Term 5 comes to a sunny end

What a lovely way to end term 5! Glorious sunshine and a bright forecast for the week ahead. Not surprisingly, the children are ready for a break.

The term has flown by and we have been journeying along with Edward Tulane on hisIMG_2532 adventures. The children have enthusiastically embraced this text and empathise with the character as though he is real. Some have been bringing in clothing to add to Edward’s extensive, exquisite wardrobe. Edward, now “Suzanna”  adores his pink, frilly frock (for special occasions). Thank you, Issy!  Next term, we will continue exploring the text, writing poetry, letters and new chapters. There are plenty writing opportunities on offer to prepare the children for their transition to year 5 and we look forward to displaying these next term.

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In science, we have been privileged to be able to contextualise our learning within Forest School, during which we have used classification keys to identify freshwater invertebrates (participating in a national OPAL survey of pond health) and to identify common trees using their leaves.

A visit to the church, supported us in learning more about St John’s church and why Christians attend church to worship. We asked the children to sit in silence in their own space as we arrived to reflect on how it feels to be within the sanctuary of the church. Many loved the time to sit calmly, however others, felt uncomfortable as they are always rushing about, busy and noisy. Not surprisingly, this quiet, still moment was appreciated by the adults, who took a rare moment to “breathe” within the bustle of the day. Being still – a skill we all need to practise, I think.

I wish you all very restful half term. Please do let me know if you do any of the activities mentioned in the Science Snippets Newsletter. There are several surveys to take part in, farms to visit and plants to grow. Have fun! See you in term 5.

 

 

Carroty Wood Adventures

What a fabulous way to begin term 5! And, what an adventurous 24 hours we have shared at Carroty Wood. Many challenges were faced, fears conquered, goals achieved and new skills and independence learned. The children will no doubt have much to tell you and I am certain that they will be needing an early night for the next few days after such great activity.

IMG_2294On Monday, we packed in heap of experiences: a rounders game, picnic lunch,making beds, high ropes, low ropes, swimming, dinner (including washing up), board/card games and finally bed time!

The High Ropes saw many children face their fear of heights by learning to trust the equipment, instructors, teachers and themselves.
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Luckily for us, we managed to avoid having an icy hose down by successfully crossing the swamp without falling in – most of us! A few ended up with soggy socks – but all in all – not too bad! Many laughs along the way.You can see in the photo above, Adele showing compassion, lending a helping hand and giving much needed encouragement which helped Rebecca to conquer her fear crossing the swamp successfully.It was wonderful witnessing all the class encouraging one another around the course.

Lucky Lucy! I can’t imagine a more exciting way to spend a birthday. Happy birthday to you from all your friends who loved spending time with you on your special day. IMG_2384IMG_2287

Tuesday, we were awoken early by beautiful birdsong and glorious sunshine and did not stop! We showered, tidied rooms, packed bags, ate breakfast, washed up, packed our own lunches, attended an assembly with 4P on the importance of trust and how Christians trust in God. 4C then completed the Mission Impossible and learnt along the way: “Some challenges that seem impossible are made a lot easier if you ask for help” Tim shared the story ‘Facing the Fiery Furnace’ ( Daniel 3), where Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were saved from the flames because they asked God for help and trusted in him.

We certainly had plenty of opportunities to ask for help and to trust during our time at Carroty Wood. Well done 4C! You have shown that you are independent, thoughtful, helpful, determined and polite individuals who show compassion and tolerance in all you do. I am very proud of  you!

As for the rest of the term…….. Forest School, church visits, clubs, outdoor science learning are only a few of the things we will be doing. A busy term awaits!

 

 

 

 

END OF TERM 4!!

Well, yet another busy term has flown by. We have had STEM week, Literacy festivals, Mother’s day and Easter celebrations and Inter-house sports (to name just a few of the exciting happenings at St Johns).

The children loved making lip balm as mother’s day gifts and it provided an excellent opportunity to apply their knowledge of changing states of matter from earlier in year 4, as well as them seeing the use of science within the cosmetics industry. Even the boys loved it! So much so, they made me my very own pot of multi-coloured lip balm as a thank you! Thank you lovely boys!

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We ended the term with an inter-house sports competition and were blessed with splendid sunny weather (hopefully it will last through the holidays too). Congratulations to all those who participated and well done to those who spectated and cheered on the houses. It was impressive to see such wonderful team spirit, sportsmanship and enthusiasm from all the children.

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Lastly, have a wonderful holiday and blessed Easter and return to school with renewed energy for another busy term of learning. Not long to Carroty Wood!

Varjak the hero and new learning lined up

IMG_2076This week we completed reading Varjak Paw. The children have absolutely loved the book and we already have waiting list of children wanting to read the sequel “The Outlaw Varjak Paw”. This text has inspired us to write across many genres; letters, diaries, descriptions and newspaper articles. Some of these you can read below and more examples will be put up on display outside Year 4. One thing’s for certain, I will miss the children’s grumbles and their pleading  for me to read more, when I have stopped reading at THE most exciting, crucial part (shows how much we loved the book!!). The next IMG_2077book we are working from is also one that won’t disappoint!

Our journey through the digestive system is well on its way. The children have learnt the names and functions of human teeth and have learnt how teeth in animal skulls can give scientists important clues as to the diet of the animal. We learnt to classify animals as herbivores, omnivores and carnivores using the animals teeth to determine their diet. Thanks Ollie Jones for bringing in horse teeth!).To learn the names of the organs involved in digestion, we created our own digestive systems. We will be looking at the process of digestion in future lessons (hands on and dramatic!)

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In RE, we are learning to ask BIG QUESTIONS using creation stories as a starting point. I have been impressed with the maturity and respect shown for each other as diverse opinions and beliefs have been expressed. This topic has, without doubt, provoked interesting debate and discussion.

In Maths, we have been working on understanding decimal equivalence and being able to order and compare decimals. In a couple of weeks we will begin our unit on time. In preparation for this it would be helpful if the children could practise reading the time on an analogue clock, as this will provide a good foundation on which to build. In Year 4, we teach telling the time on a digital clock, 24 hour clock, reading timetables and calculating time intervals.

The big countdown to STEM week has begun with only a few days to go. We wait in anticipation to find out what exciting learning has been planned.

 

 

 

Little Romans Invade

Wow! This morning we were invaded by Romans, both rich and poor as they streamed excitedly in through the school doors in eager anticipation of their Roman-themed day. Thank you for the amazing effort with the costumes. It certainly added the WOW factor to the day.

In Maths, we unravelled a Roman recipe that was written in Roman Numerals and we cracked a few codes to decipher secret messages. We had a super playtime, charging around the “battlefield” reenacting battles between the Iceni and Romans, and rescuing beautiful Roman empresses and maidens, before attending our Roman workshop led by “Flora, the archeaologist” from Crew Education.PicCollage (1)

She had all the children engaged and interacting with props, artifacts and costumes. We learned about Claudius and his army, both what they wore and military strategies; the lives of wealthy Romans and their slaves and reenacted a battle against Boudica and her tribe.

The afternoon, was spent designing and making mosaics which we will be using in our maths lesson next term.

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A new year and many new beginnings.

Happy New Year to you all and welcome back after a lovely Christmas break. The children seem well rested and eager to learn. Excitedly, we began reading our new book, Varjak Paw, and most children are enjoying it immensely. Varjak is currently faced with the dilemma to stay in the only home he has ever known, or listen to the Elder Paw and leave to seek help in the outside world. As always, classroom opinion is divided, with strong cases for both sides being argued by the children who have written persuasive letters to Varjak to help him with his dilemma.

PicCollage (1)In Maths, we have begun our new topic, Fractions! We have been making sure we understand that a fraction represents equal parts of a whole. We have done lots of paper folding and used the Numicon to create fraction creatures demonstrating our understanding. We have begun to look at equivalent fractions and will be learning to add and subtract them.

PicCollage (2)In science, our new topic is Sound. We began with a very noisy and active carousel of activities to help the children understand how sounds are made and how they travel.

Remember: Please have complete PE kits in school every day. Also, I have set some Mymaths homework for you all to have a go at. Currently, this is optional as we are trialing the system but do have a go as it will support your learning in class.

 

 

Seasons Greetings!

My, how times flies! I can’t quite believe it is the end of term 2 and that we are about to embark on our Christmas holidays. I’d like to begin by saying a huge thank you to all the parents who contributed to my wonderful gift. I was so touched by your generosity. Thank you!

