Investigator Class

The Week Ahead

January 19, 2020

Have any of you booked your trip to the Great Wall of China yet? The children have written some very persuasive texts to encourage a visit to trek its length, scramble on the walls and, it must be admitted, to eat some very tasty Chinese food.

This week we will be researching Chinese New Year which falls on Saturday 25th January this year, before writing about it and illustrating our writing. We will continue with our focus on paragraphs, making sure we keep information about one aspect together in one paragraph.

We're also very much looking forward to our visit on Wednesday from Mrs Tarling to hear more about life in China.

In maths we will be working on division and applying our knowledge to fractions. We will focus on mental multiplication and division strategies, which underpin the work on proper fractions that follows, including finding non-unit fractions of amounts, equivalent fractions and simplifying. 

I have spoken to the children about using the link at the top of the page to help practise the tables - a prize for getting 3,6,9 and finally 12 tables covered on the diploma!

Thanks for remembering PE kit on Monday and Thursday - our dragon and lion dances are coming along very nicely.

The Week Ahead

January 11, 2020

We've got off to a great start this week, as the children have shared their knowledge of China before deciding what they'd like to find out and beginning to research these areas. 

This week, we will find out about the Great Wall of China and write a tourist brochure to encourage other children to visit this World Heritage site. If anyone has visited the Great Wall, or knows of anyone who has, we'd really like to hear about it so please do let me know.

In maths, Year 4 will be practising written, column calculations in addition and subtraction - making sure first that the column method is indeed the best method. We do try to use known number facts to solve calculations quickly rather than resort to written methods automatically. 

We're back to normal this week for spellings and maths so there will be a test of new words on Wednesday and Section 2, Test 1 of the maths book will be marked on Thursday. Apologies that we didn't mark homework on Thursday as we didn't have the usual teachers - we'll catch up during week.

A reminder that children should be working on their times tables and there is a button at the top of this page that will take them to a very easy to use site. There will be house points for all children showing me their diploma at the end of working through a particular table!

The curriculum for this term is now on the button at the top of the page. Please do pop your head round the door or talk to Mrs Sedwell to arrange a time if there's anything you'd like to discuss.

The Week Ahead

January 06, 2020

A Happy New Year!

Firstly, thank you so much for the kind gifts at Christmas - both the class voucher (guilt free John Lewis shop) and the individual presents (which have been worn, drunk and eaten with great pleasure). I do hope you all had a lovely break with an opportunity to see family and friends and enjoy time together.

The term's curriculum newsletter will soon be posted with information about the topic and curriculum areas. For this week, Year 4 will have Dance on Wednesday and outdoor PE on Thursday so please can the children come into school appropriately dressed. Year 5 will have indoor PE on Monday (beginning next week) and Forest School on Thursday - again, please can they be appropriately dressed.

A homework reminder: the children were asked to complete Progress Test 1 in their maths homework books and to revise all spellings given since September for a test on Wednesday.

I look forward to seeing everyone, refreshed and looking forwards to the Spring Term, tomorrow morning.

The Week Ahead

December 15, 2019

Lots of Christmas activities await us this week before the Carol Concert on Thursday.

Just a reminder that Wednesday is particularly busy with Sue Ryder singing in the morning and swimming in the afternoon.

In case there is any confusion, the children have spellings that will be tested on Wednesday morning but no new spellings will be given for the Christmas holidays. The children will be tested on a selection of spellings given since September when they return in January.

Maths homework is the Progress Test at the end of Section 1. If the children find anything particularly difficult, please let me know and we will revisit the area. 

The Week Ahead

December 06, 2019

A week full of Christmas events awaits us as we enter the countdown to the holidays! We've been busy learning the songs to entertain the communities at the village club and at Sue Ryder before the BIG EVENT - the Christmas Assembly on 19th December. Please do encourage the children to learn all the songs - not just the ones they enjoy singing - and don't forget to brush up on the traditional carols yourselves as you will be expected to join in with gusto!

In English, we will be learning more about instructions, using imperative verbs and adverbs, as we take the opportunity to cook and to make Christmas cards. We will also have end of term assessments in SPAG.

In maths, Year 4 will be developing their skills in written multiplication and division to enable them to tackle harder problems. The children have now learnt all the times tables to 12 x 12 so please do keep practising with them to help them develop the confidence to answer from memory. They are now bringing home a times table sheet that they can use to practise all tables  - we have 5 minutes in class to complete all of them! We will also have short end of term assessments in maths.

In swimming this week on Wednesday, the year 4s will practise life saving. They need to bring light weight cotton pyjamas, or similar, to wear over their costumes in the pool. The clothes need to be easy to remove by pulling the bottoms down and the top over their head or just unbuttoning. 

