Year 5 Weekly Update




I hope this email finds you all well. It's starting to feel a bit more normal here at school. Small groups of children continue to return and we are hoping to have more back as soon as possible. In the meantime, thank you for all your efforts in keeping children motivated to learn throughout this period of closure. We know it isn't easy.


I just wanted to reiterate a few things about how we will provide learning opportunities for year 5 children in the coming weeks:


I am still setting tasks each day on Purple Mash for all children. Please ensure they check in regularly to stay up to date with the reading in particular. I will be setting a Focus task each week - This week it is a writing task from Sheila, our year 6 support teacher. I have attached the task to this email (Agony Aunt).


Please note that these will need to be handwritten, photographed and emailed to me. I will then send them to Sheila who will provide the children with feedback (I will send this to you) Please also ensure that the writing does not exceed 1 side of a4 paper.


The day for the webinars is changing (again!) from Friday to Wednesday - Apologies for this. Timetable changes mean that I will not be in school on a Wednesday, freeing me up to conduct the webinar. The time will remain 11am. If this day or time does not suit, please let me know and I will see what I can do to accommodate you. Here are the details:


Join Zoom Meeting


Children are enjoying our theme: To Infinity and Beyond. We've had some absolutely brilliant work done so far. I can't wait to see what you come up with next! There are some tasks relating to this on Purple Mash but if you need some offline tasks (or simply time away from a screen!) here are some suggested activities:



Create a fantasy planet - draw it and explain all the key information (e.g. size, length of orbit, presence of water?, inhabitants, seasons, weather etc.)


Research and write a profile of a space pioneer (Helen Sharman, Yuri Gagarin, Neil Armstrong, Laika the dog!)


Create a model of the earth, the moon and the sun that shows their relative sizes (how big they are compared to one another (be creative and use what you have around you)


Create a composition of music to convey the idea of space travel. It could be noisy as the shuttle launches and then peaceful as it leaves the atmosphere.)


Have a look at the Van Gogh painting - The Starry Night (attached). Create your own interpretation using any materials you have!


Again, if you have any questions, or if you need a physical copy of a home learning pack, please let me know.


Take care for now.

 Many thanks,

 Doug King




I hope this email finds you all well. It's been a busy week here at school as we look to gradually widen the opening of school to include more children. I have started working with a hub of year 6 children in the year 5 classroom. It has been strange getting used to the new routines but the children understand that safety is the most important thing.


I just wanted to reiterate a few things about how we will provide learning opportunities for year 5 children in the coming weeks:


Firstly, I am still setting tasks each day on Purple Mash for all children. Please ensure they check in regularly to stay up to date with the reading in particular. Secondly, although my ability to interact with these tasks is limited by my presence in school, I will do my best to give feedback when I can. To help in this regard, I will be setting a Focus task each week - This will be the main task for the week, one which I will give feedback on and which we will discuss on our weekly webinars. The day for these is changing from Tuesday to Friday - This is because I am not in class on a Friday and will be available. The time will remain 11am. These are genuinely a highlight of my week and I know the children that attend regularly have enjoyed them too. If you haven't been before, it's really easy to register and join in.  

I understand that balancing home schooling and work commitments is becoming increasingly challenging in some cases. Please rest assured that we are constantly reviewing how we best help the children, both in school and those who remain at home. We are particularly keen that children at home continue to be motivated, although we recognise that this is very hard to maintain over a long period of time. If you have any suggestions for how we can keep motivation levels high and maintain a good connection with school life, please feel free to email me suggestions.


Our new theme is To Infinity and Beyond. There are some tasks relating to this on Purple Mash but if you need some offline tasks (or simply time away from a screen!) here are some suggested activities:



Learn the order of the planets by creating your own mnemonic (e.g. My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas) You can choose whether to include Pluto or not!


Design your own version of the International Space Station (ISS). You could draw a floorplan or create an illustration of what it would look like inside.


Create an acrostic poem for the planet you are researching this week. E.g.


Magnificent, barren landscape

Are you able to support life?

