Spring Term 1 2023-24

Happy New Year everyone! I hope all of you had a lovely Christmas break and you are ready for a great half term ahead. Our topic this half term will be all about the Ancient Romans. I am looking forward to getting started!

Collective Worship

Collective worship is a special time for us in Year 4. We all gather together and listen to readings 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!

 

RE – Celebrating the Mass

In RE the children will develop their knowledge and understanding of the Mass. They will reflect on the importance of Sunday and why Catholics go to Mass. They will learn about the different parts of the Mass like the Liturgy of the Word, the offertory, words of consecration and sign of peace.

We discussed and learnt about why Sunday is important for Catholics. We became active learners and also had to go on a word hunt around the classroom to find the meanings of religious vocabulary like Mass, Sabbath or Resurrection. It was also great share and to hear all the different activities the children do at the weekend. We also talked about why we go to Church and Mass. We then used our English skills to organise our ideas into paragraphs and write about why we feel Sundays are special.

We learnt more about why it is important to go to Mass and the children recorded their lovely ideas as an information poster that they could decorate. A lot of lovely examples were given during the class discussion as well as through the decorative posters.

The children had a lovely time on our class saint day! We celebrated the feast day of St Sebastian and learnt more about his life and why he was a saint. We made fact files about St Sebastian. As St Sebastian is known as the patron Saint of sports we played some sports games outside. We also enjoyed some snacks!

We have carried on with our learning journey and learnt more about the parts of the Mass, including the Greeting, Penitential Act and Gloria. The children had to reflect on why saying sorry is a good thing and how God is always with us and is ready to forgive us.

English

Our English learning will focus on the book of Empire’s End: A Roman Story by Leila Rasheed this half term.  We will engage with the text through discussion and drama and the children will have the opportunity to articulate their ideas about the texts using increasingly varied vocabulary. After becoming familiar with the text, the children will plan, draft, edit and present their own setting description and adventure story.

We started our learning journey by learning more about our new author, Leila Rasheed. The children read about her life and interests as we started reading Empire’s End: A Roman Story. 

In our guided reading lessons, we started exploring Empire’s End: A Roman Story and we used dictionaries to find the meaning of ambitious vocabulary. The children then had to apply their understanding of these words and they used them in their own sentences.

We  recapped our learning about expanded noun phrases and the different word types they involve, like nouns, determiners and adjectives. The children had to take part in a Burn2Learn active learning task where they had to write as many examples as they could to get ready to apply these expanded noun phrases in their writing afterwards. 

To get ready and prepare to write our setting descriptions, we explored lots of ambitious vocabulary and figurative language. The children will use the words and phrases they collected to write about the storm that Camilla survived on her way to Britannia in our class text.

The children applied their previous SPaG learning and used their ambitious vocabulary in their setting description The final pieces were full of descriptive detail about the storm Camilla had to survive and a lot of figurative language to bring the action to life!

Maths

At the start of this half term, children will develop their multiplication and division understanding. We will learn our multiplication tables up to 12×12. Our learning also includes solving worded problems and working on our mathematical reasoning skills. Later on in the half term, we will explore factor pairs and efficient multiplication methods. We will learn to multiply two-digit and three-digit numbers by a one-digit number using a formal written layout.

Our new topic is Ancient Romans. Therefore, in Maths today, we used lollipop sticks to represent Roman numerals. By repositioning our lollipop sticks, we found different ways to make our equations true.

We had a fun practical lesson in Year 4 to start our topic on multiplication. 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.

We worked on our Key Instant Recall Facts (KIRFs) of times tables as we moved and worked with Super Movers! As part of our KIRFs practice, we work on our times tables in the back of our books with quick daily 10 questions! We also enjoy working on iPads on Times Tables Rock Stars! Using different practical equipment like dice or dominoes are also a fun way for us to test each other’s speed and recall.

We have been working on applying our multiplication and division knowledge to be able to multiply and divide by 10, 100 and even 1000! We also listened to a fun song and got active with a Burn2Learn activity to jump in the correct direction and the correct amount of times to show our maths understanding.

