Summer 1 2021

Welcome back to summer term! I have a lot of fun activities planned all around our topic of Fantastic Fairtrade. 

Collective Worship

Collective worship is a special time for us all. We all gather together and listen to a reading 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! Our class worship table looks lovely after the children have dressed it themselves. They chose different artefacts for the table.

During our Collective Worship time in class, we discussed what we are grateful for. We collected our ideas on our worship table to reflect on the positive things in our lives.

Some examples the children said they were grateful for:

“I am grateful for my family and friends.”

“I am grateful for having lovely friends.”

“I am grateful for my family who are always there for me.”

Our school and class proudly follows the Live Simply scheme to live simply, in solidarity with people in poverty and sustainably with creation. On Earth Day, part of our learning about the environment also included making a class pledge about how we can take care of our environment by reducing waste, reusing items and recycling all paper waste in class. We also said a lovely prayer for the People and the Planet.

May is the Month of Mary, and we have been honouring Mary through prayer during our collective worships. We displayed the statue of Mary on our prayer table and Rosary beads too. The children enjoyed going on a ‘Scripture Hunt’ and finding out more about our Mother, Mary from the Bible.

We had a special collective worship linked to the Ascension of Jesus. As a class, we discussed Scriptures and said a lovely prayer together as a class to remember that Jesus departed from Earth by rising into Heaven, in the presence of the apostles. 

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 began our preparation for our First Holy Communion by exploring the first virtue, Faith. We had a lovely class discussion and used artwork to express how important it is to have faith in Jesus.

During Earth Day, we joined the CAFOD eyes of the world assembly. The eyes of the world are on us this year as Britain hosts world leaders for the United Nations’ climate change talks – COP26. They will make important decisions that will shape the future of our global family. So, to join the CAFOD campaign, we drew our pairs of eyes to show how the environment is important to us and that actions are needed to tackle the climate crisis.

The children made their own promises about how they will look after God’s world:

“I promise to turn the lights off when I’m not using them.”

“I won’t litter.”

“I promise not to litter or harm any plants.”

“I will use my bike as transport.”

We have been learning about how Peter was the head of Church, how the Church began and Pentecost. The children went outside for a Burn2Learn active learning task to find the important events of Pentecost. They had to stick together as a team and once they collected all the events, they had to put them in the correct chronological order

We have also discussed the Ascension and reflected on the feelings of the disciples. We then talked through how we can grow the fruits of the Holy Spirit in ourselves. The children worked on building a glossary and explaining the meanings of religious vocabulary as part of a quick Burn2Learn in the classroom. As part of our English learning, we used direct speech to express what conversations could have happened between Jesus and his disciples.

English

We began our English learning journey by reading a lot of non-fiction texts about Fairtrade. We talked about various Fairtrade products and where in the world they come from. We learnt about the Fairtrade Foundation and its important role to support farmers in developing countries.

To explore ambitious vocabulary, we went outside for Burn2Learn activities and looked for our topic specific vocabulary and their meanings. These words ended up on our working wall so we can use them in our writing later.

We also had fun working in groups, keeping active with our Burn2Learn to find the correct spellings of plural nouns.

Our class text is Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. We have been enjoying all the vocabulary to do with delicious chocolate. We looked at different persuasive adverts to evaluate how successfully they hook the readers and influence them to buy chocolate products.

We used a WAGOLL to unpick the features of a formal letter. We explored the features and the formal language used. As part of our guided reading task, we also focused on the paragraphs and picked out the main ideas.

Mr Willy Wonka got in touch and requested our services as taste testers. We tested Fairtrade chocolate bars and the mysterious Wonka bars in class as well. We collected ideas about the chocolates’ appearance, aroma and taste as well. After we tested the newest Wonka chocolate bars, the children made a plan about their findings that they will write up as a formal letter and send to Mr Willy Wonka.

Some comments the taste testers had:

“The dark chocolate tastes powerful and bitter.”

“The milk chocolate is a lot sweeter and it is my favourite.”

“The dark chocolate reminds me of a hot chocolate drink.”

We have been busy writing to Mr Willy Wonka. After writing our appraisal formal letters, we also became chocolatiers and created our own chocolate inventions. The children enjoyed designing their own chocolate bars and persuading Mr Willy Wonka to invest in their products.

