Year 4 enjoying their Science workshops - Static Electricity - Chemical Slime - Brilliant ("brainy") Biology. Sycamore are a great scientific class!
Our Journey Collage Work
Today we have been exploring a range of textures and colours to create a collage showing a journey from the city to the countryside.
Drama Exploring 'Feeling Excluded'
During our PSHE lesson today, the children have discussed and reflected on how it feels to be excluded from activities, friendship groups and teams. The children all showed great maturity in discussing this and then created role plays and freeze frames around the theme. As the weather was sunny, we decided to use the stage for our performance time!
Mrs. King has had a wonderful couple of days listening to lots of interesting facts on a whole range of topics as Sycamore presented their individual projects to the class. Topics have included Meryl Streep, Rugby Union, Football, Dance, Bugs, Lourdes, The Tower of London, Warwick Castle and Little Mix- to name but a few! The children have worked so hard on all this work and they have all done a wonderful job explaining their ' chosen subject' to the class. Well done and thank you Parents and Carers for all your support too!
Exploring the work of the artist Paul Cezanne
Year 4 Visit The Synagogue
Sycamore enjoyed a very informative, interesting visit to Singer's Hill Synagogue today. The children behaved beautifully and we all learned so much about the Jewish faith.
Our team presentations about the risks of palm oil to both ourselves and our environment.
Each group presented as a company - e.g. Starbucks
...and now Mars
Some posters in our science books.
No punches were pulled about risks to health.
The risks to our environment were also made clear!
Today Sycamore have been taking part in a debate and presentation on the presence of palm oil in foodstuffs. Most of it is farmed unsustainably, which basically means that huge swathes of the rainforest in South America have been cleared to make way for vast plantations - losing forever hundreds of years of a valuable ecosystem - literally the lungs of the earth! It gets worse...palm oil is high in fat (of the wrong kind.) It is a known contributor towards heart disease as it clogs up our arteries. So the worst of all world. Firstly, we lose the rainforest and its vital plants, insects and animals. Secondly, what is grown is actually bad for us! Ironically, other forms of much healthier oil can be grown inexpensively closer to home: olive oil from Southern Europe and also rapeseed oil from the UK. Please think twice before you eat!
Sycamore class enjoyed a super morning at Waitrose, Hall Green learning all about healthy eating.
Today we have been taking part in an Olympics maths challenge getting ready for Rio!!!
STOPPRESS... All children in Sycamore have Mathletics homework due in on Wednesday 23rd March.They will also have a small piece to complete over the Easter holidays ready for Wednesday 13th April. I know what you're thinking..."Mr Woollard is all heart!"
Next times table test will be combined x4 and x8 on Tuesday 22nd March. Apologies that Sycamore are slightly out of sequence with the published timetable. They have been doing extra tests until this week when things got pushed back because of our preparations for the excellent St Patrick's day mass.
Advance notice; x 9 tables test on Friday 15th April. After that, normal service will be resumed!
Sycamore are currently learning how to write newspaper articles in Literacy. Only the red hot journalists in Sycamore could turn a visit to a very special umbrella shop in London, (James Smith and Son of New Oxford Street,) into an exciting newspaper article. Ask your son or daughter about the day when Mr and Mrs Woollard visited London to see the new "Motown" musical. Just how did they manage to come back with two brand new, quality umbrellas?
A heart warming newspaper article about an amazing umbrella shop.
A quality bag containing...guess what?
From an old fashioned shop established in 1830
Lovely, silky, smooth, white wrapping paper!
Just can't wait to open one of them!
Hard at work writing our newspaper article...
About an umbrella shop...
An umbrella shop with a difference...
It was only by chance that Mr Woollard went in!
Read all about it!
Going to press soon!
Sycamore class had an extended Maths lesson on Thursday 10th March for World Maths Day. The objective was to work in small teams taking accurate measurements of everyday things in the playground. Back in class it was all about applying the maths, (neatly in our books!) Children worked on converting cm to metres and cm. They added up perimeter and used the grid method to calculate area (that's cm squared to you and me!) Finally to revise our subtraction we found the difference between the length and the width using column subtraction. A very enjoyable morning with a hard working class and some free fresh air. The maths calculations were very good as well. Helping each other out beats copying EVERY time!
