Spring 1 – Extreme Earth
This topic has been incredibly powerful and full of successes for our Year Fours. We have had a brilliant response and engagement from the children and we know they have really enjoyed taking their learning home.
It all started with three weeks exploring the great Mount Everest and the monumental climb to the top. We watched video diaries of experiences climbing the mountain and really got into character as we kept diaries of our own travels. During this unit, we had a disaster morning where lots of wild adventures took place and we had to respond quickly with our thoughts. During this time, we were lucky enough to have a visit from Mr Clark who has completed this challenge himself. He spoke about the journey, his 10 year training (!) and about the trials and obstacles he faced. The children were blown away by how much hard work and effort is required and a few children were inspired to look to this challenge in the future themselves.
As part of our Geography this half term, the children have been exploring natural and human caused hazards around the world. In one session, we had pictures of different natural hazards (including locusts, landslides, avalanches, and drought) and the children had to use clues and their skills of deduction in order to figure out what each image represented. After this, we looked at volcanoes and earthquakes. We had a memorable session thinking about the impact of earthquakes where we used jelly, cocktail sticks, jelly tots and marshmallows to model the impact on the human and physical Geography of those countries that are affected. After exploring naturally occurring hazards we moved onto the plastic trail. This is something that the Year Four children are very passionate about so they really enjoyed learning about how plastic can travel around the world in our oceans. We developed our understanding of the currents and winds that occur in different parts of the world and tracked plastic online, connecting it up to mapping tools including Digi Map and Plasticadrift. The children have created some brilliant reports on plastic that will soon be shared with our school community.
This half term, our Art focus has been on The Great Wave by Hokusai which has allowed us to develop our collage skills but also our capacity to discuss the mood and tone that we as artists are trying to create. In Dance, we learnt and created choreography to a song called Clap Your Hands by Leo Soul. The song is particularly uplifting and the children’s routines really reflected that. Outdoor PE has been all about Golf! This was a very exciting unit for us as the game is quite different to other team games we often play and it also allowed us to revisit and further some skills we learnt back in Year Two when we had a golf teacher come in.
One stand out part of the topic was a home learning opportunity shared with the children. They were tasked with researching an extreme location, weather type or hazard from around the world and then to present their findings in any way they choose. We were absolutely blown away by the response and know that there was a lot of hard work completed at home. They certainly received a lot of attention in school as we displayed them in our shared area.
We have squeezed in so much this half term that if we mentioned it all here, we think it would be about 6 pages long! Have a look at the pictures to see what else we got up to.
Our next topic is Lights Camera Action and it carries over Spring 2 and Summer 1. Within this time we have Reading and Writing Week, Science Week and more. We will be starting off the topic writing reviews for The Greatest Showman with a very special audience in mind.
Autumn 2 - The Ancient Greeks
The Ancient Greeks is a stand out topic for Miss Hanafin and Miss Grove - we really love teaching it as it opens up a world of mythical adventures! We started off listening to several myths and completing 'myth analysis' documents where we thought about the range of characters, plots, morals and settings. We very soon realised that Ancient Greek myths tend to have a happy and sad ending .. one that is often quite shocking! We also explored a variety of mythical creatures and beasts that tormented the characters in the tales. The children used all of this information to plan, draft and then create their very own myth. These pieces of writing were incredible and we were blown away by the use of language and style through all of the myths. The children even took them home to share with their family and friends.
In Maths, we continued the mythical theme and surveyed staff around school on what their favourite myth is, we used this data to create bar graphs – all of which were accurate and precise. We have also refined our skills of column addition and subtraction, in numerical and worded questions. The children have really enjoyed seeing how much they have improved in this area as we reach bigger and bigger numbers and more complicated problems.
Science has taken us outside this half term, as we explore the different animals we have living in our woodland and in turn, the different food webs and chains we have. We use the ipads to compile some facts about the different producers, consumers, predators and prey we have in the woods and then used this to create a whole class food web. It was quite complex!
An area that we have worked especially hard in has been Art, where we have been studying Greek pottery. We started off looking at the intricate patterns and designs that often tell a story or show an aspect of Ancient Greek life. We then moved into sketching the amphoras before finally designing and creating our own clay version. Many of us spent time in the pit during our clay session, but we all made it to the other side and have some beautiful pieces of sculpture to now show for it.
Guiding much of this learning has been our History question “What did we learn from The Ancient Greeks?”. We have explored different profiles in Ancient Greek society, The Ancient Greek Olympics and their events as well as what we can take from Ancient Greek Art. The children have absolutely loved conducting their own research and learning more about this time in History.
