Miss Goddard, Miss Hardy, Miss Pettitt, Miss Crow
Miss Goddard, Miss Hardy, Miss Pettitt, Miss Crow
Dear Year 4 Parents,
Thank for you bearing with us and for your support over the last couple of days. We have been astounded by how quickly you and the children have adapted to online learning. The Google Meets have been a delight and have helped us all to stay connected within our communities. The Year 4 teachers have been thinking about online learning for this term and we would like to give you some information which we hope will support you going forward:
Weekly Timetables – We will be creating a weekly timetable so that you are aware in advance of all the lessons and Meets which we have planned. We will post this on a Friday for the following week, so you can digest the information over the weekend. We know that a good routine helps many children, so where possible, sticking to this timetable would be beneficial and would tie in with any live teaching or Meets which we have planned.
Daily Lessons – We will always aim to have the day’s lessons prepared on Google Classroom by the evening before to give parents the opportunity to prepare and print work if necessary. Some lessons will have written instructions, some may be a follow-on from a live teaching input and some lessons may have an accompanying video from the teachers to support them.
Lesson Priorities – We understand that each household is different, and that sometimes there may be barriers to learning. The most important thing is that the children continue to stay in touch and feel connected, so try and join Google Meets where possible. Continuing with English and Maths is a priority and will also support the children academically. We have also provided some Topic lessons for the afternoons to keep learning varied. Each lesson follows on from the one before, so where possible, try to ‘catch up’ with any missed learning. We know these are tough times, so ultimately, do you best with your situation.
Handing in Work – When we create an assignment on Google Classroom, then your child can let us know when it has been completed by ‘Handing in’ work. In order to receive teacher feedback, then you will either need to edit the Google Doc/Slide; attach any digital work; or take a clear photograph of the work and attach this. If parents have the flexibility to support the children in marking and feedback at home, then this would be beneficial.
Notifications – There are a few parents who have let us know that they have missed information or Google Meet times. We are hoping that with the introduction of the timetable, it will help you to know these in advance, but it may also be worth looking at your Google Classroom settings as you may want to adjust these so that you get a notification when something is posted on the stream or classwork.
Google Meets – Going forward, we are going to have two Google Meets a day. We will endeavour to keep these at the same times every day for consistency. Next week, we will be having a Google Meet each day at 9:00am and also at 1:10pm (just after our school lunch). During both these Meets, we will be taking the register as we want to keep a record and ensure that all children are engaging with Google Classrooms. Of course we would love to see the children attend as many as possible, but don’t worry if you miss them occasionally.
Google Meet Links – We will post the link for each Google Meet around the time they are planned for. We cannot post them in advance as the meeting has to be ‘live’ before a link can even be created. We will always try and be punctual with our Meet times, but do have a class in school as well so keep your eyes on the stream and refresh you page every so often.
Google Meets and Online Etiquette – We completely understand that learning from home is very different, but where possible we would like to keep this learning environment professional, especially as there are still children in school. Most children are already showing excellent respect and responsibility, but we have written a few school rules to follow from now on:
- Mute yourself – There can be a lot of background noise in some households so please mute yourself as soon as you enter a Google Meet or have finished talking. It’s really tricky for the teacher to keep an eye on who is making noise when there is a whole class or year group online.
- Chat sensibly – Use the chat features sensibly. During Google Meets and on Google Classroom, make sure that you are commenting appropriately to questions and messages.
- Behave sensibly – When you are on screen, try and behave like you are in a classroom by sitting nicely and not making silly faces at the camera. This will help you and others to focus.
- Show pride – Ideally, when you join a Google Meet, sit somewhere such as at a table so we can see you clearly. We understand that it is tempting to stay in your pyjamas, but be up and dressed and into ‘school mode’. Remember, all the children in school are in their uniforms still. We will be online together for approximately half an hour in the morning and half an hour in the afternoon, so please avoid eating on screen during these times, as it can be distracting for other children.
