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St Mary's C of E

School Bideford

Year 5

Welcome to Year 5 - Razorbills & Wrens!



We’ve had a real science focus recently in Y5, joining many schools up and down the country in National Science Week.  In keeping with our Space topic, we investigated three stages of space exploration – rocket launching, parachuting and floating.  As well as considering the forces involved, we’ve also given thought to the process of scientific investigation, talking about the accuracy of results and how we record our data in particular.  In maths we are continuing with our work on fractions, looking at equivalent and improper fractions, and mixed numbers.

Y5 began this half-term with a unit of study about the use of colour in religious art.  We have also had World Book day, and have been to St Mary’s church for our Ash Wednesday service.  In maths, Razorbills been modelling exchanging in division to work towards a short division method. Wrens have begun work on fractions, looking at equivalence.

Continuing our space topic, children in Razorbills have been using smudging and flicking techniques to create ‘Nebulae’ pictures, using images from the Hubble telescope as inspiration. In the context of religion and art, the children have also been considering how different colours evoke various emotions and moods. In PE, we have been practising tennis and learning how to dance in the style of Michael Jackson, creating a simplified routine for the song ‘Thriller’.

Year 5 have had an eventful few weeks, completing a number of scientific investigations, such as identifying how the fall of spinners may be affected by different forces and which materials make the best thermal insulators.

They have continued to be active, playing handball and creating a dance routine to ‘Thriller’. They have also been enjoying reading sessions focused our class novel ‘Cosmic’, where they discover new vocabulary and respond to the text, answering a range of comprehension questions.

Year 5 have had an exciting start to the term, with our topic being ‘Space’, which has really inspired the children. They have been sharing their home learning, which has ranged from models of Space to powerpoint presentations. In Science, they have been investigating materials which will contribute to their design of a ‘space contraption’ to collect space debris. In PE, they have been doing handball, as well as developing a ‘Thriller’ style dance with Michael Jackson moves!


Year 5 have been busy with their learning and their final Christmas preparations. They have had a hockey tournament across the Year Group in PE. They played very well, showing excellent teamwork and sportsmanship. In topic, children have produced many pieces based on Ancient Greece, including oil lamps and an information report. In preparation for the Christmas festivities, they have made Christmas hats for themselves and helped Foundation Stage children to make theirs, before sharing a book with them.

We’ve had a range of new experiences recently. For some of us, trying new foods was a brave thing, and we had fun dressing up in chitons and robes on our Greek day. We’ve also been making and painting oil lamps and creating Greek vases as would have been used at that time.

Also, Mrs Recycle came in for a day and helped us to do a waste audit. We were surprised at what we throw away as a school and will pass our findings to the Eco-council to come up with some improvements to how we deal with our waste as a school.

Whilst the good (albeit cold) weather is upon us, we’ve been outside working on our Hockey skills. Recently we’ve worked on maintaining formation as we advance down the pitch – all applied in lots of quick games. We have also been working on badminton in the hall. For topic, we’ve been researching what it was like in Ancient Greece, using web pages, books and film clips.

We have also developed our debating skills, with Wrens focusing on the question - ‘Should we have school uniform?’ We have had ‘Children in Need Day’ as a school and a visit form the fire service to teach children how to stay safe.

Recently, we have been very fortunate to have an exciting introduction to our new ‘Ancient Greece’ topic in the form of a living historian.  Steve Manning kept the children enthralled with tales from the Iliad, armour demonstrations and some fascinating details about the differences between Spartans and Athenians. 

In PE, we have been playing Badminton, beginning with our technique for a service shot, working individually and in small groups to increase accuracy.

Children have also been sharing their home learning based on South America and the development of ideas for their own ‘Explorer’ story.

With the recent good weather, Y5 have been fortunate to take their Circuit Training outside recently.  We have been collecting data over the half-term which we will use in our statistical work soon.  We’ve also been using Atlases to describe not only the location of Brazil in different ways, but also to compare it with the UK in relation to common development indicators such as GDP, literacy levels and life-expectancy. Linked with our class novel ‘The Explorer’, children have explored how characters have been developed and how to develop the story further.

Recently Y5 have been developing their key skills in the invasion game of Handball.  This has involved practicing a variety of passing and defending techniques, as well as applying them in mini-games. 

In maths we’ve been using numbers up to 1 million, both counting in sequences and ordering numbers.  We’ve also been lucky enough to have an author visit from John Dougherty, as part of the Appledore Book Festival.

Year 5 have had a busy start to the new school year.  As part of our Rainforest work we had a wonderful trip to the Eden project, collecting data about plant leaf sizes and colours to use in later maths work.  In class we’ve been looking at animal life-cycles, informal writing styles and Roman numerals, amongst other things.