Year 5

Curriculum Overview for Year 5


Please click the button below for a termly overview of the curriculum topics that will be covered in Year 5.

Curriculum Information for Parents

The table below provides a more detailed overview of the curriculum, the specific topics to be covered, as well as practical ideas to help support your child’s learning at home.


Fractions: Compare and order fractions whose denominators are multiples of the same number. Identify, name and write equivalent fractions of a given fraction. Recognise mixed numbers and improper fractions and convert from one to the other. Add and subtract fractions with the same denominator and denominators that are multiples of the same number. Multiply proper fractions and mixed numbers by whole numbers. Read and write decimal numbers as fractions. Solve problems involving multiplication and division, including scaling by simple fractions.

Decimals: Read, write, order and compare numbers with up to three decimal places. Recognise and use thousandths and relate them to tenths, hundredths and decimal equivalents. Round decimals with two decimal places to the nearest whole number and to one decimal place. Solve problems involving number up to three decimal places. Multiply and divide whole numbers and those involving decimals by 10, 100 and 1000. Use all four operations to solve problems involving measure [for example, length, mass, volume, money] using decimal notation.

Percentages: Recognise the % symbol and understand that per cent relates to ‘number of parts per hundred’, write percentages as a fraction with denominator 100, and as a decimal. Solve problems which require knowing percentage and decimal equivalents.

As you can see, we will be working all term on fractions, decimals and percentages. For your child to become confident with this, they must know their times tables and related facts really well, so please encourage them to keep practising at home. Remember they can use TT Rockstars for this.

Please encourage your child to keep practising their arithmetic skills with the four operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. We will use these in all areas of our maths and knowing facts off by heart will make it easier!



This term will start with a whole school writing project. This is a lovely opportunity for the children to work with others across the school. They will join together with other children from each year group to listen to and learn one of our classic nursery rhymes. Back in class, the children will share each other’s nursery rhymes and then each class will produce writing about the nursery rhymes based on different genres. In Year 5, the children will be retelling their nursery rhyme from the point of view of another character. At the end of the project, the children will meet in their mixed groups to share their work.

Our first class text this term is ‘Flotsam’ by David Wiener, a beautifully illustrated story book about a bright, science-minded boy who goes to the beach equipped to collect and examine flotsam and discovers a barnacle-encrusted underwater camera, with its own secrets to share. The children will plan and write the story of Flotsam to include a flashback of one of the previous owners of the camera. They will also write a persuasive formal letter focusing on the subject of plastic pollution in the ocean and then adapt this into an informal speech to create a film.

Our second text this term is a visual text, ‘The Lighthouse’, which tells the story of a lighthouse keeper who has a terrible night trying to protect the local village from danger. The children will be using their inference skills to identify feelings and thoughts, then apply this to their writing by showing emotions. After that, they will be applying all of their skills to writing a chapter book of The Lighthouse, retelling the story in detail and adding in their own ideas. Following on from their narrative work, the children will then look at creating procedural texts to guide someone to use a lighthouse. The children will be choosing their own audiences and purposes and presenting their texts to match this, either as a guide for the lighthouse keeper, a storybook for children, a visitor guide or a manual that came with the lighthouse.

Encourage your child to read a wide range of age-appropriate books to work on developing their vocabulary and understanding. Talk about words they are unfamiliar with and try to use them around the house.


Talk about your emotions and how you can understand a person’s emotions from their facial expressions and body language. You could play a game of charades and guess each other’s emotions from the clues.


Circle of Life: After finishing our Materials topic, we will be moving on to learn about the life cycles of plants and animals. We will recap of the 7 life processes and then look in depth at how plants reproduce. The children will be dissecting different flowering plants to observe their reproductive parts; they will learn about the different ways that plants can be pollinated, how they have adapted in order to aid pollination and how some plants can reproduce without the need for pollination. They will learn about the fertilisation process and how different plants disperse their seeds in different ways in order to continue the life cycle. Following their plant investigations, the children will focus on animals, recapping the main animal groups and their defining characteristics, learning about the similarities and differences between the life cycle stages of mammals, insects, amphibians and birds, and then learning about the process of reproduction in some animals. Encourage your child to identify the different flowers growing in your garden or the local park. If you do grow your own, could they pick one and practise taking it apart to show you the stamen, stigma and anther. As the weather warms up, you could observe different insects as they pollinate the flowers.

