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Autumn 1


In Autumn 1, we have a wide range of topics to capture our imaginations. From our History and Geography, to our Science and Religion and Worldview, we will learn about the world around us and our place within it. Our theme for the term will be Portrait - self-portraits in Art; Historical portraits of the people of round city of Baghdad; a portrait of California in Geography; portraits of the Forces of Nature in Science, and describing portraits in French.


Our stimulus for writing in Autumn 1 will be 'The Canal’- a warning tale full of action. To support our understanding, we will be reading ‘Kensuke’s Kingdom’, the Children’s Book Award-winning novel by Michael Morpurgo. Set on a desert-island, it is an adventure about friendship, trust and humanity.

Our Grammar focus for the term will be to develop our understanding and range of narrative tenses, as well as increasing our range of vocabulary to describe character. We will also focus on writing dialogue. Learning to edit and attention to neat, cursive handwriting will play a crucial role in this too.

Pupils should continue to use Bedrock at home to support with their vocabulary - it is also our aim to access this resource daily in school.

Vocabulary: narrative, character, setting, atmosphere, action, dialogue, word class, noun phrase, noun, adjective, verb, modal verb, adverb, adverbial, preposition, conjunction, co-ordinating clause, co-ordinating conjunction, subordinate clause, subordinating conjunction, causal conjunction, inverted commas

Guided Reading - Reading for Inference

We will use a variety of texts - both fiction and non-fiction - about to enable us to apply our learning to a range of question types, and to make links between different books and our own growing general knowledge. We will use text annotation as a method of exploring a text, and will build on our retrieval and inference reading skills. In order to support your child with both their grammar and reading at home, please use the following links:


This term, we will start our Maths journey with Place Value. We will also further our Maths fluency by working closely on our Addition and Subtraction, and Multiplication and Division skills. Times tables and generating new facts from those known will be a focus within our morning task time. It is imperative that pupils are able to recall these facts in order to access the Year 5 curriculum thoroughly. We will be using Number and Lightning as the basis of our knowledge to support our arithmetic skills. Pupils will be taught operations in depth, and will be tasked with using these in a variety of different contexts. 

Vocabulary: number, place value, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, digit, numeral, column

Homework will continue to be set via the MyMaths Website in conjunction with Seesaw.  In order to support your child with their times table knowledge at home and with arithmetic in general, please use the following links:

Science: Forces

Our Science learning in Autumn 1 will focus on the forces of gravity, friction, air resistance, and water resistance. We will plan, investigate and evaluate experiments on these forces. We will also use learn about using smaller forces for greater effects.

Vocabulary: force, contact force, friction, motion, air resistance, drag, parachute, streamline, independent variable, dependent variable, controlled variable, repeatability, precision, surface area, anomalous result, gravity, weight, contact force, non-contact force, lever, gear, pulley, machine

History: The Round City -Baghdad

We will continue our journey through Ancient history as our learning takes us to Baghdad. We will learn about the city’s origins, finding out when it was built and why the location was chosen.  We will discover that ancient Baghdad was a city of books and learning with the intriguingly-named ‘House of Wisdom’. 

Vocabulary: al-Mansur, architects, Baghdad, dirhams, astrologers, descendants, Caspian Sea beyond, silk roads, decree, engineers, revenue, dome, quilts, peter out, scholars, madrasas, universities, reconstruction, numerals, evolved, calculate, observatories, astrolabe, predict, astrology, minerals, antiseptic, influence, anatomy, arteries, nerves, surgery, medical, encyclopaedia, smallpox, qualifications, qualified, surgeons, surgical, compass, rays of light, lenses, optics

Geography: Why is California so thirsty?

In Geography this term, we will be learning about why California is so dry. We will investigate the importance of water for California’s agriculture industry, and consider the future for this ‘thirsty’ state.

Vocabulary: precipitation, treated, California, drought, almonds, factors, rainfall, water supply, aqueduct

Religion and Worldviews: Standing up for our beliefs

In our Religion and Worldviews learning this term, we focus on the Big Question: Why do people have to stand up for what they believe in? Looking at belief from both religious and non-religious viewpoints, we will learn how people in our communities, countries and the world at large have different beliefs. We will learn what freedom looks like.  We will also discover how beliefs have been challenged in the past. We will discuss how we can stand up for our beliefs, and how light can be used to represent this stance.

Vocabulary: religion, worldview, agnostic, atheist, theist, denomination, oppression, persecution, discrimination, religious freedom, divine authority, emperor, guru, martyr, ordained, religious stereotype


We will be developing our team work skills in our outdoor PE lessons, learning to work together to achieve tasks successfully. In our indoor PE, we will be developing our table tennis skills.

Vocabulary: orientation, team building, co-ordination, agility, stamina, health, fitness, forehand, backhand, serve, bat, net

Computing: Search engines

In Autumn 1, we will research what a search engine is and how to use it. We will also learn about using key words when searching online. We will also look at awareness around accurate and inaccurate information online.

Vocabulary: search engine, network, navigate, voice-activation, key words, website, browser, privacy, real, fake, deceive, (in)accurate information, copyright, fair, credit, (in)appropriate, web crawler, rank, algorithm, index 

RSE and PSHE: Families and Relationships

In PSHE, we will be thinking about families and relationships, developing an understanding of families, including marriage and what to do if someone in our family feels unsafe. We will also learn about friendship, as well as exploring the impact of bullying and what influences a bully’s behaviour. We will learn about appreciating our individual positive attributes.

Vocabulary: friend, friendship, ups and downs, solution, strengthened, wedding, marriage, choice, religion, legal, lifelong, attributes, proud, skills, self-respect, family, help, support, bullying, bystander, cyberbullying, victim, unkind, gender, stereotype, equality, race, religion, discrimination, racism.

Art: Painting and Mixed Media Portrait

In Autumn 1, we will be working on mixed-media portraits, linking nicely with our French learning. We will create a poem portrait, investigating how a drawing can be developed by using mixed materials (‘mixed media’). We will identify the features of self-portrait, developing ideas by experimenting with materials and techniques. Finally, we will create a mixed-media self-portrait.

Vocabulary: art medium, atmosphere, background, collage, composition, continuous line drawing, evaluate, justify, mixed media, multimedia, portrait, represent, self-portrait, texture, transfer

Design and Technology: Mechanical systems

Our DT learning this term is on mechanical systems. We will be designing and creating a pop-up book. We will learn to use layers and spacers to create the book, suing writing and illustration to bring it alive. Mrs Veneziano is very excited about this project!

Vocabulary: design, input, motion, mechanism, criteria, research, reinforce, model

Music: Blues

In Music, our focus is on 'Blues', learning about its history, musical composition using chords and 12- bar blues.

Vocabulary: Blues, chord, bar, 12-bar Blues, scale, beat, notes, ascending, descending, improvisation.

French: Portraits

We will be learning to describe people and their personalities, working towards writing a portrait of our friends in French. We will discover that in French, adjectives need to agree with the noun.

Vocabulary: il a, ella a, il est, elle est, les cheveux, les yeux, qui? (who?), un tableau, une statue, blonds, noir, marron, petit/petite, grand/grande, fort/forte, sportif/sportive

Important dates for this term: 

Term begins: Monday 4th September 2023

Jeans for Genes Day: Friday 22nd September 2023

Year 5 Bikeability: Monday 25th September – Thursday 28th September 2023

Parent/Carer Engagement afternoon: Wednesday 18th October 2023 (2 – 3pm)

Term ends: Friday 20th October 2023

Autumn 2 term begins: Tuesday 31st October 2023