Spring 2

This half term’s theme is “Exploring the Maya” where we will continue our theme of exploring. Our class text will be the famous poem The Spider and the Fly by Mary Howitt. We have a super exciting half term planned, especially because our Y5 residential is this half term! We have a parents’ information evening for Y5 parents on Thursday 22nd February at 5pm in the Y5 classroom. All Y5 parents/carers and children are welcome. Keep checking this webpage to see all the exciting things we get up to this half term!

Year 5 Residential Retreat to Castlerigg Manor

At the end of March, Year 5 went on their residential retreat to Castlerigg Manor, in Keswick in the Lake District. The theme was “Let Your Light Shine”. The children had a wonderful time. For some children, it was their first time being away from parents and being away from home. Year 5 did themselves totally proud! They were all incredibly behaved, were resilient, were kind and caring to each other, reverent and respectful during prayerful times in the Chapel or during activities and best of all, they all had fun together! Take a look at the photos taken that captured the wonderful memories made on this 2 night residential.

The next day we enjoyed some prayerful activities, where we listened to and read the scripture from Matthew “Salt and Light” where we considered that we can be the salt of the Earth and the light of the world, just like Jesus was. We have spent time reflecting on our own gifts and talents and what we good we can bring to the world.

We had time to appreciate the beauty of the God’s world all around us when we explored our beautiful local surroundings in Keswick on a long walk around Derwent Water and the countryside around Castlerigg Manor.

We enjoyed lots of free time, time to just be with our friends, to socialise, play games and have fun! Everyone loved the free time!

We had lots of time to reflect on our own gifts and talents, have prayerful quiet time, pray and be together. The children could choose to sign up to different creative workshops. They could choose from making salt jars, making masks and making candles for their creative workshop. They all created something that they could take home.

The last whole group activity was writing something positive about each other. We then included these positive affirmations in our journals so it would be a wonderful memory of our time here. Take a look below!

Collective Worship

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday marked the start of Lent so on this day, we enjoyed a very special liturgy as a whole school community in the hall. Fr Andrew marked the sign of the cross on all our foreheads using the ashes that had been prepared on Palm Sunday last year. We were reminded of the special time that is Lent and that we are preparing for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In class, we have been considering ways we can become closer to God during Lent, through fasting, praying and giving.


This half term’s topic is Reconciliation. Year 5 will build on their learning and their own experience from Year 3 when they received the Sacrament of Reconciliation. They will learn about the concept of sin and that when we sin, we hurt ourselves and others and damage our relationship with God. They will build on their understanding that God loves and forgives us if we are truly sorry and learn that God heals our friendship with Him and others through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We will then learn about Holy Week, through the Stations of the Cross, where Jesus died for the forgiveness of all our sins and resurrected again on Easter Sunday.

To begin our learning about Lent, we went outside for an active Burn2Learn activity. The children had to find different parts and Scriptures from the Bible where number 40 is used to symbolize a period during which people were tested. We reflected on these examples and then also created a kindness tree in preparation so we can show kindness to everyone around us.

We carried on by reflecting on our prior learning of Reconciliation and remembering and discussing the key vocabulary like confession, Prayer of Absolution. The children learnt about actions and consequences whether these were positive or negative. They had to solve certain scenarios and give advice and evaluate various choices. We also used dominoes to represent choices and their effect on others.

We continued to work on learning more about Reconciliation. The children reflected on their own experiences as we created our write ups about the sacrament.


We will begin this half term by writing non-chronological reports linked to our prior learning in geography about Mexico and its human and physical features. We will focus on building cohesion within paragraphs by using varied adverbials. Afterwards, we will move onto exploring our new class text, “The Spider and the Fly” poem written by Mary Howitt. We will use the story to inspire our narrative writing as we retell the cautionary tale of the fly. We will be revising expanded noun phrases and prepositional phrases, punctuating speech correctly and will interweave dialogue within action and description. Year 5 will continue to develop and embed their understanding of figurative language within this learning journey as they move onto writing their own poems.

