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Riddlesden St Mary

Our Autumn Term Journey



Our English Learning Journey so far: 

So far, in our English lessons in Year 5, we are currently studying the text 'The Man Who Walked Between The Towers' by Mordicai Gerstein. Not only is this a GREAT text (based on true events) but it also links to our Science topic of 'Forces' and our Topic of 'World Famous Buildings'. 



To begin our journey through the text we arrived to class one morning to find a tight-rope set up across our ceiling, with a small man balanced at the start of it! This got us all very excited, wanting to know what this was, who the man was and why it was all there. Continuing on our journey into 'The Man Who Walked Between The Towers' (even before actually reading the text!) we were provided with a range of items that had been found in the kit bag of Phillippe Petit (the main character that the text is based on). As a class, we were asked to predict and infer based on these items, thinking about what they told us about him as a character and potential events that may happen in the text. We absolutely loved this activity and were incredibly creative with our ideas and predictions using some brilliant language to  explain and justify our predictions. 


Next, we enjoyed reading the text as a class with many a call of 'I predicted that!' or 'Oh no! I didn't think about that!' called out as we read together. Not only was the true story of Phillippe Petit (a tight-rope walking expert who walked between the twin towers on a tight-rope over 1000ft high back in 1974, attached to absolutely nothing!) a marvel to read, but the illustrations of Mordicai Gerstein really brought the events to life. Helping us to imagine what a feat this was, we watched several real life videos of tight-rope walkers that showed us how they go about their truly talented balancing acts - both in the lead up to and on the day itself. 


To apply what we had learnt and inferred about tight-rope walking so far, we then split into two teams - each acting as a different side of a tight-rope walkers conscience just before attempting a high line tight-rope walk. We enjoyed shouting out the thoughts and ideas running through a tight-rope walker's mind at the moment of stepping out onto the tight-rope. 


Following the 'big reveal' of the text and story line behind it, we then analysed our initial predictions (explaining what were correct and incorrect in predicting) and explained what we liked / disliked about the text, what confused us about the text and discussed any questions we were left wondering. 


Next, we moved through the 'reading' phase of our unit of work, focusing specifically on how to answer vocabulary and retrieval based questions. Example questions that we focused on were:

- Find and copy the word / words / phrase / sentence that means or shows ... (vocabulary)

- Which word / words / phrase / sentence suggests that ... (vocabulary)

- When / who / what / where ... (retrieval)

- Give two examples of ... (retrieval)


Then we moved onto our inference part of the reading phrase. We got into the role of the main character in our text in order to hot seat one another, dressing up and then inferring how we thought he would be feeling, what he was thinking and what he may say at several different parts within the story. We then compared the main character's feelings and thoughts to those of one of the other characters through an axis of emotion.






We finally finished our inference part of the journey by focusing specifically on how to answer inference style comprehension questions but using quotes and events from within the text to support our answers. Example questions that we focused on were:

- How was (the character) feeling and why? Use evidence from the text to explain your answer. 

- What impressions do you get of (the character)? Use evidence from the text to explain your answer. 

- What does this sentence show about (the character)? Explain why. 


Continue to follow our English Journey to see where we will go next when we enter the 'toolkit' phase of our English unit  and focus on grammar and writing skills that are used to compose an 'Eyewitness Account'  ...

Our Maths Learning Journey so far: 


So far, in our Maths journey in Year 5, we have immersed ourselves into Place Value. We have learnt all about:


In addition to our Place Value Learning Journey so far, we have really focused on challenging ourselves and applying our maths knowledge to reasoning / problem solving questions through being resilient and resourceful in our learning - two of our learning powers that are ever so important to learning! So far, specifically, we have focused on the following reasoning / problem solving question types that require not only sound mathematical skill but also clear explanation:

- True or false?

- Correct or incorrect?


Continue to follow our Maths Journey into 'Place Value' and our specific reasoning / problem solving questions to see where we will go next ... 


On top of immersing ourselves into Place Value and plenty of reasoning / problem solving, we are continuing to challenge ourselves to our mental maths, quick recall facts too. We are continuing with our Times Table Rockstar challenges and our Mathletics goals. On top of that, we have reduced the timing allowed to complete the 144 challenge (times tables) since Year 4, yet many of us are still completing all 144 in the time given!! This means we are now working on beating our time. 


Our Science Learning Journey so far: 


So far, in our Science journey in Year 5, we have immersed ourselves into Forces - a topic that we are loving and get very excited about! Each week, we have learnt about a different force and then conducted a fun, hands on experiment to put our new learning into practice. 


In our first week, we learnt all about the force of air resistance. Once we knew the scientific knowledge behind it and the effect that it has on objects, we were then set the challenge to experiment and create the most streamlined paper airplane we could. We were given a set of criteria and had to aim to fly our designs as smoothly, quickly and as far as possible! As many of our class love origami (and a bit of healthy competition!), this was an activity loved by all. Some of our designs were so good that they flew the entire length of the classroom, only stopping because the wall blocked their path further!



