Spelling Super Stars!!!!

Just when I was beginning to lose faith, it has finally happened. Two amazing achievements…

Number One: We have had 100% attendance this week – first time this academic year.

Well done!

Number Two: 100% of the class got 100% of their spellings correct in today’s test! So extra play was had by all.

Great work Year 5J

Next week it’s homophones – crickey, better get learning them now…

Mrs G





What a lovely start to the new year

It’s been fantastic getting to know the children of 5J better this term, and hard to believe that the February holiday is close approaching.

In Science the children have been learning all about Earth and Space. They’ve had the chance to make their own ‘Fruit Solar System,’ by thinking about the relative size of each planet (by diameter), and order of the planets from the sun. They’ve learnt about the Greek Philosopher, Aristotle, and how he discovered that the Earth was a sphere, and have had the opportunity to create fact files on subjects as diverse as the Dwarf Planets, Black Holes and the First Moon Landing.

In English the children made a fantastic job of writing and performing a ‘live’ news bulletin about the deadly attack on Danish warriors by bloodthirsty demon, Grendel, in the story of Beowulf. They’ve also been showing off their sophisticated punctuation knowledge, adding colons and semi-colons to job advertisements to find a brave hero to slay the monster.

The children have made huge strides in maths this term, mastering compact multiplication, and division using a division bracket. Times table fluency has been crucial to success in these calculations, so keep practising!


The children have particularly enjoyed this term’s computing lessons. They’re using Kodu, a visual programming tool, to master the skills they’ll need to create their own computer game. It’s lovely to see their enjoyment and aptitude in this area of the curriculum.

Mrs Mhairi Mackleworth

Welcome back 5J

It was lovely to see everyone back in school yesterday (Isla get well soon). We hope you  had a wonderful Christmas and a good start to the new year.

Thank you again for all our gorgeous presents – it was very generous of you all.

5J had a rather lovely surprise when they entered the classroom on their first day. The self portrait gallery has been installed over the break and it is ready for visitors! The children enjoyed looking at each other’s portraits and their own. We would like to invite you all in on Wednesday 10th January at the end of the day to get a closer look at the display. It takes up a wall in Class 5J! Here’s a preview…

We are starting with a slightly adapted morning routine where children collect all their equipment ready for their learning rather than having it on the desks. This started well on Thursday and our aim to develop greater independence and better organisational skills has begun successfully. Keep it up 5J. To help with this please could children who have pencil cases have reasonable sized ones – we just don’t have room for the whole WH Smith range in our classroom, as exciting as that would be.

We look forward to an exciting term ahead.

Jane Gillhouley, Mhairi Mackelworth and Debbie Barnett

Merry Christmas to all

We would like to wish all our families a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.


Thank you so much for your generous gifts.


The Year 5 team,


Jane Gillhouley, Sarah Grimble, Debbie Barnett, Phillipa Howe, Mhairi Mackelworth, Edmund Grobel, Jo Bennett and Helen Reynolds

Ta Ta to the Tudors!

Our Tudor project has finally come to an end. It’s incredible how much we have covered since September. We have a really good knowledge of the period now and, in addition, have produced some wonderful writing and been on two trips: one to Knole House and one to the National Portrait Gallery. Here we are working as a team to produce balanced arguments.

We finished our Tudor topic today by creating speeches inspired by Elizabeth I’s famous Tilbury Speech. Our speeches were all about standing for 5J’s Head Boy and Head Girl – we voted using a ballot box exploring the idea of democracy. Particularly relevant, we thought, considering the changes in Zimbabwe.  Here’s a snippet from Lois’ speech.

Congratulations to Francesca and Isaac on their success today.  We are currently working on our own modern self portraits.  Look out for our latest ones in a couple of weeks.

A final word on the Tudors…Here is a beautiful portrait painted by Edie – Well done Edie.

In maths, we have recently been on a number journey. Here it is!


This journey took us about three weeks to complete. We have learned about square, cubed and prime numbers as well as factors, common factors and multiples.

Currently, we are just completing our area and perimeter learning journey. The class have been amazing – they are able to find the perimeter and area of compound shapes which include shapes with missing measurements. Quite impressive. Here is Amy’s maths yesterday – well presented Amy!

We have been improving our times tables knowledge too. However, for some of us it’s still a bit of a challenge. All help at home to support your child to learn these would be hugely appreciated and very beneficial for the children, especially as we have multiplication and division as our next learning journey in preparation for fractions in term 3!!!

