Autumn Term 2 2022

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 7th 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 collective worship 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.

During Advent, Year 4 enjoyed listening to the Mark 10 Missions and praying and singing along with the videos. We also kept opening the CAFOD Advent Calendar to learn more about how CAFOD helps various communities and the inspiring individuals who dedicate their time and effort to helping those who are in need.

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.

We learnt about Jonah and his difficulty to trust God. The children applied their English skills and read about Jonah’s story. They then answered questions where they had to retrieve the information or interpret the people’s feelings. They also had to reflect on why it was hard for Jonah to trust and how God helped him. The children then had to make links to their own lives and think of what might they do if they were asked to do something that the did not want to in the first place.

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, human knot and the zipper.

English

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.

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 of Oliver Twist 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 to 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. 

In our guided reading lesson, the children really enjoyed learning more about our author, Charles Dickens. We had a go at retrieving information from the text and finding out more about Victorian times.

In Year 4, the children take home a non-fiction and a fiction book from the school reading book scheme to read. We also encourage the children to read for pleasure to become lifelong readers. We visited the school library to explore many different genres and the children chose a pleasure book to take home.

We have been practising our spellings and using our word aware resources to learn new vocabulary as well. We used an active way to clap out the syllables in our new words and then used various jumps and stomps as well to make this more fun and memorable. The children showed great determination with the activities as they learnt the spelling rules for the suffix -tion. 

We have been reading about Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens and using the book to explore vocabulary choices. We had to find adverbs in the text and we practised using adverbs in our own writing to apply what we have learnt and practice adding description to our writing.

We have also worked on identifying and using various sentence types: statements, questions, commands and exclamations. The children worked through an active Burn2Learn activity and had to find example sentences which they then had to sort into the correct categories. They worked well as a team and then discussed their findings as a class.

We have been reading and learning more about Oliver Twist. The children have been using drama to act out scenes from the story and they really enjoyed becoming Oliver or Mr and Mrs Bumble! We ventured outside to practice and explore the actions and words of the characters.

Building on our learning of adverbs, we have practised coming up with how, where and when adverbs through our Burn2Learn Beach Ball Bonanza! The children had to use chest passes and then depending on which colour their thumbs landed on, they had to list various adverbs. We then applied our learning to finding out more about fronted adverbials. The children were confident in identifying and punctuating the fronted adverbials afterwards.

Maths

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! 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 fluency in the back of our books to build our maths skills. The children had to work on their addition fluency with the column method using multiple exchanges.

We keep working on addition calculations using various representations. The children have to interpret the different representations and work out the answers using the column method as well to build their skills with the formal written method. We have also been working on our independence and we use calculators to self-assess our work. If the answers are incorrect, the children have to go back and show their working out to show the totals.

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 working on our fact families. The children worked on addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts which they need to recall quickly. We had an active way of assembling these number sentences using a Burn2Learn activity. The children also learnt what inverse operations meant. We are always trying to build our speed of recalling number bonds and quick number facts.

We have also been working on reasoning and problem-solving questions with addition. The children really enjoyed asking their own questions and then working out the answers as practise. They could then highlight key words and show their working out to answer questions.

We carried on working with the column method for subtraction. The children have become very confident and they try their best to keep their presentation smart and clear in maths. We have been working on our fluency with and without exchanges.

Science

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 and had a look at pie charts about where the UK’s electricity was generated in the 1970s and how electricity has been generated in more recent years. We also learnt about the future goals and the benefits of zero emissions.

Our famous scientists and inventors were Thomas Edison and Maria Telkes. We applied our English skills to read more about their inventions and contributions to science. We also made links to our History knowledge and placed the famous individuals on our historical timeline and making links to the Victorian era. The children reflected on what makes a good scientist and how inventions have an impact on our modern day lives.

As we were learning more about electrical circuits, we drew circuit diagrams. The children had to apply their maths skills and use their rulers to create accurate and clear diagrams which they then labelled with the appropriate scientific vocabulary.

The best part of our learning involved making electrical circuits and testing out our predictions on different series circuits and which arrangements will mean brighter bulbs! The children had to draw these circuits first and then build them to test their hypotheses. We then had to draw conclusions and wrote down our findings.

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 having a look at 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 sketching natural objects and using hatching and cross hatching to create shadows. We used different pencils from 4H to 6B. We did this as part of our Victorian Day.