Rovers patrol your surface and send pictures back to earth

Space travellers will walk your surface, but when?



Create a description of a journey to the sun. How does it feel? What sensations do you experience? What is it like when you get too close?


Make a papier mache planet! Inflate a balloon, rip strips of old paper, mix glue and water, cover the balloon in many layers. After it had dried, you could add details using paint of different shades of paper. Consider hanging you planet on some string to give the impression of it existing in space.

 Again, if you have any questions, or if you need a physical copy of a home learning pack, please let me know.


Take care for now.

Many thanks,

Doug King 


Hello everyone,

 I hope that you had a good half term break. Perhaps you managed to take advantage of the new rules around meeting people outside.


An update from Paul:

Following my letter on the 22nd May I am able to confirm that Nursery class will reopen from Wednesday 3rd June. Staff will be in contact with parents tomorrow to update you with details.


Year 6 will also reopen from Thursday 4th June. Doug and Andrew will be in contact this week to ask if parents require a place.


Year 1 will reopen at some point next week, and reception the week after, however this requires further planning and we will update you as soon as possible.


A letter will go out to relevant classes over the next few weeks, as there are some major changes to school routine that will need to be adhered to, including strict opening times. Also check the website for any updates.


We respect any parents decision whether to send their child back to school or not - I ask that all parents are able to do the same with one another.


Can I also ask that parents are able to respect the difficult decisions taken in planning for classes to reopen, we have  been working within a constantly changing narrative. Our plans are now very comprehensive and we are able to ensure that on return, any risk to children and staff is reduced to the minimum.


More details of our plan to reopen can be found in the letter attached which was sent out on May 22nd.


This does mean that, sadly, there are not any plans to reopen school to years 2, 3, 4 or 5 before September. With this in mind, we will continue to be using a combination of Purple Mash and offline activities to support children's learning. I understand the disappointment that both children and parents will feel about this. Please understand that safety has been at the forefront of our planning and it simply is not possible to extend our offer of opening beyond the classes outlined by the government.


One of the main difficulties during this whole period has been that children are feeling less connected to school, their class mates and teachers as time goes on. With this in mind, I'm keen to continue with our class webinars on a weekly basis. It's a great chance to see some familiar faces and reconnect with school life. I believe it will be beneficial to children's mental health, particularly as the period of absence from school continues. 


If you have not registered before, please email me stating your child's name, whether they have permission  to show audio/video and confirmation that an adult will be nearby to help with any issues /questions that may arise.


Moving on to this half term, I will continue to set reading comprehension tasks and maths tasks on a daily basis. Children should be checking and completing their 2 do's regularly. This is particularly important with the reading as new chapters are posted each day and failure to keep up is likely to lead to confusion around the tasks which are linked. If you have any problems logging on, please contact me.


There will also be a range of tasks set for our new theme: o Infinity and Beyond an exploration of our earth in space. I've attached the Year 5 work packs should you require offline activities. If you need additional materials, or a physical copy of these tasks, please email me and I can arrange this for you. In addition to these resources, I would also re-recommend the following:


Maths Online:   - Excellent, daily lessons from Gareth Metcalfe which include activities. Check in each day for new content.


BBC bitesize daily:  - Lots of new activities put on each day. They are aimed at particular age groups which is useful if children need something simpler or require a challenge.


If you need any advice on using these resources or anything at all related to home learning, please contact me and we can discuss.


That's all for now. Don't forget to join our Celebration Assembly later in the week (details will be sent out). Take care and hopefully I will see a few of you tomorrow.

Many thanks,

Doug King



 I hope this email finds you well. Following the announcement from the Prime Minister that: 'In step two - at the earliest by June 1 - after half term - we believe we may be in a position to begin the phased reopening of shops and to get primary pupils back into schools, in stages, beginning with reception, Year 1 and Year 6.' , Paul is attending a meeting for Head teachers on Thursday to discuss plans for a partial reopening. When we have a clear plan and can ensure the safety of staff and pupils we will share these plans with you. It is likely that this will be towards the end of next week.


