White Rock Primary School

'Inspiring Learning Together'

White Rock Primary School


Magpies are known for their intelligence. We are also resourceful and curious and being part of the upper years team, we are able to gather knowledge and apply this to our daily learning.

Welcome to Y5 Magpies Class


In class 5 Magpies, the teacher is Miss Perry, with Mrs Marwood as the Learning Support Assistant. 

The Year 5/6 theme for this term is 'Made in China'. This is a cross-curricular approach to learning, which will provide the pupils with an all encompassing and enriching learning experience. The pupils will be immersing themselves in The Magic Paintbrush by Laurence Yepusing this text as a stimulus for their writing and reading, as well as enhancing other areas of the curriculum. For more information on the curriculum, look at the Summer Term Curriculum Plan below.


PE days: Monday and Wednesday, however please ensure that PE kits are in school everyday. 


Home Learning: All home learning is to be completed in your Home Learning books and will be given on a Thursday to be completed for the following Tuesday. If home learning is not completed, it will have to be completed during Wednesday lunchtime.


Team Lead: Mrs NatashaTyson

If there are any issues or concerns, please feel free to come in and see your teacher (Miss Perry) or contact the Team Lead.

Miss Perry     tperry@white-rock-primary.torbay.sch.uk  

Mrs Tyson     ntyson@white-rock-primary.torbay.sch.uk





On the 13th, 14th and 15th July, Year 5 are taking part in this year's performance of 'Rockin' through the Decades'.

Summer Term Curriculum Plan

Spring Term Curriculum Plan

Maths Spring Term Plan

Autumn Term Curriculum Plan

Maths Autumn Term Plan

Developing our sketching skills


On Wednesday 10th June, we shared our still life sketches with each other.  We looked carefully at another person's sketch and noted the things they did well, then gave suggestions on how to improve.  Once we had read our comments, we went onto the school field and tried to improve our work by focusing on every detail of the item we were sketching.

Terracotta Army!


On Wednesday 10th June, staff from South Devon College came to White Rock for a clay workshop. During the morning, all of Year 5 made their own soldiers to be part of our very own Terracotta Army! 

Buddhist Visit


On Tuesday 9th June, we were very luck to have a visit from Jake Lyne, who is part of the Western Chan Fellowship in Exeter. During the morning, we learnt all about Buddhism. This included the history, special festivals, their beliefs and we even had a go at some meditation.

Philharmonia Orchestra


On Monday 8th June, we had a fantastic trip with the whole of Year 5 and Year 6 to the Princess Theatre.  Whilst there we watched the talented Philharmonia Orchestra. We were treated to their interpretations of Britten's Soiree Musicales; Beethoven's, Symphony No.5; Britten's Simple Symphony; Bizet's Carmen Suite and Brahm's Hungarian Dance No. 5.  The members of the orchestra were able to effortlessly tell the musical stories of these very famous works and it was a joy for us to experience a real live orchestra.

Philharmonia Orchestra

Instructional Writing

On Monday 2nd June, we had a great lesson learning all about instructional writing. To practise our use of specific and detailed vocabulary, we had a go at giving a set of instructions to our partners when drawing a picture. We then used what we had learnt about instructions in our writing!

Chinese day at South Devon College


On Thursday 21st May, we had a wonderful day today at South Devon College. From the moment we stepped through the double doors, we were immersed into the culture of China.  The lady who greeted us was dressed accordingly with chopsticks in her hair!  The café was decorated with lanterns, fans, Chinese dragons and ornate oriental table cloths.


Firstly, we went to the printing studio and produced some dragon prints. We then went to the ceramic studio and made our own dragon sculptures out of clay. We learnt fantastic new skills and used specialised tools for the purpose.  


Afterwards, we joined the rest of Year 5 for a wonderful Chinese banquet that the chefs had specially cooked for us. We tasted chicken noodles, spring rolls, pork and Chinese rice. The kitchen staff gave us all a set of chopsticks and we had great fun trying to eat our food with them.  Our tasty food was then all washed down with delicious ice cream!


After our lunch, it was time to be creative! We continued the day by visiting the catering school kitchen and learning how to make spring rolls and fruit kebabs. During this visit, we also learnt how to count in Chinese and spoke about the Chinese zodiac. The head chef made us some prawn crackers and we blind-tasted some different dips. A fantastic day was had by everyone and we are really proud of everything we learnt and made.

Library Presentation

On Friday 15th May, we were thrilled today to present some children in Upper Years with prizes from Paignton Library. They were chosen as they did amazing descriptive writing during their library visit.  Congratulations!

