- Gwain and the Green Knight
We have had such a busy half term in Year 3 and 4, with Art and English in abundance. We were visited by London based artist Michelle Reader, who uses recycled material to create large scale sculptures. Over the Christmas period we were all busy collecting rubbish and it’s safe to say Mr Moses will be getting rid of what was left for months to come! Each day began with a talk by the artist about her work and the projects she has been involved in. We had time to ask questions and learn about what life is like for a successful artist and what they would need to do to have a career in the arts, all while making the fantastic pieces you can see below...
- Rapid Fire Cricket
On 12th January our Year 3/4 cricket team attended the Stevenage Sporting Futures Rapid Fire Cricket Tournament at Barnwell School. Last term, we developed our skills in after-school Cricket Club with Mr Humber, improving our hitting and catching skills and learning to field as a team, so we could play this all-new sport to the best of our abilities. Eventually, the training group was narrowed down to a team of 8, comprising Adi Patel (captain), Sania Mughal, Lily Street, Ethan Atkinson, Daniele Mazuolyte, Ross Arno, Libby Barber and Natasha Little, who headed to the tournament full of energy, enthusiasm and confidence. We played four group games, winning three and only losing out to the eventual winners, St Ippolyts. As a result, we reached the semi-final, where we lost narrowly and finally finished third overall. We received a certificate and bronze medals for finishing third in Stevenage, and are now looking forward to a cricket match against St Ippolyts in the summer term.
Our Autumn Term English unit began with great excitement as we came in one morning to find giant eggs under our tables! Rumours ofdifferent animals and creatures spread round the playground quickly during break - however after much speculation they were revealed to be dragon eggs, which introduced our text, How to Train Your Dragon. Over the next few weeks we learnt how to write an explanation text using the mystical world of dragons as a context. We also used the theme of dragons as inspiration for our Art work, designing and making dragon eggs. We based our work on the idea that dragon eggs have defences such as deadly spikes, poisonous spots, or the ability to burst into flames. First we designed a range of different eggs, each with a different defence, then we made eggs using an egg mould and plaster of Paris. Once they were dry we added a simple base colour and added our designs. A number of us then looked at texture, seeing how we could change the surface of our egg so that they weren’t all smooth. As you can see, they turned out well and are now displayed in class next to the explanations we wrote in English..
- Clarinet & Recorder
Some of our more musically able Year 4s have been given the chance to learn how to play the clarinet this term, building on the recorder lessons they had last year. It has been great to hear how positive they are about these lessons (particularly as this can be a really tricky instrument to play) and we cannot wait to listen to their new found skills! The rest of year 3/4 have been learning the recorder in 30 minute sessions every Monday. Each group have already been taught to play their first notes, and are trying really hard to learn to read music. They have begun practicing simple tunes, ready to share with others later in the year.
What we've learnt about this term:
We have used the story of Gawain and the Green Knight as our focus this half-term. We began by learning the story by heart, using pictures and actions to help us, and then explored the text as a reader, thinking about the way that the main characters feel at key points in the plot. To support our writing and grammar, we then looked at the use of dialogue in the story, identifying the way that it is used to move the story forward and develop characters, as well as learning to punctuate direct speech correctly.
Having explored the text in depth, we then used it to inspire our own writing. We wrote character and setting descriptions linked to our understanding of the text, and then produced our own versions of the story, describing the arrival of a mysterious character in Camelot, home of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Below, you can read a few examples of our writing, showing just a little of what we have achieved so far this term...
Stepping into Camelot
In Camelot spring came, with blooming flowers, blossom trees and the calm wind swished through the fresh green grass. The marvellous ladies of Camelot began preparing a lovely, scrumptious feast ready for the starving men to arrive from battle, with tales of wonderful success. The colourful butterflies flapped their wings landing on in a pretty flower to collect nectar. The sun was hot bright and burning. The spectacular smell of the cooking banquet filled the air. Queen Vudri looked at people and smiled feeling wonderful about the return of the king.
By Chloe Ngaosi
Christmas in Camelot
It was Christmas time in Camelot. Snowflakes had settled over perishing rooftops, the raw air gushed though the immense castle. Rigid ice crystals where seen resting on the jagged crest, on top of the castle. Gentlemen and ladies arrived on foot and in crowds from near and far to visit the Queen. They had come to join and celebrate in the Queen’s honour.
