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 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!
We had a special visitor for Earth Day from the Boston Spa, Wetherby & Villages Green Group. Adrian told us about the importance of Earth Day and how it is all about protecting our community, supporting the growth of nature and educating others about recycling. We learnt about how in 1970 the first Earth Day’s agenda was tackling water and air pollution and that in 1990 Earth Day became a global event to show how we all care for our precious planet. Adrian also mentioned Sir David Attenborough’s nature programmes where the fragile wildlife of the British Isles is shown to the viewers. Earth Day was an opportunity for all of us to take action and make an impact as individuals, to live simply and care for our planet. As a whole school, we have been busy with our eco projects and as part of this, Year 4 made hedgehog houses that will be placed in our local area. Our planet protectors have also been busy and made bird baths for the school field. The 5 actions Adrian gave us as super ideas were:
- Do not litter.
- Walk to school.
- Eat all of the dinner.
- Choose a meat free option for a meal once a week.
Our children consider these steps every day as part of our Live Simply pledge as a school. As an extra idea, we also talked about leaving a patch of our gardens without mowing to create a little area for wildlife to enjoy in May. We also said a prayer thanking for God’s creation.
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 started our learning by exploring the relationship of Jesus and Peter. The children had to apply their English reading comprehension skills to read more about how Jesus made Peter the head of Church. They then also worked on the conversations that Jesus and Peter had and had to work on writing these conversations out with the use of direct speech. They also reflected on how Jesus has been showing forgiveness.
First Holy Communion Preparation
We began preparing for our First Holy Communion in Year 4. The children were really excited to get started on this journey as we used our new Heart Speaks to Heart books and all the children got a beautiful bag which they can fill with items and notes precious to them as we learn about the virtues. We looked firstly at the virtues of Faith and Hope. The children listened to and read Bible stories and we also had great discussions about our feelings and thoughts regarding this important step in our faith journeys. The children could take notes and draw and label in their books all the ideas they felt were important. They showed super enthusiasm as we got started!
Other Faiths – Sikhism
As part of our Let Culture Loose Fortnight, we have been learning more about Sikhism. We explored the beliefs of the Sikh religion and learnt about the 5Ks. The children also used their English skills to read and find out more about the Golden Temple gurdwara located in the city of Amritsar. We have began this research and learning as we will be visiting The Sikh Temple in Leeds after the half term holiday!
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 read about Shirley Climo as we got to know the author of Egyptian Cinderella. The children discussed how this story was different from the well-known Cinderella story we are familiar with. We then also read Cinderella stories from around the world. The children listened to Little Burnt Face, the Native American version of Cinderella as well as Yeh-Shen, the Chinese version too.
We then began our learning about poetry. The children listened to Jackie Kay reading her own poems and we discussed many figurative language devices she used in her work. We are going to take the inspiration from The Egyptian Cinderella and create our own poems using figurative language in our future lessons.
We have read the poems No 115 Dreams and River Reflections by Jackie Kay and we had a go at reading and performing the poem Double Trouble written by Jackie Kay. The children had to make sure to use clear speech and to think about how to use their voice as well as actions to make their performance exciting.
As we have been learning about figurative language devices, we also carried on exploring the emotions of characters in poems and stories like the Egyptian Cinderella. The children then had to find synonyms for emotion words. They were confidently naming these, and we moved on to exploring ways we can show and emotion but don’t say explicitly which one it is. The children identified many figurative language devices as they worked with the ‘show don’t tell’ posters. We recorded our own versions of these as well to later use these in our own poems about the feelings of Rhodopis, the Egyptian Cinderella.
After planning which figurative language to use in our poems, picking the appropriate ‘show don’t tell’ examples, the children had a go at drafting their poems. We focused on the difficulties Rhodopis had to face as she was taken from Greece to Egypt when she was a young girl. The children used a poem structure based on Jackie Kay’s No 155 Dreams poem, added their own topic of the Egyptian Cinderella’s experiences and used lots of personification, similes, alliteration and onomatopoeia too. We then read and rehearsed these poems in pairs and then edited to make sure it had a lasting effect on the reader.
At the start of this half term, children will develop their understanding of fractions and 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 worked well on fractions as we explored finding fractions of quantities in class. The children had various pictorial representations to work with and used bar models to work out the fractions.
As we are getting ready for the multiplication tables check, we take every opportunity to fit in some times tables KIRFs practice. The children enjoy the active learning element of Super Mover where we can chat our tables and jump around at the same time!
