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 term.
Thursday 22nd December
It's not often that we sail so close to the special day, and we've worked ever so hard throughout the term, so it's been lovely to finish with some festive fun this week.  We've made Christmas cards, played party games, enjoyed a giant Christmas quiz and, of course, laughed our way through a fabulous pantomime at the Tyne Theatre.  Beauty and the Beast is a familiar tale, but this version included some hilarious jokes, lots of silly slapstick and even some spooky 3D ghosts.  What a wonderful way to celebrate a most successful term in Year 5.  Here's to a wonderful Christmas and looking forward to an even better New Year.  
Friday 16th December
It's been a busy few days, in part because of our Festivals Enrichment Week.  A riotous start saw us in the dance studio with Brian Costello and an array of samba percussion instruments.  He taught us how to bang, shake and rattle in time to the beat of Latin America, which was so much fun and a great way to shake off any early-morning sleepiness!  We also found out what Christmas is like in Australia, made Christingle oranges, learnt about the Jewish festival of light, Hanukkah,  and enjoyed a cracking Christmas lunch on Thursday.  
We also finished our adverts in English, so we then turned them into radio adverts, in the style of those cheesy JML ads that you see in all good garden centres.  Spend a while listening to them by clicking on the link below and marvel at our persuasive skills!
Friday 9th December
This week has seen us nearing the end of our persuasion unit in English, with a view to recording some radio adverts next week for tourist attractions that you didn't even know we had in our local area.  In these three examples of our opening pitches, look out for rhetorical questions and imperative sentences, both designed to speak directly to the reader:
The High Ropes Centre
Are you bored, lying on your bed and doing nothing?  looking for a thrilling weekend out?  Don't go further!  Sky-high Zip Lines and lovely views are at England's biggest high-ropes attraction, which is opening in 30 days.
Maisie Park
Are you bored stuck in the house?  England has a new theme park.  You have to go now!
Snow World
Is your family bored and stuck in the house?  Are you looking for a Christmas cracker of an adventure?  Well if you are, don't move a muscle.  You've met your Christmas fun dream.
We have also come to the end of our Science topic about the Earth in Space, with a rather practical lesson on the Moon.  For the last 28 days, we have been keeping Moon diaries, watching the changing shapes of the Moon's phases.  This week it was time to explore this in more detail, with, of all things, a couple of packets of Oreo biscuits.  Having carefully scraped the frosting from one half of a biscuit to show one of the eight Moon phases, we then arranged our Oreo moons into the correct order.  You might be familiar with the full and new Moons, but ask us what a waxing crescent or a waning gibbous is.  Part of the lesson also explored why the Moon's surface looks like it does - this involved dropping small rocks into layers of flour, sprinkles and cocoa powder to make our own Moon craters.  

Friday 2nd December

What a fantastic educational visit we had to Durham this week.  As part of our local history topic, we visited the cathedral and found out about its rich history. We learnt about when, why and how it was built and the importance of St Cuthbert and St Oswald.  We found out how the cathedral has been used (in particular by the monks), explored the monks’ old living, eating and sleeping quarters (which are now museums), and were provided lots of information about historical artefacts. Obviously, there was a lot of enthusiasm too about seeing the locations where Harry Potter was shot (you might be able to spot Professor McGonagall's room in the photos).  We also took an educational walk around the city, where we used our geography knowledge to recognise features of the temperate deciduous forest biome that we were in, as well as applying our map work skills to find out further historical information about Durham.

Friday 25th November
Our PE this half term is yoga, so we have been enjoying some great sessions on our roll-mats, exploring and practising lots of different poses and stretches.  Anyone who says that yoga isn't hard work, has never done it properly - this week, when we used the Ancient Greeks as our stimulus, we had to hold some really tricky poses, like the Warrior, which needs good balance and strong leg muscles.  Even in the warm-up, we tried our best to hold the 'Plank' for a whole 60 seconds, which is great for building core strength.  Of course, we also really like the last five minutes or so of our sessions, when we lie down, become mindful and relax completely.  We are all still awake in the photo - honest!
Friday 18th November
Fridays always have a slightly different feel to them, what with the weekend knocking on the door, but today had the extra bonus of being Children in Need Day.  Aside from the spot-tacular non-uniform part, we all enjoyed a few glorious minutes in the hall, choosing from the bewildering array of cakes and biscuits that so many families had so generously created for the day.  The School Council had worked really hard to arrange and display not only the cakes, but also to organise some fun Pudsey-themed activities for us to do, so thanks especially to our class councillors, Cara and Archie, for their efforts.  
Just a quick addition to last week's Science - we extended our knowledge of the Solar System on Monday, by looking at how all the planets move around our Sun.  It's a very difficult concept to really grasp, as the distances involved are mind-bogglingly vast, but a little bit of role-play did help us to understand how the planets actually move.  The time-lapse below was taken at the point at which the first four rocky planets were in action.  Can you spot Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars orbiting the Sun?  You might also notice Archie as the Moon, doing his best to orbit Harry at the same time!

