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Chestnut Year 5

Welcome to Chestnut Class 2022-2023



Welcome to our class page. Over the year, we will use this page to capture snapshots of our fantastic 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 - Teacher, Mrs Stockley - TA and Mrs Fairbairn - Teacher on Fridays) who would be very happy to help.


Our PE days for Term 4 will be Tuesday and Wednesday. Please wear your PE kit for both of these days. Swimming is on Monday but come to school wearing uniform on this day. 

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 4 - History Project - The Ancient Maya

Ancient Maya - History - Understanding where the Maya fit into a timeline of World History

Ancient Maya - History - What happened during the Ancient Mayan civilisation?

Ancient Maya - Geography - Creating Maps

Ancient Maya - English - Storytelling

Ancient Maya - Art - Sketching Chichen Itza

Term 4 - International Women's Day

Term 4 - World Book Day

We are certainly a passionate bunch of readers in Chestnut class and we thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity World Book Day gave us to reflect on our reading habits, preferences and to share these with our classmates, too.


We began the morning with a reading bingo challenge to help us learn more about each other’s reading appetites and were amazed to find such a variety of books we’d read and enjoyed passing on our recommendations to each other.

In anticipation of our visit from author, Christopher Edge, we put our retrieval skills to the test to explore the opening chapters of his book ‘The Jamie Drake Equation’. We applied our inference skills to make some superb predictions about how the plot may unfold and now have a long ‘waiting to borrow it’ list to see if our ideas were close to the truth!

In Art, we relished the opportunity to exercise our sketching skills to recreate the front covers of some of the books we’d read so far in Year 5; we thought carefully about scale and proportion, textures and mark making, as well as shapes and shading. Here’s a partly completed recreation of the Jungle Book, by Lucy R:

After our amazing ‘Escape Room’ experience with Christopher Edge in the afternoon, we ended the day with some reading ‘Thunks’ including which character we would be for a day, which 3 books we’d take on a desert island and these were our superb ideas to a very big question:


Why do we read?


“Books can teach you to do things, like cooking!”

“It’s entertaining and fun.”

“It can help you to develop your imagination; they feed your mind!”

“It spreads and grows your vocabulary.”

“They can pass a message through; they can teach you values.”

“It activates your imagination and can help you with your writing.”

“It gives me the chance to escape to different places.”


Term 4 - Science - Investigating Flowers

Term 4 - Forest Session

Chestnut Class loved their Forest session this week; so much fantastic learning was squeezed into our time in the forest and we can't wait to go back for another turn next term.


During the day, we:


- Used our detective and reading skills to enjoy a World Book Day Hunt

- Kept up our values of perseverance and determination as we tried to start fires with flint & steel

- Listened to a story 'Three for Free' (folklore story from Taiwan by Greystroke)

- Explored some Mayan facts (enjoyed a chocolate biscuit - link to cacoa beans)

- Worked collaboratively to build dens and used our problem solving skills to overcome difficulties and challenges 

- Explored creating and separating mixtures in the mud kitchen

- Applied our drawing and sketching skills 

Term 4 - Skateboarding Lesson

Skateboarding Lesson Video 1

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Skateboarding Lesson Video 2

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Skateboarding Lesson Video 3

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Skateboarding Lesson Video 4

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Skateboarding Lesson Video 5

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Skateboarding Lesson Video 6

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Skateboarding Lesson Video 7

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Term 3 - Geography Project - 'Extreme Earth'

Extreme Earth - What do we already know? What do we want to find out?

At the start of the project, we reflected on what we already knew about the Earth and it's weather based on programmes we'd watched, museums we'd visited, conversations we'd had and books we'd read. This helped us to generate lots of questions we wanted to investigate further and would guide lots of our lessons within the project itself.

Extreme Earth - Geography - parts of a volcano, types of volcano and layers of the Earth

We applied our retrieval skills to investigate more about volcanoes; we found out what the different parts of volcanoes were, how they worked and even investigated different types of volcanoes that exist and how they are formed. We presented our learning in lots of ways including using our Picollage computing skills, creating a glossary and even using rap (ask us to show us our actions for 'shield' and 'cinder cone' volcanoes in particular!). 

Extreme Earth - Science / Geography - Exploding our own 'volcanoes'

Extreme Earth - English - Explanation Writing

We began by investigating what a good explanation looked like as it wasn't a text type we were very familiar with; we unpicked it's organisation, sentence features, word features and punctuation so that we knew what we were aiming for with our own. 


Next, we familiarised ourselves with the steps of how a volcano explodes, using our prior knowledge of the different parts of a volcano to help us. We used a variety of activities to help us become really confident at the steps, including: sequencing, summarising, mapping them out with visual images and boxing them up. Then, we used lots of physical actions to help us verbally rehearse each step of the explanation until it was so secure in our minds we could put our pens to paper - challenging ourselves to use adverbial phrases to start our sentences, semi-colons and brackets where appropriate to reach the Y5 writing goals.


