Welcome to Year 4
Kingfisher class is taught by Mr Cadman (Monday to Wednesday) and Mrs Morgan (Thursday and Friday)and supported by Mrs Gault alongside Mrs Glands and Mrs Spencer.
Swan class is taught by Miss Greaves and supported by Mrs Brewis alongside Mrs Paddon.
Take a look at what we have been learning about at school.
There is also additional information for parents at the bottom of this page.
SUMMER 1: How did the Ancient Egyptians live life in balance? The Principle of Oneness.
Why are pyramids special?
We have been learning about the Great Pyramids of Giza, one of the seven wonders of the world. It has been fascinating learning how they were built, in alignment with the stars forming a safe passage to the afterlife for the entombed pharaohs. It was incredible finding out that in the Great Pyramid of Kufu, about 2.3 million blocks were used taking over 20 years to build. Even more amazing is that it is still standing today, almost 4,500 years later. The pyramid really is a powerful and strong shape. We explored making different pyramids using cocktail sticks and later on longer bamboo canes.
“There are lots of different types of pyramids which can be made out of different shapes.” (Gabriel)
“This was the shape made for the Ancient Egyptian pharaohs’ tombs.” (Ciara)
“Within them, we found triangles, trapeziums and octahedrons.” (Noah)
What makes the Rive Nile so fascinating?
As life in Ancient Egypt began from the River Nile, so did our learning around this half term. Looking at maps and watching a documentary, we learnt all about the River Nile, how it stretches across Africa through Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt over 6,000km. In Ancient Egypt with Sobek the God of the Nile, and still today, people believed this incredible river holds mystical and spiritual powers. We have been exploring metaphors and similes to describe it:
The river is a race car, rushing for the finish line (Erin)
Glistening like a diamond in the golden sunshine (Alisa)
Rapids like volcanic lava, destroying everything in their path (Sam)
A sparkly ribbon decorating the continent (Matilda)
A snake, zigzagging through the forest (Freddie)
The giant tree, spreading its roots throughout the lands (Sofia)
Ferocious crocodiles swim just below the surface like submarines (Alfie)
Crystal clear water shimmers in the sun like colourful rainbow features on a toucan (Abi)
The river rushes as rapidly as a cheetah racing to catch an antelope (Julia)
The rocks are jagged knives which hide under the river surface. (Matt)
A tornado destroying the land ferociously (Lucas)
The river has the power of a lion, sprinting through the jungle (Christopher)
The windy river meanders like an otter swimming gracefully (Ben)
The Rope Stretchers' Triangle
As the season of Akhet (flooding) brought rich silt (kemet) to the fields allowing food growing in the rest of the year, vital for life in all of Ancient Egypt, it also destroyed the field markings challenging farmers to redefine them each year. Without modern day measuring tools, the farmers used ropes divided into 12 parts as knots to create a right angle triangle of 3-4-5 to mark corners. This traditional technique was also used for building foundations.
