Year 5

Matthew 5:9 -‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God’

Welcome to Year 5 Silverstein.

Our teacher is Miss Bill.

Our class TA is Miss Kayleigh.




Class Updates

Friday 24th May 2024

We have reached the end of summer 1!

In Maths this week, the children read and interpreted two way tables and timetables. Reading and answering questions on timetables requires the children to have knowledge of telling the time. Over half term, can you please encourage your child to practise reading the time on a clock face as this is equally important to being able to read the 24 hour digital clock. We finished this short statistics unit with an assessment. After half term, we will begin shape, where there is a big focus on angles.

In English, the children read their exemplar ending for ‘The Girl Who Stole an Elephant’. They had to find a range of Year 5 spelling, punctuation and grammar features. The children also completed a grammar and reading comprehension assessment. After half term, they will plan their own ending for ‘The Girl Who Stole an Elephant’ and complete their first draft.

‘The Changing Role of Women’ has been our focus in History over the past half term. This week, we looked at second-wave feminism throughout the 1960s and 1970s, where women were campaigning for equal pay. We looked at the strike action of women who worked at Ford Dagenham and the impact this had across the UK and its industries. The children then learnt of the historic moment in 1970 when the Equal Pay Act was passed, making it illegal to pay someone differently on the basis of their gender. To finish this unit, the children completed their EUQ (End of Unit Assessment).

In Science this week, we looked at the phases of the moon. The children know that the Earth orbits the sun to give us our year and that the Earth rotates on its axis to give us our 24 hour day. The children were then able to add to this by learning that the moon is also orbiting Earth, taking 28 days (or a Lunar month). The children learnt that this cycle is the reason why we see the moon looking different at different points in the month – it is not that the moon is changing shape. The children then created a diagram showing the different phases of the moon and had to add on the correct labels. We will continue with Earth and Space next half term.

In R.E., we looked at the ten commandments given to Moses by God on Mount Sinai. We discussed the significance of this and then looked at ranking the commandments in terms of importance. The children then had to create their own commandments that were representative of them and their values and beliefs. To end this unit, the children then created a PowerPoint of everything that they had learnt and completed their EUQ.

Today in RHE, we completed our final two lessons for our ‘Being My Best’ unit. As a class, we considered how celebrities get a lot of media coverage and that it’s easy to value ‘looks’. When we dug deeper, we considered what we really value in a person and made a list of ‘star qualities’. The children thought about how you can spot everyday people with these ‘star qualities’ and which ones we have and really value. We also learned about first aid: what is it and why it is so important? The children then worked in partners to research what we should do in a particular first aid emergency, looking at a range of scenarios: asthma attack, bleeding, broken bone, choking, head injury and stopped breathing. We then presented our findings to the rest of the class.

Today, we had our final Climate Ed Workshop. The children have thoroughly enjoyed these lessons over the past five weeks and today got to think about how they are going to take action: educating family members, awareness of what you are buying and eating and finally, using your voice to make a change.


To celebrate Art’s Day, the children will be participating in a printing workshop led by Kite Studios on Friday 7th June. In order to do this, the children will need to bring in any tetra packaging (e.g. oat milk, soy milk or juice cartons). Over the holidays, please save any of this packaging ready to be donated to school when we return.

Art’s Day is also approaching on the 19th of June. Over the holidays, keep collecting found objects like buttons and ribbons so that these can be donated to school when we return.

Have a lovely half term break. Hopefully, the sun will be shining!

Miss Bill

Friday 17th May 2024

This week in Maths, we began statistics. The children began by drawing line graphs. We discussed the two axis (x and y) and how the scales of these axis depended on the information that you had to represent. We then looked at interpreting and reading line graphs. We discussed the meaning of interpret: to understand the information being presented in the line graph. Next week, we will look at reading and interpreting tables and timetables.

In English this week, we have continued to study ‘The Girl Who Stole an Elephant’. The children wrote a setting description of the jungle inspired by the description of Chaya’s journey through the jungle in chapter 17. The children had to then self-edit their work, deciding on Year 5 spelling, punctuation and grammar skills they could make better use of to improve the quality of their writing. After reading chapter 19-29 at home, the children analysed the three main characters from the book: Chaya, Neel and Nour. They had to write adjectives to describe each character and then write a character description, which highlighted the contrasting personalities of these characters. We ended the week by continuing to read through our book, reading from chapter 30-37.

In History this week, we looked at the role of women during the 1950s. The children used a mixture of primary and secondary sources to gather this information. We looked at a Nestle advert which stated ‘Yes, but can she cook?’ We discussed how this told us that women were still patronised and under-estimated during the 1950s. Although they had showcased their roles and responsibilities during WW1, their skills were still being restricted to that of cooking and cleaning. The children also looked at sources that give us an idea of jobs they could have and university courses that could apply to. The children noted how although women had equal voting rights at this point in history, their job, pay and university opportunities were not equal to men. Female subordination to men was still very much commonplace.

In R.E., we looked at how Jews celebrate Passover, particularly focusing on the Seder meal. The children learnt about the different food items placed on the Seder plate and how they linked to the story of Passover. On their own Seder plate, they labelled the charoset, parsley dipped in salt water, bitter herbs, shank bone and egg, and also explained what they represent.

In RHE, as a class we thought about what we are looking forward to about being ‘grown up’. Most were looking forward to increased independence but weren’t looking forward to more responsibility. The children soon realised through discussion that you can’t have one without the other. After taking a ‘responsibility audit’, they identified what we are currently responsible for and what responsibilities we share with other people. The children concluded that growing up goes hand in hand with taking more accountability.

This week, we completed this half term’s DT unit: Cooking and Nutrition: What could be healthier? We began by looking at where food comes from, discussing the from ‘farm to fork’ process. We then listed our ingredients needed for our bolognese sauce and how balanced our meal was by using the eat-well plate. The children suggested adding more vegetables so they had to adapt their recipe by adding two more vegetables. It was then on to the exciting part, cooking the bolognese sauce. The children showed their real culinary skills as they cut onions, mushrooms, celery and courgette, as well as grating a carrot. After letting the food simmer, the children served the bolognese into a jar and enjoyed it at home.

In our Climate Ed workshop this week, the children focused on how our own ‘retail therapy’ impacts our climate. They used role play to show what they learnt. The children were in role as ‘The High CO2 Crew’ who met ‘The Low CO2 Crew’ in a shopping centre. They asked them: What is in your shopping trollies? And tried to persuade them to put some items back.

This afternoon, we were lucky enough to be joined by Osman from Osman Juice in Shepherd’s Bush Market. This visit was part of last term’s Cracking Careers programme, ‘Retail in Shepherd’s Bush’. The children got to enjoy some of Osman’s favourite juices as well as hearing all about the work involved when running your own business.

A message from Mrs Allen:

Arts Day on the 19th of June is fast approaching! We are still looking for parents, carers, grandparents, godparents – really anyone with an interest in art – to come in to school to support the classes on the day with their art. This could be either by leading a workshop or to support the teachers in class. If you would like to volunteer please email Mrs Allen (

We are also continuing to collect found objects, especially small items such as buttons. Please donate these by placing them into the red letterbox outside the main reception.

Have a lovely weekend!

Miss Bill


Friday 10th May 2024

The sun is shining and the summer production rehearsals have begun – it is very nearly summer!

This week in Maths, the children have learnt how to find the area of rectangles and compound shapes. The children learnt that the area is the space inside a 2D shape and the formula to find this: area = width x height. Today, we completed our perimeter and area assessment. Next week, we will be looking at statistics, interpreting and drawing different types of graphs.

In English, we have continued to read ‘The Girl Who Stole an Elephant’. After reading chapter 5 and 6, the children had to find words closet in meaning to specific words from the text. The children could use a thesaurus to help them with this. After reading chapters 6-9 at home, we read chapters 10-15 in school, using a dictionary to understand the meaning of new words. Since beginning this book, the children have gathered lots of new vocabulary which they can use in their end piece. Today, the children practised their inference skills as they inferred characters’ thoughts and feelings from chapter 15 and 16.

This week in Science, we looked at how the Earth’s tilt creates seasons. The children learnt how the Earth is tilted at 23.5 degrees and as it orbits the sun, this tilt gives us our four seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter. The children labelled a diagram showing that when the Earth is directly tilted towards the sun, it is summer. The daylight hours are longer and temperatures are warmer. They also labelled winter, when the Earth is facing directly away from the sun.

We are continuing to look at the ‘Changing Role of Women’ in History. This week, we wrote an entry as a WW1 women whose role had significantly changed as the men had left for war. The children wrote about the new opportunities women were presented with: becoming nurses, police officers, factory workers and farmers, but also highlighted how their pre-existing roles of household chores and looking after the children were still jobs they had to fulfil.

In RHE, we spent some time looking at what a community is. After discussing the meaning of ‘community’, we considered what we think is great about our St. Stephen’s community and what we would like to improve. This was a useful exercise as it helped the children reflect on their own roles and responsibilities within this community.

In R.E., we looked at Passover. The children learnt that Passover is celebrated by Jewish people in spring, at a similar time to when Christians are celebrating Easter. The children created a comic strip to illustrate the story of Passover: a time when Jews remember the Israelites’ freedom from slavery in Egypt. They learnt that Moses, an important figure in the Jewish faith, led the Israelites to freedom over 3,000 years ago. Next week, we will be looking at the traditions and celebrations associated with Passover, for example the Seder plate.

This afternoon, the children had their third Climate Ed workshop where they looked at carbon in food. The children looked at different types of food and ranked them from most to least greenhouse gas emissions. For example, steak, which comes from a cow. Cows burp lots of methane which is a super-powered greenhouse gas. This fact provided a few giggles!

Message from Miss Rachel: Class Music Concerts (w/c 20th May)

We will be having informal ‘class concerts’ during our music lessons during the week before half term. It would be lovely for children to share something that they are learning on their musical instruments. It doesn’t have to be a perfect performance – more to share with the class and to hear and learn about different instruments! Please send music in with your child if they would like to play.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Miss Bill

Friday 3rd May 2024

After a wonderful trip to France last week, we are back to the busyness of life at St Stephen’s.

In English this week, we began our new unit which is centred on ‘The Girl Who Stole an Elephant’ by Nizrana Farook. We began by reading chapters 1 and 2, unpicking new language. We discovered that the book is set in a fictional place called Serendib, however, this fictional place is set in Sri Lanka. We also completed a reading comprehension practising our VIPERS skills (vocabulary, inference, prediction, explanation, retrieval and summarise). We ended the week by reading chapter 3 and predicting how Chaya will end up with an elephant in her possession.

We also began a new unit in Maths this week. Over the next week, we will be looking at perimeter and area. So far, we have learnt that perimeter is the distance around the outside of a closed 2D shape. We have found the perimeter of rectangles, rectilinear shapes and polygons. Next week, we will look at finding the area.

