Year 5 is a very busy period! Apart from studying a wide range of subjects from Maths to English, we start by writing and directing the Christmas Show. This is then performed by the whole Primary school – with year 5 as the stars naturally! Once that is over we move straight onto working on our special project which is currently on Water. As a result of this the pupils then begin raising money for one of the school’s charities Wateraid. This year we’ve got a particularly hard target to beat; last year we raised enough money to buy a well and hand pump for an entire village in an area of the developing world.
Next, there is our project on Rome. We design guidebooks and short tours of Rome. The winners get to take Year 5 on their actual tour of Rome. The year ends with an adventurous outdoor residential trip. This year we will be staying on our very own island!
Perhaps the most satisfying thing for me about the year is watching the children in year 5 grow and blossom, both academically and as individuals.
I hope they leave the class as confident, independent, and organized pupils with an enormous sense of achievement.
The Literacy Hour is timetabled to fit in with the ESL department so that the children needing extra help of this nature receive it at the appropriate time. Presentations and instructions are generally given to the whole class then small group and individual work follow, during which time children are supported by either the class or ESL teacher. Work is differentiated and all children are challenged and encouraged to achieve their potential.
A variety of schemes are used to provide a rich and varied programme which fulfils the requirements of the National Curriculum Programme of Study. Lessons, or sets of lessons, either focus on word, sentence or text level work, (Phonics, Spelling and Vocabulary; Grammar and Punctuation; Comprehension and Composition), or incorporate aspects from all three areas in the study of a particular piece of text. Children spend a significant proportion of time in the second term planning and writing their own extended stories, a very valuable and fulfilling experience.
Reading continues to play a vital part in the development of the children's literacy skills. Reading time, a period of 25 minutes after lunch each day, is spent exchanging books, reading silently or aloud to the teacher and discussing and recommending books. The children are expected to read regularly at home as part of the language programme and this is monitored via Reading Record books which are checked daily at school.
The Year 5 mathematics programme begins with a thorough revision of basic concepts. This period is extended to suit the class as it is essential to begin the year with a solid base. Following this the children are extended in every area of mathematics. Number; including place value, multiplication, division, fractions, decimals; Shape and Space; including 2D and 3D shapes, tessellation; Data Handling; Measures; Problem Solving.
The children work hard to memorise addition and multiplication facts and improve their mental maths skills. They are tested regularly in a way which promotes the idea of improving on a personal best and accepting that this will be different from the scores of others in the class.
The children will work on three topics over the year, each focussing on one of the three sections of the National Curriculum Programme of Study (Life Processes and Living Things, Materials and their Properties, Physical Processes).
In the unit 'Changing State' the children learn to: describe the main processes associated with water changing state, recognising that the processes can be reversed; explain the water cycle in terms of these processes; use patterns in data to make predictions.
In 'Keeping Healthy' children learn to identify the components of a healthy and varied diet; recognise that during exercise the heart beats faster and understand why; make careful measurements of pulse rate; represent these in suitable graphs and explain what the graphs show.
In the final unit 'Earth, Sun and Moon' the children learn about the shapes and relative sizes of the planets; how the three named planets move in relation to each other and how these movements relate to day and night; identify patterns in secondary data about sunrise and sunset.
Experimental and investigative work is an element of all the units, it involves making observations and measurements and presenting them; identifying patterns in results and using results to draw conclusions.
In the first of two history projects the children will explore the times of the 'Ancient Egyptians'. They will identify significant features, main events and personalities in each of the three main periods within the Egyptian times. The children will gain an understanding of the importance of the geography of the country, features of every day life, the organisation of society, trade factors, relations with other nations and the main differences between Ancient and Modern Egypt.
In the second topic the children will learn about the reasons for, and results of 'exploration' and its impact on sailors, settlers and indigenous peoples. We will investigate one of the explorers in depth and problems associated with settlement.
During the first part of the year children will be working to improve their knowledge of 'places' where they are and how they are connected. This will involve a lot of atlas and map work. Our second focus will be on'water'. The topic will be taught alongside the 'Changing State' science topic, but takes a very different approach. The children will be learning about water as an essential resource on our planet earth. We will discuss the availability of clean water, rainfall and water consumption data with the aim of gaining an understanding of the effects on land conditions and people's lives. We will look at the phenomena of floods and droughts, of rising air and sea temperatures and again the effects on the world. The topic finishes on a positive note with the children identifying ways they can conserve and not waste water in their own lives and promote water conservation on a wider scale.
In the Summer term we will be studying the 'locality of Bracciano' (a locality which contrasts greatly with Rome). The children will undertake fieldwork, collect and record evidence, analyse and communicate their findings, use commercially produced maps and plans as well as their own.
In the first term the children design and make 'money containers'. Here they practise and develop sewing skills, create wallets with pockets and compartments, using fabric, zips, poppers and buttons.
In the Spring term we explore the world of 'biscuits', first examining the listed ingredients on packets, identifying the key ones, and finding out what their functions are, then looking at flavourings and decoration, discussing taste, texture and appearance. The exciting part for the children is creating and refining their own recipes, which they then test on their parents and friends at a Tea Party which they organise.
As throughout the Primary School the children have two PE lessons a week. One in the gym where the children develop their consciousness of their bodies, their control over its movement, and its visual impact. We alternate between using the apparatus, dance and active drama lessons.
The outside lessons focus on the development of skills used in playing games; cricket, basket ball, rounders, football, hockey and netball, skills are taught both separately and in the context of 'full' games. We also focus on the development of an attitude of good sportsmanship.
In the unit 'Talking Textiles' the children explore how stories have been represented in textiles in different times and cultures. They work together to make a two or three dimensional work based on a familiar story, myth or legend. They investigate and use a range of materials, techniques and textile processes to create surface patterns and textures and other visual and sound effects.
In the unit 'Containers' children explore the craft tradition of making vessels and containers. They develop their own designs and build a 3D vessel or container to hold something of their choice.
Two distinct topics will be taught over the year. The first will be on'Children's Rights'. In this the children will learn about every human's basic rights and the differences between needs, wants and rights. They will learn that with rights come responsibilities and the importance of honesty, trust, tolerance and respect for others. The second topic will involve the children developing their knowledge of the main world faiths. Work will be based on research and discussion.
Health issues covered in science and assemblies also contribute to the PSHE programme.