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Year 4 - Beech & Elm

Welcome to Year 4!

21 July 2021

Superb Sculptures!

After spending lots of time studying Henry Moore's sculptures, Year 4 were finally able to make their own. They had a tutorial in how to attach pieces of clay together using a technique called scoring and a type of glue called slip (which is made from clay and water mixed together). Next they had to smooth and blend the parts they had attached to make the sculpture form one piece. The results proved how well the children understood Henry Moore's style! Well done, Year 4!


Awesome Authors!

We have been reading the story, Biscuit Bear by Mini Grey and have already explored the story structure and why young children might like this story so much. This week, Year 4 were asked to write a new adventure story for Biscuit Bear that young children would enjoy. They are currently publishing their stories by making them into a small picture book, which they will bring home with them at the end of term.


History Quizzes

Inspired by the last newsletter entry, Year 4 decided that they would make their own quizzes all about the history of Bishop's Stortford to celebrate what they had learnt this half term. The children thoroughly enjoyed using Purple Mash to create quizzes using a variety of question styles. They have had a go at each other's quizzes and surprised themselves with how much knowledge they have about Bishop's Stortford.


Thank You!

The Year 4 team would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the children for their hard work over the year and parents and carers for their support, despite the challenges we have all faced. We are extremely proud of them and wish them all the best for Year 5. 

We hope you all have a wonderful holiday and return safely in September. 


2 July 2021

Bishop's Stortford Museum Trip


Elm and Beech classes enjoyed their trips to the museum this week. The children were amazed to discover how much the town had grown over the last two centuries. Looking at a modern map and gradually covering new builds within each decade, they wiped out St Michael's Mead, Bishop's Park and Thorley from the 90s to present day, followed by the Parsonage Lane area in the 60s.

After looking around the museum exhibits, the children gave presentations to each other about characters from the town and the growing industries around it.

To show you how much the town has changed and how much the children have learnt, we have created a picture quiz for you:


1. Here is Bishop's Stortford library. What was it previously?

2. What was Kwik Fit previously?

3. Where can you see this old sign?

4. Marks and Spencer and WHSmiths used to be what sort of entertainment venue?

5. There are many old maltings around the town. How many were there around 100 years ago?

6. 70 years ago, you could not walk along this road towards the brewery that was near the current Waitrose site. Why not?

7. Which building in North Street did this sign for a local chemist hang outside?

8. What was Devoils Lane formerly known as?


Any Year 4 child should be able to tell you the answers, or you can look for the answers below.

We would like to thank Mrs Shepherd, Mr Clair, Janet and Loretta at the museum for such a fun time and Mrs Burns, Mrs Hayes, Mrs Reed, Mrs Burgess, Ms Humphries and Mrs Phillips for coming with us and helping us to learn so much about our home town.



1. Open air swimming used by local school children

2. The bus station

3. Stand in Devoils Lane and look up to where the roof of the Black Lion joins the next building.

4. Cinemas. WHSmiths used to be the Phoenix, M and S used to be the Regent.

5. We counted over 45 maltings on the map we were given.

6.Old River Lane used to be part of the River Stort.

7. Speechly and Milbanks was housed in White Stuff, formerly Boardman's.

8. Devoils Lane used to be called Dunghill Lane due to all the dung from the stagecoach horses that were stabled at the Black Lion!


18 June 2021


Horrible Historians and Amazing Artists!


This half term we are looking at Bishop’s Stortford and how it has changed. We were shown lots of photographs of the town from around 100 years ago and had to match them with a picture of the same area from the modern day. Many places had changed a lot but many of the buildings still looked exactly the same. We really hope to be able to go and find some of these places, hear the stories and explore parts of town that we have never seen before.

Henry Moore was a famous sculptor who lived in the area. Although he grew up in Yorkshire, he settled in Perry Green, near Much Hadham. His home’s, Hoglands, gardens and studios have been turned into a fabulous visitor attraction which is filled with some amazing sculptures and other art work. Jacob worked out the one of the large sculptures was a long as six Jacobs lying down on the ground! We have been sketching some of Moore’s lumpy, bumpy, holey creations and can’t wait to get some clay to transform our sketches into our own Henry Moore style sculptures.  

