Summer 1

Welcome back! I hope you had a great Easter break and I hope the children are excited to get started on our new topic about Ancient Egyptians!

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!

As we came back after Easter, some of our children have surprised us with some chocolate cookies which have been baked with the help of Mrs Boyes! All the children have been eager to try these baked wonders that have been decorated with Easter eggs!

We have been giving thanks and reflected on the wonders of God’s World. We recapped the creation story and the children wrote their own prayers where we also made our pledges about how we can look after God’s world in our everyday lives. Some children made a promise to walk more to school or to take care of their plants and garden at home. We all keep our goals in mind to live simply!

During May, we devote and dedicate our prayers to Mary as we pray the rosary. We remember the many ways God blessed Mary and we read about Mary in Scripture. Our class collective worships are themed around May, the Month of Mary.

Our prayer tables have been decorate by the children:

As part of our Living in Leeds week, we learnt about what a culturally diverse city is like. We went for a Burn2Learn activity outside and had to recognise various buildings from around Leeds. We then also explored the different Sikh Temples that are to be found in Leeds and we learnt about the 5Ks. We discovered how many similarities we have between our faith and the Sikh beliefs. We also found differences that we could compare and discuss.

RE – Early Christians

In RE the children will learn about the Early Christians. They will learn about how Jesus made Peter Head of the Church and how the Church began at Pentecost. The children will be given the opportunity to develop their knowledge about the apostles’ journeys and teachings. As part of our First Holy Communion programme in school, we will explore seven virtues: faith, hope, love, stillness, faith, courage and reflection. Our preparations will ensure that all of our pupils are prepared and ready to receive Jesus Christ.

We have started our learning journey by learning about Peter and Jesus’s relationship and how Jesus made Peter the head of Church. The children applied their English skills and wrote a conversation between Jesus and Peter. 

We have been busy working through our Heart Speaks to Heart booklet, getting ready for our First Holy Communion. We enjoyed the sunshine outside in our prayer garden as we read Bible stories and discussed what they meant for our faith journey.

We carried on learning about Jesus and the Ascension. The children thought about what the disciples might have felt and thought. As we moved on to learning about Pentecost, we did a Burn2Learn activity where we had to find parts of the Pentecost story. The children then had to sequence the events and we also learnt new religious vocabulary.

We have come to the end of our First Holy Communion preparation and the children have been reflecting on their journeys together in class. We thought about how important it has been for us to learn about how we receive Jesus as part of our First Holy Communion. We have been very lucky because before we visited St Joseph’s Church, Canon Nunan visited us in class. The children had the opportunity to do their Reconciliation and then Canon talked to the children about the Sunday Mass and how they are so very special to be doing their First Holy Communion. 

English

Our theme of ‘Ancient Egyptians’ runs throughout our English learning. We will be exploring the book ‘The Egyptian Cinderella’ by Shirley Climo. We will consider how the traditional Cinderella story appears in a different cultural setting.

We began our learning by making predictions based on the front cover and blurb of the book ‘The Egyptian Cinderella’ by Shirley Climo. We wrote about the characters, setting and plot before reading the story together.

We have been learning about the same story appearing in different cultures. We explore the French Cinderella story, the Micmac Tribe’s North American story of Little Burnt Face and the Chinese tale of Yeh-Shen. The children really enjoyed listening to the stories and we had a great discussion about similarities and differences.

Based on our Egyptian Cinderella inspiration, we wrote a diary entry as Rhodopis who is the main character. The children had to consider the informal tone and what thoughts and feelings they will be sharing. 

To focus further on the emotions of characters, we have been busy with a Burn2Learn activity outside and collected many ways that show the emotions without explicitly telling the reader. We looked at the examples together and then spent time on creating our own sentences in the context of our class text to get ready for our diary entry writing.

To finish our writing process, we edited and improved our writing. The children also completed their self-assessment and gave each other feedback too.

