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Victoria Park Primary School

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Year 5

Start of the Year Information about Year 5

Term 1

The children in Year 5 have made a really good start to the year.  We began our science enquiry ‘How do we classify a Dragon?’  The focus of this enquiry was animal life cycles and how they differ from one another.  We began by looking closely at the life cycle of the bird.  We put our acting skills to good use creating dramatic productions to perform the life cycle to the rest of the class.  Next it was the turn of the complete invertebrate life cycle during which we focussed our attention on the butterfly.  We used our art skills in order to create the life cycle from a paper plate and pipe cleaners!  Next, it was the incomplete invertebrate life cycle.  We created booklets about the dragonfly to show our knowledge.  Finally, we compared the amphibian and mammal life cycles and reported our findings to other groups within the class.  We were lucky enough to be visited by the Bristol University debating society in order that we could learn the skills of debating ahead of our challenge to debate which life cycle the dragon’s falls into.  The children were exceptionally good at coming up with arguments for their life cycle group and there was even the occasional rebuttal thrown in for good measure.  Well done!


In maths, we started by looking at place value which underpins all of the maths we will learn about this year.  We then moved onto addition and subtraction and most recently decimals.  We have spent time honing our mathematical reasoning skills as well as practising our times tables.


In literacy, we linked our writing to our enquiry.  We became dragonologists for the term, in the process learning all about different species of dragons.  We undertook some Imagineering during which we searched for a new species of dragon.  We thought about its habitat, diet and how it behaved.  This helped us to bring it to life when we wrote setting and character descriptions.  Combining the two, we then worked really hard to produce really good and interesting flow in our writing including looking at figurative language and show not tell.  We ended the term by writing an explanation text of the complex process of the dragon life cycle drawing from both earlier writing and the enquiry.


There have been lots of other highlights this term.  We looked at the art of Giacometti and Martina Shapiro and the poetry of Remi Graves as we drew tonal and acrylic paint portraits and wire sculptures.  The Year 5 display on the Windmill Hill art trail was spectacular and we’re really proud of the children.  We ran our hearts for the cross country with every child completing the course.  We learnt all about the seasonality on food day and why it is a positive thing to eat locally produced food.  Finally, we sang and recited poetry at the church for harvest.  On top of all that, we have furthered our P4C skills with some really interesting discussions, learnt plenty of French vocabulary, learnt how to read basic musical notation, started our chess lessons and been swimming every week.


What a great start to Year 5.  Have a lovely half term and we look forward to seeing you for term 2!

Term 2

Wow, what a bumper term this has been!  This term’s enquiry ‘Why go Nuts about Brazil?’ focussed on the varied geography of the wonderful South American country of Brazil.  We began with a hook lesson, creating carnival head dresses for our samba song challenge.  Along the way, we investigated the location of Brazil as well as some of its most important geographical features.  We investigated some of the wonderful physical geography of Brazil and then explored the human geographical land use which culminated in a philosophical debate about whether the 2016 Rio Olympics were a positive thing for the people of Brazil and the rest of the world.


In maths, we tackled mental and written methods for multiplication including short and long multiplication.  These are not easy things to master but the children did really well.  Then it was onto division during which we learnt short division, more commonly known as the bud stop written method.  Again, the children showed fantastic determination.  Finally, we put some of our calculation skills to the test by solving word problems.  We learnt some really useful strategies to tackle word problems along the way.


In literacy, we linked our writing to our enquiry.  We journeyed down the river sea to the mighty Amazon rainforest.  Our text, ‘Journey to the River Sea’ provided a platform from which to write diaries based on the main character’s experiences.  We learnt loads about the animals and people of the jungle.  We then looked at the myth ‘How the Armadillo Learnt to Sing’ which provided our route into learning about the features of myths.  The term culminated in writing our own myths about a main character who gained an attribute through talking to both unhelpful and helpful characters.  We developed our speech punctuation and characterisation skills. 


There have been lots of other highlights this term.  Both Year 5 classes performed their assemblies to parents and were brilliant.  Cedar took a life cycles approach and Magnolia followed Maia on her journey from London to Manaus.  On community day, Cedar lent a hand at the Southville Centre and Magnolia visited ACTA to help make performance props.  We all dressed in spots for Children in Need, danced our little socks off at the disco, listened intently and drank hot chocolate at the bedtime reading night, met Santa at the Christmas Fayre and raised some money for Year 5 camp at the movie night.  Amazing!  As well as all that, we have improved our P4C skills with some really interesting debating, learnt more French vocabulary and been swimming every week.


