Welcome to Otter Class; the Year 3 and 4 class.
Mrs Louise Britton (Monday & Tuesday)
Mrs Linsey Mullen (Wednesday - Friday)
Mrs Sharon Croucher (mornings)
This term our topic is:
Down in the Valley
Within this topic we will be learning about both the history and geography of Pensford and the Chew Valley. We will study the water cycle and its impact on the local area.
To view the medium term plan please click here.
PE days are Monday (Swimming in Weeks 1 - 4) and Thursday. Please bring swimming kit each Monday, and wear PE kit to school on these days.
To see this term's homework grid please click here.
To see different ideas for how to learn spellings at home please click here.
Spellings are checked on Monday and new words sent home on a Tuesday. To encourage children to learn their words at home, we will now keep a running total of how many they score each week and will reward those children who consistently achieve / show they are trying their best.
Each week your child will be given two words to learn from the Year 3 and 4 statutory spelling list provided by the government (to view the whole list, please click here), and three words that they are spelling incorrectly in their writing books. If you have any questions about this, please don't hesitate to ask us.
Term 4 - Down in the Valley
English this week has seen us return to story writing and we have been introduced to the story 'The Dragon Machine,' by Helen Ward. We have been focusing on using extended noun phrases, adverbs and a variety of sentence starters to add detail to our writing. In maths, we have moved on to adding and subtracting fractions. Our ICT focus this term is to develop word processing skills. In a word document, we can now change the font, colour and size of text as well as take a screen shot, copy and paste. We are also developing our skills in typing with two hands.
It was really great to see so many parents at parents evening this week, and be able to share with you how well your children are doing and how much we enjoy teaching them.
On Monday we had another great swimming session, with the children once again impressing the swimming teachers - well done Otter class! Back at school, we continued to develop our skills in writing instructions and completed a hot writing task to show the progress we have made in writing this genre. Fractions continued to be the focus in maths and will continue into week 3. In topic, we started to answer some of the questions the children have raised about the local area, with our focus this week being the viaduct. We read a very interesting newspaper article, from some years ago, where the viaduct was offered for sale for 1 pound. The children were very thoughtful in their suggestions as to why no sale happened despite the very low asking price!
Please remember that Otter class are swimming, on a Monday morning, for the first 4 weeks of term 4. Swimming kits are needed on this day.
We had a good first week back at school and enjoyed returning to our weekly swimming lessons. The teachers at the pool were really impressed with how quickly everyone got back into their groups and the effort all the children put in - lots of Dojos given! Back at school, we learned about fractions in maths; read, performed and planned for writing a set of instructions in English; began to learn about the Easter story in RE, and explored the local area using Google Maps. We were all very excited to take a virtual walk around Pensford and everyone was keen to find their own house - we were super excited to spot a mum and grandad as we explored!
Term 3 - The Greatest Show
This week we concluded our learning about the circus, finished our puppets and sang songs from 'The Greatest Showman.' Mrs Mullen, Mrs Britton and Mrs Croucher have all been really impressed (as always) with the super homework that many children have completed this term. We are also really pleased with the progress that children are making learning their times tables, and Mrs Mullen was particularly happy to be able to move 6 children up to the next times table challenge level at the end of term. The children now come in each morning and complete a timed challenge of the times table / times tables that they are using in their Friday challenge. We are really pleased that this additional practise is proving to be successful. Please do keep up the work at home though - with reading as well - it really does make a difference to the progress that your child makes!
It was lovely to begin the week finding out about how the children had spent the snow day, and Mrs Mullen was delighted that the children were still enthusiastic to tell her all about it on Wednesday! Having discussed and debated a range of topics in English this term, including - should Daleks be allowed to live on earth, and should the Borrowers be allowed to live in Mrs Driver's house, this week the children prepared for their hot writing task where they will be discussing if animals should be allowed to perform in the circus. The debate began with a fairly even split of for and against, however by the end most were against animals being used in the circus. In maths we continued with area and perimeter work. In science, we investigated the question - Are big magnets stronger than small ones? If you are interested in the answer, we are sure your child will let you know what they found out!
