9th July 2018

It has been another glorious week of sunshine and we have taken advantage of this by moving a few of our lessons outside. On Monday afternoon, we worked in the shade of a tree to practise translating co-ordinates and later spent a session outside cooling down as we created posters for the upcoming Summer Fair. Take a look at some of our completed posters. A winning entry and runner up will be chosen from each year group, and I’m sure you’ll agree that 4DE definitely have some contenders! Please remember that for our school fair to be a success, we need as many contributions as possible. The PTA has requested that Year 4 donate ‘something in a bottle’. Absolutely anything (in a bottle!) is fine, although I’m sure we all have our own preferences! Thank you to those of you who have already made kind donations. If you have anything else you would like to donate (toys, books, unwanted gifts, etc) then these can also be brought into class or taken to the office and will be greatly appreciated.

In Mathematics, we have also had a lot of fun learning our times tables. The assessments have reminded the children how much easier maths is if you LEARN YOUR TIMES TABLES!!! To further motivate them in this challenge, I have split the class into two ‘bands’ on Times Table Rock Stars, and your child will now be a valuable member of Space Bananas or THRASH! (Please ask children for the correct way to pronounce this). I have set up a Battle of the Bands and it is a very close contest. THRASH! were well out in front to begin with but Space Bananas are making a strong comeback. Please encourage your child to practice as much as possible. After a single session practising in the ICT suite, I have noticed an enormous improvement in the weekly times table quiz. Well done!

Everyone has tried really hard to remain focused in spite of the warm weather as it has been our summer assessment week. I have been really impressed with everybody’s effort and concentration. The class have really shown that they are ready for Year 5, both academically and in their maturity, which is fortunate as this week has also seen the children visit their new classes. Everyone was really excited to visit their new teachers and classmates and I am sure they have a great year ahead. The current Year 4 teachers have made sure that the new Year 5 teachers are aware of how lucky they are to be receiving such fantastic children next year! I am really going to miss them and their infectious (sometimes crazy) personalities!

2nd July 2018

Well, what an exciting week we’ve had! I would just like to start of by saying how fantastic the children have been whilst we had our ‘visitors’ in school! Everybody really showed themselves at their best, both in terms of effort and behaviour. Well done, everyone!

In Maths this week, we have started a new unit on shape and position. We have been looking at co-ordinates and everybody has made fantastic progress over just a few days. In our cold task, nobody had a clue how to read or write co-ordinates. After just one lesson, everybody has been able to use co-ordinates in problem solving activities, including giving co-ordinates to plot different shapes onto grids.

In English, we have completed our instructional writing with a hot task, How to Wash a Smilodon. There have been some fantastic ideas for how to deal with this prehistoric creature and I am really impressed with the improvements made since we attempted our cold task a few weeks ago. We have also been using English lessons to work on our grammatical knowledge of word types, with a particular focus on determiners. We have learnt that there are many more determiners than we originally thought, and had a lot of fun replacing the determiners in sentences to give different meanings.

In Topic, we have been working hard to complete our Stone Age cave paintings. We continued to practise using ovals to create the body shape for our prehistoric creatures but this time used chalk. We found it much easier to work in draft form when using chalk, as it easily rubbed out and we didn’t have to worry so much about making mistakes. This meant that we were able to edit and improve our pictures much more easily. We followed up on this lesson with a trip outside, to work as real cavemen and women may have done! To begin with, we scrunched up brown paper to create a textured sheet to work on – similar to how a cave wall may have looked. We then used chalk to create a rough sketch and charcoal to add definition. To add texture and colour, we then used coloured chalk and leant against bumpy surfaces such as tree trunks and stone. We found that this created different patterns on our pictures and made the cave pictures look more effective.

25th June 2018

The Year 3 and 4 teachers have been quite hungry this week, so we decided to do some food testing as part of our R.E. Work on Hinduism. On Wednesday, we had a food tasting afternoon, in addition to completing craft activities. We tried poppadums, naan bread, flat bread and a variety of dips and sauces. Almost everybody had a try – even children who were quite insistent that they really didn’t want to! Leo had a lovely surprise when he finally tried a poppadum and discovered it just tasked like a crisp! On Thursday, we set up a samosa subway shop.

Children were given a piece of filo pastry which they filled up at different tables with vegetables and spices, before folding it over and popping it on a baking tray. Everybody got to try their samosa before break - with mixed reviews! We hope that some children will be able to utilise their samosa making skills and provide you with a Hindu inspired feast!

This week we have returned to our Literacy unit on instructional writing and begun our planning to write a set of instructions about how to give Matthew the mammoth a thoroughly good cleaning! On Monday we played a game where we had to give our group instructions but were only allowed to use 1 word each time. This was great fun and during our feedback time discussed how the words we had used were all verbs, specifically imperative verbs. We then investigated the different imperative verbs we can use when giving instructions regarding personal hygiene and completed a table matches our ideas up to the most appropriate mammoth body part. In Tuesdays lesson we looked at another feature of instructional writing, prepositional phrases. We investigated real cosmetic and toiletry bottles to find examples of prepositions of both time and place. We concluded our work in English this week by reading a model text, ‘How to Keep Your Teacher Happy,’ and identified the different text features. I look forward to receiving the apples on my desks on Monday morning!

I have also been really impressed with the children’s work in Guided Reading sessions. We have been learning (and translating!) a poem called Pinda Cake by Valerie Blook and worked in groups to create a performance – have a look at our final performances. To follow up on this, we were set a choice of independent learning tasks: to either research and learn a different Valerie Bloom poem, write our own poem in the style of Pinda Cake, or write a report about the life of Valerie Bloom. I was so impressed with everybody’s effort and final pieces of work that everybody received a Superstar certificate! Great work, everyone!

In Maths, we have continued our work on statistics. We followed up on Road Safety week by creating a bar chart of the vehicles that travelled along Tiln Lane during a 1 hour period. We then used this chart to interpret data and answer questions. In our next lesson we were challenged to create a line graph which we can use to show continuous data. Mr Haslam, the statistics master, even came to teach us an additional lesson about line graphs and reported back how fantastic we were. Well done everybody!

18th June 2018

We have taken a break from our usual timetable this week to build upon our knowledge and awareness of road safety, both in the school and the wider community. On Monday we were lucky enough to have police cars and fire engines in the playground complete with officers and firefighters who told us about their work, equipment and experiences. I am sure that following this experience we have some children with futures in the emergency services.

We used our visual literacy skills to question and predict the events of a story in a road safety advert. We had some fantastic discussions. We continued with this lesson by keeping the moral of the story but changing the way it was presented by creating a set of instructions for crossing the road with a target audience of KS1 children. Everybody created a leaflet to write their instructions in and also had to think about including fact boxes, illustrations, and additional activities that would make their leaflet appeal to younger children.

In Mathematics, we investigated measurement with practical activities on the playground. We talked about how we can all ‘Stop and Go’ by parking further away from the school and walking, then worked out what these distances looked like. We then discussed stopping distances and investigated how long it would take a car to stop depending on the speed it is travelling at. Later in the week, we created bar charts to show how children in Year 4 travel to school in a morning.