Just like having to drive a petrol/diesel car across Dartmoor; taking out a mortgage to buy a house or taking 10 days off school/work when you’re feeling absolutely fine but you’ve seen a red line- we have to do termly summative assessments to check on our progress. This week has been a week full of these necessary evils.
We have put in maximum effort to show off what we have been learning. The reading assessment took the most effort and highlighted we need to work on our reading stamina.
So expect to see us doing lots more independent reading over the next few weeks and months.
If you don’t know your child’s accelerated reader login please let us know and we will get another one sent out to you so that comprehension skills can be practised at home. We are planning to send home another reading record, as they pretty much all got way laid after about a month last time we handed them out.
We also did a maths assessment which most of us seemed to enjoy! We have made great progress with our timestables but we still need a bit more practice with our multi- step arithmetic questions. So parents, if you are feeling particularly mathsy have a go at working out questions such as:
3456 - ????? = 1827 + 200
These types of questions will be the focus for the next couple of weeks leading up to Easter, where you may have to start from the right-hand side of an equation (little hint there!)
It’s not all been silence, sharp pencils and scratched heads.
On Monday, a large proportion of the class accompanied Mr Frewin to Sleeker’s farm for the final round of the tri-series Dartmoor school’s cross country. The year 3/4 team did the school very proud indeed. The official results have not been published yet, but by Mr Frewin’s reckoning the year 4 team finished in a runner up position with the boys team winning their gender category.
A special mention needs to go to Max and Bruno who placed first and second in each race of the series. For all his efforts, Bruno couldn’t quite catch Max who always looked like he had an extra gear. Another special mention must go to Joe Thorne and Kit who both placed in the top ten at each round- well done boys. The girls dug in very deep at this last round, especially as they negotiated the energy sapping hills. Lily took on a Samaritan’s role and dropped further back this week to run with and help motivate her teammates Grace and Molly- it was the perfect display of teamwork. Aly, feeling a bit more racey, got her head down for what we think was a top ten finish. Well done girls!
After slogging through our reading assessment on Tuesday morning we took advantage of the nice weather and took the classroom outside to feel the full force of our celestial mother: the sun. We made a human model of the solar system and learnt about the planets different masses and orbit speeds. With this new information the class worked in pairs to create an informative poster about our solar system. To help with their poster’s content, Mr. Frewin hid some information scrolls within the school grounds for the pairs to find and use. These posters were then finished off in class on Wednesday.
Mr Frewin also started to read one of his favourite novels: Varjak Paw to us and so far we are thoroughly enjoying it.
Enjoy the weather, get outside and have a lovely weekend.
Mr Frewin and Mr Evemy
In Hawthorn we work hard to accomplish our goals. With our sights on the end goal, it can be easy to spend most of our time working towards success and neglect the fun side of life. We complete a project and move onto the next one, sometimes not even stopping to take stock of our fantastic achievements.
After so much challenging work, we deserve a little party every once in a while. Filling our class marble jar is an immense success for us. It shows that Mr Frewin and Mr Evemy have been impressed by the conduct and general learning attitude of the class many times over the course of the term.
Besides, life is more fun with a bit of celebration and this week that is exactly what we did.
The whole week has been a bit out of the ordinary. We started it with a visit from Carole, or as she is more affectionately known- the singing lady. We all wowed her (except for Mr. Frewin) with our beautiful singing voices and musical timing. It really is lovely having Carole come in to sing with us, it reminds us just how joyous and morale boosting collective singing is. After seeing how soul nourishing harmonising is, Mr Frewin has made a permanent slot on the timetable for regular singing practice. So, if you happen to walk past the school at 9:20 and you are wondering where those dulcet tones are emanating from, look no further than Hawthorn class!
We were incredibly lucky on Tuesday to have a visit from the Finchmeiseter general whilst Mr. Frewin was out with the hockey team. Mr. Finch had a lovely time teaching in Hawthorn, where he continued reading our guiding-reading text: The Suitcase by Chris Naylor Ballesteros. Mr Frewin chose this book because of the catastrophic events happening in the world today. It's a text that tells the story of an immigrant/refugee who appears very strange to the natives of the land he arrives in. They learn an important lesson after initially treating their visitor with suspicion.
Using narratives to introduce these important and relevant topics is a powerful yet gentle way to discuss sensitive issues. If you do not know the text and would like to use it as a stimulus to discuss these issues, I highly recommend it. Your child may have lots of questions about what is going on in the world now and it is especially important we have these discussions instead of shying away from them from a position of protection. Another text we have looked at is Saving the Butterfly by Helen Cooper. This is another story about refugees which focuses on the difficulties they may have adjusting to a new country.
