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Year 5 – Simmonds Class

Welcome to Year 5 and Simmonds Class

Week ending 6th December 2019


Each Friday seems to be upon us before we realise it at the moment but, as the old saying goes, time flies when you're enjoying yourself! Simmonds Class have had a tremendous week and have completed a truly fantastic set of adventure stories. Based on the film, "Jason and the Argonauts," and  using plenty of the features we have been learning about in class, their writing was an absolute joy to read. We have practised using ambitious vocabulary; language to create the effect of excitement, suspense and tension and been working hard to extend our sentences with a range of adverbs and conjunctions to add detail. Some examples will shortly be displayed in the gallery section above.

We have also completed our unit on Perimeter and Area in numeracy which has resulted in some great problem-solving and tricky multi-step calculations. Well done.

Next Monday afternoon, 2:30pm onwards, is your chance to come and see some of this work, including the artwork we have managed to finish, based around Greek pottery, Gods and Goddesses and mythical creatures. We will also be displaying the wonderful home projects that the children have submitted so you will have the chance to add your comments and observations to their handiwork. Here is a sneak preview to start you off. smiley


As a heads-up, the final two weeks of term will fly by and the timetable will be a lot more flexible than usual. Some of the exciting events that will be happening include:


Week beginning 9th December:


  • Monday morning 9:30 - dress rehearsal for KS1 play
  • Monday afternoon 1:15 - 2:15 - last yoga session
  • Monday afternoon 2:30 - 3:00 - history virtual museum
  • Wednesday afternoon - class reward (for winning 30 gold stars)
  • Thursday - school closed for Polling Day
  • Friday - Christmas jumper day and Year 5/6 trip to France


Week beginning 16th December:


  • Monday - Year 5/6 return from France
  • Tuesday afternoon - pantomime treat from POMS
  • Wednesday - Christmas dinner and Shine activities
  • Thursday - last day of term for children



Week ending 29th November 2019


The end of November has arrived and that can mean only one thing: that we roll into December next week and the countdown to the holiday break begins. laugh

We have been keeping busy - and entertained - in school with this build up, enjoying a host of performances from the year 4 harmonicas, the KS2 violinists (big congratulations to Leila, Sarah and Tayler - you were fab!) and our own singing rehearsals in preparation for the much loved Carols by Candlelight evening: as a reminder, this will be taking place on Wednesday 18th December.


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In class, we have begun to look at adventure story writing and have used the old favourite, "Jason and the Argonauts," as a stimulus for planning our own versions of mythical quests. Within numeracy, the children have worked extremely hard through their sessions on perimeter, including those where some of the lengths are missing - an early introduction to basic algebra, so well done to them all. 

We have also been researching some of the beliefs of the Ancient Greeks and creating fact files on the key Olympian Gods and Goddesses. We are now in the process of drawing some scaled pictures of them to display on our classroom board - a tricky task indeed but one where the practice sessions have shown great promise. yes

Our Christmas Fair is happening this Thursday, 5th December, and we are in the process of getting ready for our class stall. Many thanks to the children who have volunteered to help on the stall and/or take part in the choir performance with Mrs Price. All these things, together, help support our school aims and provide an enjoyable experience for the whole school community. We look forward to seeing you there.  


Week ending 22nd November 2019


We have now finished our work on play scripts and completed some fantastic examples of scenes from the story of Theseus and the Minotaur. The children have earned 3 more gold stars for their efforts and hard work -  together with the delight of their teacher!

I have been truly impressed with their end products. Well done to them all.

As we work through the new maths unit on multiplication and division, we have identified what happens to a number when multiplied and divided by 10, 100 and 1000 and have also begun to investigate methods for multiplying multiples of 10. A new term the children have been introduced to is commutative law - test your child this weekend to see if s/he remembers what it means and can give you an example. laugh


We had a thoughtful and engaging RE lesson on what we need to support us through our life journeys. It was really lovely to hear how many memorable events the children have already experienced in their journeys so far - not always happy ones, but all experiences that we can learn from and take us forward. The children demonstrated a great deal of maturity, respect and empathy during this lesson, skills which they should rightly be proud of. 


Our history topic on the Ancient Greeks involved a museum follow-up lesson this week: we have been observing examples of pottery and using the designs to create our own, depicting different aspects of the Greek lifestyle. Photos will be displayed when the paint has dried on our creations. In the meantime, the weekend's homework is to continue with the project - please do let me know if anyone is having difficulty with meeting the deadline for this. 