This term the children will be learning about our changing coastlines. They will use atlases and digital maps to locate well-known coastal towns and areas in the UK and abroad, recognising that coastIines can vary greatly in their appearance and that they change over time. They will identify a range of physical features of coastlines and build on their knowledge of erosion and deposition, learnt when studying rivers in Year 4, to understand how these features are formed. They will also look at man-made coastal features and the importance of sea defences and consider the different ways in which humans use our coastlines. Our topic will include a visit to Souter Lighthouse near South Shields where the children will be able to see for themselves the effects of coastal erosion and explore rock pool habitats. We will also link our learning to the storybook ‘Flotsam’ that we study in English and consider the impact of pollution on our seas and coasts. Perhaps you have photographs that your child could bring in to share of coastal areas in the UK and abroad where you have spent holidays. If you visit the coast later this term, ask your child if they can point out features such as a headland, bay, cave or stack and explain how they were formed. Can they point out any sea defences such as a sea wall or groyne and explain to you how they work?

D & T


Our art this term will be linked to our study of coastlines. The children will extend their knowledge of different collaging techniques and will create a collage sampler on the theme of coasts. They will use a variety of materials, including textiles, natural and recycled materials. They will also learn a number of different stitches which they will use to construct and decorate their collage. If you visit the coast, it would be great if your child could take photographs to help them with their ideas for their collage and possibly collect small shells which they could use.


What do Christians believe about God? The children will build on their prior knowledge and begin to think more deeply about what Christians believe about God as creator and how different metaphors are used to represent God in the Bible.

As we approach Easter the children will learn more about the events of Holy Week and how these link to the way Christians celebrate Easter today.

If you go to a church service on Palm Sunday, could your child bring a palm cross into school to share with their classmates?

PE will continue on Tuesday afternoons. The children will focus on travelling and turning in gymnastics, on accuracy and rallies when playing net games (tennis), and on invading to score in hockey. They will continue to work on core fitness through circuits. Year 5 will be swimming on Wednesdays during the second Spring half term and we will be entering the Darlington schools swimming gala which takes place in March. Please ensure that your child remembers to bring their PE kit every Tuesday and their swimming kit on Wednesdays after half term. We will be outside in all weathers (within reason) so warm tracksuit, waterproof, hat and gloves are also needed as we head into winter. We very much appreciate the support from parents with transporting children to and from sporting events – thank you!

The children will start 2019 by reflecting on their successes and challenges from the previous year and setting themselves some things that they’d like to achieve this year. We will also be thinking about what we can all do to make school a safe and happy place for everyone. Those children who wish to will take part in the Bikeability cycle training to increase their understanding of road safety. In preparation for our trip to Souter Lighthouse, the children will be learning about coastal dangers and will complete their own ‘risk assessment’ to make sure that we take all the necessary precautions to keep everyone safe on our visit. We will also be thinking about coastal pollution and its impact and reflecting on what we can do as individuals and as a society to combat this. Bikeability training is offered to all Year 5 children. It is run by Darlington Local Authority’s cycle training team and will take place on Tuesdays after February half term. Further information will be sent to parents at the end of January.


This term, the children will widen their repertoire to include more challenging songs; singing in unison, harmonies, group and solo parts. They will discuss genres such as hymns, chants, folk and pop songs and learn how to identify and explain some of the differences between them. The children will continue to practise following a conductor, use musical vocabulary to explain dynamics, pitch and general mood of songs. They will continue to polish performances, take turns in singing on the microphone to build their confidence and to sensitively appraise other singers. Date and time of the children’s end of term performance are on the ‘Dates for Your Diary’ or can be obtained from the school office. They will have worked very hard to polish their performance so please come along to support them and enjoy their singing.

This term the children will learn the French vocabulary for some places in their locality, such as school, church, post office, park and shop and will listen to and follow a short description of a journey to school. They will learn about lucnchtimes in French schools and how they might differ to their own and then learn the vocabulary for a range of healthy food/snacks and be able to express a preference. The children will learn about French Easter traditions and the French vocabulary for words associated with Easter.


