Emmaville Primary School

New York Yr 5 & 6

Welcome to the New York Year 5 & 6 Class Page.  Here, you can find out about everything that we've been doing this year.
Thursday 5th September 2019
What a cracking start our Year 6 children have made in Maths this week.  We have been looking at large numbers (up to 10 million) and problem solving, including finding all possible solutions.  The tasks had the children testing their resilience and dogged determination, which they have in spades!  Well done Year 6 - I'm really looking forward to the year ahead!
Thursday 5th September 2019
A challenging start to our topic (Marvellous Maps) this term saw our budding geographers attempting to draw a map of the school grounds without the technology a modern-day cartographer would have access to.  The children quickly realised how difficult life must have been for early cartogrophers and how much technology could help their task.  That said, the children's resilience led to some very accurate free-hand drawings.  Well done New York!

Friday 5th July 2019

We had a very special visitor in our assembly today: Liz Twist MP.  Liz was elected MP for Blaydon in 2017 and kindly arranged a visit to the Houses of Parliament when our Year 5 were in London earlier in the year.  Liz stayed with us after assembly to tell us all about what her life was like as an MP and answer lots of interesting questions from our year 5 children. Miss Armstrong was really impressed by the insightful questions our children asked, perhaps we have some future MPs in Emmaville.

Tuesday 25th June 2019
We've thoroughly enjoyed our 'Step Up Morning' in New York.  As well as finding out some facts about New York, we also discussed how we would like our class to look in September.  We decided to make a display of our favourite books which included drawing the front cover and writing a mini review of the book.  Some fantastic artistic skills on display, I'm sure the display will make our classroom look lovely in September. 

Friday 7th June 2019

Our Year 5 children have been working really hard this week while their Year 6 friends have been in France.  To reward them for their efforts, we decided to end the week on a high with a little adventure to Clara Vale nature reserve and village hall.  The weather was glorious and we had a lovely relaxing time.

Friday 7th June 2019

On Monday, our Year 5 children spent a brilliant morning at the Newcastle Reform Synagogue to learn more about Judaism. Recently, during our Religious Education lessons, we have been learning about the Jewish faith, including the festival Hanukkah. The children were able to immerse themselves into the Jewish culture, seeing both the Torah and Menorah. Ruth and Barbara from the synagogue were so impressed with their knowledge and understanding. Well done Year 5!

Friday 10th May

On Friday, our Year 6 pupils spent an amazing day at Tynemouth Longsands beach for a bit of welcome chilling out, in preparation for next week's tests. The children have worked incredibly hard while preparing for the SATs exams, so a day on a sun-drenched beach was just the reward they needed. The highlight of the day was a surfing lesson, which (once those very tight wetsuits had been squeezed into) was thoroughly enjoyed by all.  Everyone got to experience the thrill of riding a wave, and a few of the children even managed to master standing up on the board.  It really was THE BEST DAY EVER!

Friday 3rd May

Science this week was all about constructing branching identification keys – quite a complex task.  In order to gather the information we needed, we had to venture out to study the trees in our school grounds.  We needed to use some accurate, specific, scientific terms to describe the features of our trees.  We studied a variety of leaf margins (smooth, serrated or lobed); we looked at the bark of the trees to identify texture, colour and pattern; we looked at the leaf stalk (petiole) and the shape of the leaves (ovate-egg shaped, deltoid- triangular or cordate- heart shaped). Our thorough study of the trees meant that we could create working databases to identify the trees correctly.  Being out in the lovely weather helped to focus our minds perfectly!

Friday 26th April 2019
Geography with Mr Greetham this week was all about developing an understanding of the Earth's structure.  The children had to find out all about the various layers that make up the Earth, including the crust, mantle, outer core and inner core.  They also found out about the consistency of each of these layers, and considered how pressure affects each of the layers.  The challenge at the end of the lesson was to construct an accurate model of the earth, working as a team, ensuring that the dimensions of each layer was accurate. We were all really impressed with the children's finished products!
Friday 5th April
What an amazing end to the Spring Term for our Year 5 & 6 dancers!  After many hours of practice, the forty-two-strong dance troupe performed their hearts out on Wednesday of this week.  Before leaving for the iconic Sage for the Gateshead Schools' Dance Festival, the children gave each year group a sneak preview of their dance in the school hall; the only problem was that everyone cried for more, and so that's just what they got, with ever-increasing enthusiasm.  Of course, later that day, in one of the most state-of-the-art venues in the World, our stars shone even more brightly than ever, and each one of them made their families, friends and teachers so very proud.  

