Mrs Bowker and Mrs McErlean
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 found out about the climate and classified the different species found there. Finally, we are studied the native aboriginals and their rich history, stories and artwork and considered 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 were all covered in the course of this topic and was greatly enjoyed. We are also looked 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 also represented our school in a socially distanced Remembrance Service at the Cenotaph and went 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.
The weeks since Christmas have flown by and the children have continued to impress us with their enthusiasm and hard work. It has been particularly exciting to start our swimming lessons and we are looking forward to seeing the progress everyone makes between now and July.
In English this term we have been writing a recount based on Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears. It has provided us with many discussion opportunities and resulted in some excellent diary entries from animals who have had a narrow escape! We have also been looking at a revised version of 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.
We loved the History topic based on the Ancient Egyptians and there was some fantastic artwork and creativity supporting our ‘doing’ and ‘thinking’ skills. Even better, we were able to go to Sheffield museum to see 3,000 year old artefacts!
One of our science topic this term has been sound so we have enjoyed some very noisy lessons as we explored pitch and volume, made a model from jelly babies to demonstrate sound waves and investigated if sound could travel through solids, liquids and gases. Friday afternoons have also proved exciting as we have designed and made up to three different money containers from fabric. The skills we have practised include threading a needle, casting on and off, running stitch, overstitch and sewing on buttons, all very useful for the future!
We have also enjoyed World Book Day (focusing on Town by the Sea), Red Nose Day and walking with the rest of the school up to Twenty Trees to inspire some artwork to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Mass Trespass.
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.