“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen… can change the world.”  – Malala Yousafzai

Welcome to Year 5

Miss Waite

Miss Waite

Y5 Class Teacher (RE & Music Coordinator)

Mrs Riordan

Mrs Riordan

Y5 Teaching Assistant

Miss Hazar

Miss Hazar

Y5 Teaching Assistant



Physically Active Learning



Physically Active Learning

In Year 5, we aim to provide our pupils with enjoyable and active learning experiences as often as we can and as and when the curriculum lends itself to such activities! Please take a look through our webpage to see some of the Burn2Learn activities our children enjoy.

Academic Year 2019/20

Welcome back to school! I hope you’ve all had a restful and wonderful summer holiday and are raring to go for a fantastic year in Year 5. Mrs Frost and I are both looking forward to get to know you all and we know we are going to have a fantastic year!

Keep an eye out for all the exciting things we do together, as they will soon pop up on this webpage!

School Trips, Visits and Workshops

It is extremely important to have exciting and engaging experiences to enrich and enhance children’s learning. Therefore, I have planned many trips, visits and workshops in line with the Year 5 curriculum. Please see the school calendar for full details. Here are a few of the opportunities that have been arranged so far for this academic year:

  • Shakespeare Theatre Production 
  • Year 5 Residential Retreat 
  • PSHE: SJF Taster Day

Y5/6 Statutory Spellings

Please encourage your children to practise these compulsory Year 5 and 6 spellings, these are essential and should be practised alongside spellings set on Spellodrome.

Compulsory Spelling List – Y5&6

Autumn Term 1 2019

Our topic this half term is Our Wonderful World. Continue to check our class web page to see what exciting things we get up to this half term.



Year 5 Collective Worship

Take a look at our Prayer Table in Year 5. This is the focal point of our classroom. We gather around here each morning and we focus all of our prayers this way. We begin our day focusing on it and end our day reflecting on it. We keep Christ at our Centre always.

Class Saint Feast Day – Tuesday 1st October: St Therese

On Tuesday, we celebrated our class saint. The children decided they wanted to come into school in their own clothes and have a tea party. As part of their treat, they chose to go to the library and hear a few chapters of their favourite book. Then back in class, we learned about our class saint – we listened to the story of her life and we talked about what we can learn from her and how we can be more like St Therese. Many children said they were inspired by the story and that it helped them see the importance of being kind to everyone. 

The children really enjoyed their tea party and we finished our special day with a very special collective worship and prayer to ask St Therese to guide us throughout Year 5. 

Harvest Festival

Pupils from Year 1 all the way up to Year 6 led our Harvest Festival today. During the lead up to our Harvest Festival in school, the Mini Vinnies collected food items and monetary donations to offer to the less fortunate through our local SVP Centre (St Vincent de Paul). We enjoyed a Harvest celebration full of readings, prayer, song and dance where parents and visitors also joined us too. During this time, we thanked God for all of the wonderful things he gives us each day and also kept those less fortunate than us in our prayers. 




RE – Gifts from God

This half term we will spend time reflecting on our Gifts from God and parables that link to this. We will begin by digging deep into the meaning of the Creation Story (Genesis 1) and will think about how this story has shapes religion and how it shapes our lives too. We will consider our own gifts and talents and will think about how we can show our gratitude and thanks to God.

To know the story of Creation and reflect on its meaning.

To start our new topic, we had time to reflect on the wonder of nature and ask questions about nature itself. We listened to the Creation story and then chose an item from nature, e.g. a leaf, a feather, a blade of grass, and had to think about what we wondered about that item and how it reminded us of the story of nature.

Year 5 used drama and role play to retell the story of Creation. They had to ensure they remembered the order of the days and what God created first. We talked about why God rested on the seventh day and why this is important for us now as Christians.

To know that God calls us to care for his creation.

After reflecting on the creation story, we started to think about how we can care for creation. We thought of a range of ideas and ways that we could care for God’s people, God’s animals and God’s earth. We shared all of these and also said a prayer to ask God to help us and guide us in looking after his wonderful creation. We explored some new key words in RE – co-creator, de-creator and ‘Steward of Creation’. We learnt about how some people in the world do all they can to care for God’s creation and build it up but unfortunately, there are some people that just want to tear it down.

Spelling Aerobics for RE words

To help us with the key spellings of these words, we used Burn2Learn Spelling Aerobics to help us remember the spellings of our new key words in RE. We had to squat for a consonant and star jump for a vowel – we got faster and faster each time that eventually the children wanted to turn it into a race. We had great fun!

The Fall

Year 5 enjoyed using role play to explore the story of Adam and Eve. They listened to the story from the Bible and then reenacted the story using role play. In groups, they decided who would play Adam, who would play Eve, who would play God, who play the serpent and if they had an extra member, who would play the narrator. We explored who was actually in the wrong for the ‘original sin’ of eating the apple and through discussion, the children talked about it being God for tempting Adam and Eve, Eve for actually taking a bite from the apple and the serpent (the devil) for tempting Eve with the apple. We enjoyed watching each other’s performances and used the nature around us to further enhance them too! 





This half term, we have started by recapping on some basic skills such as word classes, the use of apostrophes, using compound sentences correctly with coordinating conjunctions and fronted adverbials. Year 5 have been working really hard!

The Boy at the Back of the Class

In guided reading, we have been exploring the novel called ‘The Boy at the Back of the Class’. This book is about a refugee who moves to London and joins a brand new school. The children really enjoyed reading the first chapter and being able to guess who might come and sit in the empty chair at the back of the classroom or who the new boy is/where he might have come from. Once we discovered that Ahmet was a Syrian refugee – the children then used hot seating to explore Ahmet’s thoughts and feelings a little more before they begin to re-write the first chapter in the viewpoint of Ahmet.

From this hot seating activity, the children were able to ask questions about the text to improve their understanding and develop a bank of words that will help them in their writing from the responses that ‘Ahmet’ gave in his answers. Some of the children’s questions were really insightful:

“Why did you have to leave your home?” “How did it feel moving to a brand new place and a brand new school?” “Did you travel with anyone?” “Do you have a family?” “Are you interested in making new friends?”

We then all stepped into the shoes of Ahmet and thought about how it might feel to have to leave your home due to war, watch your home be destroyed, have your family die because of a war and then have to travel to a completely new country where you cannot speak the language. The children developed a great bank of words that they can now choose to thread into their writing.

