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St Stephen's C of E Junior School

'Learning to change the World' 'Act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God' - Micah 6:8
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Welcome to class 5ST

Welcome to 5ST's class page. Here, you can keep up to date with the work we are doing and what's coming up. We are very excited about the year ahead and hope you enjoy following us on our learning journey throughout Year 5!

5ST Contact Form

If you have any comments or suggestions, we'd love to hear from you! Please use the secure form below to contact us.

From Emily:

‘I loved the @Bristol trip because it made science more fun, allowing us to learn but also have a great time.’ 

From Joanna:

‘I thought @Bristol was amazing because all of the experiments were fun but they also taught us lots of new things!’ 

From Ellis T: 

‘I enjoyed @Bristol a lot because we did millions of amazing and exciting activities. My favourite activity was the workshop when we made a little capsule shoot up into the air.’ 

From Kimberly:
‘I loved the @Bristol trip because it was full of amazing objects and we had a lot of fun there.’ 

From Alicia:

‘It was so much fun. My favourite part was the bubbles upstairs. I was there with my friend, Lilly. I made a big bubble and it popped in my face!’

Term 6


Class Newsletter

Why should we protect the Amazon Rainforest? 

Our enquiry: Why should we protect the Amazon Rainforest?

Our new enquiry will provide us with plenty of opportunities to refine our skills as geographers and scientists. We will develop our map-reading skills, research life in the Amazon Rainforest, investigate the rainforest as a vital natural resource and consider the human impact on this diverse, yet vulnerable, environment. Our challenge will be to create a campaign video persuading the public to protect the Amazon Rainforest.

Art Week 
Week 5 was Art Week. Inspired by the wonderful work of Henri Rousseau, we used a variety of colouring techniques and watercolour washes to create vivid rainforest scenes. Next, we modelled animals from clay and created colourful habitats for our creatures. On Wednesday, Elise taught us how to weave with wicker. We wove a magnificent tiger decorated with strips of fabric on which we wrote our hopes for the future of the world's tropical rainforests.
Makey Makey Programmers!
During week 4, 5ST used their debugging skills to successfully power certain keys on their keyboards without even touching them! Using circuit board hardware, Makey Makeys,  to program different actions, we explored how many different ways we can input signals to the laptop only using our bodies. At one point, we made a class human chain and was able to control the actions by holding and breaking hands!

To demonstrate this term's value of responsibility, our green fingers will be put to the test in a house sunflower-growing competition. Take a look at our cultivation plans!

During the first three weeks of our enquiry, we studied a range of maps, located the Amazon Rainforest and investigated its topography, before travelling into the depths of its understory with Google Maps. Next, we immersed ourselves in two tales from the Amazon which helped us to appreciate the importance of this precious ecosystem. Finally, we researched food chains and considered the impact of removing the producer. Now, we're exploring life cycles, researching deforestation and refining our persuasive writing skills in preparation for our challenge.
While immersing ourselves in all things rainforest, by watching Rio 2 on the big screen, we used poster paint, watercolours, tissue paper, oil pastels and colouring pencils to recreate  rainforest flora and fauna to compile this term's door display. Take a look below to see us in action and our final product! 

What is the best way for a Sikh to show commitment to God?

During this enquiry, we explored the different ways that Sikhs can show commitment to God, from wearing the five Ks and reading the Guru Granth Sahib to going through the Amrit ceremony and Sewa. As our challenge, we wrote letters to Arjan, a Sikh boy who wanted advice about how best to show commitment to God.

Term 5 

Class Newsletter
Our enquiry: How does art enhance storytelling? 
During this enquiry, How does art enhance storytelling?, we will be investigating and evaluating a range of storytelling methods, including plays, audio books, stories told through music, art and text. Our final challenge will see us put together a class e-book starting with a music composition to introduce our innovated stories which will be told through the mediums of art, prose and spoken work.

Oil-Painted Masterpieces!

After a successful session exploring dabbing and smudging techniques to create texture and movement, 5ST set out to create their masterpiece to be featured in our e-book, to enhance their innovated fairytale story. Have a look below to see us in action, crafting our pictures representing one of the blankets featured in our tale. 