We like spending time in our reading corner, exploring books in our mini library and reading for pleasure. The newest books we had a look at came from the library and we could choose from a lot of fiction titles!

Maths

We began our Maths learning journey by developing our understanding of fractions. We ventured outside to find various example in our environment of wholes and its parts.

Some of the children’s findings were:

“If the school building was the whole, then our classroom was a part of it.”

“If the field is the whole, the outdoor classroom is its part.”

“If the woods are the whole, the trees are its part.”

To use practical ways to explore fractions, we used square pieces of paper and folded them to find halves, quarters, eighths and sixteenths. We also explore which fractions were equivalent. The children were very creative and used various ways of folding and proving how fractions show equal parts.

During Earth Day, we spent time representing fractions and discussing worded problems to do with fractions that were based on the environment around us.

We also used many pictorial representations to learn more about unit fractions. The children built their understanding about the numerators and denominators too.

We celebrated World Maths Day and on the same day we launched Times Tables Rock Stars. The children looked great in their rock star outfits or numbered clothes! They quickly got the hang of the gigs and dived into using the app.

We then 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 worked on our KIRFs as well. We played various games with Burn2Learn, active elements, especially to keep on top of our multiplication facts.

We have been working with fractions and we have been busy adding and subtracting. We looked at improper fractions and mixed numbers throughout our learning journey. The children enjoyed being able to tackle some tricky challenges where they had to convert improper fractions to mixed numbers and the other way around too.

We have been working hard on finding fractions of different quantities too! The children drew bar charts to help them with the calculations and we used our division and multiplication knowledge to work out the answers too.

We had lots of fun dancing along to BBC Super Movers as we were practising our times tables with songs!

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.

To begin our learning, we reflected on how much we already knew about the digestive system and what questions we had that we wanted answered. We explored scientific vocabulary so we would be confident in learning about the parts of the digestive system and its functions.

We spent time exploring our topic books as we did some reading around the subject. The children really enjoyed finding out fun facts about the human body and animals too.

Some facts the children commented on:

“I found it interesting to read about how our eyes work.”

“It was fun to learn how long our intestines would be if they were stretched out.”

We 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.

In science, we also explored food chains and discussed herbivores, carnivores, omnivores, decomposers and scavengers. We had a food chains quiz and then we created our own food chains.

Art

In Art, we will be exploring African Kente cloth designs. We will take inspiration from the various cloth weaving patterns and create our own paper strip weaving artworks. Our finished products will be unique and decorated with colourful threads.

We began our learning journey by evaluating existing Kente cloth designs and patterns. We used our English skills to make our points and back them up with evidence. We made sure to use expanded noun phrases to express our opinions.

We had a lot of fun exploring the various patterns that can be found on Kente cloths. We practised drawing the patterns and then the children had the chance to plan out their first rows of patterns in order.

We have been using our maths skills to work with measurements. We measured length in centimetres using our rulers to create the accurate sized artwork.

We learnt about the history of the Kente cloth and its origins from Ghana. The children have been using paper strip weaving to imitate the intricate process of Kente cloth weaving. The children planned their patterns and made their colour choices before starting the weaving. They also chose threads to weave in, to make their patterns even more striking.

Once we had produced our weaving artworks, we had a quick exhibition in class. We went around to assess how well everyone has done and we gave feedback to each other about what went well and what could have gone better.

Some of the children’s comments were:

“I like the one that looks like a minion!”

“I like how others used a lot of different colours.”

“I think the handbag shapes were the best.”

Once our final products were ready, we had a close look and we evaluated our work. We rated our efforts using smiley faces and commented on our successes whilst keeping a growth mindset and thinking about what we could improve next time.

Computing

This half term, we will be learning about databases. The children will use simple databases to record and present information. We will explore paper-based library catalogues and create index cards for our class library. As we practise using databases, we will filter search results and sort the information we find.

As usual, we began our computing learning by reminding ourselves how to be safe online. We had various scenarios where we had to discuss as a group the good advice that could be given in certain situations. We explored problems relating to online messages, gaming, showing kindness towards others at all times and not sharing any personal information.