Library Presentation

Science experiment

During our new topic in Science, we have been learning about 'forces'.  On Wednesday 13th May, we had some great discussions about friction and how friction changes according to the environment and materials that are used.  We planned an experiment and predicted what would happen if we picked up jelly using chopsticks. We then altered the surface of the jelly by firstly adding oil, then sand. We ensured that we carried out a fair test and kept an accurate time chart. After the experiment, we reflected on our predictions and made a conclusion as to how the friction was altered.  

Letters to China...

Year 5 have linked with 3 different schools in China and will be writing letters to pen-pals within these schools throughout the term. This morning (1.5.15), Magpies used their typing skills to type their first letters to their new pen-pals. We are looking forward to the replies from the students in China!


As part of our Science lessons, we have been leaning about space. As there were lots of different areas of the topic that the children wanted to find out about, they completed their own mini project, researching and presenting their chosen subject. They then shared them with children in Year 2, who are now studying space as part of their theme. 

Percentage problems....

Throughout the last week of April, we have been using our problem solving skills to work out a number of problems relating to fractions, decimals and percentages.

Paignton Library Visit

On Wednesday 29th April, we had a great experience walking from school to Paignton Library.  Whilst at the library, we had a tour of all of the sections in the building, including all of the resources available to us. It was great to see what the library can provide and everyone enjoyed exploring all the different genres the library had to offer.  We were very luck to partake in some activities related to our theme, 'China'.  We learnt about the Chinese Zodiac, how the dragon got its lion head and celebrated Chinese folklore in storytelling and descriptive writing.  We had chance to have our lunch at Goodrington sands on the way back to school.  All in all a 6.3 mile round trip!


Ipad Adverts

 In literacy we have been focusing on some products which are made in China, in connection with our theme. We started by looking at the ipad, and watched some documentaries about the working conditions of many children there.  Through writing our emotive accounts from the eyes of a Chinese worker, and also writing persuasive letters to the company Apple, we have now started to look at Apple from the other side.  We looked at how Apple as a company uses advertising campaigns to sell their products, and engaged with the features they use to create our own adverts.  After recording and also performing our adverts we all chose one which appealed to us the most and wrote reviews on them.

Ipad Advert

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Jumping Frogs!

For our Maths investigation this week (20th April) we had to use a logical and systematic approach to solving a problem based on frogs moving from one group of lily pads to the other. The groups had to investigate how they could do this in the smallest amount of jumps and ensure that they recorded their methods clearly in order to be able to explain their solution to the class.

The Easter Story

During the afternoon of 27th March, the pupils in Magpies did a great job of acting out the Easter story in small groups.

Can we design and budget for a new playground?

As our non-school uniform day on 27th March was based on collecting vouchers for the 'win a playground' competition, the class decided to design and budget for their own playground ideas. Using a variety of maths skills, the groups worked out how much their playground ideas would cost, whilst trying to keep to the £10 000 budget. They decided on whether to have soft tarmac or astro-turf (of both!) and worked out how much that would cost after being given the price per meter. They also calculated the totals for the amount of equipment that would be needed to cater for all children and their preferences.

Inspiration Day!

On Thursday 26th March, Year 5 took part in Paignton College's Inspiration Day. During this event, the pupils were able to take part in a range of activities, which included: Battlefield Live, Parkour, Samba drumming, Futsal, dance mats and roller-skating. 

Red Nose Day in Magpies!

Creative Brazil Day


Today, (12th March) as part of our cross-curricular thematic work, we were visited by 'Creative Brazil' from London.  We had a wonderful day of exciting Brazilian cultural activities.  All of Upper Years were in 3 groups and were able to experience every workshop throughout the day.  The workshops were: 

Brazilian Samba Dance and Caporeira (Brazilian non-contact Martial Art). 

We were put through our paces with the exciting and fast choreographed movements, and learnt two routines. 

Craft Workshop: 

In this workshop we recycled materials to design and construct our own carnival hat, it was fascinating to see all the creativity amongst us in really varied and unusual designs.

Samba Band:

We learnt about the Brazilian Samba rhythms, and practised singing two part rhythms, clapping them, and then putting all we had learnt into playing the instruments.  We had to listen really attentively to know which signals from the conductor meant which stops.  It was a fantastic experience for all of us and we will continue what we have learnt today in our own work in school. 

World Book Day!

Thursday 5th March was World Book Day.  We celebrated it in Year 5 and 6 by coming to school dressed as a character from a myth or legend.  Everyone's efforts were so appreciated.  After a team assembly focusing on reading, our class brought in their favourite book to share with Year 2 children.  It was lovely to see everyone excited to share their favourite book with others, and how well everyone read to each other.  At the end of the day we heard from famous footballer and author Frank Lampard through a live link to the children's authors website. 

