Motion. Year 5 will learn that stop motion animation has been used since early 1900s and that it is still used today as a film technique. They will take pictures and upload them and use them as frames, where once put together and played at speed, it will look like a video.
We started our learning by reading about the history of film. Year 5 learnt the following:
- Eadweard Muybridge invented one of the first movie projectors, the zoopraxiscope.
- The zoopraxiscope rotated images on a disc very quickly so that figures appeared to be moving.
- Muybridge’s most famous zoopraxiscope film featured a horse running in one direction.
- In 1899, the first silent animated cartoon was released to the public.
- In 1923, movie makers figured out how to add sound to films.
- Creating movies in colour was a huge challenge!
We then considered how film has advanced since the early 1900s and how easily accessible film and movies are now. We can stream them on the many platforms such as Netflix, Disney+ and Prime and watch them from anywhere! We enjoyed watching a range of programmes that have been created using StopMotion, including Shaun the Sheep – which was very nostalgic for Year 5 as this was a programme they enjoyed when they were younger.
We continued to explore Stop Motion as a film technique and learnt more about it.
Year 5 then began practising and exploring the app Stop Motion. They had to problem solve, debug and keep trying to make it appear that objects were moving on their own. We had a class challenge to practise Stop Motion skills where the children had to film the contents of their pencil case being emptied and then the pencil case being filled again without being touched! They beavered away working on this, stopping, starting and editing as they went to make the frames play seamlessly. I was extremely impressed at the children’s active nature and resilience during this lesson!
This half term, our topic is Our Precious Planet where we will learn about climate change and the geographical significance of climate change. Children will further develop their understanding of climate change and global warming, what both terms mean, what has contributed to global warming and climate change and what actions they can take to help.
We started by watching an engaging, informative video to explain to the children what climate change was.
Year 5 used climate graphs to understand the term ‘climate’. They learnt that climate is a long-term weather pattern and we have begun to explore the different types of climate around the world, including the climate of the place we live: which is temperate. Year 5 had top tips (see below) to help them read the climate graphs to learn more about climate, including matching specific statements to two different climates.
Year 5 applied their writing skills by writing a non-chronological report about climate change. They had to include information about the effects of climate change, being specific about certain things that contribute to or cause climate change, how we can combat climate change and what actions we need to take. Year 5 planned their non-chronological reports at home and wrote them in school with a creative twist! They were able to write their non-chron report in whichever way they chose, and then display in a creative, vibrant and colourful way. This allowed the children to really consider their paragaphs, headings/subheadings and how they would structure their information. Take a look at the children in action and then at their final pieces.
Take a look at our fantastic working wall display now it features some of the children’s working!
Year 5 have continued to develop their skills with the Dhol drums and sound incredible! Every Thursday morning, the sounds of them drumming echo around the whole school building and they are always so excited for their lesson! Take a look at the class in action! What they have achieved is incredible with this instrument!
Key Stage 2 took part in a fantastic diversity assembly where we learnt more about the pillars of Islam and other religions too. The children reflected on how we are all the same but we are all different. They enjoyed singing and taking part in a true or false quiz too.