Earth and Space continues to be our focus in Science. This week, we specifically looked at how the Earth’s rotation creates day and night. The children learned how the Earth doesn’t just orbit the sun, it is also rotating on its own axis as it completes its orbit. We discussed how one rotation of the Earth takes 24 hours (1 day). The children learnt that when the Earth is facing the sun it is daytime and when the Earth is facing away from the sun, it is dark and night time. We also looked at how different countries have different time zones and that these time zones are centred on UTC 0º which is a line of longitude that runs through Greenwich.

This week in History, we looked at women’s suffrage. We explored the early movements of women’s right activism in England, focusing on The National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) formed by Millicent Fawcett. We learned how their approach was mainly peaceful and involved tactics such as marches and petitions, which differed greatly to later, more radical movements by the Women’s Social and Political Union led by Emmeline Pankhurst. The children made placards and had a mini-protest, campaigning for both sides of the arguments. They had fantastic ideas when it came to articulating their thoughts on the matter.

In R.E. this week, we learnt all about the Shema. The children learnt that the Shema is a Jewish prayer that is found in the Torah. Many Jews recite this prayer three times a day as it affirms their belief in one God. We also looked at where the Shema is often kept, inside a Mezuzah which is displayed on the right door post of Jewish homes. We then looked at which prayer Christians may read as an affirmation of their faith: The Lord’s Prayer. The children ended the lesson by writing ten affirmations for themselves.

In RHE, we reminded ourselves of the story ‘Hetty Feather’ by Jacqueline Wilson. The main character wishes to join the circus and that had us thinking about the skills different people need in a circus. We realised that no one is born with the abilities to trapeze or ride a horse doing a handstand and that these skills need to be honed and practised. This made us consider what we would like to be good at and how we can achieve these goals. We noted down our star qualities and then thought about how they will allow us to achieve our goals.

We had our second Climate Ed workshop this week, where the children learnt about the amounts of CO2 that different modes of transport give off. They had to become ‘CO2 Busters’ and create a role play, tracking down CO2 emissions in travel and give advice on how to reduce emissions.

What a lovely way to end the week with our annual Grandparents’ Day. This afternoon, we welcomed the grandparents of St Stephen’s to our classrooms, shared afternoon tea with them and even welcomed them to Collective Worship.

Have a lovely Bank Holiday weekend!

Miss Bill

Friday 19th April 2024

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter break. It was great to welcome back the children on Tuesday, ready for a busy summer term.

We were straight back into English, where we revised different grammar elements such as writing in the past tense and third person, as well as reported speech. We also planned our newspaper report based on ‘The Highwayman’, which we will be writing next week.

In Maths, we have continued our work on decimals and percentages. The children were introduced to percentages and learnt that percent means out of one hundred. They then wrote percentages as fractions and decimals. Next week, we will look at FDP (fractions, decimals and percentages) and complete our decimals and percentages assessment.

We have also begun to look at our new topics, such as ‘Earth and Space’ in Science. The children learnt about the movement of the Earth, moon and sun, having to sort facts about their movement into a venn diagram. The children were very engaged in the lesson as we picked up lots of interesting facts along the way, including 1,300,000 Earths could fit in the sun!

In R.E. this half term, we will be covering our second unit on the world faith of Judaism. As we looked at what we would be learning this term, we made some cross links with facts already covered such as our Easter module and how it linked with the Jewish festival of Passover. We recalled our learning around Jewish artefacts and looked at the story of Abraham and Sarah. We used this story to teach us about the word ‘covenant’. We unpicked what it meant and looked at the covenant made between Abraham and God. The children then reflected on their own promises and how it can feel when they are broken.

This half term in RHE, we look at ‘Being my Best’. You will find the knowledge page for this unit down the side of our class page. We began by looking at our human body, specifically looking at our internal organs. We discussed that to be the best version of yourself, you must look after your body as it is made of so many special organs that do wonderful things. The children researched facts such as the amount of sleep a child needs, the number of cells in a child’s brain and the length of the small intestine.

This afternoon, we continued with Art, where the children used mixed media to create different styles of portraits. They had pictures of themselves and photocopies of their own self-portrait, which they were able to cut up and assemble in different ways to create a different style of self-portrait. The children loved the creativity this gave them!

This afternoon, we were also lucky enough to be joined by a volunteer from Climate Ed, who will be working with the children every Friday throughout this half term, to learn more about climate change, how it is impacting our planet and what we can do to help.

Please continue to check for ParentMails regarding our upcoming trip.

Have a great weekend!

Kind regards,

Miss Bill

Thursday 28th March 2024

What a great end to a fun-filled, busy term! This morning, we all gathered together in St Stephen’s church to take part in our annual Easter service. We even sang and wiggled to ‘I Give Thanks’!

This week in Maths and English, we have been completing our spring term assessments. The children completed an arithmetic test, reasoning test, reading test and spelling, punctuation and grammar test. These scores will help inform areas of focus for next half term. Well done to the children for their resilient, focused attitude over the past few days when completing these tests.

We completed our Scandinavia unit in Geography this week. The children had to create a tourist information poster/advertisement for a Scandinavian country of their choice. They had to provide information such as local currency, cuisine, weather conditions, attractions to see and places to visit. The children then completed their EUQ (End of Unit Quiz). They showcased how much they have learnt in this topic. Many of the children now wish to visit a Scandinavian country!

Today in R.E., we concluded our Church at Easter unit by looking at Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday, which fall this weekend. The children recalled the sequence of the Easter story before looking at the church practices during Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday services. The children then completed their EUQ, reflecting on their recent leaning.

In RHE, we thought about the cost of items we have as well as items we want. The children looked at a variety of scenarios with a boy called ‘Jack’ and created a bank of ‘money advice’ statements and questions for Jack to reflect on before he spent his money. The children then created some money advice posters to collate our ideas. We discussed why we need to be responsible with money. We learned about the terms: credit, debt, interest and loan. We thought about scenarios when it might be necessary to ask a bank or someone for these things. We acted out these scenarios and how we would deal with them. The children then reflected on questions they were asked at the beginning of the unit and added their new learning to these questions in green pen.

This week, 18 Year 5 children took part in a debating competition at South Hampstead High School. The children delivered excellent debates, which were rewarded with 3 of our own teams winning out of a total of 57 teams. A big thank you to volunteer and parent, Emma Kruger, who has worked so tirelessly over the past 6 weeks to prepare the children.

Have a lovely Easter with your loved ones!

Kind regards.

Miss Bill

Friday 22nd March 2024

This week in English, we have been practising our inference and explanation skills when comprehending a text. We looked at the word ‘impression’ and how we can infer these from the text using evidence to support our answer. We then begin our new English unit, newspaper reports. The children will be reporting from the scene of the crime in ‘The Highwayman’. The children read a variety of newspaper reports to help remind them of the main features: newspaper name, headline, past tense, third person, quotes from witnesses and pictures with captions. Over the past two days, we have been focusing on grammar: direct and reported speech. Next week, we will complete our spring term assessments: reading, spelling, punctuation and grammar.

In Maths this week, we have continued to work on decimals. We have been comparing and ordering decimals with up to three decimals places. We looked at the language ‘ascending’ and ‘descending’ to allow us to order. We ended the week by rounding decimals. Next week, we will complete our spring term assessments: arithmetic paper 1 and reasoning paper 2.

We finished our Science unit this week by considering why specific materials are used for different products. We looked at the different items in a kitchen, such as a sink, and had to consider why the sink was made from steel. The children were able to explain that because steel is impermeable, rigid and durable, it is a good material for a sink as you want it to be water tight and last a long period of time. The children then completed their EUQ (End of Unit Quiz), showcasing everything they have learnt in Science over the past term.

In Geography this week, the children used Chromebooks and their knowledge from this half term’s unit to compare an area of Scandinavia: Stockholm to an area of the UK: London. The children looked for similarities and differences for both human and physical geography. They discovered that they had very different populations but geographically were quite similar, both being positioned on the coast.

In R.E., we recapped all the Christian events that we have covered so far: Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, Lent, Passiontide Sunday and Palm Sunday. We then focused on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday and some of the church practices that take place on these days. The children made links to our topic of Judaism by identifying the Seder Plate, which is representative of The Last Supper. The children were also able to build on their understanding of Christianity by making links between various celebrations and events during ‘Holy Week’ and the final week of Christ’s life on Earth. The children annotated the hymn ‘Abide with Me’ to show the links the lyrics of the hymn make with Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.

In RHE, we considered the duties and responsibilities we have in our local community and reflected on a story called, ‘Mo Makes a Difference’. The children then considered how a helpful community makes our area a nice place to live. At the end of the lesson, we discussed what local organisations we would like to join that help the local community.

In Art this afternoon, the children used the self-portrait ‘Auto-portrait’ by Chila Kumari Singh Burman to identify the features of a self-portrait. The also had to analyse the message the portrait was portraying and the effect of using different materials to portray a message.

This week, St Stephen’s has come together to celebrate different occasions. We began by joining Ben Cajee for a special Shakespeare Week assembly to unlock some of the secrets of William Shakespeare’s creativity. We saw the house in which he was born and listened to Shakespeare’s tips on creativity: metaphors, similes and alliteration, just to name a few! We even found our toes tapping along to the Shakespeare Week song – ‘Pick up your paper, pick up your pen’.

As a school, we also came together to celebrate Neurodiversity Celebration Week. The children learnt that Neurodiversity is based on the idea that everyone has a differently-wired brain and their own unique way of thinking and experiencing the world. We discussed that some of the different ways of thinking, learning, interacting and perceiving the world have been given labels, such as: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC), Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia and Tourette’s Syndrome. We discussed how Neurodiversity Celebration Week is about celebrating the strengths and talents of people with learning differences. We also celebrated World Down Syndrome Day and joined many schools and communities around the world by celebrating this occasion by wearing our funkiest odd socks.

Have a lovely weekend,

Miss Bill

Friday 15th March 2024

This week in English, we planned our own classical poem inspired by The Highwayman. Using a short video as inspiration for our own poems, the children planned their six verse poem, exploring a man’s journey across London. Yesterday, the children wrote their poem and today they edited and redrafted it. The children made great use of figurative language. Next week, we will begin to explore newspapers.

In Maths this week, we begin decimals and percentages. We have been looking at the place value of a decimal with two decimal places, specifically focusing on tenths and hundredths. We then looked at equivalent decimals and fractions. We will continue to explore decimals next week, then moving on to percentages.

The human geography features of Scandinavia was our focus in Geography this week. The children explored the population, local cuisine, currency, language and religion of Norway, Sweden and Denmark. The children discussed how they were surprised that Denmark and Norway had a similar population as Denmark is much smaller than Norway. They concluded that due to Norway’s extreme, harsh climate in the north, many people would not inhabit this area.

In Science, the children explored and compared the properties of different everyday materials. As a class, we defined a property of a material as a characteristic that you can use to describe it. Together we created a list of properties: soluble, insoluble, brittle, durable, flexible, rigid, impermeable, transparent, soft and hard. The children then used a venn diagram to compare and group a variety of different objects according to the object’s material and its properties.

