Primary 5 Curriculum


Literacy and English

In Primary 5, pupils read a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction texts and demonstrate their understanding of the main ideas and feelings. Pupils make predictions, identify the main ideas and decide on conclusions based on previous reading. In addition to working in small reading groups, literature circles are used to explore texts further. Pieces of individual and collaborative research are undertaken. Their knowledge of literary terms, punctuation and grammar is developed as they explore texts of greater maturity and complexity.

Pupils write in a variety of forms and are encouraged to use suitable organisation and vocabulary. They should now punctuate most of their sentences correctly, use paragraphs and begin to indicate speech where appropriate. Pupils are expected to spell with increasing confidence and accuracy, to use a fluent, legible linked style of handwriting and to pay attention to the layout and presentation of their work. Much of the extended and imaginative writing is cross-curricular and may be linked to their social studies or science topics.

Listening and Talking
Pupils listen for information and make choices based on what they have heard. In group or one-to-one activities, the emphasis is on listening attentively to others, responding appropriately and on making thoughtful and relevant contributions to discussions. Pupils research information and present prepared oral talks to the class. They write stories for, and read them to, our Primary 2 pupils. In the autumn term, the pupils engage in a collaborative research project, which involves much discussion and negotiation.

Modern Languages

Our Primary 5 girls receive two 40-minutes sessions of specialist languages teaching each week in either French or Spanish. This is making a difference to the girls’ language acquisition, competence and their overall enthusiasm for languages. A variety of teaching styles is used: learning through songs, ICT, drama, poems and booklets and pupils participate in both oral and written activities.


Numeracy and Mathematics

In Primary 5, pupils are taught Numeracy and Mathematics in sets in order to best address the range of individual abilities and learning needs. These groupings are drawn up by the class teachers, in consultation with the Head of Junior School from evidence gathered through a variety of assessments.

Number, Money and Measurement
Pupils consolidate their tables and extend their multiplication and division skills to three-digit numbers. They develop their knowledge of fractions and their equivalences and begin to appreciate the link with decimals and percentages. Measurement activities are undertaken with greater accuracy and pupils learn to read scales with varying graduations. Their knowledge of time is extended to include work with simple timetables.

Information Handling
Pupils develop their skills of entering and editing information in a database. They create questionnaires, carry out surveys and use this information to produce a variety of graphs.

Shape, Position and Movement
Pupils learn to identify different types of angle and extend their knowledge of compass points. They learn more about the properties of different 2D shapes and 3D objects and construct nets to reinforce their learning. Pupils explore a variety of methods for drawing circles and work with a wider range of angles.

Problem Solving and Enquiry
Through active learning pupils continue to encounter problems in a range of contexts and develop strategies to deal with them.


Social Studies

In Primary 5 the Social Studies programme aims to develop knowledge, understanding and enquiry skills through the following topics:

    • Mapping- Scotland
    • The Scottish Wars of Independence
    • Scottish Politics



In Primary 5, scientific ideas are developed through play, investigations, first-hand experiences and discussion.

A highlight of the first term is a visit to the Royal Botanic Garden to study different Scottish trees and participate in an art workshop to make ‘batik’ leaf patterns.

Topics covered are:

    • Trees
    • Endangered Scottish Animals
    • Solids, Liquids and Gases
    • Light and Sound


Outdoor Learning

Our Outdoor Learning Programme across each year group aims to ensure continuing opportunities for children to experience the outdoors across a range of curricular areas.   Blocked outdoor learning time is allocated within the weekly timetable for Primary 5 and in the summer term, the pupils all attend a two-night camp.

Our Outdoor Learning programme aims to provide opportunities to:

    • increase the children’s knowledge and skills without the confines of the classroom.
    • offer numerous and ever-changing natural resources and features which, unlike man-made equipment, are non-prescriptive, their uses limited only by the child’s imagination.
    • create a forum for problem-solving skills.
    • create opportunity for child-led learning in unstructured play.
    • nurture creativity and imagination.
    • use the physical freedom of the outdoors to give real freedom to the mind and stimulate creative play.
    • develop physical health.
    • enhance the learning experience and enjoyment of the activity.
    • support confidence and emotional resilience.
    • improve behavioural and social skills – the children will be engaged, motivated, work in a team and co-operate better with each other.
    • offer risk-taking, discovery, adventure and challenge.
    • emphasise healthy routines, protection skills and responsible decision-making.
    • make appropriate use of active learning, whole class teaching, related individual work, small group discussion and collaboration.
    • make appropriate use of role-play and simulation activities.

Primary 5 Camp
A highlight of Primary 5 is a residential Summer camp to Lendrick Muir, Dollar where the girls take part in outdoor activities and visits to support their social studies programme.


Health and Well-being


In Primary 5 pupils explore the three areas of Health Education: Physical Health, Social Health and Emotional Health, through discrete topics or as a link to another curriculum area. Topics include:

    • Healthy Lifestyles
    • Keeping Safe (including on-line safety)
    • Feelings and Self Worth

Physical Education

Primary 5 has three 40-minute lessons per week.
The Physical Education curriculum in Primary 5 focuses on the pupils' ability to perform skills and to use them in the correct situation. The programme consists of gymnastics, dance, swimming, athletics and games. At this stage, pupils are engaged in many tasks which involve decision making.

