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Year 5 - The Canaries


Miss Ohanian is the class teacher and is joined by teaching assistants Mrs. Bidgood and Mrs Heaver. Mrs Stillman teaches French on a Wednesday and Mrs Stevens teaches PE on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Routines and expectations

It is crucial that children are in school on time every morning as it allows them to start the day with their class and complete any morning activities/challenges designed to support their learning.  Similarly, it is also important that children are collected on time at the end of the day. Being punctual at school sets a good model for later in life.


Maths is taught on a daily basis as a discrete lesson. Children will be expected to learn and practise their times tables, more details will be given as appropriate in the Home Learning schedule. We also have an in class times tables challenge.

English is taught daily and will be regularly incorporated into Topic work. There is a greater emphasis on spelling, punctuation and grammar and children will practise set spelling patterns in class and sometimes as part of their Home Learning.

RE is taught from the ‘God Matters’ scheme and over the year we study not only our Catholic faith and aspects of at least three other faiths. In addition to this, the children will also have the opportunity to take home the class prayer bag.

Music teaching includes a range of aspects including hymn practice and discrete teaching using the ‘Charanga scheme of work.

Topic – our topic planning is planned using the programmes of study in the new curriculum. The areas include Art and Design, Design and Technology, Science, Geography and History. We are currently learning about the Tudors.

Computing – children will be introduced to the new ‘Computing’ curriculum this year. Some of our sessions will be taught by Mrs Tavender, our IT technician who has had many years of teaching experience and an expertise in this area.

Over arching all these areas of learning is ‘Philosophy for Children’ (P4C) which encourages and develops questioning and deeper thinking skills, which are then applied to all areas of study. We also focus on developing and applying Learning Dispositions – Respect, responsibility, resilience, resourcefulness, reflectiveness and reciprocity.

PE Our P.E lessons for this term are Tuesdays and Wednesdays. PE kit should be in school all week as PE may change or there may be opportunities to participate in additional sporting activities.

Topic Talks – Each term the children will have the opportunity to deliver a short topic talk to help build confidence in Speaking and Listening.

Enrichment Days / Weeks -These are held throughout the school year and are always related to our learning. In addition, we will have whole school events such as Book Week, Arts Week and this year – our ‘mission’ week.

Home Learning- A Home Learning folder will be sent home on a Friday detailing the focus of the week. These will often be open ended to engage children and their families in learning together.  All activities will be linked to the work in class and allow children to challenge themselves.  Daily reading is still crucial in Year 5; children will also be expected to learn their times tables. Do not underestimate the importance of reading, with and to your child, if they are to achieve their full potential. We will let you know which tables / spelling patterns we are working on. The children will also be given reading challenges to complete each term.

Assessment- The first Parents’ Evening later this term will be an opportunity to hear how your child has settled in Year 5. Ongoing teacher assessment takes place in class throughout the year and is reported at Parents’ Evenings. There are also specific tests administered during the year, such as Reading Ages, Spelling Ages and these are all used to inform teacher assessment. We do not report these but use them to build a picture of what your child can do.

Reading Books -We aim to hear your child read regularly each week, during Guided Reading with the teacher and individual reading with other adults in class. The children are encouraged to take a greater responsibility to change their reading books and these opportunities are made to them on most days. Please take time to fill in the Reading Log when you hear your child read as this feedback is valuable.

Library Books- The children will be given the opportunity to choose a library book from school to take and share at home. These will provide an opportunity to read a wider range of books with differing challenge.

General Information

Presentation - This is very important as we encourage every child to achieve their potential.  Please therefore encourage your child to produce their best efforts at all times and to ensure that handwriting is in the cursive script.

Uniform- PE kits should be in school at all times. They can be taken home to wash but must be brought back into school. In addition, they will be sent home at the end of each half term to be washed. A pair of trainers and tracksuit bottoms are essential for outdoor PE especially for the colder weather. In addition to this, children should also be provided with a pair of plimsolls for inside use. Please ensure that all items of clothing are clearly labelled with your child’s name. Children who travel to school by car can sometimes forget that their coats are needed each day. Please ensure that coats are also clearly labelled, since many children have identical school waterproofs!  We advise that children do not wear earrings to school for health and safety reasons. However, if you allow your child to wear earrings, they should be small silver/gold studs. Their earrings must be removed for P.E. which they are responsible for doing. If they are unable to remove their own earrings, then they must not be worn into school. In addition, the child will be responsible for any removed earrings. A small tub to keep them in may be a good idea. If you intend to have your child’s ears pierced it is more appropriate if it is done at the start of the summer break. Please ensure that your child only has a single key ring on their bag. Large and decorative bows, hairbands, beads, braids and clips are not permitted. Hair attire should be functional.

Snacks- Water is readily available in the classroom throughout the day.  Children may also bring in an additional water bottle and snack for break time. As healthy eating is an important part of our school ethos please ensure that the children bring in a healthy snack (one that does not contain nuts as we have children and adults with nut allergies in school). In addition, please do not provide your child with sweets and cakes on their birthday. There are plenty of opportunities throughout the year for your child to have a treat, such as feast days. If you wish to provide your child with something to celebrate their birthday, you might like to think about a class book, or flowers for the prayer table – a much meaningful gift.

Queries or Questions- You can contact us by calling or emailing the office (contact details are available at the office). If it is a quick question/query you can catch us at the door at the end of the day after dismissal. If you would like to make an appointment with us, please contact the office to book a date in the diary.

How can you help?

English – Encourage your child to use capital letters and full stops correctly and use cursive script whenever they are writing at home. Help them to learn the spellings given, maybe a couple each day. Discuss using more interesting, powerful words in their verbal and written descriptions. You may also want to have a look at the National Curriculum spelling appendix for Years 5/6.

Reading – Please spend some time each day reading with your child.  We aim to allow your child to change their reading books regularly each week, but of course, as I am sure you appreciate, we are very busy in school and there may be occasions where this is not always possible. Reading a wide range of books in addition to the books they bring home from school is encouraged and any additional books read can be recorded in their reading logs as well. Please also ensure that your child completes their reading challenges each half term.

Maths – Encourage your child to practise the written methods they have learned at school and times tables as these are crucial in the next stage of their Mathematical understanding. They also have a login for Sumdog and MyMaths websites.

Wednesday Word: Please share this with your child as they will really benefit from discussing the Gospel with you.

Volunteers – If you wish to sign up to help out at St Finian’s please see the sign-up sheet. We are particularly interested in volunteers to help with reading across the school. In addition, parents have raised concerns about the parking. To address this concern, we would like volunteers to help control the car park, particularly after school. Please contact the school office if this is something you would be able to help with. If 4 parents per class, offered to help out, it would mean that each parent would only have to volunteer, once a fortnight!

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