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Woodford Primary School

Year 4 - Hawthorn

Today we had a fantastic Viking Day. Mr Johnstone came in and taught us more about the Vikings. We became archaeologists sifting through evidence and piecing together different artefacts. We also had chance to write in runes and try to decode messages. We learnt how to play the game Hnefertafl.  It is an attacking and defending game.  We tried to use different strategies to either capture or free the King. During the day, we also learnt about the trade in Viking times, Viking gods and drew our own version of the Cosmos. We had the chance to dress up in the Viking armour. Can you guess who is who? The chainmail was so heavy! Here is a picture of the Hawthorns as the scary Vikings!






Tall Ship Kaskelot


Year 4 had a fantastic trip to Sutton Harbour on Monday to visit the Tall ship Kaskelot.  This ship is one of the largest wooden hulled ships still in commission and was originally built in Denmark.  We all had a great time learning about the names of all the different parts of the ship and of the different sails in particular.  We were amazed to find out that there were 20 sails altogether, all different shapes and sizes, and a staggering 7 kilometres of rope holding them up!  We all helped to set the sails and had to work as a team on the count of "2, 6, heave!" It was hard work and we thought that the 14 members of the crew would have to work really hard to keep the ship sailing along when out at sea.


Look at us sailors from Hawthorn class setting the sails

Congratulations Connor!

                                                           Hawthorn class are very proud of Connor for earning his

Gold reading certificate this term.  He is the third member of

Hawthorn class to be awarded this for successfully passing

50 reading comprehension quizzes this year. 

 What a fantastic achievement.  Well done Connor.


Our trip to Plymbridge Woods

On Friday we went on our trip to Plymbridge Woods to support the learning we have been doing on animals and their habitats. 


When we arrived we met Jess and Dave from the National Trust. They explained that because of the time of year in order to identify most of the trees we would have to look at their twigs as they haven't any leaves. This meant that we had to look carefully at the size, shape and colour of the buds.

Jake found a Hawthorn tree!


We then went on a minibeast hunt to see what animals we could find. We had to look under rocks and stones, beneath tree trunks and inside holes. We made sure we put any animals back exactly where we found them.

We found...

11 worms

3 slugs

3 maggots

1 fly

8 beetles

3 earwigs

6 woodlice

3 spiders

3 snails

3 sand hopper

2 millipedes


We were quite impressed with our find!


We then stopped for a quick lunch break

After lunch we walked up to the viaduct to see the Peregrine Falcons that are nesting high up on the rock face. We managed to see both the male and the female birds. The male had white feathers where as the female has grey feathers. The volunteers at the National Trust showed us pictures of the birds and talked about the size of the eggs. They answered our questions about the birds and their chicks.



World Book Day


The children came dressed up as characters out of story books today. Their costumes were fabulous!

They enjoyed having story read by teachers, TA's and parents. It was a lovely opportunity to listen and discuss different books.

We enjoyed oral story telling today and were inspired by the story The Cobblestone Maker. We tried to include some of the repetitive language into our story but we changed some language and events to make our own versions.  We acted them in front of the whole class in the amphitheatre. It was a fantastic sight!

We also had to stop and drop everything and read when we heard the bells jingle...

Canopic Jars


We painted our conopic jars. We took great care as the clay was quite fragile. The final products looked believable!

Canopic Jars




We have been learning about canopic jars. There were 4 canopic jars, each for the safekeeping of particular human organs: the stomach, intestines, lungs, and liver, all of which, it was believed, would be needed in the afterlife. There was no jar for the heart: the Egyptians believed it to be the seat of the soul, and so it was left inside the body.


This week we have started to make our own canopic jars. We used Modroc for the base and then used clay to create the head.  We have not finished them yet but here is our work in progress!

Static Electricity

We also have been investigating static electricity. We found out that you can create static electricity by rubbing a balloon on your jumper. We then placed the balloon on our head which caused our hair to stand on end!

Plugs and Switches


This week we learnt how to wire up a plug, with a little help and perseverance! We also created our own switches, using a range of metals and card.  We used to turn our circuits on and off.


This week we have been learning about electricity. We had great fun testing out different circuits to see if they work. We also went on to investigate which materials conduct electricity and which don't. Can you remember what materials are good conductors?

Christmas Party

We had a fantastic Christmas party today.  Thank you to everyone who brought in food, plates and hats!


We would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!


From Mrs Parker and Mrs Bryan





The children in Year 4 had great fun practicing and performing for this year's Christmas play - Good News.  Our trusty reporters told the story of the birth of Jesus 'live and exclusive on Nativity News'. They did a brilliant job in learning their lines, singing their hearts out and acting their parts with expression and confidence.  We hope you enjoyed watching as much as we enjoyed performing and singing.


Year 4 Trip to South Devon Railway


Hawthorn class enjoyed a great day out last week as wartime evacuees.  Dressed the part, the children arrived at school ready to be evacuated as part of their learning about WWII.  Fleeing for the countryside, the children boarded a steam train to help to keep them safe.  They were able to imagine what it must have been like to be a child in Devon during the war.  On the day the children learned all about life on the Home Front, Make Do and Mend, Dig for Victory and Wartime Transport. 


Welcome to Hawthorn Class


Mrs Bryan and Mrs Parker are really looking forward to meeting the new Hawthorn Class. We have lots of great things planned for the Autumn term. Here are some important people we are going to be learning about. Can you guess who they are?   


Year 3/4 Sports Day 2016

Well done to all the children who took part in our Sports Day with such enthusiasm on Friday.  It was great to see the vast array of sporting talent we have at Woodford competing for their house team.  Photos from the event have been published on the Sports Blog:



Healthy Week Timetable

Merry Christmas Mr Scrooge!


Well what can I say............what a fantastic performance by Year 3 and 4 children.  The Christmas play was a big success and its all thanks to the children who acted, danced and sang their hearts out.  Everyone took part and did their very best to give a good performance.  Well done to everyone.  I think we may have a few budding actors here in Hawthorn class so watch this space!


Here is a short gallery of images from the production for you to enjoy.



Our Reading Journey Week


Last week the whole school went reading crazy with  our Reading Journey Week.  Hawthorn class enjoyed lots of different reading activities throughout the week including a visit to Plympton library.  Here the children learned all about how to find a book by a particular author and how the non-fiction books were arranged.  The children got stuck into finding and reading the books of their choice and were also treated to some story reading by Jeanette, the chief librarian.  Everybody loved Jeanette's top tips for how to select the right book for you - ask your child to tell you about the 5 finger rule!



Then at the end of the week, the whole school came in dressed as their favourite book characters and how amazing they looked.  See if you can guess the book character from these photographs.



We then got stuck into some more reading................reading in the hallway, reading on the floor, reading in the classroom, reading in the office.................. there is no place we won't read in Hawthorn class.


The Author of the term in year 4 is David Walliams and it has been great to see so many children reading his books and enjoying them so much.  We are reading Billionaire Boy as our class novel at the moment and we have been practising our own author's writing and editing skills in English lessons.  


Well done everyone and remember, keep reading!


Poetry and Politeness Afternoon


At the end of half term, Hawthorn class hosted an afternoon of poetry for parents and carers as a celebration of all of their hard work and fantastic poetry writing skills in Year 4.  What a great afternoon it was!  We had so many visitors to Hawthorn Class and the children excelled themselves with their performances of their own poems.  We had limericks and Nonsense from everyone!


We are so proud of all of the lovely comments we received in our class visitors book and a few of those are here for you to read:




As well as a celebration of poetry, the children hosted a tea party for their guests to practice their good manners and politeness to all as part of our new school Respect Card scheme.  So many Respect cards were given out over the afternoon and in fact by the end of the day we had run out completely.  What brilliantly respectful children we have in Hawthorn class.


Well done to all of the children and a big thank you to all of our visitors for making the afternoon so special.

Plymouth Half Marathon Challenge - 24.10.15

Registration for the Plymouth Half-Marathon challenge will take place during the first week back after half-term.  Entry costs £10 for the event which will take place on Sunday 17th April 2016 and includes, race number, t-shirt, race goody-bag and a medal. 

Letters will go out to on the first Monday back and need to be returned by Friday 6th November.

