Thursday 16th June 2016
Watch this space for an update from the Polar Bears about the day that we started investigating the Story of the Olympics ... with help from a bronze medal won in Barcelona in 1992!
Friday 20th May 2016
Thank you to everybody who joined us for our Learning Together this afternoon. Your Spelling Passports are bursting with all the words that you have collected, investigated and spelt this afternoon - it's going to take me a long time to count them all up to find out who finished the afternoon with the most points! What Spelling Superstars you are!
I have uploaded the 'Strategies for Spelling Superstars!' that the Polar Bears use to support them with their spelling at school below - if you didn't take a copy this afternoon and would like one, please let me know!
Monday 9th May 2016
During our last after school Forest School session, one of the Polar Bears suddenly came flying through the trees on a broomstick whistling the Harry Potter theme tune and, before I could say Wingardium Leviosa, the rest of the group were busy searching the site for a suitable broomstick! During today's session, we whittled elder to make our very own magic elder wands and gave them a special 'wand core', just like the wands that Mr. Ollivander sells! Amy and Grace even managed to find rare Phoenix feathers for their wand cores! Great creativity and imagination from you all!
Tuesday 26th April 2016
We felt incredibly honoured to be able to welcome children's author Ross Montgomery into school to work with Year 4 this morning. Excitement has certainly been building amongst the Polar Bears, one of whom came in from the playground yesterday break time just to make sure that I knew that 'It is now less than twenty four hours until Ross Montgomery will be in this actual building!' His latest novel, Perijee & Me, is at the heart of our topic for this half term - his visit couldn't have come at a better time!
The children were totally captivated as Ross read them the next chapter of Perijee & Me - how lucky we were to be read the next chapter of our class novel by the author who wrote it! The children then worked with Ross to create our very own class alien, extending what we have been learning about 'painting a picture' in our reader's mind. We were blown away by the children's creativity and the dazzling similes that they came up with - fangs as sharp as treacherous butcher's knives, skin as sparkly as the sun reflecting on the sea, wings with feathers as soft as the clouds, a fiery tail terrifying like a bolt of lightning ... we can't wait to bring our alien to life when we create a class collage later this week - watch this space!
The hugest thank you to Ross for giving us such an inspiring, exciting morning and to the team at Just Imagine Story Centre for organising the visit.
Polar Bears - you were such enthusiastic, wonderful ambassadors for St. Andrew's this morning and you made me feel extremely proud to be your teacher!
Wednesday 20th April 2016
Welcome back! The Polar Bears have come back ready and raring to go after the Easter break and are already showing great enthusiasm for our topic for this half term, 'Under the Sea!'. The children have the opportunity to choose one topic as a class each year and this is their chosen topic!
Please find below a PDF of our latest Year 4 curriculum newsletter - and note the change in date of our final Learning Together of the year, which will have a spelling focus. Further details to follow.
At the heart of our 'Under the Sea!' topic is the novel Perijee & Me, which is the latest novel by children's author, Ross Montgomery - hot off the press, having only been published last month and exciting to think that we are one of the first classes to be reading it! We are also counting down the days until next Tuesday when Ross Montgomery himself is coming in to school to talk to us!
Click on the image of the front cover below to find out more about Perijee & Me from the publishers!
We have read the first few chapters of Perijee & Me and enjoyed taking part in some group drama activities to explore how Caitlin, the main character, is feeling at the beginning of the novel. This helped us to express her innermost thoughts and feelings about what was happening to her when we then went on to write in role. Captured on camera below, the Polar Bears re-enacting scenes from the first two chapters of the novel - they had thought so carefully in their groups about how the actors should play their parts to show the feelings that Caitlin was experiencing. Fabulous effort, Polar Bears!
We have now begun work on exploring how the author has used language to help us to imagine what Middle Island, where Caitlin lives, is like - we've found some stunning similes to inspire us with our writing! We are now going to create islands for our own stories - watch this space! We will be thinking carefully about choosing words and phrases that will paint a picture of what our islands are like, just like Ross Montgomery has!
Earlier this week, the Polar Bears received a letter from an Oceanographer at the University of Southampton, asking for their help! She explained that Oceanographers often spend time looking for new species in the ocean and has set us the challenge of each designing a new species that is yet to be discovered! We have been asked to complete a profile and a drawing of our new species, which should include information about their size, the depth in the ocean that it lives at, where in the world it lives and where it is in the food chain ... and could include information about how they move, how they are adapted to where they live, how they breathe, whether they are camouflaged, how they catch their food and how they avoid being eaten. We have a lot of research and thinking to do!
To help us begin thinking about how sea creatures are adapted to where they live, we have also risen to a challenge set by Mrs. Gough, which was to talk to Year 1 about why you wouldn't find a blue whale in a pond! Both classes have enjoyed reading Dear Greenpeace. The Polar Bears then found out all about blue whales and went with their school of blue whales to share their findings with Year 1 this morning - you can see them with Boris, Billy, Buddy and their other blue whale friends in the photos below!
Wednesday 21st October 2015
It was so wonderful to see so many of you at our Learning Together on Monday and we are so thrilled with the result of all your hard work! Inspired by our current class novel, Pugs of the Frozen North, the children all imagined that they were joining the Great North Race to the top of the world, deciding on a team of creatures that they thought would be suited to pulling their sled to victory across the Arctic. From a team of rainbow snow ponies to a dragon called 'Bern'ard, what a brilliant job you all did of bringing your creatures to life ... and the result, our mural of the children racing to the top of the world, looks amazing (although, at ten metres, it is admittedly longer than I envisaged and took five of us to transport it from the Hall to the classroom!) - do come in and have a look! A huge thank you must, of course, go to Sarah McIntyre, illustrator of Pugs of the Frozen North, for creating such an exciting challenge for the children. They are writing their own story of the Great North Race tomorrow, starring themselves and their teams, and I can't wait to read and share them with you ... watch this space!
Tuesday 13th October 2015
How beautifully the Polar Bears have settled into life in Year 4! We have had a jam-packed start to the year - we hope you enjoy reading about some of our highlights so far!
Our topic for this half term has been 'The Race to the Top of the World', inspired by Pugs of the Frozen North, the latest novel by award-winning author/illustrator duo, Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre. You can find out more about the novel by visiting Sarah's website:
The Polar Bears always seem to persuade me to read more chapters than I had planned to - there is already excitement about heading to the Yeti Noodle Bar in the next chapter! Sarah McIntyre has even sent us our own challenges to complete as we read the novel - watch this space!
As we work towards writing our own Races to the Top of the World, we have been learning about using imagery and suspense in our writing. The children have done a fantastic job of 'reading as writers' and exploring the devices that have been used in Pugs of the Frozen North to achieve this - just how did Philip and Sarah have us on the edge of our seats like that as Shen and Sika raced through Kraken Deep?! I can't wait to read their own writing as they race to the top of the world in a sled pulled by their own teams of creatures (dragons, huskies and snow rainbow ponies, to name a few!).
Here the Polar Bears are working in groups to 'Paint the Picture' - a drama activity that we used to develop the Arctic settings in our writing:
This week, we have enjoyed the whole-school theme of 'Around the World in Two Days', for which our continent has been Australasia. We have focused on New Zealand and the Polar Bears have been on an 'armchair trip' to New Zealand, visiting all sorts of fascinating places! We are in the process of writing postcards to send home to the other classes at St. Andrew's - expect post later this week! We have also been designing our own Maori Koru patterns and a whole-class piece will be appearing in the Hall next week - again, keep your eyes peeled! I will upload some photographs as soon as it has been installed ...
In addition to our travels to New Zealand, we were given a taste of Japan by our Japanese visitors yesterday, learning some Japanese greetings and making origami pumpkins and we had an amazing Indian Dance workshop with Susanna Harrington this morning: