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St Thomas' CE Primary Academy

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St Thomas' CE Primary Academy

Term 1

Welcome to Term 1!

This term we will be gaining so many skills by learning in different ways.


Each subject is taught discretely so that we know what it is like to work in the different subject disciplines. In each subject, we have a key question to consider. We will retrieve what we know at the start of term and then add information after each lesson to help us formulate an answer at the end. This will enable us to draw on all of our learning to give a full answer with explanation. See below for some of the questions and our learning that will help us answer our key questions.


Click here to read our Autumn Term Newsletter

We Are Team Courage!

We have had a great first week getting to know one another and the expectations we have of each other. As part of our classroom Collective Worship, we explored the significance of our class name- Courage- and how it enables us to live out our school vision.

'Encouraging each other, overflowing with hope.'

Here are some of our responses:


When things are difficult, we need courage to overcome them.


By having courage we can demonstrate resilience and always try again.


Encourage each other to have courage.


In English we have been studying the text of Beowulf. We have identified Grendel as the beast wreaking havoc on the kingdom of King Hrothgar and created wanted posters to help find him. We have identified the features of wanted posters and focussed on our use of adjectives and nouns, we have begun to create detailed descriptions of him to inform our reader. 

Using thesaurus and dictionaries, we explored our use of vocabulary to have the desired effect on the reader and to describe the fiend effectively.

After reading Beowulf, we thought about how King Hrothgar would be feeling. As we got into role as him and his people, we were able to identify the joy there once was in Heorot that had turned into terror. Hot seating and thought tracking characters, we were able to engage with the story making inferences. This supported us when we wrote diary entries in role as King Hrothgar.

Beowulf and his People

Features of News Articles

Reading news articles, we were able to identify the key features. We then created toolkits of what we would need to include when we wrote our own.

Asking Questions

Writing questions we would ask of Beowulf and Hrothgar, we thought about the answers they would give too and how we could use this as reported speech in our news articles.


In Maths we begin by revisiting place value and understanding how three digit numbers are made up on hundreds, tens and ones. We looked at different ways we can represent each number using drawings and equipment like counters and dienes. Working in pairs we developed our reasoning skills to explain how we we know which number has been represented.

After establishing the value of each digit in a three digit number, we thought about how we could begin to place them correctly on a number line. Outside, we drew our own number lines to one thousand. Counting in hundreds, we added each hundred on with care, after placing five hundred in the middle. We then looked between each hundred at the intervals of ten. This then helped us to begin to place numbers onto a number line and explain how we know where to place them.

Representing Four Digit Numbers

We have looked at different ways of representing four digit numbers using drawings and equipment. After partitioning numbers into thousands, hundreds, tens and ones, we began to explore flexibly partitioning numbers, recording our workings using the part-whole method.

Roman Numerals

Using classroom equipment we explored how Roman numerals are formed and used to represent different numbers. The mnemonic, I Value Xylophones Like Cows Do Milk was used to support us in recalling the letters used for each number. We then looked at how the numbers are constructed without repeating letters more than three times.


We have rounded numbers to the nearest 10, 100 and 1000. To support us in doing this, we made a number line and identified the multiples of 10, 100 or 1000 either side of the given number. Placing the number on the number line we could then see which multiple it was closest to. We also learnt to look at the number to the right of the digit being rounded, if it was 5 or more we knew we rounded up, if it was 1,2,3 or 4 we knew we rounded down Placing the number on the number line we could easily see this too.


How did the Anglo Saxons develop England?

As we work as Historians, we will be questioning some of the evidence we have today about life in Anglo Saxon times and how they developed England after Roman times. This will build upon our knowledge of life in Roman Britain from Year 3 and enable us to learn more about the religious changes too. Beginning our learning by working as archaeologists, we will question evidence found at Sutton Hoo, over 100 years ago and look at the significance of this find. We also hope to visit The Collection in Lincoln to further develop our knowledge of life at the time.

Sutton Hoo

How do we know so much about the Anglo Saxons?

We began our learning by exploring the significant finds at Sutton Hoo and what they tell Historians about life at the time. Working as archaeologists, we had our own archaeological dig and discussed the items we found. We then identified some of the significant finds at Sutton Hoo and what they tell us about the owner of the grave. Focusing on our concept of belief, we were able to begin to talk about how some of the items give information about religious beliefs at the time.

Why did the Anglo Saxons come to Britain?

Looking at sources of evidence, we explored reasons why the Anglo Saxons cam to Britain and settled. We discovered they were farmers whose land had been flooded and made it hard for their crops to grow. Flooding meant they had lost their homes too and so many go into boats in search of a safe place to live with their families. Britain offered good farmland and conditions for their crops to grow so it made it an ideal place. it is thought that they had tried to come to Britain before but had always been warned off by the Romans, now many Romans had returned to Italy, they were able to enter the country without a fight.

What were the beliefs of the Anglo Saxons?

We explored the Pagan beliefs of Anglo Saxons and how they were polytheistic in their beliefs about more than one god. For them it was hugely important to worship the right gods and goddesses for a successful life, they believed that everything was down to the gods. Living in small family groups, they would offer prayers and sacrifices to the god needed at that time. We researched key information about some of them and represented our work in fact files.

How did the religious beliefs of the Anglo Saxons change?

