Year 5 overview
Each child is challenged to live beyond themselves and is encouraged to explore issues locally and globally, as well as learn to recognise the changes in their emotional and physical development so that they have awareness and practical strategies that will help guide them through these complex pre-adolescent years.
At St John’s, we are proud of our dynamic and technology-rich Year 5 learning programs, through which your child will participate in a range of innovative, future focused experiences that will encourage them to become entrepreneurial, solution oriented, and able to delve deeper into knowledge.
Single year classes with dedicated Home Group teachers foster sound relationships and connection between home and school, and differentiated programs based on learning needs allow for individual learning needs and support. Your child will have opportunities to participate in leadership programs that teach them the skills to become confident and caring leaders, who learn the importance of providing service to our community.
A strong focus on independent learning and critical thinking fosters opportunities for students to voice their opinions and debate issues, and they are challenged to engage with their learning through a creative range of critical thinking agency programs, such as the Triple E and Future Cities programs.
Year 5s have a broad specialist subject program incorporating Art, Digital Technologies, Indonesian, Music, Physical Education, Science and Wellbeing.
The technological capabilities of our Year 5 group greatly expands during the year as they are exposed to coding, stop motion animation, advanced use of PowerPoint and creating and sharing via the portal, CANVAS. Personal laptops and explicit teaching around being a safe digital citizen to gain their digital license, including a Term-long unit on safe social media, use prepares the Year 5s for increasing digital independence.
Dynamic Science programs with a specialist teacher see the Year 5s explore increasingly technical aspects of Science and the dedicated lesson for Wellbeing with a specialist teacher expands on competencies achieved in earlier year and provides a wider range of strategies to become resilient, confident and empowered students.
Specialist teaching of the Art program offers a creative outlet with an increasingly technical aspect and Music offers a band program for every student as well as individual instrumental lessons.
A Goldfields Camp is a highlight in Year 5 and students can enjoy other events like the Touch Football Carnival, Independent School Swimming and other fun days on the school calendar.
Year 5 students are eligible to apply for our Scholarship Program. Please visit our Scholarships page for more information.
In Term 4, students participate in the Triple E program. For two lessons per week, the Year 5s engage in exciting electives such as advanced animation units, innovation challenges, Flinders University Science visits, Sports Science and more. This engaging opportunity offers students a world of exploration that is intriguing and opens to the door to greater learning in future years.
Designing a future city is another initiative that has a future-focussed slant. Blending creativity, agency and innovation concepts, students are encouraged to be forward thinking and develop inventions that aim to tackle future problems.
Thinking skills continue to also be a focus at Year 5, with students recapping their understanding of how the brain works and the strategies to promote creative and critical thinking.
Structured, natural inquiry in Belair National Park
With our campus adjacent to Belair National Park, a structured natural enquiry program sees our Year 5s undertaking a more historical perspective on learning in the Park. With a strong focus on Australian history in Year 5, the students study the role of Belair National Park as the ‘last stop’ before reaching the city during the goldrush era. A hiking expedition through Belair National Park and various environmental studies along the way give students an in-depth understanding of the landscape, terrain and the living conditions during the goldrush era.
This opportunity to learn in the Park adds a richness to our learning by providing unparalleled opportunities for children to learn; not only from an Environmental Science perspective but also opportunities for calculated risk taking and resilience as they traverse and play amongst the natural environment.
Signature experiences for Year 5
The signature experiences for Year 5s are vast and offer learning both in and out of the classroom.
The Goldfields Educational Tour in Year 5 is an immersion experience that explores the people and events that shaped our nation during the goldrush. This authentic experience deepens the students’ understanding of how this time period shaped democracy and contributed to different migration patterns into Australia. As a focus for the Humanities and Social Science aspect of the curriculum, we also link literature focused on the goldrush to enhance in-School learning.
A hike in the Belair National Park rounds out the goldrush experience with students trekking through the terrain while discovering the ways people such as early settlers and bushrangers lived during colonial times.
Bike education and safety is a part of the Year 5 program and involves a Bike Hike in Belair National Park at the end of the year, and the Band program sees students discovering and trying new instruments and joining various ensembles.
