Autumn Term 2 2021

Welcome back! I hope you had lovely half term break and you feel ready to dive into our brand new topic. We have lots of exciting things planned! A great way to be starting our new topic of Victorians will be a  Victorian themed day on Monday 8th November. On this day, we will turn into Victorian school children who experience a 19th century themed day. I can’t wait to see what creative costumes Y4 come in!

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!

Our class worship table looks lovely after the children have dressed it themselves. They chose different artefacts for the table. Mary was especially important to the children as our topic in RE is trust in God and they wanted to remember Mary’s trust in God’s divine plan for her life.

Year 4 had a lovely discussion about Remembrance Day. We reflected on some Bible Scriptures about love and peace. This served as a small, simple reminder of those who have done so much for our country and those who continue to do so today. We linked our RE to our history learning through a discussion about Armistice Day and we also explored why poppies are worn in November and what the different colours – red, purple, black, white – mean. Following this, the children could decide how they wanted to remember those who have lost their lives in war by writing their own messages on a poppy they drew. We also discussed our statement or the week of we know how to help someone if they are hurt, as well as giving examples of how we can stand up for what is right in our lives.

On Green Jumper Day, we chose Live Simply monitors to make sure we do as much as we can in our classroom to care about God’s world and our environment and reduce our use of electricity and heating. We made a class pledge to turn off lights and the heating and to recycle all the paper!

We are now preparing for Advent and we are using the CAFOD Advent calendar for our daily prayers and reflections. We are taking the opportunity during our collective worship times to prepare for a wonderful Christmas time.

Some of the children’s comments:

“It is nice to include less fortunate people in our prayers.”

“I like to read about happy stories daily.”


RE – Trust in God

In RE the children will learn about Jesus’ teaching on how important it is that we trust Him. The children will explore the importance of trusting God as well as the difficulties it brings through the stories of Zechariah, Mary and Joseph. We will be reflecting on the importance of having trust in each other and making promises.

Trust-building is an important component of teamwork at any age. Developing trust within Year 4 can help build bonds, teach children to work together to meet a shared goal, and improve communication and cooperation skills. We tried various activities that helped us understand what it means to trust each other and to be trusted. We tried the buddy walk, trust fall, hoop trust and the zipper.

Some of the children’s comments:

“My favourite was the zipper.”

“The trust fall made you really trust the other person.”

“It was good to count on others.”

CAFOD Workshop

Year 4 enjoyed a morning of CAFOD Workshop in school. We explored Catholic Social Teaching and its principles. We really enjoyed learning more with the help of the animal mascots’ illustrations and their stories. We learnt that Pope Francis continues to add to Catholic Social Teaching with his own encyclicals including Laudato Si’ (2015) and Fratelli Tutti (2020). The children had a great discussions as we explored various scenarios and how the principles can be used in our own lives.

We learnt about how Mary placed her trust in God and the Annunciation. The children were really excellent at discussing the events as we applied our English skills to answer the 5W questions and to explain how the events unfolded. We used our Bibles to look up scriptures and the conversation between Mary and Angel Gabriel.


In the centre of our Victorian topic is our class text, Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. We will be exploring the classic novel and use Oliver’s story to learn more about the history of Victorian England. We will look at the vocabulary used in the book and work out the meaning of words and phrases from the context. The children are beginning their learning journey by becoming reporters and interviewing various characters from the story of Oliver Twist.

To celebrate family heritage and the amazing homework the children have completed, we shared our work in class within smaller groups and then we also shared so the whole class could see and we asked each other lots of questions. The children and their families have worked really hard and this has inspired us further to compose diamante poems!

Year 4 had a great time playing the Burn2Learn Beach Ball Bonanza! We bounced the beach balls and listed as many nouns, adjectives and verbs as we could! We practised our skills of recognising the different word classes to be able to apply this when we are writing out diamante poems!

