CGP Year 5 Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling Workbook

My two kids are very similar in lots of ways but also quite different when it comes to learning. My oldest really breezes through English, she just seems to understand and grasp the varies concepts without too much fuss at all. But my youngest is the opposite, although he reads a LOT and I do mean a LOT when it come to Grammar and Spelling he really is not a happy camper. So I feel like we have really need to do more repetition to help it all sink in. And I have tried to make the repetition as fun as possible (he loves working on The Night Zookeeper site and I do think it helps with his Spelling and Grammar) but I also wanted to get some extra written activities for him. And I wanted an easy option (in other words easy for me – something with answers and something where I did not need to spend too much extra time setting it up). The intention that this would be an extra set of pages for him to practice on. Extra in that we still do our English activities together (mainly using Twinkl and Schofield and Sims books for that) but once we have finished those and he needs to revise it I wanted to have something at hand that I could just grab off the bookshelf and turn to a page and give it to him. So I went for this book KS2 English Targeted Question Book: Grammar, Punctuation & Spelling – Year 5: ideal for catch-up and learning at home (CGP KS2 English). Now in total honestly we have never used one of the CGP Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling workbooks before but we have started using a few of their Maths books this year and they have gone down well so based on that I thought I would try this workbook (plus I liked that it was geared for his academic year).

CGP Year 5 Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling

Thoughts so far? It is easy to use. The book is broken down into sections and I just look at the contents page and select the activity that I want him to practice. Plus there are answers.

We like the fact that they include a quick explanation at the top of the page and we don’t find the pages too busy or too packed.

CGP Year 5 Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling

But I don’t think you could use this as your only source. If you are home educating I don’t think this is a magic book that you could buy and then think it is only book you will use for English for the whole year. I just don’t think there are enough activities in it, for it to be your only source. I think it works well if you use to together with another source (eg The Night Zookeeper site or Twinkl website). If you are a parent and your kids attend school and this is an extra book at home for revision, well that is different to what a full-time home educator needs.

CGP Year 5 Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling

But looking at it as a book that you use with another source. Then I think it works. (To put it into context, my son uses the Night Zookeeper site, we do activities from Twinkl and activities from Schofield and Sims books as well as this book). Sorry if I am stressing this point but I have had lots of people email me lately asking for the ultimate English or Maths books that they can use in isolation, in other words one book that covers everything and that means you do not need to add any extra activities (not sure I have ever found that book).

What is covered? Like I mentioned above the book is broken down into 3 sections and it is quite easy to jump around and select the page that you need.

1. Grammar

  • Word Types – Nouns, Verbs, Modal Verbs, Adjectives, Adverbs, Pronouns, Relative Pronouns and Determiners.
  • Clauses and Phrases – Clauses, Basic Relative Clauses and Trickier Relative Clauses and lastly Phrases
  • Conjunctions and Prepositions – Co-ordinating conjunctions, Subordinating Co-junctions, Using conjunctions and Prepositions.
  • Linking Ideas – Linking ideas in a paragraph and the linking paragraphs.
  • Verb Tenses – Present tense and past tense, verbs with ing and verbs with have.
  • Standard and Non-standard English.

2. Punctuation

  • Sentence Punctuation – Capital letters, full stops, Question marks, exclamation marks and sentence practice.
  • Commas – Commas in lists, commas to join sentences, Commas after subordinate clauses, commas after introductions, commas for extra information, practice.
  • Brackets and Dashes – Brackets for extra information and dashes for extra information.
  • Apostrophes – Apostrophes for missing letters, Apostrophes for single possession, Apostrophe for plural possession, Its and It’s and practice.
  • Inverted Commas – Punctuation speech.
  • Paragraphs and Layouts – Headings and subheadings.

3. Spelling

  • Prefixes – under, over, en, em, mid, pre, fore and non and hyphenating prefixes.
  • Word endings and Suffixes – Shun, shus, shul, ant, ent, ance and ancy, able, ible, ably and ibly.
  • Confusing Words – ei and ie words, words with ough, words with silent letters, unstressed vowels, homophones.
  • Mixed Spelling Practice.

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It is a new one for us but one that I think was worth the price that I paid and so far both my son and I are happy with it.

