Summer 1 2021

I can’t believe we have already started our final term together! We have lots of exciting things in store for this half term and it definitely helps that the weather is starting to become more glorious each day! I hope you all had a wonderful Easter holiday. Now the restrictions are easing, it feels like life is slowly getting back to normal. Please continue to stay safe so that we can enjoy our learning in school, together! 


Collective Worship

May, Month of Mary

This month, we honour our Mother Mary during the month of May. We have turned our prayer table into a May altar with a blue cloth, a statue of Mary, flowers, prayers and rosary beads. Our worship this month will especially honour Mary.

Holy Day of Obligation: Ascension of Jesus Christ

Today, we celebrated the Ascension of Jesus Christ. We had a really special collective worship in class where we learnt about the Ascension of Jesus. We heard a reading from Gospel of John and said a special Ascension prayer. We considered how we can go forth and live the way Jesus taught us and wanted us to. Year 5 also enjoyed watching a Lego child friendly video that helped them to understand the story of Jesus’ Ascension even further. Soon, we will celebrate Pentecost so it was important that the children had time to understand this special Holy Day of Obligation.


First Holy Communion

Year 5 have been extremely reverent in their preparations for their First Holy Communion which they will receive on Saturday 25th April in church. They have been enjoyed learning about the different parts of the Mass, reflecting on their own faith journey so far and learning about how important Holy Communion is. For preparation, we use the Heart Speaks to Heart materials which guide us through the journey of preparation with 3 characters: Ryan, Jess and their Grandfather. We have had time to pray, reflect, discuss and think and the children have commented on how much they are enjoyed the preparation journey.

Year 5 are nearly fully prepared for their First Holy Communion. They have learnt how to receive the Body and Blood of Christ and what happens when we receive Holy Communion in church. We have used these cartoons and instructions to help us. (Photo Credit: Heart Speaks to Heart Material, Diocese of Leeds).

Year 5 received their First Holy Communion in church on Saturday 25th April and enjoyed their celebrations afterwards. It was an extremely special day and the children all commented on what a wonderful experience it was. We have now talked about how the children can continue with their faith journey and we will continue to think about this in collective worship, prayers and RE lessons. They enjoyed a celebration day in school where they all had the chance to wear their beautiful dresses and smart outfits, celebrate with a short liturgy service that was shared with families virtually and a party afternoon tea. Check out the pictures below to see our celebrations in school!




Our class text this half term is “The Boy at the Back of the Class” by Onjali Q Rauf. This book is written from the perspective of Alexa, one of the main characters, who describes the events that unfold when a new refugee boy joins their class.

Photo Credit: Book Trust

Meet our author read some of her book in the video below.

We started our learning journey by studying the front cover and reading the blurb to make predictions on what we thought the story would be about. Straight away, Year 5 predicted that the story would be about a boy and then from reading the blurb knew that it was about a boy named Ahmet joining the class after moving from another country. This provoked discussions linked to our topic in Geography of refugees and Year 5 started to wonder where Ahmet may have travelled from, which country he came from. We read the first chapter and met 3 characters: Josie, Michael and Tom. Year 5 now were starting to learn a lot more about some of the characters in the story due to the way Onjali introduced these characters and cleverly described them.

After introducing the story, we started to consider the empty chair at the back of the class that was introduced in the beginning of the book. “It all started with the empty chair.” Year 5 let their imagination run wild and started to discuss what could have happened. Now, some children in our class have already read the book as their own free choice book so they had to be careful not to give the story away but to still be imaginative (even though they know what happens!).

We had a class discussion about what could have happened on the third Tuesday of the school year and how it all started with the chair. In guided reading sessions, we analysed Onjali’s style of writing and noticed how she uses character descriptions to paint an image for the reader and how she injects humour into her writing also. Year 5 then planned and wrote their own narrative, continuing in the style of the author of our class text. They really enjoyed writing this and now can’t wait to read on and find out what actually happens! Our next writing project will be writing in role as Ahmet, the boy we know joins the this space!