We hope you enjoy reading our outstanding explanations and see all the brilliant features; we even used our purple pens to edit and redraft our first version to make them as brilliant as they could be!

In Chestnut class, we have been working exceptionally hard to develop our skills in tag rugby this term; over the course of our PE lessons we have been developing our spatial awareness and coordination by playing games like ‘ultimate tag’. When it came to passing, we initially found adapting from our netball forward-throwing styles to the rugby sideways ‘swing’ a bit challenging but after lots of practise using a number of different drills and games, we cracked it and we can now travel at speed with the ball and pass it to and receive it from a partner. Our next step was then applying these skills into a game situation with end zones and introducing the tag rules which we found lots of fun, too.

Victorians - Sharing Afternoon

Victorians - History - KWL

At the beginning of our project, we reflected on what we already knew about the Victorians based on books we'd read, stories we'd heard, programmes we'd watched and museum's we'd visited. This helped us to generate lots of questions we wanted to investigate further and would guide lots of our future history lessons within the project itself.

Victorians - English - First Impressions of 'Street Child'

We've been using the book 'Street Child' by Berlie Doherty to explore one boy's experiences of Victorian Britain; we made initial inferences and predictions about the plot and characters using images and words from the front cover and blurb. 

Victorians - English - Writing in role (letters and discussions)

During our reading of the book, we stepped into the character's shoes to help us unpick thoughts and feelings about complex issues such as 'should Mr Spink evict Jim's family?' or 'should Jim try to escape the workhouse?'. We tried to use lots of evidence from different parts of the text, as well as making connections between other stories we'd come across.

Victorians - English - Using drama to unpick the 2 sides of an issue

We used drama to orally rehearse our writing so that we were confident about what we wanted to put onto paper; we boxed up our writing so we had a clear organisation, we used different connectives to make links between our ideas and tried hard to use lots of explaining words to give the consequences of our different ideas. 

Victorians - Art - Exploring William Morris

As part of our ‘Street Child’ Victorians project, Chestnut Class have been exploring the work of a highly significant Victorian artist, William Morris. Using our retrieval skills, we gathered a wealth of facts about Morris’ life, values and work; we used these to create our own William Morris style information pages in our sketch books, including text boxes, images and colour schemes to match his aesthetic. We then worked to extend a William Morris design and thought carefully about the scale, shapes, textures and positions of the images. Some of us tried using mirrors to create a reverse image as this was a characteristic of Morris’ designs. We can’t wait to the next stage of creating our own William Morris inspired wallpaper design!

Victorians - Art - Recreating a William Morris design

History - Wallingford Museum Visit

Chestnut Class loved visiting the Wallingford Museum to deepen their knowledge about Victorian life; especially that of our local area. We discovered there was a workhouse in our town and used a census to investigate the lives of real children and families who lived there. We explored a painting by George Dunlop Leslie and used our detective skills to make inferences about Victorian attitudes towards rich and poor. Upstairs, we loved reading clues and finding artefacts used by Victorian people.

History - Black Country Living Museum Visit

Children in Need

Chestnut class enjoyed running 'more than a marathon' (and we even won against Sycamore class). During the day, we also participated in a quiz to learn all about the origins of Children in Need - why it was set up, how much money it has raised and who it has helped.

Term 2 - PE - Football - Moving into position and passing the ball

Term 2 - PE - Football session 1 - Spatial Awareness and Ball Control

We enjoyed our first football session; the initial focus was thinking about our spatial awareness as we reflected that most of the time in football, a footballer won't actually be in possession of the ball but needs to be thinking about where they are in relation to their teammates, the ball and their opponents. 


We played ultimate tag to help us develop this; it was loads of fun and helped us think about moving around a space. We then tried ultimate tag with tags to pull; this was even harder!


With the ball, we learned about 2 key ways to send the ball - using the instep of our foot and the sole of our foot. We learned you can use your standing leg as a way to change the direction of the ball without moving your whole body. We applied this to a game with a partner where each pair had to both guard their ball and try to knock the balls of other pairs out of the square; this helped us to apply our spatial awareness skills from the beginning of the session too! 

We can't wait for next week :)

Term 1 - Maths - Cube Numbers

We loved using practical equipment to explore CUBE numbers; we learned that to cube a number means to multiply it by itself and by itself again. We had some silly ways to remember some of the SQUARE numbers too (I ate and I ate until I was sick on the floor, 8 x 8 = 64!). 


Earlier in the topic, we watched a few brilliant videos to help us learn about PRIME numbers (one song was a sad one about being lonely as it only had itself and 1 as factors and another was a catchy rap!) and SQUARE numbers (multiplying a number by itself). 


We learned to use Tinas Triangles to help us explore the difference between FACTORS and MULTIPLES; multiples made it to the top of the mountain and factors fell to the bottom. Also, multiples are like the numbers in the multiplication tables i.e. mul-tables.

Term 1 - Shakespeare Project 'Hamlet'

Hamlet - English - Our Outstanding Newspaper Reports

Hamlet - English - Making Inferences and Summarising Events

Before reading the opening chapters, we applied our inference skills to explore the 'Dramatis Personae' (the cast list) to make predictions about how the characters might behave and what might happen in the story. 