Our Year 5s start the transition into the Middle School and have many opportunities to visit and interact with the Secondary campus. Coupled with the leadership program which commences in Term 4, students increasingly exercise their independence as they nominate and are elected into School leadership positions for Year 6.
Literacy and numeracy focus in Year 5
Year 5 students at St John’s Grammar enjoy differentiated programs and workshops based on ability, with classroom support offered to small, targeted groups so no child is left behind.
In Year 5 differentiated programs and workshops based on ability help with the explicit teaching of foundational literacy and numeracy concepts. In practice, this involves class novel studies each Term to practice analytical skills and explore inference in literature. Developing comprehension and higher order thinking skills such as evaluating, deepens the examination of texts. At Year 5, the Learning Teams program continues to build upon genre-writing skills and punctuation, spelling and grammar are refined in Spelling Teams.
In numeracy, a combination of face-to-face and flipped lessons allow for individualised learning and deeper exploration of numerical concepts. The use of the PR1ME Maths Program and technology-based programs such Matific to teach core tenets of numeracy while providing real-time reporting back to teachers to further engage and personalise learning.
The Year 5s also take part in our Maths Teams program. This is a weekly needs-based Maths differentiation program where students break into smaller teams to work on Maths problem solving. Class teachers support the mainstream learners, with students needing extra scaffolding supported by Student Support Officers (SSO) and students needing extension supported by specialist teachers.
All Maths programs have the ability for real-time assessment and reporting to individualise and support learning.
Differentiated Learning program
Across Reception to Year 6 we offer a Differentiated Learning program which is aimed at ensuring every child has the opportunity to soar.
Differentiated Learning provides small, targeted learning groups based on ability to help with the explicit teaching of foundational literacy and numeracy concepts. This approach allows class teachers support the mainstream learners, with extra scaffolding for students who need it to be provided by Student Support Officers (SSO) and specialist teachers able to provide extension for those students requiring it.
Creating a learning environment that is nurturing and contributes to the development of students’ self-esteem and enthusiasm for ongoing literacy and numeracy learning is the outcome of our Differentiated Learning framework.
We have developed a unique and comprehensive genre-based literacy program called Learning Teams and a rigorous, synthetic phonics program called Spelling Teams.
Learning Teams is a small-group initiative that focuses specifically on the development of writing skills such as: planning, organising ideas when writing, applying grammar, self and peer editing, reflection and applying feedback. Specialised, student-friendly genre templates and rubrics help engage and demystify the assessment and feedback process.
The Spelling Team program explicitly teaches students how to segment and blend words. This program is underpinned by the Letters and Sounds Framework. Letters and Sounds is a systematic, high-quality phonics program based on best practice from international research. From Reception right through to Year 6, the Letters and Sounds Framework methodically teaches each sound in depth across every phase. The aim is to give enough time and practice to support your child to transfer their new spelling learning into their everyday writing.
Both programs provide targeted learning groups to allow class teachers support the mainstream learners, with extra scaffolding for students who need it to be provided by SSOs and specialist teachers able to provide extension for those students requiring it.
To further support literacy learning, our Phonemic Awareness Program helps students identify syllables, onset rime and phonemes. Developing such skills is a precursor for reading success and gives students extra advantage in developing and consolidating this fundamental literacy skill during their formative years. Lastly, Decodable Readers dovetail with our Phonemic Awareness Program and Letters and Sounds approach of teaching our students how to decode words for meaning.
Our approach to numeracy in the Junior School has been led by research into the highest-ranking countries for numeracy knowledge in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).
Following best-practice education, we have introduced the PR1ME Maths program for our Year 1-6 students. This program has been modified to complement the content and outcomes of our Australian Mathematics Curriculum at each year level. It promotes a CPA (Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract) approach whereby students learn through the use of hands-on materials, then transfer that knowledge to pictures or images before cementing the concepts by recording in symbols. The sequenced curriculum also focuses on teaching concepts in the correct order for maximum understanding and retention. Teachers continue to use traditional pencil and paper assessments, observation and group work to assess student capabilities as well as digital assessments to inform the personalisation of the programs and teaching.
