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Coding, sunshine and Maths.

We’ve had a busy couple of weeks since returning from our Easter break. Last week, the sun made a little appearance, so we were able to take a break from our hard work test out the new, amazing play area in the Infant playground.

Back in the classroom, we have been busy working with decimals: adding and subtracting them, working out complements to 1 and making decimal number sequences. We love investigating ! We used numicon to help us, which was ace!

In English, we’ve been writing some amazing ‘timeshift’ stories. We are now editing and publishing them, we are really proud of them.

We have begun to code our own games using Scratch. We have found out how to drag and drop the blocks and to change the variables. It was tricky but we enjoyed it!


We had a really wonderful trip to Cadbury World, on Monday, to launch our new topic: Chocolate.

The children were full of excitement as we travelled up the M5 to Birmingham. After arriving, and had been handed free chocolate, we toured the exhibition- learning where chocolate comes from and something about its history. We then watched a film about the Cadbury family and looked around where chocolate is made. Then we got a pot of tasting chocolate and could add things like marshmallows or popping candy to it!

Then we looked at advertising and packaging through the ages!

After lunch and a play in the amazing play area, we went to watch the 4D film: it was incredible!




The best thing about the day was the children’s behaviour. They made myself and Mrs Mclellan really proud. Members of the public commented on how well behaved and kind they were.

What a wonderful start to our topic!

STEM week excitement!


 We have had a wonderful, exciting, knowledge and problem solving sort of week: it’s been our STEM week. On Monday, we were visited by Tim Harrison, a Chemistry professor from Bristol University. He wowed us with experiments about gases around us. We loved it and learnt so much!

On Tuesday, we were lucky to have Miss Lodge from Marling School who came to show us some electrical engineering and problem solving. We had to put a circuit together and use the Crumble board to control a buggy.  We showed a lot of concentration, perseverance and resilience when things didn’t go completely to plan!

On Wednesday, Sarah from STEMworks came in to help us to make and design wind powered cars. After we had made them, we had races.

All in all, we had a great week of discovery!

Diaries, division and forces.

It’s been a busy few weeks in Year 5. In Maths, we have been working on our standard written methods of long multiplication and division. It’s been tricky, but we’ve been persevering. It’s great to see the children enjoying their successes and feeling confident to ‘have a go’.

English sessions this week have brought tears to our eyes, as we’ve been working hard to imagine how passengers on the Titanic felt. We wrote diary entries, some of which were amazing; containing ambitious vocabulary and ideas. We then edited and published them to put into our topic books.

We are looking forward to the STEM week (beginning on 29th January) as Science is one of our favourite things. This week, we’ve been continuing our work on forces, looking at water resistance, gravity and upthrust. Our challenge was to design a boat which could balance weight and upthrust so it could float, carrying as many marbles as possible.


Happy New Year!

It has been a really happy new year in Year 5. We’ve come back to school quite rested and ready to learn! The children have become fascinated by our new topic, The Titanic. They really enjoyed drawing and painting their topic title pages and learning a little about the mighty ship.

In English, the children wrote some amazing, emotional poems, imagining that they were on the boat as disaster struck. They really did bring a tear our eyes when we read them.

In Maths, we have begun a unit on multiplication and division. We’ve learned that knowing our tables really speeds up our calculations!

This term, the children will be having PE on Monday and Tuesdays. It would be ace if they could all have their kit in school for this.


Reverse Advent Calendar

As our theme for the term is compassion, Year 5 thought that it would be great to be compassionate this festive season. We have made a reverse Advent calendar, where instead of taking something everyday – we are giving. The children (and parents!) have been so completely generous it is fantastic to see! We are bringing in donations for the food bank, as well as toiletries, toothbrushes etc. The two boxes we had are full already! If you have anything to donate, please do so before Thursday, when it will be collected by the food bank.

We have been working hard writing stories about Baba Yaga, a famous Russian fairytale witch. In Maths, we have been finding and calculating area and perimeter.


Busy in Year 5

We have been incredibly busy in Year 5 lately. In Maths, we have been enjoying the challenge of our PAD (Practise, Apply, Deepen) sheets. We have been investigating factors, multiples, prime, square and cube numbers! The work we have been doing is heavily reliant on times table knowledge. Whatever help you could give to your child in the learning of these facts would be hugely appreciated.

