Spring Term 1 2022

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 ‘Romans Rule!’ and we will have a lot of time to discover a lot 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!

Listen to one of our favourite songs.

Our first week we celebrated Culture Week and we learnt about the British Values of showing respect and tolerance. As part of our learning, we discussed many different religions and we learnt about the differences and similarities there are between those beliefs and ours.

Some of the children’s comments:

“We both have a holy book that is important to us.”

“We both set aside special time to talk to God.”

“We eat different things when we celebrate.”

We celebrated our class Saint’s feast day on Thursday 20th January. The children read and learnt more about St Sebastian. We also had two super helpers who worked with Mrs Boyes on a special, sweet surprise for the whole class! We enjoyed the cakes and shared some with some of the hard-working staff around school as an act of kindness!

We learnt more about Lent through our assembly held by Deacon Charlie! The children heard of the different Bible stories and how the number 40 is significant and why. We also sang a lovely song in our assembly!

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 used drama to act out what we might get up to on a Sunday. It was great 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.

Some of the children’s comments:

“I like to go to church to talk to God.”

“We pray together with my family.”

“Sundays are for resting.”

We have been learning about the Last Supper. We used different sources, videos and paintings, to get more familiar with the events. The children commented on the artistic values they appreciated in the representations of the Last Supper and they also used their inference skills to imagine what the disciples could be thinking.

We carried on learning about how the Mass begins. We learnt about the Greeting, Penitential Act and Gloria. The children could explain the meaning of these terms and how they happen in Mass. We also reflected on why it is important to say sorry. We built on our own experiences by writing about why saying sorry helps us and why it helps others.

As part of our learning about Mass, we did a Burn2Learn activity where we had to find Scriptures in the hall and then look these up in our Bibles. The children could confidently and quickly carry out this task and had fun being active learners.

We learnt about the Offertory and Consecration during Mass. We reflected on the extraordinary thing that happens to wine and bread and that the love that Jesus has for us is the greatest in the world. We used our English skills to write similes to show how great Jesus’ love is. The children then decorated these similes beautifully.

English

Our English learning will focus on Roman myths this half term. We will be exploring the myth of Romulus and Remus in detail as we read The Orchard Book of Roman Myths by Geraldine McCaughrean and Emma Chichester Clark. We will engage with the text through discussion and drama and the children will have the opportunity to articulate their ideas about the text using increasingly varied vocabulary. After becoming familiar with the text, the children will plan, draft, edit and present their own narratives.

Our first week we celebrated Culture Week and we chose different myths and folktales to read in Year 4. We had a look at our topic book where we read the start of Romulus and Remus. We discovered ambitious vocabulary from the story as we used dictionaries to find words. We also read a Japanese myth and a folktale from Ghana. The children worked on their skills of retrieving information, drawing inferences and using the text as evidence to explain their opinions. 

We  recapped our learning about the different word types like nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs by playing our fun, active game called Beachball Bonanza! We then put our skills into action by writing many descriptive expanded noun phrases about Romulus and Remus.

We pride ourselves on our super attitude to reading in Year 4. The children really enjoy their classroom jobs looking after our reading corner and class mini library. The children also enjoy taking part in reviewing books and receiving prizes based on their useful recommendations.

We also like going to the school library where we borrow books that we can then read for pleasure in class and at home as well. 

After getting more and more familiar with the myth about Romulus and Remus, we worked in groups to sequence the events of the story. The children then had to retell the story using the picture clues and focusing on the main events. We also reflected on how many myth features we can spot in our example myth.

Our learning about direct speech began with the catchiest song! Have a listen to see what we mean!

The children sang and acted out the song to remember the rules of using direct speech in our writing. We then practised and applied our skills. First, we had to spot inverted commas in the text, then we had to identify the correct places they would go in the text. Then, we made up our own examples by writing a conversation between Romulus and Remus. We further worked on our paragraph about what the Roman gods would say about what happened to the twins.

After our work with the myths, we began exploring Journey by Aaron Becker. The children were fascinated by the magical crayon and where it took the little girl who used it and we wrote our setting descriptions of the beautiful forest she entered.

