Year 5


As promised, here is an example motivational speech by Jimi…

“Gentlemen, we are gathered here today because our ship (Endurance) sadly sunk. We must travel far and wide to find help. No matter how hard it is. No matter how long. No matter how painful it is to survive the weather, we will sail to find our destination.
              I know that we only have the bodies of strong men. We do not have the money of rich people but that doesn’t matter. We will find help. Live or die, it’s your choice.
             I am sure that you already know that for your bravery, you deserve more than enough rewards. So, we shall fight until we cannot fight any more. We will not succumb to the millions of tonnes of ice. 
           You do not want to die, do you?…Then off we go!” 

The inspiration from Elizabeth I’s Tilbury speech is clear in Jimi’s example which he delivered with conviction.

On Tuesday the children attended the microscope workshop. They were able to use digital microscopes set up with a laptop to observe various materials from fabric to sugar crystals. The children were very surprised to see that white flour has a shine to it at x200 magnification and that sugar looks like ice cubes!
The children watched a large brown sugar crystal dissolve in water under the microscope at x10 magnification. The children were taught to record this process as a time-lapse video.



Last week the children wrote motivational speeches as though they were Shackleton speaking to his crew. They were imagining the kind of speech he could have given to encourage his men to keep going in the face of such peril. Today the children delivered their speeches to their tables and some to the class. They had mastered persuasive language and wrote some excellent speeches (an example will follow in another post soon) this week their attention turned to the way they deliver the speech to their audience. They looked at some examples from films and thought about the techniques then tried using them themselves. Each child gave and received feedback to another member of the class.

Tomorrow the children will be taking part in a microscope workshop. This will add a greater depth to their understanding of ‘changing materials’ from our work in science this half term. It sounds like it will be a great deal of fun and give the children the chance to take their experiments on with a different range of resources to use. There will be photos and more information following the day.


This week the children have been working hard writing a biography about a crew member from Shackleton’s journey to Antarctica in 1914. We have been lucky enough to see photos James brought in which were taken by Frank Hurley on the expedition; any including the dogs proved popular! Thanks to Claudia, we have also seen a silver spoon with a ‘Nimrod‘ engraving which Shackleton used on an earlier expedition. Amelie very kindly brought in a DVD of images and Alfred Lansing’s book, ‘Endurance’ which has very moving accounts of the events. I have been delighted by the interest and enthusiasm the children have had for this topic.

The children really impressed me with their maths today. We have been playing countdown at the start of some of our maths lessons and the children have been demonstrating so much fluency and enthusiasm! Bea and Sophia told me they sometimes find maths quite hard but this doesn’t feel so hard because it is really fun and they want to persevere to find the target number. Looking at the different ways the children found their answers is really interesting for me and for them. Sometimes they have the same number but got to it in very different ways.

In science today, the children conducted an experiment into materials which dissolve (see photos below). They worked really hard as a table group to plan and conduct their experiment.




Happy New Year!
Year 5 made a great start back this week. In English we are starting to look at Shackleton’s journey to the Antarctic which the children are very excited about.

The Eco Team created a brilliant assembly (at short notice) to raise awareness of the importance of recycling and to encourage us to use less disposable items such as carrier bags and coffee cups.
The takeaway coffee cups many of us drink our coffee in on the move are not able to be recycled. Taking our own reusable cups shopping is is just one of the items on the pledge St Andrew’s is making to cut waste and it is the one I am going to be signing up for. The other options you could sign up for are; cutting the use of plastic carrier bags by taking shopping bags in the car or reducing packing inside lunch boxes by avoiding cartons and clingfilm.
Year 5 pledge sheets will be going home on Monday so please think about which of the ways your family could reduce plastics and join our pledge.


It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Year 5 made the most beautiful cards which saw the children apply their maths skills along with sewing skills. They were all very proud of their finished products.

In other news this week key stage 2 did a tremendously good job at the carol concert on Wednesday evening! The performance was moving. They are a very talented group of children who really did themselves proud.


This week, the children have been writing their own stories based on Pixar’s ‘Geri’s Chess Game’ which is a short film without words. The children planned the main character, the narrative then wrote their stories. Here is the first paragraph of Isla’s story;

‘Today might seem like a normal day for most people. For you, for the person sitting next to you in class, probably even the stranger walking past you in a shop. It’s a normal day for everyone but me. The fifth of December marks the anniversary of the most wretched day in the whole sixty-six years I’ve been alive. It may seem strange that I’m sitting in a park in Paris, completely solitary, with a falling-to-pieces chess set on the table in front of me. I’d be surprised if you knew I was doing all this, unless of course you were reading this diary. This  place is deserted if you don’t count me. I’m usually counted as nothing anyway.’

Over the coming week, the children will be creating a hand-bound book of their story with a fabric cover.

All the decorations the children made for their trees have been combined on our own St Andrew’s tree  for the Christmas Tree Festival tomorrow at the Holy Saviour church (see photo below).
Year 5’s decoration theme was The Nutcracker where all children made a nutcracker figure using an old fashioned dolly peg and lots of creativity.



Today, Year 5 were posed a real life maths problem; Miss Albon needs to order the tea lights for the carol service! The children were told the number of tea lights needed and the amount we already have in school but they were also told that I had found them sold in packs of six with the price per pack. The children worked really hard on this multi-step problem to first; find out how many candles we needed to order, secondly find out how many packs we needed (without leaving any children without candles) and finally calculating how much this would cost. Between four of the children in the class, they took it in turns to explain what they did to the others and model their thinking with three bar models (Their explanation is in the image below.)


