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Year 5 Merlins

Merlins are very resourceful and energetic.  They approach every task with vigour and use creativity to get the very best results that they can.  Through their efforts and resilience they put maximum effort into all areas of the school curriculum.

Welcome to Y5 Merlins class.


In class 5 Merlins, the teacher is Mrs Appleby-Sage. Our learning support assistants are Mrs Bagnall, Mrs Togher and Mrs Lines. In Math's our learning support assistant is Mrs Edmundson. 


PE:  Please ensure that PE kit is brought into school on a Monday and taken home on a Friday.  All items of PE kit (and school uniform) should be labelled with the child's name and class.


Home Learning:  All home learning is to be completed in your Home Learning books and will be given on a Friday to be completed for the following Wednesday. 


Team Lead:  Mrs Appleby-Sage

If there are any issues or concerns, please feel free to come in and see Mrs Appleby-Sage or contact the KS2 Lead

Mrs Appleby-Sage : lappleby@white-rock-primary.torbay.sch.uk


KS2 Lead: Mrs Jarrett: sjarrett@white-rock-primary.torbay.sch.uk




Upcoming Events 


Friday 26th May 2017: Last day of term 

Monday 5th June 2017: Back to school 

Monday 12th June 2017: Skill building day at South Devon College

Thursday 15th June 2017: Sports Day 

Monday 17th-Thursday 20th July 2017: Bikeability

Friday 21st July : Last day of term 







Academic Year 2016-2017



Friday 19th May 2017: Dartmoor Trip


We had a wonderful experience today on Dartmoor - to link with our theme.  Starting at Princetown Visitor Centre we learnt about how the author Arthur Conan Doyle was inspired by the moors to write Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of the Baskervilles. We then got to dress up as a prisoner or Sherlock Holmes!  After this, the heavens opened and we saw Princetown in all its glory. Immense clouds burst rain and hail! However, that did not stop us! When the rain subdued a little we ventured out onto the moors on our hike with our three professional guides. Our target was Hart Tor. Here the views were spectacular. On the way back we saw ancient villages and saw how the armies used to practise shooting - with granite posts in the ground marking the distance from their target. We will use all of our experiences today in our learning next week. 

Thursday 11th May 2017: Composing melodies


In music today, we have progressed from composing our own rhythmic patterns to composing our own three note melodies. To start with, we needed to practise how to write the correct musical notation on the musical stave. We learnt how to write correctly: The treble clef, notes C, D and E. After this, we read the notes on the board and translated those on to tuned percussion instruments. At the end of the musical session, we all felt confident with reading and playing these notes and then composed our own melodies and performed them to the class. 



Composing melodies

Thursday 4th May 2017: Inspiration Day at PCSA


Year 5 had a wonderful day today at Paignton Community and Sports Academy's Inspiration Day. We tried out a variety of exciting learning opportunities including: Meet the animals, Science Workshop, Dance Mats, Tae-kwondo, Music, Archery and Battlefield Live. The theme for the day was PCSA's school motto 'Believe and Achieve'. We could challenge ourselves by trying something new and sometimes were out of our comfort zone! However, we all conquered fears and tried our hardest to achieve our very best. Some of us impressed the instructors so much we came away with gold medals!

3rd May 2017: Raft building on Goodrington Sands


Due to the Easterly winds today, our kayaking was put on hold and instead we tried our hands at raft building! Using barrels, wooden poles and rope we worked in four teams to build rafts that would float on the boating lake in Youngs Park, Goodrington Sands. We learnt new skills in how to tie different kind of knots and ensure that the boat was sea worthy! As we launched one boat capsized, however, they were relaunched later after emergency repairs were made. We took it in turns to paddle and enjoyed having the final race. 

27th April: Kayaking at Goodrington Sands


We had a lovely time at Goodrington learning to kayak in the sea. Despite the cold weather and choppy waves we learnt new skills in how to paddle forwards and backwards. We also learnt how to turn our kayaks. 

Spring Term Curriculum Plan 
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Red Nose Day


We had a fun day in Merlins for Red Nose Day. After singing the Red Nose Song in assembly we were invited by the Year 6 student leaders to join in some fun activities. Lots of the class took ages in making crazy hair for the day! Take a look at our photos. 

