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Sycamore Year 5

Welcome to Sycamore Class
Our class teacher is Miss Lloyd and our TA is Miss Millson

In Term 5 our P.E. days are Wednesday and Thursday with swimming on Monday.




Sycamore's Smarts Awards

Our Learning in Term 5



In writing this term we have explored a range of different text types. These include: Setting descriptions, biographies and explanation.

  • In our setting description we focused on describing an imaginary planet of our choice and used figurative language to enhance the picture in the reader's mind.
  • In our biographies we wrote about the life of Tim Peake who was the first British ESA astronaut to visit the International Space Station. We focused on the chronical major events in his life and training for his mission. We applied our understanding of the text features to help present this clearly.
  • In our explanations we consolidated our understanding of the text type to explain why the Earth experiences day, night and seasons.

Freeze Frame or Tim Peak’s Life

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In art this term we have been exploring a range of mediums to aid us in creating planet artworks. We have use oil pastel, chalk pastel, water colour paint, pencil, poster paint and pen. Some of the techniques we have learnt include:

  • Cross hatching
  • Stippling
  • Hatching
  • Back & Forth Stroke
  • Scrumbling
  • Light and Heavy pressures
  • Blending
  • Feathering
  • Side-Strokes
  • Dry Brush
  • Wet on Dry
  • Wet on Wet
  • Bleeding
  • Graded washes



This term we have been exploring space. We have used our research skills to record and retrieve information about planets, satellites, telescopes, the moon and sun, day/night, theories of the solar system and stars. 



In maths, we have been learning to:

  • Draw line graphs
  • Read and interpret line graphs
  • Read and interpret tables, two way tables and time tables.
  • Understand and use degrees
  • Classify, estimate and measure angles up to 180 degrees.
  • Draw lines and angles accurately
  • Calculate angles around a point
  • Calculate angles on a straight line
  • Investigate lengths and angles in shapes
  • Investigate regular and irregular polygons.
  • Investigate 3D shapes.
  • Read and plot coordinates
  • Problem solve with coordinates
  • Investigate translation with coordinates
  • Investigate lines of symmetry and reflection in horizontal/vertical lines.



This term our P.E. lessons have included coached rounders sessions with Mr Mule and football. We have focused a lot on hand eye coordination and fielding by working as a team. In football, our main focus has been exploring how we can get the ball to our team mates quicker and setting up opportunities for scoring. This has included thinking about using the space around us and the box.



In reading, we have explored a range of texts including, newspaper articles, biographies, non-fiction and fiction. We have applied our VIPERS to help consolidate our reading comprehension skills. These have been:

  • Vocabulary
  • Inference
  • Prediction
  • Explanation
  • Retrieval
  • Summarising

Our Learning in Term 4:



Living things and their habitats:


We have observed life-cycle changes in a variety of living things and researched the work of key Scientists.
We have explored and investigated:
• the differences in the life cycles of a mammal, an amphibian, an insect and a bird.
• the life process of reproduction in some plants and animals.
• the part flowers play in the life cycle of flowering plants, including pollination, seed formation and seed dispersal.
• how to use classification keys to help group, identify and name a variety of living things in our environment.



This term our unit focused on 'Healthy Me'.
We have developed our PSHE and social and emotional development with a focus on being healthy and keeping safe.
In our sessions we have explored the risks of/issues around:
• Smoking
• Alcohol
• Emergency aid
• Body image
• Relationships with food



Within writing we have:


  • Developed our speaking and listening skills through the art of storytelling as we practised to telling and adapting a traditional Mayan creation story.
  • used a range of drama strategies to deepen our understanding of the settings, events and characters of the story.
  • Learned how to effectively use the features of a non-chronological report to record our knowledge about the Ancient Mayan civilisation.

Story Telling

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Sycamore have enjoyed their basketball lessons this term. We have focused on passing and getting into space and applying this to game situations. Alongside this, we've looked at dribbling and shooting by using our coordination skills. As well as this, we have used our coordination skills in cricket by bowling and batting whilst similarly applying these skills to game situations. 



