World Book Day

We’ve had such a fantastic morning, we chose one of our favourite books and read for pleasure.

”This is the best day ever, can we have a nap and read!?” – I don’t think that’s possible!

Check us out below, reading in our pyjamas.

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Inside the cave…

This afternoon, we put our art skills to the test.

We replicated a cave-like feel within our classroom so we could get a sense of what it was like drawing cave art in the Stone Age.

Some of us complained of stiff backs and necks, and even complained that we couldn’t see what we were doing. Maybe we should have had a fire torch in the classroom!

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Stone Age Cave Art

We have started our new topic in class this week. The Stone Age!

Our hook for the topic was Cave Art, we had a look at Cave Art and replicated the skills cavemen/ women would have used back in the Stone Age.

Keep your eyes peeled for us working in a cave-like, dark classroom. 

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This afternoon, we became IT experts!

For our computer session we learned about how computers worked. We looked at the different symbols in a flow chart and how they are used.

  • Start/end – An oval represents a start or end point.
  • Arrows – a line is a connector that shows relationships between the shapes.
  • Decision – a diamond indicates a decision.
  • Process – a rectangle represents a process.

We used our knowledge to put together a flow chart for making a cup of tea… safe to say I will be avoiding some of them in class!

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Science experiment

This afternoon, we were under a spell from the White Witch.

She sneakily, gave us enchanted hot chocolate. Our job was to get as much enchanted hot chocolate out of the water as possible.

We worked scientifically and used some of the following pieces of equipment:

  • Sieve
  • Filter paper
  • Measuring cylinders
  • Funnels
  • Pipette

We found that the filter paper worked best but it was a very slow process and it didn’t even remove ALL of the enchanted hot chocolate!

At the end, Mr Mathieson showed us that by boiling the hot chocolate it would evaporate and once cooled down turn into condensation and then back to a liquid of purified water!

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Maths challenge – STEM

This afternoon, for our STEM challenge we were set with a task of ‘breaking the code’.

To break the code, we had to work in teams and answer the questions that were hidden around the classroom.

Check us out, we had so much fun!

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Factor pairs

This week, in maths, we have been learning about factor pairs. 

Factors are often given as pairs of numbers, which multiply together to give the original number. These are called factor pairs.

We have used counters to make different groups with the original amount – we even drew on the tables! (Mr Swallow caught us doing this… he was not impressed!)


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STEM Challenge

This afternoon, we started our STEM learning.

STEM learning, simply means educating in four specific areas – science, technology, engineering and maths.

Our challenge this afternoon was specifc to maths.

We researched sports stars and had a look at their annual earnings, we were then able to workout their monthly breakdown and even daily earnings!

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Homework – Spring 1 Homework 2

Hi Year 4’s, apologies about the delayed handing out of your homework sheets. I’m going to blame it all on you guys for keeping me extra busy throughout the day!

You are all aware of your spellings, you will be tested on these on Friday. Just a reminder, you are spelling homophones and near-homophones. These are words that sound the same but have different meanings and are spelt differently. Please see the list below for your spelling list.

  • through & threw
  • weather / whether
  • here / hear
  • there / their / they’re
  • rain / rein / reign

SHELDON homework!!! 

Now, as you are all aware, we have a new school mascot in the name of Sheldon and what a brilliant addition he is! However, I have a funny feeling that Mrs Swift is not 100% sure for what she has get herself in to…

So, what I would like you to do is put together a fact file, all about the horsefield tortoise. Mrs Swift should be able to read your fact file and become very informed, as that is the purpose of the fact file.

Can you include different subheadings? Making it easier for Mrs Swift to find key information about Sheldon.

You could include subheadings such as: dietary requirements, expected life, friendliness of the animal, fun facts, history and anything else you can think of!

I’m really looking forward to reading these.

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Banksy stencils

This afternoon, we produced our very own stencil artwork in the style of Banksy, this is the emulate stage of art.

We had a look at some of Banksy’s most famous pieces and the messages behind them, we focused in on certain aspects of the images that we like. The heart balloon, from ”There is always hope” was a popular one amongst the class.

Next, we’re going to innovate Banksy’s work – this is where we will come up with our own inspiration for a piece of artwork that portrays a message in our own style but using the same skills as Banksy.


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Banksy’s use of stencils!

We’ve figured out that Banksy is so fast and mysterious with his work that there must be something he uses to help him!

We recognised that he uses graffiti stencils, this afternoon, we had a go at crafting our own stencils using VERY sharp knives so we had to be extremely careful with our cutting skills.

Tomorrow, we’re going to have a go at painting with our stencils and see if we can produce our very own Banksy style artwork with slogans.

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Reading about Banksy

This week, we have started our art week!

