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Welcome to our Year 5 blog

Come here for weekly updates!


Week Beginning 6th January 2020


Happy New Year!


Welcome back to another exciting term at Coten End. We have hit the ground running this week, starting our fantastic new topic 'The Truth Is Out There'. Many of the children have impressed us with their incredible prior knowledge about space and it is lovely to see their enthusiasm to learn more!


They have created some wonderful space-inspired topic book covers for their new books. We focused on how to use value (shading) to indicate 3D form, using chalk pastels. The children learnt about how to create tints and shades of their chosen hue and built up to creating their very own solar system artwork, thinking carefully about where the light source was and how this would affect their shading. We finished our artwork off with some effective flicks of paint to replicate the starry sky. We are very pleased with the results!


In English, we have been reading the engaging 'Eric' by Shaun Tan, focussing on how to identify and use modal verbs. In Maths, our learning has been about calculating area and perimeter. In PSHE, we have been thinking about strategies to overcome anxiety and have created 'hot cross bun' diagrams to explore how our thoughts, feelings and behaviours are linked.


We were very excited to receive belated Christmas cards from our French pen pals today!


Our class assemblies are this half term so rehearsals will commence in the next couple of weeks. More information to follow soon!


Have a super weekend!


The Year 5 Team



Week Beginning 16th December


It's been an incredibly busy (and fun!) end to the term. The Year 5 children have loved going to see the fantastic Christmas performances by Year 2 and Year 4 and we all enjoyed our Christmas lunch on Thursday. Amongst all of the festivities, the children have still been working hard and have finished their exciting music project based on Hedwig's Theme from Harry Potter. Having identified the instruments used in the piece and discussed how the composer used dynamics, timbre and texture to create the desired mood, the children embarked on a whole class performance. Most of the children learnt how to play the chords required to accompany the piece on tuned percussion instruments. Our more confident children, who have instrumental lessons, practised playing the broken chords on their instruments. We were even fortunate enough that some of our talented musicians had learnt to play the melody on their pianos, guitars or violins. This meant that we were able to put all the parts together to perform a whole-class orchestra performance. We could not believe how fantastically the children performed. Mr Lingard, our music lead, came to watch and was speechless! It was a wonderful end to a wonderful topic!


We all enjoyed the annual KS2 Sing-Along on Friday afternoon and were glad to see so many of you there joining in with the festivities. We would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and every happiness in 2020. We look forward to seeing you back at school in January ready for our new learning theme all about space!


Many thanks,


The Year 5 Team

Week Beginning 2nd December


This week, the children have really enjoyed putting their sewing skills to the test when making their Hogwarts banners. We have been so impressed with the children's neat and careful stitching and many children have met the design criteria of using a range of stitch types on their banner. We look forward to displaying them in our classrooms when they have finished next week.


The children also started our new music project this week. We explored the different elements of music before focusing on ostinato. Each group had to prepare a performance in which each person used a different ostinato based on one of the character names from Harry Potter. One member of the group had the important part of using an untuned percussion instrument to keep a steady pulse. We then looked at different forms of musical notation and the children used their own form of graphic notation to record each ostinato. 


Our PSHE work this week focused on resolving conflict; we hope that the children are able to use some of the strategies we discussed to support them next time they find themselves in a conflict situation.


We hope lots of you attended the Christmas Fair and that it helped to get you in the festive spirit!


The Year 5 Team



Week Beginning 25th November


This week we have had lots of visitors running workshops in school, enriching our learning in different areas of the curriculum. On Monday, a lady from the 'Kissing It Better' charity came into school and delivered workshops in all year groups about how to support elderly friends or relatives with dementia. The children were really engaged and we were really impressed with their mature suggestions.


On Thursday, our two visiting early mental health practitioners came into Year 5 to deliver our second workshop about dealing with anxiety, focusing particularly on how this can affect our sleep and strategies to use to help if we are struggling to sleep. Again, the Year 5 children made thoughtful contributions and really impressed our visitors. 


Finally, on Friday we had some visiting cricket coaches in school from Edgbaston. They led two cricket sessions with the Year 5 girls to give them a taster of the kind of activities they do at their extra-curricular clubs. The girls really enjoyed the sessions (despite the chilly weather!) and are looking forward to playing cricket in school in the summer term. 


