Year 5 Learning 2016/17

Home/Year 5 Learning 2016/17

Ancient Greece
This half term, the children in Year 5 have been learning about the life and times of those living in Ancient Greece. The topic started well with two visitors who were able to share with us what it would have been like living as an Athenian or a Spartan warrior.

We were very surprised by the differences in schooling whether you lived in Athens or Sparta. If you survived childhood as a Spartan you were thrown out of your house at seven years old to live at a Spartan school, which was just a field. You were given some cloth to wear and left outside in a field to fend for yourself until you were fifteen! You would have to catch and cook your own food and if it was cold, you warmed up by rubbing yourself all over with stinging nettles.

Making Greek coins out of clay was an interesting experience, especially as it gave us all a chance to get messy in the classroom although using the special tools needed precision. I think you can see that we did a good job!

Elsewhere in Year 5 we have continued to work hard on our reading and writing skills using the Myths of Theseus and the Minotaur, which we wrote from the Minotaur’s point of view and Pandora’s Box which we were able to change from a narrative into a play script before acting out some of the scenes. Who knew that the Minotaur was only killing the Athenians in the Labyrinth so that he could feed his family? Not quite the monster that we have all grown up with.

The classrooms have remained lively and interesting places to work the more we have learnt about everyday times in Ancient Greece, especially when we were given the opportunity to debate the different merits about living in Athens or Sparta. This gave us the perfect excuse to remind ourselves of all that we had learned before deciding in which City State we would prefer to live. It was a surprise to all when 5 Blue decided that they would much prefer living in the Warrior state of Sparta rather than Athens where they would have had far more access to schooling, art, theatre, democracy and debate.

BD5 Literacy Festival Matilda Performance

Year 5 had the wonderful opportunity of taking part in the BD5 Literacy Festival; culminating in a joint performance at the Kala Sangam Arts Centre in Bradford. Here’s some of the children rehearsing for their performance of Matilda.

They used their experience of performing at Kala Sangam to write some excellent newspaper reports.

We started by generating some questions about life cycles that we wanted to find answers to. We then looked at the life cycles of different animals such as amphibians and mammals.



During this half term, Year 5 have enjoyed their work learning about the Ancient Greeks. The topic has both enthused and inspired the children, resulting with some very creative pieces of work including:

  • A very lively and interesting debate between the ‘Athenians’ and the ‘Spartans’. The children had to choose to be a ‘Spartan’ citizen or an ‘Athenian’ citizen and debate why their city state was the greatest in the world.  This work helped the children to understand how the rules and values from the Ancient Greeks have impacted on British rules and values of today.
  • Reading and writing about Greek Myths including Pandora’s Box and Theseus and the Minotaur.
  • Creating a narrative dance, depicting the story of Theseus and the Minotaur.

The children have also been working hard in their maths lessons, tightening up their arithmetic skills and also becoming proficient with the four number operations.

Well done to the children in Year 5 and keep up all your hard work.



Wow, what a half term it’s been for the children and teachers in Year 5. The term started very well with the new topic of Life Cycles really capturing the childrens’ attention and this was clearly shown with the fantastic Shoe Box habitats that were brought in at the beginning of February. One of which can be seen below. It was lovely to hear from parents and children about how much you had all enjoyed the homework projects again and the amount of collaboration within families was fantastic.

Year 5

One of the many highlights of the half term was seeing the children beginning to really spread their wings with respect to their writing and mathematics as they are using the knowledge and skills that they have been taught and applying those skills through our Literacy, Maths and Topic work.

The children have had the experience of watching some live theatre during the popular BD5 Literacy festival where they thoroughly enjoyed tales of the Boggle and Shapeshifter and used their knowledge of the Boggle play to plan and write the next chapter.

Anglo Saxon

It’s been an amazing start for the children in Year 5 with our exciting Anglo Saxon topic amongst all of the literacy and mathematics that continues throughout the year. We have looked at where the Anglo Saxons are from, why they invaded, the weapons that they used as well as the armour that they wore. To make the topic more hands on we were fortunate in having two Anglo Saxons arrive in school to help us with our learning. The children from both 5 Green and 5 Blue spent the day with our warriors and looked at a variety of artefacts, weapons and armour and Anglo Saxon horns, whilst learning about the Anglo Saxon way of life.

Anglo SaxonIt was extremely interesting to find out about how the Anglo Saxons dealt with crime and punishment and I’m certain that a few of their methods were somewhat of a surprise when compared with today. The children were certainly not too keen on having to hold a red hot piece of iron whilst having to walk for five or so metres before being able to put it down. Perhaps the worst part of the punishment was that if the red hot iron left a burn then you would be put to death as you were clearly guilty of whatever crime that you had been accused of!

Learning about the armour and weapons used during this part particular time in history was the most interesting session of the day as two of the children were dressed in chainmail, a chainmail helmet, sword and shield with the armour alone weighing a mighty 26KG! Poor Kenzie did a fine job of raising his sword whilst wearing this incredible outfit.

The day ended with a competition to find out which member of each class was able to blow the strongest, clearest note. Although the Year 5 children and teachers were mightily impressed with the notes blown, I’m not sure that we have Newby’s first hit record just yet.

The day was a fantastic experience for the children and was a great introduction to our opening topic of the year and has set a high bar already for the coming weeks and months. Well done Year 5.