This week in RHE, we learned about how rights, respect and duties all mean different things. We considered what rights and duties we have across a range of environments but then we particularly focused on home, school and our local community. We discussed the rights which children have for example children have the right to read, children have the right to choose their beliefs/religion and children have the right to be warm and secure. We also read the UN Convention on the Rights of a Child together. We then discussed how we have to be respectful with our rights, not abusing them. This discussion allowed us to recognise that we have to earn our rights, showing you are mature and responsible enough to have these rights. After this, we shared our duties, both at home and in school, and the consequences we have if these duties aren’t fulfilled. We also spoke about the enjoyment or reward that comes with completing duties. Finally, we reminded each other of how we show respect within our homes, school and local community.

Yesterday in Computing, we learned that the internet is a huge network of computers all connected together. We now know that the ‘world wide web’ (‘www’ or ‘web’ for short) is a collection of webpages found on this network of computers. A web browser uses the internet to access the web. The children found the visual flowchart of the network of computers fascinating!

In R.E., we began our new unit, ‘Church at Easter’. We explored Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, Passiontide Sunday and Palm Sunday, marking the beginning of Holy Week. We discussed how different Christian denominations mark these special occasions. Next week, we will look at Maundy Thursday and Good Friday as we lead up to Easter Sunday.

This afternoon in Art, we completed our abstract backgrounds using collage. The children then transferred their poem portrait onto this background. The children made great use of colour and shape to allow their background to emphasise specific parts of their poem portraits. Next week, we will explore the technique of self-portraits in more detail.

Have a restful weekend,

Miss Bill

Friday 8th March 2024

Yesterday, St Stephen’s came together to celebrate World Book Day. After showcasing their amazing costumes, the children took part in a ‘Readathon’, where they had 30 minutes of reading for pleasure. After this, they completed a book review: rating the book, summarising the story, recommending it to a specific age group and illustrating a character. In the afternoon, we went to Year 1 so the children could read their pop-up books which they made in DT. The children thoroughly enjoyed reading to Year 1 and asking them some questions about their book. A great day all round!

This week in English, we looked at formal and informal language. The children had to rewrite verses of The Highwayman using informal language, changing phrases such as ‘rapier hilt’ to ‘sword’s handle’. The children then looked at the poetic language used within the classical poem. They identified similes, metaphors, alliteration, personification and onomatopoeia. Together as a class, we have also been using our inference skills to infer Bess and the Highwayman’s feelings at different sections throughout the poem. Next week, we will begin to plan to write our own classical poem, taking inspiration from Alfred Noyes’ poetic style.

In Maths, we continued with fractions by finding the whole amount and using fractions as operators. The children were able to identify how ‘of’ means multiply. Yesterday, the children completed a fractions assessment and I was very pleased with all the children’s excellent scores! Today, we did an arithmetic test so the children could practise their addition, subtraction, multiplication and division skills that we have been working on since September. Next week, we will begin decimals and percentages.

We continued to study the stunning landscape of Scandinavia this week by specifically looking at the physical geography features of Norway. The children identified and learnt about fjords and glaciers, as well as learning about the formation of waterfalls. Next week, we will look at how humans have shaped the landscape of Scandinavia.

In Science this week, we looked at the changes caused by burning. We discussed how a fire needs fuel, oxygen and heat. We discussed when a log has been lit, the logs will release carbon dioxide and steam and eventually will leave a layer of ash. The children were able to discuss how this change is irreversible as there has been a reaction and a new material has been created.

We continued with our poem portraits in Art this afternoon. The children continued to trace their poem, following the sketch of their self-portrait. They then created a background using a range of mixed media. Next week, they will transfer their poem portrait on to this creative background.

In RHE, this week, we looked at the quote, ‘There are no facts, only interpretations’ by Friedrich Nietzsche. We started by considering where we see opinions printed and concluded that journalism can present opinions as facts. We examined a newspaper report and saw that sometimes one side of the ‘argument’ can be presented with opinions and why this might be misleading to the reader and can shape an inaccurate report.

On Tuesday, we were visited by St Giles Trust to have a workshop about gangs. The children began by identifying who their role models are. After sharing famous role models, we discussed the importance of local, relatable role models: families, teachers, local shop workers, emergency services and religious groups. The children discussed the legal system and if it ever needs to be broken. After analysing different situations, we concluded that no law needs to be broken to protect yourself. By seeking advice from positive role models, you can protect yourself. The children were then given four pictures and had to identify which one they believed was a gang. We discussed how the wearing of Nike, a ski-hood or balaclava does not mean you are a gang member. We discussed that it does not matter what brands you wear, what age you are, what colour your skin is or how tall you are, a gang is legally defined as a group of three or more people who are involved in anti-social behaviour or criminal activity. Finally, we discussed the grooming line, which can happen in real life and online, and the different stages: targeting stage, friendship forming stage, loving relationship stage and abusive relationship stage. We concluded by reminding each other of the importance of talking to a trusted adult if you are concerned about something or are unsure.

What a great way to end the week, and celebrate International Women’s Day, by inviting in St Stephen’s mums and chums for a delicious Mother’s Day breakfast!

Have a restful weekend,

Miss Bill

Friday 1st March 2024

The mornings and evenings are getting brighter, spring has arrived!

After typing the final draft of our letters to Rishi Sunak about the Blucher Disaster, we began our new unit, classical poetry, where we will be studying, The Highwayman. We began by looking at how classical poetry is different to other genres of poetry. We discussed how classical poetry is considered ‘classic’ as it was often written decades or centuries ago, but still remain loved today. We read Firework Night, The Charge of the Light Brigade, If, Windy Nights and The Lady of Shallot. We discussed the difference in language and tone, often consisting of old English and formal language, compared to poems we have previously looked at. After this, we read and interpreted The Highwayman. Today, we discussed the characters and the language, in particular the declaration of love. We then looked at acting The Highwayman – each table were given a section to perform. The children made good use of facial expressions and actions to convey characters’ thoughts and feelings.

In Maths, we began our second fractions unit. We looked at multiplying unit and non-unit fractions by integers, mixed numbers by integers and finally, found fractions of different amounts. The children’s good timestable knowledge has supported them with this – keep up the practise!

We looked at the climate and weather of Scandinavia in Geography this week. We look at different climate zones: tundra, subarctic, marine west coast and humid continental. We looked at how the most northern parts of Norway and Sweden are in the Arctic Circle meaning then have a tundra climate, having a permanent layer of permafrost all year round. We also looked at how the southern part of Norway, Sweden and then Denmark, experience a marine west coast climate like us here in the UK. Winters are cold and wet and summers are warm. The children analysed line graphs and bar charts to help them compare temperatures across Scandinavia.

This week in Science, we looked at heating and cooling different materials and if they could then be reversed. We looked at heating an egg. The children commented that once the raw egg (liquid) had been heated, there had been a reaction creating a new material, a boiled egg (solid). The children recognised that this reaction meant that the change was irreversible. We also looked at cooling water. By placing it in the freezer, the liquid water had now frozen to solid ice. This could however be reversed by increasing the temperature.

The children wrote a diary entry this week in R.E. to show their reflections after returning from a pilgrimage. The children noted what they saw when they visited The Holy Land and the significance this had on their religious beliefs. We then discussed our thoughts on the question: what is more important, the journey or the destination? We completed this short unit by doing an end of unit quiz. Next week, we will begin our new unit: Church at Easter.

In RHE this week, we discussed a current issue brought to life in recent months related to health: the use of vaping. We recalled previous lessons on the harm drugs such as nicotine and alcohol can do to our body. We then looked at issues that have arisen from the rise in the use of vapes. We re-visited an article from Spring 1 about the dangers of vaping, how it is advertised and then, why people vape. We identified the facts and opinions in the article. We finished by creating a poster to advise people on how to say healthy. We discussed how this poster must inform the reader, therefore should contain more facts than opinions.

This afternoon, we begin our new Art unit: Portraits. The children had 5 minutes to complete a self-portrait using a continuous line (they could not lift their pencil off the page). They then used tracing paper to write all about them, following the lines of the self-portrait. Next week, we will create a background that this descriptive outline will be copied on to.

World Book Day: Reading Challenge

RSR_Primary_Letter-to-Parents St Stephens (1)

RSR Reading Log (2)

RSR sponsorship form St Stephens (3)

Royal Academy Young Artists Competition

There is just under a month left to enter your artwork into the Royal Academy Young Artists Competition. The artwork can be in any medium you’d like: painting, drawing, sculpture or even performance art!

The deadline for entries is 5pm March 27th. Please visit: to find out more and to enter your child’s artwork.

If you have any questions about the competition, please email Mrs Allen:

Have a restful weekend,

Miss Bill

Friday 23rd February 2024

I hope you all had a restful half term break! It was great to welcome the children back to school on Monday, ready for a busy half term!

In English, we recapped all our learning from the ‘Boy in the Tower’ and then planned our persuasive letter. Our plan had a clear structure where we had to tell the Prime Minister of the problems that London was facing and suggested solutions for he him to consider. On Tuesday, the children wrote their first draft to Rishi Sunak, persuading him to do more about the Blucher Disaster. I was so impressed by the children’s letters, their use of emotive language was excellent. After making edits today, the children will type their final draft on Monday, including their edits and improvements.

In Maths, we completed our multiplication and division unit. The assessment did have lots of reasoning questions, however, the children persevered using their knowledge from the unit. We ask that the children do still practise long multiplication and the bus stop method to ensure they remain confident in using these methods. On Monday, we will begin our second fractions unit.

This half term, we will be doing Geography and learning about the human and physical geography of Scandinavia. We began by discussing that Scandinavia is a region in northern Europe. The children then learnt the countries in Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden and Demark) and used a map to identify their capital cities and bordering seas. Next week, we will look at the climate and weather of Scandinavia.

In Science this week, we looked at irreversible changes. We discussed how rust and dough for bread are irreversible changes as there has been a reaction. We made lemonade together with water, lemon juice, sugar and baking soda. The children recorded their observation. They noted how when the baking soda was added, the mixture fizzed and bubbled as the baking soda reacted with the solution. The bubbles are a gas leaving the solution. This means that this solution is irreversible.

This half term in R.E., we look at pilgrimage. This week, we focused on what a pilgrimage is: a journey of faith taken by someone belonging to any religion. We also discussed why people may choose to undertake this sacred journey. We looked at historic reasons: following the footsteps of Christ and asking for a favour. We then looked at modern reasons: healing, penance and adventure. Next week, we will consider what is more important, the journey or the destination.

Year 5 had a visit from a CORAM Life Education expert to deliver our LifeBus session. Our session was focused on: The Brain.  As a class, we discussed the different sections of our brain and how they determine how we respond to different situations or events. The children discussed how different photographs made them feel and on an ‘anxiety scale’, shared how anxious different scenarios made them feel. They then talked through how they can take care of themselves and their well-being to respond to these events and situations.

Yesterday, we completed our DT project: designing pop-up books for Year 1. The children used their plan to illustrate their pop-up books and added their planned mechanisms (sliders, levers or automatic pull strips). We will be sharing these pop-up books with Year 1 in the coming weeks. Year 1 should be very excited!

