Horsted School

Teachers: Mrs Packman/Mr Woodward

Teaching Assistant: Mrs Jennings

Teachers: Miss Shackleton/Mrs Lazell

Teaching Assistant: Mrs Applegate

Faraway Tree Class

Dear Parents / Carers,

We are very pleased to welcome your child to Far Away Tree. The class teachers are Mrs Packman and Mr. Woodward, and the class TA is Mrs. Jennings. Your child will be bringing home a homework diary and reading book during the coming days. Please sign your child’s three readings in the homework diaries.

Reading Homework Your child should complete 20 minutes of reading, at least 3 times a week, using the book from the school reading scheme. Each reading session needs to be entered into the homework diary, including the page number reached and a signature. Once your child has finished reading a book, please indicate this so that when the diary is checked, they will be able to select a new book.

The diaries are checked regularly by the TAs, but on Mondays, the number of signatures for the previous week are checked (there should be at least 3). Less than three signatures will result in the missed session(s) being made up in school.

Spellings and Times Tables. Spelling homework will be set weekly and tested on Wednesday. Times table homework will be set weekly on Timestable Rockstar. If children do not complete these, opportunities to catch up on this learning will be arranged in school.

Written homework (English and Maths). This homework is given out most weeks on Fridays. The children will be expected to return their work on the following Wednesday. There are work books for English (SPaG) and Maths. We greatly appreciate the support with helping your child complete their homework. Homework pages will be recorded in the front of the homework books and not in the diaries.

Homework Diary. Please check and sign your child’s homework diary each weekend, ready for when they will be checked and signed by an adult in class on Mondays. Please remember that the homework diary is also a contact book. If there is a reason your child has not completed their homework, or if you have a comment, concern or question, please let us know via this channel.

All children in year 4 take part in swimming lessons at Oaklands school on Monday afternoons. Further information will follow regarding this. In term 1, Far away Tree will be having PE on Tuesday mornings and some children will be going swimming on Monday afternoon and those who don’t will have an additional PE lesson on Thursday. Please ensure that your child’s PE kit is named and in school. Earrings must be removed for PE (we cannot cover them with tape), and long hair needs to be tied up. As a reminder, PE kit is: Plain white T-shirt, Plain black shorts and trainers.

 Maths Sets. In year 4, we set the children for maths. The sets are based on information we get from previous year 3 teachers, tests that the children sat last year and our initial impressions from ongoing assessment in the opening weeks of the term. Maths sets are not fixed and are reviewed regularly. A child who work extremely hard and makes a lot of progress will be able to move up a set and, of course, the opposite is true. If this is the case, and your child is moved, we will inform you via letter in the homework diary.

WOW Day. Our first topic is ‘nutty about nature’ and our WOW day is Monday 9th September. For this, children will be engaged with lots of outdoor activities (weather dependent) and we ask that you dress your children in appropriate clothing. They are welcome to come in, in their own clothes but be aware that we will be doing ‘messy learning’.

Films. Throughout the year, we may choose to watch films either for educational purposes or for rewards. Please give your consent below to watching PG films. If we do not receive this slip back, your child will not be able to take part in these activities.

We look forward to working with you and your child. We always appreciate any voluntary help family members can give us at Horsted and if you have a spare half an hour and would like to help, please contact Mrs. Williams or let us know in homework diaries.

Mrs Packman, Mr. Woodward and Mrs. Jennings

Term 3

Far Away Tree have been super busy this term. We have been making Shadufs (ancient Egyptian water lifting devices). We had to saw the wood and then lash them together. The lever needed to be balanced about the fulcrum with a counterweight.

We have also been learning all about mummification so we have started making our own canopic jars.

We have really been enjoying learning about changes of state in science this term. We’ve looked at melting, evaporating, condensing and freezing. We had great fun seeing freezing in action when we made ice cream by using ice and salt to freeze milk and sugar, and we definitely enjoyed eating it!

Term 2

We enjoyed a trip to the Maidstone Museum.

Paddington have really enjoyed our learning of electricity and circuits, particularly making circuits and switches using electrical components.

We have been learning about the Ancient Egyptians and the Maya. Today we looked at lots of different artefacts from the two different civilizations. We used them to ask questions, compared them and then we spent time carefully drawing them out in order to pay attention to the finer detail.

Year 4 have been nutty about nature this week with our Duck Billed Platypus inspired music. Following our learning about the various elements of music, the children embarked on composing their own piece which they notated using various symbols.

As part of our nutty about nature topic, we have had several visits from a duck-billed platypus, a pine marten and some sparrows. This afternoon, before they leave us, we decided to draw them paying attention to the fur and the feathers.

In our reading comprehension lessons, we have been thinking about retrieval and inference. We created some freeze-frames based on ‘Carrie’s War’ showing the different character emotions at different points in the story.

We had great fun on the first day back trying lots of different team games. Here we are playing ‘human knot’ where we had to tangle ourselves up and then untangle ourselves. We also played minefield where we directed partners through an obstacle when they couldn’t see.

This morning, we have been learning about gesture and the use of our voices when we read out a poem. We practised lots of different gestures and made lots of different sound effects before making a class reading of an autumn poem.