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Margaret Wix Primary School

Apollos (Year 4)

Welcome to Year 4



Our class is called Apollos and we are taught by Mrs Rowson. Mrs Green is our Teaching Assistant.



Apollos have PE lessons on Tuesdays where they are taught by a PE specialist teacher, Mr Milbourn. Children will need to wear their PE kit to school on Tuesdays and will remain in their kit all day. In the summer term, Year 4 will go swimming on Thursday afternoons. Please remember to send your child with their swimming kit and a towel on Thursdays.  



Children in Apollos will have the opportunity to visit the school library every Wednesday. They will be able to choose a book to take home to read. If they need to change a book, please ensure that they have it in school on a Wednesday.


Home Learning

Give Me Ten - Children are expected to read for at least ten minutes every day and should record this in their reading record. Children should bring their reading record to school every day. In year 4, children are not expected to always read to an adult, however a parent/carer will need to sign their reading record to show that they have read at home. We hope to see lots of children becoming Reading Champions each term! 


Maths Magicians - There are a number of key mathematical facts that children should know and remember. These are, of course, taught in school but it is essential that children practise them at home too. You can find out which facts your child is currently working on by checking their maths record book. This is also where you should record their daily practice. Children's maths record books should be brought to school every day. Children will be quizzed on their maths facts every Friday. As they progress through the different stages of facts, children have the opportunity to earn rewards and work towards becoming Maths Magicians!


Times Tables - Times tables (and the associated division facts) are a vital part of mathematical knowledge and understanding. It is crucial that your child practises these skills at home by logging onto the Times Table Rockstars website daily, for at least ten minutes. In June, the Year 4 children will participate in the Multiplication Tables Check and we will provide you with more detail about this closer to the time. Please see the maths star on our class page for a link to the practice page for this.


Spelling - In school, we will teach the children spelling patterns and rules. At home, we would like the focus to be on learning and practising the Year 3 and 4 statutory spellings (you can find these by clicking on the spelling star at the top of this page)


Maths and English

Each week, your child will receive a grid of homework for maths and English that will focus on revisiting current learning, tracking back to learning completed the week before and then jumping forward to the learning they will be covering in the week ahead. Please be aware that this homework should only take them a maximum of 20 minutes and won't include any new learning. If your child needs any support with their homework, please do let me know by finding me on the door or writing a note in their homework book. Not only will this homework be a great way to consolidate any prior and current learning but will support your child in becoming more independent and will inevitably help to prepare them for homework in secondary school.  Children should also aim to read and practice their times tables daily.




In order to support your child with their handwriting please use letter join - For more information on how to log on at home, with your child, head to the handwriting star.




Spring 2 Update


Despite it being a short half term, Apollos have crammed in so much! Here is a selection of the things that we have learnt about this half term:


In English, we finished writing our fantastic adventure stories inspired by some of our Anglo-Saxon history work. We also finished reading Beowulf by Micheal Morpurgo, which really helped us to imagine and describe some super encounters with monsters in our stories. We enjoyed Book Week and increased our understanding of how plastic affects the world and what we can do about it through our work on ‘A Planet Full of Plastic’.  Finally, we have been exploring a variety of explanation texts such as ‘This book thinks you are an inventor’ and ‘When I met Dudley’. 


In maths this half term, we have done a deep dive into decimals and fractions. While some of this learning has been challenging, the children have worked hard to improve their understanding of what decimals and fractions represent, how to add and subtract fractions as well as working out fractions of measures and equivalent fractions. We have all noticed how this work is much easier when we know the times tables facts we need to solve a problem so keep practising those times tables Apollos!


Our geography learning has been all about the state of Florida, USA. We have revised our understanding of the geography of the world, its continents and countries as well as looking at how the location of a country affects its climate.  We looked at why Florida is such a popular tourist destination and used data to create a map of where in the world visitors to Florida come from. We also looked at Florida’s climate and weather in more detail by comparing it with London as well as looking at how residents of Florida cope with hurricanes.


In computing, we have been learning about data loggers and understanding how technology can collect and track data over time and why this is such a useful process. 


