Physically Active Learning
HLTA and Computing Coordinator
Welcome back to school after the summer holidays! I am very much looking forward to the beginning of a new year with this class. We have such exciting topics to learn all about this year, I have no doubt that the children will love their learning!
In RE, we have begun with our learning all about ‘Trust in God’, We started by undertaking some trust exercises of our own in order really understand what trust feels like to give and receive. The children really enjoyed this activity and they really understood the varying feelings it gives.
We have since been learning about parables in which we learn about God’s love and those who have shown great trust in Him. The children have also been working on their skills to find references within The Bible. They have really enjoyed learning to find these and then learning about how they can use these to support them within their own lives.
In Year 4, we have enjoyed developing our relationship with God through our collective worship. Each week we think of the new statement of the week and together we pray and praise God.
We have started to plan and lead our own worships in class and the children enjoy setting up their prayer table each day and listening to stories from the Bible.
Every Friday, we join together with Year 3 and we have collective worship in our very special prayer garden. We enjoy getting together and we sing and pray together.
During the Month of the Rosary, we also joined year 3 to pray on the rosary together. It was a very special time for us all!
In English, we have been focusing on the story of ‘Romulus and Remus’ who were said to have been the founders and creators of Rome!
The children have enjoyed their stories and have written some exciting posters to try and help the baddy; King Amulius!
We have also been working on our sentence structure. The children have been working on coordinating and subordinating conjunctions. The children are much more confident with this and I can’t wait to see them reap the rewards of this within their writing!
The children have been working very hard on their place value understanding! They have really been working on their understanding of number by using lots of numicon and counters to support them with this.
They have worked hard on their place value and in Year 4 we are much more confident with using mathematical vocabulary to explain our answers. Go Year 4!
We have been learning all about our new topic, ‘States of Matter.’
We have been familiarising ourselves with the vocabulary solid, liquid and gas and learning what this means. We have even been outside acting how their particles work! It is fair to say, the children loved being a gas and running around in all directions!
We created our own investigations for testing materials to see if they were a solid, liquid or gas. This was a great learning experience because we discussed materials that can seem like one state but they are intact another! For example, rice seems like a liquid because it pours but it is actually a solid. A tricky concept!
We have also been experimenting with what affects a change of state. What better way to test this than with CHOCOLATE! The children were given a few ways in which they were to hold the chocolate and to see which changed state the quickest. We quickly found out that temperature was a big factor in this and it melted quickest when we had our mouths closed. It was very tricky to not eat this Science experiment!
Our topic this half term is The Romans.
So far in History, we have been learning about using a timeline to order dates. The children learnt about AD and BC. This was tricky but they got there!
We have been completing some exciting work where the children learnt about what The Romans would have in a banquet. Firstly, they had to complete a hunt around the school to locate all of their ingredients and then they created a menu that would delight a Roman Emporer! Does pickled dormouse sound like a delectable meal to you?
We then looked at the important Roman roads. We used ‘stones’, ‘cement’, ‘sand’, ‘broken rock’ and slabs to create our own roads so that we could create our very own Roman roads. The children really enjoyed this activity and afterwards wrote some lovely explanation texts to describe why they had then and why they were built the way that they were.
We started the year by discussing our important class rules. The children came up with some great ideas with how we can make our classroom a happy, purposeful place to be. We all came up with the rules together and the children reflected that these would help us to be respectful to one another. We signed it by drawing around our hands and decorating this to show that everyone fully supports this!
Our class motto this year has become, “Love your neighbour as yourself’. We discussed about how we can be good friends to one another and why/how God teaches us to do this. We always refer back to it whenever we have any issues and the children are reminded to think about this when playing in the playground. We use this to help us in our tolerance of different situations; it isn’t always easy but we keep God’s message about love at the forefront of our minds!
Our PSHE topic this half term was all about physical health and wellbeing. We looked at what food choices people make and how we can make the best choices for ourselves. The children planned their own meals thinking about getting the balance right and understood why we need to get the balance right.
