Year 4 Blog

Welcome to the Year 4 blog. Find out what our classes have been up to lately!

Facing "The Dragons" with Pet Rocks!

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This week has been a busy return to the last half term.

In preparation for Business Enterprise and My Money Week next week, we put together a pitch for our business idea to take to our very own Dragon's Den and see if we could secure an investment in our company Pet Rocks!

Our hard work (and the presentation skills of those who delivered the pitch) paid off and we managed to obtain an investment to launch our product in the school shop later in the term.

Be sure to keep an eye out for advertisements and further details of our retail plans to own your very Pet Rock in the near future.

Aside from this, we have begun the new units in each of our subjects; planning exciting ways to investigate forces in science, exploring scales and measurement in maths and beginning to explore stories set in imaginary worlds for our Literacy.

Next week, we have lots of business linked activities planned and a visit from some teachers who work in our link school in India. We look forward to sharing all of our exciting experiences with you on our blog next week.

FOLTE fun!

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We started this week with celebrations for the launch of our new Learning Trust. As 7 local schools have joined together in the Four Oaks Learning  Trust for Excellence (FOLTE), we enjoyed a mufti day with activities to enjoy and learning more about what this means for us.

In Year 4, we made information booklets about our school and our classes which we would like to share with our partner schools in the future. For this we used our ICT and Literacy skills and developed many of our BLP skills in working together and planning our group contributions.

We enjoyed joining the rest of the school around the flagpole to sing our national anthem and watch the balloon release to mark the start of FOLTE. It was exciting to see Emelia from our year group representing Whitehouse Common across the schools in the learning trust!

This week we have also had a visit from Miss Maugham to introduce a new and inspiring reading activity to our guided reading sessions. Reciprocal reading will enable us to each take on roles in a group read, develop our skills and lead our own learning which will support our progress and maximise the skills which we are able to focus on in our guided reading work. The activity was good fun and we are looking forward to regularly participating in this next half term.

Getting App Happy!

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This week we have been lucky enough to have the chance to explore the new ipads in school!

We used the opportunity to try out different apps and think about how they could be used to support our learning in school. We had some great ideas for ways in which we could develop our Maths and Literacy skills and how we could use a variety of apps to enhance our topic work. It was really fun and we can see that there are many ways to make our creative curriculum even more exciting and inspiring!

We have also been busy with assessments to show our progress in reading, writing and maths. We are working really hard and it is pleasing to see just how far we have come and how much our knowledge and understanding has increased.

What a busy but rewarding week!

Time-travelling fun!

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This week, we revisited our Romans topic and reviewed our learning by travelling back in time and enjoying a Roman banquet.

We all took on roles; guests at the banquet, slaves, dancers, musicians and the clown and had the opportunity to handle artefacts that the romans would have used. It was really good fun!

The guests laid on the floor to eat and were waited on by the slaves (who even had to do tasks such as removing the guests shoes and tying their napkins around their necks!). After the meal, the entertainers danced, played instruments and performed to the guests for their amusement. Our entertainers were very good and worked hard to perfect their acts!

As part of the banquet, we tried some foods which the romans might have eaten. We ate olives and a range of fruit including; figs, dates, pomegranate and grapes. We also talked about the other foods which might have been served in those times.

It was a great opportunity to share the knowledge and understanding from our previous learning and to build on this with even more interesting facts. We used lots of our BLP skills through the activity too and were all completely absorbed in our learning throughout!

Working hard ...

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We have been continuing to work hard this week across all of our learning.

We have been busy focusing on developing our calculation and SPAG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) skills in Maths and Literacy and learning more athletic skills in our Summer term PE, this week thinking about jumping techniques!

In addition to this,  we have begun to learn more about our water topic. We used atlases and internet research to identify key bodies of water in the UK and around the world, finding facts about them from a range of sources. It was fun and we really enjoy exploring maps!

Linking our research work to our ICT lessons, we considered the effective use of search engines and compared two to think about which we prefered and why. Most of us decided that Google was our favourite search engine and we discussed its advantages and disadvantages in research work.

We are going to continue to use the knowledge and skills that we have developed in ICT to support further research in our topic work and across all of our subjects this half term. Knowing how to use search engines more effectively should help us to quickly collect information which is more accurate and relevant to our work.

 

 

 

It is all about the skills...

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We have been developing a whole range of skills across the curriculum this week.

We focused on language and grammar skills in Literacy; learning about developing sentences using a range of connectives and getting to grips with the language used for explanations. We now know the key differences between instructions and explanations and will be using these skills next week to write explanations for our own creative inventions and machines (inspired by The Shirt Machine which we explored as part of visual Literacy work).

In Maths, we developed our calculating skills for both subtraction and multiplication. We learnt a new method for written subtraction and impressed our teachers with how well we could use it to calculate accurately. We continued to use the grid method for multiplication but began to use it to multiply decimals and applied this to real life situations in the context of money.

As part of our Science work, we continued to develop our scientific enquiry skills by exploring solids which behave like liquids in some ways and reasoning why. We took our learning outside to investigate, using sand and soil in our school grounds and applying our knowledge of particles in different states of matter to draw some carewfully considered scientific conclusions!

