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Summer Term Learning in Year 4

This term the children have particularly enjoyed our day trips – to Minstead Study Centre for science and to the Microsoft Offices in Reading for ICT- plus a visit from Mr Underhill to build on learning about British Values in PSHE and the opportunity to work outdoors for science and art activities.
In English, we have used Stig of the Dump as a class reader and the basis for a variety of comprehension, discussion and writing activities.  Guided reading activities have helped with the interpretation of what was read, with a focus on using inference. We have used Stig to practise writing in paragraphs and indenting the first line.  It was good to be able to see that ‘real’ authors do actually use indentation!  We used a passage from Stig to retell a narrative in the first person, changing the verbs and descriptions as appropriate.  We have learnt about, and practised using, fronted adverbials of different types: time; manner; place; frequency and possibility. We have looked at the features and layout of newspaper articles and used action from the story of Stig to create an article, including use of the present perfect tense where possible. We have also looked at what is appropriate on the cover of books and designed a new cover for Stig’s 55th anniversary in 2018!
Work in maths introduced angles and how to draw and measure them accurately using protractors. Accurate use of measurements was also needed for work on perimeter and area, capacity and the use of different measures and the conversion of units within recipes. Work on 3-D shapes was consolidated and the children applied their knowledge to help them solve problems. We looked again at money and extended learning to include multiplying and dividing amounts, working with decimals and using money in word problems with 1- and 2-step calculations. Recently, work with data has included logical recording and the creation and interpretation of tables, pictogram and bar charts to help solve problems. We have used line graphs to show changes over time, linking this with work in science as well. There has been an on-going focus on the development of fluency with facts; working regularly on rapid recall of times tables and the use of place value to multiply and divide with larger numbers and decimals. Most of the children have been enthused by the new coloured times table certificates and have made good progress with their speed of working.
Our science topic this term, looking at living things in their habitats, and how changes affect them, has linked closely with geography work, looking at environmental change and changes in land use over time. The day trip to Minstead, full of practical activities, was a fantastic stimulus at the start of the topic and the children demonstrated great enthusiasm for protecting local habitats. They had good knowledge of food chains, which was extended to develop food webs and think about the interdependence of animals within them. This linked into our geography work on how to reduce various causes of pollution and how land use has changed over time, affecting the animals and plants that live there. Geography work also included the use of online maps to search our local area and the application of ICT skills in creating labelled maps of the area around school in different formats.
In History, Year 4 have continued their study of the Anglo-Saxons.  We compared Roman houses with Anglos-Saxon houses and decided where we would rather live.  We have looked at the clothes the different classes of people wore, and worked as real historians trying to decide what some of the artefacts from Sutton Hoo were and who would have used them.  The lesson about Anglo-Saxon punishments provoked good discussions about what we thought was fair and unfair and we learnt about local History in our lesson on Alfred the Great.  In a link to our Geography map work, we looked at how many of our place names still have links to our past; the word burh for example, which meant town 1500 years ago, is still present in our word borough.
In ICT lessons at the start of term, we looked at the workings of computer networks, role-playing the functions of a typical school network and building up to understand more about how information is gathered from websites around the world. We had the fantastic opportunity of visiting the offices of Microsoft, thanks to Mrs Evans, mother of Lily and Blake, and the children were very excited to work on some coding and presentation activities whilst there. The children have all set up their own email accounts for use within school, and have enjoyed sending and receiving messages from each other, learning also how to send to multiple recipients, attach files and copy other people in on messages.
RE lessons have followed the theme of ‘Food rituals’ and we have discussed what rituals involve and the use of food in different religious and cultural ceremonies and events across the world. The children were particularly interested in inventing their own ‘festivals of wildness’, following on from looking at the Hindu festival of Holi, and were keen that we should adopt some of their ideas in school!
This term, much of our PSHE work has been based on British Values, not only during the dedicated week within school, but also following up the children’s detailed interest in the judicial system with a visit from Mr Underhill, a practising solicitor, and comparing our modern system with the trials and punishments that were used in Anglo-Saxon times. We have discussed the responsibilities of citizens and considered good and bad behaviours within different groups in society.
Work in creative arts has focussed on the cityscapes of LS Lowry and the characteristically elongated sculptures of Giacometti. The children have worked on developing their skills in creating textures and assembling a paper collage, as well as looking at how to create realistic human poses by positioning the limbs carefully in their sculptures. In DT, we researched the characteristic features of lighthouses and the history of their use, before designing model lighthouses to include a working light circuit. The children worked hard to apply their previous learning about electricity to make switches for their lights and some were clever in creating hidden support for their circuits within their lighthouse tower.
Performing arts work has been based on creating and filming advertisements, including the use of jingles. The children have continued to enjoy singing a range of songs. Their enthusiasm for performing has also enhanced their learning in MFL, when lessons often end with a song to reinforce new vocabulary and encourage confidence with speaking and listening in French and Spanish. 
All of the children in Y4 have enjoyed the chance to represent the school in sports matches within lessons and against other schools, with rounders and cricket both being popular after-school activities as well this term. It was lovely to see everyone taking part in track events on Sports Day and there has certainly been a keen competitive edge to PE lessons, when personal bests in field events have been recorded.
It has been amazing to see how much all the children in Y4 have matured over the year and to have watched them grow in confidence and ability by taking part in the wide range of activities to which they have access. Mrs Evans and Mrs Gallon both wish everyone a relaxing and refreshing holiday and hope that the children will come back into Year 5 with as much enthusiasm for learning as they have shown this year.
Published on 14/07/2017