Friday 21st July
Gosh, remember this lot? Fresh out of Year 4, eager for what was to come, maybe a little nervous, possibly unsure of the future. All I can say is "Dream Team". You have been so for your previous teachers, and you certainly were for me this year. It's been a privilege to watch you continue to grow and develop as confident, kind and caring children, and it's been a lot of fun on the way. I've enjoyed every minute of being a part of your journey - thank you, and have a fabulous summer!
Friday 14th July
Phew! Well, that was a long week. Whilst a few of us stayed behind and held the fort, spending some quality time with their new Year 6 teacher and helping out during the enrichment week, the rest packed their bags for three days at High Adventure in Yorkshire. The full extent of the thrills and spills is played out in colour under the Residentials tab of the website, but suffice it to say that everyone did indeed have a high adventure.
Our very last History lesson saw us learning about the mining heritage of our area, and finding out just how many pits there were in the whole of what was Durham county. We learnt about the proud and close-knit communities that grew up because of the mines, and how each year, people would represent their colliery at the Durham Miners' Gala. We had a go at designing our own banners for the Emma Colliery, choosing imagery that represented things we have been learning about in our Durham heritage topic. Here are a few examples of what we produced - see if you can spot references to Charles Thorp, mining, free education, pit conditions, St Cuthbert and even the Stella Mining Company's distinctive red and white buildings.
Thursday 6th July
A varied and active week started off at the ISCKON Hindu temple on Westgate road. There, we were met by Kirtida, who welcomed us in with a smile and helped us to learn so much more about the Hindu religion. We have already had some RE lessons about Hinduism, so it was really interesting to see a real puja ceremony. Kirtida was impressed with our questions, and we also had fun dressing up in some traditional clothes and playing the drums.
Our visit to the temple was followed by a walk down the hill to the Tyne Theatre for a celebration book launch. Earlier in the year, we worked with Antarctica class to write the third chapter of a story. The 'Imagine a Story' project, run by the Southbank Centre in London, brought together six schools in our region to write the 'Rewilding Dream' story, which was then published as a book. At the celebration event, we met the illustrator, Lucy Farfort, and listened as co-author Dominique Palmer read the finished story to us. We also took part in a live drawing session with Lucy. It was great seeing our story in print, and even better finding our names listed in the book. We're all published authors, don't you know!
Friday 30th June
Firstly, a big well done to Gabriel, who was awarded first prize for Oceania in the performance poetry competition. He wrote and performed his own poem about bluebells.
This week saw the end of our instructional writing unit, so we had some fun using our weird and wonderful ingredients to create some potions. Some of us wanted to become celebrities, others to time travel and one of us wanted to turn her enemies into slugs.
Behind all the magic and humour was some serious grammar, from using conditionals (if...then) to show alternatives or warnings, formal imperatives ('bossy' verbs), modal verbs (would, could, may, might...) to show possibility and adverbials (once, before, then, next...) to organise the text, to technical language and a range of punctuation (brackets, dashes and commas) to add extra information. See if you can spot some of those in the following extracts:
It is important to make sure your ingredients are fresh so they should be picked on the first of June and be used in 24 hours. If you use the ingredients a week later, you will be poisoned or sick. Max F
First, begin by pre-heating your cauldron to 750 witches' sneezes (if you are a normal human, witches' sneezes are degrees) over a periwinkle flame. If it is any other sort of flame, then the potion will not turn out correctly. Lilah C-S
Now, put in the child's tear from an eye - remember, the younger the better. This step is vital, as if you miss it, you could end up living for an extra 100 years. Holly S
Afterwards, take your leaves while wearing fresh gloves so as not to get any of your DNA infused with your ancestors' DNA (if you do get any of your DNA mixed with the blood on the oak leaf, this will not work well and you will need to discard the whole mix, even if it hasn't been used, and start again). Sam W
Finally, grind your 2-year-old acorn into a thin, crumbly powder. Then add it into the cauldron. Wait three hours and 63 minutes before removing from your cauldron. Sarah C
Friday 23rd June
Another week has disappeared in the blink of an eye, packed full of lessons and activities. When we learn our writing skills in English lessons, it's not just so we can use them in our English books - the idea is that we take those tools with us wherever we go, whether it be a History discussion about Charles Thorp or a Geography diary entry about a journey through a terrestrial biome. This week in Science, we learnt about the animal biologist Jane Goodall, who is famous for her ground-breaking work with chimpanzees. After some interactive activities and a quiz, to gather lots of information about her, we wrote biographies about Jane. This is where our super skills came in handy, and as you can see from the small selection, we have become confident writers here in Year 5.
