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Beech Class (Year 5)

Welcome to Beech Class 2019-2020


Welcome back! We hope you all had a great summer holiday; we can’t believe how quickly it went. The children have settled back into school quickly and have enjoyed the learning opportunities that Year 5 has to offer – they are definitely rising to the challenge of being in the upper school. This week, the children have taken part in a variety of literacy, maths, art, topic and PE lessons and are already been very curious about our new topic, Ooh La La.


We have some exciting learning coming up such as an artist study of Claude Monet, exploring the diverse geography of the French landscape, increasing their French vocabulary and most importantly…tasting French cuisine.


For your information, our outdoor PE sessions will be held on a Tuesday and our indoor PE will be on a Friday. However, PE kits must be in school every day just in case these days change or we have visitors.


Summer Term - Vicious Vikings and Savage Saxons


This term, Year 5 have been studying the Savage Saxons and Vicious Vikings. The children have learnt how to plot these two time periods on a time line, in relation to other key historical events. During our studies we have explored the legacy of the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings on our language and how many of our current place names can be attributed to their heritage. As well as this, they have learnt about Saxon home life by designing their own village settlements.


In Art, we have carefully studied the Bayeux Tapestry and looked into the details of the politics surrounding the fight for English rule. Moreover, the children experienced a Viking and Saxon day where we ate stew, designed our own weaponry and studied longboats. This day culminated in an epic battle between the class clans.

During their Literacy lessons, the children have focused on the famous myth of Beowulf and Grendel, written their own battle speeches and studied a wonderful text about Viking mystery - ‘Riddle of the Runes’ by Janina Ramirez.


In addition to all of this, the children have been busy rehearsing for their KS2 Summer production of Aladdin Trouble!


We hope you have a lovely, relaxing summer break. Thank you for all of your support this year and we wish all of the children the best of luck in Year 6.

Spring 2

'Walk on the Wild Side'


This half term, Year 5 and 6 have been having a really wild time when studying their topic ‘Walk on the Wild Side’. During this topic, we have investigated different rainforests around the world and the wild life that live in this habitat. The children have also studied the different layers of the rainforest in a homework project. To coincide with this, as part of our Science lessons, the children made their own bottle rainforests and were able to observe the humidity and condensation that occurs within the rainforest. Why do rainforests have such a wet climate?


During their Literacy lessons, the children have written creative descriptions of a trek through the rainforest, a balanced argument about deforestation and a play script based on scenes from ‘The Jungle Book’. Within Maths lessons, the children completed jungle based word problems and revised some of the common methods for the four operations.


As well as this, the children have studied Henri Rousseau’s famous tiger artwork and used acrylic paints to create their own painting in the style of this artist. Can you remember one of they key features of his artwork for example, his use of bold colours? Within French, Year 5 and 6 have learnt the names for a variety of rainforest animals. However, the main highlight of this topic was definitely the visit from Jungle Jonathan’s Roadshow; the children were able to hold and look at a variety of creepy crawlies and snakes!

The children have been really lucky to experience so many fantastic opportunities this half term and the fun continues after Easter when we’ll be studying the Vicious Vikings and Savage Saxons.

Spring 1 – Walk Like An Egyptian


This half-term, Year 5 and 6 have been learning about the Ancient Egyptians as part of their topic ‘Walk Like an Egyptian.’ During the half term, the children have been able to take on the role of Howard Carter and became archaeologists in the classroom where they had to sketch and investigate the treasures inside his tomb. They also wrote their own Howard Carter diary entry on the day that he discovered Tutankhamun’s tomb using 1922 style language.


Within our class guided reading sessions (blended reading) we have focused on the book ‘Secrets of a Sun King’ written by Emma Carroll and it has been lovely to see how enthused and engaged they have been with the Egyptian themed narrative. Some children even bought a personal copy of the book as they were eager to find out what happened next.


The children were also lucky enough to experience an Egyptian themed day where we had Ben from Treehouse Theatre to perform a play-in-a-day. It was lovely to see the children getting stuck in and volunteering themselves for important acting roles within the play. Within Art, the children have had the opportunity to sketch their very own Tutankhamun death mask and make their own canopic jar out of clay. We are planning to paint these after the half term break with intricate Egyptian designs ready for transportation of organs to the afterlife – should they pass the final judgement of Osiris (the God of the underworld).


Within History we have been following a line of enquiry which sought to understand why tombs were so important to Ancient Egyptians. By doing this, the children studied the complex mummification process and even performed this procedure upon their own doll or Barbie! The children had a lot of fun and followed the steps with great precision, including hooking the brain out of the nose!!


In their Maths sessions, the children have been reading and interpreting different representations of data, learning about the conversions of measures and investigated the beginnings of algebra. To top this all off, the children composed their own Egyptian style dances and performed these in front of the year group.


