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Year 4/5 - Emmeline Pankhurst Class

Year 4/5 Autumn 2 Curriculum Information


As we move into the second half of the Autumn term, we will be time travelling back over 150 years to the Victorian Era. We will begin exploring the work of Charles Dickens, reading the book ‘Oliver Twist’ - a heart wrenching, tear jerking novel. The plot follows the journey of an innocent young boy, Oliver Twist, living in London in the 1860s which is a very dangerous and lonely place for a small boy, and it is a constant battle for survival. We will be working as a team to build our own diary from the perspective of Oliver.

We will use this story to explore the Industrial Revolution and how life changed for so many people during this period. We will find out about the invention of machinery and how wealthy businessmen built factories to make lots of money. From here we will discuss how one machine could complete the job of hundreds of workers in a fraction of the time.

Factories sprung up in every town, creating cities all over the country. This was the birth of the Industrialisation period. We will look at how factories were powered throughout this period and discussing what the impact of electricity had on cities. We will learn more about the history of electricity through science, building on our knowledge using experiments including creating circuits and finding conductors of electricity and insulators. We will also consider how the Victorian era changed quickly for a lot of people, how cities became busier and more crowded – and how this also brought diseases such as cholera.


Throughout the term we will continue to explore how the Victorian age has changed modern Britain today by researching developments such as petrol and inventions such as the first public flushing toilet! We will be researching one of the first major breakthroughs in electricity with - through perseverance - the invention of a light bulb. We will be asking ourselves the big question for this half term – How did the Victorian era change life in Britain for us?


Furthermore, in PSHE linked with the British Value, democracy, we will explore the suffragette movement and women’s rights using the picture book ‘Suffragettes: The Battle for Equality’ by David Roberts, linked to our school value: respect. We will also consider the rights of people and individual liberty around the world today and how they have changed life for the better.


Closer to Christmas time we will again explore the works of Charles Dickens by reading abridged children’s versions of ‘A Christmas Carol’. We will explore themes related to relationships and we will be writing a letter to Scrooge. 


In Art, we will look at the works of artist William Morris, best known for his flowery patterns, and celebrated artist L.S Lowry who focuses her drawings on townhouses.

We will also be getting our musical hats on to find out about rhythm and how it is used in music.

We have many more things planned this half-term, which we cannot wait to share with you!

Year 4/5 Autumn 1 Curriculum Information


At the start of the Autumn term we will be ‘taking off’ on a journey to explore our first topic all about Space. We will be reading an exciting book called ‘Cosmic’ by Frank Cottrell Boyce. This hilarious roller coaster adventure takes the central character, Liam Digby – an extraordinary, TALL twelve-year-old – up into space… by accident. This cleverly written novel identifies individual differences between children, as well as adults, with a focus on individual strengths.

As we explore the book, we will be thinking about the key themes highlighted in the story including relationships, the differences between right and wrong and looking at how everybody is a unique individual. As we discuss these themes, we will explore our school value of ‘acceptance’ and we will learn about the importance of treating everybody equally and fairly.

As the book is centered around the theme of Earth and Space, in History we will learn about key events during the Race to Space including: Sputnik, Nasa, the first man in space and the first man on the moon. In Design and Technology, the children will have the opportunity to design and build a Mars Rover and in Art we will discover the work of Peter Thorpe – a space artist – who is well known for painting rockets. 

We will further use this book to learn about the solar system, the universe and experiment with gravity (don’t worry, we aren’t sending anyone into space!). With inspiration from the book This Rock, That Rock, we will create an acrostic poem to help us remember the order of the planets. We will also be using a beautifully illustrated picture book called ‘On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein’ by Jennifer Berne and Vladimir Radunsky to learn more about gravity and how this links with space.

Throughout our learning in this topic, we will be trying to answer our Big Question which is: Who is Neil Armstrong and how did he contribute to the space exploration? To help us answer this question, we will be time travelling back to 1969 to watch a clip of Neil Armstrong taking his first step on the moon. As a class we will also be researching and building our knowledge on influential scientists such as Isaac Newton, Neil Armstrong, Galileo, and Aristotle. We will discuss what it might be like to be an astronaut – what questions we would ask them and whether, one day, we would like to be an astronaut. Whilst reading these books and poem we will explore our school value of ‘perseverance’ and think about always trying our best and never giving up.

We have many more exciting opportunities planned this half-term, which we cannot wait to share with you! Including, heading out to visit the National Space Centre (COVID dependent) where the children will participate in exciting activities such as experiencing what it is like to live on a rocket and live life like an astronaut.