For our E-Safety focus this half term, we will be looking at spam mail. We will be thinking about how we identify this mail and what we should do if we receive any emails that look too good to be true, including telling a trusted adult, reporting the email as spam and putting it in our junk folder. For Safer Internet Day, we will also be looking at consent, thinking about the permissions we give on the internet and to other people when posting on the internet.

In our computing unit, we will be looking at developing our own games using the Kodu software. They will be learning all about using when and do commands to write programs to accomplish specific goals. We will be explaining how simple algorithms work and detecting and correcting any errors by debugging a program we have created.

Ask your child to tell you what to do if you receive a piece of spam email. Talk to your child about the importance of talking to a trusted adult if they receive anything they are unsure of.

Kodu software is a free software which can be downloaded at home. If you have access to this, your children can show you how to do each programming step that we have learnt. If not, you could talk to your child about the different programming steps and ask them to explain how they would program an object to move, eat an object or follow a path.



MATHS ·          Place Value

·          Addition and Subtraction (formal and mental methods and problem solving)

·          Statistics (line graphs and timetables)

·          Multiplication and division (factors, multiples, prime numbers, square and cube numbers, mental methods and multiplying/dividing by powers of 10)

·          Area and perimeter (finding the area and perimeter of rectilinear shapes)

Please encourage your child to keep practising their arithmetic skills with the four operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. We will use these in all areas of our maths and knowing facts off by heart will make it easier! They can also use Times Tables Rock Stars to help with their multiplication and division recall speed.
ENGLISH This term our whole class text is The Explorer by Katherine Rundell. Set in South America, this wildly exciting adventure story is about four companions who are on their way back to England from Manaus when the plane they’re on crashes. For days they survive alone, until Fred finds a map that leads them to a ruined city, and to a secret. Reading it, the children will be transported to a mesmerising world where they can swim with river dolphins, eat a tarantula and discover a ruined city. The children will use the story as a stimulus to write diary entries, newspaper reports, and the explorer’s story. They will also write a biography about a real life famous explorer. Why not find out more about the Amazon rainforest and its animals by researching using the internet or non-fiction books at the library? Your child could present their ideas as a fact-file or non-chronological report nad could also practise writing diary entries for a special occasion or a newspaper report for an event you have been to.



In our first science topic ‘Out of This World’, we will be learning all about the solar system, including the difference between a star, a moon and a plane, the names of the planets and the order they are in terms of distance from the sun. We will be making our own scale model of the solar system (with the help of some fruit and toilet rolls) to help us to comprehend the relative approximate sizes of the Earth, sun and moon and other planets. We will be learning about the moon’s orbit and how and why the moon appears to change shape over the course of a month. And we will investigate how the Earth’s movement causes night and day and how the position of the sun changes during the day.


Our second topic is all about materials. We will be investigating the properties of a range of materials and various reversible and irreversible changes such as dissolving, melting and evaporation. No doubt we will be getting messy when we experiment with mixing, heating and cooling different materials and identifying scientific processes and changes in some everyday situations.

Please join us on our trip to Wynyard Planetarium and Observatory for a fantastic star show and hopefully some night sky gazing.



Why not try out some of our experiments at home together. Kitchen cupboards are usually full of items you can use for this. This is a great website for simple experiments to do at home


HISTORY Our history topic is the ancient Maya. We will be learning where and when the Maya civilisation existed and comparing this to Britain at that time. We will investigate how the Maya empire grew and why it became so important. We will explore what life was like at the height of the Maya civilisation, looking at society, settlements, architecture, writing, maths and the calendar system, farming & trade, everyday life – clothing, food, sports, religion. We will also discover how the Maya expressed their culture through the arts and link this to our art work on Maya murals. And best of all, do you know what the ancient Maya are perhaps most famous for? Chocolate! So for design and technology this term we will be looking at recipes that include chocolate.
GEOGRAPHY The children will be studying the geography of Central and South America – the home of the Maya. They will be learning the names and location of key countries and capital cities and identifying physical features such as major rivers, mountain ranges, forests and oceans. They will also find out information about population, climate and key products that originate from Central/South America. Plus, we will be researching some of the best known tourist attractions and writing our own tourist information leaflets. Perhaps if you passing a travel agents, you could pop in and collect a brochure about Central/South America to look at together and plan an imaginary (or even a real) holiday.


