Recommended reading list for Year 5:
Penguin Books and Lit in Colour state that:
Books create belonging. They help us see each other and understand one another. They shine a light on the world.
It’s vital that the books we read in our formative years reflect the rich diversity of the society we live in.
Here at St. Margaret Clitherow, we have a diverse school community - 55.7% of our school children are from a minority ethnic background. We therefore think it is important that children have access to books that reflect who they are. Attached is a list of recommended reads put together by Penguin Books. You can read the research behind the inclusion of books by authors of colour here:https:// https://www.penguin.co.uk/lit-in-colour/parents-and-supporters
Firstly, I need to mention the amazing effort of the year 5 class in our whole school liturgical prayer last week. They did themselves proud and their growing confidence in delivering their parts to an audience and enthusiasm for participating in the liturgies is so wonderful. I'm sure you must all be very proud of them too. Over these last few weeks of half-term, we have been busily learning about a wider range of grammar features, recognising when an independent clause is complete and how to punctuate sentences correctly. I look forward to seeing the children putting this into practice and the impact of this on their writing when we return from half-term. In maths, the children have excelled at our multiplying fractions unit and have eased confidently into understanding decimals and fraction equivalents. We will continue this learning after the break and expand into learning how to make percentages. In art, the children finished their surrealist art, after exploring the work of Frida Kahlo, the Mexican artist: the results are fabulous and the children greatly enjoyed creating themselves as an animal. Whilst in history, we have learned more about the Ancient Mayan civilisation and developed a greater understanding of the ruling hierarchies, including the knowledge that there were many women rulers too. There are lots more exciting things coming up after half-term, such as our trip on 5th March to the Science Centre and Planetarium and some news about an upcoming Junior Music Festival which will conclude with a final performance at the Hexagon in Reading in June - I'll keep you posted!
Over the last two weeks in maths, children have been learning the formal method of long multiplication and how to do short division using the bus stop method. They have done so well in practising these skills which are key to them being able to quickly break down multiplication and division problems. Next week, we return to fractions. In English we have learned all about nouns and verbs, including the spelling rules to change regular and irregular verbs to the past tense - perhaps you could ask your child to tell you about what the correct rules are! In History we have learned more about the Ancient Maya civilisation and why they were so successful and discovered their farming techniques enabling them to grow crops and their skills in making tools out of obsidian and using limestone to build. In art, we have created self-portraits in the style of Frida Kahlo to include the cultural influences that make us unique and in French, we have been learning how to say what the weather is like. The phrase 'il fait froid' has certainly come in useful over the recent weeks but, thankfully, we have had less opportunity to say 'il pleut'. Whilst in RE, we have looked in detail at the beginning of Jesus' ministry and his baptism by John and examined the promises made at our own baptisms and how we began our own journey with the church and our faith.
We have got lots of exciting topics this term and Year 5 got the New Year swinging with our new topic of South and West African music. We learned about the Xhosa click language and learned how to sing a Bantu tribal song 'Shosoloza' in an acapella style. I was delighted with how excited the children were and how they enthusiastically joined in with the very upbeat and catchy singing and dancing - lots of children were also happy to lead the echo singing too which was amazing! In history, we have begun learning about the Ancient Maya civilisation and spent time looking at how to interpret dates correctly on a timeline whilst in science we are learning about the Earth and Moon in this half term, leading into our Space topic next half-term, in preparation for our trip to the Winchester Science Museum and Planetarium. Our focus in maths this half-term is on learning how to multiply by 2 digits, using the column method - please keep encouraging children to practise times tables on TT Rockstars - it really does give them so much more confidence in maths in years 5 and 6 where this knowledge is key to their understanding.
Here is a snapshot of some of our learning over the last two weeks. In English, we have explored the inhospitable world of Emperor Penguins in the Antarctic and studied the features and language used in a non-chronological report. We even came up with some puns and jokes for our reports e.g. Who is a penguin's favourite relative? A: Aunt Arctica. Next week, children will begin their independent piece of writing and we have spent the last few days on a Polar Bear fact find: watching documentaries and reading about the extraordinary life and challenges faced by these creatures in the Arctic. In geography, we have been focusing on a key location in Europe: Greece. We have learned about the human and physical geographical features of Greece and then delved further into particular tourist attractions, such as the Parthenon and the Acropolis using Google Maps and thinking about what it would be like to explore there and how it differs from where we live in the UK. In music, children have gained huge satisfaction from learning how to play a sample of a piece of music from the song, 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' on a digital keyboard, using Chrome Music Lab. Next week, we will begin to use this to create a remixed version of the original song which is very exciting. Whilst in maths, we have been working hard at using our knowledge of multiples and factors (times table skills) to solve some addition and subtraction problems. The children are also beginning a special voluntary Maths Advent CalenBAR challenge to see if they can solve a range of word problems using bar models to help them see through the structure of the problem - extra Marvellous Me rewards are available for those who have a go and correctly solve the problems! It would be great if you could encourage your child to have a go too.
