Your class teacher is Miss Parks and your TA is Mrs Denton.
Our topic this term is: Journey along the Nile
The children kicked off their Egyptian topic with a visit to the Fitzwilliam museum where they were fantastic ambassadors of the school. They learned about mummification, symbolism and how the soul enters the after life in Ancient Egyptian culture.
This is a topic jam-packed with fun and amazing learning opportunities - we're really excited!
Useful things to know
We are encouraging children to take responsibility for their own organisation and learning behaviour through metacognition.
The children are learning to use these prompts to help them work more independently and to consider what it is that they need in order to complete a task, what helps them to complete a task and what is hindering them when they are attempting a task.
We start with Me: How I feel about the task given
Then we Plan: Do I know what to do? What do I need?
Then we Self Regulate: How do I know I'm on task? What do I need to do now to finish?
Then we Evaluate: How did it go? What did I find tricky? What can I do better next time?
Help your children by reminding them to think out loud and to model this behaviour when supporting them with their homework.
Reading for pleasure!
We are encouraging Kestrels to read a range of genres and authors this year. The book shelf has been organised by reading band, selected authors and by genre.
We have also set aside a basket for children to add books that they recommend the rest of the class try to read.
Some children are still working on the skill of finishing a book before reviewing it!
To encourage your child, when reading with them, talk about the book they are reading.
What do they like about it? How could it be better? What was the best bit? Did it make you laugh, cry or excited? Would you recommend it to a friend? Why - what would your friend get out of it?
To help vary the reading diet of the class, each child has been given a Book Bingo sheet (another copy can be downloaded in the letters section of this page) to be stuck inside their reading records. The children are challenged to read new books from a variety of genres. I have asked that children try to read books they have NOT read before - with the exception of the "Re-read a book you have read before" challenge - as this will help them discover new authors and stories.
The children have to log the title and author of the book in the reading records and I am encouraging them to write a comment about whether they liked this book more or less than another by that author or in that genre.
The children must bring in their reading records every week.
Unfortunately the majority of the class did not get into the habit of bringing their reading record in this year and I'd like to rectify this. The children must bring their books in on the day of their guided reading session - their timetable is in the classroom and the children know which group they are in.
The children have been learning Ancient Egyptian myths and stories so far this term. They have retold the story of Osiris and Isis, where the evil brother Seth murders Osiris to get the crown. We've compared versions and worked out which parts of the story are vital (our story pegs again) and which parts are clearly changeable, moveable or even forgettable - in the case of one retelling!
The children have also had a go at learning a story and performing them to the class. I have filmed them and hope to have some clips uploaded soon.
Next we will be working on writing our own play scripts and non-fiction pieces about what we are learning.
Here is a reminder of the expectations, when learning multiplication tables:
By the end of year 2, they should know their 2x, 5x and 10x table.
By the end of year 3, they should know their 3x, 4x, 6x and 11x table
By the end of year 4, they should know their 7x, 8x, 9x, and 12x table.
Please, please help your child to learn their times tables. Knowing these by heart and being able to recall them quickly is invaluable to their learning. It helps them to progress more quickly with problem solving and multiplying and dividing larger numbers.
In 2019, a national times tables test will be introduced to year 4, to ensure that these expectations are being met.
Knowing their times tables means being able to answer an out-of-order multiplication question without thinking very long, such as: 5 x 5 = 25. 9 x 10 = 90. If your child is only able to count up in jumps of 2 or 10, make sure that they begin to apply each jump to a finger, and that they are aware that they are counting multiples.
It also means that they are able to solve the inverse, such as: 90 divided by 10 is 9. There are five 5s in twenty-five.
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The children have made a fantastic start to this term by working with telling the time. I have been so impressed with their attitude towards it - and it's quite clear who has been practising telling the time at home! Please do keep asking your children what time it is, and encouraging them to answer in words such as, "twenty-five to eight" or "half past 9" rather than "9.30" or "8.35". It really helps when they have to be able to read an analogue clock.
We will then move on to shape and measure.
The children are helping members of a hockey team become fit and healthy in our unit about Humans and Animals. They are focusing on diet, muscles, teeth and healthy living.
Art and Design Technology
The children are starting this term by creating scale (hopefully working) model shadufs - a device invented by the Egyptians to more easily extract water from the Nile for their farms.
They will also create their own papyrus and learn to paint in the style of the Ancient Egyptians. I hope, if we have time, to create a puppet theatre with them as well!
On Thursdays the children will be working with Premier Sport. On Mondays they will be doing tennis with me.
Please ensure your child's PE kits are in school every day. Sometimes time tables change or need to be moved around and your children need to be prepared for any eventuality!
What have we got up to?
In Autumn term we had a very successful residential trip to Grafham Water! This year the children had the opportunity to climb great heights, kayak, paddle board, go mountain biking and try their hands at map-reading. Everybody had a fantastic time and many were sad to leave. I believe the food was also a great highlight!