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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, Mrs Johansen) who would be very happy to help.


Our PE days for Term 6 will be on Monday (swimming) and Friday (rounders/athletics). Please wear your PE kit for both of these days and bring swimming clothes in a separate bag on Mondays. 

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 6 - Our project this term is 'Street Child' (a study of the Victorian era)

History - What do we know already and what do we want to find out?

We launched our latest project by thinking about what we already knew about the Victorians; we cast our minds over movies we'd watched, books we'd read, museums we'd visited to help us gather anything we could remember. We organised our knowledge using key topics like:


significant people     buildings     vehicles     inventions     hobbies and pastimes     schools     childhood     fashion   and    transport.


Then, we watched a fun musical summary video to give us an overview of this fascinating historical era; this gave us a great foundation to generate lots of questions we were desperate to investigate further during the project. 

English - Our initial investigations of 'Street Child'

We began our exploration of 'Street Child' by studying the front cover image; we applied our retrieval skills to locate clues and made inferences and predictions about these based on our knowledge of the Victorians and other stories. Some of us had read Victorian based stories before and were able to find possible connections with the image.


"I think the boy is running because he's a pick-pocket being chased by police. He could be in a gang like Dodger."


"The boy's trousers look scruffy and too small. He might not have much money like Elliot in 'Who Let the Gods Out.'


"The building in the background looks like a prison or a workhouse. The boy might be running away because people were desperate not to go to the workhouse because the conditions were very bad."


As we read the first chapter, we applied our inference skills to help us step into the shoes of a character. We tracked and summarised the events of the chapter to create a timeline which we then expanded on with senses and thoughts and feelings. This plan will help us to write in role as a character. 

Art - Investigating the life of William Morris

We we applied our brilliant skimming and scanning retrieval skills to find information about a highly influential Victorian artist called William Morris; we watched a video about him, made notes by summarising and then organising and presenting our information for our reader. We think William Morris would be exceptionally proud of our beautiful information posters which reflect his love of nature!

History - Using a range of sources to investigate local Victorian life

English / History - Investigating the contributions of Dr Thomas Barnardo

We used our retrieval skills to learn about the life of Dr Thomas Barnardo; through our reading of 'Street Child', we already knew about the dangerous conditions in Victorian slums and after we visited the Wallingford Museum, we learned about the terrible treatment of children and adults in Workhouses.


Through our research, we found out that Barnardo met 'Jim Jarvis' (the character in Street Child) he was so shocked by the conditions of the children on the streets that he opened the first home for homeless boys and that he set up free schools for children whose parents couldn't pay for education. 


We challenged ourselves to present our new learning using Picollage; we thought about:


  • how to organise our information 
  • using sub-headings to signpost the reader
  • choosing an apporopriate colour scheme and font
  • images to support our readers understanding
  • starting our sentences with the 5ws 
  • using ; to link our sentences together
  • using ( ) to add extra information in our sentences 


PE/History - Learning about Victorian Sports and Pastimes

Jubilee Celebrations - Creating Jubilee Fabric Bunting

To celebrate the Queen's 70th Jubilee, we applied our textile skills to create our own union flag bunting using recycled materials.


"We created a template to help us ensure the pieces of the fabric were the right size and shape when we put them together."


"I used my careful cutting skills to achieve the highest quality finish that I could."


"After some trial and error, I found out it was more successful to layer the pieces starting with a blue base and that using strips of white and red were easier than cutting it as one whole."

Jubilee Celebrations - Investigating the Queen's 70 year reign

We watched a National Archives video to help us learn more about the way the World has changed from the year 1952 when the Queen's reign began until 2022, the year of her Platinum Jubilee. We applied our retrieval skills to gather information and organised them using subheadings and bullet points. Then, we used our technology smart skills to create Picollage posters with an appropriate colour scheme, font, images and boxes to organise our information for the reader. 


We also used our digital retrieval skills to investigate what celebrations would be taking place over the Jubilee weekend. 

