Emmaville Primary School

Oceania Yr 5

Welcome to the Oceania Year 5 Class Page.  Here, you can find out about everything that we've been doing this year.
Friday 8th April
We've been doing a lot of creative descriptive writing lately, focusing particularly on using the senses to immerse the reader in our work; a 3D experience if you like. Now and again, a piece of writing comes along that elicits emotions so successfully when it is read, that it begs to be read again.  One such example was crafted by Rachel, in response to an unusual image.  Rachel is an avid reader, by the way, and it is the many ideas, words and phrases that she so loves to read that have no doubt helped her to become the author that she is.  Enjoy her work below, then remind yourself that she's only in Year 5, and read it again!  
An eggciting end to the Spring term saw us decorating our hard boiled eggs.  It was great fun to create an assortment of odd-ball characters, from Egg Shearan and Kermit the Egg, to Eggross, Dr Who's nemesis, and Eggatha Christie, all of whom you can see below.  
It was a competition after all, so here are the winners...
Also, a big 'Well done!' to Maia, who won the prize for Oceania's most impressive Easter Bonnet.  A hand-crafted creation all of her own, it looked great amongst the others in our parade!
Friday 1st April
Diversity Week has certainly been an enrichment in all sorts of ways, as we have learnt about, discussed and written about the rich variety of life that make up our human community.  From reading about a whole range of inspiring people who have battled against prejudice and difficulties, and creating a Diversity Tree display for our classroom door, to singing our hearts out to the song 'Let Love Shine Through' with the rest of the school, we have shown such enthusiasm and impressive maturity over the last few days.  The future looks bright, if this generation has anything to say about it!
One activity that stood out this week was our celebration of languages.  There are an unusually large number of us who are learning them at home, so we shared our knowledge with each other on Wednesday afternoon.  We already enjoy our French lessons at school, so it was a real treat to be taught some other languages by our classmates.

Friday 25th March
We've been learning and practising rugby skills over the last few weeks in PE lessons, so it was nice to be able to be outside in the warmth of the recent weather.  We've had to learn how to dodge and weave to avoid being tagged, as well as how to pass the ball backwards as we move forwards.  A little tricky, but we seem to be getting the hang of it!
Friday 11th March
The classroom sounded (reasonably melodious) this week, with the introduction of the pentatonic scale in our music lessons.  This is a collection of just five notes from the usual major scale.  Fortunately, when the notes are played, they tend to generate a pleasant melody, played back and forth, from front to back, from middle to end, from end to beginning, and from beginning to middle.  Whether this is true for twelve glockenspiels being played at the same time is up for debate...  Nevertheless, we had a great time, and look forward to using our new-found knowledge to compose our own tunes next week.  With any luck, some videos will appear on our class page!
Friday 4th March
Thursday was World Book Day (the 25th anniversary, would you believe it), and we marked it in style with a class-full of book character costumes and an audience with one of our favourite poets, Michael Rosen.  He was on top form, telling us his entertaining - but completely bonkers - stories, weaving in some of his best-known poems; we joined in enthusiastically with two of our favourites, 'Chocolate' and 'Strict'.
We also decorated our classroom door for the school's book cover competition - as we've been reading the classic Tom's Midnight garden this term, we covered the entrance to our class with ivy garlands and lots of flowers around a grandfather clock.  It was a lot of fun creating delicately-painted petals (our colour-washing skills have come in very useful of late) to create 3-D flowers, and we even won second prize!  We look forward to choosing two new books for our class bookshelf.
Friday 18th February
Our return to school for the new year seems such a long time ago and it's certainly been a very busy half-term, during which time confidence has grown and skills have been developed.  We put our artistic skills to good use this week, for our entries to the Art Bytes competition, which will hopefully see our paintings displayed in an online gallery soon.  The wet colour-wash and black silhouetting techniques that we learnt while creating our Chinese blossom paintings were drawn on again, but with much more freedom this time.  Have a look through our own little gallery of images; there are some really effective examples of colour and composition - plenty for the judges to consider, wouldn't you agree?
Friday 11th February
On Tuesday this week, for Safer Internet Day, the children in Year 5 focused on respectful behaviour when gaming online.  Many of us enjoy using our gaming consoles to play collaboratively or to join group chats and forums, and a quick survey in our class showed that an awful lot of people had seen or experienced behaviour or comments that were not kind.  We used a thought-provoking set of scenarios, created by the UK Safer Internet Centre, to steer a lively discussion about the correct way to respond to comments online.  It really helps to talk about these things, particularly before it happens to us, so we know how to deal with situations when they arise.  We learnt that being respectful involves listening to and including other people, understanding how they might feel and really thinking hard about how our words and actions might affect someone else.  We also designed competition posters to help us remember SMART targets to help us keep safe online.  Roo's fantastic winning poster will now become the wallpaper screen on half of Year 5's iPads
Our week was nicely rounded off with a day of activities designed to soothe, relax and comfort, as part of Children's Mental Health Week.  We talked about our own growth and what might help or hinder it, and we considered lots of ways in which we can develop resilience.  One of the most effective ways to deal with the trials of everyday life is to look for help from our support networks - those people in our lives who can offer advice or comfort when needed.  These formed the basis for some support network balloon pictures, and we also decorated some wooden hot-air balloons to take home.
Friday 4th February
Xīn nián kuài lè.  We had a lovely treat on Tuesday to usher in the Year of the Tiger: artist Jammi de Silva worked with us to produce some very eye-catching Chinese opera masks.  After learning about some Chinese customs for New Year, we looked at designs for masks that are worn in traditional opera performances and then painted our own.  There may have been a few surprised people as we made our way home a couple of days later!  
Also, in English lessons this week, we have been focusing on poetry, but before we got started, we had a go at writing some of our own.  The previous week, we'd done some work around a short video called Monkey Symphony, which told the story of two estranged brothers who were reunited by their love of music.  It was this video that inspired our own poems, four beautiful examples of which you can read below.  See if you can spot the use of rhyme and figurative language in them.