Next half term we will looking at life in the Amazon Rainforest in our topic ‘Walk on the Wildside’. We have a number of visitors lined up to meet the children, many of whom might have more than two legs!!

Autumn 2 – Celebrations and Festivals

Year 5 have had a fantastic half term learning about the different celebrations and festivals observed across the world during our topic, for example: Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Remembrance Day and Bonfire Night. The children have also had the opportunity to research and present information about a celebration of their choice based on family heritage and personal preference. The children have been able to gain a wider understanding and a new appreciation of some of the differences and similarities between diverse cultures and religions. The children used their new knowledge to create thanksgiving information leaflets, non-chronological reports about Hanukkah and wonderful bonfire descriptions. Here are a few examples of the descriptive sentences that the children included:

‘ The sky was an ebony canvas of colours.’

‘ As I pranced into the spectacular scene, I was welcomed by music and the laughter of little children.’

‘Before the fireworks exploded in the sky, there was a rumble like an earthquake and it almost shattered the earth.’

Once the children had written their bonfire descriptions, they produced stunning chalk drawings of a firework display with a silhouette to stand in the foreground of the city they wanted to portray.


In Maths, the children have been securing their knowledge of the four operations and learning how to apply these methods within a variety of word problems. They have also looked at 2D and 3D shapes and tackled protractors to measure and draw angles too. We have also focused on learning our times tables and we are beginning to see a big difference in the accuracy of the children’s Maths work. We still have some hard times tables to learn, with the x6 table coming up after Christmas, so keep up the hard work Year 5!


In Geography and History we have been learning about the heritage of different celebrations, how they came to be so important in religious history and why we celebrate these traditions today. In Science the children have been looking at different materials, their properties and absorbency and reversible and irreversible changes. Outdoor PE has been a little chilly this half term but the children have become incredibly confident with their hockey skills. We would like to thank Mr Watton, a qualified hockey coach, for helping the children to build on their previous skills from Year 4 and helping them apply these skills to game scenarios.


After Christmas we will be looking at Ancient Egypt in our topic ‘Walk Like an Egyptian’. We will learn about the mummification process, study the infamous Tutankhamun and experience an Egyptian themed Treehouse Theatre drama workshop!

Autumn 1 – ‘Ooh La La’


This half term the children have been learning all about the different aspects of French culture through our ‘Ooh La La!’ topic. Not only have the children completed a geographical study of France’s regions but they’ve also enjoyed learning about the annual event, Tour De France.


During our Literacy lessons, we have written a description of a walk through Paris, a newspaper report about a murder at the French Football Stadium and persuasive letters to Francesca La Rue at the Louvre Art Gallery in Paris. As well as this, our Maths lessons have involved solving lots of French word problems linking money with the four operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. We have delved deeper into the importance of place value within our calculations and also looked at missing angles.


During our Art lessons, we completed an artist study of Claude Monet and tried to replicate his famous ‘Water Lily Pond’ painting. The children loved focusing on the different tones that he used within his painting and tried hard to use the tache technique to create a similar effect within their own artwork. The children have also learnt plenty of new French vocabulary throughout the topic whilst being able to grasp simple conversations about our hobbies, family and school.


To conclude our wonderful topic, the children became food connoisseurs by visiting a French Café. They tasted a variety of traditional French foods including: pain au chocolat, quiche Lorraine, crème caramel, brie and wine (grape juice!). The children were brilliant at trying the good they hadn’t tasted before and being honest with their descriptions of the food.


Next half term we will be focusing on different celebrations and festivals from around the world on the lead up to Christmas. The children will learn all about Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Remembrance Day.

Welcome to Beech Class



Welcome back! We hope you all had an enjoyable and relaxing summer holiday and are ready for the new term ahead. We have been really impressed with the way that the children have settled back into school so smoothly this week and they have all had a brilliant first day in Year 5. The children have been working really hard as a class team and starting to get to grips with the expectations of being in a new class and new year group.


Our topic this half term is 'Oh La La' and the children have already started to research Basingstoke’s twin town in France - Alençon ! Do you know where Alençon is in situated in France? We will be looking at many aspects of France throughout the term including studying famous artists, well-known landmarks and taking a walk through Paris in our Literacy lessons! In Maths, we will be working hard to consolidate taught methods for the four operations and understand how to add, subtract, multiply and divide fractions too. In Literacy, we have lots of exciting writing planned based around France, including looking at a fantastic book called ‘A Walk in Paris’, by Salvatore Rubbino.


Keep your eyes peeled for our class newsletter that will be coming out soon for more information on the exciting things that we have planned for your children this term.


(Mrs Barham, Mrs Wilson, Mrs Browne, Miss James, Miss Hunt, Mrs Laidlaw, Mrs Daley)