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Year 4 – Gold and Saffron

Welcome to Year 4.

Our Teachers are  Mrs Humbles and Mr Hartington and our Teaching Assistants are Miss Lumbier and Miss Felgueiras.

  • It’s showtime again!!!

    Firstly, huge congratulations go to Saffron Class for delivering a wonderful class assembly this morning in the tomb of Rameshawn XIV. They took us on a journey back in time to show everything they have learnt about the Ancient Egyptians from mummification to the curse of the mummy’s tomb. They did a great job and thank you to all the family members who came to support them.

    Other things that have been happening this week include multiplying and dividing by 10 and 100 in maths, learning to move the digits to the left or right and noticing the change and then adding the placeholders. We will now be moving on to explore measures over the coming week.

    In English, we have been practising expanded noun phrases with our work inspired by the poem ‘Overheard on the Saltmarsh’ by Harold Monro. We have used strong adjectives and prepositions to describe the nymph, goblin and glass beads, that the goblin so desperately wants. He demands the beads in such a way that he sounds aggressive and obnoxious! Next week, we will be using our ideas to write descriptions for both the goblin and the nymph.

    In gymnastics, we have been exploring the large apparatus, learning how to use it safely to travel, balance and dismount.

    In Science, we have been working on a comic strip cartoon to tell the story of a water droplet as it goes through the stages of evaporation, condensation, precipitation and collection. We will be aiming to finish those next week.

    The decorations are going up – it must be approaching Christmas! Year 4 wanted to ‘give back’ and spread a little Christmas joy by making some cards to send to children in a Ukraine hospital, who won’t be allowed home for Christmas.

    We hope to see many of you at the Christmas Fair tomorrow.

    Enjoy your weekend,

    Year 4 team.

  • Pyra…mad!!

    It was lovely to see you all for Parents’ Evening this week and celebrate in Y4’s achievements so far this term. It has been an incredibly busy week!

    We have started our final version of our stories about the book ‘Journey’. We have completed a lot of prep work using adjectives, fronted adverbials and speech and now the challenge is to use all this appropriately to write a coherent story.

    In maths we have been representing problems with models in order to understand the language of problem solving. We have used the information available to write problems and answer them using full workings and sentences. This should all help the children visualise the problem and to see whether the answer they have given makes sense.

    As it has been anti bullying week this week, we have thought about how we can empower each other to seek help and ‘make a noise’ about bullying. We have considered what we can say to help someone else and where we can go for help and also that we will not stand for bullying in our school. To show this we have created little versions of ourselves and used speech bubbles to shout and make a noise about bullying.

    We have all gone a little ‘pyramad’ this week as we have finalised our designs and started to build our pyramids. Most of us have chosen to use clay, although some people have chosen card or lolly sticks to help. In addition to this, we have been practising our ‘Build that Pyramid’ song and ‘Walk like an Egyptian for our upcoming assemblies. We will post links for these on Google Classroom. Please encourage your child to practise these songs with the choreography that we have been learning in school. It’s going to be a real treat!

    We hope you have a restful weekend

    Year 4 team

  • How to mummify a body!

    This week has been a really busy week. We have been working hard in English to use and practise correct speech punctuation, conjunctions and fronted adverbials in readiness to write our stories based on the book ‘Journey’ next week. There has been a lot to remember!

    In maths, we have been practising the 7x table – keep up the practise on TTRS! We have also been looking at patterns within the times tables to try and work out the rules of divisibility, for example  working out a rule to find any multiple of 3. We found some great patterns involving the digit roots for the 3, 6 and 9 times tables.

    In science we conducted an experiment to test the rates of evaporation. We were surprised by how quickly water did evaporate when left in just the classroom – it had all evaporated by the following day. Some of us watched how quickly we could make water evaporate in a pan over the heat on the stove, and we discovered that even in colder places, some water will evaporate.