In maths, we have been working on money problems. The decimal work from last half term suddenly makes much more sense! Please make sure that the children are encouraged to count coins and work out change when shopping. Real-life experiences to consolidate learning will really help support the children.

In science, we are looking at plants and flowers. The children have labelled parts of a flower and learned why each part is important. Dora said, “We learned that the roots get the water, the stem carries the water around the flower and the flower is colourful to attract insects.”

Many of the children in school are lucky enough to visit Skye once a week. Skye is a gorgeous black Labrador who has been trained as a Pets As Therapy dog. Each week she listens to the children read and performs tricks for treats. We are very lucky to have this time with her.


28 May 2021

Roaming Romans


We have reached the end of our Romans topic with great success. Our topic question was 'How did the Romans impact modern day Britain?'. To answer this, we have explored the legacy of the Romans and discovered what fantastic engineers they were. Year 4 were very impressed and surprised about some of their achievements! We looked at photos of Roman inventions that are still standing today, over 2000 years later. One of these were aqueducts. To find out how these worked, we used our STEM skills in our history lessons to make model Roman aqueducts using cereal boxes and cardboard tubes. We loved to see for ourselves how these worked to transport water to Roman towns. 


In English, we have also been looking at Roman myths and have been using a fun game called 'Babble Gabble' to retell the myths we have been reading. Our favourite one was 'The Taming of Venus', so we decided to write our own version of this myth as a comic strip, in the style of Marcia Williams. We are very impressed with what we have achieved so far and we are aiming to finish publishing these by the end of the week. 


Science - Sound


In science, we have been learning how sound is made and how we hear sound. We now know that an object vibrates and these vibrations travel through the air into our ears. When investigating how sounds travel, we discovered that if the distance from the sound source increases, the volume of the sound decreases and, if the distance is great enough, it will even disappear entirely. To investigate how we can hear sounds over a large distance, we made string telephones. If the string was tight enough, we could hear the other person at the other end, even though we couldn't hear them without it! This was very exciting!


Diversity Week


In Year 4, to celebrate Diversity Week, we have focused our work on Nicola Adams, a very successful female boxer. We have produced fact files about her to present her achievements in boxing and her successes outside of boxing, such as her nomination for being the most influential LGBT person in Britain by The Independent in 2012. Did you know that she was the first female boxer to win an Olympic gold medal!? We also explored the personal qualities Nicola Adams needed to be successful and presented these words as a Wordle inside the outline of a boxing glove. 


We have continued to use the boxing theme to produce some art work in the style of a silhouette made from an explosion of colours. In addition to this, we also created some lovely acrostic poems about Diversity which demonstrated our understanding of what this means and how important it is to celebrate this within our society. 


14 May 2021

Roman Invasion


Year 4 are currently being invaded. The Romans have taken over! 


We have been learning about how the Romans changed life. Our artwork has been very colourful. We have been making mosaics using paper squares instead of ceramic tiles. It was very difficult to make round shapes!


Battles were very important to gain land so we made shields and became Roman soldiers, learning battle formations to help us understand how to protect the maximum amount of fighters. This was great fun.


Boudicca was a queen of the Iceni tribe who tried to protect her land and people from the Romans. She led an uprising against the Roman rule in Ancient Britain, in around 60AD. We took it in turns to role play her story and enjoyed watching the Horrible Histories version of this.



Art by Tim M, Jonah G, Aidan O and Seth A.


