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Mrs Allmark and Miss Hinton

Welcome to our class!

Ready, Respectful and Safe

Ready to learn! 

We have started the year well by showing we are ready to learn whilst on the carpet. We celebrated with a cookie [one of the celebrations we have chosen ourselves!] and will carry on showing this good sitting and listening. 

Listening with respect 

We are now concentrating on our listening. We stop and listen to all of the words being said.  


Our PE days are Thursday and Tuesday.

Swimming on Thursday and dance on Tuesday. The day for dance may change due to timetables so please make sure indoor PE kit of black shirts and white T-shirt is in school every day please - thank you.  

What can Year 4 do at home this term?


Every Friday children bring home reading homework which should be returned by the following Friday to be marked please. 

They have times tables homework. Children should practice times tables regularly so that they can recall the facts quickly in any order - including division eg 45 divided by 9 is 5. They can access Doodlemaths Times Tables at home and TTRockstars to help with this, but don't underestimate the power of learning them with adults at home quizzing them. 


Year 4 should learn the names of the countries in Europe and know where they are on different maps, so practicing this would be great. Also they should be able to show on a map of the UK where the countries are and a good number of major cities. They should know whereabouts Redditch is too! 


We will be learning about animal classification - watch out for a visit from the Animal Man. Then we will become sound engineers and we hope to have an extra special real life commission from our friends in Palestine. 


We also have 10 Year 4 leaders who will be working on a Social Action Project during the spring term. Then the whole of Year 4 will join in during the summer term. More details to follow. 

What we are learning in Year 4


You can find out about our Mantle stories here. 

Autumn term 2018

We are working as the R.I.C [Redevelopment Improvement Company]; a team who have designed and changed spaces and buildings to improve the land and the opportunities for the community. We have been contacted by a man living in France asking for help to encourage more visitors to his village which "died for France"... 


The story so far...

Pierre Pascale told us that the military came every week to check the site and said it was safe for the RIC team to inspect. 

What we had seen was a shell hole from WWI filled with water and with shells and ammunition at the bottom. The surveyor (our manager) told us to stop work immediately. 


We we worked in role as the military team to clear the shell hole and others nearby. 

Pierre told us what had happened in this area of France 100 years ago. One of our team had accidentally left our plans in his house and one of the workers told the villagers about our ideas. They were disgusted by our plans - hotels, swimming pools, shops etc were not appropriate. We were in danger of being asked to leave. However, we had worked on a similar project in the UK and now that we knew the history of the place we could offer alternative plans. 

Pierre’s father wanted to show him something

He had letters from soldiers who had stayed on the farmland when they were not on the western front. Pierre had been colourising photos of the soldiers and his father wondered if they and the letters may become part of the plans for the redevelopment. 

We visited The National Memorial Arbiretum and Staffordshire Regiment Museum to see for real redeveloped land

We submitted new plans to Pierre Pascale and he and the villagers approved. 

We fast forwarded to the future and visited Ornes in role as tourists. We completed Trip Advisor reviews. 

This commission was complete. 

Spring term 2019

We became a team of Animal Investigators, working in three commissions - we thought of them as chapters in the story of the team. 

Chapter 1 took place in Albania - a bear was reportedly seen by a tourist kept in a cage in a restaurant. 

Chapter 2 took place in Toga where animal teeth were being sold in a market place. 

Chapter 3 took place in Australia where we were asked to prove that extinct phasmids were not alive on a dangerous rock. 

Chapter 1 - a caged bear in Albania

The Animal Investigation Bureau observed a distressed bear in a cage outside a restaurant. The owner who had appeared a friendly, respectful and generous man was keeping the bear to attract customers. Bears had been kept like this before in this village. The local vet brought the cub to the village ( the restaurant owner didn’t realise that the cub’s mother would be killed). People liked to see it, they donated money for its upkeep and gave it food. 


We suggested to our manager that the bear needed better living conditions. We worked with the Four Paws charity to move the bear to their sanctuary in Kosovo. However, the restaurant owner was not happy. We gave him updates on the bear and made posters to encourage the villagers not to take bears as pets. 

He was worried about his business failing though. 

We heard the restaurant owner diary entries

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The restaurant workers had written letters

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We all had different ideas about what the restaurant owner did when he saw a bear cub in front of him. What he didn’t see was the mother bear behind him. We worked in groups to create the next part of the story. Some of us had the cub being taken back to the restaurant and then the owner was arrested. Some of us had the cub being left in the mountains and the restaurant owner being congratulated. 

We agreed to have different endings on this occasion. 

