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St Joseph's Catholic Primary School

We are all God's children and will try to live, love, work
and serve as Jesus taught us.

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Year 5 2020-2021

Welcome to Year 5 – The class of 2021!!

Mr Curran, Mrs Wasmuth, Mrs Dunn & Mrs Farrell


Welcome to the 2020-21 school year. This is such an exciting time for us all as we venture on another year together. This year in Year 5 will mark yet another important milestone in your child’s life. The skills we practice daily, in and out of class, will continue to build on the foundations already established here at St. Joseph’s and enable them to achieve future success in school and in life.

We are committed to making this year one of excitement, growth and opportunity, both academically and socially. We will guide and encourage your child, celebrating each step of the way as he or she gains a love of learning, self-confidence and the academic skills that form a foundation for continued success.

We pledge to care for each child’s individual and social needs throughout the year and show them that school is a safe and consistent place to learn and explore. We love teaching and look forward to caring, supporting and encouraging your child daily as we embark on the wonderful adventure of learning.

We also look forward to working in partnership with yourselves this coming year. Our door is always open for you.

Mr Curran, Mrs Wasmuth, Mrs Dunn & Mrs Farrell

National Schools Sports Week 2021


Year 5 enjoyed a fantastically well-organised week. We participated in many events and had several visitors encouraging us to be active, eat healthily and to stay fit. The week began with a visit from Dave Hill, a Paralympian athlete. 


Dave began by saying that we should all strive to be the best we can be. He promoted a 'can do' attitude.  


His Story – The beginning 

His journey began when he was a swimmer as a 3-year-old when he achieved his first swimming badge. He felt like a champion and winning this badge inspired him. He then went on to achieve his 10metre badge, then his 25m, 50m, 100m and ultimately his 1000m badges, all by the age of 9 years old.  

He was a confident swimmer at this stage and “loves water”. He also expressed that he lives near the beach near Exmouth and when he was younger, he felt much safer near water because he could swim and knew safe water rules. He continues to paddle board and kayak.  



As well as his own personal achievements, he stated that he wanted to beat his older sister who was also competitive like him. This was his main motivation. When he kept racing her and winning, he was then determined to race and be the best against those peers in his class, his year group, his school and then his county where he competed.  

At the age of 15, he participated in the 2004 Paralympic Games held in Athens. He was extremely excited as this was this an Olympic year. He said that he was not competing in the games this year and had retired, where he would now focus on visiting schools to inspire others. Unfortunately he did not win a major medal at a Games (his last games being at Rio 2016) which was a disappointment of his but that he learnt so much form the process and hard work that went into reaching where he was. He said he wasn’t a greedy athlete. He competed in a total of two Olympics in two different sports, both swimming and the triathlon. He explained that the triathlon was made up of a 750 metre swim, a 12 mile cycle and 3 mile run. He added that when cycling, he had to wear or attach a prosthetic arm to hold onto his bicycle. He trained, when at his peak, 10 times a week, 2 hour sessions at a time swimming. He ate and still does eat healthily, drinks lots of water and avoids fast food and fizzy drinks.  


Goals and Future 

He was born with part of his arm (left forearm) not growing properly. This hasn’t stopped him doing anything he has wanted. He always sets a goal, works hard and is passionate about what he does. He feels that having a strong mental attitude is key and you should never say you can’t do something. If he can, then everyone can! 

He now works for the Youth Sports Trust visiting schools as well as coaches swimming in Exmouth.  


Workshop – Stationary Plates 

During the Workshop where we had to work as teams to make contact with 25 plates with fewer than that in a team in the fastest time possible, competing against another team. We had to think about the strategies to improve upon the time taken to do this. We had several practices and discussed in between. We were asked to provide feedback as to what worked well and what we could improve upon. Dave shared these with us: 


  • Perseverance – stay positive 
  • Teamwork – work together and share out responsibilities 
  • Speak up and be confident 


Work better at: 

  • Pay attention and focus on the task  
  • Learn for previous strategies and use everything available to you, e.g. resources and people 
  • Practise, practise, practise 


Throughout the rest of the week, Y5 joined in with some cricket skills and tri-golf activities. They also learnt how to play the Swedish game of Kubb, a lawn game where the objective is to knock over wooden blocks by throwing wooden batons at them. Kubb can be described as a combination of bowling and horseshoes. Play takes place on a small rectangular playing field, known as a "pitch". "Kubbs" are placed at both ends of the pitch, and the "king", a larger wooden block, is placed in the middle of the pitch. Some rules vary from country to country and from region to region, but the ultimate objective of the game is to knock over the "kubbs" on the opposing side of the pitch, and then to knock over the "king", before the opponent does. Games can last from five minutes to well over an hour. The game can be played on a variety of surfaces such as grass, sand, concrete, snow, or even ice.


We enjoyed some downtime and stretching when doing yoga as you will see from the photos. A really enjoyable sessions where we all learnt to work our bodies in different ways and to rest our minds. In addition to the above, we tried our luck at indoor kurling and also took part in an individual skipping challenge. 


Y5 also enjoyed their Sports Day itself and everyone gave their very best. Well done to St. Matthews house team who won. Well done to some of our sports leaders who carried out the warm-up dance before the sports day began. All in all, we enjoyed a very enjoyable and busy sports week. Thank you to Mr Rickard for organising.


In Geography we have been continuing to learn about The Americas, and made a comparison between The New Forest and Death Valley and their physical and human geographical features. 

In Science we are learning about Animals including humans.  The children worked in groups and made a short video explaining their predictions for the gestation periods for various different animals and classified them into either vertebrates or invertebrates.


Year 5 Bikeability


Some of Year 5 completed their Level 2 Bikeability with Karen and Rob as they cycled around the Somerford Estate and surrounding area gaining new skills and using their road safety knowledge. They built on their experience from completing the Level 1 course in Year 4.


They learnt how to carry out bike safety checks and how to ensure their helmet was fitted securely when they can ride their bikes independently and as they grow older. As you can see from the photos, they were very happy to earn their certificates and badges. Congratulations!!


Quotes from our children:


Anya said: "In Bikeability we learnt about the three important checks you make before you go out on your bike.  They are - 

A - check the air in your tyres

B - check your brakes

C - check your chain.  

My group and I loved it!  The coaches were really friendly and funny."


Isabella W said: "My favourite part was when we learnt how to do a U-turn.  We learnt that you need to observe (look) and position yourself safely. We also learnt how to park our bikes safely."


Ryan said: "My favourite part of bike ability was we learnt to signal with our hands as come in and out of T junctions, and how to pass parked cars safely.  The instructors were really great teachers and it was good fun.  


You can find more resources and information about Bikeability via these weblinks:

Bikeability | Cycle training for everyone, delivering better, safer cycling

Home - The Bikeability Trust

Road Safety Visit to Y5

On Tuesday 18th May 2021, Y5 welcomed Amanda from the BCP Road Safety Team who led a workshop based on cycling safety and cycling helmet safety in class.

Amanda told us that 85% of accidents happen to children around the Year 5 age group in parks, fields and skate parks and not where you would think, on the road or pavement and involving other road users.

We learnt how to find a helmet that would fit us properly. An important part of deciding on a helmet was that it was for the owner’s head only – we were not to share it with others. If you moved your head forward with the helmet on your head and straps undone and the helmet fell off, it wasn’t fitting our heads properly. We were also advised to put one finger underneath the chin strap so we knew it was tight to our heads.

We were to wear hi-vis vests or some highly visible clothing.

We should not have any dangling items near the spokes of the bike as they could get caught in them.

We should always cycle in suitable footwear and not sandals and flip flops.

We should also make sure our bicycles are roadworthy.


