Welcome back Giraffes!

Welcome back Giraffes. It's lovely to see you looking refreshed and ready to learn after the summer holidays. Impressively, everyone has been in so far this term - keep it up and we could get the attendance award!

We've started our Running Wild topic and the children are really looking forward to the trip to Colchester Zoo tomorrow. Photos will follow...

We have a very exciting topic ahead of us with lots of opportunities for purposeful writing. The children will learn lots about rainforests in Geography and will learn to paint rainforest scenes in the style of Henri Rousseau. Nearer the end of the topic, we will create batik and tie dye t-shirts. The children will need a plain white t-shirt for this (these are available at Primark). Alternatively you can send in a £2 donation and I will endeavour to get these for the children to use. 

As always, please come and see me if you have any questions or concerns.

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I'm 'ant'-icipating a fantastic year!

We've had a fantastic day in the Giraffes class; finding out about ants and building a home for these tiny creatures. 'Antz' will be our mini topic for the week.


This morning, we started by looking around the school at the ant habitats. Surprisingly we didn't find many.


This children then started to make their ant farm using empty bottles and lots of masking tape. We had to make sure there weren't large holes where the ants could escape from. 

Once taped up, soil was added to the bottles...

Then the bottles were ready for the foraging area and for ants to be collected and added. 

The children showed some great team work and resilience when making these ant homes.

The rest of the week will be spent learning about ants so that we can write a non-chronological report about them. This should help us to understand our temporary class pet a little better!

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Fantastic fun in our final week as Hippos

We've been fitting loads into our final two weeks as Year 4s. The children have had two mornings in with their next year's teacher, before finishing the term with them for the whole of next week.

In Science, the children have learnt about the effect of sugar on teeth. They chewed disclosing tablets straight after lunch and the results were horrifying! Very purple mouths!


We have also enjoyed still life drawing in the copse. There was some lovely sketching and shading skills demonstrated.



Well done Hippos for a fantastic year! :) 

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Witches and Wizards

Thank you all so much for coming along to our Witches and Wizards event on Friday. The children really enjoyed making smoothies in the morning, and we hope you enjoyed drinking them! The recipe books turned out well, with some witty comments added to make the method more exciting, as well as wonderful bubble art to create the paper. Hopefully you can enjoy making some of these at home. 

Here are a few pictures of the day...

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Smoothie preparations are underway!

We had a successful start to the week yesterday, choosing delicious ingredients to go into the smoothies and thinking about how we're going to present the recipes.  We looked at Roald Dahl's 'Completely Revolting Recipes' and enjoyed some of the humour. Today we'll be drafting these ready to write them up on Wednesday onto beautiful paper that we've made using bubble art.

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The Big Sing

The children were absolutely brilliant at Alec Hunter on Monday. They sang the four songs enthusiastically and enjoyed the singing activities too. All their hard work in learning the lyrics and practising the melodies paid off. What a fantastic day!

We have finished our Harry Potter missing chapters and have published these into mini books, with spooky artwork to go alongside it. You'll be able to see these next Friday at our Witches and Wizards event. A reminder of the event below:

We would like to invite you into our classrooms on Friday 29th June at 2.30pm

The children will be making smoothies (magical potions) and would like to invite you in to taste these and look through their recipe books.

If possible, please could you provide an empty glass jar for our smoothie making.

To cover the cost of ingredients, we will be asking for a £1 donation, please bring this along on 29th June.

Your child may like to dress up in wizard, witch or Harry Potter style clothes for this day. This will enable them to make the best magical potions going!

We look forward to seeing you there.


Thank you Toby for sending in a jar. It would be great if we could get 27 jars by next Wednesday so that we can decorate these, ready for the smoothies to be decanted into them on Friday. 

Don't forget it's Witches and Wizard themed fancy dress on Friday.

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Lots of stories!

This week, the children have been writing stories in English and Maths!

The first story we have started is to write a missing chapter for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. We read the first part of the Forbidden Forest, then the children thought about what could happen in the forest - some children decided to do a defeating the monster story, whilst others went for a quest story. They planned these on post-it notes before going into the copse to imagine their story taking place in our very own Forbidden Forest. They have started to write these, and will continue and top copy next week.

In maths, we have been looking at statistics: bar charts, tallies, pictograms and line graphs. The children have thought up stories about a line graph and have collected lots of their own data. Today, we went onto the field to time how long it took to run laps. The children worked in pairs to time each other. They then created a line graph for this data.


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The end of this half term, already!

This half term has absolutely whizzed by. The children have been really engaged in this topic and have produced some fantastic artwork and writing linked to Harry Potter. They have worked hard in maths to grasp the difficult concept of time and certainly know lots more about the human digestive system now!

They shared their non-chronological reports about fantastic beasts with Gorillas. These are looking brilliant and I'm looking forward to creating a book with them all in over half term.

