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Autumn Term 1

What a fantastic first half-term the Westerners class have had!

This half-term the Westerners have enjoyed exploring the topic of Stargazing. They have created mnemonics to help them remember the order of the planets from the Sun and studied the movements of the bodies in our Solar System. They have explored categorising the planets by their weight and mass and researched the different bodies of the Solar System. We carried out an experiment to find out how craters are formed and investigated the force of gravity within the Solar System. The Westerners particularly enjoyed the trip to the National Space Centre and experiencing the 4D show in the planetarium. 

In English, we have studied author Anthony Horrowitz and read Stormbreaker (adventure) and I Know What You Did Last Wednesday (mystery). The Westerners created some fantastic pieces of writing linked to Stormbreaker – instructions on how to become a spy and a recount letter to MI6 telling them of their findings at Sayle Enterprises. The favourite piece of writing was based on ‘It’s not a planet, it’s our home!’ They created some very emotional diary entries which really moved the reader and made them question the ethics behind some aspects of space exploration. We have recently moved on to looking at newspaper reports and the class came up with some very clever and funny headlines based on the murders in ‘I know what you did last Wednesday’

In Maths, the Westerners have focused on developing their skills in place value, being confident with adding numbers up to six digits and subtracting using a number line and column subtraction. The class have particularly enjoyed learning times tables through games such as Popcorn and learning key facts through the Weakest Link and Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

Autumn Term 2

Another busy half term in Year 5! This time, our topic was Paupers, Princes and Pestilence and we learned about many different aspects of medieval life and history. We enjoyed a brilliant trip to Tamworth Castle, where we looked around and imagined what it would have been like to live there, and also learned some Tudor Dancing. They made us work very hard as we pretended to be servants to a Tudor lady – we had to sweep, clean, polish silverware, set a fire, lay the tables, conduct a salt ceremony and many more difficult tasks. All while remembering to bow or curtsey, only speak when spoken to, and show the correct deference to our betters!

We looked in detail at the life of Henry VIII, studied the Black Death, and investigated what really went on at the Battle of Bosworth Field. 

In English we focused on writing to entertain. We did some work to follow up on our Macbeth play: character descriptions, word art and poetry. Then we looked at the features of a playscript and had a go at presenting our own.

Maths was based around multiplication and division, looking at the operations and also applying them to areas such as factors.

Preparation for Christmas was hard work, but a lot of fun. We were super-proud of our performance and were glad so many of you were able to come and see it. Just after that we said ‘so long’ to Mrs Craig as she left to have her baby, and welcomed the fantastic Miss Bowers into our Year 5 team in time to start our next exciting year.

Spring Term 1

This half term, we have been learning all about Pharaohs and what a lot we have discovered! We started with our topic launch day where we explored a replica of Tutankhamun’s tomb (including canopic jars of innards), found out about Ancient Egyptian artefacts and wrapped each other up as mummies – great fun, even if we did have to finish the day clearing up all of the toilet paper! We also learned about the many Egyptian gods, the symbolism that was woven through all of their art, and imagined what a day in the life of a typical Egyptian was like.

 In English, we looked at writing to persuade and created some fantastic holiday brochures full of amazing vocabulary. We then experienced a lesson where our teachers behaved in an appalling fashion: they were eating chocolate, reading magazines and filing their nails while trying to teach us degree-level science! It turned out to be a set-up so that we could write letters of complaint to Mr Lewin. They were excellent, letters that used many persuasive devices – but fortunately Mr Lewin had been in on the trick all along so nobody got into trouble!

Maths lessons this half term have focussed on fractions and decimals. We began by investigating exactly what a fraction is, using cakes to investigate the notion of ‘fairness’ and to work out whether ‘a half’ is always the same. Our reasoning and problem-solving skills were really put to the test as we explained the thinking behind our answers. 

We’re moving on to Alchemy Island next half term – and we can’t wait!

Spring Term 2

This half term, we have become scientists! We started our adventure with a visit from an alchemist who set us a series of challenges that, once completed, led to the discovery of gold! We’ve had to learn about 6-digit co-ordinate mapping, the properties of materials, and how to conduct a fair, scientific investigation. We’ve then used these scientific skills to discover reversible and irreversible changes, how different variables affect the making of a saturated solution and seen a fountain of gold! Additionally, we have used our imaginations to design our own portals, composed a piece of music that we thought we might hear as we travelled through the portal, and then written a story about our escapades on the other side. 

Maths has focused on the relationships between decimals, fractions and percentages, and honing our reasoning skills. 

In PE, we have found our way around school and its grounds in a different way, by learning how to accurately read maps and follow orienteering markers. Some of us went to Donisthorpe Woods to participate in a (rather muddy) inter-school orienteering competition. Everybody had a great time, and no-one got lost!

We are excited to begin our next topic after Easter.

Summer Term 1


This half term we have had a fascinating time exploring allotments and getting to know our local area better. We visited the beautiful Ibstock Community Gardens where we: created a sensory page, drew sketch maps of the site, and spent some quality quiet time studying different plants to produce some highly detailed observational drawings.

In English, we considered the importance of bees to our world and the impact of pesticides on our environment. We then discussed this issue in the form of a balanced argument that considered whether pesticides should be banned. We also worked hard on our VIPERS skills by looking at a book called Wilderness Wars.

Shape was our focus during maths this half term. We looked at reflection, perimeter and area of more complicated shapes and consolidated our knowledge of the properties of different shapes. We learned to use angle-measurers and investigated the links between the interior angles of quadrilaterals and triangles, and also explored the volume of cubes and cuboids.

Our science unit was focused on nature. We learned how to plan our own scientific investigations, being sure to consider dependent and independent variables so that we knew we had a fair test, and then carried them out. We explored what plants need in order to be healthy, the rate of decomposition of different materials and carefully dissected a lily to identify all of the different parts of a flowering plant and discover their function. We also learned how plants reproduce using sexual and asexual reporoduction.


Homework to be in by 8 July