Dolphins & Starfish (Year 4)
Teachers: Miss Cooper, Mrs Rowsell, Mrs Rounsefell
Teaching Assistants: Mrs Acland, Mrs Edwards
Spring Term 1
We have begun this term learning the poem ‘From a Railway Carriage’ by Robert Louis Stevenson. As part of our mini-project this half term we are learning about steam trains, focussing on Robert Stephenson and Isambard Kingdom Brunel. In music we are very excited to be learning to play the violin. In RE we have begun our learning about Judaism, asking the question, ‘How does celebrating Passover and keeping Kashrut help Jewish people show respect for God?’ We have started by looking at Jewish artifacts and talking about what we already know about the Jewish faith. We have been impressed by the children’s knowledge already.
Excellence is this term’s focus for the school’s values and we have talked about what Excellence means for us. In learning to ‘become better learners’, as part of our Life and Learning Skills, we have talked about how the brain works and the importance of practice when learning new skills as well as ‘being ready to learn’. We are looking forward to our next topic… Watch this space!
Autumn Term 2
We have had a wonderful time learning about The Romans and all that they left behind in Britain and in Exeter, including a visit to the Royal Albert Memorial Museum. The children behaved beautifully on our visit and we were very proud of them. Our Topic began with a letter received from an archaeologist asking the Year 4 children to examine and identify some artifacts to help decide whether a full scale excavation should take place on a recently discovered site. The artifacts were, indeed, Roman! The children enjoyed using brushes to carefully uncover the artifacts. They then drew them and carried out research to identify them.
Our Literacy focus was writing a story based on the book ‘Escape from Pompeii’ which we loved. We painted a large volcano to hang on the wall in our outside area and created some lovely pastel pictures of Mount Vesuvius on our Roman Day. The children (and staff) looked wonderful dressed as Romans on Roman Day. We also enjoyed making our own mosaic coasters, dressing models as Roman soldiers and ended the day eating honey and feta cheese flat bread baked in groups throughout the day, with grapes and cheese.
The unit of learning finished with an exhibition of the children’s projects, completed during school and at home. The children brought in shields, models of Roman Baths and towns, Roman costumes and all sorts of other wonderful things!
In RE this half term we looked at pictures of the nativity scene painted by artists from different countries, looking at symbolism in the pictures and the messages we felt the artists wanted to convey through their work. We felt that an important part of this was that Jesus came for everyone!
Autumn Term 1
The academic year is now well underway and we have started the term with a science based topic called ‘Hocus Focus and Hullabaloo’ which aims to answer the questions ‘How do we see? How do we hear?’
In our first week, we were introduced to gumboot dancing. This South African dance originated in the gold mines where miners used rhythms tapped out on their wellingtons (or gumboots) to communicate with each other. We have been very fortunate to draw on the expertise of our very own Mrs Read to learn some basic ‘gumboot routines.’ In our PE sessions, we have worked to try to master these steps. We have also begun to work in groups to create our own routines. Mrs Read popped in again this week to see how we are getting along with this and we are really looking forward to our performance to our parents in a few weeks.
Here we are practicing our moves! What do you think?
In the second week of term, we spent a day in the Woodland area with Kevin Cotter to help inspire our descriptive writing back in the classroom. For the first part of this half term, we are focusing on the book ‘Leon and the Place Between’ which tells of a boy who finds himself in the ‘place between’ after being made to disappear by a magician at a magic show. During our day in the woodland, we worked in groups to create entrances into a mystical place. (Think along the lines of the wardrobe in ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’ which also happens to be our class reader at the moment.) We also created shadow puppet plays about what may happen in these magical places and made soup from pumpkins, squashes, garlic, onion and courgettes which we shared with our parents at the end of the day.
So far, this half term, we have been very fortunate to have been visited by a doctor who taught us about the different parts of the eye and ear and how they work. We really liked the models she showed us and we learnt lots of interesting facts. We were also visited by an optometrist who taught us all about what happens when you visit the opticians for an eye test. She also bought some great optical illusions with her and we got to try some of the different lenses which are used to test your eye sight.
To find out more about our exciting learning journey, take a look at our curriculum overview below.
This week (w/c 3/10/16), we have been busy in ‘The Place Between’ (our outdoor learning area) exploring the world of mirrors, world of optical illusions and the world of colour, mystery and magic. We have had the opportunity to try out a range of science activities linked to these areas which we’ve really enjoyed.