This half term, we are continuing to focus on our key core objectives which involve written methods for the four operations, recalling times tables confidently and recalling other mental maths facts. We are also working really hard on fractions. Year 5 have been extremely resilient with their learning and have been active learners with an excellent growth mindset. They have continued to persevere when things have been tricky and are now really enjoying our unit in fractions.

To understand proper fractions, improper fractions and mixed numbers, we enjoyed a fun song and YouTube video to help us remember these types of fractions and numbers. Year 5 then worked on their fluency skills of converting improper fractions to mixed numbers using their times table fact knowledge before working through varied fluency style questions and questions to reason and problem solve with.


World Maths Day

Year 5 really enjoyed a Maths filled day today when we celebrated World Maths Day. They dressed up as ROCKSTARS and there were some absolutely fantastic costumes and hair styles! This was the perfect launch for our new Maths online learning programme Times Tables Rockstars (TTRS). Year 5 have really enjoyed developing their speed with their times tables and this is a whole class focus at the moment.


We had a very exciting taster session with Bryn from Tagtiv8. Tagtiv8 promotes physically active learning, which we already incorporate across the curriculum. Year 5 enjoyed working on some of their key core objectives in Maths in a new way today. They explored key facts about numbers and thinking outside of the box, their times tables as well as some friendly competition amongst their peers. We know that physically active learning not only promotes physical and mental health but it also makes learning more fun, embeds skills and facts easier because our pupils don’t realise they are learning – they feel like they are just having fun!

To find out more about Tagtiv8, please visit their website: Click here to visit Tagtiv8’s website.


This half term, we continue with our topic of Living Things before we will soon move on to our final topic of the year: Forces & Motion.

Endangered Species

Year 5 conducted research to find out about living things in our world that are endangered, their habitat, living conditions and country they are found it, reasons for being endangered and what can be done to help prevent them being endangered.

For example, Year 5 found that elephants are at risk of becoming endangered because of poachers and illegal hunting as well as habitat loss. They found that whales in the sea are at risk of becoming endangered because of plastic and oil pollution in the ocean.

To recognise that living things can be grouped in a variety of ways.

Year 5 applied their mathematical skills using a Carroll diagram in Science today to group living things. They considered the characterisitcs that could be the criteria for grouping such as vertebrate/invertebrate, has wings / does not have wings, lives under water / lives on land, lays eggs / does not lay eggs.

Here is an example of a Carroll diagram:

To describe the changes as humans develop to old age.

Year 5 considered their own experiences, their prior learning of changes that happen to humans as well as their new learning from their RSE lessons (Relationship and Sex Education) to describe the changes that happen to humans as they develop to old age. Year 5 firstly had to order the stages of a human’s life from foetus through to old age. They then applied their writing skills using adverbials for cohesion to describe the changes that happen between each stage. Year 5 learnt new words in today’s Science lesson: foetus to describe a baby in a mother’s womb before it is fully developed and adolescent to describe the stage of being a teenager. Take a look at an example of today’s task in Science.

To understand the term gestation and compare gestation periods of different mammals.

Year 5 applied their reading skills to learn about the term ‘gestation’. Year 5 learnt the terms ‘zygote’ and ‘foetus’ and their place in gestation periods. They then applied their mathematical skills and completed a scientific table of results, rounding the gestation period to the approximate gestation period by rounding to the nearest 10. Year 5 then used this table of results and created a bar chart to show the gestation periods of different mammals.

Pupil example of work for application of maths skills in Science.




Geography – Our World

Year 5 have been extremely excited to start our new topic, Our World. This half term, we will begin by exploring climate change and issues in our local area that might affect climate change. We will link directly with our Live Simply mission in school and work together to create change around an impact we all feel strongly about. We will then move on to exploring refugees and migration linked with our class text in English, The Boy at the Back of the Class.