Bird Song

The piano lid yawned open,

It’s polished ivory waiting to be tickled,

Longing for the moment that sweet melody shines from its heart.

Upon the stage the piano did sit,

The stage of expectancy,

Dreaming of the glee of concerts past,

Ruby velvet hung, draped from a rail in front of the stage,

Ready to welcome the host of life to listen to the piano’s melody of bird song



Let the Show Begin

Lid of liquid gloss,

Keys of polished ivory,

Notes for the sweetest of songs,

Curtains of velvet,

Stage of wood and steel,

Lid carefully lifted,

Keys gently wiped,

Notes checked,

Curtains opened,

Stage cleaned,

The audience waits,

Let the show begin.



Dust in the Theatre

Dust in the theatre,

Where your mood is happier,

But that’s not the same with janitor Josh,

Whose hopes and dreams quickly turn into mush.

His notes are beautiful for a little bit,

But his love of jazz starts to hit,

He has a brother perfect in every way,

But his love for jazz can get in the way.



The Stage Waits

The stage waits patiently for its audience,

It’s getting tense,

Then they all flood in,

Lights go dim as the rose curtains draw apart.


There’s a grand piano the size of a bus,

Its lid a black hole to the world of sound,

Each note as sweet as a bird’s song,

You just can’t go wrong!


The keys flash midnight and white,

Under the spotlight,

The nimble fingers going quicker and quicker,

The keys turn into hills and valleys.


Sadly the music comes to an end,

The happiness drowns,

The curtains wind down,

No more beautiful sound.