In English we have continued to look at our non-fiction text: Science in Flash: Earth and Space. We looked closely at the use of subheadings and the subtle clues they give us about the paragraph they precede. We realised that writers use questions and ambiguous language to spark an interest in the reader. Following on from here, we looked at the layout of the pages in the book and used it as inspiration to plan the layout of the pages we will eventually be writing. We have also looked at the specific technical language used in the text and checked its meaning by using dictionaries. We achieved all this by Tuesday!
In maths we have come to the end of our module on fractions where we have gained a solid understanding of them and their relationship to timestables. We are still enjoying learning our timestables with some members of the class choosing to practice during our class party!
Moving forward, we will be using our understanding of fractions to fully grasp decimals and make the connections between the two.
On Thursday morning, we were treated to a surprise visit from Sophie, South West Water’s Education Officer. Along with Oak class, we found out about the amazing journey water takes to reach the taps in our homes, how water is treated, and what happens to our bodily waste, both poo and wee! We spent time mapping out the water cycle before discussing the importance of keeping our reservoirs and rivers healthy to ensure our wildlife is protected and our water is the highest quality possible. We enjoyed listening to Sophie’s list of objects found in the region’s sewers – these included enormous fatbergs the size of double decker buses, teddy bears, mobile phones and even false teeth! Sophie also described how water is filtered through different treatment processes before being pumped to our taps. We watched a practical demonstration of a muddy liquid being transformed into beautifully clear water using a jug, filter funnel and different types of paper, gravel and stones. As part of our promise to try to conserve water and protect the environment, we wrote our own pledges to save water, such as taking shorter showers (or none at all!), or not running the tap whilst cleaning our teeth. All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable and inspirational morning. Thank you, Sophie!
And then there was the class party. It was so much fun to let our hair down and celebrate our achievements. We’re not sure Mr. Frewin intended the celebratory display of writing on a washing line was for jumping up at, but when Encanto songs are on, anything goes!
There was much dancing and (junk) food eaten. Mr Frewin couldn’t believe the entire mountain was devoured, but it was! There was also an appearance from a robot teacher that was commanded to do some very silly things indeed!
I hope you all have a lovely weekend.
Remember it is parent’s evening next week so get booked in. Mr Frewin will be available to talk to on Tuesday and you will have a chance to meet Mr. Evemy on Thursday.
Just remember life is short so make sure you always pack your party pants!
This has been the week of the 4 Rs - 5 for some of us.
Read, remember, recall, reflect and for some run!
Recently, we’ve had lots of discussions about the brains plasticity and how we have the ability to reshape our brains by making new and stronger connections. Creating this malleable image of the brain is empowering us to take ownership of our learning. Realising that the effort we put in can make our brain grow and develop. We have been encouraged to work independently at our own pace with resources we feel we need. These range from the use of the computers to research and use for reference to physically manipulating maths resources to help embed understanding via tactile learning.
Thinking about thinking and learning, and our early understanding of it, has helped us persevere when things have got difficult - realising we are building new connections.
We will continue to embed metacognition for the rest of the year.
In English we have been forging those new brain pathways by reading new information about Earth and space. We started the week by identifying the common features of an information text. Following on from this we were tasked with reading, remembering and recalling a whole page from the text. We looked at different and useful ways to help remember and recall all the information. To help embed these neural pathways do keep those highways fresh, we used flash cards, single word notes, and pictorial representations to hep us. We all did an excellent job and in pairs were able to recall a whole page about our solar system.
My very educated mother….. was very helpful indeed. Ask your child how she helped!
In maths we continue to run up and down our times table neural motorways with lots of recalling of those all important multiplication facts. We have made connections between these facts and our fractions - using them to find equivalents, simplify add and subtract.
We have all had great success with adding and subtracting fractions- it really is quite easy once you know how to make the denominators the same. One sticking point has been converting our fractions into wholes.
A little brain teaser for you and your child:
What’s the equivalent of 6 thirds?
Now you know this how else could you write 8 thirds?
It was also international women’s day on Tuesday. Mr Frewin shared a new book, Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History. We looked at three very important black in history and discussed how their strength and bravery inspired gender, generation and an entire race. We will continue to dip into this book over the next few weeks during our guided reading sessions.
And then some went running. Mr Frewin took 20 Hawthorneys to cross country on Wednesday afternoon and our boys and girls teams did exceptionally well.
