Sapphire Class is the year 3/4 class and is taught by Mr Kricka. Mrs Beckett teaches Computing and P.E.
We are supported by Mrs Davies.
Summer Term 2
This term, the children learned about stories about issues and read The Great Kapok Tree. They then wrote stories of their own based on its structure. We had a brilliant variety of versions; some based under the sea and some based in outer space. All of the stories had a message that humans are destroying habitats without thinking about the consequences.
The children learned about the Mayan civilisation this term. They found out how important maize was to these people and how they ate it almost everyday! They also discovered the significance of an early form of chocolate and the ceremonial role this played in their society.
They discovered how clever the Mayans were and learned about their number system, which included one of the earliest uses of a zero. The children learned how to write a range of numbers and completed some Mayan Maths challenges. They were able to discuss the connections and contrasts this numbers system has with other civilisations and modern day society.
The children learned about the structure of Mayan society and found out who was most and least important. They even played games at playtime pretending to be priests and farmers and slaves…thankfully there were no sacrifices!
This term in Science the children learned about the significance of flowers, their parts and their function. This included the lifecycle of a flowering plant. They were able to observe and draw the parts of flowers and follow a plant from flowering to producing seeds. They then discovered the many ways that seeds are dispersed and conducted an investigation into seeds dispersed by the wind by making and testing a seed model. They set up and performed fair tests, observed, recorded and present their findings.
In art this term the children developed their understanding of working with textiles by producing a dyed and printed piece. First the children dip dyed a fabric square and then created a collagraph printing block using string, spaghetti and beans inspired by Mayan patterns.
Autumn 1 2022
This term in English, the children read The Firework Maker's Daughter and wrote informal letters between the characters. They all thought that Lila was an excellent role model and she inspired them to keep on going when pursuing their dreams and ambitions.
The children also wrote performance poetry in the form of instructions and began by reading and analysing 'Instructions for Giants'. They then decided on what they would like the giants to keep and destroy and write some poems of their own. They also learned how to perform a poem and how rhyme gives a poem rhythm.
Finally, the children used their knowledge of volcanoes that they had been learning about in Geography to write their own non- chronological reports.
In Design Technology this half term the children researched, designed and made their own juggling balls. They had to look at some existing designs and evaluate them based on a range of criteria. They then used their findings to design juggling balls of their own and then made them using a range of sewing stitches.
In Science this half term the children learned about rocks and soils. They investigated different types of rock and tested their hardness and permeability. They found out what soil is made from and tested a range of samples to find the best soaker and drainer.
In Geography, the children learned about volcanoes. They found out how they are formed and how they can be both destructive and useful. They looked at a number of famous volcanoes and learned what happens when they erupt.
In R.E., the children have been learning about Jesus as a saviour. They looked at what it meant to be a saviour and how that relates to their lives. Also how Jesus showed he was a saviour through his actions. The children read stories from the Bible and talked about how he had saved people and showed them how to live.
In P.S.H.E. the children learned about respect and how this looks and sounds. They also learned about different ways to show respect and discussed a range of scenarios.
Summer Term 1
In English this half term the children have been learning about adverts and persuasion. They created some spy gadgets and had to describe them using some amazing adjectives.
They also learned about explanation texts and created some art machines of their own to write about. There were carving, painting and tie-dying creations. They had to use casual conjunctions and write in the present tense. For their final piece they invented their own butterfly and wrote an explanation of its lifecycle.
In Science this half term the children learned about muscles and bones and a healthy diet. They learned about the food groups and created some healthy meals. They also conducted a sugar and fruit and vegetable portion survey. They then investigated muscle strength and if it relates to the amount of exercise, graphing their results once they had completed.
In Design Technology the children found out about food you can grow in your own garden. They learned how to be food safe and practised chopping techniques. They then evaluated some strawberry smoothies and used their findings to design a smoothie of their own. They were delicious.
In Geography the children compared Andalusia and Suffolk and discovered that both regions have a lot in common and some very significant differences. They looked at the physical geography of both places and discovered that they are both mainly flat which is why they are important regions for farming. They noticed that Andalusia is also a coastal region, like Suffolk, and how many people travel there for beach holidays.