- Be ready – Next week, some of our Meets will contain more learning based activities. It would be worth bringing a notepad and something to write with to each Google Meet. Sometimes, you might also want to bring some work to share or may want to have the Flashback Maths printed off.
Contact – For parents, please remember that we have a Year 4 email address. This is the best way to contact us and the teachers are checking this multiple times throughout the day. If your child would like to contact us, then they can attach a message to work which they hand in or comment on an assignment or stream post. Of course, we can arrange individual Google Meets with them if you feel that this would be beneficial.
LSA ‘Drop In’ Sessions – We understand that sometimes your child may get stuck on their work so we would like to offer the opportunity for ‘Drop In’ sessions with our Year 4 learning support assistants. Starting from next week, there will be a drop in session from 10:00am – 11:00am and also one in the afternoon from 2:00pm – 3:00pm. A Google Meet link will be open during this time and your child can pop along with any questions or queries which they have. In order for us to support you, please have a go at the work or worksheet first so you can let us know specifically how we can help.
School Packs – We understand that equipment and resources may be limited at home so would like to offer school packs to those who require them and will set a date next week when you can come and pick one up. If you would like a school pack, then please let us know what you would like from the list below so we can organise this over the next couple of days.
- The child’s pencil case which contains a ruler, rubber, sharpener, colouring pencils, a pencil and handwriting pen (please note that this will need to be returned to school post lockdown)
- A lined exercise book
- A squared paper Maths book
Celebration Worship – We know that celebration worship is such a special time for children, so we are going to continue this going forward. When we meet for our Friday morning Google Meet, this will be as a year group and the teachers will continue to award a Star Learner certificate to a child who has stood out that week, either at home or at school.
Thanks once again for your support. We feel that this provision is best for Year 4 at this current moment in time, however the way we teach online may change and adapt as we continue on this journey. Please feel free to email us with any feedback which you think may help us to refine and improve what we are doing.
Miss Goddard, Miss Hardy and Miss Pettitt
What a wonderful time the children have had at school this half-term! Once again, we are so very proud of them and everything they have achieved. We know our second project ‘There’s No Place Like Home’ has been exceptionally well-received and the children have enjoyed learning many new things about the UK and Basingstoke. Not only this, but last week, each class designed and made their very own bread roll which could one day become a symbol of Hampshire. The children practised their kneading skills and the results were brilliant! We hope you were allowed to try a tiny bit too! Here are some of the tasty creations 4G came up with:
We have been busy planning our housing developments for ‘Hampshire Homes’. The children have shared such wonderful ideas, especially about how their construction would impact the environment in a positive way. They have really enjoyed the designing process and it is clear to see their creative juices have been flowing:
We will be sending these off to Mr. Clarke at the end of the week 😉
- We will not be setting any homework over the Christmas break, but please do continue to read most days with your child and use TT Rockstars. We are SO proud of the children who have put the effort into learning their times tables this term and have now received their Diamond Award – well done! After the holiday, we will introduce a piece of Grammar and Maths homework each week.
- You should have now received a link to access our Christmas videos. The children had great fun putting these together – we hope you enjoy them!
We thank you all for your support this term and wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Year 4 Team
During the week beginning Monday 16th November, we will be celebrating Anti-Bullying Week at St Mark’s! The theme this year is ‘United Against Bullying’. To kick the week off, we will be starting with an Odd Socks Day on Monday 16th November!
WHAT IS ODD SOCKS DAY?
Odd Socks Day is a key part of Anti-Bullying Week! To celebrate that we are all unique, we ask that children wear odd socks to school on Monday 16th November. Last year over 13,000 schools took part in Odd Socks Day and this year, we are joining them!
Andy Day (Cbeebies/CBBC) and his band Andy and the Odd Socks are supporting the Anti-Bullying Alliance to help bring Odd Socks Day to life again this year. Have a listen to the brilliant song they have recorded especially for Anti-Bullying Week – The Kids Are United!
WHY IS ODD SOCKS DAY IMPORTANT?
The day sends an important message to pupils that they should be allowed to be themselves, free from bullying and helps us celebrate Anti-Bullying Week in a fun and positive way. We will be reading a great fiction book under the Odd Socks theme this year and also completing other fun activities during the day, which will help us celebrate both our differences and our unity within our St Mark’s community.
WHAT DO WE NEED FROM YOU?
Just make sure your child wears odd socks to school TOMORROW!
What a wonderful return the children have had to school! They are such a pleasure to teach and we are thoroughly enjoying each and every day in Year 4!
Soon, you will be able to find our Knowledge Organiser and Topic Web linked to our current topic, ‘There’s No Place Like Home’ on the school website. Please do discuss the content of these with your children to bring our current learning to life at home! We know they will have lots of information to share with you already which is fantastic!
Our topic has started off brilliantly! We have already discovered where we are located in the world and what countries form to make the United Kingdom. The children have been asking some excellent questions in our sessions to develop their understanding which has been very impressive.
During our first week back, we received a very official letter from Mr. Clarke – the CEO of ‘Hampshire Homes’ – asking if the Year 4 children would like to submit their ideas for a new housing development in Basingstoke, which the company are planning to construct next year. Of course, the children were exceptionally keen to reply to Mr. Clarke straight away (see a response below). As part of the project, the children will need to choose an appropriate place in Basingstoke for the housing development to be located, think about the facilities the new community will need, draw a plan of their development idea and have given a significant amount of thought to how the construction may impact the environment in a positive and negative way.
We will keep you updated with our progress in the coming weeks!
We have recently introduced a slightly new way of teaching English to the children. So far, it has been received exceptionally well! The new format allows the children to use their creativity to make more independent vocabulary choices and develop a stronger composition to their writing. We’re sure you’ll agree with how super these sound so far:
We know that some children have worked really hard on their weekly homework tasks this term. Each week we have posted spellings on Google Classroom and have asked the children to use TT Rockstars to learn their times tables. Whilst the recall of times table facts has improved for many, there is still a large number of Year 4 children not practising their times tables. Being able to recall these key facts quickly is vital for finding success in many areas of mathematics. Please make sure your child is practising on Rockstars for at least 30 minutes a week – it really does make a difference.
After Christmas, we will be re-introducing another piece of homework to what we already set. This will either be a piece of Maths or Grammar and will cover different Year 4 skills the children will come across throughout the year. We know this will give the children an opportunity to reinforce what they are learning in the classroom.
We look forward to sharing more of our learning with you soon!
The Year 4 team
Year 4 Writing
This week, we sent home the children’s Mr Benn stories which we produced in the first few weeks of term. The children worked incredibly hard on these and were very eager to share the adventure which Mr Benn went on with you at home. We included an evaluation form with this and would be grateful for it to be returned to school once we are back. It’s lovely for the children and the teachers to receive the feedback about their progress in writing. Please keep and enjoy their actual stories.
The last few weeks have been very exciting as the children have continued to enhance their history knowledge of Ancient Egypt by learning about the discovery of Tutankhamun. From this, the children then drafted and published a newspaper article about this significant event. We have focused hard this term on using technical vocabulary, fronted adverbials and speech. Please take a read below….
End of our project
The children have fully immersed themselves in this term’s project, ‘Raiders of the Lost Cities’. They have gained a wealth of knowledge, showed curiosity and have developed a range of historical skills. At the start of our project, the children found out that our concept question was ‘What are the similarities between Ancient Egypt and modern day Britain’. We have been revisiting this question this week and the children have been making comparisons. They found that some elements of life are very similar, some are somewhat similar and some are different. Take a look at some work which was produced which shows their thinking about this concept question:
What a wonderful half term it has been. We have thoroughly loved teaching the children and getting back into the flow of school life.
It’s been lovely seeing and meeting some of you this week in our Parents’ Evening. We are looking forward to the remainder of our appointments after half term.
Thank you for your continued support and please have a restful half term holiday.
Miss Goddard, Miss Pettitt, Miss Hardy and Miss Crow