On Earth Day, we worked on problem solving and reasoning questions about fractions which were Earth Day themed. The children also had to take part in the Burn2Learn activity where they had to collect their questions one by one from outside the classroom to keep them on the move.
As we moved onto working with decimals, we have been activating our prior knowledge of tenths and hundredths to be able to represent these in a pictorial way on a hundred square. The children then had to find equivalent fractions and partition their drawings as well as match these to their decimal counterparts.
This half term, we will be learning about the water cycle. The children will investigate how water on Earth is constantly moving and what the parts of this recycling process are called. Using practical examples, we will describe evaporation and condensation and apply our understanding when we learn about how the rate of evaporation is associated with temperature.
To link our prior learning with the water cycle which we will further explore this half term, the children have been learning about water pollution and how humans can cause changes in our environment. For our learning on Earth Day, we worked on understanding how human and natural phenomena can have an impact on our waters. The children learnt about ways that waters can get polluted and contaminated, as well as what we can do in our lives to help the water in our environments. We also applied our maths skills when we read data off of pictograms and then had to create our own pictograms based on data points. We learnt about the different pollutants present in our local River Wharfe and explored how also such pollutants can cause harm in the River Nile.
To find out more about water, we learnt about reversible and irreversible processes. To understand how water can change states, we activated our prior knowledge of the states of matter and then identified how melting, freezing, evaporation and condensation can happen to water and why these are called reversible changes. The children then had to record their understanding and design a poster about the ways water can change.
We learnt more about evaporation and condensation in Science. The children had to explain what evaporation is and at what temperatures it occurs. They also had to explain through various statements of a concept cartoon which facts were true and false. To learn more about condensation, we carried out an observation, where our experiment showed how water vapour turns into water.
To put all our learning together, we have used our English skills to read more about the water cycle. The children had to explain which part of the process came when and they worked on explaining the scientific vocabulary as part of their task. We also reflected on the important part the Sun plays in the cycle.
We have been exploring coding through writing lines of code and sequencing instructions for Tess the dog to follow as part of our computing learning. The children had to work on their keyboard skills and remember camel case as they were typing their codes. They worked well on their tasks which got trickier and trickier as they worked through the activities.
We carried on working with Tess the Dog and the children have been carefully coding. They began adding extended lengths of coding and had to also work with different turns that Tess had to carry out. We learnt that a right turn would equal three left turns.
Coding has been getting tricky but the children have been showing great resilience! Task 4 has had three different parts and the children had to carefully build these into their code. Great work with camel cases Year 4! We also became experts in debugging our algorithms as the children had to pinpoint where they might made a typing mistake or left a line of code out for Tess the dog to follow.
In DT, we will become designers as we consider and explore the purpose of illuminated signs. We will develop our ideas and plan our own light box designs for a decorative light box style sign based on Ancient Egyptian symbols. We will be applying our understanding of creating electric circuits and we will consider how electrical components in a simple circuit can be partially ‘hidden’ inside products to make them more attractive.
We began our DT learning by evaluating existing design. The children had a look at various illuminated signs and we also talked about their purposes. We looked at front-lit signs, neon and decorative home lights as well as light boxes. The children could then vote for their favourite ones and we applied our maths skills to represent the votes as a bar chart too.
Inspiration and Plan
We have been learning about Ancient Egyptians as part of our history topic, therefore we have been exploring different Ancient Egyptian symbols and their meanings. The children then had to plan which symbol to use and how as part of their light box design plans. We also had to consider the purpose of decoration and the message the Ancient Egyptian symbols will mean to the person who they chose to design this for.
We started working on the light boxes, and to make sure we are true to our Live Simply pledge, we reused materials. The children brought in various boxes that we will now upcycle for our light box project. We also used transparent tracing paper which the children started decorating and figuring out ways to secure these to their boxes. They also had to consider where the electric circuits would go in their boxes to be hidden and so that the switches can be switched on and off with ease.
We carried on creating our boxes and as we worked, the children had to reflect on their design and adjust their plan as they worked to make sure they thought about the materials available and the purpose of their boxes too. We added some more decorative elements before we start working on our circuits with the LED lights.
We used our prior learning of electrical circuits in science to build circuits with LEDs in. The children had to consider how they will hide the wires and which colour LEDs to choose for their projects.
Here are some of our finished products! Now the last step will be to evaluate our products and check how fit they are for their purpose and how we had to adapt the designs whilst we were creating this project.
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.
The children also found out more about the River Nile. We read information about how the Ancient Egyptians used the River Nile in the past and what current uses there are to this day of this very famous and important river.
