Year 5

Welcome to Year 5

Year 5 is a fantastic year with a range of fascinating topics and learning opportunities. By the end of Year 5, our pupils will have learnt most of the Primary curriculum, so it is a vital year that is built on and revisited during Year 6.

Our topics range from ‘Early Islamic Civilisation’ to ‘Space’. Pupils delight in expressing their learning about Early Islamic Civilisation in a parents’ assembly. Woven throughout our year, is a range of high-quality novels including; The Beast Beyond the Fence by Marcus Rashford and Toro Toro by Micheal Morpurgo. The curriculum is developed further through learning in our woodland about forces and chemistry; through visits to a Hindu Mandir, a visit to Cartwright Hall for an Early Islamic Civilisation workshop and through a visit to a local secondary school to bake bread.

Towards the end of the year, pupils enjoy their Heaton Primary school residential trip. A fantastic memory making and learning opportunity which our pupils thoroughly enjoy.

Autumn 1

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Firework Makers Daughter by Phillip Pulman

Topic: Natural Disasters

Our Year 5 pupils begin the year with a topic on Natural Disasters, learning about the structure of Earth and how this influences volcanoes and earthquakes. We build on knowledge of places around the world and focus on North and South America. This topic includes a hands-on Design and Technology project in which pupils make miniature wells (using hand saws and drills) that utilise lever forces to retrieve clean water after a disaster.


The lever forces in our Design Technology links directly to the Science of forces that we study during the first half term. This unit includes a hands-on session in our woodland area using pulleys, levers and studying the effects of other forces.

Autumn 2

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Beowulf by Micheal Morpurgo

Topic: The Struggle for England

There are many different groups of people who have settled in what we now call Britain over the history of our country. We study a time period in history when, for a number of different reasons, many different groups of people migrated here including: Angles, Geats, Saxons, Vikings and Normans. We look at the reasons why people migrated, and what historical evidence suggests about how the people lived. This culminates in looking at the first Kings of a united England. Inspired by the Anglo Saxon poem Beowulf, we sketch monsters in our Art lessons.

Spring 1

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The Golden Horse Men of Baghdad by Saviour Pirotta

Topic: Early Islamic Civilisation

During a similar period of History as the Anglo Saxons (studied in Autumn 2) but in a different part of the world our Year 5 pupils will study the great mathematical and scientific advances that were made in the Arabic world as information and ideas spread along the Silk Road trading routes that spread East and West from the major city of Baghdad. This topic includes a fantastic and inspiring trip to Cartwright Hall in Lister Park for an Early Islamic Civilisation workshop led by the museum. During Art we use mathematical and geometric inspired pieces to print colourful patterns that incorporate Arabic writing.

Spring 2

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Jamie Drake’s Equation by Christopher Edge

Topic: Space

Year 5 pupils love this topic and have many questions that they continue to ask. During science lessons our pupils study our solar system and further afield. They consider day and night, time zones and the characteristics of some planets in our solar system. During topic lessons Year 5 pupils learn about great space explorers who helped find out about the abyss surrounding us! Explorers studied include: Katherine Johnson, who was called the human computer for her amazing maths skills working out the trajectories for the first moon landing, and Tim Peake, a British astronaut who lived on the International Space Station. Pupils present this learning in a wonderful, creative ‘book art’ poster. Lastly pupils sew beautiful space inspired pieces of art.

Summer 1

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The Beast Beyond the Fence by Marcus Rashford

Topic: Voices with Impact

Our Year 5 pupils are inspired by the story of Malala Yousafzai and how she used her voice to advocate for the education of girls. Children go on to study other people who have used their voice to move from a negative situation to a more positive one. These people include amongst others, Marcus Rashford advocating for Free School Meals and Wangari Maathai of Kenya who prompted the planting of trees and empowerment of women. We read Marcus Rashford’s first novel and use extracts from Harry Potter to inspire writing as he moved from a negative situation (living under the stairs) to a positive situation (fulfilment at Hogwarts). Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley is the focus of our point perspective artwork in which children produce some amazing street scenes. The environmental work of Wangari Maathai is extended when pupils spend some time exploring current, topical environmental issues including single use plastic and climate change.


In Science the ‘magic’ of filtration and dissolving is stripped away as pupils study the science behind the properties of materials. This is a very hands-on unit of science learning including a wonderful woodland session.

Summer 2

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Toro Toro by Michael Morpurgo

Topic: Spain

The final term of Year 5 sees our school’s one-night residential take place, an absolute highlight in any child’s primary education. In class, the human and physical geography of Spain is our focus and in Literacy we write recounts and balanced arguments about attending two of Spain’s popular festivals. It is a full half term that includes tightrope walking to inspire our poetry work, tasting typical Spanish food and a visit to Beckfoot Upper Heaton secondary school to cook delicious Spanish inspired bread. The Spanish artist Miro inspires pupils to create amazing, abstract 3D miniature sculptures, which stand in front of a vivid, surrealist Miro Garden.


In Science pupils study life cycles including looking at frogs, butterflies (which we rear in the classroom) and mammals. They also look at how plants multiply.