Term 2 – Power, products, plastic and plenty perseverance!

As we head rapidly towards Christmas, we continue to provide plenty of wonderful learning experiences for the children. Far too many to mention them all but here are a few highlights. In science, we have been learning about electricity and building circuits. We are about to test different materials for their conductivity and insulating properties and then we will apply our knowledge to designing “Christmassy circuits”.

In maths, we have continued our learning journey through multiplication with a strong focus on times tables, finding the product and using factor pairs. Additionally, we have secured written multiplication methods. The children are persevering with TT Rockstars and are determined to better their individual times as well as work as a class to turn our “heatmap” green! Keep practising year 4. We can do it!

Pompous, vain and arrogant are new words we have discovered to describe the idle gods in our text: Mouse Bird Snake Wolf. We have written balanced arguments and proud proclamations. Thank you for your wonderful creature creations in preparation for our creative writing sessions next week. As always, a high standard of work was produced which I am certain will inspire us to write beautifully too!

We have had South East Water in to lead a workshop about the water cycle, water conservation and also engineering. The children were able to work in teams to build pipelines to carry water along a route in a mock town. This was fabulous fun and a great opportunity to use  teamwork as well as develop skills in using co-ordinates in map reading.

Drastic Plastic Day came and went in a flash. During the week, we wrote persuasive letters to Malabar cafe and we were surprised (yet delighted) to receive a letter in response to ours assuring us of steps being taken to reduce plastic in their shops. This topic certainly has enthused our class and they are making changes daily to reduce plastic waste.

The countdown to Christmas continues, with still much learning to be done!









Congratulations Table Tennis Squad!

On Wednesday 14th November, the St. John’s tables tennis squad competed in the Kent School Games. We entered two teams and each team played with the usual St. John’s balance of gritty determination and keen sportsmanship. Despite valiant efforts in the group round, the B team played magnificently coming away with a draw and a loss. The A team managed to win all their games in the group stage and went on to the final against Amherst. In the end, Amherst were too strong for St. John’s claiming an 8:0 victory giving us silver medal position. The competition gave the squad an opportunity to play at a higher level and compete against other schools from across Kent. They tell me they have learnt a lot from the experience which is so good to hear. We were complimented several times on our positivity and attitude to sport. Thank you to Georgia who supported us and helped with scoring.

Well done to all. I hope you are inspired to play more table tennis and even consider playing for a club outside school. If you would like to know more details about how to do this, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.

Jane Gillhouley

Welcome to Year 4 2018

Welcome to Year 4! It was lovely to meet so many of you at “Meet the Teacher” this week. As you may have heard from your children, we have had a very busy start to the year, getting to know each other, establishing new routines and learning to be increasing independent and responsible. Although taking a bit of time, we can already notice the children becoming familiar with the expectations in their new class.I have been so impressed by the children’s positive attitude to learning. They are thoughtful, supportive of each other and work very hard to do their best.

In Maths, we are consolidating our understanding of place value and will soon be exploring the negative number system. We have been revising and securing our times tables learnt in year 3 and we will continue to do so most of this term. Please do practise with your children as rapid recall of both multiplication and division facts enables the children to apply these in many other areas of maths, with greater confidence and accuracy.

We have been reading Carol Ann Duffy’s “The Tear Thief”  to support us in our grammar learning and we will soon be ceating our own stories based on the book having an opportunity to apply all the new writing techniques.

We have begun to learn about rIvers and we will be undertaking our river study in a few weeks at Horton Kirby. We will learn about the water cycle; investigating condensation and evaporation and applying this knowledge to understanding the river system.

Please ensure PE kit is in school daily and that all items are clearly labelled.

Our spelling and times tables tests are on Wednesdays and as always we are grateful for any help you provide in supporting your children to learn these at home.

You should have received an information sheet detailing our class routines whether by hand or by book bag. Should you not have received this, I have included a link below for your information.

Download (DOCX, 17KB)

Thank you for your support.







What’s happening in year 4 this term?

