Class Teachers: Mrs Whyte
Teaching Assistant: Mrs Jung
Click to download the Year 4 curriculum: Year 4 Curriculum Letter – Autumn 2018
Have a look below to see what we have been up to!
History – The Romans
On Wednesday 9th May Year 4 spent the day at Cranborne Ancient Technology Centre as part of our learning in Topic on the Romans. We spent time in an Iron-Age Roundhouse, learning about a variety of ancient technologies such as fire-making, archery and willow weaving, and around a roaring fire in the Roman villa we ate our lunch. Throughout the day children learned how to make cob-bricks which were used by the Romans to build their houses; they mined the clay, crushed it finely with a tamper, mixed it with sand, grass and water to, before placing it in a wooden mould. They also worked in pairs using willow to weave fences that would be used in the vegetable patch to protect the vegetables from the local wild rabbits. Their third activity was to turn their hand to blacksmithing. Each child took a turn working the bellows and then used the hammer on an anvil to work a piece of iron into a Roman knife. Before we left the site for the coach journey home we made sure we expended any final energy the children had left by putting them to work on a Roman water wheel, lifting water from the river and into a receptacle (as well as over some of them). All of these activities were very physical and needed much attention, teamwork and effort. We can quite safely say that our children would have happily survived in ancient times as they worked with much effort so would have been a useful addition to any Iron Age or Roman settlement.
Art – The Romans
As part of our topic on the Romans, we have started to produce our own mosaic designs. Many mosaics captured scenes of everyday life and were a sign of wealth and importance. We have started printing our mosaic borders – watch this space for our finished designs!
PE – Tri-Golf
Last week Year 3 and 4 got to try out for the annual Tri-Golf competition. Children got to try 8 different golf activities to test different skills whilst being supervised by our Year 5 Sports Ambassadors. Whilst keeping score the Year 5s were looking out for 20 children to represent St Joseph’s in May. 10 Year 4 children were selected for their golfing skills but also for their teamwork and how they encouraged others. I was so proud of all the children – all I could hear all afternoon was “Good shot!”, “Wow that was awesome!”, “Fantastic.” “RUN!”, “Don’t forget to leave the club.” They cheered on their teammates whether they are natural sports people or those that don’t find sport so easy.
We had great fun in our literacy lessons this half term designing our very own ‘Hotel for Kids’ and developing our use of persuasive language. After looking at existing promotional leaflets to give us some inspiration, we then thought about the location, facilities, bedrooms and restaurants in a hotel and how we could make these more appealing for children. We hope you like our finished leaflets!
Design and Technology
Our Design and Technology project for last half term was to discuss, plan and manufacture a range of weather monitoring devices. Children designed some ingenious and well thought out rain gauges (complete with scale to measure) and some very effective anemometers to measure the wind speed and direction. Every morning for 2 weeks teams of Year 4 children braved the elements to take and record various measurements to see what the weather in January and February was like at St Joseph’s. This data was then used to produce graphs in ICT lessons.
During the season of Easter, Year 4 have been making links between the Easter story and why the resurrection is the central and most important Christian belief. We compared the resurrection stories in the four different Gospels and noted that although there were some differences between the accounts, the central message was always the same. We also produced some beautiful mind maps and pictures showing what we thought of when we heard the words ‘eternal life’.
The Spring and Summer term has had us looking at lots of reasoning issues and word problems. We have made ourselves hungry in our learning about fractions, talking lots about pizza and chocolate bars! When we discussed the idea of splitting our beloved chocolate bars up to share with our parents and siblings to discuss quantities of fractions there was a lot of upset children declaring that they would never share their chocolate – we hope this is not true! During Superhero week Maths got the Superhero touch. Children were each given a Superhero glider which they had fun making and throwing through the skies of Christchurch (well St Joseph’s playground) to rescue Percy! They had to measure and record distances accurately, and then produce some colourful graphs to show their data.
Curriculum Enrichment – Superhero week
With the kidnaping of Percy Mrs Dayantis’ beloved Chihuahua, St Joseph’s Year 4 superheroes small and tall sprang into action to devise some cunning rescue plans. First we looked at what the perfect combination of ingredients were for a superhero and then mixed them together to form the perfect crime fighting superhero. Then plans were devised to find Percy and reunite him with Mrs Dayantis – a huge range of super powers and skills were to be deployed such as the power of invisibility and the power to transform into any land or sea creature. These plans were then detailed in comic strips which made great use of classic comic strip features such as speech and thought bubbles to show the action taking place – with the odd POW, SMASH, THWACK thrown in for good measure! The children did some amazing Art work to decorate their folders and some very accurate Iron Man drawings were produced. Maths saw superheroes gliding through the sky to rescue Percy! Children had to throw their gliders and measure how far they reached and then draw some graphs to record the distances.