This is the book – KS2 English Targeted Question Book: Grammar, Punctuation & Spelling – Year 5: ideal for catch-up and learning at home (CGP KS2 English)

Admin Bit – I do include Affiliate links. If you follow an affiliate link and go on to purchase that product, I will be paid a very small commission, however your cost will remain the same. I only include affiliate links for products that we use and love.

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Plants and Photosynthesis Topic Pack

My eldest enjoys Biology but she likes human and animal biology and is not that keen on plant biology so we have neglected that a bit (she loves gardening and growing her own plants its just the reading up about plants that she does not seem to find interesting). However we were recently discussing some animal food chains and animal conservation and my son realized how important plants are and actually requested that we do a section of “how plants work” – i.e. what is photosynthesis and plant respiration. Now, I am like my daughter and I also tend to prefer the human and animal side of biology but I knew we need to cover this and it just so happened I had the Plant and Photosynthesis Topic Pack from Oaka Books that I had been quietly hiding at the bottom of my resource pile (my form of procrastination – if it is at the bottom of the pile of my learning books than it is me saying we will get it to at some stage, just not right now).

Plants and Photosynthesis Topic Pack from Oaka Books

The Plant and Photosynthesis topic pack is a KS3 Science Topic so it is aimed at kids in secondary school and my youngest is still year 5 (which is primary in the UK) but we have used some of the History KS3 Topic Packs with him before and it was not a problem. I think one of the reasons I am happy to use the KS3 Topic Packs with my youngest is they do not require long paragraph type answers. The Write Your Own Notes tend to be either fill in missing words or shorter written answers, if it was longer discussion type questions I think he might find it a bit more challenging.

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As always we read through the Topic Booklet and this time we also found a few sections on the BBC Bitesize website where we could read and watch some short clips. Then both the kids filled out their Write Your Own Notes. We split the Write Your Own notes into sections – and did different sections on different days. In the past if my daughter is using the Write Your Own Notes as a revision activity then she might sit and complete it in one go but this time we were learning about a new topic so we did it it slowly and with extra reading and video clips added in.

My son initially had questions about how photosynthesis and plant respiration work together, and we both felt like the Topic Booklet covered the differences and how they work together in a cycle well. It made something that could be confusing, clear.

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After we had worked through the Topic Booklet and the Write Your Own Notes Booklet we played the game.  These games are just the best, they are always our favourite part of the Topic Pack, the kids enjoy them and I really find them a brilliant learning tool.  You can quickly see what it is the kids know and what it is they may be struggling with all by just playing a quick board game. 

Plants and Photosynthesis Topic Game from Oaka Books

For those of you who want to know this is what it pack covers

  • Plant cells vs animal cells (the details of the different parts of the cells are covered in the Cells and Organisation Part 1 pack)
  • Palisade cells, Guard cells, Stomata, Phloem Tubes and Xylem Tubes.
  • What is photosynthesis, the word equation for it.
  • Respiration, the word equation and how photosynthesis and respiration differ
  • Minerals, glucose, plant biomass
  • Do plants sweet, transpiration, different leaves.
  • Soil and how it relates to healthy plants
  • Plants and air
  • A Diagram of the Carbon Cycle (we did find it useful to understand the Carbon Cycles before we looked at this section)
  • Composition of Air
  • Structure of a Leaf
  • How to test for Starch in a leaf.

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I must admit after repeatedly putting off the Photosynthesis Topic it actually turned out to be a nice and easy topic to cover with both my kids. And I feel like not only did we deal with photosynthesis and plant respiration but we also revised our animal and plant cells, our previous learning about soil and the Carbon Cycle plus we are now extending it into some animal food chains and food webs next week.  Really there was no need to put it off for so long, everything that we needed to get us on the right path was right here in the Topic Pack.

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Pride and Prejudice pages from Twinkl

One of the books that my daughter choose to read this year was Pride and Prejudice, she is already a huge Jane Austen fan and desperately wanted to look at one of her books in more detail. Pride and Prejudice is normally covered as part of KS4 English Literature so the activities are geared for that but with just a couple of very small adjustments we have managed to use the Twinkl pages for our own Pride and Prejudice learning.

Pride and Prejudice pages from Twinkl Beyond

The Pride and Prejudice unit on Twinkl is divided into 7 main lessons but they also have a number of extras.