On a final note, with regard to homework, a number of children have been keen to practise their hundred club at home. I have therefore attached the 3 different certificate levels in the relevant section above. Enjoy!



Week ending 15th November 2019


This has been a particularly busy week - but definitely, also an enjoyable one.

The anti-bullying theme, "Change starts with us," was a key point on the agenda  and we participated in a number of debates and activities on the back of discussing some well-known video clips. We have almost completed the work on this issue and will display our finished pieces in the gallery above shortly. 

Odd Socks Day took place on the Tuesday and celebrated the art of being different.

Photos of our "odd pairings" are shown below.

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Many thanks to all the adults who nobly helped out with our trip to the museum on Wednesday. It was fascinating to handle such ancient pieces of pottery and use the clues to discover more about the Ancient Greek way of life. We enjoyed, also, the chance to wander around the museum as a whole and take in the other exhibitions. The display on how humans and climate are impacting the survival of some of our world's animals was one most worthy of note and generated a lot of heartfelt discussion from the children.

Roast Dinner Day on the Thursday was a great success and it was a real delight to see so many parents and family members join us for the delicious meal - prepared, cooked and served up by our wonderful team of catering staff. The cookies and crumble went down a treat too! This event will go a long way to supporting our application for the Food for Life Bronze award and show our school's commitment to healthy eating. Many thanks to all involved - and for the support given by the Soil Association representatives (Cat and Victoria) and our Chair of Governers, Chris Pullin with wife Carol. 

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Somehow, amid all these events, we managed to squeeze in some time to learn about properties of numbers and the conventions of writing a play script. We will continue this work next week and hope to complete a scene from Theseus and the Minotaur with what we have learned.  

Please encourage the children to carry on working on their home projects over the weekend if possible. . I am looking forward to seeing their finished products in December. 

A final thank you to all those parents who attended Parents evenings. It is always a great opportunity to share your child's work and progress with you. 

Enjoy a restful weekend. 


Week ending 8th November 2019


Term 2 has begun at pace and a number of whole school events have been announced to keep us busy and excited, alongside the new subject topics in class. 

Next Tuesday we will be holding an Odd Socks Day, as part of national anti-bullying week and we will be addressing this year's theme of "Change starts with us" through lessons in the classroom. Our trip to the museum takes place on Wednesday and we look forward to learning about the Ancient Greek lifestyle by observing a selection of authentic artefacts. Many thanks to the parents that have kindly offered to support with this. 

Roast Dinner Day is happening on the Thursday, celebrating all the hard work our catering team does towards encouraging healthy food options - and a great opportunity to simply enjoy the dining experience as a family.

In class, we completed our maths unit on interpreting tables, including time tables, and enjoyed an "icy" science lesson where we tested the best insulating material for keeping an ice cube cold the longest. Photos of our investigation are below.


Investigate the best insulating material for an ice cube

Hopefully, you have all had the chance to sign up for parents evening next week and I look forward to meeting you then. 


Week ending 25th October 2019


Well, what a fantastic week it has been to cap off term 1 of year 5. Simmonds Class have ended on a huge positive with some wonderfully completed newspaper articles, a celebration of the poet Benjamin Zephaniah as part of Black History Month, a visit from Humanist Lucy Luke and an assembly from local councillor Mark Weston, who informed us of the exciting plans for improving our play space around Brentry.

Below are the photos from our follow up lesson from what Lucy had to say about humanism. We used a  single piece of string, representing our one life, to create something that brought us happiness. Take a look to see what we were thinking of.

We were very proud of our finished newspaper articles, using the TfW model, and thoroughly enjoyed the outings some of the children had as roving reporters. Here are a few examples of the children's initiation into journalism, "hot seating" eye witnesses together with a few samples of their first edition reports.

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Another topic also came to an end this week and that was our history unit on the Vikings. Groups presented the research they had completed on one particular aspect of the Viking way of life, be that the clothes that they wore, the homes they lived in, the food they ate or the weapons they used when raiding and attacking. Great collaboration skills were witnessed throughout the task and some great presenting from the children.