For our spelling and punctuation work, we have been identifying and using fronted adverbials for time, place and manner. We also took the chance to revise our sticky knowledge of different word classes.

To promote the love of reading for pleasure, we like to visit the library! The children have been excellently behaved as they chose their new pleasure books that they can take home to enjoy in their free time.

We have been busy planning and then drafting our own narratives based on the Egyptian Cinderella story. The children had to apply their knowledge of fronted adverbials and direct speech to make it as interesting as possible for the reader.

The children have been great at using their own initiative and during our free reading for pleasure time, they kept writing their own book review bookmarks. Our book corner monitors then had the chance to choose and reward some of the best recommendations.

We enjoyed a bit of a practical way to engage with direct speech punctuation in our English lesson. The children had to show inverted commas and other punctuation marks to add to their conversations they created. 

Maths

At the start of this half term, children will develop their understanding of decimals. We will learn to divide by 10 and 100 and find the effect of these divisions, being able to identify the value of the digits as ones, tenths and hundredths.

We built on our prior learning of fractions and explored tenths and hundredths. We had to then represent hundredths and partition these into hundredths and tenths. We also built on our learning and introduced decimals which were equivalent to our fractions.

We have been learning about the place value of decimal numbers and explored various ways to represent the decimals. 

To further and deepen our understanding of the place value of decimals, we explored part-whole models and other varied fluency tasks to explore decimal numbers.

To recap and practise our sticky knowledge of multiplying and dividing by 10 and 100, we worked on fluency questions which we will apply in our further work with decimals.

We ventured outside for a Burn2Learn activity as we became archaeologists trying to break the pharaoh’s code. We solved varied fluency questions by being able to find the value of different representations of decimals. We then had to work with the decimals we found and use our column addition and subtraction to work the answers out. As an extra challenge, we could have a go at writing our own hieroglyphic codes to each other!

We have been busy working on our times tables. We have worked on improving our recall and speed by remembering all times tables facts up to 12×12.

We had to put together a menu for ourselves whilst we were working with decimal numbers! During our Burn2Learn activity outside, we used our kids’ food menu to estimate how much we had to pay. We had to choose a main dish, a dessert, a side and a drink! We had to find our favourites and then round the amounts to quickly check how much they would cost.

We have been practising our times tables using Times Tables Rock Stars. The children enjoy the use of technology to help them learn and practise recalling their times tables to get ready for our multiplication tables check.

To further build on our learning of decimal numbers, we used practical equipment and solved questions by working with money. We had to convert between pounds and pence, as well as add and subtract different amounts.

We carried on and learnt more about time. The children had a great time using our analogue clocks in the classroom and using them to show different times. We learnt about am and pm and how to show time in the 12-hour or 24-hour format.

Science

This half term we will be learning about the digestive system and food chains. We will carry out a fun experiment to show the different parts of the digestive system and their functions. We will observe over time how the shells of boiled eggs change depending on what liquid they are kept in and after recording our findings we will evaluate how well we designed our experiment. We will explore producers and consumers in food chains and create various food chains of our own.

We have been learning about the different parts of the digestive system. The children watched a video and then used their English reading skills to explore a text which was full of scientific vocabulary. We worked on retrieving information and finding the meanings of words from context to widen and deepen our understanding of scientific words.

had a fun experiment where we modelled the functions of the different parts of the human digestive system. We worked as a team to show how our digestive systems work. We then reflected on our experiment and identified which internal organs were represented by which part of our experiment. 

Computing

This half term, we will be creating a class wiki. The children will explore how search engines work and how search results are ranked. We will use advanced search options to do our research about the ancient Egyptians. After collecting and sorting through our findings, we will present them as a class wiki page that we can continuously edit and review.

Building on our previous learning of coding with Scratch, the children have been working on their own projects. They had to consider changing the backdrop and adding various sprites. We then worked on adding events, motion and looks to make our projects more interesting.

