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Welcome To Year 5

In Year 5, we have two classes: Ash and Cedar. The teaching team across these classes includes: Mrs Seaward, Mrs Stevens, Miss Vincent, Mrs Martin, Ms Daby and Mrs Sharp. Our classrooms are on the upper floor of The Wheatfield Building alongside Year 6.

Autumn Term


What a wonderful term we have had! Our learners have made super progress within the few months they have been in Upper Key Stage 2, displaying eagerness to learn, enquiring minds and amazing creativity.

The opening of this school year saw the children going backwards. This was fully planned however, as we completed a mini topic alongside the whole school: ‘Back in Time to the…’ Year 5 had the pleasure of visiting the 1950s. The children learnt about significant events and figures such as our Queen’s coronation and Martin Luther King. They explored childhood and entertainment and took part in cultural crazes such as the hand jive and produced geometric pattern designs.

‘Extreme Earth’ provided an exciting main topic for Autumn 1. The boys and girls learnt about the causes and effects of hurricanes, earthquakes, floods and volcanic eruptions. As well as studying the geography aspects of these fearsome natural events, the children used natural disasters as a stimulus for their English work. They wrote an emotional diary entry following a family’s evacuation during a flood and a fact-filled newspaper article recounting the horrors of Typhoon Hagibis. ‘Flood’ by Alvaro F. Villa and ‘Hurricane’ by David Weisner provided our focus high quality texts.

The beautiful artwork of Hokusai became the focus for our Art-work which culminated in Ash electing to produce a large scale multimedia piece. The painting was divided into four sections and each completed in a different skill: paint, collage, mosaic and pointillism. We are extremely proud of our masterpiece!

Following the Half Term break, Year 5 began the ‘Victorians’. This is always a hugely popular topic as it is full of grit and drama! After exploring the chronology of the era in terms of events, the children turned their attention to cotton mills and workhouses. They used the wonderful poem ‘Cotton Mill’ by C. Richard Miles as a stimulus for their own poetic technique filled poems. The images they created using personification, abstract nouns and metaphors skilfully captured the harshness of life within mill walls.

Moving forwards, the boys and girls studied ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens. They completed vocabulary enhancing activities and focussed on characterisation through description and dialogue in order to rewrite a famous scene from this festive tale.

Our boys and girls have had two special opportunities this half term: Mrs Davies has visited from The Stanway Secondary School to teach a weekly French lesson and  professional squash coaches have led P.E.  These national champions have taught the children the skills and rules involved in this energetic game. The unit culminated in a trip to the Garrison to play on full size courts.

A visit to the Mercury Theatre pantomime proved a well-deserved treat at the end of an enormously productive and thoroughly enjoyable Autumn Term. 


Summer Term

Throughout Year 5, the teaching team aim to foster both independence and team work within our children. This is championed in the Summer Term when we offer our pupils a wide variety of ways in which to work in order to celebrate these valuable skills. Our main topic is Africa, which provides the perfect stimulus.

As well as producing stunning cubist and sponging paintings, we completed a unit of textiles work based on tie-dye. The children were challenged to practise different wrapping techniques before designing, customising and evaluating their own t-shirt. They were then tasked with choreographing, narrating and performing a fashion show. It was a truly vibrant afternoon!

David Attenborough became our hero and guide when we undertook a unit of English work about non-chronological reports. The children learnt what a great narration sounds like and used this to help them as they planned, wrote and delivered amazing African animal mini-documentaries.

In Music, we have learnt about the history of West African drumming. We explored how to use the syllables of words to create phrases then maintain rhythms. These were then layered as polyrhythms. Our unit culminated with an inspiring workshop led by a professional musician. The children each played a djembe drum as part of a class band. They lifted the roof with their perfectly synchronised, powerful performance!

The Summer Term’s learning experiences have provided the opportunity for the children in Ash and Cedar to access the wonderful outside environment we have here at Stanway Fiveways. As well as the Sponsored Walk and KS2 Sports Day, we ran an Outdoor Learning Week. The children completed a wealth of activities relating to Geography, Science and P.E. They used our fabulous electronic orienteering kit, went pond dipping, completed photography challenges and learnt a wide range of map reading skills. One of the pupils’ favourite strategy games was ‘Puzzle Dash’ and we couldn’t resist the opportunity of toasting marshmallows. Mid-week, the children became intrepid explorers when we visited Cudmore Grove on Mersea. They developed desert island skills: beach shelter building, fire lighting, water collecting and problem solving. They proved themselves to be natural survivors!

As this term draws to a close, we look back with fondness and smiles as we recall the happy times spent together learning and developing. It has been a wonderful year!

Spring Term

This term in year 5, Ash and Cedar have been learning about the Mayans. We have learned about the variety of gods they worshipped, tried Mayan hot chocolate (with a range of reactions), made their own Mayan masks for celebrations or battle and studied the Mayan game of Pok-a-Tok. 

Year five have been extremely lucky this term, receiving sports coaches to teach them tag rugby and squash coaching. The final session of our squash coaching the children got to apply their squash skills on official squash courts at the Colchester Garrison Gymnasium.

In English, the children have been inspired by our suspense topic to write some spooky settings building the tension for the reader and have thoroughly enjoyed making comparisons of David Walliams’ books ‘The Boy in the Dress’ and ‘Billionaire Boy’. 

The children have also used the laptops to produce some fantastic PowerPoint presentations on fossils, the solar system and evolution. A big well done to all the children for their efforts and achievements this term and we look forward to the summer term!

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