• Fir Tree Junior School

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Chestnut Year 5

Welcome to Chestnut Class 2021-2022


Welcome to our class page. Over the year, we will use this page to capture snapshots of our learning, progress and experiences - so keep checking in for updates! If you ever have any questions or would like to learn more, please get in touch with our class team (Mrs Ash, Mrs Atkins, Mrs Duffell) who would be very happy to help.


Our PE days for Term 3 will be on Wednesday (Street Dance) and Friday (Tag Rugby). Please can children come dressed in their PE kits for these days (please see our Parents Information Document for further details on PE kit).

In the case of self-isolation or further lockdown


In the event of your child needing to self-isolate, please use the homework website links above that your child can access for a range of subjects. 

In the event of our class bubble isolating, or a school closure lockdown, we will be using Teams Online. Your child will need their username and password to access teams (these have been emailed). 

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Term 3 - Our Project this term is 'Majestic Mayans'

Christmas Lunch

We loved celebrating Christmas lunch together in the classroom; we set up the tables like a restaurant and enjoyed listening to festive tunes while we tasted Siva's unbelievably delicious roast. Thank you so much to everyone who helped in the preparation and serving of the food for us; we are so lucky to have such tasty school lunches. 

Christmas Celebrations - Decorating our Classroom!

Chestnut Class have loved transforming the classroom into a festive space to celebrate the Christmas season. We watched tutorials for creating papercrafts to help us develop the skills and knowledge we needed; this led to a plethora of paperchains and snowflakes. We worked together developing our collaborating, teamwork and communication skills - we were able to work so efficiently because we each knew our roles within the team and, furthermore, created far longer chains than we would have been able to create on our own. 


During the process we also got better at solving problems:

What was the best way to fold the paper to create the snowflake?

How could we create shapes in certain parts without making the snowflake fall apart? 

Which side of the paper should we create strips from to make the best size hoops?

How could we join the hoops to create different shapes (like Christmas trees)?

Term 2 - Gem Treat

Chestnut Class have earned their first Gem Treat of the school year; as a result of their hard work, perseverance and fantastic behaviour choices, they have filled up their class gem pot (twice!), so earning them a morning of free-choice activities.


As a class, we followed a democratic process, and after listening to each other’s ideas, we decided upon the following:

1) Outdoor learning in the Forest – exploring the environment, creating shelters, designing natural art

2) Warming up from our Forest session with a class movie including hot chocolate, pyjamas and soft toy 


Term 2 - Our Project this term is 'Out of this World'

Our 'Out of this World' Project Learning and Reflections


Our class have been, true to their fabulous form, bursting with enthusiasm and excitement about our latest Space-themed Science project. We began the project with a reflection of our existing knowledge and what we wanted to find out next; we used this to help us shape the journey of the project as there were particular areas of Space we were most interested in. 



Art - Exploring Media


In Art, we've been developing our mark-making and colour-matching skills to help us recreate the surface of the planet Jupiter. We began by experimenting with different mark-marking techinques like hatching, cross-hatching and scumbling; then, we tried blending the colouring pencils to match the tones of the planet, too.




After lots of perseverance, patience and determination, we were thrilled with our finished sketches:

Our reflections: 


“I’m really proud of it; I like the stormy bit where I shaded from lighter red to dark in the middle” - Rosie


“I’ve got better at mark making; I’d never used hatching or scumbling before.” - Cian


“It’s definitely the best drawing I’ve ever done.” - Malachi




    Many of our questions about space were linked to planets so we got to work applying our Computer Technology skills to help us investigate more about them by creating effective searches on the internet; our reading retrieval skills helped us to locate lots of fascinating facts. After collating and organising our notes, we then used our new knowledge to create eye-catching, information posters following our class-generated S2S.

    Explorer Dome Visit!


    After our exciting Explorer Dome interactive learning experience, we were desperate to record our new knowledge; this is just a snippet of what we discovered about stars, the planets in our solar system, nebulae and constellations.