Diary Entries

The children have really enjoyed using this class text as their stimulus and as a class we have been reading the book together as often as we can. We moved on to writing diary entries in the role as any character from the book. This gave the children the choice as to who they would write as. We began by discussing the purpose of a diary entry and our audience. Year 5 established that technically, no one should be reading a diary entry as it is private and personal to the person writing the diary entry. The purpose of a diary entry is to record events, thoughts and feelings from one or a selection of events that have already happened.

The children then had to identify the features of a diary entry. They identified writing in first person and in past tense, including thoughts and feelings and writing events in chronological order.

I modelled planning the diary entry in role as Mrs Khan (the class teacher). The children then planned their own diary entry as a character of their choice. Once we were ready to write, I modelled writing a paragraph and then altogether, we composed another paragraph. Every child was part of this and had an input to what we chose to write. The children then wrote their own diary entries and wow, they were fantastic!

Editing & Improving

When editing and improving our writing, we are checking our spellings, checking our writing makes sense, our punctuation and we are looking to add, remove or change any sentences to have the greatest impact on the reader. In Year 5, we like to make sure our editing and improving sessions are as active as possible – we stand up and read our work backwards to check spellings, we go outside or into another room to read our work out loud to check it makes sense and we work together as much as possible.


Shakespeare Theatre Company Performance: Romeo & Juliet

We kick started our next exciting stimulus in English with a fantastic experience from the Shakespeare Theatre Company who performed Romeo and Juliet. The performance lasted all morning and the children were fully involved from start to end. They were captivated by the story and range of contrasting characters. Using this stimulus over the next few weeks is going to be fantastic: I can’t wait. Thank you to the Friends of St Joseph and all the parents, grandparents and carers who support their fundraising, as without this, we simply couldn’t have these experience for the children.

Writing inspired by Romeo & Juliet

Year 5 wanted to write another diary entry in role as either Romeo or Juliet so we worked on developing our vocabulary to continue to build on the skills we already had in diary writing. We used role play to explore the feelings or Romeo and Juliet where we captured key words, phrases and sentences that could be used to magpie in writing. The children loved getting back into role as Montagues and Capulets and fighting and especially loved becoming Romeo or Juliet.

To identify and use modal verbs.

Year 5 have been introduced to modal verbs in English this week ready to use them in a formal letter linked to Romeo and Juliet. First, they enjoyed a game of ‘Cups’ where they worked in 2 teams – one team had to turn all the modal verbs cup up and the other team had to turn all the modal verbs cup down – which ever team had the most cups with modal verbs on them turned their way – wins!!

The children then had to apply their new knowledge of modal verbs from identifying them in the Burn2Learn game above in finding them in a passage – linked to a letter they had read in English the day before when identifying the features of a formal letter. They had to read the passage with a partner and identify the modal verbs before writing their own sentences, linked to Romeo and Juliet, using modal verbs.






In Year 5, we love using the library – from popping in to borrow or return a book, for quiet reading or whole class reading time or for a quiet space to work or just enjoy a good book on our own! The whole class visited to borrow a book and had some time to read quietly in the relaxing and calm space. All the children wanted to be in the library so there was a great buzz and a lovely atmosphere as the children were choosing books, recommending books to others and helping peers to choose a book to read. It was so lovely to see the children excited about all our new books in the library too! 


Year 5 have developed their knowledge of place value, including reading, writing, ordering and comparing numbers to 1,000,000 and they have been working so hard! The children are using the place value headings really well and have adopted some new tricks and tips to help them read the numbers easier. We used a range of representations to help us with this, including Base 10 and counters. We also used Varied Fluency and reasoning and problem solving challenges to really enhance the children’s understanding of such an important topic that underpins everything in maths.

Year 5 then moved on to rounding whilst continuing to use their knowledge of place value to support them. We recapped the method to round numbers and then working on developing our fluency and speed with rounding before applying this to reasoning and problem solving contexts.

Counting forwards and backwards in powers of 10

Year 5 used their knowledge of their 10 times tables to help them count forwards and backwards in powers of 10 – this could have been 10, 100, 1000, 10,000, 100,000 etc. They worked really well on this and also enjoyed a fun and active Burn2Learn activity.

Adding and subtracting numbers mentally

Year 5 have been exploring quick ways to add and subtract number mentally. They have started to think about using a number line in their head whilst doing the calculation. I explained that this would help them complete the calculations quickly and that we needed these skills in order to work through column addition and subtraction efficiently and quickly. The children then applied this on a quick paced game on the iPad – they were totally engaged and working in competition with their peers. The iPad allowed for challenge also as some children were working on adding 2 digit numbers mentally, some 2 digits + 3 digit numbers and some children were working on adding 3 digit numbers and more mentally.


Science – Earth & Space

Exploring the planets in our solar system

Year 5 enjoyed a Burn2Learn activity where they had to find all of the planets in our solar system and then think about their order.

Year 5 then learned about ‘mnemonics’ to help them remember the order of the planets. A mnemonic is used much more often that the children originally thought, for example….

I taught them a song that I sing to help me remember the order of the planets and the children then had to use this song to help them order the planets.

To describe the movement of the Earth and Moon.

We explored the movement of the Earth and Moon through a Burn2Learn activity. The children learnt that it takes the Earth 1 whole year to orbit the sun fully, 24 hours (1 full day) to complete one full rotation (spin) and it takes the Moon 1 month to orbit the Earth.

We then created models using out DT skills to represent the movement of the Earth and Moon in relation to the Sun. This allowed the children to independently apply what they had learnt previously and time to embed this understanding.

Science Homework Project!

We were super impressed with all of the hard work from Year 5 – their Science projects were unbelievable! They really demonstrated their understanding of the learning we have done so far – including how the planets orbit the Sun, the distance between the planets, the position of planets in the solar system, the layers of the atmosphere and so much more…. Well done Year 5! They were all absolutely fantastic…here are a few examples…



Linking to our Science topic, in Art this half term we will explore spheres linking to our Science topic of Earth & Space.

Exploring shading pencils

To start our first topic in Art, Year 5 explored the different art shading pencils we have. They had to explore and comment on the darkness and blackness of each pencil. The children realised that the harder you pressed for some pencils didn’t make a difference for the hardness of the shade compared with the darkest pencil. They then had to order the pencils in terms of their shades.

