Autumn Term 1 2022-23

Year 4 have settled really well and quickly back into their school routine. Their behaviour is excellent, the children are eager to learn and they are showing that they are active, resilient and independent learners already. We are collecting smiley emojis as a class for following our class rules all day. Once the class collects 30 emojis, they will have some well-earned golden time. We also have some extra rewards which are given to children for their perseverance, resilience, seeking help at the right time whilst still being an independent learner. We are all very proud of our hard work and we keep trying our very best!

Collective Worship

Collective worship is a special time for us all. We all gather together and listen to a reading from the Bible. We listen and respond to God’s word and consider how this relates to our lives. We reflect on how we can learn from the Bible and what choices we should make going forth. Together we like to pray, listen to songs and sit quietly to remember how lucky we are to be part of God’s beautiful creation!

Following Buckingham Palace’s announcement that Queen Elizabeth II has died peacefully, Mrs Cooper has lead a whole school collective worship for the children. We have been praying for The Queen and the Royal Family and celebrating Queen Elizabeth’s life together. Mrs Cooper shared some lovely quotes and tributes payed to the Queen and the children also learnt about how the Queen was a faithful disciple of Jesus all throughout her life. We also reflected on our favourite moments when we saw the Queen, for example as she delivered her Christmas messages or had tea with Paddington Bear! We also looked to the future with how King Charles III will follow in the Queen’s footsteps.

The children had a lovely assembly and hymn practice. The children got reminded of church etiquette and responses during collective worship. Their singing has been full of energy and enthusiasm as they practised the hymns together.

On Tuesday 20th September, we had Brother Jonathan, Father Franpisek, Sister John-Paul, Sister Emmanuel and Sister Ciara from The Franciscan Sisters of Renewal visiting us for a morning retreat. We started the day with a whole school collective worship where the children had some lovely key messages that they could reflect on. We had a reflection on the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, we sang songs and followed this up with actions and we also learnt different ways of prayers we can use in our lives to remind ourselves that ‘God is good all the time!’

Our visitors also came to see us in the classroom where they also told us about where they were from and how they were helping others in their everyday lives. We also spent time singing together and sharing ways that we can pray to praise our God.

As part of our learning about our virtue of love for learning, we learnt about the importance of having a growth mindset and being lifelong learners who are always ready for learning and keeping an open mind. The children reflected on their goals and what they would like to achieve in Year 4 this year. We then collected these thoughts and aspirations on our prayer table in the classroom.

RE – The Bible

In RE this half term, we will learn how the Bible tells us about God and His love for us. We will learn some Old Testament stories and we will consider how the Bible can help us and others in need. Our research skills will be put to the test as we look up references from the Old and New Testament. By looking up and reflecting on Scripture, we will explore how they link to our own life experiences.

We built on our prior learning about the Bible and learnt about how we can use it in church and at home. The children applied their English writing skills to write a paragraph about their ideas. We also looked at songs and their lyrics. The children had to find the words and phrases that both appear in the Bible and songs based on the Bible scriptures. We then used the Bible to find scriptures. We learnt about the names of the books in the Old Testament and New Testament. We persevered and found the chapter numbers and then the numbers of the verses. We all worked well together as a team!

To show our learning and apply our English skills in our RE lesson, the children wrote instructions about how to find various Scriptures in the Bible. They have become more and more confident and quick at finding these.

English

Our theme of ‘Amazing Adventures’ runs throughout our English learning this half term. We will be exploring the classic novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. We will look at the curious vocabulary used in the book and work out the meaning of words and phrases within context. The children are beginning their learning journey by a class debate: Should Alice follow the white rabbit? We will begin by unpicking the key features of informal and formal letters to gain a better understanding of the features we will be learning about. Following this, we will write our own letters and diary entries.

To begin exploring our new class text, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, we made some predictions. The children had to consider the front cover of the book, the blurb and the title to predict what characters might be in the story, where it might be set and what the plot might be about.

We worked on our persuasive reasoning skills, when we organised a class debate about whether Alice should follow the white rabbit or not. The children used various sentence starters and had a great debate where they shared their opinions with each other.

To promote the love of reading, and to work on our various reading skills, we introduced reading journals in Year 4 to help us with our reading homework. The first reading skill that we focused on was decoding and vocabulary. The children had to choose ambitious words from the class text and explain their meanings as well as use these in their own sentences.

As well as having a fiction and non-fiction book to read at home, we went to the school library and the children picked their pleasure books to read and take home. 

We have been expanding our vocabulary in English. We went outside for a Burn2Learn vocabulary hunt and the children had to find matching meanings to their given ambitious words. Afterwards, we applied our knowledge and understanding by using the new words in our own sentences.