Here are a few fabulous examples for us to showcase: 

Oil Painting: Movement and Texture 


In week 5, 5ST explored how to create texture and movement using oil paints in preparation for creating a masterpiece to represent their own blankets from their innovated fairytale narrative. Using dabbing, we were able to create a raised effect, counterbalanced by some smooth strokes, generating texture. Carefully placed smudges added the impression of movement. Have a look below at a few of our 'practice palettes', where we explored different ways of dabbing and smudging. 

After evaluating a variety of soundtracks, we worked in groups to compose and perform a class soundtrack to accompany the Secret Garden's blanket. We used our knowledge of pitch, tempo, volume and tone to create a positive mood which would enhance our written descriptions.

Group composition

A stranger arrives


After countless attempts to cure the Princess, a mysterious stranger arrives at the Palace claiming that he knew magician and could stop the Princess suffering from the cold. If successful, as a reward, he planned to carry her back to his own land to be his wife. 

We took on the role of royal servants and used the stranger’s arrival as an excuse to have a good gossip, as well as an opportunity to develop our dialogue-writing skills. 

The Secret Garden's blanket

We foraged outside in our very own Secret Garden to inspire the contents of our own Secret Garden’s blanket. 

After gathering our chosen components, we arranged them into a collage-style blanket in effort to bring our Secret Garden's blanket to life.  

The blankets

Determined to earn his reward, the stranger wrapped the Princess in four blankets stolen from nature. Before viewing Catherine Hyde’s artistic interpretations, we used the vivid descriptions to create a class version of each blanket.

The Ocean's blanket
The Forest's blanket
The Mountain's blanket
The Earth's blanket
To kick start our enquiry this term, How does art enhance storytelling?, we were exposed to a variety of storytelling methods, starting with audiobooks. We listened to some Roald Dahl read by David Walliams and Kate Winslet before listening to David Almond read an extract from Skellig. Having established some steps to success for audiobooks, we then practised reading an extract from Skellig and recorded ourselves on the IPads. It was trickier than we thought to read with expression and intonation!
In the afternoon, we were lucky enough to have Martin come and lead a workshop on storytelling. With nothing but a ukulele and his imagination, he showed us how to to bring a story to life. Inspired by our outside space, we got into groups and created a quest story.
Anti-Bullying Day 

In week 1, on Anti-Bullying Day, 5ST studied the animation, Wing, focusing on the identifying different types of bullying and effects on victims. After story mapping the main points of the story, we portrayed different parts using charcoals, adding powerful vocabulary to describe how the main characters could be feeling. With such a complex plot, we found that the story contained many different bullying-related morals, which we explored in teams.  To top off the day, we wrote anti-bullying Haikus, ensuring our language was concise and powerful. We showcased all that we had learned and produced in assembly at the end of the day to the rest of the school. 

Term 4 

5ST's Science Show! 

In the final week of term 4, 5ST gathered all that they had learned over our enquiry ‘Can all changes be reversed?’ and devised their very own science show extravaganza. Planning and setting up a carousel of engaging activities, 5ST transformed into science teachers discussing and demonstrating a range of scientific phenomena to our guests, 3RC.  Activities included looking at the process of making butter, cheese-making, bringing states of matter to life, what actually happens to a candle and the proof behind it,  the ‘magic’ (science!) behind cornflower goo and effervescent tablet fueled rocket canisters! The atmosphere was buzzing as 5ST took our Year 3s though a gripping scientific afternoon – a phenomenal time was had by all! 

Programmers of the Future! 

5ST have been designing their own computer programmes using Scratch. In teams of two, we took on the challenge of making our very own games. 

From Ellis T and Cody:

“We made a game where you have to tap a penguin and when you do, the penguin moves up the screen. There are characters that move across the screen too repeatedly. The aim of the game is to get the penguin to the Victory sign without getting hit. You should count your Victories to see who wins!


From Ben and Josh:

“We made a game where you have to dodge the kids in the bike. If you touch the child’s bike,  the bike says ‘Game over’!”

