Category Archives: English

The Tin Forest

Our class reader for the next couple of weeks is The Tin Forest by Helen Ward and Wayne Anderson. In this wonderfully illustrated picture book, an old man lives in the dark, grim middle of nowhere. He dreams of being surrounded by a beautiful forest and so, using bits and bobs of old scrap and rubbish, he begins to construct a makeshift tin forest of his very own. It isn’t perfect but it’s his. Then one day a small bird flies in and lands on one of the tin trees. This triggers a magical transformation of his world as his dreams slowly come true. This is a book in which the words and pictures compliment each other perfectly.

Today Robins have demonstrated excellent paired reading skills along with creative discussions.

Mr Lo told the Robins to close their eyes and listen to the following page:

There was once a place in the middle of nowhere filled with all the things that no one wanted.

Right in the middle was a small house, with small windows, that looked out onto huge piles of other people’s rubbish.

Robins then discussed what they could sense. (hear, see, feel, smell)

Don’t forget you can also listen to Mrs Parry read The Tin Forest below.

Part 1

Part 2

Topic Tuesdays

For Robins, every Tuesday morning is , “Talking Tuesday”. We allocate time to discuss important things that are happening in the UK and around the world. Having this time to read, watch and discuss is great opportunity for an inquiring young mind that is unbiased and provides the background to stories that children might have heard about outside of school.

Last week we looked at all kinds of news including
1. A restaurant that employs robot waiters in the UK.
2. Fires that are happening in California, USA.
3. Fears and worries pupils might have coming back to school.
4. The future of “Flying Cars”
We also read our junior news leaflet. We discussed that Marcus Rashford, the Manchester United and England footballer, has set up a group to tackle child food poverty in the UK.

Here is a video of it.
(Remember, reading the article at home counts as one of your three expected home readings! )

Most of us thought it was great that a celebrity was highlighting an important issue.
If you have time, why not research the following :

What should a healthy diet for a primary school child include?
Research what children need and suggest a full day’s sample menu, including quantities where possible.

All about word classes

It’s important for Year 4 children to learn more about the finer details of language and the differences between types of words are a large part of this. In English this week we have been recapping the definitions of different word classes. As we will be doing more independent writing in KS2, it’s crucial that we gain an understanding of each word class, and how they can be used in a sentence in order to write coherently.

Below is a recap of some of the word classes we have looked at.

To show that we can apply our knowledge of word classes we had a go at planning a setting description.
First, we discussed how we could use our senses to capture inspiration.

Next, we went outside to experience the elements outside.

What does the bark of the tree feel like?
What can you hear in the distance?
What can you see? What can you feel?

Back in the classroom Y4 Robins put their thoughts together and had a go at creating a setting description together.

We then decided we would read them out to each other so that we can build our confidence in reading aloud to the whole class!

P.S Here is an extension word bank for you.

Extension Activity
If you have time at home, why not have a go at writing your own setting description. Perhaps you could visit the park and use your senses to support your writing, or if you have one, write a setting description about your front/back garden!

For those of you who prefer to stay indoors, here are some inspirational images to write about!

How would you feel? What can you see in the distance? What can you hear?

Creative Writing

It is brilliant to see that our class’ creative writing is continuing! Amelia has emailed through 2 different pieces of writing. Both stories are great but my favourite is “Left in the cold.” I like how you’ve taken a simple idea to create a very effective short story and I loved the twist at the end. I can’t wait for the next instalment!

Definite Gold Card writing Amelia. Well done!

It would be brilliant to see what other children in the class have been writing.

Remember, it can be any style of writing you like.

If you are able to type them up or take a picture of handwritten work, please send it to the email ad-dress below and add, “FAO MR J Creative Writing” in the subject. I will share as many as I am able to.

For now, enjoy Amelia’s stories and feel free to leave feedback for her in the comments.

Mr Johnston

Creative Writing 1 by Amelia

Creative Writing 2 by Amelia


Creative Writing

We may not be in school but I hope you are still continuing with your own pieces of creative writing. I loved listening to those you shared in class and hope that you will post your writing so that we can add it to the class blog.

If you are able to type them up or take a picture of handwritten work, please send it to the email address below and add, “FAO MR J Creative Writing” in the subject. I will share as many as I am able to.


Please see the separate spelling blog.


There has never been a better time for reading so I hope you are all working towards completing your ERIC challenge.

Please complete the Desert Climate Comprehension this week – answers will be blogged on Friday.

The comprehension document will appear in this blog thread.


I hope you did well with your mini SPAG revision check last week. Please make a comment on the blog to let me know how you did with it.

Please complete this week’s SPAG questions – the document will be in this blog thread.

Fronted adverbials – please match up the fronted adverbials with the correct main clauses. If you have completed this, why not try using the fronted adverbials in sentences of your own or creating your own new ones. Remember to put a comma after the fronted adverbial!

I will add a few more SPAG activities on here during the week, to help keep you ticking over.

Homework Documents
Desert Climate Comprehension
Fronted Adverbial Matching Game Editable
Year 4 English Grammar and Punctuation Test 2

Mr Johnston


As we usually do in class, every Monday I will give a new set of spelling words which you then practise and learn during the week. On the following Monday, please get a member of your family to test you on the words.

We will be using the same lists as I sent out a few weeks ago and, having reviewed the class’ test scores, we start back at week 1. This spelling list is called the ‘Main’ spelling list.

For those of you who were working on a separate set of spellings, we will do the same for you – go back to week 1 to consolidate those spellings. This spelling list is the ‘Extra’ list. Please also feel free to work on the Main spelling list.

Remember to let me know of your achievements in the comments section.

“A bookie and a cookie”

This afternoon Year 4 had a special ERIC… we called it “A bookie and a cookie”.

We all sat and read our book with a lovely chocolate chip cookie..YUM! We remembered to wash our hands before we ate our cookie too.

It’s amazing how long the cookies lasted…little nibbles as they read.

The children have all chosen two reading books to take home today, extra reading is good.

Recommended reads

Year 4 spent their ERIC time in the library today. They took the opportunity to delve into lots of interesting books. There is a new display in the corridor too that has recommended reads from all the teachers… but the children have to wait until next week before they can borrow them. The children have got their eyes on a few of them.

Callum even found one that he had read before and has given it a huge thumbs up, so that’s another recommendation! Can you see which one he has read before?

The recommended reads will keep changing, so keep your eyes out for new titles and old favourites from the teachers!

Video: Edward Tulane stories

Today we finished our Edward Tulane stories. Edward was a much loved “toy” rabbit who was sadly thrown overboard, caught in a fishing net and rescued by a fisherman. He was lived all over again until he was sadly thrown on a rubbish heap.

The children wrote how Edward ended up in these different places and how he felt.

Amelia shared her story with class… Have a watch below…