Have a lovely winter break and we’ll see you in the New Year.  Well done Year 5!

Term 3

During this term’s enquiry ‘How does the Earth’s movement affect us?’ we focussed on the Earth, Moon and Sun’s place in our solar system as well as looking into their relationships.  We began with a hook lesson at We The Curious during which we took a trip around the Solar System visiting all of the different planets, dwarf planets and moons as well as our star, the Sun.  In our workshop, we learnt about the formation of day and night, the moon phases and the size of the planets in relation to each other.   Along the way, we investigated how day and night is formed on Earth, the moon phases, gravity and the apparent movement of the sun across the sky and how shadows are formed at different times of the day.  The enquiry culminated in the children creating their own ‘Sky at Night’ documentary using the knowledge they had gained and their Movie Maker skills.


In maths, we tackled fractions including how to find equivalent fractions, add, subtract and multiply fractions and convert them from improper to mixed numbers.  In the latter stages of the term, we investigated perimeter and area of rectangles and rectilinear shapes.


In literacy, we linked our writing to our enquiry.  We used the science fiction book ‘Cosmic’ by Frank Cottrell-Boyce to inspire us.  We wrote character and setting descriptions and learnt how to bring characters to life using direct and reported speech.  This term ended with children writing their own science fiction stories during which they visited a new planet to try to find something, met an alien life-form, were faced with a natural disaster and escaped.  Action-packed!


There have been lots of other highlights this term.  Earlier in the term we had Art and French Day, the school talent show, the Year 5 swimming gala and Bikeability.


Have a fantastic half-term break and we’ll see you in a week.  Well done Year 5!

Term 5

This term has been jammed packed yet again! Aside from snow day, we have also done lots of other exciting things.


This term in literacy, we have been reading the book Shackleton’s Journey. We learnt about his early life, his journey to Antarctica and what inspired him. We started off by working on a letter to apply to become one of Shackleton’s crew members. We used persuasive writing techniques to ensure that Shackleton chose us. Later, we compared the book to some other biographies. We read a biography about Martin Luther King and watched the speech “I have a Dream”. We designed our own explorers and worked on writing their biographies. We had to make sure that we wrote in chronological order and used a formal tone.


In maths, we have spent some time on shape. We have mastered the protractor for measuring and drawing angles. We have also used our knowledge of right angles, straight lines and full circles to finding missing angles. Earlier in the term, we learnt about reflection and translation.


In Enquiry this term, we have also been looking at different explorers. We have focused on the properties of different materials in the context of making a sledge and a life boat for Shackleton. The children made amazing boats which we tested for water and air resistance. For French, we have learnt some new words for food. We have also been practising asking and answering questions. We also had an incredible time on science day making marble runs and experimenting with plastic poppers. World Book Day was another day full of excitement as we dressed up and made 3D worlds inspired by books.


This term, we have been fortunate enough to take part in some exciting workshops. We have worked with Unique Voice on a project about Crimestoppers. We have also had the Real Period Project in to educate us all on menstruation. Thank you for your support again this term!

Term 5

Wow! What an incredible term it has been here in year 5.


To begin with, we should say a big ‘Thank you’ to our student teachers – Miss Whiting and Miss Dixey, who are sadly leaving us.


In maths, we have been measuring things. We differentiated between different types of measuring e.g. volume, weight and length. We also identified units of measurement including: centimetres, millimetres, kilogrammes, litres, millilitres.  We walked a kilometre to see what it felt like and compared it to centimetres and millimetres. We also estimated the volume of different containers and then tested our hypothesis by filling them with water. Finally, we learnt to read scales and answered complex questions about different measuring equipment.


In literacy, we wrote a balanced argument based on our P4C discussions about the Romans. Later, we began reading Beowulf and The Grendel. We used acting to help us deepen our understanding of the story. Later in the term, we wrote independent pieces using Beowulf as inspiration. We will be continuing with this next term.


This term, we have been studying the invasions of Britain from the Romans up until The Battle of Hastings. We used our historical research skills to interview Emperor Claudius, we wrote a newspaper article about Queen Boudicca and we also wrote threats in Viking runes. We enjoyed an interesting visit from Bristol Museum where we had the chance to dress up as various Anglo Saxons and even played a traditional game.


A highlight of this term was the year 5 mountain trip camp. All the children, who came on the trip, showed bravery and teamwork during the activities of gorge walking, caving and mountain walking. The children who were not able to join us also had a fantastic time here at school. They cooked an Italian feast and visited Hengrove Park.


We are looking forward to our final term in year 5 which will be, once again, jam packed with exciting events.