Friday 11th November

Our Science topic this term has taken us far, far away from our amazing planet and into the depths of space.  This week, we have been learning about the planets of the Solar System, and also about the relative sizes and distances involved.  We started by comparing Earth, the Moon and the Sun, and found out that even if the Earth were the size of a marble (and the Moon a tiny little bead, around 5cm away from it), the Sun would have to be the size of a Space-hopper.  As for the relative distances, we had to go onto the field.  We tried estimating how far away the Space-hopper Sun would be from the marble Earth by finding a spot on the field, but none of us quite managed to guess that Charlie (who was holding the ‘Sun’) would end up so far away – all the way to the bushes in the other corner!

We have also been busy in Art lessons, learning about perspective.  This is the way that we judge distances, and when artists create pictures, they need to use a few tricks of the trade.  The first is size – the further away something is, the smaller it gets; the second is placement – as an object gets further away, the further up the picture it should appear; the final trick is atmospheric perspective – as objects move into the distance, the dust and water vapour in the atmosphere makes colours fade.  As you can see from our Remembrance paintings, we have used all three techniques very well.

Friday 4th November
We developed our knowledge of musical terms this week, as it is important to be able to describe exactly what we hear when we are listening to a piece of music.  For example, the beat of music gives it's regular pulse, and (like the heartbeat drives blood around our bodies) it drives the music forwards;  the patterns of long and short sounds gives us the rhythmpitch gives us sounds that are high or low; the volume of music is referred to as dynamics; and the tempo of a piece is how fast or slow it is.  Many of the words that we use in music have an Italian origin, so we had a little fun with Jasmine, who volunteered to play her ukulele in different ways.  When she slowed her music down, we all shouted 'largo', and when she played it faster, we called out 'presto'.  If she played quietly, she was greeted with whispers of 'piano' and conversely, she heard us all cry 'forte' when she played loudly.   
Thursday 20th October
Life can be a little frantic sometimes, so it is always nice to take time to stop for a while and think.  This week, we welcomed the Prayer Space team back to school, who brought with them a range of calming and thought-provoking activities for us to try, from thinking about loved ones and our favourite things, to considering our hopes and dreams for the future.  It was an enjoyable and precious few minutes, and we look forward to taking part in Prayer Space again.
This marks the end of our first half-term in Year 5 - can you believe how quickly it has flown by?  The 'Dream Team' have continued to build on past achievements; working hard, playing fairly and laughing lots, so a week's break is definitely well-deserved.
Friday 14th October
We've had a busy week, with lots of practical activities, including some colourful science and a very dramatic history day.
As part of our materials topic in Science lessons, we have been developing our knowledge of the Particle Model, which helps us to understand how materials behave, from melting and freezing, to evaporating and dissolving. it was dissolving that came into focus on Wednesday, as we experimented with Skittles.  Each group thought of a question to investigate and then made predictions based on what we already knew about the role of particles in dissolving a solid material.  Each group then tested their hypothesis.  Well, it beats watching felt pen spots on a strip of filter paper...
We also had a drama workshop based on WWI and the perspective of German nationals living in England at the time. Through role play, archived footage, propaganda posters and newspaper articles, we were able to gain a real empathy for people of German descent who were treated with great distrust and hatred during the Great War.  We finished with a performance based on the dreadful events that saw many businesses and people attacked across England, just because they had German connections.  
Friday 7th October
It was National Poetry Day on Thursday, on the theme of the environment, so each class has been looking at the beautiful book 'The Lost Words'.  Oceania's inspiration for the week was Raven, an acrostic poem full of figurative images, which has allowed us to really enjoy using the skills learnt in our recent writing unit on settings.  We explored the alliteration, simile and metaphor found in the poem, and wrote our own acrostic masterpieces in the same style.  By the end of the week, we all demonstrated a greatly improved ability to create imagery in our readers' minds, but here's a particularly impressive example, written by Gabriel:


Raven raps, what are you?

I am Rose! I am a jewel of rainbow and colour.

I shine like a diamond in a soft silver stream.

I grow petals of sugar, a child’s dream to bare,

Retorts Rose in reply.


Otter orates, what are you?

Who am I? For I am Rose, I stare a hypnotic gaze that no-one can return and pray for my beauty.

I float downstream, carrying a blooming scent of nature.

I dance like an elegant ballerina under the spring moon, making colour spring to life around me.

Riddles Rose in reply.


Squirrel scowls what are you?

Me? I am Rose.

I may look elegant but those who hunger for my beauty face my thorns.