23 April 2021

Roaming Romans 


We started our new topic with ‘A Day at the Museum’.  Larry, the museum curator is in charge of looking after the Ancient Roman artefacts but disaster struck and a number of them were broken, including Roman pots, mosaics, a coin and even a shield. Year 4 were tasked with putting the pieces back together again which we did successfully. We then looked at the objects carefully and discussed what they might tell us about Ancient Roman life.  After that we sketched some typical Roman mosaic patterns ready to design our own. This week we have located modern-day Rome on an atlas, placed the beginning and end of the Roman Empire on a timeline and discussed how the Roman Empire came about. By the end of our topic we should be able explain the impact of Ancient Rome on the world today. 

In maths we have been continuing our work on fractions, finding fractions of amounts and applying our knowledge to problem solving. We have been using manipulatives and bar models to help our understanding. 

In English we have started an exciting new unit based around the picture book ‘Arthur and the Golden Rope’. We will be writing our own short story with a similar theme. We have drawn and labelled maps for our adventure-loving main character and created our very own mythical beasts.   


26 March 2021

European Tour Topic

The Year 4 team have been so impressed with how well the children have returned to school after the lockdown - they should be very proud of themselves. We have continued with our European Tour topic and have been busy creating our own persuasive information leaflet to encourage people to visit a chosen capital city in Europe. We wanted to answer the question: 'What makes ... the best city in Europe to visit?' The children have worked hard on their research to be able to answer this question through their writing on their leaflets and are on track to complete them this week. 


As part of our topic work on capital cities in Europe, we have created a piece of artwork based on Saint Basil's Cathedral in Russia. The children have used a variety of sketching techniques to create the patterns on the infamous domes and will be completing these using oil pastels and water colours to add the bright colours that make this cathedral so recognisable.


During lockdown, the children completed lots of work on Seesaw to enhance their knowledge and understanding of electricity, so in school, we wanted the children to be able to have the opportunity to work practically with the science equipment in order to test out their understanding. The children are now able to successfully make a simple, series circuit and understand the role switches have in circuits, as well as what insulators and conductors are. As you can see from the photos, they thoroughly enjoyed their practical exploration of electricity!

18 December 2020

Year 4 Planet Protectors


Well, what a busy half term! We told you a while ago that we had been given a secret mission and have been so busy trying to save the rainforests. We can now share with you what we have discovered - sadly, so many problems that we would like to change. We can't fix everything but we can hopefully improve things over time.


Deforestation is a big problem is areas like the Amazon. Habitats are destroyed meaning animals, birds and insects have nowhere to live. Plants and crops cannot grow in areas where the soil becomes dry. There are consequently fewer species of animals and plants now than in previous years. Here are some soundbites from the children answering the question posed.


Why is the Amazon Rainforest so vital to the world?


Dora - "Because that's where most of our medicines and our oxygen come from." 


Clancey - "Because trees produce oxygen. If you cut them down they can't store carbon dioxide and that's a toxic gas."


Florence - "Some tribes live in the Amazon Rainforest and they wouldn't want to move to cities which they would have to do if the trees are all chopped down."


Teddy - "It produces oxygen and helps us breathe."


Helena - "Because it can produce oxygen and 25% of our medicines come from there."


Gethin - "Because the rainforest produces air and oxygen and without it we wouldn't exist."


Aiden D-R - "It's home to a lot of animals and if there's no animals there will be less food and pollen and our ecosystem will be unbalanced."


Mrs Brewer, Miss Jameson, Mrs Dawson, Mrs Moore, Mrs Camerota and Miss Newman would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your good wishes and wish you all a peaceful, relaxing and safe Christmas holiday.



4 December 2020

Super Scientists


In Year 4, we have been looking at changing states. We learned about solids, liquids and gases. We found that solids can be squashed, torn or cut and keep their shape. Liquids take the shape of the container they are in whereas gases spread out to fill the area they are in and don't keep their shape.

Seren -You can heat up a solid and make it become a liquid and you can freeze a liquid and make it become a solid.


We decided to look at substances that can change from a solid to a liquid and wondered about how they change. Ice melts in warm temperatures but we wondered if anything else would speed this process up. We talked about gritting the roads in winter and wondered if ice would melt if we added salt to it. We carried out this experiment.