Year 5 had a close look at the different features of a non-chronological reports as we read an interesting text about the Ancient Maya Civilisation. We had to find the following features: heading, subheading, subheading question, introduction, facts, picture and caption, technical language and bullet pointed lists too. We looked at various examples, for example we read about sloths, foxes alongside the Maya.

Reading Eggs Assembly

Jane came and showed the KS2 children all the fun ways to use the library on Reading Eggspress. She read a book with the children on the platform and they also did a quiz together in the assembly. We then got really enthusiastic in Year 5 and the children jumped onto Reading Eggspress straight away to check out the library and start building their reads online to be able to enter the reading competition!

The children spent time researching about Mexico and the UK before planning their non-chronological reports. We read a lot of texts and used iPads to collect many fun facts too. The children then created their work by pulling together all of their understanding of Geography and applied their English skills to create informative non-chronological reports. They had to make sure to include fronted adverbials, subordinate clauses, questions and many other features. At the end of the writing process, we also spent time on editing our work.

We started exploring our new class text The Spider and the Fly by Mary Howitt. After reading the poem, the children also watched the animation based on Tony Diterlizzi’s illustrations. We continued exploring the text by looking at the ambitious vocabulary that we could find. We used an active Burn2Learn activity to collect the words and their meanings.

World Book Day Celebrations and Author Visit

We had a lovely day today dressed up as our favourite characters from our favourite books or just coming to school in something comfortable to wear for World Book Day! We had a super time as Kate Pankhurst visited us and told us all about her inspiration for her books and some of us could also get dressed up as an astronaut! We also had a go at being illustrators as Kate explained how she writes and illustrates her books.


In Mathematics, we will continue with our learning the formal methods for multiplication and division to make sure children are really confident with these methods. The children will continuously revisit their prior learning of multiples, factors, prime numbers, square numbers and cube numbers to keep this knowledge bubbling as well. Year 5 will develop their knowledge of fractions by practising how to represent fractions and what their relationship is to decimals. We will work on multiplying fractions, writing fractions as decimals, ordering, comparing decimals and rounding them as well. Our ongoing focus will be the application of skills in reasoning and problem-solving contexts. We will be working on KIRFs to ensure that mental maths calculations can be recalled quickly—this is an essential skill that will help your child across the whole maths curriculum.

Check out the following video, which is not only very funny, but gives catchy phrases to help us remember the difference between the 3 types of fractions.

We spent time working on our fractions and as well as recapping prior learning, we moved on to multiplying the different forms of fractions by integers. The children built their confidence in working with proper, improper fractions and mixed numbers too.

We carried on working with decimal numbers. The children looked carefully at the place value of the digits and then had to compare their decimals. We then worked on ordering ourselves during our Burn2Learn activity to make sure we got the correct ascending and descending orders.


This half term, we start a new Science topic about living things and their habitat! We begin by revising the functions of each part of the flower and a flower’s life cycle. We then move on to our study of living things and their life cycles. We will begin by classifying a broad range of living things into groups such as mammals, insects, amphibians, birds, plants. Year 5 will also study the differences in life cycles of a range of animals.

We used an active Burn2Learn activity to work on our prior learning and understanding of the parts of plants. The children had to find the parts of plants displayed around the classroom to collect the information for their fact files. Afterwards, we discussed the parts and their functions and we had a look at the different ways that plants can reproduce. We researched the different ways wind and insects can pollinate plants and what types on plants would use which way.

As we looked further into life cycles, we took a closer look at mammals. The children had to go on a tour around the classroom to find the information wheels and check the stages of the various life cycles. Then they could create their own and present their findings in their books.

British Science Week

We had a super time during British Science Week as we learnt about scientists, had visitors from Racing to School and also had the pleasure to explore the Y3 and Y4 Science Fair in school!