A massive well done to everyone who participated. The course was tough - two big hills and a set of steps needed to be negotiated twice over two laps.
Mr Frewin was very impressed by how deep everyone dug in to get to the finish line. A special mention needs to go to Max and Bruno who finished 1st and 2nd in their race, which has put us in a very strong position for overall victory over the three race series.
World Book Day
A wonderful array of characters appeared in our World Book Day parade on Thursday morning, transforming the children into sorcerers, Gauls(!), princesses and other fantastical creatures. It was obvious that a lot of thought and effort had gone into costume design, accessories and face painting. A huge ‘well done’ to all those involved.
We spent the morning constructing mini books to house our own twisted fairy tales or a story close to our heart. Much deliberation went into planning the character descriptions and setting, before mapping the story carefully to include a sprinkling of those special ingredients (such as ambitious vocabulary and figurative language) that would really enhance the narrative. At the end of the session, everyone was keenly sharing their stories, and some were even thinking about setting up a mini book publishing house so they could serialise their work.
After lunch, we listened to the final part of one of our class books, Zombierella. We were really keen to find out what happened to the truly vile (but exceedingly pretty) FAKE sisters and were pleased when they suffered a gruesome, but quite fitting, punishment for their sins. I won’t tell you the end, just in case you want to read this ghostly (or is it ghastly?) tale for yourselves. Before venturing down to the hall for our chance to hear about all the latest offerings from The Bookery in Crediton, we explored one of the amazing songs by the grandmaster of English, MC Grammar. Hidden in his special World Book Day rap were almost 30 different well-known book titles; our job was to uncover these as we listened and then put them in the correct order – no mean feat!
Our final session in the hall with the lovely folk from The Bookery was very inspiring and resulted in the purchase of many inspirational, invigorating and imaginative books, both fact and fiction. Children were delighted with their acquisitions, and some were even walking zombie-like around the hall, possibly engrossed in a tale about slightly overweight flying horses or learning a surprising new fact about fish! A delightful end to a tiring, but entertaining and fruitful, day.
Enjoy your weekends
Mr Frewin and Mr Evemy
"When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest."
It’s a new half term and a new season is upon us- even though the daffodils are out it doesn’t feel very spring like. More like the monsoon season with all this moor mizzle around.
Despite the damp, we had a fun start to the week: anonymously writing about our favourite part of half term and then guessing whose half term we were hearing about. It sounded like everyone had at least one exciting adventure ranging from football matches and French dancing to falling grandparents!
For the next three weeks we will be combining our learning in science and english. Our science lens is now focusing on earth and space for this half term and we will be referencing the fantastic book: Science in a Flash: Earth and Space by Georgia Amson-Smith. We will not only be using it to find facts about our galaxy and space travel, but also to use as a blueprint text to design and write our own non fiction page about the lunar eclipse and the moon cycle.
In maths we are using our times table knowledge to great effect- recognising, simplifying and finding equivalent fractions. Due to our ever-present, playful revision of times tables facts during the day, we have noticed a better than normal understanding and grasp of the very tricky concept of fractions. At least all of our maths lessons will be online via google classrooms so if you ever want to get a head start or revise what we have learned in class with you child please take a look. We will endeavour to get all our english work up as well these will be more research activities that you and your child can do together at home.
Don’t forget that your child has a log in for Times Tables Rockstars - let's make Hawthorn Class come at the top of Mr Finch's League Tables each Friday.
Mr Frewin has started to roll out the new Real PE curriculum this week and after one very enjoyable (and sweaty) footwork session we are all really impressed by how inclusive and fun the lessons are. During our Saints PE session on Monday, Miss Edwards really put the kids through their paces with a gruelling circuit training session. The children were asked to record their heart rate and monitor the immediate effects exercise has on the body.
Another reminder: It is World Book Day next Thursday - children do not have to dress up for the day but they may if they choose to. We will be having a special day filled with bookish joy. We will be welcoming a pop up bookshop from our friends at The Bookery in Crediton who will introduce children to some fun age appropriate books and give them a chance to buy a book from the shop. The bookshop will remain open until four o'clock at the end of the day in case any parents or carers would like to visit it. To buy a book children need to bring cash in a sealed, named envelope and give it to the class teacher at the start of the day. Children will be able to buy one book for six pounds or two books for ten pounds.
Well at least the sun came back for the final day of the week May it stay with us for the weekend so we can welcome spring in the right way.
Enjoy your weekends.
Mr Frewin and Mr Evemy