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Brushwood Junior School

Year 5

Welcome to Year 5!

Meet the team:

5S - Mrs Stevens is the class teacher. Mr Kerslake is a trainee teacher. Mrs Newton and Mrs Watkins are the teaching assistants.

5M - Miss Morgan is the class teacher. Mrs Akhtar is the teaching assistant.


Mrs Stevens is the Upper School Phase Leader and Assistant Headteacher.

Summer Term

English and Guided Reading

In English and Guided Reading lessons this term, the children are studying the following key texts;

  • Macbeth (the Shakespearean tragedy).
  • The Explorer (a fictional story about a group of children stranded in the Amazon).

Pupils continue to practise writing different genres of text and apply their grammar knowledge throughout the units. They are engaging in various drama related tasks to support their understanding and ability to reflect on the texts. Regular spelling lessons continue to take place, with links made to each week’s pattern in other lessons too.


The focus this term is:

  • shape,
  • position and direction,
  • decimals,
  • negative numbers,
  • converting units, 
  • volume.

Fluency, as well as reasoning and problem solving skills, continue to be practised. We encourage children to regularly practise their times tables at home as this helps with other areas of maths also!


This term, our topic is 'Materials and their properties'. Within this, the children have been testing and comparing materials based on their properties. They are exploring the processes of separation and dissolving, and will learn about thermal insulators and conductors. They are also looking at reversible and irreversible changes, and the work from famous scientists in this field.


The children are exploring the key question, 'Who should feature on the banknote?' They have been looking at the significance of people on banknotes and identifying key features, making deductions and inferences using key sources. They will be evaluating a person's achievements and making their own decisions about their significance in order to understand the decisions made when banknotes change.


In the second part of the summer term, the children will be exploring the key question, 'What is life like in the Alps?' They will be rehearsing Geographical skills including, locating the Alps on a world map and labelling the eight countries they spread through, locating and comparing physical and human characteristics, using a variety of data collection methods including completing a questionnaire, mapping their route and recording their findings in sketches or photographs.


In Art this half term, we are learning about 'Installation art' - large-scale, mixed-media constructions, often designed for a specific place or for a temporary period of time. We have been looking at examples of installation art, commenting our opinions on what it portrays and the thought processes behind it. We are working on creating our own examples of installation art using a variety of materials and considering what message or theme it will portray.


In DT in the second half term, we will be learning about how bridges are made. The children will be exploring how to reinforce a beam structure to improve its strength, building spaghetti truss bridges and wooden truss bridges, and evaluating their products.


This term in PSHE lessons, the children are studying, 'Citizenship and Economic Wellbeing'. They are discussing key themes such as, what happens when the law is broken, links between rights and responsibilities, energy-saving activities, making a contribution to our community, the role of parliament, creating a weekly budget, borrowing and loaning money, stereotyping in the workplace and careers.



Our topic is 'Founders and Prophets' and we are exploring the key question, 'what are the origins of religion and why are ‘founders’ so important?'. We are talking about who inspires and influences us, and who and what shapes our beliefs. We are going to be comparing the similarities and differences between religious origins and their prophets, and key beliefs of many faiths.


In the first half term, we are looking at 'Stop motion animation'. We have been learning about what animation and stop motion animation is, and we are going to be planning and creating our own stop motion videos. Finally, we will learn how to edit our animations. We will be exploring terms such as, 'decomposition', 'fluid movement' and 'onion skinning'.

Music, French and PE

We are continuing with our African Drumming lessons in music. In French, we are learning language for ordering food and drink at a cafe, and in PE, we are practising our skills in Tennis and Cricket, and Athletics and Rounders.

The Spring Term:

English and Guided Reading

This term, we are studying a number of books including:

  • Walk with a wolf (a poetical picture book about the life of a wolf)
  • Wolf Brother (a fantasy novel about a boy who befriends a wolf cub) 
  • Tales from Outer Suburbia’ (a graphic novel containing a series of fantastical illustrated stories).

The children are producing a number of different pieces of writing including for example, diary entries, setting descriptions, an instruction text, a news broadcast, and a sense poem. Throughout these units, they are continuing to practise the spelling, punctuation and grammar skills.


The children are studying the following topics in maths this term:

  • Multiplication and division
  • Fractions
  • Decimals and percentages
  • Perimeter and area

Within these lessons, the children rehearse skills they have already learnt and apply their growing knowledge to reasoning and problem solving questions. The children are encouraged to practise their times tables regularly.


Our topic this term is ‘Living Things’. The children are learning about the life cycle of plants, humans and other animals and are exploring what happens and why in each stage. We are very fortunate to be taking part in the Chiltern Chalk Streams Trout Project - we are looking after baby trout, feeding them and watching them grow before releasing them into the river.


