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Ballykeel Primary School & Nursery Unit
28th-30th Aug 19: School will close at 12:30 for P2 to P7 children. New P1s will finish at 12:00. | Term begins:28th August 2019 | Uniform Sales:   AUGUST 21st & 22nd – 1.00-3.00pm | Term Dates 2019/2020 can be found in 'Parent Area'
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Year 5

Welcome to the Primary 5 News Page.

Welcome to the P5 class news page. The teachers this year are Mrs Allen, Mrs McKelvey/Miss Mullan and Mrs Esler. We also some Classroom Assistants shared between the two classes - Miss Bamber and Mrs Elder/Mrs Blaney/Miss Parker. 


May - June 2019

We hope everyone has enjoyed the long-awaited Easter holidays. In P5 we now welcome Mrs Blaney back from her Maternity Leave. She and Miss Parker will be in P5MA in the afternoons, and Miss Bamber will be working with both classes as usual. We have a very busy term ahead with all the usual end of year activities - exams, Sports' Day, School Fair, Prize Day, End of Year Disco - and we also have some fun sporting events coming up.



We are continuing to develop our comprehension skills, particularly the importance of reading the question carefully and all possible answers before making a choice. We will also practise our spelling ability by spelling missing words from unfamiliar passages. We will also have a spelling test as part of our summer exam - so keep revising the spellings learnt this term!

In grammar we will continue to develop our use of spoken and written grammar. This will include using connectives to join clauses, using suffixes and prefixes and understanding homophones. We will continue re-reading our own work, looking for mistakes and thinking about how to fix these. 

In creative writing we will looking at instructional writing, having looked at explanation writing and the Water Cycle last term. We will also be continuing to practise our cursive writing to reinforce this, especially concentrating on our cursive writing using regular lined paper.



Please continue to reinforce to your child the importance of learning their multiplication and division tables. We will be using these a lot this term, and will also be testing our knowledge of tables in our summer exams. We will also be adding and subtracting using decimals.

In measures we will learn about the area of regular and irregular shapes,  and introducing volume. We will also be working on angles. We will be continuing to practise telling the time, and using digital and 24 hour clocks. Finally, we will be learning about probability (the chance of something happening).


World Around Us:

Our theme this term will be 'Blowing Yer Top'. We will be learning all about volcanoes - what these are made from, why they erupt, different types of volcanoes, where volcanoes can be found in the world, and famous volcanic eruptions in the past. We will also have fun building our own volcanoes and making our volcanoes erupt!


Links with St Brigid's PS:

At the end of May we will be meeting up again with our friends from P5 in St. Brigid's PS to take part in a Sponsored Walk around the ECOS Centre grounds. The money raised by Ballykeel will be going to the Mark Lynn CHD Foundation, a charity close to our hearts in Ballykeel and especially in P5.


March - April 2019

We hope everyone has had a lovely rest over half-term. In P5 we have had some changes of staff. Miss Kane finished with us at half-term to take up a full time job in another school, and we wish her well with this. Miss Mullan will now be teaching P5MA on Thursdays and Fridays. Mrs Elder, one of our Classroom Assistants, is also on Maternity Leave, so we welcome Mrs Adams to help in our classrooms. 



We are continuing to develop our Reciprocal Reading skills, focusing specifically on the role of the clarifier. We will continue to use Accelerated Reader to develop our skills and our interest in reading.

In grammar we will continue to develop our use of spoken and written grammar. This will include apostrophes for possession and contraction, homophones and the use of direct and reported speech. We are also working hard on trying to edit our own writing, looking for mistakes and trying to correct these or improve our work.

In creative writing we will be writing poems about Spring and beginning to look at instructional writing. In joined writing we will be concentrating on adding capital letters to words, and remembering our lead-in lines and final flick ups at the beginning and end of words.



Please continue to reinforce to your child the importance of learning their multiplication and division tables, as we are now starting to understand better the links between multiplication and division. We will be moving on to fractions, decimals and negative numbers. We will also look at using money.

In measures we will learn about finding the perimeter and area of regular and irregular shapes, and we will be carrying out some problem solving activities based around this. We will also complete a problem solving activity looking at how to record data and make our own predictions.


World Around Us:

We are continuing our 'On Our Doorstep' theme. Within this we are developing our map work skills and learning about geographical features and famous landmarks within Northern Ireland. We will be completing art activities based around these; and also looking at some famous people from Northern Ireland.


Links with St Brigid's PS:

We will continue to take part in activities with our friends from P5 in St Brigid’s PS. They will be completing the same WAU theme as is, so a number of lessons will be linked to this including learning about sport in Northern Ireland and creating our own games, learning about St Patrick including a visit to Slemish, and an art lesson with a well-known, local artist.