Our family heritage has inspired us to write our poems! First, we learnt about its structure by unpicking the features.

Then we planned what words we wanted to use and had a go at writing our own poems!

Before diving into the new class text, we made predictions as we got familiar with the front cover and the blurb of the book. The children had great ideas and quite a few already knew a lot about the story which was a great bonus for their writing task!

During our Victorian Day, we were busy with our reading and writing! We used our ink pens to write in our neatest handwriting ‘Children should be seen an not heard’.

Some comments the children had:

“It felt so boring having the write the same thing.”

“Why did we need to do the same lines over and over?”

“Nobody dared to stop writing.”

Our reading comprehension of the day consisted of fables. We read about the lion and the mouse and the ant and the grasshopper. We then answered questions about the fables and discussed the moral of the stories. 

Year 4 has been busy recognising and sorting sentences depending on what type they are. We worked with statements, questions, commands and exclamations. We used an active Burn2Learn task to collect our sentences and then sort them in our groups.

In our SPaG learning, we focused on the correct use of apostrophes. We read about Oliver Twist and completed our tasks in our neatest handwriting.

We began exploring Oliver Twist’s adventures by using drama. We acted out various parts of the story and reflected on Oliver’s feelings to help us plan and write our diary entries. There were many excellent Olivers and workhouse orphans in the class!

We have been busy writing our diary entries! Making sure we achieve our writing targets as well. Our focus is to use many effective adverbs, correctly use apostrophes for possession and to use our basic punctuation.

We like finding various ways to engage in reading activities in Year 4. We introduced reading journals where we can take notes of our reading and experiences of various stories. Every week we have an assessment focus (AF) that we are working on and the children are encouraged to carry these tasks over to do for their homework too. We focused on AF1 decoding and vocabulary first, then AF2 which is retrieval. The children also enjoyed decorating their journals.

Our reading corner has gone through a bit of a reorganisation! We like reading for pleasure and the children can now find fiction books and non fiction books much easier. We have truly responsible book corner monitors who keep everything tidy! Our reading challenge lets us get a prize once we read 25 reads in a half term. In Autumn 1, when the children read 25 times at home, they could get a prize. This then builds up in Autumn 2, and the next prize should be shortly on the way for the 50th reads! Our aim is to have Year 4 children become lifelong readers!

In our guided reading lessons, the children really enjoyed learning more about character descriptions. We had a go at retrieving information from the text and drawing our representations of the Artful Dodger from Oliver Twist.

We also worked with sensory elements that appear in the text which we used to write our own setting descriptions.

Our reading corner has had a new addition! Our dedicated reading corner monitors suggested the fabulous idea of writing book recommendations to promote the books that can be found in our mini library. The children also chose two winning recommendations based on their persuasiveness and detail for which the winners received house points! What a brilliant idea Year 4.

We have been working on setting descriptions and character descriptions in Year 4. Now to also focus more on the plot, we will be writing our own detailed narratives based on Oliver Twist’s adventures. Therefore, we had a look at a story mountain and used it to identify how the plot is revealed in a chronological sequence.


At the start of this half term, children will further develop their understanding of addition and subtraction using the column method. Later on in the half term, we will be learning more about making accurate estimations and using various checking strategies to check our answers are correct. As we explore length and perimeter calculations, the children will be converting between different metric units of measurements. We will learn and practise all our times tables up to 12×12 by the end of half term.

We have been busy working on our addition and subtraction! We have been using the column method to clearly show our working out and when we are exchanging. The children have really developed their confidence using the method efficiently.

During our Victorian Day, Year 4 worked very well on their arithmetic skills! We chanted times tables, used Victorian money to work out prices of toys. We also had to write on slates with our slate pencils which seemed quite an incredible feat!

We practise our Key Instant Recall Facts (KIRFs) daily in Year 4. A fun way that we keep our skills of mental maths bubbling is by playing a B2L snakes and ladders. Working in partners, we ask each other quick maths questions. When we go down a snake or up the ladder, we have to act this out! This makes sure we are active learners on a morning, ready to get on with the day’s activities.

