• Fir Tree Junior School

'Learning and Growing Together'

Home Page

Cedar Class Year 4

Welcome to Cedar Class Year 4 2020-2021

Welcome to Cedar Class 2020 - 2021

Cedar Class has 29  bright, smiling, sociable, caring and enthusiastic children who have a great appetite for fun and learning.   Mrs Giles is our teacher and we are very lucky to also have Ms Coverdale and Mrs Benny as our classroom assistants  on hand to help. Aren't we the lucky ones to have  our wonderful Cedar Class for another year! We are going to have such fun!

Please make sure you bring your own pencil case to school with you this year due to Covid!


Useful Information and Links

In case of self isolation or further lockdown

In the event of your child needing to self isolate, please the use the above homework links provided for activities.

In the event of our class bubble isolating or a whole school closure due to lockdown, we will be using Teams online. Your child will need their username and password to access Teams.

Contact Us

Please leave your message below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Smart Awards

This term our project is ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ by William Shakespeare.

Over the course of the term, we shall be exploring the life and historical times of William Shakespeare as well as this famous play and story. We begin with looking at examples of other fantasy story settings so that we can compare the work of Shakespeare with modern day equivalents, drawing on parallels between settings, character relationships, character analysis and plot.  We shall be tapping into drama and role play to explore ideas and dilemmas through techniques such as freeze frames, role on the wall and conscious alley.  Our writing will recreate the features of fantasy writing and include high levels of description and writing techniques.


Please see below for the project overview for term 4 for a further breakdown of learning to be explored and also the home learning ideas sheet for pursuing areas of interest.  We always welcome surprise me homework related to our projects!


This term, PE is on Tuesdays and Friday

Athletics will be with Mr Hutton on Tuesdays and rounders will be with class teachers.


We are pleased to announce that brass lessons resume once more on Monday afternoons, with Mr Browne, a specialist from the Oxfordshire County Music Service.

Term 4

We begin this term with a ‘Take One Tale’ focus followed by ‘Creepy Crawlies’, a science- based project.


For our week long ‘Take One Tale’ project, we have chosen ‘Anansi, the Spider’, an African and Caribbean myth. We shall be exploring and further developing storytelling techniques, resulting in being able to confidently retell the story. Cross curricular links will be made to art, history and geography too.

Our ‘Creepy Crawlies’ project will be exploring the characteristics and classification of minibeasts. Exploration of different local habitats is central to our learning as is the impact of human and natural changes on environments.

Please see the project overview for term 4 for a further breakdown of learning to be explored.


This  term, P.E  is on Mondays and Thursdays, so please wear full PE kit on these days.   

Please remember to bring your pencil cases back to school with you on the 8th March, with a pencil sharpener please!

Brass lessons will resume after the Easter holidays.

Mapping the different habitats around school

The Easter Story in the style of the author and illustrator, Brian Wildsmith


Personal, social, health education and  well-being lesson

Cedar Class wrote a collaborative poem focusing on positivity  and happiness.


Happiness is………………


Happiness is……

Learning adding with fractions and getting it right

Playing football with my friends at breaks

Snuggling up with my Uncle’s dog called Pig

Watching fish swimming around in the fish tank

Visiting my nan with my sister and dad

Seeing my dog and two cats and having hugs

Reading about the mischievous ‘Ickabog’ with the class

Climbing trees adventurously with friends

Playing with my cats at their loopy stage in the evening

Jumping into bed after a tiring day

Sitting down and reading a good book

Having an icy cold squash on a hot day

Hearing the sound of thunderous waterfalls after a jog

Listening to brilliant music with a friend

Returning home to my majestic tortoise

Going home to my mum and my dog and watching a relaxing DVD


What ideas could you add to this about what happiness is?

Return to school following lockdown...

Supporting Comic Relief - Red Nose Day 19th March 2021

The Classification of Living Things

We have been learning about the classification of living things.  By asking scientific questions with a yes or no answer, we were able to sort a group of 8  rainforest animals into individual groups.

The questions had to be based on facts about their characteristics rather than opinion.

‘Does it run fast?’ and ‘Is it playful?’  are examples of questions which are a matter of opinion.    ‘Does it have wings?’  and  ‘Does it have two legs?’ are more specific and scientific.

