Emmaville Primary School

Oceania Year 5

Welcome to the Oceania Year 5 Class Page.  Here, you can find out about everything that we've been doing this term.
Friday 28th March
How time flies when you're having fun! How have two terms in Year 5 already flown past?
This week, we have been learning about British Values and Protected Characteristics, as part of our Enrichment Week.  The various topics have thrown up lots of really interesting and engaging discussions within the classroom, and we have been able to assert our our own values of inclusion, fairness and encouragement.  One of the British values studied was Democracy, and we were luck enough to receive a visit from our local Member of Parliament, Liz Twist.  It was really interesting to hear about her work as an MP, and she was able to answer lots of our questions.  
Of course, we can't let this entry go without mentioning the winners of our Easter Egg Decorating competition.  Congratulations to Eva, Grace and Bea for their imaginative entries.
Friday 22nd March
We are a very artistic bunch in Oceania, as demonstrated by the selection of finished Chinese brush paintings below.  We had to use all the skills learnt in the last few Art lessons, like focusing on the way each brush stroke was made and taking our inspiration from nature.  It's not easy creating an image from just a few brush marks, but you must admit that the pictures are really effective.
This week also saw us finishing our newspaper reports in English lessons. You may remember that we've taken our inspiration from the real-life events of 1974, when Frenchman Philippe Petit managed to tight-rope walk between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre in New York. It's been quite a journey of grammatical learning, what with having to get to grips with passive voice, relative clauses, reported speech and direct quotes  - it's a little like spinning lots of plates, but the whole class managed to use the writers' toolkit really well to produce some fantastic writing.  
Here are a few snippets:
The incident began with a dream.  Philippe Petit, the mad-man who committed the crime, alleges, "I wanted to go higher than Notre Dame Cathedral, and then I heard about these towers.  They just seemed too perfect."  - Grace
 At 7pm yesterday, Petit entered the building. As he did, he had to act like a worker because he knew that the building had not been finished.  They got past security and got in the elevator to floor 101 and waited for everyone to leave. - Theo
They then shot an arrow across and secured it at both towers.  Jean-Louis Blondeau (a childhood friend of Petit) who helped shoot the arrow across, asserts, "I did not want to be liable for a friend's death, so the moment he got on the wire I fled from the South Tower." - Mila
Now at the crack of dawn, he stepped down onto the wire with an 8m pole. An office worker (who was buying a muffin) claims to be the first to see it.  She saw him walk backwards and forwards. - Harrison
After calling for back-up, Sam Rider went up to the roof deck of the South Tower.  5 minutes later 29 cops in total surrounded Petit. - Lexie
Dan McCoy - who is a police officer on the roof of the North Tower - states that he must have been up there for at least 50 minutes.  After all that drama was over, Mr Petit finally turned himself in and then went to the police station, but even then he was balancing a cop's hat on his nose.  Daniel
Mr Petit is currently in custody where he is said to be ashamed of himself.  The mayor has announced that he will increase security so nothing will happen like this again.  Will he keep his word? - Amélie
Friday 15th March
We've been getting creative again this week in art lessons, exploring the ancient Chinese painting technique of GuoHua.  The people of the Shang Dynasty (one of our History Topics) were the first to produce writing, and this developed into Chinese calligraphy, which is the art of writing.  There are several principles of the technique, including focusing the artist's state of mind on good brush technique and being inspired by nature.  Having learnt how to carefully paint bamboo in our previous lesson, we moved onto dragonflies and sparrows this week.  The trick is to make every brush stroke count, and use as few strokes as possible.  The concentration during the lesson was amazing!  You'll have to wait for our final pieces of artwork, when we put all our learnt skills together.
We've also been doing a little bit of potting up, as our Science topic of life cycles has focused on plants recently.  Sometimes it's good to just observe things over time, and we wanted to find out more about seed germination.  From our Year 3 work, we know that plants need light, water and warmth to grow, but we were curious about how long germination (the very beginning of growth) might take, once seeds were given moisture.  It turns out that cucumber seeds are very quick off the mark, at three days!
Friday 8th March
It's been a busy week, starting with a visit to Thorp Academy's library on Monday morning, where we were treated to a 'Book Tasting' session.  We arrived to find six tables arranged café-style, with an array of books on each from six different genres (picture books, chapter books, graphic novels, adventure stories, short stories and classics).  We spent the morning working our way around the six tables, sampling over 100 books and choosing just one from each table that we liked the look of.  Our final task was to choose our top three books as our start, mains and pudding.  It was an extremely enjoyable morning that opened our eyes to genres and books that many of us had not considered before.  Many thanks to Beth Khalil, the Learning Resource Centre manager, who guided us through the morning's activities.