I could see enormous, jagged, towering trees and flowers that were wrapped in a blanket of snow that looked like stunning statues of ice. The smell of succulent chicken and juicy gammon brushed my nose. The aroma of wine and ale filled everyone’s glass to celebrate the Queens party. The breath taking, clear still night air created a sense of suspense, however the Queens family and friends were littered with jubilance which could be heard 15 leagues away.
Out of the blue the Queen screamed with horrors the crowd turned to face what looked like a gargoyles dressed in a jet black, deadly, diabolical, dangerous demon cloak. Across the vast castle all you could hear was echoing footsteps which sounded like an elephant. The red knight had matching brown, metal armour to cover what you could call a beasty body. He was pointing at the Queen. The red knight reached deep into his revolting, fearful, rich red pocket and swung his spacious sword towards his Queen. Knights and family pounced to their feet to protect the Queen, the knights stood heroically but inside they felt scared.
By Madison O’Reilly
Earlier in the year, we investigated ‘States of Matter’ in Science, learning about solids, liquids and gases and the way that materials can change between these different states. As a result, we spent a lot of time working on our practical skills, behaving like scientists to observe changes and design experiments to discover ways we can speed them up. We carried out an evaporation experiment to see how quickly we could get 500ml of water to evaporate by placing them in different places, and then expanded our understanding to include the entire water cycle. We used sandwich bags and dyed water to create our own mini-water cycles, which we hung in the windows to allow us to observe the way they changed over time. We saw the water that had evaporated start to condense and precipitate, falling back down into our water at the bottom when it became too heavy - all mirroring the way that water around us evaporates and then condenses to form clouds and then rain in the real world.
In Mr Wilson's maths group, we have been looking at addition, working with 2-and then 3-digit numbers. We have used lots of practical resources to help us to visualise what happens when we combine numbers, and then transferred this understanding to number lines, which have been our key method for addition. As a result of all this, we have made some fantastic progress this year, becoming much more confident in our work.
Our Summer Term Topic:
Next half-term we will be focussing on persuasion. We will be writing to the Ancient Egyptian Scorpion King, who has taken over and cursed our pyramid, trying to persuade him to leave and continue his journey into the afterlife. We will begin by learning a model text, using symbols and actions to support us, and will then look closely at different persuasive techniques, including emotive and biased language. We will also investigate the intended audience of different persuasive texts, thinking about how this affects the style and structure of writing. Finally, we will have all the skills needed to independently write to the Pharaoh, encouraging him to free all the slaves.
Next half-term we will be concentrating on time and using timetables. We will learn how to tell time to the nearest 5 minutes and use this knowledge to answer time related questions. After visiting time we will move on to focus on statistics, carrying out surveys and investigations, and then presenting our findings by drawing and interpreting bar and line graphs. Meanwhile, we will also continue to develop our quick recall of times table facts throughout the term, with Mr Humber’s set focussing on their 9x table, Miss Smith’s group working on their 8x table and Mr Wilson’s maths class learning their 4 and 5x tables.
Our focus will be on the way that we eat. We will begin by identifying the different types of teeth that human possess, and working out the role of each. We will think about how we can look after our teeth, and why this is important, and will also investigate the way we digest food. Finally, we will create food chains, identifying producers, predators and prey.
Our final topic of the year will see us learning about the Ancient Egyptians. In this unit, we will look at many areas of life for these ancient people including their burial rituals and the afterlife. We will look at the role of the Pharaoh in their society, as well as the importance of the River Nile. We will also investigate what remains of their civilisation and think about the reasons why they are remembered today. During the final weeks of term, we will be holding an Egyptian Day, where will we eat Eqyptian food, make Ancient Egyptian crafts, and learn more about the lives of ordinary people in this extraordinary civilisation.
Linking in with our history topic, we will be making our own canopic jars, using old jam jars and modelling clay. We will learn about the reasons why these jars were so important to the Egyptian afterlife, before decorating them and modelling different animals heads using quick-drying clay. We will also be visited by an artist who will be teaching us felting.