Fun learning at The Fitawilliam

Year 4 had a great day of looking, listening and learning in Cambridge today. The museum teacher was so impressed by the class’s behaviour and reflective comments, that she stayed with us past her allotted hour and took us to the magnificent gallery in the lobby. The Fitzwilliam is one of those places where the building is as stunning as the contents.She even let us walk out through the turnstile door, which is usually not permitted for large school groups. Like the other amazing university-owned buildings in Cambridge, it is free and not as large or as busy as the London museums so well worth a visit. There are lots of – reasonably-priced – places to eat and other things to see and your children could start thinking about whether they would like to study there when they are older.

In the afternoon, the children made Greek-influenced pinch pots and again the staff were very impressed with the children’s confidence and proficiency. The children were building on their skills from last year which is excellent progress. Here are some of the moments from the day.

Unfortunately, we were late returning. We’d factored in extra journey time for getting back, but it wasn’t enough for today’s Friday traffic so I hope that didn’t spoil any after-school plans. Your children may like to tell you more about the day using the images on the museum’s website. A massive thank you for the fantastic parent helpers who worked very hard today and helped make the trip possible. I hope you all have a lovely weekend.

It’s electric in year 4

This week the children have written their own “Guide To Living on Earth”, including draw a front cover; and these will be displayed in the classroom. They used expanded noun phrases with abstract nouns to describe what it’s like living here and we’ve focused on using the apostrophe for contraction correctly, as practised in last week’s spellings.

The children are loving the practical aspect of learning about electricity and built circuits with very little instruction, but by using their initiative and being safe with their partner.

The children were put into groups for swimming today. They are so fast and efficient at getting changed that we’re going to leave school later!

Thank you for sending in painting shirts which will be put to very good use.

Have a lovely weekend.

First full week in year 4

This has gone very well, with the children following routines better all the time. They are really enjoying finding about the background and people featuring in “The Undefeated” and have thought of some creative language when writing their own “guide to living on planet earth”, in the style of Oliver Jeffers in “Here We Are”.

Miss Taylor, the ukelele teacher, came to class today to talk about what instrumental experience they have. She was impressed with the wide range of favourite songs they have!

It was lovely to see so many of you at meet the teacher on Thursday If you have any queries about the curriculum or school day, please do get in touch.

I hope to see some of you at the school fair. Have a lovely weekend.

Katharine Gibbons

Trying to keep cool in year 4 this week!!

To say it was “a hot one” this week in year 4 would be the understatement of the year. But we took it easy and completed lots of essential settling-in and assessment tasks. Thank you for sending in favourite books on Tuesday. The children have made the classroom much more “their own”, as you’ll see on Thursday, at “meet the teacher”. They are rising to the year 4 expectations very well, moving round the school responsibly and engaging in conversations about figurative language, for example, with interest.

Hopefully, Westminster Lodge will have sorted out the floor problem next week and swimming will resume on Thursday.

We are reading a powerful book, which is in the form of a poem, called “the Undefeated”. The children worked in groups to present the poem to the class, choosing their own techniques. Some photos of them should be below.

This week’s home learning has been posted. It focuses on key skills and providing opportunities for your child to get into good routines to master these.

Happy summer year 4!

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the learning your children have done in their books which they brought home this week. This week started with their final biscuits and continued with finishing off: they particularly enjoyed the science learning about habitats.

Today was a very relaxing day. The children chose to use various computing packages they’ve been learning and had fun doing this. After play they had ice-creams outside, actually in the sunshine which was lovely. It was a sticky, sweet mess which everyone enjoyed. It was great seeing the children playing and chatting with their friends.

Year 4 and I have been together for four full terms, including a day a week for a term and a half before that. This included the unusual transition from the remaining Covid restrictions back to normal school life. It has been a privilege and a pleasure to help your children learn and see them mature and enjoy the normal routine of the school year. Your bag of presents is really amazing – creative, thoughtful and with some delicious treats. You are very generous and I really appreciate the time and effort you all put into that. To say that I will miss the children is an understatement, but more than that I am very proud of their achievements and the fact that they are moving onto year 5 confident and eager for the learning there.