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 why the Ancient Egyptians were the most advanced society in the world at that point in history. In Geography, we will find out about the physical and human geography of Egypt as well as the River Nile.
We started our learning about Ancient Egyptians by recording our prior knowledge and we also asked questions we want to find out throughout our learning journey.
We explored historical sources and had a closer look at why the Rosetta Stone is so significant when it comes to deciphering Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. The children had to apply their reading comprehension skills to find out more about this historical artefact.
We used our library books and completed some reading around the subject where children had the opportunity to find out more about their interests and explore more historical vocabulary. We also had a go at learning new vocabulary by solving some hieroglyphic riddles!
Leeds City Museum Visit
Year 4 had the opportunity to visit the Leeds City Museum and we spent time on the Ancient Worlds: Ancient Egyptians gallery floor where we explored the archaeological collection. The children stepped into the tomb of the museum’s mummified person, Nesyamun and they also had to seek real Ancient Egyptian treasures around the collection that fit different purposes in an Ancient Egyptian’s life.
This half term, as part of our French learning, we will learn more words about our hobbies. We will use different verbs to talk about what we like to do and we will practise asking questions in French too. We will spend time reading French stories and using dictionaries to look up the meaning of unknown words.
We began our learning by expanding our vocabulary and learning new words for different sports and hobbies. The children had to listen carefully and repeat the French words with appropriate pronunciation. Then they had to ask and answer simple questions as they took part in discussions in their partner groups and then the class.
We carried out a class survey and created a tally chart about the favourite sports and hobbies of the class. We then had to apply our maths skills to create a bar chart and had to make sure we matched the correct French activities to the correct number of people who enjoy them on our charts.
We recapped on our prior learning of numbers as we expanded our learning in French. The children had to use their bar charts created the previous lesson to say and write sentences in French about how many people in the class like which sport.
In music, we will be learning songs and we will listen to Egyptian music and look at how the instruments are used within the extracts. We will learn how to keep a steady pulse and listen to and compose music based around the theme of the Egyptians and the River Nile. We will become musical Egyptologists and learn about the musical instruments played back in the time of the Egyptians.
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. They had to consider moving to the 8 beats. We will be further working on our choreographies to then have this recorded.
In PE, the children will be developing their speed and agility. They will work on their reaction times and how they execute movement appropriate to a game situation or for example as part of relay races. Our focus will be on improving the quickness of our feet by working on our running and jumping techniques as well as our agility.
We began our PE learning by developing our speed and agility. The children worked in groups to work on their quick movements and accuracy as well whilst playing throwing and catching games. We also enjoyed games of dodgeball!
The children carried on working on their movements and focused on executing turns. They had to consider how to make a good turn in which situation as well as how to use the space they have given and how to make quick decisions in game situations too.
We carried on with working on our speed and competed in relay teams. The children worked on their running technique and they also had to apply what they have been learning on efficient turns.
In PSHE we will explore the topic of 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 recapped our knowledge and expanded our understanding about British Values. The children revisited the acronym Dr Tim to help them remember all the values and we also discussed scenarios and came up with many examples on how these British Values are being followed in our school. We also created our own posters and did a Burn2Learn activity ass we danced to the rap about respect.
]We recapped our knowledge and understanding of stranger danger and the children really enjoyed creating their posters with some good advice. We also had a class discussion going through various scenarios and the actions we can take to keep ourselves safe.
We continued to learn about respect and tolerance through recognising there are different types of families. We discussed how all these positive relationships are based on love and acceptance. Again, the children have produced some lovely images and notes!
We began our topic on growing up and changing by thinking about how we are the same but different. The children had to explore different character descriptions and think about who could be good friends with whom and why. They had great ideas about how people who are confident in one thing can help others out who are not feeling as self-confident. They came up with many ways different personalities can get on and how this might look.
As we further explored growing up and changing, the children reflected on how we can take care of our bodies. We explored many good and bad choices to look after our physical and mental health. We also had a bit of a Q&A session about puberty and how bodies can change and grow during this time.
We had a nice day on the Friday before the coronation and we read more about the ceremony where King Charles III would be crowned. The children could then also design their own bookmarks to remember this special occasion and we also shared a lovely snack in the class!
Let Culture Loose Week
This week, the children have started with an assembly on other cultures. They talked about the British Values and how we show tolerance and respect. They then had the opportunity to take part in a Bollywood dance workshop which has been a great success! Year 4 had a brilliant go at the different dance moves and worked well to perform in just a short period of time!