Jubilee Celebrations - Street Party

Term 5 - Our Project is Ancient Greece

English - Myths - Theseus and the Minotaur

One of the areas of Ancient Greece that has captured our imaginations the most has been their storytelling and mythology. We have been entranced diving into tales of valiant heroes, monstrous beasts and the gods and goddesses who both help and hinder along the way.

One of the myths we have explored in great depth has been the haunting tale of ‘Theseus and the Minotaur’.


We have developed our:


  • Retrieve and sequencing skills to help us clarify our knowledge of the 5ws and how of the story
  • Inference skills to help us deepen our insights into the motivations, thoughts and feelings of the characters involved
  • Vocabulary skills to help us explore the word choices of the author and the effect they create on us as the reader (we applied these to our own re-tellings of the myth, too)
  • Summarising skills to condense the story into it’s most important events


We then applied our deep knowledge of the myth to help us create our own retellings in the form of a comic strip using a variety of 5ws openers

English - Myths - Demeter and Persephone

Diving deeper into Greek mythology, we learned about a story the Greek's used to explain the natural phenomenon of the four seasons. This myth tells the tale of Demeter (Goddess of Corn and Fertility) who suffers from such a broken heart when her daughter Persephone is taken down into the Underworld by Hades that she stops all growth on Earth, causing a famine. Seeing the famine on Earth, King of the Gods, Zeus, becomes involved and decrees that Persephone should spend half of the year in the Underworld (leading to Autumn and Winter) and the other half with her mother (resulting in Spring and Summer). 


We developed our inference skills to read between the lines of illustrations of the characters using our knowledge of the myth; following this, we applied our inference and retrieval skills to create 'Wanted Posters' for Hades and carefully selected our vocabulary and references to the story for effect. 

English - Myths - Demeter and Persephone

We enjoyed investigating a poem by Carol Anne Duffy called 'Demeter'; it's written from the perspective of Demeter mourning the loss of her daughter for six months of the year (Autumn and Winter) and her elation when she returns (Spring and Summer). We explored her word choices for effect and her use of metaphors to compare her feelings to the weather. 


Then, we used our summarising skills to create 'black out poetry'; we blanked our the unnecessary words in the story to leave us with the most important text. From this, we used the following S2S to create our poems, inspired by Carol Anne Duffy's:


  • using stanzas to organise the text into events
  • reordering some of the words in the sentence for effect (5ws openers)
  • adding punctuation ( ) ;  , , - ? for effect 
  • adding/amending words (including similes and metaphors) for effect 

History - Ancient Greek Religion

We were desperate to learn more about the Greek's religion so we applied our excellent retrieval skills to investigate our key questions; these were some of our learning reflections:

"I got better at scanning and skimming to find facts."


"I organised my notes using subheadings and bullet points." 


"I got better at using a range of sources to retrieve knowledge, including websites and information books." 


History - Ancient Greek Religion

Continuing our research into Ancient Greek religion, we applied our retrieval skills to investigate the Olympians (the 12 main Gods who lived on Mt Olympus). First, we were fascinated by the Greek creation story, involving Gaia (Goddess of the Earth) and Uranos (God of the Sky) who had children; when Uranos tried to force some of them back into the Earth, Gaia became upset and sought the help of one of her sons, Kronos. Using a magical sickle, Kronos defeated his father and Gaia then had more children. This time, Kronos became afraid of losing his position of power and swallowed each one (apart from Zeus who Gaia hid away in the safety of Crete). Once he had grown, Zeus then overcame his father and eventually became the King of the Gods. 


"I found the creation myth confusing at first but making the story map helped me picture the events in order"
"The creation myth was crazy - I can't believe Kronos ate his kids!"

"It reminded me of the Mayan myth when the Gods created lots of different races of man - Zeus made different metals of men instead."


