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Year 4 – Gold and Saffron

Welcome to Year 4.

Our Teachers are  Mrs Warner and Miss Hind and our Teaching Assistants are Miss Sagasta and Mrs Restell.

  • Once upon a time…

    Our new English unit for the next couple of weeks is Traditional Tales. We have explored key features and language used before retelling our favourite with a clear beginning, middle and end. Each section was written on a piece of sugar paper that was then bound together to create a collection of traditional tales that can be altered, by the reader, to create a mix up of traditional tales.

    This week in Maths we looked at a formal written method for dividing. For most of us we secured our understanding of the processes needed when regrouping. Some of us explored how to solve the calculations demonstrating long division. Over time, with lots of practice, we started to familiarise ourselves with how long division is written.

    On Monday Mr Roberts taught us fielding skills, for cricket, that help ensure quick responses when being thrown a ball. If it is a slow ball we need to go towards it and pick it up with two hands while if it is a fast ball we need to perform the K-scoop. We discussed the importance of quick responses to prevent the opposing team getting too may runs.

    In PSHE we watched a clip about a young boy who was desperate to listen to an album he had just downloaded, while his mum insisted he didn’t listen to it while cycling to the park. As a class we discussed what was happening, how each character was feeling and the risks each option posed. Watching how both option ended made us think about the impact we might have on our own safety as well as others.

    What can the teeth of an animal tell us about its diet? This is what we explored in more detail this week. Using the national geographic website we researched carnivores, herbivores and omnivores, identifying types of teeth they would need to enable them to survive. We also discussed how an animals digestive system may differ slightly depending on its diet.

    This week, in golf, we have been exploring how to chip the golf ball using a different type of golf club. We discussed how our standing position changes when we want to chip the ball and had a go at chipping and aiming the ball into set target areas.


  • The day the chairs went on strike!

    A surprise awaited us, as we returned to school after the bank holiday weekend. The chairs had stacked themselves up and had gone on strike. They were not happy with how we treat them and wanted us to know about it. After our initial reaction of finding it funny, we soon realised we needed them to complete our work and some of us began to get angry with the chairs for making us work in difficult conditions. By the end of the day we started to show empathy and realised maybe we haven’t been the kindest and we need to change our behaviours for the better.

    This meant that we spent our English lessons looking at the letter from the chairs in great detail and as a result, we were able to respond to the points raised, trying to reassure them that things will change.

    In Science we revisited the digestive system using our bodies to show what we know about the function of the different parts. See if you can spot us bubbling the acid in the stomach or falling to the floor after 6 seconds to show how long it takes for food to pass through the oesophagus to get to the stomach.

    This week in music we learnt about the Magic Flute opera and when people sing it is called an aria. We finished with a fun rhythmic song to ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling’ using parts of our body as percussion.

    On Wednesday, in PE, we continued to practise our target hitting in golf. We created our own golf range where we needed to attempt each hole and record our scores. We recapped the correct starting position and how to use a ‘tick tock’ motion to hit the ball with accuracy.

    We were lucky enough to have an extra PE lesson which enabled us to experience a new sport and skill which some of us wouldn’t have experienced before. On Thursday we developed our aiming skills through archery. This linked nicely to our 5 Steps to Wellbeing focus of being active.


  • Digestive Detectives – How does it work?

    On Monday we looked at keeping ourselves and others safe in our PHSE lesson. Our focused discussions were around cycling our bikes and the dangers that come with riding on two wheels. We ended the session sharing ways of how we can reduce the risk of such dangers i.e. wearing a helmet or not listening to music when cycling.

    In English we used role play to interview possible suspects ready for our written version the next day. Using our character profile from the previous week we had to make sure we included distinctive character traits, such as the detective leaning back in their chair and bringing their fingers to their chin when thinking. It was great fun and allowed us to think through the crime and clues ready for when we wrote our story.