We have been learning about multiplying 3 numbers together. We completed a chilly challenge Burn2Learn activity outside where we could choose from various difficulties to give ourselves a challenge. The children had to work out factors and products by exploring various representations and number sentences. 

Science

This half term we will be learning about sound. We will carry out a sound survey and identify what sounds we can hear and what causes them. We will investigate how the vibrations need to travel through a medium to get to our ears.

We began our learning about sound with making some quick links to our prior knowledge. The children had to think about what they already know about sound and this helped us create some questions we wanted to find out about sound as part of our science learning journey.

We have been learning more about how sounds are made and how they can travel through different media. The children built on their prior learning of the states of matter and they were able to explain with examples how sound travels through solids, liquids and gases. We carried out a fun experiment making cup and string telephones The children also explored how they were able to change the pitch with their make-shift instruments! 

We applied our maths skills in science and learnt more about how sound can travel through various media. The children had to consider how many meters sound could travel every second through glass, gold, air or rubber for example. They then had to order the materials based on the speeds. We also explored how different musical instruments made sounds and what would vibrate to make the sounds.

Computing

This half term, we will be learning about copyright. We will learn about what plagiarism is and how this can happen online. We will learn more about using search engines efficiently and how we can respectfully use online content as responsible digital citizens. If there is something we want to use that we find online, a good way of giving the creator recognition and respect is by writing a citation. We will apply what we learn by researching information about Ancient Romans and presenting this information​.

The children worked on using their knowledge of Ancient Romans and also using iPads and library books to do more research, which they then had to use and they all contributed to a class wiki about Ancient Romans. This class wiki is a private page where the children could share their knowledge with each other online and also use citation to show the origins of their information to avoid plagiarism.

On Safer Internet Day, we have been reflecting on what it means to Stop! Block! Tell! The children knew many ways to keep safe online and who they could ask for help if they came across something that would not be appropriate for them. We discussed different scenarios and the children then had to work together to match these on their posters. They also had to write some advice to give to grown ups in case they were worried about children spending too much time on devices.

DT

In our DT project, we will become engineers as we start learning about Roman catapults. We will discover what they were, how they used levers, linkage systems and how they were built. We will build our own catapult models from classroom materials and we will test how well they launch various items.

We have started our learning journey by reading about Ancient Roman catapult designs and then evaluating various catapults made of everyday materials. The children had to think about how stable the catapults be and how fit for the purpose of firing projectiles across the room.

After evaluating, we planned our designs and which materials we will be using to create the catapults. The children had different purposes to consider, namely whether they wanted their catapults to shoot the furthest or for it to have the greatest power and be able to knock some jenga walls down. They then had to draw and label their plans.

To make sure we could handle the challenges of building our catapult, we used different fine-motor activities to warm ourselves up. We practised with rubber bands and also had a go at folding different pieces of card.

We had to have a lot of resilience and a growth mindset to be able to build our catapults. It was not easy and we had to start over quite a lot. Even so, the children persevered and worked well on their designs. There was a lot of teamwork going on to help each other create stable, sturdy designs.

As our final step, we tried our catapults and made sure to see if they fit the purpose they were designed for. Then the children had to evaluate their final designs.

Geography

As part of our learning about Ancient Roman invasions, we explored the Roman Empire at its greatest span in 117AD. The children had a historical map and modern atlases to explore and compare which modern day European countries or parts of these countries were part of the Roman Empire.

We also had a Geography lesson exploring the ancient and modern attractions of Rome. We applied our knowledge when writing our Roman adventure stories. 

History – Topic

Our topic is linked to History this half term. We will explore the myth of Romulus and Remus and how daily life was like in Rome. We will learn about the everyday lives of Ancient Romans and how the Roman Empire expanded and impacted life in Britain. We will learn about invasions and British resistance and how the Romans changed Britain.

To find out more about the lives of Ancient Romans, we did a lot of research in Year 4. We had some great library books that we could explore and recorded some interesting facts as we were reading around the subject. The children were very keen to share their findings with the rest of the class as well. 

