Well done crew. Somehow we kept afloat, avoided the rocks and managed to sail to safe summer shores. It has been a difficult and stormy voyage, through treacherous tides but most of the time our journey has been full of laughter, fun and even a fair bit of learning.
Although we lost a few overboard (Keshaun and Michelle), our new crew members, Caitlyn, Jack M and Brandon, have done a fine job in making their own very special mark on our class.
Thank you so much to every single one of my pirates for making me so proud. I wish I could set sail with you into Year 5 but I have even stranger seas to navigate next year. I have to teach Miss Henstock’s class. You will need to help me get them ‘ship-shape’.
By the way, I am pleased to tell you that Elvis has been chosen to be Learner of the Week. Even though it was just his third day on board, his discipline was excellent and he carried out his duties impeccably.
Sorry about the weird pirate based theme to my writing. I think it’s happened because I’m writing about my treasures.
The penultimate week in Year 4 has flown by like a cheetah with wings.
As part of our RE topic, we looked at what the local churches provide to the community beyond their role as places of worship. As well as baptisms, weddings, daily and weekly services, we learned that the churches provide crèches, craft clubs and even a café. I was really impressed with the effort that Subhaan put into this task. He was really focused and determined to produce his best work.
Miss Murphy (my class’ new teacher) spent the day with us on Wednesday. Most pupils made a really good impression on her, and I’m certain that she was completely amazed by everyone’s superb Computing skills. Miss Murphy saw the class come into the class silently and immediately start work on their early morning challenge. After Assembly, and without any instruction, the children then began work on their reading task. I was so proud to show how much independent learning was going on.
Also on Wednesday, we had a really good visual literacy lesson. Using the video ‘Cleopatra’ by the Lumineers, we built up a character portrait of the central character in the film and tried to work out what had happened to make her feel such melancholy. Brandon’s response was stunning. He was able to notice the smallest details and interpreted them with great emotional intelligence. “I think she’s so full of sadness because she was once so happy.”
The children learned how to use the BBC weather app this week. We compared temperatures of Brazilian cities to how warm it is in Leeds. This led to a game of find the hottest place in the world. I’m glad to report that I won by looking up the weather in Death Valley but Ismail and Ayush gave me fierce competition by applying their excellent knowledge of places and climate.
More important geographical skills were learned this week. Within the space of a few minutes my class had moved from using simple coordinates to locate places, to using latitude and longitude references. The speed with which the class absorbed so much new knowledge was accelerated because as soon as they had learned the skill, the children taught each other. The whole class was brilliant but my favourite moment was when Domantas decided to try to find the coordinates for Lithuania.
I hope you are pleased with your child’s report and that it gives you a sense of how much I have loved teaching every pupil in my class.
Sports Day has be rearranged for Monday afternoon, and on Thursday we will have our Key Stage 2 party. I don’t want to think about Friday just yet.
What a great week: Pizza Day, Transition Morning, a visit to Chester Zoo and the High Jump. We also managed to complete most of our reading and maths tests, the results of which have really impressed me.
Whilst some of the other classes weren’t in school, we teamed up with Year 5 earlier in the week to design and make healthy pizzas. This wasn’t just an excuse to enjoy some delicious food – honestly. Some children shopped for the ingredients and worked out the cost of an individual pizza, others researched the history of pizza and everyone got a chance to help make a pizza that would help make their diet a bit healthier.
Alex’s maths test is still trying to recover. His score 40 out of 40 made it feel a little awkward and embarrassed. Many other children made me incredibly proud of the progress that they have made this year even if they scored much less than our King of Maths.
Transition morning was interesting. My new class seemed a bit timid. I think they need to read the advice on how to survive Y4 DM provided by my current class. Some excellent words of wisdom were written which seems to boil down to the following: don’t use Caps Lock (it’s lazy), don’t talk when Mr Moore is talking and try not to burp or ….