Red Nose Day

Grenville House Residential 


Merlins had fantastic experiences during their three day residential trip to Grenville House. We challenged ourselves and worked together in our teams to cheer each other on during kayaking, raft building, abseiling and the high ropes. 

E-Safety trip to PCSA:


Year 5 had a wonderful time in PCSA's virtual learning centre. We consolidated our knowledge how to keep safe online and increased our awareness of potential dangers that may present themselves to us and what to do in these situations. After the initial presentation and discussions we were invited to design an e-safety poster in the computer suite. The top three choices won a prize. Congratulations to Charlie, Drew and Ben who designed both eye catching and informative posters and won the competition. 

Wonderful pyramids!


We were amazed to see the wonderful pyramids some children had made for their home learning. They varied from sand sculptures, lego pyramids, 3D representations made from cardboard and clay. Well done Merlins for your wonderful creativity!

Wonderful pyramids!

Monday 30th January 2017: Paperhorse Workshop


We were extremely fortunate to have a performance and workshop from the very talented duo: 'Paperhorse'. The brothers Zeb and Sam are based in Bristol and visited us as part of a tour of schools in the South West through 'Live Music Now'. After being thoroughly entertained, by their acoustic performance of rock, pop and folk music; we were able to participate in a song writing workshop. The skills we learnt were: Conducting, recognising changes in dynamics and tempo, observing the structure of songs and writing new verses for a song (based on on our theme 'Greek Myths).  Everyone had a fantastic time and learnt so many new musical skills that we look forward to practising in our class music sessions. 

Paperhorse Music Workshop

Paperhorse Music Workshop

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Greek Cooking Day

Year 5 had a Greek cooking day and talked about traditional Greek dishes. All children had the opportunity to make Greek Feta Salad, Tzatziki and Humous. They investigated other traditional Greek recipes and then tasted the various dishes in the afternoon.

'I learnt how to use the knife properly'

'The cherry tomatoes were really tricky to cut up in quarters because they were small and slippy'

'I've never tasted olives before and they were disgusting'

'I really like humous it's lovely with toasted pittas'

Thursday 11th January 2017: Science


In Science we have been learning about materials and reversible and irreversible changes. We watched an experiment: whereby mentos were placed into a bottle of coca cola. We observed what happened and came up with some scientific questions about what we wanted to find out next. After this, we did our own experiments. We had to place water into salt, flour and a dispersible tablet and observe the changes: noting which changes we thought were irreversible and which were reversible. Leading on from this, we will look at controlled variables to plan our next experiments to further investigate the properties of materials. 

Coca cola and mentos experiment

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Investigating reversible and irreversible changes

Monday 9th January 2017: Discovering angles in the classroom


As part of our learning in maths we have been investigating angles: acute, right-angles, obtuse, straight and reflex angles. We had to find an example of each angle in the classroom and explain how we knew it was that particular angle. 

Autumn (second half) curriculum plan

Autumn (second half) curriculum plan  1

Tuesday 6th December: Using mnemonics to compose a polyphonic rhythm.


Over the last couple of weeks we have been exploring how mnemonics are used in African cultures to learn intricate polyphonic rhythms. In doing so, we have become very fluent at performing intricate rhythms. Once we had perfected these and practised all of the parts we used this technique to compose our own polyphonic rhythms and performed them using our voices and clapping to the rest of the class. 

Monday 5th December 2016: Man versus the Jungle


During our Literacy we have been looking at the impact man has on the jungle. In doing so, we have watched videos showing the impact of deforestation.  We were shocked to learn that if deforestation continues at the rate it is now then there will be no rain forests in 100 years time: every few seconds the size of 36 football pitches are destroyed.  It was shocking to see the impact this is having on the amount of greenhouse gases; the Amazon alone produces 20% of the world's oxygen. We prepared presentations and then we wrote a persuasive report describing the impact of deforestation and the strategies in place to slow the rate of deforestation. 

Monday 5th December 2016: Our presentations about the positive and negative effects man has on the jungle.