This morning, Year 5 welcomed in actors from ‘The Riot Act’, who delivered an immersive, drama-based workshop on road safety. The children were in role as investigators and had to listen to witnesses from the scene of a road traffic incident: ambulance crew, a cyclist and the driver of a car who had hit a young boy. After hearing their statements, the children decided that boy who had been hit, Lee, was at fault for causing the incident. We discussed that him using his mobile phone and listening to music when crossing the road led to him becoming distracted, where he was not aware of his surroundings. This session highlighted the importance of focus and concentration when crossing the road: listening and looking around you, using zebra and pelican crossings, putting your phone away and removing any headphones playing music.

Today, St Stephen’s celebrated Lunar New Year. As a class, we created spiral dragons and displayed them in our class. We took part in a special assembly this morning, had traditional food for lunch and then took part in a fan and ribbon dance workshop – the children thoroughly enjoyed this.

Have a lovely weekend,

Miss Bill

Friday 9th February 2024

Spring 1 is done! Time flies when you’re having fun!

This week in English, we continued to read ‘The Boy in the Tower’. We discovered that Ade had been frequently watching the news and had watched an interview with the Prime Minister, who was being asked what he was doing to help with the blucher disaster. We will be using this as a stem for our writing: a persuasive letter to the Prime Minister. To prepare for this, we analysed a persuasive letter and identified the main features: sender and recipient’s address, introduction, conclusion, paragraphs, modal verbs, flattery, rhetorical questions and additional conjunctions. The children then used another exemplar to magpie language that they could use in their persuasive letter. After half term, we will plan and write these.

In Maths this week, we began short division. We used the bus stop method to divide 3 and 4 digit numbers with and without reminders. We also looked at efficient division strategies that we could use as an alternative to the bus stop method. After half term, we will complete more multiplication and division problems before completing our assessment.

We completed our WW1 unit in History this week by looking at why ‘The Great War’ came to an end. We discussed the many factors that contributed to this and the eventual signing of the ‘Treaty of Versailles’. We looked at what war memorials are, and their significance. We then discussed our trip to France this year where we will visit Memorial Museum Passchendaele and see the soldiers’ memorial, where we will learn that an old student of St Stephens is also buried there. The children completed their EUQ, where they showcased all that they learnt.

We also completed our R.E. unit by doing our end of unit quiz (EUQ). The children demonstrated how much they had taken away from the unit, ‘The Journey of Life and Death’, and made thoughtful reflections.

A week ahead of schedule, we all gathered in St Stephen’s church on Wednesday to come together for our annual Ash Wednesday church service. We gave thanks to those around us for all they do and made considerations of what we could give up during Lent.

On Wednesday, we were lucky enough to be visited by Marlyne, a parent, who explained how STEM is part of her work for Mondelez.  She works as a Foreign Exchange Manager. It was really interesting to hear of the importance that her studies in finance, economics and maths played in her ability to do her job. The children discussed the exchange rate between Pound Sterling and US Dollars. They learn that £1.00 = $1.25 and discussed how these exchange rates can fluctuate for many different reasons. Through the Cracking Careers programme, children have a broader understanding of different careers in the wider world and an understanding of how these goals can be achieved.

In RHE, we recapped what a drug is defined as. We discussed how nicotine is a drug found in cigarettes. We discussed as a class the impact smoking has on our body. The children then worked in groups of 4/5 and read a copy of the online paper ‘The Daily Wail’. We discussed: Why do they think fewer people are smoking? What new products do you think the tobacco industry are working on? Do you think vaping is healthy or unhealthy? We also recapped our learning from Autumn Term about being assertive. We had a scenario where a friend wanted to borrow a video game from Chris but Chris did not want to. We reflected on similar scenarios we had experienced ourselves and discussed why it is difficult to be assertive with friends sometimes. We concluded that this is an important skill to have and that a ‘healthy’ friendship would allow for discussion and negotiation.

Today, we took part in ‘Wear Your Scarf to School Day’ to support Children’s Mental Health Week. The children came in wearing a scarf of their choice. The children used their voice to share how their scarf says something special about them. Check out St Stephen’s Instagram to see pictures of this.

Last week was Coding Day, and this afternoon we used this time to explore all the different ways we use Computing (Computer Science, Information Technology and Digital Literacy) in and around school. We completed an ‘unplugged’ activity where we learnt about online safety, especially the appropriate use of social media.


Always ahead of the curve, St Stephen’s has already instituted a ban on smartphones for children in school, and is strongly promoting collective move action by parents to not given their primary aged children smartphones at all. There is now a strong and growing movement to persuade government to take the issue of smartphone addiction and the mental health damage it can cause children, more seriously – have a listen to this very powerful, short radio discussion from earlier in the week.

Have a wonderful half term break!

Miss Bill

Friday 2nd February 2024

We began this week with a Spanish trip to the BFI. Year 5 travelled to the Southbank to take part in a Spanish workshop centred around films. The children watched a variety of short films and had to answer Spanish questions about the characters, their emotions and the setting. To end the day, they watched the Spanish film, ‘Perez’, with English subtitles.

In English, we have continued to read ‘The Boy in the Tower’, which the children are thoroughly enjoying. From their reading, the children had to write a paragraph describing Ade’s mum using emotion vocabulary. They used words such as despondent, melancholy, agitated and distressed. We then focused on modal verbs and used them in a piece of writing to Ade’s mum, where the children had to persuade her to take Ade and flee the dangers of London.

In Maths, we have continued to practise long multiplication – the children are showing greater confidence in this now, well done to them! We then used this knowledge to answer multiplication problems. Next week, we will look at short division and dividing with remainders.

In History this week, we looked at the use of animals during WW1. The children studied how horses, pigeons and dogs were used and had to list the positives and negatives of using these animals during the war. We also looked at life in Britain during WW1. We looked at many of Lord Kitchener’s persuasive posters that allowed us to conclude that when the men were sent to fight, the women had to pick up many of the men’s responsibilities such as being teachers, police officers, working in munition factories and farming the land. We also looked at the responsibilities that girls and boys took on.

In R.E., we listened to the story of ‘Badger’s Departing Gifts’ and heard about his departure into the ‘long tunnel of life’. We discussed what the children believed this was and how different religions might think differently about where this leads to. The children then had to write a diary entry as one of Badger’s friends, detailing how they are feeling during this time of bereavement and how they will try and remember Badger.

Today, we had a visit from the London Fire Brigade to discuss the importance of fire safety. The fireman discussed the importance of smoke alarms and testing them once every month with a grown up. They also learnt about how a fire can start: candles, electrical equipment like cookers and cigarettes. They spent time discussing how we can reduce the risk of fire, for example, by not leaving electrical equipment on when no one is around. Finally, the children spoke about knowing where the fire escape is and doing fire drills, like we do in school.

DT day allowed us to begin our pop-up books! The children were introduced to different types of mechanisms: sliders, levers and automatic pull strips. The children were tasked with designing a pop-up book suitable for Year 1 children. They had to decide on the story, consider their captions and illustrations and then, decide which mechanism worked best on each page. In our next lesson, they will begin to make their pop-up books.

The children thoroughly enjoyed their final cricket session. From next week, P.E. days are back to Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Have a restful weekend!

Miss Bill

Friday 26th January 2024

Time flies when you are having fun!

This week in English, the children wrote their persuasive arguments for the subject: ‘Should mobile phones be allowed in schools?’ I was very impressed with the children’s ability to use factual language, adverbials, conjunctions and cohesion to persuade the reader. We then held a class debate for this subject. The proposing and opposing teams shared their points, before a member of their team then summarised the key points. They then had the opportunity to rebuttal – this is a tricky skill which required them to think on their feet!

Multiplication and division is our focus in Maths at the moment. We began by revising a 4 digit number times a 1 digit number. Then, the children were introduced to long multiplication. This is a skill we are still practising and strong times table knowledge is essential for this. Please continue to support your child with practising these key facts.

In Science this week, we looked at separating mixtures and solutions. The children looked at a range of mixtures that they had to separate, either using a coffee filter, kitchen sieve or colander. The children discussed to separate pepper and water, which doesn’t create a solution as pepper is insoluble, they would use a coffee filter as the pepper was ground so the particles were very small and fine. We also looked at a solution of salt and water. The children identified that the only way this could be separated was by the process of evaporation as the salt had dissolved.

We continued with WW1 in History this week and looked at the advancement of warfare during this period. We looked at the use of machine guns, tanks, aeroplanes, submarines and battleships. The children had to use images and facts to draw conclusions about the effectiveness of this warfare.

In RHE, we looked at bullying. We looked at different scenarios and had to decide if it was an example of cyber bullying or bullying. We defined cyber bullying as continually hurting someone emotionally online and that bullying is continually hurting someone emotionally or physically in person. We discussed how if this was happening to yourself, or someone else, you must inform a trusted adult immediately. As our focus this half term is ‘Keeping Safe’, we also looked at the question: ‘Are drugs helpful or harmful?’ We discussed how many medicines (classified as drugs) can be bought in chemists, shops or prescribed by a doctor. We talked about how these can be helpful when used appropriately. We discussed if this were not being used properly, they can be extremely harmful to your body. We also discussed how there are drugs which are illegal, which are also incredibly harmful to your body. We discussed how our government have very strict rules and regulations around legal and illegal drugs to help keep us safe.

In R.E. this week, we look at what Christians believe happens after you die: heaven or hell. We took time to reflect on what we think heaven might look like. The children then used acrostic poems to describe heaven. We also looked at what other religions believe happens after you die. In groups, the children looked at Judaism, Sikhism, Hinduism, Islam and Buddhism. We then listed similarities and differences between these religions and their beliefs on life after death.

The children thoroughly enjoyed their first cricket lesson and look forward to their second, and last, session next Friday.

Have a lovely weekend!

Miss Bill

Friday 19th January 2024

This week in English, we focused on grammar objectives that will strengthen our argument. We used adverbials of time and manner to support our argument as well as conjunctive adverbials to recognise the opposing view. We then were given the subject matter we will be writing an argument for and debating next week: ‘Should mobile phones be allowed in classrooms?’ The children had time to gather factual information and statistics to support their argument. Next week, they will write this argument and then we will have a class debate!

In Maths, we have completed our fractions unit! We looked at subtracting fractions and mixed numbers, including breaking the whole, before completing our end of unit assessment. The children did really well and should be very proud. Next week, we will begin the second multiplication and division unit therefore continual timetable practise is essential.

Life in the trenches was our focus in History this week. Using images, and information from the time, the children had to describe life in a WW1 trench. The children discussed how food was rationed, rats were common, lice infestation was normal and how many soldiers succumbed to trench foot due to the wet and damp conditions. We also spoke about how the continual gun fire and bomb explosions led to a mental illness known as PTSD.

In RHE, the children read a scenario involving a boy called Jay who was nervous about going mountain biking. As we progressed through the story, the children considered what the benefits would be of taking certain risks and what the negatives would be. Subsequently, we decided on some things Jay could do to help him feel more confident about taking a ‘sensible risk’: taking an adult with him, ensuring he has the correct equipment, knowing what the activity involves and exactly where it is.

In Computing, we identified features of valid and invalid websites and then put this theory to practise when looking at two websites. The children noted that the valid website had a reliable URL, was updated regularly and used correct spelling and grammar. On the other hand, the children discussed how the invalid website had incorrect spellings, made up words and images that were fake. They also commented that the general look of the website was unprofessional.