English - Creating our Non-Chronological Two-Page Spreads

History and Computing - Investigating Greek Childhood

English and History - Researching Athens and Sparta

History and DT - Investigating Greek Food and Preparing a Greek Feast

We used our retrieval skills to investigate Ancient Greek food and summarised our notes; we discovered the mild climate of Greece helped the farmers to grow lots of fruits and vegetables which made the bulk of their diet. We learned the Greeks LOVED olives (using them for beauty as well as food) and bread (they have between 50-70 different types!). 


Next, we learned two different cutting techniques to helps us with our food preparation; the claw which helped with long vegetables like cucumber and the bridge for cutting small, round fruits like tomatoes. We applied these when working in teams to prepare our 3 traditional Greek dishes:


tzatziki     Greek salad with feta cheese        fruit kebabs




These were some of our brilliant learning reflections: 


  • Malachi – I have learned that the Greeks dip their pitta bread into tzatziki
  • Alfie – I have learned that they really liked their fruits and vegetables (for example: dates, apricots, grapes)
  • Jude – I tried something new – it was dates (and it me feel a bit sick)
  • Tayla – I tried dates for the first time and really liked them; they were very sweet
  • Ayda – I discovered that I don’t need to be so picky – I would never have tried tzatziki– I tried everything today and really liked all of it!
  • Harry – I tried the tzatziki – I've never tried it before and I challenged myself to try it.
  • Phoebe – I tried the bridge and claw cutting techniques to cut the vegetables for the salad - they really helped. 
  • Sophie - I liked being in character as Dionysus and serving the 'wine'!

Greek Feast - 1

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Greek Feast - 2

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Greek Feast - 3

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Greek Feast - 4

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Greek Feast - 5

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Geography - Exploring the Physical Features of Greece

After researching the physical features of Greece using the Ipads, we created an information poster using Picollage; we included images, a carefully chosen background, colour scheme and text boxes full of information. 

Science - exploring different types of variables in investigations

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Ancient Greek Olympics

Art - Ancient Greek Olympians in a Futurism style

Science - Investigating Variables

Term 4 - Our Project this term is 'Extreme Earth'

What do we already know? What do we want to find out?

We began the project by reflecting on our existing knowledge and understanding about volcanoes, tsunamis, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and other 'extremes' of Planet Earth including mountains, rivers and seas. We organised our learning using topics and then used the 5ws and how to generate lots of questions we want to investigate and explore. 

Geography - Deepening our knowledge of Volcanoes

We learned about the different layers of the Earth and that the top layer (crust) sits above a layer of molten rock called the mantle; the learned that the crust is made of a number of pieces called tectonic plates and that when these move, they can cause volcanic activity, causing the mantle to to push through the crust. After learning about how volcanoes are formed, we labelled the different parts of a volcano and presented our learning an information page (complete with a glossary). 

To help us write our explanations of what happens during a volcanic eruption, we completed our own practical experiments using bicarbonate of soda, washing up liquid, food colouring and vinegar. It was very exciting (and a bit smelly!). 


"When the ingredients combined, they created gas which exploded out of the bottles. I liked adding extra bicarb!"


"This was like the bubbles of gas that create pressure inside the volcano and force the magma up from the magma chamber into the vent and out of the crater!"


"I learned about magmastatic pressure (magma pushing up) and lithostatic pressure (ground pushing down)."

Maths Day - Maths in Sport

Mrs Sage and Mrs Ash mixed up Year 5 into teams for an Olympics maths challenge; during the activities, we reflected that we had applied and deepened our knowledge of:


  • "tallies (keeping track of our shuttle runs and counting in groups of 5)
  • mental multiplication (counting in 10s, 20s and 30s for our bean bag throws)
  • measuring the length of our javelin throws using trundle wheels and recording them in wholes and tenths of metres (e.g. 4.3m was 4 m and 3 tenths of a m or 4m and 30cm)
  • measuring the height of our lego towers in cm using metre sticks 
  • reading decimals on a stopwatch (our times were recorded in whole seconds, tenths of seconds and hundredths of seconds)"

Maths Day - Researching Famous Mathematicians

We used our retrieval skills to investigate key information about famous mathematicians; once we'd gathered our information, our job was to present it in an eye-catching and clear way using an app on the Ipads called 'Picollage'. We worked collboratively to explore it's features and learned lots of skills, including:


  • inserting, resizing, repositioning and orientating images
  • changing the style and colour of fonts
  • searching for and inserting a topical background
  • editing the colouring of text boxes.