Wishing you all a very happy, safe summer, with very best wishes

Katharine Gibbons

Penultimate week in year 4

This has been another week with exciting changes to the timetable. Year 4 was an excellent audience for the year 6’s production of “Ali Baba and The Bongo Bandits”, when they loved the songs. Mr Creaton was very impressed with them on their “transition morning” to his classroom and thinks that they will make an excellent year 5.

The children are taking their fantastic learning home with them and I hope that you enjoying seeing the fruits of their labours. We are currently focusing on the Science topic of animals and habitats which contains lots of fascinating knowledge.

We are taking in all school books – library books, class books and reading books (so the next book will be ready for each child on the first day back at school). Please check under the bed, sofas, car seats for any school books which may be lurking there so we don’t need to issue any fines.

Please remember the library reading challenge to keep holiday reading up.

Today, the children followed a recipe to make biscuits with various flavours. Next week they will decide, as a group, which combination of flavours to use and make their own biscuits.

There are just 3.5 days left with the lovely children of year 4 and then they can have a very well-deserved break.

Sports Day in Year 4

The children all competed brilliantly in sports day. They gave their all and showed great sportmanship. Here are some action shots.

Building Kew

Last week we painted Kew and this week we built it – at least part of it. Inspired by “The Hive ” pavilion, Year 4 designed and built their own pavilions. As preparation, the children worked in groups of 3 to see who could build the tallest tower using spaghetti and marshmallows. This led to discussions about strong shapes, structure, stability and reinforcement. The children collaborated very well and came up with different solutions to the problem.

Wonderful workshop week

Year 4 threw themselves into this week’s activities. They really enjoyed the wheelchair basketball/handball session on Monday, learning some new skills. On Tuesday we learnt some dance moves and on Wednesday had a very creative time playing percussion instruments and dancing to “jazz with Johnny”.

On Friday some children from year 4 attended the “World Games” at Oaklands College. We were part of the “Netherlands” team and did a great selection of sports and sporting activities. All the children showed great perseverance – really needed in the “slackrope” challenge! – and good sports skills. (Photos to follow).

We were sorry to miss “St Adrians Got Talent”, but have heard how fantastic the perfomers – Aiden & Jeremy and Sofia – from year 4 were. We also heard the other perfomers who auditioned, at lunchtime; and they were also excellent, putting a lot of preparation into their acts. Well done to everyone who participated.

Sketching and Science at Kew

Year 4 had glorious weather for their trip to Kew. The question was, on a day like Thursday, was the weather more tropical in Kew or the rainforest habitat in The Palm House? I was pleased to see the children remembered the geographical knowledge from the last two years, telling Katie – the Kew education leader – about the equator, why countries there were hotter, naming the Amazon Forest and the countries it covers. The children used specialist equipment to measure humidity, soil temperature, soil moisture and air temperature. We then explored The Palm House to find out how animals and plants co-exist in rainforest eco-systems. Can your child tell you some of the examples? The children also enjoyed sketching in the Temperate House – which was cooler than it was outside – and had lovely picnics sitting in the shade on the botannical garden’s beautiful lawns.

The lily pond house was stunning and the children enjoyed seeing, and some sketched, the enormous lilies. Wel also visited the hive which is an amazing structure – a type of pavilion – which “hums” the hotter it is.

A huge thank you to the very kind parents who gave up a day to help out on the trip. These events would not go nearly as well without your support. And apologies for the mix-up about collecting at the end of the day. I didn’t realise adults would wait at the front of the school and then thought we could dismiss children from the car park, but the children went through to the classroom first. Thank you for coming round to the playground where we could see everyone safely to their adults.

After the father’s day assembly, the children will be painting based on what they saw and experienced on Thursday.