Here are a few details about this week. As I said last week, please do what works for you as a family. As long as children are engaging with maths and English on a daily basis, and reading regularly, you are giving them the best chance to continue learning during this period of closure.


This week, I will continue to set the children reading comprehension and maths activities on the Purple Mash To Do section. In addition, we will be continuing with our theme of Here, There and Everywhere by looking at the forces which act on different objects and types of transport. We will also take a look at Isaac Newton and how his theories helped shape the modern world. I will also be sending out some new maths challenges each day if children want to stretch themselves.


Here are some suggested offline activities if you need to get children off of laptops or tablets:




Create 2 lists: Places where friction is useful and places where friction is not useful. Explain.


Create some writing that describes what the world would be like without gravity!


Try the forces treasure hunt (see attachment)


Create an artistic poster all about Fantastic Forces (and why they are useful!)


Design a test that compares different levels of Friction. You could use a toy car and a ramp…

Record your results. Make sure your test is fair.

 I've also attached the work packs from last week. They can be printed or viewed on screen and completed on paper. Up to you.


Year 5 webinar:

Additionally, we will be continuing with the year 5 weekly webinar tomorrow. Please register your child so they can join in and see some familiar faces. If you registered last week, I will assume that attendance tomorrow has your permission. The details have been emailed to you. 


Please do not share these details with anyone else. We must maintain the highest standards of online safety. If you have any questions about this, please ask.


New school app:

School Ping is the school's new app. This will replace the text system for communication. We will also use this for sending letters home, reducing paper and those inevitable 'lost letters'. Mel has already sent an email to each parent with log in details. If you do not have a phone capable of downloading apps please contact Mel in the office. We will be using this as our main method of communication from the end of this half term (Friday May 22nd). Click below to download the app and check your emails for login details.


Finally, just a reminder that if you need anything else, please just ask. Although we are limited in what we can currently do, our priority remains the children and their safety and education.


Stay safe. Many thanks.

Doug King


Hello everyone,

 I hope this email finds you safe and well. Whilst there is nothing normal about the situation we find ourselves in, I do hope that everyone is managing to settle into some sort of a routine as we ride this period out. Thank you for all the ways in which you are supporting the children with their learning at home. We realise this isn't easy, particularly if you are trying to work from home at the same time.

 This week at school is STEM week. Our theme is all about different modes of transport and the forces that act on them. Here are some websites and fun activities that children can take part in across this week.

 There's lots here so please feel free to have a look and decide what you would like to try as a family:

 Information about forces. These are a good place to start:

 BBC bitesize: Air and water resistance

 4 forces acting on aeroplanes:


Practical activities and experiments. Have a go!!:

Paper aeroplanes. Select different designs and make aeroplanes which:

-Fly the furthest

-Make the most loops

-Do the best stunts

-Land smoothly

Write up your findings using 2publish. Say what worked well and what didn't. Explain why you think this was and what you would change if you did this again. Try to include images of each design.

 Egg parachutes!

Can you make a parachute that saves the egg from impending disaster?! Good luck.

 Make a Roto-copter!

 Explore what happens when you use different sized paper, different materials, heavier paper clips. What do you notice? Why do you think this is? Can you design a Roto-copter that falls more slowly? How did you achieve this?


Other stuff:


I'm hoping that children will be able to share the outcomes of their experiments on a Webinar later in the week. I'm still finalising the details of this but I think it would be a great chance to meet up and see some familiar faces. Details to follow later in the week.

 I will continue to set tasks on Purple Mash this week so ensure children log in, if they are able.


 We know that some families do not have access to computers and some families have limited computer access at home, so I have emailed some attachments that can be read on a laptop/tablet or phone and completed on paper. The year 5 home learning pack contains some excellent activities which can support children's English and Maths learning. You'll be pleased to hear that I've attached guidance and answers to the questions as well! There is lots here so consider giving children 1 English and 1 Maths activity per day and see how they get on.

 If you or the children need any guidance on this please feel free to email me.

