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 called The Dizzy Heights of United Kingdom & Beyond.
We had a great time back in school in the first week. We recorded our Lenten promises and also had a collective worship in school on Ash Wednesday. Our prayer table monitors put a lot of effort into dressing our prayer table too. 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. We listened toother songs and said prayers together as well during our collective worship in class. The children also chose kindnesses that they will be carrying out during Lent alongside working on their promises.
We have had some parents joining us for collective worship in class. With the lead of our wonderful prayer leaders in class, we had lots of helpful ideas to be able to show reflection during our worship. The children chose focal points for each table, they wrote a prayer and we also listened to a great song whilst we reflected on our actions and thought about how we will be more reflective throughout the week.
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 and St Joseph’s Feast Day.
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 more about the Holy Week and the children have been exploring the last days of Jesus and how he has been treating his disciples and how he then got treated. We applied our English reading comprehension skills to read more and learn more about how Jesus sacrificed his own life for us.
Our theme of ‘The Dizzy Heights of United Kingdom & Beyond’ runs throughout our English learning. Our focus will be on mountain ranges and volcanoes and to explore exciting stories that are based around such wonders of the Earth, we will be reading the book ‘King of the Cloud Forests’ by Michael Morpurgo followed by ‘Escape from Pompeii’ by Christina Balit. We will engage with the texts through discussion and drama and the children will have the opportunity to articulate their ideas about the stories using increasingly varied vocabulary.
We began exploring the text of King of the Cloud Forests by making some predictions first. We based our educated guesses of character, setting and plot on the front cover, title and blurb. We then have been reading the first chapter and deepening our reading skills by practising retrieving information and also exploring ambitious vocabulary. We also learnt more about the author Michael Morpurgo.
We are going to explore the journalistic style of writing and we have been working on identifying the features of newspaper articles. The children used the First News newspapers from our class reading corner to find different articles and spot the various features. We also spent time reading the newspapers for pleasure.
To practice our use of apostrophes for possession, we worked on different examples where we had to explain various ways and show how items could belong to our main characters from King of the Cloud Forests. The children had to find the punctuation and then apply their understanding by correcting mistakes and then they wrote their own examples with the correct punctuation.
We explored the work of reporters as we read various research and pieces of evidence about yeti sightings. We arranged the events on a timeline, learnt more about how scientists have been looking at the evidence and what could be proved. The children had to evaluate the information and rank these to show how likely they might have been real sightings. We built this knowledge and understanding to be able to use the evidence in our newspaper reports later.
The children had a go at writing their newspaper reports and afterwards we also spent time working in pairs to edit and improve our writing. The children had to take good care of punctuating fronted adverbials, adding speech punctuation correctly and carefully considering spelling rules.
Word Book Day
Just before World Book Day, the children had Jane visiting who held a wonderful assembly about how to make the most of Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress. The children were shown the great ways to navigate the library and how to have a go at the reading quizzes when they finished a book of their choice.
In Year 4, on World Book Day, we had many children come to school dressed as their favourite book character or they wore their most comfortable pyjamas! We had lots of fun on this day reading for pleasure. In maths, we read a book The Lion’s Share by Matthew McElligott about sharing cake which fit our learning about fractions. We visited the school library, borrowed books and spent time reading for pleasure.
We had our virtual author visit by Michael Morpurgo. We learnt all about his inspiration for War Horse when he met a person who was telling him about WWI and his love of horses. We took part in quizzes as well and learnt that our author had 150 books, the whole set of puppets for the stage show of War Horse takes 8 months to create and that even Michael Morpurgo appeared on the show around a dozen times! We listened to him reading to us as well and we also submitted some of our questions online. We even heard his poem about a tortoise!
We did paired reading with Year 1. Where the children could take turns reading their books to each other. We made ‘me as a reader’ posters and created book recommendations of our favourite books which we displayed in our classroom.
At the start of this half term, we will be finding the area of rectilinear shapes. Following our work on area, 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.
Our work on area included counting squares to find the area and being able to draw the area of rectilinear shapes as well. The children also had to solve reasoning and problem-solving questions on area where they used inequality symbols to compare areas too.
To start our new unit about the fractions in maths, we discussed whole – part relationships to build our fraction knowledge. We worked with maps and then ventured outside for orienteering to consider various possibilities. The children found various representations of wholes and they had to find the parts. We also had to look at the environment as a whole and identify its parts as well.
