Year 5 at Riddlesden St. Mary’s brings many opportunities for our children to explore and flourish both in the classroom and in the wider community.
Our school values of respect, trust, courage, peace, forgiveness and friendship underpin everything we do.
Learning is enhanced through practical approaches, engaging topics and linking everything to the world around us – giving children a deep and broad understanding of how learning fits into their lives. All learning journeys are structured around a carefully chosen termly theme / topic meaning that the children have a chance to become fully immersed in the subject matter, study in depth to create deep and meaningful understanding and also encourage opportunities to learn in a range of varied and creative styles.
This enables all learners to access the curriculum in ways that they find fun, engaging and stimulates their minds. Our exciting and innovative approach to maths (focusing on reasoning, problem solving and application to the real world) means that maths can be woven through all of the topics studied in addition to the daily maths hour.
To welcome the children to Year 5 and launch the year in an exciting way, the first topic explored is ‘Amazing Amazonian Adventures’ which focuses on South America and the Amazon rainforest, river, animals and tribes that are located here. To hook the children in and really capture their imaginations from the start, the children all participate in a day of exploration at Tropical World. Children love learning off site, and what better way to understand the Amazon rainforest than to visit a mini-version of this.
Once back at school, based on this experience, the children are then given many opportunities to apply what they have witnessed and learnt across the curriculum.
- The children research the Amazon, its interesting inhabitants and the devastating effects of deforestation to write informative reports. They also spend the day stepping in the very famous Ed Stafford’s shoes where we watch videos, hot seat and role play to then enable them to write diaries about his amazing experience walking the length of the Amazon.
- Art skills are focused on and enhanced through studying well-known artists and their styles. Using skills learned, children then have fun and create their own art work in the said style but transfer the theme of the art to the creatures found living in the Amazon rainforest.
- Studying different kinds of animals in science has never been so much fun! There are just so many creatures to choose from, with so many interesting facts about, that everybody learns something new.
- Opportunities to develop formal debate and argument are never missed. Children taste test a range of foods that are sourced from South America and the focus of learning becomes linked to our school values when we discuss human rights, Fair Trade and equal opportunities for all.
Studying the famous beating the monster story, Beowulf, the children become engrossed in an ancient world of heroes, monsters and villains. Inspired by this jaw-dropping and heroic story, the children are absorbed in their writing, learning how to create exciting characters of their own to weave their own unique tale including fabulous vocabulary, a range of different sentence types and a gripping plot. When the children publish their own narratives, they are given the opportunity to not only be the author but also the illustrators.
How exciting! Our school values play a huge role in the topic of Beowulf, as we analyse the actions of key characters (both good and bad) and link these values to their motives. Reflecting in this way, helps the children to understand the thought processes of others but also their own. Year 5 is a pivotal point in children’s development and helping them to reflect in this way, we believe, helps them to deal with difficult emotions and situations.
‘To infinity and beyond’ is a favourite topic of both children and adults in Year 5. To launch this topic to the next level, the children all participate in an out of this world visit to the STAR centre. Here they use their ICT skills to control robots, simulate the launch of rockets, go to the Cosmo dome to explore the universe and what is out there before finally taking part in a mission to Mars whereby the children have to work as a team to defeat an alien race.
To use this fun and fantastic experience to inspire our learning, back in school we organise a range of activities to take this love of Space further.
- The children investigate the Space Race and key figures who have played a vital part in this. Exploring the inspirational lives of people like Tim Peake and Neil Armstrong gives the opportunity for taking on the role of another person in drama and writing focused activities. Looking at how animals have played a crucial but controversial role in space exploration gives an ideal platform for further research and debate by the children.
- Space is the perfect topic to explore maths and science in context and the children particularly love sky watching at night to witness for themselves what they have learnt about in the classroom – specifically spotting constellations and tracking the phases of the Moon.
- Design and technology skills are focused on when the children play at creating their own solar systems in a shoebox. Communication, teamwork and creativity are vital skills needed to enable our groups of children to produce a product to be proud of. Music skills are then linked in, when the children compose their own space themed masterpiece.
- Our exciting and innovative approach to maths through reasoning and problem solving really comes into its own during this topic when the children are able to explore huge numbers in a real life context. This means that the children are able to access the curriculum expectations in an interesting and meaningful way.
‘Whodunnit?’ is the final topic covered and this focuses on crime and punishment throughout history. Although we include reading, writing and maths opportunities within this topic, this is also the perfect opportunity to develop our children as democratic and responsible citizens in our community at large. Liaising with our local Police Education Team, we provide a programme whereby the Police visit the school weekly to deliver talks on informative and topical issues that are relevant to our community. These provide a platform for debate and discussion as well as allowing our children the time to reflect on their role in the wider community.
Throughout the year, the children in Year 5 are provided with a wealth of opportunities to develop their interests outside of the classroom. Firstly, all children participate in free weekly swimming lessons throughout the entirety of the year.
Secondly, the children’s PE lessons are provided by a trained sports coach who also arranges weekly inter-school competitions, a range of after school clubs and fun lunch time activities. Thirdly, the children have the opportunity to compete against other local schools in cycling, cricket and triathlon based tournaments. For those children who prefer something different there are board game clubs, ICT clubs, sewing clubs, gardening clubs etc. Any interest that your child has, will surely be catered for!