 If any families require exercise books/pencils please contact me and I can arrange for these to be collected from the office or posted to you.


Additional information and links:

 We are now holding a weekly celebration assembly for all families to take part in - families can register to watch our weekly celebration assembly on Friday at 2:30pm. Just click on the link emailed to you.



Xanthe at the Hackney Music Service has collated lots of different music links here:


For our guitar and brass learners in KS2, please note that Xanthe says - We are working really hard with all of our tutors on preparing resources that can be shared with all your instrumental learners to support their continued practice at home, or just to keep them connected to their music-making if that is something they would like to do.


Some useful links again:    - Online lessons for every year group. Made by teachers at various schools working together.    - Useful information on a range of learning     -   Bitesize now do daily lessons for each year group     - Brilliant maths lessons posted daily by Gareth Metcalfe. Well worth a try.


Anyway, I realise that is a lot of information. Please don't feel overwhelmed by this. By providing lots of different links and activities, we are trying to cater to everyone's different situations and needs. This is not a list of activities we expect to be fully completed, but rather a selection from which to choose what works for you. As long as children are engaging with maths and English on a daily basis, and reading regularly, you are giving them the best chance to continue learning during this period of closure.


If you have any questions, please feel free to email me. Take care of each other and enjoy the week.


Many thanks,

 Doug King



 I hope this email finds you well and that you managed to find some semblance of rest in a very strange holiday period. I will keep this update brief as things are broadly as they were when I last emailed you.

 It seems that we will be communicating in this way for a few more weeks at least. We don't have any information regarding when schools will reopen but will of course share this as soon as we find out.

 In regards to learning, we will be continuing to set work through Purple Mash, starting again today. Just a reminder that if logging in to Purple Mash is problematic for you, it is still possible to ring school and arrange collection of an alternative learning pack. Please contact us if you need this.

 This half term our theme is Here, There & Everywhere which will explore transportation and the forces which enable them to work effectively.

We will be looking at Forces in science and how they affect movement.  We will look at how air resistance affects aircraft and how water resistance affects boats.

Geography work will explore navigation across the globe, including Longitude and Latitude. We will also be looking at the life of Amelia Earhart and creating our own biographies about her amazing life.

 The other really important thing to say is that reading at home during this period is essential.

 If you are running low on reading material, we can arrange for collection of some books from school. Please ensure that children are reading (both independently and with an adult) for at least 40 minutes every day, longer if possible. It is the single most important way of supporting your child's learning during this time.

Here are some more useful links for you:

 This is a great resource containing simple to follow online lessons. They are organised by year group, subject and topic area. Have a look around and see which parts could prove to be useful. I will set some tasks from this website in the near future.

 Again, an excellent resource with a range of subject areas. See if children can find information here about Forces.

 SingUp! are launching a fresh new Sing Up at Home area on our site. This space will be totally free and accessible to parents and families so that you can link directly to:

 We use sing up at school every week and the kids love it! Why not use this new resource to flex those singing muscles as a family J


 If you have any questions or queries, do feel free to send me an email. I will be available on all days except Tuesday this week.

 Take care of yourselves,

 Doug King

Year 5 Teacher

Easter Update 03/04/2020


 I hope this update finds you all well. I just wanted to give an update on how things are going and to offer up some suggestions for activities for the Easter holidays.

 It's obviously a very strange time all round and not how we would have chosen to finish off this term. Despite this, I remain impressed with how children are engaging with their learning. There have been some excellent examples of writing being produced and these can be viewed on the Year 5 display board on Purple Mash. I realise that some families have had limited access to PM over the last few weeks so I hope that the home learning packs available from school have been useful.

 Whatever learning the children are participating in, it is vitally important that they remain engaged with their education. We are currently unsure of how long this absence from school will last for so make sure you have set a routine and keep reading!