We also looked at the importance of sleep. The children thought about the sleep quality they had and how they can take charge of looking after themselves and making sure they get the best amount of sleep that they can. Following this learning, one parent even commented, “I’m pleased that you taught them about how to prepare for sleep because now they know the importance of unwinding with a book at bedtime!” I was so pleased to hear that this had such an impact on the children already!
Macmillan Coffee Morning
We have been joining in with the biggest coffee morning! We discussed how we have these wonderful people who support and help the friends and family of people who are sick. We thanked God that we have these people to support our community! We enjoyed some yummy biscuits so that we could join in too!
Lego Workshop- DT/Computing
We had the fantastic opportunity to participate in a Lego-themed workshop which helped to develop our knowledge of coding in order to make the Lego move, talk and sense its surroundings. The children had to carefully assemble their lego and then use a special app to code it to complete certain actions. The children had lots of problem-solving to do when it didn’t work or if it wasn’t as effective as they wanted! They completed the challenges well and they were so disappointed when the workshop was over! A fantastic day of using and developing their Computing and DT knowledge!
In Art, we have been creating collages. The children have found this to be a tricky, sticky task which requires lots of careful scissor, glue and design skills. Decorating a Roman soldier’s shield isn’t a quick or easy task so this is taking a while to complete! Pictures coming soon!
Autumn Term 2
Another term for us! We have some great things planned and I am excited to see the children get stuck in to their learning again!
RE – Trust in God
We have continued to focus on our topic about trusting in God.
We began the half term learning about the fruits of the holy spirit. We had a hunt around the school to locate the different fruits and then we matched them up to their meanings. We discussed how and when we feel these fruits and understood how they grow in us so that we can become more like God.
We closely linked our RE learning to Armistice day centenary this year. The children understood about how the war was a hard time for all and we reflected that these men were sons, husbands, brothers, nephews, uncles and dads. We looked at how scripture can be of some support to someone who is in need. The children created some excellent artwork and then writing linked to this.
In Year 4, the children are beginning to learn to lead their own collective worship. The children are beginning to plan and deliver their own worships with just a little bit of help. This is a really special time in class for us all and the children are thoroughly enjoying supporting one another as they develop in their faith journeys.
In English, we are working on our basic SPaG skills this half term to ensure we are using them all with great accuracy. In Year 4 we certainly enjoy any activity that involves running and searching so we have been using outside to learn about ‘run-on’ sentences. The children loved running and grabbing a ball and then organising them to see if they were accurately punctuated, a run on or a comma splice.
To finish our learning about states of matter, we began learning about the water cycle. The children completed some great drama where they acted as the different parts of the water cycle. We then moved onto creating our own water cycles to display and see it in action!
The children were set some creative homework and were encouraged to think outside of the box for our topic of Romans. The children completed some brilliant homework and I am so proud of them for this beautiful work! Thank you also to the parents for supporting your children with this homework. The Year 4 team were so impressed and really appreciated the effort that had gone into this project. Below is just a snap shot of the excellent projects that were handed in!
Christmas Party 2019
At St Joseph’s, we like to celebrate Christmas with a party with the children! The children had a great time playing games and then enjoyed a feast in the classroom. Merry Christmas to all!
Spring 1 Term
This half term we are having a Planet Earth Theme! We have lots of exciting lessons planned for the children which I know they will love!
RE – Trust in God
This half term is all about ‘Jesus, the Teacher’.
We are looking closely at how Jesus teaches us to live through his stories and his actions. We began by learning all about Jesus’s presentation in the temple. The children acted this out and learning about Simeon’s faith in God. We wrote some exciting newspaper articles all about this event which helped us to remember that God’s word is the truth.
Our English learning has been linked to our learning in Reading about the classic novel, “The Secret Garden’. The children have used their visualising skills to develop their understanding of ambitious adjective use, expanded noun phrases, personification and alliteration. The children have used their own imaginations to create their settings and they have come up with marvellous ideas! We have had a range of beautifully landscaped gardens to unkempt, overgrown vines with awful creatures hanging from every nook and cranny!