"I got better at finding the difference between 2 BC times when researching my mathematician's life and death dates; it was like negative numbers!" 


"I love Picollage - I learned how to change colours and styles of fonts to suit the topic."


"I learned how to use Ipads to make a poster with lots of facts in text boxes - it looks really smart."


RE - Christianity and the meaning of Sacrifice

In RE, we've been exploring ideas of sacrifice; we used Gauguin's 'Yellow Christ' as a visual prompt to reflect on ideas about sacrifice in Christianity. There were some of our insightful thoughts:


  • By giving up his life, Jesus took away the sins of the world so that humanity could be saved in Heaven
  • This sacrifice was called 'the ultimate sacrifice' because he gave his up his life
  • Jesus was called 'Lamb of God' because he was gentle, honest and innocent
  • Jesus was crucified and came back to life (this was called the resurrection)
  • Good Friday (the day of the Crucifixion) is named to show it was a special day


We reflected on sacrifice in our own lives; people who give up things for us and times we have to give up this or put others' before us. 


"My mummy sacrifices some of her Saturday to take me swimming"

"I sacrificed some of my pocket money to buy something for my baby brother"


Science - Living Things and their Habitats

During our Science sessions this term, we have been investigating living things and their habitats with the focus on life process of reproduction in some plants and animals.


At the beginning of our topic, the class already knew the location and purpose of the stem, petals and roots. After our practical deconstruction of a daffodil, we made so much progress that we can now label and explain the functions of:

anther    filament    stigma    style     ovule      ovary     sepal     pollen


We learned about ‘gametes’ and can now identify the male and female gametes within a flower and can use words like ‘fertilise’ to explain how the ovules became seeds.

We deepened our understanding of the pollination process through another practical experiment; we created our own 'flowers' with 'nectar' and 'pollen' inside and then used our fingers to be the 'pollinators' who visited the flower for the nectar. We saw how the pollen from one flower was transferred onto the other, where it would then get stuck onto the sticky stigma and travel down the style before arriving at the ovules waiting in the ovary!


  • The pollen was represented by the powder from the cheesy puffs
  • The nectar was represented by the tasty sweet
  • The tissue represented the petals of the flower


Maths - Exploring Fractions

During our Maths topic of fractions, we've used lots of visual models (like dienes to represent 1s, tenths and hundredths) and enjoyed applying our knowledge of fractions with cucumber challenges. To help us learn how to find fractions of amounts, we used hoops and beanbags outside; we used lots of maths talk, problem solving and explaining to deepen our knowledge and skills. 

International Women's Day

Marked annually on the 8th of March, International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender equality. 


We used our reading retrieval and summarising skills to create eye-catching, informative posters to celebrate the remarkable achievements of many outstanding women throughout history.  These are some of our Values Smart reflections about what we have learned:


"I learned that women writers sometimes had to pretend to be male authors so that they could publish their stories - that made me shocked because some of my favourite books are written by women, like JK Rowling and Jacqueline Wilson."


"I realised that some women had to work extra hard to do the same jobs as men and there were some jobs they weren't allowed to do until they fought for them."


"I think that it shouldn't matter if you are a man or a woman; you should get the same chances and choices."


"I can't believe that, in the Victorian times, a criminal man could vote but a (non-criminal) woman couldn't!"


"The women we learned about today showed a lot of courage because they had to stand up to the world who told them they couldn't do things."

Term 4 - World Book Day

During World Book Day we explored the importance of reading in lots of fun ways; Mrs Ash challenged us to dive into our reading histories and knowledge of classic stories through a quiz and many of us discovered a new author or title we wanted to explore (lots of us hadn't read any books by Enid Blyton before and were keen to try one in the future!).