Letter to the Mayor of Wetherby – Environment Focus: Littering

Before half term, Year 5 entered a competition where they created a poster to prevent littering in Wetherby. The whole class were extremely inspired and wanted to write a letter to the Mayor to try to help with this issue even further. A big thanks to Orla in our class who came up with the fantastic idea of writing the letter to the Mayor. This has provided us with such a rich stimulus for our learning in Geography.

First of alll, we spent time researching key facts and figures about littering and its impact on the environment. Year 5 were shocked, astounded and slightly horrified at some of the statistics. Here are some of the facts they found:

  • Littering has increased by 500% since the 1960s
  • 7 out of 10 items that are littered are food packaging and plastic items that could be recycled
  • 40% of litter is burnt in open air, causing toxic air emissions
  • Almost all litter ends up in the ocean, causing harm to ocean life

To ensure their facts were from reliable sources, Year 5 had to make sure the information was about the UK specifically and that they could trust the source.

Once we had researched and were happy with the amount of information we had found, we then went about planning our letter to the Mayor where we applied our core English skills in writing a formal letter. We had to carefully think about the tone of formality in our writing and consider key phrases and words we might use in our formal letter. We also were inspired to see what littering was like in our school grounds to set on a mission to try and improve this by the end of the school year.

We went on a litter picking mission around the school grounds and we were shocked at how much waste there was. We realised that some of the litter was blown in or thrown in to our grounds from outside of the school grounds so we worked really hard to clear as much as we could.

Refugees & Migration

Year 5 have begun learning about refugees and migration and enjoyed applying their mathematical skills in a lesson where they analysed statistics to draw clear conclusions about locations. They first developed their understanding of key vocabulary, including refuge, refugee, asylum, asylum seeker and many more. They learnt about the term refugee and why people become refugees. We watched a video from UNHCR to help us develop knowledge and understanding about refugees.

Year 5 then explored a range of statistical data to learn more about refugees. They had to apply mathematical skills to read the line graphs, tables of data, bar charts and distribution maps in order to answer the questions carefully. They also had to apply their reading skills to ensure they had read the question carefully and knew what the question was asking them. Year 5 also had to use their map and atlas skills in order to answer some questions that required geographical knowledge.

Year 5 are encouraged to develop their knowledge and understanding of the world through reading non-fiction books. Take a look at just some of our non-fiction books that the children can choose from.

Year 5 enjoyed a physically active lesson in Geography today where they made links with their own experiences, previous learning and own knowledge of the world. We looked at a range of pictures. Year 5 had to say where in the world they thought each picture was and why. From this, they then described each picture using figurative language, applying their writing skills. The first pictures actually showed Syria before the war but the children guessed that the places could have been Greece, Italy, Spain, China, India or Iran. We then looked at another set of pictures (which were actually Syria after the war). The children did exactly the same, saying where they thought in the world the places were and then they described each picture using figurative language again as a comparison to the previous pictures. When the children then found out that all the pictures were Syria, before and after the war, we captured how it made us feel and what we thought about it.

Year 5 then applied their writing skills in Geography and planned and wrote a diary entry in role as someone who has had to flee their country because of war and conflict. They had to step into the shoes of person who has had to flee their home country to find safety in another country, include thoughts and feelings about the experience of uprooting your life because you are unsafe, include details about what Syria was like before and after the war, using figurative language as well as describing the journey to safety and how they felt when they arrived in a safe place. 


MFL – French

This half term, Year 5 are learning how to talk about classroom objects in French. This links to our English class text, The Boy at the Back of the Class.

The first task was a word search that also involved translating words from English to French. We had to look at the English word, translate to French and then find the French spelling in the word search. We have word mats and French dictionaries to help us! It was very challenging but we applied a growth mindset to help with our resilience in our learning.

Year 5 enjoyed a fun, competitive activity today in French. They applied their new learning of classroom objects in French to play the memory game and SNAP. They had to match the picture of the classroom object to the word in French and pronounce it correctly. 

Year 5 then practised spelling the French words for classroom objects before they had a French spelling test. 



Take a look at our key words in Music this half term.