In R.E., we discussed how we feel when someone leaves us. Through this, we discussed the meaning of loss and bereavement. We then discussed what we can do to help us cope with loss. We discussed the meaning of the word commemorate and ways in which we can remember those who have passed: visiting their resting place, looking at photographs of them, listening to music, planting a tree and making a memory book.

Royal Academy Young Artists Competition 2024

The Royal Academy Young Artists Competition has opened again this year! Children can enter with any art they have made, be it at home or at a club. The winning entries are displayed at the Royal Academy of Arts in central London! The deadline for entry is the 7th of March. To find out more about the competition, or to enter your child’s artwork, please visit:

If you have any questions about the competition, please email Mrs Allen (

Have a restful weekend. Stay warm!

Miss Bill

Friday 12th January 2024

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a restful break and enjoyed spending time with loved ones.

It was great to welcome the children back to school on Tuesday. We didn’t waste any time getting stuck into our new English unit: Argument and Debate. The children were given different subjects, such as, ‘Homework is an important part of learning’ and ‘School should be optional’. They had to begin to devise a balanced argument, considering a viewpoint for and against the subject matter. The children practised this verbally before recording it in their books. We then analysed an exemplar balanced argument for the subject matter ‘CCTV should be in all UK classrooms’. As a class, we dissected the argument to identify the key features. We identified an introduction, conclusion, for and against statements, impersonal tone (factual language), conjunctions and adverbials.

On Tuesday, we began Maths by recapping everything we had learnt in fractions before Christmas. We then added fractions greater than 1, added whole numbers and fractions to a mixed number and added two or more mixed numbers together. Next week, we will look at subtracting different types of fractions.

This term in Science, we are looking at ‘Properties and Changes of Materials’. We began this week by looking at different substances and their ability to dissolve in water. We set up a fair test, identifying the one variable we would change, the substances (flour, oil, food colouring, wax and sugar). The children were able to describe that the solute (sugar) had dissolved in the solvent (water) to form a solution. Next week, we will write a conclusion from our findings.

In preparation for our exciting trip to France, in History this half term we will be studying World War 1. We began this week by investigating elements that led to the start of WW1. We discussed how tensions were running high throughout Europe in 1914 and many countries formed alliances: The Triple Entente and The Triple Alliance. We also discussed Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife’s assassination by a Serbian. This allowed us to discuss how Bosnia wanted independence and how Serbia were supporting them. This led to Austria-Hungary attacking Serbia. The children then used their knowledge of the alliances to help them understand which countries attacked which and which countries defended which. We made use of maps of Europe to help us with this. Next week, we will investigate what life was like on the Western Front.

R.E. this half term focuses on the journey of life and death. We spent time this afternoon discussing milestones that people encounter throughout their lives. We noted how not all milestones evoke emotions of happiness, excitement or joy, some milestones are times of great sadness and upset. The children reflected on three significant milestones in their lifetime so far and then, wrote three milestones they hope to encounter. We discussed the importance of having ‘hope’ when on life’s journey.

Keeping Safe is the focus in RHE this half term. This afternoon, we looked at what a habit is. This allowed us to discussed the difference between a habit and an addiction. We discussed that a habit is something you do repeatedly, where an addiction is something you struggle to control. We also noted that not all habits are bad, some can be good. The children had to reflect on a habit they may have that they should try and stop, or, think of a new habit they could start, for example, drinking more water each day.

Have a restful weekend. Stay warm!

Miss Bill

Thursday 21st December 2023

It is hard to believe that Christmas is here!

This week, we have been finishing off our topics, preparing for our annual Christmas Carol Concert and enjoying festive activities.

The children completed their English unit on Tuesday by writing their newspaper report. The children presented their facts well and made good use of formal language to convey a professional tone. The children edited their first draft and then re-drafted, including all of their edits and improvements, onto a newspaper template.

The children have been practising their multiplication and division facts to allow them to create a piece of Christmas artwork.

We completed our RHE unit by discussing if everything we read online should be believed. The children took part in a game where four people were lying and the rest were telling the truth. The children suggested that it was easier to see who was lying when you could see them in person as they often hesitated or even in some cases, struggled not to smirk! This led us to discussing how online, it can be extremely hard to see if people are being honest as you don’t know who is behind the screen. We looked at ‘Fakebook’ and examples of pictures people had posted where they were smiling with friends. This led us to discuss how people often portray the positive aspects of their lives but it doesn’t mean this is always how their life is. We also discussed how our behaviour can positively or negatively impact someone, depending on the choice we choose. We discussed how if someone fell, by helping them, they would feel extremely grateful, however, by laughing at them, they could feel extremely embarrassed. The children then reflected upon this unit by adding what they had learnt in green pen to the sheet they completed prior to the unit.

The children completed their ‘Drawing: I need space’ artwork by drawing a futuristic image on their printed background. The children’s ideas ranged from flying cars to robots living in society. The children made use of black pens and oil pastels to allow their futuristic image to stand out amongst their background.

In Computing, the children have been creating their own animated game using Scratch. They identified the function of different tiles and used them within their algorithm to get the fish to move. Once the fish and octopus were moving, they added in another ‘sprite’ and programmed an algorithm to allow it to move.

Last night, we had our annual Carol Concert. The children did a fantastic job at sharing the festive joy as they sang a range of Christmas carols and took part in a Christmas medley – it was a magical evening enjoyed by our school community. This morning, we had our Christmas church service. It was special to come together to celebrate our achievements this half term and to celebrate the story of Christmas. We then had our annual Christmas Quiz where the children worked in teams to answer a variety of questions linked to films, music and food.

Thank you for your continued support this term. The children have worked extremely hard and definitely deserve a well-earned rest.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Miss Bill

Friday 15th December 2023

This week in English, we completed our Autumn Term assessments. The children completed tests in grammar and punctuation, spelling and reading. The children all tried really hard and we will use their scores to inform our planning after Christmas. We then continued with reporting on ‘The Lighthouse’. The children planned their newspaper report and analysed an exemplar newspaper, identifying the key grammar, punctuation and spelling features. This will support them next week when they will write their own newspaper report.

Again in Maths, the children completed end of term assessments in arithmetic and reasoning. The children worked really hard and are beginning to show confidence in aspects of the Year 5 Maths curriculum. The skills they were tested on will continue to be revised after Christmas. After these assessments, we continued with fractions. This week, the children looked at ordering and comparing fractions more than 1, adding and subtracting fractions with the same denominator and adding fractions within 1, where the denominators were different.

This week, we completed our Science unit by finishing with our EUQ (End of Unit Quiz). I was very impressed by the children’s knowledge! Later in the year, we continue to revise this knowledge as we complete our ‘Changes and Reproduction’ unit.

In Geography, the children used atlases to locate the major rivers in the UK. While doing this, the children identified that the longest river the UK is the River Severn. We also defined the word ‘river’ and looked at their features: meander, tributary, source, mouth and delta. If the children could see these features on their map, they labelled them. They also completed their Geography EUQ.

In R.E., we continued with our unit, ‘Seeing Christmas through Music and Art’. We began by listening to 3 Christmas carols: Silent Night, O Little Town of Bethlehem and The Twelve Days of Christmas. The children then selected a carol to edit so they could add their own lyrics to represent The Nativity story. Many children chose The Twelve Days of Christmas and completely changed the lyrics to make it a sacred Christmas carol – they were amazing! The children also performed The Nativity and considered the values it teaches us – humility, respect, love, patience and kindness. The children then showcased all their knowledge in their EUQ.

Today in Art, we continued with our unit, ‘Drawing: I need space’. Last week, the children created a collagraph using a piece of cardboard and different materials: string, hessian and straws. Today, the children used paint and printed their collagraph into their book to create the background for their futuristic art work.

On Wednesday, the children had the opportunity to watch the KS1 Nativity performance. The children thoroughly enjoyed watching the Christmas magic come alive and it definitely has got us in the festive spirit!

Have a restful weekend,

Miss Bill

Friday 8th December 2023

It is starting to become very festive in Year 5! Yesterday, we enjoyed our rescheduled trip to The Lyric Theatre to watch their annual pantomime – there were plenty of laughs and it certainly got us in the Christmas spirit!

In English this week, we have continued to gather more information from the scene of ‘The Lighthouse’ in preparation for our newspaper report. We interviewed a villager, a member of the ship’s crew and the lighthouse keeper. From this, the children practised using inverted commas to record direct speech. The children also looked at formal language and informal language. We discussed how as a reporter, we must have a formal tone, however, the direct speech might be more informal as it is directly what someone has said in conversation. Next week, we will analyse an exemplar newspaper report and plan our own. We will also be completing end of term assessments: reading, grammar, punctuation and spelling.

In Maths, we have been comparing and ordering fractions less than one with different denominators. The children have been practising finding a common denominator, before then being able to order and compare them. The children also ordered and compared fractions greater than 1. Next week, we will look at adding fractions with the same and different denominators. We will also be completing end of term assessments: arithmetic and reasoning.

We completed our final Science lesson this week. We looked at the life and work of naturalists. We defined a naturalist as a person who studies the natural world. We looked at the work of Sylvia Earle and her passion for ocean conservation. Then, the children had the choice to research one of two naturalists: David Attenborough or Jane Goodall. It was interesting to find out about the research these naturalists have conducted and how human behavior needs to change to support our changing planet.

Coastlines were our focus in Geography this week. The children looked at a range of coastlines around the UK and had to annotate the images, labeling the geographical features. The children were able to label: chalk cliffs, limestone cliffs, bays, stacks, stumps, inlets and caves. We discussed that many of these features were as a result of erosion over hundreds of years. Next week, we will look at rivers across the UK.

In R.E., we look at sacred art at Christmas. We looked at a selection of Christmas cards and sorted them into secular and sacred Christmas cards. The children then had to create sacred Christmas cards that depicted the importance of the Christian festival of Christmas.

Today, we looked at the importance of living in a diverse society. As a class, we discussed how we are all different and our differences come in many forms: gender, fingerprints, facial features, religion, height, skills, eye colour, personality, shoe size and blood type. We talked about the importance of celebrating our differences and recorded them on a jigsaw piece. Our jigsaw pieces all then fitted together to form a Silverstein class display, which celebrates how we are all united together as one, regardless of our differences.

This afternoon, we were lucky enough to have a visit from a Year 5 parent to talk to the children about her career (Optometrist) and what this job involves. It was really interesting to hear of the importance that Science plays in the pathway to this career and how these goals can be achieved. Year 5 will continue to have visits from our St Stephen’s community as part of our ‘Cracking Careers’ programme.

Have a restful weekend,

Miss Bill

Friday 1st December 2023

Another busy week in Year 5!

This week in English, we finished our poetry unit. Taking inspiration from Karl Nova and his poem, ‘The City of my Birth’, the children wrote their own free verse poem about a place special to them. The children made great use of figurative language (onomatopoeia, similes, personification and alliteration). We then began our new unit, writing from visual media. Using the short film, ‘The Lighthouse’, the children had to use their retrieval and inference skills to report on what happened at the scene using the 5Ws (who, where, when, what and why). In this unit, the children will be writing a newspaper report and to get started with this, they used their reporter notes to create a headline and short orientation paragraph. Next week, the children will be interviewing people from the scene and using inverted commas to record their direct speech, which will be used in their newspaper report.

In Maths, we have converted an improper fraction to a mixed number and converted a mixed number to an improper fraction. The children used visuals to support them with this. Once confident with using the visuals, they were taught the written method for converting. We also spent time this week practising our timestables. The children completed the ‘Ultimate Timestable Challenge’ by answering 150 questions in 10 minutes. The children have now identified selected timestables that they need to work on.

This week, the children had their annual Scientist in Residence session with Mercedes. They started by defining some key words and ideas, such as the stages of a life cycle (birth, growth, reproduction, death), internal and external fertilisation, and categories of animals (such as amphibians, mammals and reptiles). They then looked at how different animals reproduce, grow and are born, making life cycle wheels and chatterboxes with key information to use to compare the different animals. We looked for similarities and differences amongst and across the different species of animals.

In Geography, the children used an interactive topographical map to identify hills and mountains across the UK. The children were able to define that when a hill is higher than 600m, it is generally considered a mountain. The children used the topographical map to identify the tallest mountain in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. They used the recorded elevation to create a bar graph representing this data.

In R.E., we began our new unit, ‘Seeing Christmas through Music and Art’. We began by looking at scared artwork and unpicking what the images represented. We were able to annotate how images depicting Jesus often showed him preaching and devoting his life to God. Next week, the children will be using this theme of scared artwork to produce a scared Christmas card.

In RHE, we looked at how to respond respectfully to others. In groups of three, one person was the talker, the other was the listener and another was an observer. The observer had to give feedback on their listening skills. From this task, we created a list of good listening skills: eye contact, good body language, answering and asking questions. In our second RHE lesson, we played a ‘stand up and sit down’ game depending on our similarities and differences. We reflected that we all like different things. We then heard the story of Rosa Parks and how she was discriminated against as a black person in the U.S.A in the 1950s. After the story, we discussed how she might feel: angry, sad, frustrated and scared. We then discussed different scenarios and considered how those being discriminated against might have felt in each scenario. As a class, we finished the lesson by thinking about the actions we can take to prevent discrimination: being welcoming, not questioning people too much, not invading personal space, asking if you could help them with anything (should they need it) and not drawing attention to anyone in a negative light.

Today in Art, we continued with our unit, ‘Drawing: I need space’. Last week, the children began by exploring the purpose and effect of imagery by looking at imagery from ‘The Space Race’. Today, they began the process of creating their own futuristic image. The firstly created a collagraph using a piece of cardboard and different materials: string, hessian and straws. This was set to the side to dry and will be used next week. The children then used their sketchbooks to make visual notes about their ideas for the future, deciding what they will draw on the textured background printed in next week’s lesson. They considered how they will produce their drawn image and where their image will go on the textured background.

On Wednesday, the children showed their true sportsmanship at our Year 5 Football Tournament. The children played a number of matches against each other to then find our winning girls’ and boys’ team. They did not let the freezing weather dampen their spirits!

We also spent time this week making our Silverstein class craft for the Christmas Fair. Please come along, and if you are able to, please buy one of our festive baubles!

Have a restful weekend,

Miss Bill

Friday 24th November 2023

This week in English, we continued with poetry and wrote a riddle using similes. The children then performed it to their class partner and they had to guess what it was describing. We then wrote a nonsense poem, taking inspiration from Joseph Coelho by using onomatopoeia and nonsense words to create our nonsense poem. The children then performed them to the class. Today, we read ‘The City of My Birth’ by London based poet, Karl Nova. We spent time analysing the poetic devices and figurative language as well as discussing what image and meaning he was trying to portray. Taking inspiration of writing about somewhere special, next week, the children will write their own free verse poem using figurative language about a place special to them.

We began fractions in Maths this week. We began by recapping that a fraction is part of a whole and reminded ourselves of the language of unit fraction, non-unit fraction, numerator and denominator. This week we have found equivalent fractions and converted an improper fraction to a mixed number. Next week, we will convert a mixed number to an improper fraction and order and compare fractions less than 1.

After looking at sexual and asexual reproduction in flowering plants, this week in Science, we looked at sexual reproduction in animals. The children learnt that animals can produce offspring by internal or external fertilisation. They defined internal fertilisation as the male and female sex cell meeting in the female body and combing to fertilise and external fertilisation as a male fertilising an egg that has been laid by a female. The children then used a Carroll diagram to sort animals into the correct category based on their type of fertilisation.

In Geography, the children used an atlas to locate cities on a map of the UK across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. They also used the atlas to locate towns.

In R.E., we discussed the lives of those in monastic communities, particularly the lives of those in monasteries and convents. The children then unpicked what it meant to live in a community by listing the positives and negatives of being in the community we are all a part of, St Stephen’s. They then compared this to life in monastic communities and the positives and negatives associated with living in monasteries and convents. We discussed that the negatives didn’t mean it was ‘bad’ being part of this community, it just meant that there would be challenges to face and overcome. The children then completed their EUQ (End of Unit Quiz). Next week, we will begin, ‘Seeing Christmas through Music and Art’.

This afternoon, we got creative and started our art unit: ‘Drawing: I need space’. The children began by exploring the purpose and effect of imagery by looking at imagery from ‘The Space Race’. We discussed how it dominated popular culture at the time through art and design. The children annotated the ‘Family playing on the moon, as imagined in the 1960s’ image and wrote what they could see and what they thought the purpose of the image could be. The children then explored art created using different processes and considered the artist decisions. Using a chosen ‘space image’ and their sketchbooks, they explored drawing their image through line, tone, shape and textures; experimenting with different media (pencils, handwriting pens, water colours and charcoal).

We were all really disappointed not to go to the Pantomime yesterday, however, we are in the process of rescheduling this. Rescheduled details will be shared as soon as possible via ParentMail.

Have a restful weekend,

Miss Bill

Friday 17th November 2023

On Wednesday, Silverstein delivered Collective Worship to the rest of the school. The children started by saying six different sentences all containing the word, ‘Force’. This was because our assembly was all about last half term’s Science learning: Forces in Action. The children explained and demonstrated push and pull, friction, gravity and air resistance. They then performed the ancient myth, Daedalus and Icarus, highlighting where forces were used throughout the theatrical performance. The children even sang, ‘Defying Gravity’. The children used tone, intonation and projection to entice the audience – they should all feel very proud!

Today, we visited Gunnersbury Park Museum and took park in a Victorian Classroom Workshop. As we learned about the Victorian’s last term, this was a great opportunity to reflect on our learning and build upon our understanding of this topic. At times, the Victorian teacher was quite intimidating and after this experience, we all agreed that St. Stephen’s is much better off with the rules we have for children.

In Maths this week, we completed our multiplication and division unit. The children finished this unit by completing an assessment. The children did well but must still be practising their multiplication and division recall to further support them with this learning. These are skills we will also continue to revisit in school. Next week, we will begin fractions.

In English this week, we have continued to explore different types of poetry and figurative language. We extended Malorie Blackman’s poem, ‘Cloud Busting’, by adding another verse personifying what could be seen in the sky. The children made great use of verbs to personify the object. We then looked at limericks and the rules associated with them. We identified the AABBA rhyming pattern, as well as the rules associated with syllables. The children then used the set rules identified to write their own limerick.

We have continued with ‘Life Cycles’ in Science this week. After looking at sexual reproduction last week, our focus was now on asexual reproduction. We looked at how strawberries, potatoes and dandelions asexually reproduce. Using the example of strawberries, the children specifically described how small shoots called ‘runners’ grow from the stem of the parent plant. Along this runner, plantlets start to develop. These plantlets then grow roots and stems, developing into new plants that are clones (genetically identical) to the parent planet.

In Geography, the children put their map skills to the test by locating the counties in England. We discussed how England is made up of different regions, and in these regions there are counties that have their own council which is responsible for education, social services and emergency services. The children were able to identify that they live in the county of Greater London.

Yesterday in Computing, we used J2E5 to write blog entries. The children wrote different types of blogs, varying from travel blogs to fictional story telling blogs to weekly blogs. The children considered the purpose of their blogs: to inform and interest others. The children also considered our SMART rules, no personal information should be shared on blogs. We also discussed the positives and negatives associated with commenting on blogs and from these discussions, next week, they will read their peers’ blogs and leave comments.

Have a restful weekend,

Miss Bill

Friday 10th November 2023

Another busy week in Year 5!

This week in English, we began our new unit, poetry. The children discussed what poetry meant to them, with one child sharing, “It tells a story through the creative use of words.” We then looked at the dictionary definition and explored its meaning: ‘Literary work in which the expression of feelings and ideas is given intensity by the use of distinctive style and rhythm’. We then read, ‘Facing the Truth with Haikus’ by Malorie Blackman. We listened carefully and began to think about what the poem is about and what style of poetry it is. We identified that it was a haiku, following the pattern of 17 syllables per verse, consisting of 3 lines with 5 syllables, 7 syllables and then, 5 syllables. As a class, we then analysed sections of the poem. On Wednesday, we watched Michael Rosen perform his poem, ‘No Breathing in Class’. We discussed how this performance enticed the audience due to his actions, expression and tone of voice. The children then worked in groups to perform ‘Facing the Truths with Haikus’ by Malorie Blackman.

In Maths, we continued with multiplication and division. The children learnt about prime numbers, square numbers and cube numbers. We are now working on multiplying and dividing by 10, 100 and 1000. After completing our end of unit assessment, we will be beginning fractions. It is vital that the children are continuing to practise their multiplication and division facts so they have a rapid recall to support them in their learning.

This half term in Science, we are looking at animals including humans, specifically focusing on life cycles. The children used their knowledge from Year 3 to help label the parts of a flower. The children labelled the male parts (stamen) which includes the filament and anther and the female parts (carpel) and labelled the stigma, style and ovary. The children then used lilies to help identify these parts. The children then explained the process of pollination and fertilisation to describe the process of sexual reproduction in flowering plants. Next week, we will be learning about asexual reproduction in plants.

Yesterday, we had the privilege of welcoming ‘Queen Victoria’ to St Stephen’s. Queen Victoria was able to tell the children all about life in Kensington Palace and the many kings and queens that lived there. Two children were able to ask her her thoughts on the Industrial Revolution and pollution at the time. It was great to see the children showcase all their learning from our Victorians unit last half term.

Today in RHE, we considered important qualities of our friendships and what damaging qualities are. This helped us revise our lesson on ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’ relationships last term. We used charades to think about and identify what these qualities look like in action. We took a class vote and found that respect, being supportive and being fun were considered to be the most important qualities in our friendships. These may well change with time. After reflecting on this, some of us had suggestions on why a friendship might end and found that lacking the qualities listed above could lead to an ‘unhealthy’ relationship and the friendship falling apart.

