Welcome to Badgers Class!
Welcome back for the Summer Term!
Our Topic for this half term is 'Magical Mayhem', at the heart of which is our new whole-class novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. As well as lots of exciting reading and writing opportunities in English, we will be opening our own shops in Diagon Alley, experimenting with solubility, reversible/irreversible reactions, glow in the dark ice and invisible ink in our 'Potions' Science lessons and training a Year 4 Quidditch team that is sure to rival Hogwarts' finest! What a lot we have to look forward to!
Friday 11th May 2018
We were so lucky to have the opportunity to spend this afternoon in the Science Department at Ramsey Academy! The purpose was to enrich our current Science focus on chemical changes as part of this half term's 'Magical Mayhem' topic. There was such excitement on the children's faces as they donned their lab coats and safety goggles!
We began by mixing the kind of ingredients that you might find in Professor Snape's classroom at Hogwarts to make our own Potions, carefully observing the changes taking place. The children asked some really great questions, eager to find out more about how and why the changes were happening.
Mr. Brooking also showed us some really awe-inspiring demonstrations, including igniting a hydrogen-filled balloon so that we could observe and learn about the reaction between hydrogen and oxygen ... what a loud bang it was!
We would like to say the hugest thank you to Mr. Brooking and the terrific lab technicians at Ramsey Academy for putting so much time and effort into giving us such an exciting afternoon.
Thursday 10th May 2018
In Maths today, we enjoyed applying what we have been learning about calculating perimeter to an investigation context - we were set a challenge by Hagrid himself, who needed to build an enclosure for his new herd of hippogriffs! We had to construct as many different enclosures with a perimeter as we could. We worked collaboratively in groups using straws, each of which represented one metre, before focusing on constructing these shapes accurately in our exercise books.
Thursday 3rd May 2018
The children have absolutely blown us away in English this week! I, for one, have enjoyed every second! Linked to our 'Magical Mayhem' topic for this half term, we read and watched the scene in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets when Ron receives a Howler letter from Mrs. Weasley after he steals and flies his parents' car to Hogwarts. We analysed the different techniques used to convey emotion - in this case, anger and displeasure - and had great fun applying what we had learnt to write our own Howlers! The children had such creative ideas about what else Ron might do to get him in trouble and definitely conveyed Mrs. Weasley's thoughts about it - let us know what you think!
Friday 27th April 2018
Over the past fortnight, our whole-school theme has been Compassion. This week, Year 4 have enjoyed singing 'I'll Be There For You' by The Rembrandts, which inspired a wonderfully rich discussion about the compassion shown in the lyrics. The children shared their reflections of being there for somebody when the rain starts to pour - we were so impressed by how deeply they were thinking.
Lila: "It doesn't just mean that I'll be there for you for a short time. It means I'll be there for you through thick and thin."
Charlotte and Tilly: "Other people don't see them, they're just another person, but there's someone who sees them for what they actually are. There's always someone who sees you for what you actually are."
Inspired by the song, we discussed and reflected on people in our school community that have showed us compassion and twisted the perspective in the song to 'You Were There For Me'. Do come and have a look at our 'You Were There For Me' cards on our Year 4 Compassion display in the Hall!
Thursday 26th April 2018
Today, we were lucky enough to join Year 1 for a day of pond dipping at Forest School with Terry Halls, from Essex Outdoors. The sun shone down on us all day as we explored the life below the surface of the ponds! We worked together with great care and enthusiasm, sweeping our nets through the water and identifying the creatures that we'd found, which included water spiders, water boatmen, bloodworms, whirly-gig beetles and newts! Isaac the Newt was a firm favourite! We learnt about how the creatures we found are adapted to breathe in the water and about freshwater food chains. Well done, Flamingos and Badgers - what a terrific team you were!
Wednesday 18th April 2018
What a glorious time our Year 4 Wild Readers have had at Forest School after school today! The great outdoors, the sun shining down on us and some great text choices! Some of us enjoyed finding a quiet spot to curl up in by ourselves, some of us shared a book together in our reading dens and some of us adventured up a tree with a book and a friend!
Thursday 29th March 2018
Well, we've had the final curtain for this year's Year 3 and 4 production of The Wizard of Oz - where have the past five weeks gone?! Thank you to all parents, grandparents, family and friends who attended the performances and supported the raffle, not to mention all the support with learning lines and song lyrics, providing costumes and painting the backdrop! We hope you enjoyed the performances and feel as proud of your children as we do!