We’ve had a brilliant start to learning about Banksy and come across a lot of vocabulary that we haven’t heard of before. Such as:

  • political activist
  • anonymous
  • conceal
  • speculation
  • identity
  • slogans
  • imitate

We’ve used our VIPERS vocabulary skills to match the words to their definitions. Why don’t you ask us at home what the words mean?

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Rudolph Run – sponsored event!

We had so much fun taking part in our sponsored event, The Rudolph Run, today!

We even saw Mr Crouch with a HUGE smile on his face!

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The Summarising reading VIPER

This week, we have had another look at the Summarise VIPER. In class, we are reading Oliver Twist and we noticed that the book does not have any chapters. So, being the reading experts that we are, we decided to use our summarising skills to come up with our own chapters.

We identified the main idea using a range of pages, AND then acted the chapters out!

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Welcome to France

We have studied our local area and got a good sense of WHERE we are in the world. We’ve also looked at our local culture and history to better understand WHO we are and HOW Barnsley was shaped.

We’re now going to compare all of this to a contrasting location, France.  Our closest European neighbours.

We always start our topic studies with WHEN and WHERE so we have made a map of France. BUT! We’re Year 4! You didn’t think it would be as simple as that did you?

Mr Swallow gave us a blank map of France and lots of places to look for IN FRENCH!!!!

Thats right! We had to read the locations and find them on maps written in English. It’s a good job we are clever! We soon figured out that some of the places were cities, some rivers, seas or oceans and even some mountain ranges.

All of the places were not on 1 map. We had to use a POLITICAL map to find anything made by humans and a PHYSICAL map to find the natural locations!!! Wow.

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What would we have looked like “Darn’t Pit?”

Daisy brought in her grandads Davey lamp as well as the more modern safety helmet and lamp.

we couldn’t believe how HEAVY everything was! The kids struggled to keep them on for a photo never mind work a 12 hr manual job in them!!!

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The finished product

Check out our completed Miners’ Strike inspired art…it looks amazing on the classroom wall!  Lewis even called it the ‘Wall of Doom!’ because of the gloomy and somber atmosphere we had created!

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Nearly there…

We got a little more done on our Miners’ Strike inspired artwork today. looking good…

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Art inspired by the scenes from the Miners’ Strike

As our Unit on local history and mining draws to a close, we have been looking at photographs of the scenes that took place during the ’84 Miners’ Strike.

In literacy, we were trying to imagine what those men would have been thinking about or saying in those photos.  We have decided to try and capture those feelings with a piece of artwork.  It will take several stages for us to get to the finished piece.

Step 1-

Mr Swallow brought in lots of photographs of people who are angry!  Some of them were actors, pretending to be angry and some of them were real photos of how people behaved in riots or strikes.  We were looking at the poses that showed their feelings and the posture in which they were holding their body.  A lot of them were remarkably similar!

Step 2-

Next, we chose a partner and Mr. Swallow gave us a huge piece of art paper.  We could either trace the person from the photograph and then edit the tracing to look like the character we wanted, or just use the pose of the person in the photo to inspire and inform our own drawing.  We scribbled on the back of the tracing paper so that we could then print our tracing onto the huge art paper.  Together, we built up a selection of scenes showing the angry protests of the miners on our big paper.

Step 3-

The final step was to frame the scenes.  We chose charcoal because of the obvious tonal links to coal and the miners.  Framing the scenes in a black, dusty cloud gave the pictures a foreboding sense of anger and darkness.  The charcoal even reminded us of the clouds of smoke we saw in the riot pictures or ‘clouds of anger’ as Tilly eloquently put it!  We want our pictures to represent the scary, upsetting and even dangerous situation that those miners found themselves caught up in in the dark days of 1984.

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Reading VIPERS challenge

This week, we are looking at the Summarise VIPER.  Our first Summary activity is a game of charades!  The children were brilliant and WE COULD TELL WHAT EVERY SINGLE SCENE from the book was, when they acted it out!  Year 4 are true drama queens!!!

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Circuits Challenge

As you know, we did not get the chance to work practically when we learned about circuits at the end of Year 3.  So, we took the opportunity this afternoon to refresh our know about circuit diagrams, insulators and conductors as well as get our hands on the lovely circuits equipment that Mr Swallow bought.


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Nora Batty and Compo Yorkshire Pudding Recipes

Well!  I asked for it!  I did!

I asked my pupils to pretend to be Nora Batty or Compo and write a recipe for making Yorkshire puddings ‘in character.’  AND…they did!

We had some creative suggestions from our Compos!  Such as “spitting in the pan” if you have no oil or “nicking the eggs from under a chicken!”

As for the Nora Battys, they were constantly recommending “Whacking Compo with their broom” and keeping an eye out for him trying to “snog” you!!!

They were great fun and (as well as staying in character) did actually manage to write a recipe that used the features they had identified.

