In Year 4, we have ended our school year by learning about ancient Egypt. In English, we learnt how to write newspaper reports about Tutankhamun and in guided reading we read A Day in the Life of a Pharaoh to find out exactly what Pharaohs did all day. In art, we made some canopic jars out of clay and learnt that a mummified pharaoh’s lungs and intestines would be stored in these jars for use in the afterlife. At the end of term, we got to see some real canopic jars in Bristol Museum and Art Gallery as well as a mummified body! During the trip we took part in a fascinating workshop where we looked at real and replica Egyptian artefacts which taught us a lot about Egypt. We learnt how mud bricks were made, how you propped a mummy’s head up, what equipment you needed for the ‘opening of the mouth’ ceremony and lots more. The teacher in the workshop said that she was very impressed with the children’s level of knowledge!
Besides Egypt, our final term also saw us making mini plasticine models of Caliban who is a monster from Shakespeare’s The Tempest. We also painted the scenery of the island where Caliban lived which was glued on to cardboard and put on display in the Wickham Theatre.
Earlier in the term, we had a trip to the forest school in Clifton near Leigh Woods. This time, the children got to make sculptures and pictures using anything they could find in the wood, slacklining (which is a bit like walking the tight-rope) and another cross country run.
As this is my last term at the school, I would like to thank all of the parents for being amazing and wish all the children good luck for Year 5. I will be in touch with Linnea and Jess to find out how they are getting on!
Term five has definitely been our busiest term yet. Practising for our Summer Dance and Mummers Play has been a great challenge but there have been a number of other achievements the children should be proud of.
In English, we have explored two different types of non-fiction genres. First of all, we learnt about persuasive writing with our history topic on the Anglo Saxons. On the history side, we made some amazing paper craft Anglo-Saxon houses. Next, we studied a Russian folk tale called ‘Firebird’ and learnt to write discussions about the characters in this book. We spent some time making some lovely collages of a scene in this tale where the firebird steals golden apples from a tree in a palace garden.
Our science topic has been ‘Animals including Humans’ which has seen us make clay models of our own teeth and give a practical demonstration of the digestive system using a pair of tights, plastic bag and a paper cup to show how food gets digested by the body. We have continued our discussion writing into our science topic to discuss animals that are having their habitats threatened by climate change. We constructed food chains whilst learning the answer to questions such as ‘how and what does a worm eat?’
In maths, we have really come forward in big strides, learning in depth about decimals, among other things, and all the time we are gradually getting better at our multiplication tables which we practise every day. Chess continues and we have finished our chess championship with a few of the children going on to represent the school in a chess tournament. Our work on metacognition (learning about how we learn) continues. As part of this, we have been again learning about the benefits of a growth mindset.
For most of Year 4, coding and Seesaw have been the favourites this term. The children have been learning to make code for simple computer games and, on Fridays, we have been learning about metacognition through sewing and using an app on the iPads called Seesaw. Seesaw is like a child-friendly version of Facebook where you can take pictures of your work and reflect on them. The children then share their work with each other and add ‘likes’ and comments. Hopefully, with our metacognition lessons, we will have the skills to learn anything more effectively.
In chess, we have begun our tournament which will last over several weeks and will culminate in some of the children going to play against children from other schools.
We have enjoyed two trips: firstly, to the Sikh Gurdwara (although the snow prevented a lot of children from going) and, secondly, the Forest School trip to Clifton where we learned to make fires, build dens and did a 2 km cross country run.
In the last week of term, we had a trip to Bristol Rovers ground where will meet the author of the ‘Jamie Johnson’ books, Dan Freedman.
In maths, we’ve been using manipulatives and bar models to help us understand fractions greater than 1, equivalent fractions and how to find fractions of an amount.
In English, as well as some Big Writes, we completed a ‘Talk for Writing’ sequence of lessons on the Pied Piper which finished in us writing our own ‘invented stories’. In French we’ve been learning a song and playing board games over the past few weeks to help us talk about modes of transport whilst in PSHE, we have been roleplaying ways we can handle situations which make us feel us upset.
I think we’re ready for term 5 now!
In PE this term, we have worked on our teamwork and ball-passing skills, building up to small games of bench ball. We’re increasingly doing ‘the daily mile’ in the mornings. Our current goal is to be able to run all the way round the playground seven times without stopping. Chess with Chris continues to happen every Friday. A lot of the class say they enjoy chess and I am finding most of the children can now beat me in a game! Our RE this term has been all about Sikhism and is leading up to our trip to the Gurdwara next term. The children should now be able to talk about the ‘Five K’s’ of Sikhism and explain some of the things you can see and do in a Gurdwara. Our English topic on the novel Varjak Paw has now finished. The children produced some fantastic diary writing along with some great Varjak Paw collages and posters for art. Although we still need to read the end of the book next term, we will begin the term on a new Talk for Writing topic based on The Pied Piper story. In maths this term, we focused on division and multiplication and explored these concepts in a number of different ways from arrays, bar models, number rods and our rod tracks to actually drawing what a maths problem might look like.
Year 4 made their final trip to the swimming baths on Friday with a fun session on the slide and water games. Chess is getting very competitive and will continue for the rest of the year. Origami at lunch times has risen in popularity this term with far more boys coming than before. We’ve made some very nice mice, velociraptors and origami shirts amongst other things. The high point of the term must have been the cinema trip to see Cars 3 in 3D. I think they should be most proud of some of their maths and writing. In Term 2 , we’ve replaced Alien Counting with Mystery Number where a child points to position on a metre stick with the numbers turned away. The children try to guess the exact numbers which gives them lots of valuable practise in halving, breaking 100 into 25’s, estimating and using a number line. They initially found this tricky, so we’ve spent any spare moment doing this. In PE, they’ve been developing their hockey skills all term and, hopefully, improving their fitness as well. We’re finishing the term with a performance of ‘Walking in the Air’ from Raymond Briggs’s The Snowman as well as a nice little end of term party.
Throughout all the lessons this term we have been thinking about growth mindsets. The children have been learning that nobody is born clever and we really can grow our brains and become smarter through persevering with things that we find difficult and challenging. This is such an important idea that we will be thinking about it all year!
The most fun and memorable parts of Term 1 have definitely been chess and swimming. We also had Design and Technology Week where we got out our clipboards and did a bit of market research to help design our marble mazes. We carefully made some cardboard pillars to give our mazes the look of Theseus and Minotaur’s labyrinth. We also did some amazing weaving using orange paper plates. It was nice to see how much pride the children took in their work.
We’ve started a topic in music where we are learning to play music from computer games on xylophones. At the moment we are learning the music from the Lost Woods in the The Legend of Zelda. This will continue next term.
The children have produced some stunning work in French, writing their own illustrated versions of Roald Dahl’s The Enormous Crocodile and writing in two different colours for French and English. We used our ’sentence maker’ resources to help us write some very impressive French sentences.