Sycamore Class measuring up our school for some very reasonably priced calculations!
Hmm this bin how high in centimetres?
These windows, very good dimensions!
It's 100 cm in a metre.
Measure that bench - no problem.
Steady with that metre ruler.
That's 78cm (just short of a metre!)
A new MUGA...we'd better get measured up!
This gate is 236cm. That's 2m 36cm to you!
Netball posts...all in a morning's work!
Have you noticed something about area?
Perimeter, you have to add each side up...
At this stage I'm going to need a slide rule...
The recording - just as important as the measuring
Sycamore have learned lots about the Hindu faith.
Sycamore listening carefully.
Mathsletics for all children in due to be completed by next Wednesday 27th January.
Space the final frontier? The response to our International Space Station "find out what you can" request has been fantastic in Sycamore class! Lots and lots of very imaginative ideas, extremely creative work and a real love of learning has been very apparent. Thanks to the creativity of all of the children, over 32 questions that could be asked of the Space Station astronauts have been identified. The three most thought provoking were filmed this afternoon - all by the the children of Sycamore themselves. They will soon be uploaded to the I.S.A, along with questions from other classes, as part of the "Cosmic Classroom" competition. As I've heard some people say, "If you're not in, you can't win!" Please see some photos below:
Pictures of our live recording of questions for the space station - all done in TV style!
Our TV support team, helping out with live scripts
"How are you able to phone from Space?"
"What do you like best about being in space?"
"What has been your most interesting experiement?"
Just a few of the many fantastic things from home!
Every child in Sycamore has contributed something
Some super scores on this week's x9 tables test from most children. Thanks to parents for their support and encouragement. It really does make a difference...particularly since we will be learning about multiplying 1, 2, and 3 digit numbers next in maths. "If you don't know your tables then you will find it difficult to do multiplication!" exclaimed Mr Woollard excitedly!
Mathsletics for all children in due to be completed by next Wednesday 20th January.
STOP PRESS: We are having a X3 tables test on Friday 22nd January and X4 tables test on Friday 29th January...I just know that it's going to be great!
Here is a great site (to cut and paste) for your child to find out about the International Space station - ready for our lesson next week where children can show and tell what they have been able to find out at home.
Remember that we are also looking for "great questions" from children to ask the astronauts on the space station. We intend to film them and then send them off to the space station organisation. The winning schools get the chance to ask them "live," for real, to the astronauts on the station. No plans to send any children up there yet. Hmmmmm, now let me think!!!
We are also posting for you a special phone number soon for West Midlands Fire Service. The team from Blue Watch at Billesley Fire station did a great assembly and Y4 lesson this afternoon on Fire and safety awareness. There is a number that families can ring to receive a free WMFS safety check for your home...0800 389 5525. This includes installing smoke detectors as part of the service - Mr Woollard has his safety check for home already booked in for next week!
Two quick reminders:
1. Mathletics homework has been set ready for children to complete by Wednesday 13th January.
2. There will be a x9 times tables test (including division facts) on Friday 15th January. Get those old Christmas cards and start writing the tables out out on the back. It's a great way to revise and may even impress a parent / carer if they test your knowledge!
A few shots from our marvellous musical this Christmas
Amongst all our work and rehearsals and work for Advent we still found time for some coding. How do we do it? Are Sycamore an amazing class? (The last question was a rhetorical one.) Of course we are!
Not forgetting that most all this is the season of Advent. Our children have been working very hard on understanding its true meaning, as well as the importance of the Jesse tree and the stories from the bible about the people in it (Jesus' ancestors.)
Recognition from the top! Ashley read all of Sycamore's letters applying for stage school. Sycamore class has been awarded a special certificate of merit!
The children's work on Explanation Texts and Moses (also linking to Advent) makes it to our display boards.
Story boards for Moses.
It still links to our world today.
...and also to our own Advent journey.
All work ready to prepare and plan our Big Write!
The children are working very hard in preparation for their Nativity in a few weeks time. Rehearsals are going well and Sycamore know that they all need to know their lines off by heart by next Monday. Today the classroom was filled with colour! We have begun creating the props needed in the play. It all got rather festive!
Year 4 Nativity Prop Preparation
Advent is here! In Sycamore we have been reflecting on how important Advent is in our Liturgical year and how we need to prepare carefully for Christmas. We have created a wreath for our classroom, using all our hands as a base, and created promises and prayers. In thinking about our own behaviour, we have also created personalised Advent calendars.