Another fun way we practise our KIRFs is by testing each other on quick mental addition and subtraction questions. We use cards or dominoes to test each other and build our speed of recalling number bonds and quick number facts.

We have been truly active learners this half term in maths. To practise our addition and subtraction skills further, we played Tagtiv8. We got competitive as we tried to make the greatest sums to get the most points. 

To start our learning of measuring lengths and calculating perimeter, we ventured outside for some more active learning! We had to find different lengths and convert them from cm to mm or from m to cm. This sticky knowledge we learnt in Year 3 and we have since expanded and deepened our learning of km as well. 

We have been learning all about measurements and perimeter in Year 4. We built on the children’s prior learning of converting between units of measure in Year 3. We recapped on how to find different lengths using millimetres and centimetres, as well as metres. We then introduced lengths in kilometres. The children became more and more confident and could accurately measure various things around the classroom, as well as use their rulers to correctly find the perimeters of many shapes. We also worked on finding the missing sides of rectilinear shapes to be able measure the perimeters.

We have been working really hard on our times tables already in Year 4! The children used Times Tables Rock Stars to engage and practise their tables in a fun, interactive way. We also listened to some great counting songs! We then spent time deepening our understanding of the concept by using various practical ways. We explored various representations to show multiplication calculations. We used arrays, equal groups, bar models, number lines and repeated addition to show our working out.

Check out some of our favourite counting songs!


This half term we will be learning about electricity. We will discover how electricity is generated and what the dangers are relating to electricity. The children will investigate which appliances run on mains electricity or batteries. They will construct their own simple circuits and identify its basic parts.

We began our science learning by getting more familiar and learning new scientific vocabulary. We rated our understanding green, amber or red and then looked up the meaning of our words. We also had to use the words in our own sentences.

To develop our understanding of where electricity comes from and how it is generated, Year 4 used their reading skills to find some answers! As a part of our English guided reading, we discovered renewable and non renewable energy sources. We also used our Maths skills of reading data off pie charts to deepen our understanding of how electricity has been generated in the UK throughout the years. We also took into account the future aims of net zero emissions!

Year 4 celebrated Green Jumper Day by learning more about renewable and non-renewable energy sources and their part they play in climate change. We watched videos to recap on our learning and learnt even more about tidal and wave energy to deepen our understanding of renewable sources. We then applied our English skills and planned our own letters explaining the different ways energy and electricity are generated and the pros and cons. 

On Green Jumper Day, we chose Live Simply monitors to make sure we do as much as we can in our classroom to care about the environment and reduce our use of electricity and heating. We made a class pledge to turn off lights and the heating and to recycle all the paper! We then started writing our letters about the benefits of using more renewable sources to provide our homes with electricity.

Year 4 had a practical lesson on building electrical circuits. We learnt about complete and incomplete circuits and built our own, using batteries, wires and bulbs. Even when it was tricky, we persevered and showed how resilient we can be in Year 4! The children really enjoyed the practical lessons. Here are some of their comments:

“Our battery was not working so we had to keep trying.”

“We had to use three of us to complete our circuit because we didn’t have a battery holder.”

“If we put two bulbs in the circuit, it wasn’t shining as bright.”

We carried on experimenting and built circuits to check whether our predictions were right or wrong. The children also applied their maths skills by using their rulers as they drew their circuit diagrams before creating their circuits. We kept our growth mindset because we had to overcome the difficulties of finding working bulbs and batteries! The children showed how resilient they were and they also worked well as a team. 

The fun, practical lessons continued as we created fair tests to see what materials and conductors and which ones are insulators. The children had a great time using various materials from the classroom to test. At the end of the lesson, we recorded our findings and drew our conclusions.

