Sunday, 17 June 2018

Summer days

I seem to begin every post with a comment on how busy we have been and the first couple of weeks of the last half term of the year have been as busy as ever!

On Friday morning, we celebrated Thanksgiving Mass with Year 3 who all looked wonderful and in the afternoon eight of the class represented the school in a cross country event. The week before, four children had represented us in a World Games event. We have also spent time making and painting clay tiles for display. I'll add details and times tomorrow as it would be wonderful if you could go and see the tiles that the children, ably assisted by Mrs Corcoran, have worked so hard to make.

In class, we have completed our RE topic 'Building Bridges' and will be learning about Islam over the next week or so. As it is Arts and Multicultural Week this week, we will create covers for the Qur'an which we will display at Celebration Evening. Once we have looked at Islam, we will move onto our final topic on 'God's People'.

In English, we have been honing our explanatory writing skills and have written some very creative descriptions including explanations about how we imagine television works. We will complete this after Arts Week.

In maths we completed our work on division and are all now fantastic at long division and complete units on time, negative numbers and Roman numerals in between our artistic creations. 

In science and computing we have been using branching databases to classify living things and once we have completed this we will look more closely at some of the living things we have sorted in science.

In history, we will complete our work on the Vikings this week and from next week we will be considering 'Why so many people live in mega-cities?'

Next week will be dancing, making masks, tee shirts and other things on a 'carnival' theme.

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Time for a break

Where has this year gone? This last half term has really flown by and I can't believe we are thinking about the final weeks of Year 4.

The children have had their creative juices flowing during the last couple of weeks as we have been writing poems. We have been thinking about how we can influence the reader by our word choice, where we choose to put a word and even by the punctuation we use. We have even transferred our understanding of figurative language to our reading of the Lost Sheep in RE. 

In Maths we have learnt how to multiply using a formal written method and understood how we can use the distributive law to make calculations easier. We have seen how we need to know our times tables really well (hint for an activity if bored over the holiday, or on a journey). We have begun to divide using long division and will work more on this, as well as working out time duration, when we return to school so some practise telling the time would be useful!

After the break, we will complete our look at Reconciliation in RE, complete our enquiries into the 'Vikings' and continue our work on classification by sorting the living things we observed during a habitat hunt this week. 

I'd just like to wish everyone a well-deserved break. Make sure you relax and I'll see you on the 4th.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Dramatic Dragon Days and a view of a Viking Village

What a busy week Year 4 have had!

We began with everyone thoroughly entering into character as the over-the-top villagers of Stumbledorf and performing brilliantly on Tuesday. We were particularly proud that it really seemed like a team effort with everyone playing their part and working together to put on a brilliant production, despite the short time we had to prepare. 

On Wednesday afternoon, we celebrated the Ascension by sharing Mass with Father Michael. The children were very respectful and it was lovely for us to gather and remember this special event as a class.

On Thursday - something completely different as we became Vikings for the day. The life of a typical Viking villagers was brought alive by Carl from History Off the Page as we travelled back to the 9th century and experienced some of the trades people would have learnt and heard stories of a forthcoming battle between the Viking invaders and Anglo-Saxon settlers under the leadership of Aelfred (more commonly known as Alfred the Great). This was a fantastic start to our new history topic on the Vikings.

Over the rest of this half term we will complete our work on fractions and move onto multiplication. We will study poetry by Grace Nicholls and James Carter, focusing on how they use poetic language and exploring the effect of rhythm and rhyme.

In RE, we will move onto our new unit 'Building Bridges' which considers reconciliation and how we have the power to reach out and offer forgiveness. This links well with our PSHE topic about relationships.

In Science we are going to be learning how to classify living things.

Have a great weekend, everyone deserves a well-earned rest!

Friday, 27 April 2018

The final countdown to ... Dragon Days

We have spent the last week rehearsing and now the stage is up we have managed to run through the full performance. It is sounding great and I know the children will be magnificent.

In between rehearsals, the children have been doing brilliantly with their fractions and hopefully they will tackle their homework confidently. We will continue working with fractions, including using them in context over the next couple of weeks.

We have also embarked on our RE unit - New Life, and had an interesting discussion about how good news can make a difference to the way we feel. We have displayed some of our 'good news' on our RE board.