Sycamore Advent Fundraising
The children, having had a good look through the CAFOD catalogue, have decided to raise money in order to buy a School Starter Pack for a child in a developing country. This costs £25 and we hope to raise the money through sponsored tasks at home.
We will also be collecting adult gloves, scarves and toiletries for The Sanctuary and The Fireside. Mrs King has spoken to Sycamore and highlighted that this is a very expensive time for Mums and Dads. They should be using their pocket money or doing extra jobs at home to pay for this collection and that the items they bring in do not have to be expensive at all.
If anyone has any shoe boxes at home we would really appreciate them too!
How do you teach children to research a topic, pull out the best bits, present them so that people will find the writing interesting and do it quickly and neatly? These are real life skills that children will need to deliver when they grow up and work in the real world. Sycamore have come up with their own ideas about a successful playtime. After that, they shared them with each other. They integrated new ideas into their own writing. Next, they pulled together and helped each other to create an information poster about "How to have a successful playtime." It has a real world purpose...it will act as an information guide to our new Head Teacher (Mrs David,) early next year. To make it really easy for her the children will turn this information into a really informative letter (their next Big write!) Of course, we still expect to see neat writing with good spelling , great use of adjectives adverbs and connectives - not forgetting; full stops, capitals, including questions and of course sub headings and PARAGRAPHS!
Sycamore also worked in teams producing evidence and copy (words and sentences) to design and produce a poster about "What makes a successful school playtime."
What have we here?
I am totally immersed in this creative process!
Hmmm maybe if we just changed this bit...
Our information poster taking shape.
...and looking good!
Just a bit more to do for this team.
Time to present,
and what really works well.
We've explained what peer mediators do.
How should we behave to each other?
Allow us to share with you...
Next stop, planning the letters...
Sycamore are combining Literacy with R.E. All the children are collaborating to make bring to life the story of Moses asking the Pharoah to release the Hebrews from slavery and let them travel to the land of Israel. Did Pharoah listen? Well, a few plagues later, yes he did! What a great link for our journey of discovery into advent, where we will also remember people in the world who are less fortunate than ourselves - those that are also on journeys, to save their very lives. How should we treat them - with kindness or indifference?
Sycamore working in mixed teams preparing to make an (explanation text) story board for Moses and the Pharoah.
A new reminder that Maths home work this week (as of Wednesday 25th November,) is back to Mathletics...I have given the children until next Wednesday morning (2nd December) latest. Can I ask that if you (and they) know they have IT issues at home, with your computer, that the children go along to Monday's homework club, rather than waiting until Wednesday - Thanks.
Next times tables test is x8 on Friday 4th December - please encourage your child to learn their x8 tables and division facts - a key "building block for Maths - and therefore life! Many thanks - children can always ask me for revision sheets if they need them - Mr W.
Malachi production went swingingly well. An absolutely brilliant performance from our wonderful Y3 and Y4 children - very well done indeed and a big thank you once more to the team from Malachi who have been an absolute pleasure to work with.
A few shots taken of our wonderful Y3 and Y4 performers in action!
In R.E. this morning Sycamore have been writing about the story of Moses and the burning bush. Ask your child why this is one of the most important stories in the bible.
Sycamore are busy rehearsing now for our Christmas production - as they say "it'll be alright on the night!"
In Shape and Space, Sycamore have been calculating the area and perimeter of rectangular shapes. Here are some photos of a little assessment game that the children undertook in pairs- Mrs King
In our Spoken Language lessons we have been working hard to ask relevant questions and to participate in class discussions. Here are some photos of a debate we had concerning recycling- Mrs King.
Sycamore have been working very hard in Science to use equipment carefully to collect accurate and reliable results. They have started by using thermometers and will be moving onto using other types of apparatus in the next few weeks- Mrs King
HOT OFF THE PRESS! Here are just some of the super letters that Sycamore have written to (imaginary) stage schools. This follows on from the previous web site designing work and yesterday's planning and ideas lesson. Next week will be all about explanatory texts on radio and spotting great sound bites that can be written about as news...and there's still more to come!