In PSHE this week we learned about why Black History Month is held each October and focused on the poet Benjamin Zephaniah to help focus on the achievements of black people, from history and today. We watched him performing his version of "Talking Turkeys" and discussed the message he was putting across - and how performance poetry engages the audience so well. Some children also went on to read "The British" and identified how this poem highlights the theme of equality for all.

To end the term, I have given out the first project of the year, based on our upcoming history topic, The Ancient Greeks and a copy of the instructions has been attached to the homework link above. You should also have received a letter regarding a planned trip to Bristol museum on Wednesday 13th November. Please return the permission slip and make your payment on the School Gateway by the first week back in term 2.

Finally, another letter has been sent regarding the Roast Dinner Day on Thursday 14th November. This has proved to be a very popular event and places have now been filled. I look forward to seeing you for a great dining experience on the 14th.

Enjoy a restful half term break.


Week ending 18th October 2019


This week, we had a fantastic cooking experience with Aspens when they came in to our class session and invited us to make some bread in our new cookery room. It was great fun - and the best bit came when we got to take our end product home and eat it!

The Big Breakfast event was also enjoyed by a number of children in the class when they attended breakfast club on Thursday. It was hard to resist going back for second helpings when you saw the delicious smoothies on offer. laugh

In class, we have consolidated our work on newspaper features and are now looking forward to finalising our own examples next week. In maths, having completed our unit on addition and subtraction, we have begun to look at line graphs and interpreting their data.

Homework gives the children an opportunity to consolidate their +/- knowledge with a set of multi-step problems. Please ensure this is completed and handed in by Wednesday.

Below are a few photos of our on-going group posters, relating to different aspects of Viking life. I have been really impressed with the collaborative skills and the ability to delegate roles appropriately that the children have shown throughout this activity.

Keep it up, Simmonds Class: I'm looking forward to your presentations.


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Week ending 11th October 2019


It has been miserable outside the classroom this week, with the seemingly relentless rain but Simmonds Class have continued to work hard and deservedly been in receipt of a couple more gold stars towards the whole class reward.

Some brilliant newspaper reports were produced through using the "Talk for Writing" technique and our numeracy lessons have been full of addition and subtraction calculations, including some tricky challenges which required the inverse operation to be used. We have also revised the use of bar modelling to help solve word problems.

In history, we had an interesting look at Viking artefacts and discussed what they tell us about the Viking way of life. Miss Ransom tells me we have some budding historical detectives in the class - well done!

Both our PE focus on cognitive skills and our science topic on materials have been developed this week too and some of the photos of these lessons are shown below.

Separation by filtering

Sequences of jumps, balances and rolls

On Thursday we had a whole school assembly to raise awareness for Mental Health Day which this year was on the 10th October. It gave children the opportunity to understand a little bit more about what struggles and upsets young people can go through - and how to let them know they are not alone. The key message of the assembly was that it is good to talk to someone - and Brentry has a lot of us that will listen. smiley

Homework this week relates to the literacy work we have been covering in class on punctuating speech. As usual, completed tasks are due in next Wednesday.

Enjoy a (hopefully dry) weekend.

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Week ending 4th October 2019


After such an eventful fortnight, it has been a welcome relief to stay put inside the classroom this week and begin our new literacy and numeracy units: newspaper writing and addition and subtraction with larger numbers, respectively. We have also continued with our science work on materials, investigating different processes of separation. We began with a mixture of pasta, paper clips, plastic counters, flour and rice - and were challenged to separate each material, using a selection of apparatus. Below are some photos of that challenge - which was surprisingly UNmessy this time!

Our history topic on the Vikings continues apace and this week we learned all about the greatness of Alfred, the king who brought peace to Britain and encouraged everyone to have an education.

Our PE lessons have been thoroughly enjoyable too and I have to confess how pleased I am with the class's enthusiasm and ability here. The gymnastic sequences of jumping, landing and balance were both innovative and impressive while the hockey skills have uncovered some skillful (and competitive) players. In order for the class to get the most out of each lesson, please do remember that our PE sessions are on the Monday and Thursday of each week so the correct kit is required on these days. Thank you. 

Homework has been attached to the appropriate section above, including the spelling pattern for next week. The task requires the children to apply their understanding of the column method for addition and subtraction.


Week ending 27th September 2019


It has been a busy fortnight but definitely an enjoyable and productive one. The class have excelled themselves in producing some fantastic biographies on Ellie Simmonds in which they demonstrated a good understanding of all the key features and wrote chronologically with a range of different time adverbials. This is also the focus of their literacy homework this week so they should be able to complete it with confidence laugh

Some of the information we researched about our paralympic swimmer has been displayed outside our classroom.