Amanda asked us to think about the ABCs when checking our bikes:

A – air in tyres (as well as tread of tyre and that all spokes are in place)

B – brakes – are they working properly, both front and back

C – chain – make sure it is black (well oiled) and not a rusty brown/orange

D – drop test from a small height – few inches off the ground to check nothing falls from it or you don’t hear strange noises


We were also told to check:

  • the seat height which should be in line with our hips
  • lights
  • gears are working and
  • bell is working so others can hear you’re approaching


Amanda told us a story about the importance of fitting our helmets properly and she used some eggs to help. Photos of this can be seen below. Some eggs were injured in the demonstration of this very important safety message!


Some useful resources about cycling safety can be found at:


There are also many other helpful websites and videos to help and advise you if you wish to find out more about cycling safety.

Fire Safety Talk - Visit to Y5

On Tuesday 11th May 2021, we enjoyed a virtual visit from Jon Sweet from the Dorset & Wiltshire Fire service who talked to us about fire safety.

He started by saying that Y5 would become fire investigators and would learn some skills whereby the children would be looking for evidence, they would have to listen carefully and then ask questions to find out more.

He asked Y5 to describe a fire and where possible to use scientific language. Answers were:

- Dangerous

- Led to irreversible changes

- Was extremely hot

- Had high temperatures

- Smoke would be present (incomplete combustion)

- Flammable including gas

- Rapid oxidisation of a material

Jon then asked us about the three main areas that make up the fire triangle:

- Fuel

- Oxygen and

- Heat


We were shown a photo of some fire officers putting a fire out on a house. The benefits of this were to:

- Take away the oxygen of the fire

- Take away the heat of the fire and

- Dampen the fuel/materials that would burn


Jon told us never to put water on fires or flames that were related to oil. We are to GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL THE FIRE SERVICE on 999.

Jon said that we should all have a fire plan at home and that he would be giving us these sheets at the end of the lesson. These can be found on our class webpage.


The four main causes of fire at home are due to:

- Electrical issues such as power bars and towers being overloaded

- Cooking – we spotted lots of issues on a photograph that included plastic items near to heat, alcohol next to flames, kitchen roll and tea towels near heat sources, handles of saucepans that could be knocked or grabbed by a younger person in the house and many more items.

- Playing with fire

- Jon told us to never play with matches and lighters unless under the supervision of an adult

- We had to resist being tempted by peer pressure

- Most issues involving playing with fire happened from 4pm onwards, when school finished

- Year 5 and Year 6 aged children are the most likely to play with fire and start fires (arson).

- Misplacement and/or misuse of hot items


Jon told us to look at the Electrical Safety First website when at home and to ask parents to do so as reminder:

In addition, he said “One plug, one socket. Moving parts and heat will shock it!”

He warned us of not buying cheap chargers for our mobile devices. Jon showed us some terrifying pictures of damage that can be done to property when cheap chargers explode.


Y5 then listened to a scenario of witnesses involved in a house fire and what evidence they could find to discover the cause of the fire, the safety plans in place, or not, and also what advice they could give to the family whose house had to be evacuated due to a cheap charger being used, a phone being charged overnight which had fallen down the side of the chair and most importantly blocking main exit points on the stairs. We also learnt to keep keys near the door for emergencies.

This was a thoroughly important session and we learnt a lot from Jon. His main message was to GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL THE FIRE SERVICE on 999 if there was a domestic fire and to have a safety plan at home.


For more information and other important resources, please use these links as well as searching for many other useful sites online:

Year 5 Science

In year 5 Science we have been learning about the Stages of Human Development. The children have designed posters with factual information, some of which have been displayed in class.  In Design and Technology we have been investigating and made our own free-standing structures!

Aaron Phipps Mentor Visit to Y5

On Tuesday 27th April 2021, we enjoyed a visit from a Paralympic (wheelchair rugby) athlete. His name is Aaron Phipps and he lives in Totton, near Southampton, in Hampshire. He went to the last two Paralympic Games and he will hopefully be attending this year’s delayed games in Tokyo. He would normally meet us all in the hall for a whole school assembly but due to the current situation, we were unable to do this. However, we were able to look at a video from Aaron who introduced himself and his journey as an athlete where he told us of his background and achievements to date.


