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Year 5

Autumn Term - It's all Greek to me!



Our topic for this term is ‘It’s all Greek to me!’  The focus of the topic is on ancient Greece and we will be looking specifically at history, d.t, art, science and music. Our history lessons begin with asking the children 'Ancient Greek achievements are overrated and the Greeks were no different to other people'. The children will be learning all about Ancient Greece, comparing them to previous historical people they've studied and learning all about the achievements before taking part in a debate to share their opinion. The children will be learning about how our schools, language, buildings, government and the Olympics are influenced by and rooted in ancient Greece. The children will be using their historical skills to analyse and interpret primary (from the time) and secondary (written since the time) sources and discuss their own views and opinions on others’ interpretations of the past.


Following this, in art the children will be looking closely at Greek pottery. They will be considering the designs and decorations on traditional ancient Greek pots and comparing them to the pottery of modern day artist Betty Woodman. The designs that the children will be creating for their own pots will be based on an ancient Greek myth of their choosing. These designs will be painted onto the pot that they will create themselves using the ‘coil pot’ technique.


In science, the children will be looking at space.  They will be considering the impact the Ancient Greeks had on what we know about space from proving the Earth is spherical through observations to correctly theorising the Earth and planets spin around the sun rather than the solar system orbiting the Earth. We will be conducting experiments throughout the topic

where possible to show how these initial ideas were first theorized and proved correct.


In design technology, the children will be using their understanding of different materials to design and create Greek sandals. They will be using a range of tools and equipment and combining this with newly learnt skills in textiles to create a well finished product that meets their desired design criteria. 


Finally, the children will be studying music and will continue with the theme of space by looking at Hans Zimmer’s piece ‘Earth’. The children will start by listening to the composer and discussing thoughts towards the music. Later, they will begin to unpick the performance looking at pitch and duration of notes as well as the use of dynamics (volume). They will then begin to create their own musical piece.

It is hoped that ‘It’s all Greek to Me’ will involve a trip to the Royal Cornwall Museum to see some real-life Ancient Greek artefacts and talk to a historian about life in Ancient Greece. 


Spring Term - Planet in Peril

Our topic for the Autumn term is 'Planet in Peril'. It focuses on the dangers that are facing our planet at the moment - in particular, the climate crisis. The topic begins with a focus on what is happening. We will look closely at the geography and scientific understanding of the greenhouse effect and what causes it. The children will then move on to considering who and what is responsible for the greenhouse effect. Is there someone we can blame and is there anything we can do about that or is it something that should be considered as a global human problem that needs to be solved? Finally, the children will consider how we can end or slow the climate crisis and try to answer questions around what the best actions are to take in the situation we have found ourselves in. 

Alongside this geographical study, the children will be writing persuasively about clean energy (such as wind and solar power), learning the story of someone living in Bangladesh who has been severely affected by flooding caused by the climate crisis, finding out about Greta Thunberg - a young spokesperson for the crisis and writing a letter to the readers of our local newspaper about what they can do to solve these climate issues.

In science and D&T, the children will be learning about renewable energy and how it can be used to create electricity. This will lead into learning about electricity itself - how does it flow around a circuit? Then, the children will be creating their own mini wind turbines with a gear system inside that reflects the workings inside real wind turbines.


For more information see the topic web linked below.

Evolution and Expedition

Our summer term topic is ‘Evolution and Expedition’ which follows the world famous scientist Charles Darwin on his expedition on the HMS Beagle. The topic starts by learning about the father of evolution and his life and works which famously culminated in the writing the book ‘On the Origin of Species’.


The children will learn how this was inspired by his findings and observations after his worldwide voyage to places like the Galapagos Islands where he realised that some species of birds had adapted to their sounding but had a shared ancestry. As a result, a lot of science will be covered by the children who will learn about how living things have changed over time and that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago. Furthermore,  the children will learn to identify how animals and plants are adapted to suit their environment in different ways and that adaptation may lead to evolution; in addition, they will also learn about life cycles of animals and plants amongst many other areas of science.


Geography will also feature in this topic. We will look at the voyage of the HMS Beagle which departed from Plymouth and we will compare how it has change from when Darwin set off to the present day. The children will also get to grips with grid references and hopefully how to use a map.


Art is the final area of the curriculum we will look at as famously Darwin recorded in detail all that he observed. Therefore, this will present a lovely opportunity for the children to learn and develop their sketching technique.