Our Maths learning journey started with us developing our understanding of multiplying and dividing by 10, 100 and 1000. We learned a song all about the digits jumping and it is fair to say it has become one of our favourite educational songs! The children started their learning with completing puzzles, using hands-on place value grids and then applying their problems in word problems. The children are really confident with their strategies and now enjoy answering cheeky challenges that they find on our learning walls!
After that, we began to apply this learning in converting measures. The children really understand HOW to do this and now it is just remembering all of the tricky conversions.
Here are some links to websites that might help:
Science is continuing to be a popular subject in Year 4! Our learning this half term is all about, “Living things and their Habitats’. We have begun learning about food chains which the children loved as they applied their skills using their developing computing skills. The children used ‘SmartArt’ to produce their food chains.
Next, we learnt all about MRS NERG. We questioned what is living and not living and we thought of some tricky things that we had to decide if they were alive or not. For example:
Fire needs air. Does this make it alive?
Doors slide open so this means they are moving. Does this make them alive?
Even our headteacher was asking us these questions to challenge our learning!
Here are some interesting websites linked to our Science topic:
Geography- Planet Earth
Our Geography learning has been so exciting this half term! We have started by looking at where different continents and countries are in the world. We have focused on natural and physical features of Europe and are confident in knowing the difference between these. Next, we learnt all about locating the northern and southern hemisphere, the tropics of cancer and Capricorn as well as the north and south pole. We used play dough to create the Earth and we learned that the Earth was only ‘roughly spherical’.
After that, we have been learning that the Earth is constantly spinning and is split into segments just like an orange. So, we got our hands on some oranges, peeled them and saw how the light hits different places at different times. We learnt the terminology, ‘time zones’. It suddenly made sense as to why New Zealand Australia are in bed when we are awake and vice versa!
Here is a link to a great website where the children can find out more about our world!
Our PSHE learning is focused on ‘democracy’ this half term. The children had no clue what this meant to begin with so we watched a short video that explained it. We learned that in the UK we live in a democracy and that means that we help to say how the country is run!
The children are currently planning a debate all about, “Would it be better if the whole of Planet Earth was made out of chocolate’. The children will debate then take part in a vote just as they would in an election when they are 18. I can’t wait to hear the arguments for and against!
We have also got our Investors in Pupils targets ready for this half term! The children are really motivated to reach their goals!
This year we have had a theme of RESPECT! We started this by all wearing odd socks and e all discussed what is different and unique about us. We shared some funny anecdotes about our funny habits and the things that we love most in the world! We decided that we are all unique and odd in our own ways but we are God’s perfect creations.
As a class, we listened to this special story. The children learned about what makes someone a bucket filler or how you can be a bucket dipper. We then all had our own buckets and we anonymously filled in everyone’s buckets with a compliment to them. By the end of the lesson, the children’s buckets were completely full of words that made them feel great.
As part of our learning all about respect, we also learned all about dyslexia. Some of the children knew what this was, but lots of the class had no idea what it meant! The dyslexia ambassadors from our class firstly led an assembly to share with the whole school exactly what dyslexia is. They summed it up beautifully by saying, ‘My brain just works and learns in a different way.’
In class, we continued our learning all about dyslexia. The children tried to read while some children banged and made distracting noises and then we also had the children try out reading some work with letters that are all mixed around and confusing. As a class, we finally really understood what dyslexia meant and now we know the struggles that someone with dyslexia might have. As a class, we learnt a big lesson of respect to all who have dyslexia.
PE has been a combination on gymnastics and dance with Mr Cooper on a Thursday and netball on a Friday with Miss Clilverd. The children have been embedding their catching and throwing skills. The children have found the footwork rules tricky but are enjoying the challenge!
This half term has been amazing for Year 4! The children designed an animation based on the title, “Lost in the Jungle”. The children have created a plan, backdrops, filmed their animations (some took over 250 photos!) and we have even added sound to them too using GarageBand. Myself and Mrs Waterhouse have been astounded with the children and the work they have produced; most adults couldn’t even dream of creating animations as good as we created!