We explored databases by sorting ourselves as a class in various groups, depending on certain criteria. We discussed how databases contain records and what fields are needed to be filled for each record. The children then had time to research different Fairtrade products linking to our topic and create their very own Top Trumps cards. They used iPads to research and then organise their fields. They had to check their data was accurate and work with the correct place values as they worked.

We used our mini library in class to further explore databases. The children had to use their chosen books and create an index card with the key information. We filled the following fields: ISBN number, author, title, genre and location in the library. After our paper-based activity, the children looked on The British Library website and searched their catalogue for any books written by Roald Dahl. Whereas it took us a while to locate all the Roald Dahl books in our class library, working with the online database sped things right up!

After recording the information and checking through our catalogue, the children commented:

“It is quicker and easier to search online.”

“It took me time to think of the correct genre for the book.”

“It would take us long to sort through the index cards.”

DT

This half term in DT, we will explore how to use Fairtrade products whilst cooking. We will prepare refreshing jugs of lemonade using Fairtrade sugar and a layered salad using Fairtrade mangoes and avocadoes.

To investigate our topic of Fairtrade even further, we had a go at comparing the prices of Fairtrade and non-Fairtrade food items we can buy in shops. The children used their maths knowledge on decimals and money to work out the price differences.

Year 4 tuck into some food preparation activities. We learnt about food hygiene and the risks of cross contamination before we had a go at assembling any ingredients. We read about germs and microbes that can spread and duplicate themselves to cause all kinds of illnesses.

To work on our fine motor skills, we had a table full of finger gym exercises that we carried out before getting on to the chopping, pouring, assembling tasks!

We tried cutting vegetables and fruit that had different texture so we could compare how it felt and what we had to watch out for whilst using our sharp utensils.

Our end product was a delicious and fresh Fairtrade mango and avocado salad.

We enjoyed a refreshing drink of lemonade after our hard work. To follow the lemonade recipe, we measured Fairtrade sugar accurately to the nearest gram and also estimated 150 ml of water that would provide for an enjoyable drink.

Geography

Our topic, Fantastic Fairtrade is closely linked to Geography. We started our new topic with learning more about Fairtrade products and where in the world they come from. As our hook, we had a lot of product to look at and find what country they originated from.

We worked with world maps and labelled the Equator, Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn. We then discussed how cocoa trees like hot and wet climates and which continents are known for cocoa farming. We used our Maths skills to accurately measure and draw straight lines with our rulers.

On Earth Day, we learnt more about the climate crisis and how this affects our lives and the lives of cocoa farmers too. We then did lots of fun activities to learn more about our environment, like our orienteering.

We went outside for some orienteering to find some key messages about how to take care of our environment and how to look after God’s world. We used the school map to find the control points and used the clippers to prove all the stations have been visited.

After recording all the important information about treating our environment fairly and caring for God’s world, we reflected on what choices we can make to Live Simply and to reduce our carbon footprints.

The children came up with great ideas to care for God’s world:

“I will turn the lights off when I leave the room.”

“I will refill my water bottle.”

“I will walk to school.”

“I will look for bananas and chocolate with Fairtrade stickers on.”

History

In History, we have been exploring the origins of the cocoa bean. We have been reading about the Mayan and Aztec civilizations and how they used cocoa beans. We used our Maths knowledge to create a Venn Diagram where we recorded all that we found out about the two cultures. Following our research, we used our writing skills and we have drawn comparisons to show the differences and similarities. The children used various conjunctions in their writing to express the comparisons. We also reflected on how the cocoa beans are used in our modern times.

To carry on with our chocolate stimulus, we explored the timeline of the Cadbury company. We named all the chocolate bars we knew and then the children had a go at a Burn2Learn activity where we had to work in groups, learn about the various stages of the growth of the business and then we had to arrange the timeline cards in chronological order.

As a class, we read a biography of John Cadbury. We then worked in partners to come up with questions relevant to his life and business that we wanted to ask. We then took turns during our hot seating task and got to become John Cadbury who then got interviewed.

Some of the questions the children had to ask:

“What did it feel like to have such a big company?”

“What was your favourite product?”

“Do you prefer drinking chocolate or chocolate bars?”

MFL

This term, as part of our French learning, we will extend our knowledge about food and drinks. We will spend time reading French stories and using dictionaries to look up the meaning of unknown words. 