What an exciting few weeks we have had in Year 5. In maths, we explored a range of problems for National Maths Week, which really got our brains working overtime, and have probed further into the world of fractions. This is where last year's times table practice really comes into its own - I would urge all parents to continue encouraging children to regularly log into TT Rockstars and keep this skill topped up as this knowledge is the foundation of year 5 and 6 maths. Our new music topic, Looping and Remixing, has really engaged the children who have been learning how to create their own beats on a repeat (loop) and mix them with their classmates' compositions using a programme on the iPads. Please do ensure children bring in their earphones for Tuesday's lesson next week so we can continue to develop our skills further. In DT, we have also been learning more about different bridge designs and the class has now tested out how trusses and arches can be used to strengthen a bridge, with some amazing results. The children looked great with their odd socks, as part of Anti-Bullying Week, and in class, we explored the themes behind the theme of the week 'Make a Noise' and discussed the difference between playful banter (or occasional friendly teasing) and bullying. Children acted out some scenes and we had great fun, along with taking on board the more serious message about bullying and the harm it does.
We have done so much 'active/experience' based learning over the last few weeks and wound up the last half-term with lots of activities linked with Black History Month, including an amazing African drumming workshop; we looked at the book Hidden Figures about the massively important role of black women in the space race whilst suffering segregation; we also finished our Blues music topic, exploring how African slaves created and used this style of music to express themselves and learned how to use a bent note to create an authentic sound. This week, we have been delving deeper into our Catholic Social Teaching values in RE and learning about the marginalised in society and why it is so important to reach out to them as Jesus did. In English we have begun learning about Emperor Penguins, watching an amazing documentary about their life cycle and completing a fascinating 'blubber' science experiment to understand the important role this plays in insulating penguins from the extreme cold of the Antarctic! I'm looking forward to seeing the results of the children's learning when they present their facts in their own non-chronological reports. We also had great fun as we began our DT unit, 'Building Bridges' and the children used different beam designs and tested out how much weight each beam could support.
Year 5 were delighted to welcome their parents to the liturgical prayer celebration. Once again, the children demonstrated their amazing faith values in their interpretation of the Gospel. We had just learned about the qualities needed to proclaim the Gospel in RE, and I was so proud of how well they had understood this and each read their parts and were able to spread the Word, in a clear voice, to all those assembled. In maths, we have now begun our multiplication and division unit and have begun exploring multiples and factors of numbers - all those TT Rockstar sessions building their times table knowledge are really proving helpful right now. Whilst in art, we have been delving further into Chinese artefacts and learned about the amazing Terracotta Army. We were so lucky that both Mr Horne and Mrs Creech had some actual model images that they brought in to help inspire the children before they made their own warriors out of clay. The models are currently forming an army on the classroom windowsill and are really impressive. I can't wait until we decorate them, once they have been fired in the kiln.
As the weeks have been whizzing by, the children in year 5 have really got into the swing of things and are now familiar with the routines of the class. In particular, they are beginning to make effective use of the zones of regulation and self-identifying what strategies/ additional resources they need to use to help them settle back into their learning quickly and effectively. Some highlights of the last two weeks have seen the children complete some beautiful dragon artwork, along with finishing off their Chinese lanterns using traditional designs of plum blossoms and bamboo which were so simple and so beautiful. It is wonderful to see how much the children love their art sessions and are so proud of the work they produce. In English, we have been planning our independent writing where each child will be creating their own narrative ending for our characters Liam and Florida as they ride off towards a rainbow in a Porsche and I can't wait to see where their imaginations take them! In maths, we have begun our addition and subtraction topic and I am so impressed with how well the children are using their reasoning and problem-solving skills to work out when I have created deliberate mistakes. Whilst in RE the children have been developing their knowledge of the Beatitudes and how they guide us to live a happy and joyful life following God's wishes and impressing me with their ability to relate this to their own lives. Well done year 5!
Wow, what an amazing start to the new year we have had in year 5: the children have impressed me so much with how well they have remembered the routines and expectations around behaviour and their approach to learning. We have kicked off the year exploring Place Value in maths and have learned how to read and write numbers like a Roman to 1,000 and using our own number system to 1,000,000! In English, we have begun reading our class book 'Cosmic' by Frank Cotterell-Boyce, about a very mischievous 13-year-old boy, Liam, who is unusually tall and looks like a grown-up. We began by writing some dialogue using speech marks and are working hard on acquiring this new skill. In Geography, we are learning about mountains and children have a research task, for homework, to understand the four different ways in which mountains are formed, whilst in Art we are learning about Chinese Art (this week was how to draw Chinese dragons ). In our RE last week, we explored our mission statement and what it means to us and have just begun exploring the Creation story in detail and had great fun acting it out. We have also spent lots of time exploring our own well-being with Zones of Regulation and noticing how our body feels at different times and being able to identify when we are not in our 'green' learning zone but may be feeling a bit yellow, blue or even red. Most importantly we have been understanding that all of this is perfectly normal and looking at the tools available to support our well-being when we are feeling a little 'off-colour' so we can get back to our happy green state. Do please talk to your child about this at home.