This term, the children are learning about 'How children's lives have changed throughout time'. They will be learning to:

  • identify how children’s lives have changed using a range of sources
  • understand why children worked in Tudor times and what working conditions were like
  • understand the types of jobs Victorian children had and their working conditions
  • understand how Lord Shaftesbury changed children’s lives
  • understand how and why children’s leisure time has changed
  • understand which diseases children caught and how they were treated.


Pupils will be given opportunities to develop skills in creating interesting portrait drawings using words, experimenting with materials and techniques, and constructing self-portraits that represent aspects of themselves. 



The children will be designing a stuffed toy, sewing a blanket stitch, creating and adding decorations to fabric, and assembling components.


In the first half term, the children will be learning about search engines. They will exploring the following:

  • understand what a search engine is and how to use it.
  • be aware that not everything online is true.
  • search effectively.
  • create an informative poster.
  • understand how search engines work.

In the second half term, the children will be learning to program music using their coding skills.


This term the children have been focusing on Religion in the Community. They have explained what it means to be part of a community and any communities they belong to. They have also explored what Christianity, Islam and Sikhism believe about helping others. The children reflected on what holds communities together and they worked collaboratively to create a community mural.


The topic this term has been feelings and emotions, and healthy relationships. The children have recapped Zones of Regulation, considered what makes a healthy friendship, reflected on how to positively solve disputes, discussed how to manage peer influence, and appropriate and inappropriate physical touch. They have consolidated their knowledge of respecting others and their varying beliefs.


The topics we have been studying in French this term were 'Clothing' and 'Weather'. The children have learnt key phrases and sentences to describe different types of clothes and which are appropriate for different types of weather.


This term we have been practising skills within Gymnastics, Dance, Yoga and Circuit Training.


In the first half term, the children will be learning about Tonality. They will be exploring musical notes and vocabulary, playing instruments including the glockenspiels, and singing songs. In the second half term, they will be enjoying African Drumming sessions using the Djembe drums with a specialist music teacher.

The Autumn Term:

English and Guided Reading

This term, we are studying various books within our English and Guided Reading lessons including:

  • The Promise - a fiction book about poverty, desperation, promises, forgiveness, and how an environment can change people's perspectives.  
  • There's a boy in the girls' bathroom - a fiction book about a boy who hates school and hates everyone in it who goes on a journey to believing in himself and making positive relationships.
  • The Planetarium - a non-fiction book filled with images and information about the universe.
  • The Highwayman - a classic narrative poem written in 1906 telling the story of the tragic love story between an unnamed 19th century highwayman and Bess, a landlord’s daughter.
  • Why is snot green? - a non-fiction book about scientific phenomena.

Throughout these book studies, the children will rehearse reading, writing and spoken language skills. They will analyse characters, meaning and authorial intent, as well as revisit and learn new grammatical techniques.


The children will continue to rehearse skills across the maths curriculum, focusing first on place value, addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, and fractions. They will practise mental strategies as well as written strategies, and will use a range of equipment to support their understanding. There will be a focus on building fluency within these areas, as well as applying their knowledge and skills to reasoning and problem solving activities. We will also be practising times tables regularly within lessons to continue to develop these skills. 


Maths homework is set each week on Atom Prime. It is usually based on the learning the children have been doing in recent weeks. We ask that the children practise their times tables regularly at home up to 12x12 and beyond. All pupils have a login for Times Tables Rockstars online. 


The topics this term are Forces and Parachutes, and Space. The children will learn about gravity, air resistance, water resistance and friction. They will also be learning all about the planets, including the earth and moon’s movements.

On Monday 28th November, the children will have a visit from the WonderDome Space Dome company where they will observe short films and still images about space exploration! 


Our History topic this term is 'What was life like in Tudor England?' We will be exploring life under Henry VIII's reign, using sources to interpret information and make inferences. On the 7th - 8th November, we will be going on an overnight residential trip to Ufton Court where they will engage in activities related to the topic. 



In the second half of this term, we will be developing our geographical skills and exploring the question 'Would you like to live in the desert?' They will learn about biomes and use maps to locate the largest deserts in each continent. 

Art and DT:

This term, we will be exploring retrofuturism and the impact of the space race on art and design. We will be experimenting with different materials to create drawings and make prints using collagraphs.


The children will further develop their understanding of current E-safety issues. They will practise skills using databases and Microsoft Word.

Religious Education:

The children’s learning will focus on pilgrimages and special journeys through different religions. They will explore the significance and impact of different pilgrimages and their importance to the people who undertake them. 


The children will explore healthy lifestyles, wellbeing, managing their feelings, and setting goals.


The children will be listening to, analysing and learning Tudor songs. We will be using different instruments to recreate the sounds of music from this period. 


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Still image for this video


Still image for this video


The children will continue to develop their pronunciation in French lessons and will learn vocabulary for presenting themselves.


The children will be continuing to develop their skills in the areas of Football, Netball, Tag Rugby and Basketball.