I am the deadly beauty dagger ready to strike, a mother of thorns, a cluster of knives,

Snaps Rose in reply.


Everyone to no-one knows not what you are!

Not true. For I am nothing but a rose, a word to remember, a sight to behold,

A flower to love and bless,

Reassures Rose in reply.

Friday 30th September
We came to the final part of our English writing unit this week, which has been all about warning stories, with a focus on creating interesting settings.  Our 'toolkit' included using interesting details and figurative language, creating different atmospheres with the surroundings and guiding our readers around the setting with adverbials.  Try asking us about these, because we all managed to use the techniques in our story-writing this week.  Writing itself is fun, but it gets even better if we can read it to our audience and see their reactions; this is exactly what we did during our final lesson, reading to our partners, with a few of us volunteering to read our stories to the whole class.  A darkened room, and some atmospheric up-lighting helped to increase the tension, as characters ignored their warnings and got themselves into some perilous situations.  Fortunately, everyone survived and there were rousing rounds of applause.
Friday 23rd September
This week in our Science lesson, we spent time investigating different materials, using magnets, electrical circuits, pipettes, magnifying glasses and our own hands to test for all sorts properties, from whether they were magnetic or waterproof, to absorbent or flexible.  This meant that we had to get to grips with a whole host of scientific words and their meanings (some quite complex), comparing and contrasting the materials.  We were then asked to think of everyday items and consider their properties and why they were suitable for their jobs, based on the materials they are made of.  Even at the start of Year 5, our writing skills are pretty impressive, as you can see from the few examples below.
A water bottle is hard and insoluble.  If it were soluble, then it wouldn't be able to contain any liquids, and if it could not contain any liquids then it would be useless, and we would may as well drink from a puddle in shame of inventing a soluble liquid container.  If it was flexible, then it would bend, leaving us to chase the bottle-top with our mouth.
Scissors are hard and rigid. This is good because if scissors were soft, you would not be able to cut with them.  They are magnetic, however this is not a problem, because I don't think you would be cutting something magnetic.  They are also insoluble.  This is also good, because if you tried to wash something soluble, it would dissolve, which means you would never be able to wash your scissors.  They are also waterproof, so you don't have to worry about them getting wet.
The Lego brick is both hard and rigid, but it is not soluble.  It is insoluble so it won't dissolve, because if it was soluble it would turn into shreds if it went into water.  Lego can also be both opaque and transparent; however transparent pieces are not fully transparent - they are a bit translucent.  It is rigid because if it was flexible, it would be easier to snap in half.
Friday 16th September
Time flies when you're having fun, and we've certainly had a lot of that this week, from learning how to dribble a basketball defensively to having our first swimming lesson.  Our visit to Blaydon pool on Wednesday went extremely well, with even the nervous among us managing to get comfortable in the water; it's definitely going to be a favourite.
In our English lesson on Friday, we explored figurative language in writing - the technique of comparing a person, animal or thing to something else, to paint clearer pictures in the minds of our readers.  Once we had managed to practise this, we wrote some animal poems.  See if you can spot the similes and metaphors in these examples:


Ears which hear you breath from a million miles away,

Paws that can feel a worm wriggle in the soil below,

Fur as soft as satin,

Amber eyes like the finest jewels,

Prowls like a thief wishing to steal,




King Fisher

Beak so sharp it can pierce a fish,

Eyes that can see an ant’s leg

Wings that soar across the icy waters,

As blue as the ice cold waves,

It dives like a lightning bolt,

It swoops like a fighter plane,




Fur bright like the sunset,

A mane as creamy as home made cookie dough,

Ears that flick away flies,

Eyes as black as oil,

A muzzle as soft as new-born baby lambs,

An Olympic long-jumper.




Fur as black as the blackest midnight,

Whiskers as strong and as thin as a tightrope,

Paws as sensitive as a blossom petal,

Eyes as bright as the sun,

Ears that can hear a mouse scurry to his home,





Eyes as black as space,

Ears as sharp as swords,

A tongue as wet as the ocean,

Claws like knives,

Fur like a cloud,

An old friend.




Ears that can hear the tread of an ant,

Black spots as dark as midnight,

Hazelnut eyes that can see like a wolf,

Paws as light as a feather,

Tail that swings like a hammock,

An Olympic hurdler.




A midnight-black nose,

Fur like spaghetti,

Ears that hear a cat’s tread 100 miles away,

Paws scratching up the carpet,

Its tongue panting is a loud roar,

Greets like an old friend.


Friday 9th September
What a fabulous first week back!  It has been known for people to refer to us as the 'Dream Team', and we have certainly lived up to our reputation this week.  We've shown curiosity, friendship, good manners and plenty of enthusiasm, and all the excitement and enjoyment of Year 5 stretches before us.  Watch this space for some great achievements!