Friday, 22 September 2017

Making a great start to Year 4

We are now settled into Year 4 and the children have proven themselves to be true Meerkat learners and excellent role models in displaying this month's value of responsibility.

We have today finished reading The Iron Man and were all gripped to hear whether or not the Iron Man would manage to prove himself stronger than the space-bat-angel-dragon. We have been looking at how effectively Hughes uses language to show us the actions and feelings of the characters. Next week we will be trying to emulate (I think that might have to be a word of the week)his writing.

In maths we have been focusing on rounding and are moving on to adding and subtracting both mentally and by written methods. Our maths lessons have been very active as we have been trying to think mathematically and consider "why" and "  what if" in order to get a greater understanding of key mathematical concepts.

In RE, we have looked at the stories of Abraham, Jacob and Joseph in order that we might better understand where we come from and what the stories from the Bible teaches us. We will now go on to read the story of Ruth, consider Solomon and look at Jesus' own family of Mary and Joseph.

In science, we have explored solids, liquids and gases and we will now start to consider how they can change and in History we have looked at what actual historical evidence there is about Boadica.The children have one piece of writing to interpret as homework and I look forward to seeing what they think Boadica looked like from the small amount of information we have.

In Art this week the children produced some impressive sketches and I am now looking forward to seeing the portraits they will go on to draw.

The children have been greatly enjoying their Game On PE and have impressed Mr Simmonds and I with their focus whilst we have been developing sequences in gymnastics. We will now build apparatus into our sequences.

We have begun to think about our class assembly today and I have asked the children to share any personal stories of relatives who have dedicated their lives to the service and protection of our country and it would obviously be lovely if you can help the children with this.

Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Welcome to 4K 2017

Firstly, I'd like to apologise for not posting this last week but I've had a few issues with accessing the blog which I have thankfully now resolved!

Our first nine days have been busy but a lot of fun and it has been lovely to witness the fantastic attitude towards learning this class has. We have spent some time getting to know each other and have started on our new topics.

In maths, we have been exploring place value in a very practical way to ensure that this very important concept is secure. Our brains were buzzing today as we tried to write calculations where the answers were the numbers 1-20 - but we could only use the digit 4! Through teamwork and by thinking creatively, we succeeded! We are going to continue with our work on place value and will be rounding and using numberlines to explore the magnitude of number. Following this we will be looking at adding and subtracting mentally. We will be trying to improve our times table skills throughout the year so please encourage the children to use Timestables Rockstars.

In English, we our reading Ted Hughes' The Iron Man and the children have created some very imaginative and effective similes to describe their own monsters.

In RE, as you know from this week's homework we are studying family trees as we begin our look at how Jesus had a human family and search for an answer to the question 'Where do I come from?'

In history, we had an exciting lesson working out why the mighty and powerful Emperor Claudius decided to invade the comparatively uncivilised Britain in AD 43. Over the next few weeks, we are going to explore more aspects of Britain ruled by the Romans in order to understand how our country changed as a result of the occupation.

In Science, we have begun investigating materials and have learnt that whilst solids and liquids have specific properties, there are some materials which challenge the 'rules'. When asked whether jelly and shaving foam were liquids or solids, one response was, 'Why do you do this to us?' We learnt that even scientists don't have all the answers!

A couple of amendments to the information I gave you at the parent meeting last week, apologies I got myself a bit confused - our indoor PE day is Thursday, not Friday and the Parent Consultations are on Monday 16th and Tuesday 17th October.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Farewell and some long anticipated photos...

Well, we have made it and what a term this has been! I feel like I have hardly had time to draw breath so I'm sure you must all be glad of the upcoming break. Make sure you all take time to rest, relax and recharge the batteries so you are ready for Year 5.

Firstly, I'd like to thank you all for the lovely gifts and cards. I shall enjoy them over the next few weeks as I take some time to be with my family. I hope you all enjoy your holidays and have lots of fun adventures as well as wonderful family time. Thank you for lending me your children over the last year, it has been busy and there have been many highlights and lovely memories that I will take with me. 

This week has been particularly busy, starting with our trip to Hazard Alley which although it only took place on Monday, seems a lot longer ago. Of course there have been many special moments when we have surprised Mrs O'Brien and shared some final moments and traditions with Year 6.

A couple of last reminders. I have sent a list of Year 3/4 words home today, this is the statutory spelling list that all children are expected to learn and I would encourage the children to practise a couple every day. Similarly, the children can continue to improve their Times Table Rock Star statuses - I have sent their avatars to their new classroom so they will continue to work on this throughout next year. May I also remind you how important reading is and the long holidays are an ideal opportunity to get lost in a book - the library challenge has begun and it would be great if the children joined in with that. I have also sent home their library logins in - you should have received a Parentmail about this.