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 makes one whole. We had to pay attention to place our numerator and denominator in the correct places when we noted down our fractions.
We carried on with some practical work exploring different fractions. We used a square as our whole and by folding the paper, we were able to represent different fractions of our whole.
World Maths Day
On World Maths Day, we took part in the Mathletics World Maths Day Challenge! The children had a go at playing 20 games ranging from level 1 to 4 and competed against each other in class, in school or even the world! They had fun using iPads and the online platform to engaged with maths fluency questions. We also had a bit of a fraction museum going on in our classroom with different exhibitions that the children had to work with. They looked at the various representations of fractions and solved tasks to write down what fractions they could spot.
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 made links to prior learning by revisiting the 7 life processes before we started grouping living things. The children had to record what they already knew about living things so we built our learning on these as we discussed the facts in class.
We carried on learning about living things and used our maths skills to group them using Venn Diagrams and Carroll Diagrams too. The children had many choices of animals to group and had to consider their characteristics. We also used iPads to research more about different animals.
British Science Week STEM Workshop
To start off the British Science Week in Year 4, we had Carrie visiting us from Racing to School to talk to us about the way jockeys are racing on the horses and how their diets form a big part of their preparations too. The children learnt about how an Equicizer can help people learn the foundations of riding conveniently, work on fitness and how jockeys use them to work on their technique. It was great that the children could also have a go! We also discussed how balance and coordination are important to work on and how we should be positioned in the saddle to be able to stand and push the hands forward to help reduce aerodynamic drag and help horses run faster.
To find out more about the healthy habits of jockeys, we also talked about the different food groups that we should eat to keep fit and healthy. The children explored the different food groups and had to choose from these to design meals for a day. They could work on days when 800 calories had to be consumed by a jockey and could compare this to the diets of a Tour de France cyclist who, in order to keep up with their intense physical regime, needs to consume 5000 calories per day. This task offered a great opportunity for the children to use their mental arithmetic to add and subtract to get to their desired outcome.
As part of British Science Week, Year 3 and Year 4 hosted a very successful Science Fair! All the children created a science game for their homework which then other children could play. Some children worked independently on their project, others worked in groups and there were lots and lots of fun experiments that the rest of the children from school who came to visit us could try out. The pupils even planned in prizes that could be won! We all had a fantastic time as we showed off our working scientifically skills. After the fair, we had a go and identified the working scientifically skills that we put in practice through our science games.
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 colour were used to create the atmosphere.
We spent time planning our watercolour backgrounds. The children had to sketch one plan by considering the shapes of the New Mexican land and plan an artwork based on these similar to what Georgia O’Keeffe has painted. We will add extra elements onto this watercolour landscape by painting tornadoes later which are extreme weather phenomena. The other sketch the children did were their choice of a mountain or mountain range.
We have been practising the different skills to do with watercolour painting. The children had a go at using different brushes and created large, evenly covered areas, painted smaller shapes carefully, worked with paint bleeding into each other and also had to control where the water goes for wet on wet techniques.
After creating our artwork, we reflected on how we have been developing our painting skills and creating mood with our painting. The children then explained a bit more about their colour choices, brush choices and how these helped them create a certain mood with their paintings.
Check out some of our watercolour paintings.
Wood Workshop Making Hedgehog Houses
As part of our whole school ecology project Year 4 had the fantastic opportunity to make large wooden hedgehog houses to be used within the school grounds and the local community. Zoe Phillips of Deckle and Hide ran the workshop where Year 4 children had an amazing practical hands-on project, working with pre-cut pieces of wood and up-cycled materials, which fits with our Live Simply mission. They made hedgehog houses linked to our Eco schools mission as one of our goals in helping the planet is to protect our local wildlife and habitats. The children learnt how important it is to help reverse the decline of hedgehogs in the wild, improve their welfare and safeguard the future of this much-loved animal.
The DT skills which the children have developed to be able to achieve this task included using a drill, changing drill bits, screwing and how to problem-solve and change where wooden panels are screwed together to ensure a great fit of the roof of the houses. Learning how to strengthen a structure and follow instructions were other key skills. The children also covered their hedgehog houses with felt to make them weatherproof.