We have been evaluating the work of William Morris and the children had to choose some of his prints and express their opinions using their English skills. The children had to reflect on the colour use, patterns and they also applied their maths learning when they were exploring how some artwork was symmetrical.

To get ready for creating our printing artwork, the children planned their printing block designs and created their printing blocks. We kept the theme of natural things to get the same inspiration as William Morris. We had to apply our maths skills to measure and cut out 10cm by 10cm printing blocks. The children then had to cut out their shapes and use their pencils to create patterns that would show on their prints.

When it came to printing, we had different materials to explore. The children used their cardboard printing blocks, explored using foam and plastic to create their prints with. They used colour mixing and evaluated if they wanted any symmetrical patterns when they practised on their drafts and then created their final pieces of artwork. 

We then evaluated our own final prints and also gave each other feedback on what went well and what could have been improved.

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.”

Computing

This half term, we will be working on our presentation and coding skills using Scratch Jr. The children will work with coding 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 sprites, 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!

We had a go at using Scratch Jr to code a maths quiz. The children had to choose a theme with a suitable background and sprites and create their maths questions relevant to a Year 4 child as the user.

We carried on practising with Scratch Jr and kept testing each other’s quizzes to be able to debug the coding if necessary. The children had to consider a lot of different options: using fun sprites and moving them, adding extra images and creating smooth conversations, adding sounds and using the ‘if’, ‘then’ coding blocks to create events. There were lots of creative and varied themed maths quizzes created! The children also had to evaluate their content when they finished.

Geography

Our focus will be on developing our map skills in Geography. The children will learn more about the Industrial Revolution in Victorian times and locate important UK cities like Leeds and Liverpool and learn about the Canal and its purpose in the past and present.

We explored the map where the children had to draw in the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. We also located Wetherby on the map and discussed the different directions using the 8 compass points. We also learnt about the historical uses of the canal and linked this to modern day use. We looked at various pictures and discussed how this human feature has been built.

History

Our topic is linked to History this half term. To kick-start our new topic, 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.

The children have been learning more about the lives of rich and the poor in Victorian times. We explored various aspects from the past, including people’s work, housing, clothes and schooling as well. We also learnt about local history when we read about Victorian Leeds. The children had to do their research and recorded their findings relevant to the Victorian lifestyles.

We have worked on placing historical events and artefacts on a timeline. We worked with many inventions from the Industrial Revolution and the children also had to place on the timeline the many laws that were made to protect the poor and working children throughout the Victorian era. 

We applied our English skills and found out more about children’s jobs in the Victorian times. The children had to read and retrieve information and reflect on what the difficulties of the jobs were.

We did more research about our local history of the Armley Mills and what jobs children had to do there. The Year 4 pupils then had the opportunity to deepen their understanding and apply their English writing skills to write a diary entry as one of the worker children from the mill. They had to also make links to other Victorian jobs and their prior learning from previous year groups too. 

MFL

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. At the same time, we will keep working on our sticky knowledge to refresh our vocabulary.

We began our learning by reading around the subject and used our reading comprehension skills to read about Paris and its many exciting attractions. The children then picked out and recorded many interesting facts.

We built on our prior learning of French numbers and used fun songs to practise saying higher numbers too. We went above 50! The children worked hard on their pronunciation and then applied their maths skills to work out some addition and subtraction questions to quickly recap their numbers between 1-10 to remember this sticky knowledge.

We used the ‘Dinosaur’s Shoes’ story to learn more about numbers, colours and greetings as well to link back to our prior learning. The children enjoyed the story and could translate the French words and phrases that the text highlighted. The also applied their English skills and created a glossary of words.

We practised saying and translating school subjects in French whilst completing our active Burn2Learn task. The children had to work in small groups and they had to find the image which matched their French sentence. The sentences talked about which school subject we liked or did not like. Many house points were earned as a result of children working quickly and recognising many French words and phrases.

We keep practising our numbers and the children had their useful 100 square to help them recognise the number patterns. We also learnt new vocabulary of various school subjects in French. The children had to use full sentences in speaking where they had to express which subjects they liked or did not like. We then had to write full French sentences to record our conversations too.

Music

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.

 In music, we collected an A to Z of musical vocabulary to reflect on our prior learning. The children were thrilled to be able to include something for X! This was a great way to recap what we have learnt last half term and build on the vocabulary and apply these in different contexts.