Last but, definitely not least, I have now found and downloaded the photos from 'Let Loose'! Have a great summer!

Friday, 9 June 2017

Time to Let Loose!

I am struggling to believe that we are now in our last half term of the academic year and that our production is less than a week away. This week has been filled with rehearsals and Art but we have managed to fit in a some maths, RE and English. I have told the children that we are having a real focus on handwriting over the next weeks and if they want to continue this at home, I am happy to send some sheets home for them. I have also asked them to practise their timestables using the new Rock Stars program - please encourage them to use this at home. The children's banner on Self-control looks amazing - you will get to see this at Celebration Evening.

Next week, we will obviously be rehearsing and performing but I hope to begin to return to a full timetable as the week plays out. We have been having some lovely discussions about building bridges in RE, have been revising prepositions, adverbials and apostrophes in English and we had fun trying to master Roman numerals and area in Maths. Next week, we will continue looking at area, perimeter, 2D and 3D shapes. We will begin our next English unit on The Spiderwick Chronicles, complete our RE work on Reconciliation. 

I will see you all on Thursday and have a good weekend.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Just one week to go...

Where has the time gone? In just one week's time, we will breaking up for the last break before the children move up to Year 5!

Rehearsals are coming along. We will be sending home costume letters and a letter about ticket allocation on Monday. The stage goes up on Monday so it will all start to feel much more real. 

Today, we were joined by three of our governors throughout the morning and the children impressed them with their knowledge and understanding of the Shang dynasty. They also commented on their awareness of thoughts and feelings when we discussed the significance of building bridges and how this linked with Reconciliation - this is our new RE unit which we will explore over the next few weeks.

In Maths, we have been looking at fractions and dividing by either 'chunking' or using chunking on the numberline. We have also been thinking about the importance of carefully reading the question and especially checking the operation for every calculation. They have a sheet which gives some ideas for how to practise times tables. I cannot stress how important it is for the children to have a good recall of their times tables as it comes into so much of the maths we do.

In English and Topic we will complete our reports on the Shang dynasty.

Swimming is going really well, we certainly have some talented swimmers and they all really enjoy the session. Please encourage the children to take responsibility for their swimming kit - all the way from the house to school, we have had children leaving kit in cars and even their bag ending up in another class's cloakroom...

Hopefully we have our share of rain and the weekend will be bright and sunny so that we can all get outside.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

It's a wonderful life in 4K

Here we are half way through the half term and there is definitely a theme of life in our learning. In English and Topic we are learning about life during the Shang Dynasty and how some important inventions made by the Chinese are still being used by us today.

In RE we are discussing Pentecost and how we can all share in Jesus' new life if we live our lives in a Christian way. In Science we are learning about classifying animals and looking at how animals adapt to live in their environment.

In Maths we have been busy exploring 1- and 2-place decimal numbers, negative numbers and this week are practising multiplication. We are trying to think how we can use the skills and knowledge we have in Maths to help us solve unfamiliar problems. Once again, the children are realising the importance of knowing their times tables and we are trying to incorporate practising tell the time into our day.

The children have impressed the swimming instructors with their ability in the pool - could we have some budding Olympians?

And finally, our production is coming along - we are now eagerly anticipating the stage going up so we can really bring our characters to life, which brings me nicely back to where I started...

Friday, 21 April 2017

Welcome back.

Since our return on Wednesday, he have been busy rehearsing script and songs for our production 'Let Loose' which promises to be a lot of fun, but is only six school weeks away! Thank you for helping the children learn their lines, the sooner they know them by heart the sooner we can focus on the acting. The children should have brought home their songs to start learning them - if they could focus on knowing the first two songs by next Thursday and continue working on their lines, please. 

We have begun our new RE topic on New Life and had an interesting discussion on this yesterday. We will be reading scripture and thinking about what we learn from the stories whilst addressing the question 'What's important about new life?'

As we will be spending time rehearsing this half-term, we are going to combine our topic (The Shang Dynasty) with our English lessons. We will be learning about this ancient Chinese people and asking 'did the Shang Dynasty really exist?'

In Maths we will be looking at decimals, fractions and then negative numbers and in Science we are studying Life Processes and Living Things.

If I could ask that you return the Swimming slips as soon as possible because our first session is next Friday.

Have a great weekend.