    In history, we have concluded the history part of our topic on the Egyptians by looking at mummification and how it is that ancient Egyptian bodies have survived for over 3000 years. We have written instructions, just in case it will be needed in the future!

    We are still working to an Egyptian theme in DT, where we have considered the best materials suitable for building a scaled down model of a pyramid. We have thought about how it will be constructed and how we can make it look realistic.

    We hope you have a great weekend,

    Year 4 team


  • Walk like an Egyptian…

    What a way to start the new term with our Egyptian Day! We met Ani, an Egyptian scribe  who was put in charge of a mummification of the chief embalmer of the village. He followed a set of instructions which involved him ‘carefully’ removing each of the organs and placing them in canopic jars, leaving the body to dehydrate in natron salt and performing various rituals to allow the body safe passage to the afterlife.

    We loved handling a multitude of different artefacts which had been found in Ancient Egypt and used our skills as Egyptologists to work out how they could be used to tell us more about the era. We learnt many things from what kind of shoes were worn to why the scarab beetle was so important to Egyptians. We learnt about different pharaohs from Cleopatra to Rameses II, different Gods and saw the kind of jewellery which may have been worn.

    As Ani was a scribe, he was in charge of training us to become new Egyptian scribes. We used reed pens and ink and wrote on papyrus. We carefully copied the hieroglyphs  to write an important message! We liked that we did not have to use spaces or any punctuation!

    We had great fun designing our new Egyptian cities, including Memphis, Alexandria, Cairo and Luxor being careful to choose buildings and features which would allow our cities to thrive without overspending . We then watched as our cities worked their way through world events. Had we included enough religious buildings or statues to protect our city? Did we have enough crops or meat to trade? Would our cities survive and which was the best one? We gained extra points for our careful designs.

    Finally, we had the opportunity of playing the Egyptian games of Senet and Mancala. Senet is a board game in which you had to get your pieces to the end avoiding the traps or being sent back to the start. Mancala was a strategy game using beads in cups. You took out the beads from a cup and had to drop a single bead into the following cups. If you finished with one bead over your ‘mancala’ you kept them. The aim of the game was to collect more beads in your mancala than your opponent.

    We had a brilliant day, we hope you enjoy looking at our pictures.

    Stay safe with fireworks this weekend and have a lovely time.

    Year 4 team


  • It’s a masterpiece!

    This week we have been working on planning and writing our reports about the curse (or not) of the tomb of Tutankhamun. We are using past tense as well as subordinating conjunctions to extend our sentences.

    In maths we have completed our unit on formal methods and extended our knowledge to work out missing numbers from calculations as well as creating our own calculations which have no regrouping or regrouping in specific places. We have also  used our knowledge to ‘mark’ someone else’s work and figure out what went wrong. This all helps us to deepen our knowledge of the method.

    We have created our own multiple choice quizzes in Science using our knowledge of states of matter. Questions may include ‘Which chocolate has the highest melting point?’ and ‘What temperature does water change from a liquid into a solid?’

    In art we have worked together to create our own Van Gogh masterpiece. Each person has been given a small portion of a copy of Sunflowers (Gold Class) or Starry Night (Saffron class) and used watercolours to mix the correct colours whilst observing the patterns and brush stokes to perfectly replicate their piece of the painting. We will put them all back together and you will hardly notice the difference between ours and Van Gogh’s original!

    In history we acted out the Egyptian creation story to learn  about Egyptian Gods and beliefs. Atum, the first God, who created himself by his own thoughts and sheer force of his will, went on to give birth to his son and daughter by spitting or vomiting them out! We went on to create a fact file of a god of our choice. See the pictures below.

    We are very much looking forward to the first day back after half term when we will have a special Egyptian Day run by Historic Workshops. We will learn more about mummification, play Egyptian games and handle artefacts, learning about their significance as well as other exciting activities in this jam packed day of Egyptian fun. We will wear normal school uniform for this event and can’t wait to tell you more about it in our next blog.

