Year 4 – Spring 2

We started Spring 2 with the majority of the year group learning remotely. At the beginning of week three, we were delighted to see all the children back in their classrooms. All the year four classes settled back to the routines of school very quickly.

In maths, we came to the end of a series of lessons all about fractions. The children developed a wide variety of skills including finding equivalent fractions, adding and subtracting fractions, finding fractions of a quantity and some problem solving. We then moved on to the new topic of decimals. The children learned about tenths and hundredths and how these decimal numbers could be represented on a place value grid and on a number line. We finished the topic by dividing 1 and 2 digit numbers by 10 and 100.

In whole class reading, we enjoyed a text very different from The Butterfly Lion. Beowulf is an old English story by an anonymous Anglo Saxon poet. The poem tells of a strong and brave warrior (Beowulf) who defeats monsters and goes on to become King.

The children undertook many activities to develop their reading skills. These included using evidence from the text to make predictions about what the monster Grendel would look like, retrieving key details, summarising events from more than one paragraph and comparing the two fights that Beowulf had.

This learning coincided with our History topic about the Anglo Saxons. The children began the topic by learning about why the Anglo Saxons invaded Britain, these reasons were sorted in to push and pull factors.

Then the children studied maps to find evidence of Anglo Saxon settlements in East Anglia and located places that contained part of an Anglo Saxon word.

The children were also given the opportunity to research an aspect of everyday life in Anglo Saxon times, using their tablet and non-fiction books, in order to create a fact-file to present their new knowledge.

In Art, the children learned about Islamic patterns to link with the R.E topic for this half term. During this time, the children designed, made and printed using a print tile. The final task involved evaluating their work by recognising what worked well, what could be improved next time and what they had learned throughout the project.

The big question whilst learning about Islam in R.E was “Is happiness the greatest purpose in life?” This learning built on aspects of Islam that the children had previously experienced. The children studied The Five Pillars and passages from The Qur’an to help them answer the key question.

In Spanish, the children learned new vocabulary for parts of the body and then described aliens using their new vocabulary and a range of adjectives. This pattern was repeated in later lessons, where children first learned the names of a variety of animals then had to translate some descriptions that described them. It was very impressive to see just how quickly the children picked up the new vocabulary and how well their pronunciation was developing.

Year 4 Spring 1 2021

Despite having to adapt to a new way of learning for the first half of Spring term, the children have worked incredibly hard and shown just how resilient and motivated they can be! In our English lessons, we have covered a range of topics including explanation texts and nonsense poems. The children seemed to particularly enjoy our topic of nonsense poems where they created their own nonsense poem in the style of The Michael Rosen Rap and then performed their creation to the rest of the class! In the last week before the half term holiday, we focused on the life and works of Quentin Blake. Amongst other things, the children created a story based inspired by one of his illustrations and pulled all of their learning together by including fronted adverbials, expanded noun phrases, similes and even some direct speech.

During our whole class reading lessons, we have been reading and discussing The Butterfly Lion by Michael Morpurgo. The children loved the story and we have had some wonderful discussions about how the main character, Bertie, might have been feeling at certain points in his life. We were all very surprised by the ending and had lots of ideas about it! Once we had finished the book, the children had a go at designing a new front cover for the book, based on their interpretation and their favourite parts of the story

The story of Bertie and his time in Africa linked nicely to our Art lessons, where the children have created an African landscape in silhouette. They started by practising drawing African animals such as elephants, giraffes and antelope. They then built up their final picture by painting or colouring in a sunset background. Silhouettes of African animals and trees were cut out and added to the background. The finished products were amazing!

In Maths, the children began the new year by finishing off our multiplication and division topic. We looked at multiplying and dividing 3 digit numbers by 1 digit. We also developed our ability to find factor pairs of certain numbers. This is a very valuable skill in maths and will continue to help us with all of our maths topics. We have now moved on to looking at fractions. It can be a tricky topic at the best of times and even more so with the children learning from home, but we are so proud of how hard they have been working!