We have packed in heaps of learning so it is hard to pick out a few best bits. As always, I was delighted to see a range of media used to present the Roman project homework. I especially enjoyed the video news reports (well done for persuading your parents to join in too!). Thank you Emi for having a go at doing some Roman baking and for sharing your delicious honey cakes with the class – unanimously “Delicious!”

IMG_1701In science, we have learned all about electricity and have used our knowledge of circuits to design and build our own light up Christmas decorations.

We have been very busy finishing off our stories modelled on Mouse, Bird, Snake,Wolf and we have had a go at making our own graphic novels (soon to be on display).IMG_1702

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miss Parfett, has worked with both classes to create iPad movies in Computing lessons.
She has set up a school YouTube account which means that you can view all of the movies everyone in Year 4 has made. She has ensured there are no faces of the children included in the films, sometimes an occasional hand can be seen! If you would like to watch the movies please use link :https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCur-OHLKj9FJaEzuJeBsu6g

IMG_1699This week has been full of festivities: creating Christingles, Christmas dinner, Carol singing and a Christmas film treat. I wish you all a very happy Christmas and I look forward to continuing to work with all your lovely children in the new term.

 

 

 

What a treat!

To start the week we were amazed and dazzled by the mystery of magic performed by our visiting magicians, Abracademy! This was a real treat!

In Maths, we began learning new division methods. First, we revised the use of arrays to find equal groups and then moved onto using place value counters. Erin and Jessica’s work shows how we record our learning.
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Predicting, testing and explaining were the skills we developed in our Science lesson this week as both classes were set the challenge to “Fix the circuit”. They had to look closely at the diagram, predict whether the circuit would work, test it and then explain why it wasn’t working. It was wonderful to see the children being real scientists!

We were visited by Year 6, who taught us how electricity flows through a circuit. Read the Science blog to find out more….

 

 

Our Literacy work, concluded our learning about balanced arguments. Using our Power of Reading text, we considered whether Ben, Sue and Harry’s actions are right? Should they be taking the job of the gods by creating creatures to fill the gaps in their world? Or could their actions have dire consequences? We have used all the language and features needed in a balanced argument and on balance, as a class, we think the children are going to cause serious  trouble and they are doing the wrong thing! Examples of work will soon be on display.

 

 

LIGHTING IT UP and staying safe

After finding out what we already know and what we’d like to learn during our Electricity topic last week, we dived in and began learning. The first task was to make the light bulb work in a simple circuit as this will be a vital skill in future lessons and for our DT project.

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We then used a super website (www.switchedonkids.org.uk) to learn about electrical hazards in the home. This helped the children to understand why I said “No” to them asking to investigate “What happens if we mix water and electricity – can we find out in class?” Absolutely not! Using the website,the children identified different hazards and with a partner they are creating informative posters to warn others of the dangers and how to stay safe.

 

Image-1In RE, we continued learning about Moses and the Ten Commandments. I was so impressed with the children’s knowledge of all the Bible stories associated with Moses. Through a game we explored the commandments and then considered which of them other faiths, cultures and non-Christians would follow. Interestingly, when asked if they could add one more rule what it would be, most said, “Treat others as you would want to be treated.” Even more interesting were their answers to ” Which of the commandments are the hardest to keep?” – “Listening to my mum and dad and doing what they say” and ” Not wanting what others have” were the top answers.

Remember: Music on Monday. Swimming kits on Tuesday.

 

 

Back to school

I hope that you had a lovely break over half term. The children have returned to school looking smart in their winter uniforms and ready to learn (and learn we have!) We have enjoyed teaching each other interesting facts we found out about our chosen scientists researched over the half term. Thank you for the amazing projects!

IMG_1462During our Literacy lessons, we began reading Mouse, Bird, Snake, Wolf. Opinions about the book at this stage are varied, which generates interesting debate and discussion (an important skill to be learned in Year 4). The children loved using drama to illustrate how vain, pompous and arrogant the gods who created the world are. After which, the children were then inspired to write proclamations, in role as the vain, lazy gods.

 

 

Fantastic factor fireworks were a highlight in our maths learning this week (especially being this close to Bonfire Night). Why not spot arrays when you are out and about this week, take a photo and we’ll add it to our maths display. IMG_1461

 

 

Reminders: 4C begin their swimming lessons on Tuesday and need to remember their swimming kits including swimming caps. I look forward to meeting you at Parents evening next week.