Summer 2

Welcome back! I hope you had a restful and lovely break and the children are ready to find out more about Fairtrade this half term!

Collective Worship

For our collective worship, we like to listen to the Mark 10 Missions where the children listen to the readings of the Bible and respond by sharing their own thoughts and experiences with each other. Through the famous and beautiful story of the Good Samaritan, Jesus helped children understand that everyone is their neighbour and that we are called to show love, kindness and generosity to all. The gospel reflection lead into prayer and then we conclude with worship together. The children had a good time singing the song ‘My Lighthouse’ at the end.

We had a lovely visit from Brother Jonathan, who told us all about how he follows Jesus in his life. He shared with us his experiences and his vows about poverty, chastity and obedience. The children also learnt about Brother Jonathan’s work with the people in need, especially those who are homeless. The children asked questions and could also reflect on how they could help in their own lives and show kindness towards others. We also enjoyed a prayer time together outside with Year 3, Year 4 and Year 5 in our prayer garden, where Brother Jonathan led a prayer for us.

RE – The Church

In RE the children will learn about how we belong to the Church. We will explore how our school helps us to be true followers of Jesus and learn about how our Church is a community of faith, love and hope. Our learning will include the different seasons in the Church’s year and a reflection on when we receive a sacrament, we receive God’s love. We will also learn about God’s call to individuals and their responses, as well as linking our learning to British Values on how it is important to respect public institutions and services.

We have been reading and learning more about what the Church is and the children began to plan their letters to write to a friend about what the Church meant to them. We had a lovely class discussion where we shared ideas.


Our class text will be ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ by Roald Dahl. We will follow Charlie into the factory, and we will write imaginary recounts of what the characters encountered in the extraordinary factory.

We have been reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl and worked on our reading comprehension skills in class. We read the text and had to retrieve and interpret information, make predictions and evaluate the author’s choices as well.

We have been reading about delicious chocolate products as we explored descriptive pieces of writing about chocolate. The children had to evaluate the ambitious vocabulary and then we had a bit of a taste test too! We had to test the newest Wonka Bars and then comment on the smell, taste, texture and appearance of the products. The children collected many ambitious adjectives and phrases to describe their chocolate bars.

As we read more about Charlie’s adventures in the factory, we got to the chocolate room where we could not believe the edible delights. The children used and applied their previous vocabulary they learnt and had to write to describe the chocolate room using paragraphs.

Moving on with our story, we got to the part where the candy boat shows up. The children deepened their understanding of using fronted adverbials and direct speech effectively and they had to apply these skills in their descriptive paragraphs.

To work on becoming more and more confident with our reading comprehension, we have been working on answering different test-style questions in our lessons. The children worked on fiction, non-fiction texts and poems as well.

Carrying on with our reading of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, we worked on the chapter of the Prince who wanted a chocolate palace. The children created their before and after drawings of the exquisite but unfortunately placed building.

Building on all our previous learning and writing activities, the children could finally choose one of their favourite characters to follow what happened to them in the chocolate room in Willy Wonka’s factory. The children had to write a narrative which was full of description, interesting fronted adverbials to help the flow of writing and included direct speech so we could find out what the characters said to each other. The children’s work was really imaginative and fun!

We enjoy free reading time in class where the children can have time to enjoy a book alone or share them with each other.

We have been busy working on editing punctuation in English. The children had a varied examples of punctuation errors to consider and edit in their examples of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The worked on punctuating fronted adverbials, direct speech and adding apostrophes correctly.

We worked on exploring ambitious vocabulary in our class text and the children then had to apply these in their own sentences. We are now building our skills and aiming to write a recount as a sneaky spy who got into Willy Wonka’s magical factory.

To deepen out understanding of recounts, we unpicked the features and discussed why these are important to be included. We also discussed and evaluated different language choices.

We became spies as we started to work on our recounts in Year 4. The children had to find out as much as they could about Willy Wonka’s bubble gum machine. The children came up with great ideas about how to infiltrate the factory and steal all the business secrets of Willy Wonka. They wrote brilliant recounts of their industrial espionage.

We enjoyed watching a webinar as part of the Enhanced Summer Reading Challenge. The author was Anna James who shared a lot of fun information about libraries and how she works as an author. We can’t wait to get our school copy of her book called Hetty and the Battle of the Books.

To encourage the children at St Joseph’s to take on Wetherby Library’s Summer Reading Challenge, we had a whole school assembly where we found out about the details from Angie who is a librarian. She showed the children exciting titles, the Gadgeteers characters and many fun props and experiences the children can explore when they visit the library this summer.

This year’s Summer Reading Challenge it is a very special science-themed challenge, called Gadgeteers that will help the children to use their imagination and their creativity whilst helping to maintain their reading level over the summer holidays. Best of all, it’s completely FREE!

We have been busy learning about haiku poems. The children unpicked the features and could identify the number of lines and number of syllables required. They then had a go at drafting their own summer-themed haikus. Following the drafts, we used our Charlie and the Chocolate Factory stimulus to create haiku poems about all the different characters in the book.