Art and Design

In Art and Design, we will begin to develop our printing skills. We will learn about the work of the Victorian artist William Morris and use his art to create designs in a similar fashion. Taking inspiration from our natural and built environments, we will make our printing blocks out of cardboard. After creating our printing blocks, we will be experimenting with repeating and rotating patters, various layers of print and different effects.

We began our art learning by evaluating the artwork of William Morris. The children commented really well on colours, shapes, lines and patterns to express their likes and dislikes. We then had a go at drawing patterns similar to William Morris’.

Some of the children’s comments were:

“I liked the flower patterns best.”

“One pattern only had green leaves on and it could’ve been more interesting.”

“The light colours made the prints look like spring.”

We used our maths skills in our art learning as we discovered symmetry in the artwork of William Morris. We used our mirrors to find the lines of symmetry and then we drew them in with our rulers. Following this activity, we designed our own printing blocks.

We used various materials to print with. We also had to consider how a mixture of colours would create striking effects and how we could use layers. The children were practising making precise repeating patterns and draft the pieces of work looked excellent already! We have created 4 different drafts before choosing to make our final patterns. Draft 1 had neat rows and columns. Draft 2 had a half drop pattern. Draft 3 had to have no gaps. Draft 4 had to have a rotating pattern. The final draft was tricky as we had to consider a lot of different options for printing.

Following our practise prints, we created our own printing blocks out of cardboard. The children built on their previous planned design and considered how they could adapt this to make sure their prints became vibrant and striking! The children had to have a growth mindset to be able to persevere and not give up when the shapes became tricky to cut and glue.

We then had to consider our colours and the various patterns we could create. The children worked hard on creating their repeating patterns. Everyone had to be careful of how they will mix the colours, how they will show symmetry in their prints and how much paint would be necessary to create the desired effect.

Have a look at some of our finished artwork! We also had a go at evaluating how proud and satisfied we felt with the art we created after we showed each other our work.

Design and Technology – Automaton Workshop

Year 4 participated in a workshop-style day with creative topic discussions based on the Victorian era and the growth of industry and mechanisation. We learnt about famous automatons and the use of levers, winding mechanisms, pulleys and gears that have been used to create various products. The children all created their own automatons inspired by the caterpillar from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

We applied a lot of our maths skills as we had to measure accurately with our rulers. We also worked on our fine motor skills and had to cut and glue accurately to make sure our final products were aligned and working well. We spend the day problem solving and adapting our models as we worked.

Check out some of our final products! Event though we came across many tricky points in the making process, we kept a growth mindset and persevered as we tried our best to overcome them!

Some of the comments the children had:

“My milk bottle tops did not move, but then I used some tape to fix them.”

“I had to add an extra piece to strengthen the sides.”

“I had to make larger holes so the pistons would move.”


This half term, we will be working on our presentation and algorithm skills using Keynote. The children will work with algorithms to create a maths quiz of their own. We will be asking open and closed questions as part of our quizzes. Debugging will play a big part of our learning. When we test each other’s maths quizzes, we will be able to fix links, images that are out of place or other animations.

Internet safety plays an important part in our Computing curriculum. This term, Year 4 discussed how keeping personal information secure is truly important and how we can tackle cyberbullying to keep ourselves safe online. We put great emphasis on Stop! Block! Tell! The children worked together on a reading comprehension task to find out even more about the importance to keeping safe online.

Some comments the children had:

“I know to stop, block and tell an adult if something makes me feel uncomfortable.”

“I would not click on pop-ups.”

“I don’t look at other people’s passwords.”

Our focus for anti-bullying week was to be kind! We discussed different scenarios where children were bullied online. Year 4 were truly knowledgeable as they shared ways to be kind to others online and what we need to do keep safe whilst using the Internet. We used our English skills to sequence events in chronological order. We then gave advice to our characters Jack and Maya.