    We hope you all have a magnificent half term.

    Year 4 Team

  • Friday 13th…Beware of the curse…

    This week has been exciting as we have considered whether the curse of the Mummy’s tomb was real or just a set of extraordinary coincidences. We have read about a mysterious set of circumstances surrounding the death of Lord Carnarvon after the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb. Could the curse be real? For instance, at the moment of his death, all the lights went out in Cairo. His dog in London died at the same time as him and also when opening up the mummy, a lesion was found on it’s face in the exact location of the insect bite which caused the deadly infection on Lord Carnarvon! It’s not until you dig deeper to discover that in the 1920s the lights frequently went out in Cairo. Carnarvon’s dog died at 2am London time, not Cairo time and by the time they discovered the lesions on King Tut’s face, Lord Carnarvon had long since been buried. However, this has not stopped us from practising our English skills in preparation for writing our own reports on these mysterious circumstances. Watch this space!

    On Tuesday, we had great excitement as we ourselves were able to see the Great Pyramids of Giza up close and explore the tomb of Nefertari during our VR experience. It was amazing to get a sense of how enormous the pyramids actually are when you are close to them. Considering they were built around 3500 years ago, it was an incredible feat of engineering. It was amazing to explore an actual tomb of a pharaoh, something we may never be able to do in real life, and look around a whole 360°! The painted hieroglyphics certainly did not look like they had been there that long! A fantastic experience for all!

    In maths we have continued practising our written methods for addition and subtraction. We have used our skills in addition to work out missing digits and finding out why sums may not be correct.

    In science we considered which type of chocolate would be best in a lunch box on a hot day, We melted milk, white and plain chocolate over some warm water and timed how long each took to melt.  When we looked at the results, we were surprised that white and milk took similar times to melt and the plain chocolate was much slower. It  would therefore be better to put plain chocolate in a lunch box on a warm day.

    In PE we have started our gymnastics unit, working on balancing skills on our feet or back. We have also  continued to develop team work using a parachute.

    In art we have studied Van Gogh’s Starry Night painting, looking at the colours used and his style of brushstrokes. We used this to create our own versions using colour mixing and his brush stroke style to create the swirls and patterns.

    Have a great weekend,

    Year 4 team


  • The suspense is…

    This week we have been practising all the skills we have learnt to write our suspense stories of Howard Carter finding the tomb of Tutankhamun. We have been carefully placing adverbials, using description of  senses and our new skill of show not tell in to our story writing to build suspense about our main character. To finish on a cliff hanger, we have used rhetorical questions. Why wouldn’t we?

    In maths we have finished our unit on mental calculation methods and have moved on to practising our written calculations including using the column method for addition. We will continue this into next week to include subtracting using the column method.

    In history we created an interview with an Egyptian about their daily life. We asked questions about aspects of life including building, trade, farming, burying their dead, scribes  and leisure activities. We researched the answers to our questions and wrote a response as if we were the Egyptian.

    In RE we have been learning about the significance of the 5Ks for Khalsa Sikhs. We learnt that Khalsa Sikhs wear the 5Ks to help them become closer to God. We are in the process of making posters to show the information we have found.

    In PE we were playing mini hockey games, putting all our skills we have learnt into practice. We have also been further developing our team building skills.

    We hope you all have an enjoyable weekend,

    Year 4 Team

  • Show not tell…

    This week we have been looking at how a writer can show us a character’s emotions without actually telling us how they feel. We have been spotting clues within our model text and acting out emotions ourselves to try and imagine what they feel like. Finally, we have written our own sentences using show not tell techniques, e.g. “His heart pounded against his ribs when he saw a long, winding passageway reaching further into the darkness.”

    “His hand gripped the flickering candle so hard his knuckles turned white as he took the next step downstairs.”

    “When he finally saw the tomb, he breathed a sigh of relief and a smile crept across his face.”