Chapter 3 - In Australia

Heather Ward from the Environmental Council gave us the welcome pack

Meanwhile, Heather Ward argued with the boat owner. He did not want AIB on  the island and refused to take them to Shark Fin Rock without them signing a contract. She wanted us to prove there were no living phasmids in Shark Fin Rock, so that climbers would lose interest. 

When they took the contract to the boat yard booking office he wasn’t there, but someone was acting suspiciously inside. The woman left and rather than speak to her we decided to go inside and take a look for ourselves. 

There was a phasmid in a box. We decided to leave and think about what to do next.

The boat owner was worried that his daughter was not in the booking office when he returned. He checked the CCTV footage and discovered that AIB had seen the phasmid. He was furious and called his daughter. She returned and they reported the team to the police. 

The senior investigator interviewed the team

Each member of the team received a letter

Also, Mr Clarke (the manager) arrived from the UK to reinforce honest and truthful work. He was adamant that alongside the written apologies we would clean the barnacles off Mr Slane’s boats. The members of our team who had not wanted to go into the booking office would continue with the investigation into the phasmids.

When we tried to hand our apology letters over to the boat owner, his daughter accepted them and played us a message from him. He was involved in a secret breeding programme to build the number of phasmids and bring them back from extinction. He would like us to continue. 

We created 7 steps for the investigation

We represented each step through drama

Heather Ward was pleased to hear there were phasmids on Shark Fin Rock, but was even more concerned for their safety if climbers wanted to come. She asked if we would say there were no phasmids there. We said that we couldn’t do that and we would have to report our findings to our manager. However, we agreed not to make the news public in order to protect the special species. 

Out job was complete. 

Spring second half 2019 - a new team and commission

It all started with a green cloth - “What if this were a map...?” 

Once blue material was added, we had a lake which we added signs and symbols to to show the wide range of activities and places which attract visitors. 

We decided that it was the largest lake in the world - Old Vine Lake and used drama to represent some of the photographs, quotes and comments on its website. 

There was a section of the lake cordoned off where there was some work going on. The sign said, “Save Our Sounds Project. Audio recording in progress - please do not disturb.”

Audio recording was in progress. The warden gave us a leaflet to read.

The warden also told the sound engineers not to get too close to the water and to stop recording if the water kicked back...

Then the sound engineers were called to an emergency meeting before they left. Their manager was furious - all of the recordings they had made on this 30th anniversary of the lake were unusable for the Save Our Sounds Project as there was something in the background. 

The unusable sound recording

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The manager wanted to know what had gone wrong - this should be a simple job. The team wondered if the recordings had been corrupted when they were uploaded. Couldn’t the manager just edit the sounds? Well she was not happy about this - of course she had already tried this and it hadn’t worked. 

So the sound engineers decided to re-record the sounds; checking carefully for any interference. It would have to be done quickly as they were due back in London the next day. 

Re-recording the sounds

Meanwhile the manager returned to London. She went to the British Library archives to search for information about Old Vine Lake. There was something in the audio archive. She found the box and looked inside. The opening of this lake seemed to have a story...

Our paintings of the lake - we created mood with watercolour and used a sound wave of our name to create the trees

There were two cassette tapes in the archive box as well as writing and pictures. A dam was mentioned. Back at the lake, the sound engineers noticed a man who left the path and walked through the trees. He knelt down alongside a large stone which was engraved. 


The dam was sealed.

The water rose. 

This was covered. 

This disappeared. 

This was drowned. 


The lake is beautiful. 


He he told us that no one had died, but they had been forced to leave his home. 


Then he he took something out of his pocket - pictures of somethings the lake wardens didn’t want us to see. He showed just two of us who told the team that it looked like a village was under the lake. 


He he also showed us a picture of himself and his daughter the day before they had all left the village. 

We used drama to create the day before the villagers left their homes

We found the adverbials in the captions. 


Back in the present day, it was the anniversary celebration at the lake. Many visitors came to eat, drink, play, dance, sing and enjoy the fireworks. However, away from the lake and through the trees the villagers had returned to the site of their old homes. As they arrived, one of them played some music and the sound engineers recognised it from their sound recordings. Zille wanted to scuba dive in the lake and record the sounds there as she believed it was the music which fillled the houses before the lake was created. They had to wait for permission from the wardens to do this though. 

The villagers gathered and the mood was reflective.

As the previous villagers gathered, they played “The Return” and the mood shifted. They had agreed to share their happy memories as well as the painful ones. 