Identifying shadows and reflection in spherical objects

After exploring the shades of pencils, we then explored shadows and reflections in spherical objects in real life. The children had to look at the object and identify where the shadow and reflection was and suggest why the shadow and reflection was being created. We had to bring in our scientific understanding of shadows here. Some children were able to explain that if the sun was in the middle of the sky, then the shadow would be directly underneath the object and the reflection would be at the top. Year 5 were also able to explain that a shadow is the space where an object is blocking the sun and a reflection is where the sun rays are bounced off the object – to the human eye, we see this as lighter than the rest of the object.

Using shading to create interesting effects

Year 5 have now started to explore using their knowledge of shading and their understanding of shadows and reflections to try to create shadows and reflections in their own drawings. This has been the initial draft stage where the children have had the freedom to explore this themselves before we move on to learning the skills of creating interesting effects such as shadows and reflection whilst shading.

Final Pieces & Evaluation

Year 5 worked really hard on their final pieces – applying all of the skills they have developed this half term in Art to create a 3D effect in their artwork using shadow and reflection. The children were really proud and myself and Mrs Riordan were super impressed! The artwork took the focus in our classrooms and hung on our washing lines. The children had a chance to evaluate their artwork. They wrote about what pleased them about their final piece, how they managed to create shadow and reflection, what they liked about their artwork, what was difficult and what they would change if they were to repeat this final piece. It is really important to reflect on what we have learnt and evaluate our work so we know how to improve next time. Well done Year 5!


Year 5 have been developing their knowledge and skills on an app called ‘Keynote’. Keynote is an app on iPads that allows you to create presentations that includes animations, videos, audios, images whilst also developing the knowledge of buttons and links – just like an app would work. The children had to really think about how they wanted their ‘app’ to work. We talked about how they needed to create pages and how each button that the user presses needs to lead to something.

The first stage of creating their app/presentation in Keynote was the planning stage.

Once the children had designed the layout and where their buttons would take them, they began designing on the iPad – learning how to use all of the features within the program and how to add links to their buttons so that the presentation would work. The children learnt a range of technical skills such as altering the layering of a picture and text (bringing a photo to the front or back), inserting animations, audio files and much more. This is a work in progress so please keep checking on how Year 5 develop this project.

After working on our Keynote presentations over the course of several weeks, the children got to the stage where they were finishing their apps. The next step was ‘playing’ their app and checking for any errors or links/buttons that didn’t work – this was key to the children creating effective apps that link properly. Year 5 also worked with their peers to peer assess each other’s apps by playing them too as there are always things you spot when you are looking at someone else’s work. 

Computing & Coding Event at the Yorkshire Air Museum

4 pupils from Year 5 were very lucky to be chosen to attend a computing and coding event at the Yorkshire Air Museum. Their Keynote apps/presentations really stood out and were excellent both technically and visually. 

We had an absolutely fantastic time and the 4 pupils chosen represented St Joseph’s wonderfully. Both staff and children that attended this training event learnt a new variety of ways to use our brand new class sets of iPads – all which link to the computing curriculum. The children enjoyed exploring Scratch, coding using Lego and also presenting their own Keynote apps to the all that attended. It was a fantastic day! We would like to thank JTRS and David Kirtlan for inviting us to this event.

Geography – Our World

In Geography, we started by recapping some of that Geographical ‘sticky knowledge’ that is always needed – continents and oceans of the world! The children had to have a go themselves first, using key words if needed, at labelling the continents and oceans on a world map. Then, they had to use our brand new atlases to check if they were correct or make any corrections. I was really pleased to see that many children were confident with continents and oceans which meant we could move on to something a little more trickier.

Maths in Geography: Coordinates

We then moved on to developing our maths skills in Geography and used coordinates. We first recapped how to read and write coordinates – across the corridor first, then up and down the stairs or a new one, we crawl before we climb! The children then had to locate the coordinates on their map and identify which continent the coordinates were found in – some even used compass directions to be really specific about whereabouts in the continent was, e.g. east of Africa. 

To identify how physical features affect the human activity within a location.

Year 5 have been exploring different places to live around the world. Their task today was to look at a range of places to live and identify what the life for a child would be like in each place. They had to explain what the child would do for fun, what chores/jobs they would have to do and the positives and negatives for living in that place. For all of these points, they had to link it to the physical features of that environment. For example, the house in the middle of a valley might not have internet access or the refugee camp might not have running water – these things would affect the child’s way of life.

To analyse statistics in order to draw clear conclusions about locations.

In Geography today, Year 5 were exploring a range of bar charts, line graphs and maps to draw conclusions about locations about refugees. We first discussed what statistics were – data collected. The children then had to use a range of mathematical skills to draw conclusions about each set of data. Some of this involved reading and interpreting the bar chart or map, using addition or subtraction to find the answer or working out the greatest/least value. I saw so much perseverance and hard work during this lesson – there was a lot of tricky maths going on, as well as developing our map skills! Well done Year 5!

To understand and describe how the world is interconnected and interdependent.

Year 5 have been beginning to understand how the world is interconnected and interdependent through food production around the world. The children enjoyed a Burn2Learn activity where they had to find the names of the foods that were located around the school – they had to be quick as there were house points for the first team to collect all the foods. They then had to research where each food was produced in order to complete the next activity – this involved using ICT safely and sensibly through iPads. Once the children had found out where each food was produced, they had to then locate this on a world map until they had a full overview of food production around the world. Then, they were able to see how the world is interconnected and interdependent. We also had some parent visitors to join us for this lesson who commented on what a tricky concept this was to grasp so well done Year 5 and thank you to our Y5 parents for visiting us in class.

MFL – French

This half term in French, we are exploring school and school routines. We began by recapping key words and phrases that we already know in French such as greetings, colours and numbers so that we could use our existing knowledge to help us listen to and understand a passage in French. We linked our learning to Geography and thought about where the French language comes from – France – and found this on the map. 

L’ école – School

We have been exploring how to talk about our school in French. We have learnt the difference between ‘voici’ and ‘voila’

Here is – Voici        Look there – Voila

Year 5 really enjoyed having a go at translating some key phrases and then speaking the phrases in French. They found it difficult to pronounce some words but tried their very best. We also learnt a key phrase of ‘I do not play here‘ – ‘Je ne jous pas’.

