St Teresa's Catholic Primary School

Our vision is to ensure children grow and develop through the love and teaching of Christ,
becoming responsible citizens able to make a positive contribution in society.

Clairmont Road, Colchester, Essex, CO3 9BE


Today Mrs Sharpe helped us to make vegetarian sushi!  We carefully weighed out the rice and liquid using cups and then while the rice cooked, we prepared our vegetables: cucumber, pepper and carrot.  Once the rice was cooked we added sugar, salt and vinegar.  After the rice cooled a little, we were given some roasted seaweed and told to put the rice on it with our hands!  The rice was very sticky indeed.  Next we added a row of vegetables and had the hard job of rolling up the seaweed.  We garnished the roll with the leftover vegetables.  We will cut our sushi at home.  It was great fun and very easy to make.  This afternoon, although Mrs Forsyth forgot to take pictures(!), we made clay pots for our succulents.  

We investigated the melting points of different materials, using a thermometer to record the temperature changes.

Today we had a visit from Sarah Siggs, author of Mud Boy.  She told us how she became an author and introduced us to her ideas basket.  We then tried to create our own basket of ideas.  It was very interesting - who knows which of us will become authors of the future.

For World Book Day, Year 4 used data they collected on their recent visit to the bookshops in town to find out about a children's author they had never heard of before.  They created information texts about the author and at least three of their books.  We also learned a new word "debut" because for one of the authors they had only written one book!!   For maths using extracts from "The Wind in the Willows", we created tally charts and bar graphs based on how many of each letter were in the text.  In the afternoon, we investigated Matthew's Gospel.  We listened to a short video clip about how the book was put together and what it contains.  We then chose a parable or story from the Gospel and illustrated it.   Finally, we went into assembly to see everyone's amazing costumes and to find out the winners of the spoon competition.  Well done to our winners, but a big well done and thank you to everyone for being so creative with your spoon.    

Our wonderful array of wooden spoon characters....

We learned the difference between a solid and a liquid.  We then investigated how an increase in temperature can change the state of some materials from solid to liquid.  We learned that this increase in temperature varies from material to material.  We also noted that as the materials cooled down (the temperature decreased) they returned to their solidified state.  We looked at chocolate, jelly and lard, but then also looked at sugar, raisins, shaving foam and toothpaste.   Sometimes it is quite difficult to say whether something is solid or liquid.   

Mrs Ward told us all about Fair Trade and how we could help support this campaign.  We watched a video about Beshey in Sierra Leone and the cocoa farm his family help to run.  We learned that instead of each family having an individual farm, they all shared and worked on each other's farms and then they all benefited.  They have learned how to manage their farms in a better way to increase productivity.  This means they have earned more money to pay for their children to go to school, they have learned how to protect their ancient forests which helps protect habitats for different species and clean the water and air.   As well as growing cocoa (for chocolate!) they also grow bananas, sugar cane, aubergine, papaya and ginger.  They are planning to buy a rice mill and start a market in the village.  By buying and supporting Fair Trade you are helping to support projects like this where others can support themselves and not rely on others.     Don't forget to bring back your Fair Trade poster on Monday please.

What a wonderful day we have had!   We walked to town, quite briskly, and arrived at Wagamamas where we split into two groups to sample some food toppings and dips, and also to make a variety of juices - even being able to create our own!   After a delicious lunch, we went into the Red Lion Book Shop and Waterstones to investigate different children's authors, our aim to try and find a different author for every letter of the alphabet.   Then we started walking back to school following our maps and stopping to find out about some of the local history from the Roman times, to the Civil War, to World War I and even more recent as 1985.  Thank you to our parent helpers for accompanying us.  Well done children for all that walking, I estimate that you walked around 7 miles today :)  I was told it was 19753 steps!!

After making a complete circuit to ensure that our bulb worked, we then tested different materials to see which would allow the electrical current to flow and which would insulate against the flow.  We concluded that metal was the best conductor of electricity and plastic insulated against it.  That is why wires are covered with a plastic coating to prevent electrical shock. 

Samaritan's Purse (Shoebox Appeal) - thank you to everyone who gave so generously back in October for our Shoebox Appeal.  Year 4 sent 12 boxes off and we have now found out that these were delivered to Central Asia (the bit below Russia) where some 52,451 boxes were delivered, of which 12 came from you and the children.  52,451 is a staggering number of children for whom Christmas is not an occasion where a gift is received but through you showing and sharing Jesus' love we have helped a few - although we cannot change the world, we can do little things well.  Thank You. 

