Grade 5 Newsletter

SJI International Elementary, Singapore

Week 13 Christmas Term - 9th - 13th November 2015

This week

It's been a short but busy week in Grade 5 this week. We have been focused on honing our research skills, reporting on the latest news and practicing our fractions. Discussions in class have centered around peer-marking, the importance of learning from one another, and responsibility and organisation. Now that we are into the later half of the Christmas term, we are beginning to see some thoughtful and considered pieces of work being produced. Children across the grade are rising to the challenge of being the best they can be. Hopefully this will motivate others to want a taste of similar success.

We had a colourful end to the week to celebrate Deepavali.


Considering we had a shorter week, we have still managed to pack in a tremendous amount of great IPC learning as we journey through time!

Studying the life and achievements of Sir Stamford Raffles engaged us all. By creating a life graph for him, we were able to deepen our understanding of this important man and consider his feelings and emotions during different events in his life. Some of us were shocked to find out that his popularity was not universal and, despite much success, he also had many enemies and disappointments.

Following on from this activity, we continued to use our developing research skills to investigate into other famous historical characters including Abraham Lincoln and Christopher Columbus. It was interesting to compare information from different sources when studying their lives and consider key events from different perspectives. Historical events can be viewed very differently depending upon your viewpoint.

Working collaboratively is an important skill and can make tasks more manageable. With this in mind, we have chosen areas of history to specialise in. These studies were introduced this week using varied techniques such as ‘freeze frames’ and ‘hot seating.’

We were excited to share our news reports from the day we were born. Applying our Language Arts genre to IPC has been really useful and allowed our creativity and enthusiasm to shine through.

Raffles Revealed - Episode 1

Watch this documentary to help you understand more about the founding of Singapore

Language Arts

This week in Writer's Workshop, we have been learning about reorientations, which come at the end of an article. A reorientation is written in present tense and provides the latest information on the news item, answering readers' internal questions such as what is happening to the people involved now?

A key focus this week has been learning more about effective peer assessment. We have used a Success Criteria (which we used for writing our articles) as focus points for discussions and assessment. It is important to respect each other's work and good peer assessment, that links directly to the Learning Targets and Success Criteria, is one of the best ways to show this.

We have continued our reading of newspapers and watching online news programmes; it is important to know what is going on in the world! The more experience we have of news articles, the more we understand the different tones and how they are directly related to the subject matter as well as the target audience.

Next week we begin writing our next article, this time on an event from history, linking with our Time Tunnel unit. A journalist's job is never done!


This week in Mathematics, we revisited our knowledge and understanding of what we have been covering in the unit of Fractions. We went over a few complex questions on the board and looked at key words or phrases in the word problems that were of importance. We highlighted these words with a color to help us tackle the problem with a little more understanding.

We looked at the methods and models that were most appropriate when solving word problems and discussed how this helps us to better visualise and grasp a given problem.

We ended off our week with a revision test and we all showed excellence and understanding in this unit and with perseverance comes great results.

Look out for those test coming home next week and cheer us on to success.

Thinking Blocks

Practice using models to solve word problems

Virtue of the Week

Next week is Gentleness.

Gentleness is acting and speaking in a kind, considerate way. It is using self-control, in order not to hurt or offend anyone. You handle things carefully so they will not break or hurt. When you think gentle thoughts, it makes the world a safer, gentler place.

Homework Week 13

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Dates for your diary

Trip to Images of Singapore

5CDo and 5SGe - Thursday 19th November

5SBa and 5PMc - Friday 20th November

Grade 2 to 6 Writing workshop for parents - Wednesday 18th November at 8.20am

Science Day - 24th November

School Disco - 27th November (Grades 2-6)

Grade 5 End of term Maths Test - Friday 4th December

Last Day of Term - Friday 11th December

Science Day

Do you have a scientific background? Do you use science in your current job?

On Tuesday 24th November we will be hosting our very first Science Day here at SJIIES. The children across the grades will be conducting a number of exciting experiments, finding the answers to mind boggling questions and participating in numerous WOW moments. To help raise the profile of Science in school we would love some parents to come and join us on this spectacular day! You could share some presentations of how you use science in your line of work or amaze us with a favourite experiment.

If you are able to help please contact your Head of Grade - Claire Douglas

IPC team
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UES Open Morning

As promised we continue to answer some of the questions we did not have time to address at the meeting. This week as it is Transition week we will look at questions regarding this key element of our children's journey through UES.

How do you use assessment and test data to help with transition?

During week 16 all the children in the UES will sit their end of term Mathematics exam. The data we will gather from these tests are crucial as we plan forward for Term 2 in Grade 6 Extended and Grade 5. Through data analysis of each question we gain a picture of grade, individual classes and students' strengths and gaps. This information helps staff to identify areas their children need to address early in term two.

This is achieved through dedicating up to three 15 minutes targeted Mathematics lesson openers per week at the start of next term to these new targets. Grade, class and student targets are set from this and teacher assessment data.

Booster ECA groups are also identified for Term 2 using this information. In addition, we review this years scores against previous cohorts results, which is critical to the make up of each Math group, adapting planning and overviews for the remaining units of the year.

Grade 5 and 6 Extended staff share their expertise and experiences to build a prescriptive road map for Maths from all this new data collected. This ensures the transition across the Grades is prescriptive to the needs of each individual cohort of children. The Grade 6 Accelerated data is shared with our High School Mathematics Department. There is no streaming in Grade 7.

How do you help our Grade 5 Accelerated students with transition?

As early as the end of Grade 4 Mr Dalgarno and I begin to look at the children going into Grade 5 who are on the Accelerated route. Mr. Dalgarno shares very detailed background information about each child so we can share this with our Grade 5 staff. During this first term Grade 5 staff are asked to closely monitor the Accelerated children and feedback on their progress. All this information helps as we plan forward for this group of children.

In Mathematics, after Christmas Team, Accelerated children will come together and follow a different Math Curriculum to their Extended peers, which will be led by Mrs Chua. During the next two terms they will cover key Grade 5 and 6 Extended objectives. Mrs Chua will stay with the group all the way to High School. An additional support is now offered by High School Maths Department during their Accelerated term.

Placing the Grade 5 Accelerated children into their Grade 6 classes is a very thoughtful process as we know the children need to bond socially with a set of new children over a very short period. The children have their buddy pick which allows each child to identify children they would like to be with. We are conscience of getting a balance of Grade 5 Accelerated children across the three groups. Furthermore, aiming to find the best fit to help them grow as a learner and further develop their social and personal skills.

Finally, we identify the Grade 5 children with the High School so they are also very aware who has taken the Extended and Accelerated route to Grade 7.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me via my email

Miss Claire Douglas

Head of Grade 5, Class teacher for 5CDo and Maths Group 4

Mr Paul McGrath

Class teacher for 5PMc and Maths Group 3

Mr Scott Gericke

Class teacher for 5SGe and Maths Group 2

Miss Sally Baines

Class teacher for 5SBa and Maths Group 1