Our French lessons have been all about presenting ourselves. We have learned to say and respond to: hello, how are you, what is your name, and how old are you.


In PE, Apollos have been enjoying tennis and hockey.  There has been some great competitive spirit and teamwork on show!


In science, our topic this term has been electricity and we have worked hard to make circuits that light lamps – showing great resilience along the way. We have learnt about conductors and insulators and have tested different materials to see whether they conduct electricity. We have built switches out of everyday items like tin-foil, paper clips and pegs! We have also had a super VR workshop which has taught us about some of the science topics we will cover for the rest of the year.


In DT, we designed and made torches – making use of the circuit building skills that we developed in science this half term.


In music, we have been lucky enough to have ukulele sessions with Mr Price as well as some extra music lessons with Mr Mitchell to practice our song for the concert.  The children’s ukulele playing is coming on very well and they now know quite a few chords. They are expert at playing a musical game of ‘Simon Says’!


In RE, we have been learning all about the Easter story and thinking about why forgiveness is such an important idea for Christians. We have learnt about what Christians believe Jesus taught about forgiveness and how he was able to forgive people despite the bad things that they did. We have had some excellent class discussions about why forgiveness can be hard, as well as about the positive feelings that we can experience when we forgive someone.


In PSHE, we have been looking at how to be healthy, in terms of both having healthy relationships with others as well as looking at the dangers of things such as smoking and alcohol. The children have been mature in their discussions about these topics and have come up with some great ideas about how to resist peer pressure.

I have really enjoyed all of the fantastic discussions that we have had in class about each aspect of our learning.  All half term, the children have worked hard on their oracy skills and improving their abilities to build on other people’s ideas, challenge people politely and articulate their own thoughts. 


I hope that you and your families all enjoy a restful and enjoyable Easter break and I look forward to welcoming the class back for the summer term.


Mrs Rowson

Spring One Update


Apollos have had a great start to 2024. They have been working hard in subjects across the curriculum and have continued to impress with their teamwork, their kindness and their respect for each other.


In English, we have had a focus on oracy skills and have talked about how our conversations and discussions in the classroom can help us to learn and reason better.   We began the half term by working on our persuasion skills. We looked at the book ‘The King who Banned the Dark’ and imagined what life would be like if there was daylight for 24 hours a day. This unit ended with each child giving a persuasive presentation of their argument about whether or not to ‘ban the dark’. We have some great presenters and persuasive speakers in the class.  We also looked at the book ‘Biscuit Bear’ and thought carefully about how this book, written for younger children, is structured. We wrote a book review and visited the Year 2 classroom to share our ideas. We then wrote our own version of a sequel to the story. Most recently, we have begun to look at the story ‘Arthur and the Golden Rope’. Throughout our English lessons, we have been focusing on writing super sentences that are properly punctuated and have a clear main idea that makes sense. We have expanded our sentences with conjunctions, fronted adverbials, prepositional phrases, and great descriptive language.


In maths, we have covered a wide range of topics. We started the half term by looking at different units of measurement and explored how to convert between them – converting centimetres to metres, millilitres to litres and more. We then looked at data and how various types of graphs and charts work. Apollos worked hard to master the steps involved in calculating the perimeter of a shape and began to look at the properties of different types of shapes. Towards the end of the half term, we have been building on our understanding of place value to investigate decimal numbers. We have practiced mental and formal methods for solving decimal addition and subtraction calculations, including calculations that involve money. Keep practising those times tables facts Apollos!


History, this term, has been all about the Anglo-Saxons. We have explored why and when these people arrived in Britain, how they lived, what types of Gods they worshiped as pagans, and why they converted to Christianity. We thought carefully about how we know so much about these people despite them living such a long time ago. We learnt about archaeological artefacts from the Sutton Hoo ship burial and used our skills as historians to try to understand what these finds tell us about the people who made and used them.


In computing, our topic has been about programming.  We have been using the logo programme ( to explore how to code repeating shapes and patterns. The children have been resilient when learning to code using this program and have become experts at ‘de-bugging’ their code when it does not work first time.  