Happy Easter to you all - have a well-deserved rest over the Easter holidays. We look forward to seeing the children back in school for the start of the Summer Term on Tuesday 17th April.
Thursday 15th March 2018
I don't think I've stopped talking about how proud we felt of the children on our visit to North Norfolk today! St. Andrew's Superness shone through and through and nobody can tell you that you aren't resilient in the rain! You threw yourself into everything, rose to every challenge, showed great cammeraderie and brought your own sunshine to a rainy day! Thank you to the totally brilliant Skippy and Eagle Eye from Aylmerton Field Study Centre for sharing your infinite energy, enthusiasm and knowledge of the North Norfolk coastline with us, making us laugh as we learnt, sparking our curiosity and keeping us buoyant in the rain!
Friday 2nd March 2018
What a busy, exciting half term we have ahead! Rehearsals are now underway for this year's Year 3 and 4 production of The Wizard of Oz and we've been so impressed by the effort and time that the children have clearly put into learning lines and song lyrics over half term. Please have a look at the newsletter for the performance dates and get them in your diary!
This half term, our topic is 'Commotion in the Ocean!', a Geography topic based on rivers and coasts. We are really looking forward to our trip to North Norfolk later this month, which will give a 'real-life' dimension to our learning - fossil hunting, rock pooling, sea defence games and so much more to look forward to!
In line with our whole-school 'Vile Villains' theme for this year's World Book Day, our work in English this week has been inspired by The Bad Bunnies' Magic Show by the marvellous Mini Grey - the resounding cheer when I told the children this shows what great taste in picturebooks Year 4 have! We've had some really rich discussion around 'what makes a villain a villain' and the children have now started developing a dastardly duo for their own writing ... Cheeky Chihuahuas, Hectic Hedgehogs and Savage Salamanders, to name a few! What great imaginations Year 4 have!
Tuesday 6th February 2018
An enormous thank you to everybody that joined us for our Spring Term Learning Together this afternoon! It was so wonderful to see so many shared reading-related smiles over the course of the afternoon - and to hear such brilliant reading and discussion about reading!
Your continued support reading aloud with your children is greatly appreciated - remember that three signatures, included Guided Reading homework, by each Thursday will help us on our way to winning Reading Stars and a new book, chosen by the children, for our class bookshelf! If you would like any clarification or have any further questions about supporting your child at home after today's session, please don't hesitate to come and ask!
Our whole-class performance of the poem 'Carousel', by Rebecca Kai Dotlich:
(I have now added copies of two of Rebecca's poetry books to our class bookshelf - please do feel free to borrow these if you'd like to enjoy reading more of her poetry!)
Wednesday 31st January 2018
What a delight it was to walk round the corner earlier to find a group of Year 4 children laughing and smiling as they enjoyed sharing picturebooks by one of my absolute favourite author/illustrators, Mini Grey, together! They seemed to have found almost her entire works on the shelves in the Book Burrow, including four copies of her latest picturebook, Bad Bunnies' Magic Show, which will be one of the texts at the heart of our Magical Mayhem topic later in the year. More on that after Easter ...
Our focus in Maths over the past fortnight has been decimals, developing our understanding of tenths and hundredths, and we enjoyed applying what we have learnt to an investigation context today. Using 'skipping rope spirals', we had to work collaboratively in groups to order a set of decimals between 0 and 1, giving careful consideration to their relative positions and explaining our thinking. What fabulous reasoning from Year 4 today!
This was based on an NRICH investigation, 'Spiralling Decimals', which can be found at the link below - we just brought it off the page! Perhaps the children can explain to you how they decided where along the spiral to place the decimal numbers.
Monday 15th January 2018
Charlotte brought in a sketchbook from home to show us today and my goodness, she's been busy! Inspired by our artwork inspired by Kandinsky's Circles, Charlotte has painted a whole series of circles of her own in her sketchbook in all different colours! We love them, Charlotte!
Friday 12th January 2018
This week in English, we have been considering our impressions of the Funfair Moon repair team, Jinks and O'Hare, and analysing the techniques that Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre have used to develop their characters and shape our impressions in this way. We have had such fun creating funfair repair duos for our own funfairs and applied what we have learnt about characterisation to write character descriptions. From two sets of funfair repair twins, Ice & Cream and Cotton & Candy, to Chirp & Squawk the funfair repair parrots, to Harry and Hermione, funfair repair duo of the secret Hogwarts rollercoaster, we have astounded Miss Williams with our creativity!
Thursday 11th January 2018
The theme for this half term's Hall displays is enrichment. Inspired by Kandinsky's Circles, we have replicated some of the techniques that he used to create our own 'Circles' artwork. We discussed how we might use shape and colour to achieve the effect of funfair lights, creating our own palettes of colours, and as we painted, we listened to funfair music to help us capture the mood. We have had lots of comments about how striking the finished display looks - super effort, Badgers!
Surrounding the display is some information about enrichment linked to our current topic, 'Hold on Tight!'. As a class, we are creating a sketchbook capturing our journey with Jinks & O'Hare Funfair Repair to send to Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre once we have completed our challenges - we are looking forward to showing them how their book has inspired our learning.
Friday 5th January 2018
Scream if you want to go faster! Today, as part of our 'Hold on Tight!' topic, we worked collaboratively as a class to make a rollercoaster across the ceiling of the classroom! We used cuboid nets without the top faces to make the carriages and then took photographs imagining that we really were screaming from the peaks of a rollercoaster to put in them! Finally, we measured as accurately as we could to mark the tracks on strips of card to make the rollercoaster track. With our guidance, Miss Williams and Mrs. French put the rollercoaster up - we wanted the tightest turns and the steepest slopes possible!
Our next Share Afternoon is straight after school on Tuesday - do come and admire our efforts!
Thursday 4th January 2017
Happy New Year! I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas - the children have been excited to see their friends and eager to share all their Christmas news this week!
Our topic for this half term is called 'Hold on Tight!'. Our new whole-class text, Jinks and O'Hare Funfair Repair by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre, will be at the heart of this topic and inspire our learning across the curriculum. Lots of the children thoroughly enjoyed reading and recommending the other three books by this brilliant author-illustrator duo last term so I have no doubts that Jinks and O'Hare have a lot of fun in store for us!
Sarah McIntyre has a brilliant website and blog, which has lots of information and activities linked to Jinks and O'Hare Funfair Repair - clicking on the front cover will take you straight there! We are extremely excited that Sarah has sent us our very own challenge! There will be a display up in the Hall showcasing some of our initial work from next week - please do ask your children to show you!
As we work towards completing Sarah's challenge, our learning will include:
What a ride we have ahead of us this half term! Watch this space for updates!
Thursday 7th December 2017
I am still feeling absolutely blown away by the incredible creativity and enthusiasm that the children have shown in English over the past fortnight and the stunning writing that this resulted in today!
At the beginning of last week, we enjoyed reading The Pea and the Princess, a fabulous fractured fairy tale that is narrated by the Pea himself! We used a 'Likes, Dislikes, Puzzles, Patterns' grid to frame what quickly became a brilliantly lively discussion about the book and also created a 'story path' as a class, which we walked down as we retold the story.
We have applied what we have learnt to tell the story of Kevin the Carrot's quest to meet Father Christmas from his perspective. Surprisingly, none of us had written a story narrated by a carrot before! We have explored what the world might be like through the eyes of something so much smaller than us - how things that seem small to us must seem so much larger and scarier. To help us, we all laid at the foot of the Christmas tree in the Hall with our eyes at the same level as the (googly!) eyes of our very own Kevin the Carrot and had great fun playing with language to capture his view of it!
The lights look like a million suns beaming down on me. - Jasmine
The Christmas tree is like a magnificent tower leading to heaven. - Libby
The baubles look like shining planets hovering above me. - Sam W
Inch by inch, I scrambled and trampolined off the branches. When I reached a point just over half way, I rested on a giant pillow of tinsel. - Ewan
Amazingly, I found myself climbing inch by inch through a galaxy of Christmas decorations. - Abigail
With a clearer view of the world through Kevin the Carrot's eyes, we considered what it might look and feel like at different moments in his quest in the advert and about how we could use language to capture this. What would it feel like having roast potatoes rolling after you if you're only three inches tall? Would ice cubes seem like icebergs? What about the flames dancing on a Christmas pudding - how big would they seem? And how could we paint a picture of the world from this perspective for our reader?
After some brilliant discussion and experimenting with language, we settled down to retell the story under the watchful (googly!) eyes of 35 Kevin the Carrots in Big Write today! Choosing our Writing Goal Scorers of the Week has been one of my biggest challenges of this week - what stunning effort, enthusiasm, imagination and writing, Badgers!
Next week, we will be choosing our own inanimate objects to bring alive and send on a Christmas quest, which we will also be telling from their perspective. I've already heard discussions about a 'Chris the Cross Candy Cane' - I can't wait to see what he gets up to!