After half term, we will be continuing with our Harry Potter topic. The children will be writing stories and recipes. We have lots of exciting learning opportunities planned for after half term. Here are some important dates:

Thursday 7th June am - Sports Day

Monday 18th June all day - Big Sing at Alec Hunter (a letter will follow finalising these details shortly)

Friday 29th June 2.30 - parents invited in for our Witches and Wizards day (this will be a themed dress up day!)

Have a great half term. We look forward to seeing you back on Tuesday 5th June.

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Everything Harry Potter

This week, we were visited by Emma Mack who owns an unbelievable amount of Harry Potter merchandise! She brought in a selection of her collection for the children to see, touch and try on!

 Here are some pictures of the children wearing the different props:

The children have started to create their own fantastic beasts - they used sketching pencils and charcoal. They have planned a non-chronological report about these animals and will finish these next week, ready to share with Gorillas.

We have continued to learn about the digestive system and created a similar product to poo! The children helped to 'chew' a banana and bread. The food was then churned up in the stomach, where stomach acid (orange juice) was added. The food then travelled through the small intestine (a pair of tights). At this point, some of the food was absorbed by the body and used for energy. The remainder carried on into the large intestine. By this point, a lot of waste had been produced. This was then squeezed through the rectum. The children wrote and illustrated a fantastic explanation about this process.

Tomorrow, the children will come home with lyrics to four songs that we are learning for the Big Sing which is being held at Alec Hunter on 18th June. We have started to listen to the songs and will begin to learn them altogether next week, so any work you can do over the week at learning these would be great.

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We've had a very exciting week learning about how to write match reports about a Quidditch match (which are more like commentaries). Many of the children were able to use their football lingo to make their reports even more exciting. We started the week off by looking at Harry's first match, the children then wrote a commentary about the chase for the snitch. They were very impressive pieces of writing. 

On Wednesday, we had our tournament. There were 4 games in total. Slytherin vs Gryffindor followed by Ravenclaw vs Hufflepuff. We then had the play offs to establish 3rd and 4th place which was Syltherin vs Ravenclaw. Then there was the grand final of Gryffindor vs Hufflepuff. This was a close match with Hufflepuff taking the lead for much of the match, however it all came down to who could catch the snitch. Gryffindor managed and took the victory. Fantastic play by all. The children are continuing to play games in their PE lessons. We hope to have another tournament later in the term.

This week, the children finished their batik pieces. I'm sure you'll agree that they look truly spectacular! 

The wolf spotter's guides are also complete:

In Science, we have continued to look at how the digestive system works. The children recreated what happens in the stomach to help understand this better. I'll leave you with these fantastic pictures!

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Jack Trelawny visit

KS2 were visited by author, Jack Trelawny today. He talked to the children about how he gets his ideas for writing stories and showed them lots of hilarious animal pictures to spark their imagination. Jack was encouraging the children to question the pictures in order to come up with a story plot. KS2 were engaged and answered questions confidently. Over 100 books were purchased, including a set of his Kernowland series for the library - happy reading over the bank holiday!

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The magic continues...

In the Hippos class, we have continued to embrace the Harry Potter topic. This week, the children created their own Witch Spotter's Guides based on the Wolf Spotter's Guide featured in The Jolly Christmas Postman by the Ahlbergs. These are fantastic and will be finished off tomorrow, ready for publishing on the blog next week.

The children have continued to enjoy learning how to play Quidditch. They will be taking part in a Quidditch tournament next week! Which team will win?

We have also started our learning all about the human digestive system. We started by making a large replica using tissue paper. Next week, we will look at the different functions.

In Art, the children have started to use batik to create their own throw for the Divination room. We're looking forward to these coming together.

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A potions lesson taught by Professor Snape

The children started off the week with a Potions lesson taught by Professor Snape himself! On outreach as part of a Muggle programme, he was grumpy, miserable and certainly favoured Gryffindor! The children learnt how to make a potion to cure boils by adding powdered root of asphodel, crushed black paper and a mix of chemicals. It was certainly an experience - the children loved it!

They then planned and wrote a diary entry describing the potions lessons. They spent a lot of time editing in pairs at editing stations; they are now brilliant! The class are just finishing off the top-copy where they are making their own special house coloured diaries. 

Hippos are lucky enough to have a 6 week programme on how to play the ukulele. Mrs Cornell delivered her first lesson today and the children learnt how to hold the instrument, as well as play a simple tune.

Next week, author, Jack Trelawny is coming to talk to the children about being an author. He will also read some of his new book. If you would like to pre-order a book, there is still time!

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Welcome to Hogwarts!

Over the Easter holidays, the children received a letter inviting them to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It was pleasing to see the children turn up on Monday morning ready for this new and exciting topic.

The children started by being sorted into houses. Would it be Gryffindor? Ravenclaw? Slytherin? or Hufflepuff?

After discovering their new houses, the first years worked together to create a motto for their house. These will be very useful when we learn how to play Quidditch later on in the term.

They have made wands and have written some excellent diary entries about their arrival at Hogwarts, including their first sight of the school and their nerves/excitement/anticipation at being sorted.

A fantastic start to the topic. Any questions about our upcoming learning, please pop in after school and ask.

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Happy Easter!

We've had a busy few weeks, finishing off all the projects that we've started this half term.

The children completed their shoe box biographies of David Attenborough, wrote an explanation text about the life cycle of a butterfly and have created papier mache minibeasts (these are just having the final touches added to them.)

Everyone wrote a biography about David Attenborough. The table then worked as a team to decide who was going to top copy each paragraph about him. Afterwards, they created a scene to depict Attenborough's life which they put inside their shoe box.

This week, lots of children received their swimming certificates too:

Have a relaxing half term and see you after Easter for our brand new topic: Wizards and Witches!

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Science Week

To coincide with British Science Week, we have spent the week learning about the plastic ocean and ways that we can help reduce this through recycling and reusing different materials.

On Monday, the children were allocated a bag of plastics (thank you for sending these in - they've now been recycled!). Each piece of plastic had a label on it showing where the plastic originated from. We had plastic bottles from Peru, Japan, Australia, Mexico, Canada and the USA. The children worked together to use atlases to research the journey the plastic would have taken to reach the North Pacific gyre. They thought about the animals that their plastic would have passed, as well as the countries and oceans. They then used this research to write about the journey. There was some very impressive writing, with lots of children trying really hard to include expanded noun phrases, fronted adverbials and collective nouns.

We also had representatives for Braintree Council visit us to talk about how recycling and waste works locally. We learnt some very interesting facts, for example there is no limit as to how many times glass can be recycled!

Today, the children spent the morning visiting the different countries and trying some local cuisine. A very exciting week!

In other news, during silent reading last week, William spotted a mistake in the book he was reading. We decided to send a polite letter to the publisher pointing out the error. They replied to William, and one day last week, he came home from school to a huge parcel! They sent him two books as a thank you for spotting the mistake! Well done William - it shows that William is really considering what he is reading and thinking about the story the whole time. 

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Down by the river...

Despite the rainy weather, Hippos braved the walk to the River Blackwater on Tuesday - thank you so much to the parents/grandparents who accompanied us.

We spent Monday afternoon plotting the route to the river. The children used string to estimate the distance and which route would be the shortest. We then decided on a route as a class. 

At the river, it was incredibly muddy! This was a perfect environment in which to find living creatures.

The children each had a plastic bag which we filled with pondweed and other river creatures.

When we got back to school, the children looked at each other's contents. They examined these using a magnify glass and then used sketching pencils and watercolours to create the creatures and objects collected.

The children have been working hard to create persuasive adverts promoting the river. Next week, we will be looking at biographies as we start to look at David Attenborough's work.

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Superhero Day!

What a great day we have had. Thank you for all the effort put into the superhero costumes. Also thanks for all the donations of cakes and biscuits - we're currently in the process of counting up how much money has been raised for Children with Cancer.

It was lovely to see so many of you yesterday for our outcomes afternoon. The children have really enjoyed this topic and the living things/nature theme will continue after half term, starting off with a trip to the river on Tuesday 20th February.

Have a wonderful half term! 

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Erupting volcanoes and mixed up animals...

This week, we have learnt about how volcanoes are formed and how, when pressure builds up, they can erupt. We set up an experiment using fairy liquid, bicarbonate soda, vinegar and water to explore this further.

The children then created volcano artwork using a watercolour wash for a background, and chalk for the erupting lava. These look very effective.

In English, we have planned our own Remarkable Animals book. We have drafted the writing for this and have sketched our mixed-up animals. Next week, we will finish this off so that it can be made into a book.

Also, we finished composing our own Neverbelieve songs and put instruments to these. We even learnt about musical notation.

Don't forget two important dates for the diary next week:

Wednesday 7th February 2.45 - Hippos sharing assembly

Thursday 8th February all day - Superhero Day. The children can dress as their favourite superhero for a donation of £1 to Children with Cancer.

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Norman Messenger visited us!

What a fantastic morning we have had! Norman Messenger came to talk to Year 4 about his discovery of the Land of Neverbelieve. He taught them his song about the island and answered loads of questions. He also explained that the island can change shape as well as location!


Afterwards, he came to our class and listened to the children's persuasive writing leaflets. He decided that the Hamlets was the most persuasive! Well done this team!

Dolphins class also got a vote and they unanimously voted for the Magical Lake. This team worked very hard in DT to make an eye-catching final piece - I think the glitter helped too!

The whole class have worked extremely hard to finish their leaflets this week, striving to include effective persuasive language and phrases. These are now displayed around the 3D map of the island.

We would love to invite parents in to see this and to hear each group's pitch for why their area is the best to visit on the Land of Neverbelieve. You will get a vote too! Today the children are coming home with an invitation to a sharing afternoon on Wednesday 7th February at 2.45pm in the Hippos classroom. We hope to see you there!

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