This term Sycamore have continued our exploration of fractions. This was followed by investigating percentages for the first time by focusing on finding 50%, and 10%. We have also linked our understanding of fractions and decimals by exploring equivalent, percentages, fractions an decimals. Following on from this, we have explored perimeter and area by looking at rectangles, rectilinear shapes and polygons. 



During art this term Sycamore began focusing on their observational drawing techniques using a range of mark-making and perspective. We researched the Ancient Mayan temple 'El Castello' in Chichen Itza and created architectural drawings to represent our learning. We have focused on using line to help give a 3D feel and perspective to our work.

Our learning in term 3



Within English this term, we have deepened our writing skills by using the following text types:


Recount: What happened at the eruption of Mount Vesuvius?

Explanation: Why does a volcano erupt?

Drama: Exploring the 1906 Earthquake in San Francisco

Myth: What could be the cause of a natural disaster?


We have refined our writing skills using a sequence of plan, draft, write evaluate and edit skills. Our explanation writing focused on the factual sequence of information as well as the use of key vocabulary, brackets and semi-colons. In our recount we have focused on using our five senses to help describe our setting and connecting the reader to our first person writing. We have also enjoyed using drama and working in groups to solidify our learning. 




In science we have been developing our knowledge of the changes humans and animals go through as they get older. 

We have learnt about:

  • Changes to the human body (inside and out) as well as pupil's perception and attitudes towards each other.
  • How to draw timelines to indicate the stages of growth and development in humans (including a focus on the changes experienced in puberty).
  • Making links to the gestation periods of other animals.




We have been focusing on multiplications, division and fractions. 

We have learnt to:

  • Multiply up to a 4-digit number by a 1-digit number.
  • Multiply a 2-digit number by a 2-digit number.
  • Multiply a 3 digit number by a 2digit number.
  • Multiply a 4-digit number by a 2-digit number.
  • Solve problems with multiplication. 
  • Use short division.
  • Divide a 4-digit number by a 1-digit number.
  • Divide with remainders.
  • Use efficient division and solve problems with both multiplication and division.
  • Multiply a unit fraction by an integer.
  • Multiply a non-unit fraction by an integer.
  • Calculate a fraction of a quantity.
  • Find a fraction of an amount.
  • Find wholes and use fractions as operators. 



We have developed our PSHE and social and emotional development with a focus on our future aspirations, emotions that go with them and ways we can work towards our goal. 

We have explored:

  • Dream lifestyles (and money implications).
  • Jobs and careers.
  • Dreams and goals of people in other cultures.
  • How can we support each other?




We have developed our geographical knowledge and skills by:


  • Investigating weather patterns around the globe and use geographical skills and language to explain and record these

  • Describing the human and physical characteristics of geographical locations including countries along the equator

  • Describing the different types of volcanoes and explaining how these are formed

  • Locating and naming some of the world’s physical features and compare them (volcanoes and mountain ranges)

  • Describing how physical features of a place have an impact on people’s lives (volcanoes / earthquakes / weather)

Forest School Visit


In art this term, we have explored the work of William Morris and created our own wallpaper print designs which incorporate natural features thinking about tone of colour and delicate mark-making. We also used marbling techniques to create book ends for our hand made paper concertina book which we then sold at our Christmas craft fete.

Black Country Museum Trip

Sycamore had great fun during our trip to the Black Country Museum. We experienced a day in the life of the Victorians and followed the steps of a real person's history through the life of three children called, Lilian, Samuel and Rose. Whilst at the museum, we explored the abundance of Victorian buildings on offer to investigate various clues to piece together the lives of our chosen character. We compared our lives to those of our characters by looking at the types of shops and items available to buy for our homes; these differed dependant on whether we were upper or lower class. We were also incredibly excited to experience a Victorian lesson within the school. Our day started with lining up in straight, quiet lines separated into boys and girls; girls entered first before the boys. We made the terrible mistake of sitting down before we were asked to and our very strict headteacher did not think much of us to start! One of the groups was also late to the lesson and another teacher had worn nail polish. This was strongly frowned upon by the head teacher who administered (role play) versions of the cane to the teachers... which both Chestnut and Sycamore found most amusing! We also practised 'The Three Rs' Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. We practised chanting our times tables and listened to the head teacher's views of how children should be taught. Safe to say, we all found the experience very different to our usual routine! 