Getting more and more familiar with the story of Journey, we have been sequencing the action which happens and planned our own action sequence that we will be writing. We used a story arch to represent our story and place the various events on it in a chronological order.

We then created our own narratives based on Journey!

We didn’t just stop there though. After the girl and boy met at the end of the story, we used our imagination and created our next adventure story!

Year 4 truly enjoyed the author visit from Georgina Stevens the author of Climate Action. We used this book to make links to our learning about generating electricity and being able to find energy-efficient ways to live. The children also created some of their own questions they wanted to ask Georgina.

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 Romans Rule! 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 learnt more about multiplying and dividing by 10, 100 and even 1000. The children used their knowledge of place value to help them in their learning. They worked hard as we began our learning and they are proving to be resilient and active learners! 

We have been learning to recall and apply our multiplication and division facts in our maths lessons. We learnt the rules for multiplying by 0 and 1, as well as dividing by 1. We worked with different practical resources to represent division and remainders as well.

We worked on our Key Instant Recall Facts (KIRFs) as well by playing some fun times tables and division games! We could choose between connect 4 or a board game to pracise our skills of recalling multiplication and division facts quickly and consistently. We are active learners who love to move and work with Super Movers!

We practise 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! 

We love being active learners and to work on our maths skills outside. We used Venn Diagrams to learn facts about our 2, 3 and 5 times tables. We then combined this activity with a fun Tagtive 8 game. We had to place our numbers we won into the correct sections of the diagram!

Carrying on our work on multiplication, we worked with factors and products. The children had to find the factors of different numbers by using the curtain method and filling in their factor bugs. 

We have been busy learning written methods to multiply.  We explored the long and short methods and used various representations to help us with our working out. The children have been showing great resilience as they worked through the examples and carefully showed their layouts in their books.

To deepen our times tables knowledge and practise our multiplication skills, we went outside for a Burn2Learn activity. We could choose from different levels of chili challenges as we worked in small groups! We had to multiply 3 numbers together and find the strategies that worked for the different problems.

For an extended challenge, our super mathematicians have been learning how to multiply with 2-digit numbers too!

We have been working on our multiplication and division skills in Year 4. To investigate remainders, we had a practical lesson where we used manipulatives to work out which calculations would result in having remainders. We also went outside to do a Burn2Learn activity where we had to group ourselves and see what the remainders might be.

We have been using a lot of different practical equipment to work with our division and to be able to consolidate how to find the remainders!

We do like to enjoy getting active with the Super Movers to practise our times tables! We worked on 12s most recently.

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 a fun experiment of making head harps! The children then learnt about how sounds are made and how we perceive them. We had fun trying to see how we can change the pitch of the sound created by our head harps. We also used our English skills to explore scientific vocabulary and group them according to their word classes.

We had a look at Marvin and Milo’s fun science experiment and had a go ourselves! We used everyday materials to create our noisy, loud lolly instruments. We then children created their lollies, we tested them and could produce high and low pitch sounds as well. We then recorded our findings in our science books.

We also took the opportunity to test out the pitch our rulers made depending on what length hung down the tables! The children used their scientific enquiry skills well and drew their conclusions about high and low pitch sounds.

We explored how sounds travel through mediums by making and using our own string telephones! The children used various lengths and tested how the string telephones worked best. 

Some of the children’s comments:

“We had to keep them taut to be able to let the string vibrate well enough for us to hear each other.”

“We could hear each other from across the whole classroom.”

“Our cup had to have some tweaks with sellotape but we made it work!”

Computing

This half term, we will be making a noise! We will be coding with Scratch, creating and editing music. The children will choose their instruments, animate and control them by coding and debugging their algorithms.

Our topic is Romans and we used iPads to create digital mosaic art inspired by the Ancient Romans. The children learnt about the different mosaics and what patterns were used and they also had the opportunity to create their designs on paper before recreating these digitally.

