Creativity and Team Work

We have had a creative and active few weeks in Year 5, particularly working on our learning behaviours of teamwork, creativity and resilience.


Cams day

Last week, we had a whole day of making our cams moving toy. Throughout the day, the children worked in pairs to construct and decorate their toy. The children had to accurately measure where their holes needed to be drilled; drill the hole using a hand-drill and also saw their wooden dowels to the correct length. This process required the children to use problem solving to resolve issues with the movement of their cam toy. In the afternoon, the children showed amazing creativity to decorate their toy with a range of resources. We were so impress with their end products and the respectful team work they showed throughout!!

Cricket and swimming

Miss Cox has enjoyed taking a group of children swimming this half term. They are using their resilience to increase their confidence in the water and excellent respect towards the swimming instructors. Due to swimming not being on this week, these children enjoyed being taught a cricket lesson by Mr Maylen working on their short barrier, fielding skills. Please note, swimming continues again next week, on Monday and Wednesday, with Wednesday being our final, extended session of 1 hour.

The children who haven’t been swimming have been learning how to play cricket with Mrs Happy. They have made excellent progress in their skills of bowling, fielding and batting to now successfully participate in a game.


In art, we have started a unit on sculpting. This week we developed our awareness of what defines a sculpture and we looked at the artist Andy Goldsworthy. We then went outdoors to create our own pieces of art work, inspired by his, using resources from the school grounds and arranging them in a creative way.

Green Fingers Market

The children were given the opportunity to suggest different charities the proceeds from our market could go to. Once the suggestions had been shortlisted, the children voted and Cancer Research received the most amount of votes- they are very enthusiastic about this. Plants will be a minimum donation of 30p and so please bring change with you if you would like to purchase one.


The Year 5 Team

Year 5 Update

We are really enjoying our Butter Finger topic and the children have been very interested in finding out about Cricket and The Caribbean.  The children have also had the chance to write a biography on a sports star of their choice.  We have been so pleased with their efforts in researching and writing these biographies and we’re sure you’ll enjoy reading these when you have the chance. Our cams day is fast approaching – Thursday 10th May – please ensure your child has a shoe box in school for next week.

Our recent science lessons have involved unpicking the lifecycle of a plant and dissecting a flower to understand the process of reproduction in some plants. The children have also begun planting their plants in preparation to sell at the market in a couple of weeks, which they are very excited for.

Following the success of the new Year 5 behaviour policy and especially the tally system, we have decided to celebrate the children’s good behaviour at lunch times by adding an extra tally making a total of six per day.

We have a few exciting dates to look forward to this term.  The children are having the chance to visit Brighton Hill to experience a Secondary School in action on Thursday 28th June (please inform the office of any other taster days your child may be attending);  our Green Fingers Market, a chance to look at your child’s book and potentially buy the plant that they have grown, will be held on Friday 25th May; finally, of course our Butser Trip on Thursday 14th June (please remember to complete the form and hand in as soon as possible).


We hope you enjoy the sunny bank holiday weekend.

The Year 5 Team

A sunny welcome back!

Welcome back to our final term of Year 5!


The children have delighted us with their Caribbean homework from over the Easter holidays and these will be going on display in and around the school within the next few days.


In science this term, the children will be learning about the life cycle of animals and plants and will have an opportunity to grow their own plant. On Friday 25th May at 2:30pm we would like to invite you to our ‘Green Fingers’ market, where the children will be selling their plants and sharing their learning from this half term. Further details about this will follow in the coming weeks.


This week we have enjoyed being naturalists and exploring the school grounds, in the sunshine, to find evidence of living organisms. We then classified these into different groups depending on their characteristics and life cycle. We have also begun to immerse ourselves in our Butter Fingers/ Caribbean topic. This week, the children were given various pictures of the Caribbean to annotate with their thoughts and questions about their observations of the lifestyle and environment.

As the temperatures become warmer, we would like to remind you that all children should bring to school a named water bottle and sun hat. Although we appreciate your child may want cold water, please can you refrain from freezing water bottles as they take too long to defrost and leave a trail of surplus water across desks.


Many thanks,

The Year 5 Team

Easter is here


Wow, what an amazing afternoon yesterday was! It was a great success and we thoroughly enjoyed this event. Thank you so much to those of you who were able to attend and also for the donations of food. We really appreciate your support. We look forward to holding another event, for parents or carers to attend, during the Summer Term.