Wallingford Museum Trip

As part of our Victorian project work, Sycamore visited Wallingford Museum where we were able to experience and learn about the stories of real people from Wallingford during the Victorian period. We used our detective skills to look at census data whilst exploring the features of the old workhouse. Alongside this, we were sent on an object hunt with descriptions of the item we needed to find. During our hunt we were exposed to a range of memorabilia and artefacts used during the Victorian period. We gained lots of information about how life was different to ours and how hard people had to work in order to use these objects to make a living. Further to this, we studied the features of the painting 'Thames Side Conversation' by George Dunlop Leslie and discussed how the artist had depicted the difference between rich and poor during this time period. 


As part of P.E. this term, Sycamore have continued to practise their skills within football and hockey. We have been very lucky to have had a football coach come in and take some of our sessions. We have practised finding space, turning with the ball and passing unchallenged, selecting an appropriate conclusion to our running with the ball by either passing, shooting or dribbling. We have also looked at playing in a restricted position, and changing positions within a game, working as a team and implementing our skills together as a team, as well as controlling a bouncing ball with more accuracy.


Within PSHE this term we have been exploring the theme 'Celebrating Difference'. This has included looking at cultural views, peoples views towards others, understanding how rumour spreading and name-calling can be bullying behaviours and therefore identifying and using a range of strategies to manage feelings and problem solve. As well as understanding the difference between direct and in-direct bullying and encouraging each other to make non-bullying choices and know how to support others. We have also compared our lives to people within the developing world and discussed the value of happiness regardless of material wealth.

Children in Need Challenge

To take part in our children in need challenge, both Sycamore and Chestnut class decided to task themselves with seeing how much further we could run than a marathon around the school field. We worked out that 4 laps equated to 1 mile and in order for us to collectively run further than a marathon we wouldn't need to run many laps at all with 29/30 children per class. In order to make the activity more challenging, we wanted to see how much further we could run within 20 minutes. We managed to run a total of 409 laps, beating our target by over 305 laps! 


This term, Sycamore have enjoyed their new project which explores the Victorians. Our writing work has been largely based around the book ‘Street Child’ by Berlie Doherty. We have applied our retrieval and inference skills to make informed assumptions about characters as well as considering how the author has developed characters and settings form what we have reads alongside listened to or seen performed. We have created our own discussions which considers whether Jim Jarvis should leave or stay at the workhouse by writing in role and using evidence and appropriate connectives, whilst considering both sides of our discussion. Further to our writing, we have supported ideas by using drama, freeze frames and hot seating to help us get into character.


Within maths this term, Sycamore have worked incredibly hard to apply their understanding of fractions by recognising and finding equivalent fractions, converting mixed numbers to improper fractions and improper fractions to mixed numbers, added and subtracted fractions as well as comparing fractions. Further to this, our multiplication and division unit saw us exploring multiples, common multiples, factors, prime numbers, cube numbers, square numbers, and multiplying/dividing by 10, 100 and 1,000. We have really pushed ourselves to also apply our knowledge to more word problem questions.


Within PSHE this term we have been focusing on the unit 'Celebrating Difference'. We have explored different cultures and our attitudes towards others, how to use strategies to manage our feelings during different friendship conflict situations and how to problem-solve solutions. As well as looking at the difference between direct/indirect bullying and how to encourage others to make the right choices. We have also looked at the value of happiness regardless of material wealth whilst also respecting our own and other people's culture. 


During music this term, we have built on our skills from term one by applying our understanding of the G and E notes within songs as a class. We have focused on using our fingers for changing notes quickly as well as keeping in time with the rhythm. 


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Our learning during term 1:



In P.E. this term, Sycamore have enjoyed consolidating some of their skills in netball by focusing on using their skills in game situations. We have practised techniques for the bounce pass and putting this into game situations whilst focusing on defending and attacking positions. We have also looked at finding space, communicating with teammates, and using different techniques when trying to find space such as dodging, sprinting, and fake dodging. Further to this, we have highlighted the importance of pivoting in a game to make more successful passes. As well as practising our one handed and two handed shooting whilst working cooperatively to defend and attack during play.