Mrs Moore filled balloons with water and  froze them. The balls of ice were put onto trays. Drops of food colouring were dripped onto the ice then rock salt was sprinkled on. The food colouring was just to show the movement and patterns more clearly. We watched the ice to see what happened. We used torches to look at the beautiful patterns.


Seth - We saw the ice melt. There were lines and holes plus I think there were shards. There was lots of water from the melted ice.

Arinjay- When we put salt and food colouring on the ice it started to melt.

Stanley- The salt changes the freezing temperature of water from 0 to -9 so the ice melts away.

Ethan S- The salt melted the ice. We know this because as soon as we put the salt onto the ice, it melted faster and there were bumps and cracks.

Tim - Bumps, holes and cracks quickly show that the salt melted the ice not the room temperature.


We are looking forward to our chocolate melting experiment this week!



13 November 2020

From Artists to Secret Agents


We didn’t think Year 4 could get any more exciting! We had such fun during our harvest-themed Arts Week. We created printed radishes and used water colours to paint carrots which have been displayed in the library and on our classroom windows. We also had a video call to a lady called Kieran who told us all about her charitable allotment which provides fruit and vegetables for the food bank in Stansted. We had so many questions to ask her! She suggested that we could grow vegetables at home, contact her and volunteer some gardening help and to ask our parents to visit her Facebook page, Human Roots, to gain more ideas and suggestions.


On Monday, we received a letter. We were very excited and speculated that it might have come from Father Christmas! We decided however, that it was more likely to be connected to our new topic, ‘Why is the Amazon Rainforest so vital to the world?’ As the envelope opened we could see a logo and the top of the letter said ‘TOP SECRET!’


It looked very important and we listened carefully as the letter was read to us. It gave us a mission, if we were concerned enough to accept it – we decided that we were! I would like to tell you about the mission we were given by the Planet Protector Academy and how we are going to complete it… but I fear I may have said too much already!


23 October 2020

Stone Age Homes

Well, what a busy half term we’ve had. Elm and Beech classrooms are full of Stone Age homes that we built using clay, stones, straw, sticks and leaves, art work in the style of cave paintings and silhouettes inspired by Stig in his den, fossils that we made using clay and plaster of Paris and some amazing writing. It is such a shame that you can’t visit to see all our hard work. We have been totally immersed in Stone Age life and now feel as if we could be competent cave boys and girls, hunting, painting and singing although I’m not sure that our building skills would keep us warm in the approaching colder weather!


Alison: “We got into small groups and created Stone Age houses from clay. In science, we made some fake fossils to learn how fossils are made. I liked hunting. When we went hunting, we got a foam spear and threw it at the fake animals. We also gathered berries and nuts to see what it felt like to do hunting. I enjoyed writing our caveman descriptions.”

Zach: “It was fun making the fake fossils to understand the process and I loved making houses out of clay. We also went hunting (with foam javelins) and it was great reading Stig of the Dump.”

Aidan: “We went hunting with foam javelins and hit fake animals. I enjoyed making fossils with clay.”


Our fossils were created by pressing shells into clay to make a hollow, then pouring plaster of Paris into the hole and over the clay base. Once hardened, the children excavated the clay away from the plaster to reveal their fossils.

We are looking forward to concluding our topic by finishing the book and watching the DVD of Stig of the Dump, then travelling back to present day for our new topic after the holiday.

Happy half term to you all!


9 October 2020

We Will Rock You!

Our Stone Age musicians created rock music on the field last week. Instruments were made out as many natural materials that could be found. The children soon realised that the instruments were mainly percussion and involved banging and shaking. We are going to continue making rhythms and trying to add some words to them.

Rafferty – “Making music was fun because we actually made our instruments. I used a log and sticks as percussion. I was going to use dry leaves and shake them but I didn’t like the sound.”

Florence – “I made something like a drum using a piece of slate and a stick. It made a loud noise when we bashed it. Sticks knocking sticks were quieter.”

