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Spring 1

Week 6

We've ended the half term with a fantastic yet busy week.

In English, we planned and started to write our own prologues for our own fantasy stories based on Ross MacKenzie's 'The Nowhere Emporium'. We also continued our non-fiction reading about the production of chocolate.

In maths, we learnt for to divide larger numbers using the bus stop method, including calculations that would have a remainder.

We finished our Mayan topic by learning about Mayan food and by comparing the Mayan civilisation to those of the time in Britain (the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings).

In science, we finished our 'Properties and Changes of Materials' unit by learning about irreversible chemical changes. We learnt how when an irreversible change occurs it leaves a new substance and the original materials cannot be changed back, unlike in a physical reversible change such as melting ice. Miss Pritchard taught us about the different types of fire extinguishers (we are on the lookout for them around school) and how a CO2 extinguisher works. We mixed bicarbonate of soda and vinegar and watched the mixture react and lots of carbon dioxide bubbles be made. Miss Pritchard gave us a lit candle to act as fire and we used the solution to pretend to be a CO2 extinguisher and watched how the carbon dioxide gas put the 'fire' out. We were amazed by this (and very excited!).


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Week 5

Children's Mental Health Week

Each morning we have been keeping a journal to help us to reflect on our mental health. We have been thinking about things such as gratitude, happiness and worries. To end the week, we came to school in our own choice of outfit as part of our 'Dress to Express Day.' We participated in an activity from the charity Place 2 Be. The theme for this week's Children's Mental Health Week is 'Let's Connect' so we talked about things that we do that help us to connect to others and created a paper chain with these things.

In English, we have been reading a piece of non-fiction text about chocolate production, as well as continuing our sentence stacking lessons for the prologue of a fantasy story. In maths, we have been consolidating our knowledge of long multiplication and short division.

In the next part of our Mayans topic, we continued to design our own Mayan mask and then made a template to help us to produce one from clay. They look spectacular and are currently drying so that we can decorate them (either next week or after half term).

In science, we did an investigation to see how materials can be separated in different ways: filtering, sieving, evaporating and through magnetism.

We have enjoyed baking rock cakes with the WI. We are so grateful for them to give up their time to come and teach us how to bake. They were delicious!

Our Science investigation- separating materials

We enjoyed a road safety workshop with Miss House.

Week 4

We have been continuing with our fantastic writing of the prologue of the 'Nowhere Emporium' this week, using lenses like alliteration and relative clauses. We finished the week talking about different words classes and examples of these. In maths, we have begun to learn how to multiply larger numbers and have been practicing the long multiplication written method to multiply a number by a two-digit number. We worked with different partners to explain the method to each other and even got to write on the tables! In science, we continued our materials unit by learning about dissolving and the terms soluble and insoluble. We learnt about the differences between melting and dissolving and carried out an investigation to see which solids would dissolve in water, making predictions beforehand. There were some materials that we were unsure of so we discussed a further investigation that we could carry out (dissolving these materials in hotter water). We have continued our work on the Mayan civilisation by learning about clothing- we compared these to Anglo-Saxon and Viking clothing. We have also looked at the roles of masks in Mayan culture and have begun to design our own masks which we will make out of clay.

Bethan came from the National Grid and talked to us about electrical safety. We discovered that just 54 volts of electricity is enough to kill a person! Bethan told us how to be safe out in the street by 'Looking Up, Looking Out and Keeping Out' and taught us a catchy song (to the tune of Baby Shark) to remember the number needed to contact National Grid: "105... 105... 105... stay alive!"

For Internet Safety Day, we talked about what we do online and played a great game called Interland to remind ourselves about how to make the right choices.

Week 3

In English this week, we started our new unit. We are looking at a fantasy story by Ross MacKenzie called 'The Nowhere Emporium'. We read the prologue and had an experience day to create our own mysterious doorways which we filled with things that you would find inside (using the FANTASTICS lenses). We then started sentence stacking our first plot point about 'A Shop from Nowhere'. Mrs Spencer Lovesey came in to listen to our work so far. In our whole class reading sessions, we have continued to analyse the start of 'The Curse of the Maya' and improved our retrieval, inference and explanation skills. We have been continuing to read at home and have collectively read over 70 times again this week!

