Friday, 21 December 2018

Merry Christmas!

We have had a fun filled week where we have been treated to many of the children's amazing talents. From violin and brass concerts, to fun runs in santa hats, excellent spelling in both English and French, fabulous dancing, impromptu guitar concerts and incredible performances by every house in Year 4 in the Strictly X Factor competition - we truly have seen what a talented group of children Year 4 are.

I'm sure everyone is ready for a well-earned break (I know I am!) and should make sure lots of rest and family fun are the order of the day. 

Next term, we will be writing persuasively, interpreting data, considering the local church community in RE, learning about why so many people live in mega-cities, sewing and studying sound in science. 

Thank you for all the lovely gifts - your kindness and support is much appreciated. The tea towel is making my kitchen look very festive and the beautiful vase goes perfectly in my lounge.

Merry Christmas and I'll see you all in the New Year.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

News alert - 4K are suffering from a mild case of over-embellished language due to submersion in myths.

We are busily developing our figurative and narrative writing style in preparation for writing our own myths next week. We have become adept at writing powerful and descriptive sentences that have meaning packed into every word. We are going to write, and hopefully publish, our myths so they can be shared and enjoyed by other classes.

In maths, we have become experts in using bar models to decode word problems and will spend the rest of the term converting measures.

In RE, we have been looking at how we prepare during Advent. We will read the story of the wise men and look at the symbols of the season before using all we have learned to write a guide to Advent.

In history, we will draw a Roman town, using a written description, and then learn about the gladiatorial games.

In science, we have been learning about the weather system and our homework is a game which you can share with the children to test their (and your!) knowledge. Good luck!

In art, their portraits are coming along beautifully and they hope to complete these before we break up for Christmas.

I can't believe we are almost at the end of term - it has been a long one and I know the children are getting tired but thank you for supporting them and we will soon be able to relax and enjoy a well-earned rest.

Have a good weekend.

Friday, 23 November 2018

Does Venus deserve to be the goddess of love?

We are continuing to enjoy our Roman theme in Year 4 and been busy developing our vocabulary to write an opening to the myth of Venus. The whole class has worked really hard, both together and independently, to create powerful description using figurative language. They created some great ideas and then the hard work really started as we edited and redrafted our work several times to make sure it was accurately written and effective. Over the last couple of days, we have been reading and exploring the next part of the myth where Venus is forced to marry Vulcan, much to her disgust. The children have decided that Venus does not deserve to be the goddess of love as, although she may be beautiful, she does not behave in a very loving way! We are trying to get into the role of Venus as we will be writing from her point of view next week. Once we have experienced the myth of Venus, we will look at the myth of how Romulus and Remus founded Rome.

In Maths, we have now completed our work on multiplication, factors and correspondence and will be moving on to solving word problems which include measure. We will then look at multiplying and dividing by 10,100 and 1000 in preparation for converting measures. I have asked the children to research units of measure as homework in readiness for our work on this.

In RE, we looked at Judaism and have just begun our topic on advent. Again, I have set a homework task about Christingle so they start to think about the meaning of some of the symbols of this season.

In Science, we have explored gases and began to look at how temperature can change the state of matter. We will continue this and link it to our weather system next. In history, we have considered why Claudius invaded Britain in AD43 and looked at resources to discover what we know about Boudica. Our next stop is Vindolanda to consider life in Britain as a Roman.

In art, the children have been developing their shading and portrait drawing skills and I look forward to have some work to display soon.

And finally, here are some photos of us being particles of solids, liquids and gases (can you guess which is which?) and then getting into role as Roman gods ready to do battle for Venus' affection.


Fortunately, Jupiter averted a battle by telling Venus to marry...Vulcan, god of the hearth and forge (ask the children to tell you how that worked out!).
Have a great weekend.

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Back in St Albans

We had fun and learned lots on our trip on Monday. We are now enjoying learning about Roman Myths in English and will deepen our knowledge of the Romans in Britain in history over this coming half term.

In RE, we have finished our look at Confirmation and how God calls us in different ways. We looked at Sean Devereux and considered how he lived out his Confirmation promises and many of the children wrote some thoughtful poems about how love never ends. Next week, we will be looking at Judaism, focusing on Jewish books and Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Then we will move on to our topic 'Gifts' where we will think about how Jesus was given as a gift as a sign of God's love.

In maths, we are finishing our work on times tables and have been using rules of divisibility to work out which numbers any numbers can be divided by. We are now going to look at factors, scaling and problem solving involving measures.

In science, this week, we investigated the properties of solids and liquids in order to classify a range of materials. We discussed how some materials such as jelly and shaving foam have properties of both states. We will look at gases next.

In PE, our gum boot dances are taking shape. The children have impressed me with the way they have worked together to choreograph a dance. Today we added sound rhythms. I'm looking forward to videoing their final performances in the next couple of weeks.

Here is a glimpse of our day out:

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Have you heard the buzz?

I refer of course to the fabulous games the class have been making with Mrs Pope in D&T - we certainly have heard the buzz (a lot!) and hence they will be coming home very soon! Joking aside, everyone has worked hard in their groups to use the skills they have been learning about electrical circuits. The games look and sound amazing.

Next term, we will be looking at States of Matter in science which involves looking at the properties of gases, liquids and solids and conducting investigations into how these states can change. Instead of D&T, Mrs Pope will be teaching the children to become portrait artists. I am looking forward to displaying their artwork in the classroom.

