Dear Year 5 Parents and Guardians,

Welcome back to school after what has hopefully been a wonderful break for you all. Once again, may I take the opportunity to reiterate how pleased I am that I have to chance the work once again with you and your amazing children. Both myself and the rest of the Year 5 team share this sentiment and we are geared up and ready to go with a whole new year.

Attached to this letter is a topic plan. The school’s topics are being planned and executed differently now. There is a whole school question, then each class addresses a different aspect of this question. The whole school question is, ‘What story can walls and bridges tell us?’ And within that question we are going to investigate the history of crime and punishment. It should be good fun, as we explore a range of eras and also question the actions and views of people from centuries past through our critical thinking sessions.

PE will be on Mondays and Fridays. Please ensure that the children have trainers, just in case we can get outside. I would take this opportunity to remind you to remind the children to bring a coat every day as the days get colder. We want to use all the dry playtime we can, but if it is too cold, we cannot take the children outside if all they are wearing is a t-shirt!

Fridays will be a mental arithmetic day, focussed on times tables and quick calculations. The children will benefit greatly from practicing their tables at home and they have a new reward system for hit the button, meaning we don’t have a specific table each week, but they have to put a representative score in each times table, every half term.

There are also many opportunities to extend your child’s learning out of school.

It is very important that your child continues to read regularly at home, either by themselves or to an adult. Reading is a key home learning activity that helps with: understanding the world around them, understanding vocabulary, spellings, ideas for their writing, punctuation and grammar. Ideally, we would like your child to read five times a week. Reading matter could include novels, comics, newspapers, annuals, recipes and non-fiction books. They do not need to read pages and pages if they don’t want to, but little and often would be great. The children need to record in their reading records if they have read at home. It would be great if, on occasions, an adult could listen to them read, or equally useful is to have an adult read to them while they read along. This can be recorded in their reading records too. Asking questions about the plot, characters, setting, vocabulary etc. would really help with their understanding of the text. There will be regular monitoring of reading books to make sure your child has an appropriate book for their ability and understands what they are reading.

Opportunities to help your child in English will revolve around constructive, consistent spelling practice, using the Year 5/6 words, or this week’s Read Write Inc words, available on this letter, and each week we start a new unit. There will not be a specific spelling test, but assessment of your child’s spelling is ongoing throughout the year. There is an attached sheet with ideas of how to work on spellings in a variety of ways. We, of course, will always welcome any additional writing that the children would like to do, topic based or not! The ‘work from home wall’ will soon be ready to accept its first entries and the children will be rewarded for their efforts in this regard.

In maths, children need to keep up with the times tables and other number facts, an overview of which can be seen on the attached sheet from the school’s calculation policy. Year 5 is highlighted for your convenience, but you may notice that we covered quite a lot of this in Year 4, so don’t be afraid to look ahead if you so wish!

Children can also further their topic learning in school by convincing you to take them out to see local landmarks and exploring the walls built there. Launceston Castle, Okehampton Castle or Dartmoor Jail would be three good, local visits for a family, but even just researching some famous prisons, prison escapes or walls would add depth to their learning and knowledge.

In this regard, I would like to announce our class trip to Bodmin Jail on Tuesday 18th September. We will leave school at 9am and return at 3pm, so children will need a packed lunch, snacks and plenty to drink. They will wear their school jumpers, but otherwise dress in mufti.

The trip costs £12.60, which consists of £6.60 for our activities at Bodmin Jail, including a full guided tour, and a further £6 just for coach travel. Please pay any money into the school office, before Tuesday if possible. I would point out that this is a voluntary contribution, but without such contributions, trips would not be possible.

If at any point during the term you have any further questions, or anything I can help with, please do not hesitate to contact me or visit the classroom.

Thank you for your continued support,


Tom Lumby