We have been working on Keynote to create our own maths quizzes. We designed a main home slide together with question slides. The children had to include some of the advanced features of the application as they added images, animations, buttons, transitions and correctly working links. 


Our focus will be on developing our map skills in Geography. The children will use the eight points of a compass to mark the directions of cities on the UK map. 

We learnt the different directions of the compass and how it can be used on maps. The children then became active learners as we acted out various degrees of turns. We used our maths skills to be able to tell how many degrees we had to turn clockwise or anti clockwise from a certain destination. 

Some of the comments the children had:

“I like the full turn that made the circle.”

“It was fun having to face north then immediately turn south.”



Our topic is linked to History this half term. To kick-start our new topic on the first day back, Year 4 will take part in a 19th century style themed day. We will experience what a Victorian school day was like as we dress up as Victorian school children. We will deepen our knowledge and understanding about the lives of children throughout the Victorian times.

To kick-start our new Victorian topic, Year 4 took part in a 19th century style themed day. To get into character, we dressed up as Victorian school children. We experienced what a Victorian school day would have been like as we had to obey strict rules, write on slates, chant our times tables and solve arithmetic problems related to Victorian money. We also had to use impeccable handwriting in our copy books, read old fashioned fables and find the moral of the stories.

To make sure that we build on our experiences of the Victorian school day, the children reflected on what they have done and learnt. We made links to these experiences whilst we collected facts to compare Victorian and modern schooling. We applied our English writing skills and used expanded noun phrases to paint a detailed picture about the differences.

Reading in Year 4 is something we like to do in many different ways in class. We did a bit of reading around the subject and used our library books to explore more about the Victorian era. We read books about Victorian toys, houses, pastimes and lifestyles. The children had a lovely time reading together and retrieving information and facts from the different books. We used the whole of our classroom to have a great a relaxing time as we hid under desks or found quiet corners to work in!

We have been learning more about what it was like to work as a child during the Victorian era. We learnt about chimney sweeps, street workers, factory workers and children who worked in the mines. We then used drama to create freeze frames of the various jobs. The children really enjoyed this activity and came up with many creative poses to show the difficulties that came with the jobs!

After acting out the different Victorian jobs, the children had a go at choosing one of the jobs and by using their English writing skills, they wrote a diary entry of one of their dreadful days! There were many creative ideas and historical details in their texts.


This half term, as part of our French learning, we will be exploring the world around us. We will be finding out about the geography of France and we will be comparing it to the UK. We will also research other French-speaking countries and see what interesting information we can find out about them.

We had some valuable practice of introducing ourselves and saying where we are from in French! We talked to our partners and then confidently shared our introductions with the class. We learnt how to pronounce the different countries of the United Kingdom and their capitals in French. We built on our Geography sticky knowledge and recalled the UK countries and capitals. The children acted out the conversations and practised their pronunciation in small groups.

Some of the children’s comments were:

“I remember saying Cardiff in French easily because it’s so similar to English.”

“My favourite word was Écosse because it was short and easy to remember.”

“It was good to remember which flag is which.”

To build on our new learning, we did a French quiz on spelling the names of the UK countries and capitals correctly. Many children scored really well on this! We created our own country cards with French information to deepen our understanding.

To apply what we have learnt so far, the children used the vocabulary learnt and wrote full sentences in French about which country has which capital city. Everyone had a great time saying the sentences and practising their pronunciation. We had to be truly resilient learners and we kept trying without giving up! The children showed a great growth mindset as the were practising.


At the start of the half term, we will listen to musical pieces composed by Antonio Vivaldi. We will explore Vivaldi’s music that was designed to remind listeners of places and things in the world around them. The piece of orchestral music that we will take our inspiration from will be ‘Winter’ from ‘The Four Seasons’. We will then create our own ‘programme’ music to tell a story.