Well done Year 4, that was a VERY independent piece of writing.

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Yorkshire Pudding Recipe Challenge

We have written plenty of recipes with Mr Swallow before (Egyptian Saboob bread, Spaghetti Carbonara and our amazing Regional pizzas!)  So, Mr Swallow decided that we were ready for a recipe writing challenge!  He gave us this Yorkshire Pudding Recipe:

  • Get 2 eggs, 80g of flour & 100ml of milk
  • Mix it together

Cook it in the oven for around 20 mins

That was it!  It was a rubbish recipe!  He didn’t use time order words, bossy words, adjectives or adverbs!  Terrible.  He gave us just 1 lesson where he reminded us what features a recipe should have and then told us we would be writing our own with no help.

We know what you’re thinking, that is tricky but not that hard.  Well, that’s not all!  Meet Compo and Nora Batty…

Long-awaited memorial to Last of the Summer Wine star Compo could be just  weeks away - YorkshireLive

They are the stars of an old Yorkshire TV show and Mr Swallow let us see them in action.  He then challenged us to become either Compo or Nora and, write the recipe AS IF WE ARE THEM!

The Nora Battys would have to make sure that the house was kept clean whilst they worked and also to keep an eye out for Compo sneaking in to pinch ingredients or even a kiss!!!!

The Compos had to be a little creative in the ingredients they used and were, obviously, not too bothered about hygiene standards!

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Yorkshire Pudding making

We have followed a VERY SIMPLE Yorkshire pudding recipe and, of course, we weighed our own ingredients and followed the recipe with our team.  We just needed Mr Swallow and Miss Housley to use the oven and handle the hot trays.

As you can see, the results were amazing!  They tasted fantastic too!


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Today’s challenge was really tricky.


We are making our own timeline that covers the history of mining in Barnsley.  This means it starts before Victorian times and runs all the way to now.

Mining has really shaped and defined our local identity so we couldn’t map the history of mining without including the changes in culture too.

We had to use LOTS of different sources of information to create our timelines:

Mr Swallow had written some important events down but they were all jumbled up so we had to get them into CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER and choose which ones we wanted to use.

We had dozens of books about mining and local history to gather our own information from to add to our timeline.

We had a set of existing timelines covering everything from pop culture to politics, again we could choose the information we wanted to use and add it to our own timeline in the correct place.

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We have been looking at the art of Sheffield-born artist, Pete McKee

We love his pictures so we wanted to analyse his style.  That means we want to figure out what makes a typical McKee painting, a McKee painting.

We spotted that he uses:

  • Bold, cartooney colours.  The colours have shadow details too.
  • Simple style, don’t use too much detail
  • You hardly ever see peoples eyes or mouths

We soon realised that there was much more to a McKee than the type of drawing though…we noticed quite a bit about the subjects he paints:

  • They are typical Yorkshire people doing things we all like to do…visiting the coast, watching footy, eating chips
  • They wear typical Yorkshire clothing, like flat caps and football shirts (unfortunately of Sheffield teams rather than Barnsley!)
  • There are often typical Yorkshire landmarks or scenery in the background (we spotted the rainy weather in the cafe scene Mr McKee!)

We decided to use all these elements to create our own Pete McKee-style artwork.  So, Mr. Swallow sketched out a few ideas about things that mattered to him (his brother helping him on his house, his father-in-law blowing on his cup of tea and even a Yorkshire pudding!)

We then looked at how to import the sketches into the computer and reformat them so that we had a digital copy of the sketch.  We then used the program, Paint, to colour in the pictures digitally…re-creating that distinctive, Pete McKee look.  Here is our progress so far…


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Place Value challenge:

We had to use the Base 10 equipment to create some models…but there was a twist:

Can you make a model of a robot in Base 10, that is symmetrical?

What is the total value of your model?  Does the fact that it is symmetrical influence its value?

Can you design an animal that has an odd value?

What will determine if the number is odd or even?  Which is the most crucial type of Base 10 block in the model?  Why?

Can you create a house, using Base 10, that has a total value as close to 500 as possible?

What happens when Mr. Swallow comes along and pinches some of your equipment?  Is it more important to get to 500 or to make it look like a house?

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Birdwell Explorers

We took our overhead maps of Birdwell and set off on foot to see what we could add.  There are so many businesses and special locations in our village that it’s quite surprising when you note them all down!

We also had some areas of our map that were incomplete so we had to ‘fill in the blanks.’

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Archery time!

Today, we have had a belter of a time! We have been practising our archery skills, we even used a real bow to shoot the arrows!

Check out the images below to see us in action.

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New Term, new Topic!

This Topic is called, “Where am I from?”