Friday 29th March

As part of our topic, we have been exploring the history and culture Native Americans.  We have been looking at the objects they made, the influences on their creations and the characteristics of their style of art. The Native Americans’ art honoured their gods, told stories and was practical, it showed their great respect for nature. They used natural objects such as feathers, leather, dyes, grass and wood.


We have been making Dreamcatchers. Dreamcatchers are traditionally willow rings with a web woven in the centre, and beads woven in.  Feathers and beads were sacred, so they would hang them from their hoops. They believed that the Spider Woman, who was a mythological character, would protects and care for their people.  As the tribe extended across North America, she could not reach all the children, so mothers and grandmothers would make dreamcatchers for their children.


Traditionally they are hung over children’s cots and beds as protection.  Legends held that the spider web design of the dream catcher would allow good dreams to pass through, floating down the feathers to the sleeping children. Bad dreams, would be caught in the web. As the first rays of the morning light hit the dream catcher, the bad dreams would disappear.  Following Native American traditions, we used willow to make the rings of our dreamcatchers, and wool and feathers to decorate it.  Stitching the webs in the centre were tricky but we persevered until we succeeded.

Friday 22nd March 2019
Today the children in Year 6 visited Crawcrook Centenary Methodist Church as part of their Religious Education curriculum.  The children have been studying the beliefs, teachings and practices of the Christian faith and will be comparing this to other religions, such as Judaism when we visit the Newcastle Reform Synagogue later in the Summer Term.  The children showed off their knowledge of the Easter Story while they were at the Centenary Church and the church helpers were impressed by how accurate their facts were.
Friday 8th March 2019
Our Science, in New York, this week has been all about classification - how scientists sort and group living things according to their similarities and differences.  The children took on the role of Director of a zoo and were tasked with making connections between different types of animals in the zoo to ensure that similar species were housed in close proximity to one another.  I was impressed by the children's knowledge of the various species we considered and the variety of classifications they used.  Well done to our super young scientists.
World Book Day 6th March 2019
Have you ever seen a more gorgeous set of book characters than this lot?

Friday 1st March 2019

We always look forward to our enrichment weeks in New York, and ‘Emmaville Goes Green’ week didn’t fail to deliver.  The idea of the week was to inspire the children to care for our environment; however, there was very little inspiration needed as it quickly became apparent that our children are absolutely passionate about their environment, so much so that I’m sure the Green Party could take some pointers for their next manifesto!  We kicked off the week by completing a survey which established how well we consider our environment in our daily lives.  The survey was really interesting and helped us to focus our efforts for the week on those areas where we felt we could do better:

  • Waste – littering and recycling
  • Transport – making choices about how we get around
  • Our school grounds – how we can improve them and consider wildlife in our recommendations
  • Healthy living – making sure that we consider the foods we eat, and get enough exercise and relaxation time to improve our well being

One of the highlights of the week was our ‘upcycling’ workshop where the children made a swish notebook out of recycled maps.  They looked so chic!

Well done New York - it’s good to know that the future of our planet will be in such capable hands.

Friday 1st February 2019
It's been a complete pleasure to read the childrens' writing this week: they have just finished an independent write where the subject was a young chimney sweep, who lived during the Victorian era,  and was treated badly by his 'owner'.  I was so impressed by the childrens' English skills, particularly the attention they give to ensuring that their writing has a real impact on their reader.  Below are a few 'snippets' to give you a taste of what's on offer in their books.

Torak peered out of the blurry vision of his eyes, his scrubbed, bloodied knees tortured him mercilessly.  It seemed as if he had just settled to sleep on his scratchy soot sacks when he was violently slapped awake again by the master sweep.  Fatigued and coughing shakily, Torak was pulled to his feet by his aching bones.  He cried out in pain wishing his ma would take him away from this twisted nightmare world he was living in. 

Zoe K


“Mark my words you worthless vermin, I’ve had enough of your meddling insolence!  This is you last chimney, tomorrow you start at the cotton mill.” The master sweep snapped vigorously at Jayden, waving his fingers in the boy’s face menacingly.

Haaniyah B


As Jay climbed down from the abyss, he looked up to see a sliver of light at the top of the chimney.  No longer would he feel like crying and begging for ma; no longer would he have to endure the relentless daily toil; no longer would he live in unimaginable pain from conditions which disfigured his, tiny body.  Nothing could take away from the excitement he was feeling to escape this hell.  It felt like a new beginning.

Joshua B


Friday 25th January 2019

Over the last two weeks, our young mathematicians have been creating their own mathematical stories to enter into the Young Mathematical Story Author (YMSA) competition.  The YMSA is an annual international competition set up to encourage young mathematics learners (8-13 years old) from around the world to embed their mathematics learning in a meaningful and engaging context through creating their own mathematical story picture book.  We have been delighted at the effort the children have invested in their mathematical stories so far.  The deadline for finished stories is 29th March, so there is still plenty of time for the children to work on their stories.  All the details of the competition can be found on the Maths Through Stories website: https://www.mathsthroughstories.org/competitions.html

Here are a few examples of our entries so far.

Friday 19th January 2019
We've had a really busy start to our term in New York, so it was a real treat to be able to enjoy our session at the Library on Friday afternoon.  We feel so fortunate in school to have such close links with the library, and feel the children (and staff) always benefit from the sessions we have there.  The staff are getting to know the children really well, and encourage their reading with recommendations for books and other exciting activities and opportunities which are on offer across the library service.  The children were so keen,walking back with their new books, that they were trying to read them while walking!  In the words of the late, great Mark Twain, 'The man who doesn't read has no advantage over the man who can't read' - no fear of that at Emmaville! 
Friday 14th December 2018
We've had a really busy week in New York this week, so we decided to calm things down a little this afternoon with some yoga. I was particularly impressed with the childrens' perseverance - we had to hold some of the poses for quite a while!  It was a lovely end to a week which included, an excellent trip to the Playhouse Theatre to see A Christmas Carol, which inspired some amazing writing from the children; a gorgeous Christmas dinner in our beautifully decorated hall and a super science experiment which involved burning candles and deciding how to collect and represent our data.  I think you all deserve a well earned rest this weekend!
Friday 7th December 2018
In Science this term, we have been exploring reversible changes of materials including, filtering, sieving and dissolving.  This week, Mr Greetham taught an excellent lesson in which we looked at evaporation and carried out a series of practical experiments to find out what happens when different solutions evaporate.  It's so good to hear the technical vocabulary being used by our young scientists when they describe their findings and articulate their explanations.  I'm beginning to wonder if we may have a future Nobel prize winner amongst us!
Friday 30th November
What a techno-tastic week we've had in New York!  Enrichment weeks are always a crowd pleaser in year 5 and 6; however, our 'Cracking Computer' week has to be one of the most enjoyable I can remember.  The children started the week teaching the younger children how to code (so proud to see the kindness and patience shown during the sessions).  Later on, they looked at the very important issue of staying safe on line; the children designed posters to show all the important information they'd learnt.  Well done to Matty and Jack for their winning poster.  Later on in the week, we considered what computers of the future would look like.  The highlight of the week has to be our Dragons' Den competition to design an app.  Once the children had come up with an original idea, they used their powers of persuasion to write a script which they then filmed on green screen.  I had no idea that trying not to laugh in front of camera was as difficult as some Olympic sports!  Here are all the 'final takes'.  Well done New York for putting all your efforts (as always)  into the week.

Friday 23rd November
The children in New York have completely thrown themselves into this half term's topic: World War One.  We have been really fortunate to have had so many learning opportunities, both inside (visits to school from a theatre company, and local historians with artefacts from the war) and outside school (a trip to the Discovery Museum and Alphabetti Theatre).  This week has been all about researching the causes of the Great War.  The children used their active learning skills to learn as much information as possible about imperialism, the arms race and alliances.  Once they had constructed mind maps, which they will be using when they write an information text next week, they had a class quiz using 'Kahoot'.  Kahoot is a game-based learning platform, which gives users  multiple-choice quizzes.  It came as no surprise that after all the children's learning over the last four weeks, they were rated as 'experts' by Kahoot - I think we already knew that though! 
Friday 16th November 2018
Last week in New York, we found out more about Fairtrade and how it benefits farmers in poor countries by helping them to get a fair price for the goods that they produce.  The children designed logos in the form of leaves for a display which can be seen on the main corridor in school. Some of them have also written about the benefits of Fairtrade and why they think it is important that we support the organisation, not only in school, but in the day-to-day choices we make when we buy things.  The Fairtrade Committee have bought goods to sell at the weekly Fairtrade tuck shops, which they plan to hold on a Friday morning.  Well done New York - it's so lovely to see you thinking of others.

Friday 9th November 2018

The children are really enjoying our WWI topic, so Wednesday’s visit to the Discovery Museum for a ‘WWI Experience Day’ was the highlight of our week.  It really was a fantastic day and included a theatre production and writing workshop in the Alphabetti Theatre, and two workshops in the Discovery Museum.  The staff at the Discovery Museum and Alphabetti Theatre were suitably impressed by the childrens’ knowledge of the Great War – we were so proud of them.

Friday 2nd November 2018
We've had a busy old first week back in New York.  Thank you to those of you who were able to come and support the children in their class assembly this morning and for visiting the classroom to see their amazing work. 
We began our week with the first of our 6 sessions of badminton coaching.  Martin Fagan, from Gateshead Schools Sports Partnership, was impressed with the childrens' control during their first session.  The children thoroughly enjoyed it and many are keen to try out Ryton Junior Badminton Club (Monday 4 - 5 pm).  I have details if anyone needs them.
Friday 19th October 2018
Our Chinese wall hangings are now complete and are proudly displayed outside New York classroom.  The children have spent several weeks constructing their hangings. They employed a range of techniques during the process including, a watercolour wash for the background, blow painting for the branches of the tree and pointillism (working with small dots of paint )for the cherry blossom. They completed their hangings by painting their names in Chinese writing on them. We think they look lovely and add some beautiful colour to our corridor.  We are looking forward to parents seeing them when they come to our assembly on Friday 2nd November.
Friday 12th October 2018
This week, Mel Wallace from the British Red Cross visited New York to provide first aid training.  The children learnt simple skills that could help others in an emergency situation - skills that could actually save a life.  Mel taught them how to deal with victims who had sustained injuries such as burns, cuts or head injuries.  She also showed them how to help in more serious situations such as a a person having a seizure or suffering from the effects of harmful substances.  I was incredibly impressed by the maturity the children showed throughout the session.  They all agreed that they felt a lot more confident about what they could do if they ever had to face a medical situation. 
Friday 5th October 2018
Such impressive writing from our young authors in New York this week during our 'short burst writing' sessions.
The children were asked to use descriptive techniques to write about an eerie scene using the picture below.  The work is part of our Primary Writing Project http://www.primarywritingproject.org.uk/ which we have been involved in for just over a year now.  It's an absolute joy to watch them construct their pieces of writing using techniques and vocabulary that they have studied over the last few weeks.  Below is a small sample of their work. I can't wait to read their final pieces.
The trees emerge from the dead grass and hang lethargically searching for vengeance while mourning their imminent death.  Their intertwined branches expand like witches fingers anaesthetised through lack of water.  A blanket of darkness covers the earth while the parched grass tries to cover it, together with the demon-like graves.
Theo E
Long, yellow, thirsty grass waits for rain.  Dark clouds cover the sun, full of devilish storms, moving so slowly like they are waiting to grab something.  Grey graves sit so still amongst damp, gloomy forests.
Ella O
The dark, gloomy sky thunders like marching soldiers.  The bare branches of the trees are like fingers reaching out desperately for rains long gone.  The ground shakes like a volcano erupting, moving the trees until they fall.
Anthony M
The trees emerge from the parched ground searching for vengeance and moving their ghostly silhouette while seeking out moisture as they fight for each drop.  Like a plague of death, it spreads to each and every tree as they cling on for dear life.  From a distance, they look like a dead army, forest gravestones, stripping dear life from their siblings.
Luca P
Friday 28th September
I always knew that we had some fantastic gymnasts in New York after watching some of their performances over the years on the school field.  However, I was completely blown away at just how good their skills were until Rachel Troke (gymnastics instructor) came in to teach the children on Thursday this week.  Unfortunately, the camera couldn't quite keep up with their agility, so some of the 'action' photos are a bit blurred.  I know that Rachel was impressed, not only by their skills but by their listening and determination to improve.  So, so proud  of you New York :)
Friday 21st September 2018
This week in science, we have been looking at the properties of materials and their definitions.  We made webs to link common properties between materials.  It was so lovely to hear the precise scientific vocabulary used when the children were describing and linking materials.  Well done to the 2 teams that won the 'challenge' and then shared their prize with the rest of New York - so kind:)
Friday 14th September
We had a fantastic time at Durham Oriental museum this week, learning all about the Shang Dynasty and where it stands in history in relation to other periods we have studied.  We were able to use our investigative skills to find out things that had happened in ancient China through some of the artefacts we studied.  The staff at the museum were very complementary of the behaviour of our lovely Emmaville children.  What an excellent kick start for our new topic.