January - February 2019

Welcome back everyone, and a Happy New Year! We hope you all had a lovely Christmas break. A special welcome to Miss Kane who has taken over teaching P5MA on Thursdays and Fridays while Mrs McKelvey is on Maternity Leave. Congratulations from us all to Mrs McKelvey who had a little boy just after Christmas :) 



We will be learning about some new aspects of grammar including plurals and gender nouns. continue to display our knowledge of spellings, punctuation and grammar in written work, including 'Improving Together' passages, where the children will have to correct mistakes that they see within the writing.

The children are making good progress in their use of joined handwriting and it is making a great difference to the neatness of their written work. We will continue to look at this through handwriting lessons, focusing in particular on capital letters. Please support the teachers by ensuring that the high standard of handwriting and presentation is maintained in their homeworks books.

As we have progressed through reading skills and comprehension work there have been pleasing developments. In the next term we hope to build upon these and introduce more work on questioning and clarifying as Reciprocal Reading skills,, as well as traditional methods of comprehension. Accelerated Reader is being used frequently and the benefits to the children in P5 are obvious. Please encourage your child to keep reading their book and, when possible, question them on what they have read to confirm their understanding.

The children have produced some lovely pieces of creative writing this year and are developing their ability to present work appropriately, using the correct language for the type of writing that they are completing. As we continue to improve our grammar, this should be reflected in the children's writing where they will produce play scripts, presentations and stories.



It remains vitally important that the children continue to learn and revise times tables facts. This will have a great impact on their progress in a wide range of numeracy topics. It continues to be important that the children not only complete their mental activities every night but also revise tables on a regular basis, even when not set for home work.

Added to this the children will look more closely at division (linked to table facts) and decimals (including money). We will also be completing a variety of Problem Solving activities where we will work in pairs/groups to try to apply knowledge gained during maths topics to solve a number of challenges.With the progress in tables and the use of multiplication the children will be able to explorer how to solve problems for all four functions, with the emphasis being on recognising key vocabulary in questions and subsequently being able to carry out the correct calculations.



Our World Around Us theme for this term is 'On Our Doorstep'. This will allow the children to gain a better understanding of their place in the world. We will look at how the world is broken into continents, then countries and finally take a closer look at Northern Ireland and the surrounding Ballymena area. We will link our theme with creative and expressive activities by looking at art work by J P Rooney, and creating our own interpretation; and by listening to music by local groups/singers.


Links with St Brigid's PS:

This term we will be completing a number of activities with our friends from P5 in St Brigid’s PS. They will be completing the same WAU theme as is, so a number of lessons will be linked to this including ‘Outside My Bedroom’, learning about the Seven Towers is Ballymena, and thinking of sport played in Northern Ireland. We will also be visiting Ballykeel Presbyterian Church and All Saints’ Roman Catholic Church to look at the features of the buildings and to compare the similarities between the two churches. Please see the note sent home for all the relevant dates.


November-December 2018

This half-term we will be working on the P4/P5 Christmas Carol Service in December, please take a note of the date from the Bugle and plan to attend.


To commence our new half term we have a trip to hear the Ulster Orchestra play 'Stories through music' where we will discover how classical music can tell us a story and evoke different emotions and feelings.

Within Grammar this half term we will continue to focus on the parts of a sentence.  Commencing the term by looking at verbs in the past and present tense, including irregular verbs.  Pupils will them progress to looking at adverbs and applying these to our writing. We will also focus on nouns and plural nouns, learning about the different plural endings. Towards the end of the term we will look at collective nouns.

Children will be focusing on starting to use lowercase cursive handwriting in their books and homework books.  Please make every effort to support your child in learning to form letters neatly and correctly at home.  

In comprehension children will continue to focus on the development of specific skills and strategies to support them in their reading. This half term the focus skill will be predicting whilst also embedding the skills of summarising and inferring from last half-term. Children will also have a reading book or novel each week to read and discuss at home. Please take time to discuss your child's book, the narrative and the characters with them as your read together.

Related to our WAU theme, within creative writing we will be writing Mesolithic Menus.  We will also be pretending to open a Stone Age restaurant and creating persuasive invitations to invite people to come along.



As with last half term the embedding of number facts and times tables is key.  Pupils will be learning the 8, 9, 11 and 12 times tables.  Each week they will have their speed tables game at the back of homework diaries. Please take time to play this with your child as it makes a big difference to how well they retain tables.

In class will be focusing on length and measuring to the nearest millimetre with accuracy. Children will also be carrying out investigations to measure curved lines and larger distances. They will explore which method and unit is most appropriate.