In addition to Netball, Mrs Sage has led team building P.E. games to help us work collaboratively and communicate effectively.



This term, Sycamore have shown much enthusiasm for our writing work about Shakespeare’s Hamlet. We have used our inference skills to draw out clues and ideas about characters as well as used our sequencing skills to plot important events in the play. The first aim of our writing this term has been to create a discussion piece deciding whether to avenge Hamlet’s father and murder Claudius. We came up with both for and against arguments and held our own class debate (which got rather heated!) where the children were able to get into role and discuss their points. We also explored types of conjunctions and how we can include these in our writing to add on to ideas as well as explain them. Our second aim of writing was to create a newspaper article to report on an incident towards the end of the play. To support our writing we had fun using drama to act out scenes, used IT to video our discussion and reflect on working in role as a character as well as hot seating to create and incorporate speech in our text. We have also challenged ourselves to use brackets, semi-colons and sentence starters.

Morning Mile


Every Friday morning, the year 5 classes head out for a mindful and energetic morning mile (many do more!). It's a time to get some fresh air, socialise with friends and improve their fitness. Each week the classes are given a challenge. Over the last two weeks lots of the children challenged themselves to running a Mini Marathon 2.6 miles. They loved having a goal to stretch for by walking faster or increasing their speed over a long distance. It was great to see the pride they had when they achieved their new goals and personal best.





Within our reading lessons this term, we have looked at a range of fiction and non-fiction texts including: poetry, picture books, chapter books, classics and newspaper articles. We have used our reading viper skills to depict different text types. We have worked hard to practise our summarising and inference skills as well as using our retrieval skills to gain information from the texts. 

Take One Picture


To start our journey in Sycamore, we have had fun exploring the wonderful artwork of ‘The Great Wave Off Kanagawa’ by Hokusai. During our project we have used our research skills coupled with our IT skills to create posters documenting information about the artist and their artwork. Following this, we applied our geographical and map skills to locate, identify and describe the physical and human features of Japan/Tokyo. 

In addition, we applied our creative skills to plan our own descriptive writing pieces to describe the great wave focusing on our five senses as well as producing our own Japanese Haiku poems linking to nature. Our artistic skills were also used to plan, design and make our own styrofoam prints of the great wave using layer with ink paint.

Furthermore, we were very excited to make our own sushi as a team using our measuring skills whilst following step by step instructions. 



This term, Sycamore have been investigating forces and how objects are affected by these. We have used research skills to explore the background of Sir Isaac Newton and his explanation of gravity. We ave also explored Air Resistance and friction. We have carried out our own investigations to measure types of surface and their impact on friction. We have used our observational skills to record our results in a table and calculated averages.



During maths, we started the term by recapping our understanding of place value. We explored decoding Roman Numerals and representing numbers to 1,000,000, using more than and less than, partitioning, comparing, ordering and rounding numbers. Further to this, we looked at addition and subtraction by practising mental strategies, adding and subtracting numbers with more than four digits, using the inverse to check our work, comparing calculations and solving multi-step addition and subtraction problems. We have also started multiplication and division by exploring multiples, common multiples, factors, common factors, prime numbers, square numbers, cube numbers and solving problems using our knowledge of squaring. 



This term, Sycamore have started their musical journey by playing guitars. We have started by focusing holding and sitting correctly with the instrument to allow us to access the notes we wish to play. We have begun to practise playing E, B and G notes both individually and in succession. Following this, we added our notes to background music and have played along together as a class.


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Art and Design 


This term, we have been focusing our artistic skills towards designing and making our own Tudor Rose. Linking to our Hamlet theme, we have researched the background of the House of Lancaster and House of York which combined to created the Tudor Rose. We began our designs by sketching our own version, thinking about the patterns and colours. Following this, we used layering and mark making to construct our own clay model. 

If the event of self-isolating or further lockdown

In the event of your child needing to self isolate, please use the homework 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

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