Adventures in Year 4

Term 4 has been packed with exciting learning opportunities and fabulous adventures.

Firstly, Term 3 ended with a Roman Day during which the children, all dressed in Roman attire, invaded St John’s and took part in several activities: mosaic making, maths with Roman numerals, and constructing Roman chariots. It was an exciting way to end of their History topic.

 

 

 

As part of our Science learning, we visited Sevenoaks School to watch a science show about Sound. Becky from “Science Made Simple” demonstrated how sounds are made, travel and how the pitch and volume can be altered in her entertaining show. This science show was enjoyed by all and St John’s pupils happily and confidently participated in both asking and answering questions. We learnt a lot about sound and wrote some TripAdvisor reports about our experiences.

Book week was fantastic thanks to Mrs Grimble. We loved receiving our envelope every morning containing a poem to be shared. Additionally, we have become HUGE fans of the author Catherine Doyle, who visited our school and several copies of her book “The Storm Keeper’s Island” can been seen scattered around the classroom. They absolutely love it! The children tell me that the descriptions are so effective and detailed that they think it would make a great text to use in year 4 to learn with. Great idea!

To our surprise and delight, a package arrived from Greenwich University. We had long forgotten the optional robot design homework we had entered into a Robot Wars competition. Everyone who entered a design, received certificates from Greenwich University for their fantastic effort.

Recently, we have entered the Primary Leaders Award by inventing something to help solve an everyday problem and we wrote persuasive pitch letters to accompany our designs. These will be sent to the engineering team at the University of London and we will wait in anticipation to find out how well we do. Personally, I thought the children came up with amazingly creative solutions to everyday problems. One particular design would help me tremendously as I am always losing my keys, purse and at school – my pens. I am delighted with the work the children did on this project. Thank you for your support at home.

Last but by no means least, our trip to Carroty Wood which has always been highlight for the children and adults accompanying them .Not only do the children learn a lot about the themselves and one another, the teachers love to spend time getting to know the children outside the classroom too. Through the use of different challenges like: High Ropes, Low Ropes, Archery and the Maze (not to mention the many team sports we played), we have watched children overcome their fears, support each with kindness and encouragement and challenge both themselves and others to set their goals high and strive to achieve them. It is hoped that they will hold onto the feeling of overcoming fears and the power of self belief throughout the rest of the school years and beyond.

Amazingly, children challenged themselves to try new foods. Many will come home telling you how much they love Vegetarian and Hawaiian pizza now. “If you don’t try it – you’ll never know”. These words were heard spoken around the table with some children feeling very pleased with themselves that they did try and now love it!

You can tell how much fun we had by the pile of dirty washing (apologies). It was rather muddy this year. These are a few photographs of our time spent at Carroty Wood.

Sumdog competition – Get playing!

Welcome Maths Enthusiasts. I have entered the whole school into a Sumdog competition against other schools.

All you need to do is log onto Sumdog with your usual username and password then enter the school code sjs3 to help us gain as many points as possible. The competition started today and ends next Friday 14th February at 8am.

How do you earn St John’s some points? Simply play! The more you play the more we earn.

 

Good Luck children!

 

Mrs Gillhouley

Term 3 begins

Firstly, I wish to thank you all for the lovely gifts and cards received for Christmas. I hope you all had a restful break. It certainly took a while for all of us to get back into routine, but now that we have, we are working as hard as ever and the children have returned with renewed energy and determination to do well.

During Term 3, we will be consolidating our division methods and applying these to both problem solving and reasoning tasks. Later in the term, we will begin a new learning journey where we will explore fractions and decimals. The children are continuing to learn how to tell the time on both analogue and digital clocks as well as converting between 12 hour and 24 hour times. Further practise at home would benefit many of the children to help them  become familiar with their daily routine and the times at which regular activities happen.

Varjak Paw has already made a hugely positive impression in class, with every child loving the story and really enjoying sharing the reading as we now have a class set of books. Writing produced thus far includes persuasive letters, diaries, setting descriptions and free verse sense poetry. Additionally, we hope to complete some artwork to accompany our writing.

In science, we began another exciting journey: journeying through the digestive system. Looking at human teeth, we have identified their types and functions and have begun to make links between teeth and diets, with the children posing the question,” Do animals have the same teeth as humans?” which we will be investigating as well as exploring their digestive systems. It’s all very exciting!

Romans is our topic in KUW and the children will be looking at Roman invasions and what impact the Romans had on Britain.

TTRockstars is having positive impact on the progress children are making learning their multiplication and division facts.Please continue to encourage your child to use this platform as well as practising in other fun ways.

Your support at home in learning both times tables and spellings is appreciated.

Over the last two weeks, Year 4 have been able to attend Gamelan workshops at Sevenoaks School. They have thoroughly enjoyed playing a variety of instruments and we are grateful to Jackie Hendry and Mrs Hughes for organising this enriching experience for them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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;