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What are we learning this half term?
In English, we are continuing to develop our sentence structure, using the Origin of Species. We will then be learning about Shackleton’s dangerous journey in Ice Trap! and writing diary entries based on the text. The children will then apply what they have learnt in Science, writing short biographies about David Attenborough/Jane Goodall.
In Maths, we will be using formal written methods as we multiply 3-digit by 2-digit numbers and 4-digit by 2-digit numbers before dividing 4-digit numbers by a 1-digit number. We will then look at recognizing and converting mixed number and improper fractions as well as comparing and order fractions too.
In Science, we are learning about living things and their habitats. The children will look at the life cycles of plants and animals in their local area, working scientifically to observe the life cycle of a local tree and the animals that interact with it. Developing on this knowledge, the children will then look at the life cycles of mammals, amphibians, insects and birds in more detail. They will study the details of these life cycles and will consider the various stages, including metamorphosis in insects and amphibians and reproduction. Specifically, children will study chimpanzees, newts, bumblebees and cuckoos. When studying cuckoos, children will learn how the behaviour of the cuckoo differs from other animals, as it places its own egg inside a nest belonging to another bird rather than incubate and then care for the chick itself.
This unit also covers reproduction of flowering plants. Children will learn how a flower contains male and female reproductive organs. They will work scientifically to observe and dissect a flower. They will recognise the importance of pollination, which transfers pollen from the anther to a stigma within a flower, allowing fertilisation to take place. They will also recognise the importance of insects such as bees in the pollination process of flowering plants.
In History, we are learning about the French Revolution. During this unit, the children will look at how France’s defeat and loss of colonies in America led to national debt, exasperating feelings of social inequality which sparked the French Revolution. The French Revolution was a time of political and social upheaval which saw the monarchy in France overthrown. During this unit, the children will study the causes of the French Revolution and the consequences it had on French society.
The children will learn about significant events in French history, such as the Storming of the Bastille. They will look at what this signified to the French people at the time as well as learning about how the people in France still celebrate Bastille Day, which they call La Fête Nationale, where they remember the time when the people rebelled against the power of the monarchy.
Analysing sources, the children will learn about the lavish lives of King Louise XVI and Marie Antoinette. The children will be encouraged to recall previous learning about Charles I of England, and compare his fate with the king and queen of France. In this unit the children will learn about how French society was divided into three ‘estates’- the first estate being the clergy, the second being the nobles, and the third being the working people (who were the only ones to pay tax. The children will learn that following a period of instability in France, a military leader managed to seize power of France and sought to build a large empire- Napoleon. Using primary and secondary sources, the children will learn about the rise and fall of Napoleon and look at battles that took place during this time that are significant in both French, British and European history, including the Battle of Trafalgar and the Battle of Waterloo. The children will learn about how Britain formed allies to defeat Napoleon and how he was eventually exiled.
In Geography, we are learning about East Anglia, Yorkshire and the Midlands. This unit looks more closely at East Anglia, the Midlands, Yorkshire and Humberside. Studying these regions of the UK will show children the differences in both industry and landscape within England. Children will use relief maps to find out about the landscape of each region. They will learn that East Anglia is largely flat and that the land there is used for growing crops. They will learn that topography looks at the shape of land and what is on the surface of the land. They will use a topographic map to look at a region of The Fens and will be able to identify which areas are below sea level and what this means for people living in the area. Children will learn that over time, the Fenland has been drained to allow marshland to be turned into farmland for crops and grazing animals. One way the draining has been achieved is through the construction of straight channels that allow the water to drain away from the region towards the sea. These channels also reduce the risk of flooding. This is another example of how people have changed the physical geography of a region.
When studying the Midlands, children will identify key places in the region, including Birmingham, and will look at how the industry of the Midlands has changed. They will identify the Grand Union Canal and will understand its importance for regional trade in the past. Building on this regional knowledge, children will then look at Yorkshire and will contrast relief maps of the region with their knowledge of the Fens. Children will study the geographical features of the local areas, recognising valleys and looking at images of the Yorkshire Dales. The children will also understand that the rivers in the Yorkshire Dales are fast flowing along steep hillsides. The Ribblehead viaduct and the Humber Bridge will be studied as examples of how people have changed the landscape of a region.
In Art, we are learning about art from Western Africa. This unit explores the art of Western Africa by looking at Malian antelope headdresses and the Benin plaques from Nigeria. The children learn about how the Malian headdresses, made by the Bamana peoples are used in a ceremony to honour the spirt Chiwara and reflects the importance of farming in their rural community. The children explore how the shapes in the headdress represent different animals important in Bamana society.
In the third lesson the children are introduced to the Benin plaques, also known as the Benin bronzes. They learn that the plaques, made by the Edo peoples, were cast from brass, made between 1550 and 1650 to decorate the pillars of the royal palace in Benin City and tell us about life in the royal palace and the Benin Kingdom. By studying the plaques the children understand how the Edo peoples traded with the Portuguese and consider the circumstances in which some of the plaques were taken from Benin City and brought back to Britain. They learn about the reception of the plaques by the late Victorians (who were surprised at the sophistication of the artworks) and of the current debate about restitution of the plaques to Nigeria.
During the course of the unit the children carry out an extended project to create a cardboard relief of an insect. Through this they explore the concept of sculptures in relief (as seen in the Benin plaques) and using simplified shapes to represent an animal (as shown in the Malian headdresses). They produce observational sketches, annotations and designs before building their relief form cardboard.
In PSHE, we are learning about family and friends. This will include considering on and offline friendships and elements which may be healthy or unhealthy. We will also consider pressures put on friendships and how we can manage these.
In RE, we are learning about what it means if God is holy and loving.
For regular updates and photographs of our learning please be sure to visit your child’s class story on Class Dojo.
Below you will find knowledge organisers for Art, History and Science for this half term. These detail the key knowledge and vocabulary that we will be learning in these subjects. Please use them to help you discuss what the children are learning.
Here you will find some information which shows the end of year 5 expectations in spelling, punctuation and grammar as well as some useful posters which show you how we approach formal written methods in maths when adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing.