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Ysgol Cefnllys

Learning today to shape tomorrow

Dysgu Heddiw Er Mwyn Llunio Yfory

Helygen Year 5/6 - Mrs Samuel 2021-2022

Welcome to Dosbarth Helygen/Croeso i Dosbarth Helygen!

Hello and welcome to Year 5/6! I am Mrs Samuel and I will be your teacher. The teaching assistants will be Mrs PJ (Monday-Thursday) and Mrs Burgoyne (on a Friday).


Information for parents/carers - January 2022

Spring Term 1

Our new topic is 'Our World'. We started by completing our shared planning lesson (actually two as the children had so many amazing ideas)! It really was wonderful to witness how confident the children have become in planning their own learning and I'm sure that as our topic progresses, they will be coming up with even more suggestions. 


                          Autumn Term 2                       

Our topic this term is 'Royals and Roses'. We will aim to explore who the Tudors were and how they contributed to the history of Wales as we know it. 


Linking to the new curriculum, we will plan alongside the children during a shared planning lesson. We will upload this once this activity has been completed. Ideas will also be added throughout the half-term.



Our shared planning...


In our literacy set (streamed with Dosbarth Derwen) we continued reading the book 'Wonder' by R. J. Palacio.

The children designed Halloween costumes for the characters from the novel and explained why they chose them.

As part of our oracy work, the children wrote play scripts depicting the Halloween incident. They acted out a scene where Mr Tushman (the Headteacher) interviewed the children involved. I was impressed by how the children worked as a team and were able to infer and display the emotions of each character, improvising where necessary during the recording.

Later in the term, we had to stop streaming (due to Covid restrictions) and we completed literacy tasks through our topic. See the heading Topic for more detail.


We have continued to stream for maths with Dosbarth Derwen. In Mrs Samuel's set, we began by exploring the divisibility rules and identifying multiples. We found factors by working systematically.  Following this, we focused on comparing fractions and placing them on a line, before reducing them to their simplest form.


We then used mental strategies to multiply and divide multiples of 10 and 100, before using the written method to multiply and divide, estimating our answers and expressing remainders as fractions. We used this knowledge to extend our understanding by solving division word problems. 


In Mrs PJ and Mrs Palmer's set, the children began by identifying, describing, sorting and classifying 3D shapes. Following this, they used number lines to find differences between 2-and 3-digit numbers. Finally, they doubled and halved numbers up to 100 using partitioning and then explored fractions and fractions of numbers.



We have continued to be very impressed with how hard the children have worked on their Big Maths and they have had great success in their CLICS, Learn Its and SAFE Challenges!


We created mind-maps to show what we already knew about our topic 'Roses and Royals'.

Battle of Bosworth

We started our topic by exploring the Battle of Bosworth and the War of the Roses. The children were challenged with retelling the events and, in line with the new curriculum, they chose how to present the information. We had PowerPoints, timelines, oral retelling, iMovies and more!


We then learned about the origins and meanings of the emblems on Tudor shields and the children planned and designed their own, ready for a battle reenactment with Dosbarth Derwen (which unfortunately was unable to take place due to Covid restrictions). 

Some of our wonderful Tudor shields!

Battle Speeches

We explored persuasive devices used in battle speeches and watched three battle speeches from well-known films. Then, we compared them and had a go at writing our own battle speech. We imagined we were Henry Tudor speaking to his men before the Battle of Bosworth! Finally, we recorded our speeches in groups using the green screen. Take a look at a couple below...


Still image for this video


Still image for this video

Tudor Food and Drink

The children researched the food and drink of rich and poor Tudors. As part of our literacy, we explored the features of instruction writing, before annotating the features of a recipe. We then wrote our own recipes for a Tudor Vegetable Pottage using all the features we had learned.



Following this, using their knowledge the children planned a rich Tudor Banquet. We explored Tudor style calligraphy and the children designed their own Tudor letters. 