Friday 28th January
We felt like proper scientists this week, conducting fair tests, with our results tables, timers and goggles on.  Those of you from the olden days may remember that 35mm film came in small cannisters with lids on (they still do actually, but aren't so common these days).  Well, this week, we used them to test the explosive force of gas pressure - if a denture tablet containing citric acid and bicarbonate of soda is dropped into a tub half-full of water and the lid is quickly clipped on, the build up of carbon dioxide produced by the chemical reaction causes the lid to pop off.  Aside from being a lot of fun, this provides us with some interesting ways to test some predictions.  Each group tested the effect of changing one variable (the amount of tablet, volume of water or temperature of water) has on the time it takes for the lid to pop.   As you can see from the photos, gathering results has never been so exciting!
Friday 21st January
Our week started of with a whole-school focus on World Religion Day, in which we learnt about different religions coming together to celebrate the similarities between them.  Although people have many and varied faiths, the majority of them have the central belief that we should treat each other as we would like to be treated ourselves.  With this in mind, Year 5 learnt about Buddhism, a religion centred around developing a way of life that treats others with respect and doing the right thing to help those around us.  Once we'd made our notes and gathered our thoughts, it was time to use our knowledge to create some information posters, which, it has to be said, are rather impressive.  Here is just a selection of them.
You might think that by the time we reach the grand old ages of 9 and 10, we leave behind the likes of counters and cubes in maths lessons.  Whilst it's true that we do have a growing set of addition and multiplication number facts under our belts, we do still often use practical apparatus to help us make sense of new methods and concepts.  This week, for instance, we have been learning how to multiply large numbers together.  When it came to finding the product of two 2-digit numbers, the base ten equipment came in really handy.  A method called the 'area model' helped us to understand how numbers are partitioned and then multiplied together - this we did using ones, tens, hundreds and thousands equipment.  It really helped us to make sense of the numbers and method, in preparation for a more compact written method.
Friday 14th January
It's been a very busy week, packed with all sorts, including working out areas of 2D shapes, finding out about the Titanic in Guided Reading, imagining what it was like to be doing our bit as a Scout or Guide in wartime Britain and learning how to punctuate speech accurately. 
We reached an oasis of calm on Wednesday, with an art lesson inspired by the Shang Dynasty, one of our History topics.  The Chinese have long considered cherry blossom to be a symbol of happiness, hope and love, as well as strength and beauty, so we have been creating some hanging blossom paintings.  Having used a wet colour-wash technique to paint brightly-coloured skies last week, we set about 'painting' the trees.  This required several lungs-full of air and small straws, as we needed to chase blobs of black paint along the paper to form tree branches and twigs.  This was followed by mixing up several shades of pink to dot in clouds of cherry blossom.  The effect is quite beautiful, and all that remains is to sign our paintings with Chinese characters.
There was also just time on Friday to squeeze in a lesson on forces, in which we used Newton meters (or spring balances) to measure the force acting on different objects in the classroom.  Did you know that when we measure the weight of something, we are actually measuring the force of gravity acting on it, and this is measured in Newtons?  Kilograms are used to measure mass, not weight.  For every kg of mass, gravity exerts a force of 10 Newtons.  
Friday 7th January
New Year, new unit of English to get our teeth into - this week, we started a unit based on the picture book 'Voices in the Park' by Anthony Browne.  Having read through it and noted lots of quirky little metaphors hidden in the illustrations, we focused on the way the author had developed the personalities and viewpoints of four different characters who visit a park at the same time.  Today, we used the technique of role-play to further understand the thoughts of two of the characters, using our acting skills to work on facial expression, body language and vocal tone.  As it was such a sunny morning, we did this part of the lesson outside, which was a nice change.  Hopefully, this will help us to develop our own characters in the next few lessons.