We spent time enjoying some quiet reading time in the classroom. The children had the opportunity to explore the classroom reading books from our reading corner and they could choose fiction, non-fiction books, poems, magazines or newspapers as well to read.

Year 4 had a great time playing the Burn2Learn Beach Ball Bonanza! We explored different word classes together. We bounced the beach balls and listed as many nouns, adjectives and verbs as we could!

We carried on reading about Alice’s adventures and exploring ambitious vocabulary from our class text. We had to quickly and efficiently find the meaning of words using dictionaries. The we also used our knowledge of word classes to write down which words were nouns, adjectives or verbs. The children then had to apply their understanding and write their own sentences with the new words.

Year 4 had a close look at the different features of an informal letter. We had to find the sender’s address, date, greeting, chatty, informal language, conclusion, complimentary close and the sender’s signature.

We moved on with our learning journey and started planning our informal letters from Alice to her older sister. The children started by planning together and then they added their own expanded noun phrases and powerful verbs to their own plans independently.

The children had to apply what they have learnt so far about word classes, expanded noun phrases, letter features and they followed their plans as they wrote their letter pretending to be Alice. They used super description and wrote about all the weird and wonderful adventures they have been on in Wonderland! The children had to self-assess their letters and reflect on their work. We also edited these after drafting to especially take care with punctuation and spellings.

Maths

At the start of this half term, children will develop their place value knowledge. We will spend time consolidating our place value knowledge about 3-digit numbers. Following this, we will learn to read, write and partition 4-digit numbers and we will investigate number lines to 10,000. We will be rounding, counting in thousands, ordering and comparing 4-digit numbers. Our learning also includes solving worded problems and working on our mathematical reasoning skills.

We have been active with Super Movers as we were practising our times tables facts. The children then had a go at completing their times tables work with a Times Tables Rocks Stars song and a 5 minute timer! We will keep working on our Key Instant Recall Facts (KRIFs)!

We ventured outside for a hoop-hop Burn2Learn activity to practice reading and saying our 4-digit numbers. The children got very competitive and many times ended in a draw scoring lots of points for their teams by naming various numbers as quick as they could!

We used different ways to represent 4-digit numbers during our daily Burn2Learn. Place value grids, bar models, number lines and different ways of partitioning were our focus.

We have been busy also working on our  reasoning and problem solving skills to do with 4-digit numbers. Our tricky questions then included various number lines with different intervals.

Science

This half term, we will be learning about states of matter as we sort everyday materials into solids, liquids and gases. We will describe their properties and explore the behaviour of the tiny particles inside them. The children will investigate what conditions  affect changes of state.

Year 4 ventured outside and enjoyed some great weather whilst working in teams. We enjoy being active learners in Year 4! After we learnt what solids, liquids and gases are, we had a go at grouping various materials and comparing them.

We learnt about how particles move in the different materials. Our modelling skills were put to the test when we had to recreate the particle arrangements with ping pong balls. We had to be resilient and make sure the ping pong balls stayed in the right place or they moved to create an accurate model! As an extra fun Burn2Learn activity, we organised ourselves into groups and acted out the movements of particles.

DT

We will bring stories to life with our project this term. Children will have the chance to explore moving parts in a variety of storybooks and learn how to recreate some of these parts using different tools and techniques. Children will design, create and evaluate their very own pop-up books.

We began our learning journey by evaluating an existing product. We had a close look at the pop-up book by Robert Sabuda. The children really enjoyed looking down the mesmerising rabbit hole! We checked various pages and looked for the different moving mechanisms used. We then reflected on the use of materials and the uses of concertinas, pop-out objects, window flaps and levers.

Computing

To begin the half term, we will be using Sketches. The children will choose famous landmarks in the UK and recreate them in digital watercolour. We will work with layering colours and choosing appropriate shades for our artwork. We will use The Queen’s Handbag by Steve Anthony as an inspiration for our Sketches art.

After we have finished this, the children will move onto using Keynote to create a book trailer for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. We will deepen our knowledge regarding the advanced features of the app to combine text, images, audio and video.

We linked our Computing learning to our Geography topic of the UK. We took inspiration from the story and illustrations of The Queen’s Handbag by Steve Anthony. We had to choose a famous landmark from the UK and create a digital artwork. The children worked really well and confidently with the Sketches app and used many layers of colour and different lines and patterns to make their work stand out.

Geography

We will go for an adventure around the United Kingdom, learning about where the UK is in the world, then exploring its countries, capital cities and counties. We will develop our map skills as we identify the topographical features of the UK and explore famous natural and man-made landmarks. The children will carry out an environmental survey around the school grounds for their fieldwork activity. They will compare and evaluate environmental factors and consider how our surroundings could be improved.

