With the white sprinkling of snowdrops in the verges and the sun popping up just in time for breakfast, it’s beginning to feel little bit easier to gee ourselves up and sparkle for the day ahead.
The Thornies have put a monumental effort into their learning at the time of year we should all be wrapped up nice and warm in a ‘cave’ hibernating.
Since the first day of term, we have achieved a great a deal: completing two narratives and working tirelessly to nail those tricky times table facts.
We started the year in English by writing our own version of the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe- focusing on the different characterisation needed to describe an evil sorcerer and a saviour character.
Over the course of the term, we finished reading The BFG- a text we had great fun reading. We especially enjoyed Roald Dahl’s use of portmanteau and disgusting descriptions of giants. We switched focus a few weeks into term and used the text as a writing stimulus. We created wanted posters describing our own made-up giants, created revolting recipes and finished the module by planning and writing our own version of the story.
In maths we have worked through the times table facts up to the 12x. We have been learning tricks for working out those difficult 9s and trying to spot patterns in the products of the 7 times table.
We discovered doubling multiplication facts we know for the 3 and 4 timestable help with the larger multiples of 6 and 8.
We now need to speed up our recall so can we please ask you to allow your child time to practise on timestable rockstars. We are hoping to build in a dedicated session for recall in the week’s busy schedule but any further help at home will be a great.
In our History lessons we have studied the Anglo-Saxons. So far, we have learned that very little was written about their life and that the facts we have are pieced together through artefacts and slightly biased texts written by Gildas the Wise and the Venerable Bede- the Wikipedia of their time.
Using our historian skills, we have cobbled together enough information to learn where the Anglo Saxons came from and why they arrived on the British Isles. We learned how they enjoyed a rural life and that a recorded staple of their diet is Pottage. We made some at the back of the class on an electric stove, it was delicious?? Some children liked it a so much they took a portion home in their water bottle! We will continue learning about their rituals and the Heptarchy after the break.
Another module we will continue after half term will be our science topic on light. We have learned how light can be bent (refraction) and how it bounces off (reflection) certain types of objects. After the break we will continue investigating the spectrum and the use of shadow culminating in a shadow puppet theatre. If your child has a torch they could bring in for the first few weeks of the next half term that would be great.
I (Mr Frewin) finally have my own login to update you on all the wonderful things we get up to in Hawthorn class.
This week we have started the new half term very gently easing ourselves back into school life.
We have some very exciting news. We will be putting on a class assembly next Tuesday afternoon at 15:00, I don't want to give too much away as you are all welcome to come along and enjoy our efforts, please arrive 10 minutes before to guaruntee a seat!. We are basing the production on Nathan Bryan's book Look Up.
We have had lots of fun learning our lines and getting our heads around where to stand it will be a polished gem of a production by Tuesday. I have given out scripts so please help your little thesps rehearse their lines.
In maths we have been revising the trickiest of timestables this week by playing Mr. Frewin's own version of black jack- gambling cubes and learning our timesatables at the same time. It's really important we master our timesatbles this year so please allow your child to login to Timestable rockstars as often as they like. I recommend 30 minutes at home a week.
That's all from me this week, I look forward to seeing you next Tuesday.
Woah! What an exciting and busy week we have just had! It has been a week full of visitors and exciting projects.
Saying that, Monday started off in a familiar fashion, with stale old Mr Frewin welcoming us back for the new term.
The first surprise of the week was that no one knew what a mini milk was!! Mr frewin is flabbergasted and has vowed to make sure everyone tries one before the end of term!
Our first visitor Carole, helped us all sing an African song: che che kule. The call and response dynamic made for a fun half hour where we changed tempo, pitch and even added in some actions! Mr Frewin will continue to play around with this one over the next few weeks.
In honour of our midweek visitors: Sarah McIntyre and Phillip Reeve, Mr Frewin chose their first book in the legend of Kevin series to study and emulate this week.
After reading the first chapter, we created own own quirky characters and described them in a similar fashion to out new favourite authors. After reading chapter 2, we drew inspiration from the characterisation Sarah and Philip use to introduce new characters within a narrative.
To help with the planning of our story we took great inspiration from Sarah and Philip’s assembly. In the assembly our patrons of reading showed us how creating a track board game full of perils and pitfalls can be a useful and fun way to plan a story.
Once planned we wrote our own versions and took inspiration from Sarah’s illustrations to bring our own creations to life.
Our 4th special guest of the week was Lydia, the director extraordinaire of our schools upcoming production of midsummer nights dream. She started working with us on Thursday where we workshopped some ideas for the production. We are all really looking forward to working with her over the next few weeks.
In maths we eased back into the week with a garlic planting investigation (checkout Google classroom for more information) before picking up where we left off with our work on decimals. This topic will continue for the next few weeks.
Our new science topic: adaption is a right doozy. We had lots fun creating animals to suit habitats which linked quite nicely to our English theme this week.
And our final visitor was the lovely Sally (sorry not sure of her teacher name!!?) for Thursday and Friday where she continued the good work we started during the first half of the week.
Moving forward we hope to have a little bit more continuity. Mr Frewin is planning to teach Thursday and Friday mornings and we’ll have guest teachers for the afternoons. We are aiming for these guests to be old favourites so we don’t cause too much disruption and anxiety.
Well, the sun is back and we have a long weekend ahead of us. Please don your shorts, slap on the sun tan and treat yourselves to a mini milk!
Hello parents of all those little Hawthornies out there! I hope you are all having or have had a wonderful Easter break. It's Mr Frewin here, reporting in and raring to go for the new term. Firstly, apologies no update for the last week of term, it was a pretty hectic end to the term for myself, I had two funerals to attend so I didn't get a a chance to upload anything. Briefly addressing this, the class did an amazing job completing their space posters which will be up on display for you to come and admire at your leisure, please do not hesitate to ask.
On to the new term.
We have a very busy week to start us off. The first thing on Monday morning we will have a visit from Carole the singing lady to see how we are progressing with our singing. Please make sure your little ones vocal-chords are suitably tuned and ready to go.
In English we will be starting off by looking at the fun and lighthearted works of Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre prior to them visiting us on Wednesday 27th April. We will start by reading 'The legend of Kevin' before we embark on writing our own short versions of the story.
In maths we will be starting off by recapping our timestables and number bonds to 100. This should set us up nicely for tackling the tricky concept of decimals over the term.
In History, we will be drawing on our knowledge of how the Romans and Saxons invaded Britain and make comparisons to the Viking invasion.
Just writing this down is filling me with excitement and I can't wait to get going this week.
Finally, I have some sad news. Mr Evemy will not be returning for the summer term and as I am writing this we have not made a plan for his successor or other provision. As soon as I know anything I will let you know ASAP. Personally I am very sad about this as we had a good working relationship and after a shaky start, he forged a strong and healthy bond with the class. I wish him al the best in his next endeavours.
Please come and say hello if you see me tomorrow, one smile is worth ten easter eggs of happiness.
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