The PR1ME program is complemented by the Matific program. Matific offers an interactive teaching and learning platform for Reception to Year 4 students. This learning resource engages students in games and activities in a fun way using digital technology with teachers able to differentiate the learning experience by assigning activities to suit the abilities of individual students.
The Maths Teams program also sees students undertake weekly problem solving challenges in targeted learning groups. Of the eight Numeracy lessons each week, two of those lessons are dedicated to Maths Teams problem solving and incorporate a growth mindset approach. The challenges are open-ended and are designed to develop and promote verbal and written reasoning of Maths.
Targeted learning groups see class teachers support the mainstream learners, with students needing extra scaffolding being supported by SSOs and students needing extension being supported by specialist teachers. Our smaller student-to-teacher ratio enables teachers to carefully monitor and assist each student with recording their thinking and sharing of their understanding.
Wellbeing & support in our Junior School
An ELC to Year 12 Wellbeing Framework is further supported by our CARES program (courtesy, awareness, responsibility, empathy and service) and Program Achieve. Commencing with the Bright Beginnings wellbeing program during the first two weeks of term 1, students are set up to start school with their best foot forward and equipped with skills, knowledge and a positive attitude to be successful in all areas of School life.
The Wings program, which spearheads our Whole School Wellbeing Program, teaches age and stage appropriate social and emotional learning to enable students to better manage their relationships with themselves and others. The wellbeing concepts and strategies are taught by a specialist teacher.
We offer SSO supported individual and small, targeted group sessions for students needing extra scaffolding in their learning as well as many opportunities for high achievers to be extended. An overall focus on individualised learning for all ensures students have a tailored learning journey to build ability and confidence.
Extra curricular activities in Year 5
An extensive range of extra curricular activities are available to our Year 5s. Sports offered by St John’s Grammar include basketball, football, hockey, cricket, netball, softball and soccer, and students also can take part in a number of programs run from our School grounds including Auskick, Dance, Drama and 22Too, a gymnastics and acrobatics program. Additionally, Year 5s are eligible to join a number of ensembles including bands and choirs, as well as receive private music tuition.
Academic pursuits such as Tournament of Minds, ICAS and Da Vinci Decathlon, as well as opportunities for sports carnivals and competitive sports are present throughout the year.
Challenging endeavours such as the Mountain Bike club, code club, writing club and chess are all offered at this year level and beyond. A wide array of leadership positions are available, ranging from school leadership positions (from Term 4) as well as sport captaincies and leadership of groups and initiatives.
Lunch time special-interest clubs are available to all students, including a Lego club, gardening club, art club, coding club and more.
Facilities at our Junior School
Standing proud for 60 years, St John’s Grammar Junior School is located in the Adelaide Hills, adjacent Belair National Park with picturesque views of the Mount Lofty Ranges. Our well resourced Junior School Campus comprises individual classrooms catering for each year level, including a learning support/extension centre, a multi-purpose School activity hall, specialist Music and Language classrooms and our signature Centre for Creativity.
Students have access to a resource centre, which incorporates our award winning library, a dedicated art room, and a media room equipped with a green screen and an array of recording and media equipment. The centre also houses a multipurpose room that provides a myriad of additional uses and opportunities for collaborative learning, specialist presentations and workshops, co-curricular activities and ‘out of class’ learning experiences.
A purpose built all-weather sporting field and courts provide a useable surface for sporting activities and play all year round, and a variety of outdoor spaces include two well-equipped playgrounds, vegetable gardens, sand and mud pits, and a ‘Play Pod’.
Our Play Pod is an exciting initiative where students use a variety of materials to build, create, learn and have fun during recess and lunch as they play in a beautiful setting at the edge of Belair National Park, where they can enjoy regular access to the Park’s rich natural resources, amenities and sporting facilities.
The Enterprise precinct, Nature playscape and student designed and managed Scientific Garden feature prominently in the daily educational offering for our children.