 Today (Friday) marks then last day of term and so the Easter holidays will commence for 2 weeks. I will not be available during this time but did want to make some suggestions for activities for children over this period. There is no obligation to take part, but please use the following ideas if you feel it would be useful for children to remain engaged, particularly as regular activities are unlikely to take place:

 First up, here are some great suggestions for writing projects from Sheila Gregory, our support teacher who works with year 5 and year 6:


What Can We Write?

 Running out of ideas for your writing?

This list should help.

Choose just one letter each time and work on one of those suggestions.


A: alphabet, autobiography, acrostic poem, advert, article, adjectives, adverbs.

B: book review, biography, brochure.

C: complaint, certificate, comic, chart, conversation, caption, crossword, charm, code, comedy.

D: directions, diary (Highly recommended - we live in the strangest of times!), description, dialogue, dates.

E: exaggeration, examples, editorial, encounter, event.

F: fairy tale, folk tale, fable, family tree, fact, fiction.

G: guess-what, game, gardening, guarantee.

H: haiku, hieroglyph, homework.

I: instruction, invitation, interview.

J: joke, journal.

K: kindness.

L: list, leaflet, letter, label, logo, legend, limerick.

M: magazine, map, message, myth, menu, metaphor.

N: names, notices, newspaper, notes.

O: opposites, offer.

P: personal, play, poetry, plan, presentation, proverb.

Q: quiz, questionnaire, question, quarrel.

R: rhyme, recipe, report, record, riddle, reminder.

S: song, saga, sign, spell, story, simile, survey, secret.

T: tongue twister, timetable, theory, travelogue.

U: useful facts.

V: verse.

W: word game, wish list, wish, weather, worksheet.

X: X-ray.

Y: yarn (exaggerated/invented tale).

Z: zodiac, zoo.

 Sheila Gregory, Parkwood teacher.


As far as reading goes, I would definitely try and get children to stick to the normal expectations for this (particularly as there are fewer distractions currently!). This means at least 40 minutes a day, ideally, an hour is best.

 Here are some links from Paul Thomas which you may find useful:


 Children will still have access to Purple Mash over the break, but bear in mind I won't be around to approve emails between the children or blog posts. There are, however, some great apps on there to keep the mental maths ticking over, including:


-Fractonio's Pizzeria

-Sequence snake

 Doing these daily will help children's mental maths to stay sharp over this period. If you are looking for something a little more meaty, then I would point you again to the online lessons by Gareth Metcalfe. Some children have been doing these and have found them really helpful:


Beyond that, this could be a great time to get stuck into something creative. Expressing themselves through artwork could be a really useful activity for children, particularly at this time. You don't need much in the way of resources (some scrap paper and a pencil would do!). Some children have already been honing their skills at game development (on PM) and I know of at least one child developing their skills in photography. Children could create a portfolio of work, expressing different ideas on different days.

 Finally, our theme next half term is Here, There and Everywhere. We will be looking at different modes of transportation, the forces that act on them and the life of the amazing pilot Amelia Earhart. Children may wish to research any of these areas to help prepare themselves for this learning.

 Anyway, I realise this has been a lengthy update so I will draw it to a close. Thank you for all the adjustments you are making at home to help the children's learning at this time: we realise this has not been easy! Expect more updates from school as and when we find out more about the potential length of the closure. In the meantime, stay safe and stay positive - we'll be back at school before you know it.

 Take care and have a restful break,



Dear Parents and Carers,


I hope you are all safe and hopefully now settling into this rather strange new routine we all find ourselves in.

 First of all, I wanted to say thank you for all of the amazing work which the children have been doing. This is obviously a very strange situation but I am heartened by your children's determination to carry on learning. There have been some great examples of the Parkwood values over the past week - long may it continue!

 I will keep this weekly update relatively brief but thought I would use it as a reminder of some key things that should be happening during this period:

 Keep reading!  It is so important that the children are reading every day, particularly in the absence of reading sessions at school. We normally say 30-40 minutes per day but I'd recommend extending this to an hour if you can.

