Year 4 have been transported back in time to 79AD to learn about one of the most famous and catastrophic natural disasters of all time: The eruption of Mount Vesuvius and the obliteration of Pompeii. We have been learning about volcanoes and their destructive power and we will even be making our own eruptions soon!
In English, we have been focusing on our new book ‘Escape from Pompeii’. We have had to use our investigative skills to predict what will happen based only on jumbled up pictures. We carefully observed the plume of smoke getting bigger and bigger and rolling viciously down the side of the volcano towards poor Pompeii and the villagers. We took on the roles of two children called Tranio and Livia who luckily escaped the eruption by the skin of their teeth and used drama to show their thoughts, feelings and emotions. We took turns to ask each other insightful and thought-provoking questions that enabled us to gain a better understanding of how scary and frightening the situation was and the desperation to escape
In Art, Year 4 pupils are exploring the theme of Natural Disasters. They were interested when comparing Andy Warhol’s print of Mt Vesuvius with Turner’s painting. The majority agreed that, in their opinion, Turner’s depiction was a better piece of art but when I offered to buy them one of the artworks, the majority said they would prefer to have Warhol’s hanging on their bedroom wall! A lively discussion about what constitutes ‘good art’ followed. The children have loved blowing coloured inks through straws to create explosive volcanoes of their own and 4AE experimented with making block prints of volcanoes. Some children managed to add layers of colour with great success.
Moving away from Natural Disasters to the topic of Christmas, Year 4 have enjoyed learning some of the songs for our Christmas production of ‘Bethlehem Bake-Off’. Bethlehem is holding its annual baking competition and there are a few surprise contestants: some shepherds from the local fields, a choir of angels from the heavens and three wise-looking chaps who arrived on camels! The songs are really catchy and uplifting. We are working really hard to improve our diction and expression when we sing and we are really looking forward to performing in a few weeks time.