In Computing, we will continue to focus on online safety themed lessons at the start of our learning journey. We will also learn about the keyboard and word processing, as well as the parts of a computer. We will expand our understanding of coding by learning about what ‘computational thinking’ is and how to handle various forms of data​. Online safety is explicitly taught and embedded in all lessons.

We started our computing learning by getting to know the keyboard more. The children had to work through a sequence of activities and use all of their correct fingers to practise touch typing. This being a key life skill, we will make sure to spend more time on this so that children get used to typing accurately and with more and more speed.

We spent time on recapping the parts of the computers and making sure we understood any differences between laptops and desktop computers. We also shared with each other the definitions for the various parts.

To further develop our understanding of computational thinking, we worked on 4 parts: decomposition, pattern recognition, abstraction and algorithm design. The children also had to apply their maths knowledge of shapes to try and solve some decomposition tasks where they learnt about parts that make up a whole.

Design Technology

Year 5 will work on their designing skills where they will create designs to improve the user experience: the user being bugs in our bughouses. Year 5 have will learn when you would use sanding and what sanding is, how screws are driven into wood and important vocabulary and knowledge for using a drill. They will also learn which direction screws tighten and loosen. All this knowledge and these skills will be used to build bughouses with the consideration of materials and how the product will provide shelter and protection.

To start our project, we explored the different bug houses and bug hotels that can be made and their purpose as well as which ‘hotel guests’ might be interested in using our bug houses.

After learning about what bug houses are, what their purpose is and what types of insects they are for, we started planning our bug houses with the materials we will use in them, how they should look and where we might place them in our gardens.

To build our skills, we had Zoe from Deckle and Hide to run workshops for us so we could use saws, hammers and make sure we knew a lot about woodworking!

The children collected and considered what they wanted to fill their bug houses with. We made sure to recycle as much as we could too. Have a look at some of our finished designs!

History: Exploring the Maya

In History, we will move on to exploring the Ancient Maya Civilization. Our historical enquiry question that we will work towards being able to answer will be: Why should we remember the Maya? Firstly, we will work on our chronological understanding to place this civilization on a world history timeline so that the children know when this time period took place. Year 5 will also place the events of the Maya Civilization in an accurate order on a timeline—this will also include ensuring that events are accurately spaced out according to their dates.  We will be exploring the diversity of this particular civilization and will be learning about the gods they believed in, the cultural and spiritual significance of the historical game ‘Pok-a-Tok’ and we will also learn about why the Maya was an advanced civilization.

Year 5 are enjoying getting stuck into our new History topic, the Maya Civilization, and have spent time today in their lesson exploring when the Maya civilization was and why the Maya civilization ended. They have started to recognise how things either continue or change over time.    Year 5 were using their prior knowledge of BC and AD to be able to work on their timelines.

To further make our history learning memorable, we played the Ancient Maya game of Pok-a-Tok. The children realised how tricky it must have been as they tried not to use their hands of feet to touch the ball and get it through a hoop. We read about the rules and how the losing team got sacrificed to the gods!

On World Book Day, we took the opportunity to read more about the Maya. The children found out about where they lived, what they ate, what artefacts have been found from the civilisation and they could also create their own fact files with their illustrations.

We looked closer at primary and secondary historical sources of evidence. The children had some primary sources of evidence that they had to investigate and write down their reflections. Then we created a ‘class tour of a museum’ and shared our artefacts and findings with each other!

We further looked at secondary sources of evidence in the form of artwork. The children could create their own art and also had to explain how reliable these pieces of evidence were.


In MFL, we will develop our listening skills and show understanding by joining in and responding. To continue building our vocabulary, we will be using the French words of food with added adjectives. We will be using the correct forms of masculine and feminine. The children will apply what they have learnt and will be able to write sentences about their favourite foods and what they taste like.

We started by getting to know the French words for different food items. The children had to group these based on whether they were feminine or masculine words. They then also learnt French adjectives. They had to annotate their work and write the correct form of adjective to match the nouns. 

