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Year 5


Coming Up This Half-Term!

English & Topic

With January, comes the beginning of the spring term.  This half-term is an incredibly exciting one for us in Year 5.  Not only are we reading Michael Morpurgo’s fantastic tale, ‘The Butterfly Lion’, but we are also studying Africa as our topic. 


The change in topic is due to me flying out to our sister school, St. Francis in Bo, Sierra Leone on the 11th February.  This is following a highly successful visit from Mr Tucker in October, who teaches maths to the Year 6 boys at St Francis. 


We will be looking at different aspects of Africa as we journey through the country fictionally and geographically in our learning.  Our African project will culminate in a project piece that each pupil will produce titled ‘Where I spend my time’.  These project pieces will accompany me to Bo and the pupils out there will complete a similar task, thereby exchanging ideas with us back in St. Anthony’s. 


We will also be writing diary entries and newspaper reports based around the events featured in ‘The Butterfly Lion’. 



Our maths learning will continue to follow the Collins Busy Ants scheme.  The units of study are below.


Unit 4: Week 3: Measurement (time)

Unit 5: Week 1: Number – Number and place value

Unit 5: Week 2: Number – Addition and subtraction

Unit 5: Week 3: Geometry – Properties of shapes

Unit 6: Week 1: Number – Multiplication and division

Unit 6: Week 2: Number – Fractions

Unit 6: Week 3: Measurement (length)


I know that last half-term, the class generally found fractions very challenging, so do feel free to offer additional guidance in this area. 


Home Reading

I hope that by now you are becoming more familiar with how I operate home reading books in Y5 since I made the change to align home reading with guided reading. 


In case you have missed it, home reading books are now the same book as guided reading books.  This means that the book your child is coming home with is studied in depth in class every day.  Furthermore, I set questions that test their understanding for every guided reading book they read.  This way, I can assess the depth of their understanding. 


Some parents have questioned why their child should have to read the same book again and again within the same week.  There are numerous good reasons why re-reading books is excellent learning for young people.  Devon Corneal’s blog outlines the major benefits:


Furthermore, re-reading the same texts is now stipulated in the National Curriculum as a means of building confidence, fluency and understanding. 


So please do not give up!  I expect my pupils to read to an adult every school night.  This can then be recorded in their reading record and signed by you so that they can be given their raffle tickets for the weekly, chocolatey prize draw! 



Science will be taught over 2 weeks in the afternoon foundation subject time.  We will be studying reversible and irreversible change as part of the Properties of Materials unit. 



Mr Bromley will be continuing to deliver P.E. this half-term.  P.E. is on a Tuesday morning and a Thursday afternoon.  Please ensure that your child has their P.E. kit for these days. 


As always, should you have any questions, then please do not hesitate to come and see me.


Wishing you all a fabulous New Year!

Mr. McNeill

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