E-Safety Week 

In week 4, 5ST learned all about staying safe online. We learned all about what makes a password powerful, the risks of sharing too much information online, how to minimise the chance of cyber bullying and the dangers of speaking to people we’ve never met. We even took in the role of employers and scrutinised job applications against what we found out about the candidates online. 

Becoming Tim

In week 2, 5ST brought The Highwayman’s character, Tim, to life by encompassing his situation, thoughts and emotions through freeze-framing his most vital moments in the story.  Focusing on facial expression, body language and shape of frame, 5ST recreated 3 scenes from The Highwayman:

  • Tim overhearing the amorous conversation between Bess and the Highwayman
  • Tim telling the red-coated men about the Highwayman’s whereabouts
  • Tim’s reaction when he returns to the inn and discovers their bodies

Based on our exploration of thoughts and feelings through our freeze-framing, 5ST wrote a diary from the perspective of Tim about the entire saga he has endured. Have a look at a few examples of our work below. 

Purim Worship

5ST worked tremendously hard on their Purim worship assembly this week. After learning all about the customs and tradition of the Jewish festival, we shared our knowledge, made noisemakers (which we even used during a reading of The Story of Esther) and even sang a Purim song in Hebrew! We thoroughly enjoyed devising the assembly and hope our audience enjoyed learning about Purim as we did. 

World Book Day

Our favourite books came to life in 5ST as we celebrated World Book Day. Dressed as famous book characters, we got a taste of our teachers’ favourite stories, read stories to children in Year 3 and made our own bookmarks that illustrate what we love about reading! Lily Bailey was the costume winner for 5ST, dressed impeccably as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz – she even had ToTo in tow! 

In week 1, 5ST fully immersed themselves in all things Chinese. We kick-started the Mandarin-mania with us learning how to play Chinese Chess. It was tricky to start with but with a little perseverance, we got there! 

Later, we entered the realms of Zen and tried our hand at Tai Chi. Inner peace restored, we continued with our day, learning the basics of Mandarin and tasted authentic Chinese tea, which we discovered is central to Chinese culture. 

Term 3 


Can change always be reversed? 

Science is at the forefront of our minds this term as we launch our first science enquiry. Working scientifically, we will start by looking at the different properties of materials, including thermal and electrical conductivity, hardness, absorbency and solubility. Having classified various materials according to their different properties, we will move onto investigating  reversible and irreversible changes. On the 30th of January we are going to attend a workshop at @Bristol before planning, designing and leading our own science workshop back at school as our challenge. 

The Highwayman 

After exploring the internal dilemma that Bess faces when tied up by the red-coats, her love about to ride a dangerous path, 5ST performed a conscience alley to vocalise her inner turmoil.  

Conscience alley: Bess

In week 5, 5ST brought the tale of the Highwayman to life by freeze-framing three parts of the story:

  1. The arrival of the red-coated men
  2. King George's men in the inn
  3. The men holding Bess captive 

In week 4, 5ST had a magnificent day at Bristol’s Science Centre, @Bristol. A fantastic day was had by all, where budding scientists observed, touched, made, jumped, built, recorded, mixed and heard a vast variety of scientific phenomena! Time went too fast as we became completely immersed in everything we could get our hands on. Have a look through the photo reel above to see how we got on: 

Moh's Scale: classifying hardness of rocks

Using Moh’s scale of hardness, 5ST put on their scientist caps and classified different rocks according to how hard they are. Placing them on a scale from 1 (not very hard - chalk strength) to 10 (extremely hard- diamond strength), they used different items of varying known hardness, and attempted to scratch each specimen. If the item caused a gauge, it was harder than the specimen, if not, the specimen was harder. By trial and error, 5ST managed to classify hardness

Fair testing: absorbancy

During week 2, 5ST investigated the question, ‘which material is best to mop up a spill?’ Focusing on fair testing, we ensured that our independent variable, the material was the only one that changed, while all other variables, dependent variables, remained fixed.  

To kick-start our science-based enquiry, 5ST, in teams, generated floor-based Venn and Carroll diagrams to classify everyday items under criteria of their choice. Conversation was sparked left, right and centre as the teams spoke about all that they knew about materials to determine where each item was to be placed.


