Fiji Class Year 4

Autumn 2023

Fiji class have had a really busy and exciting start to Year 4 with trips, art days and the infamous fire alarm! We started off the year with a team building trip to Hummer Wood (Gore Farm) where we built shelters in small groups. We showed all of our school values by working together, having high hopes for our shelters and staying calm when things went wrong. We are now using this trip to learn how to write a recount using different time openers. In English, we have also written a story ending based on the Stone Troll story from Iceland. We have been doing lots of place value work in maths looking at rounding and working with numbers up to 10,000! Using physical resources has really helped us to understand the different values of the digits. Our topic this half term has been geography based where we have focused on biomes. These are different areas of land across the world where the climate, flora and fauna are the same. We looked at the desert, savanna, rainforest, temperate forest, tundra and taiga. We then focused in on Europe where we have learnt some of the countries and capitals. We have most enjoyed getting to spend a session with a local artist who helped us to create three amazing sculptural collages linked to fossils, Vikings and biomes. They will look so good when they are on display around the school.


We have been so busy in Fiji class since returning to the MJS site. Our highlight so far has been the trip to Paignton Zoo! Even though we had to be at school so early, it was such a lovely day. We got to see so many monkeys swinging through the trees although none of them escaped to the next door Morrison’s while we were there! We also saw red pandas, giraffes, a cheetah, an ostrich, bongos, a rhino and a wolf (which was great because we’d been learning Little Red Riding Hood in French and remember that le loup is the wolf in French!) It was such a shame that we couldn’t see the crocodiles or lions but maybe one day we can go back and see tham when their enclosure is fixed.


In maths, we have learnt a new method for division using a place value grid and we have also done lots and lots of learning on fractions. When we used bar models and diagrams, fractions becomes much easier. We also found our times table facts really helped us especially as we are onto our last booklet which is the 12s. We have just started a new topic on shapes and are looking at different types of angles at the moment.

In English, we have done some really fun topics based off of great books. We especially enjoyed Beowulf and Georg and the Dragon which Miss Barsdell acted out for us! As well as the two stories, we looked at persuasive writing. After finding about an old lady who lived in a junk yard, we wrote persuasive letters to her local council to try and prevent them from demolishing it. We used great persuasive techniques like rhetorical questions. After our letters, we  created a persuasive advert to try and sell a dragon to a Viking. Our catchy slogans were really funny (Protect your sheep while you sleep! and Win wars while you snore!) We are getting really good at developing our vocabulary and using high level words. We are also getting good at using similes and making them really creative.


Our afternoon lessons this term have been mainly linked to history. We have just finished a huge Viking topic in which we learnt where they came from, when they invaded, how they ruled and what their punishments were. We also looked at the jobs of each member of the family and what their houses were like. It was really good to draw comparisons with the Anglo Saxons and how we live today. Also linked to this topic, we started the year with some Viking/ Anglo Saxon weaving which was really fun but quite tricky. It was much easier to weave with paper strips than it was with the thread. Making sure you remembered to go over and under got complicated some times as well. Our weaved pictures represented a landscape and would have been similar to how the Viking and Anglo Saxon women weaved. To finish our Viking topic, we are currently doing an art unit linked to waves and Viking ships. We will use different paint techniques to create the waves and show a Viking ship in a stormy sea.


In addition to history, we have done lots of science this half term. We had a visit from Tim from Wessex Water where we got the chance to filter some water using sand. He also told us that the water we drink now is the same water that the dinosaurs had! Science Week was really fun too and the biscuit experiment was gross but interesting. The biscuits all went really soggy and some even broke off in the tea. Miss Barsdell was disappointed it made such a mess as she wanted to drink the tea afterwards! We were really surprised that the Rich Tea biscuits survived as we expected them to disintegrate the most. As well as biscuits, we also looked at fingerprints and smashed stereotypes around what a scientist is and who can be one. Outside of Science Week, we have been doing a topic on States of Matter. This was so much fun as we had loads of experiments to do. The best one was the fizzy drink experiment to see which drink had the most gas in it. We learnt that gas has weight even though you can’t always see it and Miss Barsdell got absolutely soaked when the drinks fizzed all over her! We also looked at the water cycle, evaporation and melting with different experiment. (Mrs Laverty helped us with the melting chocolate one otherwise Miss Barsdell would have eaten it all.)