In English, we finished off our unit on non-chronolgical reports by writing about mythical creatures. The children really enjoyed researching or making up facts to include in their texts. For our new unit, we will be focussing on a traditional Russian character, Baba-Yaga.

Mysterious aliens.

Year 5 have started work on our new genre in English – Sci-Fi. We learned that Sci-Fi  typically deals with imaginative concepts such as futuristic science and technology, space travel, time travel, faster than light travel, parallel universes, and extraterrestrial life.  To launch our topic, we had a close look at aliens, writing some outstanding descriptions of them.

In Maths we have been adding, using both mental strategies and the formal written method, and have been solving problems.

In Science we tried to explain how we know that the Earth is spherical.

The week was finished nicely with everyone taking part in the Year 5 and 6 Interhouse Netball and Football competition. It was lovely to see the children supporting and helping one another in their houses. They have shown real team spirit. Well done everyone!

Reading, reading and more reading

Year 5 have been enjoying our reading this week. We know that the best readers are the best writers as it helps our vocabulary, sentence structures and ideas. We’ve been enjoying shared reading with the class; our new book “Cogheart” seems really exciting, and loving our 15 mins reading time every day after lunch. We are lucky, as we’ve just ordered lots and lots of ace books for our book corner, hopefully they’ll be delivered next weeks.

On the walls of our classroom are photos of us reading. When we’ve finished a book, we will write its title by the side of our picture. We are looking forward to seeing who is the most prolific reader in Year 5.

In Maths, we have been rounding and estimating large numbers. We are rising to the challenge of the new PAD (pracise, apply and deepen) system.

First week back in Year 5

It’s great to be back! The new Year 5s seem to have grown up a lot during the summer holidays, returning with amazing learning attitudes and smiles.

We’ve been working hard all week, doing ‘cold task’ writing and maths, and some other little tests so we can see what learning we need to do. We have also begun work on our topic, The Space Race. We’ve designed topic book front covers, learned about the sun and painted rockets in the style of Peter Thorpe.


Painting in the style of Peter Thorpe.

Alfie’s ace rocket with abstract background.


Topic umbrellas and homework booklets will be coming home this week.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or worries.

Year 5 go to Archway

On Wednesday morning this week, Year 5 went on a trip to Archway school to experience what lessons at Secondary school are like. We walked up the hill to Archway and we then split in to two groups.

We experienced a Science lesson where we tested chemicals for their acidity and used powerful microscopes.

We also had a PE lesson, a music lesson and an art lesson. It was great to see what amazing facilities they have at a secondary school. Lots of us will be going to Archway school in just over a year so it was great to get a feel for what it will be like.

Next week we are looking forward to making our own chocolate bars – and getting set for the start of a fab Summer holiday.


Year 5 went to Cadbury’s World!!


In Year 5 we have just started a new topic called ‘Chocolate’ and to kick it all off we visited Cadbury’s World in Bournville, Birmingham. For anyone that doesn’t know, Cadbury’s World is a huge theme park built in the original Cadbury’s chocolate factory.

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We found out about: the history of chocolate and the Cadbury brand; how chocolate was made; how chocolate is marketed and how Cadbury’s come up with all their great ideas for chocolate bars. We had a tour of the factory and visited a 4-D cinema – which was awesome! The best part was actually tasting some of the chocolate and getting to create our own special chocolate dessert.


We found out loads of things that we didn’t know, for example that cocoa beans are white and mushy when they are first harvested!!

What a great way to start our new topic – delicious!!!


Year 5 Story mapping

Story-mapping an Argentinian Myth

This week Year 5 have been looking at writing Myths. We began by reading our model text, which was a Myth from Argentina called ‘El Cuco’. After we had explored this story, we began to story map it. Story-mapping is when you re-tell a story by using symbols to replace the words in the story. This approach helps us to learn the story structure and vocabulary.

We love story mapping but the best bit is when we try to use them to re-tell the story in front of the class.

After story-mapping we ‘box-up’ the story, which is when we chop it up in to paragraphs or sections and decide what ‘job’ each part does for the story as a whole. We can then use this to help us plan a story with a similar structure.


Watch out for our finished Myths soon!

Year 5 went shopping….during their Maths lesson!

Year 5 shopping (Percentages)

On Friday we went shopping during our Maths lesson. We have been doing lots of work on percentages and especially on how to calculate percentage increase and decrease.