Twinning Visit – Privas

This afternoon, we had a visit from the Twinning Organisation that work with local schools in Wetherby to develop and maintain partnerships with schools in Wetherby’s twin town – Privas. The whole school learnt about the similarities between Wetherby and Privas. They learnt that Privas was also a market town, also had a river and a bridge. We will continue this in class to learn about the culture and way of living in a place that is so similar, yet so different.

Places around school

Year 5 really enjoyed a Burn2Learn activity in French this week. We have been developing our knowledge of places around school so to put them to the test, they had to test their partner. First, we recapped the names of places around school e.g. la bibliotheque is a library, la salle de classe is the classroom and le cour is the playground. We then enjoyed a Burn2Learn activity where the children had to write down either the English of French word of the place around school and their partner had to shout the word in the other language. It was a real competition between all children! Well done Year 5!

We even used spelling aerobics to help us remember how to spell some the tricky words in French! Check out the video below of Year 5 in action!

Click here to see our: French Spelling Aerobics – Burn2Learn






In Music this half term, Year 5 are working on Samba focusing on rhythm and composition of ideas. The children have been developing their musicality skills with keeping in time with each other, keeping a beat going and also creating their own rhythms.

The children have really been developing their skills in Samba and have learnt a range of rhythms, tunes and have also had the chance to create their own compositions in groups. They have also been working on holding a steady rhythm as a whole class which was great fun and quite difficult – you really had to concentrate to be successful! Well done Year 5!



For our first PE lesson, we we learning to develop our endurance skills as well as tactical skills. The children had opportunities to run for long distances, play a range of games where they had to dodge and think carefully about how to manoeuvre and then we applied all of these skills in a game of tag rugby – the ultimate dodging, tactical game!

Observation & Feedback

In PE, Year 5 worked on developing their observational skills to give feedback to others. They did this through throwing and catching – all the children were confident with underarm and overarm throws and were mostly confident with catching so they were then asked to throw in different ways and provide feedback to the members in their group. This meant that if a child threw a ball that wasn’t aimed at the person they were throwing to, rather than saying “Never mind, try again next time.” the group would work together and talk about how that individual could improve. This is something that teachers do constantly so the children enjoyed pretending to be teachers to make this a little easier for them.

Dribbling Skills

This week, Year 5 were developing their dribbling skills through hockey. The children learnt that the hockey stick has to be smiling, not frowning and the way their hands should be positioned around the hockey stick. The children were involved in a range of drills, games and activities to develop their dribbling skills as well as their spatial awareness of what was around them.


In Year 5, we understand that being able to work in a team is essential in any sport. Today, we played a range of team building games and exercises – all that either got our hearts pumping fast, our minds working hard, or both! We played a game where we were in 3 teams and had to all hold hands in a circle and pass a hula hoop all the way round the circle without letting go of each others’ hands. We also played a game where you had to run across the cones as quickly as possible without knowing the pathway – this meant the children had to also use their memory skills as well as team work and encouragement to help others. Finally, we played a game of ultimate dodgeball! Every single child showed support and encouragement to their team members which was great to see. This was a chance to apply the teamwork skills they had developed during the initial activities in a game situation. I even joined in too! What a fun PE lesson! Well done Year 5!

Well-being Week: Run a Mile

To mark our launch of Well-being Week, Miss Mac (Our PE Coordinator) launched a new initiative that all classes will be taking part in – Run a Mile! Year 5 ran their mile on the first afternoon of Well-being Week. There are a range of benefits to the Run a Mile initiative including improving social, emotional and mental health of our pupils, all children are included and all children succeed, children enjoy the sense of freedom outside in the fresh air, it reduces anxiety and stress, children know they are healthier and can be proud of their fitness and finally, it is a short afternoon break with a purpose! Plus, the children don’t have to get changed into their PE kits – they just need outdoor shoes and off they go! Well done Year 5! 




Because a lot of us hadn’t seen each other for the whole of the 6 week holidays, we spent some time catching up with everyone and learning about what everyone got up to in the summer holidays. We did this through a team building challenge game! The children had to work in pairs to find out specific things about the rest of the class, e.g. who had been on a boat and then they had to find out an extra piece of information about that e.g. what colour was the boat/where did they travel to? The children absolutely loved the activity and didn’t want to stop until they had completed all the questions! Great teamwork!

Investors in Pupils

We kicked off our first half term of the year with a fantastic 3 days together. We established our class rules and talked about the individual targets want to work on for this half term. Some children chose to work on drinking more water each day, making sure their uniform is smart or focusing and concentrating more in lessons.

British Values: Democracy

The whole school really learnt the meaning of democracy this week when they voted for their School Council representatives using a ballot box and a voting slip – the way adults have to vote. They showed great respect and listened carefully to their peers’ manifestos and then voted based on who they thought would make the biggest difference. Year 5 really understood the meaning of democracy! Thank you to Mrs Holmes for arranging such a fantastic way to vote for School Council reps!

Well-being Week


To mark our very first themed week of the school year, we had an assembly to launch Well-being Week. To start this very special week, we held our very own World Smile Day – all children have to make at least 1 person smile and I know Year 5 will have done this and beyond!

To launch World Smile Day, in our assembly the children had to pass round a mirror to share their smile. This was such a lovely way to start our week and I know the children came back to class with huge smiles on their face – especially after listening to Pharrell William’s ‘Happy’.

Over the course of our well-being week, we will be thinking about how we can look after our own well-being. Here are some ways that we will begin to think about this week.

We discussed what ‘well-being’ meant. I asked the children what well-being mean to them. They came up with a range of ideas – this included hygiene, brushing your teeth, getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, getting help if you are injured, going to the doctors if you are poorly, having a good diet and eating the right things, talking to people your trust about your feelings. These are just some of the ideas the children came up with – they had many more. We then discussed from this the different kinds of well-being – physical well-being, emotional well-being, social well-being etc. We thought about which of the ideas they had thought of matched the different types of well-being. For example, visiting the doctors if you are injured comes under physical well-being but talking to people about your feelings came under emotional well-being. Then, the children found the actual definition for well-being in the dictionary.

