The Leopards (Year 5) Mr Horan
We are really looking forward to getting to know your children and learning alongside them. We hope that they will settle quickly into Upper School and cope with the challenges that Year 5 will bring. We have got an exciting year ahead of us, with many mysterious and challenging topics, which we know the children will relish.
Here is some Key Information about Leopard Class:
Teacher: Mr Horan
Teaching Assistants: Miss Parks (am), Miss Cunningham (pm) and Miss Sheridan
PE Information: Wednesday and Friday
Reading at home: Completed daily and recorded in Reading Record
Homework: English and Mathletics set on Thursday and returned on Wednesday
Topic Term 1 - To The Stars
In Science, the children will be finding out about The Earth, Sun, Moon and our place in the Solar System. The children will be exploring why we have day and night; the orbit and phases of the moon; the planets of the solar system and they will research other interesting space-phenomena including black-holes, supernovas, nebula and life-in-space as an astronaut. In DT we make junk-model rockets over a series of weeks which is always a popular project, whilst in art, the children will be learning about the painting Starry Night by Vincent Van Gough. In RE we will be finding out about what it means to say that God is Holy and Loving and in Music the children will begin to learn the ukulele, which will be a creative way to round of the week. Our English topic in Term 1 will centre around the book The Hobbit by J.R.R.Tollkien and will involve creating our own version of Middle Earth. We will be exploring how to use show-not-tell to show a character’s thoughts, feelings and character and how to use a balance of description, action and dialogue to write a story that grips the reader! We also look forwards to welcoming M&M Productions to the school, the country’s leading provider of theatre in education, with their own version of the Hobbit to bring our learning to life!
Topic Term 2 - The Ancient Greeks
In Term 2 we will be exploring the world of Ancient Greece. On our Greek Day, the children will make clay masks, experience drama, learn about architecture and taste traditional Greek Food. The children will investigate Greek gods and goddesses, learn about Aesop’s Fables and will write their own story based upon the Legend of Odysseus, with a focus on figurative language and mythology. In RE we will find out what the word Messiah means to Christians whilst in Art we will be looking at perspective. Our Science Topic in Term 2 is Forces and investigating air and water resistance as well as gravity. Towards the end of the term, the children use the story The Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens to write their own festive ghost story set in Dickensian London. This is always a fun way to round of the term.
Topic Term 3 – The Tudors
In Term 3 we will be learning about The Terrible Tudors. We will investigate why this era is so well known and explore events both in England and in the wider world during the 15th Century. We will begin to improve our skills at portraiture in Art, gaining inspiration from the phenomenal Tudor paintings in the National Portrait Gallery whilst in Science, we move on to learning about Materials. Our RE topic explores the Big Question: How can following God bring Freedom and Justice? whilst in English we will be making a study of the author Phillip Pullman and his books The Firework Maker’s Daughter and Clockwork. This leads us onto an exploration of the genre of science fiction in English, where we will dip into Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and we will be using some video resources to further inspire our minds! Our writing focus will be on the power of using different sentence lengths to alter and control the pace and tone of a piece of writing.
Topic Term 4 – The Elizabethans and Stuarts
In Term 4, we hope to visit The Globe Theatre in London and in preparation will be learning about life in Elizabethan and Stuart England during the 16th and 17th Centuries. We will discover that this was the Golden Age of exploration, sharpen up our geography skills and will be writing our own pirate adventure stories, using the text Treasure Island for inspiration. We will then move on to life in the Stuart Era, when the Thames froze over and Londoners endured a mini ice-age and an era of Frost Fairs. The children will create a TV-style broadcast, always very interactive and enjoyable, before learning about Stuart fashion and creating an advert for Stuart make-up. Then we move on to writing a murder-mystery story, which we hope to tie-in with a trip to Spires Academy in Canterbury for a forensic science day. Finally, we complete the term with the wonderful poem: The Highwayman, where the children develop their use of poetic language in their own writing. In RE we explore the question: What did Jesus do to save human beings? and in Science we will be moving on to our Life-Cycles of Animals unit of work.
Topic Term 5 – Survival
We kick-off our Survival Topic with a visit from Phil Brown from Badger Bushcraft, a certified bushcraft teacher and mountain leader. He brings to life the skills needed to survive in the wild – teaching the children about their hunter-gatherer ancestors. They will look at a wonderful collection of stone-age tools and weapons, dress up in animal skins and build their own shelter in a small group, where success depends on good communication skills. Then we read the book Wolf Brother, the first in the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness books by Michelle Paver. The children create their own adventure story, making a trip to the beach and Fairy Glen to deepen their knowledge of the local plants, animals and resources that could be used to survive in the wild. The Year 5 team always look forwards to this unit of work – reminding us how lucky we are to be based in such a rich and beautiful natural environment here at Reculver. To contrast with the skills exhibited by our stone-age predecessors when confronted with the challenge of survival, we will explore extracts of Michael Morpurgo’s Kensuke’s Kingdom and William Golding’s The Lord of the Flies to trigger discussion and develop reasoning skills. In RE we will be thinking about the question: What does it mean to be Jewish in Britain today? whilst in Science we continue our work on Life-Cycles, including humans.
Topic Term 6 – The Ancient Maya
Last but not least, we journey back in time and space, to Central America in the time of the Ancient Maya. We learn about their advanced system of writing, mathematics, religion and architecture and the children always enjoy creating some fantastic art-work including Maya pyramids, masks and hieroglyph designs. The highlight of this unit is a visit from the Chocolate Museum in London, where we learn that the Maya were the first to discover and enjoy chocolate. It was so important they even has a god of chocolate, Kukulkan! The children get to taste chocolate from around the world as well as making their own confectionery using ganache and sprinkles. In RE we explore what it means to be Muslim today, in Science we investigate Living Things and their Habitats and in English, we design our own imaginary creatures (Flanimals) and their life-cycles, inspired by the book of the same name by Ricky Gervais.
Our English curriculum is often woven in with our topic areas. The lessons cover reading, writing, spelling and grammar, speaking and listening. In year 5, handwriting should be legible and each child should be able to write in a joined-up style, using a handwriting pen. We would be grateful if you would continue to hear your child read on a regular basis - 4 times a week is still recommended as it helps them to take regular quizzes, consolidate their comprehension skills and learn new vocabulary. Please sign their reading record book when you have heard them read. We also encourage wider reading other than just school books so please encourage them to read any text (book, magazine, manual etc) which interests them. If you have some spare time and would like to help with reading in school, your child’s class teacher would love to hear from you.
Maths is taught in maths groups so that the children are able to make good progress and receive appropriate support. There is an emphasis on mental arithmetic and it is imperative that all children strive to have a sound grasp of all the tables from 2-12. The importance of this cannot be stressed too much, so please encourage your children to recite their times-tables in the car, walking to the shops, whilst pottering around the house – basically everywhere – so that they are not held back in their learning.
We use Mathletics to set homework as the children seem to find this computer-based approach enjoyable, so please allow your child time to get this done. If you have any concerns about this, please speak to your child’s teacher. We are here to support both yourself and your child and we may just have an easy answer!
How Parents May Help
Your children need to make sure they have their P.E kit in school every day. Our dedicated day is Friday but we take the opportunity to have additional sessions during the week when time allows. Please could you make sure they have a suitable tracksuit and trainers for outdoor P.E and that EVERYTHING is named. We expect the children to wear the correct school uniform as detailed in the school prospectus, clearly named. Thank you.
Homework will be set regularly and is expected to be completed. We hope you will support us with this. It will be set on a Thursday and needs to be completed by the following Wednesday.