Mrs Dowdall's class.

This term, Year 4 have been lucky enough to have some professional tennis coaching, thanks to an initiative run by the LTA. We were offered funding for either tennis equipment or coaching, and as we have new racquets we chose the latter.

On Tuesday 15th March, Karl Mills the coach at Potters Bar Tennis Club came to school and put the children through their paces. They played games which improve coordination, and then put those skills to the test using an improvised net stretched between the netball posts. It was the day before storm Dudley, so the wind was just a tad strong, but that didn’t put the children off at all. They were all enjoying playing mini-rallies across the net and learning to control the ball.

The following week, the class visited the tennis club. The PBTC committee have kindly allowed us to use the courts for our sessions, so that the children can get a real feel for the game. Thank you PBTC Committee!

Since then we have had further lessons, where the children are learning basic skills of controlling the ball, having mini-rallies, volleying with more to come. Our thanks to Mr Ward (PE lead), for making this possible, and also to Karl for making the sessions so enjoyable.

Watch out for the next Andy Murray or Emma Raducano!



Year 4 Launch into New Science Topic

The new topic in Year 4 for Science is Rocks and Soils.

On Tuesday 11th January, the class took a field trip, to the Japanese Garden in Parkfield, to see what rocks they could find in the local area. The children really enjoyed their walk, and found many different examples of rocks, both decorative and practical, as they examined the paths on their route.

On the way back to school, we walked past the Oakmere Park entrance and the War Memorial, where we found examples of stone structures, not usually associated with buildings in Potters Bar. We also took time to discuss the materials used to build the flats and houses, and compared these to St Mary the Virgin church on the walk, which is also made of stone.

We will be using the information gathered to investigate the different types of rocks found under the Earth’s surface.


On Thursday 18th November, Year 4 were delighted to welcome parents back in to school to perform their class assembly. It had been two years since the children had been able to showcase their work and they were very excited to show their parents what they had been working on this term.

They began by reading out some writing from their work on Stories from Other cultures. They had read a number of stories from different parts of the world, and learned that they either tell how something was created, or give a moral for the reader. The text they had written was based on an animated film, The Catch, about a young fisherman who has the repsonsibility for feeding his tribe, but can't find enough fish. A wily fox comes to his rescue, but at the end you are left wondering whether the fox is real or a spirit. 

Next the children read some of their Autumn poems, having learned about rhythm, rhyme, alliteration and similes. Some of these can be seen below.

This half term our science topic was light, and we conducted some experiments to show what we had learned in the topic sharing this knowledge in the assembly.

During black history month, we learned about an explorer called Matthew Henson, who had tried to find the exact North Pole. The children had created fact files about his life and learned how he had not initially been given the credit for his work, because he was a Black African American, despite having extensive knoweldge of the region which he learned from the Inuit tribe.

Our topic for this term is In the Spotlight where we have learned about theatres around the world, the architects who built them and where they are located. The children had great fun finding the London theatres on a map and working out co-ordinates and followed clues to locate the relevant theatre.

For our finale, the parents watched a vidoe of the children performing a dance, which they learned having taken part in a workshop about teamwork earlier in the week.

The children thoroughly enjoyed being able to share some of their work with their parents. Well done Year 4!



In the second week of term, 14 September, Year 4 children started their swimming lessons at Furzefield.

Since the start of the first lockdown, swimming was not possible, so it was a real treat for the children to travel on the coach and start their swimming lessons. Swimming is probably one of the most important life skills to learn - it literally can save your life.

The class have taken to the lessons like ducks to water! They have excitedly joined in with the activities set by their swimming teachers and are learning new skills. Hopefully by the end of the 10 week block, they will be able to swim on their front or back for 25 metres. They will also learn some life saving techniques and skills.

This is what some of the children had to say about their experience so far:

"The swimming teachers are really nice, and we learn new skills."

"At swimming I learnt to swim on my back, and it felt amazing!"

"I like all of the things we do, but I especially like when we jump in at the end. It makes me feel so proud."

"It's important to swim, because if you fall in to water and think you're drowning, you can save yourself. Swimming calms me and I can swim faster."

"My favourite stroke is front crawl, because you can see under the water. Being able to swim makes me feel safe on holiday."

"When I beat my record, I am determined to beat it the next week. I always get butterflies, but I can do it."

"Today I swam as far as I ever swam before."





Well after a very exhausting first night, we have had another fun-filled day at Camp Ladbrooke.

Breakfast was served early at 07:00 and then we set off to Parkfield on a nature hunt. We were looking for different types of trees and wild flowers and evidence of animals’ habitats. We found lots of different trees, and the wet area revealed some very pretty yellow flags. Whilst we were out we took the opportunity to gather lots of kindling for the fires this evening, so that we are able to toast our marshmallows, not to mention warm up before we go to bed!

When we arrived back at school we all made our own sandwiches and then took them back to camp to eat. So mums, this means if you make a packed lunch, you can now delegate! We were very quick and it didn’t take us long to polish them off. We will be doing that again tomorrow, so will have plenty of experience when we come home.

After lunch we were back in Parkfield for a spot on pond dipping. We were amazed at the many small creatures we were able to find, in just a small net full. We were busy identifying them, although it wasn’t particularly easy as they moved so quickly. Unfortunately, we didn’t catch anything big enough for tea, so it was just as well that Mrs MacCormack had arranged for a burger van to visit – yummy!

Before dinner we played some team building games including magic carpet, half pipe challenge, stepping stones, leaking water challenge and pass the ball. We didn’t have time to herd any sheep, but perhaps we will do that tomorrow. The children found that they were working better as a team and communicating, rather than competing today.

We will end our evening with a Ladbrooke’s Got Talent, where some of the children, both Year 4 and Year 5 will be entertaining us. We also have some ‘celebrity judges’ arriving to help decide the winners, so an exciting time ahead. We have very kindly been given some marshmallow skewers by Alfie’s (Y5) parents, and these will polish off another busy day.

I wonder what lies in store for tomorrow?

Sleep tight everyone. Zzzzzzzzzzzz


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Our day started with 30 very excited children travelling to Bounds Green to take part in some bushcraft survival activities.  We started the day by playing a game of Predator and Prey (in our case foxes and deer) with the idea beign that the deer had to camouflage themselves in the woodland surrounding and outwit teh two foxes that were waiting for them at the home base.  We had some very clever camouflage tactics and some deer actually managed to make it to freedom.  The children loved the game and burned off some energy.

Next we moved onto fire building and were shown how to create the triangle of fire.  Each child was shown how to start a fire to keep them warm in the event that they found themselves in a survival situation.  Once we had done this we also made our own bread patties which we cooked over the open fire.  

After lunch we moved on to a mock plane crash where we had to build a shelter and learn how to find and made clean water.  The chidlren learnt a lot about team building activities and the need to work together.  Do we need to collaborate or compete?  After a few failed competitions, the need to collaborate shone through and the children buildt themsleves a waterproof shelter and learnt how to filter water.  They all enjoyed the day enormously and we returned to base to find a very exciting camp set up and waiting for us.

After a dinner of pizza and garlic bread, we were treated to a visit from an ice cream van, curtesy of Alfie (Y5) parents and all the chidlren and adults had a delicious ice cream.  The evening was rounded off with hot chocolate and marshmellows around the camp fire.  

The children are now all safely tucked up in their sleeping bag, dreaming of an exciting day ahead. A massive tahnk you to everyone who helped ensure this trip became a reality, we certainly could not have done it without you and your offeres of help have been grately appreciated.

Year 4