At the beginning of our music lesson, we had a fun activity as we brainstormed words that had to do with music. We collected musical vocabulary for each letter of the alphabet. We began our learning journey by evaluating Antoni Vivaldi’s Winter from The Four Seasons. The children listened to the orchestra playing the musical composition and we discussed what instruments were used to create the various elements of the winter season. We learnt that Vivaldi was inspired by poems about the different seasons. Therefore, we also applied our English skills to deepen our learning and we wrote our own diamante poems about winter.

Some of the comments the children had:

“I liked how the violin played quick, leaping notes.”

“I didn’t know before that a violin could show the chattering of teeth.”

“I liked the sound of the dripping icicles at the start.”

Carrying on with our winter theme, we had great fun using body percussion to keep up with different rhythms and make our own music. Our dance routines are also getting better and better as we lose ourselves in the Christmas tunes! We used various ways to make music: tapping our knees, clicking our fingers, tapping our chest, clapping our hands, stomping our feet.

Year 4 has been practising singing Christmas carols together. Our songs were the Silent Night and we had a great time signing along to A White Christmas! As we were working on singing in tune, we were getting better and better at pronouncing the words clearly, controlling our voices and using Makaton signs as well!


In PE, the children will be developing their skills in playing ball games. They will be exploring the different rules in sports like hockey, football, tennis or basketball. They will also learn about the importance of timing and being able to read game situations correctly.

During our indoors PE lessons, we will be working on our gymnastics skills. The children already had a super practise of moving across space in many different ways!

During our outdoor PE lessons, we have been working in teams to work on our passing, dribbling and shooting skills. We had to complete various tasks and work on our power and accuracy as we moved around.

Our PE lessons were lots of fun lately! We used our balancing and strength to create freeze frames and move to the rhythm of spy music! We became heroes and villains as we created our own choreography to music. We incorporated rolls and bounces on the mats too.

Even without the music, we felt we had to carry on and continue with our choreography outdoors. We had to be mindful of how we are going to balance and land after a balance or as part of a freeze frame.We also made sure we were a good audience and gave each other feedback on how they have performed.

Skipping School Workshop

Year 4 took part in a Skipping School Workshop. We had lots of fun as we learnt various ways to skip. Some children became very confident in single or double bouncing. We have many super skippers in Y4 who are looking forward to practising and further developing their skipping skills in preparation for next year’s skipping competition that our Y4 children will compete in. We also truly enjoyed playing ‘run, jump, out’ and ‘keep the pot boiling’ with the big skipping rope.

Carrying on with our learning of gymnasticts and dance, Year 4 created their own choreography to a song. The children worked well together and came up with super moves as they moved to the rhythm. 

As we have been further working on our gymnastics and dance skills, the children have been busy creating their own choreography that included elements from gymnastics, like balances or freeze frames, as well as dance moves. We have been deepening our peer coaching skills and working as a team to come up with the sequences of the different moves. We have also spent time performing in front of an audience and giving constructive feedback to each other.


In PSHE we will explore the topic of identity, society and equality. We will discuss what it means to live in a democratic society and how laws are made. The children will vote for their school council representatives and learn about the work of their local council.

For our daily wellbeing check ins, we use four zones. The children choose and explain why they might be feeling blue, yellow or red and our aim is to get ourselves ready for learning and into the green zone most of the time!

We started with a written wellbeing check in as we came back to school. The children had to choose a blob and explain what their feelings were and how the blobs depicted those feelings.

The first day back, we started by reflecting on how we’re feeling. The children had to find a blob and an emoji to best represent how they feel and explain their choice.

Week 3 is  anti-bullying week. The assembly prepared the children for the focus, which is ‘One Kind Word‘. For our kindness, we thought of what kind act we could do for Year 3 and we took inspiration from our art learning. Just like William Morris, we sketched natural things, mostly some of the wonderful fallen leaves we collected outside and we will give these to Year 3 so they can colour them in.

As a truly kind gesture, Year 3 created some word searches for us! How thoughtful of them to respond to our drawings with their own way of making something creative to bring joy to others!