A fun game we use in Year 4 to show our understanding of online safety is playing Band Runners. The children are very competitive and like to score high whilst playing the game. We discussed the different scenarios they saw on the game and talked about keeping personal information safe, being kind to others online and not talking to strangers. 

Some of the children’s comments:

“I would only send private messages to my friends.”

“I would never meet up with someone I don’t know.”

“If I feel uncomfortable online I tell my parents.”

We have been working on computers with Scratch to code. We used different backdrops, sprites and added our own digital art to create different musical instruments that we then animated. We coded events and added text and change of art to make our concert-inspired work exciting for the users.

We take Internet safety seriously in Year 4! On Safer Internet Day, we learnt more about why this day is important and we discussed what personal space is offline and online, as well as what consent is and when we should give our consent. The children worked in groups and could reflect on various scenarios very well. We had a detailed discussion where the children had to reason and present their opinions to the class.

To learn about what manipulation can look like offline and online, we explored different ways videos, photographs or voice recordings could be edited. The children learnt about what memes are and this learning linked well to our online safety prior knowledge. The children could also confidently talk about what peer pressure is and how they should behave in different scenarios.

To finish our computing project on coding, the children used iPads to create their code and animate sprites, create backdrops, create sequences of events and create accompanying sounds.

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 began our learning journey by evaluating different types of Roman catapults. We also had modern recreations we looked at made of everyday materials.

After evaluating different designs and historical catapults used by the Ancient Romans, it was time we planned and designed our own catapults! We used our English skills to label our work and to explain our choices of materials and their purpose in the movement of the catapults.

To make sure we could handle the challenges of building our catapult out of pencils, 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.

To bring our project to its conclusion, we had a catapult competition. We used our maths skills to record how far our projectiles have travelled and we also evaluated how well our designs turned out!

Geography

In Geography, we will be learning about Italy and Rome. We will be locating Italy among other European countries on a map and comparing Italy to Britain.

We made links to our prior learning of continents as we were learning more about European countries. The children had to find the different countries on the map using their atlases. We also zoomed in onto Italy and had to find its various cities.

We further worked on our understanding of what Italy is like, by exploring the many attractions Italy can offer. We then used our maths skills to complete our Venn Diagrams about which attractions were considered ancient and which were modern.

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 read our library books and used iPads to carry out our research. The children then presented their findings in their groups to the whole class. We will use these pieces of information to create our non-chronological reports.

Using the research and finding out even more interesting information, the children planned out what they will include in their non-chronological reports about Ancient Romans.

To further deepen our understanding of Ancient Romans, we worked on our English skills and looked at the useful features of non-chronological reports about soldiers. We annotated the text and picked out topic specific historical vocabulary too. Looking at all these pieces of information will inform our own non-chronological reports about the Romans.

The children used their English writing skills to create their own non-chronological reports. They could choose what elements they wanted to include and what fun pieces of facts they wanted to share.

To make links to our prior learning, we have been exploring chronology in history. We built a timeline where we included various events and we reflected on how many years have passed in-between these.

MFL

This half term, as part of our French learning, we will be extending our vocabulary about places, clothes, colours and numbers. We will explore shops and places around town and discuss clothes we can buy in stores and garments worn at fashion shows.

We began our learning by expanding our vocabulary with different fruits. We worked on our pronunciation and tested each other to see how many words we could remember. 

We learnt more words! This time we explored vegetables. We also had to use our maths skills to find the vegetables in our grid and record the grid references together with the French words. We also used English-French dictionaries to look up even more words!

Whilst learning about different foods, we had a read of a story called Little Monster. We practised saying various French phrases of numbers and colours of food items. We also learnt how to say full sentences that show what we like to eat or don’t like to eat. We ventured outside for a Burn2Learn activity and had fun practising the different words whilst being active.

Music

At the start of the half term, we will use descriptive vocabulary to evaluate a musical piece composed by the Italian composer, Giuseppe Verdi. We will also work on recognising the symbols for minim, crotchet and semibreve and say how many beats they represent.