In our second week, we learnt all about the force of gravity. Once we knew the scientific knowledge behind it and the effect that it has on objects, we were then set the challenge to experiment in groups and create a marble run that allowed a marble to run for as long as possible. We were given a set of criteria and had to aim to allow a marble to pass through the run - both with a steep incline, showing the effect of gravity and with a flatter incline, showing the effect of reduced gravity. Again, another incredibly popular activity that the entire class enjoyed and learnt a lot from. 



In our third week, we learnt in even more detail all about the forces of gravity and friction but applied this knowledge to tight rope walkers (which linked perfectly to our current English text 'The Man Who Walked Between The Towers'). We were set a challenge to build our own 'Two Towers' with a 'tightrope' between them and then work scientifically to find the tightrope walkers center of gravity to keep him balanced. We had a lot of fun doing this and used out scientific knowledge and vocabulary impressively! 




On Tuesday 1st October, Year 5 were lucky enough to go on a trip to Magna – an interactive science adventure center. To begin the day we took part in a workshop called ‘Rockets and hot air balloons’ which linked directly to our science topic of ‘Forces’. 

First we learnt, and saw in real life, how a hot air balloon works by using a balance of forces - hot air that pushes it up and gravity that pulls it down. When the two forces are balanced, this allows the hot air balloon to seem as if it is floating in air. We saw a live demonstration of how a hot air balloon works. 

 Second we learnt, and again saw in real life, a range of different ways to make a rocket work, again incorporating forces (using either air or water) or a chemical reaction (using fuel and fire). We looked at the design and shape of a rocket and how that lent itself to making a rocket move quickly and straight. We even got the chance to take part in a live demonstration to get our own back on Miss K by aiming a (toy) rocket at her!! Lucky for her, we didn’t hit her. 

 Then we were set off in small groups to experiment and have a go at using our knowledge of forces and chemical reactions to create our own rockets. We made such powerful rockets that two shot into the roof and got stuck up there!! 

 In the afternoon, we then had the time to explore the rest of the science adventure center where there are four pavilions (fire, air, earth and water). filled with interactive activities. We had an absolute blast exploring and seeing so much science in action.  







Continue to follow our Science Journey into 'Forces' to see where we will go next ... 


Our RE Learning Journey so far: 

In RE we have been learning a lot of new vocabulary related to the different beliefs people hold, such as theists, atheists, monotheists, polytheists and agnostics. We have looked at the numbers of people who belong to different faiths in the UK as well as in the Bradford and Keighley area and we have been surprised by what we have found out. Our topic is ‘Why do some people believe in God and some people not?’ A couple of facts we have discovered are: the number of Muslims in the UK has doubled in the last 10 years, but there are still about 5 times as many non-believers as Muslims in the UK at the moment.


Continue to follow our RE Journey to see where we will go next ... 


Our Topic Learning Journey so far:

 To link in with our current English text 'The Man Who Walked Between The Towers' and our current Science unit on 'Forces' we are learning all about 'World Famous Buildings'. 
In our first week, we focused on our Geography skills of using an atlas to name and locate continents, oceans and countries. We were set the task of creating our own large world maps, labelling the continents, oceans and equator. We were then provided with a range of world famous buildings and the country that they are located within. Working collaboratively, we used the atlases to locate the country and label them on the map. Check out some of our finished products below!
In our second week, we developed our history knowledge by focusing on famous ancient buildings. In small groups, we were given a famous ancient building to spend the session researching and becoming 'experts' on. We were asked to then produce a knowledge mat all about this ancient building so that we could teach everyone else in the class and share our learning with them. We focused on finding out:
  • Where it is located
  • When it was built
  • Who built it
  • Why it was built / what its original use was
  • How much it cost to build
  • How it was built
  • What it is made from
  • What it is used for today
  • How many visitors per year it gets

 + Any other interesting information about it.


When we had finished, we then presented all of our findings back to the class, combining our history learning with some speaking and listening. 

Check out some of our finished products below!


In our third week, we focused on World Famous Religious Buildings (such as Notre Dame, The Sagrada Familia, The Sistine Chapel, The Blue Mosque etc.). We looked first at what these World Famous Buildings had in common - both structurally and in what they represented. We then began to look and research about the famous archtects that designed and made these buildings (e.g. Gaudi who designed the Sagrada Familia) and also famous artists who decorated the interior of these buildings (e.g. Michelangelo who decorated the inside of The Sistine Chapel). Finally, we linked our history and DT knowledge with our art skills and learnt how to successfully and skillfully use sketching pencils to observe and then draw a range of World Famous Religious Buildings. Keep an eye on this space to see our published artwork when we have finished!
Continue to follow our Topic Journey into 'World  Famous Buildings' to see where we will go next ... 

Our Art Journey so far: 

In art this half term, we have been inspired by the author of 'The Man Who Walked Between The Towers' (our English text), to learn the specific skill of using water colours to produce and paint city skylines. 