Just a quick note about how lovely it has been to see the class again, and that it has been great to see such enthusiasm after the Christmas break, with everyone raring to go and eager to learn.
Friday 17th December
Phew, can you believe it's the end of term?  What a term it's been, too - we've all worked so hard, made quite some progress, had lots of fun, and, really importantly, made the most of every single day.  This final week has been a lovely way to finish off, as we've enjoyed our Marble-jar treat, Christmas dinner, the party afternoon, making Christmas cards and even sewing some felt baubles for our trees at home.
There are a couple of achievements from a little earlier in the term that warrant a special mention, though.  The first is a piece of work that was inspired by a guided reading lesson based on the Disney song 'Out There' from the Hunchback of Notre Dame. After reading the lyrics and listening to the song, we discussed the meanings of the words, as well as the emotions and motives of the two characters, Quasimodo and his master, Frollo.  We wrote about what Quasimodo might really say to Frollo in a letter about how he felt.  Noah decided to go one better and write his response as a song, in the style of the the one we had just studied.  Here it is:
I don't think I am a monster,
That is all just you, 
I am faithful,
I am grateful, 
But I need one day out there.
I know I am safe behind these windows
And these parapets of stone,
One day out there is my only dream
And it is not up to you if I do so,
Out there
Is where I want to be,
You can't stop me any more,
I am walking out these doors,
For one day out 
The second achievement is Isaiah's amazing entry to the Christmas card competition, set by our local MP Liz Twist.  Back in November, she asked us to design a card on the theme of an eco-friendly Christmas, and Isaiah's design was chosen by the school council as Emmaville's overall entry.  Although it was not chosen as the final winner by Liz, she did write him a letter on very fancy headed paper, thanking him for his wonderful ideas.  What an honour!
Friday 10th December
We've been enjoying lots of fun practical activities during this STEM week, from learning the basics of computer coding music with Sonic Pi and finding out the inner workings of different household appliances, to building a bridge for a troll.  Although very different, all of these involved an element of growth mindset in some way: as with all coding, there were times when we had to de-bug and find ways to make the Sonic Pi code work (which produced all sorts of interesting beats, beeps and cool noises when it did); we had to demonstrate confidence and co-operation when we worked in pairs to create a logical explanation of how a cordless drill works; and as for working in small groups to build a bridge over a 50cm gap with only sheets of A4 paper and Sellotape - well, that was an activity that definitely needed patience, determination, resilience and team-work! 
The bridge-building activity started with a little experimentation, which was followed by an exploration of which mathematical shapes were the strongest.  After some discussion and designing, we then set about building our bridges.  As you can see from the photos, the final designs (finished on Christmas Jumper Day) were as varied as they were fantastic.  We finished with 'trial by mass' - you wouldn't think that mere paper could support much, but the least mass supported by the bridges was 200g, whilst the winning bridge held a whopping 2.9kg!  Well done indeed to Noah, Louie and Isaiah.
Friday 3rd December
As a way to consolidate our science topic of Earth and Space, we spent the day at the Life Science Centre in Newcastle on Tuesday.  Being the first educational visit in oh so very long, we were all very excited to be going, and we weren't disappointed.  We started the day off in one of the Centre's laboratories to explore different aspects of life on the International Space Station, including repairing solar panels with robotic arms, tasting space food and even testing the effectiveness of Maximum Absorbency Garments (otherwise known as space nappies).  We also spent time in the amazing planetarium and explored the Space Zone, where we learnt about rockets, mission control and life in the ISS.   There was even enough time to explore a host of puzzles and activities in the Brain Zone, marvel at the models in the Lego Zone and see the Lumiere show, in which we were wowed by light-themed experiments.  What a brilliant day out!

Friday 26th November
This week, we have been working on our dance moves in PE - but not as you might expect.  Our lessons are inspired by the work of choreographer Merce Cunningham, who changed the way many people thought of dance forever, when he decided to move away from music and concentrate on the pure movement of the body.  A few decades ago, he formed the idea that dance moves could be used independently of music, instead focusing on a series of actions that can be put together in any order in any way.  For example, we have been looking at ways to extend, travel, kick, slide, ripple, jump, tilt, fall, twist and spin our bodies.  Working in pairs, we have chosen our own sequences and movements, and have been practising how to create short dances to a piece of music that has a repetitive beat.  All we have to do is remember the sequence and count the beats.   It's been great fun, so much so, that some of us have been practising at playtimes!   
See if you can spot some of the movements in the two short dances below; you might be able to hear some counting too.

Friday 19th November
We had the honour of hosting our old friend Adam Bushnell (author and poet) for a whole morning this week, and it was great to spend time with him on the topic of World War One.  He had lots of interesting artefacts to show us, including some of his grandfather's actual possessions from when he was in the trenches.  After we had examined them and heard some interesting tales from the War - one of which was about how Adam's grandfather had to dig out an emergency trench and reinforce it with anything he could find - we went outside to build some 'trenches' out of sticks.  There was some great teamwork and discussion about the best techniques, and then we then came back into the classroom to use what we had learnt to do some descriptive writing.  The powerful imagery that we used was then extracted from our writing to create short poems, two of which you can see below.
We also practised and performed the poem 'Together We Grow', a parting gift from our lovely friend Sarah Hammersley.  We set it to the tune of 'Frère Jacques', which of course lends itself to a three-part 'round'.  Ever up for a challenge, we tried the round with the last two verses- you can watch the results below!

Friday 12th November
Having been postponed for a couple of weeks, our basketball training sessions got underway on Tuesday.  Sam, the coach from the Newcastle Eagles, really worked us hard as we practised and developed our dribbling skills.  He showed us how to defend and attack, with lots of different drills and games.  By the end of the session, not only had we been given a good workout, but we had all managed to improve in some way.  We're really looking forward to our next lesson!
Friday 5th November
We have been working so hard in our swimming lessons this term.  Both our teachers and instructors have been really pleased with the progress in our confidence, breathing and technique; more and more of us are making it into the big pool each week, having demonstrated increased ability and stamina (25 metres is a long way!).  Everyone has also been super-impressed with behaviour and attitude, which is always important whenever we represent the school somewhere else.  Here are a couple photos of us this week, when we were relaxing in the small pool after our lesson.
Thursday 21st October
Despite being a short week for us, we have still managed to squeeze in plenty of good stuff, amongst which was a science lesson about dissolving and concentration gradients.  Now, we've tasted the rainbow of Skittles before, but in the lesson we actually saw the rainbow appear, as we tested our ideas about the little sweets using just water, a paper plate and a sugar cube.  We discovered that once dissolved, the brightly coloured sugar particles move through water away from areas of high concentration to ones of low concentration, causing long streaks of colour to appear.  This movement of particles along a concentration gradient holds true for any particles free to move around in liquids or gases, or even a class-full of children bundling out onto the playground! 
We also managed to fit in a yoga session on Tuesday, using a planet-themed lesson from Yogabugs to develop our strength and balance. Some of us demonstrated amazing flexibility!   The relaxation session to finish was something we all enjoyed too.
Friday 15th October
We had an exciting start to the week, when four of the Newcastle Eagles arrived for a 'Hoops 4 Health' roadshow.  We practised and showed off our dribbling skills, thought about how we can value ourselves and learnt about the importance of water in the environment and our bodies.  It was great to be able to talk to and get advice from someone we can look up to - and we had to look up quite a long way!  We're looking forward to starting some training sessions next week with them.

Friday 8th October

We've had a lot of fun in English lessons during National Poetry Week and have been reading, exploring and performing different poems including 'Walking with my Iguana' by Brian Moses, 'Sandwich' by Valerie Bloom and 'People Equal' by James Berry.  These helped us to create a poetry performance toolkit - a set of tips to help us perform to our best.  We also had a video workshop with Simon Mole, this years National Poetry Day Ambassador, who encouraged us to dream about a day with no boundaries; a day in which we could do absolutely anything with anybody. The result of all this dreaming was some great poems, that ranged in subject matter from eating giant chocolate cakes to playing football with Harry Kane and the England team.

Our week finished with a whole-class performance of James Berry's 'People Equal', in which we decided to work in groups for each verse, but as a class to emphasise the repeated phrase.  The poem challenges us to think about the differences between people, yet consider that we are all equal.   As you can see, our performance toolkit worked really well!