When we came in to the lesson, we were told that we would be working in small groups to visit shops all round the school. There were six different shops: a sports shop, a cake shop, a toy shop, a technology shop, a travel agent and a car dealer (Which were Teachers cars with prices on them!!!!)

We really enjoyed visiting each shop and practicing our percentage calculations as we explored different ‘deals’, discounts and special offers.

Visiting Mr Dallison’s sports shop (He’s our Maths governor)


“so if 20% is £80 then we need to subtract that from the original price”


40% off if you buy 3………..hmmm

Titanic DT

TITANIC dioramas

Our topic work this week has centred around designing and making Titanic dioramas (dioramas are miniature scenes with lots of detail). We have tried to make a scene from the story of the Titanic – some of us showed the Titanic sinking, some showed it just as it hit the iceberg; and some when it was being built in Belfast.


We used cardboard and painted the scenes carefully to get as much detail as possible. Mr Baird supervised some people as they used a glue gun to fix tricky its on. We are really pleased with the results – the models are all on display outside the Year 5 classroom.


World Book Day- Relax and Read

World Book Day was a big event this year at St Matthew’s. We had our usual dressing up as a book character, with some truly fabulous costumes; our yearly Book swap in the hall in the morning where children bring a book they don’t want anymore and swap it for one they do, a Win Win situation with everyone going home with a free book. Then, later, we did something a bit different. We hosted an event called Relax and Read in the hall and you supported it brilliantly. Thanks to everyone who came, it was a great success!

We transformed the hall into a calm, cosy reading space, with sofas, low lighting and cushions. Thanks to the PTA who served hot chocolate, tea and coffee to everyone- we didn’t have one spilt cup! Thanks to Woody, Miss Smith, Miss Szarko, Mrs Burrows and Mrs Griffin for helping with setting up and serving hot drinks. Thanks to the teachers and TAs who helped by bringing rugs, cushions and loaning out their classroom sofas!

Here are some photos of parents and grandparents reading with children. I think they capture the magic of the afternoon.


Able writers workshop 2017

Able writers workshop

On Thursday this week four Year 5 children attended a special ‘able writers’ workshop at Gastrells Primary school. The workshop was hosted by children’s science fiction author Nick Cook. The children developed their own stories after working on ideas with children from other schools – they even made their own movies to promote them.

It was a fantastic day and all four children came back with loads of great ideas. They will be sharing these, along with some of Nick’s books, with the class next week.


Jack Rutter!!!

Wow! What an exciting morning.  Today we had an amazing visit from ex-premier league and current captain of the Paralympic Cerebral Palsy Football Team Jack Rutter.  He worked with every class, before doing a whole school assembly, it was a great morning and he demonstrated our Growth Mindset ethos beautifully!  Here are some of the highlights…

Tea on the Titanic!!!

Tea on the Titanic!

This term Year 5 have been studying the Titanic. On Tuesday this week we dressed up as passenger from the Titanic to have ‘high tea’ in the dining room. Some of us were First class passengers but most were second or third class. The first class passengers got amazing food like cakes and cucumber sandwiches but the third class just got bread, cheese and water!

We were served by some of our parents and TA’s who were dressed up as servants and waitresses and we even got visited my Mrs Thomson, who was dressed up as Lady Astor. Half way through the meal, Mr Baird (who was dressed as a crew member) told us that the ship had hit an iceberg and that we were to make our way calmly up to the lifeboat deck – then we found out that there weren’t enough lifeboats; some of us got to go on one and some did not.

Unfortunately those who didn’t get on to a lifeboat froze to death in the Atlantic once the ship had sunk!

It was an amazing experience and we really felt what it must have been like to be a passenger on the Titanic.

End of the Space Race!!

We have mixed emotions in Year 5 – we can’t wait for all the fun of Christmas but we are also sad to be finishing our amazing Space Race topic! We have loved finding out about the History and Science of space and using it in our topic work. Our next topic will ‘The Titanic’ and we can’t wait to see what our topic display will look like! Here are some highlights from our topic work this term.


                        Building a model of the moon phases


         Max’s famous model of Saturn V


Designing our own planet and then writing a report about it.


             Building an Orrery (model of the solar system!)


                                                  Our topic display


                              Thanks and Merry Christmas!