At the start of this half term, we are carrying on with developing our understanding of how to read, write and convert time. Following our work with time, we will learn more about statistics to be able to interpret and present data using appropriate graphical methods. We will learn how to compare and classify geometric shapes, how to compare and order different angles and how to identify lines of symmetry. We will also explore geometry where we will take a close look at describing positions as coordinates and plotting specified points on graphs.

In maths, we have been busy engaging with our topic of chocolate in a fun way through an investigation. The children had to use and apply their maths skills to come up with as many ideas about a box of chocolates as they could.

We have been enjoying the lovely weather outside as we were working on our times tables facts. 

We have also found other fun ways to practise our key instant recall facts in class. Some of the children like to roll 12-sided dice and work on their speed of recall.

We have been learning more about shapes and angles. The worked very well on identifying, comparing and ordering angles. We also took on the challenge of measuring various angles by using a protractor.

We carried on with our learning about different shapes. We used practical resources to investigate the properties of various shapes and expand our mathematical vocabulary to be able to describe them.

After our work with shapes, we also learnt about positions on a grid. We had to plot points correctly or find the coordinates of points on a grid. The children then also had to finish drawing different shapes on the gird to put their shape knowledge to the test. We also worked on describing movement on the grid and solving problems along the x and y axis.


This half term we will be learning more about the digestive system and food chains. 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 find out the effect of different liquids to our teeth, we set up an experiment to model this with eggs. The children had to make sure the testing was fair so we had to measure the liquids in millilitres. We used the same cups and equipment too. We also set up an observation sheet ready to go for 7 days.

After a week, it was time to finish our experiment and draw our conclusions. The children had to carefully consider which liquid had what kind of effect on the eggshells.

After we have been busy holding our noses and getting rid of all the eggs, we got to writing our reports about our scientific findings. We had to consider how to set up a scientific experiment, what equipment to use and how to make testing fair. The children used scientific vocabulary effectively to report on their experimentation.


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. We will learn more about the use of different colours and their meanings. Our finished products will be unique and decorated with colourful threads.

We started our learning journey by finding out more about the origins of the Kente cloth and the meanings behind the various colours used. The children applied their English reading comprehension skills to learn more about Kente cloth and how it is made. We also watched a video of a famous workshop in Ghana where Kente cloths are woven. The children had to evaluate the different designs, colours and patterns before beginning to plan their own designs.

To plan our various patterns that we will use in our weaving, we played a spin the wheel game and had a go at practising drawing the Kente cloth patterns. The children had a go at various designs and then they had to choose their patterns for their final draft.

We have been using our maths skills to work with measurements. We measured length in centimetres and millimetres 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 had to be very careful and accurate in weaving their artwork.

Check out some of our finished artworks!


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 to find flights and hotels using comparison websites to plan our holidays.

We began our learning by revisiting our Stop! Block! Tell! message about what to do to keep ourselves safe online. Then, the children learnt more about databases. The children started by carrying out a Burn2Learn active learning activity where they had to group themselves according to various conditions.

After we discussed the information, we looked at different ways to record the data. The children used iPads to research different Fairtrade products online and they had to record their findings. We used Top Trumps templates to make it fun! The children looked at the total number of workers, women workers, origin countries and land area used as well. The children had to apply their maths skills to interpret chars and graphs to collect their data.

We carried on with our ICT learning by exploring library databases. We learnt about old-fashioned and modern ways to record and search for data. We then used our own books from the book corner to record various data items on our index cards. The children had to look for the books’ ISBN number, author, publishing date and genre as well. 

We used computers to search and record information from the British Library’s catalogue. The children had to search the main catalogue for various details about Roald Dahl and his books. The children had to consider the search results and how to best use the database to get details about specific books or how to find journals instead of books.


Our topic is linked to Geography this term. We will learn about where in the world Fairtrade products come from. We will find out where cocoa trees grow and why they grow there. The children will explore what happens to a cocoa pod once it is harvested and how it is turned into a chocolate product.

To build on our prior learning of Egypt and its physical and human features, we investigated the River Nile even further. We applied our maths skills on statistics to evaluate data that has been presented as bar charts regarding the River Nile’s water temperature throughout a year. The children made relevant comparisons and could comment on the data successfully. We also learnt more about why even though the water temperature might be good, people should not swim in the river.

We further applied our maths skills by drawing our own bar charts based on information about the River Nile’s flooding. The children had to represent a data comparing the level of water.

After finding out more about the River Nile and Egypt and its weather, the children had to decide what time of year they would recommend travelling to this amazing country. They applied their writing skills to explain their chosen time of year and back this up with information about Egypt’s geography. They came up with great recommendations.

We ventured outside for some orienteering to work on our map reading skills. The children had to find statements about climate change and how to combat it and record their control point markings on their worksheets.

To discover more about Fairtrade and cocoa trees, we learnt more about where cocoa trees grow and where therefore chocolate comes from. The children had to work with the world map to identify various areas, recap continents and the Equator too.

