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Welcome To Our New Website!
Russell Lower School

Autumn 2023

Memory Box

The first half of the autumn term has flown as we have immersed ourselves into life from the beginning of the 20th century. Mrs Beirne has joined us in Woodpeckers this term and has been an excellent addition to the Year 4 team bringing her expert computing knowledge as well as her love of football and all things outdoors! 


As we started our theme of Memory Box, the children looked at life on the farm and how animals and fruit would be used. We were able to relate to real life scenarios as we used videos from Wimpole Farm to enhance our understanding of day to day life in the rural environment. Apples and tomatoes became part of our learning as we used them to write instructions for making apple crumble and then we carried out a fair test with the tomatoes in order to investigate if different wrappings will keep fruit fresh.


We have started reading War Horse by Michael Morpurgo and this has really helped the children understand some of the hardships from life 100 years ago.  The author describes life in the first world war using Joey, the much-loved family horse, as a focus. We have found it a sensitive way to learn about the positive and negative side of war. The children have used freeze frames from War Horse to help their writing and we know they understood the emotions of the characters when we saw the grimaces on their faces!


We have continued to study different world religions and this term we are revisiting Islam and Hinduism. It is always great to see how much the children remember from previous years especially the faith tour trip in Year 3. 


In Geography we have learnt about towns, rivers and countries and counties of the UK and compared human and physical geography here and in Russia.  We are looking forward to completing a local traffic survey as part of our work on environmental issues and this is linked to learning about maps, symbols on maps as well as pollution. 


When we study History after half term, we will learn why World War I started and look at the roles of the women at home as well as life in the trenches. Portals to the Past will come into school in November and we will then be able to handle some of the artefacts we will talk about and increase our knowledge. We will also be completing the Impact on Ampthill Trail in November which is an incredibly interesting walk around the town where we learn where the young soldiers lived with their families, their role or position in the war and we hear about their fate. 


Music is another subject which the children are enjoying at the moment as they use percussion instruments with Samba rhythms with sessions led by Inspiring Music. You may see and hear more of this nearer the end of term, keep watching the newsletters!


Our 10 sports leaders have enjoyed their first training session with Redborne Sports Partnership and these children will be an asset to all staff when they carry out lunchtime roles with KS1. Each class also complete lunchtime duties for a half term and become “helpers”. The pupils then really start to feel the responsibility which comes with their position in year 4.