Scroll to content
School Logo

St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Primary School

“I have called you by your name; you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1

Year 5L

Science Week – Archimedes and Buoyancy

Our famous scientist for Science Week was Archimedes.  He is famous for shouting “Eureka!” while in the bath because he found the answer to a problem when he observed the water rising as he got in.  He is also reputed to have then jumped out of the bath and run naked through the streets of Syracuse, still shouting “Eureka!” (“I’ve got it” in ancient Greek.)


Archimedes’ work on the buoyancy and density of materials led the way to many scientific discoveries.  We investigated how to make things float by making little boats of plasticine and finding out how many coins they could hold before capsizing.


We also discovered that potatoes sink because they are more dense than the same amount of water.  Peeling them didn’t affect their buoyancy, but when we hollowed out about a quarter of the inside.... they floated!


Primary Engineers’ Final

On Monday, 18 April two pupils from 5L went to St Paul’s school in the afternoon to present their working, battery operated cars which were designed and created as part of the Primary Engineers’ project.


The project, which began last term, was to create a battery driven model car using wood and card.  At St Paul’s the young engineers had to demonstrate the capability of their cars in a timed trial along a straight, level ramp.  All the participants received certificates and prizes.  

Motorised Cars

On Wednesday, the 2nd of March both Year 5 classes had a whole day of DT activities.  We took over the hall for the day in order to begin constructing our model motorised cars for the Primary Engineers’ Project.  This project, in which schools throughout Milton Keynes take part, is a competition to find the best motorised model car made from wood and card.


At the end of the day, most children had constructed their frames and were ready to attach axels, and mounting bars for the batteries and motors.  The cars should be finished soon and the best examples from each class will go to St Paul’s in April for the conclusion of the competition.

Pobble Day

On Monday, 22nd of February, 5L had a visitor from Pobble.  She inspired us to write an atmospheric flashback story about a book, a rose and a very creepy old house.


Ship Ahoy!

Our Computing topic this half term has been: We are Cryptographers.  We have been learning about different ways that secret messages can be encoded or decoded and how computers can be used to do this.  At Bletchley Park we found out about code breaking during WWII.  In our lessons, we have experimented with different forms of coded communications such as the Caesar cypher, the pig-pen cypher, Morse code and semaphore.


We spent an afternoon outside with our semaphore flags, sending and receiving messages, like ships at sea.

How to Make a Mummy

In our topic work we learnt that the Ancient Egyptian process for preserving dead Pharaohs and important people was long and complex.  We also learned about the Egyptians’ religion, gods and their understanding of the afterlife.


In one lesson, the children worked in groups to act out the process of mummifying a body for its burial and journey to the afterlife.  We did not actually take out the brains with a hook through the nose or remove internal organs and preserve them in canopic jars!


The Time-Travelling Class!

We have enjoyed learning about Ancient Egypt this term.  We have learned about Pharaohs and slaves, pyramids and the Sphinx, the Nile and the desert, mummies and hieroglyphics.


Although we couldn’t really travel back in time, we did take time to pose with 5G’s life size sarcophagus.  We created a very interesting display in our classroom with these pictures and some very good examples of our work on Ancient Egypt.  

Friction and Forces

In Science this term, 5L have been learning about friction and forces.  We’ve carried out a series of investigations into measuring force, understanding push and pull forces and discovering the different kinds of frictions such as air resistance.

Una Oruga Glotona

On Thursday the 21st of January, we presented our assembly version of The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle …. In Spanish.  We told the story of the hungry little caterpillar who took a week to eat his way through many fruits, sausages, cakes and sweets until she was no longer little or hungry!  She built a cocoon and emerged two week later, una Hermosa mariposa – a beautiful butterfly.


The children worked together to create some of the props themselves using paint and collage in the style of Eric Carle’s own illustrations.  Stripey caterpillar hand puppets and glittery antennae added to the effect.


The children all rose to the challenge of learning their lines in Spanish and learned to sing in Spanish for the end of the assembly.  Well Done, 5L – Excelente!


In the first half of the spring term, we have been learning gymnastics with the expert guidance of Mrs Matcham, a PE specialist.  We are learning to combine rolls, vaults, jumps and balances in a variety of combinations on the floor and on different types of apparatus. 

Milton Keynes Futures Project

The whole school took part in the Milton Keynes Futures Project.  The children were invited to design buildings for Milton Keynes for the year 2050.  We used a 3D computer modelling program to realise our designs.  The modelling program let us print out nets that we then assembled into 3D models of our building designs.  The winning design was for an old people’s home.

Northampton Museum

On the 6th November Year 5 visited the Northampton Museum. It was great fun and we learnt lots about the Vikings, we even got to handle some genuine Viking artefacts! We explored the shoe gallery which contained shoes from as far back as the 17th Century. We learnt about the history of Northampton and we explored the art gallery which had lots of historical objects from around the world. 


Properties of Materials

This term we have been learning about the properties of materials.  We have found out about solutions and mixtures, about separating out materials by evaporation and filtration.  We studied irreversible changes, such as chemical reactions – that you can’t “unbake” a cake.  We also investigated the thermal properties of materials and concluded that a thermos is very effective for keeping hot liquids hot!

The Big Draw

We began with two long pieces of paper and four big pieces of card.  Working in four groups, the children decorated the two long pieces of paper to be the sides of a Viking Longboat.  The four big pieces of card were decorated and stuck together to form the sails. Once finished, we assembled the Viking Longboat around 8 chairs and filled it with Vikings, eager to sail off on a Viking raid!