The Week Ahead

November 29, 2019

What exciting myths we've been writing this week - fantastic beasts and language from another time. We're going to be typing and writing these up neatly for an anthology of Investigator myths. As we improve our writing, we will add speech and paragraphs so we will also be practising these skills.

In maths, Year 4 will be working on mental and written addition and subtraction. We will learn which method is best in any given calculation as well as solving empty box problems, reverse calculation problems and word problems.

We have now begun to practise the songs that we will sing at Christmas time. The children will have the words to bring home shortly, so please do sing along as they are learning the words.

The Week Ahead

November 22, 2019

My goodness, there were some marvellously malevolent, mythical monsters shrithing (ask the children!) from Investigator imaginations this morning as we began to picture the beast for our own myths. We will be developing our Anglo-Saxon myths with a focus on descriptive language, powerful verbs and the wording that will make our stories appear to have been handed down orally through the ages.

In maths, Year 4 will work on capacity; solving measures problems; converting between multiples of 100 ml and litres and reading scales with increasing accuracy.

Just a reminder for Year 4 that the Gillotts’ rules for school swimming stipulate that all children need their own swimming hat for swimming on Wednesday afternoon. They are easily available from sports shops, the leisure centre or online.  Please can you check that your child does have one in their swimming bag.

The Week Ahead

November 17, 2019

Well done Investigator for some super recitations of the opening page of The Seal Children - wonderfully evocative words and hard work to recall the pictures and actions that reminded us of these words. We will briefly revisit the two books we've read so far, before moving on to the myth of Beowolf and finding out about another mythical creature - although not a friendly one! (Don't worry, we will use the Micheal Morpurgo version, not the original on the left which is held in the British Library.) These stories will be the inspiration for our own myth that we will be writing over the next fortnight; using the language, the structures and the sense of mystery to create another world in the deep, dark seas.


Year 4 continue their learning about decimal fractions this week making sure we are really confident in converting to and from fractions, showing decimals in different ways on number lines and strips for example, adding and subtracting decimals and multiplying and dividing them by 10. We will then move on to using our understanding of decimals to measure and convert between different units of measure, read scales and collect, interpret and record data.

The Week Ahead

November 08, 2019

In English this week, we will be basing our work around the wonderfully illustrated books Can You Catch a Mermaid? and The Seal Children. We will be learning about powerful verbs, verb tenses (particularly the present perfect), punctuating speech and having some fun with drama and role playing.

In maths, Year 4 continue to develop their confidence with fractions as we find equivalents, simplify fractions, count in fractions and start to find the link between fractions and decimals.

In case there is still some confusion, Year 4 have swimming on Wednesday afternoon and PE on Thursday afternoon. They should come into school in uniform on Wednesday with swimming kit in bags and wear PE kit on Thursday. Year 5 have PE on Wednesday and should wear PE kit. They have Forest School on Thursday and should come in wearing school uniform with Forest School kit in a bag. It is getting colder so lots of thin layers that can go on and off depending on how much running around is happening are the best bet.

The Week Ahead

November 02, 2019

I do hope you've managed to dodge the showers and enjoyed the half-term break.

Our new term's topic is outlined on the Curriculum Newsletter above, so please do click and have a look. Of practical importance are the PE/ swimming/ Forest School days so please check when your child is doing what and help them be prepared on the relevant day.

In English this term, we are going to be very focussed on handwriting and spelling. The children will have weekly handwriting practice first thing in the morning. To reinforce this, please encourage the children to complete their spelling handwriting sheet that comes home on Thursday with new spellings and, when writing the sentences to practise their spellings, reinforce the need for joined up and neat writing. The Common Exception Words (CEW) will also be added to the weekly spellings to learn. These are sets of words that are grouped for Years 3 and 4 and Years 5 and 6. They need to be learnt as they don't always follow the spelling rules and are frequently mis-spelt. Click on the picture to the right for a list of the words.

In maths, we continue our focus on the times tables and this term we will make sure we can recall multiples of the tables to 6 in any order, including missing number questions and related division facts. For those who are not yet confident, we will learn the 7 times table in order to 12 x 7. For those who know the facts, we will be introducing a weekly speed test with the aim of completing all the tables, in a random order, within 5 minutes. Speedy but achievable!


As I hope the children explained to you, there were no new words for the coming week's spelling test. There will however be a test on Wednesday on a selection from all the words that have been given so far this year.


The maths homework will be marked on Thursday and it was just one page, even though there have been two weeks between marking.


I look forward to seeing everyone on Monday, ready to find out about King Alfred and his adventures which, we're led to believe, did include burning cakes!

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Nettlebed Community School

High Street


Henley On Thames



Office contact: Mrs Tracy Sedwell

Tel: 01491 641328