In R.E. the children learned about the Kingdom of God. They started by designing a crown and thinking about what the ideal kingdom might be like. They then learned about the way that God wanted Christians to live and how Jesus taught this through parables.
Spring Term 2
In English this half term the children learned about the features of fables. They found out that the characters were animals and then thought of some characters for their own fables based on The Hare and the Tortoise. There were lots of interesting character combinations using fast and slow-moving animals. After this they wrote a fable of their own based on the moral; don’t be greedy.
We then wrote adverts after learning a model text using talk for writing. The model advert was for a spy gadget which linked to our class reader for this half term: Anisha: Accidental Detective. The children then planned and wrote adverts for their own spy gadgets. :
In Science this half term, the children learned about sound. They were able to see sound waves in action using tuning forks and a glass of water. They also investigated how sound travels by making and. testing string telephones. They experimented with varying pitch by making a straw whistle which they cut to different lengths. They also investigated sound proofing and had to choose the best material to stop sound waves from travelling. See the sound in action below:
Our history topic this half term was a study of British clothing through the ages. The children stopped off in each time-period, starting with medieval Britain and researched the types of clothing worn by the rich and poor.
In Design Technology the children made their own kites. They started by researching and evaluating some existing products. They also learned about the parts of a kite; their function and why they were made from certain materials. All of this fed into their designs and they then made and tested them.
Spring Term 1
In English this half term the children have been reading Butterfly Lion by Michael Morpurgo. They have written setting descriptions based on the waterhole and persuasive letters to convince Bertie's dad to keep the lion.
For poetry this half term they have been 'keen learners' and studied kennings and other forms of list poems.
In art this half term we have been developing skills in printing and learned a number of techniques using lots of different materials. The children have spent lots of time mastering how to ink up rollers and have tried relief printing in a variety of ways. They designed a printing tile based on animal fur patterns and printed these in their sketch books. Finally they used plasticine to make a stamp to print a repeated pattern using overprinting in a range of colours.
In Science the children have been investigating light. They have experimented with reflection and learned that bright colours reflect the most light. The year 4 children had a challenge to decide on the best fabric for some high visibility clothing. They then investigated shadows and how moving the object further away form the light source can change the appearance of the shadow.
In Geography this half term the children have been learning about rivers and the water cycle. They looked at local river (The River Brett) and found out that the start of a river is called the source and that the end of a river is called the mouth. They then found out about some of the other features such as meanders and the three parts of a river: the upper, middle and lower course.
In French the children have learned how to say a range of clothes and colours and can tell you what they are wearing.
In English this half term the children learned all about instructions by making a dream catcher. They then created their own playground games and wrote instructions for how to play them.
Do you have an electric personality? Sapphire class spent their Design Technology lesson looking at electric toys and created one of their own. They created robots with lights and animals with moving tails. They had to use their knowledge of circuits to make their personality come to life.
In Science the children learned about circuits and tested different materials to find out if they were conductors or not.
In Geography this half term the children have been on a round-the-world trip, learning about the countries of the Southern Hemisphere, Northern Hemisphere and the Equator. They found out about the amount of daylight hours in countries in the Arctic Circle and thought about how this would affect their lives. They learned about lines of latitude and longitude and how to find countries given coordinates on a globe.
Sapphire Class visited Colchester Castle to support our study of the Romans in History. We had a story tour of the Roman temple vaults, time exploring the museum galleries and hands on archaeological activities where we had to build a Celtic roundhouse and Roman villa. We were able to reinforce our understanding of chronology, examine evidence and problem solve, all through practical and creative tasks.
This half term we have been writing our own fairy stories inspired by the work of Hans Christian Andersen. We read The Princess and the Pea and explored how some other authors had adapted this popular fairy-tale. After reading Lauren Child’s version we thought carefully about our description and language choices. After reading Rachel Isadora’s version set in Africa, we thought about a setting of our own. The children chose underwater, futuristic and space settings for their own stories and we had a range of different objects to represent the pea such as; a meteor, a pearl and even a microchip!
For our non-fiction unit, we learned about non chronological reports and focussed on writing in third person and present tense. We also learned about paragraphs. We looked a variety of sports-based reports as an inspiration for our writing and our final piece was based on the Roman army which was our history topic. We wrote about the soldier’s weapons and armour. Also, about their training and included some interesting facts. Did you know that a Roman soldier had to buy their own sword and shield?