Once completed the children tea-stained paper to make the menu look old and authentic and wrote out their menu fit for a Tudor King!


The children also used their numeracy skills to shop for their ingredients using supermarket websites. They had to make a price comparison, find the cheapest and multiply the total to cater for 100 guests.

King Henry VIII

We learned all about King Henry VIII. To further our knowledge, we used the computers and chrome books to research and we created some wonderful double-page spreads (photos to follow!)


In Tudor times, only the very rich could afford to have their portraits painted. The children learned how in the past, people used portraits as a way of showing their wealth, status and power. They displayed the portraits in the same way that people post photographs of themselves on social media today.


We had a go at a portrait of King Henry VIII using a variety of art materials. 

The children have created some wonderful topic homework this term. Here are a few examples...


In science, we found out that life during the Tudor times was harsh and that if people became ill, they didn't have the same healthcare we have today. Life expectancy was just 35-38 years and 30% of children died before their 10th birthday!


We learned all about microorganisms and how they spread. We related it to the current pandemic and our hygiene/hand washing routines in school as we try to limit the spread of coronavirus.


We set up an experiment to see whether washing our hands would impact on how quickly microbes spread on bread. We made detailed predictions and measured every two days. We then wrote our conclusions and evaluations. We were very surprised at how quickly the mould grew on our washed hands piece of bread! Our conclusion...we need to be much better at washing our hands!

Physical Education

In P.E. we looked at the reign of King Henry and life in Tudor England through Tudor dance and movement. 


Our warm-ups were inspired by one of Henry's favoured games - tennis. We used powerful arm swinging movements, upper body reaches and twists based on different tennis strokes: backhand, forehand, volley and lob.


Our sequences reflected jousting championships focusing on strength and focus; intricate court dances from Italy, Spain and France and polished final performances.


Our dances included 'The Royal Progress' using 'The Pavan Step' and the 'Village Circle Dance' associated with traditional customs and rituals, such as dancing around the Maypole.



Remembrance Day

We made poppies to display at our remembrance service. 

High-School Transition for Year 6

Miss Vaughn, Head of Year 7 at Ysgol Calon Cymru (Llandrindod Campus), visited Year 6 to discuss the first stages of their transition.


The children enjoyed exploring the website, recognising old faces and asking questions. They were all given postcards showing them how to apply for a place.


We look forward to seeing Miss Vaughn again in the New Year.


We started our Christmas planning by exploring advent and making advent boxes for our class Christmas Tree. As part of our celebrations, we made Christmas decorations, cards, baubles, hats, 2022 calendars and green-screen class photos. 


We enjoyed Christmas dinner, a party and whole-school carol singing in the yard. A fantastic end to the term, da iawn pawb!

Autumn Term 1


Our topic for the first half term is 'Stargazers' which will focus on space. Linking to the new curriculum, we have started planning our activities using all of your all of your ideas. 


Check out the welcome letter below for all the information you may need for this half-term.

Topic Web


In literacy, alongside Dosbarth Derwen, we have started reading the book 'Wonder' by R. J. Palacio.

First we listened to the lyrics of the song 'Wonder' by Natalie Merchant and we explored our thoughts, feelings and opinions by completing some pre-reading tasks. Following this, we used inference and deduction to understand the text we had read and created a mind-map on the main character 'Auggie'. This led to us having a go at writing a character description. We used the P.E.E. (Point, Evidence and Explanation) format to develop our writing.


As part of our oracy work, we considered 'for' and 'against' points for the main character 'Auggie' attending school and we presented our arguments to the class.

We QR coded our videos and peer assessed each other.

The main themes in the book are friendship, kindness and accepting people for who they are and not what they look like.

The children have completed some fantastic work including persuasive letters and poems about what they love best about their own bodies.


Here are some pictures of their excellent work. They have worked so hard and we are really proud of them! 


We stream for maths with Dosbarth Derwen. In Mrs Samuel's set, we began by establishing a robust understanding of place value and the children used this in the development of addition and subtraction calculation strategies. Following this, we focused on multiplying and dividing to get decimal numbers, and then on mental strategies in multiplication and division. Later in the half-term, we revised converting 12-hour clock times to 24-hour clock times. Next, we measured in mm and cm, before converting cm to m and finding perimeters. We finished by exploring formal written subtraction. We used the frog method to count up (where appropriate), including when finding change when working with money. 


In Mrs PJ and Mrs Palmer's set, the children also focused on place value revising the use of place value and number facts in mental addition and subtraction. The children then moved on to exploring and developing their multiplication and division facts and using halving and doubling. To finish the half term, this set revised the calendar and focused on telling the time on digital and analogue clocks. 


We have been very impressed with how hard the children have worked on their Big Maths and they have had great success in their CLICS, Learn Its and SAFE Challenges!

Topic Work

We created mind-maps to show what we already know about our topic 'Stargazers'.

We planned what we would like to learn under the six areas of learning and experience...

We made our own Solar System using balloons, papier-mâché and paint! We explored the size and order of the planets. Watch this space for the completed display!

On Friday 24th September, we took part in a live Dark Skies presentation, as part of the Brecon Beacons National Park's Dark Skies Festival 2021. The presentation was by an experienced astronomer and gave the children a great introduction to star gazing and the wonders of the night sky!

We explored the movement of the Moon relative to the Earth. We used Oreos to represent the different phases!

Look at our amazing double page spreads!


The children completed double-page spreads showcasing their knowledge on the planets in our Solar System. I was really impressed with their creativity.


Our Space Day - Friday October 22nd 2021


Today we had a 'Space Day' to end our the topic for this half term. We had some amazing costumes!

We started with completing an astronaut training log, before a numeracy and literacy hunt outside on the playground with Year 6. There were 10 questions which covered some of the work that has been taught this term. In mixed ability teams, the pupils had to run to each question, answer it and then unjumble 10 letters to reveal a mystery word! (This word was ‘friendship.’)

We were lucky enough to secure funding from Tecniquest which gave us access to their diital outreach show 'Out of this World'.

Out of this World followed TechniSpace, a new space exploration organisation who were launching their first astronaut to the International Space Station. We watched as the Chief Scientist, Astronaut and the Boss overcame the challenges of space travel. We delved into the physics and biology surrounding missions to the ISS, Newton’s laws of motion, physical health for astronauts, space junk, the effects of a vacuum on the body, re-entry to the Earth’s atmosphere and food and water on the ISS rockets. We also watched footage of a real rocket launch.


We tried our own space food and did a memory test in pairs.

The children baked and decorated space themed cupcakes. There was lots of literacy and numeracy involved, reading the recipe, discussing designs and weighing and measuring ingredients! 

We finished the day with a quiz with year 6. It covered questions from both our topics to test our knowledge. We then had a film and some popcorn!


We planned and carried out a science investigation to find out which combination of effervescent tablet and water propelled a 'rocket' the furthest! We carried out research in pairs and wrote our aim, equipment list and method together. We then explored the variables and discussed how we would make it a fair test. The children made some fantastic independent predictions based on their research. After that we had great fun launching our rockets and measuring how far they travelled!


Still image for this video
Some went further than others!


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Still image for this video

Outdoor Fun

The running track has also been a big hit! We have been completing our '10 minute move' daily and everyone has worked so hard to beat the number of laps they can do.

We have loved spending time on the new equipment practising our climbing and balancing skills!

Physical Education

In P.E.we worked as a team to cross the hall without touching the floor. We have been practising our ball skills, taking part in bench ball with Dosbarth Derwen, tennis (but Mrs Samuel forgot to take photos) and we have just started looking at football; starting this week with dribbling the ball. We have also been swimming!

Drum lessons are back! We had a visit from the drums tutor in assembly.

Yellow Day

On Friday 8th October, we raised money and awareness for the charity 'Young Minds'. We wore yellow to school and made a donation. Fantastic job!