Times Tables and RockStars Relaunch!

As you may have heard us say many times before, knowing key facts such as times tables are at the heart of being a successful Mathematician. 

We’ve seen a lot more children log onto Rockstars over the last couple of weeks and it is great to see! After such a long time off school, some children have forgotten or have slowed down when recalling their times tables facts. RockStars is a brilliant program for helping children to learn and practise their times tables independently. By now, your child’s class teacher should have given them their log in details in case they have forgotten them, however they are exactly the same as last year.

To help promote RockStars, we will be announcing ‘RockStar Headlines’ in our weekly Celebration Worship on Friday which will celebrate achievements such as fastest speeds, those who have spent the most time playing on RockStars, how our school is comparing to other local schools and which year groups win the battles!

These were the RockStar headlines from last week:


Rockstars Headlines

Most time playing RockStars:

Year 3: Arthur D, Bethany C, Chloe M

Year 4: Liam J, James S, Iremide A

Year 5: Craig M, Charlie D, Samuel W

Year 6: Ollie R, Joby B, Bela F

A special well done to Liam in 4G who spent the most time practising his times tables on Rockstars in the entire school!


Year group who played the most:

Year 4!


Our ranking compared to other schools:

We have the 7th fastest average speed out of 30 local schools – well done St Mark’s! Can we get to 6th place next week I wonder…?


Battle of the Bands:

Year 4 beat Year 3 as Year 4 spent more time playing

Year 6 beat Year 5 as Year 6 spend more time playing


Next week, we’ll be announcing some different ‘RockStar headlines’ so encourage the children to log on and keep playing! We recommend spending around half an hour per week but some children may benefit from longer or some other activities to support them. If you are having any problems with logging on, please let your child’s class teacher know.


Learning and Testing Times Tables

In class, we have been busy designing some activities to help the children learn their times tables. We are also testing them on a regular basis and have been checking their recall right from the 2 times tables. At Parents’ Evening, you can talk to your child’s class teacher about how your child is getting on with their times tables compared to expectations. The National Curriculum expectations are:

Children should know their multiplication and division facts for the 2, 5 and 10 times tables by the end of Year 2.

Children should know their multiplication and division facts for the 3, 4 and 8 times tables by the end of Year 3.

Children should know their multiplication and division facts for the 6, 7, 9, 11 and 12 times tables by the end of Year 4.

In our school system, we have split these tables into sets and the children will receive a certificate when they pass their Ruby and Emerald award. Once they complete their Diamond set, a certificate will be awarded to them in Celebration Worship as this is such an accomplishment! 

Once children know all their times tables, we have lots of further speed challenges that they can have a go at in school. 






The Ancient Egyptians – Raiders of the Lost Cities

Welcome to Year 4!

What a wonderful three weeks we’ve had! The children have settled so well back into school life and have enjoyed learning about the Ancient Egyptian Civilisation through our topic ‘Raiders of the Lost Cities’. Let us tell you a little about what we have been up to….

Project Hook

During our first week of school, the children took part in a hook which revealed their project. Their first job was to find out the meaning of an ancient stone which was found. Just like the Rosetta stone, they had to use both languages on the stone to figure out the hieroglyphic alphabet. Once they figured out what each letter represented, they used this to decipher what our concept question is for this project. Lastly, the children designed their our Egyptian cartouche using the hieroglyphics and then got to experience writing their cartouche on papyrus paper, just like the Ancient Egyptians would have!


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Since the hook, the children have gained a wealth of knowledge about the Ancient Egyptians including when they existed, where they lived and also lots of information about their daily life. Try asking your child – would you have liked to have lived in the Ancient Egyptian times and are there any similarities with how we live today?



In English, we have been writing our own Mr Benn stories, which we look forward to publishing soon. The children have been analysing the language and structure of these stories and have used this knowledge to write their own story where Mr Benn walks through the dressing room door and finds himself in Ancient Egypt with a problem to solve!


There has been a real buzz in Maths as the children have extended their place value knowledge to thousands. Over the last couple of weeks, they have been busy looking at different representations of number, comparing numbers and have solved a range of reasoning problems.



We have been finding out about Ancient Egyptian Gods and mummification in order for the children to design their own Canopic jar (a jar used to store the deceased’s organs!) We will be starting to practise making these jars out of clay this week so please look out for our plea for art shirts below!


Key Reminders 

 – You will have noticed children have now brought home a reading book. These will be changed in school on Fridays. Please ensure your child reads regularly at home, either from the school book, or from your own books. Where possible, try to encourage your child to read a range of different text types.

– Weekly spellings and a piece of Grammar or Maths homework will be set on Google Classroom each Friday. A due date for the task will be set and the work must be completed by then. If you are having difficulties accessing the task, it is important you see your child’s class teacher.

– As a school we have made the decision to go back to the beginning in times tables to check that the children have retained their knowledge and stamina. We will be testing the children often so the more practise, the better! Rockstars is available and your child should have brought their login home this week. Please ensure your child practises their tables at least 3x a week. We will be praising children for their efforts during Worships.

– Our PE day is Wednesday – please have your child come to school in their PE kit as we will not be changing. Your child may wear either their school jumper or their dark PE jumper.

-It’s getting chilly! Please ensure that your child has their jumper and coat with them otherwise they won’t be able to go out to play.

– If you need to let us know anything or have any queries, please contact us using the Year 4 email account: year4@stmarksce.org.uk

-If you child is self-isolating but well, please ensure that they are completing the work which is set on Google Classroom. The teachers are taking a long time to make and upload this work in the evenings so that these children can continue their learning so please make use of this tool.

– We will be holding a short presentation on Zoom on 8th October at 4:00pm for approximately half an hour to remind you of key information about the year and answer any questions you may have. We hope to see you there!

Lastly…ART SHIRT PLEA! Next week, we will be starting to make clay pots which will be followed by painting them when they have dried. We do not have any art shirts in school so we would appreciate it if you could provide an old or unwanted shirt or top which your child can use for art. If you pop it in a plastic bag, they can keep it on their peg.


Thank you for your continued support, and we look forward to sharing more of our learning with you during the coming months.



Miss Goddard, Miss Hardy, Miss Pettitt and Miss Crow