World Book Day itself saw us dressing up as an array of book characters on Thursday, and then hosting our own Book Café for the children of Year 3.  This time, we made all the decisions, choosing six book genres, setting up and decorating the classroom, and guiding the younger children around the books that we had carefully chosen from the library.  It was lovely to invite the young readers into our room from both Southern and Northern Europe classes, and everyone had a wonderful time.
Friday 1st March
Firstly, a big well done to Grace and Daniel, who represented the school at the Gateshead Swimming Gala this Wednesday.  They, along with the other year 5 and 6 pupils, gave their best and did us proud.
Our fist week back after the half-term break saw us exploring the unbelievable but true story of Philippe Petit in our English lessons.  He is a Parisian who, in 1974, thought it was a good idea to tight-rope walk between the Twin Towers of New York city.  You can't get much more removed from the events of that day than a class-full of  9- and 10-year-olds in 2024, but we did manage to put ourselves into the shoes of Philippe as he first stepped onto the wire, and came up with some beautifully emotive writing.  The focus of the lesson was figurative language, and you can see from the extracts below that we have managed to use simile, metaphor and personification very successfully.  
Friday 16th February
It's been a brilliant last week of the half-term, with so much learning going on as we've concluded a range of units in English, PE and Design & Technology. 
Our poetry unit hasn't just been about appreciating and performing poems; we have also had a go at writing a little 'free verse' ourselves.  This is poetry without the constraints of rhyme or a regular rhythm, so we had fun imagining (or remembering) what it was like the first time we tasted a particular food.  Here are a few examples below.
Our PE sessions this half term have been on dance - counting a regular beat, practising different actions and moves, and then working to create dance sequences with our partners.  The last few lessons were on a rock 'n' roll theme, so we enjoyed kick-steps, spins and of course, hand jives.  It was fun to watch as our class-mates performed their dances for us this week.
We also completed our wood-working learning journey in D & T, using our cutting and joining skills to make a wheeled buggy.  Actually, these were representations of WWI anti-aircraft vehicles, hence the camouflage.  From the examples below, you have to agree that we've come a long way from making the fridge magnet note holders.
Friday 9th February
Our exploration of poetry continued this week, as we performed our favourite poems on Tuesday for the competition.  It isn't easy speaking aloud in front of an audience, which made it all the more impressive that every one of us stood at the front of the class and read or performed our favourite poems.  Some were by modern poets, like Matt Goodfellow, others were written by poets from an earlier time, like Edward Lear, but quite a few were read by the poets themselves, as many of us chose to write our own.
Congratulations to Grace, who our class winner - she performed 'The Owl and the Pussycat' beautifully, as you can see in the video..
You can see all the performances using the link below.

Friday 2nd February
We have been studying the poetry of a range of poets from Valerie Bloom to Matt Goodfellow this week.  After looking at rhythm, rhyme and patterns, we spent some time practising and performing the poems - solo, in pairs and in small groups.  This has been great preparation for the 2024 Performance Poetry competition, the theme of which is 'A Poem I Love'.  The closing date for entries is next Tuesday, so we have a few days more to find the perfect poem to perfect.
We have also started our School Linking Project, in which we will be communicating with Woodlawn School in Whitley Bay.  This is an exciting opportunity to find out more about a class in another school, send them messages, artwork and greetings, meet up online and even play games with them in person.  Today, we began by making some bunting to introduce ourselves, say hello and tell out partner classes a little about what we enjoy doing.
Friday 26th January
On Monday, as part of our work on World Religion Day, we had a really interesting visit from Brother Khadim, from the Newcastle Central Mosque.  He spoke to us about his life as a Muslim and follower of Islam.  He explained about some of the key aspects of Islam such as the 5 pillars of Islam and showed us a range of things he uses in his everyday as part of his faith such as a prayer mat when he goes to the mosque. The central message of Islam - to treat each other with respect and love one another - fits well with our school ethos here.
We continued to develop our wood-working skills this week, by making some nice little photo frames in our DT lesson.  Again, we practised accurately measuring, cutting, finishing and gluing wood.  We haven't finished yet, as our new-found skills will be put to use in a rather more 'mobile' way in the next couple of weeks or so.  Watch this space...
Friday 19th January
Quite a musical theme to this week, starting on Monday with a class full of glockenspiels.  We have been learning about the pentatonic scale (consisting of only the five musical notes C,D,G, E and A), which is often used in traditional Chinese music, but also forms many familiar tunes like Old MacDonald Had a Farm and Amazing Grace.  We learnt how to use a beater correctly to strike the bars, and then practised playing various tunes.  Now - you'd expect sixteen glockenspiels being played at once to be a little headache-inducing, but actually, you would have been very impressed with the tunes emanating from the classroom on Monday afternoon!  It really was quite impressive.
We also welcomed back the Music Workshop team, who took us on a fantastic  guided tour around the world, where we were able to experience music form countries such as Brazil and China.  Along the way, we learned rhythms, beats and tunes from different cultures and styles, and some of us got to play a wide range of interesting instruments to accompany the brilliant music played by the team.  Always great fun.
Science was very practical this week, too, as we were using Newton meters to measure the weight of various items.  There were a variety of spring balances that measured different weights and used different scales, so it was tricky deciding which one to choose - the heaviest things that we weighed were our chairs, and the lightest were pencils, so we needed to use our judgement carefully.  Kilogrammes are used to measure mass, and weight is measured in Newtons, by the way, as weight is the result of the force of gravity acting on a mass.  So the next time you 'weigh' yourself, multiply the number of kg by 10 and that's your weight in Newtons!
Friday 12th January
The first week of the year has flown past, but we've really made the most of it.  In Maths, we have been learning about how to calculate area, and we finished the week with a practical measuring session so that we could work out the area of lots of rectangular-shaped things in the classroom.  In English, we have completed our section of a story for this year's Imagine a Story Project, which is run by the Southbank Centre in London.  Together with other schools in the North East, we are creating a story that will be published and launched later in the year; we can't wait to become published authors!
Our Design Technology lessons this half term involve creating products from wood, so we've been learning how to measure, cut and sand short lengths of wood, to make magnetic note holders.  It's not easy using a saw, but as long as we remember to 'let the saw do the cutting', we managed well, and the finished note holders look great.
On Thursday, we arrived to find a visitor in our classroom - Mark from the Education Group was there to transport us into space!  Through the magic of VR, we blasted off from Earth and took a guided tour of our solar system.  The VR was so realistic, and covered much of what we had learnt in our Science lessons last term in such an exciting way.  Mark was very impressed with our knowledge and questions.  What a fantastic way to deepen our understanding!