For poetry we learned about Haikus. These are a Japanese form of poetry that paint a picture of a scene. They are made up of 3 lines. The first and last lines have to have 5 syllables and the middle line has 7. We looked at manga characters and a film called Howl’s Moving Castle and this inspired us to write to describe the castle. We focussed on using powerful verbs and interesting adjectives.
For our class reader we discovered what a horrid, stinking pair the Twits are and enjoyed seeing them get what they deserved at the end of the story.
In Science we have been learning about forces and magnets. We investigated push and pull forces by testing how different surfaces effected the amount of force needed to push or pull a car along. We then looked at magnets and discovered materials that are magnetic or non-magnetic. We found out that the magnetic materials were all metal. Although we also found out through a coin investigation that not all metals are magnetic.
In Art we have been learning about 3d forms. We cast a shoe using brown gummed tape and then came up with our own design after looking at a range of shoes and their purpose.
In R.E. we have been learning about Reconciliation and have thought deeply about what this means. We used the picture of a zip to support our thinking and how this puts two sides back together again. We read the parable of the lost son and discussed how this demonstrated to Christians the importance of reconciliation and then thought about how Christians practice this in their daily lives and through worship. In response to this we made our own prayer kits. We looked at some important Christian figures such as Desmond Tutu who was a peacemaker and to demonstrate our learning we made peacemaker badges for people to wear in school.
In P.S.H.E we have been learning about how we can manage fallings out and what choices we have. We thought about what a friend is and what friends do. The children discussed and shared what is important to them in their own friendships. Then we looked at the good and not so good choices and thought about ways to mend or friendships and make them stronger.
Computing this half term has helped us to think further about how we can keep safe online, how we should behave online and what we do if something happens that we are not sure of or that makes us feel uncomfortable. We have looked at how we can protect our identities online and how we should represent ourselves. The relationships we form online were also something we considered as we start to explore playing games with people outside of school. We all agreed that we should continue to treat people in a way we would like to be treated when we are online and that we shouldn’t say anything to anyone online that we wouldn't say to them face to face.
In PE we have been developing our Basketball skills and creating our own Yoga flows. In Basketball, we looked at dribbling styles, fouls, options for passing, defending and shooting. Unfortunately, we had a wet weather session but we made the most of it and did some rhythm drumming with pool noodles in the hall which was a lot of fun and kept us very active! We looked at lots of different poses in Yoga and then transferred them into some Yoga flows. We then went on to create some Yoga flows of our own using what we had learnt. We also found out lots of breathing exercises and ways to focus on positive thoughts and get rid of negative thoughts which was very helpful.
We had an exciting visit to 4 different countries for MFL day. We visited Spain and learnt about the different types of Spanish food. We were all left craving tapas and paella.
While visiting Germany we learnt about the first day of school tradition where each child is given a Schule Tute (school cone) packed with sweets and school supplies. We then wrote a first day of school card and learnt how to say some different types of school equipment in German.
In Japan we learned about the art of origami and had to follow instructions carefully to make some of our own.
Lastly, we took a trip to France and learnt about the history of the Eiffel Tower and then painted some pictures using water colours and pastels.
We all had a fantastic day and learnt a great deal about these countries’ languages and cultures.
In Science this term we were answering the question’ What do plants need to grow big and strong?’ For this, we learned about the parts of plants and their functions. We investigated how plants transport water and found out that they have little straw-like tubes called xylem running through them.
We set up an investigation using runner beans planted in different conditions to see how well they would grow. We found out that the one planted in the dark wasn’t as green as the others and the one given no water was very small. Take a look at our findings here:
Trip to Beth Chatto’s Gardens
We visited the gardens to take part in workshops all about plants. We had a fantastic day which started with exploring the vast and beautiful gardens. We found lots of interesting plants, some with different textures and some that have been around since the dinosaurs!
We then took part in a seed workshop and learnt how seeds are dispersed. We were given some samples and had to group them according to how they were dispersed. We found that lots of them were transported by the wind and some even had tiny hooks on them to stick to animals fur. We then played a game where we hid some acorns, just like squirrels do, and had to find them again. Not all of us found all of our acorns… another way that seeds are dispersed!