Year 5 - Royal Park Primary School

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Year 5

The Victorians

This half term Year 5 will be travelling back in time to the Victorian era: a period of extraordinary social change.  Our learning will be centered on the novel, ‘Street Child’ by Berlie Doherty. Set in the second half of the nineteenth century, ‘Street Child’ tells the story of a boy called Jim, who after a series of misfortunes, spends time in the workhouse as a child labourer and lives on the streets. The book is based on the true story of an orphan whose plight inspired Doctor Barnardo to help street children and led to the founding of his children’s homes. Exploring the novel enables children to discuss challenging themes including cruelty, injustice, resilience and humanity. It also enables children to develop an understanding of issues such as poverty and child labour.


As writers we will be writing diary entries in role and a biography of Dr. Barnardo. We will also be developing our creative writing through poetry.

As readers we will continue to develop our ability to read aloud with fluency and understanding using appropriate expression and phrasing. We will consider the author’s use of language and its effect upon the reader and justify our opinions with evidence from the text.

As mathematicians we will continue to develop our understanding of statistics, area, perimeter, length and volume.

As historians we will find out key facts about the Victorian era particularly about the lives of the poor and the work of Dr. Barnardo. We will also visit the Ragged School Museum and experience what it was like to attend a Victorian school.

As artists we will explore the use of light and shade to depict the lives of poor Victorians in the work of Victorian artists. We will create our own representations of life in the Victorian era representing light, shade and texture using pencil and charcoal. We will also produce a mood board for one of the main characters in ‘Street Child’.

As scientists we will explore evolution and inheritance and think about where our traits come from. Will you have blue eyes if someone in your family does? We move to looking at how animals and plants have adapted over the years to their environments.

As computer programmers we will use the Scratch and Inkscape software to create geometric patterns inspired by the work of William Morris and patterns observed in Victorian tiles.

As theologians we will describe and begin to understand Christian and Buddhist responses to poverty and reflect on sources of inspiration in our own and others’ lives.

As citizens we will consider the response of Dr. Barnardo to the street children, understand and respond to the plight of street children today and explore themes of poverty and injustice.

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