In Geography, the children have shown a good understanding of sustainability and have come up with lots of great suggestions about how we can make changes to our life in order to live more sustainably.

Following our play on the 8th, we will be having a Viking Day which should be great fun as well as very informative. We will be doing lots of practical activities and the organisers have asked that we have plenty of adult help so if you can come along, even for half a day, please let me know.

Finally, a letter will be sent out on Monday about tickets for the play. 

Have a great weekend.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Summer Term 2018

Welcome back. Hopefully the weather over Easter didn't hamper your break too much.

As you are probably all aware, we are now in the throes of preparation for our production of 'Dragon Days' on Tuesday 8th May. As time is short (particularly as our dress rehearsal will be on Thursday 3rd May prior to the May Day Bank Holiday), we will be devoting a lot of time to the show over the next couple of weeks.

Rehearsals are going well and you are in for a treat on the 8th! I would be grateful if you could encourage the children to learn their lines as well as the song lyrics this weekend as we really need to be focusing on the acting and stage directions from now on. I will send home  a letter about costumes on Monday. Please do not spend too much time, and certainly as little expense as possible, on costumes, it is the acting that is important!  

In class this week we have embarked on learning about fractions and I have been really impressed with how the children have used regrouping to help them add and subtract fractions. We will continue looking at fractions over the next couple of weeks when we will learn how to calculate fractions of quantities and then apply this to a range of problems in context, including measures.

In RE, our work will focus on Pentecost and how we hear and live out the Easter message. For the next two weeks, our focus in English will be on speaking and listening (performing our play). We will complete our geographical look at sustainability before moving on to our next history topic which will begin with our Viking Day on May 10th.

In science this term we will be focusing on living things and will look at them in their habitats and consider ways to classify them. 

Enjoy the weather, it may not last long!

Friday, 23 March 2018

Science Week, Hazard Alley and Lenten Fundraising Fun

What a fortnight! We seem to have been juggling so many different things over the last couple of weeks and the children have been both enthusiastic and impeccably behaved. 

Last week was Science, Maths and Engineering week and we were kept busy with visits and workshops run by some of our lovely parents. On Friday, we went to Hazard Alley and the children spent the day discovering numerous ways to keep safe. Hopefully they have shared all their expertise with you.

This week we had a visit from Mrs Zilliox and the classroom had more volcanic eruptions than the San Andreas Fault when we learnt how to make a chemical reaction with bicarbonate of soda and acetic acid.

Today the children worked hard running their stalls for the Catholic Children's Society fundraiser. All stalls were a great success so thank you for your support and contributions.

In our learning we are making good progress with our leaflets persuading people to visit a selected place of interest, have been applying our understanding of decimals to money and doing some problem solving. In RE we have been thinking about Lent and Easter and in DT we completed our buzz wire games ready for today.

Next week is our Be Spirited week and so we will spend time reflecting and praying. In addition, this year each class will be making a prayer book which can be used at whole school assemblies and gatherings. Our liturgical season is Lent and we will write prayers on Fasting, Prayer, Acts of Charity/Generosity and on the virtue of Charity and Humility.

Enjoy your weekend.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

World Book Day and snow days.

Another busy, fun-packed couple of weeks have passed and 4K have been working very hard. I was really impressed with all the fantastic costumes on World Book Day and not swimming meant we had more time to do fun activities. We were lucky enough to have stories read to us from around the world and even heard one read in Hindi. Thank you to all the lovely parents who came and shared their own love of reading with us. We loved having the chance to share stories with Year 2 and the children embraced this activity with their usual enthusiasm and read with great expression.

We have been doing more fabulous writing and this week have written letters trying to persuade Senhor, the woodcutter, not to cut down The Great Kapok Tree from the book of the same name by Lynne Cherry. Having written the letters, the children did some effective editing and redrafted their letters. These letters will now be the basis of a display in the Summer term.

Next week is Science Week and we will be doing lots of fun and stimulating activities on the theme of discoveries and inventions and will round off our week with a visit to Hazard Alley.

Hopefully, we have seen the end of the snow as we have a lot to do before we break up for Easter in less than three weeks time! This week, in amongst our science activities, we will plan our CAFOD fundraising stalls and begin making the Buzzwire games which we will use as one of our stalls.