We have learnt about the myth of Romulus and Remus and then we activated our prior learning to be able to build on this as we used the school timeline where we had to locate time periods we learnt previously. The children had to find the Stone Age, Tudors and Victorians, as well as our current focus which are the Ancient Romans. The children named and dated these time periods as well as they worked on recalling sticky knowledge facts about each.

We then moved our learning on by exploring how the monarchy, republic and empire were part of the way Ancient Rome was organised. The children then had to represent this on a timeline. They also had to add different events and apply their maths skills to estimate these date on the timeline as well.

During the whole-day workshop, Y4 had the opportunity to explore many aspects of the Ancient Romans’ lives. We learnt about the foundation of Rome, how Romans loved entertainment, we explored the Roman army, learnt about reading and writing in the Roman times and we also found out more about how rich and poor Romans lived. We could practice historical vocabulary by playing a fun Burn2Learn game where we had to match actions to the historical words. We played a fun dice game with Roman numerals and also had a look at what happened in Pompeii when Mount Vesuvius erupted. There were different aspects of the lives of Romans we could act out. The children did a super job at making those scenes come to life! Through our drama, we learnt about the baths, forgeries, the Roman army, slander and crime and punishment as well. We finished our workshop with a quiz and earnt lots of house points!

MFL

This half term, as part of our French learning, we will be extending our vocabulary about how to tell the time. We will explore am and pm, times to the hour and half-past. The children will explore time tables about school subjects and they will create their own schedules. We will also learn more about French culture and primary school life.

We celebrated Epiphany in class on Friday 6th January. The children enjoyed reading more about the Epiphany and how different cultures celebrate this special day. We read about Spanish, Belgian and French traditions as well! This has been a great opportunity for us to deepen our understanding of French culture. The children learnt about how the French like baking on this day and how they get to wear crowns as kings or queens on this day! All the children were excited to also explore the recipe for the three kings cake in French as well! We had to use French-English dictionaries to look up the meaning of various words and we created a glossary.

We worked on applying our maths skills in French to be able to tell the time. The children used practical maths equipment to show the time to the hour and show half past as well. They then had to write full sentences to tell the time in French.

We carried on with our learning about telling the time as we used a school timetable to help us read and write short French phrases. The children had to fill in the gaps in French sentences, decided if a French sentence was true or false based on the timetable and then they also had to write their own sentences about which school subject started at what time.

Music

This half term year 4 have continued to learn how to read and write musical notation.  We used clapping first, then had a go at using various musical instruments to play our music with. Year 4 worked in groups to compose their own Roman building song. We explored what crotchets, quavers and rests are. Finally, the children performed their Roman songs to the class. 

PE

At the start of the half term, the children have been developing their skills in playing ball games games. We have been working on our catching skills. The children practised chest passes with increased distance. They had to work on their accuracy and their power too. We kept working on our catching and throwing skills as we worked in pairs and then in large groups to show our sportsmanship and teamwork skills!

The children have also been working on their gymnastics skills and used various equipment. They learnt how to move and handle these safely and learnt explored many different ways to move through the space and more on and around the equipment as well. They worked on their group performances and presented these to an audience.

Year 4 have continued to practice their skipping skills ready for our competition in February.

Year 4 have had the opportunity to take part in two dance taster workshops this half term!

PSHE

In PSHE, we will explore the topic of how we can keep safe and manage risks whilst playing safely. This will include learning about friendships in the online environment and how to maintain positive relationships in our everyday lives. At the beginning of the half term, we will focus on online safety and gaming habits, considering age classification systems and why they are in place. Later on, we will be learning about the British Values and what they mean to us.

 

We have been learning more about British Values. We used our hand prints to recap and list the values. Then we had a focus on what respect means and what it looks like every day. The children had great ideas about how to show respect to others and themselves as well! We also learnt about individual liberty where the children reflected on what makes them special and why they can be proud of who they are. We talked about ways we can express ourselves and how other people might choose to express themselves and celebrate who they are.

On Children’s Mental Health Week and wear green day, we have been learning more about what mental health means and what good and poor mental health can look like. The children watched some videos and considered many different ways to make sure they can express their thought and feelings and maintain their positive mental health