SPRING 2: What can we learn from the stars? The Principle of Diversity
STOP THE TAX ON SOLAR ENERGY
Dear Ashley School Community,
We are writing to you to complain about our government’s plan to increase the tax on solar energy produced by state schools. In my opinion, this is a message that they think solar energy is not important to our planet. However, there is a petition to this terrible tax on solar energy. The more people that sign, the more we can stop the tax. You surely must agree with me, so will you be brave enough to sign? (Matthew)
Most of our energy is non-renewable energy - fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas. Wonderful rainforests are getting destroyed and people are losing their lives because of this but there is a solution. I believe that if we stop using non-renewable energy and use more solar energy, we can stop what is happening to our world. At the moment, our world is sick and we have to cure it. We have the medicine but we just do not use it. That medicine is solar energy. (Alisa)
Even though solar panels come in lots of attractive designs, they can be a bit expensive. Some companies avoid buying them because they are a little expensive. However, solar panels are becoming cheaper by the year – they estimate that by 2020 their price will reduce by 40%. As a result, renewable energy will be able to be used anywhere. (Chloejane)
When fossil fuels are burnt, there is a direct effect on our planet and it destroys our air. Solar energy can save our planet. Our government is sending out a clear message it does not support renewable energy. Ashley School Community needs to sign this petition so we can achieve a better, cleaner future. Thousands have signed so far but we still need more to reach the quarter of a million target. I hope you can do it because if you do not, schools will be forced pay more therefore having less for school equipment and resources. Sign the petition and save our world. (Samuel)
Follow this link to show you care https://secure.greenpeace.org.uk/page/s/no-new-solar-taxes-v3
Earth Hour 2017
On Saturday 25th March, the world will unite for the 10th ever Earth Hour at 8.30pm-9.30pm - a time when the world's population (in over 70,000 cities) shows the power of collective action against Climate Change. Without doubt, humans have exploited and depleted our natural world for its resources with little thought for the consequences; however, there is hope. If we make a difference in our everyday lives and actions, we can begin to live in harmony with the world once again. Yea 4 led an assembly rpomoting the event following their leaning about the importance of renewable energy sources - in particular solar enerry. Through use of powerful, emotive language, they described how humans have exploited our beautiful world, no longer living in harmony with it. As a result, we are experiencing Climate Change and all the damaging consequences of global warming. However, there was a clear message of hope through the chant 'Together, we are stronger' which the whole school said together. They asked that on Saturday, everyone on our school community joins in Earth Hour from 8.30pm-9.30pm to show a collective action against climate change. It is a great opportunity to switch off and spend some quality time with your family free from television and technology for just one hour.
Swan Class' Trip Through the Solar System
We were visited by two bright green aliens in yesterday's class assembly. The aliens were trying to work out which of the planets in our solar system would be best to live on. The children of Swan Class shared fascinating facts and information about each of the planets and what would make each one difficult, if not impossible to live on. There was, of course, one exception, the jewel in the crown, our planet Earth. This is the one place that is perfectly adapted for life and in their final song, Swan Class reminded us of the importance of looking after this very special planet we call home. A big thank you to Swans and to Miss Greaves for a lovely, expressive and most informative class assembly.
The Diversity and Beauty of Stars
We have been exploring different ways to draw stars. We learnt that there are lots of different ways to draw many pointed stars - it depends on which points connect to other points. We looked at an example of a 10 pointed star and were challenged to create it ourselves without being shown how. First, we needed to divide a circle into 10 equal parts: 36 degrees for each section. Then, we needed to look at the example and find the pattern to connect the points. Finally, we coloured and designed them. We had to be incredibly accurate in each stage.
Mobile Planetarium visits Ashley!
On Tuesday 21st February, a mobile planetarium visited Ashley School as part of Year Four’s enquiry: What can we learn from the stars? First we met Helen and her colleague Jarvis and they led us into the space dome. They showed us projections of our solar system and then pointed out constellations like Ursa Major and the Big Dipper, which is part of Ursa Major. Then Helen showed us a comet and how it is made with the ingredients to have life. We saw how big stars explode (supernovas) and smaller stars, like our sun, fade. A short time later, we were shown the different planets in comparison to the size of stars – we saw one of the largest stars, VY Canis Majoris (a red hypergiant star) which is thousands of times bigger than our sun! Finally, we learnt that our atmosphere contains the leftovers of a giant star’s supernova - so we all have stars within us! We had lots of fun and learnt lots.
A report by Samuel C and Molly
SPRING 1: What are the cycles of our Solar System? The Principle of Cycles
How can we represent the Planets to relative size?
On Thursday 9th February, both Year 4 classes welcomed parents in to see the planets of our solar system exhibited. All eight planets and the Moon were created to relative size; this meant dividing each radius by 10 million. The result was Mercury only having a radius of 2.5cm, but Jupiter being 70cm - a huge difference. Each planet was decorated using paints and other materials so they looked realistic and beautiful. In addition, the planets were placed on the field and playground their relative distance from the sun. While Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars were all within four steps of the Sun, Neptune was 44.5 steps away. Finally, all the children and parents came together surrounding the planets and holding hands in a big circle with a radius of 7m. We were all astonished and amazed to find out (we didn't know before) that this represented the relative size of the sun, making even Jupiter seem tiny. It was great sharing our facts with parents and showing them what space experts we have become.
