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This half term, Year 5 are learning all about the Early British Empire! Studying the British Empire helps children gain a deeper understanding of Britain’s connection with the wider world, looking at not only the influence that Britain had on the wider world, but also the influences that the wider world has had on Britain.
The children will learn about what motivated Britain to build an empire, certainly not as a justification for the atrocities of colonisation and
imperialism, but to help the children begin to understand the complex motives and perspectives of people in the past. This unit will look at the role that the Empire played in global trade and how some wealthy British people were able to benefit from this. The children will look at where specific goods such as tea and chocolate came from and discuss how global trade allowed people to have access to things that they would not usually have. Children will learn about how Britain competed with, and sometimes even stole from, other nations to profit from these goods.
Britain’s changing relationship with India will be a focus in this unit. The children will learn about the impressive achievements of the Mughal Empire and how the dissolving of the Mughal Empire left a vacuum into which British power forcibly spread. In addition, the children will learn about how the East India Company, who were given royal approval by Elizabeth I, became a powerful financial and political force, amassing huge personal wealth for people who worked for it (such as Robert Clive) often at the detriment of the people of India. The unit will also look at how the British exploited India’s population to create an army. During the unit, the children will learn about the Seven Years War and how Britain’s victories led not only to the growth in the empire, but also a rise in patriotism back in Britain. This will help children understand how Britain’s relationship with empire shaped British identity and the historiography of British history.
In Science, Year 5 will be learning all about forces! They will learn that forces can make things increase their speed, reduce their speed, change direction or change shape. They will study gravity, friction air resistance and water resistance, looking at ways in which all of these forces act upon objects such as parachutes, boats and footballs. Year 5 will work scientifically to plan and undertake an investigation see how water and air resistance act in opposition to gravity. They will use two identical pieces of paper and drop them from a height, recording the time it takes for the paper to reach the ground using a stopwatch. Since both pieces of paper have the same mass, the force of gravity will be the same. If we fold or crumple one piece of paper, the force of gravity pulling on it remains the same as the mass is the same. However, the force of air resistance slowing down the paper falling will differ as this depends on surface area. In this investigation the variable is the surface area of the paper. Year 5 will have the opportunity to research scientists who worked on developing our understanding of forces such as Isaac Newton. They will consider how understanding forces is vital to many different roles today.
In PE, the children will be developing their atheltics skills, preparing for their sports day at the end of the term. In PSHE, they will be learning about growing and changing, specifically focusing on puberty.
Here you will find some information which shows the end of year 5 expectations in spelling, punctuation and grammar as well as some useful posters which show you how we approach formal written methods in maths when adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing.