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.


Friday, 24 March 2017

Another busy term nears the end...

It's hard to believe we only have one more week of the term left - the term really has flown by. It was lovely seeing so many of you at our class Mass last week - the children conducted themselves beautifully.

Last week was also Science, Maths and Engineering week and we enjoyed many workshops and activities throughout the week. We also had a fascinating visit from Mr Rickett who told us loads of interesting facts about World War 2.












That was last week... this week we have been busy preparing for today's fundraising - thank you for supporting the children with this, they did a great job and raised over £40.
In our 'normal' lessons over the last fortnight we have finished Friend or Foe and began our story about two evacuees today. We are going to have to be quite disciplined with our writing as we have another busy week ahead but I'm looking forward to reading how the children have considered what life during World War 2 would have been like.
In Maths we have been doing lots of problem solving and using strategies to add, subtract, multiply and divide. Next week we will look at time and I'm hoping we will do some practical Maths as part of an activity I'm planning to do when we have our World War 2 Outreach day next Thursday. 
As well as our visit by historians from St Albans Museum on Thursday, we are having a visit from an ex-St Dominic pupil (from before the school moved to its current site) and we will learn how the war ended.
In Science we have been looking at evaporation and condensation and will look at the water cycle to complete our Changing States topic.
In RE we have been doing a lot of our unit through practical activities - during our preparation for Mass we considered how difficult it is to be self-disciplined when fulfilling our Lenten promises. We have also being living in God's way as we raised money at our fundraising today. Next week we will consider the Easter story and we will be doing some art work as well as taking part in the Be Spirited activities.
In Art the children are sketching images based on Henry Moore's tunnels images. On Wednesday they role played and took pictures as if they were in the underground tunnels sheltering from the Blitz - they look amazing on our Michael Morpurgo wall and I'm sure the actual sketches will reflect the sentiment the photos portray.
Finally, if anyone has any Cues Ed questionnaires or forms and donations for our Outreach session could you please return them as soon as possible.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Read all about it...

Last week was feeling good week and this week we celebrated World Book, so we have cetainly got this second Spring Half Term off to a flying start.

4k really enjoyed the drumming workshop and I was impressed at the variety of sounds produced and rhythm maintained after a mere 45 minutes of tuition and practise.

On World Book Day, we were very lucky to have a packed day with lots of visitors, some of whom you probably recognise, sharing their expertise. After our 'parade' of book characters, Mrs Jones talked to us about the process she went through when she wrote her book. We were amazed and impressed at the amount of time and effort that went into editing and proof reading -especially when we heard that she only had 6 weeks to write the actual text!


 Then we had another parent, Mrs Vicente share a story and some Catalan traditions. It was lovely to hear a different language and we recognised the story of St George.


The children are really enjoying learning about World War 2 and certainly have an impressive amount of knowledge already! They are also working hard at understanding Friend or Foe and have written some wonderful letters or diary entries  that show they have empathised with David. 

In Maths we are looking at money and will move onto measurement next. As telling the time is still proving a challenge for many in the class, please encourage them to wear, and use, a watch.




Thursday, 16 February 2017

Half term news

As half term has arrived, I just wanted to update you on what we have been doing in 4K and share some of the things we will do during the next few weeks as we prepare for Easter.

As ever, we have been busy over the last couple of weeks. We had a lovely trip to Harpenden where we looked for things that had changed over the years. We learnt that the railway had a big impact on our town and saw many things that had changed as a result of its arrival in the 1860s. This trip was linked to our study of Changing Environments in Geography - thank you for sharing your knowledge with us by completing the children's questionnaires. It is great for the children to experience local geography and history - it makes it so much more real when they hear first hand accounts.

We concluded our news reports by writing about the sport we each thought was the world's most incredible sport and the children also used their news report writing skills to write a report on changes they saw in Harpenden. We have also spent some time looking at poetry. Next week we will begin our unit on Michael Morpurgo's Friend or Foe and this will link with our History topic on World War II. 

In Science, we concluded our work on Sound by making screeching balloons and a sound map of our school - unfortunately(!) the school was rather quiet during our investigation so we are going to measure the decibels in the dining room and on the playground during Break and Lunchtimes so we can get a greater range of sound levels! Our new Science topic is Changes of State and we will be examining liquids, gases and solids and investigating their properties and how they change.

In RE, we have begun our Giving and Receiving unit where we will look at the Eucharist and ask what is more important - giving or receiving? The children have already made some interesting reflections on this and I look forward to seeing their holiday research on giving and receiving in the community. Thet should have brought a questionnaire home which will hopefully stimulate discussion and thought. I would then like them to record them in any way they choose - either simply by recording the answers to the questions or by using these to create a presentation of some kind about their ideas. 

In Art the children will be looking at the work of Henry Moore. In Computing we will complete our weather jingles and use them when we present a weather forecast based on research using the data loggers we used to record sound levels. 

Have a great break and see you all on Monday!