Some of our former pupils appear on the official poster for this years' event.  Have a look on the half-marathon website for more info:

Plymouth Half Marathon





Starlights in Hawthorn Class


Last week, three members of Hawthorn class proudly attended the Guildhall to receive a prize for their fantastic writing which has now been published in the 2015 Plymouth Young Writers Anthology.  This was a huge achievement and we are very proud of them.



R said:

"Having my work published as a child was a great opportunity.  I enjoyed it very much throughout."



J said:


"I felt really proud when they called mu name to get the £10 book token and the book.  I have a big achievement and I never knew I would be in a book."


A added:


"It was very exciting to see my story and meet the mayor."

Hawthorn Class Trip to Morwhellam Quay.


Hawthorn class had a lot of fun on Tuesday on our trip to the Victorian village at Morwhellam Quay.  We spent the day experiencing what life would have been like for a child in Victorian times and comparing that to our own lives. 


We started off in the Harbour Master's house.  It was actually quite nice, but we soon realised that this was because he was the richest person in the village and even he had to trudge up the road to collect water and heat it on the stove for his once a week bath.  The lady of the house had quite a nice life, sewing, playing the piano, drinking tea, but we decided that after a while this would probably be a bit boring!


The new went to a worker's cottage.  What a contrast! just two rooms in the house to squeeze everyone in and rows of straw stuffed mattresses on the floor. With just a fire in the kitchen and one pot for food, children soon realised that life was extremely hard if you were poor. 

We were told that children from as young as five or six would have to go out and work at the copper mine, so we went over to the mine to check it out.  It was with a sense of excitement and intrepidation that Hawthorn class went into the mine.  It was cold, damp and dark and we learned all about how the miners extracted the copper and what slow and painful work it was.   


Children who could afford it, were lucky enough to go to school instead of working and so we went to Victorian school to see what it was like.  Sitting in rows on hard uncomfortable benches, Hawthorn class practiced their handwriting using slate pencils on slate boards. 


The teacher was fierce and some children were punished by wearing the dunce's hat, putting their noses onto the blackboard, receiving the cane and using the back straightener!  There was also a lot of chanting.  Hawthorn class were certain that they preferred school now rather than school in the Victorian times!


Finally, the children experienced dressing up in Victorian costume.  The girls enjoyed wearing big skirts and shawls, whilst the boys looked very smart in long coats, jackets and hats.  We all thought that it would be quite hard wearing these clothes all of the time though and the girls said they would miss their trousers.





A good day was had by all and a big Hawthorn thank you goes out to the parents who came to help out on the trip.  We would not be able to enrich the curriculum with trips and events without the support of our parents.

Welcome to our new class page. This is replacing our old class blog and is much more tablet and smartphone friendly! We will be sharing our learning with you as the new school year begins.

A big 'Welcome Back!' to the new Hawthorn class and what a super few days we have had.


Already we have been busy having a go at some new English, SPag and Maths learning as well as introducing this term's topic of the Victorians.  The class even received a surprise visit from Queen Victoria and Prince Albert on Friday afternoon.  Watch this space for photographic evidence!


The children thought of some fantastic questions to ask their visitors in order to inform their learning such as:


Q. Why were teachers so mean to the children in the Victorian times? 


A. Both Queen Victoria and Prince Albert thought that the treatment was perfectly reasonable given that 'Children should be seen and not heard and should speak only when spoken to!'  Placing children in the corner with a dunce's hat and giving them lines to write was not at all harsh but just what was necessary in order to make them in to decent Victorian citizens and that they were lucky that their gracious Queen had passed some laws to stop them working in the factories and give them a free education. Children were also told they should have straight backs at all times.


Q. How did people travel long distances during the Victorian times?


A. Queen Victoria replied that poor people would just have to walk, but more wealthy subjects could travel by horse and carriage and latterly by car.  Prince Albert added that the law requiring cars to travel at a maximum of 14 miles per hour was quite fast enough.  Queen Victoria told the children how she had travelled by steam ship around the British Empire and to her beloved India in particular.  Prince Albert said that thanks to the most excellent engineering skills of Mr Isambard Kingdom Brunel, we could also occasionally take the train.


All in all, it was an exciting start to the topic where the children found out lots of new facts and information and gave them a flavour of what life was like for the Victorians.  We are all looking forward to our trip to Morwellham Quay shortly.