We carried on with our learning and wrote sentences to explain which foods we liked and which we didn’t like.

To take our writing further, we used ‘because’ in our sentences to explain which foods we like and why. The children had to make sure to match the correct noun and adjective forms to make sure their sentences had the correct spellings.


This half term, Year 5 will continue to learn how to play the ukulele. They will carry on learning the ways to strum up, down and skip. The children have their music lessons every Friday morning where they focus on developing their skills by engaging with music through their instrument, enhancing control by playing the strings, working with rhythm and working cooperatively. Year 5 will also develop and create their own rhythms and engage in call and response activities. This half term, we will also begin to learn about the orchestra and will enjoy a trip to the Carriageworks to see a piano concert.

The children have been continuing to work on their ukulele skills! We began the lesson with ‘don’t play this one back’. We then practised keeping up with the music by body percussion. We used knee taps, clicks, claps and stomps. We had to vary the speed and did it quickly and slowly as well. When playing the ukulele, we practised playing A minor and then D minor. We had to keep up with the music that changed between quick and slow tempo. We then had to make up our own songs in pairs and some pairs performed to the class.

The children spent more time working on the different frets and also added the elements of body percussion too!

In the last lesson, the children had a super recap of their learning so far and reflected on how far they have come in their ukulele playing!


In PSHE, we will learn about keeping safe and managing risks online and through building healthy relationships with others. We will explore the various ways children can make friends and maintain their friendships with each other. With this focus in mind, we will work on different scenarios, act these out and practise before the children can put them in action through their everyday interactions.

This half term, we have been exploring emotions and feelings and how to deal with feelings. This learning is extremely important, especially for our Year 5 pupils are they are growing into young adults. We first began by exploring all the different emotions and feelings that we knew of, and Year 5 came up with many! We discussed the terms ‘good’ and ‘bad’ feelings, where Year 5 developed the knowledge and understanding that no feelings are ever ‘bad’ but simply, some feelings are more comfortable than others and that some feelings can make us feel uncomfortable. We considered how feelings can present physically in our bodies, for example, feeling excited can give you butterflies in your tummy, feeling happy vs sad can change the way your body language presents, feeling nervous can make you have butterflies (similar to excitement but different) or perhaps even feeling a little bit sick. Year 5 had a very good understanding of how some feelings can present physically. . As part of our learning, we used Inside Out, the animated film as a stimulus.

We have worked on reaching out to make friends and we spent time in class speaking to different people and initiating conversation. We acted out conversations and had to think of questions to learn more about each other. 

Healthy Lifestyle Assembly

We came together to learn more about the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle. The children learnt about a varied and healthy diet and they ways we can look after our health by getting enough sleep and exercise. We discussed many sports that the children already play to keep them fit and healthy.

We carried on working on growing friendships in Year 5. The children had to ‘fish for compliments’ and give each other compliments. We talked about being sincere and insincere with our words and what effect this has on others. The children then had to explore common ground and interests they can find with each other to build their friendships on.

Zones of Regulation Assembly

We already use the colour zones for our check ins in Year 5 so it was great to have an assembly that explained strategies and wellbeing even further to the children. They collected many words to describe their emotions and we also had a great discussion about what to do if someone is not feeling in the green zone (ready to learn).


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, they will continue to develop their sportsmanship skills—encouraging and supporting their peers in lessons, including their coaching skills. In PE lessons, Year 5 will develop their skills in small sided cricket games and rounders games.

Year 5 and Year 6 had a great time spending time outside in their house teams, competing in a friendly environment. They played many football games and whilst waiting for their turn, also built their teamwork skills within their house groups. They did a great job cheering each other on too!

The children worked on improving their striking power by being explosive. They practised their skills in partners, small groups and built up to applying these skills in game situations as well whilst playing rounders. They also had to think of their position and tactics.

The children carried on with practising their throwing and catching skills. They worked in pairs, small groups and then in game situations too.