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Whinless Down Academy

Whinless Down Academy

Year 5

Year 5 Curriculum –
“Why are we learning this?” “Why is this important knowledge?” “How will this learning help me?” “How is this learning connected to what I have learnt before?”

At Whinless Down Academy we believe that ‘learning changes lives’. We are committed that each of our topics has a purpose and a ‘Big Idea’. The ‘Big Idea’ is the rationale behind our curriculum and choice of topics.

Term 1

Earth and Beyond

Image result for space cartoon

What is our place in the universe? What lies beyond the earth? We know that when we look up at our sky we will see the Sun, the Moon and the stars. We take them for granted. But why are they there? What do they do? How do they affect the Earth? Astronomy, like all sciences, is about asking questions. By becoming space explorers, we can find out more about our solar system and the deeper mysteries of the universe.

As aspirational artists, the children will explore the techniques of Marbling and charcoal to create lunar landscapes. We will consider how the best ways to share our art with others exploring the ideas of exhibitions and sharing art electronically.

Term 2

Riveting Rivers

Image result for river uk cartoon

How have rivers changed our lives? All over the country and the world rivers shape the land and have shaped history. Since the dawn of time people have lived by, moved towards rivers and even tried to move the rivers themselves. We are going to learn about why rivers are such a powerful force both literally and metaphorically in human history. As a geographer, I will know and be able to describe the features of a river, know and recall the capitals of the countries in the British Isles and relate them to the rivers running through them. From this I will be able to name the seas around the UK and the rivers that feed into them. I will be able to explain the water cycle and how it effects the weather. I will use fieldwork to bolster my academic understanding of how rivers function and relate this to topographical features on maps. We will be able to use compasses to build our knowledge of the UK and wider world. We want them to have an understanding and be able to explain how human choices can impact the environment in both positive and negative ways and make decisions based on this knowledge. As a scientist I will be able to apply my knowledge of the properties of materials to design a protective suit for a river scientist to allow them to work across the globe in all the rivers we have learned about during the topic. We will also use this knowledge practically help scientists clear spills and pollution to solve real life problems which can have a lasting and long term impact on the health of rivers in the UK and beyond. The children will learn fieldwork and practical science investigation skills. These will be repeated several times during the course of the unit particularly the science skills of separating including separating, filtering and sieving. We will enable the children to practice their geography fieldwork skills in the rivers at Kearsney Abbey and Russel Gardens and use these to create presentations. 

Term 3

Ancient Greeks/ Materials

Who were the Ancient Greeks? What was their legacy? Their expanding empires helped to spread ideas about architecture, food, entertainment, literature, science, medicine and politics across the globe. As their empires ended, other cultures rose to prominence, absorbing and passing on their own ideas and cultures – creating the world we know today. As geographers we then spend some time thinking about the modern day and considering, ‘How is England different to Greece?’ Comparing the Geographical features of England to Greece.

 In Art, we will be considering: how people in the past have represented stories and characters, how we can use art to tell a creation story and how to design and create our own Greek masks. Materials – Hundreds of different materials are used to make everyday objects. Some materials occur naturally, e.g. wood from trees while others are manmade in factories, e.g. plastic. Some materials are magnetic; some allow heat and electricity to pass through them. But with so many different materials to choose from, how do we decide which to use? This term we master working scientifically to explore and ask questions about the materials of the world around us.

Term 4


Fortify and Defend


Is this town a good place to live – what do you think? Have you ever wondered why people in the past chose to live here? Together, we are going to find out about the places where people lived and settled considering the idea of safety and how this has changed. As well as visiting fortifications in the local area. Studying local defences which include Dover castle, Martello Towers and Western Heights. We will be looking at different countries as well as different times in history and different societies, carrying out an in-depth historical study into the structures that have been used in protect, defend and fortify. As diligent designers we will use our Science learning around levers and pulleys to design, make and evaluate a siege tower. We will manage our own risks as we use a wide range of tools and equipment to make our towers accurately.

Term 5


Crime and Punishment

How has crime and punishment changed over time? Throughout the UK, the police force uses their knowledge and authority to keep our communities safe. We will be learning how the role of the police has changed throughout history and how this is reflected in the crimes and punishments which take place. We will focus on crime and punishment as an aspect of British history that has developed over time.  

As studious historians, we will be able to compare and contrast crimes and punishments throughout different periods of history. We will learn to devise historically valid questions about change and the impact on this on modern living.  We will learn about crime and punishment in different historical periods (including Romans and Tudors) in chronological order and how these ideas have adapted throughout history and are now used in the modern day.  

As a reflective thinker, I will use our knowledge of current affairs (gender, equality, racism) to debate and justify our opinions on historical crimes and punishment. I will learn about primary and secondary sources so that how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources. We will consider our own opinions and use a variety of sources to justify thoughts and answers.

As members of our local community, we will be visited by a local police officer. We will use our knowledge of British Values to ask questions about 21st century crime and punishment. During this time, we can ask historically valid questions about change and significance to further our knowledge that we have previous learned.

Term 6

Code Breakers

We are surrounded by codes! What to DNA and websites have in common? They are both made up of codes! This term we will investigate the world of codes around us! We have lots of science knowledge at our fingertips; it can be found quickly and easily on the Internet. The science knowledge in books and websites is what other scientists have discovered in the past. To discover new things ourselves we need to be able to be able to ‘do’ science not just ‘know’ about it. During this topic, we will learn how to ‘do’ science. We will learn several, important, scientific skills. These skills can be used in a whole range of scientific situations. However we will use these skills to investigate one branch of science: forces. As super scientists we are going to explore real life applications of air and water resistance to enable us to make choices which have an impact on the safety and efficacy of our designs. We will build parachutes, submersible and surface water vehicles. We will make these safe so that they can deliver our spies safely to the start of their mission and return them home without harm. We will select materials based on their properties and functions. As geographers, we will study the climate of countries around the world and use the knowledge we have gained to make choices about clothing, equipment and transport to enable us to be successful in our missions. We will look at weather data, physical geography and use our findings along with our knowledge of properties of materials gained in previous terms to equip our spies to safely conduct their missions in what can be hostile environments. This will link with our knowledge of graphs from maths and our abilities to write an explanation text from English to enable us to create a coherent document which displays our skills to their fullest. 

As developing designers, we will conduct market research to ensure that our designs are unique and purposeful. We will design a spy gadget that is based on specifications.  We will use the skills of measuring we have learned during our time at school along with the tool skills we have gained to create a product which fits the given parameters and demonstrates the accuracy with which we can use measuring and tools to create. We will use our knowledge of textiles and sewing to join materials together in order to create a garment-based spy gadget with which our spy can be successful in their mission. We will select and use appropriate tools accurately to make our design a reality.