The learning in Y4 this week has been centred around one of the world’s most amazing creatures: orcas. They are usually known as killer whales but my class has found out that orcas are much more than a fearsome predator. We have learned that they have a lot in common with us: they are very intelligent, they enjoy playing and they even share some of our values such as loyalty, compassion and empathy. Unfortunately we have also find out that we sometimes treat them terribly. Nothing made me happier this week than to receive homework about orcas that I had’t even asked for, from Ismail and Stella.
The children wrote some powerfully persuasive arguments about the plight of orcas in captivity. All of the class should be proud of themselves. Their writing contained facts, opinion and passion. Jack H, Aleah, Domantas, Megan, Ayush, Laila, Nishta, Jak H have written work that could easily be washed away in a torrent to tears, and who could fail to be persuaded by the power of Ben’s words?
“Imagine a place where you are held in a tiny jail for the whole of your shortened life …”
This week the children taught me how to divide using the bus stop method. Toby was very patient and explained what to do very clearly when teaching me. I’m sure that he, Zain and Alex would make themselves available for extra tuition if you need it. You only have to ask. Please remember that division problems are so much easier if you know your times tables, so I was glad to hear from Mrs Bentley about how much effort Hadya and Laaibah are putting into this important task.
Star of the Week has now been rebranded for a more 2016 image. I will now choose a Learner of the Week instead. Outstanding work, effort and achievement still counts but I want you to know how important it is to be ‘in the pit’. The ability to accept challenge, to show persistence, and to seek to improve and to learn new things are qualities that will make the biggest difference to your lives. Knowledge is always changing but values and principles and are eternal. So … the first Learner of the Week is Hadya. She is constantly showing the desire to make progress. Hadya always learns her spellings, she reads regularly at home and as I mentioned, her knowledge of times table facts is growing as quickly as a baby orca. The most pleasing thing that I have noticed about Hadya is the huge change in her confidence and her willingness to fight her way out of the pit. I guess what you learned from Mrs Johnston is true. Art really does make you powerful.
Next week we will be changing the usual curriculum in order to celebrate the 90 years of Queen Elizabeth’s life. We’ve been given 1976 – 1985 to investigate. As well as key events in the life of the Queen, we will learn about sporting achievements, fashion, TV, world events and music. I was 10 in ’76. Most of the other teachers weren’t even born.
Be safe, be good and be here on Monday.