Davey Drive, Hollingdean, Brighton BN17BF

St Joseph's Catholic Primary, Brighton

Educating in Faith, Hope and Love


St John the Baptist's Class - 2023-2024


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The Year 4 (St John the Baptist) Class Team are: Miss Cross, Miss Taylor and Mrs Iradukunda.

Welcome to the St John the Baptist class page.

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The Nature of Imagination



 This half term, the theme across the school for Outdoor Learning sessions is 'The Nature of Imagination'. For this, children are being given opportunities to play and be inspired by nature/explore their imaginations (e.g. engaging in activities such as storytelling and drama).


Activities for Year 4 included practising their oracy skills by retelling the story in their current Power of Reading text, Wolves, using props and drama. Linking to their work in science, they also played with shadows: creating funny faces as well as hunting for interesting silhouettes. To support their understanding of money, the children had to come up with games to play with a pack of paper money. They also took each other on very imaginative guided tours of out Outdoor Learning area.


A fantastic day blessed with sunshine and laughter! 



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Spellings for Summer 1


Please click here for an overview of the spellings that will be set for the 'Fox' group over the next six weeks. For the 'Chameleon' group's spellings, please click here. For the 'Hyena' group, please click here. For the 'Whale' group, please click here.







The children were very shocked to discover that the classroom had transformed into a crime scene this morning! The class iPad had been stolen and there were four main suspects.


The pupils became detectives and set to work trying to solve the mystery. To rule them out as suspects, the children had to have their own fingerprints taken and analyse whether or not their prints were 'whorls', 'loops' or 'arches'. They then examined fingerprints taken from the crime scene and compared them to samples from the suspects; analysed a handwritten note; drew detailed sketches of the crime scene and created an artist's impression of the suspects (based on descriptions provided by witnesses).


The children enjoyed working together to solve the crime and were able to explore some of the key vocabulary associated with our new topic. They were relieved to find out afterwards that it was all for fun and the iPad is safe and sound!



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Welcome back! We hope you had a lovely Easter break. There are lots of exciting things lined up for the summer term including a fantastic trip to Stanmer Park where the children will be practicing their survival skills! Please click here for a brief summary of some of the learning that will be taking place in St John the Baptist class. 


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The children had a fantastic time helping their blindfolded partner hunt for Easter eggs this afternoon! The festivities also included an Easter raffle and The Big Lent Walk. What a wonderful way to round off the term!


Wishing you all a happy and healthy Easter holiday and looking forward to seeing you again in the summer term.


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Please click here for this term's 'POWer Projects'. Completing these activities is a great way to support learning in our next topic (and earn lots of Dojos!). 

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Sushi-Making Workshop at Moshimo, Brighton



As part of their Geography based topic, "The World's Kitchen," the pupils in Year 4 made a visit to the Japanese restaurant, Moshimo, in the centre of Brighton.

The children were split into two groups. Whilst one group learnt the art of using chopsticks, the other group learnt how to make their own maki sushi! 

It was a really informative and engaging session and we are very grateful to Moshimo for providing our pupils with this opportunity to enhance their Geography learning and understanding of Japanese culture for the third year running.

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I am learning to give opinions on food



The theme for this half term's French Culture Week was food. The class had a fantastic time sampling traditional French dishes such as pain au chocolate, crêpes, baguettes and madeleines. They learnt how to ask for someone's opinion on food and to reply with their preferences whilst specifying whether the food was healthy or unhealthy. Bon appétit!

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Seeking Science



We had fantastic weather for our science-themed Outdoor Learning Day this half term–which was very lucky as we needed sunshine to help us in our exploration of reflections! After gaining understanding of the science behind what causes reflections, the children got to work experimenting with an array of reflective materials. Linking to a previous art lesson, they then set up still life compositions  that incorporated reflections and photographed them using iPads.

They also made sun catchers, created dramas representing different methods of seed dispersal in plants and conducted an experiment to see how the length of a piece of string tied between two cups affects how well soundwaves travel.


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I am learning about Holy Week and exploring the events of Maundy Thursday


During their RE lesson today, the class explored the meaning behind the special days that make up Holy Week. They focused on Maundy Thursday and the significance of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples during the Last Supper. To deepen their understanding, the class were given the option of experiencing what it is like to have someone wash your feet/wash someone else's feet. The responses very heart-warming, with one child commenting how happy it made them to perform an act of service for someone else and make them smile. 


