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.