We listened to Antonio Vivaldi’s Winter from The Four Seasons. The children commented on the different musical instruments that they heard and saw when the orchestra played. The children discussed winter related vocabulary as well as musical words to describe the composition. We also used body percussion to add our own sounds to Winter. The children also came up with their own movements to act out the story behind the music, like snowdrops falling, clattering teeth, blustery winds or trying to keep warm in the snow.

Inspired by Vivaldi’s music, the children applied their English skills and composed a winter diamante poem. They had to collect and arrange different nouns, verbs and adjectives about winter. As an extra challenge, because we chose to write an antonym poem, they also had to work on words to do with the opposite season which was summer.

We have been working on evaluating music and using musical vocabulary to do so. The children had lots of practice and as we slowed down and sectioned the music, they had a chance to think about the tempo and dynamics, as well as matching the part of music with the instruments that are playing and a poem written about winter. This brough all of our learning together and gave a great challenge to the children. We also applied our English skills and chose two sections of the music to explain our findings.

Building on our dripping icicles practice, we spent time composing our own pieces of programme music to tell a story. The children could choose their musical instruments and compose their music depending on what winter scene they wanted to represent.

Year 4 has been practising singing Christmas songs alongside the other KS2 classes. Everyone gave it their all and the Liturgy Service in Church was a great success where the parents were blown away by the amazing singing performance.

PE

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.

The children had been coached by a Leeds Rhinos coach this half term and they have started practising many throws and catches to work on their PE skills. They had to also carefully thing about their posture and aim.

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.

The children have been great at working on their throwing skills and their spatial awareness. The had to work through various relay races and pay attention to each other in many different ways to be able to efficiently, quickly and accurately carry out the activities. They had to jump, hop, throw and receive balls as well as quickly pass each other.

It was time to work on our skills where we had to pay close attention to our partners. The children had to come up with different moves to warm up and get ready to work with their equipment as well as their partners. They then used tennis rackets and balls to improve their accuracy and precision.

PSHE

In PSHE, we will explore the topic of identity, society and equality with links to our British Value of individual liberty. At the beginning of the half term, we will discuss what is important to us to maintain our physical health and wellbeing. We will also learn about how a growth mindset can help us embrace further learning challenges and how we can build our resilience further.

We have learnt about various scenarios where we had to make good choices. Whether this was about being kind and generous with our friends, or knowing what good and bad touch are, the children could explain their reactions and had to consider the feeling of others. They all had to explore different points of view to help them with their reasoning.

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!

Road Safety Workshop

The children had a great workshop with Wendy, who came and taught us about the importance of knowing how to be safe around roads. The children reflected on their own experiences and then had a go at going outside and practising in a supervised environment how to cross roads safely and what to pay attention to. We talked about using our heads smartly and we would think, look and listen before crossing.

Dentist Visit

The children had a workshop where they learnt about how to take care of their teeth and why it is important for our physical health and wellbeing. The children asked Mr Auld many questions and got handy tips to help them look after their teeth.

Anti-bullying Assembly

This week in school it has been Anti-Bullying week. We kick started the week with odd socks day to emphasise our school saying of “We are all the same but we are all different”. We also had an Anti-Bullying assembly where we introduced the theme for this year which is “Reach out”. We explored what bullying is using STOP: Several Times on Purpose and emphasised the importance of telling others STOP: Start Telling Other People. We looked at different bulling scenarios both in person and online and explored what was happening and what could be done about it. We also explored Protected Characteristics, learning what they are that it means that it is against the law to discriminate against any of them.

We reminded ourselves of the anti-bullying rules we have in school. The children know if something unkind is being done several times on purpose, then they need to start telling other people. We celebrated Odd Socks Day to show that we are all the same but we are all different and how important it is to live in peace with each other and appreciate each other for who we are!

We learnt about protected characteristics and the different types of bullying through The Sneetches by Dr Seuss. The story gave us the inspiration to reflect on how it is important to recognise the types of bullying and what to do if it happens. We also extended our learning to online scenarios and learnt about how it is unacceptable to let bullying happen in any shape or form!

As part of our History learning, we explored the rule of law British Values and we learnt what the difference was between rules and laws. We also discussed our school T.R.U.S.T rules and reflected on how Victorian laws have been changing compared to why laws are important nowadays to protect children.

As part of our curriculum learning, in Science, the children learnt about electrical hazards. They became very knowledgeable and created their own posters about the potential dangers and everyday good practice when we are using electricity. We also learnt about the dangers of icy conditions around rivers and other bodies of water. The children could recognise many dangerous scenarios!