The children in class 4 have been extremely busy over the last 3 weeks. In mathematics, year 6 children have been beginning to try out some example arithmetic and reasoning tests in preparation for the forthcoming SATs tests. By doing this, it means the children get used to, and become comfortable with, the necessary time restraints as well as the way the questions are arranged randomly. The content mirrors the work covered in key stage 2 and allows us to revise and discuss key mathematical skills and facts they need to know. The year 5 children have been reinforcing their understanding of multiplying fractions, working with improper and mixed fractions. They have also been solving problems involving dividing fractions, before moving on to learning about place value, up to two decimal places. Their work in lessons has taken them on to converting fractions into decimals and understanding the value of hundredths and thousandths in decimal numbers. More recently, all of the class have been using the ‘Rounding Rap’ to support them with lessons involving rounding numbers, including decimals. The children have enthusiastically chanted the song to support their understanding and, if you had passed our class recently, you might have thought there was a rock band in there!
In English lessons recently, class 4 have been finishing off their mini Spring term project involving the lives of 4 notable individuals from the past. They have been composing a ‘question and answer’ interview involving Rosa Parks, having researched facts about her life. This has also entailed learning more about different countries in the world at crucial times of change, such as apartheid. Alongside our continued reading of ‘War Horse’, we have focused further on the First World War poet Wilfred Owen and his famous ‘Dulce et Decorum est’ poem. During lessons, we have studied the meaning of the lines in the poem as well as the literary devices Owen used to convey his ‘real’ message of life in the trenches. An area we focus on in Class 4 is using wide ranging, interesting vocabulary to enhance our writing and Wilfred Owen and Michael Morpurgo have provided us this opportunity with their work. The children have produced their own brilliant, emotive poems as if they were a soldier in the trenches of World War 1, realising the true horrors that the war propaganda covered up. Here are two examples from the class:
The stress began in the harsh unforgiving trenches,
It was like a slaughterhouse,
But seven miles long and six foot deep.
The pain was the devil inside us.
It was so bad, but I have to go on further
'til my work is done.
Waiting for the rest of the soldiers
On the battlefield.
Light is coming, for if I keep going, just maybe
My promised game of cricket will come.
I thought this was glory, not gory
But I was wrong.
The government lied, the old lie:
Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.
By FInlay Stephenson
The enormous trenches were horrifically dangerous to the soldiers,
As they were filled with thick mud
Just like an old man's left overs of roast dinner.
It was sad to see.
Gas was arriving closer
When we saw the Germans, who saw us first.
They galloped where we couldn't see them.
Gas, suffocating gas, came out of nowhere.
It was playing tag with me.
It passed through us
As the horses lay like dogs sleeping softly, starved just like us.
When we walked on, my stomach started to hurt
Like a gun wound deep inside of me.
I was starved. My mate just watched.
The days were like cancer,
Stress every moment.
Heart beating, lungs failing, me dying.
No fun, just war, killing now, killing day by day.
Trench foot toes hurt,
No cricket, no football, government... die!
The old lie:
Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.
By Keanu Clueit
In RE lessons recently, we have been learning about the Hindu faith, exploring why Hindus try to be good and creating a Hinduism glossary of key words. This has led us on to explaining the Hindu cycle of life and the children have found this extremely interesting, as well as learning about good and bad karma. In science lessons, we have been studying human anatomy, focusing on the functions and purpose of the main organs such as the brain, heart, large intestine and liver. The children have incorporated their ICT skills, using IPads and a programme called ‘See-Saw’ to record the facts they have researched using the microphone as well as programming tools, to create something interactive whilst illustrating their knowledge and understanding at the same time. In art lessons, the children have been completing their wire ‘War Horse’ sculptures, as well as using different media to create some wonderful pictures for Mothers’ Day. The children found ways to manipulate the wire more easily, such as ensuring their hands were warm, and learnt the difficulties, as well as the positive benefits, of working with wire. They sculpted the wire effectively, considering the shape of the horse and how it moves, and were very pleased with their hard work. These horses now stand proudly on the windowsills in class 4 and, as we finish the reading of ‘War Horse’, it almost feels like they are standing to attention in honour of their fallen friends. A touching tribute Class 4, well done.