Friday 2nd December 2016: Explosive Chemistry Workshop


Five Year 5 children were lucky to be chosen at random to partake in a workshop held at Brixham College. The focus was on explosive chemistry! On arrival we all had a safety talk about the need to wear safety goggles and to stand up when using the apparatus.  We learnt about what makes fireworks explode and turn their amazing colours. Through doing this we set fire to copper which made a turquoise colour and potassium which turned a vibrant violet.   After this we made sparklers! We had to dip a wooden splint into water and then into filings or iron and magnesium before putting it under the flame.  The teacher then set our teams a challenge. We had to make a model of Guy Fawkes our of the materials in the room. Our challenge was to design it so that when it was set alight it would catch fire and burn longer than the other teams. The final challenge we had of the day was to design a rocket that when air was pushed through it would travel the furthest. We learnt alot of fun facts and enjoyed the hands on experience of working in a real chemistry lab. 

Wednesday 30th November 2016 - Tribal Dance


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Friday 18th November 2016: Children in Need


Today everyone supported this extremely worthwhile cause by coming to school dressed in brightly coloured or spotty clothes. We also saved our coppers to fill the outline of Pudsey Bear in the Year 6 area. The takeaway food stalls at the learning celebration also raised over £80 towards this charitable appeal. Thank you to all who supported this cause. 

Autumn Term Curriculum Plan

Autumn Term Curriculum Plan  1

Our Learning


The focus of our learning throughout the Autumn term is 'Soupcon d'Europe' (taste of Europe). We will be immersing ourselves in the rich variety of culture that Europe seasons the world with.  Included in this will be cross-curricular Music, Dance, Science and Literacy.  In upper years, we also look forward to developing our French language skills through learning basic communication and discovering narratives through singing traditional and modern French songs. 





Wednesday 16th November 2016: Soupcon D'Europe Learning Celebration 


We were very excited today to share our learning with our families. The day started with a morning of cooking! We worked hard in our class to produce 300 servings of non-alcoholic sangria and 100 portions of cous-cous salad! We all had a go at chopping vegetables and fruit and learnt very valuable lessons about kitchen hygiene and knife safety.  After we had prepared all of the food we displayed it ready for our families to buy a takeaway from our food stall. During the learning celebration we performed 'La Seine': A song in French from 'A Monster in Paris' and also the Italian dance - The Tarantella. To finish off the learning celebration we shared our writing and maths with our families in the classroom. 

Wednesday 9th November 2016: E-Safety training


Today 30 children from Merlins and Eagle's classes took part in E-Safety training. This training was part of a safety internet nationwide campaign.  We discussed alot about our lives on the internet and how to keep ourselves safe. Part of those discussions were seeing how some images can be misleading and we learnt a useful lifelong lesson that things are not always as they seem. There were some key messages that the children will take further as they continue to use the internet in their daily lives - the overriding message was to look beyond what is there to ensure their ongoing online safety at all times. 

Safer Internet Training Session

Wednesday 2nd November 2016: Diversification of plants


In our Science learning we have been using our observational skills to look at how plants diversify in varying habitats around our school. We visited the field, the allotment and the woodland area. It was really interesting to see how different plants prosper in the various environments and the different insects that are attracted by those plants. It was very clear to see how the plants were conditioned by the amount of light and humidity in those areas.  We took samples of flowering plants and seed pods to dissect in class. Through doing this we learnt about the life cycle of a flowering plant and how it reproduces. Also, after we collected some seeds we went outside to disperse them into new areas of the school to play a part in their fruition.   




Thursday 10th November - Rehearsing our Tarantella Dance from Italy

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Tuesday 1st November 2016: Inspirational People


Today in RE we have been looking at what makes a person inspirational. We have been highlighting the qualities a person has and also the sacrifices that they make in order to inspire others. After self-reflection on how we could inspire others, we looked at some poignant images of segregation in South Africa during the time of apartheid.  We then learnt about how  Nelson Mandela sacrificed his own freedom to put an end to oppression and suffering for black people in South Africa. 