Recycling Workshop

On Wednesday 4th March, we were very pleased to welcome Alex Mack from Recycle Devon.  She did a lot of exciting interactive work with us, focusing on the Waste Hierarchy.  We learnt about: The 4 R's.

REDUCE - Lessen the amount we use to reduce the impact on the environment.  REUSE - To use your rubbish again.  RECYCLE - Turn the rubbish into something brand new/compost.  RECOVER - Generate energy from waste by burning the rubbish.  She showed us the new factory in Devonport in Plymouth that was the EfW - Energy from Waste's newest depot.  She showed us the ashes that were made by incinerating the rubbish at an EfW site.  These ashes are then reused to make road aggregate.  We all enjoyed the workshop and working together in our teams on all of the quizzes and sorting activities.

Trip to Torbay Bookshop

On Tuesday 3rd March, we visited Torbay bookshop as part of World Book Week. The pupils were able to use their vouchers and buy a book of their choice!


This week we have started looking at the genre of Fables.  We will be looking at fables from South America, and today we focussed on 'The Two Brothers' a fable from Brazil.  We all listened to the story and then re-enacted it ourselves, this was a great way to really immerse ourselves in what the moral was behind the tale.  


Over the course of the next two weeks (beginning 23rd February) Year 5 children are taking part in Bikeability training. They will gain confidence with cycling and learn about the importance of staying safe when cycling on the roads.

How are chocolate and capitalism linked?

On Friday 13th February, we spent the day learning about how and where chocolate is produced. We completed quizzes, held debates, engaged in group and class discussions, discovered the highest producer and consumer countries using maps and completed some taste testing! Through this, we also learnt about capitalism and the importance of Fairtrade.

E-Safety Morning

We had a brilliant morning at Paignton Community College learning about being safe on the internet. During the workshop, we learnt about the dangers of the internet and the importance of saying safe. We also created a range of posters to be displayed around the school giving guidance on how to stay safe whilst using the internet.

Poetry Slam

Year 5 had a great time at the Princess Theatre on Monday 9th February celebrating the 'Poetry Slam' event.There were 20 schools participating in the competition from across Torbay, including our very own team from White Rock! We are very proud of our finalists, who gave a fantastic performance of their poem using a variety of performance skills.

Sharing our ICT learning

During our ICT lessons, we have been creating our own computer games using Purple Mash. On Thursday 29th January, we shared our games with pupils from Year 1, showing them how to operate the game, getting them to have a go and hearing their feedback!

Action Aid Visit

On Monday 26th January, we were very lucky to have had a visit from a representative of Action Aid, who came to talk to us about Brazil. We learnt about the economic divide, carnivals, currency and even taste tested some banana bread and coconut water! We also learnt some Portuguese greetings and made our own vibrant masks using lots of glitter!

Sharing our Home Learning

The variety of ways in which home learning has been produced during our South America theme has been fantastic! We have spent time sharing our home learning in class and discussing the interesting facts that we found out when completing the tasks. This week,when completing home learning about the Amazon Rainforest, we have seen posters, leaflets, booklets, PowerPoints, games and even a quiz!

Las Iguanas

As part of our theme, we are learning about life in South America. On Thursday 22nd January we went to Las Iguanas restaurant in Plymouth, which specialises in South American cuisine, to find out about the food and produce from across the Continent. We discovered new facts about the different countries, taste tested some of the produce and enjoyed a delicious lunch!

Poetry Slam!

Year 5 were fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Dreadlock Alien to create our own poems based on our current theme. We then shared our class poem to the Merlins, incorporating a chorus, actions, rhythm and even beatboxing to make our poems come alive. The winning poem will be performed at this year's Poetry Slam even on 9th February.

Maths - Can we work to a budget?

During Monday's maths lesson (12th January) we started to plan our films using a budget of £800. The groups had to work out the costings of a setting, props, actors/actresses and advertisement for their film. They completed this using a mixture of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division skills learnt in class.

History - Using our ICT skills to research Che Guevara

Paddleboat Theatre!

We are lucky enough to be working with Paddleboat Theatre in school on Wednesdays throughout this half term. We will be linking our learning theme for this half term to the workshops in order to enhance the learning across the curriculum!

Our Learning Journey


During our Literacy lessons, we are focusing on a new class book entitled, 'Oranges In No Man's Land.' This is in keeping with our 'Conflict' theme and is based on the Civil War in Beirut.  The novel tells the story of a young girl named Ayesha and her struggle to support her family throughout a time of war.


