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Otterbourne C.E. Primary School

Excellence for All in Every Way

Year 3/4 (Geckos)

In Gecko class, we believe that respect and kindness are key. Looking after the classroom and each other is very important to us as it allows us to keep a welcoming and tidy classroom.

We want everyone in our class to be safe and happy, and we will achieve this by looking after one another and following the school values.

The children in Year 3 and 4 enjoy the opportunity to work with new children outside their usual year group. This not only enables them to develop new friendships across the school, but also gain new skills as they collaborate with children of a different age. 

 

During the year we aim to offer the children a broad range of experiences, both in and out of school, and develop their independence and responsibility for their own learning. This is vitally important as they prepare to move into upper key stage 2.  

 

The Year 3/4 teaching team is:

Mrs Simpson - Class Teacher (Chameleons)

Mr O'Dowd - Class Teacher (Geckos)

Miss Taylor - Class Teacher (Iguanas)

Mrs Simmons/Mrs Cook/Nicky Compton - PPA cover

Mr Bagge - ICT

Mrs Slominski (LSA support - AM), Mrs Tiller (1:1), Mrs Hinton (1:1), Mrs Armstrong (LSA Support - PM)

 

Homework Rota: 

Maths/English and Spellings are handed out on a Thursday for completion and return on the following Tuesday. The children may choose from a variety of homework tasks from the sheets provided at the start of the term. 

 

Library Time : Thursday afternoon (although children are also trusted to use the library in their own time).

 

P.E.: Games time is Thursday afternoon (with R & R) and indoor PE is on a Monday afternoon. The children in Year 4 will also receive swimming lessons later in the year. Please ensure that all PE kits are in school at all times as the timetable may change. 

 

The class teachers are on duty from 8.45am on the meadow playground, where you are more than welcome to discuss any issues. However, if there is any aspect of your child's school experience that you would like to discuss in private, please call the school office to arrange a meeting. 

During our topic time this week, we carried on learning all about plastic pollution. A big thank you goes out to Mrs Cox, who came in to talk to us all about her job as a landscape manager and how she can help the environment with her work.

We also discussed plastic, and learned that while it can be bad for the environment, without plastic the world would be a very different place! Following this we had a class debate where we discussed the pros and the cons of plastic.

We will keep learning about plastic and how it affects the world around us, so stay tuned for more as we are producing news reports which we are going to film and edit to look like Newsround reports!

All very exciting stuff, as always if you have any questions or thoughts please feel free to catch me before or after school for a chat!

Mr O’Dowd J

Viking Day!

We concluded our theme of Vikings by putting together a day of fun activities! We made dragons like the ones talked about in Norse myths and legends, we carved runes into clay, just like the Vikings would have! We found out all about Viking sagas and we made and decorated Viking longships as well!

 

It’s been a crazy, fun-filled half term, and I want to extend my thanks to all the children and you at home who continue to help me settle in and who have made this the best start to teaching I could have possibly imagined!

 

Have an amazing half term break!

Mr O’Dowd J

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The Power of ‘Yet’

This week in our class assembly we discussed the power of yet. This means we can transform our thinking from ‘I can’t do this’ to, ‘I can’t do this… Yet!’

This one word can change the whole meaning of a sentence, and over the course of the year we will be trying to develop a ‘Growth Mindset.’

The children all wrote down some things that they felt they weren’t very good at, or that they found really difficult. Then, through the magic power of yet, we looked at how they could change that, what they could do to improve and how they were going to be determined!

The children responded incredibly thoughtfully and I was amazed to see how they were able to change their thinking and be resilient, and I hope that’s something that will continue!

All the best,

Mr O’Dowd J

Setting and Atmosphere!

We went outside with our books, and children were encouraged to see beyond what was actually there, but to use their imagination to create a magical world, and then to describe this place using their senses! A bird singing became the sound of a nest of baby dragons, a car going by became the rumble of a hungry dragon’s belly, and the smell of lunch being cooked became the scent of the dragon’s breath.

Some absolutely fantastic description was produced by the children, and we will use these skills to paint the image of a story setting!

We used roleplay to get inside the mind of the King, who has a very difficult decision to make regarding a dragon outside his castle! We split into groups so everyone was able to ask questions and think of replies, and then some children sat on the 'throne' and addressed their kingdom!

After this, we wrote diary entries using the understanding of how a character may feel to show the King's thought process and the decision he might make! 

 

We are looking at a poem called 'The Grateful Dragon' and will be writing our own stories based on the poem! 

 

Watch this space!

 

Mr O'Dowd :) 

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Mysterious Eggs Found On Playground!

This week in Gecko Class, something mysterious happened… Eggs were discovered on the playground outside our classroom! These weren’t just the type of eggs you have for breakfast though, they arrived in an ancient chest, with a note that read, ‘Please look after this for me!’

We thought that they looked like dragon eggs due to the scales all over them, and decided we have to report this to the world in the form of a newspaper report!

Stay tuned for more.