Inspirational People

Monday 17th October 2016: Trip to Torre Abbey 


We had a lovely trip today to Torre Abbey in connection with our learning.  As part of this we spent time in the historic Spanish Barn which was host to 297 prisoners from the Rosario: a ship captured by Sir Francis Drake. We measured the size of the barn and imagined what it would have been like to have been a prisoner there during that time. As part of our activities we had to plan an escape and look at how we could overthrow the guards and pass through the secure doors and windows. After a lovely lunch on the green, outside the museum, we had to do a quiz trail regarding the Abbeys place in British history. Finally, we visited the maths exhibition by William de Morgan. This featured exquisite ceramics which used symmetry in all of his work.  We are following up this trip with creative writing to do with the Spanish Armada. 


Monday 10th October: Dartmouth Castle Quest


The sun shone beautifully today for our trip to Dartmouth Castle to take part in the quest.  We were handed a bag with a letter in it and we had to decipher who had written the note.  Throughout the morning we journeyed back through time up to the gun towers, down to the canon rooms and along the battlements to look for clues and do a variety of maths problem solving activities.  We learnt about how the castle defended Dartmouth and the surrounding area throughout history: including the onslaught from the Spanish Armada. They strung huge metal links across the entire harbour to prevent any fleet from continuing on their journey. It was fascinating to learn that the soldiers had to change into cloth slippers and remove any metal from their pockets when near the gunpowder as the slightest spark from any metal part of an army boot or metal in their pockets could set off a huge explosion.  After finishing the quest we had lunch overlooking Dartmouth estuary and took the lovely walk back to the river front for our coach journey back to school. 

Friday 7th October 2016: Composing using the ukuleles


This afternoon we were focusing on only two chords - C and C7. After we had practised difference rhythmic sequences we had to compose our own song about the torrential rain outside.  We could vary the two chords however we wished to accompany our own lyrics. We worked in pairs/threes and fours and then performed our compositions to the class. 

Friday 7th October 2016:  Exploring patterns and sequences in maths. 


Today we were given a challenge to spot patterns and make predictions based on how big something was going to grow.  We saw that the tiger was 7 cubes when it was age 1 and when it was age 2 it was 11 cubes. However, how could we predict how large the tiger was if it was 2000 years old? We had to think really carefully about what mathematic strategies we could use to find a formula to solve the problem.  We eventually discovered that if we multiplied 4 by the age of the tiger and then added 3 this would tell us how many cubes the tiger would be at that age. During this challenge we spotted lots of patterns which evolved through our calculations to inform our predictions. 

Exploring patterns and sequences in maths

Thursday 6th October 2016: Leadership training


We had a wonderful time over the last few days doing leadership training with 32 Year 5 children.  All of the children learnt what resources a leader needed in order to do their role well.  Part of the two days involved games that developed leadership qualities and teamwork; taking part in a young persons board and accepting and rejecting bids for funding; preparing speeches to candidates whose applications they had not accepted; self-reflecting on what qualities they have to bring to their team; planning, presenting and designing a leadership opportunity and making a bid to the teachers for funding.  The two days were a real success and all of the participants received a certificate and badge for their hard work and dedication to the two day course.  We look forward to developing these leadership opportunities further. 


Thursday 30th September:  Measuring skills


In our learning in maths we have been learning about converting from mm to cm and m.  To practise our measuring and conversion skills we used a centimetre ruler, metre stick and trundle wheel to explore outdoor measurements.  We measured the length of the courts on our playground, leaves, apparatus, benches and learnt how important it is to get the correct unit of measurement. 

15th September: Sports Partnership cycling event


We were very lucky to have the opportunity to cycle on Torbay Leisure Centre's velopark alongside Galmpton Primary School.  When we arrived we were put into teams of 3 and given a bike and helmets.  The first event that we did entailed a cycling relay where we had to do some cycling on the grass and back on the track - following a specific course.  After this, we had to carefully navigate our way around cones and then cycle back to give our bike to our next team mate.  We had to work as a team and show great skill in steering and navigating. 

Sports Partnership cycling event.

15th September 2016: Our learning in Maths.


In our Maths we have been learning about place value and rounding numbers.   Through doing this we have been investigating why rounding is a really important skill to have in life and how we can use it for everyday contexts e.g shopping and weighing out ingredients.  We have played rounding decimals and whole numbers games using dice and also had to do a problem solving investigation to ensure we had enough money to purchase specific items. 