Year 4 received a kindness from Nursery during anti-bullying week. How wonderful it was to be able to watch the children sing and say their poems! Year 4 really enjoyed watching the video!

Some of the children’s comments were:

“All the children sang so well.”

“They were so cute!”

“It is nice to get a kindness video from another class.”

Cyber bullying was high on our priority list for anti-bullying week. We discussed scenarios and gave advice as part of our class discussion and activity. The children also took the opportunity to create their own anti-bullying posters to raise awareness of how to be kind online.

We are responsible members of the class in Year 4. We all aspire to become valuable members of our community and we like to start early! The children already had jobs around the classroom, so now we decided to shuffle things around and add some new, well-needed positions to our existing ones. We proudly display our jobs in our classroom!

As part of our learning about British Values, we applied our English reading skills and learnt about the UK Parliament. We learnt about the House of Commons and the House of Lords, as well as the role of the Monarch.

Year 4 happily contributed with some lovely Christmas cards and puzzles to help brighten an older person’s day at Christmas with a Santa-Gram. The children enjoyed creating their cards and even applied their art and DT skills to make pop-up elements inside! What a lovely way to be considerate for our local community.

We like to take part in activities that take place in our local community, but we also find it important to know what is going on around us in the world. We have been keeping up to date by watching and discussing Newsround in Year 4.

During Disability Awareness Week, we focused on and discussed hearing impairment and the use of sign language. We learnt our Christmas song and used Makaton signs to support our singing.

Inspiring You Week

Dogs Trust Visit

In our final week of term, we were lucky enough to have a visit from Mrs Hill from the Dogs’ Trust. As we have lots of dog-lovers at St Joseph’s, this was a visit that the children really enjoyed. After asking the children about their own experiences of looking after dogs, Mrs Hill showed the children images of some of the dogs that had been brought into the charity. The Dogs Trust looks after abandoned and mistreated dogs; the charity tries to find new homes for these dogs. The children got to learn about the different jobs that people do for the charity and many were inspired to think about future careers as vets, animal welfare officers and people who look after other animals.

Mrs Hill explained the importance of micro chipping pet dogs and how that helps dogs to stay safe. She explained what a day in the life of a dog who lives at the Dogs Trust kennels is like. This includes training and preparing the dogs so that they are ready find lovely new homes.

The children were asked to think about reasons why people might not be able to look after their dogs properly and why some dogs end up at the Dogs Trust. They learnt about how keeping a dog can be a big commitment and responsibility. As well as physical care, we learnt about dogs’ feelings and how dogs might feel when they first come to live with the charity.

Aikido Workshop

Year 4 were really fortunate during our Inspiring You themed week to have a Aikido taster session with Mr and Mrs Grundy who are active and passionate Aikido instructors and also compete in competitions both in the UK and other countries. The session started with some background context around Aikido. The main message around the Aikido was that it is used for self-defense and Mrs Grundy showed us some really amazing moves which brought Mr Grundy to the ground which was amazing as he is over 6 feet tall! Mr Grundy also showed us how to protect our backs by breaking falls with rolls rather than falling flat.

Then children then had the opportunity to have a go. This started with a tag game where the children took on a partner and had to intercept an object tucked behind them; they were not allowed to run around to dodge their partner, rather they had to make body contact and grab around their partner’s body.  This was great fun. The next activity involved removing your opponents wrist band. They started in a sitting position back to back and were not allowed to rise to a standing position.

This workshop supported the development of being active and resilient learners as growth mind-set was crucial. These activities have been very physical so a ‘can-do’ attitude was crucial. Resilience was needed for the children who didn’t win their rounds and this was quite a challenge as adrenaline was flowing and definitely heightened emotions. The session was very active and Mr Grundy talked about the importance of healthy eating, an active lifestyle and dedication needed to be able to take this sport to a competitive level.