Friday 1st October
Our last week of September has been very productive: we tackled back-stitch, as promised, sewing some extremely straight lines; our writing unit on Warning Stories came to a close, with our descriptive skills being put to very good use; we began learning about World War I (one of our three History topics); and in Science, we used filtration to separate materials from water, learning about the Particle Model on the way.  
Next week hosts National Poetry Day, so we will be spending our English lessons reading, writing and performing poetry.  Keep an eye out for the results of our hard work (and fun) in next Friday's run-down!
Friday 24th September
Another busy week here in Oceania has seen us developing our skills across the curriculum, and having quite a bit of fun on the way. 
We have been continuing our learning of how place value works in Maths lessons, with rounding, ordering and comparing some truly gigantic numbers; the question was asked at the start of the unit, "So, will we be rounding to the nearest 1000 in Year 6?", but this week we answered that when we worked with numbers up to a million! 
Having designed some bunting flags last week, we practised our sewing skills, building on work we had done in Year 4.  Mrs Lowe, who had seen our work in Asia class, was very impressed with the improvements we showed this week, when she was teaching our class on Wednesday.  You can see some super-neat  running-stitch work below, with examples from Roo and Sophia.  Back-stitch next! 
Our Geography lessons this year will be largely based on 'Land Biomes', which are the different areas of our planet, grouped according to their climate, soil type and organisms that live there.  Strangely, it wasn't long before we realised that almost all of us already had some knowledge about this topic, even though we have never had lessons about it before.  It turns out that most of the biomes (desert, tundra, grassland, rainforest, as well as others) are featured in our favourite computer game, Minecraft!  It just goes to show that you can learn things from even the most unexpected places!
Friday 17th September
Phew! This week has flown past, which is only to be expected, what with it being the very first week of our full Year 5 timetable.  We've worked hard on place value and rounding numbers in Maths, learnt and practised using some pretty tricky scientific words for our Materials unit, had a dip in the swimming pool and began work on designing some colourful bunting, among many other things.  One thing that shines through in every lesson, is our enthusiasm, and that is something which is bound to help us make great progress and have lots of fun.
In English lessons, we have started a unit on Warning Stories, with a focus on creating good settings.  Having identified half a dozen author's techniques that will help us to develop our own story settings, we focused on using descriptive figurative language.  This includes similes (comparing something to something else, using the words 'like' or 'as') and metaphors (making a direct comparison by saying something is another thing).  It can get a little confusing, telling them apart, so we wrote some animal poems to help us understand.  We were very proud of our work (the poetry-reading plenary lasted quite a while!), so here are just a few for you to read.  Can you spot the similes and metaphors?


Hands as orange as a setting sun,

Chest as white as a distant star,

Grip as strong as a spider’s,

Legs as blue as the wild ocean,

Pupils darker than the midnight sky,

Head as green as fresh cut grass,

Eyes as bright as crackling fire,

A pogo-stick in the forest                     Frankie


Eyes like charcoal,

Running on the grass,

Fur as fluffy as freshly-picked cotton,

Cuter than a new-born baby,

Cutest dog ever,

Moves like a beach ball                 Jessie


Eyes as orange as apricots,

Feet like Autumn leaves,

Feet as sticky as Sellotape,

Skin like blueberries,

Skin as green as grass after rain

A firework                        Lily


Elegant and strong, like the King of the Jungle,

Spots as dark as charcoal,

A pointed nose, like the lead of a pencil,

Fur slightly prickled like miniscule blades,

Eyes watching every twitch,

A flash of lightning                        Rachel

Friday 10th September
What a lovely first week back we've had!  Our start to Year 5 has got off to a fantastic beginning, with lots of fun activities to get us settled back into school life.  We've learned how to create our own graffiti tags (ask us what a serif, flourish, symbol or a drop-shadow is), played a 'team draw' activity that tested our observational and co-operation skills, enjoyed parachute games under the shade of a tree and practised our basketball dribbling skills.
We also thought of some questions to research about our new continent, Oceania, and then used the iPads to find the answers.  Once we had made some notes, we worked in pairs to design and create our own dioramas to display our new-found knowledge - don't they look fantastic?
One more thing to share: as we've started a new term, we've begun a new leg of our Accelerated Reader journey, so to create something to mark our progress along our class points chart, we made some mini avatars this week.  The options were completely open to us, so we had fun making them, from superheroes and queens, to cyborgs and cartoon characters.  There were, however, some rather strange food-based characters: two slices of streaky bacon, a banana, burger & fries and a watermelon...!  Anyway, let's see how quickly we can earn points by reading lots and taking the AR quizzes.