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!
Wow what a start to Year 4. It was a pleasure to meet many of you at parents’ evening and to talk about your child and how they are doing in Year 4. Read all about some of the things your children have been doing and learning about below.
As part of the ‘Children Fit for Life’ campaign Year 4 have been involved in trying to ‘Run to Paris’. Every day we run laps of our playground, record our scores and then see how close we are to getting to Paris. The children love this part of the day and it is clear we have some great runners – so keep your eyes peeled at Sports Day in the summer or you will miss them. Even children with injuries or who are not great runners take part and jog / limp their way around at least 2 laps to be part of this whole school initiative.
Maths – times tables
Our key focus in Maths in Year 4 is the mastery of our times tables. Therefore, we are doing lots of different activities each week to ensure that we know all of them and that we improve our recall speed. We have a weekly 3 minute test, children love playing ‘Times Table Bingo’, we have sung songs and played many games. The children have also made wonderful posters for the wall in class and at home.
Science – Living Things and Their Habitats
Science has started with us all being very active. We have been outside on a bug hunt to locate some invertebrates and discuss their habitats, they have completed branching database to understand the kinds of questions scientists have to ask to classify animals. This week we looked at the work of microsculpturist, Levon Biss, and have made some large scale drawing and paintings of invertebrates. These are currently on display in our classroom.
Act of Worship
October is the month of Mary. She is also known as the untier of knots. In the first week of the month we talked about worries that people may have across the world. We then looked closer to home with every child writing down something they are worried about. We each took a ribbon and tied it to our fence outside in the hope that Mary to symbolise Mary taking our worries away from us. We all said the Hail Mary together to take our prayers to her.
P.E. – Rugby
Year 4 have been lucky to have a team come in from Rippa Rugby come into school this term to work with us during our outdoor rugby module. The children are really working hard on improving their skills with specialist rugby teachers and. They are also having so much fun running around chasing Mr Curran in a ‘Hula Hula’ skirt (aka a tag belt) whilst wearing their own ‘skirts’.
Our first swimming session was on 18 September. All children remembered their swimming bags and packed lunches (thanks to all at home in your help with this) and we boarded our coach full of excitement. The first lesson was an assessment and when not in the pool all children behaved beautifully. Week 2 saw the proper swimming lessons start and we are very impressed with the efforts of the less confident swimmers to master their strokes and in the natural ability of some (there may be a call up to the England swimming squad for a few). We are really looking forward to seeing the progress over the remaining lessons.
Literacy – Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf
Year 4 received an email from Miss Tharme in Year 2 telling us about how some of the children in her class were scared of wolves because all of the stories they had read were of them always being big and bad. So we decided to investigate further to see if this was the truth. The children found out some amazing facts about them and decided that we should always respect them as one of God’s creations and not fear them because actually they are not really that mean to humans! To share this with Year 2 we have created some wolf Fact Files which we will be presenting to the Year 2’s soon. Over the next 2 weeks we will be looking at some of these traditional tales from the other side, and children will be writing the Three Little Pigs story, but will tell the story from the wolf’s side. The children have been so engaged and enthusiastic about this topic that they have done some fantastic homework pieces on wolf facts and have produced some wonderful drawings.
Art – Egyptian Masks
Last week was the very messy, papier mache start, to making our Egyptian death masks. We first looked at the process of mummification that Egyptians carried out and talked about the purpose of Egyptian death masks (so that a spirit was able to find the correct body and re-enter it after death). Then was the making… lots of balloons, glue and strips of paper later we have the building block of the masks. Photos will follow over the next few weeks.
RE – Creation
This RE module has been creation where we have revisited the creation story and we reminded ourselves of the importance of looking after God’s creation. Year 4 came up with some wonderful ideas to protect the world, which I hope they are following through on at home – ideas included: turning lights off as they were leaving a room; not leaving rubbish at the beach; switching taps off when the water is not needed.
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.
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.
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