Parents - please can you ensure we have an up-to-date email address for you so that we can be sure that you are receiving the Golden Rules certificates we are sending home? Please ensure you check your emails regularly so that you can share in your child's achievements. Many thanks. 


The Year 5 team



Week Beginning 18th November


We had a very exciting end to the week with our Harry Potter theme day! It all kicked off with a special Achievement Assembly led by Albus Dumbledore himself. Hufflepuff lifted the house cup for the second week in a row. After assembly, the children spent the day taking part in three fun Harry Potter-themed activities:


1. Potions Class

In this session, the children were transported to Snape's potions lab and concocted three potions of their very own: Veritaserum, Felix Felicis and Draught of Living Death. The children had to measure all of the ingredients, such as flobberworm mucus and powdered basilisk skin, really carefully to ensure their potion had the desired effect. After making them, the children had to guess what each ingredient was in Muggle terms. They learnt a range of new scientific vocabulary: solution, solute, solvent, miscible, immiscible, acid, alkaline and pH scale. 


2. Wand-making

Professor White taught the children how to make an LED wand that lights up when you press on it. The children had to apply their learning from Year 4 about electricity to build a complete circuit using copper tape. They then constructed a switch to operate the wand. The children have been reminded that they are not permitted to use magic within school!


3. Quidditch Match

The children had a great time playing a match of Quidditch against another team. Flying on their broomsticks (unihoc sticks!), the children had to dodge the bludgers, catch the quaffle and hope that their seeker could catch the golden snitch! Some children were even chosen to be commentators for their house, helping to build the tension in the arena. A memorable PE lesson for all involved!


We have a lot to look forward to next week, including a workshop from 'Kissing It Better' charity about how to support elderly relatives/family friends with dementia and a girls' cricket taster session led by Edgbaston coaches. 



Week Beginning 11th November


Firstly, we would like to say a huge thank you to both children and parents for their fantastic baking efforts for our Children in Need Cake Sale on Thursday. There was an absolutely delicious array of cakes and biscuits on offer and we had lots of happy customers from across school. We are yet to count up the exact total that we made for charity but will let you know as soon as we have! We were so impressed with how well the children organised their stalls and supported their younger customers. 


Also this week, all Year 5 classes had a workshop about anxiety led by two early mental health practitioners. This reinforced the key messages of our Taking Care Project sessions and helped the children to develop strategies to use if they are feeling worried. The children will have a follow-up session in a couple of weeks which will look at how anxiety can affect our sleep and what we can do to help.


The children are really enjoying getting stuck into their new DT project: designing and making a house banner for their Hogwarts house. This week the children practised and evaluated 4 different types of stitch: running stitch, back stitch, blanket stitch and over stitch. 


On Friday (22.11.19), it is our Harry Potter theme day. The children may wish to dress up as a character from the series. It promises to be a very exciting day indeed and we have a range of creative activities planned for the children.


Finally, may I just remind you to ensure that all children have the appropriate PE kit in school at all times? This should include suitable clothing for the cold weather (full track suit) and suitable footwear (trainers). If you have any old kit or old trainers that we can keep in school as spares, we'd be very grateful.


Many thanks,


The Year 5 Team





Week Beginning 21st October


What a busy final week of half term! Our week started with a fantastic Fire Service visit on Monday. Firefighters from Leamington Fire Station came in and led an engaging and informative workshop on fire safety. 


We finished off our Traders and Raiders theme by learning about the contenders for the English throne before the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Having researched each of them, we wrote persuasive speeches, in character, about why we should be crowned king! The children impressed us with their excellent acting skills when performing their speeches. 


The children have also been developing their geographical skills this week. We started by locating the four countries that make up the United Kingdom and using atlases to find the key rivers, cities and mountain peaks. We then moved on to locating different UK counties using a series of cryptic clues. Next, we learnt how to use 4 and 6-figure grid references to locate specific locations on an OS map. Finally, we looked at a range of topographic maps and learnt how contour lines help to inform us about the elevation of an area. Working in groups, we then used contour lines to create some fantastic 3D elevation maps. 


We would like to thank the Year 5 children for all their hard work and enthusiasm over this first half term. No formal homework has been set over half term but the children have spellings to learn and are free to spend some time on ReadTheory, Mathletics or Spelling Shed if they would like to. They could also complete one of the suggested home learning tasks on the Geography Knowledge Organiser. Most importantly, we hope that you all have a super half term and we look forward to seeing you next week for our exciting new 'Magical Muggles' learning theme!