There has been so much happening this half term that we couldn’t possibly mention it all. Looking forward to Spring 1 though, we will delve deep into natural hazards and human impact on our world as we begin our ‘Extreme Earth’ topic.
Autumn 1 - Scrumdiddlyumptious
Wow! We are so proud of how well Year Four have settled in, they are working well as a team and relishing the challenges in their learning! The children have thoroughly enjoyed our topic Scrumdiddlyumptious and have blown us away with their brilliant learning behaviours.
We have had a fun and busy half term learning all about Maya civilisation and how chocolate has changed our world in History and Geography. If you have not already seen, have a look at our website post showing the beautiful display of posters in Hotel Chocolat (Festival Place). This was a real celebration of learning from everything we have covered in our topic and an opportunity for the children to share their learning with a real and critical audience. The same level of enthusiasm and excitement has been shown whilst writing our Ma Humbugs persuasive posters in English too – two top posters will be displayed in the shop itself.
The children have also been working hard in Maths, we have developed our written methods for addition and subtraction, telling the time and developing our understanding of place value. Our multiplication is also improving and we love our Times Tables Rockstars challenge in the morning. We know the children have been working really hard on this at home too – we are looking forward to seeing how they progress this year.
During our Art and DT sessions we have been looking at chocolate packaging and designing our own boxes. To give balance to our Scrumdidlyumptious learning we have explored our teeth and the digestive system during Science. This was launched with an interesting demonstration of the digestive system using tights, Orange juice and crackers and has finished with a demonstration on how different substances affect our teeth. PE has been great fun this half term – the children have been working up a sweat during Zumba learning a very difficult routine and adding in creative choreography of their own. In Netball, we have been dedicated to improving our skills when sending and receiving the ball. We have also worked on our gameplay and how we can improve team work and communication skills.
Our RE focus has been ‘temptation’ this half term and has linked brilliantly to Scrumdiddlyumptious and all things sweet. The children have really surprised us with how deeply they have thought about the concepts explored and they have really challenged their own views. We enjoyed a visit from Mrs Copping, a local vicar, and Mrs Lowe, an integral part of Christ Church, who gave us further insight into what temptation means for a Christian.
Our particular focus in Computing this half term has been on E-safety. We put it into the context of developing Mr Wonka's chocolate website. We thought about what information should be sharing online, developing safe and secure password habits and also how to train ourselves to look for child appropriate websites. We reminded ourselves of what the CEOP button does and where it is located as well as discussing age limits on games and apps available to us.
We have lots to look forward to next term when we start our Ancient Greeks topic! Our topic day is a fantastic opportunity for the children to really get stuck into their learning with lots of creative activities. We will be learning all about the competitive start to the Olympics and the inspiring Greek Myths! In Science we will be starting to look at predators and prey, in Art we will look at Ancient Greek vases and have a go at making our own and in PE we will have our expert come in to help us develop our Hockey skills. This will also be the term leading up to Christmas so we look forward to the fun festivities to come!
Settling in to Year 4
We hope you have had a fun filled summer break and are refreshed and ready to start your new and exciting learning journey in Year 4! On our first day back we started off by sharing our experiences from the summer holidays – lots of very unique and interesting spades to look at, linking to our transition theme of ‘Sam and Dave Dig a Hole’. We then spent some time getting to know our new Year 4 area by making classroom maps, complete with key and lots of attention to detail. We also created our class charter, thinking about what expectations we have of ourselves and each other. There were lots of really great ideas and the children took real pride in discussing them. We will return to this regularly in the year.
After our first day, we launched our first topic – Scrumdiddlyumptious! One of the questions we will be thinking about during this topic is ‘How has chocolate changed our world?’. To start thinking about this, we looked at some of the different people involved in chocolate production and the implications the chocolate industry has on these people. We also thought about Mr Wonka’s chocolate factory and designed our very own chocolate factory posters using water colours. They are so eye catching and would definitely encourage visitors the chocolate factories; we are going to love having them on display! One of the highlights of the week was our chocolate bar making. We had to work in chocolate design teams to firstly agree on what we wanted the bar to be like, then we melted and marbled the chocolate and finally added the delicious toppings. They look so professional, as if they were made in Hotel Chocolat – a company we are creating leaflets for this half term.
It has been a brilliant first few days getting to know the new Year 4s and we can already tell they are going to be fantastic. Have a look at the pictures to see us settling in.
Welcome to Year Four!
We are very much looking forward to the year ahead and have lots of exciting things planned in!
Left to right : Miss Hanafin (Ash class teacher), Mrs Teasdale (Y4 LSA), Mrs Lemar (Y4 LSA), Miss Grove (Pine class teacher), Mrs Folan (Y4 LSA)