DT

This half term we will be cooking. We will be discovering what foods ancient Egyptians ate and we will consider what ingredients we will need to make Egyptian bread. We will learn about how to prepare ingredients hygienically and how to measure to the nearest gram accurately. The children will follow a recipe and once baked, evaluate their finished product.

To investigate our topic of Ancient Egyptians even further, we learnt more about the diet of the Ancient Egyptians. We then had a go at tasting different types of flat bread which are available nowadays in supermarkets.

To plan our cooking, the children had to evaluate the Egyptian flat bread recipe and ingredients that we had available. They were able to show their plan in a flow-chart and they could also choose a secret ingredient!

We have applied our English reading skills to learn more about food hygiene and how to be safe whilst cooking or baking. The children also used a picture clue and identified the possible cross-contamination.

We also put our Maths skills to the test when we had to work with different types of bread available from supermarkets and we had to apply what we knew about money problems. The children worked out different totals and calculated change.

To work on our fine motor skills, we had some finger gym exercises that we carried out before getting on to the measuring, mixing, combining, kneading and sprinkling tasks!

When we got to doing the cooking, the children were really great at following the recipe, adding their secret ingredient and kneading the dough!

Our end product was a delicious Egyptian-inspired wholemeal flat bread.

Geography

In Geography, we will find out about the physical and human geography of Egypt and we will work with various sources and data to be able to explain our views about the location by giving geographical reasons.

We began our learning of Egypt’s geography by looking and two different maps. One historical map and one modern. We also used atlases to find out more about Egypt. The children then applied their maths skills to find various physical and human features on the maps. The had to find the landmarks and write down the grid references.

We used our English reading comprehension skills to learn more about Egypt. The children had to retrieve information and also use their maths skills to interpret information from graphs about the average rainfall and temperatures.

We have explored different topic specific vocabulary about Egypt that will help us write and communicate our understanding about the physical and human geography of Egypt. After using dictionaries to make sure we have the correct vocabulary, the children applied their English skills to write in paragraphs about the various features we mentioned and had a look at in previous lessons.

History

Our topic is linked to History this half term. We will explore the ancient culture and investigate the lives of ancient Egyptians. We will learn about how Howard Carter found the tomb of Tutankhamun and we will write a diary entry in character.

We began our topic work by reading around the subject in history. We borrowed many books from the library and investigated ancient Egyptians. The children had to find fun, interesting facts and record these as well as topic specific vocabulary that they then used in their own sentences.

After finding out a bit more about ancient Egypt, the children had to apply their writing skills and write about what they already knew about Egypt and ask questions, looking to what they wanted to find out more about.

We have been busy exploring primary and secondary historical sources. We read and had a look at different sources and could group these into the primary or secondary cathegories.

We have been learning about placing historical events on timelines and chronological order in our lessons. We learnt more about Howard Carter and his discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922. The children had to order events in chronological order and they also had to apply their maths knowledge to represent these on a timeline. 

The aim of our lesson was to recreate the atmosphere of tension and anticipation back in 1922 when Howard Carter first caught sight of the boy king’s tomb that lay undisturbed for some 3,000 years. We turned part of the classroom into the chamber leading to the tomb. At the end of the tunnel, lay the treasures that we had to sketch and describe as best as we could!

We further carried on with our archaeology work as we explored ambitious historical vocabulary. We will be using these in our diary entries that we write as Howard Carter. To make it more interesting, we couldn’t remove the words but had to recall their spellings and meanings from memory as we shared them with our group. We then created our own glossaries of historical words.

To begin our writing process, we planned our diary entries. We had to make sure that our chronology was accurate and that we used our historical vocabulary in our work. Then we made sure to include the thoughts and feelings of Howard Carter as he was discovering Tutankhamun’s tomb. The children then wrote their diary entries which was full of suspense and ambitious words.

