Mrs Barnard, Ms Grove and Mrs Murray
Welcome to Year 4
We are well established in the juniors now and our expectations have gone up even further. We are learning to work independently and think for ourselves, applying our learning and making decisions about how we do things.
As our reading begins to take off, we can be more ambitious in our choice of reading materials and we can use our reading experiences as food for discussion, asking insightful questions and honing our own ideas. Our vocabulary is increasing too and is a core component of both English and foundation units, so we are able to express ourselves more clearly which in turn should have a positive effect on our writing.
In Maths, as well as following the White Rose curriculum, we are also preparing for the Multiplication test which everyone will take at the end of the year. For this reason it is vital to have an instant recall of all the multiplication facts.
The majority of foundation subjects are now being taught as part of a creative curriculum. Topics to be covered this year include 'All about Australia', Hinduism in Britain today’, 'The Ancient Egyptians' and ‘Water'
It's a really exciting time in Year 4 as we are fortunate to be able to access ‘Wider Opportunities’ music teachers who this year are teaching us to play djembe drums. We also always enjoy our Forest School sessions where we have the opportunity to hone our teamwork skills as well as our independence. This year we are looking forward to resuming weekly swimming lessons in Year 4 after Christmas.
After a lovely summer holiday, our first priority was to lay the groundwork for the children to ease back into school routines and remember how to be independent and resilient. We loved our back to school unit on 'Manfred the Baddie' and used this as a starting point for our first academic work, producing some lovely writing and artwork. Just before half-term, we had a visit from Andy Tooze, the Poet from the Peaks. He inspired us to write our own poems and we enjoyed sharing them with our class and the rest of the juniors.
Additionally, we have started to become familiar with our class country - Australia: learning about the people that live there and the contrasting biomes and geographical features within the country, using our ‘doing’ followed by ‘thinking’ methodology. We are finding out about the climate and classifying the different species found there. Finally, we are studying the native aboriginals and their rich history, stories and artwork and considering what lessons can be learnt from them in respect of their preservation of species and looking after their environment. As part of our creative curriculum, geographical, historical, science and art skills are all covered in the course of this topic and it is greatly enjoyed. We are also looking at habitats closer to home; recording and presenting data in our observations over time.
In RE we have found out what it means to be a Hindu in Britain today, learning about the key aspects of Hindu belief and worship. We then considered how these beliefs influenced people such as Gandhi, with his adoption of peaceful resistance and protest
Everyone has loved our Forest School sessions each Wednesday morning, where playing outside, making swings and fires, building dens and creating artwork from nature have fostered our resilience and teamwork.
We are looking forward to spending time in our local community, representing our school in a socially distanced Remembrance Service at the Cenotaph and carol singing at Primrose Court to bring some seasonal cheer to members of our community who have had such a difficult year.
This is our Geography working wall showcasing some of our ‘doing’ and ‘thinking’ skills.
Having fun in Forest School.
Learning the djembi drums.
We were very proud of our Black History month contribution.
Looking forward to returning to Primrose Court in December..
Due to the national lock down, our spring term began with many of us learning at home but with up to half of us learning in the classroom some days. However, with huge modifications to the teacher made resources, both children at home and at school continued to make fantastic progress.
Our English unit was loosely based on the Russian traditional story of Baba Yaba and taught us not only many different writing devices, but also allowed us to reflect on how we treat fellow humans who may be different to ourselves and the importance of kindness, respect and not jumping to unfounded conclusions. All the hard work during lockdown really paid off in our Maths lessons and where gaps were found, additional support was given in the fantastic ‘catch up’ programme provided by Mrs Goddard. We loved the History topic based on the Ancient Egyptians and there was some fantastic artwork and creativity supporting our ‘doing’ and ‘thinking’ skills. We also enjoyed the topic on Changing States, particularly the dance sessions with Miss Eastward where we came up with our very own water cycle dance.
It was a huge relief to all be back together again after lockdown and we celebrated the fantastic achievements of the children who had spent the entirety of the second Covid wave at home. Again the priority was easing all the children back into school, supporting their emotional needs and reinforcing good learning habits in our back to school writing unit on Manfred the Baddie. We also had fun learning about our digestive system and much of our learning was based on observation and modelling the process as you can see in our photographs below.
Having great fun learning about the digestive system.
Brain breaks and physical activity is an important part of the day.
Working hard on finding the perimeter and area of quadrilaterals.
This term one of our English writing topics has focussed on the book ‘The Distinguished Society of Lemmings’ which was the basis for our non-chronological reports. It also enabled us to reflect how we treat anyone who is different from ourselves. For our other English unit we wrote a mystery story inspired by ‘Steven Seagull’. In Maths, we have worked really hard on learning our times table facts and even managed to compete our White Rose curriculum with a week to spare. In History, we really enjoyed learning about the Romans and the impact that they had on Britain, some of which is still relevant today. In our local fieldwork topic, we loved being out and about and learning a whole array of different geographical skills and in our Science topic on circuits, we had the opportunity for more hands on learning as we investigated how to complete different types of circuits.
We have also spent time outside in Forest School where we had the chance to work on our teamwork and resilience as well as independence. PE has been a really big part of the Year 4 curriculum and we finished the year by trialling for Mrs Mills a unit on handball. We then finished with a series of mini tournaments which allowed us to showcase the skills we have acquired in unihoc, football and handball. Year 4 were also lucky enough to have five sessions with a tennis coach from New Mills. Additionally, we had a fabulous Sports Day and really enjoyed the opportunity to compete and challenge ourselves. It was lovely to be working to achieve points for our houses once again and everyone pushed themselves hard to achieve their very best. Our involvement in National Sports week culminated in some fantastic fancy dress representing a brilliant variety of the sporting heroes who inspire us.
This term we have also had opportunity to find out more about our class country—Australia. Kinder Cooking came into school and we had a whole day cooking (and eating) food from down under. We learnt the history of the Anzac biscuit and had great fun singing a traditional song which recounts its origin. We also paid one final visit to Primrose Court to share with them our newfound ukulele skills and performed a range of songs from traditional African folk songs to the Beatles.
Thank you to everyone in Year 4 for making this year so memorable.
Practising a new chord takes plenty of concentration.
In handball, it’s important to keep moving or a defender will intercept the ball.
Lots of encouragement was needed to keep going on this Sport Day Challenge!
We had a challenge to put features on a map of Hayfield as we walked around the village.
Active Learning in Science