22nd January 2018

Hurray! We have finally won another attendance award! It was a close call, but with 98.2% we are back on target. As a result of this, we have had an amazing week of learning and I have been blown away by how much progress everybody has made. We also had our first house points count up, and the winning house for the week was Diamond.

In Maths we have been looking at multiplication, with a focus on how to multiply 3 number together. Despite beginning the week without a clue how to do this, everybody is now confident in performing this skill and can explain why they have chosen to solve calculations in a particular order.

In English we began work on hyperbole – exaggerating the truth to make descriptions more vivid and interesting. We have had a particular focus on the difference between simile and metaphor, and have been spotting examples of each in writing, as well as having a go at creating our own. As we are looking at descriptions, we played a fantastic game in our SPaG lesson that involved generating ridiculous expanded noun phrases to include in a sentence. We had to think of 6 determiners, 6 adjectives, 6 nouns, etc, then roll a die to see which word we had to use. Have a look at our examples below.

You may have heard that we had a somewhat disastrous Science lesson when our ‘volcano in a jar’ tried to escape! We were trying to see how a volcano works, and used a piece of wax in a glass jar which we covered in sand. We topped this up with water, then heated it. In theory, as the wax melts, it begins to push up through the sand, simulating the effects of lava erupting from a volcano. Unfortunately our first attempt was a failure as the glass jar broke and leaked. Using our growth mindset skills and knowing that we can’t just give up, we had another go – this time it was a success! Take a look at our video to see this amazing experiment in process.

Thank you to everyone who is encouraging their child to practice their reading, spelling and times tables at home. There has been a huge improvement in spelling results this term, and I am pleased that so many children are becoming more confident in their times tables. Remember, to truly master them you must be able to use them to solve division problems too. As an extra incentive, we now have a Hamster Points Chart. I am awarding points for reading at home, moving up a times tables level, and scoring at least 8/10 on spelling tests. I have also been giving our bonus points for anyone doing independent learning at home. I have suggested this week that they might like to find out about the volcanic eruption in the Phillipines or research Phillip Pullman who is our author of the moment.

The table that scores the most Hamster Points gets the honour of cleaning out Pikelet’s cage! It is a much more rewarding treat than it sounds, I promise! This week’s winners were the K2 table. Take a look at some of the fun they had with Pikelet! Good luck for next week everyone!

15th January 2018

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Welcome back to the Spring term! We've had a very busy first week back as we tied up a few loose ends left over from Autumn (including finally finishing Letters from the Lighthouse and discovering what happened to Sukie!) We also began work on our new topic - Rock Stars. We will be learning all about rocks, volcanoes, mountains, and even rivers, and have got some amazing lessons planned for the children - I am particularly excited about using chocolate to learn about different rock types! We have already created a 'What we know' poster about volcanoes, and have begun to build a volcano with a partner to show what we think they look like. When our models are complete, we look forward to taking part in some Science experiments and see if we can cause some eruptions!

Another big change is that we know have a class pet! Everybody was very keen to spend some of our Enterprise money on a pet, and luckily for us, Miss Mallatratt overheard one of our discussions and announced that she had a friend who recently got a pet cat, so she was looking for a new home for her hamster. We asked if we could adopt him, and she agreed. This means that we have a hamster (called Pikelet), cage, exercise ball, food bowls and even some bedding and food, without having to spend a penny! We have agreed that we will have to use our Enterprise money to ensure that he has enough food and that we can clean his cage regularly. Pikelet is going to be choosing a different table every week to clean, feed and play with him, and rumour has it that he likes tables that work hard, cooperate and always do their reading, spelling and times table homework! During our Enterprise discussions, we have also tried to decide which charity to donate to. This is proving tricky as so many people have different ideas. We will continue this discussion next week a have a vote to make sure we choose fairly.

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Our attendance has really improved since Autumn term, although with 96.8% it unfortunately wasn't enough for us to receive a certificate this week. We are no longer being awarded handshakes, but have been excited to learn which houses we are in. Next week we can start collecting house points and look forward to seeing which house is the first to receive the new, shiny trophy in assembly!

18th December 2017

It is hard to believe that we are already almost at the end of the Autumn term. The children have all made good progress in their learning so far in Year 4 and should be very proud of their efforts. I have been particularly impressed with how quickly most are improving with their recall of multiplication (and division!) facts. Everyone loves the new Times Table Rock Stars program we are using and if you haven’t already played at home, you can access the site on a computer of tablet – I know many of you are already doing this! To ensure that we fill any gaps in times tables knowledge, I have asked all children to start from the beginning with 10 x tables. When their recall is so fluent that they can complete a quiz in less than 1 second per question they will receive a certificate and move onto the next table. Many children have already taken home certificates, and I am sure we will whizz through these earlier stages and move onto trickier times tables during the Spring term. They can practice their current set times table in the Garage section of the website, but also practice right up to their 12 x table using the other areas.

Thank you very much to everyone who attended our Christmas Enterprise – and also to those of you who made orders before the event. Our birdfeeders were a huge success and we sold out, although I am sure this was down to the fabulous efforts of our sellers. We definitely have a few children who have future careers as market traders, and maybe even one or two who should think about applying for The Apprentice! We had a turnover of approx £96, which gave us a total profit of £66 when we repaid the £30 start-up loan. The class have been very engaged in our discussions of how to spend our earnings. They are currently trying to persuade me a class pet is the way to go, so they have been set homework of pricing the cost of furry creatures (no snakes or spiders!) and their homes, food, toys and other needs. Watch this space to see if anyone is able to convince me!

We have been very busy preparing for our Beaumanor Experience next Wednesday afternoon and look forward to seeing you there. If possible, it would be lovely for children to come to school on Wednesday in their outfit that they wore during the Beaumanor trip. We will be displaying our work and running mini-experiences similar to those we took part in on our excursion. 

Unfortunately we only achieved 9 handshakes this week so were not the winners of the final ‘Class of the Week’ award. However, we are very excited to find out about our new houses so were not too disappointed. We are still doing very poorly with our attendance, and once again were the lowest scoring class. I really hope that the Christmas break gives us the chance to get rid of our germs once and for all, as we already have some fantastic learning experiences planned and would hate for anyone to miss out!