Spring Term 2

Welcome back! I hope you had a great half term break and the children are excited to get started on our new topic about our precious planet Earth!

Collective Worship

We had a fantastic first day back in school on Shrove Tuesday. Mrs Boyes prepared pancakes for us and we also thought about what Lenten promises we want to make come Ash Wednesday.

To reflect on why Lent is important and to make our Lenten promises, we had a lovely discussion in Year 4. The children wrote their promises and we placed them on our worship table. We also read a song from the Bible about Creation and why our planet is a wonderful place.

As part of our Lenten promises, we also thought of different acts of kindness to carry out throughout the 40 days of Lent.

We also celebrated by listening to the liturgy on Ash Wednesday.

On Thursday 3rd March in school, we celebrated World Day of Prayer. We held a special collective worship where we kept Ukrainian people in our thoughts and prayers.

We had a special CAFOD assembly led by Maggie, who introduced CAFOD’s Walk Against Hunger on the Monday of our Walk to School Week. The children learnt more about how CAFOD is helping communities thrive even in the most difficult environments and how we can help by taking part in the walking and fundraising challenge.

To celebrate the feast day of St Joseph, in Year 4 we created our own prayers which we collected on our prayer table. The children also shared and recapped their knowledge of St Joseph. We talked about other cultures and how they celebrate this important feast day. We learnt about customs in Italy, Malta and Spain. 

​RE

In RE the children will learn more about how Jesus is truly human and truly God. They will learn about the importance of Holy Week and what it means for us. We will also discuss how we can show our love for Jesus. As we are reflecting on Bible Scriptures throughout our learning, we will explore how they link to our own life experiences. Some important events we will be learning about and celebrating will be Lent, World Day of Prayer and St Joseph’s Feast Day.

As part of our maths learning, we discussed whole – part relationships to build our fraction knowledge linked to our topic. We worked with maps and then ventured outside to consider various possibilities to look at the environment as a whole, and its parts. To further link our learning to RE and caring about God’s world, we listened to Pope Francis’ Laudato Si and we learnt about climate change and what we should do to show we care about our environment. We also used this activity and opportunity to relaunch our Live Simply promise in class and we chose our Planet Protectors and made sure our recycling is happening in class.

We learnt about how Jesus is truly God, and as man, truly human. The children enjoyed exploring how Jesus was like them and we also reflected on his miracles he carried out.

We have been learning about how different groups of people reacted when Jesus entered Jerusalem. The children had to use and apply their English skills to use direct speech and say what the religious leaders, political leaders and Jesus’ friends would be saying in that situation.

We have started our preparation for our First Holy Communion in Year 4. The children learnt about the first two virtues, faith and hope. We said our prayers together, read Bible Scriptures and reflected on what these virtues meant for us in our lives.

English

Our theme of ‘Our Precious Planet’ runs throughout our English learning. We will be exploring the book ‘Escape from Pompeii’ by Christina Balit. 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.

We began our learning with exploring Escape from Pompeii by Christina Balit. The children had to make predictions and create a conversation between the characters based on the front cover and key words from the blurb.

To prepare for our author visit on World Book Day by Trish Cooke, the children researched the author and read about her accomplishments. We then came up with many questions about Trish’s life and fantastic work. The children really enjoyed the assembly where they could ask their questions to Trish and they could listen to one of her stories as well!

We learnt more about how to use apostrophes for singular and plural possession. We had a look at a fun video and listened to a song as well to help us write our top tips for the lesson. The children then had a go at using these correctly in their work about Escape from Pompeii.

To keep celebrating our love of reading in the class, the children wrote book recommendation bookmarks. A few of these have been chosen by the book corner monitors as winners who could get a prize for their fun, clever recommendations! These bookmarks are then places in the books in our reading corner for others to see and help them choose interesting reads!

For World Book Day the children have been preparing their lovely homework about who they are as readers. We shared this with the class and found this a great opportunity to recommend even more fantastic stories to each other!

On World Book Day, we brought a little magic into our English lessons and we did a guided reading lesson on Harry Potter by J K Rowling. We also applied our SPaG skills and worked further on plurals and possessive apostrophes. The children then celebrated World Book Day by creating their own fun bookmarks, and listening to famous people reading James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl audio book. We also had a great time reading for pleasure in weird and wonderful places around the classroom to be able to complete our class reading bingo.