International Women's Day March 8th 2021

Using Fimo to Make Creepy Crawlies

Flight of the Bumble Bee - Appraising and responding to music

Below are some responses to listening to 'Flight of the Bumble Bee' by Russian composer Rimsky Korsakov. The whole piece is less than 2 minutes long. We heard it played on many different instruments including violin, flute, tuba, glockenspiel, trumpet, piano and guitar. The musicians all had to move their fingers very quickly indeed!

"It sounds dangerous. "

"It is exciting like the cartoon Tom and Jerry and full of adventure."

"I  can hear the buzzing."

"A bee moves really quickly and so does the music - it races around and up and down." 

"It is  just crazy!"


World Book Day 2021 Potatoes Gallery - Which book characters can you spot?

Ms Khan's caption task

What caption would you give this picture?

 Zach - Best friends!

Tayla – When you read a good book it becomes your friend and you can’t let it go

Louis - You never feel alone with a book. A good friend is a good book.   We share our adventures, we share our minds.

Jess - My friend is a book and we go everywhere together. We are best friends forever!

Rosie –A  book is a wonder

Alfie - I am lost with a book

Leila - My best friend is a book

Ellie - Books are your best friends

Sophie - A book is your friend who can play with you any time of the day. A book is magical and adventurous too, and maybe romantic.

Toby - This book is an adventure  and a thought you can read but you don’t have to talk.   A book is magical, you’ll have fun, start reading now, so come on!

Cian – When you find a good book you will always like it, it will always make you laugh and smile

Isla -  If it’s a good book you can disappear into a whole new world

Take One Tale - Anansi Story Maps

Creating Art with Nature

Observational Drawings

Finn's Fantastic Food Art and Story

Creepy Crawlies Project Work

Fractions Doughnut Challenge

Still image for this video
Cut a doughnut into 8 equal pieces using only 3 cuts of a knife or scissors.

Ellie and Finn also solved the doughnut challenge!

We begin this term with a classical music focus. Our project explores a piece of music in depth whilst making cross curricular links to history, art, drama, storytelling and dance.  We shall be looking at the life of the composer and the circumstances, purposes and visions for the music. Characteristic sounds and motifs will be explored and replicated using body, voice and percussion instruments whilst learning further musical terminology. The class will be working towards an end performance.

After ‘Take One Piece’, without Covid, we would have been working towards a Year 4 production of ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’. The same skills will be practised and developed, covering many drama elements and we aim to record aspects of the work for you to enjoy. Our writing will be exploring characterisation and script writing.

Making puppets of the characters is going to be a design and technology focus which promises to be fun, exploring and refining sewing skills.

Please note that PE will be on Tuesday and Fridays this term and children still need to come to school dressed in their PE kit on these days.

Please ensure that pencil cases are replenished with writing and colouring pencils, a pencil sharpener, glue stick, ruler and rubber where possible.

Our online learning in Term 3 during lockdown


Louis' power point about the invention of toothpaste and Eleanor's experiment

Toothpaste and it's inventor!

Chinese New Year

10 Chinese New Year Facts

1. Chinese New Year falls on a different day each year. It’s usually in late January or February. The date is worked out by the ‘New Moon’.

2. Chinese New Year is also known as ‘Spring Festival’. It celebrates the start of new life.

3. In China, each year is linked with a different animal. The Chinese calendar goes in a cycle of 12 years. Each year is symbolised by a different animal. 2021 is the year of the Ox!  It is believed that if you are born in a particular year then you will have some of the characteristics of that animal.

4. The celebrations last for 15 days and ends with the Lantern Festival.

5. 'Guo Nian Hao' means Happy New Year!

6. Children receive red envelopes with money inside. They can spend the money on anything they like as they receive it instead of gifts.

7. Chinese New Year ends with the ‘Lantern Festival’ where people will release flying lanterns into the sky. This is all about reconciliation, peace, and forgiveness.

8. Before the celebration, it is traditional to spring clean the home to get rid of bad luck.

9. Lion and dragon dances are very popular around this time because it is believed that they will bring good fortune to the local area. The loud noise of drums is said to drive all of the bad luck and spirits away!

10. Fireworks will be set off at midnight! There is a myth that there is a beast called Nian who doesn’t like loud noises or fire.