We collected ideas about what ceremony the visitors might have at the lake

We wrote down memories as if we were the villagers in preparation for the lakeside ceremony. 

The Return

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We used this song by Kathryn Tickell

The Return - the villagers’ ceremony

Each villager choose how to mark their return to the lake.

Some set their memories adrift in an origami swan, heart or boat.

Others floated them on the lake in bottles.

One villager skimmed his memories across the water on a stone and two joined together to sink their thoughts down to the village itself.

Two memories rose into the sky in a lantern.

The final villagers burned their memories on a fire as the memory book was read. 

The sound engineers recorded everything for the Save our Sounds Project and The British Museum archive. 

One of the lake wardens said we could scuba dive to record the sounds under the water.

One of the sound engineers did not return to the surface of the lake (Tallon’s idea!). However, his team noticed and fortunately they rescued him. 

However, little did they know that newspaper reporters were still at the lake and recorded everything on camera. 


We added quotes to the newspaper report. It could have been very damaging for business, but the comments, including from Kathryn the old villager, encouraged people to still visit the lake and its magical sounds. 


Along the way we did lots of working scientifically including

measuring sound in decibels

creating sounds of different pitch

measuring how far away we could hear sound 

exploring sound engineer ear defenders 

observing vibrations in water

hearing sci fi sounds through slinkies!  


We updated the Save Our Sounds Sound map and continued with our other commission - creating the sound effects for an animation created in real life by a group of teachers in Palestine. 

Wasim Kurdi emailed us and asked us to create one of the versions of the story of The Rooster at his Uncle’s Wedding. We created dioramas of different scenes and worked in teams on the iPad to add sound effects, music and narration in English. 

See some of our work on YouTube 

We started our final Mantle of Year 4 with this banner. 

We matched the viespoints on this statement with who might have said it. When wondering about who would have the hardest job with this exhibition we agreed it would be the security team. 

We heard that the on-site team at the British Museum were already working to their maximum capacity. The museum wanted this to be a very interactive exhibition including live work from archaeologists. Therefore it would need a specialist security team. 

We saw museum staff unpacking artefacts, so the need for security was urgent. 


Meanwhile, after reading about Egyptian gods we created a cultus temple. In role as priests we worshipped the sanctuary god - Osiris. 

The Temple

The next day, each priest was busy with his or her particular job. However a new high priest was needed as the usual one was very ill. As the new high priestess completed the ritual for Osiris, the priests noticed some unusual activity around the shrine of Isis...

A group of pilgrims were gathered in front of the shrine of Isis - the god of healing

An animal mummy was being offered to Isis. A message was tied to it which we read as 


I offer this cat to thank you for keeping my son well. 


The pilgrims talked about the widespread illness and how the usual worship was not enough. One pilgrim had “bought” an animal mummy from the sem priest and encouraged the others to do the same. 

The sem priests had other animal mummies.

Pilgrims “bought” animal mummies from the sem priests and offered them to Isis to ask for protection for their family

We spoke in role as other pilgrims to one of the sem priests trying to find out more about the animal mummies. We wondered where the animals came from and how they were mummified. We also wanted to know why an animal was a good offering to an Egyptian god. 


Then we swapped roles to meet as the sem priests. There was a problem - lots of pilgrims and no animal mummies left to give them. 

One of the priests (a child in role) suggested we could go to another place to find more animals. When asked if HE would go, find the animals, kill them and bring them back, he said he would not go alone. 

Other priests ( children in role) said they would join him. Some said they would not go. They would risk the gods and pilgrims being angered or people not recovering from illness. 


However, it would take time to travel across the desert, find animals and return. Then it would take 70 days to mummify the animals properly. What would we do tomorrow? What would we give to the pilgrims? 


Another priest ( child in role) said we could make rock mummies or wrap up lots of grass and make a fake animal mummy. This was a popular suggestion. The sem priests remaining in the temple agreed that they would do this. They were asked to stand, “What will you tell the pilgrims about the mummy?” Some said they would tell them the truth, whilst others said they would lie. This outraged some of the priests - Isis would be angry with us. This would cause trouble. 


Someone said that there were a few animal bodies left which hadn’t been mummified yet. Five cats, three crocodiles and a bird. Immediately a priest  (child in role) suggested we chop them up, use bits of animal with bits of rock and grass and wrap it in the linen. Now yes, this idea would work we thought and there was a hum of excitement! When asked again, “What will you tell the pilgrims?” a priest said, “Why will they ask anything? They don’t know we have a problem. We don’t need to tell them anything.”


Where might our story go next?