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Year 5 

Rights Respecting Articles in Child Friendly Language 

Every great dream begins with a dreamer.  Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.

- Harriet Tubman

Welcome to Year 5 Slides

Year 5 is the beginning of Upper Key Stage 2 and we will be concentrating on honing our writing and mathematical skills in readiness for Year 6.  The pupils also benefit from our exciting residential trip in the summer term.  This develops the resilience, independence and personal growth of the children which is all part our transition work preparing them for Year 6 and beyond.

 Meet the team

 Mrs Willis (5W) - Year Leader

Mrs Gilmore (5G) - Class Teacher 

Miss Lopez (5L) - Class Teacher

Support Staff - Miss Cowan, Miss Myers and Miss Omole

What we do and when

Autumn 1 learning overview

Autumn 2 learning overview

Spring 1 learning overview

Spring 2 learning overview

Summer 1 learning overview

Summer 2 learning overview

Our learning


Your children have worked incredibly hard throughout the entire spring term. We began the half term, looking at our new history topic learning all about the early Islamic Civilisation. We’ve used various artefacts to deepen our understanding of key figures and the famous House of Wisdom – we even made our own iMovie adverts for Baghdad 900 AD. We also used VR to better understand what Baghdad 900 AD looked like. We agreed that we have a lot to thank the Early Islamic Civilisation for.

This term in English, we have been getting to grips with Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The children enjoyed using their deduction skills when exploring the virtual world Elsinore Castle to predict the theme of tragedy. They have since been getting to know the characters and have had a go at writing their own soliloquies. We have even had a go at writing using Shakespearean language. We will be taking the stage very soon to perform our final pieces.

This term in science, Year 5 have been experimenting with materials. We have developed our understanding of properties and how these make a material suitable, building on our knowledge of thermal and electrical conductors and insulators. The children have conducted experiments looking at reversible and irreversible changes, noticing changes of state, as well as observing some fizzing chemical reactions.


Your children have worked incredibly hard throughout the entire autumn term. We began the half term, looking at our new geography topic learning all about Norway.  Each class created their own travel guides teaching the viewer all about what Norway has to offer.  The children included human and physical features and made excellent use of their persuasive language skills.  We used VR sets to help the children understand all about the Aurora Borealis.

Our English work writing blogs based on Malala Yousafzai’s book, If I had a Magic Pencil, gave the children the opportunity to consider what they feel really passionate about. 

This term in art, Year 5 have been experimenting with print. Our Artist of Study has been British printmaker; Angie Rogers. In her style, and following her process, we have developed our line-making techniques and exploring how to create texture using soft pastels. Our final pieces are a layered print, combining both monoprint and pastels, inspired by the Norwegian countryside.


 We began the term, looking at the book ‘All the Wonderful Ways to Read’ by Laura Baker.  Each class discussed their own criteria of what makes a good reader. Common themes in the three classes were: experimenting with different genres; being self-motivated; and reading regularly (all good to hear!).

We are very excited that we get to be the first year group of the year to have pottery sessions with Miss Maggs.  We are creating pieces inspired by our history topic (the Anglo Saxons and Vikings).  Miss Maggs is helping us build our ceramic construction skills (slab building) and also teaching us new ways to use slips to decorate our pieces.

While half of the year group are doing pottery, the other half are doing a sewing DT project.  The details of which are ‘top secret’ as we will hope to show you at the winter fair later in the year.  The first lesson was us experimenting with different ways to join fabric together.  In this topic, we will use a combination of stiches: running, back, blanket and whip. 

In history we linked our learning to Year 4’s Roman topic.  We used drama and geography skills to look at some of the reasons why the Angles, Saxons and Jutes invaded after the Roman’s left in CE 410.  We have looked closely at a selection of artefacts from the Anglo Saxon period and thought about what these teach us about the daily lives of the people who used them.  We discussed status and how objects can sometimes give clues to a person’s status within a society.

 Last year...

For many children in Year 5, the residential trip is the highlight of the term.  This year was no exception - the children (and staff) had a fabulous time learning new skills, developing confidence and improving resilience. 

Who knew that your children were such experts at fencing, abseiling, archery, climbing, circus skills, sensory trail, trapeze, survival skills, Jacob’s ladder, tunnelling and disco dancing!

Those who did not come to JCA, had a wonderful week taking part in a range of activities such as origami, art and pizza making. They also enjoyed a film (with popcorn of course) and the King's Coronation picnic. A brilliant week enjoyed by all!

In Summer 1 we learnt about the life and style of African American artist: Romare Bearden. In the style of Bearden, we experimented with mixed-media to create colour and texture. We designed and created our own collages, reflecting our own life and identity, much like Bearden’s collages represented his life and the community he lived in. 

In history we learnt about the USA Civil Rights Movement. We were given an eye-opening experience when our teachers performed a role-play to represent the discrimination experienced as a result of the Jim Crow Laws.