Well that was a week which ended very differently to the way we had planned it! We hope that you were able to enjoy the 'snow day' and make some marvellous memories! This week we said goodbye to Mr Wherrett as his time with us, at Pensford, has ended and he is moving on to his next placement - the children have really benefitted from having him in Otter class and we wish him well!
In maths this week, we have been measuring area and perimeter. In English this week, we have been learning about 'discussion' and how to present a balanced argument. We were really impressed with the children's ability to see a discussion point from both sides. Our text, this week, has been about whether or not Daleks should be allowed to live on earth, but we will be moving the discussion back to the 'Borrowers' next week and consider if they should be allowed to live in people's houses.
A visit from the school nurse, on Wednesday, was a great opportunity to refresh our knowledge about hygiene and handwashing. It was great for us to hear, from the nurse, how knowledgeable the children in Otter class were - well done Year 3 and 4!
This week in Otter class we have been developing our musical skills by improving our 'circus composition.' The children were set the challenge of composing a piece of incidental music to play alongside an act from the circus. Having created a short piece to perform, we have been trying to make our compositions more light-hearted or dramatic - depending on the act chosen. In English, we have been busy re-telling the story of the Borrowers and have included some lovely vocabulary and detail in our writing. In maths, we have been developing our problem solving skills as we continue with the topic length, perimeter and area.
Week 2 has been a busy week! In maths, we began our new topic which is 'length, perimeter and area.' In English, we made good use of our theatre visit to see the 'Borrowers', by becoming theatre critics, actors and story re-tellers. We will continue with our re-telling of the play this week, so please ask us about our exciting story writing. In science this week Mr Wherrett organised a carousel of experiments for us - looking at sound vibrations. With Mrs Mullen the science focus was to see how much force it takes to pull a 100g weight on different surfaces. Mrs Mullen also reports that everyone did a fantastic job at the netball festival - well done Otter Class! Finally, this week we were excited to start the book reading raffle again, so lots of reading to a grown-up at home please!
Welcome back to term 3! We hope that you have had a lovely Christmas break and are looking forward to the new term.
We have had a fantastic four days this week! On Tuesday, we were introduced to our new PSHE value for the term which is 'ambition.' Through this theme, we will be thinking about our strengths, what we want to improve at and what we want to achieve both now and in the future. Our weekly PE lessons with Mr Meek also began again on Tuesday and will continue throughout the term. We begin with a focus on tag rugby, and later in the term we will develop our netball skills. On Wednesday a representative from the NSPCC visited us and gave an assembly about ‘speaking out and staying safe.’ Thursday saw us visit the Tobacco Factory to watch a brilliant performance of the ‘Borrowers.’ We will now be using this experience in our English lessons to write stories and newspaper reports based around what we saw.
Term 2 - The Polar Bear Explorers' Club
This week we were excited to welcome a former GB athlete, Robert Mitchell, to our school. Each class took part in a circuits lesson led by Robert and Otter class enjoyed the challenge! Back in the classroom, we finished writing our non-chronological reports about a topic that interests us and continued to learn about multiplication and division in maths. More chapters of our class reader, 'The Polar Bear Explorers' Club' were read, and Mrs Croucher was so impressed by our focus and concentration whilst listening to the story that she took a picture for display!
This week we have really enjoyed reading more of 'The Polar Bears Explorers' Club' and have made it to chapter 7! Using the book for inspiration, everyone wrote their own Explorers' Club rules to follow, whilst we explore the rest of the book. On Thursday, the children went outside to the netball court (as Explorers) and used compass points to navigate their way around to solve a problem. On Friday, we headed off to Forest School and had a great time. The main focus was how to keep warm in cold climates. So, the children had to make their own person using natural materials. They then went on a scavenger hunt to find clothes to keep their person warm. Afterwards we discussed how exercise keeps you warm and took part in an obstacle course to see how it warmed them up. Finally, everyone sat down to have a delicious hot chocolate (another way to warm up!)
