Mrs Dowdall's class.

Year 4 Play in a Day Topic Finale

On Tuesday 2nd April, year four performed a play in a day to celebrate different inventors and their inventions in the last century. These included the aeroplane, steam engine, telephone, toothbrush, WWW and television. The performance also acknowledged the role of female inventors who were responsible for the paper bag, computer programming, windscreen wipers and the life raft.

At the end of the day parents and Year 3 came to the hall to watch the children perform. As you can see they had a lot of fun putting on the play and parents were very impressed with their acting skills.

 

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Year 4’s Balloon Car Grand Prix

As part of our topic Incredible Inventions and with links to our science topic of forces, Year 4 have been making balloon powered cars, using recycled bottles.

We started by adding shafts for axles, cutting axles and fitting wooden wheels, adding a blow tube and finally adding a balloon to power our vehicle.

The grand finale was to visit the hall where the children lined up in pole position to race their vehicle. We had a few minor glitches, with some vehicles deciding on a trajectory of their own, but three clear winners emerged. These were Makaiyla, Julia and Harry.

As you can see from the pictures below the children used their DT skills to good effect and had to think carefully about the forces acting on their vehicles and also ways in which they could improve their designs.

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LAUNCH OF INCREDIBLE INVENTIONS

On Monday 14th January, years 3 and 4 visited the Science Museum in London as the launch

of their new topic ‘Incredible Inventions’. The children were split into three groups and looked at different areas of the museum.

The Basement area houses an exhibition called ‘The Secret Life of the Home’ where different household equipment is on display from the 1800s to the present day. It shows how keeping the home clean, heating and cooking have developed over time. It even has the first flush toilet on display, which caused much amusement for the children. Other things that have changed significantly are televisions-, computer games and radios. They are much smaller today, yet can do so much more. The ‘What is it?’ game was interesting, as children had to guess the use of some very strange looking objects, but by the end they were getting quite good at choosing the right answer.

On the first floor the children saw a sculpture made from hundreds of different materials. They then learned about the uses of those materials. Some designed a t-shirt and learned about the environmental impact of their choices. For example, the fabric and whether it needed ironing, what temperature it needed to be washed at and whether it could be recycled. Some children were quite puzzled by the old dial telephones and couldn’t believe how long they had to wait for the number to register!

In the final area on the ground floor the children saw how transport has developed over time and how mass production changed the world.

The children had an enquiring, but busy day and are looking forward to using what they have learned from their trip in their topic.

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Footsteps Around the World Finale

On Wednesday 5th December, years 3 and 4 were treated to a Didgeridoo Workshop, where they learned about traditional Australian culture, as a finale to our topic ‘Footsteps Around the World’.

The day started with a KS2 assembly where Jonathan Cope, also known as the Didgeridoo man, presented facts about Australia and played the didgeridoo for us. As well as being an instrument, the didgeridoo is used to tell stories and different animal sounds can be identified as the instrument is played. Jonathan told us that whilst he was learning to play the didgeridoo, his fame spread to Northern Australia and he has actually been adopted by an Aboriginal family who have taught him their traditions, which he now shares with children in schools. The children were very impressed with his skills.

After the assembly, the workshop for year 4 started with a review of Aboriginal artefacts. The children learned how a boomerang works, that a tundrum (a wooden stick swung around on a stick) is used to scare away spirits, a whistle on a string attracts birds so they can be caught for food and that message sticks were used to communicate between the tribe. We ended the first session by learning a dance where the children had to identify various animals which had been created on the didgeridoo. As you can see from the photos, they particularly enjoyed this element of the day.

Later on we looked at the different animals they have in Australia, many of which are highly poisonous, but show this by displaying their bright colours as a warning. Interestingly, the first slide was of some camels, which, although not indigenous to Australia, have expanded in numbers. So much so, that the Australians now well them to their traditional homelands of Saudi Arabia and other desert countries!

We ended the morning session by trying to play the didgeridoo, which involves blowing through the lips, which need to vibrate, and learning to breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth to keep a continuous sound. Quite difficult, but most of the children managed to create a tune!

In the afternoon we learned some of the traditional aboriginal sign language and looked at their dot paintings. We chose different designs and then painted our own didgeridoo.

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On Wednesday 28th November Year 3 and 4 children were treated to a comedy performance of A Christmas Carol. On a very wet and dull day, we all walked to The Elms library, where we were greeted by the Booster Cushion Theatre, and treated to a master retelling of the story.

During the performance, various children were asked to assist the storyteller, and for the first time, the story had a Bob and a Cratchet! Other helpers were Belle, Fezziwig and Tiny Tim, all ably played by the children. We even had some arithmetic questions thrown at us and the children easily responded with the right answers – well done Years 3 and 4 – see maths is everywhere!

It was a terrific performance which kept the children engaged from start to finish. As you can see from their faces, they thoroughly enjoyed the performance.

We walked back to school, our moods much brightened, despite the weather.

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