What a super way to end term 5! A trip to Butser Ancient Farm followed by Interhouse Sports.  The trip was a wonderful way for the children to experience some of what life must have been like in the Iron Age, Roman and Saxon times and to be able to see how each time period brought about new changes in the way people lived. Having sat in the smoky Iron Age round house to learn more about this period, the children decided that they’d rather have been living in Roman or Saxon times as their homes were far more comfortable.

Shortly after arriving,  we were put to work to make wattle fences, weaving hazel rods between stakes. This was harder to do than we thought and it took a lot of strength to bend the hazel. Teamwork was essential. It made us realise how tiring life would have been making enclosures for vegetable beds and to keep the animals secure.

Following on from this, we sat outside the Saxon house to sew Runes on to card. Each symbol represented a letter in the alphabet. After lunch, we turned our hands to making  bracelets, having first made nettle strands into cords- a process called cordage. The majority of us enjoyed the chalk carving the most. Using sharp flint we carved patterns into chalk, staining it with ash and green dye from leaves. Surprisingly, this was the most relaxing of pasttimes!

This term, we complete our journey with Edward Tulane. There have been many highs and lows for Edward as he learns to love “for there can be no happy ending without love!” Pelligrina would say. We have wriiten diaries, letters and dabbled in a bit of poetry too. The children, moved by the trials and tribulations of Edward,have written poems to capture Edward’s feelings about people he had loved and those he had despised. Here are a few extracts from Iona, Dylan and Bailey’s poems:

If I had wings, I’d fly into the loving arms of Abilene;

I would drift back to her rather than fall in to the deep ocean;

If I had wings, I’d swoop back to Nellie and Lawrence,

to sit in Nellie’s kitchen to smell the sweet cinnamon buns and listen to stories of those she’d loved and lost;

to rest on Lawrence’s shoulder to learn more about the constellations.

If I had wings, I’d break free from the wires that bound me,

and soar off the pole into the sky and watch Lolly stare in awe, curiosity and amazement.. 

If I had wings, I’d soar into the heavens to join Sara Ruth’s constellation 

with the memory of her golden-flecked hazel eyes to comfort me. 

This term, in Science we investigate the impact humans have on the environment: both positive and negative. On Wednesday, we had an unexpected  visit from representatives from CountryStyle Recycling, who taught us more about the 4R’s (Respect, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle). This linked perfectly with our new science topic and helped us learn more about what we can do to make a positive impact.

We are continuing our learning about the Anglo-Saxons and Viking invasions and in RE we are exploring  ” why some people say life is like a journey” comparing different faiths.

Please remember to have your PE kit in school daily as this term is always a busy one with summer production rehearsals, sports day preparations and the inevitable timetable changes.

Continue to practise your spellings and times tables to be tested on Wednesdays. Let’s see if we can reach our target of 100% in both of these. You can do it year 4!











Spring term 5

Term 5 has been filled with much excitement, drama and learning.  On the drama side, we have had broken legs, stitched knees and have been diligently practising in preparation for the music concert and Summer production.

Additionally, there has been much drama in our class text, ‘The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane’ in which Edward has begun his journey and has already found himself in trouble. The children are really engaged in this text and I can see how  much they are enjoying it by the number of items (for Edward) appearing on my desk daily. We have had Edwards made out of cereal boxes, a suitcase crafted and filled with all things Edward would adore, a handmade pocket watch (and a real pocket watch), outfits made and clothing brought in from home. I have been truly amazed and thrilled by this level of enthusiasm and engagement. It has also been wonderful to read the children’s writing. It is clear that this character has captured the children’s imagination and has sparked a desire to write and improved the quality thereof.

In RE, we have been learning about Hinduism and we are very fortunate to have our own “expert”. Aishvene has helped us with our learning, sharing her knowledge of Hindu beliefs and  practices with us by bringing in items from home that help a Hindu family to worship. Thank you!  We have designed our own Snakes and Ladders board games to demonstrate our understanding of Dharma, Karma and Moksha and we are becoming more skillful in making comparisons between faiths.

