Mrs Connolly and Mrs Dunham – Year 3 and 4

Summer Term 2018

Topic web Summer

Week beginning 16th July 2018

Science – This week we made slime! It was very messy but we thoroughly enjoyed it. We varied the recipe and carried out some comparative tests to see which slime was the best.

Sports Day – What a great afternoon! Our class race went very well and we all tried our best in the sprinting races.

Wicken Fen Trip – We had a fantastic day at Wicken Fen exploring the history and wildlife of the Fens – a super end to our topic ‘From Fields to Fiestas’.

Week beginning 9th July 2018

English – This week we held a formal debate with the motion ‘This house believes that bullfighting should be banned’. At the beginning of the week, we researched Spanish bullfighting and then began to form our arguments. We had speakers for the proposition and the opposition, a chairperson, a time keeper and a very active audience to challenge our speakers with lots of questions.  Well done to everyone who took part.


DT – We spent Thursday and Friday mornings this week making battery operated lights that we designed in DT. We really enjoyed turning everyday recycling into some wonderful creations.  We applied our knowledge of electrical circuits to fit our lights with a bulb, a battery and a homemade switch – they actually work!


Music – This week we learnt how to play the ocarina. After learning the basics in the classroom, we had a lot of fun developing our playing skills, either sat by ourselves or in small groups outside.  We then took it in turns to perform to the rest of the class.

Week beginning 2nd July 2018

Computing – This week we had a go at creating a short animation using a stick figure.


PE – To work on our stamina and pacing, we completed a distance relay in teams this week.


Lion King Production – We hope that all of you who saw the KS2 production of ‘The Lion King’ enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed performing it. We all worked hard to learn our words and perfect those vocals and feel very proud of our efforts.  Some of us can’t wait to be in Year 6, when we will get to take on the lead roles!

Week beginning 25th June 2018

Maths – In Maths this week, we learnt about translation. Looking at shapes on a grid, we had to explain the changes in position using mathematical language.  We also had a lot of fun improving our measuring skills when learning about capacity.  We had to measure and combine different capacities to produce 2 litres of a ‘tropical fruit juice’ following our own recipes.


Science – To continue our focus of ‘working scientifically’, we carried out an investigation for each of us to determine which side of our body is more dominant. Our focus this week was how to write a conclusion from our results.


Butterfly Release – Over the last few weeks, we have thoroughly enjoyed observing the life cycle of the butterfly in our classroom. Caterpillar larvae arrived just a few weeks ago and we watched them grow bigger by the day and then form chrysalides.  Typically, they all emerged as beautiful butterflies over the weekend, but it made for a very exciting Monday morning!  After a couple of days of watching and feeding them, it was time to say goodbye and we released them.

Week beginning 18th June 2018

Spanish – In our Spanish lesson this week, we learnt to say our age and ask someone else how old they are.

Science – Our question this week was ‘How much salt does it take to make an egg float in water?’ We had a lot of fun planning and carrying out our own investigations to determine an answer.

The Lion King Production – We have been very busy practising for the KS2 Production – The Lion King. We’re very excited about performing it for you soon!

Week beginning 11th June 2018

English – In our English lessons this week, we have been reading, writing and performing play scripts! After looking at the features of a play script and performing a version of ‘Jack and Jill’, we wrote alternative endings to a play script of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’.

Science – In Science this week, we devised our own experiment to test the ‘bounciness’ of a range of balls. Did you know that a ball of glass bounces higher than a ball of rubber? (If of course it doesn’t break!)

Week beginning 4th June 2018

Geography – This week we started the second half of our topic, ‘Fields to Fiestas’, by exploring where Spain is located on a world map.  We also considered the similarities and differences between Spain and the UK.  

English – In our English lessons this week, we reminded ourselves of the features of non-fiction texts before starting our own pieces of work on the life cycle of the European Eel. We learnt lots of facts and figures about these incredible animals and even devised a quiz, for which we wrote our own questions and answers; Mrs Connolly was the quiz master.   It was a lot of fun!  Why not test our new-found knowledge at home?

Science – Granny thinks ‘pyramid teabags make the best cup of tea’ but is she right? We had to devise our own enquiries to find out!

Week beginning 21st May 2018

Art – In art this week, we finished our Van Gogh inspired still-life sunflowers, using powder paints.

PE – We thoroughly enjoyed a game of ‘Capture the Flag’.

Week beginning 14th May 2018

English – This week, we wrote some instructions for remedies to treat medieval Fen ailments and diseases. Before writing, we practised preparing and mixing various ingredients down in the Explorers’ Area.  We also enjoyed exploring some replica ingredients, including Eel’s blood, weasel’s milk, fresh rabbit droppings, mealworms, morning dew, urine mixed with maggots and flies’ wings!

History – Our focus this week was the history of farming in the Fens and we learnt a lot by exploring various artefacts and old photos.

Week beginning 8th May 2018

History – Another chance to explore our local History this week, when we walked to the Stretham Old Engine. Armed with water bottles and sunhats, we set off on foot out of the village and across the fields.  The Old Engine was installed in 1831 and was one of over one hundred steam pumping engines, which replaced wind pumps used to drain the Fens.  We learnt all about the history of the Old Engine and the drainage of the Fens and had great fun exploring the displays and machinery of the engine room.  The Old Engine does not operate by steam anymore but an electrical drive has been installed and we were lucky enough to see it running.  Following the visit, we enjoyed our walk back across the fields.  All in all, a super morning.


PE – This week in swimming, we worked on our backstroke leg kick. We focussed on looking up at the sky, to ensure our ears were in the water, and small, fast kicks with straight legs and floppy ankles.

Week beginning 30th April 2018

History – On Tuesday, we visited the church in Stretham to find out more about its history.

Maths – This week, we have been working on our mental addition and subtraction. We played a Harry Potter inspired duelling game which was a lot of fun.

English – We also visited Mrs Cowan’s house and cellar this week; a special ‘Mystery History’ trip. Her house is over 500 years old and the cellar even older (possibly 800 years old). We wrote recounts of our experience detailing everything that we saw and learnt.

Art – In our art lesson this week, we practiced mixing tints and tones with powder paints, in preparation for Vincent van Gogh inspired still life paintings, which we are going to start next week.

Week beginning 23rd April 2018

History – A local historian, Mike Petty, came to chat to us and answer all of our questions about the history of Stretham and its buildings. He was very impressed that we had so many questions!


French – This week, we revisited lots of the vocabulary we have learnt and had great fun reading and sorting French words.


Science – We constructed and tested simple electrical circuits this week using batteries, bulbs and wires.

Week beginning 17th April 2018

History – The focus this half term will be our local area so, on our first day back, Otters and Badgers walked around the village as History detectives, looking for clues to the past.


Computing – This week, Year 4s had great fun constructing lego models, with sensors and motors. Next week we will programme them to move!


Music – We explored pulse and rhythm this week. After learning three basic sounds of beatboxing (bass, high-hat and snare), we got into groups and had a go.

Spring Term 2018

Yr 3&4 Topic Web Spring 2018

Week beginning 26th March 2018

Art – This week, we finished our oil pastel pictures showing four different views of an animal.

PSHE – To round off our topic on ‘Keeping Safe’, we enjoyed a visit from PC Cole. We had a good look in his car and quizzed him on his job, as well as discussing various actions to help keep ourselves safe when out and about.


PE – We put together our own sequences of balances in gymnastics, focussing on changing the speed, shape and movements.

Week beginning 19th March 2018

Geography – We have been learning all about the River Nile. This week, we made our own leaflets for a River Nile cruise.


English – We have been working very hard on writing our own stories, all of which are about a child that takes a wild animal from its home, inspired by the book Windhover. We have reached the dilemma where our main character has to decide whether to return the animal to the wild or not.  Before writing a paragraph with lots of direct speech, we used drama to explore what our story characters might say to each other.  We also used a ‘Conscience Alley’ where the class formed two lines facing each other and one person walked between the lines, with everyone whispering conflicting advice to them. When they reached the end of the ‘alley’, the person had to make their decision!

 Maths – To consolidate our learning on shapes, lines and angles (and practise using a ruler properly!) we followed instructions to draw shapes and lines with specific properties.

Week beginning 12th March 2018

Science – It’s Science week and in Otter Class we have enjoyed lots of exploring and discovering! To understand further the role that flowers play in the life cycle of plants, we dissected some flowers to examine the different parts in more detail.

In addition to this, we had great fun exploring some other scientific concepts:

  • using Rice Krispies to enable an egg to survive the impact of being dropped from various heights
  • creating homemade rainbows by dissolving skittles in water
  • separating the different coloured inks of a felt tip pen using paper chromatography.