The children have also began working on their enrichment project of regenerating the pond area in school. They went to the area today to take photos and start deciding what needs doing. They are very enthusiastic and working really well as a team to get the project underway.



It is beginning to look (a bit) like Christmas in Year 5 already! Alongside our usual lessons, Year 5 have been making Christmas tree decorations and a stall ahead of the Christmas fair on Saturday. They have also worked hard learning the carols; Year 5 are performing particularly well already- a vocal range I could only dream of!

In other areas, the children have started a focus on Islam Revelations in R.E. and have found out about the Muslim belief of how Allah revealed himself to the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in the cave Hira.

In English, the children spent a couple of weeks studying and writing cinquain poems by American poet; Adelaide Crapsey who invented the American cinquain, a five line poem using a 2, 4, 6, 8, 2 syllable structure such as the example below;

November Night

With faint dry sound,
Like steps of passing ghosts,
The leaves, frost-crisp’d, break from the trees
And fall

After creating their own poems and editing them, the children each performed their poem to the class. Their performances were aided by study and critique of professional performance poetry. Each child then watched a recording of their own performance to write a self assessment of.



Class Assembly

This week Year 5 did a tremendous job in writing and learning their class assembly- almost all of this was achieved between Monday and Friday this week! Quite a tall order between getting their lessons done too. The ideas and vast majority of words all came from the children themselves on remembering snapshots of what they had learnt over the first half term. Every child worked really hard in their individual roles; many memorising their words and all having to learn their cues. This was especially challenging for Finley and William, the technical support team, who learnt several cues to change the screen, music and when to freeze the board and when not to to give a seamless final result. All the children spoke loudly to make sure the audience could hear the interesting things they had to say. I think we will all be singing the Solar System songs in the car and around the supermarket for days to come.
They are one very talented bunch in the classroom and on the stage. Well done Year 5!


Watch our Creation Performance here.

Creation Orchestra

‘After a busy half term exploring and creating, we finally performed the world premiere of the St.Andrew’s Creation music on Wednesday afternoon. The children have all worked very hard to bring all their ideas together and create a piece for 180 instrumentalists and singers. I was so proud of their performance and their focus during rehearsals. As always, I have been impressed by the creativity and thoughtfulness that they displayed in bringing this task together. I am sure that at some points they wondered what on earth they were doing, but the end result was an amazing tribute to the musical skills and enthusiasm of all the children. Well done to everyone.’
Theresa Johnson

We used ‘The Funeral of Amenhotep III ‘ by Phillip Glass as a starting point, exploring the structure of the piece and discussing how we could adapt it for our creation music. As it is composed in layers, it seemed ideal to show the different days of the creation. The children also found out that all the musical ideas were simple ostinatii patterns using 2 or 3 notes.

We then learnt the song ‘A cat called Alexander’ which is based on the mixolydian mode. We used this mode to create chords and simple melodic patterns that tried to reflect the day of creation that each class had been allotted.

All the children in years 4-6 were given opportunities to create their own melodies and noted their ideas. I then selected a chord pattern and a couple of melodic patterns that we used as the basis for our piece.
Year 5 were representing the sky, land and sea by playing Quaver pattern on the boomwhackers.

We also spent Friday afternoon getting visually creative by finishing our group pieces representing space.


Year 5 are getting green-fingered!

On Friday, Year 5 visited the Triangle Community Garden at the back of Ransom park. Luckily, we had glorious sunshine and it stayed dry for us. The children learnt more about seasonal produce, sustainability and food air miles. Some of the highlights of the day included; spotting a mouse on the compost, giant earth worms, tasting the products made from the produce (including apple juice and rosehip jelly), seeing vegetables growing and watching two lucky individual pull up their own beetroot! We even learnt about what a forest garden is and why it is important not to dig the soil of a forest garden. I have attached a link (below the photos) to the website so you can find out more, including information about ‘Apple Day’ in the old market square on Saturday 14th October.

Triangle Community Garden



Goodbye Varmints…

Year 5 have thoroughly enjoyed reading Varmints by Helen Ward and Marc Craste. Our English lessons have been based on the story for the past few weeks and the theme of the book linked very well with our Creation topic in R.E. 


Up next; Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce. Watch this space (pun intended).



This week in Year 5 a resident dance company came to teach the children about movement relating to their Creation topic in R.E. As you can see from the small selection of photos, the children worked very hard and produced some beautiful movement and shapes. At the end of the workshops, the children across the school presented some of the work they had done with the dancers to the other year groups.

They even found the time to produce these fantastic studies in their sketchbooks before producing a group piece of artwork using inks.


Week two in Year 5

This week Year 5 have been really getting to grips with our topics; the Varmints book in English and Earth and Space in science have generated a lot of excitement! I have been very impressed by the quality of writing the children produced in English with many excellent examples of description. Today the children modelled their understanding of how we get day and night by acting it out in small groups and drawing annotated diagrams.


Welcome to Year 5!

Meeting our Buddies

Year 5 have settled in well over the past three days. They have already met their Year 1 buddies and read to them. The children all took the responsibility very seriously and are looking forward to acting as a role-model. Well done Year 5!