Please scroll down to see all that we have been up to both inside and outside of class.
Our last session of orienteering this term was a special one. Not only did we make it that bit harder by introducing the grid reference system to the children's maps (ask them to explain it to you), but they were also told that successfully finding all of the 'eggs' dotted around the grounds would mean that they could have an actual Easter egg to take home too. As usual the children threw everything into it and really used their perseverance to track down each of the hidde3n eggs. Great fun was had by all and we shall try to do another one in the summer term.
As part of Science week, each year group was set the challenge to develop or create a habitat for an endangered creature so that they might begin to thrive and increase in numbers within or very capacious and natural grounds. Year 4 decided to choose the humble bumblebee and to help, here is the plan, presented by some of the year group:
What can we do to help?
To help the numbers grow, we need to plant flowers but a variety of different ones. We are going to make a bumblebee friendly garden in our school field in order to attract more bees and increase their population. We will make sure that our flower garden provides pollen and nectar during May and June when nests are built and growing. As the flowers will bloom at this time, we will try to measure the number of bumblebees in the flower garden during the summer months.
Jack, Libby and Uday (4C)
Look to check back in in the summer time when, hopefully, the flowers have bloomed and we have some bumblebees helping themselves to the pollen. Have a look at some before and after shots of our garden area below.
Year 4 enjoyed a superb trip to the highest point in the area as we climbed the peaks of the Lickey Hills. We had an excellent time learning about how they were formed (can you remember what type of mountains they were?), finding different types of rocks and orienteering around the nature park. See the pictures for how we got on.
As part of our cities and villages topic, Year 4 embarked on a Design and Technology quest to plan, draw up, resource and create our very own buildings that we could put together to form part of our very own Year metropolis. Have a look at the pictures below to see the early stages of the planning using art straws. Can you remember how we started our designs? What did we need to think carefully about when creating the designs with the art straws?
The children in Year 4 were very honoured to be visited by two local servicemen from the Sheldon Community Fire station. Each year they visit local schools in an effort to inform children about how to prevent fires and what to do in case you discover a fire, including calling the Emergency services. They also helped us understand how to be safe around roads and in cars. I hope the children will pass on all their knowledge to the people at home.
Check that your smoke alarms work everybody! Can you remember what to do if YOU are on fire? See the pictures below for a reminder.
Thanks to all of Year 4 and their families for, yet again, producing an incredible array of homework as part of our cities and villages topic. The results were informative, comprehensive and sometimes quite spectacular. A great effort made by all those who attempted it. Look at the pictures below to see some of the work. Which one do you like best? Has it inspired you to learn more about another city? If you could go to any one city in the world, where would you go?
Year 4 enjoyed learning from some new teachers this week as Year 5 became the professors and told us all about their learning about the topic of Space. The children in Year 4 listened well and learned some new information about the planets and the Solar system and a host of other interesting facts. I can safely say they will enjoy learning about space next year when they get to Year 5 and have had a great head start already!
Happy New Year! Spring term started strongly with Year 4 preparing a most excellent assembly to show off all their learning about the Tudors. We had some Shakespeare references, Christmas traditions, Rich and Poor (great song) and the Spanish Armada all referenced and acted superbly. Well done everyone and thanks to all for coming to watch.
At the start of December, Year 4 embarked on a time-travelling trip to the past to Tudor times to learn all about what Christmas was like for the inhabitants of Blakesley Hall. This timber-framed house, built in 1590, is a prime example of Tudor architecture and we were able to go inside and learn all about Christmas traditions, some of which are still around and celebrated today!
Can you remember what some of the traditions were? See if the pictures below can help remind you.
As part of our Ancient Egyptian topic we learned that they used to mummify their dead. They did this to preserve their body for their journey to the Afterlife. It was quite a gruesome process, and the Year 4 teachers weren't able to show the children exactly, despite there being many volunteers!
In order to get a taste of the gory and hands on process Year 4 mummified a tomato and we have buried them in Natron for 70 days. More pictures will follow when we dig them out of their salty sarcophagus!
Can you remember what happens at each stage? Ask your child to describe the process in all the gory detail!
We took Year 4 outside so they could experience the school grounds in autumn. The children came up with some amazing adjectives, similes, metaphors and even personification to describe what they could see,hear, smell and feel. We then used this fantastic ideas to write our very own autumn inspire poems.
Take a look at some of the things we got up to when we went outside below:
Year 4 have been learning all about human digestion in our science lessons. The children took part in the gruesome big bowel experiment; of course they loved it! Have a look at some of the photos below, can your child name the part of the digestion process?
Fizz pop brrrr! Year 4 scientists got up to all sorts during science week last week (wc 25/6). Ask your child to talk you through these exciting photos from our extraordinary and exhilarating week.
Terrible Tudors! Year 4 embarked on a local history trip to nearby Tudor house, Blakesley Hall. One half of the year spent the morning in the house being shown around by Ruth, seeing the different rooms and handling a variety of different artefacts (some lucky children were even able to dress up). Meanwhile the other group were engaged in the activity room learning about writing with quills and ink, searching for herbs (which the Tudors used very widely in medicines) and learning about Tudor household items. It was a brilliant day enjoyed by all. The children also wrote some terrific recounts of the day expressing their satisfaction at another fun day in Year 4!
For our final orienteering session Year 4 went on an Easter themed hunt looking for paper eggs to trade for an Easter treat! This was the final session of our Orienteering PE, which has been great fun. Lots of new skills have been learned, not least map reading, understanding grid references, an improved sense of direction and a huge demonstration and improvement in one of our core school values: CO-OPERATION.
As part of a mixed curriculum topic the children in Year 4 were invited to become business men and women and to compete to become the most successful product in the most competitive of food markets: Chocolate bars! The children were involved from product idea generation, selecting ingredients, making the chocolates, designing advertising posters and materials, and even creating a radio advert that the whole of KS2 listened to! The idea was to be as persuasive as possible and to use all the persuasion techniques they were learning about in English. Ask your child how they got on and how they made their advert persuasive.
The culmination of this superb process was the big chocolate sale in the hall. All choclates made, all advertising present, the teams clamoured to sell their wares. Everyone had a super time. See if you can spot the teachers too!
Making a mountain out of a topic
To further our understanding of mountains and the terminology and weathering that occurs on and around them, Year 4 set about making our own mountain ranges out of recyclable materials. Who knew milk bottles and newspaper could look so good with just a lick of paint. As you can see the children followed a specific process to achieve some wonderful results. They were on display at parent's evening too. We will be learning some of the key terms around them this week, so ask your children to describe them to you.
Scaling new heights!
Another new topic Year 4 are to scale this term is our 'Mountains' topic. As a result, Year 4 embarked on an expedition to the highest part of the area - the Lickey Hills. What a day we had! Luckily, and in spite of the early morning mist, which gave us some very atmospheric photos, the weather held clement for us and we enjoyed a stunning and informative walk round the site. We learned that the rocks there were over 480 million years old! Wow! And that they were originally formed in Australia, on the other side of the globe! Wish they had brought the weather with them!
Spring term brings with it new topics to get our teeth into. In science this term we are looking at the different states of matter and materials. In our classes we got together to represent a solid, and liquid and a gas.
Our Egyptian theme just gets better and more gruesome by the week! After looking at pyramids, artifacts and the afterlife, Year 4 set about sending something on the long journey to the afterlife by following some ancient instructions. Thankfully, nothing had to actually be mummified: we all used a tomato!