This Autumn term has been a whirlwind of learning in Year 5. We have explored our topic, the Ancient Greeks, in detail and linked as much of our learning to the topic as possible. Following an exciting launch day we have found out about many of the ways in which our lives today are still affected by the legacy of the Ancient Greeks.
From the origins of democracy to a fair legal system, and from theatre to the Olympic Games, we still use many of the words, ideas and systems that shaped Greek society three thousand years ago. It has also been fun to have lots of opportunities for hands on learning.
We have experienced the busy life of a Greek temple under the direction of Pythia, the Oracle of the Goddess Athena. Life in Ancient Greece was dominated by the gods and often by the way the city states battled for power and status. Our work on the gods has included multimedia drawings, role play, reading and research as well as creating our own Top Trumps game.
A haul of ancient artefacts was found outside the Year 5 classroom so we were able to carry out an archaeological dig. This helped us to find out about how people lived and understand how we know so much about their lives. It also helped us to think about our Challenge Homework, as this included making our own Greek pottery. Mr. Ward now has almost as many pots as the British Museum. Did you know that in the museum are sculptures and statues from the Parthenon in Athens? They are called the Elgin Marbles and are very precious. We debated whether it would be a good thing for them to be returned to Greece, and decided it would be, so we wrote to the museum. (No reply yet!)
In our dance lessons we explored the Olympic Games and created group performances to tell the story of an important Ancient Greek tradition. We gracefully ran, threw, jumped and rode chariots. The only difference was that in Ancient Olympia the competitors did not wear their Children In Need onesies! We have also created our own musical performance of a Greek theatre play, as we discovered the origins of words like comedy, tragedy and chorus. Watch out for pictures of us in our Greek theatre masks coming soon.
Going back to school in Ancient Greek times, we learned about our own Alpha Beta (alphabet) and how to get by without a pen and paper, making wax tablets to work on. We are making the most of our time at school as we have learned that although the Ancient Greeks gave us many great things their civilization was really quite different to our own. Did you know that boys often left school at age 7 to train to fight in the army, and girls left school at that age to begin working at household chores.
As readers and writers we have enjoyed the story of trust and relationships in Goodnight, Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian. This was funny, sad and thought provoking in many ways. The book helped us to write in detail about our feelings, and also to use all the knowledge we gained during our Year 4 topic, Dig for Victory, last year.
We are becoming more and more independent learners in Year 5. In maths we are learning to apply our number skills in a variety of ways, choosing which methods are best for us. We have used all the maths operations to make numbers much bigger and also much smaller, even tackling fractions and decimals.
Science in Year 5 has involved exploring how sound is made and how it travels. We found out what materials are best for sound proofing and where the noisiest places are in the school. Now we have moved onto a really big question - how big is our universe? We were amazed to find out about a space probe that landed on a comet millions of miles away, and even more amazed when we realised just how long it would take to travel that far. An ancient Greek was the first to work out how far it was all the way around the earth, we are looking forward to finding out about Icarus and why he was so unwise to fly so close to the sun.