Anyway, onto Thursday. What a great day we had at Chester Zoo. We owe Miss Nicholson an elephant sized thank you. At the end of the day I was tired, tired but happy. Tired because we walked so far and laughed so much, and happy because of the superb behaviour and great company provided my class and my group in particular. Special thank you for Rayah, Stella, Subhaan, Cian and Malakhi – you made my day.
Although Sports Day was cancelled today, we were still able to do at least part of the High Jump event this afternoon. Laila and Malakhi jumped like they were wearing springs. I think Malakhi was still bouncing from a great day at Chester Zoo but he put his success down to eating too much sugar. Laila admitted that all that time bouncing on her sister’s bed had finally paid off.
Two weeks left. I hope they go very slowly.
Be good, be safe and be here on Monday.
PS Pictures to follow; the blog is not behaving properly.
There have been plenty of smiles on faces of my children this week. A visit from an England footballer (a good one!), a chance to play Bubble football, salsa dance workshop, a walk in the countryside and a skipping workshop all helped to make this one of the healthiest and happiest weeks in Year 4.
Some of the children in my class got the chance to play football with Laura Bassett, a World Cup bronze medal winner. Wow! I wish the men’s team were so successful! Thank you Miss Wright for providing inspiration and keeping us interested in football when we feel like we’ve been let down.
Bubble football is a strange game. The children become the ball by wearing an inflated bubble. The aim of the game is to bounce into other bubble players and knock them over. Rayah was amazing. She sent her classmates flying like they she was 10 pin bowling. I think must have been taking lessons from Pepe, the Portuguese defender.
Even though we weren’t in the classroom on Thursday, the learning in Y4DM didn’t stop. I had a fantastic day entertained by a thousand delightful conversations punctuated by hundreds of moments of fantastic learning about nature, science and life skills. Behaviour was superb and we all had a lot to smile about. Aleah should be smiling most of all. For the past two weeks we have been learning about endurance as part of our work on values. Aleah displayed heaps of endurance by managing to complete the walk. She doubted whether she could, her feet really hurt her but she just kept going. I’m sure that Derek Redmond would be proud of her. I know I am.
I’m looking forward to our next day out – Chester Zoo on Thursday. It will be a long day so we’ll need to be well prepared. We leave at 8:30am and we won’t be back before 7:30pm so we’ll need plenty to eat and to be ready for any weather. If travel sickness may be a problem then please consider buying an anti-nausea wristband.
On Tuesday some teachers will not be in school due to strike action. My Union is not striking so Y4DM should attend as usual, unless of course you are celebrating Eid. I know it could fall on Wednesday and it makes me very happy to have to watch the night sky and wait and see. No wonder my Muslim pupils are so excited!
Our Geography task was more difficult than I expected today. The children were asked to cut out the continents and to arrange them on paper to create a map of the world. Even with the help of atlases and the Internet many children found their work really hard. We discovered that when the world is cut apart it’s not easy to put it back together. Toby, Cian and Jack M along with many others learned a lot about Geography, a great deal about persistence and best of all, how to fight their way out of the ‘pit’.
Learners of the Week are Simrath and Malakhi.
Malakhi was wonderful company on the walk to Eccup. His sense of humour and his curiosity made the miles fly by. Today he amazed himself by learning a skill that he had never been able to master. Malakhi began the skipping workshop by telling me that he couldn’t skip at all. Within half and hour he had learned so much that he was chosen to demonstrate his skills to the rest of the class. He showed us that he has the qualities of determination and perseverance that will help him to be the best he can be.
Simrath has been chosen to be Learner of the Week for three reasons. Firstly, she always tries to do her best in every subject and every lesson. The second reason is because of her kindness, helpfulness and for the great job she does as one of our School Councilors. Maybe the most important reason is because Simrath hasn’t smiled enough this week. Let’s all make sure we remind her how much we appreciate her.
Have a great weekend but remember – be good, be safe and be here on Monday.
Much of the week was taken up with work on our composite creatures. The children wrote about how their homemade animals would be suited to their environment, and what would help them to survive. Ismail and Alex gave really good explanations.
