Windrush Valley Prep School Oxfordshire – Year 5

Moving into Upper Key Stage Two is an exciting time as pupils and parents embark on a two year challenge to be ready socially and academically for secondary school. In the classroom it is important for children to become more independent and confident in tackling increasingly challenging work. In order to this successfully, the class are taught to work carefully and rigorously, utilising important learning skills such as planning, prediction, perseverance, independence, imagination, resilience, revision, collaboration and making links. Out of the classroom it is important for children to become more independent in organising and remembering their belongings and equipment. They are encouraged to know their own timetable, pack and carry their own bags, learn to accept the consequences of forgetting and enjoy the peace of mind of being able to remember.

Academic Studies

Maths in Year 5 begins to extend the pupils’ understanding of the number system and place value of numbers to at least 1,000,000. Increased focus is placed on developing their ability to solve a range of problems by being able to use efficient written and mental methods of calculating. Continuing to use the core resource – Target Your Maths ensures the children are rigorously taught the national curriculum objectives in a cohesive order.

English – Developing literacy skills in Year 5, with the end goal of coping with the general demands of the Year 7 curriculum, means that reading (which should by now be mostly effortless) must continue to be done widely and frequently at home. In school, pupils will read a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts of increasing complexity as they continue to develop their comprehension, language and grammar skills. These developing skills will be used in their independent writing and their speaking and listening skills will be tested by taking their English Speaking Board (ESB) exam in the first term.

History – Year 5 history continues in chronological order and topics studied in Year 5 will be The British Empire, The Age of Invention and finally a comparative study where the class will contrast the UK with either India, Africa or the Caribbean in the context of the British Empire studied earlier in the year.

Performing Arts

Pupils in Year 5 have numerous opportunities open to them. In music, when they pass Grade 1 on a woodwind or brass instrument they will be invited to join the school band.

Act One (the autumn term) celebrates harvest at our Harvest Festival Assembly and inevitably December sees The Nativity Story performed in the local church.

Act Two (the New Year) kicks off in style as Years 5 and 6 join the Young Voices choir at the Genting Arena, Birmingham. The Chipping Norton Music Festival in March allows the band and choir to perform publicly and individuals may also enter solo classes in whichever available genre they are confident. The curtain falls on the spring term with a pantomime-style performance in the Chipping Norton Theatre.

The Final Act is in early May at our May Dancing afternoon. As the name suggests, plenty of traditional country dancing is on offer as well as the band and choirs’.

Sports – Games/PE/Swimming

PE and sport take place on Wednesday afternoons and Thursday mornings. There is a wide range of sport on offer to Year 5 pupils through the year. Typically these include football, tag-rugby, cross- country running, netball, hockey, rounders and athletics. Additionally, pupils continue to have a weekly swimming lesson. There are regular opportunities for children to be selected to compete against other schools in these sports.

Our World – Science and Geography

The science and geography curriculum plans runs over a two-year cycle and follows the new national curriculum objectives. As science and geography are enquiry-based subjects, pupils are encouraged to ask questions, investigate and discover the answers. Geography is taught alongside history and current affairs. Topics are chosen to help pupils further their understanding of the interactions between people, places and environments. Wherever possible science is taught using scientific inquiry, observation and practical activities thereby fostering curiosity and extending an understanding of scientific concepts in the physical and natural world.

My World

My World lessons support and develop the social, emotional and well-being of every child. The lessons consist of a combination of the PHSE curriculum and the RE Curriculum. Each child is taught to value and respect one another and celebrate differences and strengths, developing self-esteem and a positive growth mind-set.

Educational Visits/School Trips

In early October, pupils in Year 5 (along with Year 4 and Year 6) have the opportunity to go on a 5 day residential trip. There are 3 different trips so that pupils who wish to go every year do not repeat a visit. Other local trips are organised throughout the academic year (usually) in support of science, history or geography topics.


Maths and English homework, which generally consolidates the week’s learning, is set on Friday and is due in by the following Thursday. Spellings are learned weekly, each week focuses on a different spelling rule or pattern, and includes coverage of the Year 5 & 6 common exception words. Spelling tests take place on Mondays and times table tests on Fridays.