Well-being: the state of being comfortable, healthy or happy.

World Mental Health Day

To mark World Mental Health Day, we explored what the words ‘mental health’ meant to the children. They came up with a range of ideas and were linking this back to the word well-being. We talked about what mental health actually was:

Your general state of well-being and state of mind. Something that everyone should look after.

We discussed that everyone has mental health and that everyone has to look after this. Year 5 then thought of ways they look after their own mental health, this included getting fresh air, playing outside, having a hot chocolate, watching a favourite tv programme, reading a book, going to bed early, drinking enough water, speaking to someone if you are sad/unhappy. 

We then talked about what might happen if your mental health is suffering. Everyone said that they had felt worried at some point and we talked about the difference between worrying and feeling anxious. We then learnt some strategies to help us if we ever felt worried, stressed or anxious about something – no matter how small. 


Autumn Term 2 2019

Our topic this half term is “The Theatre”. This encompasses our work with Shakespeare, the history of the theatre and we also have some links to Science through Shakespeare too. Year 5 chose this topic before October half term based on their pure enjoyment of Romeo & Juliet so this is going to be an exciting half term!



Year 5 Collective Worship

Remembrance: I understand the importance of peace.

We will begin collective worship this half term by thinking about and understanding the importance of peace in the world. We will pray for those who died fighting for our country in the war and also pray for their families. 

We have reflected all week on what peace means to us and how we can bring peace to others’ lives. We thought about how Jesus brought peace to those around him and in his life and how Jesus teaches us to be like him. We prayed for service men and women who fought for us in world wars to bring us peace and we gave thanks to God for the peace we experience in our daily lives.

Our Mini Vinnies from Year 5 also attended the Remembrance Parade in Wetherby to mark Remembrance Sunday. They joined the Remembrance Parade and lay a Remembrance Wreath on behalf of our school and then went to church to pray for the dead.

Friendship: I am happiest when we are united.

Our Mini Vinnies led an assembly on their work at the SVP Centre to start our week thinking about friendship and being united. We thought about how the work the SVP does linked to our statement of the week. We decided that the volunteers at the SVP, the Mini Vinnies and all those who donate foods and money are uniting together to help others. We talked about how it feels to help others and we all recognised this was a good feeling. We thought about how we could unite together in our own lives and use this to do good – to help others. 

Love: I try to love others as I love myself.

We thought about the greatest commandment that Jesus talked about – to love God with all our hearts, our souls, our minds and our strength and to love our neighbours as ourselves. We also talked about why it is important to love ourselves. God made us in His image and that is very special indeed. God loves us so much and we should also show that we love ourselves – we should treat ourselves with kindness as often, we are critical on ourselves and do not show love to ourselves. Year 5 were able to talk about how they can show love to themselves and to others.

 Advent: I can prepare for a special time.

On Sunday 1st December, Advent began and the first candle on the Advent Wreath was lit in all churches and homes across the country. We marked the beginning of Advent with a special worship together, we lit the first candle of Advent and talked about what we hope for this Advent – we hope for those who are lonely to find comfort, we hope for those who are suffering to find peace, we hope for those who do not think of others find their way and show kindness and we also hope that we enjoy the special time of Advent as we prepare for the celebration of the birth of Jesus.



RE – God’s Covenant: The Ten Commandments

This half term we will learn about some of God’s covenants but specifically the covenant he made with Moses when he gave him the Ten Commandments. We will learn about the importance of the Ten Commandments and how they can inform how we behave and how we live our lives.

To consider life with and without rules.

To start our new topic in RE, we explored what life would be like without rules and consider the importance for having rules in the world and what these rules look like. The children really enjoyed, throughout the lessons, being told that there we NO RULES meaning they no longer had to follow the class rules – the classroom quickly turned into chaos and was extremely noisy! The children had lots of fun but this also quickly reinforced the message of the importance of rules. We then thought about adjectives to describe a world with or without rules and some children managed to find bible quotes that linked to obeying and disobeying God. We will continue to develop this idea in RE before we learn about the Ten Commandments.

To understand the importance of the Ten Commandments.

We revisited the story of Moses and thought about what we already knew about Moses – Moses was drawn out of the Nile by the pharaoh’s daughter and adopted into the royal family, at a time when the Israelites were slaves in Egypt. Moses became the pharaoh’s daughter’s son. he named him Moses which means ‘to draw/pull out of water’. When Moses grew up, he spent 40 years in voluntary exile (an act of shame/repentance) for murdering an Egyptian. He lived with great shame, regret and sorrow for many years and thought that God no longer loved him. Until one day, he came across a burning bush yet the bush was not consumed by the fire. God spoke to Moses and asked him to go back to Egypt and lead the slaves out of Egypt.

Moses led the Jews out of slavery in Egypt and led them to the Holy Land that God has promised them. The Jews were helped on their journey by God; he parted the Red Sea to help them escape and helped them in many other ways. When they reached Mount Sinai (as it is called in present day Egypt), God spoke to Moses high on the mountain slopes and made a deal (called a covenant) and gave Moses the Ten Commandments. These were the rules that God wanted his people to live by.

Year 5 created freeze frames for each of the Ten Commandments to help deepen their understanding of them whilst also remembering the order of them; as Canon Nunan often tests us on this knowledge!

To show understanding and explain how the Ten Commandments shape our lives and inform our decisions.

Year 5 continued to deepen their understanding of the Ten Commandments by using the Bible to convert the written Ten Commandments into our speak (how we would say it) and then think of how our actions, words and thoughts reflect these commandments. For example, ‘Honour thy mother and father.’ We would say ‘respect our parents’ and we would show this by using our manners, doing as we are told, telling our parents we love them, showing kindness and perhaps keeping our bedrooms tidy. We will use this to write acrostic poems about how the Ten Commandments shape our lives.

English – Romeo & Juliet

Year 5 loved Romeo & Juliet so much that they wanted to continue using it as their writing stimulus this half term. We will use description to paint a vivid picture of the final scene of Romeo and Juliet. We will learn to write in a journalistic style, identifying the features of a newspaper report and breaking down each feature to develop the skills needed before writing our own newspaper reports. We will continue to write formally and write an invitation and then finally, we will have a go at writing an alternative ending to Romeo and Juliet to finish off this exciting stimulus in our writing.


