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Year 5

Summer 1:

The summer term is here and it is great to see everyone back and excited to begin our new topic- ‘Amazon Adventure’. This topic focuses on further developing our geography knowledge and skills. We will learn about the physical geography of the Amazon Basin, including the River Amazon and the Amazon Rainforest. We will also explore the human geography of the area by learning about the different settlements in Brazil and the conflict over land use issues in the rainforest. This builds on the children’s prior learning about the River Nile in Year 4 and their investigation of local issues in Year 3, including the impact of litter on nearby parkland.

Working as scientists, we will learn about the lifecycles of plants and animals in the Amazon and in our local area. We will dissect flowers and observe changes in the life cycle stages of insects. We will practise our close observation and drawing skills to record our knowledge and understanding of how plants and animals change and reproduce throughout their life cycles. This learning links to the children’s earlier learning in Year 2 when they learned that animals have offspring, which grow into adults and their learning in Year 3 about the role of flowers in creating seeds.

We will continue to develop our drawing and painting skills in art lessons by analysing the art work of Ruth Daniels and using this learning to inspire and inform our own paintings of rainforest scenes. During our design technology lessons, we will be designing, making and evaluating textile products. Our aim will be to create tool belts suitable for gardeners or rainforest ecologists. We will further develop the sewing and evaluation skills used in Year 4 when the children made passport covers.

Please take the time to look at, explore and discuss these words with your child. New words are best learned when they are discussed and used in a wide range of different contexts so when children learn about them at home and in school they gain a much better understanding of what they mean and how to use them correctly.

Geography: Biome, Climate, Rainforest, Settlement, Agriculture, Industry

Science: Life cycle, Reproduction, Mammal, Insect, Amphibian, Pollen

Design Technology: Textile, Fabric, Stitch, Tack, Pin, Annotate

Spring 2:

Over the next few weeks our topic will be ‘Inventors and Engineers’. I am very excited by this topic as it provides an excellent opportunity for the children to explore and consider where their learning might one day take them. We will research and discuss a wide range of amazing careers and jobs and find out what it takes to succeed in the children’s chosen areas of interest. With this in mind, we will invite guest speakers in to school to talk about their work and share their experiences. In English, we will use our research to write biographies, CVs, job applications and job adverts. Our aim is to enthuse them about their future learning and longer-term aspirations. I am also looking forward to sharing our class novel ‘The Invention of Hugo Cabret’ during our reading and English lessons!

Working as historians and archaeologists, we will learn about the Maya and their incredible civilisation. We will find out when and where the Maya lived and use primary sources and artefacts to discover more about their society and culture. We will work with the TIME project to create music and sounds using instruments that would have been familiar to the Maya. We will learn about some of the Mayan civilisation’s greatest achievements, including their calendar, writing and number systems. We will also discuss and debate the possible causes that led to the end of the Maya civilisation. We will show case our learning by creating a Maya Café, serving perhaps the Maya’s greatest invention- hot chocolate!

In role as scientists we will learn about the forces of gravity, friction, air resistance and water resistance through a series of experiments and investigations. We will learn how engineers use this learning to solve real-life problems and create machines to make work easier and link this learning to how ancient civilisations may have been able to build seemingly impossible structures. Furthermore, the children will need to be inventors and engineers themselves in order to design and build moving toys during their Design Technology lessons! Next is a list of vocabulary we will be using in class. Please take the opportunity to discuss these words and their meanings at home.

‘Civilisation’. ‘Artefact’ ‘Democracy’ ‘Monarchy’ ‘Sacrifice’ ‘Decline’ ‘Abandon’ ‘Friction’ ‘Resistance’

Spring 1:

It is lovely to see the children back and ready for school after the Christmas break.  This half-term’s topic is ‘Earthlings’ and it has a strong focus on scientific skills and knowledge.  We will learn about our place in the solar system and how the Earth, Moon and Sun all move through space and how those movements influence what we see and experience on Earth. We will discover how the rotation of the Earth creates day and night and how the orbit of the Earth around the Sun creates our seasons. We will also explore how shadows can be used to tell the time and design sundials using our learning. We will work scientifically by creating models of the solar system and carrying out experiments to model impact craters.

In English, we will be reading ‘Jamie Drake Equation’ by Christopher Edge and exploring all things science fiction before writing original science fiction stories (so now you have the perfect excuse to watch Star Wars or Star Trek at home and look out for all those sci-fi features!) Then we will continue to learn about space and what it is like to explore and live in such an environment before creating information booklets linked to our space topic.

