The true quest for literacy is not to reach a final destination, but to pursue a lifelong love of learning through reading … and a lifelong pleasure of escaping into the adventure and excitement of a novel. To that end, 5A set themselves a formidable and tangible reading target … nothing less than 21 million words by the end of 2018. We began Term 1 with a small step – four million words by the end of Term 1. At the end of Term 1, students in 5A racked up just under 5 million words (a total of 219 books) in a term cut short by swimming lessons, public holidays and a 2-day camp. Simply outrageous! As a result, and with reference to reading comprehension, 70% of students in 5A have already shown reading improvement greater than the expected rate according to a standardised reading test written at the end of the term.

Year 5A also set to soar high on the Mathematics front. In an inter-class school competition called Top Class, students accumulated an amazing 84 446 correct answers on a not-so-easy level on Live Mathletics. That total was collected over a two-week period and does not include the huge efforts put into practice prior to the competition. For those new to Live Mathletics, correct answers are collected on a 60 second online basic number fact competition. Competing on this platform is not only exciting but extremely intense… especially when challenging your mates or students across school boundaries in real time. Although 5A’s total score was not enough to secure first place in Top Class, their efforts were astonishing and there is no doubt that the gain in number fact automaticity will benefit these students in years to come.

In Science, students worked on several models to explain gravity and how Earth moves in space. It was great to catch a glimpse of our incredible solar system at the Planetarium during our Year 5 camp. Also testing the effect of gravity was our assault on an obstacle course during our camp at XLR8. The course took us out of our comfort zone with some scary obstacles, but the satisfaction of accomplishment was worth the tremble and trepidation.

At a recent assembly, Year 5A presented an item titled Amazing Grace. Tatiana Mendonca led the item with a beautiful solo alongside Tafadzwa Kandenga and Brennan Milne on ukuleles and Vincent Bennet on drums. It was an uplifting performance from the entire class.

Underpinning the excitement of the first quarter of Year 5 is the deep and personal interest God takes in each one of us. Matthew 10:30 tells us that, “even the very hairs on your head are all numbered”. God is so great that He is able to take infinite interest in the most intimate details of our lives. There is nothing so small that it escapes His notice, and there is no concern too trivial to bring before him. He simply cares that much. One of our favourite Bible accounts we learnt of last term is about an Israelite king called Jehosophat. His problem was far from small … it was enormous … life threatening. It’s not an account which is often referred to, but if you want to know more, 5A will be sharing the true-life story at our class assembly on the 25th May …  or read about it in Chronicles 20. When we seek to be right in the sight of our mighty God there is no problem too big (or too small) that he cannot help us with. How comforting to know that our perfectly wise and powerful Father holds us in his strong and loving hands.