Our French lessons have focused on ‘Les Legumes’ where they have been learning to ask for a kilo (or half kilo) of ten common vegetables.  They have used the phrase ‘Je voudrais’ to say ‘I would like’ as well as ‘si vous plait’ to say ‘please’. We also enjoyed listening to a great French song about vegetables, which helped to put the vocabulary in our memories!


In PE, Apollos have been developing their movements and mime skills. They have been carefully choreographing sequences of movement and have been selecting movements and facial expressions to convey a character. They have become experts at watching the performances of others and giving constructive and helpful feedback to help their classmates move more gymnastically and artistically.  We have also been lucky enough to have several cycling lessons with an external company – the children made great improvements in their cycling skills, despite the cold weather they had to endure!


In science, we looked at the topic of ‘Sound’ and explored what sound is, where it comes from and how it travels from the source of the sound to our ear.  We learnt that sound can travel through water but not in space (because there are no particles to transmit the sound). We explored drums, tuning forks, straw buzzers, vibrating rulers and a host of other objects to understand how the features of an object affect the type of sound it makes. We also explored apps on ipads to better understand how to measure how loud a sound is (in decibels) as well as taking our learning outside to explore the relationship between tone, pitch and volume – and how far away from a sound we have to be before we cannot hear it any longer!


In music, Mr Mitchell reports that the children have been working very hard at practicing a piece of music that they hope to perform at a concert in the second half of the Spring term.  They have been developing their skills on keyboard, tuned and un-tuned percussion as well as their voices and a variety of other instruments.


In DT, Apollos had the ambitious task of designing and sewing a ‘book jacket’ with a button or other fastener. We looked at the different types of fasteners that we might use – button, buckle, bow, popper or Velcro - and then drew a design. The children showed such great resilience as they developed their sewing skills. They threaded needles, tied knots, attached buttons and dealt maturely with any aspect of their project that did not quite go to plan. I am super proud of all of them and the products that they created!


In art, the children have been looking at sculpture and 3D art. They used their creative design skills to create a piece of Anglo-Saxon-inspired art out of cardboard and wool, covered in tin foil. They have further refined their sculpture skills by creating artworks from wire as well as creating shadow-art sculptures.


In RE, we have been learning about Judaism. We have looked at how important it is for Jewish people to do what God asks them to do and how this is shown by the special Kashrut food rules that they abide by (eating only Kosher food). We also explored the story of Moses’ Exodus from Egypt and looked at why and how Jewish people celebrate this event with the festival of Passover and the Sedar meal. We even tasted some of the items from the Sedar plate – including raw horseradish!


In PSHE, we have been looking at our ‘Dreams and Goals’. Children have thought about what their goals are, as well as exploring what it feels like when a dream does not come true. We have used drama and class discussion to work out ways that we can help ourselves to feel better in these situations. 

Your children have worked hard this half term and have shown the Margaret Wix values in how they have approached their work and how they have worked with others.


I hope that you and your families all enjoy a fantastic half term break and I look forward to seeing your children again for more learning next half term!


Mrs Rowson

Autumn Two Update


What a super half term we have had! Apollos have been working hard and have shown such curiosity about all of the topics that and we have been learning about.  They have really impressed me with their attitude to learning as well as their brilliant conversational and questioning skills.


In English, we started the half term with a grammar focus and spent some time rehearsing how to use expanded noun phrases and fronted adverbials effectively as well as practising how to punctuate speech correctly.  After that, we looked at a beautiful book – The Amazon River - which allowed us to explore the features of non-fiction texts as well as discovering some fascinating facts about the rainforest. Along the way, we practiced our oracy skills by giving presentations about Amazonian wildlife as well as producing some lovely descriptive writing by imagining that we were travelling down the river and sending a postcard home about the sights that we saw.  Finally, we wrote our own non-chronological report inspired by the Amazon River book and published it in our best handwriting.  Towards the end of the half term, we have been inspired by another fabulous book – Leon and the Place Between – which tells the story of a child who is ‘disappeared’ by a magician at a circus.  The children have created some extremely persuasive writing to advertise a circus as well as writings some beautiful poems with a magical mood.  Their final piece of writing for this unit has been to imagine themselves in the story and to write an alternative version, including some speech.  The have embraced all of these topics brilliantly and I have been impressed with how they have been able to incorporate new skills into their writing.


