Year 5 Curriculum Overview


Autumn 1Autumn 2Spring 1Spring 2Summer 1Summer 2
Fitness For LifeCelebrations: Feasts And FestivalsWhat Did The Romans Do For Us?Off to the RacesThe Victorians- An Era of InventionsInfinity And Beyond

Fitness For Life

This is a Science based topic which investigates the importance of keeping fit through exercise and healthy eating. Children will assess their own levels of fitness and learn how they can keep fit as they go through life. They will complete a fitness ‘test’ at the start of the topic and then repeat the test at the end to compare their rates of fitness. When studying respiration, the children will observe a set of lungs inflating and deflating through a science experiment.

They will recap the names of the main bones of the skeleton taught in yr 3, and learn the names and location of the body’s main organs. Using scientific equipment, they will create a model replica of a working heart looking at how the muscle and blood flow works. Using this knowledge of the heart, the children will record their heart rates before and after exercise and plot and analyse this information in the form of a line graph. They will look at the impact of exercise on their joints and muscles, and in PE will learn the importance of taking part in warming up and cooling down routines.

In design, the children will produce a working 3D model of the arm, which will demonstrate the way  muscles work in pairs. Children will identify the names of the muscles used for a variety of movements and will use these names within their everyday language to increase their vocabulary. Once the model is completed, the children will get the chance to evaluate the success of their model; identifying what worked well and possible areas from development. We will be linking this unit of study to English, where the children will create a letter to persuade people to exercise. We will also be researching some famous athletes to write biographies about them.


Celebrations: Feasts And Festivals

This topic looks in depth at both religious and non-religious celebrations; the feasts and festivals, which occur throughout the year. The children will investigate the rituals and customs related to Hindu, Sikh, Islamic and Christian ceremonies. The areas of study include: Beliefs regarding death, Initiation practices, history of religion in the UK and Journeys (pilgrimages). They recall a personal journey they have made to a special event and discover what a pilgrimage is.

Rites of passage are looked at by comparing the celebrations related to growing up and becoming an adult in different religions i.e. Christian Baptism, Sikh Amrit ceremony and Jewish Bar Mitzvah. The children reflect on the question ‘what happens when we die?’ and compare their ideas with the beliefs of different religious groups. They will use this information to make comparisons between different celebrations i.e. similarities and differences between a Christian and Muslim wedding ceremony.

We will link this to English lessons by creating our own Legend narratives based on the story of Beowulf and look at how historical events have shaped the religious landscape of the UK.


What Did The Romans Do For Us?

The children will learn about the historical and geographical impact the Roman period had on Britain, and its lasting legacy. A re-enactment of the Roman invasion of Britain takes place with half of the year group acting as Celts and the other half as Romans. In preparation for this activity the children will examine Roman armour and the specific colours and designs on Roman shields. They will use this information to design and produce their own shield.

Time will be spent examining how the Romans ruled and inhabited Britain. Pupils will study how roads were constructed and how they still influence our road network today.

The children will look at the similarities and differences of Roman towns compared with settlements today. They will discover that many place names have their origins in the Roman conquest and will look at how Roman technology, architecture, designs and inventions are still used today i.e. the use of cement in building, public baths, sanitation, aqueducts and under floor heating. Using this information, children will design their own Roman towns to the specifications of the Roman Empire. The children will also design and make their own mosaic floors, using their maths knowledge and understanding of patterns and tessellations.

They will also see how our language is affected by Latin which was spoken by the Romans. Our legal system is based upon Roman law - establishing the premise that you are innocent until proven guilty and how we measure our population via a Census and still use the Julian calendar with 12 months and 365 days.

What they learn will be used to support the English lessons where children will write an explanation text on how to become a successful Roman Legionary fit for battle in the Roman army. In addition, the children will also write a newspaper article based on the perspective of a runaway gladiator.


Off To The Races

The children will be studying various forces (friction, air resistance, gravity) in the context of designing and racing cars. They will carry out numerous investigations into the effect of incline on speed and distance travelled, and discover how the design and shape of their car affects its speed also.

In addition, the children will be using elements of observational art to draw cars and learning how to use tone and shading to show light and dark. They will also learn how to blend with a pencil and use this to emphasise particular working elements of a race car.

Through science investigations, children will investigate the concepts of streamlining and air resistance by creating parachutes from various materials and testing which one travels the slowest. They will then evaluate their parachute and suggest improvements to further increase the air resistance to make the model parachutes even safer. Children will also test different cars on a variety of surfaces to find out exactly how friction works. They will do this by choosing one variable to change every time (e.g. car tyre size, car size, weight of the car) to find out whether the speed of the car is impacted or not by this change.

The children will be involved in working in teams for the majority of  lessons, learning how to communicate and collaborate effectively.

In English, the children will write stories with flashbacks in time. Children will be able to choose between writing from the perspective of a race car driver or using knowledge from a previous topic.


The Victorians- An Era Of Inventions

Over the course of this unit children will develop a deeper understanding of how Victorian inventions are still affecting our lives today and will debate the question “What was the Victorians’ greatest invention?” This topic looks at a variety of different inventions and legal reforms i.e. changes to medical equipment and practices, public health and social reforms including how the working conditions of children changed. Children will develop their research and presentation skills during the topic, and develop a thorough understanding of the inventions of the period and the impact they had at the time and how they are still having an impact today.

The children will undertake an in-depth study to see how the Victorians scientifically discovered how Cholera spread. Using grid references, they will complete a map to show where the victims of cholera were located and therefore the distribution and spread of sufferers. They will be looking closely for clues at the location of the majority of deaths. They will then write a letter to Dr. Milroy trying to persuade him to agree with them and Dr. Snow that the water pump is the source of the problem.

In Drama, the children’s work is supported by a Victorian day to Holdenby House, where everyone lives as a Victorian for the day. Everyone is encouraged to dress the part. In English, the class read the book ‘Street Child’ by Berlie Doherty. The book gives the children an insight into what life was like as a Victorian child growing up in a workhouse. Children will also study ‘The  Highwayman’ by Alfred Noyes. They will act out this poem and then adapt it to create their own rendition. In Music, the children will learn a number of Victorian songs and learn some from the musical Oliver.


Infinity And Beyond

For this topic the children will be studying space and our solar system, focusing on the relationship between the Sun, the Earth and the Moon. The children will make their own model demonstrating this relationship. A trip to the National Space Centre, in Leicester, will bring the topic to life and hopefully stimulate further interest.

The unit starts with a tour of the planets which orbit the Sun. They learn that the Earth orbits the Sun once each year and due to the tilt of the Earth’s axis this explains why we have different seasons. As it takes 24 hours for the Sun to rotate on its axis, the children learn why we have periods of day and night.

Through reading, the children will look at the history of the space race and will think about what it must have been like to be the first people launched into space and the first to step onto the moon.

In art, the children will investigate the use of colour and how to blend colour to create sketches of the planets in our solar system in an abstract form. Artist Peter Thorpe is the focus for our inspiration where the children will go on to create their own art in his style.

Children will use their skills to answer questions such as:

Why do unsupported objects fall towards the Earth?

How do the planets move in relation to the Sun in the solar system?

How does the Moon move around the Earth? And what causes day and night?

Further science experiments will explore space phenomena such as meteorites, asteroids and shooting stars. The children will be immersed in life outside of Earth which they will then be able to transfer to their English. Looking at science fiction settings and beings, children will go on to write their own sci-fi adventure story. They will also write a discursive text, discussing the arguments for and against moving to Mars based on research and prior work on life on Mars.