The 7 lessons are split into

  • The Plot volume 1
  • The Plot volume 2
  • The Plot volume 3
  • Elizabeth Bennet, Mr Darcy, Mr Wickham
  • Jane Bennet, Mr Bingley, Mr Collins
  • Minor Characters
  • Letters

The extra activities are divided as follows

  • Exam style questions (my daughter is not going to do these questions but I did look at them and it would be very useful if the kids are in KS4)
  • Character revision worksheets
  • Character cards
  • Georgian society
  • The Bennet family
  • Quotes
  • Comprehensions Questions (with answers)

We have not completed all of the lessons or extra activities yet but I have looked at everything included and I am impressed.

In the first 3 lessons on the plot the story is broken down into smaller subsections. For each of these subsections you get a summary and a Cloze activity (both of which my daughter has been using) and then they also include extra pages like What is Elizabeth thinking or comparing Mr Darcy to Mr Wickham.  Even though my daughter is a bit younger than the intended age she has has not struggled with these and she has commented that working though the pages helped her sort out some of her thoughts about the story. 

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They also include a PowerPoint summary in each of the Plot lessons.  My daughter really enjoys these PowerPoints. she says they are excellent at wrapping up all of the events and she likes the activities they have included.

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The next three lessons are all about the characters, comparing and contrasting them and looking at their actions and character in a bit more detail.

Then the lesson on letters.  We loved that this was included and my daughter likes that she could printed out the individual letters to keep in her own notes.

Pride and Prejudice pages from Twinkl Beyond

The extra activities. Although these are not “formally” included as lessons we really like these extra activities.  The Quote cards were a huge hit and I must confess I liked the fact that they created all the comprehension questions to go with the book (just to mention the comprehensions are more challenging then the Cloze activities.  My daughter breezed through the Clozes but with a few of the Comprehension questions she had to stop and think a bit – which I really liked).

My daughter also really appreciated the extra pages on Georgian society (she always loves learning about the Historical context of books that she is reading).

Pride and Prejudice pages from Twinkl Beyond

I know these lessons and activities have been created for kids who are in KS4 studying Pride and Prejudice for their exams but we have still found this entire section really useful at summarizing the book but also at getting my daughter to think a bit deeper about the characters. 

I must confess the English Literature sections for both KS3 and Ks4 on Twinkl Beyond are fast becoming some of my favourite Twinkl sections.

Admin Bit – the Twinkl pages that we used are part of a paid for package.

The Pride and Prejudice book that we are reading is this one – Pride and Prejudice

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Knowledge Encyclopedia Human Body

We love the Knowledge Encyclopedia range from DK and this one – The Human Body is brilliant. I bought if for my daughter and she has read and re-read it multiple times. She requested a book all about the human body but wanted one that was visual and not over-simplified and too be honest I was a bit lost on which book to buy her. But based on seeing some of the other Knowledge Encyclopedia’s at the library I took a chance and bought her this one and I am thrilled with it. It is everything we could have wanted and more.

Knowledge Encyclopedia human Body from DK

In true DK style the pictures are incredible with some mind-blowing detail. But I also really like the fact that they do not shy away from using the correct words and terms, nothing is “dumbed-down”, they tackle some complex questions and do so in a concise manner.

Knowledge Encyclopedia human Body from DK

Everything is presented in double-page spreads often with one main picture and then blocks of information, smaller pictures and details surrounding the main image. The blocks of writing and use of images means the reader is not overwhelmed by long, confusing paragraphs.

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So what does it cover?

The book is broken down into 8 main sections – Body Basics, Body Systems. Head and Neck, Chest and Back, Arms and Hands, Abdomen and Pelvis, Legs and Feet and Body Science.

Knowledge Encyclopedia human Body from DK

A logical way to order the topics and one that seems to make sense to the kids. I really appreciated that they included a body systems section, purely because this is the way I like to deal with human biology in our home learning. I just think it makes sense to look at all the bones together or all the organs in the digestive or respiratory system together. 

Knowledge Encyclopedia human Body from DK

And those small blocks of extra information are like gold when it comes to home learning. They are that extra bit of information that helps to cement everything and often just adds an extra something that makes it a bit more fascinating for kids who enjoy learning about the human body and how it works.

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I think this is a great book to add to anyone’s bookshelf and we have found it brilliant to read and use alongside our Biology learning activities.

Knowledge Encyclopedia human Body from DK

This is the Amazon link for the book mentioned in the post Knowledge Encyclopedia Human Body!