Today we welcomed Richard Park from Anglian Water into our classroom.  Richard came to talk to us about how sewage, which is received in the water treatment plants, is cleaned, purified and returned to our homes via our taps ready for us to drink, shower or use in our washing machines.  We learned about how to reduce our water wastage, about leaks and how not everyone has ready access to clean, safe water.  We considered how much energy and water we would waste if we didn't turn off the tap when we cleaned our teeth for 2 minutes, twice a day!  We then 'made' sewage thinking about all the things which we might put down the plug hole or toilet or as waste water from baths and washing machines.  It wasn't pleasant!!  Finally we considered how attitudes have changed towards plastic following the Blue Planet II series.  No longer are cotton buds allowed to be sold with plastic middles.  We tested why we shouldn't put wet wipes down the toilet - they do not break down - ever - only helping to create fatbergs when mixed with residue grease in the sewage pipes.   It was an extremely fun and informative afternoon.  Thank you

Today we drew and painted pictures of the Japanese Wave by Katsushika Hokusai and then looked at a more local artist who creates prints using straight and wavy lines to suggest the movement of water - he is called James Dodds.  This afternoon we created contour lines to show gradients on maps.  

Our second public speaking workshop took place this morning.  We all revised our learning from before Christmas and then we tried out each of the roles which will happen on the day of the competition.  Then Mrs Kiedish put out the tables and we pretended to have the competition speaking about keeping healthy.  We learned to improvise very quickly.  All the skills we have learned will certainly come in useful, for not only the competition, but later in our lives too.  It was a great morning.  

We continue to improve in our chess game.  We are now playing an 'in class' tournament until the end of half term.  Using and playing against the computer, we have been thinking about strategy, planning our moves several paces ahead so that we can win.

We investigated how to make a complete circuit so that the lights and sound worked in the energy tube.  We found out that if we were touching our clothes then the energy would not flow, but touching parts of skin (hands, cheek, arm) would work, in the same way if we held the connection next to metal ear rings.  

We worked in groups to complete our river dance from source to the sea.  We incorporated canon movements in our dance. 

Using our knowledge and vocabulary of a river journey, we constructed and labelled a river using different materials.  We had lots of fun creating our rivers.  

We investigated how to make a complete circuit using a switch to make our bulb light up.  We had to check that all the components worked, sometimes they did not!

We supported each other to learn how to use four figure grid references on our map of Japan.

We used our maths skills to make our paperchains so that no two designs or colours were next to each other. 

We released the worms but found that there were less than 11!  We thought about why this might have been in terms of keeping our habitat moist and whether the time of year (eg it is currently much colder)  may  have had an effect on them.  

Although I felt anxious and scared in front of lots of people but after I got used to quickly.  We had a good time doing the assembly and had fun speaking to the school about our class topic.  I felt scared saying a speech in front of the classes.  I enjoyed speaking to the school.  We did speeches and then we showed the worm farm.  We told the whole school about what we had learned about soil erosion - it was fun.   I felt proud that we had written the words to the assembly.  I think we did a really good job at speaking clearly so everyone could hear us.   

Final paint, glue and attach before the models were put to one side to dry.  Our final pictures with model makers and their creations to follow.  

Day 3 which should have been our final day but some groups still need to paint.  However, everyone now has a movable chassis and a top depicting their farm machinery design.  A big well done to all the children for their efforts - it's not easy to turn a design into reality, but they now have some idea of how the T and E work in STEM!!

Day 2 of Project Tractor saw the children start to add electric power (in the shape of a battery and switch) to their vehicle.  Many frustrated noises later, after showing much resilience and patience, delighted children with smiling faces emerged after screwing and unscrewing, attaching and re-attaching wires!

Today we started our three day DT project to construct our farm machinery for 2040.  Day 1 saw Year 4 get to grips with measuring, sawing and hammering as they constructed the chassis of their vehicle, complete with an electrical motor to allow it to move forwards and backwards.  Day 2 and 3 will see the construction of the actual farm machine mechanics, including gears, pulleys and levers, where appropriate, for our NFU competition.  All the children have been working really hard developing their skills - any Christmas DIY projects these are the people to ask!!

Today we investigated gears, pulleys and levers.

Today Year 4 took part in an event where we started to learn how to be confident public speakers - a skill, once mastered, will help you throughout your life.  Our 'mighty oaks' were brilliant - they learned the three basic skills of public speaking and then went on to introduce someone and how to put forward an argument.  We've a few things to practise in the classroom and then we will have another workshop after Christmas.  Our aim is to take part in a public speaking competition in March 2020 - and it is going to be extremely difficult to choose the team, based on how amazing every single person was today.   Thank you to Mrs Browne for coming in to share her skills with us. 

Today we packed our shoe boxes for the Samaritan's Purse charity.  Parents had been extremely generous with their donations and we ended up being able to fill 12 shoe boxes for boys and girls aged between 5 and 9.  Mrs Forsyth will take these to a collection point over the weekend.  We don't know yet where our shoe boxes will end up, but we hope that they will bring hope, joy and happiness to the children who receive them.  We have prayed that they bring a little light to the children at Christmastime.  Thank you to everyone for their donations as we share the love of Jesus. 

Today we visited Hyde Hall near Chelmsford.  We investigated soil, soil erosion and species living in soil.  We then planted some wheat, made species from clay and looked at the different particles within soil.  We also got the opportunity to use magnifying glasses to see species what had once been alive - by looking at the teeth still remaining in skulls we could determine which type of species it was.  After discussing how soil was made and the parts worms play, we made bags and went outside to collect organic matter.   We also thought about how animals use soil, like birds.  In groups we tried to make a bird's nest within a tree, using the soil as the glue to keep all the sticks and leaves together.  As Hyde Hall has mainly clay soil it worked really well!  

On our school trip we had lots of fun and we discovered lots of things that we didn't know before - Elli.  We saw some animals, they were amazing - Sion.  We looked at different tractors and sketched them - Eoinn.  We saw the tractors ploughing - William.  We had a great time looking at the tractors and animals - Ava.  We tried to find worms after the tractors had ploughed the field - Elliott.  We sketched the tractors and it was great fun - Aisling.  We saw lots of old machinery - Charlie.  We learned how old and new the tractors were - Jess.  We learned that the old tractors ran on Red Diesel - Jacque.   We saw a tractor that was 62 years old!! Klaudia.  We met a man named John and he showed us how the old and new tractors worked - Millie.  We learned about tractors and how they worked - Abi.  We thought the field contained loamy soil - Liam.  The soil that we saw was very dark and did not stick together very well - Lexi.  

Yesterday was Year 4's first chess lesson.  Mr Lewis will be coming in each week to teach the children the strategy behind the game and eventually we will get into a class competition.  The games played just used the pawns, we move onto the other pieces as the weeks progress.  Everyone had a thoroughly enjoyable time and were able to concentrate fully on the game.  

Today we classified different species in different ways, recognising that not all scientists agree where some species are classified.  Then, having learned a little more about worms (did you know there are about 2 million worms under a football pitch) and how they reproduce, we ventured to the field where Mrs Forsyth used the auger to dig up a little soil for us to feel.  It was crumbly and felt like a mix of clay and silt.  We thought that with all the rain we have had today, we might have found some worms.  We estimated that if there are about 6 football pitches at St. George's then there would be around 12 million worms - can you imagine what this would look like??

Today we talked through the seven life processes again comparing humans to plants to prove that all seven processes were involved, even though plants didn't get up and walk!  We then made our own newspaper pots and planted garlic and dwarf French beans.  We have now taken these home to nurture and hope to be able to make garlic bread soon.  

Today, Mr Curd came to visit KS2 to show us a range of brass instruments.  He played different tunes on a trumpet, French horn and cornet.  Some of us were able to try and play a trumpet!

We learned about the seven life processes to identify something that is living - we compared these to those things that had lived and those that had never lived.  We created a table and then sketched two living things trying to use focused observational skills. 

Using our senses and a magnifying glass we looked at five different types of soil to what similarities and differences we could identify.

Today, as we started our STEM and science topic, we visited the science garden to identify living, non living organisms and those things that have never lived.  We then moved to the vegetable plots and areas of dirt to hunt for worms to make our class worm farm.  We took the worms back to the classroom where we sketched them, using magnifying glasses to look for detail.  We learned that worms are not male or female (so we named them regardless!)  We have now covered our wormery in black paper to mimic the worms being underground.  We discussed the need to keep our noise level down so that they are not disturbed.  At the end of the topic we will see how many worms have been born and whether our attempt to recreate a worm habitat was successful.  We have put in 11 worms to start us off and Mrs Forsyth added some vegetable scraps for them to munch on.  We will update you through the term.