Stone Age cooking

Last week, we learnt about the types of food people would have eaten during the Mesolithic period. The class watched a video about hunting and thought about the types of fruit that would have been available. They then made a fruit stew.

Step 1: Collect the berries (these were collected from Tesco prior to the lesson)

Step 2: Crush the berries. The Mesolithic people most likely used a flat rock or piece of wood for this stage.

Step 3: Cook the ingredients. We used a slow cooker. The Stone age people would have used an open fire or hot rocks. 

Step 4: Eat it!

Some enjoyed it...

Some didn't!

And some wanted seconds!

This week the whole school have started a reading challenge. Today, your child will be sent home with their 'read-athon' board which details the challenges. Giraffes did so brilliantly with the previous challenge that they earned themselves an outdoor learning session. This is going to take place this Friday (25th January) and you should have received a Ping about it. Good luck with this new reading focus. There are prizes for the children who present their challenges in the most creative or exciting way.


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Immersed in creating cave art

Today we had an art afternoon, creating different types of art based on the cave paintings from the Paleolithic period. The children used the ends of paint brushes, their fingers, sponges and created stencils to produce their artwork. Some children also told stories through their symbols and pictures.


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Creeping Through Caves

Welcome back and Happy New Year!

We've started our new topic for the half term which is strongly linked to learning about the Stone Age.

The children explored a labyrinth of tunnels set up like Stone Age caves. They crawled through them and created their own artwork on the cave ceilings. In the afternoon, they learnt about the different periods of the Stone Age. Did you know that the first humans were thought to be in Britain from 900 000 BC?


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Merry Christmas!

Last week, it was the Christmas fayre. Thanks to Jake, Isabelle and Keaton, the Giraffes class raised £40 by selling second hand books and putting on a 'Beat the Goalie' stall. We will use some of the money to have a Christmas feast on the last day of term.

The Year 4s have been learning all about electricity and science. Last week, they put all their electrical knowledge into practise by designing a nose for Rudolph.


Our Wonderfully Wordless topic has sadly come to an end, but the children have worked very hard to produce a fantastic final outcome for you to enjoy:

Have a wonderful Christmas holiday and see you on Thursday 3rd January.

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Shadow puppets

It's felt like a busy week with all our practising for the Christmas carol concert and the exciting build up to Christmas. But we've still had time to finish our shadow puppet productions. The children have presented them to each other and are now ready to show these to the Hippos class on Monday.

They do look great and the children have worked so well in groups to complete them.

Don't forget that after school today is the Christmas fayre. There will be another chance to grab some second hand books in our classroom as well as Beat the Goalie, just outside our classroom which will be run by some of the children in the class. Hope to see you there.


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A Wonderfully Wordy outcome

Next week, we're moving onto a new piece of writing which the children are hoping to surprise you with at Christmas, so I can't say much more than that...

We finished off our frog stories unit of work by sharing them with Flamingos.


All the children's work is now on display in the classroom:

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Published authors!

Giraffes have been working very hard to finish their books based on the David Wiesner book, Tuesday. Last week they wrote the five parts to the story: opener, build up, problem, resolution and ending. They edited and upscaled as they went along and today published their very own books. These looks absolutely spectacular! In due course, they will be displayed in the classroom. We will also be sharing them with Flamingos on Friday.


This week, we will be finishing our D&T puppet theatres by creating shadow puppets of the characters in the book, Tuesday. The children will also finish their cardboard theatres by adding curtains and tissue paper.

Don't forget, it's non-uniform day on Friday. Please remember to bring a bottle to donate to the PTA for our Christmas fayre.

The money raised from our Outcomes afternoon has now been donated to Save the Children. We raised a grand total of £78.55. The donation will go straight to Indonesian children and will provide them with food, support hospitals, repair water systems and help schools stay running. Here is a link to the work that Save the Children do: 

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Weekly news

It's been a busy week as Giraffes have started a unit on story writing. This has involved writing the words for 'Tuesday', the book we have been looking at since the beginning of this half term. The children know the story inside out and backwards, having investigated the incidents that arose in the story and having written newspaper articles about it. There have been some fantastic story starters. Here are a few:


Slowly the sun was setting and the pond was calm. It was getting darker and darker when a young turtle came along and sat on a log. Disturbingly, the young turtle heard a weird and wonderous noise.


As the night drew closer, the Braintree pond lay silent and still apart from the croaking of crickets. Suddenly a weary turtle came to visit the pond and happily thought about the breath taking view.


As the sun slowly set and night drew dark, everything was silent except from the chattering crickets. The stars shone brightly on the pond and the turtle pondered what he was going to eat for his dinner.


As the night darkened in Braintree pond and the moon arrived, the crickets croaked calmly at the stars. A moody turtle was slowly walking on a lumpy log. The grumpy turtle was utterly puzzled.


As the sun set slowly, everything was calm and peaceful. There was a turtle sat on a log who was carefully looking at the stars. Happily, the turtle thought about the breath taking sunset.



In addition to fantastic writing, we have also been busy learning about WW1. On Monday, the children had a remembrance assembly. Later in the week, they created poppy artwork for a whole school display to remember those who have lost their lives so that we can live. As part of our history unit, the children are learning about WW1 in more detail. Today, we learnt about trench warfare and the Battle of the Somme. The children recreated trench warfare and learnt very quickly how dangerous it was and why there were so many casualties. Here are some photos of the Allies vs the enemy. 


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Fantastic support

Thank you all so much for coming along to our Outcomes afternoon today. The children had been looking forward to sharing some of their highlights from last half term's topic and were exceptionally excited about the penalty shoot out fundraising. 

We are very proud of what the children have achieved in just one half term. The tie-dye t-shirts looked incredibly and hopefully you can get lots of wear out of them. Here are some photos from our practise fashion show:

Thank you enormously for your generosity in your donations to help those affected by the recent tsunami in Indonesia. We raised a huge £35.35!!! 

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Ribberty mystery

Despite it being a 4 day week last week, Giraffes crammed a lot of work in, learning how to multiply and divide by 10, 100 and 1000, revising how to punctuate speech correctly and starting their mini history topic on WW1.

Our topic this half term is based on wordless picture books. This will allow the children to develop their stamina for writing as they will have the opportunity to write lots of stories and newspaper articles.

The children wrote brilliant newspaper reports following their discovery of lily pads in the playground. They listened to different witness reports and put together a timeline of events. We were very proud of the way the children immersed themselves in this experience. 

A fantastic start to the half term!


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Tie-dye fun!


Tuesday was the day you have probably been hearing about for the past few weeks! We spent the morning creating our beautiful tie-dye t-shirts. They finally dried today so the children tried them on for a photo and they look fantastic! Unfortunately they are not coming home just yet as we want to arrange an outcomes afternoon for parents for after half term where you can have the opportunity to see the exciting learning we have been doing throughout our 'Running Wild' topic. More information will follow about this next week.

But for now, here's a sneak peek at the incredibly fashionable t-shirts.


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Falling into a tropical storm

This week, Giraffes have worked hard to complete their rainforest descriptions. These are based on falling into the Henri Rousseau painting: Into the Tropical Storm. We started this unit of work by taking part in drama where the children jumped into the painting and imagined they were inside. They learnt about effective adjectives and how to use good similes. The final pieces are fantastic, with good editing skills starting to show too. They are now working on reading and acting these out over a green screen so these can be shared with other classes during a whole school screen takeover.

Alongside this writing, the children have worked together to create their own Henri Rousseau paintings. Each child was given a piece of the painting to replicate. These were then put back together to create the whole painting.

For our reading skills lessons, we have been focusing on ‘Running Wild’ by Michael Morpurgo. It is a fantastic read and is really helping to develop the children’s understanding of rainforests. Today we came to the part where Will and Oona stumble across figs, hundreds of figs, everywhere! We tried figs ourselves. There were mixed responses!

We spent the afternoon in the copse as part of our science lesson to learn about habitats. The children created their own bird nest. There was some excellent collaboration and as a result fantastic nests.

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Colchester Zoo

I'm sure you've heard all about our school trip to the zoo. It was a fantastic day where was squeezed so much in, seeing over 50 animals in the space of four hours!

The children have so many different highlights, but two of my favourite experiences there were seeing the children feed the elephants and walking through the Australian Rainbows room with lorikeets flying overhead, squawking as they went. The children were fascinated by the different facts and seemed to make a connection with the otters where they all came rushing over to us (probably expecting food!)

Since returning from the zoo, the children have written non-chronological reports about a different animal classes from Colchester Zoo. Many chose to write about the different mammals you can see at the zoo, whereas others wrote about reptiles, birds, insects or even amphibians. These have now been edited and written up. We will add our images from our Computing lesson on Tuesday, then this will be ready to be sent to the zoo to showcase the Giraffes' exceptional subject knowledge.

We have made good headway with our class text, Running Wild. The children are learning and practising lots of different reading skills and are building their stamina and fluency for reading. They are also gaining lots of knowledge about Indonesia, tsunamis and the rainforest. They really will be experts by the end of this topic.

We are now beginning a 2 week writing project on descriptions linked to Henri Rousseau paintings. The children will become artists and will learn how to use adjectives and similes effectively when writing descriptively. 

In maths, we have spent the past 3 weeks focusing on place value activities including rounding, partitioning and numbers beyond 1000. We are looking at negative numbers this week and will continue to focus on times tables. It is essential that the children know all their times tables by the end of year 4 so we practise these daily at school and complete a Times Table Rockstars 3 minute quiz every Friday. The children have been allocated specific times tables on Rockstars. They should try to logon to this daily to improve knowledge and speed.

As ever, if you have any questions feel free to catch me at the door at the end of the day. Our PE days have changed (I hope for the final time!) We will now do PE on Wednesdays (indoors - gymnastics) and Fridays (outdoors - football)

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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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