    In maths we have been practising different methods to add and subtract mentally. We have been looking at ways of making it easier to add in our heads. This may include making a ten, hundred or a thousand using our ‘think’ method (also nicknamed the potato method!) or rebalancing the sum to make easier numbers to calculate e.g. 9 + 7 = 10 + 6. Hopefully, these methods will become more natural as we practice using them.

    In computing sessions, we have been learning how to make shapes and change or manipulate  them in order to make shape pictures. We have learnt to resize them and rotate them.

    In history we have been learning about the boy pharaoh  – Tutankhamun. We looked at sources of evidence  to find information about the discovery of his tomb and the contents of it. For homework this week, there is a fact file to create about his life.

    In Science, we investigated whether gases weigh anything. We used fizzy drinks which contain carbon dioxide for our investigation. We weighed the same quantity of each type of drink, then stirred them to release all of the gas and reweighed them to see if there was a difference. In most cases there was a big difference in their mass, however, cola, which we thought would be the fizziest, showed no change, even when we repeated the experiment to check.

    We hope you all have a wonderful weekend,

    The Year 4 Team,

  • Full of Suspense…

    This week we have been looking at a suspense story based on Howard Carter and his discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb. We have analysed our model text, picking out features which build suspense in anticipation of writing our own suspense stories. We have drawn a story map annotating it with reactions that Howard Carter may have experienced on his discovery of the tomb and its treasures.

    Staying on a historical theme, we looked at why the river Nile was so important to the Ancient Egyptians, as without it they could not have built the civilisation which they did. We found out that it flooded every August, providing valuable soil for farmland which could then be irrigated with the help of a shaduf – a sort of crane for lifting water into canals.

    In maths, we have been practising rounding to the nearest 10, 100 and 1000. We have used various techniques to help us remember such as “5 to the sky, 4 to the floor” and using a rounding mountain (it’s all about the mountains this week!) We have also been looking at calculations and finding other methods which may be quicker and could beat the column method!

    We experimented with colour mixing in art to create different shades and tones. We used a paint chart to match the colours as closely as we could, altering them with black to create a darker tone and white to lighten it. We then created a square design using our various tones and shades.

    In PE we have been working on our hockey skills, continuing to practise holding the stick correctly and using it to dribble the ball, keeping it in control. We have also been practising working as a team, enjoying many team games.

    In music, we were able to use the ukuleles to learn the chord of C and F, playing along in rhythm to a backing track.

    We recapped our knowledge of the learning powers this week and noticed that we have used many of them already this year! We have been curious like Kelly the Koala, asking lots of questions to help us learn, jotting information down if we watch a video or research and doing our best to notice patterns and different ways of doing things. We realise that we may need to work on our concentration skills like Emily Elephant and cooperation like Sadie Squirrel.

    We hope you enjoy your weekend

    Year 4 Team


  • By Our Estimations!

    Another exciting week is over in Year 4 and we’ve had plenty of fun getting really stuck into our learning (especially in Science, where we looked at making slime to help us classify solids and liquids!).

    As we hope many adults got a chance to see, we had a visit from the Code Show on Tuesday which let the children see how British coders in the 80s were able to make all sorts of exciting computer games. We all had a blast getting a chance to play some classic games, and experience using cameras and recorders that now all fit inside our phones.

    In English we have continued reading Secrets of a Sun King  as we put together all of the key techniques to help us describe an Ancient Egyptian artefact for the British Museum.

    In Maths Year 4 have had plenty of fun playing games and swap shopping to help us understand how we can regroup 4 digit numbers. We have also been making our own number lines to help us with estimation problems – featuring lots of folding to find our half and quarter benchmarks!

    We continue to delve into Ancient Egyptian knowledge, and this week we looked at maps of Egypt and considered just how important the River Nile might have been.

    And in art the children have been learning to observe art using a collection of Van Gogh’s  paintings, considering how our emotions can be influenced by an artist.

    We hope you have a lovely weekend – Year 4 Team