Within Data Handling pupils will explore different ways of recording and displaying data they have collected from around the school. They will be learning how to tally and recording this on bar graphs, pictograms and Carroll diagrams.

We will continue to develop our focus on problem solving skills this term, learning how to solve one and two step problems using function machines. Children will develop their knowledge and application of maths language and be able to recognise the different ways to can say add, subtract and multiply.

Children will also be exploring the properties of 3D shapes this half-term, describing these practically and also carrying out investigations into the nets of 3D shapes.



Throughout the second half of this term we are continuing to look at the WAU theme 'Prove it.' We will be discovering what hunter gathers ate and where they went to find their food. We will also be looking at Stone Age homes and hopefully building one of our won in the school grounds.  Within Art we will be exploring the history of Stone Age artwork in caves and what these paintings depicted. We will be having a go at creating stone age paints from natural materials and creating our own stone age artwork. Over the coming weeks we will continue to read our class novel Stig of the Dump and draw parallels between his life and our learning about the Stone Age.


September- October 2018


In the first half-term of P5 we will begin focussing on various aspects of grammar, including  nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs; and working on alphabetical ordering. We will also be using our knowledge on tenses, punctuation marks and grammar to be able to spot mistakes and fix them correctly through ‘Improving Together’ and editing passages. It is important that the children can recognise where types of punctuation are needed and are able to insert them into sentences or a passage.

The children will be focussing on developing joined handwriting in the lower case, and will be beginning to use it in all their written work after Halloween. We will continue to look at this through handwriting lessons.

We will continue to develop comprehension skills in P5 and will develop some new methods, such as reciprocal reading. These new methods added to the traditional forms, will help the children to understand what they are reading, and develop skills of inference. It is important that the children keep reading and, when possible, are questioned at home on what they have read to confirm understanding.

We will also continue to develop creative writing skills. The children will build upon their skills of adding detail, writing in full sentences and using the correct punctuation and grammar. The children will use the skills they have gained through grammar and reading to write a variety of compositions. These will include recounts, reports, imaginative writing and poems.



The greatest area of focus throughout P5 is in confirming and developing knowledge and speed of recall of number bonds and times tables. These are vital to the children's progression in numeracy as these skills are needed so regularly, in a variety of topics. It is important that the children not only complete their mental activities every night but also revise tables on a regular basis, even when not set for homework.

With the progress in tables and the use of multiplication the children will be able to explore how to solve problems for all four functions, with the emphasis being on recognising key vocabulary in questions and subsequently being able to carry out the correct calculations.

This half-term we will also be looking at reading, writing and saying numbers; and continuing formal addition and subtraction with larger numbers.


World Around Us:

Our World Around Us theme for this term is ‘Prove It.' In this theme, we will explore the meaning of evidence and how it is used to prove something. We will complete many exciting activities, looking at different pieces of evidence and what the proof is. The use of evidence will be linked to Mesolithic times and how evidence has been used to show how they lived. We will explore the Mesolithic way of life, looking at what they ate, where they lived and other aspects of their life. We will study caves and the designs in these and then the children will complete their very own cave man paintings.


Making friends with St. Brigid's

We are looking forward to partnering up with St. Brigid's again this year to participate in many fun activities together.  There are many exciting plans in place so keep an eye on this page to see what they include.


What should your child bring with them each day to school?

  • Pencils
  • Rubber
  • Sharpener
  • 30cm ruler
  • Pritt stick
  • Biro pens for marking (blue, black, red or green) no gel pens please.
  • Colouring pencils/crayons
  • Homework diary, reading book and all homework (completed, checked and signed)
  • Healthy break/canteen money and packed lunch/dinner money (and a bottle of water if they want)
  • Any notes that were sent home for signing.
  • P.E Kit (this is kept in school and taken home every half term to be washed)


Homework is very important to your child as it helps to reinforce their learning. The homework given will cover what was done in class or what was covered earlier on in the week. Each night, your child will have reading, spellings, mental maths and then one written homework on Monday- Wednesday. In P5 the written homework alternates between Numeracy and Literacy from week to week (e.g. Week 1 – Numeracy, Literacy, Numeracy; Week 2 – Literacy, Numeracy, Literacy and so on). There is no written homework on a Thursday night so that pupils can revise their spellings and tables/mental maths for the weekly Friday test.

Help with homework

Here are a number of ways in which you can help your child with their homework:

  • Listen to them read/ask them some questions about their reading book
  • Ask them their spellings
  • Go through their maths facts
  • Ask them some questions about what they learned today
  • Check that their homework is completed and signed - please sign your child's spelling book, homework diary and written homework book.


Mrs Allen, Mrs McKelvey/Miss Kane & Mrs Esler