To start planning our narratives about Tranio and Livia’s experiences in Pompeii, we have been learning more about volcanoes and the devastation that can be caused by an eruption. We watched an animated time-lapse video which we found very inspiring when we had to come up with various descriptive elements for our writing. 

We used drama to act out what the characters in our book might have experiences. We focused on the earthquake in the theatre, the panic on the streets and the hectic rush to the harbour! We also acted out some of the conversation that could happen between the citizens of Pompeii.

When it came to describing the volcanic eruption, we used sequencing to retell the story. The children had to consider the natural disaster and come up with the correct chronological order of events. We then used the ambitious vocabulary in our planning to get ready for writing our own narratives about the volcano erupting in Pompeii.

Our next inspiration for writing came from the short animation clip of The Lighthouse. We began exploring the story from the main character’s point of view and we worked in groups to match ambitious emotional vocabulary to the various parts of the story. We represented the story arch as a graph and worked on identifying the feelings and thoughts of the character. We then used our notes to plan a diary entry from the lighthouse keeper’s point of view.

We then had a go at drafting our diary entries and editing our work.

We decided to publish our writing by creating an impressive artwork as a backdrop for our paragraphs. The children chose their most captivating and exciting part from their diary entries and we used tracing paper and our neatest handwriting to publish our work.

Maths

At the start of this half term, the children will develop their understanding of fractions. We will work with unit and non-unit fractions and we will build a thorough understanding of tenths and equivalent fractions, so we can confidently move on to adding and subtracting fractions. We will be using practical equipment and pictorial representations to work with fractions before moving on to looking at numerical relationships in a more abstract way.

To start our new topic about our precious planet, we discussed whole – part relationships to build our fraction knowledge. We worked with maps and then ventured outside to consider various possibilities to look at the environment as a whole, and its parts.

We had a go at recognising and representing fractions by using practical resources. We used various manipulatives to make unit fractions and non-unit fractions. We also discussed what make one whole. We had to pay attention to place our numerator and denominator in the correct places when we noted down our fractions.

We love being active learners and going outside to practise our skills. We played Tagtive8 to practise our KIRFs by multiplying together the numbers we could grab off of each other. We played as smaller groups and finished the activity with two big groups having a go.

To make our maths learning even more fun and offer the children different experiences, we took part in a juggling maths workshop. The children got really inspired and then we used our break time to try to count and juggle outside for fun!

For World Book Day, we read ‘The Lion’s Share’ book by Matthew McElligott. The children had a great discussion about what it’s like to share fairly and what different fractions the different animals got of the strawberry sponge cake. We had a go at using practical ways to recreate the story and we folded paper to show how the animals have been sharing. The children had to note down what fractions these folds represented. We than had a go at solving fraction problems using the story.

We have been busy working on fractions and we explored equivalent fractions through varied fluency and reasoning and problem-solving questions. The children had to apply their multiplication and division knowledge to generate equivalent fractions or find the simplest forms of fractions.

We have been busy working on our times tables and using Burn2Learn active learning activities to engage our brains! The children enjoy the short bursts of pratising and they are getting very competitive!

To get the children excited about World Maths Day, we had an assembly about the fun way they can challenge themselves on Mathletics on the day. We looked at the World Maths Day games and leader boards too. We also received prizes that the children were keen to compete for!

On World Maths Day, we explored the story of Fractions in Disguise by Edward Einhorn and listened to the story of George Cornelius Factor who invented his reducer to help him simplify fractions. We had our own fraction museum in the classroom where we had to carefully look at the various exhibits to uncover the fractions hiding in plain sight. We had to solve the puzzles, find the fractions and then find their simplest forms too. We worked well in our teams and earned a lot of house points.

We made sure to practise our time tables today as well and played a Burn2Learn game of hoop hop.

Year 4 also enjoyed working on Mathletics to get a high score and get onto the leader boards!

We have been working on our fractions understanding further by working on finding fractions of quantities. 

Science

This half term we will be learning about living things and their habitats. We will be grouping living things in a variety of ways and learning about how they adapted to their habitats. Do they have wings? Do they breathe through their lungs? We will be using classification keys to help us identify and name vertebrates and invertebrates found in the local and wider environment. We will investigate our local area and focus on environmental changes and dangers. We will reflect on our own contributions and discuss how we can support our local habitats or endangered animals.