Friday 16th June
This week seems to have flown past, even though there were more days in it than the last one. Must be all the hard work we’ve been doing: we started a new English unit on Instructions and had some fun today finding ingredients for a potion around the school grounds, and then turning them into expanded noun phrases (‘three golden dandelions, plucked from a forbidden field’, for instance); BikeAbility training moved out onto the roads of Crawcrook; we’ve been getting our heads around the tricky business of converting between units of measure, from grams to kilogrammes and the like; and we had a really interesting History lesson about Charles Thorp – did you know that he was not only the vicar of Holy Cross Church in Ryton village, but he helped in the creation of Durham University, opened the first Penny Bank in Ryton (and the whole of England), created a University for freed slaves in Freetown, Sierra Leone, and was responsible for buying the Farne Islands for conservation? What an amazing man!
We also visited the local library today, where we teamed up for a quiz – the winning team then ‘bowled for books’ and strikes were rewarded with a book, which was a nice surprise.
Friday 9th June
We began our new half-term on wheels, as Tuesday was the first of our BikeAbility sessions. This first one took place on the school playground, and was an assessment of our confidence on a bicycle, so that Sara, our instructor, could make decisions about whether we are able to progress to the on-road training next week.
After checking tyres, brakes, steering columns and chains, we were put though our paces to assess our ability to ride in a straight line, turn with control, use our brakes safely and signal confidently. It didn't really feel like a test and it was all great fun.
Not only did every single one of us arrive with a bicycle, but all of us have been given the go-ahead to bring it back next Tuesday - no mean feat, apparently!
We also just happen to have completed a discussion unit in English this week, on the topic of 'Should Children Cycle to School?' With some great use of conjunctions to link our ideas, facts, figures and formal language, we considered the case 'for' and 'against' a journey to school on a bike. With proper training and the correct safety gear, we all agreed that this healthy mode of transport is a real winner.
Thursday 25th May
How did we get to the end of another half term so quickly?
We finished 'Summer 1' with an enjoyable visit from Geoff, Ian and Anne from Scripture Union, together with Pam and Sam Cree from the Methodist church. They treated us to three 'Diary of a Disciple' workshops about different stories from the gospel of Luke. We used drama, craft and a quiz to learn more about Luke's writings about Jesus, taking our inspiration from a child-friendly version of the gospel by Gemma Willis; this was written very much in the style of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, and presented the stories with quirky drawings and much humour. We enjoyed reading and working with text, and got a lot out of the sessions. The church was kind enough to pay for copies of the book for both Year 5 classes, so we can read the rest of the stories at our leisure.
Friday 19th May
Another packed week saw us relaying batons in PE, working out equivalent fractions in Maths, learning how to discuss in a balanced way in English and comparing Brazil with England in Geography.
In our Science lesson, we looked at the gestation times of different mammals and compared them to their relative sizes. The most effective way to do this was with a scatter-graph, but as it was something we had not encountered before, we created a giant version of one on the floor, before making our own. We found that, with only a couple of exceptions, the larger a pregnant mammal is, the longer it takes the foetus to develop before it is born. Did you know that an elephant carries its baby for 22 months, but a mouse will give birth after just 20 days?
A final, but very important mention: what a fantastic Year 5 class assembly we performed today. The hall was packed, but we all showed great courage and spoke clearly in front of everyone. The singing was beautiful, too, and even better, we made at least eight parents cry!
Friday 28th April
Another busy week, in which we have started a new Maths unit on fractions, written some poetry as part of our English adventure story topic and continued to improve our running technique and stamina in PE. We also took part in in an on-line session about all those changes associated with puberty, lead by Gateshead school nurses. Never an easy subject to have to consider on a Tuesday afternoon, but the level of maturity shown by all of us was just brilliant, and the many questions following the session showed how well we had listened. All part of growing up, but we're kind of glad to have got that lesson out of the way!
Friday 21st April
Some of us have been angling for a class pet recently, for some strange reason, so of course, there was huge excitement when not one, but ten of these little fellas turned up on Thursday. Their timing could not have been better, as this week, we have reached the life cycles of amphibians in our current Science topic. It's one thing learning about the truly amazing metamorphosis of tadpoles into frogs, but it's quite another to actually observe all the changes as they happen in real life. Did you know that the tail is actually absorbed back into the froglet's body, rather than just dropping off (it's a great source of nutrition) and that a tadpole's gills that allow it to breathe in water are replaced by a pair of lungs, so it can breath air when it climbs onto the nearest rock?
Something else that we have enjoyed this week, has been our Maths - we've been learning about factors and multiples of numbers, and our knowledge of these were put to great use when we played a fun game on a hundred-square. The objective was to find the longest streak of numbers that were either a factor or a multiple of the previous number. For example, if we were to start with the number 12, our next could be 3 (as it's a factor of 12) or it could be 24 (a multiple of 12). The tricky part of the game was that each number can only be used once. This is an on-line version of the game, if you fancy a go yourself: https://nrich.maths.org/factorsandmultiples
. If you can beat a 31-streak (our class record), take a screen shot and post it on See Saw.