Just some small sections of the persuasive, explanation letters sent off by Sycamore to persuade a stage school to accept them on their course. As Lord Sugar would say - "you're hired!"
Using paragraphs, starting with an introduction...
Writing about the skills and talents that you have
Telling the stage school what you know about them
Explaining why stage school is so important.
Sycamore have been using "near pairs" to help them learn how to quickly add up (and subtract) both on paper and also mentally. Q. What do you add to 42 to make 100? (Or, Paul has 42 stamps, he needs 100, how many more does he need to buy?) Add 8 to 42 and you have 50. Add 50 to 50 and you have 100. Then add 8 to 50 and your answer is 58 (42+58 = 100.) From this we also know that 100-42 = 58.
The children have been doing this through the hundreds up to the thousands...with some of the Circles group even going up to the 10,000's - Y4 objective achieved / well achieved! Next stop is column subtraction using the more formal written method. Who knows, we may have a future Nobel prize winner for maths tucked away in our class!
Our wonderful mathematicians excelling at calculating "near pairs" to help with their mental addition and subtraction.
It's easy when you follow the right method...
A very big smile when you have cracked addition!
And...we even had time to put some in our books.
I've worked hard.
Best work this week.
Lots of super calculations here!
It's always great when you have a break through.
So good I did two boards!
The sweet smile of success!
Hard work always pays off.
I'm doing really well!
I'm on top of my maths!
I can't wait to do Mathletics.
I nailed it!
I got there!
The marvellous Literacy output from Sycamore continues! Today the children added more knowledge to their plans to write a letter of application (using paragraphs, headings and creative, persuasive words,) to stage school. They asked Ashley loads of questions and shared some great ideas with each other. I can't wait to read their letters! ((Oh, by the way, Lord Sugar also dropped in to give them the challenge to write the letters...don't ask me - ask Sycamore class!)) - Mr W.
Ashley visits Sycamore class to help explain how stage school works and what the schools are looking for from potential students (explanation texts.)
Here are my hands from when I was in Shrek!
At stage school you have to work hard.
You need to be dedicated and determined.
There are excellent teachers to help you.
You will learn lots of new things about performing
Four children that produced super plans.
They really understood what makes a great letter.
Great words used...give them a big (green) hand!
In Literacy, Sycamore class have just started learning about explanation texts. The focus will be on using headings and sub headings, writing in paragraphs and of course using persuasive and creative language, along with good punctuation. The children have started off working in mixed groups, collaborating and helping each other to design a website for a stage school. These are now on display in our classroom. Next, we will be working on learning about the skills and attributes that someone applying for stage school needs to have. A star from the West End, Ashley J Russell, will be joining the class this Thursday to answer the children's questions and to help them plan their very own (well structured and persuasive) letters of application. And...yes...on Friday they will be writing them! With the drama, speech and movement that the children have been learning from Ashley on Thursday afternoons, who knows, one day one or two pupils may be writing just such a letter for real!
Groups of children from Sycamore presenting their ideas on how to design an informative website for a Stage School.
Mathletics homework is due to be completed by Wednesday 11th November and for next week Wednesday 18th November.
** Also please note, x7 tables test for all Y4 children in Sycamore on Friday 20th November**
Sycamore class adding living things to the school garden's pond.
Plant life was added from the Dingles.
Within the plants was also insect life.
And we added extra pond water too!
Sycamore Class will shortly be learning how to be computer programmers. As part of our coding we will be learning about the Scratch Programme. Amongst other things, Sycamore will be programming their own computer games using various graphics, movements, colour and sound applications. Children are encouraged to go on-line and take a look at Scratch and how it works before we begin our ICT Scratch morning. You've seen the future - it's in Sycamore class!
P.E. this term is on Wednesday's normally outside with Mr Doyle learning about invasion games (Mr Woollard takes the swimmers.)
On Thursday afternoons, Sycamore are enjoying movement, drama and dance with Ashley, a West End musical star. This will certainly help us to get in shape for our Christmas production. I'm hoping that auditions will be a "real headache" this year...for all the right reasons! - Mr W.
Sycamore are studying Creation in R.E. Here is some of the children's work about Abram (Abraham,) his trust in God and its meaning in our lives
Some super work to get ready for Sycamore's mass
Children really thought what trusting God means.
We should put God at the centre of our lives.
This means that we often need to put others first.