In Art, we worked on our painting skills. We thought carefully about the sizes of different brushes and the brush stroke techniques we would need to use. We have stuck to our ‘Planet Earth’ theme and the children have painted some beautiful animal prints! Take a look!
This half term, we have been making some elephants in our DT learning. The children have planned, designed, practiced their stitching and then finally completed their own elephant design. We loved this activity and all of the children are so proud of their final projects!
This work took a lot of perseverance and we looked at our learning walls to remind us about our growth mindsets. We came up with our own growth mindset superhero name! Our teachers are now ‘Challenges are my favourite Clilverd’ and ‘Resilience Riordan!’
Spring 2 Term
This half term we are moving on to learning about ‘Extreme Earth’. All of our lessons have an ‘extreme’ theme to them!
Our RE focus this half term has continued to be about Jesus’s teachings from The Bible. We have been acting these stories out and considering how they affect us in our choices and behaviour.
Below are some pictures to show how the children acted these stories out.
Our English learning has begun with a bang! We have begun our learning all about poetry and the children have been developing their understanding of language. These are the types that we have focused on:
We began by analysing some poems that we found that were all about volcanoes. The children had large pieces of paper and they picked out all of the features they really enjoyed. Our class favourites were:
The volcano was a beast…
Gushing, crushing, bashing, dashing….
The steaming, scorching beast had awoken from its dormant sleep!
We also learnt about using our voices and bodies to perform poetry. We took inspiration from Michael Rosen performing ‘chocolate cake’.The children absolutely loved watching this and it hugely enhanced their abiolity to perform poems. Whenever we have a spare second, the children always request to watch this!
The children then planned their own and have been writing many drafts to get a final copy that they are pleased with. We have learnt about reading aloud and hearing missed opportunities.
World Book Day
We started off our theme for World Book Week by having a great performance of the classic novel The Secret Garden. The children loved this story and Year 4 even said that near the end they felt a bit emotional. We have been working on this novel in our reading learning so it was great to see it in live action!
To continue to our book theme, the children created their own poem around a garden theme. We started by going outside and focusing on some main features you would see in the gardens. The children concentrated on the figurative language we had learned about before to give themselves and each other some great ideas.
No World Book Day is complete without a bit of dressing up! The whole school dressed up in a garden theme and the costumes did not disappoint! Take a look at the fantastic costumes the children wore!
Fractions is our extreme maths this half term!
We began this topic by discussing why fractions are important as we not many children said this was their favourite area of their maths learning journey. We discussed that we need to use these whilst shopping, making food… plus lots more! We also discussed with having siblings it is important to know that we are getting our fair share! The twins in our class paid extra attention at this point!
To begin, we started with some hand-on learning using multilink to solve problems. The children were asked to represent a fraction using some blocks and then drawing this into their books. Without even realising, the children have begun to learn about equivalences and finding fractions of quantities.
In Year 4, we understand that we must know our multiplication and division facts for up to 12x12. The children like to play lots of games to learn these.
This half term is all about the digestive system! To kick start our topic, we had a guest teacher come into school to teach us all about the simple functions. The children began by predicting how long their guts are. We measured ourselves and the children found out they varied from 6-8m long!
After that, we had some different representations for the length of the guts. The children had to pass a small marble from one end to the other reenacting how the muscles squeeze tightly to move the food along.
Next, was the gruesome side! We began with a meal and the children had to mush it up like they were the teeth. We put it into the opening and began the digestive system process. The children saw how the food passed along the whole system and how it changed in appearance from the food we eat to the faeces that is produced. We had lots of grossed out faces but the children showed an excellent understanding of this process. Thank you to Mrs Harrison for joining us and teaching us in a fun and practical way about the digestive system! Next, we will be writing some information texts to show our new understanding.
Topic- Extreme Earth!
Out topic is focused on Extreme Earth! The children have been enjoying the array of activities that we have completed and this topic is proving to be a real hit!
In our Geography learning, we learnt all about the placement of the plates and the effect of these. The children discovered that natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis take place close to these plates and so they understood the relationship of this.