This week, we attended our first Forest School session in which we learned to identify trees by studying their leaves using an identification chart. Most children can now name several trees: oak, ash, elder, sycamore, maple, hazel, hawthorn, beech and holly. This lesson taught the children the importance of observing closely as each leaf type has small differences even though they look similar. We applied these skills to observational drawing of leaves and further developed their  understanding of the importance of observing carefully through setting them a challenge to create a 3-D model of a view whilst in the forest. The most successful team, chosen by their peers, won the challenge for replicating the exact view in front of them by looking closely at each element. It was a fabulous morning of outdoor learning and we are looking forward to next week’s pond research. Let’s hope the weather will be as kind as it was today.

We have almost reached our target of 100% spellers achieving 10/10 in the weekly spelling test with 25 children getting full marks. Year 4, WE CAN DO IT- almost there!! Keep practising well!

As we continue our journey with Edward Tulane we say farewell to another Edward (Ted) as he begins the next part of his education journey. He will be greatly missed and we wish him much happiness and continued success.





A sunny start to Term 5

The children have all returned well-rested, enthusiastic and cheerful after the Easter break, especially as the weather has improved. It has been wonderful to hear about all their adventures over the holidays and how many different places have been visited. I am especially delighted with the excellent homework that has been returned and I am so impressed with the children’s new knowledge and the effort put into their projects. There have been so many beautiful peices, it has been difficult to display them all but here are a few on display, making our classroom look even more colourful. Many children chose to do more than expected which is fantastic! I know that you all enjoyed the project and the freedom to choose which tasks to do. Great work year 4!

This week we have had two highights. Firstly, seeing Olympic Gold medalist, Lizzie Yarnold  at The Vine and secondly, discovering that eggs have been laid in Sophia’s bird box over the half term. We think they are Blue Tits and we are hoping that they will hatch. Very exciting!

This term’s learning promises to be equally exciting with plenty of outdoor learning opportunities.  In Literacy, we have embarked on a new journey with Edward Tulane and in Maths we are continuing our learning journey on decimals, relating these to money and measures, with Mr Field planning plenty of practical measuring activities. Mr Field will also be taking the children on a “journey” through North America during Geography lessons.

In Science, we are completing our investigations on Sound. This week we investigated how to change the pitch of a sound with hands-on enquiries and recorded our findings using the iPads.

In a few weeks, we will begin learning about living things and their habitats and are delighted to once again have the opportunity to attend Forest School to supplement our learning at school and carry out some important scientific research.

Reminders: Please have your PE kit in school every day and your instrument in on Mondays.

Spellings and times tables will once again be tested on Wednesdays.
As the weather is warm, please bring in a water bottle to keep in the classroom.





Springtime Adventures at Carroty Wood

What an active way to end Term 4 :The Sport Relief Walk and Carroty Wood!

After all the snow and ice, the sun finally came out to warmly greet us as we ventured to Carroty Wood for our exciting residential trip. Class 4 excitedly boarded the coach and headed off for their active adventure on Wednesday. The children happily played imaginative games in the woods, built dens and structures before having lunch together. It was wonderful to see how creative they can be, having the freedom to play and explore.

The afternoon commenced with the High Ropes and Low Ropes courses, with many children conquering their fear of heights and challenging themselves to have a go even when it looked too difficult. Resilience, encouragement and courage were demonstrated in abundance.

A special treat awaited us after swimming in the evening in the form of pizzas! Exhausted by the activities, we flopped into our beds and all slept soundly.

Thursday morning, we were challenged to work in teams to complete the Maze or the Mission Impossible before playing a game of Rounders. Before returning to school, we ate our packed lunches (made by the children) and reflected on the fun we had had together.

A memorable (muddy) experience for all!  Here are a few photos to enjoy;


What a wintry week we are having! I hope that you have been enjoying some time having fun in the snow.  As we are surrounded by snow, your homework is snow themed. Please do at least two of the tasks ( or more). I look forward to seeing your creative responses. There is also a range of tasks on Mymaths set for you, so you have plenty to get on with when you  have had enough sledging or snowman building.

Click on the link below and you will see your homework choice board.