Week Beginning 14th October


Today we had a fantastic Anglo-Saxon and Viking theme day to celebrate all of our history learning throughout our Traders and Raiders topic. The children completed three activities throughout the day: making Anglo-Saxon brooches, designing and painting illuminated letters and learning all about the Viking gods. The children looked fantastic in their costumes - thank you for all your hard work in helping them to prepare for the day. 


At the start of the week, the children finished writing their brilliant quest stories based on Beowulf. We have done a lot of work on proofreading and editing our writing, with a real focus on ensuring we all have the key skills in place. As part of this, we looked in particular at the use of pronouns to ensure our writing is cohesive.


Our maths learning has centred around statistics this week and the children enjoyed interpreting data displayed in a line graph.


In Science, we continued to investigate friction, testing whose shoe would be best in winter as it had the most friction. We thought carefully about controlling variables and learnt to use Newton meters. 


Next week is the last week of half term! Please ensure that you have signed up for a parents' evening slot so that you can come and see your child's jam-packed books. We will be doing a lot of Geography next week - please ensure that you have read the Geography Knowledge Organiser in preparation. 


Have a lovely weekend. 

Week Beginning 7th October


What a busy week in Year 5! Thank you to so many parents for attending our Harvest Festival on Wednesday and for all your generous donations. We hope you enjoyed celebrating with us and joining in with the infamous Harvest Samba...Cha cha cha! 


Thanks also for coming along to our Reading 'Come and Learn' session. We hope it gave you a useful insight into the work we are doing with your children in school. 


This week, the children have planned and started writing their very own quest stories based on Michael Morpurgo's Beowulf. They've been trying really hard to show-off that they have mastered lots of the KS2 Key Skills and are endeavouring to replicate Morpurgo's effective use of high-quality vocabulary to engage their readers. From what we've seen so far, we think they could all give Michael Morpurgo a run for his money! We have no doubt that you will be impressed when you come and see their books at Parents' Evening in a couple of weeks. 


In maths, we have applied our learning about column addition and subtraction to some challenging problems, including having to use the inverse operation to find missing numbers and check our answers. We have also tackled some multi-step problems.


We had great fun in Science this week, investigating the effect of friction on moving surfaces. The jelly cube activity was particularly popular: we had to try and use two pencils to pick up cubes of jelly that were either in oil or salt. We discovered that it was much easier to pick up the ones in salt as there was more friction. 


Just a reminder that next Friday (18th October) is our Traders and Raiders theme day to celebrate all of the learning we have done about The Vikings and Anglo-Saxons. Children may dress up as a Viking or Anglo-Saxon on this day if they would like to!


Have a super weekend!






Week Beginning 30th September


In history this week, Year 5 have been finding out why Alfred the Great was dubbed as GREAT! WE learnt that he introduced lots of important things to Anglo-Saxon England, including new laws, improving the army and even opening schools and translating Latin texts. 


In English lessons, we have written some super Harvest prayers and poems in preparation for our Harvest Festival next Wednesday afternoon (9th October). Parents are welcome to join us for this at 2pm. 


Our maths lessons have focused on revisiting column addition and subtraction with 5 and 6-digit numbers and decimals. The children have really impressed us with their understanding and accuracy.


The Taking Care Project (our Protective Behaviours scheme) has started in all year groups and we have been talking about rights and responsibilities and identifying our 'early warning signs'.

Week Beginning 23rd September 2019


This Thursday was European Day of Languages so, on top of our usual French lessons, we enjoyed carrying out some additional language activities. We found that many of our classmates speak another language and we asked those children to give us a masterclass which was a lot of fun. We also did a brilliant quiz in which we had to guess which language was being spoken - the current high score across school is 60 and that was a child in 5CW!


In Maths this week, we were developing our understanding of Roman Numerals and negative numbers. We really enjoyed some of the Roman Numeral problem-solving tasks.


In English and reading sessions, we have continued to look at Michael Morpurgo's Beowulf, focusing particularly on describing characters effectively and summarising the main ideas in a text. We have continued to 'magpie' lots of ideas from Morpurgo's writing and use thesauruses to ensure our vocabulary is really precise and high-quality.