Well done to the winning group- Belgium!!


This morning, each Year 5 class paired up with a Year 1 class to share the picture book they created on World Book Day. It was really lovely to see Year 5 showing responsibility and care towards Year 1, who were engaged in the stories. The maturity of our Year 5 children was commented on by the Year 1 teachers.



On a final note, the children have been set a half term homework, which they brought home last week. Their task is to create a flag for a country in the Caribbean and write 3 facts on the back about their chosen country. This is due in on Friday 20th April. The children also have their usual Maths (due 20.04.18) and SPaG (due 18.04.18) homework. Just to make you aware, we will be making moving toys in DT next half term which will require each child to have a shoe box so please keep hold of any you have and send these in from Week 2 onwards.



We all wish you an enjoyable Easter Break.

The Year 5 Team


Mad Hair Day

Mad Hair Day was a brilliant success yesterday! The children showed fantastic creativity with their mad hair styles and the school councillors found it tough to choose just one winner from each class. Thank you for your donations; we raised £78.05! A huge well done to our Year 5 School Councillors for organising this event.

Year 5 highlights

What a busy half term we are having in Year 5! The children have been showing fantastic engagement in their learning and are enjoying their Road Trip Around Europe. This afternoon, they were rewarded for their hard working and effort with a film afternoon.

In DT, the children have worked in groups to design a pasta dish to meet a specific need,  for example to encourage a child to eat more vegetables, as well as ensuring it fulfills a balanced a diet. The adults who have worked with each of the groups have praised their team-work, listening skills and manners when preparing and cooking their dishes. Yesterday, the children reviewed this and reflected on what went well and how they could improve it further.

Our Geography lessons have focused on broadening the children’s understanding of our continent. Recent lessons have involved researching the countries, their capital cities and flags, the currencies used and their main languages. In table groups, the children produced a poster to present this information. These are now displayed in the classroom.

Thank you to those of you who contributed to support us to purchase a SPaG book for each child. We are noticing the impact this resource is having and we have received positive feedback about the introduction of SPaG homework. If you missed making the voluntary contribution of £1.50 and would like to then please see our office staff to do this.


We have some very exciting events coming up in Year 5. Firstly, we have Mad Hair Day on Friday 23rd March to raise money for St Michael’s Hospice. This event has been organised by our Year 5 School Councils, who approach Mr Applegate about whether they could plan a fundraising event for this fantastic charity. I have been hugely impressed by the responsibility they have shown to put this all together. The children need to come in with mad hair and a donation of 50p. Lastly, we have our European Food Market on Tuesday 27th March, which is an opportunity for the children to share with you their learning from this half term, as well as taste a range of food from around Europe and participate in a quiz. A letter went home about this event this week. Please could the reply slip be returned by Tuesday 20th March so we are able to cater for this.

Welcome to Road trip around Europe

During the first two weeks of term we have enjoyed sharing our homework projects. The posters. flag work, models and postcards look amazing and the photos show you had a lot of fun cooking dishes from around Europe. We have enjoyed playing the games and answering the quiz questions.

We are now in the middle of our English text, Millions and the children are really getting to understanding the main characters. We have lots of ideas about how the story will end.

In groups we have been planning the pasta dishes we are going to cook in the next two weeks. Each child is bringing home a letter with just one thing they need to bring to make their dish and the day they are cooking on. Please can you discuss the ingredient with your child and if it is meat please cook it in advance. As we do not have much storage please bring the ingredients on the day.

Happy half term!

Over the past few weeks the children have been finding out about Athens and Sparta. We have held a debate to decide which city was a better place to live for its citizens. Following this debate, they were ready to decide which city they preferred and wrote some very persuasive pieces of writing.

During our Science topic, the children have been learning about Forces and have enjoyed the practical experiments. They have had lots of fun making paper spinners and experimenting with air resistance and how it affects the speed at which these fall to the ground.

Every afternoon this week, we have had a strong focus on Christianity and how freedom and justice still feature heavily in today’s society. The children have learnt about the story of Moses, The Ten Commandments and how we can use it in everyday life.

