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Spotlight on: Year 3 & Year 4

Spotlight on: Year 3 & Year 4

Year 3 – Mrs Fiona McWilliam and Mrs Carolyn Johnson

The Summer Term has got off to a flying start. We welcomed Natasha T. into Year 3, and she has already embraced and enjoyed all of the exciting activities that have taken place so far.

The trip to the Cambridge Gurdwara provided a valuable insight into the Sikh faith and community. It was a fantastic experience that really brought alive what the girls had learnt in lessons. Perhaps next year we’ll suggest visiting the Golden Temple in Amritsar…

After the short World Religions Week Year 3 pupils have turned their attention to their Science topic – plants. There seems to be an endless number of things to learn about plants and trees, all of which are vital to our very existence. The sensory garden is a valuable teaching tool as it offers the girls hands-on experience of planting, weeding and sorting, as well as general observation of living organisms. We are keeping a close eye on the rhubarb, autumn raspberries, carrots, cauliflowers, strawberries and lettuces, which are currently growing. The girls are learning about photosynthesis, the relationships between plants, the significance of roots, leaves and stems, capillary action and plants as food, amongst other topics that always arise from these lessons. Yesterday the girls set up an experiment to show how water is transported up a stem. A celery stem provided the obvious answer and, with the help of some food colouring, and of course a comparative constant of clear water, in a couple of days we will be able to see whether the colouring is showing in the holes in the celery! We also have a trip to the Cambridge University Botanic Garden planned, which is very exciting!

In Humanities lessons the Year 3 girls are learning about London, its growth, importance for trade and, of course, its famous landmarks. Later on in the term the group will look in more detail at the local environment, and I’m sure the girls are looking forward to getting out of the classroom for that too.

As with other year groups, the Year 3 pupils are working towards the Ely Art and Science Project, and are looking forward to seeing their banners displayed in Ely Cathedral in June. The girls have used some blackberry and onion tie-dye material from last term to make bags, and the results are excellent – the group used the bags as inspiration in their creative writing lessons. The girls all wrote magical stories that really make you believe the occupants of the bags have lives of their own!

 

Cricket lessons are going well, with the grip seeming to be the most awkward obstacle to overcome – and then there is the striking of a moving ball. But, that said, everyone appears to be enjoying the lessons – now all we need is some warmer weather to really get the ball rolling!

Year 4 – Mrs Samantha Duncan and Mr Daniel Taylor

Year 4 pupils have been conducting sound experiments with Mrs Tessa Shercliff, STEM Co-ordinator, during this term’s STEM lessons. The girls have been discovering what makes sound. They now know that it is vibration, but they wanted to be able to prove this. With a tuning fork the girls took it in turns to hit it on the desk – but couldn’t see any vibrations, they could only hear the sound. So the group then put the tuning fork into a small beaker of water, and the water splashed around – so the girls knew the tuning fork was vibrating. Finally, the girls monitored what happens to grains of rice on the skin of a drum – because they couldn’t see the drum skin itself vibrating – but the grains of rice were definitely jumping around with the vibrations. It was great fun.

 

At the end of our first week of the term Year 4 pupils learnt about Buddhism for our World Religions Week – and in Art the girls made some Buddha figurines from clay. They developed their moulding skills and attempted some challenging shapes to make either a sitting or meditating Buddha or a simpler figure of Buddha’s head. The girls have now added the glaze and are waiting to fire their creations in the kiln. Pictured is Ava P. with her sitting Buddha figurine.

This term’s topic is The Tudors, and the girls have been creating detailed timelines to show where The Tudors sit within British history. Pictured is Anoushka B. with her Tudor timeline. The girls have just learnt about the Battle of Bosworth and how King Henry VII took the throne from King Richard III and founded the Tudor dynasty. In English lessons the girls have been looking at stories set in the past, and are using a painting of a market scene from 1550 as inspiration for writing their own stories. Some of the girls have decided to be one of the characters in the painting, and are going to create a storyline around them and their part in the market scene.