Are Sikh stories important today? 

During our first enquiry of the term, we immersed ourselves in a collection of Sikh stories and discussed three key questions:


1. What is the meaning/theme of the story?

2. Are these themes important in today's world?

3. How is this story relevant today to Sikhs/non-Sikhs? 


Term 2

Our enquiry: Were all Vikings brutal plunderers? 

This term, we are acting as historians and investigating whether all Vikings were brutal plunderers. In order to answer this question, we will learn all about who the Vikings were, how and why they invaded what Impact they had on our land. Furthermore, we will train to become informed and persuasive debaters, learning form the best in Westminster, then later put our debating skills to good use to debate the big question: Were all Vikings plunderers? 

Weeks 5-7

Debate: Were all Vikings brutal plunderers? 

Putting our newly-refined skills to good use, in week 7, 5ST debated our enquiry question, ‘Were all Vikings brutal plunderers?’

Abiding by the rule of the House of Commons, we argued with an attempted to persuade the opposition to adopt our viewpoint. After a heated debate and a lot of jeering, we joined forces with 5CG and went outside to vote with our feet – Green Room or Red Room. This was the final decider on whether the Vikings were brutal plunderers or not. The result – a large majority of children opted for the Red Room, believing that Vikings were not all brutal plunderers. 

Should people keep pets? 

After learning about the traditions and customs of Parliament, 5ST planned a discussion of their around, musing the question, ‘Should people keep pets?’ Building a case for both sides in different teams, 5ST staged a debate, House of Commons style, in effort to win the discussion. Individuals voted at the end by placing themselves in the ‘Red Room’ area or the ‘Green Room’ area.


Directors, Producers! 
In week 5, 5ST put their knowledge into practice by creating their very own film trailors about Lindisfarne, the legendary Viking attack on an Anglo-Saxon monastery. The results were fantastic as we all put down our pens and picked up our swords in effort to recreate the ferocious attack.

Film trailor 1

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Film trailor 2

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Weeks 1-4

Talking the text

Still image for this video
In week 4, 5ST created a text map in effort to internalise a quality example of a discussion text, pondering the question: Do games rot the brain? We even added our own actions to help us remember the vocabulary! Have a look below to see how we got on.

This term’s value: Friendship


With this term’s value, Friendship, in the forefront of our minds, we grouped together to share our thoughts on how we define and value friendship. After an insightful circle time where we shared our own and listened to others’ beliefs, we became jumbled up in the game Friendship Knot, where we worked together to untangle ourselves. At first we thought it would be impossible, but we soon dispelled that theory by working together as friends! 

First World War days

Letters from the home front


This week, after learning a lot about trench life (including digging our own!) we traveled back in time and thought about what it would be like to a soldier on the Front Line. Ridding our selves of almost all electricity, using only a small amount for distant combat sound effects, we imagined ourselves as serving soldiers and wrote letters to loved ones from the trenches. 

On day 3, we ventured out into the cold, muddy field to experience firsthand what it is like to dig a trench, although not quite as large or deep as those on the Front Line during the war! We couldn't believe how difficult it was, after 15 minutes we were all exhausted. Have a look below to see how we got on. 

During day 2 of our First World War extravaganza, we had a visit from Lance Corporal Evans, who sharpened us up in attempt to transform us into an impeccable platoon of soldiers ready for service. We enlisted, swore the oath and learnt how to march as a unit, responding to his grueling commands.


The first day of exploring life in WWI has had an explosive start, kicking off with a themed assembly outlining the what, where, when, who and why of the Great War by our very own Lance Corporal Evans. Have a look below to see him kitted out in a accurately reconstructed standard issue Army uniform from 1914.

Lance Corporal Evans

Our in-house WWI experts

Children from across Year 6 imparted their knowledge and expertise onto 5ST by running a carousel of thought-provoking and fact-based activities. Ranging from learning about the life on the Seafront, to having a go at the games children were able to play during WWI, we became fully immersed in everything WWI. A few of us even got to try on Lance Corporal Evan's hat!