We also learned about the value of endurance this week by finding out about the story of Derek Redmond’s 400m race in the Barcelona Olympics of 1992. He had been expected to win but during the race his hamstring tore and his hopes of a medal were over. Despite being in agonizing pain, he decided to complete the race, supported by his father who helped him to get over the line. Although Derek Redmond didn’t win a medal that day, he won the respect and admiration of millions. Cian, Ayush and Subhaan showed that they understood this important lesson.
On Friday some of Sharanjeet’s family came into school to sit for a while on her bench and to remember how happy she was at our school. It’s been 18 years since she sadly passed away but her memory still continues to burn so brightly. Manpreet was touched by the kindness of the kindness of the girls in my class and delighted by how interested they were to know what her sister was like. Well the truth is that Sharanjeet was much like them – kind, funny and full of potential.
The most important lesson for this week – every day is precious, even the most difficult ones. Let’s not waste a second.
The week started with a visit from the Blah Blah Blah theatre company. They performed tales from the Arabian Nights and then helped us to create and act out our own magical tales. Thank you Megan, Ismail, Rose and Jack M for showing such enthusiasm and having such good ideas. Ben, Stella, Nishta and Alex produced excellent play scripts, which included clear stage directions and quality vocabulary for the narrator, actors and actresses.
Our grammar lesson was all about idiom. After initially hitting a brick wall, they eventually twigged, cottoned on and in the end found it right up their street. Hopefully the next time I ask someone to pull their socks up they won’t actually pull their socks up.
Invertebrate or vertebrate has been one of our areas of investigation in Science this week. We have been particularly impressed by the abilities of octopi to escape through small spaces., and it gave us a chance to talk again about our favourite invertebrate: the blobfish.
We also designed composite animals today. Imagine building an animal from left over parts and you’ve got the idea. So a kangaroo tail, an elephant body, butterfly wings and a pelican head would make a pelphantbutteroo. We thought about how their animals were suited to their environments and how their adaptations would help the creatures to survive. Next week we will explore this idea a bit further.
Our whole school value for the past fortnight has been ‘humility’. I asked my class to write down who they felt displayed this quality the most. The answers humbled me. My children are so wise; they are wonderful judges of character. Jack H, Nishta, Aleah, Zain, Ayush, Alex, Amir, Cian, Toby, Simrath, Ben should know that their classmates recognise and appreciate them very, very much. Stella put it like this, “I think that Aleah is the person who shows this value the most because she always puts other people first and herself last. She always cares for her friends”. I have another 27 beautiful quotes that I could share.
My class had an opportunity to demonstrate more of their special qualities today. Miss Judge visited us to see how we were getting on. The children worked on a task that required them to show leadership, teamwork, and, of course they demonstrated incredible Computing skills. They really are a very special group of children and I think Miss Judge is already looking forward to teaching them in Year 6.
Thank you so much to Nishta’s mum, Subhaan’s mum and Mrs Bentley who helped us with our Curry Café at the Summer Fair today. After a disastrous attempt using the pizza oven, we used a hotplate this morning to make chapattis for our stall. Cash is still being counted but it looks like we have a profit of around £22. We charged 50p so how many curries and chapattis did we sell?
Learners of the Week are Jack H, Nishta and Zain. It’s the first time that I have selected three children but after reading what the rest of the class had to say about them I had no choice. They constantly show that they want to learn, they never boast about their successes and their kindness towards others is unlimited.
Next Friday is Transition Day. We’ll be with our new classes. No one in my class should have any worries. They are certain to make a good impression on their new teacher.
Be good, be safe and be here on Monday. I want that 100% attendance cup back in our hands.
Apparently, most children are terrified when they hear that they are going to learn about fractions. I’ve always known that my class is a bit different but they certainly proved it in their Maths lessons this week. Once the children made the connection with times tables and fractions, they enjoyed taking the learning leap. Seven eighths of my class can now find single and multiple fractions of whole numbers, and three quarters can add mixed fractions. Please remember that to be ready for Year 5 every child should have instant recall of all multiplication facts to 12 x 12.
