This term Chinese Pandas have been learning all about the Tudors as part of our topic ‘Off With Her Head!’. We have learnt about the Battle of Bosworth and as part of Literacy lessons, have been using facts about the battle to write descriptively in the style of a recount. We looked at the language features used in a recount by exploring different recount texts and identifying the language conventions used in them. After this, we drafted our own recounts about the Battle of Bosworth using our understanding of the known facts and our imaginations to bring the story alive. The students have produced some fantastic work, writing in chronological order, focusing on specific events/people and not general topics. They used thesauruses to up-level adjectives and verbs and then also checked spelling accuracy by proof reading work and checking spellings in a dictionary. The students have included lots of fronted adverbials, relative clauses and also a wide range of conjunctions to make the writing detailed and descriptive. We are now writing biographies about Henry VIII and the extraordinary changes that took place during his reign.
In Mathematics this term, students have further developed their understanding of multiplication and division and interpreting remainders, drawing on a variety of written methods and applying knowledge of multiples. Students have extended their understanding of multiplication and division using a range of methods to calculate with up to 4-digit numbers, multiplying by 2-digit numbers or dividing by 1-digit numbers while dealing with exchange. Students have continued to develop reasoning and problem-solving skills while interpreting remainders.
As part of Science lessons, we have finished our unit about forces. The class had lots of fun designing and testing out paper boats as part of an investigation into water resistance. We looked at how streamlined shapes are able to move more quickly through water and tested out different boat designs to find the most effective balance between buoyancy and streamlining. Now we are learning about the human growth cycle from birth to old age including gestation periods and life expectancy.
In other learning areas we have been researching Tudor life as part of Topic work, looking at the various Tudor monarchs and what changes took place during their reigns. We have learnt about the English Reformation and the changes to religion that took place during this period. We have also been reading our class text ‘Treason’ by Berlie Doherty, which is about a young noble boy who embarks on a treacherous adventure through Tudor London on a quest to save his father from Henry VIII's deathly reign!
Another term has flown by and I am delighted with everyone in the class for their efforts and endeavours on Google classroom. Everyone in the class has now settled back into the class routines and the last four weeks have been filled with some amazing learning taking place!
Linked to our topic ‘Stargazers’ we’ve been taking on the role of newspaper reporters to write about the 1969 moon landing. To get a perspective of this momentous day in history we watched videos of the moon landing, listened to audio and looked at examples of newspapers written at the time. We took on the role of the different people involved (astronauts, engineers, viewers at home) and created quotes to use in the reports. In Grammar lessons, we worked on how to punctuate direct speech correctly and this helped us to write the quotes in our reports using the correct conventions. We looked at the features of newspaper reports (headlines, captions, introductions, indirect and direct speech, writing in the 3rd person) and used a checklist to make sure we had included these features in our own reports.
This term we have been learning about multiplication and division. We have worked on finding multiples and factors of a given number as well as identifying prime numbers, We looked at square and cube numbers and how to recognise them as well as work them out. Furthermore, we learnt how to multiply and divide whole numbers by 10, 100 and 1000 and also how to use the inverse to check calculations. Over the last two weeks we have reviewed some of the earlier learning we did at the start of lockdown. We have practised the column method for addition and subtraction using this to help us solve multi-step problems and also have been working on how to round numbers to make estimates and check calculations quickly.
Topic and Science
This term as part of our topic, we have looked at Sir Isaac Newton and the discoveries that he made, researching his life and looking at how his discoveries have shaped our understanding of nature. In Science, we have been investigating forces. We looked at how air resistance affects objects, by making paper helicopters and testing out different designs to see how we could improve them. We also investigated how friction slows objects down by testing out different materials to find the best material for a brake pad for a toy car.
Everyone has had so much fun joining in with Robin Windsor for his weekly dance classes. We have learnt the Cha Cha Cha, the Charleston and the Jive! It has been great to see the class having so much fun with Robin and there are certainly some amazing dancers in Chinese Pandas!
We also had an amazing theme day to finish off our topic with some fun and excitement. Working in teams, we had to communicate instructions remotely (NASA command and astronauts) about how to build a paper spinner. We worked on a STEM challenge to design something that will enable a boiled egg to be dropped from a height without cracking (landing a rover on Mars). We also made our own moon craters and investigated how different objects impacting on the moon have caused the surface of the moon to appear as it is today.
Wow! What an amazing term of online learning it has been. I can’t believe how quickly it has gone! I can categorically say how proud I am of the learning that has taken place over Google Classroom this term. A big well done to everyone for all the effort they have put in. It is safe to say Chinese Pandas are now Google Classroom pros.