We are going to explore the geography and culture of our region, it’s history and roots, it’s place in Europe and the World.  We hope you all enjoy it and get a better sense of who and where we are in the World.

[embeddoc url=”” download=”all” viewer=”google” ]

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A Monday morning treat!

Elise, from Barnsley Music Services, came to see us this morning.  She demonstrated some of the instruments that she teaches children how to play and told us about how they work.  SHE WAS AMAZING!!!!

If you would like to sign up for lessons, let us know.

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It’s Arcade Time!!!!

Our machines are built, we’ve wired up the buttons, the paint is dry (almost)…it#s time to open the arcade to the public.

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Work in progress…

Check out how our arcade machines are coming together…

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Welcome To Year 4!!!

Welcome back to school everyone!  Mr. Mathieson and I are very excited to be your teachers for this year.  We have lots of fun in store and know that you guys are going to work really hard for us.  Our first 2 days back are our transition days (these are normally the days you spend getting used to a new teacher and a new classroom).  However, because you already know Mr. Mathieson and me so well and know what we expect of you then we thought it would be a good opportunity instead to finish those arcade game projects we started at the end of Year 3!


Our bubble closures at the end of the school year meant that we have already designed and coded our own scratch games, as well as planned you our arcade machines could look.  Basically, we have completed a full topic, EXCEPT FOR THE BEST PART!!!!  Let’s put that right…our 2-day challenge is to have completed arcade machines READY to use, by TOMORROW AFTERNOON!!!!!

Here is one I did with Syd, in the holiday as a test run…

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Year 4 last TT Rockstars Superstars certificates of the year.

Week 6


Week 5














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TT Rockstars Superstars

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England supporters are out in full force for the Euros!

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TT Rockstars Superstars

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TT Rockstars Superstars

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End of Topic Roman day!

We had such a brilliant end of topic day celebration, thank you to all of the parents that helped make this happen!

We really enjoyed dressing up in our Roman attire and heading down to the field to hunt the Celt (thanks, kids!!)

In the afternoon, we were split into small groups and sampled some famous pizzas from around Italy, we even got to wash them down with some delicious dessert, tiramisu (yum!)

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Behave… or be punished!

This morning, the dregs of society were placed in prison to work.

We found out that the ceilings in prison were extremely low and there wasn’t much room to move around.

One child, not mentioning names (Heidi), wasn’t impressed by the working conditions and asked, ”How do we escape this punishment?”

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TT Rockstars Superstars

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TT Rockstars Superstars

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Improper fractions to mixed numbers

We didn’t quite get away with writing on the tables in our maths session. I wonder what Mr Bailey would have to say about this!?

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Today’s maths consisted of times tables battles! We know the importance of being able to quickly recall all of our times tables – lets keep practising at home too!

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TT Rockstars Superstars

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Roman buildings

This week, we have brought Ancient Rome to life in our classroom!

Doesn’t the spring water look inviting in the baths?


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Roman portraits

Our art skills have come on such a long way!

The children should be very proud of themselves for the amazing work they have produced, they look like actual photos!

Year 4, can you spot yours?

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The SHINING STAR of the Half Term

Well, today wraps up the first half term and here is out shining star of the half term!

Well done – 7 children were nominated out of 204, what an achievement Mr! This is something to be proud of :mrgreen:

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Easter Egg hunt


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Building our ships

We had so much fun building our ships.

There was a lot of work involved. We used hot glue guns, pva glue, card, art straws, frog tape, tin foil and cardboard… the list goes on.

I can’ wait to see the finished products!

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World Book Day – READING DENS!

Check out some of the dens that have been submitted today! :mrgreen: 

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Our car manufacturing is well underway, will they be spotted cruising up and down Sheffield Road!?

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Mathletics Superstars

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Check out some of the portraits and even SIMS characters of the teachers we received!

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Isabel’s science experiement

Isabel has sent in a wonderful write up of her science experiment.

I particularly like how Isabel has included labelled diagrams to give the reader a clear image of what the different stages of her experiment looked like.

I think I might start to wrap my tea in tin foil after reading your conclusion!

[embeddoc url=”” download=”all” text=”Download – Science write up” viewer=”google” ]

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This was a very thorough inspection of the house!

Well, Birdwell’s chief fire inspector turned up at this house and put the grown ups through a very thorough, formal inspection.


Fortunately, the grown ups have done a superb job and passed the inspection. The inspector sent a report in the post to let the grown ups know the outcome.



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Snow DAY TWO!!!

Check out the pictures I received on snow day! I have added a caption to each one, make sure you read them. 

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Earthquake proof building challenge

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Some pieces of work from the week commencing 11.01.21

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Some pieces of work from the week commencing 4.01.21

Here are some snaps of the work that has been completed this week.

We are so proud of you guys, keep it up!

Mr Mathieson and Miss Housley

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