We began our music learning by listening to Verdi’s Dies Irae. The children then had the opportunity to reflect on how much they liked or disliked the musical composition. We discussed the various instruments used and the effect on the listener. 

Some of the children’s comments:

“I think it sounded dramatic.”

“The listeners might feel overwhelmed by listening to the singing.”

“The instruments that stood out most were the trumpets.”

We evaluated Verdi’s Dies Irae and used musical vocabulary and our English skills to organise our ideas into paragraphs as we focused on the structure of the musical composition, its dynamics, tempo and timbre.

We have been learning about musical notation and we composed our own music! We explored what crotchets, quavers and rests are. We used clapping to create different rhythms.

After using clapping first, we had a go at using various musical instruments to play our music with.

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.

We started our PE learning by working on our skills with footballs. The children had to work on their aim as they were passing between themselves and their accuracy in timing their kicks. They had some very precise shots and worked well as small teams!

Getting ready for our skipping competition later this year, we have already been busy learning our last few moves. We expanded our knowledge on the cross over and the side swing cross. The children are becoming truly resilient and they keep increasing the number of skips they do!

Our final and possibly trickiest move yet was the pretzel! The children had a great time trying to master the moves and increase their skip counts!

We have been working on our basketball 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 throwing skills as we used tennis balls to throw and catch. We worked alone, in pairs and then in large groups to show our sportsmanship and teamwork skills!

PSHE

In PSHE, we will explore the topic of how we can keep safe and we will learn about British Values. At the beginning of 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.

Our first week we celebrated Culture Week and we chose different myths and folktales to read in Year 4. We had a look at our topic book where we read the start of Romulus and Remus. We also read a Japanese myth and a folktale from Ghana. The children worked on their skills of retrieving information, drawing inferences and using the text as evidence to explain their opinions. 

We learnt about the British Value of showing respect and tolerance. The children were very knowledgeable and could think of various examples from their own lives when they show respect and why it is important to be tolerant in our lives and treat everyone like we would like to be treated. We drew our hands and recorded our examples in them. We then also discussed as a class different scenarios and whether they were true or false.

Some of the children’s comments:

“You shouldn’t be judged by what you wear.”

“You should not be treated differently because of what you believe.”

“I show respect by playing by the rules.”

Our next focus was individual liberty from our British Values. Our class discussion focused on how we can be proud of who we are and how we can express ourselves. The children then created their own smiley face pictures with all the things they find important in their lives and what makes them special individuals. We also revisited our statement of we are all the same but we are all different. 

We further explored our British Values and learnt more about how we live in a democracy and how this shows through the elections and voting. We read about what MPs do and how they are elected and we also had the opportunity to express one topic that we felt important which we then shared with the class.

We carried on our learning about consent and personal space. The children worked in groups to discuss various scenarios where consent would be required. They could also mention online or offline scenarios of their own too. We also reflected on how to make sure everyone’s personal space is respected. The children also recapped the P.A.N.T.S. rules and enjoyed Pantosaurus’ song and the important message about pants are private!

We take Internet safety seriously in Year 4! On Safer Internet Day, we learnt more about why this day is important and we discussed what personal space is offline and online, as well as what consent is and when we should give our consent. The children worked in groups and could reflect on various scenarios very well. We had a detailed discussion where the children had to reason and present their opinions to the class.

To learn about what manipulation can look like offline and online, we explored different ways videos, photographs or voice recordings could be edited. The children learnt about what memes are and this learning linked well to our online safety prior knowledge. The children could also confidently talk about what peer pressure is and how they should behave in different scenarios.

To start off our Well-being Week, the children got very creating and created a mood meter for our daily check-ins.

During Well-being Week, we had a lot of discussion with children about what mental health is and what supports our well-being day-to-day. We all investigated the 5 ways of well-being and made plans and set goals to achieve to make us feel great! We had a think about how to connect with others, how to give to others, how to keep learning, how to be active and how to take notice of our surroundings and be mindful throughout the day. The children also designed their own posters about mental health and how that can affect us in both a positive and negative way. We learnt ways to keep us positive to help with our mental health.