Our Science topic of classification and habitats was enjoyed by all! The children are obviously passionate about animals and knew a lot about them already! This half term, we have focussed on how to classify living things in to groups or kingdoms. We used classification keys to work out what animal was being described and discussed why it is useful to group living things together. We finished our topic by discussing what dangers might face animals in their natural habitats and how we can help protect them. The children had lots of ideas and were eager to put them in to practice!

During our Geography lessons, we discovered some budding geography experts in Year 4! Our focus was all about mountains and mountain ranges in Europe. The children enjoyed finding out about all the different types of mountains and how they were formed. They were amazed by some of the pictures and videos showing the enormity of some mountains and the spectacular scenery that surrounds them.

Year 4 Autumn 2 2020

DT:

This half term we have been busy working on our cake stands. This combined our Roman mosaics which we made in Autumn 1 and our new DT skills. We used a skill called lamination to make our cake stands strong. The children had some fantastic designs and it was great to see so many cake stands being used to hold cakes at home!

English:

In English we have focused on persuasive writing, the children worked incredibly hard to persuade others to buy their ‘Toftwood Trifle’. The children really enjoyed creating their own slogans and were able to use techniques such as alliteration, similes, metaphors and rhyme to make persuasive and effective adverts.

We also created our own ending to a traditional tale. It was amazing to see all of the children’s innovative ideas. They were able to confidently demonstrate all they had learned and were proud of what they had created, with lots of children wanting to share their own version of the story ‘Lost Happy Endings’.

Maths:

Our mathematical work had a large focus on multiplication and we have been able to apply our times tables we have been practising. We can now use column method to help us multiply. Our confidence has grown through practising this method and it has shown us how often we use our times tables!

Science:

The children have been looking at how we can hear sound and the different parts of the ear. We thoroughly enjoyed trying out the different experiments to discover that sound is made by a series of vibrations. The children’s favourite experiment was using the tuning fork in the water (even if the vibrations from the tuning fork did make the water splash a little).

Music:

In music this year the children have been practising a brand new skill – British Sign Language. The children have loved using their hands and arms to sign the famous ‘Mamma Mia’ by ABBA. They picked up the skill quickly and were able to confidently share the new signs they learnt each session. It was a delight to see the enthusiasm with the song, I’m sure it’ll be an experience the children will remember for years to come.

We have had a very busy half term but we have enjoyed all of the new skills we have learnt.

Year 4 Autumn 1 2020

We have been really pleased to see how well the children settled into Year 4 after such an eventful summer term!  They have demonstrated a fabulous attitude to learning and we have been really proud of them.

This half term we started our Whole class Reading with Romans on the Rampage by Jeremy Strong.  The children have loved getting to grips with the machinations of the Raven and the Latin words!  They have been inspired to create their own inventions like the inventor: Maddasbananus and have really started to use the VIPERS (Vocabulary, Infer, Predict, Explain, Retrieve and Summarise) skills when answering questions.

With our Writing sessions, we have focussed on Fantasy stories and then Newspaper Reports. The children demonstrated their understanding of fronted adverbials, expanded noun phrases, paragraphs and inverted commas.   The children have created some marvellous newspaper articles about a Roman Gladiator fight using these techniques.

In our Maths lessons, we have recapped on Place Value from Year 3 and then continued to learn Year 4 Place Value using place value charts, counters and Base Ten to aid their understanding.  They have enjoyed the journey from Year 3 to Year 4 work and have shown a determination in their learning.  This gave them a solid base when starting our next mathematical unit: Addition and Subtraction.

Our Year 4 Science topic was States of Matter and the children were very enthusiastic over the experiments and writing their predictions and the results!  They particularly enjoyed trying to decide what state (gas, liquid or solid) the ice cube would be in when placed in a clay pot with damp sand.

We were impressed with the variety of ways the children chose to demonstrate the Water Cycle too!

For R.E., we have been concentrating on answering our big question: “What difference does being a Muslim make to daily life?”  First, we discussed our prior knowledge from Year 3 and then we continued to learn about Islam using this knowledge to help us answer our question.

In History, we have focussed on the Roman Empire, how and why the Romans invaded Britain, what they did for Britain, why they left and Boudicca’s revolt.  The children found this fascinating and were excited to discover the Romans had ‘fast food’ stalls and a dish very similar to a burger!