In History, we focused on the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in Pompeii. Together we read the book, ‘Escape to Pompeii’ and the children discovered how the eruption took place. We watched a clip about what happened to Pompeii and how it became a lost city. The children have been writing diary entries in history to retell these events and to understand the viewpoints of the people that were there. We did some drama where they became newspaper journalists and they hot seated people that had somehow managed to escape this event. The answers they gave were breathtaking- at times I thought they really had been there!
PSHE- Living in Leeds week
We have a whole week focusing on our magical city of Leeds! We have been lucky enough to have a workshop from One Day Creative who taught us all about how we are all diverse and how we should be accepting of our similarities and differences.
The workshop began by getting together with a partner that we don’t normally work with.The children then had to discuss what is similar about themselves and what their differences are. They created a YouTube channel and they celebrated this.
The children then acted out what life would be like if we all did the same thing every day, at the same time and in exactly the same way. We then did it all differently and celebrated our differences and the fact that we are all diverse.
The children also had opportunities to reflect on how we all have different ideas. They were given questions and the children had to vote if they agreed or disagreed with the statement. We came to the conclusion that it is OK to have different opinions but we just need to think about how we show our different opinions.
We then moved onto how we should accept everyone for who they are and the differences that we had. We completed some conscience alley activities where the children took the roles of those who were being bullied and those who were the bullies.
To finish our day we performed this to the whole school to show that we understand about how we live in a fantastic and diverse city and that we should always reflect kindness in our actions and words to everyone that we might meet!
Police Online Safety Talk
This week, we had a visit from the local police to talk to us about being safe online. We talked about age restrictions on games and we thought about how these are put on for our own safety. We discussed what we should do if we do see something we don;t like online.! We discussed going to an adult and telling them about what had made us uncomfortable or scared. We said it is just a metal box and we can switch it off and nothing will happen! It was a very important message and we thank the police for coming in to speak to us about this very important issue.
Pants are Private
We have been learning some important rules in year 4 about keeping ourselves safe.
After discussing these rules and singing along to the song, year 4 decorated some dinosaurs with some underwear on to remind them about this important rule.
For this half term in music, we have been using different instruments in the percussion instrument family to learn about the different keys and exploring the sounds that they make. The children have been creating their own music using the given keys and are absolutely loving their learning so far!
The children also have had a great lesson developing their understanding of rhythm by using their own instruments; their hands! They clapped along to tunes to ensured their rhythm was right.
Cheerleading Taster Session
Leeds Rhinos came and gave us a taster of some cheerleading activities and the children in Year 4 absolutely loved it! The children learned all some new moves and tried out some jumps too. The smiles on their faces say it all!
Judo Taster Session
The self-proclaimed ‘wee man’ came back to give our children a taster of Judo and, as always, the children loved it! They learnt about self-control, focus and being careful when taking part of this art. The children worked hard and showed they are quick learners!
To fit in with our World Book Day theme, the children developed their sketching skills. They did some observation drawing with some lilies in class where there was a great emphasis on supporting ourselves and each other with quality feedback. The children were great at this and the feedback they gave was clear and supportive.
In Art/DT, we have begun our learning journey to make 3D sculptures of volcanoes. The children had to firstly look at my version and take it apart to decide how to create their own sculpture. Then, the children got into partners and had to start the very sticky task creating a papier mache structure. We then painted the designs and created texture by using a collage of different papers to create an more realistic effect. The children then collected stome stones to make it look really authentic. The result has been brilliant!
Design & Technology
This half term, we have been cooking! The children were provided with a recipe and the ingredients for an Indonesian salad. We were learning to use different cutting techniques such as slicing, cubing and shredding and the children followed a recipe very carefully. The children tried some new food and they were not fans of gherkins! The children had a taste of the salad and we had some mixed reviews about that- but cooking was a real hit! We might even have some master chefs in our midst!
Summer Term 1
This half term we are having an Ancient Egyptian themed half term. This learning is going to be super exciting- I can’t wait to see what the children achieve!
On our first week back, we knew it was a very important time of year; it was Holy Week. We read the stories together of what happened during this week and how different people had varying viewpoints. We acted this out and then completed some writing about this special week.