Our art this term will link to our history topic of the Maya. The children will be learning about the history of mural painting, in particular Mayan frescoes, and exploring the work of South American artist, Diego Rivera. They will investigate some techniques used in mural painting and experiment with line, tone and shade when drawing and painting. This will lead to the children working together to paint a mural depicting the ancient Maya culture.
DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY Once again linking to our Maya topic, the children will be investigating, designing and making sweet and savoury recipes using produce that originate from South America. We expect there will be some chocolate in there somewhere! We will send some of the recipes for you to prepare together at home and we would love some feedback about what you think of them.
RE This term the children will be focussing on Islam. They will learn about the Qur’an; why Muhammad is important to Muslims and what Muslims believe about God. They will explore the features of a mosque and learn about the five pillars of Islam (the Shahadah, salah, fasting and Id-ul-Fitr; zakat and hajj) and their significance for Muslims today.

As we approach Christmas the children will be exploring the key themes of Christmas, looking at those theme in the gospel birth stories and discussing whether the themes of Christmas are still important today. And of course, we will be preparing for our whole school carol service.

If you can, please come along to our Christmas carol service at All Saint’s Church. Date and time is on the ‘Dates for your Diary’ or can be obtained from the school office.
PE During the first half term, the children will be having swimming lessons at the dolphin centre every Wednesday afternoon. In our PE lessons over the course of the term, they will be practising invasion and ball skills in tag rugby with coaches from Mowden Rugby Club; learning about orienteering and practising skills around the school grounds; gymnastics and fitness. Please ensure that your child remembers to bring their PE kit every Tuesday and their swimming kit on Wednesdays. We will be outside in all weathers (within reason) so warm tracksuit, waterproof, hat and gloves are also needed as we head into winter.


We will start the term by learning about the difference between a right and a responsibility. We will learn about the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and use these ideas to help us think about our rights and responsibilities in and around school and our community. As always we will be celebrating anti-bullying week in November which this year has the theme ‘Choose Respect’ and a special ‘Stop, Speak, Support’ theme focussing on cyberbullying. Find out more at:


MUSIC In Autumn 1 the children will be working towards a Remembrance service to commemorate 100 years since the end of WWI. They will learn a range of songs from different genres and combine this with some drama. The children will be learning to adopt appropriate singing styles and follow a conductor. They will focus on singing in unison and in harmony and with sensitivity. As always they will have the opportunity and be encouraged to perform using the microphone and in front of an audience. In Autumn 2 they will be working towards the whole school Christmas carol service. Please join us for what we are sure will be a very moving Remembrance service and a very joyful Christmas carol service. Dates are on the ‘Dates for Your Diary’ or can be obtained from the school office.
FRENCH After recapping some of the vocabulary the children have learnt previously, we will be learning some of the sounds in the French alphabet and comparing them to our own. We will learn some French vocabulary to do with space and the planets to link with our science topic. We will be describing places we might pass on the way to school, such as the shop, the post office, church etc. Finally, we will be learning to sing a French Christmas carol which we hope to perform at our carol service. Listen to the song together here:


Can your child tell you what some of the words mean?

COMPUTING As we revisit the theme of online safety, the children will be exploring what makes a strong password is and how to create one in order to protect private information and accounts online. They will be thinking about how to participate responsibly and respectfully online and work together to create on a classroom motto about digital citizenship. They will be using MSW Logo to create their own artwork and will learn how to create and debug various algorithms. The children will also continue to improve their key skills ensuring that they can carry out tasks such as creating and naming new folders, inserting graphics and word art, using text wrapping, and inserting a table into a document. Ask your child to tell you how to make a password safe and strong and check that everyone in the family has secure passwords. Talk often to your child about the importance of behaving respectfully and responsibly on line. Perhaps you could talk about the different programmes you use on the computer at home or at work and experiment with them together.