As part of our topic ‘Stargazers’ we have written non-chronological reports about planets in the Solar System and we have also written Science Fiction narratives. These were done as assignments on Google Classroom. To add extra details to our narratives, we learnt about using subordinate clauses and using a range of subordinating conjunctions. Recently we have learnt about adverbial phrases and are also using these in our narratives to link paragraphs together.
In Mathematics, we have been learning about place value. We have looked at 5-digit numbers, comparing and ordering them as well as identifying which two multiples of 10, 100, 1000 or 10,000 that a number lies between and applying this understanding to rounding numbers. We are now looking at addition and subtraction of numbers with 5 digits. We have revised column method for addition and subtraction while also looking at using mental strategies such as partitioning numbers and counting on or back to find the difference between two numbers.
As part of our topic we have been looking at the Science behind night and day as well as the phases of the Moon. We used websites and watched videos to research about Galileo and why he was so important in aiding our understanding of how the Solar System works.
Some of the other things we have been doing this term are learning about how to say places in a town and ask what / what isn’t in a town in Spanish as well as learning how to say likes / dislikes in Spanish based around certain foods.
We have been keeping fit by doing many exercises between online lessons. Everyone has taken turns to lead the class through a sequence they have developed that uses shapes and balances. I think our favourite balance to practice has been the ‘superman’ balance and everyone has enjoyed doing the ‘crab’ shape!
We have been reading ‘Cosmic’ by Frank Cottrell-Boyce. It’s a really funny story about a boy called Liam, who is a very tall twelve-year-old that everyone thinks is a grown up. Somehow by accident he ends up on a rocket ship flying into Space!
For the last week of term, we have taken part in Jubilee University. Our theme was helping the environment. As part of this we have been investigating birds in our gardens, making bird food and bird feeders as well as writing fact files and quizzes about birds! Here is a picture of Ava making some bird feed!
In other news.… Congratulations to Daisy for showing great perseverance by carrying on with her ballroom dancing despite a broken toe!
It has been a fantastic term of learning in Chinese Pandas. I am so proud of the way everyone adapted to the situation when we were in isolation at home. A big well done to everyone for their behaviour and attitude whilst learning on Google Classroom.
Linked to our topic ‘Pharaohs’ we’ve been writing diaries, taking on the role of Howard Carter as he uncovered the hidden treasures in Tutankhamun’s tomb. The class has worked on writing in the first person to describe the writer’s point of view, thoughts and feelings as well as writing in an informal style as though speaking to someone. In Grammar lessons, we have been working on creating expanded noun phrases with prepositional phrases. We have embedded this learning into our English work to help us use ambitious phrases to describe people and places.
In Mathematics, we have continued to work on fractions using Stem sentences to help us find fractions of a whole and a whole from a fraction. The class has worked hard to use mathematical vocabulary to describe the processes involved when working with fractions. Over the last two weeks, we have been learning about decimals and how they link to fractions. We are now able to divide 1 and 2 digit numbers by 10 and 100 and talk about the place value of each digit in a decimal number.
In Science lessons, we have continued learning about living things and their habitats. We learnt about how some living things undergo the process of metamorphosis (no cockroaches involved!) and have compared the life cycles of living things. We worked in groups to research the life cycles of mammals, insects, birds, reptiles, amphibians and flowering/non flowering plants then gave group presentations to each other about the information we had found.
We have now moved on to learning about the properties of different materials, categorising materials by properties as well as looking at thermal conductors and insulators.
Everyone has enjoyed learning rhythms on the Djembe drums with Mr Hughes leading the class. We learnt how to read crotchets and quavers as well as rests. We have learnt to play as an ensemble, keeping in time and overlaying rhythms.
In PE lessons, we learnt about sportsmanship and fair play when playing football. We took turns to act as referees to award points for the players showing fair play, winning humbly and supporting/encouraging each other during games.
Chinese Pandas have produced some amazing English work this term. We have written a set of instructions about how to mummify like an Ancient Egyptian embalming pro! We focused on using imperative verbs, time connectives and accurate historical terms. We were so impressed with the way everyone was able to write using all of the features of an instructional text, specifically the use of headings and subheadings, bullet points and numbered lists. We have also written a fact file all about Tutankhamun and the discovery of his tomb. We have looked at using determiners and relative clauses in our grammar lessons and have embedded this into our English writing.
MathsThis term we have been focusing on multiplication and division. We have learnt how to multiply a 2-digit and a 3-digit number by a 1-digit number. We learnt both single line multiplication and expanded multiplication methods. We have worked on partitioning numbers using part-whole models and then dividing the parts.
Everyone has thoroughly enjoyed learning about our topic ‘Pharaohs’. We have discovered all about how Ancient Egyptians lived and how important the River Nile was for their civilisation. We have produced some fantastic artwork around our topic too.