Our Art lessons this half term have included the children using tone and shading to create mythical creatures linking with our Greek topic. Once completed, the children used these to add texture using a variety of materials to create a collage.

On a final note, thank you very much for coming to Parents Evening. It has been lovely sharing with your child’s achievements so far. We hope you have an enjoyable half term and we look forward to welcoming the children back for their ‘Road Trip Round Europe’.


Year 5 Team

Year 5 update

In English, Year 5 have been having lots of fun reminiscing about a favourite memory of theirs.  They have written a neat copy and we will be displaying these outside 5H in the next week, we know you will be just as impressed as we are with the end result.  Hopefully you’ll get a chance to see Year 5’s great work when you come in for Parents Evening.

As mentioned before, we have had a strong focus on staying safe on the internet this term.  This week Year 5 have been working diligently writing a song, advert or designing a poster to help other children stay safe.  As teachers we have been so impressed with the end results.

On Tuesday we had a representative from the NSPCC to highlight to children who they can talk to if they ever need help. Your child will have come home with a sponsorship form.  We would really appreciate it if your child could learn the maths facts from Option 2 list 3.  If your child could collect as many sponsors as possible, all the money will be going towards the NSPCC, we will then test them on these facts on Thursday 1st February.  Once they have been tested they can collect the sponsorship money.  Please can all sponsorship forms be returned by Wednesday 7th February.

You may have seen on the website all children have been set up with a Times Tables Rockstars login.  This is a fun resource and allows children to practice their times tables in a fun way.  You can download the app on to a tablet or play via their website. Once your child has had a try, we know they will get just as hooked as we are.


Many Thanks,

Year 5 Team

Introducing Rockstars Times Tables to St Mark’s!

A Guide to RockStars

We are very excited to be introducing a new tool which will help children learn their times tables – Rockstars!

Why is learning Times Tables important?

As you know, learning multiplication and division facts are key fundamentals of mathematics and are used and applied to so many other areas of maths; knowing these facts will help children to make progress in their learning. The National Curriculum expectations are that children should know all these facts by the end of Year 4. We appreciate that this is a hard task for some children so Rockstars is yet another tool to help them achieve this.

What is Rockstars?

Rockstars is a website where children take on the role of a Rockstar – their Avatar. They give their Rockstar a name, decide what they are going to look like and of course, choose which instrument they are going to play.

How do the children practise their tables?

Once they log in, there are different ways in which they can practise their times tables. 

Your child’s teacher will have set up specific times tables for them to focus on which will be highlighted when they log in. When they play in the ‘Garage’ or ‘Arena’, they will be solely focusing on the tables set by their teacher. In the ‘Studio’, ‘Festival, and ‘Rock Slams’, they can practise all their times tables. They children can practise independently by trying to improve their speed and accuracy but if they fancy playing competitively, in the ‘Festival’, they compete against other children from around the world and in the ‘Arena’, they can play against other children in their Year Group. In the ‘RockSlam’ area, this is where children can choose another peer in their Year Group to challenge! Additionally, sometimes teachers may set ‘Rock Battles’ where children can compete against other year groups, for example there may be a battle between Year 3 and Year 4 as to who can earn the most points over a week’s period. 

What rewards do they get for playing?

Each time the children practise or compete, they gain credits which are used in leaderboards but they can also use these to buy new accessories for their avatar.

Every few week, teachers will be awarding certificates to children who have the most credits and also to those who make the most progress in learning their times tables. The more they practise of course, the more progress they will make!

How do they know if they are making progress?

There are a number of tools on this platform which allow children, parents and teachers to see how they are progressing. They can view and compare their initial baseline speed to how fast they are now and continue to strive to improve this.

Also, by using colours, it show which tables they are confident with in green and the tables which need more practise will be in red.

How do they log in?

Rockstars is available from Year 2 – Year 6. By the end of this week, all children will have been shown this website by their teachers and all children will have username logins in their Learning Logs. Additionally, we’ll send home a parent letter which explains in more detail how to log on.

Now and again, we will play in school but primarily, this is a resource to be used at home. Rockstars is available through WebBrowser but can also be accessed through the app on a mobile, ipad or tablet.


We are very excited about this fun learning tool and already the children are showing such enthusiasm to learn their Times Tables. If you have any problems, please don’t hesitate to see your child’s class teacher.

Many thanks,

The Maths Team



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