Our history learning this week has focused on how the 'Danelaw' was established in England. In groups, we created Venn diagrams to show how life was different for Vikings living in the Danelaw from the Anglo-Saxons living in the south of England. 


Parents, please remember that our first Year 5 Come and Learn session is fast-approaching on the morning of Tuesday 8th October. You are all invited to join your children in class and the focus will be reading skills. 


The KS2 Harvest Festival is then on Wednesday 9th October in the afternoon. Again, parents are invited to join our celebration.  



Picture 1

Week Beginning 16th September 2019


The children wrote some absolutely fantastic battle sequences this week, inspired by Michael Morpurgo's Beowulf. We were so impressed with the high-level vocabulary being used! We have done lots of work on finding synonyms and looking up definitions of vocabulary used by Morpurgo which has really helped us to learn some rich new words. 


In maths lessons, we have been working hard to develop our understanding of negative numbers as well as practising adding powers of 10 to a number. 


All of the children showed great determination and focus in Computing this week when trying to see how many words they could type in a given time. We will be repeating the activity at the end of the half term after lots of input into how to use the correct fingers to touch-type to see if we can improve our scores! If you want to practise at home, this is a really useful website:


In History lessons, we learnt about the Viking raids on Lindisfarne in 793 AD and wrote some impressive newspaper articles about it, trying hard to cram in as much historical information as possible. We also created some super timelines about how the Danelaw was established in Britain. 


It's European Day of Languages next week on Thursday 26th September and the children will have the opportunity to enter the annual competition!



Week Beginning 9th September 2019


The Year 5 children have worked incredibly hard this week and have produced some brilliant pieces of work in their learning theme books! They really enjoyed drawing a map of a typical Anglo-Saxon settlement and using the Ipads to research information about the houses, their location, how villages were protected and what jobs people did. We have discovered that we have lots of budding artists and historians in the year group!


Ore reading work has focused on retrieval and inference skills whilst in English lessons we have been trying hard to master all of the 'Key Skills', such as accurate punctuation and adventurous vocabulary choices. The children have written some absolutely fantastic setting descriptions, using a thesaurus to ensure their vocabulary is precise and engaging for the reader. We will be editing and redrafting them on Monday.


We have been continuing to develop our understanding of place value in maths lesson, focusing particularly on rounding to the nearest 10, 100, 1000, 10000 and even 100000. We have discussed how this is a really important skill when estimating answers to check they are reasonable.


Our Mathletics and ReadTheory accounts are now set-up and ready to use - passwords can be found in the front of homework books. Please make sure you are keeping the reading records in the back of homework books up to date.



Week Beginning 2nd September 2019


Welcome to Year 5! What a busy first week it has been. As well as learning about all the new routines and expectations, the children have already been working hard in lessons and making a great first impression on us. 


We have got stuck straight into our exciting new learning theme, Traders and Raiders, by finding out why the Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Vikings chose to settle in Britain. We also recapped what the children learnt about the Romans in Year 4 and compared the lifestyles, values and beliefs of the Romano-Britons and Anglo-Saxons, using a Carroll diagram to present our findings. Please make sure you have read the Traders and Raiders Knowledge Organiser (see 'Knowledge Organisers' tab above) as this contains all of the main information you need to know about for our history unit of work. 


This half term, we are reading Viking Boy by Michael Foreman and we were really intrigued by the mysterious prologue. In reading sessions, we have been focusing on vocabulary and have used dictionaries to find the meaning of unfamiliar words used. We recapped what the VIPERS acronym stands for to explain the different areas of reading we will be practising this year:









We have been trying really hard to ensure our handwriting is neat and joined and have practised editing our work, following the Coten End marking codes (which can be found in the front of all of our exercise books).  


Our Maths lessons have focused on place value, including reading and writing numbers up to 1,000,000! 


A few things to remember:


- PE kits should be in school all week (indoor and outdoor) but our PE afternoon is on a Tuesday for all 3 classes.

- Homework will be set on a Thursday and is due in the following Monday.

- Spellings will also be set on a Thursday and will be tested the following week (different days for each class).

- Children should record any books they have read in the reading log at the back of homework books. 

- Children have the opportunity to change books in the school library every day.

- Optional homework project suggestions can be found on the Knowledge Organiser for each unit.


We look forward to a fantastic year ahead!


The Year 5 Team