On Wednesday Alex went to the Leeds Grammar School to take part in a workshop for Maths magicians. Mrs Reehal told me that he amazed everyone with his superb skills in logical reasoning and problem solving. I wasn’t at all surprised to hear how clever he had been and what superb manners he had displayed. I am so lucky to be in a position where I can encourage children to encourage and pursue their passions and gifts. So despite fierce competition from Rayah, Zain, Nishta, Cian, Ayush, Aleah and Laila, I have chosen Alex to be Learner of the Week. Although he knows more than most, he never acts like he knows it all, and he always wants to know more. His humility and continual thirst for knowledge is a wonderful example to everyone.
With the start of Euro 2016 only minutes away, this week was an opportune time to learn some key skills in Geography. I have been amazed with how quickly my pupils have learned to locate countries on a map of Europe. Laaibah, Domantas, Rayah, Ismail and Cian are able to name and locate almost all of the countries taking part in the Euro 2016 Football Championships.
As Miss Wright was in Robinwood this week on the Y6 Residential visit, I had the chance to teach PE to my class. I found out that Ayush and Alex are excellent cricketers and that Nishta is great at badminton. What pleased me more than anything is how focused the children were and how much fun they were having I’m their lesson.
Our Curry Café was in operation on Thursday afternoon. Thank you so much to Nishta’s mum for the delicious food. Once again, sharing such delicious food made Golden Time a really special time. Perhaps we should form an ACE Curry Company as well as the ACE Pizza Parlour.
The phrase ‘rain stopped play’ usually refers to a cricket match but today it meant we had to postpone the planned English lesson. This week we have been learning to write and perform playscripts. The children have worked in groups to come up with a plot and rehearsals have been fun. Unfortunately due to the rain, we will have to wait until next week to perform the plays in the amphitheatre near the playground.
Next week will begin in a very exciting way. The Blah, Blah, Blah theatre company are once again working with Y4, this time to make a film to showcase the work that they do in schools. Although the finished advert will be only 30 seconds long, the filming will last all day. It makes me proud yet humble to think why we have been chosen. Pride and humility – this is the balance that we will carry on exploring next week as part of our work on Values.
I’ve had my fingers crossed for 5o years now but perhaps this time it might just work. Come on England!
In this week’s independent writing task our focus was how the work of the charity Compassion.org has transformed the life of a young Mexican boy called Hector. He lived a life without dreams until the charity helped him to understand that beauty and kindness is stronger than sadness. Compassion.org gave Hector the opportunity to attend a school that believes in the power of art and imagination. He won a national competition and his painting now hangs in a government building. Most importantly of all, Hector now believes that he has a future and that he is loved. Some brilliant writing was produced by Subhaan, Stella, Ayush, Alina and Zain, along with many others.
This week we have covered a lot of key skills in Maths lessons. One of the most pleasing things has been how clearly the children are able to explain their thinking when talking about how to solve problems. It is also really encouraging to see how keen everyone is improve, to take their next steps and to learn more. During our lesson on graphs, Ben, Alex and Zain delighted me by taking on the challenge of presenting their data as a pie chart.
Thank you to Zain’s mum for providing chapattis and dhal to help us celebrate Golden Time. Everyone had impeccable manners but we ate as though we had the appetite of Elvis (dog or singer). It was absolutely delicious and we are looking forward to more. Sharing a meal together is always good and it brought out all the best qualities in my class. Kindness, thoughtfulness, service to others and appreciation was shown in abundance. Simrath showed that we are lucky to have her as a Class Council Representative by deciding make a ‘thank you’ card from the class for Zain’s mum.