This week, we celebrated Parliament Week. To mark this occasion, we were joined by MP for Hammersmith and Fulham, Andy Slaughter, who spoke to the children about our British Values and the importance of democracy. The children asked a variety of probing questions which sparked a healthy debate.

We are back to practising our class assembly! It would be great if you could continue to support your child with learning their lines and singing the song. We can’t wait to welcome you in next week to see it!

Have a restful weekend,

Miss Bill

Friday 3rd November 2023

This week, we welcomed the children back after a well-deserved half term break!

We continued with Information Texts in English, with the children analysing our exemplar, ‘The Grey Wolf’. The children had to identify the key features including grammar, punctuation and spelling objectives. After this, the children wrote their own text about Dame Elizabeth Anionwu. The children did a great job of writing factual language that would inform the reader of the great life and work of Anionwu. They also applied the key grammar, punctuation and spelling objectives that had also been identified in the exemplar. Next week, they will edit their information text before then redrafting it. We will also be beginning our new English unit, Poetry.

In Maths, we began our new unit, Multiplication and Division. We started with recapping our multiples to help us find common multiples. The children were then tasked with identifying factors and then common factors. Next week, we will be looking at prime numbers, square numbers and cube numbers. It is vital that the children are continuing to practise their multiplication and division facts so they have a rapid recall to support them in their learning.

This half term, we will be doing Geography and specifically focusing on the United Kingdom. We began this week by recapping the four countries that are in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. We also revised the capitals of each of these countries. The children used their world maps in their books to help them discuss the positioning of the United Kingdom within Europe and the wider world. The children also found the main language, religion and population numbers of the UK. Next week, we will be using maps to locate the counties in England.

This half term in R.E., we focus on Christianity. We began by unpicking what life is like in a monastic community. The children discovered that a monastic community is a community of people that often live a secluded life away from others so they can grow closer to God and not sin. Monks and nuns form part of different monastic communities around the world, worshipping and serving monasteries and nunneries.

On Tuesday, Year 5 joined Year 4 and 6 at Wormwood Scrubs for a cross country competition. It was great to see the children’s sportsmanship, encouragement and perseverance.

We are well underway with our class assembly practise! It would be great if you could continue to support your child with learning their lines and singing the song. We can’t wait to welcome you in next week to see it!

Have a restful weekend,

Miss Bill

Friday 20th October 2023

This week, we have celebrated Black Voices Week! We started our week with a Collective Worship session held by Mr Faith, who talked about the origins of and importance of Black Voices Week. In doing this, he celebrated the many achievements of Black British women, highlighting many of them, including Nicola Adams and Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon. Year 5 were then joined by linguist, Sylvia, who came in to teach the children the origin of the Creole language and some key phrases. Sylvia explained to the children that today Creole is a legitimate, fully-functioning and recognised language that is spoken in St Lucia and Dominica in the Caribbean. Sylvia explained to the children that although Creole has similarities with some French words, it is not French and a language in its own right.

Throughout this week, we have been completing our English work through studying Black British woman of influence, focusing on Dame Elizabeth Anionwu. The children have discovered that she set up the first sickle cell and thalassemia counselling services in London. She has also used her training to become the first sickle cell and thalassemia nurse specialist. From this research, the children wrote a short, informative paragraph about Dame Elizabeth Anionwu using relative clauses. They also wrote sentences about her using commas, explaining the purpose of the comma in each sentence. After half term, the children will use this grammar knowledge and information to write an information text about Dame Elizabeth Anionwu and her influence and impact on British nursing.

Today, we completed our addition and subtraction unit and finished it by completing an assessment. The children showcased their knowledge of mental strategies, column addition and subtraction, rounding to check answers, how to compare answers and find missing numbers. After half term, we will begin our next unit, multiplication and division. It is so important that the children continue to practise their timestable and division facts.

This week in Science, we looked at how a pulleys, levers and cogs allow a small force to have a greater effect. We made our own catapults and placed a rubber on the lever. We used a small force to push down the lever, which built up energy. When the lever was released, this energy converted to a motion and our load (a rubber) catapulted across the air. We concluded that the more the lever was bent, the further the load would travel as more energy had built up. The children then completed their EUQ (End of Unit Quiz). It was clear in their knowledge that they have thoroughly enjoyed this unit.

In History this week, the children explored some of the activities that The Victorians did during their leisure time. We identified that there are a lot of similarities to leisure activities that people take part in today; however, the main difference is that during the Victorian Era, these activities were only available to the wealthy. The children acted out watching a Punch and Judy show, going to the seaside and visiting a circus. The children finished by completing their EUQ.

In R.E., the children reflected upon how Jews worship and drew similarities and differences to that of Christianity. They noted how in synagogue, men and woman sit separately, however in a most churches, the congregation can sit where they want. They also recognised that although they have different names, both religions have holy book. The children then completed their EUQ, demonstrating all their knowledge from this half term of R.E.

This afternoon in DT, the children made their doodlers! They wrote their equipment list, material list and circuit components before then writing their method. They used their method to help them construct their doodlers. The children were delighted to see their doodler move, albeit the lines created by the pencil were very light. They have brought the base of their doodler home with them.

We have had a great first half term in Year 5 and look forward to the rest of the year ahead.

Have a restful, enjoyable half term.

Miss Bill

Friday 13th October 2023

It is hard to believe that there is only one week left until half term!

On Wednesday, we had our annual Hispanic Day! We started the day by coming together to sing ‘Somos como las Flores’ and then watched an amazing Peruvian dance performance by ‘Ilusion Flamenca’. In Year 5, we studied Cuba. The children began by looking at the geography of Cuba, before researching about the history of the Cuban flag, traditional foods and significant monuments. We also looked at the Fire Festival, ‘Fiesta del Fuego’. The children were then lucky enough to take part in a Peruvian dance workshop. A Year 5 parent joined us to make traditional Latin American biscuits, Alfajores. He also brought in some traditional Cuban money, Cuban peso, for the children to look at.

This week in English, the children began their new unit, Information Texts. We began with a reading comprehension on ‘Coarse Fishing’, where the children used and practised their VIPERS skills (vocabulary, inference, prediction, explanation, retrieval, summarise/sequence). On Tuesday, the children were given different information texts, ranging from The Water Cycle to Tutankhamun’s Tomb, and had to unpick the features of this text type. From this, we created an information text features display on our working wall around our exemplar text. Yesterday, in preparation for building up to writing their own information text, the children had to research. Next week is Black Voices Week at St Stephen’s and in recognition of this, we have chosen a black British woman of influence to write our information texts about, Dame Elizabeth Anionwu. The children were inspired by her contribution to the NHS and I can’t wait to be further inspired when reading their information texts.

We have been making good progress through our addition and subtraction unit. The children have shown confidence when using the formal written method of column addition and subtraction and since then, have been working on checking answers through rounding and using the inverse.

Last week’s force in Science was water resistance. The children were presented with a statement: ‘The flatter an object, the less water resistance there will be’ and were asked to prove or disprove this statement. They used tall cylinders of water and two pieces of blue tack. They then timed how long it took for the blue tack to fall to the bottom of the cylinder when it was round and then when it was flattened. This allowed us to see how the object’s shape affected the water resistance pushing against it. After gathering our results last week, we spent time analysing the results so we could draw conclusions. One group identified that they had an anomaly because the stop watch was not stopped on time, another group discussed how their flattened piece of blue tack flipped on its side when dropped, which meant it was actually more of a streamlined shape that the round blue tack. This meant it was quicker as there was less water resistance.

In History this week, the children looked at the Victorian healthcare system. They already know that diseases spread quickly due to cramped and dirty conditions in the Victorian Slums but this lesson allowed them to discover that these conditions were also prominent in Victorian hospitals. The children then made comparisons between the Victorian healthcare system and modern healthcare, our NHS. The children were able to reflect upon the many advancements in professional training, medicines and sterile equipment but were also able to make a link to the problems of overcrowding which our NHS is experiencing today.

In R.E., the children learnt about how Jews worship in a synagogue. Through a video, the children were shown around the Prayer room and learnt about where the menorah, Torah scrolls and Star of David are positioned inside. The children discovered how a Cantour, who is specially trained in musically reciting prayers, will sing from The Siddur or Torah, which would be positioned on the bimah.

This afternoon in RHE, we learned about the word assertive. We know that there will be times in the future where our friends try to make us do something we do not want to do. In order to maintain healthy relationships and keep ourselves safe, being assertive is a skill we need to learn. We used role play to practise being assertive by making eye contact, using firm language and remaining confident. We learnt that being assertive does not mean being rude or aggressive. We discussed that there is no need to apologise for being assertive, it is an important life skill which will come in handy one day!

Have a restful weekend,

Miss Bill

Friday 6th October 2023

This week, the children showed off their creative talents. After planning their creation myth on Monday, they wrote the first draft of their creation myth on Tuesday. I was amazed by the children’s use of language, relative clauses and parenthesis. There are definitely some authors in the making! The children then edited their marked work and checked they had met the success criteria. Once edited, they wrote the final draft of their creation myths, including their edits and ensuring their handwriting was increasing legible, joining those letters that should and leaving those that should not be joined. Silverstein’s fantastic creation myths can be found in our ‘Published Work Folder’ in the reading corner. Next week, we will begin our new unit, ‘Information Texts’.

The children also showcased their excellent place value knowledge this week. As we completed our place value unit, the children completed an assessment. We were impressed with the knowledge the children showcased and will continue to utilise this understanding in our other maths units in Year 5. Yesterday, we began addition and subtraction. So far, we have looked at mental strategies for addition and subtraction, using known facts to support us finding the answer, and revised the formal written method for addition, column addition.

This week’s force was water resistance. Each week in Science, the children continue to showcase how much they are learning as they discuss and recap the previously taught forces. Having investigated air resistance using parachutes of different sizes, we found that objects travelling through water face a similar resisting force which slows them down. The children were presented with a statement: ‘The flatter an object, the less water resistance there will be’ and were asked to prove or disprove this statement. They used tall cylinders of water and two pieces of blue tack. They then timed how long it took for the blue tack to fall to the bottom of the cylinder when it was round and then when it was flattened. This allowed us to see how the object’s shape affected the water resistance pushing against it. The children gathered their results and began to draw conclusions. Next week, we will further analyse these results and the children will write their own conclusion.

In History this week, the children looked at Victorian inventions. They already knew about the Bessemer Converter, Steam Locomotive and Spinning Jenny but found out about other inventions of the time: flushing toilets, post boxes, stamps, typewriters and vacuums, just to name a few. The children then had to consider which inventions they felt were the most important and why.

In R.E., the children learnt about the Jewish day of rest, Shabbat. We watched a video of a Jewish family celebrating Shabbat. From watching the video, in small groups, the children had to act out a tradition or ritual that formed part of Shabbat, or happens on the day before, and the rest of the group had to identify what it was. From this, the children then considered any similarities between Jewish Shabbat and Christian Sabbath. Apart from them being on different days, the children were able to draw many similarities, such as, celebrating with their family, visiting the religious place of worship (synagogue or church) and reading from the holy text.