We have been learning about living things and their habitats. We have learnt all about pollination and how plants reproduce. We had so much fun dissecting a flower and then labelling the parts.
As part of our topic work we also ‘mummified’ a hot dog, discussing the processes involved and how the baking soda absorbed the moisture from the hot dog.
Term 5 and Term 6
I cannot believe we have reached the end of the school year. What an extraordinary and challenging year it has turned out to be! Who would have thought at the start of the year that we would all be having ‘Zoom chats’ and lessons on Google Classroom!
This term we have been learning all about Anglo Saxons and Vikings in our topic ‘Traders and Raiders’. The children have enjoyed researching all about the history of the Vikings and Anglo Saxons and how their daily lives and customs were very different from ours. We have learnt about the Anglo-Saxon justice system; and compared and contrasted crimes, punishments and laws with their modern day equivalents. Everyone had lots of fun designing and making Viking shields and longboats!
We have been having Grammar and Reading lessons on Google Classroom using CGP and Schofield and Sims workbooks. We’ve covered a wide range of topics in Grammar lessons such as extending sentences using subordinating conjunctions, writing noun phrases, adverbials and fronted adverbials as well as working on punctuation by using commas after fronted adverbials, correctly punctuating direct speech and using apostrophes to show possession. In reading lessons we’ve enjoyed reading a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction texts. We read extracts from some classic stories such as Black Beauty and also read information texts about fridges and bees. The pupils have been using a range of reading skills such as retrieval and making inferences to help inform their understanding of the texts.
In Maths lessons, we have been learning about fractions. We have learnt about the links between tenths and hundredths, how to find equivalent fractions and how to simplify fractions. We have also looked at fractions that are greater than one and the relationship between mixed numbers and improper fractions. Finally, we have learnt about how to add and subtract fractions with the same denominator and how to subtract a fraction from a whole number.
In Science lessons, pupils learnt about what electricity is. They identified which appliances use electricity in their homes and how to keep themselves safe. They had to construct circuits, started to create pictorial circuits and conduct an investigation into how easily different types of switches can break and reconnect a circuit.
In Spanish, we recapped on previous learning, refreshing and expanding previously taught vocabulary. In ICT pupils enjoyed creating their quizzes on Scratch. We also created ‘chicken’ artwork to celebrate the birth of the chicks in our hatchery! The pupils also focused on their well-being and looked at ‘10 a day’ in Assemblies and PSCHEE.
Despite all of the difficulties, this term has been another great success. We were very disappointed to have to end the term early and we hope that we can get back to school as soon as possible.
So this term Brazilian Parrots had weekly swimming Lessons! Everyone really enjoyed this and it was amazing to see everyone having fun learning to swim. The children were impeccably behaved and members of the public even commented on this. Also a big well done to class members who took part in all of the sporting events this term.
Linked to our topic ‘Burps Bottoms and Bile’ we’ve been writing persuasive texts about healthy eating. The class has worked on using persuasive phrases as well as using sub-headings to aid with formatting their work into paragraphs. We’ve worked especially hard on structuring an argument and using supportive statements. As part of grammar lessons we’ve worked on using relative pronouns and relative clauses. We’re starting to embed these in our writing and are using them to add extra information to sentences.
The whole class looked amazing dressed up on World Book Day! Everyone loved reading the ‘Zeraffa Giraffa’ story, after which we took on the role of the King of France and wrote a letter of complaint to the Pasha of Egypt.
In maths lessons we’ve been working on times tables and multiplying numbers by 10, 100 and 1000. We’ve looked at a range of strategies to aid us with multiplication such as using the commutative method and using times tables to help us multiply numbers. The class is now much more confident using times tables and have also started playing ‘Times Table Rock Stars’, which is a fantastic way for them to practise.
Linking with our topic ‘Burps, Bottoms and Bile’ in Science lessons we’ve been looking at classifying animals by their living characteristics and also how food chains work. We had a visit from Thames Explorer Trust who gave a workshop about the Thames River and how it is formed, the wildlife that live there and also about how everyone can take part in planning a healthy future for the river. The class asked them some great questions and came up with excellent ideas about future conservation efforts.
Everyone has continued to enjoy learning the flute and recorder, and are now starting to play some actual music! We also did some interesting artwork in the style of Andy Warhol based around the ‘Zeraffa Giraffa’ story. In RE lessons we looked at the theme of forgiveness, and how holding on to negative feelings can over-burden us. The class acted out some excellent group role-plays to show examples of this. Well done everyone for working so hard this term and we are now looking forward to our new topic, ‘Traders and Raiders!’
We have been learning all about our bodies and the digestive system in our topic ‘Burps, Bottoms and Bile’. Particularly, what parts and organs make up our bodies and how the systems inside it work.