Term 1 

Our enquiry: What might Skellig be?

From Libby:

"I really like our enquiry around Skellig because it's mysterious and you never know what's going to happen next."


From Aaron:

"I enjoy the mystery of 'Skellig' because you don't really know what he is or he feels about his life. I'm looking forward to finding out more!"


From Mica:

"Science week was really fun because of all the explosions - we got to see some really exciting science!"


From Ellis T:

"My favourite part of Science Week was when we were in the hall doing our workshop. I loved making the flubber out of PVA glue and water."









Weeks 5-8

Scrapbook challenge!

This term, we have loved joining Michael on his life-changing voyage of discovery. Throughout Week 8, we worked tirelessly to complete our enquiry challenge - to create a scrapbook page for Michael which answered our enquiry question, 'What might Skellig be?' 


During Term 1, in an attempt to define Skellig, we developed our knowledge of skeletons, owls and angels. We also practised a number of skills - mind-mapping, creating word clouds, writing kennings, drawing and clay modelling. 


Providing just one answer to our enquiry question proved impossible. However, our challenge offered us an exciting opportunity to apply and refine our newly-developed skills and to reflect on our understanding of Skellig's complex nature.




Skellig Sequel Chapters


After finishing Skellig, we planned and wrote sequel chapters which featured Michael's sister, Joy, ten years on. We included vivid setting and character description and we focused carefully on creating suspense to engage the reader. Now, we're going to tweet David Almond. We can't wait to find out what he thinks!


Listen to some fantastic examples of 5ST's sequel chapters below:

Liam's sequel chapter

Lilly's sequel chapter

Libby's sequel chapter

Clay models

During week 8, we compiled our knowledge of what we've learned about Skellig and each created a clay model to represent him, or part of him.

Ambiguous Creatures

Ambiguity: doubt, uncertainty, vagueness


During week 6, we had a go at creating ambiguity using different charcoal techniques. Following on from our fantastic sketching around birds, we set ourselves the challenge of creating a bird picture using charcoals, containing ambiguity.

Weeks 1-4

During Term 1,  using the book, 'Skellig', as a basis, we are sharpening our enquiry skills to answer the mind-baffling question: What could Skellig be?


Through immersing ourselves in the skills and knowledge required to begin to explore the question and having a go at applying these skills independently, we are making great progress on our journey to discover what Skellig could possibly be!

5ST's visit from our feathered friends

Inspired by Mina's quote, 'Drawing makes you look at the world more closely. It helps you to see what you're looking at more clearly', we picked up our sketching pencils, studied the pigeons and created some magnificent masterpieces! We can't help but agree with Mina's viewpoint on drawing here!

5ST know how to Hoot!

The character of Mina from Skellig inspired us to create our very own instruction video of 'How to Hoot like an Owl'. Although it proved challenging to master, we thought hard about what makes a good instruction video, produced some great 'pieces to camera' and had a great time in the process! Take a look at what we got up to...

Bringing 'Skellig' to life

Immersing ourselves in the story of the mysterious being, Skellig, we explored our own feelings on the text by critiquing and identifying any connections that we can relate to or puzzles that the book presents.


In week 4, we had a lot of fun deepening our understanding of characters' thoughts and motives by portraying the main roles through drama activities.

Feathers, feathers - everywhere!

A classroom full of feathers and a danger sign kickstarted this terms enquiry, based around the book, Skellig. From the very start, we've used the clues gradually unveiled to us to begin to piece together ideas to help answer our enquiry question: 'What could Skellig be?'


Science Week 8th September 2014

Science week is a booming success as 5ST are acting as scientists by trying their hand at a variety of activities and experiments and having a great time in the process! Below you will see a few snapshots of what we have been up to. We've had a lot of fun so far and we're looking forward to the rest of the week!

Poetry Days

We have really enjoyed focusing on the poem 'Sky in the Pie' by Roger McGough and have not only devised a performance of the poem itself, but also written a follow-on verse and created a 'Night Sky' scene to accompany the additional verse. Here are a few examples of what we came up with...