Our English topic for the first half of Spring term is Sci-Fi, about which the children have been very enthusiastic. Our text for this unit is A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L'Engle. So far children have explored the genre of Sci-Fi by finding the main features, explored some of the exciting descriptive language used in the book by creating word searches and cross words, and have then gone on to write an exciting opening 'hook' for their own Sci-Fi story.
Our children will continue to explore this genre by looking at Sci-Fi technology, designing their own amazing Sci-Fi gadget, and writing a persuasive advert to sell their product. We will move on to exploring alien worlds, taking inspiration from film and tv, and write descriptive pieces about them - their only limit is their imagination!
We have been busy reinventing our Year 5 English curriculum to tie in more closely with our Topic theme, which is currently "All Living Creatures". We began the year exploring short stories about animals; we wrote our own Just So stories, and then thought carefully about moral lessons while having a go at fable writing.
We moved on and watched an exciting clip from David Attenborough's Planet Earth II, where newly hatched Marine Iguanas were chased by deadly Racer Snakes! We chose to write diary extracts, imagining what such a dramatic start to your life might be like.
We have now just read The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein, and Tower to the Sun, by Colin Thompson. Both books carry a very powerful message, and the emotional responses that the children had to The Giving Tree were truly heartfelt. Initially coming across as a simple picture book, the children delved into the deeper metaphorical questions it raises and were inspired to think about the meaning of friendship; whether it has to be (or should be) an equal thing, or not. They discussed their own ideas of what friendship means to them, and wrote their own alternative endings for The Giving Tree.
We have begun exploring Tower to the Sun, a stunningly illustrated story that is set 100 years in the future when our planet is so polluted that no one can see the sun for the thick layer of poisonous cloud that consumes the Earth's atmosphere. We will begin thinking about how we treat our planet, linking our English work closely to our Topic, and exploring humankind's responsibilities to each other and our environment.
We began this term by focusing heavily on children's knowledge of place value, in order to embed essential mathematical understanding of the way that numbers are formed and then manipulated by the four operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. We then moved on to work with the column method for addition and subtraction, along with practising estimating and rounding skills, and also incorporating 'real world' word problems into the mix. We encourage children to use the DECCA strategy: Decide, Estimate, Calculate, Check, Answer. DECCA encourages self-reflection and correction, and is an essential skill for mathematical literacy.
Most recently we have delved in to multiplication and division. We began investigations into square and cube numbers, factors and multiples, using our unifix blocks as a resource to make mathematical concepts come alive in our hands. We then moved on to using the long multiplication column method to solve two- three- and four-digit calculations. We are now rounding off this unit by using the short 'bus-stop' method to divide three- and four-digit numbers by a single digit.
Our Science topic for the Spring first half term is Earth, the Sun, the Moon and our Solar System. To kick it off we asked our children to create a display to represent the Solar System, and we were not disappointed. Our children's work is now pride of place in the hall, where everyone can enjoy it!
We have loved our Geography unit on rainforests, beginning with investigating whereabouts on the planet they are most likely to be found, and then exploring what life is like in the different layers that make up a tropical rainforest. We undertook our own research using our iPads to find out what makes rainforests so important - how many different types of animals and plants live there, what foods and medicines are found there, and why rainforests are so essential to our planet in maintaining a healthy, stable environment.
Our PSHCE lessons have explored our Broughton and British Values, with the children thinking and discussing how we can make our school a happy, safe, inclusive and supportive learning environment.
We have recently branched off in a new and exciting direction by thinking about Growth Mindset - a fantastic psychological concept that helps encourage learners to be mindfully resilient, to see set-backs and perceived 'failures' or mistakes as an essential part of the learning process that we should not be afraid of. We want to encourage a positive 'can do' attitude among our children, who will learn that we can always exercise and train our brains, that intelligence is not 'fixed', and that with the right positive mindset and some persistent effort, they can achieve anything!
Our RE topic this term encourages children to explore who the prophets and founders were of different major religions, and will then move on to investigate religious festivals.
In music our children will explore different compositions that have been inspired by space, the sun and our solar system. There will be plenty of creative opportunities for children to learn and perform a solar system rap, while learning about structure, rhythm, dynamics, texture and timbre.
Spring term has seen the exciting introduction of Fencing to our PE lessons. Mr Hearne has been delighted with how seriously and carefully the children conducted themselves in the first lesson, and how enthusiastically they responded to the coaches.
We do PE on Mondays, Wednesdays, and we either swim or have PE on Friday too. Please ensure children have a clean PE kit in on Monday each week, this should stay in school all week and then may return home with them on Friday. Our PE uniform includes a house colour t-shirt, white PE shorts, trainers and a change of socks for outdoor PE. In winter months, dark coloured joggers and a warm sweatshirt are also required.
For safety reasons long hair should be tied back and earrings should not be worn.