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We have also had fun with our first practical science lesson, finding out which materials dissolve in water. There were a few spillages and messy moments but I was once again impressed with the children's learning for much of the related scientific vocabulary was digested and explained. You can test your children at home and see if they remember what a solution is; what dissolving means and what the difference between soluble and insoluble is. We definitely have the makings of some future top scientists here...

The highlight came on Friday when we joined Year 3 on a trip to Bath for the day. Our main focus was to attend the Children's Literature Festival where Cressida Cowell, author (and recently announced UK children's Laureate) of How to Train your Dragon and the Wizards of Once books, was speaking about her journey as a reader, illustrator and writer. She was incredibly engaging and inspiring, providing the children with a wealth of ideas to further their love and learning of all-things-literacy. 

The excitement begins with Cressida...

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We also had time to visit Bath Abbey which proved to be a beautiful building and one which the children treated with due respect and calm. It was particularly rewarding when staff members and other visitors commented on the good behaviour and overall conduct of our pupils. It was a helpful and thought-provoking visit and will support the work we are doing in class related to general beliefs in God.

We wish the abbey continued good wishes for their current Footprint Project and thank them for their help in accommodating us at such short notice.

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A few pictures from the abbey

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Enjoying lunch in the square and the sunshine

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Spot the celebrity as we ventured around Bath!

Many thanks to the parents who came along and helped with supervision - you were utterly invaluable (despite the more unflattering photos you took of the teacher!)

Thanks, too, go to all of you for you truly have got children to be proud of: they were a credit to you and the school. They deserved their treat of a homework-free weekend (courtesy of our late arrival home) so the task will be handed out on Monday instead, due in for next Friday. (It can be found  in the homework section above though if there are any keen children who would like to get a head startsmiley)


Week ending 13th September 2019


Well, what a fantastic first week this has turned out to be for Simmonds Class. Already the children have been awarded 20 mins extra free time as a result of being the best behaved in assembly this week and the class with the highest attendance of 99.3%.

Many well-deserved congratulations go to them - and keep up the good work!


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You may have heard about the surprise Viking Raid that occurred in class last Wednesday. Just as we were learning about the nature of Viking warriors in our history lesson, the door burst open and poor Sammy was wrestled from his desk by a fierce and blood-thirsty, axe-wielding Viking! Fortunately we were able to recover our shaken class-mate and then generate some thoughtful discussion about what life must have been like to be at the receiving end of one of these attacks.

We also continued our work on valuing and rounding larger numbers; revising basic punctuation rules; introducing Jigsaw Jez as our PSHE "talking" character and beginning our PE units on gymnastics and hockey.

For those of you who were able to attend the back-to-school meeting on Thursday, you will know that the first homework task has been set for this weekend. A copy can be found in the homework link above (although it has been put into the children's homework books) and focuses on some research about Ellie Simmonds. This information will support the class work we will be doing next week on biographies. 

Also, a letter was sent home regarding our forthcoming trip to Bath and the Children's Literacy Festival. Please do look at the bottom of bags for this so that permission slips can be collected as soon as possible for confirmation.

Many thanks - and let's look forward to another productive week in year 5. smiley


Week ending 6th September 2019


The first week has proved that we have hit the ground running as we have quickly acclimatised  to the new-look school and already produced some great display work for the new Simmonds classroom. (Photos to be uploaded shortly.)

While there were plenty of questions from the children about what the year ahead will involve, we did learn some key facts about our paralympian figurehead in the spaces between - and began to understand what makes Ellie Simmonds such an inspirational person. We will make her the focus of our literacy unit on biographies over the coming weeks, alongside the revision of basic grammar rules on which to build.

We will also start some numeracy work on place value; begin our science and history topics (on Materials and Vikings respectively) and generate discussion on why some people believe God exists as a starting point for our RE unit - so there is plenty to do and look forward to.

A more detailed outline of the areas to be covered and an early introductory letter to year 5 have been sent home with the children today but if you did not receive them, both have been uploaded to the appropriate curriculum and letters sections above.

I look forward to meeting you all over the course of the year and hope many of you are able to attend the back-to-school meeting this coming Thursday.