A report by Matilda and Alfred.
Our stunning Solar System
It has been fascinating learning about our solar system this half term - from the orbit of the Moon around Earth, Earth around the sun and Venus and Earth's connected orbit around the sun creating a five pointed star. We have loved becoming space experts learning precise facts about our solar system. Earlier in the term we were challenged to create our own projects representing something in our solar system. Here are just a few of the incredible finished projects:
The Sun, Moon and Earth - how do they compare?
In our first week, we looked in detail at the relationship between the Sun (the only star in our solar system) and Earth. We learnt that Earth takes 265.25 days to orbit the Sun and that it does this on an elliptic path. We also learnt that our planet is titled 23.4 degrees which is why we experience four seasons here in the UK. Whilst this year long journey is taking place, our Earth is turning one rotation anti-clockwise every 24 hours. It took us a while to appreciate that the Sun was not moving across our sky but instead we were moving. We explored many different models to understand this but the most helpful was acting out the process ourselves. It was not easy for those in the Earth circle to spin whilst simultaneously orbiting the big group representing the Sun.
The following week we explored the Earth and Moon. After a fascinating presentation from local astronomer Colin Stuart, we explored the orbit of the Moon around Earth and how this takes 27.3 days. We then began to look at the comparative sizes of the Earth and Moon. We learnt that the Earth and Moon's radiuses combined is equal to the calculation 1x2x3x4x5x6x7 - 5,040 miles. We also learnt the difference in size of the Earth to the Moon is 11:3. We used compasses to represent this ratio.
AUTUMN 2: How can we build community in Walton? The Principle of Interdependence
One of the most powerful messages we have heard this half term, from one of our visitors Julie Harrington, is 'open your eyes and see'. We have learnt that our church and lots of people in our community open their eyes even wider than most of us and see everyone in our community. One group who often does not get seen or hear is the elderly in our community. As a result, on Tuesday 13th December Kingfishers visited Mayfield House Care Home and Swans visited Walton Day Centre to perform some carols and put a smile on some faces. The children performed, again, with great energy and certainly left everyone smiling. One resident said, "You have made me feel so warn inside; I can't describe the feeling I have. Please come back again."
How can we create beauty together?
One week's focus this half term was What is the significance of St Mary's church? During that week, we learnt about the history of the church and the important role it has played and still plays today in bringing community together; it was fascinating to learn the church has been standing for around 1000 years and also the amazing charity work it does today. Alongside that, we spent quality time examining and admiring the beauty of patterns and designs inside the church. In particular, we admired the encaustic floor tiles and their rotational symmetry. Inspired by them, we returned to school to create our own. It was interesting to reflect on the finished work - tiles on their own looked great but when put together, they looked even more stunning.
The Festival of Light
On Saturday 26th November, Year Four took part in the Festival of Light lantern procession. The children had spent many hours carefully preparing their willow lanterns and were buzzing with excitement at being in such an incredible event that brings Walton community together. Here are two exerts from some recount writing on the event:
Soon after arriving, I started preparing my lantern. We waited for ages but finally our school was called up and we lined up behind the splendid paper snowman lantern – it was marvellous. The procession soon started and my tummy was filled with fluttering butterflies. I saw the Mayoress; she was in a sleigh with Father Christmas. Everyone saw their parents waving and saying hello. (By Matlida)
At last we made it to the Christmas tree. It felt like the walk had taken two hours. The person on the microphone gave a big speech; well, I think he did. I couldn’t hear him over all the people chatting. All of a sudden, we started to count down for the lights to turn on. 10, 9, 8…3,2,1. The amazing lights lit up Walton. I couldn’t take my eyes off them. (By Lily)
Why do we need green spaces?
On Monday morning we took a stroll onto our school field to discuss why green spaces are so important to our towns and communities. Here are some of our answers: they are places to run and play; they connect us with nature; they makes us feel calm; they are places to explore; we learn when we are outside.
'When I am in nature, I feel like I am at home.' (Sofia)
With these ideas in mind, we began to design our dream green space, using the school field as a model. We kept some elements and changed others. Our designs were used later in the week with our maths perimeter work.