We have started exploring the United Kingdom by using atlases. The children had to find the countries and capital cities and show these on their maps. We also applied our maths skills and worked on a grid to show different points on the map.

History

We will investigate the Victorian era this term. We will use historical sources (Victorian paintings and other images) to find out about the Victorian period. Our research will include learning about the life of the rich and the poor and finding out more about the life and work of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll).

MFL

As part of our French learning, we will be exploring vocabulary relating to French greetings, colours and school. The children will develop their vocabulary by taking part in active learning activities, listening to songs and speech. We will be discussing school objects and school routines to practise our pronunciation.

We began our French learning with an active Burn2Learn activity. We danced and copied the Super Movers and repeated French greetings after them.

After we had a go at learning how to pronounce the greetings, we worked in partners and acted out a conversation in French!

Some comments the children made:

“It was fun to say comme ci, comme ça in French.”

“I was nervous to perform, but we did it!”

“I found Bonjour easy to remember.”

Music

We will use descriptive vocabulary to evaluate music. The children will listen to music pieces composed by Hans Zimmer and express their likes and dislikes. We will take inspiration from film music compositions and how they are used for dramatic effect.

We started our music learning with exploring musical vocabulary. We evaluated various pieces of music as we applied our English skills. We had to choose appropriate adjectives to show how relevant they were as we considered different musical pieces. The children worked very well together and they enjoyed listening to the music.

Some of the comments the children made:

“My favourite song was the most dramatic.”

“I enjoyed chair dancing to the music!”

“I liked the joyful, modern song.”

Building on our previous work with the zones of relevance, the children listened to Earth composed by Hans Zimmer and they had to sort adjectives to describe the composition. 

To further improve our knowledge about music and vocabulary to describe it, we solved a fun word search puzzle to learn more musical vocabulary. The children will use these to be able to evaluate our next musical piece composed by Hans Zimmer which has the title of ‘Friends’ from the animated movie Madagascar.

PE

In PE, the children will be developing their skills in team games. They will learn about the importance of warming up before exercise and the benefits exercise has on our own physical and mental wellbeing. They will also be working on improving their fitness, strength and accuracy.

We have been building our strength in PE. The children practised various ways to work on their core. They did sit ups, push ups, planks and worked on their running stamina and speed too.

To further work on their strengths, the children further work on their skills to strengthen their core muscles. They showed super resilience and a teamwork when they practised and helped each other out!

The children have been working on their teamwork and observation skills. The had to give feedback to each other about their techniques of different throws and catches. They all worked well and could suggest improvements to each other as well as encourage each other.

We kept up the good work and played games where we had to use our skills of listening, observing and giving feedback to each other. The children played games and worked in smaller groups to practise throwing, catching, moving with basketballs and playing their own mini-matches as well.

We carried on with our teamwork skills and practised skills of moving through space with improved spatial awareness. We then formed groups and played dodgeball games in small groups and then as a whole class as well. We reflected on the importance of following rules and being good sportsmen in games.

PSHE

In PSHE, we are focusing on mental health and emotional wellbeing. We agreed our classroom targets and rewards together and discussed how a growth mindset will help us embrace learning challenges and how we can build up our resilience. By having high aspirations for ourselves, we are keen on giving 100% effort in all we do and take our learning forward as we become lifelong learners.

When we started school this week, one the first day the children completed their check-ins to see how they were feeling and what fun activities they did in the summer. They could share their favourite experiences and draw these too. The children also used emojis to explain how they felt on their first day of Year 4!

To get ourselves ready for the new school year and to be able to settle into our new Year 4 classroom quickly, Year 4 did a classroom treasure hunt! We had to make sure that we know what resources, helpful working walls are around that we can use when we are learning. The children had fun and now everyone knows how to use their surroundings for the best results!

At the end of our first week, we completed another written check-in with the children to see how they felt about being back to school. The children had to choose a blob character that represented them the most and they had to pick what they have enjoyed this week. Luckily, we had lots of positive feedback!

We have been learning about British Values and democracy. The children then had a vote and chose their School Council representatives. They also wanted to be able to fairly choose the name of our worry monster. Let me introduce you Cookie, the Year 4 worry monster who lives in our classroom and also has a worry jar where children’s worries can go and live so they don’t have to hold on to them for long!

We have continued to deepen our learning and understanding of British Values and we applied our English skills to read and find out more about the UK Parliament. The children reflected on the roles of the House of Commons, House of Lords and the Monarch.

We have re-visited the important message about Pants are Private. The children had to complete a Burn2Learn activity outside to remind themselves of: 1) privates are private 2) always remember your body belongs to you 3) no means no 4) talk about secrets that upset you 5) speak up, someone can help. The children had a good class discussion and really enjoyed singing along to the Pantosaurus song!