Houghton Primary School

"Working hard to achieve our best"

Kestrels (Y4)


Kestrels Class are our Year 4 group.

They are taught by Mrs MacLennan on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays. They are taught by Mrs Read on  Fridays. They are both assisted by Mrs Macey and Mrs Anderson.

Please click here for information on the Year 4 Curriculum Autumn 2019

Spring 2020

30th March 2020

Hello Kestrels,

I hope you have all had a good week at home and found lots of fun and interesting things to do as well as some rest and play time!

Well done to all of you who got over 1000 points on Mathletics last week, 2 of you even managed over 4000 points –fantastic! Congratulations to those who got a bronze, silver and even 1 gold certificate. You are doing a brilliant job of keeping your maths skills tip-top despite not being at school, that’s not easy to do so you should be super proud of you, I am.

It was very different for me last week as well, instead of a classroom full of Kestrels I had my own daughter at home to educate! Freya’s teacher had asked her to put a project together on dinosaurs! With the fabulous weather we had we decided to do some outdoor learning in the garden and had great fun creating a Jurassic world habitat. We learnt that the climate changed from; hot / dry desert to hot / humid- tropical jungle. So we used some sand, rocks, leaves and grass to create the different biomes. It was also the time when the large super continent Pangea started breaking up into the smaller continents, we know today. As a result there was the formation of in land oceans and lots of volcanic activity. We also made a paper-mache volcano around an old milk bottle and exploded it using some bicarb of soda and vinegar. So that was my (and I mean mine, not Freya’s!) week of home learning!

Below is a photo of the Jurassic biome we made. Freya is pouring some vinegar and washing up liquid into the volcano (we'd already put in some bicarb) to make it explode!

jurassic biome finished

Spending so much time in the garden inspired us for our next project- to make a wildlife pond. Freya is going to be in charge of choosing suitable native plants and managing the budget!


The toad we found in our garden which inspired our idea to create a wildlife pond. I’ll share with you what happens next week!

I have to say the weather looks a bit chilly this week so there may well be a few more indoor activities too, Freya wants to take on the Masterchef Challenge and make a chocolate fondant, (if you watch Masterchef you’ll know what I mean!) Hopefully, it will be a yummy success.

I hope you all have a great week at home.

Keep well and safe

All the best Mrs MacLennan

23rd March 2020

Dear Kestrels,

I am so sorry I wasn't able to be with you last week, I didn't want to risk making any of you unwell. I am pleased to tell you that Freya is all better and doing well. I have loved looking at the photos from the week you've had in school. I can see that Mrs Macey, Mrs Anderson, Mrs Sweet and Mrs Read have really looked after you all so well. Your art work is beautiful and I your story books look amazing. What a lot of fantastic sport too - a super busy week!

Whilst most of you will be staying at home for the next few weeks, I don't want you to let all the hard work and important learning you've being doing this year slip away. You need to keep practising, I've written some ideas on the home learning page to keep you all busy! 

Look after yourselves and keep safe. I look forward to seeing you all again when school gets back to normal.

Friday 20th March

Kestrels have been amazing this week coping with lots of changes.

Last day


They have worked hard, they have written some great stories based on ideas from The Storey Treehouse books which we shared this afternoon.

 Sharing books 1Sharing books 2Sharing books 3Sharing books 4

They have enjoyed their daily mile alongside extra PE, which has included cricket, goal ball and archery today. 

Daily mileArchery 1Archery 2Archery 3


This morning the children chose a polar animal and enjoyed choosing a medium to produce a picture of their animal. art 1

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 We have also enjoyed our lunch together in the classroom this week.lunch 1lunch 2

Take care of yourselves. Best Wishes from Year 4 Team.



Friday 6th February

The children really enjoyed their second table tennis lesson, this week. We will be having table tennis lessons every Tuesday for the rest of this term. 

table tennis 2table tennis 1table tennis 3

Friday 28th February

This week we began learning about our History focus for the Polar lands topic. We learned about the race to the south pole and had a look at some real life historic artefacts borrowed from the Polar insitiute in Cambridge. We read some of Scott's diary entries from that fateful expedition over 100 years ago. Inspired by the artefacts we looked at and the importance of keeping our fingers warm and designed and tested some insulated mittens.

Today we also had a visit from an Arctic explorer who talked to us about his adventures and showed us what you need to take on an expedition to survive. 

Explorer 1 400Explorer 2 400Explorer 3


Friday 31st January

This week, we held a class debate to discuss the choice of Rainbow bear. The class was split almost 50:50 for and against becoming Rainbow bear and had some thoughtful ideas and interesting arguments to make.

We then investigated how some animals, who have adapted to survive in polar habitats, use a thick layer of blubber to keep themselves warm. The children took part in the, "blubber glove experiment" observing the difference a layer of blubber made to how cold their hand became!

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We also held a birthday party for Franzi, we gave her the cards we had made and written in German as well as singing happy birthday in Germand playing a traditional German birthday game.

Germand bd2gernma BD1germand bd4German bd3

Friday 16th January

We held our first celebration assembly this week. We know the children get up to lots of exciting things outside of school and wanted to give them some dedicated time to share their experiences and achievements with us in school. With this in mind we started the celebration assemblies which will take place during our Thursday assemblies. This week, some of our class shared their medals from swimming galas that took place before Christmas- congratulations to you all fantastic work!

celebration assembly 2celebration assembly

Friday 10th January

Happy New Year to you all and welcome back! We've had a lovely start to the year with our "Brain Day" We had a visit from a STEM scientist who taught us about the biological structure and function of our brains and how amazing they are! We then followed this with a session on developing a "growth mindset" for 2020, followed by an afternoon of looking after our brains with a spot of mindfulness. 