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We had so much fun celebrating World Book Day and dressing up as characters from our favourite books! Year 4 snuggled down in a specially created 'book nook' and listened a few chapters from their current Power of Reading book, 'Varjak Paw'. They then enjoyed biscuits and a cup of hot chocolate! What could be better?

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I am learning the properties of gas and how different gases can be grouped


There was lots of excitement in class today as the children inflated balloons with carbon dioxide gas that had been produced by mixing baking soda with vinegar. The pupils learnt that carbon dioxide is classed as a greenhouse gas. We explored the link between greenhouse gases and climate change and considered small steps that we can take to reduce our carbon footprint.

Buncee - Happy Kwanzaa 


African Drums Workshop



As part of our studies during Black History Month last year, Year 4 participated in an African drumming workshop to experience an important part of African culture. As we approach the halfway mark of the academic year, it is a great time to reflect on everything that the class have experienced and achieved so far - with this workshop being an unforgettable highlight!

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The World's Kitchen 'Stunning Start'



Year 4 launched their new topic this afternoon by taking a journey around the globe through food! They were introduced to a variety of traditional dishes and produce from around the world with a multi-cultural tasting menu.

The class tried guacamole from Mexico, olives from the Mediterranean, tortillas from Spain, ginger cake from Jamaica and feta from Greece (to name just a few examples!).

The children discussed where they thought each dish/ingredient may have originated.

What a delicious introduction to our Geography learning this term!




Weekly Digest #38: Teaching Spelling with Deep Underlying Structures — The  Learning Scientists


Spellings for Spring 1


Please click here for an overview of the spellings that will be set for the 'Fox' group over the next six weeks. For the 'Toucan' group's spellings, please click here. For the 'Whale' group, please click here.


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Happy New Year! We hope you had a lovely Christmas break. There are lots of exciting things lined up for the Spring term. Please click here for a brief summary of some of the learning that will be taking place in St John the Baptist class. 


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Please click here for this term's 'POWer Projects'. Completing these activities is a great way to support learning in our next topic (and earn lots of Dojos!). 



This week we are focusing on the 12 times table. Some are revisiting the 3 times table. 


Spelling rule: Words with ‘ough’ to make a long /o/, /oo/ or /or/ sound

though although dough through breakthrough thought bought brought fought ought 


Spelling rule: adding –ies to nouns and verbs ending in -y

Flies, tries, replies, copies, babies, carries, cries, dries, marries, families


Spelling rule: The vowel digraph ‘ea’

sea, dream, meat, each, scream, read, head, bread, meant, instead




'Funny Bones' Skeleton Workshop at the Booth Museum, Brighton



The class had a fantastic time developing their understanding of the main functions of the skeleton whilst participating in the 'Funny Bones' workshop. After a lively introduction to the workshop (during which one pupil ended up with their head inside a shark's jaw!) the class engaged with a trio of activities to further embed their knowledge of the different features of particular skeletons - including how to tell the difference between predators and prey. They then had some time to select their favourite exhibits and create detailed drawings.



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Experimenting with Friction



After learning that friction is the force that resists motion when the surface of one object comes in contact with the surface of another, the children discovered how friction (or the lack of it) can be very useful. The class then made predictions on the speed at which a toy car will travel on different surface. They then performed the experiment and concluded with an 'er' statement based on their findings. They discovered that the smoother the surface, the less friction, and so the faster the car travelled!




This week we are focusing on the 11 times table. Some are revisiting the 2 times table. 


Spelling rule: Words with a /shuhn/ sound, spelt with ‘cian’ (if root word ends in ‘c’ or ‘cs’)

musician, politician, electrician, magician, mathematician, dietician, statistician, technician, clinician, beautician 


Spelling rule: The sound /igh/ spelt with '-y' at the end of words

cry, fly, dry, try, reply, sly, shy, terrify, sky, multiply


Spelling rule: The sound /ee/ spelt 'e' and with the vowel digraph 'ee'

me, she, we, be, he, see, tree, green, meet, week


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In recognition of World Mental Health Day, the class learnt about the meaning of mental health, how to know when we might need a little help dealing with uncomfortable feelings and things that we can do to support our own mental health, as well as that of others. 

As different things work for different people, the children then experienced a variety of ways to lift their spirits, should they find themselves experiencing challenging emotions in the future. 

These included exercise, connecting with nature/meditation and mindfulness through colouring.

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I am learning to describe the basic functions of the human digestive system



WARNING: The pictures below are not for the faint-hearted!