    We also looked at past tense for regular and irregular verbs. Below is a link to a fun video that helped us learn this:

    In Science we explored what happens at each part of the digestive system starting from our teeth to our body getting rid of waste. Through demonstrations we learnt about how acid and saliva in the stomach helps churn food, which then allows the small intestine to pass on the nutrients to the body, while the large intestine absorbs the rest of the water and gets rid of the waste.

    This week we had fun using a Bee-Bot to help us record an algorithm using letters and symbols. We either created our own route for the Bee-Bot to travel around or we had to get it around each table leg with the added criteria of it going in and out of our chair legs. It involved using the trial and error  approach to help us debug problems.

    On Thursday we ended our maths sessions with a game of countdown to  practise regrouping numbers when multiplying a 2/3-digit number by a 1-digit number i.e. 23 x 6 or 158 x 3. We were able to use this method efficiently enabling us to solve calculations between 30 seconds to 1 minute.

    Well done to everyone who completed last week’s homework. We have enjoyed reading your songs and poems that have addressed a variety of global and personal issues. We have also enjoyed live performances by some in the class. A very special thank you to Zoe who has allowed us to post her performing her rap!

  • Do you hear what I hear?

    In PE on Monday we started to look at different throws that are needed in a game of cricket. We explored and practised cupping our hands into a bowl shape to catch an under arm throw as well as using long arms and a step forward to help us with long throw.

    What is fair and what is justice? In RE we considered what is fair and what we consider to be justice when others have been unfair i.e. saying sorry or using actions to correct behaviour. We listened to a song that was created to make others feel empowered and to raise awareness of injustice.  This links nicely to this weeks homework, below is a link to the song we listened to in class.

    This week in Science we had a visitor who used fun interactive activities to build on what we’d learnt about sound, during home learning. We used slinkys  to identify the different way waves can move and a smoke machine to see how air can be pushed. Using this understanding we then explored and reasoned why we couldn’t blow a balloon within a plastic bottle but could outside it. Near the end of our workshop water was used to show the vibrations that create waves that allow us to hear different pitched sounds.

    In English we have focused on building our own distinctive detective characters by identifying features of known characters such as Sherlock Holmes and Nancy Drew. Using specific vocabulary we then created a character profile that built on the character we had used in our own story last week.

    On Thursday in Spanish we learnt phrases that linked to buying a drink in a café. Below are some of the words we learnt:

    • Un café – coffee
    • Un café con leche – coffee with mile
    • Un te – tea
    • Un te con leche – tea with milk
    • Un chocolate caliente – hot chocolate
  • Year 4 Detectives

    To start our summer term off we have explored and identified features of detective stories. While watching a detective clip, we put our own detective skills into practice by writing notes of possible suspects, witnesses and clues.

    In maths we have been building on our understanding of fractions and have created fraction walls which will help us compare and order fractions next week.

    In computing we learnt that an algorithm is a detailed set of precise instructions. Both classes had to really think about the set of instructions they gave the teachers to make a jam sandwich. We had to look at how to debug the algorithm when Miss Hind was asked to ‘take the knife out’ which resulted in her walking outside of the classroom with the knife, and Mrs Warner going to eat the sandwich without her hands!

    This half term we will be looking at our digestive system. This week in Science we learnt about the function of the different teeth found in humans. We now know that this is the start of the digestive system and are looking forward to finding out about the other parts.

  • Have a good Easter

    We made it! Through all the changes and all the different ways of learning,  the children have continued to rise to all the challenges and new learning strategies thrown at them. We are incredibly proud of them and everything they have achieved. We would really like to encourage them to take this Easter break as a chance to recharge for the summer term.

    In preparation for the summer term, we made a start at identifying what it means to proofread a piece of work and have agreed to use CUPS (capital letters, understanding, punctuation, spelling) as a strategy to support us in doing this. This can also be used when completing future homework tasks.