Week beginning 5th March 2018

Art – We looked at various animals in close detail this week. Over the next few weeks, we will aim to produce four different views of the same animal, using oil pastels.

English – Our focus this week has been adverbs and adverbial phrases. We had fun matching fronted adverbials to different sentences and then rearranging the sentences to change the position of the adverbial phrase within the sentence.

Guided Reading – To support our learning in Science, we read a text about flowering plants this week. After reading and discussing the text, we had to write a sentence to explain why flowers need birds and insects.

Week beginning 26th February 2018

Science – This week, we discussed what plants need for growth. In an attempt to answer this question, we planned and set up our own investigations.  We will grow plants under different conditions over the next few weeks and monitor their growth.


English – We have been exploring verbs. We identified verbs as words that describe being, having and doing.  In preparation for our own writing, we also picked out exciting verbs from a book we have read in class, Windhover, which tells the story of a baby falcon stolen from its nest.


Snow – Despite the bitterly cold temperatures, we enjoyed some fun in the snow!


World Book Day – We had a great time celebrating books and reading, dressed as some of our favourite story characters!

Week beginning 19th February 2018

Maths – We practised our measuring skills to investigate whether the total length of someone’s fingers (when added together) is the same as the length of one of their arms.

Science – We kicked off our new topic of plants by exploring several different types of plant. We examined their features and considered the functions of different parts of a plant.

English – ‘Expanded noun phrases’ was our focus this week. We practised expanding noun phrases, with modifying adjectives and prepositional phrases, and then trying to include them in our writing.  He we are creating some weird and wonderful creatures using expanded noun phrases (the powerful, golden cow of amazing strength, one gigantic, slimy elephant in the grass and my pink, spotted, rainbow-coloured frog with gigantic horns on its head).

Week beginning 5th February 2018

DT & Art – This week, we learnt about ancient Egyptian jewellery. After doing some research, we designed our own collars or necklaces and then made them using paper plates, paint and pasta.


Assembly – We had a lot of fun rehearsing our class assembly. We particularly enjoyed putting the finishing touches to our ancient Egyptian dance – but did the Pharaoh enjoy it?

Week beginning 29th January 2018

Explorers’ Area – What a fun week it has been! In addition to our trip to the museum, we had a super morning in the Explorers’ Area, connecting with the outdoor environment and developing key skills.

School Trip – Otters and Badgers thoroughly enjoyed the trip to the Saffron Walden Museum this week. We got to examine and draw some real artefacts from ancient Egypt.  We also started the process of mummifying a tomato!  As well as exploring the rest of the museum, we also burnt off some energy racing around a ‘turf-maze’.  With all that, and a picnic lunch in the nearby hall, we had a great day!

Week beginning 22nd January 2018

History – This week we learnt all about the ancient Egyptian ritual of mummification. We found out about the different steps of the process and then had a go at wrapping each other up with toilet roll.  What do you think of our mummification skills?


English – We wrote letters this week, in role as one of the servants from our current book, The Egyptian Cinderella. After finishing our letters, we worked with a partner to edit and improve our writing.

Art – In preparation for making our own cartouches out of clay (a carved tablet the ancient Egyptians used to display their names) we practised using hieroglyphs.

Week beginning 15th January 2018

Science – We had great fun exploring magnets and their properties this week. In particular, we discussed the poles of a magnet and the words ‘attract’ and ‘repel’.


Art – This week we painted our papyrus paper with traditional Ancient Egyptian images, using paints.

English – We used drama to retell the story of ‘The Egyptian Cinderella’.

Week beginning 8th January 2018

Art – This week, we made our own papyrus from brown paper and glue. It was very messy but lots of fun.


Maths – We have been learning about fractions this week. Here we are sorting cards into groups of equivalent fractions.

PE – We worked in pairs to create short dances, inspired by our topic of Ancient Egypt.

Week beginning 4th January 2018

History – We launched our new topic of ‘Everything Egyptian’ by exploring an undiscovered pyramid! Hidden in the darkness were many different artefacts.  We hunted them out with our torches and then carefully examined them, thinking about what they could have been used for and what they might tell us about life as an ancient Egyptian.


Music – We worked in groups to create compositions to depict three different ancient Egyptian gods: Ra (god of the sun), Horus (god of the sky) and Sobek (god of the Nile).

PE – This week, we practised our throwing and catching skills (including catching with one hand).

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