We are slowly improving in the spelling tests. Sadly we have not yet had 100% of children achieving 100% of their spellings in our weekly test. If we do…we are rewarded with 10 minutes extra playtime. Come on year 5J – you can do it.

Finally, I would like to say thank you to Class 5J for their beautiful prayers – you wrote these at home for homework and last night I laminated and bound them. They are simply stunning. As a class you always do your homework, which makes everything run smoothly at school.

Well done – keep up the good work!



Updates from 5J

In 5J we are continuing our study of the Tudors. Today and yesterday we have been exploring balanced arguments and plan to discuss whether Mary Tudor deserved her rather gruesome reputation of ‘Bloody Mary’ or whether this was Protestant propaganda!

Our art is coming along beautifully. We have a display in the hallway and a developing display in class that you are welcome to come and look at. We will begin our three week mini project on modern self portraits this afternoon. We are all looking forward to visiting the National Portrait Gallery next Friday.

Maths is very exciting! The children have been incredible – they are building a solid knowledge of factors, common factors and multiples. Next week we will explore prime numbers, square numbers and cubed numbers.

Special congratulations to Hannah who has been working so hard on her handwriting – what a difference!!! This is one area we would like all to improve upon.

The class have been working hard and should be very pleased with themselves. Keep up the good work.


Tudor Times

Welcome back to a new term and a new year group. It was lovely to see many of you at meet the teacher meeting the other week.

We have started this term by embracing the Tudor period. We are using our historical learning of this era to discover and create Tudor portraits in art and as our English writing. So far we have written newspaper reports on the Battle of Bosworth; an explanation of why King Henry VII was a successful monarch and now we are writing fact files on Henry VIII. The children are really enjoying both learning and sharing their knowledge of this period in time.

To reinforce this learning we spent the day at Knole House learning about hoe the Tudors lived at the House and the roles/jobs they would have undertaken. Everyone enjoyed dressing up and thinking about how their clothes were made to be suitable for the job they did. We walked around the House and marvelled at the wondrous portraits and the King’s bed. Finally, we handled replicas of Tudor objects and learnt about how they are conserving the House from many enemies, especially light. The children will have bought home their own desimeters to measure light.

In Maths we have just completed our learning journey through place value and we are about to embark on the four operations, beginning with addition and subtraction.

Just a reminder that we still have 2 swimming sessions left so please can the children remember to bring their swimming kit in.

Next term, we hope to visit the National Portrait Gallery in London to learn more about Tudor Portraits.








Let the sun shine!

What a lovely end to an exciting term. I hope this gorgeous weather continues throughout half term week and beyond.

Taking part in the activities at PGL was a real team building experience. As a class, we are now helping and supporting each other much more. It has been lovely to hear the children say to each other ‘you can do this’ and giving each other encouragement and this has come back into the classroom with us.

This week we have been sharing our experiences. The children who did not join us at PGL have had a super time helping around the school and explained their various roles to us whilst we regaled them with tales of our trip. The prize for the funniest story has to go to Joel and his recounting of his experience of the giant swing. I think most of us cried tears of laughter, I know I did!

We have since completed a booklet of our trip or our special week at school and they are a superb record of our experiences. Well done everyone.


We have completed our work on the poem ‘The Highwayman’ by Alfred Noyes and we are looking forward to our next fictional adventure. During this term, we explored Noyes use of language and particularly metaphor to create dramatic effects and imagery. We wrote an in-depth job description for a Highwayman and unleashed our inner thoughts and feelings to write a monologue as Bess. During all of our writing, we reflected on the themes from the poem of love, hatred, betrayal and sacrifice.



We continued our work on fractions, percentages and decimals and now we can convert our solutions into each format.

In R.E. we completed our topic on the worldwide church and famous christians. We learnt about missionaries and hope to meet a couple who will be visiting us in school in term 6. We also thought about Christian Aid and the fantastic work they do to eradicate poverty around the world. This is Christian Aid month so please ask your child to explain the wonderful work this organisation does.

I hope you have a restful half term and that the sun continues to shine on us.


Good evening from PGL.

Once again an incredibly busy day for Class 5 here at Marchants Hall, as we completed our full day of PGL activities.

I’m very pleased to say that all of us went to sleep without any major hiccups, only the occasional rabble from other schools disturbing us but that all quietened down soon enough as we were able to get a decent amount of sleep. Some of the rooms claim they were awake long before the arranged 7 o’clock wake up call….however, I beg to differ.