This afternoon in DT, the children ‘met the doodlers’. As a class, we experimented with a ready-made doodler. The children carried out a ‘product analysis’ to really think about the components and their purposes. They then took the doodler apart to see the effect of their amendments. As a class, we discussed what could be done to make the structure stronger and more stable. We also discussed what steps could be taken to make it even better. After this, the children then designed their own doodler. Firstly, considering the target user, purpose, function and form, then, sketching their doodler design. The children are now very excited to make their own!

Have a restful weekend,

Miss Bill

Friday 29th September 2023

Another busy week in Year 5!

The children began the week by practising their dictionary skills to find the meaning of high level vocabulary they had read in myths. The children created a glossary, which they can utilise next week when writing their own creation myth. The children also completed a reading comprehension and had a grammar focus on parenthesis. The children will have the opportunity to practise this in this week’s homework. Today, the children had another drama session. They had to begin to consider a setting, plot and characters for their own creation myth. They used drama to explore the characteristics of their characters, how they want their plot to unfold and considered the details of their setting. They also used this opportunity to contemplate what their symbolic meaning would be, experimenting with different ideas. This exploration will support the children on Monday, when they are planning their own creation myth.

In Maths this week, the children have compared and ordered numbers to 1,000,000 and rounded numbers to the nearest 100,000. We will continue to practise rounding next week before we complete our Place Value assessment. Our next unit is, ‘Addition and Subtraction’.

The children are thoroughly enjoying learning about forces and the practical experiments that we have been doing. This week, we learned about air resistance. We know that the force of gravity pulls everything towards the centre of the Earth, however, the children pointed out that people do jump out of aeroplanes (parachutists) and can control the speed at which they hit the Earth. Through our experiment, we learned that the parachute creates air resistance that acts against gravity to help slow the fall. Here was our conclusion: Parachute 1 (with the larger surface area) fell more quickly (2.13 seconds). Surprisingly, the parachute with the smaller surface area fell more slowly (2.97 seconds). This is because when parachute 2 was dropped, a gust of wind pushed it against the side of the building causing the force of friction to interact between the parachute and the building wall. This slowed down the rate of the gravitational pull.

In History, we looked at life in Victorian Slums. The children used sources to learn about how people in Victorian Britain lived their lives. They discovered that the slums were a breeding ground for disease because of open sewers, privies and cramped conditions.

As we continue to study ‘What is it like to live as a Jew?’ the children this week learned more about the Torah. We discussed how many Jews believe that the original Torah was scribed by Moses on Mount Sinai when God was talking to him. The children also learnt more about an artefact they had previously seen, the Yad, which is used to point to the Torah. The children also made comparisons between Christianity and Judaism. The Torah contains the five books of Moses and so does The Old Testament of the Bible.

In Computing, the children completed their e-safety poster using the SMART acronym. Not only were the posters informative, they were also eye-catching!

This afternoon in RHE, we talked about the role of a friend. We acted out different emotions in partners. One child had to act out an emotion and the other one had to respond, first in an uncaring manner and then in a caring manner. We discussed the different scenarios as a class and then identified the most appropriate, kind and caring reaction as a friend. We then created a list of the key qualities of a friend. We then talked about what makes a friendship positive and healthy by discussing some of our own, as well as ‘famous friendships’. We chose Harry, Ron and Hermione from the Harry Potter series and identified that their friendships were filled with negotiation, support, responsibility, teamwork, collaboration, kindness and creativity. We then considered what makes an unhealthy relationship: lying, threats, fickleness and forcing someone to do something they do not want to. Following this, the children created their own recipe for a healthy relationship using some of the features we listed above.

This afternoon, the children also engaged with the fundamental British value of democracy. In their houses, the children listened to the House Captain candidates deliver their speeches. After hearing their speeches, the children democratically voted for who they would like to represent their house this academic year.

Have a lovely weekend!

Miss Bill

Friday 22nd September 2023

In English this week, the children were introduced to relative clauses. We created main clauses and then used a relative clause to give more information about the noun. The children were able to identify how a relative clause is similar to a subordinate clause but must contain a relative pronoun. They wrote a descriptive paragraph about Pandora’s Box using relative clauses. The children have the opportunity to practise relative clauses in this week’s homework and in future English lessons. We also revised the use of inverted commas, ensuring they were used accurately and consistently. Yesterday, the children were introduced to their exemplar myth, ‘The Myth of Colour’. They analysed the text and identified a range of spelling, punctuation and grammar features. Today, in a drama session with Mark, the children further unpicked the language from the exemplar text and then performed sections of the myth, portraying the images created by language through movement, tone and voice.

We have been working extremely hard on our handwriting. This week, we looked at forming curly letters and one-armed robot letters. The children have been really aware of then applying this letter formation into their writing across all subjects.

In Maths, we have continued to work on our place value, reading and writing numbers to 1,000,000, finding 10, 100, 1,000, 10,000 and 100,000 more or less than a number and partitioned numbers to 1,000,000. This week’s Mathletics tasks will allow the children to practise these skills.

This half term in R.E., the children will be studying Judaism and what it is like to live as a Jew. Each table were given different Jewish artefacts and as a group, had to discuss: What could it be called? What is it used for? What would the equivalent Christian artefact be? The children were then introduced to the names of these Jewish artefacts and explored what it was like to live as a Jew by considering how they are used in practice.

We continued with The Victorians in History this week by looking at the Industrial Revolution. We analysed pictures from the past, as well as reading information recorded from the time. Using this, we then recorded the positive and negative impacts of the Industrial Revolution on Britain. The Slave Trade, child labour and factory deaths formed many of the negatives, however, the children were able to recognise the positive impact inventions such as the steam locomotive and spinning jenny had on the production of goods.

In Science, the children looked at another force, friction. The children conducted a fair test by using three different surfaces, a newton meter and a weighted object to discover that the smoother the surface, the less friction therefore the easier it is for the object to move. Where the rougher or bumpier the surface, the more friction, which meant more effort and strength was required to move the object.

Today in RHE, we discussed encountering conflicts/problems and how best we overcome them. We then read about friends who were dealing with difficult situations and what we would advise them to do differently in the future. This helped the children consider that in order to resolve a situation we need to listen, be polite, forgive and ask for forgiveness, as well as understanding when it is important to say sorry. We then talked about the importance of negotiation and compromise.

This half term in DT, we will be making doodlers. Today, the children looked at other motorised products. We discussed how a motorised product has a circuit with a flow of electrical energy going to the motor. We looked at how a motorised whisk works: the electrical energy was being converted into rotational movement by the motor. Next week, the children will ‘meet the doodlers’.

Have a restful weekend,

Miss Bill

Friday 15th September 2023

A second very busy week in Year 5 Silverstein!

On Monday, we began our English unit for this half term: Myths. In groups, they read a given myth: Jason and the Golden Fleece, King Midas and the Golden Touch, Orpheus and Eurydice, Theseus and the Minotaur and Pandora’s Box. After hearing everyone’s myth, as a class we considered what these mythical stories had in common and made a features checklist in order to ensure that the myths we will create follow a similar style. We also used Theseus and the Minotaur to practise our reading skills, using each of our VIPERS. The children were also introduced to creation myths and created a comic strip for their chosen creation myth. We ended the week with a drama session with Mark. The children thoroughly enjoyed getting into character as they acted out Pandora’s Box.

The children were put into their Maths classes this week and began their first unit of work: Place Value. So far, we have looked at roman numerals to 1,000, numbers to 10,000, 100,000 and 1,000,000. This knowledge is crucial for the rest of the units we will complete in Maths.

This half term in Science, we will be looking at Forces. On Wednesday, we began by looking at gravity. The children were able to define gravity as the force that pulls an object to the centre of the Earth. Through an experiment, we were able to test whether the weight of an object would affect the size of a crater left in the Earth. The children discovered that the heavier the object, the bigger the crater due to the weight impacting upon the gravitational pull, pulling it down to Earth more quickly.

The Victorians is our focus in History this half term. The children learnt all about the life of Queen Victoria and the impact she has had on Britain. Many of the children recognised famous paintings of Queen Victoria wearing black and from the impression they got from these painting, were surprised to learn about her dedication to her country and her popularity in Britain during the 19th century.

In Computing, we created a poster using the acronym S.M.A.R.T., which stands for Safety, Meeting, Accepting, Reliable and Tell. These words were prompts to help us remember how to stay safe and enjoy the internet responsibly. We then got the chance to share our presentations on Google Classroom.

In our first RHE lesson, we learned about the word ‘collaborate’ which means to work together. We worked in groups of 6 and had six pieces of newspaper and a roll of tape. In groups, we had to work together to construct the tallest tower. We realised we had to negotiate, discuss, listen, respect and be patient in order to work together. We learned that shouting over one another achieved very little and made us feel frustrated and unhappy!

The children settled well into their first Gymnastics, Music and P.E. lessons and look forward to all that is to learn in these subjects throughout Year 5.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Miss Bill

Friday 8th September 2023

Year 5 Silverstein have done a fantastic job at settling in and have taken everything in their stride. We began the week by looking at our class rules, ‘Be Safe, Be Ready, Be Respectful’. The children created a list of what being safe, ready and respectful looks like, before then signing the sheet for display. The children are already showing how well they can follow these rules.

‘We are Britain’ is a display in all our classrooms and is an opportunity for the children to write about their own heritage, their families and the languages they speak. It is always amazing to explore the diversity of our classroom and school. This lesson really allowed us to get to know one another and our families.

Silverstein also had the opportunity to show their creative side by drawing their own self-portrait. We watched a video which give us a step by step guide to creating the right facial proportions. The children then used oil pastels to finalise their piece and ensured it represented them as individuals.

Yesterday, the children spent time learning about the life of our class poet, Sheldon Alan Silverstein. They discovered that from his time in the U.S. military, being a cartoonist, he discovered his passion for writing. He wrote over 30 books, selling 20 million copies. We listened to one of his most famous books, ‘The Giving Tree’. This gave us an opportunity to talk about the messages that Silverstein wanted to portray though his writing.

Peace is Year 5’s R.E. word. The children were introduced to their class verse, Matthew 5 vs 9 – Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God. We then discussed what peace meant to us, with many saying the outdoors and reading a book is when they feel most at peace. The children created acrostic poems illustrating these ideas.

Today, the children have completed Maths tests to help us assess the children and plan for future lessons. They worked incredibly hard, especially given the warm weather. The children will be put in their Maths classes on Monday and begin their first unit, Place Value.

Reading books will be given out on Monday and have to be returned the following Monday. This is the pattern for the rest of the year. Homework will be given next Friday and has to be returned by the following Tuesday. This again is the pattern for the year.

As always, email me if you have any questions.

Have a restful weekend and enjoy the sunshine!

Miss Bill

Class Information and Homework


Please find the link to our timetable below:

TIMETABLE Silverstein Year 5 2023-24


Please find the link to our curriculum map for this academic year below:

Year 5 Curriculum Map 2023-2024


Please find the link to our Year 5 Summer 1 Knowledge Page below:

Year 5 Being My Best


Our class poem is, ‘Every Thing On It’, by Shel Silverstein. The children need to learn this poem for performance. See link below:

Class Poem


Please find your homework on Google Classroom.