Welcome back to term 2! This week we have started to read our new text called, 'The Polar Bears Explorers' Club.' We are exploring the text in English as well as using it as a focus for our learning across the wider curriculum. Otter class had their first swimming lesson this week and we were really impressed by their confidence and organisation at the pool. We commemorated Remembrance Day by writing poems about 'Flanders Fields.'
Term 1 - North, East, South, West
Well done Otter Class for your super singing in our Harvest service this week - we hope that all who could come along and watch enjoyed it. In class this week we have continued to focus on subtraction and applying our skills to problem solving situations. In English, the children have been getting very creative and started to write their own version of 'Elf Road.' They have created their own door which will lead them to a magical new world!
Along with the rest of the school, Otter Class have had a busy week preparing for the Harvest Assembly. We are looking forward to sharing this with you next week. In English, we have learnt the story 'Elf Street' and will next week be innovating the text to make our own version. In maths, we have continued to focus on addition and subtraction. Our team building skills were further developed this week, in our PE session with Mr Meek, as we took part in timed team 'challenges.' Our teachers were impressed with how well we supported each other in our teams!
This week, on Thursday, Otter Class celebrated World Poetry Day by both writing and performing poems. We finished our work on the Jemmy Button story with some great descriptive writing. In maths, we have been focusing on addition and subtraction. In topic work, we continued to study Bahrain and looked at maps as well as lots of photos which showed us camels, pearl diving, dhows, the Souq, desert landscapes and mosques. All the children created a henna design and we were very grateful to Darsh's Mum who brought in some henna for us all to use.
We've had a busy week in Otter Class trying to persuade Jemmy Button (the main character in our class text) that he should travel to England. The children had some great ideas and have shown that they can be very persuasive in their writing! In maths we have continued, and now completed our unit of learning about place value. We now move on to addition and subtraction. In art, the children have completed some fantastic work which is displayed along the corridor by Otter class. It shows them ‘thinking’ about all the things they like and do both in and out of school. In geography, we have been focusing on learning about Bahrain and have been able to look at items from the country that Mrs Mullen has bought in to share. Finally, we've had a new PGCE student join Otter Class: Mr Wherrett, who has got to know all of us very quickly and has settled in very well. Mr Wherrett will be with our class every day (except Tuesday) each week, until the end of January.
This week we have started to read our new class text 'Jemmy Button.' It's a true story about a little boy's journey from Tierra del Fuego, an archipelago off the southernmost tip of the South American mainland, to England. The children researched what it's like to live in Tierra del Fuego and used this information to write non-chronological reports. In maths, we continued with place value by adding and taking away 10, 100 and 1000. The whole school have started to rehearse for the Harvest Assembly, and next week we will begin to learn a song for just our class to sing (in Spanish!).
This Thursday we celebrated 'Roald Dahl Day' and what an exciting day it was with the children looking fantastic - thank you for all of your efforts! In the morning, the children took part in a place value / Roald Dahl themed scavenger hunt. They had to solve place value questions, then go and find the answers. On the back of each answer there was a letter, which eventually spelt out 'Fantastic Mr Fox.'
This week we also had our first PE session of the year with Mr Meek, which was quite challenging! The children are working on their 'team building skills' this term and their activity was to cross a minefield (lots of PE equipment spread across the floor) blindfolded. Don't worry, it was not as dangerous as it sounds, they had a classmate to guide them through!
Well done Otter Class! You have made a fantastic start to the new term.
In preparation for celebrating 'Roald Dahl Day' next week (Thursday 13th September), we have been reading extracts from Dahl's autobiography 'Boy: Tales of Childhood.' Feeling inspired, we wrote our own autobiographies and shared these with each other. In maths we have started our focus on number and place value. We have begun our geography topic by learning about the formation of continents.