We spent some time focusing on the choices involved in and the techniques behind how to create a smoothly blended background (including more than one colour). 

We then spent some time focusing on the choices involved in and the techniques of how to use water colours to create block art in the foreground. 

We were then challenged to choose a world famous building of our choice, research its surrounding area, and then create a silhouette of this upon our water coloured background. 






Keep an eye on this space to see our published artwork when we have finished!

Our ICT Journey so far:


In ICT we have been learning the vocabulary needed to design and programme a computer, including object, action, output, control and event. We used these commands in our own programs, learning how to make the objects move at different speeds and angles.


Here is an example of a computer programme made in our ICT lesson. In the underwater scene, various objects move according to the commands that we programmed into the computer.



Our Music Learning Journey so far:

So far in Year 5, we have begun our music journey by discussing what music means to each one of us. We thought about:

- How it makes us feel (at different times and within different genres of music)

- What music we like to listen to and why


We shared our different views on music, appreciating one another's views and opinions. 


Next, we were introduced to our first half term's focus song - 'Livin' on a Prayer' by Bon Jovi. 



As we listened to the song attentively, we reviewed it applying our reading skills of inference to think about:




We then shared our opinions about what the song made us think of (linking it to our own life and experiences), what the song made us feel (and explaining our reasons for this) and our ideas about the 'story of the song' - likening a song to a story or poem that has a message that it wants to get across.


Following this, we spent a week discussing the title of songs - how do artists create the titles, what makes a good title etc - before applying this learning to analysing the title of our focus song 'Livin' on a Prayer'. 


We then spent some time learning (and observing through watching a range of both) the difference between live music and recorded music. We discussed the positives and negatives to each, and shared our opinion on which we preferred - the live or recorded version of 'Livin' on a Prayer'.


Next, we learnt about the different parts that make up a song (e.g. introduction, verse, chorus, instrumental, bridge etc). We learnt what the differences between each of these parts were and then listening to 'Livin' on a Prayer we identified how the song 'Livin' on a Prayer' had been put together. 


After this, we spent some time listening attentively to the song 'Livin' on a Prayer' and identifying which musical instruments we could hear at different points in time based on the quality and type of sound that they make. We could hear a keyboard, electric guitar and drums. 


We then spent some time learning the musical terms 'pulse' and 'tempo' before finding the pulse of the song and joining in with it using our body parts as instruments. As the tempo was increased and decreased, we were challenged to remain in time with the pulse. 


Stay 'tuned in' to hear about our music journey as we learn to sing 'Livin' on a Prayer' and find out more about the genre of rock music ... 


Our Spanish Learning Journey so far:


So far this year, we have spent a little time revising the skills of counting up to 20 in Spanish from Year 4, before applying our knowledge of these numbers to learn all of the numbers up to 100. We spent some time analysing the relationship between numbers that are similar and why that may be (e.g. 8 - ocho - and 80 - ochenta).  Once we were familiar with the numbers up to 100, we applied this knowledge to a range of fun and interactive games that are helping us to recall any number between 0-100. 


Keep up to date with our Spanish learning journey to see what we learn next!

Our Values Learning Journey so far:


Across the school this half term, the school value that we are focusing on is 'Respect'. This is a great focus for the beginning of a new accademic year as it allows us all to recap the basics about how to respect one another (adults and children), our classroom and the environment. This sets the tone for the rest of the year and allows us all to feel safe, secure and happy within our learning environment. 

Our Year 5 'key question' about respect this half term is 'What do different faiths say about respect?'. This has given us a great opportunity for some cross-curricular learning, linking our RE knowledge in to our values lessons. On Tuesday 24th September, 5GA presented their learning so far based on this key question in their class assembly. 

To add a slightly different dimension to our Value lessons this year, each half term, we will also now have a 'Key Inspirational Figure'. In Year 5, our key inspirational figure is Maya Angelou. We enjoyed researching her life and what made her such a brilliant example of 'respect'. On Tuesday 17th September, 5K presented their learning so far about Maya in their class assembly. 


Continue to follow our Values Journey across the year to see what and who we learn about when covering our other school values of peace, courage, forgiveness, trust and friendship  ... 

Our Picture News Learning Journey so far:


To ensure that we are up to date with current affairs, both within our country and across the world, we are enjoying out weekly Picture News sessions. In these sessions we are provided with a weekly 'hot topic' through a simple picture and debate style question focused on something that is currently in the news that week. We are then given the time to discuss the topic. These sessions often result in paired and group work, and very often in a class debate to share and discuss both sides of the topic in a balanced way, considering and respecting a range of different opinions around the topic.  


So far in our Picture News Journey we have looked at:


Continue to follow our Picture News Journey across the year to see what other 'hot topics' we learn about ... 


 Our homework projects so far ... 




Here are some examples of our homework so far - constructions / drawings / research about World Famous Buildings that link to our current topic.