The children have become reporters this half term as they have begun to learn about the features of a newspaper in detail. First, they identified the features of a newspaper and identified the purpose, audience and formality needed in a newspaper. Then, they started to explore the different types of headlines that can be used: alliteration, word play, pun and rhyme. 

We received an exciting video from Mr Wilson who’s job is being a journalist – he gave us some great top tips to write a successful newspaper report – including how to make the newspaper report interesting to make the reader want to read on! Thank you to Mr Wilson for inspiring our Year 5 pupils and engaging them even more in our English topic! 



We will begin our half term by identifying multiples and factors of numbers to support our mental recall of key multiplication and division facts. We will then begin to explore the written methods for multiplication and division before moving on to multiplying and dividing by 10, 100, 1000 and beyond. An exciting half term in Maths!


Multiples & Factors

We started this half term by developing our understanding of multiples and factors. We first had to understand the difference between multiples and factors and we did this through a fun dance and song – a bit of Burn2Learn too to get our hearts racing! The lyrics to the song were “We multiply multiples – higher, go higher, go higher” and “We break down the factors, lower, go lower, go lower…”. The children really enjoyed this and it really deepened their understanding of what multiples and factors were. This was such a fun lesson and all the children were able to successfully identify multiples and factors of a range of numbers. Well done Year 5!

Written methods for multiplication

Year 5 have been working super hard on their understanding and application of written methods for multiplication, including grid method and short multiplication. We used a range of strategies to help us – including using different coloured pens/pencils for the different value we were multiplying by (when multiplying by 2 digit numbers). We also used a the blue-tac trick to cover up the digit we weren’t using when multiplying. Year 5 had opportunities to practise multiplying through fluency questions, develop this through varied fluency questions and then deepen this knowledge through reasoning and problem solving questions.

Written methods for division

We then moved on to exploring written methods for division using the ‘bus stop’ method. Year 5 were really quick at understanding the remainder and why we carry this over and what would happen if we didn’t. We followed the same structure for division – fluency, varied fluency and reasoning and problem solving.

Prime Numbers, Composite Numbers and Prime Factors

We began to develop our knowledge of prime numbers and identified the characteristics of a prime number. We used all the mathematical knowledge we knew to try to explain what a prime number was in different ways:

  • a number that is only divisible by 1 and itself
  • a number with only 1 and itself as factors
  • a number that can not be divided by any numbers other than 1 and itself
  • 1 is a special prime numbers because it only has 1 factor = 1

We also established that prime factors were just factors of any number that were only divisible by 1 and itself so we knew straight away that if a number was even, it would definitely have at least 2 prime factors (1 and 2). We also learnt that a composite number is a positive integer (number) which is not prime (has factors other than 1 and itself). For example, we know that 4 is the first composite number because its factor pairs are 1×4 and 2×2.

We enjoyed a Burn2Learn game to embed this knowledge even more. This was a brand new Burn2Learn game so the children were extremely excitable to learn a new game. This game is all about being constantly active whilst also have the resilience to keep going even if you get it wrong! The children had to jump in the hoops as quickly as they could until they met their opponent on the same hoop – they then had to answer a quick fire question! If they got it correct, they kept going and jumped on to face their next opponent and if they got it wrong they ran to the end of the line ready to have their next go! This was super fun!

Square Numbers

Year 5 loved learning the Square Number song to help them remember all the square numbers up to 12×12. We developed our understanding of square numbers, square roots and why they are called square numbers. We used visual representations as well as active maths. We used varied fluency questions to further deepen our understanding and also enjoyed a quick fire Burn2Learn game – as requested by the children! Our new favourite Burn2Learn game – and outside! The perfect Maths lesson in Year 5’s eyes!

Multiplying and dividing by 10, 100, 1000 and beyond.

We first started by revising place value of decimal numbers to ensure a secure understanding of tenths, hundredths and thousandths in order to understand multiplying and dividing by 10, 100 and 1000. Year 5 were able to identify digits in the place value chart and also determine the value of the digits in a decimal number.

We then moved on to recapping multiplying and dividing by 10, 100 and 1000 as this was a skill that the children learnt in Year 4. We started by singing the ‘Jump’ song – to remind us of which way the digits move when multiplying and dividing and that the decimal point never moves.

The children then continued to use this song by drawing a place value chart on the ground in chalk and then actually multiply and divide numbers by 10, 100, 1000 and beyond by ‘jumping’. This then brought in the concept of having to add in placeholders when multiplying and not needing the placeholders when dividing if they go past the decimal point. The children loved this Burn2Learn activity and were able to incorporate the song they love and then apply this to fluency and varied fluency questions.



Science – Materials: Mixtures & Solutions

This half term in Science, we will begin the first half of our Materials topic where we explore mixtures and solutions. We will explore how to separate mixtures and recover substances from a solution using our knowledge of solids, liquids and gases. We will get into role as Friar Laurence from Romeo & Juliet and use the potion as a stimulus for our Science work to make it even more fun!

Mixtures & Solutions: Maths in Science

We began our learning in our new Science Topic of materials and the children had to organise some statements into a Venn diagram after collecting the statements through a Burn2Learn activity. The children had to decide whether the statements were describing a mixture, solution or if the statements applied to both.

Separating Mixtures

We then moved on to exploring how to separate mixtures, this included using apparatus to separate, filtering and evaporating. The methods we explored today were using apparatus to physically separate and we began to explore the concept of filtering.

Following our exploration of separating mixtures, we wrote instructions to separate a mixture. The children thought about the equipment they would need if they repeated this, the steps they took to separating the mixture and they also evaluated their work – what went well, what didn’t go so well and what they would do differently if they were to repeat this again.

Dissolving materials – predictions

We the moved on to exploring dissolving. The children had to predict whether a range of materials would dissolve in water. This included salt, sugar, flour, gravy granules, coffee granules and sand. We then conducted a class experiment to see which materials dissolved in water and if our predictions were correct. We talked about how to make it a fair test and the children decided we needed to ensure the cups had the same amounts of water in them, the same amount of material was put in each cup and the same person stirred the water too.

As a class, we discovered that salt and sugar dissolved in water, coffee and gravy dissolve but change the colour of the water and flour and sand do not dissolve.

Based on this experiment, the children began to think about what they would like to investigate further. Some ideas were:

Does the temperature of the water affect how a material dissolves?