We explored various scientific vocabulary to do with living things and their habitats. We also used our English comprehension skills and read more about our environment and the impact of humans. The children used dictionaries to find out the meaning of some tricky words which they had to use in their own sentences.

We made links to our prior learning about living things and their habitats. The children thought of what they already know and things they have learnt since Year 2. We also recapped the 7 processes of Mrs Gren.

We have been learning about vertebrates and invertebrates. We investigates what questions we can ask to group animals into groups of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish. We had to make sure to ask the appropriate questions to be able to identify the animals’ characteristics.

To celebrate Science Week, we first of all tackled stereotypes about scientists. The children had to write down what a scientist does and what they look like. We then expanded on the children’s understanding and learnt various professions to do with science. We also discussed how diverse the scientific field of profession is. On the other side of our worksheet, the children recorded how they are being scientists and what scientific enquiry skills they are using in their own learning.

Year 3 and Year 4 prepared a Science Fair for the whole school. The experiments that the children prepared at home were sensational! The children were great at explaining the science behind their work and they confidently presented their work to the others!

 

Art

In Art, we will become painters as we explore the different techniques used by Georgina O’Keeffe in her artwork inspired by landscapes and nature. We will be using watercolour paint for our backgrounds and various brushes to create our paintings of a chosen nature-inspired landscape. We will adjust and refine our art as we work and evaluate how well they turn out.

To explore the artist and her work, we evaluated Georgina O’Keeffe’s work. We focused on her use of lines, shapes, tone and colour. The children picked their favourite painting and explained how the lines, shapes, tone and coulour were used to create the atmosphere.

We have taken our inspiration from Georgia O’Keeffe’s landscapes to create our own watercolour backgrounds. We will further work with this piece of art and paint a dramatic scene of a storm.

The children have been planning their stormy landscapes by choosing complementary or harmonious colours to create moods with. They sketched their tornadoes and planned whether they want to paint in landscape or portrait. 

During our planning, we experimented with creating mood through the use of complementary and harmonious colours. The children then practised their skills and used paint and different sized brushes to create a stormy landscape.

Check out some of our finished artwork!

As we completed our work, we followed this up by reflecting on how it all went. The children reviewed and evaluated how their finished piece of work turned out. We had to think about what we most and least enjoyed about the artwork, how pleased we were with the colour choices and what we might change if we had to do the work again. 

Computing

As part of our Computing learning, we completed an online questionnaire to reflect on our use of apps and different devices. We had to consider how safe we are online on these programs and how we can do Stop! Block! Tell! to make sure we are always careful.

Year 4 enjoyed working on Mathletics during World Maths Day to get a high score and get onto the leader boards!

 

Geography

Our topic is linked to Geography this half term. We will learn about our environment and the power of nature. We will investigate how volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis are associated with the moving tectonic plates. We will also investigate the ways in which natural disasters have impacted environments and communities. We will discuss a range of environmental issues and how human activity can impact on the world we live in.

We discussed whole – part relationships to build our fraction knowledge linked to our topic. We worked with maps and then ventured outside to consider various possibilities to look at the environment as a whole, and its parts. The children truly enjoyed finding the different areas on the map. The orienteering activity was a great, active way for us to work on our map skills.

To learn even more about our precious planet Earth, we have been exploring vocabulary relevant to extreme weather conditions. The children did their words searches and then had to do more research about the words and phrases that they found. The had to use these words in their own sentences to put them in context.

We have been working with our atlases during our lessons. We had to find the continents, oceans and the Equator on the world map to begin with. The children then further explored what climate change and the greenhouse effect are. We also learnt about what it means that we leave a carbon footprint behind and how we can make sure to look after our environment and the planet. We learnt about extreme weather and used our maths skills to gather data from line graphs. We learnt about the different average temperatures of the hottest and coldest inhabited places on Earth.

We have been learning about tectonic plates and the ring of fire in our lessons. After exploring the ways the plates move in different ways, we carried out a modelling experiment with Oreo biscuits! We used the biscuits to simulate the tectonic plate movements and the formation of volcanoes. We had to recreate the divergent, convergent and transform plates and their movements.