We learnt that Anglo Saxon religious beliefs were changed over time and Christianity was reintroduced. We knew that there were some Christian beliefs from what was found at Sutton Hoo, along with Pagan belief (many Anglo Saxons would be confused about what to believe but not want to risk believing the wrong thing and not having a good afterlife). Looking at different sources of evidence, we were able to see evidence of Christian belief in Saxon times and learnt that lots of what we know came from the writing of monks at the time.


How is movement portrayed in drawing?

Building our skill of working in sketchbooks, we will explore the drawing of Rembrandt and his use of line to portray movement in his drawings. We will work with a range of different media to create sketches in pen, pencil, ink, water colour and charcoal.

Charlie Macksey Retrieval

To commemorate the life of Queen Elizabeth II, we were able to retrieve our knowledge of the work of Charlie Macksey from our learning in Year Three.  We created pencil sketches and used watercolour and pen to create work in his style.

Rembrandt- Sketch Books

We began exploring the work of Rembrandt by looking at his sketch book drawings. We chose some of his drawings to explore his use of line to create images that show movement. Using different media: pens, pencils, watercolours, crayons and charcoal, we used different lines to explore his style of drawing. 

Gestural Drawings

After exploring the work of Rembrandt, we created our own sketches on a larger scale, trying to have less detail and more flow of line to create movement in our gestural drawings.


Is it okay to not like someone?

In PSHE, we begin our year by exploring relationships and seek to answer our big question, 'Is it okay to not like someone?' 

We began by exploring our feelings, using The Colour Monster book, identifying the different feelings we have and what leads to each of these feelings. We then discussed how we are able to identify the feelings of others and how we can establish positive relationships with others by knowing what they need.

The Colour Monster

Using The Colour Monster, we revisited our feelings and began to explain and describe them, assigning a colour to each one. We put each feeling into a jar, just like in the book, and explained times we have felt different feelings.

Over the term, we have explored how we can create meaningful, healthy relationships. We have thought about how we can be good friends to others and what we expect from our friends in return. Linking to our learning in Computing, we thought about how we can be good friends online and how we might respond to messages we receive. We identified what it means to be a bully and the differences between bullying and playful teasing. In groups we chatted through different scenarios and how we would deal with being teased or bullied and how we use our voice to explain to others how we feel or to get help or support for ourselves.


Where does a puddle go?

We begin working as scientists in Year 4 by exploring properties of materials as we work as chemists. Identifying and naming materials and their properties, we first sorted them into solids and liquids and looked at the properties of each. Over the term, we will explore different materials and how they can change state, including the changes we see daily with water as part of the water cycle.

In Science, we began by exploring different materials and sorting them into solids and liquids, identifying the properties they had. 

Gases around us.

We identified how we know gas is all around us. First, we tried to flatten empty bottles with the lids on, we found we were unable to. After taking the lid off, we were able to squash them as the gas was able to escape. Later, we poured water over beakers of small stones and sand and could see the air escape when we saw bubbles on the surface.


Which chocolate button would melt quickest?

Recalling particles in a solid being packed closely together, we learnt that when heated, the particles get more energy and are able to move over one another and begin to melt into a liquid. Using our prior knowledge of chocolate melting, we were asked to predict which would melt first, the small or large chocolate button. Making careful observations, we were able to describe what we saw and see if our predictions were correct.


What is cyberbullying? What is the Internet?

In computing we explore our online behaviour and our responsibilities as we work online. We will establish what the internet is and a code of conduct for keeping ourselves and others safe. This valuable learning will build upon all of our prior knowledge of internet safety and how we can keep ourselves safe. We will define what cyberbullying is and how we can identify and respond to it correctly, establishing what we will do to report it.


In French, we have learnt the names of pets. We have enjoyed answering questions about our pets and bringing in photos of them to share with the class.

We have recalled key vocabulary, matching words in groups.


Why is grace important to Christians?

Beginning the year with a focus on salvation, we will explore what the Easter Story tells Christians. Identifying the key events of Holy Week and their significance, we will learn more about the thoughts and feelings of Jesus, his family and followers, through exploration of the Bible. We will establish how these events are celebrated in church and use what we learn here to prepare us for leading Easter worship with the school in the Spring Term.

After learning about the events of Holy Week, we reflected on what happens in church to celebrate each of these events today. Researching how they are celebrated today, we created posters that gave more information about them.

Sadness, Joy and Hope

Reflecting on the themes of sadness, joy and hope, we were able to identify examples in our own lives and make comparisons to these feelings in the Holy Week events. We depicted our ideas on a triptych.


Why do composers choose certain musical instruments?

Identifying different musical instruments, we will explore dynamics and minor and major chords as we listen to different pieces of music. We will think about the instrument selection and reflect on the message the composer was giving to their listeners.

Music and Feelings

In Music, we have been listening to different pieces of music, identifying the instruments used and how they make us feel. We listened to the music performed in different ways and compared how the feelings they created changed for us.


How does fitness improve health?

Developing our fitness levels through a range of different activities, we will explore balance, speed, strength and agility. Making notes of our fitness levels at the beginning of the term and comparing them at the end.


What is more important: personal or team performance?

In Tag Rugby, we will learn the rules of the game and how to pass the ball accurately. We will develop skills in pairs and small groups before developing them into games.