Does stirring the water or not stirring water affect how something dissolves?

Does the amount of water or the amount of substance you have change how it dissolves?

The children will have an opportunity soon to investigate their own hypothesis!

St Joseph’s Science Week! 

We have had an absolutely fantastic week during Science Week and the children looked the part in their Science ‘lab coats’ too! Keep reading on to find out what we got up to during Science Week…

Hands on Science Workshop – Roller Coaster Fun!

During our Science Week, Hands on Science visited and delivered an exciting workshop for Year 5! The workshop was called ‘Roller Coaster Fun’. The children had to create a roller coaster for a marble to run down. The aim was to make the longest track and for the marble to run for as long as possible. The only rules the children had were that they were not allowed to touch the marble once they had let it go and the marble had to land in the pot at the end. Some children realised that in order to make the marble run for longer they had to extend the track, put obstacles in its way or create different kinds of surfaces to create more friction. During this workshop, we began to touch on different kinds of forces. What a fun workshop to have in Science Week! Thank you to Mr Holmes from Hands on Science who delivered our workshop and thank you to Miss Costello, our Science Coordinator, for organising this. Check out the photos below to see our workshop in action and to see the final ‘roller coasters’.

Science Fair

Year 5 held a fantastic Science Fair on Friday to mark the end of our very busy Science Week! Thank you to all my Year 5 pupils who have worked so hard on creating exciting and educational stalls that every child across the school could engage in! Thank you also to families at home that have supported the children with this project – your support is invaluable! We had such a range of stalls in school for the Science Fair, including electricity, dissolving, reactions to make lava for a volcano, lava lamps, exploring senses including sense of smell and sense of touch and much more! It was a very busy morning and the whole school visited our Science Fair! Check out the pictures below to see the Science Fair stalls and the fair in action!


The Science Fair was such a success this year! Thank you to all involved and thank you to Miss Costello, our Science Coordinator, for organising this! 





This half term in Computing, we have been developing our coding skills. We have been thinking about ‘computational thinking’ and why specific instructions are really important.

We first started by giving instructions to each other to instruct our partner to move from one place to another place. In order to move from A to B, one partner had to give really explicit instructions such as how many steps to take, how large/small the steps were, how to turn etc. Some partners soon found that if they were not specific with their instructions, the partner blindfolded would not move in the way they had been instructed. This enabled the children to really understand why it is important we have specific and clear instructions. This is just like on a computer, iPad or phone – technology needs really clear and explicit instructions. Pictures to come soon…

We further developed the concept of clear instructions through a simple drawing activity. In groups, one child had a picture and had to give instructions to their group in order for them to draw the picture (which they could not see). By the end, what each group had drawn was usually not like the original picture at all which further showed the need for extremely clear instructions.

 A.L.E.X – Coding App

We continued to further develop our understanding of computational thinking through the use of the app ‘A.L.E.X’ using our iPads. Pupils had to work through a number of levels with increasing complexity. The levels required pupils to move the robot forward or to the left or the right. As the levels increased in complexity, portals were introduced and having to turn a multiple number of times to face the right direction. Pupils would have to input all of the instructions before they could ‘run their code’. This then allowed pupils to further explore the concept of ‘debugging’ – thinking about what didn’t quite work and going back and attempting to fix it before running the code again. This deepened the understanding of the need for clear step by step instructions before we moved on to even more complex coding.

Everyone Can Code – Playgrounds

We have continually developed our understanding of computational thinking and have explored commands, functions, loops, further debugging and function codes. Year 5 quickly started to develop more efficient code. For example, rather than instructing the character to move forward, move forward, move forward, move forward, the children would write move forward (4). This made the code just as explicit and clearly explained but more efficient and quicker to write for the user.



Design Technology

In DT, we will be creating and building our own models of amphitheatres to link with our History topic. We will also develop our design skills linking to Science and create circuits using electronic kits that employ a number of components including motors and switches. This will enable the children to create a motorised Judderbot robot. The children will have the opportunity to plan the design of their Judderbot whilst using their art skills to ensure the product they are creating appeals to the user. They will then have the opportunity to evaluate and improve their Judderbot.

To build a working circuit using scientific knowledge of electricity.

Before we started our DT project, we needed to revise our scientific knowledge of electricity and components of a working circuit. The children revised what a ‘conductor’ and ‘insulator’ was and how electricity is passed through a circuit. They revised the symbols for the components of a circuit: bulb, switch, wires, battery, motor etc. and had a go at building working circuits, incorporating a range of components in their circuit, including more than 1 battery, a switch, making the shortest circuit or the longest circuit and also drawing a scientific circuit.

To develop practical skills – sawing.

Our DT project incorporates a range of practical skills including cutting with precision, gluing, sticking and also having to cut wood. To do this, we had to ensure we knew how to use a saw correctly and most importantly, safely. The children learnt how to use a clamp to ensure it was set up safely and then how to hold a saw, how to stand and how to then saw wood. This was vital as the children had to use these skills in their DT project when building their Judderbot.

Planning the design

Before the children built their Judderbot, they planned their final design and thought about anything they wanted to include – how they could make their Judderbot different or refined. This involved a lot of conversation and then the children recorded what they wanted their final product to look like.

Use innovative combinations of electronics in product designs.

The children were ready to begin to build their Judderbot. This incorporated a range of skills that the children identified afterwards, including:

  • Reading skills – reading complex and detailed instructions and then following these.
  • Following instructions
  • Cutting skills
  • Measuring accurately and precisely (to the nearest mm – millimetre)
  • Woodwork – sawing wood
  • Electronics – joining wires, connecting batteries to motors, creating a switch out of every day materials e.g. paper clip

There were so many more skills that the children developed during this DT project, but the children identified these as the main skills they had progressed in.

The children had to follow the extremely detailed and complex instructions carefully so that they could create their final product. They had to ensure they had the correct materials and equipment they needed and also had to work in a way that would mean they wouldn’t lose any of their materials as some of them were extremely small. Not only did they need to use the equipment, they also had to know the names of the materials they were using, such as rivet/collar. Some children had visual aids to support them with remembering what each piece of equipment/material needed was called:

This process took a lot of concentration, resilience and perseverance – especially when the children began to join the circuit up in order to make the Judderbot move.