What makes a house a home?
We started the half term's learning with a challenging question: what makes a house a home? Everyone brought in photos of the front of their home, their bedroom and a family room. From these photos we started to answer the question:
'Feeling warm and cosy'. (Ciara)
'Lots of natural light.' (Will)
'Plants and greenery to make it look beautiful.' (Matthew)
'Somewhere to have your own space.' (Sam)
'A place to be with your family and have fun.' (Bas)
We looked at building designs and learnt how the Golden rectangle (created from the Fibonacci spiral) is found in great historical architecture. After drawing our own Golden Rectangles, we designed our own homes with windows and doors that fit this ratio.
AUTUMN 1: How can we prepare for a Tudor banquet? The Principle of Beauty
Kingfisher Class Assembly - Find a Match
On Thursday 20th October, Kingfisher Class celebrated their learning on Henry VIII and his six wives in their class assembly. Through the medium of Find a Match - a dating game show travelling back to Tudor times - the presenters struggled to find the right women for Henry VIII. Parents and children were introduced to each queen, accompanied by music reflecting their personality or origins. Finally, poor King Henry died before a match could be made. With so much historical information to remember, the class came together on stage to show the school how they have learnt the story of Henry VIII and his wives, using the tune We Will Rock you. It was certainly a very entertaining assembly with lots of laughs and smiles but also a celebration of the great learning taken place in Year Four this half term. Well done Kingfisher Class!
A Banquet Fit for a King
On Tuesday 18th October, Year Four's half term of learning culminated with a Tudor Banquet. After a succulent hog roast lunch in the hall (thank you to Mark Molinaros for another wonderful lunch and service), the children reconvened for parents to showcase the incredible learning they have experienced this half term. After eagerly awaiting our special guest - none other than Henry VIII himself - the children stood from the beautifully decorated tables (dressed with pomanders, ivy, peacock feathers and beautiful vases) and shared with both parents and the King their poetry, reflections on Henry VIII, Tudor houses and how sustainable they were and also the significance of the Tudor Rose. The banquet was concluded with a well rehearsed dance and one final poem. What a spectacular way to show a half term's passion and learning.
What can we learn at Hampton Court Palace?
On Wednesday 28th September Year Four went to Hampton Court Palace to learn more about the Tudors. Arriving at the front of the palace, we were struck by the extraordinary size and soul scaring gargoyles. In our groups we explored the wonders of the palace grounds. We found the gardens in immaculate condition and all presented in perfect symmetry.
In addition, we liked learning the facts about the tapestries; one of the facts was that each amazing priceless tapestry took two long hard years to make and they all told a story. After lunch, we went on a workshop called 'Upstairs, downstairs' to learn about the different roles in the palace. A woman dressed as a washer lady presented to us and told us all the secrets about the Tudor royals. The Great Hall gave us inspiration for our own banquet which we will have at the end of the term. We will learn more about it so we can put on an authentic banquet. We are also keen to learn more about Henry VIII's many wives. It was a great trip.
A report by Sam C and Luke
What makes the Tudor rose special?
The Tudor period started with one unifying symbol: the Tudor rose. The tumultuous War of the Roses ended with the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 where Henry Tudor was victorious over Richard III to become the new King of England. With that, he unified the York and Lancaster roses to create the distinctive Tudor rose. We started our week sketching red roses; following that we looked at the Tudor rose design which is created from two overlapping pentagons. After creating pentagonal shapes from drawing carefully positioned circles (requiring great accuracy), we coloured in the rose patterns. Finally, we created a 3D version of the rose using our understanding of how the pentagon creates the design.
"The Tudor rose created from two overlapping pentagons - that is what makes it special." (Sam C)
"It is special because it is a symbol of peace and unity." (Louisa)
Information for parents
Click on the above link to see a PowerPoint for progression of maths skills at Ashley school. These will be useful so that you are able to understand the methods your child uses, which may be different to the methods you use, so that you can best support them. Please ask your child which method they use as it will differ for each child. The key is that they are comfortable and secure in the method they use.