    Sharing our incredible home learning projects


    One of our favourite parts of the project was the opportunity to lead our own discoveries into areas of space that fascinated us the most; we were able to choose our own way to present our new self-led learning, too! From re-enacting the Moon landing with Lego, to presenting our Solar System in polystyrene, to creating eye-catching Powerpoints about Apollo 11, to showcasing our research about Mars Rovers in a professional poster, we worked exceptionally hard on our projects and loved sharing these with our classmates to extend their knowledge, as well. 



    In English, we deepened our descriptive writing skills by imagining and describing our own planets. We tried to use figurative language, carefully chosen adjectives, adverbs and verbs and explored how to rearrange the 5ws in our sentences for effect.


    To help us generate lots of ideas, we used our senses to explore different settings and challenged ourselves to include lots of descriptive language; we learned about adjectives (these add description to a noun; an object, person or place) and adverbs (these add description to a verb; an action). 



    Next, we created descriptive sentences by adding extra 5w details and we explored the effects of ordering information in different ways; by starting with an adverb like '-ly', we found that it emphasised the mood of the action.









    Lots of us had questions about the history of space travel: when did the first rocket launch into space? What was the first animal in space? Who was the first woman in space? Using our skills of chroronology (our knowledge of dates), we placed key events to create a timeline. Naturally, we were curious about the 5ws of these events and to discover more, we used our internet research skills to find out!


    Remembrance Day


    During our Remembrance Day learning, Chestnut were full of pertinent questions and thoughtful reflections as we explored a timeline of key events leading up to, during and after the Great War. We were all shocked to learn of the terrible conditions experienced by soldiers in the trenches and we learned about how was written to poetry capture people’s feelings at the time. 


    We explored the imagery of an iconic WW1 poem by John McCrae and used our vocabulary and inference reading skills to unlock the effects on the reader. 



    Word smart Cian was even inspired to write his own, exceptional, poem at home showing his ability to choose powerful word choices to impact on his audience. 


    To show our respect for the fallen, we wanted to write out and illustrate ‘In Flanders Fields’ using our best presentation. 

    Term 1 - Our projects for this term are 'Take One Picture' and 'Hamlet'

    Our Hamlet (Shakespeare) Project Learning and Reflections


    As a wonderfully creative and imaginative bunch, we’ve absolutely loved exploring Shakespeare’s tragic, plot-twisting, tale, ‘Hamlet’.





    In English, we’ve used lots of different drama strategies to help us understand the (often quite complicated) events of the story and to deepen our ideas about what the characters might be thinking and feeling. Through the term, we’ve worked hard to improve our whole body acting and changing the tone, volume and speed of our voices to match the mood of the character. 


    One technique we loved was interviewing characters in the hot seat. After creating a series of open questions, we became reporters and interrogated the witnesses in order to build a picture of events and their feelings about them. Lots of us wanted to sit in the hot seat to be interviewed. 


    These are some of our brilliant learning reflections:


    "We got better at using our knowledge of the story to remember things about the character's moods and thoughts."


    "To step in role properly, we had to make our own inferences about what they might say and how they might act."


    "I loved getting the chance to play an evil character - it was fun!"


    Can you spot which picture below shows that Ophelia, Gertrude and Claudius are utterly outraged at Hamlet’s revelation that he thought Polonius deserved to die for spying on him?

    Drama - Hotseating

    By acting out the events and performing them to each other as freeze frames, we helped the class to understand and remember what happened in the story as lots of us are visual learners who learn by seeing as well as hearing.


    We also used these pictures to help us sequence the events of the chapter in order to plan our newspaper reports and by summarising them, we got the chance to rehearse our writing and improve our ability to use the 5ws to start our sentences. 


    One of the freeze frames below shows Hamlet bribing the actors to perform a play with a twist in order that Hamlet can spot whether his uncle, Claudius, shows signs of guilt. Which image do you think looks like he is being surreptitious? (One of our new vocabulary words!)

    Drama - Freeze Frames

    Art and DT


    In Art, we’ve investigated a symbol which would have been used to decorate Shakespearean theatres, castles and homes – the Tudor Rose. We’ve recreated the rose using our sketching skills (mark-making, shading and drawing to scale) and have also developed our modelling skills using clay.

    Tudor Roses - Sketches

    Tudor Roses - modelling with clay

    Tudor Roses - our outstanding finished creations

    These are some of our fantastic clay roses and our thoughtful reflections about our learning and progress:


    “I got better at using different tools to cut, make textures and attach the pieces of the clay together.”


