Welcome back and Happy New Year! We hope that everyone had a superb winter break! It has been great to welcome the children back this week and despite it only been a 3-day week that hasn't stopped Manatees from producing some excellent work. Take a look below, to see what we have been learning about all this week.


In Writing this week, we have begun to look at our brand new class text entitled 'Journey to Jo'burg' written by Beverley Naidoo. This story focuses upon the journey thirteen-year old Naledi and younger brother Tiro embark on to Johannesburg to help their baby sister who suddenly becomes very sick. It isn't until they reach the city that they come to understand the dangers of their country and the painful struggle for freedom and dignity that is taking place around them. We began by discussing the context in which the story is set. 'Journey to Jo-burg' is a story set in South Africa during apartheid and contains lots of historical references as to what life was like for black people during this time. On Wednesday, we discussed some important pieces of vocabulary to help us to understand the wider context in which the book was set. We also learnt about Nelson Mandela who was a key figure in abolishing the apartheid system. On Thursday, we looked more closely at two of the characters we have met so far: Naledi and Nono. We considered each character's thoughts, feelings, actions and emotions and created role on the walls to represent these. I have been beyond impressed with Y4 Manatee's maturity and interest in which they have shown for the text so far at it deals with some very important issues. We look forward to reading some more to see what lies ahead for Naledi and Tiro on their long journey to Johannesburg. 


In Arithmetic this week we have consolidated our knowledge of division by answering a range of division questions that involve both remainders and no remainders. This is something we shall revisit in the summer term to really ensure the skill of dividing is embedded before moving onto the bus stop method.


In Maths this week we completed our 'Multiplication and Division' topic by looking at correspondence problems. We learnt how codes and simple multiplications can be used to help us to solve these problems. On Thursday, we began our new topic of 'Fractions'. This is a topic I particularly enjoy as we can use lots of pictorial representations to help us with our work. We started by recapping the question 'What is a fraction?' and what fractions mean in relation to a whole. On Friday, we considered fractions beyond 1 and how we can continue to count in fractions past a whole.


In History this week, we started our new Roman topic entitled 'The Roman Empire'. This week we looked at the Roman Army and how this became powerful to help Rome conquer more and more territory (provinces). We began by looking at the structure of the Roman army and how it was made up of miles (Roman soldiers) and centurions. We also learnt how governors were put in charge of the legions to ensure that the Roman provinces in their empire were being properly managed. We then learnt how the Romans defended their provinces by building forts and well-defended buildings at the frontier of their empire. This was a great first lesson to introduce the Roman Empire as it helped us to understand how Rome was able to conquer and defend their territory. We look forward to learning more in the up coming weeks.


In Geography this week, we also started our new topic entitled 'The Rhine and Mediterranean'. This week we learnt all about the location of the River Rhine. We compared the River Rhine to the River Severn in Wales and the River Thames in London and found that it is a much longer river (the longest in Europe!). Through looking at maps, we discovered that the River Rhine flows through 6 different countries which shows  how long the river truly is. Did you know the River Rhine is an astounding 764 miles long? We also found out that the source of the river is in the Alps in Switzerland and the mouth of the river is the North Sea. We finished the lesson by looking at the different tributaries that flow into the River Rhine.


This week we also started a brand new Art topic. This half term we shall be looking at insect-inspired Art. This week we looked at drawing insects with pencils. We looked at the different parts of an insect (head, thorax and abdomen) and took a systematic approach to drawing an ant. We first drew the outline, focussing on key shapes and then added the smaller details to make our drawings realistic. I was so impressed with the drawings that were produced in this lesson, we certainly have talented artists in Y4 Manatees!

Despite it only being a short week, we have completed lots of fantastic learning and I have been so impressed with the attitudes Y4 have shown on their return to school. Keep it up as I'm sure 2023 will be a super year for you all! Enjoy your weekend and we shall see you all on Monday! 

Miss Selman and Miss Marsh