Class 4 Snow Homework

Meanwhile, stay warm and safe!


Year 4 continue to shine!

Welcome back after the half term break and an especially warm welcome to Miss Giles, who joins us for her teaching practice this term until Mr Field returns after Easter.

This week has been assessment week and the children have shown how much they have matured as learners; keen to show how they have progressed over the last three terms.

On Wednesday, we had a special treat (and a well-earned break after assessments) when Jo Fox from the UK SPACE AGENCY visited to teach us about the use of robotics in space, and in particular, missions to Mars.  We were delighted to be entertained by her NAO robot and even had a go at giving NAO an algorithm to instruct her to perform a sequence of actions. To our astonishment, our demonstration was interrupted by an incoming SKYPE call from the Space Agency needing us to help with their mission to Mars! We used our knowledge of co -ordinates to find a safe spot to land on the planet, negotiated our way through “Marsquakes”  to find evidence of life on Mars, and helped to construct safe housing pods.  Mission complete! Year 5 were even more fortunate to be able to attend a further workshop in which they built Mars Rovers. This was a real treat with lots of learning and promotion of future careers in the space industry. I am certain that many of the children watching this demonstration will indeed become engineers, programmers, and architects and work in this field in future, given their level of enthusiasm and engagement today.

Our next part of our blog is updating everyone on our Roman Day ( which feels like months ago ) and has been written by Eloise:

“Roman Day began when the whole class ( dressed as Romans) including Mr Field and Mrs Williams attended a workshop in the hall led by “Emma, the archaeologist”. We were plunged into a short episode of a Celt’s life and how the Romans impacted their way of life by bringing different foods from Italy and coins. We held a coin that was more than 2000 years old. After this we explored the lives of Julius Caesar, Boudicca, Claudius and Roman soldiers. Last, but not least, anyone who had not had a chance to act out a role was enlisted in the Roman army and re-enacted battle strategies. The Romans won of course! After the workshop, we continued our Roman day in the classroom investigating Roman numerals. Roman Day was amazing!” 

This term we will complete our adventures with Varjak in English, begin our unit of work on fractions and decimals in Maths. In Science, we explore Sound and in topic work, we learn more about Boudicca and the impact Romans had on Britain.

Plenty of fun and learning ahead. AND…. Carroty Wood!!



ALSO: Thank you for the wonderful homework !!!! The bird projects, ear models and sound poetry have been a pleasure to mark! Well done Class 4. You are so creative!

Lights, Camera, Action!

This term, Mr Field has been teaching Year 4 to use iPads and iMovie to create a variety of different movies. The children have been working fantastically in small groups, creatively planning their short films, writing scripts as well as acting and filming their work.

The children developed their own visual facts-files as well as making a silent video to help remember their times tables.  Most recently we have been looking at school etiquette and focused on creating a video on what to do and what not to do around the school. This was a unique opportunity for the children to demonstrate their acting skills while they temporally misbehaved in the classroom.

In maths, with Mr Field, children have been learning about lines of symmetry and how to reflect shapes on a grid, the children seem to really be grasping these skills and are continuing to make great progress. With Mrs Casewell, the children have been developing their understanding of division through manipulatives. We have learnt the terms divisor, dividend, quotient and remainder to help us to explain our maths clearly. We have also been extending our thinking to solving reasoning problems like, “My friend says that if I have a dividend that is even and a divisor of 2, there will never be a remainder. Is she correct? Explain.”  Please continue to practise times tables as this knowledge is essential for the fraction work which we will be starting next term, and will  help the children to feel more confident in their learning.

In literacy, we have been reading the book, Varjak Paw, and most of the children have changed their initial opinions from “Not sure if I’ll enjoy it,” to ” Loving it!”They can’t wait to read on and we will therefore continue this text next term. Please try to resist the temptation to read it over half term.

Reminder: On Friday the 2nd of February the Roman Empire will be coming to St John’s as it is it is Roman Day in Year 4! We would like to encourage all children to get creative and dress up as a Roman. The day will involve a workshop in the morning with a Roman themed lesson throughout the day. It is going to be a great day.