    “I liked working out how to create the flower – it was a challenge to think about which pieces to make first and how to get them to stick.”


    “I’m proud of how my petals curl up like real ones.”


    “I’ve only made flat things in clay before – this was a big challenge to make something 3D.”


    "I found it really difficult but I didn't give up. Clay is good to use because you can squash it back together and start again."

    Term 1 - Science Project 'Phenomenal Forces'


    This term in Science, we have enjoyed deepening our knowledge of different forces around us and describing their effect on objects and the environment, considering balanced forces and how forces can be helpful and unhelpful. Through a range of practical investigations, we have applied this knowledge of different forces to make predictions, make conclusions and develop our observation and measuring skills. 

    Mass Vs Weight Investigation

    "We learned the difference between mass and weight."


    "Weight is measured in Newtons but Mass is measured in kg and g."


    "I learned what a Newtonmeter is and how to use it to measure weight."


    "I learned mass stays the same on the Moon and on Earth but weight changes because of their different gravity forces."


    "We spotted a pattern between the weight measurements in Newtons and the mass measurement in grams - it was x 100."

    Air Resistance Investigation

    "I got better at recording my results in a table - we tried the test 3 times to check for strange results."


    "I learned that air resistance is a bit like friction but in the air."


    "The helicopter with longer wings had more air resistance because it had more paper in contact with the air."

    "Air resistance can be helpful for parachutes but unhelpful with cars driving quickly."

    Friction Investigation

    "I got better at carefully measuring how far the car had travelled - Harry found a way using a ruler to mark a straight line."


    "I got better at making predictions using our results from the other surfaces; I could compare if I thought the car would travel further or not using my knowledge."


    "I learned that more surface area meant there was more friction which slowed the car down so it didn't travel so far, like on the grass."


    "I liked recording my method in a diagram."

    Our Take One Picture Learning and Reflections




    We began our project by exploring the images on the Willow Pattern plate and thinking about what story the plate was representing to us. As we studied carefully, we were looking with two different lenses:


    1) Right there information -  what we could see and point to using the 5ws 


    2) In between the lines - making inferences about what the images could mean, what they reminded us of and making predictions 


    We tried to explain our ideas using words like 'because' and some of us even made links between what we knew about building designs and clothes from around the world. Cian noticed that the buildings were similar to the dojos he has learned about in his karate lessons and Alfie wondered if the 3 figures on the bridge were ninja warriors; Tayla linked onto this further with her prediction that the zig-zag fence could be showing two places that were at war with each other. 

    We continued our exploration of the Willow Plate by reading a fantastic picture book together called 'The Willow Pattern Story'. Through the rich and detailed language and pictures on the pages, we were then able to learn about the meaning behind each of the images on the plates we had studied. We reflected after sharing the story that: "it was fun to make comparisons between our predictions and the story and to find answers to the many questions we had, too."



    We developed lots of our VIPER reading skills during our exploration of the text:

    • "I got better at summarising the story by choosing the most important facts"
    • "I learned how to talk about the vocabulary of the story and what it shows."
    • "I got better at using my alphabet to find the meaning of words in a dictionary."


    Later, we created some 'black out' poetry by working with a partner to select and retrieve the most significant words on the page and 'blacked out' the rest, leaving only the important words behind. 



    In Art and Design, we have been developing our sketching skills to recreate our own Willow Pattern plates. First, we practised drawing some of the key images from the plates into our sketch books with the following S2S to focus on:


    • Scale - think about the size of what we're drawing 
    • Texture - how could we recreate the textures of the images using our mark making techniques
    • Shading - using light and dark to show the shadows and 3D perspectives of the images


    When we were confident, we began to sketch onto our paper plates - with the extra consideration of where to place each part of the picture and how to create a border for the plate, too. 

    To recreate our own Willow tree, we learned to plait and weave with tissue paper to represent the textures and colours of the Willow branches. 


    • "It was tricky at first to remember the order of which plait went next but having different colours (shades) of blue helped me."
    • "We worked together to make the weaving easier so that it didn't unravel."