We started out our learning of new vocabulary with naming various fruits and vegetables. We listened very carefully and then practised their pronunciation

We used our maths knowledge to locate the fruits and vegetables on a grid and translate words from French to English and English to French.

To find even more words, we used dictionaries to expand our French vocabulary.

Year 4 ventured outside for a Burn2Learn activity to find French words around the grounds and to practise their pronunciation. We learnt more colours and had to find these on the playground. We then had to do ten star jumps at each colour and count in French at the same time!

We had a great time reading a story about the How the Dinosaur Got His Shoes by Johnny Pryn. This story made us chuckle and practise our French words at the same time. We met Terrance Rex, and went on an adventure by listening to the audiobook and saying the French words out loudly to practise the pronunciations. We also read the story to each other. The children could build on their previous vocabulary and translate the French words and expressions to each other confidently.

Some of the children’s comments:

“I didn’t know what ‘chaussures blanches’ was at first.”

“I felt more confident reading by the end of the lesson.”

“I tried my best when I counted in French.”

Music

In music we will be creating our own audio books based around a set topic and suitable to teach nursery/reception children. We will compose our own lyrics to a well-known nursery rhyme which will be used as our storybook introduction. We will create our own sound effects and record our story while performing live to our class. As we go along our composing journey we will recap over the different elements of music such as pitch, dynamics, timbre, texture and tempo making sure that we incorporate these into our performance!

The children have been busy working in small groups to come up with their own fascinating stories.

The children have been working really hard on writing their stories and considering the elements of rhymes in their work. After creating the whole narratives, they started practising their performances too.

Year 4 have worked extremely hard in music and have successfully written a short story with a moral to be used as an audio book suitable for nursery or reception children. They have carefully chosen sound effects that could be used to enhance their story and to give it a more musical feel while choosing effects that did not require ‘real’ percussion instruments. They were given the task of choosing vocal sounds, body percussion sounds or the use of ‘everyday’ classroom objects. The groups were asked to compose their own lyrics that was based around their chosen theme in which they had to use a simple well-known melody such as a nursery rhyme or familiar tune. This song would then be sung as an introduction to their story. We are now in the process of recording/filming our work and are all very excited to see the finished audio book.

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.

The children have been working hard on improving their aim and throwing skills. We practised improving our ability to react to the defenders.

The children also worked on improving their speed and agility. They had to be quick on their feet to run, step and jump the quickest and beat their partners in a fair competition.

On World Maths Day, we had lots of fun working on multiplication facts as we got active. We spent time on various activities and worked out calculations in our groups.

Some of the children’s comments:

“It was fun to be a rock star and do PE.”

“I liked to roll the big dice best.”

“It was fun when I told the group what to do.”

Year 4 had lots of fun competing during our Olympic Day! We enjoyed glorious sunshine and had a truly active couple of hours competing in our house teams!

PSHE

In PSHE, as well as continuing to care for our mental health, we will explore the topic of physical wellbeing. We will discuss our food needs and preferences as we learn about the different food groups and seasonal foods available to us. We will explore what factors might contribute to people’s food choices and how to follow a healthy diet. We will also learn about the importance of getting enough exercise and sleep to be able to keep our bodies and mind fit and healthy.

As part of our daily wellbeing check ins, we have been using the zones of regulation to be able to express how we are feeling in class. We aim to stay in the green and be ready for our learning.

We keep a high emphasis on hand hygiene and we took part in a fantastic hand hygiene poster competition. The children created creative posters with key information about the proper hand washing technique and when to wash hands. We displayed some of the posters in class as well to remind ourselves.

We learnt with Pantosaurus about how our ‘pants are private‘. We had a Burn2Learn activity to recap on the important messages regarding our private parts. We worked as a team to recall and then explain the rules.

Working further on our emotional wellbeing, we learnt about what emotional literacy means and how we can recognise and identify different emotions. We discussed various scenarios that we illustrated and then shared with each other.

Some comments the children had:

“I think emotions are like a roller coaster.”

“We show our emotions with our face and body.”

During Mental Health Awareness Week, we took inspiration from the theme, ‘Nature‘, and we created some stunning leaf rubbing art pieces. We used this opportunity to practise mindfulness and enjoy being creative and being considerate towards the environment at the same time.