Summer 1

Happy Easter! I hope you all had a very restful, happy and holy Easter and enjoyed the 2 week Easter holiday. Welcome back to school! There isn’t long now left of Year 5 so I hope you are all feeling well-rested and raring to go for another busy term in Year 5 before you embark on your final year in primary school. Over the Easter holidays, I got married! It’s going to take some time to get used to calling me by my now married name as I have come back to school as Mrs Cooper! Let’s see how long it takes us all (including me!) to get used to it! 

Keep checking this page for regular updates throughout summer term 1.


Our topic this half term is Life in the Risen Lord where we explore what the resurrection of Jesus Christ means to us and how it informs our lives. We continue to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus during Easter week and we have been reflecting on our own celebrations during Easter weekend. Many of us went to Mass on Easter Sunday where we renewed our baptismal promises. Many of us enjoyed an Easter egg hunt or time with family, friends and loved ones. We enjoyed talking about how we celebrated the Easter weekend.

Our first lesson of the half term gave children the opportunity to make connections to their own experiences, their existing knowledge and understanding and perhaps any previous learning around Easter and Jesus’ resurrection. The class enjoyed an extensive discussion and then had chance to write down their own thoughts, feelings and knowledge in a spider map. We then explored the story in the Bible where Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene after she discovers the empty tomb. If you want to explore this part of the Bible, there is a useful, child friendly video below that explores when Jesus appears to Mary.

Living in Leeds Week: Other Faiths

Year 5 enjoyed their learning in RE during our Living in Leeds week where they began learning about the world religions. This is the beginning of this learning journey where they will learn more about the different religions where we live. This links to our curriculum intent of being aspirational for local community and wider world and is part of our core values at St Joseph’s of tolerance and mutual respect, something we will be learning more about this half term. 

We first started by considering the religions of the people that live in Leeds and the religions that the children knew of and this is what the children thought of: Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Sikhism, Islam, Hinduism and no religion. The children then applied their mathematic arithmetic skills of addition, subtraction and rounding to interpret and explore statistics and data. We used the most recent census data that is available to the public (2011 and 2001) and considered the difference between both census dates. To remind us what a census was, we reminded ourselves of how Mary and Joseph travelled to Bethlehem for the census day and how we still do this every 10 years – the information that is collected includes things like where you live, who lives in your house, how much money your house earns and your religion if you have one, for example.

Collective Worship

Easter/The Resurrection of Jesus Christ

We returned to school on Easter Tuesday after just celebrating Easter last weekend. During collective worship this week, we have been rejoicing in the good news and we have been reflecting on the important of the Jesus’ resurrection.

We reflected on the Passover and the Last Supper that Jesus held with his disciples before he was crucified by Pontius Pilot and we have been thinking about the Stations of the Cross during Holy Week, which was during the Easter holidays. We reflected on the Easter weekend and the events that took place on Good Friday, Easter Saturday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday and enjoyed a special collective worship together. We will always include these special liturgies from the Mark 10 Mission so if you want to join together with this at home with your families, you can.

Divine Mercy Sunday

Sunday 24th April is Divine Mercy Sunday so we will be sharing in a special collective worship together on Monday!

Divine Mercy Sunday focuses on the gift of mercy and love given through Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. As Pope John Paul II stated, “Divine Mercy reaches human beings through the heart of Christ crucified.


We have started a brand new class text this half term and this is one of my favourite books to read with Year 5! Our new class text is called ‘The Boy at the Back of the Class’  by Onjali Q Rauf. We started our English topic this half term by exploring the front cover and predicting what we think the book is going to be about. I tried my hardest not to give anything away, even by not telling the children what our new topic was going to be – because this would have been a huge give away. We then enjoyed reading Chapter 1 together. Year 5 sat back and just enjoyed listening to the story being read to them for pleasure. They then read the chapter back to themselves to explore the vocabulary and the information given to them so far. They then had a set of inference questions to answer which allowed them to delve further into the chapter, exploring their understanding, their inference skills and using the text to show what they knew about the characters introduced so far. 

Year 5 have really enjoyed our story time each day reading this book together and we have now found out that the boy at the back of the class in fact a boy called Ahmet, a refugee from Syria. The story is narrated by a child in the class who we now know is a girl called Alexa. She has 3 friends called Tom, Josie and Michael who all want to be friends with Ahmet and who do really kind things to make Ahmet feel welcome. The children couldn’t wait to step into the shoes of Ahmet to write a diary entry from his perspective.

We used spelling aerobics to practise spelling some of the tricky words associated with this book, such as ‘refugee’, ‘seclusion’ and ‘Ahmet’. We also recapped vowels and consonants and had a different move depending on whether the letter was a vowel or a consonant. The children jumped for a vowel, jumped a clapped for a capital letter vowel and squatted for a consonant.