Within the theme of 'Conflict', we have been completing our own research, using the new class set of ipads.  We have researched the causes of World War II, evacuation and rationing. In Art, we have forged links with an International school in Munich as a way  of exploring the World War II artist Henry Moore. We will be sharing our findings with the school as well as the artwork we will be creating over the coming weeks.  





December 12th: Design and Technology

Today was the final D&T lesson focussing on building our shelters which we had designed last week.  The great variety in design was fabulous to see. All shelters were built out of scrap and recycled materials.
As part of our 'light' theme, we learnt some traditional Jewish dances, this marked the end of our study of 'Hannukah'.  The children learnt the steps really quickly and were able to join together in two traditional circle dances, we used Eastern European Klezmer music to dance to.

5th December: Body Percussion

During our music lesson we learnt about the contemporary composer Anna Meredith, with a focus on her 'Hands Free' composition.  We investigated what was possible without using musical instruments and started to explore body percussion.  By the end of our first lesson the class had begun to investigate different sounds you could create using body percussion.  In their small groups they began to compose a small piece using only body percussion.  We will continue looking at this way of composing next week and explore different forms of graphic notation for the children to write down their composed pieces so that they can re-perform them.
We had a super afternoon performing for our relatives during our WWII tea dance.  The tables were laden with specially baked goodies, the hall was full of WWII songs and dances.  The children were dressed in WWII style outfits and had a fantastic time sharing the songs and dances that they had learnt.

Reflections on Henry Moore

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Propaganda Speeches

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Inter-Primary Enterprise Activity

Six pupils from Year 5 and 6 were invited to South Devon College to take part in their Inter-Primary Enterprise Activity. During the morning, they had to think of their own pizza, design the packaging and create the pizza using the ingredients they had chosen. Our team did fantastically and were the runners up! 



We have been busy working on our propaganda speeches this week. As part of this, we completed our own research relating to the Shell and Greenpeace debate and shared our information by answering questions placed around the classroom.

Science - Irreversible Changes

We worked in teams to produce our own presentation based on irreversible changes. We used information from our lessons, research and own knowledge to put together the presentations.

Remembrance Day Poems!

We worked as a team to produce ideas and information we could use to help us write our own Remembrance Day poems.

Brixham Battery

We had a fantastic morning when staff from Brixham Battery came to visit us. We were all very excited to learn so many new things about weapons, drill in the Army and life in general during World War II. We also enjoyed having our hair done in the style of the 1940s!


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Trip to Torre Abbey and Torquay Museum:

In connection with our 'Conflict' theme this term, Upper Years were very privileged to have a visit to Torre Abbey and Torquay Museum. We learnt a great deal about the changing purposes of Torre Abbey since it's construction in 1196, it really demonstrated to  us how one building and grounds could play such a huge part in so many important periods of history.


In Torquay Museum we visited many wonderful attractions including the World War II exhibition.  We had to act like special agents and had clues to crack to find the secret code by answering questions in relation to the World II, all children were then presented with a certificate.

Cake Investigation!


During our Maths lesson on Monday 13th October, we used our skills of addition, multiplication, doubling and halving to solve Miss Perry's cake problem!

A Persuasive Debate

This week, we are looking at persuasive writing in our literacy lessons. As part of this, we produced a persuasive argument based in dogs in public areas. Working as a team, we discussed whether we were 'for' or 'against' and presented our case to a Judge and Jury! 


During our Maths lessons, we have been using a range of skills to solve number problems. This has included discovering who stole the cookies from the Cookie Monster using a range of number skills to solve the clues and ultimately find who stole the cookies!

We listened to an air raid siren and discussed how it might have felt to be caught in an air raid during WWII. We then wrote diary entries depicting these emotions.


Monday 15th September 1945


Dear Diary,


Today I was in an ordinary Science lesson when the school shook! We thought it was nothing but then I saw a giant German bombing plane. Did my eyes deceive me? I wasn’t sure until I heard the ear cracking sound of the air raid siren! I saw people outside rushing for their lives, screaming, shouting, looking around for the plane. My heart was pounding. I was tense! Everyone was! As quick as a flash, everyone flew under the tables and chairs, hoping for the best. I didn’t dare to move from the position I was in. I smelt fire burning and crackling. I could hear the vibration of the bombs getting closer and closer!


Suddenly, it stopped. I heard no bombs, no screaming, and no shouting. There was no German bombing plane and no…building! All of the school had been torn down and the town hall was now a pile of old tatty bricks. All of the trees outside were now reduced to burnt tree stumps. Everywhere was just utter desolation!


A pupil in Magpies.

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