 

Mr O’Dowd J

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Welcome to Gecko Class 2019-2020!

Hello everyone! I am so excited about welcoming the children into my first ever class this year after an awesome couple of days at the end of last term getting to know them. Some of you might remember me from last year, when I was here on placement, and I liked it so much I had to come back!

We have kicked off the new year with a bang, and welcomed Erik Erikkson into school on Tuesday to teach us all about the Anglo Saxons and Vikings. This was a fantastic way to start our new topic 'Let the Battle Commence', which focusses on the Anglo Saxon and Viking period. They were all very well behaved and super polite when questioning Erik about all the fascinating artefacts he had brought with him, and were very inquisitive when it came to asking questions.

So far, I have absolutely loved the first few days getting to know everyone, and I am super excited about the year we have planned together. If you ever need to chat, you can find me in the mornings outside, or grab me after school and we can get something sorted.

 

Looking forward to the year ahead,

Mr O'Dowd

 

 

Bushcraft Residential Day 4

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Bushcraft Residential Day 3

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Bushcraft Residential Day 2

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Bushcraft Residential Day 1

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Classroom Visitors!

We have had a very exciting time in school so far this term as we have been lucky enough to watch eggs become little fluffy chicks! This afternoon we had a visit from them, and we had a lot of fun watching them run around our classroom!

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Good News!

A huge well done goes to both the Geckos and the Chameleons for their fantastic production of 'Good News'- a play that tells the traditional Easter story, but with a modern newsroom twist! Each and every child worked their socks off to learn countless lines, songs and actions, and they made their teachers very proud with their brilliant performance to both the school and to their friends and families. What a way to end the term!

Enjoy a well earned break!

Miss H x

Bright Sparks Homework Projects

This half term, years 3 and 4 were set a homework to produce a 'project' around our current topic of electricity. They could produce anything they wished about any aspect of electricity that interested them. 

I think it is fair to say that the children have all gone above and beyond with their projects, and should be extremely proud of what they have produced! I have been well and truly wowed by the effort and creativity that the Geckos have displayed within this task- well done to them!

 

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Wacky Hair Day!

We've had a rather different day at school today, with the children coming to school with 'wacky hair' to raise money for Comic Relief. We had a very multicoloured, glittery, spiky looking classroom today, and we have had a lot of fun seeing what inventive things can be done to a head of hair!

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World Book Day

We had a fantastic day today dressed as different book characters- the children's costumes were fantastic! We spent the day writing and illustrating our own rhyming story books titled 'Blown Away', inspired by the author Rob Biddulph. The children all worked very hard within their groups, and we now have some of our very own exciting additions to put in our classroom book corner for all to enjoy!

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Spring into Fitness Week

We kicked off the half term with a very exciting and jam-packed 'Spring into Fitness' week. This week was all about how we can look after ourselves in terms of both our physical health, and our mental well-being. The children participated in a wide range of activities across the week such as learning CPR, testing how exercise affects our heart rate, exploring whether our height impacts our level of strength, mindfulness colouring, and discovering some (rather shocking!) facts about sugar content in different foods and drinks. The children threw themselves into every single activity with interest and enthusiasm, and I am certain a fantastic week was had by all!

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Through the Ages!

We have had a great half term in Gecko Class learning about the Stone Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age. We wrote our own narratives in English based around our class text 'Stone Age Boy', created our own cave paintings using only natural materials, and even finished off our half term's learning with an exciting visit to Butser Ancient Farm. 

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Chocolate Workshop!

What a fantastic morning the children have had learning about all things chocolate, and becoming level 10 'Chocolatologists'. The children got stuck right into a range of activities throughout the workshop, doing things such as role play as cocoa farmers, chocolate tasting and even taking part in a chocolate making competition against the teachers! Unfortunately for the teachers, the children were very creative chocolate makers which led to a landslide win for them, and resulted in some very sad teachers who had to put their chocolate creations in the staffroom for all to eat rather than being able to keep it for themselves to enjoy! The children were fantastic throughout the whole session, and even wowed our session leader Carl with their quick thinking and knowledge of all things chocolate and Fairtrade.

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Roman Day

What a brilliant way to end our half term's learning in true Roman fashion! The children looked fabulous in their costumes- thank you so much for all of the effort you put into these. We enjoyed a very busy day jam-packed with headband and shield making, recreating Roman battle formations to fend off the Celts (played by the rather vulnerable teachers!), and we even recreated a Roman-style banquet full of typical Roman foods. The children thoroughly enjoyed showing off all of their work from across the half term at the end of the day, of which they should be very proud of!

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Mice Crispy Cake Making!

We have been hard at work so far this year learning all about the Romans. In English, we have been reading all about a Roman cat called Spartapuss who has been wrongly sent to prison and has been left eating rancid black rat soup every day! We decided that we could create a much better meal for him, and instead made him some ‘mice crispy cakes’ for him to enjoy. We explored imperative verbs and time connectives, and used these to help us to recreate the recipe for Spartapuss to use for his friends!

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