We have learnt about some of the campaigns and protests which helped to drive the Civil Rights Movement during the 1950s and 1960s. Through studying various sources, we reflected on unreliability and bias in some historical texts, and used this information to choose which sources to reference.  We thought about the legacy of the movement and how we can all be a positive force for change, challenging discrimination whenever we come across it.

All three Year 5 classes visited Deptford Discovery Centre to support our learning in geography and science.  Deptford Creek is part of the Ravensbourne which is a tributary of the Thames.  We examined artefacts found in the river and considered what these taught us about the role of a river within the community and how this evolves over time.  We wore waders so we could walk a stretch of Deptford Creek at low tide looking for organisms.  We found tubiflex worms, freshwater leeches, freshwater shrimps, horse leeches, louse, mitten crabs – all sorts!  The current was pretty fast and we measured this by racing some ducks (plastic, not real ones). One of the bridges proved an excellent spot for a field study sketch.  What a terrific day we had!

This term we have been learning about types of bridges. We created different types of bridges out of paper and card and found that truss bridges are the strongest. Working as a team, we built our own truss bridges out of lolly pop sticks, glue and masking tape.

We then tested how strong our bridges were using weights. It was surprising to see that a triangular structure can be so strong!

In celebration of World Book Day, Year 5 took on Shakespeare’s Hamlet. We began by exploring the VR world of Elsinore Castle, collecting clues about the text and making predictions. We learnt about the key features of a play script and put our new knowledge into practice during our Shakespeare drama workshop. We then wrote and performed our own soliloquies from the perspective of one of the main characters in Hamlet.

“During the workshop, we learnt about breaking the 4th wall. It was really useful to know how to talk directly to the audience which helped me to perform my soliloquy.”

All three Year 5 classes have visited Tooting Library this term.  Here’s what some of the children had to say: ‘I like the library as they have so many interesting books to loan.  It’s great that the library is free!’

‘The range of books at Tooting Library means that there’s something to suit everyone.  I like magic and adventure books and I found lots of those there.’ 

In science we visited ‘Wonderlab’ at the Science Museum.  We had the most fantastic day. 

The Year 5 children said: 

‘It was funny during the show because we thought we were going to get covered with water but really, the cup contained Sodium Polyacrylate (it absorbs 300 times its weight in water and is used in babies' nappies and astronaut suits).’

‘It was really interesting when we saw how sound waves interact with water.’

‘I loved the slides because it showed how different surfaces create more or less friction - I chose the polished wooden slide because I thought it would make me travel quickly due to its smooth surface - I was right!’

In our English lessons we looked at the life and achievements of Malala Yousafzai through her book Malala’s Magic Pencil. We were inspired by her endless campaign for education rights for all.

Year 5 thought about what they would change in the world if they had a ‘magic pencil’, with a focus on our rights respecting agenda. There were many suggestions such as equal rights for women in football, putting a stop to deforestation and ensuring a warm home for all.


Year 5 learnt about forces this term.  When looking at air resistance, we designed, made and tested parachutes.  We made boats to test buoyancy and plasticine divers to test water resistance too.


Year 5 had their pottery sessions last half term where they made a Viking long ship.

To celebrate our learning about the Vikings, we held our own Viking day.  We dressed the part; created shields, battle-axes and swords; ate Viking bread; and worked in tribes to raid.  When we got to our destination however, we were met with other Viking tribes so we attacked (only pretending to fight though - no blood was actually shed!)

In celebration of Black History Month, Year 5 have been learning about the dub-poetry of Benjamin Zephaniah and the reggae dub tracks that he recites over. We have been inspired by how music has been used throughout history for protesting and have created our own dub-poetry. 

We attended a Wandsworth Junior Citizens morning where we developed our understanding of what it takes to be a good citizen. In the scenarios shown we are learning about the cost of vandalism to the community.  

How can you help at home?

Regular reading is still highly important in Year 5 so please do continue to hear your child read as well as encourage them to read for pleasure independently. All children are expected to read regularly at home and record in their reading records daily. Year 5 pupils need to develop their inference and deduction skills so asking them questions about what they have read will really support them.

Spelling is a very important part of the Year 5 English curriculum and therefore a new list of target words from the National Curriculum will be set each week via Google Classroom.  See this link for the spelling word list (including some common patterns) taught in Year 5 and Year 6

 It is our aim that all pupils move up to Year 6 having excellent, rapid recall of times tables up to 12 so pupils are tested every week. Please speak to your children about the weekly expectation to regularly use Times Tables Rock Stars

Children will be set weekly maths activities on Mathletics. All children have been given their own login and are expected to complete all tasks set. Reminders will be given in Reading Records for those children who do not complete their maths homework.

Useful websites:

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Do you have skills, knowledge and have lived experiences that could be beneficial to our pupils at Penwortham?  For example, you may be a practising Buddhist or be of the Windrush generation. Your line of work may involve promoting sustainable living (for example) or you may have links to people who would be happy to run professional development sessions for members of Penwortham Primary School.

If so, please sign up to the Penwortham community!

Thank you