More food based news: today, whilst wearing pyjamas, I cooked pizza for Birkdale House to raise money for their chosen charity. When I saw Miss Henstock impersonating me I wasn’t sure whether I had woken up or whether it was all just a dream. This wasn’t the strangest day I’ve had at ACE but it is certainly in the top 10. Thank you to Mrs Bentley, Mrs Walker, Mr Walker, Megan, Simrath and Nishta, and Jack H for helping us to raise such a large amount of money for charity. I think Cezara is still at school counting all the cash.
Gold Book finished the week off wonderfully. Celebrating the success and achievements of my class always makes me very happy, so well done, and thank you to Ben, Briony and Hadya. You are all 24 carat.
Homework – Please complete the Mathletics course on fractions during the holidays so you’ll be ready for our first topic of the new term. Reading Eggspress assignments should be online by Monday.
Learner of the Week will have to be shared between two great friends – Jak and Toby. Both have been in the pit this week but they have shown in their Maths and written work that they can learn from their mistakes and that they have the determination and desire to needed to succeed and make significant progress.
During the half term holiday I will be reflecting on the progress and effort made by everyone as I write the class reports. I will try hard to express how wonderful my pupils are but I think that even Shakespeare would be lost for words. The end of the school year has come much too quickly and so let’s make our last term together the best one possible.
Brandon became the newest member of our class this week. Jack, Jack, Jak, Malakhi and Toby have been very kind and helpful by ‘showing him the ropes’ and making him feel at home. This week Y4 has also become home to some rather different creatures: pond snails, leeches and bloodworms. Aleah is very pleased to have their tank so close to her, at least I think that’s what her screams meant. Anyway, I’m sure that our indoor pond will hep the class to learn more about food chains.
Y4 were at their very best during a problem solving task in Maths this week. I asked them to work out how many mermaids, octopi and fish were in a tank. They were told that altogether there were 38 arms, 24 eyes and 8 tails. The children worked really well; sharing ideas, trying out strategies and showing great perseverance. No one was afraid to be ‘in the pit’. Although the task was tough, plenty of children were able to solve the problem. I really enjoyed listening to Ayush and Alex explaining how they found a solution.
To celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday we found out about what life was like for her and Britain during the late seventies and early eighties. Sorry if anyone has had nightmares from seeing such shocking hairstyles and fashions. We researched music from 1976 – 1985 which also produced some hair raising results (literally). There’s no doubt that my class would rather dance at the disco than pogo with the punks. We made a large birthday card for the Queen which we will show to the school in Assembly on Monday, along with the presentation made by Ben, Alex and Zain. Special thanks to Nishta, Amir, Simrath, Rayah, Alina, Cian and Stella for helping to get everything done on time.
It is difficult to choose a Learner of the Week. So many pupils have made significant progress and shown all the right attitudes. When I asked the children to write about what makes a good learner their responses delighted me.
“Curiosity. Be excited to learn”. Subhaan
“A good learner is always in the pit”. Zain
“Convince in your writing”. Domantas
“To learn you must want to be taught”. Hadya
After a lot of thought I have chosen Laaibah. She is now working on her 7x table and she has completed more units of Lexia than anyone this week. Laaibah has given up a lot of break times to make sure that she achieves her targets. Her determination and focus has been very encouraging. I think Laaibah has taken on board what I said about having True Grit.
Next week I will only have four days to get all our work finished before half term because on Wednesday Miss Wright will be taking the class to compete in a multi-sports event. I am so pleased that my class has been chosen to represent the school as a reward for their enthusiasm, good behaviour and effort in every PE lesson. Whilst Miss Wright looks after my class on Wednesday I will be in Barnsley finding out about what we have to do to win the Archbishop of York’s Young Leaders’ Award. From what I know already, it fits in well with our current focus value – compassion. I’ve already witnessed a lot of compassion this week by seeing how keen my class were to take away the pain of some of their friends who had been stung by nettles.
On Friday I will be presenting Gold Book certificates to Briony, Hadya and Ben and firing up the pizza oven for Birkdale House. We probably need to warm up the oven to test it, and I owe the class many, many prizes so perhaps on Thursday we could investigate the chemistry of chapatis and delicacies of dhal.