In maths, we have had a big focus this term on learning and securing our times tables facts. We have explored how multiplication is the same as repeated addition and have learnt about the different factors that can be multiplied together to create a given number. We have looked at a variety of methods for understanding factors, including making arrays and drawing factor bugs. We have practiced solving word problems and the children have impressed me with their resilience as we have drawn bar models to represent these problems visually.  Towards the end of this term, children have been solving two-step word problems using addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. We have ended the term by looking at multiplying and dividing numbers by 10 and 100. Keep practising those times tables facts Apollos!


Geography, this term, has been all about earthquakes. We have explored why earthquakes happen and the class created detailed posters explaining how the movement of tectonic plates affects where earthquakes occur. We have looked at why some earthquakes cause more damage that others and why poorer countries (with less well-built buildings and fewer rescue resources) might suffer more devastation than a richer, more well-resourced country. We also looked at why volcanoes often occur in the same place as earthquakes and how the structure of the earth’s crust affects both.


In computing this half term, the class has been learning how to create different forms of media, mainly focusing on podcasts. They have been practising recording and editing their voices, making improvements each time.


In our French lessons this term, we have focused on ‘je peux’ – ‘I am able’. The children have done a great job of learning how to say that they are able (or not able) to do things such as sing, play an instrument, jump, dance and speak French.


In PE, the children have developed their tag rugby skills and Mr Tate has been impressed with their growing understanding of the rules. They have also been working on their gymnastic talents and have been creating sequences of bridges and balances incorporating variety of pieces of gym equipment. They have shown great teamwork and willingness to work with different partners.


In science, we have had a half term full of exciting experiments that have helped us to better understand how and why materials change state.  We started the half term by exploring solids, liquids and gases by looking at balloons full of different types of material. We went on to experiment with bicarbonate of soda and vinegar and were surprised to find that mixing this liquid and solid resulted in a gas.  We have looked at how different materials melt as well as conducting an experiment in the classroom to see where washing would dry best due to evaporation.  Finally, we looked at the role that evaporation, condensation and precipitation play in the water cycle.


In music, we have been practising and performing our Christmas song ‘Last Christmas’. I have been so impressed with the musical talent and the resilience of the class as they have worked to improve their performance.  They have been singing and playing beautifully.


In DT this half term, Apollos have had the fun of cooking as a topic. This started off with a biscuit taste testing lesson which was very exciting. The children then went onto make their own biscuits which they said tasted better than any they could buy. After this, the children designed their own packaging and company logo for their biscuits brand as well as evaluating if they could add anything to their biscuits to make them better.


In art, the children have learnt to use a view finder to look closer at a famous piece of art by Georges Seurat, entitled "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte." The children recreated their own section of the painting and put their finished pieces together to a whole class master piece.


In RE, we have been learning about Christianity and exploring the Nativity story. The children have shown a great awareness of why Christians believe the things that they do, and how symbols within the Nativity story relate to important aspects of Christian faith.


In PSHE, we have been ‘Celebrating Difference’ by exploring why we sometimes make assumptions about people, what it is that affects why we think the things we do and whether we are sometime wrong. We have also spoken about bullying and online bullying and the children have been extremely mature and thoughtful in their discussions with each other.

Your children have worked so hard this half term and have shown the Margaret Wix values in how they have approached their work and how they have worked with others.


I hope that you and your families all enjoy a wonderful restful break and I look forward to seeing you in 2024!


Mrs Rowson

Autumn One Update


Apollos have had an excellent first half term back at school. They have settled back into the routine of school really well and have been enthusiastic and curious learners.  