Throughout the course pupils are encouraged to:

    • show greater awareness of changes in direction and level in Dance.
    • develop control of flight in Gymnastics.
    • respond to the challenge of competition by thinking and reacting more quickly.
    • use their observational skills to give accurate feedback.
    • participate in more demanding competitive, co-operative and observational tasks.

Personal and Social Development

Personal and Social Education is encompassed within the teaching of several subjects, notably Physical Education, Religious and Moral Education, Health and a number of cross-curricular themes. It is an integral part of the whole curriculum and is addressed in Primary 5 in a variety of ways including role-play and discussion.


Religious and Moral Education

The programme in Primary 5 covers the following areas: -

    • Christianity: Biblical Stories, Symbolism, Easter, Marriage, Church, Prayer
    • Other World Religions: Buddhism: Stories, Key Figures, Sacred Places, Ceremonies and Symbols
    • Personal Search: Religious Ceremonies, Stages in Life, Important Things

Topics are explored and assessed through discussion, drama and written work.


Expressive Arts

Art and Design

Specialist Art and Design lessons give pupils the opportunity to develop their visual awareness and creativity using a wide range of media and techniques such as print-making, textiles, sculpture, drawing and painting. These lessons take place in the purpose-built Art block, where the pupils experience artwork produced by students throughout the whole school.

Pupils build upon their observational drawing skills and are encouraged to develop and express their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through the use of sketchbooks. 

Course outcomes include:  

    • Using materials and developing new skills  
    • Expressing feelings, ideas, thoughts and solutions  
    • Evaluating and appreciating their own work and the work of a range of artists.


At all levels, pupils improvise and experiment with movement, speech, space, physical objects and sound, showing imagination and inventiveness appropriate to age and stage of development. As they progress through the levels, pupils develop their understanding and control of the media and processes of drama.

By the time students reach Primary 5, they are accustomed to using drama elements and techniques to explore the world in which they live and the issues they may face, as well as an understanding of people and how we can show emotion. The focus in Primary 5 is on presentation, and students learn the importance of audience awareness, use of space and voice and movement. Through lead roles in Pupil Council, Eco and House Captains, they gain confidence and experience in presentation and self-expression. 


The Music Curriculum in Primary 5 is based on the skills of performing, listening and composing. It aims to teach the principles of Kodaly musicianship to Bronze Level 1 and includes ensemble playing in a variety of genres including Jazz and Blues, Rock and Pop Scottish, Samba drumming and Orchestral.    

Each class has two music lessons per week. One will be a Kodaly based lesson and the other, ensemble based. The pupils are encouraged to bring the instruments they learn along to the ensemble lessons.

During the year Primary 5 take the lead roles in a Christmas production with P3 and P4 and at the end of the year will perform songs and instrumental music as part of their ‘P5 Farewell’.   

In P5 the pupils have increasing opportunities to have individual instrumental lessons and join suitable ensemble groups; Junior Recorder Group, Junior Choir, Junior Orchestra, Junior Guitar Group and Music Theory Club.



Craft and Design

Pupils in Primary 5 extend their practical skills and knowledge by working collaboratively in groups to design and create a castle.


Pupils work together in teams to produce an informative documentary about an endangered Scottish animal. They plan, organise, record and edit their class work and enjoy sharing their films with the rest of the Junior School.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

Pupils in Primary 5 are timetabled for weekly sessions in the Junior School Information Centre with an ICT specialist. They also have access to a computer and an interactive Smartboard in their own classroom.

In Primary 5 the pupils develop their ICT capability in the following ways:

    • Working collaboratively to research information on an endangered Scottish animal. Pupils plan, record and edit their work.
    • Producing a documentary on this endangered animal
    • Designing pages using text and images from the Internet
    • Developing further skills in data handling
    • They are introduced to virtual learning environments
    • Learning computer programming and coding through SCRATCH
    • Using SCRATCH to programme Marty the robot
    • Learning about the importance of keeping safe on-line.


Support for Learning

Support for Learning has a broad role, which allows students with specific learning needs and general academic difficulties to be supported in relation to their individual requirements. In order to maximise the individual’s potential, it is considered important to develop support strategies that complement individual learning requirements. 

At this stage, students are carefully monitored for progress by staff. The aim is to help students meet their long-term targets in the Primary curriculum. Ongoing liaison between class teachers, Support for Learning staff and parents is an essential part of this process. 

In Primary 5, pupils identified as requiring support in meeting their long-term targets, are taught either individually or in small groups by specialist Support for Learning staff, who work in conjunction with the class teacher to ensure that individual needs are met. 


International Education

Primary 5 take part in a digital exchange with a school in Texas where they share ideas and experiences on topic work. Our pupils enjoy sharing their endangered Scottish wildlife documentaries.



Homework is very much a part of our school programme and it helps to foster a link with parents in their support of the girls' learning throughout the Junior School Years. As pupils progress, they are acquiring individual study skills beyond the classroom which in turn contribute to the development of independent learning as they mature. We always appreciate interest and support in this essential aspect of the learning process. The time required for individual tasks may vary. However, please let your daughter's teacher know if she is regularly taking longer than the guide times. Homework is generally given on 4 evenings each week (Monday - Thursday).

In Primary 5, there is approximately 40 minutes per evening. Generally, two items are selected from: Mathematics, Spelling and supportive language work, Reading, English Language written work, Topic work.