This half term, we will become meteorologists! Using Keynote, the children will prepare and present their own weather forecasts. By exploring some of the advanced features of the app, we will combine text, images, audio and video for effect. We will work on holding a presentation for an audience as we describe and analyse weather data and choose fitting animations to our forecasts.
We began our computing learning by working on Internet safety questions. We recapped Stop! Block! Tell! and we learnt more top tips about how to keep safe online.
We then had a look at weather forecasts and watched examples as well as evaluated what made them informative and interesting for the audience. The children then also had to use their maths skills and had to interpret data about temperatures relating to the weather.
The children used search engines and reliable websites to find weather forecasts for Wetherby and the whole of UK on the iPads. They then used Keynote to create a short presentations with the relevant information and where they recorded their ideas. We have been creating these projects to get us ready for recording our own weather forecasts in small groups and present these with iMovie.
After researching the weather, the children wrote their scripts and recorded each other as part of their iMovie recording. They had to add their clips to iMovie to be able to edit their weather forecast presentations by adding ‘picture in picture’ or ‘cutaway’ features to include the maps which they were reporting on. The final videos even had added sound effects and different transitions.
Our topic is linked to Geography this half term. We will expand our learning about the UK and its mountain ranges. We will also investigate how volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis are associated with the moving tectonic plates. We will discuss a range of environmental issues and how human activity can impact on the world we live in.
We started by working on our map skills in Geography. The children had to find physical features on blank and physical maps with the help of atlases. We explored various mountain ranges of the world and then we focused on the mountain ranges of the UK. We also worked on our sticky knowledge and made sure to keep practising the continents of the world and the countries of the UK.
To make sure to keep our sticky knowledge bubbling, we have been ‘walking down memory lane’ in class to remember our previous learning about the UK, the Victorians and the Ancient Romans. The children found four facts of each topic and recorded these on a board game style sheet to remember them.
We used an active learning Burn2Learn activity to learn new topic related vocabulary so we would be able to label the parts of the mountain ranges. The children enjoyed the active learning and worked well in their table groups. They then applied what they found out about the words and their meanings to identify the parts of mountain ranges.
The children learnt more about the physical and human features of Italy and they had to use their maths skills to represent information in Venn Diagrams. They had to consider which human features were ancient and which were modern.
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.
In History, we will be further exploring the Ancient Romans and we will learn about what happened in Pompeii when Mount Vesuvius erupted.
We have been learning about primary and secondary historical sources as we have been exploring what happened in Pompeii in 79AD. The children had different sources to choose from and they had to use their understanding of the sources to explain what they tell us about the past.
To deepen our understanding of historical sources, we also explored how Pompeii is still being explored by archaeologists and historians with the use of modern technology. We learnt about 3D imagery and scans that can be made of buildings to learn more about what the city of Pompeii was like in its prime. The children then had to evaluate how these sources can tell us more about the past.
This half term, as part of our French learning, we will learn more words about our family. We will name family members and learn about what mealtimes we can share. We will spend time reading French stories and using dictionaries to look up the meaning of unknown words.
We started our learning by building our vocabulary of the names of family members. The children had to use word banks to find the meanings of English words or French. We created our own word bank that we will be using in our next lessons. As part of our PSHE learning too, we discussed the many different families that we might see around us.
We carried on learning about family members by looking at family trees. The children had to find the family members, match them with the French relationship words and then sort them whether they were masculine or feminine words.
We carried on recognising and reading familiar expressions in French. The children had to read different sentences and then had to translate sentences and then complete a family tree of Wilma the whale who was the main character in one of the stories were read in English and French. The children had to apply their understanding of the known words and they also drew the different sea creatures as part of the family tree in different colours.
We continued our learning by writing some simple sentences as part of our letter writing. We read Wilma’s story where she ran away from home to make new friends and we learnt about all the different family members that were missing her when she left her home. The children had to write a letter to Wilma to introduce themselves as a potential friend!
In music, we will be composing music to different footage of volcanoes and earthquakes. We will learn how to perform by ear and by using forms of notation and recognise crotchets, crotchet rests, quavers, minims, semibreves and how to use them to compose and perform rhythms. We will learn how to use texture and select sounds that will create the desired effect within our music.
The children had the super opportunity to listen to the Y6 children’s performance in the hall. We listened to the Y6 children playing different instruments in pairs, smaller groups or as a whole class where they kept to the beat and created their own rhythms.