Music – Superhero Week
During Superhero week Year 4 worked on sound effects for the opening scene of a Superhero cartoon. Children were shown the piece with no audio and we discussed what was happening during the 30 second clip. Working in groups they then had time to compose and rehearse their sound effects / music. They used a wide range of musical instruments, with some even using their own body to make noise! The video was then played again and each group ‘played’ their sound effects and music over the video. Children were then asked to critique each other’s work, praising what went well and what they thought needed more work. It was fun but noisy!
Year 4 visit to The Pig Hotel
On Friday 9th March 16 of us were lucky to spend the morning at The Pig, a gorgeous “restaurant with rooms”, in Brockenhurst. Chef Director at The Pig, James Golding and Sarah Howard, from The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts invited us as part of their ‘Adopt a School’ week. We were treated to a tour of their kitchen, the gardens, we peeked inside the smokery and said “Hello,” to the animals.
During our time in the kitchen the children made some amazing bread rolls which were made so beautifully and carefully that they rose to a very impressive size, the teachers were treated to a delicious coffee while watching their skillful work. In the greenhouse we got to taste some plants and flowers before we potted our own pea seeds, some of which we are carefully looking after in class. Due to the care and sunshine they are getting in the classroom many have already pushed through the soil. We finished off with some tasty treats in ‘The Green Room’ before heading back to school in time for lunch.
States of Matter – Science
Science continued this term with experiments. Children were looking at various solids and liquids in groups to discuss their properties and see if they could identify them. They touched, poured, smashed and smelt many items including vinegar, pasta, metal, milk, honey and wood. At the end children shared their thoughts on the properties of solids and liquids and they were using some very scientific terms to do this. We then looked at the changing states of matter and children made some lovely observations about water in its various states starting with multi-coloured ice cubes and ending in gas / water vapour. We also had lots of fun taking the temperature in different places in the classroom.
The Creepy Crawly Show
On Friday 24th November we were all (children and staff) so excited to welcome The Creepy Crawly Show into our classroom. AJ taught us so much about some wonderful creatures, their habitat and how they live in a very funny and engaging way – this all linked in with the children’s learning in Science and Topic. At the start of the session some children were wary of what we would see and were sat at the back of our classroom – however, we are so proud of their bravery which resulted in one child holding a snake that she was visibly afraid of at the start of the morning. Children got hands on with all manner of creatures including Madagascan cockroaches, snakes (a variety of corn snakes and pythons including a gorgeous Burmese), giant African snails, lizards and a barn owl. We got to observe a scorpion and a rose tarantula from the safety of their travelling homes. All animals were well cared for and all but one were rescued and taken in by AJ from people who bought the animals but couldn’t care for them properly or hadn’t researched what caring for them meant. Staff also got in on the act at lunchtime and had a photo opportunity with some of the animals – though Miss Buxton gave the snakes a very wide berth!
Here are some quotes from our Year 4 children about the show:
“It was cool when George held a barn owl.” Beau
“Luleya was really scared when she held the snake. Poor Luleya! Matilda said she wasn’t scared when the African snail went near her face.” Ellie
“I enjoyed The Creepy Crawly Show, it was amazing. A lizard jumped on me.” Scarlett
“I loved The Creepy Crawly Show because I held an African snail.” Matilda
“I loved it when AJ showed us the barn owl and said that a giant African snail can eat a field of grass faster than a cheetah can eat an animal was amazing.” Tom
“The Creepy Crawly Show was brilliant because AJ was really funny and we got to see loads of different animals.” Patryk
“I liked it because AJ (the instructor) made impressions of celebrities. I especially like the humungous Burmese python because I got to hold him by the torso.” Anonymous
RE Advent work
As part of our RE unit of work on Advent, we created these beautiful stained glass windows featuring different symbols from the Jesse Tree. We also created our own class Jesse Tree and used this to find out more about Jesus’ ancestors. Please look at our work below:
Auditions took place early in November and rehearsals are now well under way. The children are amazing us with their acting, singing and dancing skills, with many already having learned their lines. Thank you to the support of parents with this. A letter will be coming home to see if you are able to support with any costumes.
Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?
In Year 4 we received an email from Mrs Corallo in Year 2 saying that some of the children in her class were scared of wolves because all of the stories they read about them always showed them to be big and bad. We decided to investigate further and found out that many species of wolf are actually endangered in the wild and that we should respect rather than fear them. In literacy we all wrote fact files to share the information we had discovered about wolves and also rewrote the story of the Three Little Pigs to tell the story from the wolf’s perspective. Here are some extracts from our stories and also some of the amazing art work that we did as part of our home learning.
‘Most people think they know the story of the three little pigs but you’ve got it all wrong. It only started because I eat meat. Maybe we should call you the big bad human! I just want people to know the truth. Two months ago, as snow fell, I decided to make some pancakes but I didn’t have any lemon or sugar so I went to me neighbour to see if they had any. Did I mention I have an underground house? I climbed outside and set off to my neighbours with my jug for the sugar and my small container for the lemon. When I got there, I saw that they had been stupid enough to make the house out of straw. I said “Little pig, little pig are you in? “Go away!” the first little pig answered. I was about to go home when I felt a sneeze coming. Ah ah ah CHOO! My sneeze blew their house to pieces!’ Thomas
‘You’ve heard the pigs’ side of the story and now it’s time for my side. So make sure you listen well! I’m the wolf. Dave T Wolf, but you can all me Wolfie. People say I’m the ‘big, bad wolf’ but I’m really just the same as you. Maybe you are the big, bad human! Maybe it’s our diet. Yes, I know we might eat cute animals but that’s not our fault. We do have sharp teeth but you would if you were a carnivore! The whole ‘I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down’ thing is nonsense. Absolute nonsense. The real story about a survey and a misconception. This is the real story.’ Alex
Take a look at our fantastic Egyptian Masks which we have been making in our art lessons this half term! We made them using papier mache and then added extra details using masking tape and newspaper. We then painted them, taking inspiration from the death mask of Tutankhamun.
In PE this term, we were lucky enough to have two coaching sessions from Rippa Rugby based at Bournemouth Rugby Club. We focused on developing our tag rugby skills and thoroughly enjoyed the drills and mini games that we played.
“I have liked rugby this term because it keeps you healthy and fit and it’s really fun. I enjoyed it.” William
We have taken inspiration from our work on Ancient Egyptians and have been having great fun this term creating Egyptian death masks. This involved some fairly messy papier mache lessons to create our basic mask shapes and we are now starting to add details to our masks before painting them. Keep an eye on the website for some pictures of our finished work!
“In Art I have enjoyed making papier mache Egyptian death masks. I can’t wait to paint them and decorate them.” Florence
In our Science lessons this half term we are learning about ‘Animals, including Humans ‘ and are specifically looking at teeth and the digestive system. The children were very knowledgeable about dental hygiene and know that they should not be eating or drinking too much sugary food and drink and they understand the need to keep teeth sparkly clean. More recently we have been looking at the digestive system which involved a very detailed simulation of how the digestive system worked – this involved some crushed crackers, a banana, orange juice, water, a pair of old tights and a bowl. The children talked about how the teeth bite and grind up food, the oesophagus moves the food to the stomach where the stomach crushes and digests the food before it moving to the small intestine. All of this demonstration and discussion made a few of our more delicate children feel quite ill and one poor boy (who will remain nameless) was sick! Therefore Mrs Whyte stopped at that stage and, rather than use the remains of the food and a cup to complete the demonstration, we only talked about the end result! The following week to see what the children could remember we went out into the sunshine to ‘act’ the digestive systems in small groups.
Here are some quotes from our Year 4 children:
“I like learning about the digestive system and everyone was grossed out.” Antonio
“When we did the gross Science lesson I thought it was very interesting learning about our body.” Chloe
With the support of the Dorset Music Service Year 4 children have been given the fantastic opportunity of learning the clarinet. Every child has been given a clarinet that they take home each week to practice. Then every week we welcome Mr Holly into class to give expert tutorial to the children. Some Year 4 pupils who show a particular flair for music will then be asked to continue to learn a musical instrument being supported by the Dorset Music Service.
Here are some quotes from our Year 4 children:
“I really enjoyed doing clarinet because we learnt the song Jingle Bells.” Luleya
“I loved playing the clarinet but it gave me a headache every time.” Oliver
RE Curriculum Week
Many exciting things happened for Year 4 during our RE curriculum enrichment week. We started off with a session on the Life Education bus during which we learnt how choices we make can affect what happens in our bodies. We also considered the importance of making our own choices and that we can still be friends with people despite of, and even because of, their differences!
Later in the week we were very happy to welcome Miss Kenny (a playgroup worker), Mr Cassidy (an officer from the merchant navy), Mrs Lawson (a nurse) and Mrs Stevens (air cabin crew) who talked to us about how they serve our community. Miss Kenny shared with use how fun her job can be working with toddlers and how she helps prepare children for Infant school. Mr Cassidy gave an interesting and informative talk about his career in the Merchant Navy and the children particularly enjoyed learning about all the different jobs that take place on a ship. They also learnt about Apostleship of the Sea, a Catholic charity supporting seafarers worldwide, and the important work that it does in providing practical and pastoral care to all seafarers. Mrs Lawson talked to the children about her job as a nurse and bought in lots of ‘tools of her trade’ with her to make for a very engaging and fun session for the children. Mrs Whyte was astounded at how well travelled and how knowledgeable Year 4 were about the world, during Mrs Stevens’ session where she talked about her cabin crew role for British Airways.
During the week we were also grateful for all donations bought in by children for our Foodbank and Hope collections.
The children thoroughly enjoyed their week and it really helped us to think about serving like Jesus in the 21st century. Many thanks to all who were involved!
Here are quotes from some of our Year 4 children:
“I also liked when the parents came in and told us about their jobs.” Chester
“I loved the talk about the parent’s jobs we got to do activities too.” Nahla