We had so much fun getting our hands dirty today and demonstrating how humans digest food. After 'chewing' biscuits and bananas together in the 'mouth' (a plastic bag) with the aid of 'saliva' (water), we added 'stomach acid' (orange juice) and passed the mixture through the 'intestines' (a fabric tube). Then we removed as much moisture as possible to represent how the body absorbs what it needs through the walls of the intestines and into the blood stream. The final stage was utterly hilarious to some and a little too realistic for others (check out the wide range of facial expressions in the photos) but it is hopefully a lesson they won't forget!


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I am learning to work collaboratively to develop drawings into prints



We had a lovely afternoon developing our drawings and collages created in previous art lessons into prints. The children experimented with various different printing techniques and worked collaboratively to create their pieces.


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This afternoon, we celebrated Grandparents' Day by inviting grandparents and relatives in to join us for an art lesson! Inspired by the work of Henri Matisse, the children and our guests learnt how to 'draw with scissors'. They created wonderful collages which they then used to inspire wax resist drawings. Thanks to all who joined us - it was lovely to share our learning with you.

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I am learning to identify and describe the functions of different parts of flowering plants 



Today, the class learnt the role that flowers play in the life cycle of flowering plants. They strengthened their understanding by coming up with a piece of drama that illustrates the process of seed production. They then carefully dissected a flower and put their knowledge to the test by identifying the different parts of the flower essential for this process. 

Quran On Lowest Land In Surah Rum - The Last Dialogue




Today we launched our new topic, 'Roman Rule'. The class had a fantastic time in role as Roman soldiers tasked with building straight roads to various cities in order to conquer them! Some of the children chose to dress up in Roman-themed costumes to help them get into the spirit of the event. The children had to collaborate with the other pupils in their group in order to plan and build the roads efficiently. Each time they reached the main city, they removed a cone from the floor to eventually reveal the title of our new topic! 

Pin on Hasse




Today, the children enjoyed their first outdoor learning day of Year 4. The theme of the day was teamwork. The children learnt some of the key skills required to work successfully as part of a team. They then applied them whilst completing a series of team-building exercises through which they could earn credits. They later exchanged these credits for materials to help them build a protective capsule in preparation for the 'Egg Drop Challenge'. The day was a great way to build and strengthen relationships within St John the Baptist Class, and instill the idea that teamwork makes the dream work!



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Our history topic for the next term is 'Roman Rule'. We will be launching our new topic with a 'Stunning Start' on Monday, 11th September. Children can come to school wearing Roman-themed costumes on that day if they would like to dress up!


Children can earn Dojos by completing 'Power Projects'. These activities support their understanding of our current topic. For an overview of the projects, please click here. Children are very welcome to come up with their own ideas too! Please email all responses to myhomework@st-josephs.brighton-hove.sch.uk.

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Please be advised that Year 4's PE days are Monday and Friday. Children must have black plimsolls/trainers, a school T-shirt and plain black shorts. If your child has pierced ears, please ensure that earrings are removed on PE days or, alternatively, please provide your child with surgical tape to cover their jewellery. All kit should be labelled clearly and is to remain in school until the end of the half-term when it is returned home for washing. 



Homework is set on a Friday and is to be handed in the following Wednesday. Homework consists of a spelling worksheet and a times table worksheet. Children are also required to read at home every week. Reading diaries help to keep track of the reading taking place at home and in school and are to go home and be brought back to school every dayReading diaries are checked along with the homework sheets every Wednesday.


Please try to read as much as possible at home with your child and keep their diary up to date. If they have evidence in their diary of having read at home three or more times that week, the children receive 10 Dojos! There are also rewards for children who remember to bring in their diary every day. Children who consistently keep up with their reading for the whole half term are rewarded with bonus Golden Time! So there's lots of incentives for the children to lose themselves in a good book (aside from it being enjoyable!).


Along with their usual weekly homework, children can further support their learning in class (and earn lots of Dojos!) by completing 'Power Projects'. Please see click here for an overview of this term's projects that relate to our first history topic: 'Roman Rule'.



Please click here for a brief summary of some of the learning that will be taking place in St John the Baptist class this term.



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Dear children, parents and carers,


Welcome back! I hope that you all enjoyed the summer break.


I am excited to start the new academic year and to get to know the children in St John the Baptist Class. I consider it a privilege to be their teacher this year and will strive to ensure that they achieve their best and feel safe, happy and ready to learn. I can already tell that the class is full of fantastic characters and feel certain that we are going to have a lot of fun as we journey through Year 4 together.


 Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or concerns - I am looking forward to working together with you to support your child to flourish.


Please check this web page for regular updates on what the class are getting up to!


  I look forward to meeting you all and to a successful year ahead,


Miss Cross