We have been working on expanding our topic vocabulary relevant to Fairtrade. The children went outside for a Burn2Learn active learning task to match ambitious words to their meanings. We learnt for example about the definition of fair, guarantee, premium, producer and consumer.


In History, we will explore the origins of the cocoa bean and find out how the cocoa bean came to Europe as well as looking at different people’s viewpoints.

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.


This half term, as part of our French learning, we will learn about clothes and parts of the body. We will expand our vocabulary with new words by playing games and learning rhymes and songs. We will spend time reading French stories and using dictionaries to look up the meaning of unknown words.

We read a story about Elliot, who is a quirky little alien from the planet Neptune. We applied our knowledge of French colours and numbers to learn about him. We learnt new words about body parts and clothes. 

We got active with a Burn2Learn where we sang and acted out the head and shoulders, knees and toes song!

We had to follow French instructions to draw our own aliens with the appropriate number of body parts.

We followed French instructions to colour in a large face of Elliot!

We had to cut out, colour and dress up Elliot! We again had step-by-step French instructions that we needed to translate and follow.


In Music, we will be creating an audio book based around a given theme. The children will be performing as part of a team and they will be composing and recording their own productions. We will be working on suggesting improvements to a group composition and singing together in tune will be also important to create our pieces of music.

The children have been busy performing their dance routines that they created. They had to come up with the moves and make sure to keep to the rhythm as a team. As good audience members, they gave each other feedback on what has gone well and what could be improved.

Building onto our prior learning of composing a piece of music based on an Egyptian theme, now the children have a free choice of using technology to create their own music. They have been doing an excellent job picking different instruments and adjusting when they start layering these up for their compositions.

The children carried on composing their own music. This time, with more freedom and more choices of instruments! Their new theme was Fairtrade and they had to come up with their own rap song which they had to compose a suitable score for. They have done an amazing job and made each other dance on their chairs!


In PE, the children will be taking part in various outdoor games to work on their teamwork skills. They will improve their ability to control and retain possession of a ball as well as how to strike moving balls. They will explore the great outdoors by improving their understanding of maps and giving clear instructions.

Year 4 have been busy working with their Leeds Rhinos coach learning all about different throws and passes. The children really enjoyed trying to achieve their best distances and most accurate throws in the lessons.

The children have been working on improving their speed and reaction times. We did a lot of relay racing and the children enjoyed the competitive element as well as trying to achieve their best.

We carried on working with different balls to practise our dribbling skills and shooting accuracy. The children worked well in groups and also had to work on defending against opponents.

What a fantastic experience Year 4 had with our Invictus Athlete Sean Gaffney. The children joined in with his fitness challenge and rose to his challenges, even in the heat the children did an amazing job and kept cheering each other on. Sean told us all about his sporting journey and his time in the Navy. The children asked questions about his career and also how he lost his leg. We all ended the day feeling really inspired, and I hope the children take on board some of his key messages of never giving up, making the most of every day, getting up and trying again when things get difficult and also to play sport with people they love and have fun with.

Year 4 took part in the Junior Warrior Mud Run and they all participated extremely well in this physically and mentally demanding obstacle course! The children braved the course of water and mud obstacles on the way as they completed a trail full of climbing walls, crawling activities, river crossings and even more. The water slide was definitely a highlight at the end! Everyone taking part showed an amazing, positive growth mindset and tackled the challenges in an extremely dedicated and sensible manner. They should be very proud of their achievement!


In PSHE we will explore the topic of emotional wellbeing and relationships. We will explore how emotions change as we grow up and we will deepen our understanding of the range and intensity of feelings and how feelings might guide our actions. We will also learn about how to maintain and develop positive and trusting relationships with others.

We have been learning more about growth mindset and as part of our learning, the children had a drawing competition which was timed. They had to follow a step-by-step guide and draw a turtle in only a few minutes. We had a great class discussion about how if it didn’t turn out the best at first, we can always learn and improve our skills. The children could relate this to their everyday lives and school days too.

We have been learning about first aid and emergency situations. The children completed a first aid quiz where they had to evaluate certain scenarios. After discussing the answers and having a class discussion, the children had a chance to work in groups to act out a scenario and with it an appropriate emergency response. We also gave each other feedback as good audience members.

We have been having PSHE lessons about good choices and bad choices. To be mindful about our behaviour, the children have read more sections about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and reflected on the actions of the characters like Violet, Veruca, Augustus or Mike. The children then evaluated different scenarios and had to make sensible, smart and safe choices. The all had clever messages to share and understood their choices have either rewards or consequences depending on what they choose.

We learnt more about water safety in class. We discussed river safety during our topic work when we learnt about the River Nile and why it is dangerous to swim in rivers. We also worked as a team in PSHE to find out potential risky situations near water. The children were making many insightful comments and could recognise the dangers.

To remind ourselves about what we need in a kind friend, we created a friendship cake where we listed all the ingredients of a good friend. The children were reflective and knew what qualities they should possess as good friends. Now it is all about putting these into action and constantly showing each other the good qualities they have.