Inspirational Achievement

He spent time with Year 5 where, as part of a workshop, he shared his incredible achievement of ascending to the top of the 20,000ft Mount Kiliminjaro in an all-terrain wheelchair known as a Mountain Trike. He told us that on 23rd May 2016, he became the first disabled British person to scale Mount Kiliminjaro where in large parts of the ascent Aaron was forced to climb on his hands and knees because the wheelchair wasn't capable of traversing the difficult terrain, but he was able to complete the climb without any assistance. He was told that he had to be carried up the mountain, but he refused. When climbing up the mountain it took him twice the time he was supposed to take.

On the third day, the wheelchair wasn't capable of traversing up the mountain anymore. At this time Aaron's team told him that he needed to be carried to the top. He refused and decided to use kneecaps in order to be able to reach the top. At the top, Aaron had carried a poster his children made him, in his pocket, saying 'You can do it, daddy'. Also Phipps's father had carried his wheelchair up the mountain.

His five-day trek to the summit raised vital cash (£250,000) for Meningitis Research Foundation and the Shaw Trust, which helps disabled people find work. You can find videos on Youtube about his exciting adventure and daunting challenge.


St. Joseph’s Year 5 Workshop

As part of this workshop, we were shown a video of Aaron as a Paralympian and on a Channel 4 advertisement. He talked about his achievements at London 2012. He said that he had completed the London Marathon and his proudest achievement being climbing Mount Kilminjaro (Mount Kilimanjaro is a dormant volcano in Tanzania. It is the highest mountain in Africa and the highest single free-standing mountain in the world: 5,895 metres above sea level and about 4,900 metres above its plateau base.) He added that the bottom of the mountain was similar to that of a rainforest with damp, warm conditions. He told us that as they climbed higher, the altitude meant that it was harder to breathe and that it was -10oC at the top of Kiliminjaro.


Aaron advised us to think about:

· Setting a Goal: Aaron asked the class what we wanted to be when we grew up

· Ask others for help

· Work hard

We played some games with giant playing cards, bounce ball and elephant football

Aaron told us about his endurance challenge and shared that our knees are not meant to take the weight of our body. Holly (a nurse who travelled with him to Kiliminjaro) had told him to be careful after 4 days of crawling on his hands and knees. At the end of the fourth day they made their final ascent to the peak of the mountain at midnight. As they reached the summit, he showed us a video of his team singing ‘Hakuna Matata’ meaning no worries. When Aaron reached the top, he called his family on his phone. He was surprised himself how good the phone signal was!

Aaron told us that we all have choices and we are to be as successful as can be.

The children asked Aaron some questions:

  • How do you feel in your head with your illness/disability?
  • What is the best and worst time?
  • How did you get back down the mountain?
  • How did you get your illness which meant that you lost your legs?
  • Did you see any wild animals when in Africa?
  • What was it like playing in the Olympics and can you fall out of your wheelchair when playing rugby?

Aaron’s final thought was what was our goal going to be in life.


Take time to pray each day. Let’s live out each part of our school mission statement, i.e. to live, love, work and serve. There can be no better way to carry out our mission statement than to pray! Our school prayer is below but you can always join Mass and other services at Church online. 


When you can’t go to Mass…

There are many ways we can continue to pray and grow in our faith, even when we cannot get to Mass in person.

Here are a few ideas from our own parish at: Please hover on the links below to access:

St Joseph's School Prayer 

Dear Heavenly Father

Friends of all children

Bless our school here in


Bless the pupils

and the staff

who work here.

You chose St. Joseph

to be the father of Jesus.

Help us to serve you as he did,

and to live, love, work and serve

as Jesus taught us.



Look after yourselves when at home.

Should you require anything, then by all means please email the school at: where your message will reach us.


Please ensure that your child keeps safe online. Some ideas can be found below (by hovering over the link and then clicking): 


  • Thinkuknow by National Crime Agency-CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) provides resources for parents and carers and children of all ages to help keep children safe online


There is also a wealth of e-safety resources on our own school webpage for both child and parent which can be found at: