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:

Ted

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.

Phoebe

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.

Olivia

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.

Gracey

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.

Evy

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!

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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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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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Quidditch!

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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