Spring Term 2 2021
We are finally back in school!! It has been so lovely being back together in person and I can’t wait to get stuck into our new topics together!! Well done for all of your hard work, perseverance and resilience during home learning. You can all be extremely proud of yourselves! Parents and visitors, please keep checking our class webpage to see what we get up to in Year 5!
St Joseph’s Day
In school, we celebrated the feast day of our school saint, St Joseph. We held a special collective worship in class and heard a story from the Bible about how Joseph was a trusting man when he trusted angel Gabriel with the news that Mary was going to have a baby. We reflected on St Joseph’s qualities and considered how we can live more like St Joseph and why it is special he is our school saint. We said a special prayer to St Joseph to mark the end of our collective worship.
We also used the Wednesday Word throughout the week for our collective worship stimulus, hearing the Gospel that we heard in church also. Click here for the Wednesday Word.
RE – Reconciliation
We will continue with our topic of Reconciliation which we made a great start with during remote home learning.
The Lost Son
We heard the story of the Lost Son, directly from the Bible and then a YouTube video. Year 5 then acted out the story and considered how they would feel if they were the father, the son that left or the son that stayed. We talked about the key meaning of the story and what we can learn and why Jesus might have told this story. We reflected on why it is important to be able to realise you have done wrong, admit you are wrong and ask for forgiveness. We also reflected on why being able to forgive someone who has wronged you is so important. Not only does it bring peace between you and that person but it also brings peace into your heart and with your relationship with God.
Year 5 then stepped into the shoes of a character of their choice and applied their writing skills by writing a diary entry to recount the events, what had happened, why forgiveness is sometimes difficult but also extremely important and how we can look to God to help us with this. Year 5 really enjoyed these lessons in RE and particularly enjoyed the story of the Lost Son.
This half term, we have continued with our class text of The Explorer. During remote home learning, we stepped into the shoes of one of the characters from the book (Fred, Con or Lila) and wrote a letter to our parents or someone close to us to let them know that we our plane had crashed and that we were stranded in the Amazon rainforest. We are now going to write another letter in role as Con, Fred or Lila but write to someone close to us (e.g. a friend, a close family member, or the butler in Fred’s case) to let them know of the recent events that have occurred in the story – for example, the piranhas in the river, eating bugs, building a fire!
Year 5 followed our detailed approach to writing and planned their letter after they enjoyed some role play and drama to really get into character. They planned independently, choosing a planning method of their choice. They then wrote their letter ensuring the basics were applied whilst including the correct tone of formality (which was informal because we are writing to a friend or someone close) and the correct tense choices. I challenged Year 5 to encourage description using figurative language to describe the events further to paint a vivid picture and Year 5 rose to the challenge, of course! Year 5 then edited and improved their writing and then completed their chesklist to ensure they had all of the features of an informal letter that were needed.
We have had a really strong focus on our key core skills in maths since returning to school on March 8th. These are using the written methods for all four operations, knowing our times tables off by heart (including division facts) and becoming confident in mental addition and subtraction and multiplying and dividing by 10, 100 and 1000. We have kept these key core skills bubbling in maths by having morning arithmetic sessions and then applying these skills in our non-core lessons.
We have also had a huge focus on fractions. This is something we started during remote home learning.
Year 5 have absolutely smashed finding fractions of amounts! They struggled at first but with great resilience and perseverance, we pushed through and GOT IT!! What a great growth mindset! Year 5 enjoyed learning and chanting ‘Divide by the bottom! Multiply by the top! *clap clap* ‘! This really helped them to remember what to do if they got stuck.
We followed the maths approach and Year 5 were exposed to a variety of questions including varied fluency and then trickier reasoning and problem solving style word problems and questions.
We began the topic of Living Things during our time learning at home in the most recent school closure.
When we returned to school, we recapped the different categories that animals can be grouped into depending on certain characteristics. These are: mammals, amphibians, reptiles, fish, birds, arachnids and insects. Year 5 enjoyed a physically active learning activity to explore the characteristics of these common groups and to identify animals that fit into these groups. We built up our Science working wall so that we could always refer back to this throughout our learning this half term.
Year 5 then enjoyed applying their writing skills to write a non-chronological report about an animal of their choice. They had time to research key features about their animal: including its diet, its life cycle, its appearance, behaviours, where it sits in the food chain as well as any fun facts.
In DT this half term after returning to school after the whole school closure, our learning linked to our half term topic: the Mayans.
We began by exploring Mayan masks and researching the uses of Mayan masks. We found out the Mayans had death masks, wedding masks, and masks for other significant events. We learnt that the Mayan masks had a wide variety of uses and the importance of the masks dictated how intricate the designs were.
We then started to plan the design of our mask before we considered how to create it.
This half term, we have been applying our computing skills across a range of subjects. We have been focusing on ensuring that our key skills in computing are fully embedded. For example, using apps effectively to communicate, creating high quality products using these apps and using technical features within the apps (i.e. button links in Keynote).
Year 5 used Keynote to showcase their learning about life cycles and used diagrams that they created also.
They have also been developing their touch typing skills through writing on the iPads first, before writing by hand. This is something Year 5 have been really enjoying!
History – The Mayans
We started the fantastic topic of the Mayans during our time learning at home in the most recent school closure.
When we returned to school, we had time to make connections to existing knowledge and understanding of the time period as well our prior learning whilst we were at home.
We learnt about the Hero Twins and why this was such a significant story for the Mayan people. We then started to learn about the fascinating, yet rather gruesome and violent, ball game: Pok a Tok! Year 5 applied their reading skills to retrieve factual information from non-fiction texts.
Year 5 then applied their writing skills to write an information text all about the “Game of Death” or as we know it: Pok a Tok.
MFL – French
When we returned back to school on 8th March, we spent time in French revising what we had learnt during remote home learning. We had time to practise our pronunciation of French foods and we had the trusty help of Alexa, from French with Alexa. We particularly enjoyed learning how to say each vegetable in French.
We also reminded ourselves of le, la and les and the masculine and feminine or plural determiners at the beginning of each word.
In music, we have been listening to different genres of music and identifying the instruments used within the song. We have been learning how to use body percussion and how to confidently perform using crotchets, minims, quavers and sometimes more complex rhythms! We have composed our own ostinato rhythms and practised keeping a steady pulse by following different graphic scores and learning different chants and action activities. We also composed our own graphic scores using body percussion.
Year 5 have been so excited because they have finally, after being so patient, have started their swimming lessons!
Each Thursday, Year 5 attend their swimming lessons where they will be working towards being able to swim a range of strokes confidently and competently, swim at least 25m using correct breathing techniques and perform self rescue in the water.
We have also started our Monday morning interventions where we send one small group to have a 1 hour swimming lesson, additional to our Thursday mornings and the rest of the class enjoy physically active intervention activities to support our key core skills in maths and English.
Our priority when we returned to school on the 8th March was emotional literacy and wellbeing. We settled back into normal school and enjoyed some fun games to practise working in small groups again as this is something we had been away from for a significant period of time due to the school closure.
Our morning check ins are done in a variety of different ways to keep it fresh and to allow the children different ways to communicate how they are feeling. Developing this emotional literacy is a vital skill to maintain healthy mental health for the future. It’s a natural part of our daily routines and the children are very honest and able to ask for help if needed and it’s all done in a private way so that it’s sensitive to their needs. Here are some of the ways below that we encourage the children to share how they are feeling, some of which our parents/carers may be familiar with from home learning as we continued these during school closure periods via Showbie.