We combined our love or art and geography as we explored the different features of a volcano. We drew a diagram and labelled the key features, also explaining what these were made of.

History

In History, we will be further exploring the Ancient Romans.

We learnt more about the timeline of the Ancient Romans and how it has been a monarchy, republic and then how the empire expanded. The children also used their English skills and read about Julius Caesar. We then had to represent the key events in history on a timeline. The children also took on the challenge of showing Julius Caesar’s important events on this timeline.

MFL

This half term, as part of our French learning, we will be expanding our vocabulary about the time of day and the weather. We will be asking questions and acting out conversations together.

We started our learning by listening to an audio book about Tilly the tortoise. We learnt new vocabulary about the seasons and the weather. The children practised the pronunciation of these new words.

We went on to practise the spellings of the weather words. The children had to match the correct French phrases to the different events from the French book we read and we completed a fun crossword puzzle with the French words. We had to make sure to spell these correctly. The children also applied their geography knowledge where they had to read the French phrases about the weather and then match these to the European countries on their map.

We had a go at translating words and phrases from the book we have been reading about Tilly the tortoise. We used a glossary to help us and then we had to create our own glossaries based on the text we have been working with. We wrote down the French words and phrases with their English translations.

Music

In music, we will use Benjamin Britten’s Storm interlude as inspiration. We will listen to and describe his piece of music and create our stormy seascapes as we listen to the orchestra play. We will imitate sounds of a storm on the sea through portraying the natural phenomena with our music. The children will be given the opportunity to try a range of percussion instruments as they create their own compositions.

We had a great music lesson where we used body percussion to make our own music. We had to listen to instructions and the rhythms very carefully to be able to join in and keep up!

We carried on with our learning about percussion instruments and had a go at working with xylophones! The children had to carefully recreate the different beats and sounds that has been played by the teacher.

The children have carried on working on keeping the rhythm as they had to listen to music play and then had to respond. They then had the opportunity to compose their own music and record their musical notation. Also, as part of the lesson, they became active learners who had to move and dance to the rhytm!

PE

In PE, the children will be participating in team games and improving their throwing, catching and running techniques. They will work on adjusting their positions to benefit their team and using fakes and disguises as they try to outwit their opponents.

We have started to work on our agility and passes in PE. The children worked in pairs and small groups to work on their dribbling and passing skills.

We have carried on learning about the relationship between accuracy, distance and power as we worked as a team playing dodge ball. We are getting ready for our competition and played in our house teams.

We worked on our listening skills and our timing in PE. The children had to respond appropriately in game situations and keep working as a team to be able to receive and pass as many times as possible.

On World Maths Day, we had a lesson dedicated to working on our mental maths skills! The children had to count in multiples as they made their way through the obstacle course and we played times tables tig too.

After all the hard work and preparation, Year 3 and Year 4 held their dodge ball tournament. The children played in their houses and showed excellent resilience and teamwork as they participated. The children had to apply all their skills and make sure their aims were accurate and they have used appropriate power to be able to win the matches! Stamina was also important and being able to anticipate the opponents’ moves.

PSHE

In PSHE we will be making smart choices. We will explore the topic of drugs, alcohol and tobacco use and why these substances pose risks. We will talk about the different patterns of behaviour that are related to using these substances and we will explain what a habit and addiction is. We will also discuss that medicines can be used to manage and treat medical conditions and that it is important to follow instructions for their use.

The children had a fantastic time taking part in a den building workshop. They had to work in teams and did an incredible job giving each other advice, helping each other out and sharing resources. It has been a great team building exercise that we enjoyed together!

We had a very informative assembly about how to care for nature and our local environment. The children learnt about why is it important to plant trees in our local community and how they are essential to wildlife. We also had to identify everyday household items that we can reuse or recycle and we proudly shared our school commitment of recycling crisp packets too.

Key Stage 2 took part in a fantastic diversity assembly where we learnt  more about the pillars of Islam and other religions too. The children reflected on how we are all the same but we are all different. They enjoyed singing and taking part in a true or false quiz too.

At the end of the half term, we used a blob tree to show how we felt about our learning. The children had to choose which blob mostly represented their feeling about their learning and then explain how that showed their emotion. We also focused on our proud moments and favourite activities.