Admin Bit – I do include Affiliate links. If you follow an affiliate link and go on to purchase that product, I will be paid a very small commission, however your cost will remain the same. I only include affiliate links for products that we use and love.

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UK and Europe Geography for KS2

When it comes to Geography we normally cover the topics together (my son is in year 5 and my daughter is in year 8) and it works really well. My youngest has jumped right in and done Rivers, Erosion, Biomes, Tectonic plates and Weather with his older sister quite happily (I know I am missing some but those are what jumps to mind). We do the “theory” part together and then I often give them slightly different activities based on their ages. It just works so I really have no intention of changing that. But at the moment my daughter is working through Pride and Prejudice and we are doing a lot of longer written activities on it and my son is not joining in with that. So we had a bit of a think about what he could work on while she did her English Literature and he came up with some activities on the UK and Europe (and granted we have probably not done enough on this side of Geography). I wanted something that he could work though almost independently (because I am very involved in the Pride and Prejudice work), possibly a set where he could read about an area and then do a linked activity – well that was the idea. So I had a look and although I could find possible options on Twinkl just for ease I decided to go with the CGP Books (mainly because I could order the books, not worry about printing out pages and he could just get on with it.)

KS2 Geography. UK and Europe books by CGP

Now I have not been a huge fan of the CGP KS2 books in the past, I found the History ones a bit brief and well History is one subject that we really dive into. We read historical fiction books, we do art, we watch documentaries, we tend to jump right in and I just never felt like the CGP History books fitted in with our style. But because he was going to try this “module” more independently, more as a separate topic I thought they might work well. And they did. He has already flown through his UK set and is just about to start the Europe set. And yes, there are sections where I do feel I would like more detail but we are looking at this as a chance for him to work independently and give him a good foundation (in other words I will be coming back to some areas in more detail later on possibly as a joint activity with both kids).

So what do you get? The Study Book and the Activity Book really do work together. For every double page in the Study Book you get a double page in the Activity Book and if you have read the Study book pages the kids can answer the activity book questions. They do NOT contain a set of “answers” but honestly the answers are in the text in the study book, you will not struggle to know if the kids have gotten the answers correct.

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The Activity Book questions are also great foundation Geography questions. What I mean by this is they weave in questions about erosion, land formations, weather, biomes all kinds of topics that the kids do cover in more detail later on. Also the questions are not massive paragraph questions, so if your kid is not a keen writer they should be fine. And the questions include things like reading maps, weather graphs, grid locations, writing a postcards or creating an advertisement.

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The UK Books covers (i.e. each double page deals with a separate section as follows)

  • The UK
  • The Organisation of the UK
  • In the City
  • In the Country
  • Changes in land use
  • North Eastern England
  • South Eastern England
  • Eastern England
  • South Western England
  • Western England
  • Southern Scotland
  • Central Scotland
  • Northern Scotland
  • South Wales
  • Central and Northern Wales
  • Northern Ireland
  • Where do you Live?

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The Europe Books covers (i.e. each double page deals with a separate section as follows)

  • The countries of Europe
  • Natural Europe
  • Separate by Sea (The British Isles and France)
  • The Centre of the Union
  • The Iberian Peninsula
  • Scandinavia
  • Land of the Midnight Sun
  • The Baltic Nations
  • Land of the Alps
  • In the Middle
  • Following the Danube
  • Crossing into Asia (a bit on Russia)
  • The Eastern Edge
  • At the Ends of Europe (Turkey, Armenia, Georgia)
  • Around the Adriatic
  • South Eastern Europe
  • Working Together

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So far we are really happy with these KS2 Geography Books.

Here are links for the 4 books mentioned in this post

KS2 Discover & Learn: Geography – United Kingdom Study Book: ideal for home learning (CGP KS2 Geography)

KS2 Discover & Learn: Geography – United Kingdom Activity Book: perfect for home learning (CGP KS2 Geography)

KS2 Discover & Learn: Geography – Europe Study Book: ideal for home learning (CGP KS2 Geography)

KS2 Discover & Learn: Geography – Europe Activity Book: ideal for home learning (CGP KS2 Geography)

Admin Bit – I do include Affiliate links. If you follow an affiliate link and go on to purchase that product, I will be paid a very small commission, however your cost will remain the same. I only include affiliate links for products that we use and love.

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