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Year 5

Science summer 1 2020


This half term in school your child would have been learning the topic of ‘Living Things and Their Habitats’.  The National Curriculum expectations for this topic in Year 5 are:


• Describe the differences in the life cycles of a mammal, an amphibian, an insect and a bird.


• Describe the life process of reproduction in some plants and animals.


To meet the expectations of the National Curriculum, lessons are normally taught as part of a sequence, drawing on a range of resources.  Currently, Twinkl is offering many free resources with a quick sign-up.  Science resources (including this topic) are available here.


TV Presenter and wildlife enthusiast Steve Backshall is offering online sessions here.


Bees are fantastic pollinators!  You can tell the difference between them using this link.  We can welcome them into our gardens by attracting them or even building (adults) them a place to stay!



Public parks and home gardening


If you have access to a public park for your daily exercise, tree and wildlife identification can be a fun addition to this activity.  The Wildlife Trusts has guides here.  The Woodland Trust has information about tree identification as well as an app which can help with this: the wonders of technology never cease!  This is available here.


At The Trinity, we teach children an additional land-based curriculum.  Now is a perfect time to be out in the garden if you are fortunate to have one.  The mental benefits of gardening have been well-documented over time.  Children -and adults- can feel achievement in completing a task or learning a new skill. 


Remember to teach safety first as a priority as gardens by their nature can contain many risks, hidden or obvious.  Without exaggeration, gardening mishaps can cause injuries which put avoidable pressure on our National Health Service.  Please be careful.


It is also true that many families may not have easy access to gardens or have public parks nearby.  Fortunately, many seeds can be sown indoors and begin to grow on a windowsill with plenty of light and enough water.

Seeds are readily available in supermarkets (food is essential and growing your own is beneficial in many ways) and online. 


From late April to May, the following plants are suitable for indoor/greenhouse sowing:


  • Sweetcorn in modules ready for planting out once all risk of frost has passed. Grow at least 12 plants for good pollination and cropping.
  • Basil in pots for the greenhouse or patio - this Mediterranean staple thrives in warm conditions.
  • Courgette, marrow, squash, and pumpkin seeds under cover.
  • Try sowing lettuce in module trays under glass for transplanting into the garden later. Sow every 3 or 4 weeks for continuous harvesting.
  • Cucumber and gherkin seeds in individual pots or modules.
  • Runner beans and French beans under cover, sowing individually into module trays for planting out after the risk of frost has passed.
  • Kale seeds under cover now - yes, it really is time to think ahead to winter cropping.
  • Perennial herbs, such as rosemary, sage, thyme, lovage and lemon balm under cover.
  • Glasshouse tomatoes in beds or growing bags.


The following can be sown directly outdoors:


  • Beetroot seeds (thinly), directly into the ground.
  • Broccoli in a nursery bed for transplanting later on, or sow directly in your vegetable plot.
  • Cabbages. Net them early on to prevent cabbage-white butterflies laying their eggs on the leaves.
  • Brussels sprouts outdoors now.
  • Carrots in rows: protect to prevent carrot-fly attack.
  • Chicory directly into the soil.
  • Herbs such as chives, coriander, dill and parsley directly into the ground or in containers.
  • Kohl Rabi - it will be ready in as little as 8 weeks.
  • Peas directly into the ground; start them off in modules if mice are a problem.
  • Pak Choi every 3 weeks for a continuous crop.
  • Parsnip.  Sow 3 or 4 seeds every 20 cm and thin to the strongest plant.
  • Radish seeds directly into the soil for quick and easy home-grown salad.
  • Salad leaves directly into the ground or in containers.
  • Cauliflower seeds under cover.
  • Spinach seeds in soil enriched with plenty of organic matter. Try growing spinach 'Perpetual' if you have very dry soil.
  • Spring Onion seeds in drills outdoors for a quick crop to flavour salads and stir fries.
  • Try Swiss chard sown outdoors for a colourful crop - it even looks great in flower beds!
  • Sow Swede seeds outdoors in a rich, fertile soil for autumn and winter crops.
  • Turnips for a great addition to casseroles and stews.
  • Watercress in containers, making sure the container is sitting in 2-3 inches of water at all times. 


Further advice is available from the Royal Horticultural Society.

This half term (spring 2 2020), children will study the topic of 'Earth and Space'.  They will:


  • Describe the movement of the Earth, and other planets, relative to the Sun in the solar system.
  • Describe the movement of the Moon relative to the Earth.
  • Describe the Sun, Earth and Moon as approximately spherical bodies.
  • Use the idea of the Earth’s rotation to explain day and night and the apparent movement of the Sun across the sky.


Working scientifically, across Year 5, children will be:


  • Planning different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary.
  • Taking measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate.
  • Recording data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs.
  • Using test results to make predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests.
  • Reporting and presenting findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of results, explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations.
  • Identifying scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments.                         


Children will learn about two scientists this half term.  Jeremiah Horrocks (1618-1641), an astronomer from Toxteth whose work studying the Moon assisted Newton in forming his theory of gravity.  The children will also learn about Neil DeGrasse Tyson (1958-), a black American astrophysicist who was first inspired by space when he visited a planetarium in New York- today he is in charge of that same planetarium!