  1. Keep logging on to Purple Mash - new tasks will appear each day
  2. Keep moving!  life in lockdown is hard, but movement really helps. I'm doing Joe Wicks' workout every morning at 9:00 (is anyone else extremely sore afterwards?!) and I know many of the class are also joining in with this.
  3. Stay positive - Hopefully we won't be away from school for too long 


Week beginning Monday 30th March 2020:


Literacy - A range of activities this week, starting with some Grammar activities, then moving on to longer written tasks (Diary writing proved very popular and will return)


Maths - It was tricky last week to set the work but not do the teaching bit. I'm working on a way around this but will be recommending children take part in Gareth Metcalfe's daily lessons - They are really clearly explained and include practice activities as well as showing children what to do:


Children can take part and make notes on any paper you may have laying around. They can then email a picture of this to me if they want me to have a look and mark it.

 There will also be a Theme related task later in the week - the children have really enjoyed the work on life cycles. The SRE aspect of this theme (Humans growing up) will be moved to a point later in the year when we are back at school. We will begin a new theme after the Easter break - details to follow.


A message from Raquel:

 Hola amigos, que tal? I hope you are all well and keeping safe. I would like you to design some bilingual posters to encourage people stay home. Include the following messages in English and Spanish. You could also add your home language if you like!

Stay Home - Quedate en casa

Protect the NHS - Potege el NHS

Save lives - Salva vidas 

It would be great if you could share your posters on Twitter and tag @ParkwoodPrimary as well! If you prefer you can email me a picture of your posters to

Take care!

 Please feel free to email any questions that you may have. I hope you all continue to stay well and happy.

 Many thanks,

 Doug King



Dear Parents and Carers,


I hope this email finds you well. This is the first weekly email in what is a very strange time for our school and our world. Our aim is that even though we can't all be together at school, we intend learning to continue as much as possible.


In these emails, I will outline some of the tasks that children should be doing at home on Purple Mash. In addition, please see the school website for a suggested daily timetable of activities. It is really important that children still have a routine throughout this period, so think about what works for you and establish this early on. Most tasks set will be on Purple Mash: children have their log in details but please let me know if you need this information sent again. Children also have the ability to email me and each other about their learning on a secure app: "2email" on Purple Mash. All emails sent between the children have to be approved by me before they are sent, so this will be completely safe.


Week beginning Monday 23rd March 2020:


This week, we will continue to look at life cycles; in particular, we will look at amphibians, mammals and birds. Children will be researching information and presenting this using images and text.


In maths, daily practice of times tables and other mental maths will be available on "sequence snake" and the "Multiplication" apps. We will also set tasks for looking at data and statistics, starting with line graphs and then moving onto Venn diagrams and Carroll diagrams.


In addition, there are a range of resources on purple mash which children will have access to. Many are open-ended and creative so feel free to let them explore for a period of time.


**Please Note** Purple Mash is experiencing some problems today due to heavy traffic on the site - The team are working on improving the functionality of the website - I will extend deadlines on the work so it can be completed at a later date if needed.


As well as tasks set by school, you may also appreciate some other excellent resources which are available during school closures:


PE with Joe Wicks:


A 30 minute session that can be done at home every day from Monday to Friday. These are live at 9:00am each morning so put this in your timetable!


Maths lessons with Gareth Metcalfe:


A new lesson will go up each day. Gareth is an excellent teacher and explains things so clearly. Keep trying these each day.


I will continue to share good resources throughout this period of closure.


If you work with Maria our Learning Mentor: Wellbeing practitioner. She will be contracting you via phone, email or letter over the next few weeks- just to check in and say a friendly 'Hello' helping support children and families through what may be anxious and uncertain times.



We will be emailing on a weekly basis to update you on the work we plan for the class. This will give an overview of the themes covered and may also include links for your child to look at.


We will also monitor work on Purple Mash and give feedback where this facility is available.


While we are happy for you to email back if you have a question or query it may not always be possible to respond within the same day as we are working on a rota system to teach those pupils still attending school.


If we are unable to answer a question or feel that the email is not appropriate we may forward this on to Senior leaders in school  to provide a response.


Take care of each other.


Many thanks,

 Doug King