Our computing has been really fun too as we have been using 2Logo on Purple Mash to practice our coding skills. We have been completing different challenges and trying to give the computer instructions to draw different things like shapes and letters. Getting through the different mazes without crashing proved quite tricky as well. The best bit about computing has been using 2Animate which is also on Purple Mash. We used simple stop motion drawing to create an animation of a film. We also added sound and made a castle blow up! Looking at everyone’s work is a lovely was to end our computing sessions.



We have had a really fun run up to Christmas in Fiji and are really enjoying our sewing. We are making Christmas decorations out of felt and they are looking great. We have finished our maths and English for the year now but our latest piece of writing was a non-chronological report on a made up creature. To begin with, we studied a report on trolls so we could learn all of the key features that we would need to include in ours. We then found out lots of facts on our cretes (we could choose a gamel, shrimpabear or Goat Eater!) Our writing was neatly organised into paragraphs with sub headings and we all wrote lots using really good openers. In maths, we have been looking at new times tables ready for our booklets on them in the new year. We watched some really funny videos called BBC Supermovers for each times table and danced along. We did PSR with Miss Barsdell but our favourite activity was the loop cards.


In our afternoon lessons, we have finally made poo! Miss Barsdell chickened out of that lesson so we got to do it with Miss Hamblin. It was so much fun but really disgusting! We used bananas, tights food colouring and orange juice. We had to identify each part of the digestive system and its function on a diagram of the human body such as the rectum, stomach and intestines. We also made teeth out of play doh and investigated what types of animals have what types of teeth. What teeth do you think a carnivore like a lion would need? Our next topic is the Anglo-Saxons. We have strated already by looking at some very special artefacts and learning all about their punishments. Did you know that if you stole a pig, you would have your hand cut off! Not very fair but we bet it was effective! ON the other hand, if you killed someone, you only had to pay their family 100 shillings. We realised that they thought stealing and witchcraft were more serious than having a fight! Very different to today. After Christmas, we are looking forward to continuing history and eventually moving on to the Vikings.


In computing, we have done lots more coding including making our own scenes, characters and actions. We are experts on 2Code now! Our music lessons have been focused around learning the songs for our performance. We absolutely loved clapping along to Unto Us a Child is Born and were so excited when we got to do it in the recording! We volunteered Miss Barsdell to stand at the front so everyone could copy her! Even though it has been VERY cold, we have enjoyed our multiskills football P.E sessions with Mr White although we are always glad to come back in the warm afterwards.


We can’t wait to be back together at Milford after Christmas.


In Fiji, we are still really enjoying all of our learning. In English, we have written about a lovely story about an old man who dreamed of a forest. In the end he worked hard to make his dream come true and change his horrible world into a colourful world full of animals. We are not writing all about a little boy called Toki who goes on a magical ride through the jungle on a giant chameleon. It is based on a short film called Ride of Passage which we loved watching. In maths, we have started looking at the four operations and reminding ourselves how to use column methods. We make sure we lay it out neatly to help keep all of the number sin the right place and use resources like Place Value counters and abacuses to help us of we need it. After finishing our science work on sound, we have moved back to geography where we learnt all about Europe. We found it on a map and identified several important countries including Norway, Greece and Iceland. Linking to our work on biomes, we realised that most of Europe is temperate forest and has four seasons. Some of Europe is Tundra like Russia and Iceland but Europe also has warm Mediterranean countries like Greece and Spain. We are very excited to move onto animals in science where we will look at teeth and make poo!


After looking at body percussion last half term in music, we are now using the glockenspiels which is loud but really fun. We are also enjoying continuing coding in computing. So far, we have had fun with fish, made an airport and popped bubbles all using Purple Mash! En Francais, after finishing learning different animals, we have now begun learning the instruments. We are still acting out the instruments to help us remember their names.


In Fiji class this half term, we have been really excited about all of our new topics. In Geography, we learnt about the different biomes around the world including the freezing tundra. We were particularly interested to learn about the different animals (fauna) and plants (flora) that can be found in each biome. Did you know the desert and tundra are similar because trees cannot grow in either biome! Our science this half term has been all about sounds. We have learnt lots of new words including vibrations and pitch and we have done several experiments including investigating which materials muffled a loud drum the best. We have really enjoyed our new times tables booklets and whizzed through the 10s before working on the 5s, 2s and 4s. 2 minutes to do 40 questions is not much time but we get better each time we try it. En Francais, we have been learning different animals which has been fun because we act them out before guessing what animal it is in French. We know une vache is cow and un oiseau is bird. We are really looking forward to more story writing after the half term and finding out which book we will be learning about next.

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