We’ve been reading the Demon Dentist by David Walliams. This has helped inform our writing of non-chronological reports all about teeth and how to keep them clean. We’ve focused on organising paragraphs and using sub-headings to structure our writing into different sections. We’ve also written glossaries and included technical diagrams in our reports. Moving on from this we’ve started writing persuasive texts about healthy eating and the importance of eating the right foods so our bodies (and minds!) stay fit and healthy.
This term we have been adding and subtracting 4 digit numbers using different methods focusing on column method and practising exchanges of digits. We’ve learnt how to check our answers using a variety of methods such as finding the equivalent difference and using the inverse. We’ve also used estimations to quickly check answers and this has consolidated previous learning based around rounding numbers to the nearest 10, 100 and 1000. Moving on from this we’ve worked on problem solving using addition and subtraction where we have explored single bar models and comparison bar models to interpret and solve multi-step problems.
In science this term, we have been learning about animals including humans. We’ve looked at the types and functions of teeth and also at the parts of the digestive system and the functions of these parts. We’ve carried out investigations into tooth decay by using boiled eggs in different liquids and predicting then observing changes that occur. We looked at the sugar content of different drinks and then observed the changes that occurred to the eggs over time. It was amazing to see the damage sugar can cause and we were astounded that apple and orange juice (things we consider healthy) are in fact full of sugar!
In topic, we’ve looked at local history and researched about Maidstone’s past from the earliest formation of the town to its current day incarnation. We’ve made comparisons with Maidstone today and Maidstone of 100 years ago and have seen how some things have changed greatly while others have remained the same.
It’s been another fabulous term for Year 4 Brazilian Parrots! We’ve had so much fun writing biographies about Sir Edmund Hillary in our English Lessons. The class has worked on using sub-headings and formatting their work into paragraphs. Everyone did their own research about Edmund Hillary and then used their facts to write up their biographies. One of the most interesting facts discovered was that Hillary went to the North Pole with Neil Armstrong!
As part of grammar lessons we’ve worked on using singular and plural possessive ‘s’ correctly. The class has used this new knowledge in their biographies to write about Hillary’s life achievements. We’ve also looked at using a range of conjunctions, specifically time and cause conjunctions and subordinating conjunctions. This can also be seen in the classes’ biography write ups.
In maths lessons we’ve continued looking at place value by ordering numbers to 10,000, rounding numbers to the nearest 1000, counting in 25s and using negative numbers. We’ve now moved on to looking at addition and subtraction by adding and subtracting 1s, 10s, 100s and 1000s. We are now adding two four digit numbers and are working on questions that involve exchanging 1’s for 10s, 10s for 100s and 100s for 1000s. Everyone is grasping these concepts well and are able to use a variety of methods such as place value counters and column addition.
We also had so much fun investigating solids, liquids and gases as part of our Science topic. We carried out experiments to investigate melting and freezing and into how different liquids flow. The class also took part with African Elephants in the Science Technology and Engineering workshop by designing a motorised vehicle to carry a shoe! The winning team was chosen from Brazilian Parrots and they have now gone on to represent the school at county level - a fantastic achievement!
Finally, everyone enjoyed making Himalayan music using percussion instruments and setting this to a poem about Mt Everest. We also did some interesting artwork using rulers to draw straight crossing lines in a grid to create a mountain shape. Well done everyone for working so hard this term and we are now looking forward to term 3 and our new topic, Burps Bottoms and Bile!
We’ve had an amazing term in Brazilian Parrots, learning all about mountains as part of our ‘Misty Mountain Sierra’ topic.
During English lessons the class have explored writing poems and narratives based around a mountain theme. They’ve produced some fantastic calligram poems and written narratives around encountering the mythical Yeti creature! In Grammar lessons we’ve focused on using expanded noun phrases and fronted adverbials and are now embedding these in our writing. We’ve also been reading Jess Butterworth’s ‘Running on the Roof of the World’ as part of Guided Reading Lessons. Everyone has enjoyed reading this story and learning about Tibetan culture and their struggle for independence.
In Maths lessons we have been working on recognising the place value of each digit in a 4-digit number, rounding numbers to 10 and 100, using number lines and have been comparing 4 digit numbers using the signs for less than and greater than. We’ve also worked on reasoning problems for the concepts mentioned above, making sure we are using the correct mathematical language.
We’ve spent the last week of this half-term taking part in Jubilee University! We’ve learnt all about First Aid, particularly about how to make an emergency call and how to treat someone who has asthma. The class produced some amazing information posters and took part in role-plays based around different emergency scenarios.
Finally, Brazilian Parrots did a fabulous job performing the ‘Harvest Celebration’. I’m sure you are proud of the effort put into this and everyone loved taking part and performing for the school and parents. A big well done to everyone involved.