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We are lucky enough to have sports coach Claire Davids working with us again. This term,she will be helping us develop our understanding of team tactics. This week the children were developing their understanding of possession, it was a lot of fun and the class displayed some excellent team skills.

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Friday 20th December

We've made it to the end of term! A third of the year has flown by, I think it has been a terrific term and I hope that you feel so too! We finished the term by learning about electricity and found the perfect way to apply our new found knowledge in the "light up" Christmas cards we made. The children were extremely proud of their creations and quite rightly so! I'd like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you for all my lovely presents, they're very much appreciated and I feel thouroughly spoilt- thank you. And lastly, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all. 

Friday 6th December

On Monday we turned Kestrel's classroom into a pizzeria! The children all made delicious and healthy pizzas. After looking at the nutiritonal information on the packages of premade pizzas we set about developing a healthier recipe. We substituted 50% of the white flour for wholegrain flour. We also made our own tomato sauce with a range of lovely fresh vegetables with no added salt or sugar- they weren't sure at first however  all the feedback I received suggests they were the best pizzas EVER!

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Friday 29th November

This week, we have been learning about the physical geography of Italy. The children made 3D salt dough models which we will paint and label next week to identify some of the physical and human geographical features of Italy.

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italy map 1

Another fantastic week in the gym with Claire Davids. This week the children displayed some extraordinary team work to produce outstanding gymnastic displays. 

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Claire Davids 1

Friday 22nd November

This week in PE the children were absolutely amazing! We encouraged the children to use the apparatus in ways they may not have thought of before... And they blew us away with their creativity, power and team work, just take a look at some of the photos. 

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Friday 15th November

As part of kindness week we read the story of the red crayon and thought about who people are on the inside. We also made smiley faced biscuits to say thank you to the special people in our lives. 

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Continuing with our Roman topic this week, we learnt about the Celtic revolt of 61AD when Boudicca of the Iceni tribe, (based in cambridgeshire) burned 3 Roman towns to the ground before leading her warriors on to face the Roman army at Watling street where they were defeated. The children recreated scenes from Boudicca's last few weeks, using a freeze frame drama technique.

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In PE they enjoyed getting the apparatus out during our gym session with Mrs Davids.

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Friday 8th November

Inspired by our work on the Romans, this week we have been designing our own catapults. The children used lolly-pop sticks, plastic spoons, bottle tops and elastic bands to make our catapults. We then tested them by measuring how far they could catapult a cotton wool ball, we used a target board to measure their accuracy and finally a plastic cup pyramid to test how powerful the catapults were. Whilst testing the catapults the children compared and evaluated their designs. making adjustments to help improve performance.

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Friday 1st November

This term in PE we have been challenging ourselves, by developing our team work and leadership skills. One of our activities involved us being guided around an obstacle course blindfolded.



We have also enjoyed participating in Sports Mornings organised by Year 6.

SM 1

SM 3

SM 2

And today we got a little bit muddy practising our rugby skills, ready for watching England play in the World Cup Final tomorrow.


Rugby 3

Rugby 4


Friday 18th October

We've made it! I hope you have all enjoyed your first half term as a Kestrel. The children have all worked so hard but I hope they've had a lot of fun too. This week, we continued our topic work on the Romans; learning about roman art through making a large classroom mosaic, creating roman numerals using lolly-pop sticks and beginning to undertsand the chronolgy of the Roman Empire by sequencing a timeline of major events. After half term, we will be continuing our topic on the Romans, learning about how they conquored Britain and changed life here, forever. I hope you all have a great half term!

Roman numerals 1Roman numerals 2Roman numerals 3Roman numerals 4Roman numerlas 3

9th October

What a fab day Roman Day 2019 has been. The children have been super busy all day; making mosaic tiles, squeesing their own oil from olives, using traditional Roman cures to heal patients, making and writing on their own wax tablets, to name just a few. This was a super start to our Roman topic, now we're all fired up and ready to learn lots more!

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20th September

We have been exploring place value in numbers up to 9999, this week. The children worked super hard to partition the numbers in different ways, using place value counters to help them visualise what was happening and consolidate their understanding. 

place value 1place value 2place value 3

Following on from our exploration work in Science last week, the children developed their own questions to investigate; "What affects the quality of sound from a string telephone? They investigated: the types of string, the length of string, the size of container and if adding knots to the string made any difference to the performance of the string telephone. We used our data loggers to measure the sound in decibels. Next week, we will collate their findings to design the best string telephone and test them out!

string telephone 1

10th September

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We have begun our Science topic on sound this week. The children have had a fantastic time exploring how sound is made by vibrations, in particular they have enjoyed using string telephones. Whilst "investigating" with the phones one of the pupils asked the question, "Would they work with a longer string?" someone else asked, "How long could we make a string telephone?" and I asked the question, "Could we make a string telephone that would work from one end of our school field to the other?" The children decided that they would like to find out the answers to these questions, so next week are going to hold a child-led investigation to do just that. Using our data loggers to measure the efficency of each string telephone, hence our request for tin cans!

7th September

I would like to wish you all a huge welcome to Kestrels class. I hope you've all had a fantastic summer and a good rest, the children were certainly ready and raring to go! We had a lovely day getting to know each other, sharing our summer memories as well as our ambitions for year 4. In the afternoon we played some very exciting parachute games. I do hope everyone enjoyed their first day as a Kestrel and look forward to sharing your child's learning journey this year.

Getting out and enjoying the sunshine completing our daily mile, today.

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