We then went back to class and worked with Mrs Crowley on moving to the rhythm and keeping the beat by movement.
Year 4 have been learning to sing a song about earthquakes. We used a tune and had to sing together as a class. The children also used actions to accompany the different verses of the song. We also learnt what chorus meant.
The children have been working with different instruments to create their own compositions about extreme Earth phenomena. The children worked in small groups and had a great time deciding which instrument would best fit their compositions.
Year 4 worked in groups with their instruments this time to create and compose their earthquake music. They had to think about what instrument to pick for creating an appropriate tempo. The children explored how to use the instruments to build up the dynamics as well for dramatic effects. The groups then took turns performing their compositions with the other groups evaluating their work as audience members.
Leeds Piano Concert Trip
Since Ancient Greece, music and maths have been inseparable. All of Key Stage 2 had the pleasure of listening to international superstar pianist Alexandra Dariescu and London Symphony Orchestra conductor and presenter Timothy Redmond during our visit to the Leeds Carriageworks Theatre. The concert linked to the music curriculum by allowing learners to appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians. Also, we explored the links between music and mathematics. Together, we explored the irresistible combination of notes and numbers! The children sang along with the performances, counted the length of music, explored musical vocabulary and its link to mathematics, wondered about Pythagorean theories and frequency, used ratios to learn about intervals and more! The children really enjoyed the varied performance where they could listen to piano concertos from Grieg, Florence Price and Clara Schumann as well.
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 will also get ready to take part in our skipping competition by practising our skipping skills.
The children had a go in PE at working on their movements and techniques for running and moving around a restricted space. They had a go at modelling the techniques to each other and then competing in relay races too.
Year 4 has been working on improving their skipping skills and took part in the Skipping Festival this week where they competed against 5 other primary schools performing individual and group skips. We could truly celebrate the children’s achievements at the festival as they have shown their personal best skipping on the day! All the children built their determination, perseverance and teamwork during their practice and this was obvious at the competition too! The children brough back 2 bronze, 5 silver and 2 gold awards. We also had special mentions for children showing outstanding teamwork, self-belief and determination.
The school has signed up to be part of the FA’s “Biggest EVER Football Session” which is an initiative run by England Football to encourage more girls to play football. The girls took part and really enjoyed their time at lunch with the help of Mrs Powell, Mr Arthur and Mr Lawrence. Then we had the opportunity to listen to Abby from Leeds United about her experiences of playing football. She told the children about her experiences playing the sport and studying football at university too. She inspired a lot of pupils and shared the important message about how much sports can do for our health and wellbeing too.
On World Maths Day, the children had lots of fun being active and practising times tables facts as part of their PE lesson. They did times tables relays, played times tables tig games and had to test each other’s KIRFs in partners or small groups.
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.
We learnt about the key vocabulary about drugs, alcohol and tobacco. The children could ask questions if they didn’t understand something and we had a good discussion about how substances can be risky. We discussed ways these can affect the body and how people can behave when they take something that is not good for their health either.
During our French learning, we have been building our vocabulary of the names of family members. The children had to use word banks to find the meanings of English words or French. We created our own word bank that we will be using in our next lessons. As part of our PSHE learning too, we discussed the many different families that we might see around us and the children were great at being able to name many different ways families can look!
To carry on with out learning about British Values, we have been learning more about respect and tolerance. The children really enjoyed listening to the ‘respect rap’ and took a lot away from the key messages in the song! We have been then creating our British Values posters and to help us, we use DR TIM to remember them all!
We learnt more about the hazards of drugs, alcohol and tobacco use. The children had to discuss many scenarios and the potential harm that misuse of these substances could cause. We also completed a quiz and discussed facts to do with our topic.
This half term, we focused on race, religion and belief as we learnt more about protected characteristics. The children had a great discussion about why it is important to treat everyone well and they also completed some homework that they shared with the class. Our contextual safeguarding focus was on healthy and unhealthy relationships and the children came up with some excellent ideas about how to create and maintain good relationships.
Dogs Trust Visit
The children had a great time when we had a visit from Dogs Trust. We became detectives and the children had to evaluate a lot of scenarios when dogs have been handled by different people in different circumstances. The children had to think about what environment the dogs were kept in, who was interacting with them and what were appropriate and inappropriate ways to approach dogs. We also discussed the responsibilities of dog owners.