History – The Theatre

In History this half term, the children wanted to learn more about Shakespeare based on our Romeo & Juliet stimulus in writing so suggested learning about the history of the theatre. Following the children’s interests, this half term we will be learning about the history of theatre and how it has changed over our history. We will explore the history of theatre in Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece and compare this to modern day theatre, considering how the history of theatre has influenced Shakespearean theatre and modern theatre that we know of today. A very exciting history topic indeed!

To compare and contrast theatre architecture from different time periods.

To begin, we studied the architecture of theatre from Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, the Elizabethan Era and modern theatre. The children identified a range of similarities and differences between all architecture. They identified that theatres have continued with their circular structure as this allows for better viewing for the audience. All theatres have always had a stage and a place for an orchestra and this has been continued and adapted in modern theatre. Some differences that were identified were that theatres are now housed inside with a roof and fully walled whereas ancient theatres were usually open top and open to the air. Some children identified that the theatres may have been more built up but because they are now preserved ruins we can deduce this information.

To show understanding of the history of the theatre.

Year 5 spent time in class and at home researching all about the history of the theatre and studying a number of time periods. They researched a range of things such as who first built the theatre, what kind of plays were performed in ancient theatres, how is the theatre similar and how has it evolved and much more. 

The children then wrote an information text in History to communicate this information. 


Les Animaux – Animals

In French, we have been learning the names of animals in French. So far we have completed a wordsearch to help us to develop our vocabulary and spelling of the words and we have playing ‘Snap’ to match the picture of the animal of the French word. 

A French Christmas

We have also started to learn about the Christmas traditions in France. We have thought about what could be similar and different and have then learned about similar traditions that are held in France but also traditions that differ to ours in England.

We have learnt how to say Merry Christmas in French: ‘Joyeux Noel!’


This week in Music, the children have recapped their learning from last half term using Samba instruments and have embedded their understanding of rests in music. The children were also introduced to counting within rhythmical patterns, identifying the beat of a rhythm whilst also applying their knowledge of minim, how many beats are in a bar and semi-breves. This took a lot of concentration as the children had to also be aware of those around them as to not miss their beat or time to play. They also had to think about playing their instrument skilfully and in tune too. Lots of skills being developed here!

Xylophone – understanding musical scales

Year 5 have been deepening their understanding of musical scales whilst learning to play the xylophone in tune and in time as an accompaniment to a song. 

Year 5 then played in ensemble and solo to play a tune on the xylophone and they gradually built this up to include singing and to play a whole song – great work Year 5!


Fitness – Circuits

In PE, we have been developing our fitness through circuit style activities in preparation for our visit from the Olympian Swimmer, James Kirton. We had a range of activities going on in our circuit including star jumps, jumping jacks, push ups, sit ups, mountain climbers (slow and quick) and a station to stretch and rest. Each station developed the fitness and specific skills too including coordination, strength and control. The children really enjoyed this lesson – especially the music that was playing to keep them motivated! We are ready to take part in the circuits with James when he visits us now!

Visit from Olympic Swimmer – James Kirton

We were extremely lucky to meet James Kirton, a past Olympic swimmer, who has had a very successful swimming career. We were involved in a set of stations like the circuit we had already practised. The children had to complete a range of stations whilst also cheering on and motivating everyone else involved. Year 5 were such great supporters of all the other children involved and when it came to their turn to complete the stations they were ready and raring to go! They showed great teamwork, perseverance and an excellent attitude! Well done Year 5!

We then heard about James’ life from when he first started to learn to swim (at the age of 9). Olympic swimmer James Kirton represented GB for over 6 years. His events were the 100m and 200m Breaststroke. Through a determination to find his inner strength, James defied injuries to swim his way into the 2008 Olympics in Beijing as well as various other World and European Championships. Recently retired from swimming, James now dedicates his time to working with young people at his swimming club in Sheffield and local schools.

This story taught us all that if you want to achieve something, you have to work hard at it and never give up! James left a very important message with us today which was whatever the children choose to do in the future, they will absolutely achieve as long as they work hard for it! This resonated very clearly with lots of our children and really summarised James’ motto:

Be the best version of you!



CAFOD Climate Change Workshop:

CAFOD visited us in school to work with KS2 on the extremely important issue of ‘Climate Change’. All pupils discussed the impact climate change is having on the planet including fields flooding, ground cracking because it is so dry, the bush fires in Australia and many more! Pupils learnt that most of this country’s electricity is made by burning fossil fuels, like coal and gas. This puts harmful gases into the atmosphere and makes the world get hotter. This changes our climate and these polluting gases warm our earth and change the beautiful world God has created. These changes in our world are much worse for people living in poverty overseas. More extreme weather makes it harder to make a living, and can lead to more and more disasters like droughts, floods and cyclones. 

We need to make an urgent change to help our planet! We share this world with everyone and KS2 pupils learnt and showed understanding that it’s our responsibility to take care of it. Pope Francis calls the world ‘our common home’. The UK reaching net zero will mean that we no longer contribute to the devastating impact of climate change.

We already have our Planet Protectors that do so much in school as well as encouraging our pupils, staff and parents to do more for the world too. It was a simple yet powerful reminder of how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful world and that we should be active citizens of the world and take care of it whilst we can!

Road Safety Workshop

Our children’s safety is our number one priority in school and each year we have a workshop on road safety. This year, Amber came in to talk to us about Communication and how drivers, pedestrians and cyclists all communicate on the road. Year 5 identified many ways that people on the road/pavements communicate, including: traffic lights to stop, get ready and go, zebra crossings to allow pedestrians to cross the road, speed limit signs, signs with people, children or animals on them to alert drivers to pedestrians, schools or animals locally, indicators to communicate that a driver is turning left or right and many more!

We revised the Green Cross Code in order to stay safe when walking near roads – THINK, STOP, LOOK, LISTEN! Year 5 then had time to design something to teach others about the Green Cross Code, some created board games, some created songs/raps/rhymes, some designed new clothing for the Leeds City Council Road Safety Team and many more! Thank you to the Road Safety Team from Leeds City Council for not only helping us to keep our children safe but also encouraging our children to be active, resilient and independent citizens when they are out and about.

Useful Links


Websites are a fantastic way for children to continue to learn at home. Below are some excellent websites that are linked to our learning.