In English, we have been looking at different sentence structures. The children have learnt about simple, compound and complex sentences. We learnt about Batman and Robins in our sentences to help us understand main clauses and subordinate clauses. We now understand that a main clause is Batman as he can do it by himself. They learnt that Robin is the subordinate clause as he makes Batman stronger but he can’t do it by himself!
We applied our new learning using a video linked to our Ancient Egypt theme.
This was a very motivating video and gave us plenty of laughs whilst learning some very tricky concepts!
In order to develop our sentences, we focused on the different types of conjunctions. We learnt about coordinating conjunctions and subordinating conjunctions.
We have now moved onto writing diary entries. We have been using the discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb which we have been learning about in our reading lessons. We have done some hot seating to develop our understanding of the thoughts and feelings of Howard Carter, Lord Carnavon and Lady Evelyn. This really helped us to get into their mindsets throughout the discovery process.
We thought about how they would speak and act. As you can tell, Lord Carnavon is very pleased that the tomb may have been found!
Our Maths learning journey this half term has been about finding fractions of a quantity. We talked about why this is valuable in our real lives; let’s just say that Year 4 don’t want to be tricked by their siblings by not getting their fair share! The children learnt a song on how to do this so if anyone hears clapping around school you know what we are doing in Year 4!
Next, we are learning about the place value of decimals. We have begun by learning the value of tenths and hundredths. We have been using multi link and base 10 to do this. The children learnt the value of using a bar model too. Again, we discussed the real-life purpose for this. We thought again about getting our fair share and we made links to money. Year 4 won’t be getting short changed soon!
In Year 4, we have really been trying to get our times tables up to scratch. We have been learning them in a variety of ways from using games on the iPads and some Burn2Learn. The children absolutely love ‘Super movers’ from the BBC website. Whenever there is a two minute window, it is on!
We have been ending of our last topic about the digestive system. We created some homemade stomachs using plastic bags, oil to replicate stomach lining and white vinegar to replicate the acid inside the stomach. The children planned their experiment to the fine details and we thought carefully about fair testing. This has been one of our more disgusting experiments which, of course, meant that the children loved it!
Next, we have moved onto electricity. They began by considering whether something uses mains or battery power. We even considered whether they used both and the reasons why this may be. We used our mathematics skills and used a Venn diagram to organise these.
This topic is all about Ancient Egypt. This is a topic that is always favoured by pupils and the children have waited for this all year!
We began our learning by finding out all about the Ancient Egyptian belief of mummification. We began by reading about each process altogether (they particularly liked it when the brain comes out the nose!), acting out the whole process and then writing some instructions. The children had to think really carefully in this to reflect on each process and the reasons why the Ancient Egyptians did this. They thought about religious beliefs, beliefs about the afterlife and how sacred the River Nile was to the ancient civilization.
In MFL, our focus is on comparing different countries to our own. We are looking at comparing school life, home life and seasonal holidays. The children are using pictures to support this and discussing what is different, what is the same and and the reasons why this may be.
In music, the children have moved onto samba drumming. They have had to work really hard to create layers of sound!
In year 4, the children are working on their athletics skills. They have been working on relays and how to make the perfect transition. The progress they have made has been phenomenal. They can now make smooth transitions that look like one person has run the race! Mr Cooper knows how brilliant this class is and always has excellent feedback on their sportsmanship and behaviour. After working hard whilst in the rain during week 2 it is no wonder we received the class of the week reward!
In computing, the children have been using ‘Makey Makey’. The children have been creating keyboards using random items you may find in the house and using the software to make them create songs! The children have loved this activity. Who wouldn’t want to play a tune on a carrot keyboard?
In Art, we are creating Ancient Egyptian collars. The children have begun by using visual language to describe the creations made bythe Ancient Egyptians and then they have used this to think about their own design.
The children have been using the pointillism technique in order to create the effect of beads on their artwork. They have thought carefully about the colours and who would have worn them. They have to look fancy if a pharaoh is going to wear it!