Mrs Dowdall's class.

During the week of 16th October, Ladbrooke held an Investigative Science Week. In Year 4 our investigation was trying to find the best material to use as a mop, as Mrs Dowdall had found that when she mopped the floor, it remained very wet for a while afterwards. So we decided we needed to find the most absorbant material to do the job.

The class split into 5 groups and designed an experiment which we hoped would help us to find an answer. Each group had 5 or six strips of different materials to try. We attached strips of the material to a laminated grid. This was to make reading our results easier. We added food colouring to a tray of water, so that we could easily see which material had absorbed the most amount of water. Materials that we tested included; j-cloth, corduroy, bubble wrap,knitted cotton dishcloth, wadding, ribbon, plastic packaging and sponge.

Once each table had their results, we put them into a chart and then created a graph using Excel. We talked about the best format to use and put the data into a pie chart, bar chart, line graph and donut. Most of us decided that a bar chart was the best format to use, although one group chose a donut chart.

Someof the results did surprise us and we didn't get a cler winner overall, although we did have fun testing the materials as the photogrpahs below show.

 

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This term the topic in Years 3 and 4 is 'In the Spotlight'. To introduce the topic the children visited Harry Potter World, Leavesden to see for themselves, all of the things that are required to create the film.

Once inside the building the chidlren were greeted and shown vidoe clips of how the film and the Harry Potter stories came to the big screen. It was very interesting to learn that the book had originally been passed to a junior member of the film production team, who read it and was unable to put it down. Her boss read it and realised that this book was something special and the rest, as they say is history.

After our introductory tall we walked through the enormous doors into the Great Hall. Although our trip was after Christmas, we were lucky enough to still be able to see the huge Christmas tree and ice decorations that made the scene even more special. The Great Hall had been set with food for a Christmas feast. Although the props were not real this time, for the original film the food was real and as it took quite a few days for the scenes to be filmed, the smell apparently was quite awful by the end of filming.

The children then made their way through the attractions, seeing Harry's dormitory, Dumbledore's office and the potion shop. They learned that filming often is done in front of a green screen initially, so that digital backgrounds can be more easily added afterwards. To prove the point, the children were seated on a 'broomstick' stool and had their photograph taken in front of a green screen. When they collected their photographs the green screen had been replaced by a background which appeared to show them flying through the air.

Perhaps the favourite for most of the class was the Forbidden Forest, where smoke can out of the roots of the trees and the children were faced by the HUGE spiders which crept down from their hiding spot towards them. This caused more than a few shrieks along the way. Then it was time to board the Hogwart's Express at platform 9 3/4.

We visited the Worsley's house which looked just like a real house from the outside, but once inside the children were able to see the wooden frames and metal structures holding it all together. The way they make the bricks look so real is amazing. Next, some of them rode in the Ford Anglia used in the film, but luckily for us they didn't fly off!

The penultimate scene was Diagon Alley which again was so realistic. Then came the grand finale, the model of Hogwarts. This was absolutely incredible, measuring 50 feet across. The work was so extensive that if you added all  the man hours that have gone into building and reworking the model, it would come to over 74 years.

The children had a fabulous day, learning about all the props and people needed to make the film.

 

 

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On Tuesday 1st May Year 4 chidlren visited Potters Bar Tennis club to practise the skills they have been learning in PE. After a deluge the day before, the children were waiting with baited breath to see what the weather had in store for them. Luckily we were greeted by clear blue skies as we walked around the corner to the club.

In pairs, chidlren practised their techniques, with all of them managing to get the ball over the net to their partner. The highest number of hits in a rally was 58 - well done Mack and Kristian!

As you can see from the slideshow below, the children had a fabulous time. Also, there were some who demonstrated a natural flair for the game, so watch out for them at Wimbledon in a few years time!  

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Year 4 have had a very exciting start to the week, having spent the first two days at Moat Mount Activity centre in Barnet. The sun was shining as the children explored their new surroundings.

Their first activity was Team Building. Working on their communication skills, they solved a series of problems, which included scaling an electrified fence and working through a maze. It was great to see and hear the children encourage, support and challenge each other to make sure they achieved their objectives and to watch their confidence grow.

After the Team Building the children set off, nets in hand, to see what they could find in the pond. After being greeted by the ducklings, they dipped their nets in to find water fleas, a damsel fly nymph, a water spider, water beetles, a water scorpion, a leech, a water boatman, a dragonfly nymph and plenty of pond weed! Later on, they also found lots of goldfish. Who would have thought there would be so much?

Once the sweetie tins had been raided, they were off again, this time to do the Zip Wire. Approximately 30 feet up in the air, ready to fly as free as a bird, just about. The children waited with anticipation as they were strapped in to their harnesses and climbed the ladder to their destiny! For some, the sight of the ground from their viewpoint was just too much. Mrs Wilkinson to the rescue! With Superhero cape (well almost) she scaled the ladder and attached her harness to those who were a little nervous. Then, with a little bit of encouragement from their friends below, the children jumped in tandem and flew through the air. The look on their faces was a delight to behold. For many they had conquered a great fear and done something they never thought they would dare to do.

Completely exhausted they trudged back to the centre for Hot dogs and chips, which they devoured hungrily. After some free time, they had their hot chocolate and went to bed. Some not quite as exhausted as we had hoped!

We were woken bright (not quite) and early by the Pokey Gang and after a hearty breakfast – 3 helpings of snap crackle and pop for some – we set out to do the Adventure Course – think assault course. Once again the children threw themselves into the activity, some literally, and whilst there were a few bumps and bruises most same away unscathed, ready to take the pillow fight challenge. After lots of camaraderie and support from their team mates, the children came back ready to make their own lunches, which they did with some success, so mums take note – your children can now make their own packed lunches!

Next was the orienteering challenge. We split into 3 groups and wound our way round the site finding the sometimes very well hidden clue posts. The children did really well, with Mrs Wilkinson’s group determined to find them all, even though this did incur a time penalty.

As you can see from the picture show below, the children had a fabulous time, with some even saying they didn’t want to go home.

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On Monday 11 September the whole school was treated to a visit from a Mad Scientist in assembly, before years 3 and 4 had a workshop linked to the current topic 'What Lies Beneath Us?'.

We were shown how the earth is similar to a boiled egg - who would have thought it? This is because if you cut across the egg, the shell, albumen and yolk look like the three layers of the earth - the crust , mantle and core. We had some rather large guesses about how wide the earth was, but finally learned that the crust is between 3 and 25 miles thick, compared to the Earth's diameter, which is approximately 10,000 miles across. This means that the part we live on is actually quite thin.

We also learned that there are rocks all around us and that these can be one of three types; metamorphic, sedimentary and igneous. Each of the three types is made in different ways. By heat, pressure or a mixture of both and they all have different properties.Next, we went outside and did some prospecting - sieving sand to find hidden gems. These were very colourful and everyone had some examples they took home in their own gem pouch.

Our next activity was trying to smash a piece of geode to reveal the crystal inside. Some groups fared better than others, but in the end, using a rubber mallet and lots of muscles we managed to break the geode and everyone tooka  piece of crystal to add to their collection.

Our grand finale was to create our own volcano. Using a pack of mentoes and bottle of cola, we created an eruption in the playground.

Now we will be seeing how all this learning fits into our topic. As you can see from the photos below, the children really enjoyed their learning.

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