We enjoyed visiting our amazing school library to choose our next books to borrow; we chose books for lots of different reasons: 


"I chose a Top Gear book because I love cars - it's really heavy and has lots of pictures!" - Nai


"We borrowed the same book about horses because we both ride and want to learn more about them and how to look after them." - Ayda and Ava


"I love the Alex Rider series and this graphic novel has that sort of feel; it's got an explosion and spies in the first page so I think it's for me!" - Cian


"I'm chose 'Goonight Stories for Rebel Girls'; I've read 'Great Women Who Chanced the World' and loved it so I think this will be something I will really enjoy too." - Ellie



After reflecting on our reading habits and thinking about the many different reasons people read books, we created pages to reflect our reading personalities...


Favourite book?        Favourite author?         Favourite series?          Favourite character?


Where do we read?         Why do we read?          Who do we read with/to?          When do we read? 


Term 4 - Shrove Tuesday

We enjoyed using our retrieval reading skills to deepen our knowledge of Pancake Day (also known as Shrove Tuesday); we applied our Word Smart skills and knowledge to help us summarise, organise and present our new learning with as much care and pride in our work as we could. We think you'll agree, the outcomes are stupendous!


Can you spot these S2S in our fantastic information pages?



Explain the 5ws of Shrove Tuesday and link this to Lent
Explain the symbolism of the ingredients in pancakes
Explain how Shrove Tuesday is celebrated in the UK and internationally
Exceptional presentation – handwriting / organisation (sub-headings, bullet points, glossary) / colour scheme

We .learned about the origins of the Pancake Race and were amazed to find out that it dated back as far as 1445. We enjoyed taking part in our own Chestnut Class Pancake Race around the field; congratulations to the winners of our race - Tayla-Jade and Cian. 

Term 3 - Developing our yoga skills and knowledge

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

Our 'Majestic Mayans' Project Learning and Reflections


We've loved investigating the Ancient Maya civilisation this term; we have strengthened our historical inquiry skills by using a wide range of sources (from videos, images, myths, online sources and written texts) and have applied our reading retrieval skills to locate and understand relevant information. We have challenged ourselves further to record, and consolidate, our new knowledge in a host of creative and imaginative ways, including applying our Number Smart, Word Smart, Practically Smart, Picture Smart and Technology Smart skills, as you can see below.


What do we already know? What would we like to find out?

Geography - Where did the Ancient Mayans live?


We deepened our understanding of where the Ancient Mayans were located in the World by learning which of the continents they lived in using a map on the computer; then, we zoomed into the continent of Central America to find the countries they were in and zoomed even further to explore the location of their main cities. We then translated our new Geographical knowledge by creating our own maps to show the 7 Central American countries and marking the Ancient Mayan cities on these with a clear colour code and we even used shading to mark the coasts.



History and English - What did the Maya believe? Learning a Mayan Creation Story


One of our biggest questions about the Mayans was linked to their beliefs and gods; having learned about the Romans and their fascinating family of gods and goddesses in Year 3, we were keen to find out whether the Mayan's gods were similar to theirs or different. We began by exploring the Mayan's ideas about the creation of the world and we, at the same time, developed our storytelling skills to help us learn to remember and retell the story ourselves. 


History and Art - Mayan Fashion and Beauty


We loved applying our reading retrieval skills to helps us explore a variety of sources about Ancient Maya fashion and ideas of beauty and many of us were shocked by some of the ways the Mayans would change their appearance (and those of their children).


  •  "I was shocked that the Maya would file their teeth to make them pointy and I really didn't like the idea of flattening the babies heads! It seems cruel to me and could have hurt the baby!"
  • "I was really surprised to find out they made their babies cross eyed on purpose because now people have glasses to help them see better."
  • "Their tattoos were really painful - cutting into skin to make a colourful scar sounds like it would hurt and could get infected."


​​​​​​​After researching more about the way the Mayans designed and used masks, we designed and created our own using our S2S and we could choose our own media to make them from.