It has been a busy week and it has demanded a range of our BLP skills to be successful but we have worked hard and achieved a lot! We have a great deal to be proud of and we finished off the week reflecting in our wider range of skills through our Chance to Shine assembly. What a talented group we are!

 

Our river tripping, pond dipping, Hams Hall adventure!

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We have started the summer term and our new "Water" topic with an exciting trip to Hams Hall Environmental Studies Centre.

The trip introduced us to the journey of a river from its source and we learnt some key vocabulary which we will be using throughout our topic work. We enjoyed fieldwork which included; describing and creating field sketches of a river and a stream, measuring and comparing the speed of flow and we even had the chance to wade through the stream!

Our other activity linked to some of the work that we have done in Science on habitats and we got to take a closer look at pond habitats by pond dipping! It was great fun! We used nets to catch a whole variety of creatures and then took them back to the classroom where we used branching keys to identify them and find out facts.

We also revisited the life cycle of a frog and explored the life cycle of a Dragonfly which none of us had learnt about before and which was really interesting to see in pictures on the slideshow.

We were lucky to have a sunny and almost dry day to enjoy so much outdoor learning. We were all able to answer lots of questions at the end of the day and reflect on lots that we had learnt. Now we are very eager to continue with our topic work and explore much more about this vast subject! We look forward to sharing more of our topic learning with you in our future blogs so watch this space...

Musical Maestros enjoying egg-cellent Easter fun!

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This week begun really well with a chance for us to perform a variety of songs to our parents to show them the fantastic progress we have been making in our music lessons. We performed confidently and some of us even took on the challenge of performing a solo! It was really fun and we are very proud of our achievements.

After a busy few days practising our test skills using QCA assessments, we are all set now to enjoy some Easter fun with egg decorating, easter card making and a special Easter assembly to look forward to!

We also have the talent show on Thursday afternoon in which Fiza and Harley will be representing Year 4 and sharing their singing talents. It promises to be a fantastic afternoon of fun, celebration and laughter!

We would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a very happy Easter and look forward to sharing more of our exciting learning with you in the summer term.

 

Getting "Inspired" and Science fun!

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This week, we enjoyed the opportunity to share our learning at Year 4's Inspire workshop. Our focus was maths problem solving and we used the time to showcase our growing times tables knowledge (accompanied by the legendary Percy Parker!) and worked together to solve tricky word problems using the RUCSAC method.

It was a great morning which was enjoyed by all!

We have also been busy doing LOTS of practical science... not only in Science lessons, where we have been using scientific enquiry skills to investigate our topic of "Keeping Warm", but also on Science Day when we had lots of practical science fun!

We watched a Mad Science assembly, made our hair stand on end (quite literally!) in a workshop about static electricity, explored forces using balloon rockets and made our own quicksand to investigate its properties. A fun, frantic and rather messy day was had by all and we learnt so much about different aspects of science... it was FANTASTIC!

Skills and Scales...

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Year 4 have been really busy developing a variety of skills in our PE and music lessons.

We have had help from the Aston Villa football coaches and our very own coaching legend (Mr.Melville) to develop ball skills and agility such as warm up activities, tick-tocking and dribbling.

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In music, we have been practising our scales to be able to notes ascending and descending in pitch and this has enabled us to learn a wider variety of tunes. We are also learning to sing some new songs to develop our vocal skills and understanding of the key elements of music (tone, dynamics, tempo etc.)

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We are looking forward to showcasing our hard work and progress in another mini performance in the final week of this half term. We hope that our musical talents will blow you socks off!

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Next week we are going to be going Science crazy with lots of investigations and a busy Science Day so watch this space to find out all the fascinating and exciting science fun we have!

A Step Back in Time....

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Our Roman topic has begun with a fascinating visit from the incredible Professor McGinty!

He came to see us with his amazing ALLAPOTPPBT and shared facts, artefacts and knowledge about life in Roman Britain.

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We learnt a lot and used what we had learnt to explore further using freeze frames and drama activities to reflect key elements of our learning.

It has inspired us and helped us to generate questions which we will explore further through our topic work.

So far we have used our geography and history skills to find out where and why the Romans invaded and settled and found out more about life in Roman Britain; school, family life, food and entertainment.

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Thinking back and looking forward...

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Thinking back to the end of last half term, we had a great last day with our Green "Eco" activities.

We worked across our phase, with Year 3, to explore lots of aspects of the theme including; making bird feeders, writing spanish sentences about animals and their habitats, designing our own ponds and inventing Eco-robots! It was great fun!

Now, looking forward to this half term and the exciting things which await us...

Our topic is launched this week with a visit from Professor McGinty who is going to use his time traveller knowledge to introduce us to The Romans. We can't wait to tell you all about it next week!

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We are also going to be developing our football skills with Aston Villa football coaches, increasing our music knowledge and skills to play even more ambitious tunes (we have already learnt 3 new notes to help us - it is getting tricky now and we need to practise much more!!!) and  investigating materials in Science to find out about thermal insulators and thermal conductors.

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It is going to be a busy half term so please keep looking at our blog where we will tell you more about these activities and share our learning with you.

 

 

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