Aiden – “I made a tapping rhythm with sticks. My partner Mason had a stone and a stick and it made a clunking noise.”


25 September 2020

Living in the Stone Age

Year 4 have been delving into the past and finding out about the Stone Age – did you know this is the longest period in pre-history and it gets its name from the simple stone tools that early humans used? We have learnt that the Stone Age covers over 3 million years and it started when the first humans came into existence. During our history lessons, we have created a timeline of the Stone Age. To do this, we found out about key events that occurred during this time and placed them in chronological order on our timeline. We also discovered that the Stone Age can be broken down into smaller time periods; the Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic and found out the key differences in how human life changed in Britain during these eras. To show our understanding, we labelled our timelines with these smaller time periods and colour coded the events to show which ones took place in the Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic.

In addition, we have started learning about how people lived during the Stone Age. Because there is no recorded history of this time that we can read, we have explored some of the clues left behind that archaeologists have to interpret. To help us understand this, we have read the story ‘Stone Age Boy’ and used this for inspiration for our music, art and English lessons. In the story, the Stone Age people have a party to celebrate a hunt. This made us wonder what sort of music existed in the Stone Age... We looked at photographic evidence of instruments that archaeologists have found such as flutes made of bone. We realised that lots of their music would have been percussion based such as drums and shell shakers. We have started to explore rhythms using topic-based symbols like ‘berry’ and ‘nut’ to represent beats! Next, we will be reading and writing our own Stone Age music.

Also in the story, the main character is shown a cave full of paintings. We then looked at photographs of real cave paintings and had a virtual tour of one of the caves that has been found in countries like France and Argentina. We noticed that most of them are drawings of animals. With this in mind, we have started to create our own cave painting pictures, using images from real cave paintings for inspiration. Watch this space for the finished art work!

We Will, We Will Rock You!

In science we have been investigating rocks. We have used our observation skills to identify the properties of different rocks and compared them to see what makes them different. We used digital microscopes and magnifying lenses to look closely at the rocks in order to see some of these differences. We were able to name them and describe them by referring to their texture, appearance, colour and weight. We have also carried out testing on the different rocks to determine their durability (how easily they can be worn away) through scratch tests and tested for permeability (how much water can pass through it) by soaking the rocks in beakers of water and writing our observations. The most permeable was chalk – we could see air bubbles coming out of the rock as the water soaked into it and the beaker water turned cloudy!

Stone Age Settings

In English, we have been reading a range of setting descriptions, discussing their effectiveness and how they make us, the reader, feel when we read them. We have decided that the purpose of a setting description is to set the scene to make the reader feel like they are there and create a mood. While reading these examples of setting descriptions, we have discussed the purpose of each one and identified the good quality language they use. We have written some of these down in our Writing Journals for us to use in our own writing which we are looking forward to sharing with you soon!


Our maths work has been focussed on place value in 4 digit numbers. We have been exploring this using pictorial representations and manipulatives to help us understand that these numbers are made up of thousands, hundreds, tens and ones. We will then be applying this to partitioning and ordering 4 digit numbers which will be very useful for helping us to be able to order dates on a timeline more accurately!


11 September 2020

Stepping back to the Stone Age


Year 4 have come back to school and stepped back in time. No, not to March to carry on from where we left off but to the Stone Age!

This half term we will be reading ‘Stig of the Dump’ by Clive King Year 4 have started investigating where a cave man might have lived. A Stone Age settlement was found in the forest area and the children discussed who might live there, what they might eat, how they would keep warm and how it was different from modern times.

Mason – They didn’t have houses, they lived in caves. It was warm because they had fire.

Emily – There wore animal furs to keep them warm.

Hugo – They wore animal furs… but we don’t!

Taylor – I saw an egg. They needed to eat protein.

Reggie – There was a deer skull. It was needed for meat and fur.

Catarina – I felt like I was a cave man. It felt so real!

We are looking forward to learning more about the Stone Age and creating some amazing art work. We can’t wait to share it with you.