MFL

This 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 began our learning with reminding ourselves of the sticky knowledge of French words of numbers and colours. We organised a search part to find Wilma the Whale’s friends! The children then listened to our new audiobook about Wilma and her family. We learnt and practised the pronunciation of various words, phrases and sentences in French.

We read instructions in French about family members and colours to be able to fill in Wilma the Whale’s family tree. The children enjoyed being creative and drawing many different underwater creatures!

We applied our new knowledge of words about our families and wrote simple sentences in our lesson. The children also created their family trees and labelled the family members.

Music

At the start of the half term, we will explore songs relating to our Egyptian topic. We will learn how to perform songs as part of a team by singing in tune with expression. After practising how to control our voices, we will be also moving to the rhythm and creating our own choreography to Egyptian music.

Our music learning is all about Egyptians this half term. The children have been listening to Egyptian music and had to create a drawing based on their feelings and what came to their minds. They discussed different musical instruments that could be heard and also expressed their likes and dislikes. 

Moving to the rhythm has been lots of fun! The children have been learning to sing new songs with fun lyrics referring to Egyptians and they have also started working on their dance moves in groups. We will be further working on our choreographies in our next lessons to then have this recorded.

The Egyptian theme has been running throughout our music learning and the children have been using technology to compose their own music. They worked in small groups to come up with compositions that reminds the listener to Egyptian music. They had to consider what instruments to add and what rhythm to play.

PE

In PE, the children will be developing their speed, agility and quickness. They will work on their reaction times and how they react to others in relay races. Our focus will be on improving running and jumping techniques as well as our aim and throws.

We started by working on our accuracy and dribbling skills in PE lessons. We had a go at different ways, for example using hockey sticks and dribbling footballs and basketballs.

We have been busy getting ready for our skipping competition! The children have not only been working on getting better at all the different moves but they have also tried to perfect their chosen technique and their scores in 30 seconds. All of them have been showing excellent determination, perseverance as well as having fun!

Our hard work has paid off! During the fantastic skipping competition, out of five schools, St Joseph’s came third! We had a great time competing and the children have shown how well-behaved and respectful they are as they represented our school. We brought back 17bronze, 4 silver and 4 gold certificates! What a fantastic achievement!

PSHE

In PSHE we will explore the topic of alcohol, drugs and tobacco, followed by growing up and changing. We will explore that similarities and differences can be celebrated and can benefit a community through working together and we will learn how growing up affects emotions and behaviour and strategies for dealing with these changes. We will also learn more helpful strategies to be able to cope with feelings and to be able to show empathy towards others.

We completed our well-being check in at the beginning of half term to make sure we were all ready for our learning. The children could also have an opportunity to ask to talk to an adult and write about their favourite moments of the Easter holidays!

We learnt about the dangers of drugs, alcohol and tobacco in our lessons in PSHE. The children had the opportunity to discuss some of the legal elements as we completed our true or false quizzes. We also reflected on the harmful nature of these substances. We also discussed various scenarios which could be dangerous and we talked about how to make smart choices. 

Further learning about dangerous substances, we evaluated household items that can be potentially harmful if used incorrectly. The children were very knowledgeable about how cleaning products or different medicines should be used safely.

We built on our prior learning about alcohol, drugs and tobacco and learnt about how we can keep look after our bodies and stay healthy. We linked our learning to RE and found I Corinthians: 6:19 and reflected on how our bodies are a temple for the Holy Spirit. 

We have been busy working on our celebratory bunting designs to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The other artistic project we chose was to create a celebratory collage for the Jubilee.

We have been learning more about growing up and changing. The children acted out different conversations as scripts to explore questions and views around puberty. We had a class discussion where all the children could share their questions and views.

The children completed a quiz where they had to think about how growing up affects boys and girls. The children did very well on the quiz and understood many signs of puberty.

To further build on our learning about growing up, the children could ask questions about puberty that the teachers answered. The children also completed a task where they reflected on their lives and growing up and expressed their hopes and wishes for the future.