Our art and music learning will also be influenced by all things cosmic and we continue to make the most of our exciting partnership with the TIME Project and HMDT Music to work with professional artists, dramatists and musicians. We will explore the work of abstract artists and create paintings inspired by Peter Thorpe and base our music learning around compositions influenced by space and science fiction.

Below is a list of vocabulary we will be learning and using in our topic this half-term and I would greatly appreciate it if you could discuss these words and their meanings at home.

‘Earth’   ‘Sun’  ‘Moon’  ‘Solar System’  ‘Orbit’   ‘Oval’  ‘Rotate’  ‘Planet’  ‘Asteroid’  ‘Spherical’

Last term, we had some superb and very creative homework projects created by the children. On the reverse of this letter are some creative homework ideas for your child and it would be great to see even more of Indigo Class exploring and applying their learning in creative ways at home.  Please encourage your child to have a look at these ideas and help them choose one they would like to create.  The children will continue to embed their times table learning with their times tables booklet, which will go home on a Friday and should be returned the following Wednesday.  Last half-term we saw a huge improvement in Indigo Class’ home reading (the class average was 4 reads a week at home!). Please continue to encourage your child to read every day and record their reading in their diaries.

Autumn 2:

Welcome back!  It is lovely to see the children after the break and great to see that they are ready for the next half-term at school.  Our topic this half-term is ‘A Kingdom United’ and links to English, Maths, Geography, History, PE and music.

We will discover more about the countries and counties that make up Great Britain and the United Kingdom and locating them on a range of different maps.  We will use I-pads to research the countries, counties, human and physical features of the UK in more detail and presenting information about them.  We will also make 3-D maps to learn about contour lines. We will be writing persuasive texts to encourage tourists to visit the UK and discussing the arguments in favour of and against fracking in the north-west.  We will learn about the Anglo-Saxons and the influence that they have had on our country.  We will also learn the National Anthem and a traditional dance from England. In science, we will explore the properties and uses of materials and use evidence from experiments to help us select the best insulating materials.  Within this topic the children will be introduced to and use subject specific vocabulary.

I would be extremely grateful if you could discuss the following words with your child at home and see if they can tell you what they mean and if they can have a go at spelling them!

‘United Kingdom’   ‘Great Britain’  ‘British Isles’  ‘Counties’        ‘Tourist Attraction’   ‘Settlement’   ‘Contour’    ‘Fracking’  ‘Insulating’   ‘Transparent’   ‘Opaque’    ‘Durable’   ‘Adhesive’

On the other side of this letter is the children’s creative homework sheet.  Please encourage your child to have a look at the ideas that are given and choose one that they would like to complete.  The children will be continuing with their times tables booklet homework which will go home on a Friday and will need to be returned the following Wednesday.  I would also appreciate it if you could continue to encourage your child to read daily and record what they have read in their diaries.  Most children read a huge amount at home last half term and it would be great to see this continue.

The children will have their PE lessons on a Tuesday and Friday. It is important that children have their kit in school on these days so that they can participate fully in all lessons.

Autumn 1:

Welcome to Indigo Class! It’s great to see all the children back after the summer break and good to see that Indigo Class is ready for a new school year at Willow Lane. This year, the Year 5 team consists of Mr Webster and Mrs Mosey. Everyone is settling in well and we are excited for this half term’s topic of ‘Food Glorious Food’!

As part of our food topic we have lots of great learning activities planned. Our topic links to English, Maths, Science, Geography, and Art. We will be looking at where in the world different foods come from and locating them on maps and globes. We will also be using I-pads to research these foods and countries in more detail. We will be carrying out lots of scientific experiments looking at reversible and irreversible changes with food and using these skills to solve problems associated with providing clean drinking water in communities around the world. We will be designing and making healthy meals using seasonal ingredients from Great Britain and sharing these with other children in the school!

We will explore the work of the artist Georgia O’Keefe and use this as inspiration for creating our own still-life paintings. We will also be reading the book ‘Street Child’ and collecting descriptions and ideas for writing stories with historical settings. We are looking forward to sharing what we have learned on the school blog. Within this topic the children will be introduced to and use subject specific vocabulary. I would be very grateful if you could discuss the following words with your child at home and see if they can tell you what they mean and if they can have a go at spelling them!

‘Country’ ‘Continent’ ‘Climate’ ‘Trade’ ‘Biomes’ ‘Equator’ ‘Longitude’ ‘Latitude’ ‘Reversible Change’ ‘Irreversible Change’ ‘Dissolve’ ‘Solution’

On the creative homework newsletter is a selection of activities you and your child may want to do. Please encourage your child to have a look at the ideas that are given and choose one that they would like to complete. We look forward to sharing with the rest of the school what the children produce! I would also appreciate it if you could encourage your child to read daily and record what they have read in their diaries.