Hamlet - English - Discussion Features and Organising our Ideas

In Hamlet, the central character, a young prince, finds himself in a desperate predicament; he suspects his Uncle Claudius has murdered his Father in order to gain the throne and Hamlet is asked by his Father's ghost to punish the new king. We stepped into Hamlet's shoes to explore the two sides of this dilemma; should he avenge his Father or should he leave things as they are?

English - Hamlet - Exploring Connectives

To help us make links and connections between our different ideas we learned about using a range of connectives:


1) Adding Connectives - to add ideas and continue our train of thought


2) Contrasting Connectives - to change our mind and show our ideas have shifted


3) Ordering Connectives - to show the sequence of our ideas 


4) Explaining Connectives - to explain the 'why', 'so' or 'because' of our ideas

Hamlet - English - Boxing Up our Ideas

We organised our ideas for the discussion by 'boxing up' a plan; we grouped our ideas into 2 sides and marked where we'd include our connectives. We summarised the 5ws to help us write an introduction, made our decisions for a conclusion and then practised talking our discussion using the plan and recorded ourselves so we could self-evaluate our discussions.

Hamlet - English - Speaking out and Writing our Discussion

After we orally rehearsed our discussions, we felt confident to begin writing; we used our plans and step by step, our discussions were completed! We assessed our writing using the features (S2S) we had generated by looking at an expert example earlier in the week. This helped us to identify what we had done well and what we could do to improve our discussions.

Hamlet - English - Exploring Events and Characters with Drama

We've enjoyed using our inference skills to draw on evidence from across the text (and our wider reading, too!) to help us step into character's shoes; we imagined how the characters might behave and how they might react to events happening in the story.


To helps us explore the dramatic events of the story, we created freeze frames which we performed to the class; we also had fun writing questions as newspaper reporters to interview characters in the 'hot seat'. 

Hamlet - History / Art - Investigating the Origins of the Tudor Rose

In Art, we've explored the image of the Tudor Rose; a symbol that would have surrounded Shakespeare in church, at home and in architecture around him on a daily basis. We learned about the complicated history of the 'War of the Roses' and how this culminated in the creation of the Tudor Rose, then we applied our new historical knowledge to create an informative Picollage page.

Hamlet - Art - Creating Tudor Roses from Clay

Hamlet - History - Investigating the Chronology of Shakespeare's Life

We used our knowledge of chronology to create a timeline of Shakespeare's life; we used our retrieval skills to investigate key events in his personal life and his career, then presented these in a clear and organised way for our reader.

Class Elections - Our Outstanding Speeches

Science - Investigating Forces

In Science, we've been learning about Forces. We explored Friction through an investigation; on which surface will the car travel the furthest distance? We designed a method that was fair and made careful measurements to gather data about each surface. Bethan taught us how to find the average distance for each surface using addition and division, too!

Science - Investigating Mass v Weight

We were shocked to learn that WEIGHT was measured in Newtons whereas grams/pounds/ounces are a measure of MASS instead. We learned that an object's weight could change depending on how much gravity was acting upon it (e.g. on the Moon there is less gravitational force so an object would weigh less than on Earth); MASS, however, would remain the same wherever the object was. 


We learned to use Newtonmeters to measure an object's WEIGHT and measured an object's MASS using scales.  

Term 1 - Take One Picture

English - Making inferences about the painting

We began our project by exploring the images on Monet's 'La Gare St Lazare' and thinking about what story the painting 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, technology and clothes from history.

Art and ICT - Investigating the life of Monet and presenting our knowledge

We enjoyed using our retrieval skills to investigate more about the life of the artist behind the painting, Claude Monet. We gathered as many 5ws questions as we could and challenged ourselves to find the answers using our reading skills; then, we used 'Picollage' to present our information.


We looked at some posters to generate our S2S and thought about:

  • Using text boxes to organise our information into sections
  • Choosing an appropriate font and colour scheme
  • Inserting a selection of images to help the reader understand the information furter

Geography - Investigating the landmarks of Paris

We enjoyed using GoogleMaps to explore more about the location of the painting, in particular:


  • Where France is in location to the UK 
  • Zooming in to see the location of Paris within France
  • Zooming in further to find where La Gare St Lazare is in Paris, in addition to other significant landmarks.


We loved using StreetView to walk around Paris, too! We applied our new knowledge to help us create a map to show the main landmarks in Paris, including using a key to show the different types of land and water.

Art - Recreating the painting using sketching and chalk pastels

Our learning reflections:


"I got better at drawing things the right size (scale) by dividing my page and the painting into sections."


"I learned how to draw some of the buildings in 3D."

"I enjoyed mixing different chalks together to match the right shade from the painting."


"I used highlights with white chalk to show the light parts of the train; it really made the shape clearer with just a few small details."

Art - A selection of our exceptional sketches

Visiting a real steam train at Cholsey and Wallingford Railway