This halt term, in English, we have looked at a range of different types of text including non-fiction non-chronological reports, stories from ancient myths, and poetry. They started the year by writing some great non-fiction reports about our class butterfly, the Apollo butterfly. Towards the end of the half term, the children have enjoyed looking at the poems ‘Overheard of the Saltmarsh’ and ‘The Small Dragon’ and have created some wonderful imagery and writing of their own in response to these poems. They put themselves into the shoes of the poet and imagined how they would react to finding a strange and unexpected creature. The children showed their creativity when they wrote about a possible home for their creature – from volcanos to forests to strange underwater habitats. They have worked hard to include ambitious vocabulary to create mood and atmosphere as well as focusing on improving their use of punctuation and a variety of sentence structures.


In maths, the children have been learning about how they can use their understanding of number to solve problems in the most efficient way. They have looked at place value and how to accurately position numbers on a number line. They have learnt about how to round numbers to the nearest 10, 100 and 1000 as well as looking at a variety of mental methods for addition and subtraction.  The children have shown great resilience in trying out a variety of methods for mental calculation, which have required them to think flexibly. More recently, we have been looking at formal methods for addition and subtraction. The children have shown a growing awareness of the importance of organised presentation in their books. They have been learning how to tackle addition and subtraction calculations with numbers that include thousands, as well as testing their understanding with trickier missing number calculations.  


History, this term, has been all about the Romans and the effect that their arrival in Britain had on the country.  We looked at why the Romans invaded and what resources they gained by expanding their empire into Britain. We learnt about the resistance that British tribes and leaders like Boudica put up against the Roman invaders. We also examined what life was like for Romans living in Britain and wrote a reply to a real Roman letter that was found here. We also explored evidence for why Emperor Hadrian decided to build a wall across the north of Britain. Finally, we learnt about the Roman ruins that are found all across Britain, including here in St Albans.


In computing this half term, the children have been learning about 'The Internet' - what it is made up of, how it works, different parts of a website name and how web pages are broken up. The children learnt new key vocabulary, such as 'switch', 'router' and 'data centre' and the different roles that each of these play in 'The Internet'. They have also looked at different ways to access the internet and looked at 'content'; what web content is, how it is uploaded to the internet, who has access and authorisation to upload content to the internet and why.


Our French lessons this term have focussed on different kinds of fruits and we can now say whether we like them or not.


In PE, the children have developed their netball skills and have practised working as a team. Their attacking and defending skills have progressed well.  I have enjoyed worked with them on teamwork games and have been impressed with how well they can communicate with each other in order to reach a goal.


In science, we have been learning about living things and their habitats. We have focused on how and why scientist classify living things in the way that they do. We have done lots of practical work – from creating our own human classification system in the school grounds to hunting for mini-beats and collecting leaves to classify. They children have developed their ability to ask questions that separate one type of plant or animal from another and have impressed me with their curiosity. We have also made posters about how animals respond to environmental changes and have discussed why some animals are endangered.


In music, we have had the opportunity to have a weekly ukulele lesson which has involved singing, playing and a lot of competitive games and laughter. By the end of the half term the class is now able to play and sing along to their own ukulele accompaniment. Fantastic work Apollos!


In art, Mrs Campbell-Pugh has been working with the children to create some wonderful collages of animals that have allowed the children to explore different texture and qualities of natural and man-made materials.


In RE, we learnt about the Jewish religion. We explored how Jewish people show their commitment to God and looked at the promises that they make. We looked at some of their core beliefs and practised our oracy skills in our discussions where we had to express our opinions clearly and confidently. We talked about the importance of making and keeping agreements and promises in our everyday lives. 

In PSHE, we began our first topic: ‘Being Me in My World’. We explored what rights we have as individuals as well as looking at the responsibilities and rights of all members of our school community.  We talked about rewards and consequences, and how our actions affect us and other people.  Additionally, we celebrated Hello Yellow Day and learnt just how important it is to care for ourselves and others. We discussed the importance of looking after our mental health and played a mental-health bingo game.

Your children have worked so hard this half term and have lived by our Margaret Wix values. I hope you enjoy a restful break Apollos and I look forward to seeing you soon!


Mrs Rowson