In maths, we finished the first part of our fractions unit and worked on taking away fractions with related denominators and mixed numbers. We also had another go at ensuring that we could confidently find equivalent fractions. Next week, we will be moving on to different multiplication methods. We need to make sure that we are practicing our times tables at home as often as we can to make this easier.

In science, we continued our work on materials and their properties by thinking about materials that are thermal conductors and insulators. We set up an investigation to explore which material (plastic, rubber, metal, felt, cotton or paper) would make the best thermal insulator for a new lunch box. We talked a lot about different types of variables and how we could try to make it as fair a test as possible. We set up the investigation with ice cubes, took measurements, recorded them and tried to analyse our findings. Our investigation was not particularly successful as the measurements were difficult to make accurately and we felt that we should have carried it out over a longer time period. We got a lot of scientific discussion from our failure, though, and thought of ways that we could of improved our experiment, as well as the need to repeat investigations to gain a better conclusion.

In history, we learnt about the different Mayan classes and their architecture. On Friday, we went on our school trip to Cadbury World and had an amazing time! We learnt all about where chocolate first came from and the history of the Cadbury brand. We enjoyed tasting our own pot with a choice of ingredients and exploring adverts from through the years. We really enjoyed the cadabra ride and the 4D cinema. We ended our day with an amazing talk on the Mayans. Simon was brilliant and so enthusiastic. We learnt about things like Mayan sacrifices, the game Pok-a-Tok and Mayan gods. We also impressed him with our questions and the things that we had learnt already. The adults who came with us were very proud of how well we represented our school all day.


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Week 2


In English, we have started our new book 'The Curse of the Maya'. We discussed what genre of story this could be and analysed the front cover and blurb to see what we could predict and infer about the book. We then read the prologue together and discussed any ambitious vocabulary we found. We have completed our first week with our new reading diaries and have been reading a lot at home- we collected 78 house points as a class! In our writing sessions, we have been working very hard on our independent transmission and have been working on our editing skills.

In maths, we have been learning how to add to a mixed number and how to add two mixed numbers together. We have also been learning how to subtract fractions with different but related denominators.

In history, we had a WOW afternoon where we did a carousel of activities about the Mayans. We had a go at Mayan maths, carried out our own independent research, used atlases to identify Central American countries and looked at where Mayan settlements were, placed significant events in chronological order on a timeline and created our own versions of Mayan glyphs. We also learnt about primary and secondary sources of evidence and how we might know about the Mayans today.

In science, we started our new topic on materials and their properties. We explored feely bags to identify different materials and used vocabulary to describe their properties. We then carried out mini investigations to test magnetism, transparency, hardness, flexibility and permeability.

For PE, we returned back to our swimming lessons at Etwall (in the snow) and enjoyed our second basketball session with Stedy. We worked on our ball control skills and improving our balance and core muscles.

We were very excited to have a surprise visitor this week! Officer Bob arranged for PC Alex Boniface to come in and talk to us about his job. We enjoyed asking him lots of questions and hearing about how to become a police officer and the importance of working hard at school (as well as hearing about his time on Traffic Cops). We ended the session with Mr Rodgers and Miss Pritchard being put into handcuffs for dodgy joke telling.

Week 1

The children have made a great start back to school, full of tales of their festive break and thinking about the New Year's Resolutions that they are setting for the rest of Year 5. We are displaying these in the classroom to give us extra incentive to stick to them.

In English, we have been planning our independent write by boxing up the shapes of our transmission and adding notes and literary devices that we would like to showcase.

In Maths, we have been continuing with our work on fractions by learning how to add them.

We also made a start to our new history topic 'The Marvellous Mayans'. We thought about the things that we already know and shared these with each other; our aim was to collect at least 8 pieces of information- which we just about managed. We are hoping to be able to collect many more more interesting facts at the end of our topic.

In computing, we have been learning about what vector drawings are and building up the skills needed to create our own. On PowerPoint, we had a go at inserting shapes and lines and making changes to them. We learnt that shapes that are built on top of each other are called objects. We had a go at moving and resizing our objects and changing their colours using the fill and line tools. Miss Pritchard taught us lots of keyboard shortcuts to help us with our work: ctrl+z (undo), ctrl+y (redo), ctrl+c (copy), ctrl+v (paste) and ctrl+d (duplicate/clone). We even had a go at selecting more than one object to manipulate! Miss Pritchard was so impressed with our skills and we have now learnt new things that we will be able to apply on PowerPoint and Word in the future!