During the past few weeks in music we have learnt a song about the Mayan civilisation. This song was built on a structure using syncopated and triplet rhythms. The class have worked in small groups to analyse specific lyrics within a verse and the chorus and then were given the task of choreographing their own routine to accompany the song.

Care had to be taken to listen to the rhythms used and to keep a steady beat while making sure that they worked as a team in their ensemble. Year 5 have developed their vocal range and understanding of how to use their voices correctly and how to articulate the words in order for the audience to understand what they are singing. The end objective this half term was to film their work and record an audio recording to accompany the finished performance. We had fun working on this challenge and even got caught in the rain while filming!


Emotional Literacy & Wellbeing

To support the children’s wellbeing, we continue to have our morning check-ins. These 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.

Relationships & Sex Education (RSE)

Year 5 have started their RSE unit of work. We started by thinking about what we already think we know and how confident we feel about the subject of change, puberty and relationships. The children were able to reflect on this in a private way which also allowed them to raise questions with their teachers in private if they wanted to, alongside letting us know if they were worried about anything before we started.

We started by looking at our baby pictures and sharing with friends what has changed and what is the same. This gives the children chance to relax and have some fun as they start this unit of work as they really enjoy looking at pictures of each other as babies. We also considered how the children have already changed since that picture – what they can do now that they couldn’t do then and the skills and things they’ve learnt to see how much they have already changed since they were born. Take a look at just some of the ideas we captured from this discussion.

We finished the session with a superb book which reminds us about the journey they have already been on and how they are made in the image of God. After lots of excitable chat in the classroom, this book brings about a calming end to the lesson as the children all were mesmerised by the images and words which really are quite moving. The book is called Angel in the Waters by Regina Doman. It tells the story of how, in its mother’s womb, a baby grows, explores the waters, and talks with the angel who is there. The gentle illustrations tell the story of that baby and angel, delighting young children because the journey from conception to birth is their story, too.

We have moved on now to learning all about the changes that happen to boys and girls. The children sorted the changes that happen during puberty into a Venn diagram: just boys, just girls or changes that happen to both. They worked with their close friends for emotional support as topics like this can sometimes feel a little awkward so having a close friend at your side can really help.


Mental Health Awareness Week

This week, we have been considering ways to take care of our mental health as it has been Mental Health Awareness Week. We began by talking about what mental health is – that we all have mental health, just like we all have physical health. We talked about the ways we take care of our physical health. Some examples were: brushing our teeth for dental hygiene, eating a healthy balanced diet, sleeping, staying hydrated, stretching before and after exercise, taking warm baths if we are sore/aching after exercise, visiting the doctors or going to the hospital if we hurt our body (e.g. breaking a bone), as well as visiting the dentist for our teeth and the opticians for our eyes. We then talked about the ways we can take care of our mental health. Take a look below where we captured some of our ideas to take care of our mental health.

One thing that came out of this discussion was thinking positively about ourselves. We all noticed how easy it can be to think negatively, to think we aren’t good at things, to criticise ourselves and we talked about the inner voice we all have. If we tweak this inner voice and speak to ourselves in a positive and kind way, the way we would speak to others, then this can help to take care of our mental health too. Year 5 then filled in 3 shapes to say “I am….”, “I have…” and “I can…” to give them an opportunity to think positively about themselves.



Year 5 have continued with their weekly swimming lessons as well as our Monday morning interventions where Year 5 children attend an additional swimming lesson in smaller groups. They really enjoy their swimming lessons and are developing their skills in a range of swimming strokes, swimming long distance as well as increasing their speed and performing self rescue in the water.

Olympic Day

Year 5 enjoyed their Olympic day where they explored a range of Olympic type activities. This was a great opportunity for Year 5 to apply all of their skills learnt and developed throughout the school year. They particularly enjoyed the competitive nature of the day and enjoyed racing against each other in groups, in girls, boys and in houses. Year 5 showed great sportsmanship and were cheering their friends on, encouraging others to keep going and celebrating each others’ successes which was lovely to see! A fantastic day of Olympics! Take a look at the pictures below to see the children in action whilst racing.