“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 (Collective Worship, Library and MFL Co-ordinator)


Mrs Riordan

Y5 Teaching Assistant

Mrs Frost

Mrs Frost

Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA)

Year 5 Curriculum Newsletters & Half Term Overviews

Please take a look at our half termly newsletters & overviews to find out what we are learning about in Year 5.

Autumn 1 

Half Termly Overview – Autumn 1         Curriculum Newsletter – Autumn 1



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.



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. 




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.



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.


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!

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.






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.



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. 


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.