Year 5 then followed our usual writing process which involves planning their ideas for a short amount of time: bullet pointing their ideas for each paragraph and thoughts and feelings to include in their diary entry. We discussed a good first paragraph and how the children can skip across the timeline in their diary entry but ensuring they stay in a ‘diary entry’ prose instead of swapping to a story. For this, we use phrases like “I remember…”, “When I think back to…” etc. Year 5 then enjoyed writing their diary entry. We love having quiet relaxing music on to help us focus and concentrate so it was a very relaxing atmosphere to write in. Year 5 then edited and improved their writing with a focus first on spellings and punctuation before they considered how they could further improve their diary entries by adding, moving or removing any of their work (following our RAMPS editing and improving method). Year 5 also enjoyed swapping with their peers to read their peer’s work, peer assessing as they went – the children got 5 house points for each mistake their partner made so the stakes were high and the children were motivated to edit and improve well first!

In class, once we had finished our writing and edited and improved it, we talked about the different job and career opportunities that are involved in writing as we always aim to make our learning link to real life and develop our children to be lifelong learners. We talked about the following:

  • writer
  • editor
  • publisher
  • illustrator

The children published their writing and wrote their diary entries as neat as possible and then a selection has been displayed in our key stage 2 area as well as being displayed in our classroom on our English working wall. What super publishers they all are!


During our first week of Maths, Year 5 have been revising the written methods for all four operations and applying this fluency skill in tricky word problems to practise their reasoning and problem solving skills – something we identified as quite tricky last half term! The children enjoyed these lessons with an active twist where they had to choose their question, answer it whilst showing their working and then out of their seats again to check their work against the answers. If they weren’t quite there yet, they had to go back with their purple pen to have another go and find out where they went wrong – a brilliant skill of any mathematician as we know in Year 5 we learn best when we make mistakes. This was a good for troubleshooting any areas that we found tricker than others, such as 3 step word problems or multiplying decimal numbers.

We will continue exploring fractions this half term by first learning to calculate fractions of amounts and then converting fractions to decimals and percentages. Towards the end of the half term, we will use the skill of multiplying and dividing by 10, 100 and 1000 to convert between different units of measure.


Earth Day

Building on our Live Simply mission, last half term’s topic ‘Our Precious Planet’ and our ‘8 to be great’ pledges, Adrian from Boston Spa Green Group visited Year 5 and Year 6 to talk in more depth about the climate emergency through a morning workshop. The children started off looking at the carbon footprint of familiar foods and were surprised to learn of foods we eat on a daily basis having a high carbon footprint, such as meat, butter and eggs. We learnt that it is always best to shop locally and seasonally.

We compared and contrasted different countries and their carbon footprints through an active Burn2Learn game outside. We then explored materials and how we should dispose of them, e.g. general waste, recycling, composting or another way of disposal (e.g. charity shops, Teracycle points).

Adrian also talked to the children about biodiversity and we learnt that one simple oak tree can house up to 2,300 species. Throughout the workshop, the children were making links to their own experiences, prior learning and knowledge linked to our Live Simply mission and our ‘8 to be great’ pledges.

Adrian was extremely impressed with the children’s knowledge and understanding of the climate emergency and their current participation and practice in working towards achieving the goal of net zero and greener planet for all.

Thank you to Adrian for visiting our school! For more information, or to get involved, please visit

Click here to visit the Boston Spa & Villages Green Group website.


Leeds Rhinos – Project 9 Rugby Workshop

Year 5 enjoyed a rugby workshop with Leeds Rhinos as part of our partnership with Leeds Rhinos Foundation through their initiative to get more young people involved in the sport (Project 9). We have been involved in this for a while now and all of our Year 5 pupils have been invited to sign up to receive 2 free tickets for every home match, played at the Emerald Headingley Stadium.

The workshop was jam packed with activities and drills to support the children’s understanding of the rules of rugby league and the skills and tactics needed to play the game. The first game was a game of tig with a twist – this allowed the children to develop their skill in placing the ball on the ground (like when scoring a try), spin passing the ball and playing the ball after a 6 tackles (knowing that one side can have 6 plays/tackles before the opposition has the ball for their 6 plays/tackles). They then had a relay race to practise their grip of the rugby ball – they had to pass the ball around their back and then pass the ball through their legs. Finally, a game of infinity tig allowed the children to develop their agility and awareness which is needed in a game of rugby as the aim is to get the opposite end of the pitch to score a try – dodging through as many players as you can.

All the children thoroughly enjoyed this workshop and all said they learnt more about rugby and were more interested in the sport.

Year 5 parents/carers – if you would like more information on how to register for 2 free match tickets for any home fixtures (for a child and a parent), please refer to the Project 9 letter that has already been sent via email or please speak to Mrs Cooper.

To find out more about Project 9, please click on the button below.

Leeds Rhinos – Project 9 Initiative

Here are some photos of the children in action! Please swipe across to view them all.