Design and Technology Puppets

This week, the project challenge was to make a puppet from the story of 'Fantastic Mr Fox.' Here are some reflections on learning.


“When I was making my puppet, I encountered a few problems like how to make the body white (I eventually wrapped my toilet roll in paper) or how to make the cross bar (I used lolly-sticks). The head was difficult too but luckily, I had an egg box so I used a part of that and then covered it in white tissue paper and two-part glue, one-part water to make it stick. Sticking the see-through string to the limbs was hard but I didn’t do that, I got some help from daddy. “  (Eleanor)



 “Next time I would sew on the tummy and face pieces BEFORE stitching the two parts of the badger together.” (Finn)


"I really liked making the shadow puppet, it was tricky to cut but worth the effort, it was fun to teach my sister about shadows and the puppet worked better than I thought it would." (Nilah)

Harry's Trailer for Fantastic Mr Fox

Still image for this video

Fox Gallery

Fox Gallery Artwork

Please enjoy this gallery of artwork at a time when children are missing seeing what their classmates are achieving through not being in school due to lockdown. This is an opportunity to share and enjoy completed work, celebrating the differences and uniqueness of each piece. It was not possible to dictate using a particular medium for this task, as not everyone has access to the same resources at home, hence why the task was purely to include a fox using mediums of choice.  More than one child commented that, "It was nice having the choice about what we did".  Another said that they "really enjoyed seeing the variety of things people have done". One child said, "Using Art hub gives me confidence to try new things."

In our group lessons we discussed how to achieve the texture of the fur, lines, details, proportions, shades and tones. 

Ice and Snow Fun Gallery - Learning and exploring in cold weather!

Sunday’s snow brought a welcome spot of light relief for all during lockdown. Everyone enjoyed the change of routine, the fresh air, and the fun and frolics in the challenges that creating snow angels and building snowmen brings.  Energetic snowball fights were greatly enjoyed among neighbours and friends and pets were observed delighting in the rare exposure to the white stuff! The only tinge of disappointment was how quickly it disappeared.

Design Technology

Friday’s creative challenge was to produce a mask for one of the animal characters in the story, ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’.   Many children took on the full challenge like a designer and explored the different processes involved, researching masks, planning their design, making it and finally evaluating it.

Some people found making templates useful and practising bits that they thought were going to be tricky. Tallulah did just this and achieved an accurate shape of a fox’s head after refining her template. She also commented that her cutting skills had become more accurate too.

Please enjoy looking at the gallery below and see if you can guess who is behind each mask!

Welcome to the gallery of Fantastic Mr Fox character masks!

Various writing about Fantastic Mr Fox and other reading tasks

Lockdown Learning - Finn's Fantastic Mr Fox Map

January Lockdown Learning

This term, our main project is entitled ‘Disgusting Digestion’. We shall be learning about key organs in the body and their functions.    There is a lot of technical vocabulary with this project and we would appreciate it if you could reinforce this  at home. Many of the key words are written on the project map sheet for you to refer to.   Tea-time is the perfect opportunity to discuss some of the ideas associated with this project, although it is not for the faint hearted!

We begin the term with a local history and geography focus, centred around Oxford.   A key text will be about an Anglo-Saxon princess entitled, ‘The Princes Who Hid in the Tree’ which is about Saint Frideswide who has a medieval shrine in the cathedral in what is now the site of Christ Church. Her tale is one of adventure, courage, danger, friendship and kindness.

Thank you and well done to all those taking part in the ‘Street Tag’ challenge.  It is pleasing to see so many children from Year 4 taking part and having fun!  Keep up the good work here!

Please note that PE is on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays this term.   See more information on the generic timetable for term 2.

Our learning in Term 2


Cedar Class had the opportunity to look at each others project work in our class museum and ask and answer questions about what they had produced. As always, there was a phenomenal range  and variety of work which consolidated the learning already undertaken in class and in many cases extended learning opportunities to follow particular lines of interest and to  satisfy personal curiosity.   We were deeply sorry that parents could not be invited along on this occasion due to Covid, however we  were reassured that our class still benefitted from this experience with each other.   Thank you, as always,  to all the parents who supported their child's learning with their project work.  Please look further below for pictures of our learning.

Christmas Dinner Day

Christmas Activities

Design and Technology Pop Up Christmas Cards

Make Another World - work in progress

Make Another World - end product