We all attacked breakfast knowing that we needed serious amounts of fuel for our incredibly busy day ahead. Various cooked foods, cereals, fruits, juices, yoghurts and a vast amount of toast were all willingly consumed to bolster our energy supplies. Later in the day we returned for a lunch of jacket potato or rice, meat and vegetarian chilli, vegetables, tuna, cheese, open salad bar and enough bread rolls to feed an army! Our final venture to the Dinner Hall saw us conquering beef stroganoff, chicken nuggets, chips or rice, sweetcorn, carrots and peas, open salad bar and (once again) enough bread rolls to feed an army! If there’s one thing I can assure you about this trip, it’s that your children have eaten incredibly well – especially salad and bread rolls!

Similarly to yesterday, depending on our group numbers slightly altered the activities that we completed. However, as a class today we braved the Giant Swing, bounced manically in Aeroball, abseiled down a wall, hurtled down the zip wire and all transformed in to Robin Hood with our incredible archery skills. Please see our pictures at the end of the blog to witness our impressive skills and truly incredible bravery!

Tomorrow, Mrs.Grimble and my group are to tackle the Trapeze and aim well for Rifle Shooting. Mr Brand’s group are also tackling the trapeze, however, they will finish with exercising of their minds with the Problem Solving.

By lunchtime tomorrow, all children will have had the opportunity to complete the following eight activities:

  • Zip Wire
  • Problem Solving
  • Abseiling
  • Rifle Shooting
  • Giant Swing
  • Aeroball
  • Archery
  • Trapeze

As well as this they have had plenty of time to play with classmates in free time, whether that be in our rooms or running out in the large playing field (most of us punting a football). We’ve also had evening entertainment both nights – tonight is the mysterious “Splash” event of which they are currently partaking. I’m sure they’ll be able to tell you all about it on their return.

Mrs. Grimble, Mr. Brand and I have all commented on how brilliant the staff have been with all the children. Encouraging and motivating, challenging and supporting, they have made your children’s experience so enjoyable and successful that as the groups politely say a huge thank you after every single activity we would like to take the opportunity to say a huge thank you too!

Although the biggest thank you must go to the children themselves for representing St. John’s and their families so brilliantly whilst they’ve been away. So many children have conquered so many fears in such a short space of time, however, most pleasing for us to see is the encouraging, supporting nature amongst the groups and class as a whole to help those of our friends who may be having a slight wobble at the scariest moments of challenges. There have been no arguments or squabbles and they have all respected and obeyed the strict safety rules from the PGL activity leaders – all in all we are very impressed Class 5, really well done!

Now that I’ve praised them all, they can only have a good amount of sleep tonight ready for final activities and travels tomorrow….surely?

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OH! I know you’re all desperate to know, Mr. Brand reckons he couldn’t hear me snoring – so he’s either incredibly polite or an impressively heavy sleeper.


Hello here from PGL!

Class 5, Mrs. Grimble, Mr. Brand and I have all arrived safely, unpacked in our bedrooms, completed our first two activities, stuffed ourselves with delicious food, had a game of football or quieter games in our rooms and as I sit here and type they are off  for a game of “Ambush” (hide and seek in the woods). So I think you’d agree it’s been a jam-packed first day and we will all certainly be ready for a bed in an hour or so…….we hope.

Depending on the children’s group number, the activities today have been either Zip Wire and Problem Solving, or Abseiling and Rifle Shooting. However, we are all lucky enough to be offered the chance for all the same activities across the week – so those of us desperate to shoot a rifle and those of us desperate to jump from a tree on a zip wire, we will all get our chance.

Everyone’s bravery has been incredible to see – even the adults – and although some of us haven’t quite been able to complete the entire challenge, we’ve definitely given it our best effort. So a huge well done to everyone so far!

Also, all of us had a hearty dinner (after our hearty lunch from mums and dads at home) no complaints of menu choice or fussy eating options at all! To be honest, there’s such a range on the menu and willingness to cater for all needs, that I can’t see any “I don’t like those”  in the slightest. The majority of us even made it to the salad bar without any prompting – fantastic training from parents at home, well done!

All in all, a really successful first day full of fun, laughs and happy children. A good night’s sleep for us all (except Mr.Brand who has to suffer my snoring) and we will be ready for breakfast and round 2 of our PGL adventure.

Tomorrow consists of “Giant Swings”, “Aeroball” and many more exciting adventures.