Welcome to Kestrels Class!
Your class teacher is Mrs Parks-Connolly. We have lots of fun-packed learning to get through this year and I would like to thank you for all the support you give your child at home with their reading, learning times tables and completing maths homework.
Tuesday Afternoons: PE with me
Thursday Afternoons: PE with JS Sports.
Please come into school in your PE kits on those days. Sometimes the timetable may be subject to change depending on weather and other activities going on in the school week. We will try to notify you of changes in time.
Each week, children are expected to practise spellings, to be tested on Wednesday afternoons. Throughout the year we work on a set times table within class. The current times table is in the class window.
Each fortnight there is Maths homework on My Maths.
Please try to listen to your child read at least once a week and remember to log it on Boomreader!
In English this term we have been reading 'The Lost Happy Endings' by Carol Ann Duffy. We're only half-way through this picture book but already the children have written non-chronological reports on UK Woodlands and Forests and written what they think happens next after the dramatic Middle Event of the story.
We have written poems and thought about the vocabulary the author has used and practised writing a variety of list sentences, descriptive paragraphs and responded to the author's own words through art.
At the end of this half term, the children spent a long time creating their own clay models of the "twisted old woman" with "fierce eyes like berries" and skin "rough like bark" whose "touch nipped like pepper". I look foward to seeing them finished and painted! This bunch in particular are so very skilled using clay and creating models!
We shall continue our work with the book after half term before switching to Fly, Eagle, Fly! which is a traditional African tale with beautiful artwork that provides us with loads of great story-telling opportunities.
So far this year we have been working on place value - the year 3s have been introduced to the hundreds digit and the year 4s have moved onto the thousands digit - and using written column methods of addition and subtraction. We have also been learning that angles are a measure of a turn, that a quarter turn is always a right angle, and the year 4s have learned that there are at least 3 types of triangle and what their properties are!
Please continue to practise times tables with your child. In June the year 4s are expected to complete the Multiplication Check which is a statutory assessment. They will have 8 seconds to answer a question and they're generated at random. The more work is put into year 3 learning of times tables, the less pressure there is in year 4 to catch up. Further to this, having the times tables ready for quick recall allows the children to wrap their heads around the written methods of multiplication and division, without the extra step of working out each multiplication fact. It unlocks fractions and decimals for them too!
Our science unit this half term is Rocks, Soil and Fossils.
We have blocked half the unit this week, with another half to be completed after half term. The children have had loads of fun exploring the world of geology, building their vocabulary (ask them about the lustre and crystalline properties of a rock!) and investigating the features of rocks using sweets and real rocks. Rocks are very cool and very exciting and we've had a lot of fun just looking at them, describing them and trying to order the sweets using Moh's Hardness Scale.
After half term we shall be learning how rocks are formed, where soil comes from and how fossils are formed before moving onto our next unit.
In History the children have been learning about Ancient Egypt. They can tell you what heiroglyphs are, who found Tutankhamun's tomb, what embalming involves and why a pharoah wears a double crown.
After half term they shall be learning all about The Cradle of Civilisation and some of the earliest civilisations in the world.
In Geography the children have learned all about rivers - focusing on the Indus River and the River Severn - and the water cycle. They were so keen on the water cycle that they positively cheered when it began to precipitate the day after the lesson, as well as keeping an eye on whether clouds look as though they have big enough droplets to begin to rain! We also went outside to see whether we could spot surface run off, evaporation and perspiration.
In RE, the children have been learning the story of the Ramayana, the most famous Hindu epic poem of Rama and Sita. They shall be continuing learning other Hindu stories after half term.