Welcome to our Year 4 Soul Class page!
Please ensure your child brings a coat to school each day so that we can get out and enjoy some fresh air even if it is a bit damp!
Our final forest school session is on Monday 20 January. Please make sure the children are at school on time so we can get the most out of our session.
While we are doing forest school, we will have one PE session on Wednesday afternoons - please send your child to school in their school uniform but with a name-labelled PE kit in a bag.
Reading with your child is a key part of supporting their learning. Children should be reading at home every day, ideally to an adult or an older sibling, and please date and initial their reading records when they read. Please ensure reading books and reading records are brought to school every day so they are available when we hear the children read.
This year we are going to be using a new online spelling system in school, and so there won’t be a weekly spelling test. Logins for Spelling Shed have been stuck on the front of each child's Reading Record. Please encourage them to login and play the spelling games provided regularly. They earn honey pots for the amount of games completed so we will be looking to see who our keenest spellers are!
We are going to continue to rote learn our times tables in the same way that the children started last year. We will work together as a class to learn a couple of facts each week, and then do a timed test three times a week. Times tables are a really important part of our maths learning, so please help your child by regularly asking them about the times table facts that we are learning in class.
Our curriculum map for this term is set out below. I am not sending paper copies home with everyone for environmental reasons, but if you would like one do let me know.
Our week got off to a great start back at Forest School where we enjoyed a great game of "camouflage" and plenty of free play.
In maths we have been working on formal methods of multiplication and the children have done brilliantly at learning to multiply 2 digit numbers by 1 digit numbers, and then extending this to multiply 3 digit numbers. In our times tables we are on to the second part of the 4 times table so please do keep practising this!
During our English lessons we have continued to read "Frankenstein" and enjoyed a fantastic discussion about who is responsible for the monster's actions - is he responsible, or is his creator responsible for what he does? We have been developing writing techniques such as the power of 3 and show not tell which we will be using in our stories next week.
On Tuesday we spent time thinking about how the brain works and what we mean by "growth mindset". Then today we finished the week by learning about our teeth and setting up an investigation into the effect that different drinks can have on our teeth. We have placed hard boiled eggs into a variety of different liquids and will examine them next week to see what changes we can observe. Which drink do you think will do the most / least damage?
What an incredible start to Term 3! We came back to school on Tuesday to a whole day of practical activities based around our new topic "How to build a human body".
First, we drew outlines of our bodies and marked on them where we thought our internal organs were.
Next, we modelled how our digestive system works. We used a plastic bag to represent a stomach, and in it we mixed up and churned a mixture of banana, biscuit, fruit juice and water. Then we poured this into tights, representing the small intestine. As liquid came out it showed how food is absorbed into the body. We used cloths to do the job of the large intestine and soak up the remaining liquid. Finally, we cut a hole in the bottom and the solid waste came out as poo!
Then we built a model of a lung. The balloon on the bottom of the bottle represented the diaphragm. When this is pulled down, the balloon inside the bottle – the lung – inflates.
In the afternoon the children worked in pairs to create some amazing collages of the human body.
In English we had a series of clues to our new book which we used to make predictions about it. The book was revealed to be Frankenstein, and we are already enthralled by Victor's terrible tale.
We have continued to work on multiplication on maths. In particular, we have looked at how we multiply by 10 and 100, and the inverse of this. We have moved on to practising our 4 times table so please do get learning this at home!
What a week we have had in Soul Class!
The fun started on Monday morning with our first trip of the year to Forest School. We were lucky to have such a bright and sunny morning for our first session, and the children were delighted to be back in the forest. We enjoyed playing some favourite games, making boggits out of mud, chopping wood, planting trees and using mirrors to sketch the tree canopy.
On Thursday we were treated to a wonderful performance of the Snow Queen at the Redgrave Theatre. The children were all entranced by the magic of the story and were a great audience. Then on Friday we went to the cathedral to practise for our concert on Monday morning.
Inbetween all of this excitement, we have been continuing our work on multiplication. We have extended our work using the distributive law of multiplication to enable us to multiply two digit numbers by a single digit number.
In English the children designed their own invention that would help them in their everyday lives and then wrote an explanation of how this would work. I wish I was able to buy some of these machines as there were some brilliant labour saving ideas.
In our times tables we have now learnt all of our 3 times table, and for the rest of term will be consolidating this and all the other times tables we have learnt so far (2x, 5x and 10x).
We have moved on to multiplication and division in maths this week. In particular we have been looking at the distributive law of multiplication, which explains that 5 x 8 = 4 x 8 + 1 x 8. This is really useful in helping us to work out multiplication facts that we don't know.
In English we have done lots of work on using different conjunctions to express cause and effect. These were put to great use in the explanations of how a kettle worked that the children wrote on Friday.
We have continued our work on electricity, this time looking at which materials are conductors or insulators. We thought about what it meant to carry out a science investigation, first making our predictions and then carrying out a fair test to see if they were correct.
As well as practising hard for our part in the Christmas carol concert we were very lucky to get to watch the dress rehearsal of the Reception nativity play and were amazed at how polished their performance was!
At the start of this week we worked on telling and then writing biographies of Roald Dahl. I was so impressed to see the children applying the skills we had worked on when writing about Nikola Tesla as part of a more extended piece of writing. In English we then moved on to a new unit about explanation texts. Inspired by the book "Until I met Dudley" by Roger McGough, the children showed great imagination in some of their fictional explanations of how everyday appliances work. Do ask them what is happening inside a dishwasher!
In maths we have been using our addition and subtraction skills to solve a range of word problems. We have been using bar models to help us to "see the maths" in a problem and work out what calculations are required to solve it.
With our times tables we have been practising the second part of our 3 times table:
7 x 3 = 21, 8 x 3 = 24, 9 x 3 = 27, 10 x 3 = 30, 11 x 3 = 33 and 12 x 3 = 36.
We have also enjoyed a visit to the library on Tuesday, and starting to get ready for Christmas by learning our song for the carol concert and making some decorations to go up around school!
What a busy week we have had!
At 11am on Monday we held a 2 minute silence for Remembrance Day, and throughout the week we have been looking at the poem "In Flanders Fields" during our Guided Reading sessions. This has led to some very thought provoking discussions about the sacrifices made and why we wear poppies.
On Tuesday there were an array of odd socks being worn in class to mark the start of anti-bullying week. We really enjoyed an assembly and workshop about this led for us by Unique Voice on Thursday, leading to much discussion about the 3 Rs strategy for dealing with bullying: Recognise, Report and Resolve. At the end of the week we set a small changes challenge with a range of things we would try to do next week that could make other people around us feel a little happier.
It was also brilliant to see so many children wearing something yellow or spotty to raise money for Children in Need on Friday.
On top of all these special events we have also had lots of new learning to fit in!
Soul Class proved themselves to be super scientists with every single group managing to make a working electrical circuit to light up a bulb. In maths we have done lots of work on column subtraction, and in English we have written some great biographies of Nikola Tesla.
We have moved on to learning the first half of our 3 times table, so please practise the following facts at home:
3 x 1 = 3, 3 x 2 = 6, 3 x 3 = 9, 4 x 3 = 12, 5 x 3 = 15 and 6 x 3 = 18.
It's been great to see the children back and so ready to learn this week!
It was brilliant to see that the children's efforts on Spelling Shed over half term meant we were top of the school leader board - well done Soul Class! Please do encourage your children to keep going with Spelling Shed at home as well as reading regularly, as we can see the impact this is having on their spelling.
In maths we have moved on to subtraction, and have been focussing o different strategies we can use to support mental calculations.
This term we are going to focus on non-fiction texts in English, and are beginning by looking at biographies. We have explored the genre and what makes a good biography, and started to look at a biography of Nikola Tesla before we write biographies next week. This links nicely to our science work where we have started to think about the wonders of electricity!
We have continued to think about the history of boats, and this week looked at the development of steamships and the innovative design of the SS Great Britain.
Please note that for the next few weeks we will be having an extra PE lesson on Tuesdays as well as on Wednesday afternoons, so please ensure your child brings a PE kit on both days.
What a brilliant end to our first term!
In English the children have been looking at the Witches' Spell from Shakespeare's Macbeth. They worked on performances of this in groups and I was very proud to see their confidence and the great dramatic skills on display as they performed to the class. This inspired some great poetry writing of their own.
In preparation for our trip, in topic lessons we looked at the history of Bristol harbour and compared pictures of what it looked like in the past compared to now. There was some brilliant detective work and attention to detail to match up scenes that have changed significantly but where small clues showed it was the same place.
The highlight of the week was undoubtedly our trip to Underfall Yard, and I am very grateful to the parent volunteers who came with us. It was fascinating to learn both about the history of the yard and how it is still crucial in the management of Bristol harbour. We also took the opportunity to apply the sketching skills we have been working in class, and had a really enjoyable time sat sketching the boats on the water.