Our Learning in Maths

Friday 9th September 2016: Science Investigation


In connection with our Science learning on 'Forces' we have been investigating the principles of designing and making an effective parachute.  We were all given the brief, 'To design an effective parachute' and given access to resources.  All of us used innovative thinking and worked well as a team to carefully consider how to design and produce the best model. 

Academic Year 2015-2016

Upcoming Events




Tuesday 12th July - Healthy Eating Workshop at Brixham Community College

Some of us were lucky enough to go to Brixham Community College and took part in a Healthy Eating Workshop. We learnt all about how to eat healthily and even made our own burgers.

Alyssa - I liked our healthy eating course at Brixham Community College. There was a pictionary games and I draw a beef burger. I enjoyed making and shaping my burger. Our group were the only group who chose not to have onions in our mix. At the end we all got to eat frozen grapes, there were delicious.

Oakley - I really enjoyed eating the frozen grapes. I liked eating the salad and tomatoes and I also liked the game we played at the end with everyone's hands linked together.

Layla - At Brixham Community College we did healthy eating and I learnt that McDonalds chicken nuggets are made from chicken bones. We made sausages and my favourite thing was eating lettuce and frozen grapes. 


Thursday 30th July 2016: Career workshop.                        


We were very lucky today to learn about a career in the police force. Lots of us tried on the various hats for the different roles in the police force and saw some of the defence weapons police carry to protect themselves. It was fascinating to hear about how many different jobs you could do on the police force and we even had two children who experienced what it was like to be arrested!






Careers workshop about the police force

Friday 24th June 2016:  Physiotherapy workshop                                                                                        


Today we learnt many new things about life as a physiotherapist, in connection with our careers curriculum.  We learnt about the physiological make up of a person and the qualifications needed to become a physiotherapist. It was very interesting to test out our balance and learn about how we have different strengths in different limbs.  Our visitor even demonstrated acupuncture on Mr Page!  Many of us thought that this sounded like a very worthwhile future career.





Physiotherapy workshop

Thursday 23rd June - The Flames Festival at Brixham College

Thursday 23rd June - The Flames Festival at Brixham College 1
Thursday 23rd June - The Flames Festival at Brixham College 2
Thursday 23rd June - The Flames Festival at Brixham College 3
Thursday 23rd June - The Flames Festival at Brixham College 4
Thursday 23rd June - The Flames Festival at Brixham College 5
Thursday 23rd June - The Flames Festival at Brixham College 6
Thursday 23rd June - The Flames Festival at Brixham College 7
Thursday 23rd June - The Flames Festival at Brixham College 8
Thursday 23rd June - The Flames Festival at Brixham College 9

Wednesday 22nd June 2016: Careers talk about the fishing industry 


Barr,y the managing director of Brixham Fish Market, came to share with us his experiences of working in the fishing industry.  It was so interesting to hear how he started as a fisherman at the age of 16 and progressed over the years and ended up as managing director.  His job has a lot of roles and he has to manage relationships between fisherman, suppliers, buyers and is responsible for press and media coverage.  Barry's daily schedule starts at 4am and he finishes work around 7pm. Despite the long hours, he has such a deep passion for his work he cannot wait to start the next day!  After the presentation, we could learn more about certain species of fish and some children even got to hold them.  These included plaice, gurnard, monkfish (angler fish) and crabs.  We particularly liked the myth about why the John Dory had marks resembling thumb prints on each side of it's body.  Fishing legend say that they got these prints when St Peter pulled them out of the Sea of Galilee. We really enjoyed this visit and it was so interesting to see how many career pathways existed in the fishing industry. 



The fishing industry

Wednesday 22nd June 2026: Breakdancing workshops


We were very lucky to participate in a workshop today run by professional breakdancers Matthew and Michael from 'Just for Funk'.  This very talented duo tour all over the world competing in international competitions.  We were able to learn some impressive moves including:  The corkscrew, grounded floor work, bumping, thread and elbow freeze! After we learnt these moves we had a dance off.  A thoroughly enjoyable afternoon and lots of us felt inspired to attend more workshops.