Wow! What an amazing day we had at the museum! I am sure you have heard lots about it. The children were lucky enough to spend a day with the wonderful, voluntary staff at the museum, three of which were experienced archaeologists. We were excited, thrilled, and enthralled by the programme they offered. Over the day, we gathered information, searched the museum for clues to answer questions, handled artefacts, reconstructed artefacts through drawing, found clues to the past in a dustbin full of rubbish and dug for objects in a mini archaeological dig.
Year 4 mixed with Year 3, which was great for both groups. All the children behaved impeccably, and the staff were eager to invite the children to make a return visit. I hope that the children will be able to encourage you to take them again, since we did not get the chance to look round the whole museum. Also, our upcoming theme is going to include the ancient Egyptians, and the museum has a fantastic display of Egyptian artefacts.
This week our attention has been firmly focused on science. We just love it! On Monday, we observed a change in the state of matter – we watched ice melt to water. We gathered two measurements before the ice melted, we took the temperature of the ice and we weighed it.
Once the ice had melted into water, we measured the temperature and weighed it again. From this we learned that water becomes ice when it is very cold (0°C), and if left at room temperature the water produced takes on the temperature of the surrounding space.
We were not satisfied with only observing one change of state, so we turned water into stream (water vapour) using a kettle, and then turned it back to water by the steam collecting on a cold, metal tray. We were all surprised by how well our experiments worked, and how easy it was to observe these changes.
We ended the week by applying this knowledge to a larger scale – the water cycle. Please ask the children to explain this to you, it is very interesting.
We have been very lucky this week, with our enrichment of the curriculum. On Monday, our special guests were the police. Three community police officers came to Year 4 to teach us (or remind us) of the need to keep ourselves safe in different situations.
The children took part in a competition to identify safety equipment needed to keep us safe when we ride our bike at night. All the children knew about this area of safety and impressed the police officers with their knowledge. One of the children won a prize, which was a pair of bicycle lamps.
Whilst we were working a ‘stranger’ came into our classroom, which was in fact another police officer in a big coat. She came in, walked around quietly, and left. The children were quizzed about if they had seen anything unusual in the classroom, and then they were asked to provide a description of the ‘stranger’.
Finally, the police spoke about internet safety and making sure we know who we are communicating with, and our parents also know who we speak to online. We were made aware of age limits on social media sites and the need for these limits to protect us.
On Tuesday, we were visited by a lady who reminded us that it is not only people who need to be kept safe. She spoke and involved us in activities that made us think about looking after our pets, but also the wildlife around us. She gave us ideas of how to make our environment better for the creatures around us, and in doing so, ourselves.
On Thursday, we took part in a fantastic circus workshop to teach us to get on better with each other, to appreciate that we are all different and to celebrate those differences. The children were led through a scenario of conflict within the circus that could have potentially shut it down. They were asked to resolve the situation and think about how the performers could work together to make sure this intolerance would not happen again.
We are so lucky – we had more visitors this week, with more help to keep us safe. On Tuesday, the fire service sent two officers to speak to the children in Years 3 and 4. Their main message was 1) to test our smoke alarms at home and keep them well maintained and 2) to draw a plan of our home and think about escape routes if we did ever have a fire at home. The children were very knowledgeable, but also quick to listen and learn new things to help themselves and their families. I was very proud of the responsible way the children behaved and responded to quite a difficult subject.
Exciting stuff was going on in Year 3 and 4 on Friday. After having spent the term working on how to play tag rugby, and developing the skills involved in it, Years 3 & 4 had a tournament. The children were mixed in their house colours and played against each of the other houses. It was a fun morning for all the children and the adults refereeing. The children showed great sportsmanship and were a credit to their houses and to the school. Just over the course of the morning, I could see the realisation of the importance of being part of a team and the blossoming of considerate, thoughtful and strategic players. Thank you to all the players and referees who made it a fantastic and memorable event.
This week, we have been having so much fun learning about electricity and electrical circuits. We began the week thinking about what electrical appliances we use and how they are powered. On Tuesday, we started to investigate how circuits work. We built simple circuits with lights, motors and buzzers. The most useful part of this investigation was exploring why sometimes, our circuits didn’t work.
On Wednesday, we explored circuits further, by making series circuits and parallel circuits. The children came up with many interesting ideas and made many independent discoveries.
On Friday, the whole class made their own electrical switches out of a piece of card, two split pins and a paper clip. I was very impressed with the motivation and lack of assistance needed. All the children considered what they had to do carefully, and then went ahead and did it. Excellent work!
Continuing from last week, we started on Monday with science. We investigated whether a variety of materials were electrical conductors or insulators. We also explored whether the materials were attracted to a magnet or not, and tried to think if there was any connection between the two sets of results. We are becoming increasingly good at recording our work and discussing what it means.
This science work is now developing into a design and technology project, in which we are planning how we can use this knowledge to make a children’s game. The ideas are coming thick and fast. Well done Year 4.