  • "I learned there were 3 types of masks - battle, celebration and death. The death ones were usually jade because this was very expensive and showed."
  • "I designed a battle mask with a jaguar because the Mayas thought animals were really powerful. It would scare their enemy!"
  • "I used bright colours and feathers on my mask because it was a celebration one. The Maya loved bird feathers, especially the quetzal."

History and Geography - How did the Maya grow and gather their food?


We were fascinated to discover more about the Ancient Maya's farming techniques - we found this really interesting and it showed us about the Maya's problem solving and perseverance because they had to design lots of ways of overcoming the many challenges presented by growing crops in a rainforest, in mountainous areas and in swampy marshes. These were some of our reflections and some of our brilliant learning projects:


  • "My favourite technique was the raised beds because I thought it was really clever to dig the soil up from the swamps to make an island. I like the idea of paddling on a boat, too."
  • "I thought the slash and burn way wasn't very kind to nature as it would damage the wildlife."
  • "I really liked the terraces because it was such good way of growing things on a steep hill."
  • "The Maya grew lots of crops but their favourite was maize (corn) which was 80% (8 out of 10 fingers) of their diet so they grew lots of it. If the rain didn't come the crops would die so they prayed to the gods a lot."

Finn's Farming Powerpoint

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To start, the Technology smart skills Finn has used to create such a professional feeling powerpoint are remarkable; the way he's created a ‘theme’ that flows throughout each slide so it all feels like the same text but then has used colour to mark out each of the different farming techniques is really successful (and he has even chosen the appropriate colour to match the farming technique e.g. raised fields are blue to match the water). To have embedded – and bordered – his own images too, which he has taken from his Minecraft game absolutely blew me away; I love that he has been able to use a game he enjoys to help him deepen his knowledge of Maya farming and I know this will really appeal to lots of readers, too. We've asked Mr Wilcox to post a few screen shots of Finn's slides onto our Twitter feed and see if we can show the Minecraft team what he's been up to!

History and Art - What did the Ancient Maya eat and grow?


At the same time as deepening our knowledge of farming techniques, we also investigated the foods and dishes the Maya would have eaten and explored some of the meanings/importance of certain foods (like maize and cacao). We presented our new learning using our Picture Smart skills. Some of us even made a Menu for  a Mayan Cafe, too!


  • "I used oil pastels to create a papaya - I got better at using blending to mix colours and using highlights to show the shine on the black seeds."
  • "I used pencil sketching to draw a tomato and I am pleased with the shading on it to show the dark and light areas, and the hatching too."
  • "I chose to draw an avocado tree and painted it using watercolours - I am really proud of how I got the size right and the colours being different shades of brown and green."
  • "My drawing of an avocado using colour pencils is the best drawing I've ever done. I used lots of colour blending to get the right colours and tried hard to make the stone look 3D with hatching and shading."

History and English : What games did the Maya like to play?


Many of us asked the question in our initial 'KWL' lesson 'What did the Maya like to play? Did they have football?' and so, Mrs Ash set us the challenge to find out. Using a range of digital and written sources, we applied our retrieval skills to investigate the famous Ancient Maya ball game 'Pok A Tok' and created our own information leaflets to teach a beginner player. Some of us combined our new knowledge with our Technology Smart skills to recreate a court digitally and others used their Practically Smart Skills to design and construct a court from Lego.

Term 3 - Take One Piece - exploring Rhapsody in Blue by Gershwin

We loved extending our knowledge of different musical genres through our ‘Take One Piece’ project where we explored a brilliant piece of music called ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ by George Gerswhin. 


First, we learned to imagine a story to go with the music by listening carefully to the dynamics (volume), pitch (high and low notes), rhythm (beat) and timbre (texture of sound) and thought about what they might be representing. We turned our thoughts into ‘sound clouds’.


To help us learn more about the history of the music and it’s composer, we read a book called ‘The Music in George’s Head’ and, after retrieving a wealth of information about Gershwin, we presented our learning in beautiful infographic style posters. 

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!