    Linking our ICT skills with science, we created branching databases to help others classify living things.  Carefully constructing yes/ no questions meant that we were able to observe and identify the animals or plants we had chosen.

    End of term concert. In music we got to perform in front of the class with an instrument of our choice. We had a range of performances on the chime bars, drum, ‘Bob’ the cello and piano.  We even had a group performance!

  • Red Nose Day!

    What a fun day we’ve had dressed as heroes! Today we have designed a superhero outfit for the heroes of today.

    Apostrophes for possession has been our focus this week in English. We explored singular possession and plural possession as well as discussing when a word is simply plural. We ended the week by creating an advertisement to sell the perfect algae-covered coat to sloths or to encourage others to apply for an assistant role to help the wonderful Sam who rescues and nurtures young sloths.

    As our confidence in understanding fractions grows we spent this week learning how to add and subtract fractions with the same denominator. Drawing bar models helped many visualise and understand how to calculate the answers correctly.

    This week in PE we have been developing our blocking and catching technique when a ball is rolling on the floor. We learnt about a perfect kneeling position that means if we don’t catch the rolling ball in our hands it will then be blocked by our knee or leg providing more of an opportunity for us to get it before it rolls out of reach.

    Sitting around a table with bread and red juice helped us find out about The Last Supper and its importance in the Easter Story. Many raised brilliant questions like Why did Jesus go to Jerusalem if he knew someone would betray him? Why is Good Friday called Good Friday if Jesus died?

    As promised here is a photo of the completed display Year 4 designed and created.

  • Welcome Back Week

    How lovely it has been to see full classrooms again!

    We used our morning on Monday to settle ourselves back into a school routine by decorating a rectangle for our motivational poem. Each rectangle has our own individual stamp that has been put together to show how strong we are as a year group.

    In English year 4 pupils have taken control and have designed their very own display to show off all their work they did on Ancient Egyptians. There is still some work to finish before the display is complete.

    In maths we continued to explore non-routine and routine problems followed with learning based on symmetry. By cutting shapes we were able to physically find the lines of symmetry. Did you know regular 2D shapes generally have more lines of symmetry then irregular 2D shapes?

    This week in history we explored what life was like on the Home Front during WW1. From our learning we created our very on posters that encouraged those at home to help.

  • Seasons Greetings from all in Year 4

    What an incredible term we have had!

    Thinking back over the term the children have achieved so much from settling into new school routines to responding positively to year 4 demands and learning expectations. All the staff in year 4 are immensely proud of the pupils hard work and progress made this term. Here is a taste of the D&T project we have been doing this week, which saw pupils exploring how to join different materials before designing and making a pyramid. Below are our final creations:

    We’ve had a fun week full of festive celebrations including an end of year disco which saw lots of cool moves being shared. Well done to Viktoriia and Mackenzie who won prizes for the best dancing.

    We would like to end the term with a musical performance by both classes. Enjoy and have a very Merry Holiday and happy New Year.

  • Let’s take time to light up!

    We believe that in the early hours of Tuesday morning a dragon hatched from our mysterious egg and escaped into St Albans. Therefore we have been busy creating leaflets to inform the public of what to do if they come across this creature.

    This week in maths we have been looking at telling the time on an analogue clock. We focused on five minute intervals when looking at time past and to the hour. We also explored converting hours into days and days into weeks.

    Christmas is quickly approaching and we started celebrating with a practical investigation involving a working circuit using a light bulb and crafts. Take a look at some of the festive pictures that were created. Can you spot where the light are?

    For wellbeing this week we discussed the emotion jealousy and when we might feel this. Lots of discussions were had on how to recognise and work through the emotion. As a year group we agreed that we need to feel all emotions to be able to understand how others might be feeling and why they behave in certain ways.

    Thank you to the PTA for finding a way of allowing us to still enjoy a Christmas tradition of watching a pantomime. Although a different experience the school theatre was full of laughter while we watched ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’.

    Have a wonderful weekend

    Year 4 team