In English, we have enjoyed reading Christophe's Story and it has led to some interesting discussions about Rwanda and the children are just completing letters to Ayombe, a family friend still living in Rwanda. They have written in role, as Christophe, and tried to convey the feelings he must have had when coming to a new country. We are going to write the letters out in our best handwriting (to hopefully earn some presentation stamps) and they will be displayed for you to read next week at parents' evening. Next week, the children will write a story based on an experience that has happened to them which could be about starting a new school, class or club; the events and consequences of a disagreement with a friend or anything that has evoked different feelings that they can describe in their stories - I'm sure they would benefit from chatting through some ideas with you and perhaps telling you their story to rehearse these ideas.

After half term, we are going to be linking our English lessons with our new history topic about the Romans. We will look at Roman myths and also do some non-fiction writing on our topic which we begin by visiting Verulamium and St Albans Cathedral on Monday 5th November (our first day back).

Next week, we will conclude our geography unit on sustainability by travelling to Africa and looking at one way that an African village has been made more sustainable.

In maths, we have built our understanding of written column methods of addition and subtraction and are now focusing on developing strategies for multiplication using our times tables knowledge. Over the next few weeks, we will be dedicating a lesson each week to learning a new times table - tomorrow it will be the 6 times table. We will be making some cards that we can use to play some games to help our recall. The children will bring both the cards and details of the games home so they can show you the games for their homework. I will repeat this over the coming weeks until we have covered all the new times tables and would appreciate your help reinforcing their efforts at home as speedy recall of these key facts will really help them in maths throughout their lives.

In RE, we have been looking at different people who answered God's call and will look at confirmation next week. After the half term break, we will look at how one very special person responded to a call to do what he felt he had to do, despite this meaning his own life was put at risk.

Have a good weekend and I look forward to seeing you all at parents' evening next week.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Harvest Time

We are looking forward to you joining us for our Harvest Assembly. We have been working hard learning our parts and we hope you enjoy watching it as much as we have enjoyed creating it.

I will add photos as quickly as I can on Friday.

In other work, we have now completed our poems about finding and trying to help an unusual creature. We are now going to move on to reading 'Christophe's Story' which is the story of a boy who comes to England from Africa. He has a powerful story to tell, despite only being 8 years old. Our work will culminate in us writing about our own life stories.

We have been rounding, estimating and discovering how we can manipulate numbers using mental strategies that help us add and subtract easily and successfully. Some of these strategies were encountered in Year 3 but some have been new - ask the children to show you how to re-balance 
2738 + 4149 to make an easy sum. They could show you that by moving 1 from the first number to the second means the sum becomes : 2737 + 4150 which is an easy addition we can do in our heads. There are more than one possible solutions to this but the challenge is in them making the actual calculations they do as easy as possible which reduces the chance for error. We will keep returning to these strategies over the year as we continue our mission to make maths easy. Next week, we will look at written methods for addition and subtraction. 

In addition, we have begun daily times tables tests using Times Tables Rock Stars and on Friday we will work out our Rocks Star status based on the 3 times table we have been practising this week. Next week, we move on to our 4 times table followed by the 5 times table. Please encourage the children to learn the number sentence e.g. 1 x 3 =3 as we the tests we do include division as it is an associated fact.

In RE, we have completed the topic 'People' and will begin our topic on confirmation next week.

In Geography, we have considered what we could do to make our school more sustainable and will look at alternative sources of energy next week. In Science, we have predicted whether a range of circuits will work and then tested whether our prediction was correct. This should prepare us for making a circuit in our Buzz Wire game in D&T. We will also consider what materials conduct electricity through carrying out an investigation.

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Welcome to the 4K Blog 2018-19

Two weeks have flown by and we are now settling into the routine of life in Year 4. Everyone is adapting well and we are determined to work as a team to follow our school motto so that we shine together. We had fun today in PE/PSHE trying to pass a ball around the class without using our hands - we haven't managed it YET but have decided to keep trying until we do it, together. 

Thank you for bearing with us as the timetable has been tweaked over the start of term, and whilst we have been getting reading books and homework routines sorted. The children will write the day that their reading record should be returned in their Homework Diaries tomorrow, so if you could support them in ensuring they read every day, record what they are reading and make 3 comments each week, at least one of which should be signed by you. 

We have been doing some wonderful work based on two poems, Overheard on a Saltmarsh and A Small Dragon. We have explored how the poems portray character and mood and are now preparing to write our own poems using what we have observed. We will finish this over the next few days, then will spend some time preparing for our assembly (on the 5th October) before reading a book called 'Christophe's Story.'

In maths, we have been back to basics to work on our understanding of place value. It has been interesting to see the children's understanding of a numberline and our number system develop - this is a key concept and a good grasp of this will help make maths make more sense. We are moving on to mental strategies for addition and subtraction which should build on their work last year. 

In RE, we began the term considering our mission statement and learning about St Dominic. We are now learning about how Jesus has a human family and are reading stories about some of His family including Abraham, Ruth, Jacob (father to Joseph and his brothers) and His own father, Joseph. During this topic we will be focusing on how and why these people were chosen by God.

Our science and D&T topics are linked and also relate to our geography - we are studying electricity in science, making a buzz wire game in D&T and thinking about how electricity can be generated more sustainably within the wider context of how we can live more sustainably.

We will need a few shoe boxes for D&T in a couple of weeks so if anyone has any to spare, could you please send them in.

Thank you for supporting the children - so far everyone has had their PE kit when needed and remembered to bring in their homework on time. Enjoy the weekend.