Shirley Community Primary & Preschool

Learning for life

Nuffield Road, Chesterton, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, CB4 1TF

01223 712252

Trip to the Fitzwilliam!

Today year 4 went on an exciting trip to the Fitzwilliam museum in Cambridge! 

We took a train to Cambridge station then walked the soggy route to our destination - the museum! 

Once we were there we had 2 halves of the day. The first half, the museum staff showed us all of the ancient Egyptian artefacts and told us loads of new facts about them.

The second half, we got to explore the painting galleries. We drew our own pictures of the paintings, posed like the models in the paintings and then designed our own portrait.

Here are some of our favourite photos from the day:

Human digestion!

In Year 4 we have been learning about our own digestion system.  To help us with this we recreated our digestion system using crackers, Ziplock bags, water, orange juice and a pair of tights!

We Imagined a situation where we put a cracker in our mouths (the plastic bag). First our bodies will chew it up (we mashed the cracker in the bag with our hands) it will also add some saliva (we added a small amount of water). Next, our bodies will swallow the chewed cracker and the mixture will travel to the stomach (we moved it to the second bag). Then, our bodies will add some stomach acid (we added orange juice) and mix it up. Then, our bodies will move the food to the intestine where all the nutrients and water will be squeezed out (we placed the food into the tights and squeezed them along the length of the tights). Finally, once our body is finished with the food it will poo it out (we squeezed the mixture out of the tights onto a tray).

Banana Mummification!

In both English and History this half-term we have been learning about Ancient Egypt and Tutankhamun to introduce our unit Year 4 had a go at mummifying a banana! We followed similar steps to what the Ancient Egyptian priests would follow when mummifying a pharaoh for his tomb.

We cleaned the outside of the banana just like the ancient priests would wash the body in the Nile River.

We made a small cut on the side of the banana and removed the inside. Just like how ancient priests would remove the vital organs during mummification.

We filled the inside of the Banana with a mix of salt and bicarbonate of soda to help dry it out. In ancient times they would use a special salt mix called natron.

Next, the bananas were stuffed with bandages to keep their shape and finally we wrapped the bananas in wrappings just like the ancient mummies.

Finally, we entombed our bananas to see how long they will last for.


In writing this half term, we have been reading a lovely book called Winter's Child. It is all about a boy, Tom, who doesn't want Winter to end. He meets Winter's Child and plays with him all Winter before Winter's Child has to leave in time for Spring.

As our final piece of writing, we wrote a letter to Winter's Child telling him about how amazing it is in Spring and imagined the different activities which we could have been doing. These letters were so beautiful and descriptive that our teachers felt we should share them with each other. We went outside and read our letters to each other and drank hot chocolate!

Trip to Shepreth Wildlife Park

Year 4 have had the exciting opportunity to visit Shepreth Wildlife Park as part of our science topic on animals and their habitats.  

 We started our journey early in the morning and walked to Cambridge North Station where we got to catch a train (a first for some student). When we arrived we had time to explore the park learn about the animals. Somme highlights included  the bat cave, capybaras, tigers, maned wolves, otters and red pandas. We were also lucky to receive a special talk from the park employees about animals and their habitats. We all enjoyed lunch together and had a finial visit to our favorite parts of the park.

The children really enjoyed the day and we hope they have shared their own stories with you.

The next day when we returned we wrote short recaps about what the children found special.

Below are some examples of our work:

Below are also some photos from our trip

Anti-Bullying Week 2023

In Year 4 we have been recognising anti bullying week with a series of lessons themed around how we can “make a noise” to stop bullying. I would encourage all our parent to look at our class windows to see our make a noise display created by the children. The children have also created their own sharing assembly completely independently. Below is the work from that assembly.



In Computing, we have been learning to animate! We have had great fun learning how to make something look as though it is moving across the screen and coming up with our own creative ideas about what to animate. Here are some of our creations below:

We're going on a bug hunt!

In Science our topic is all about animals and their habitats. As part of this we went on a bug hunt around school and then used a classification key to identify our animals and their habitats. Here are some pictures of our findings!

Welcome to Year 4!

We can’t believe that it is has already been 4 weeks since the start of Year 4. For our first blog we would like to share some of the highlights of our learning so far.

In art we have been learning about abstract art and the artist Wassily Kandinsky. We had a go at drawing to music and letting the music influence our art.

In PHSE we have been getting to know each other. In one lesson we created freeze frames focused on our ambitions for the future. Can you tell which jobs the children are acting out?

Graffiti Maths returns in Year 4! In maths we are starting with our unit on place value. Students got a chance to show their maths skills by writing on the tables.

Eco day

Today year 4 worked very hard in the school allotment! Each team was assigned a bed and their first job was to weed the beds and get rid of all the overgrown grass. They then designed how they wanted their new beds to look. Finally they prepared the soil and planted their seeds. They were very creative as the beds even included things like bug hotels and scarecrows! Hopefully we will soon get to eat some homegrown vegetables!



International Week

In Shirley Primary School we have been celebrating international week. In Year 4 we have been focusing on the country of Italy. We have done a variety of activities: we had a go at art upside down just like Michelangelo when he painted the Sistine Chapel; we created our own renaissance paintings using photography; we tried some Italian food and even investigated some ancient ruins. Children in Squirrels Class even got here a talk from an expert. At the end of the week, we also got the chance to swap with one of the Year 6 classes and share what we had learned.

Diversity week

In year 4 we talked a lot about inclusion and stereotypes. We designed our own events and made sure that they were inclusive for everyone. There are some photos below showing posters to advertise these events. We also looked at the British Values and what each value means for us at Shirley. We discussed different stereotypes and how a lot of them may not be true! As a class we came to the conclusion that by including people, and not assuming based on stereotypes, the world is a more exciting and diverse place. As how boring would it be if we were all the same!

Year 4 Viking Day!

Year 4 had a very exciting day on Wednesday. We got the chance to dress up as Vikings and spent the whole day learning about the history. 

In the morning we got a visit from a Viking and some children got to dress up in costumes borrowed from the local museum. Everyone also got to handle artefacts such as chainmail, shields and pots. Later on in the morning we read a Viking saga and then wrote our own dramatic tales.

In the afternoon we did some Viking-themed craft. We learnt about runes, the Viking way of writing and made our own rune stones out of clay. We also made some decorative brooches. 

There are some pictures of our day below.

Science Week

For science week Year 4 participated in an egg drop challenge. Students had to design and build a protective structure that would stop an egg from breaking when dropped out of a 1st story window!

Using only a limited number of materials we worked in groups to help reduce the force of gravity on our eggs and preventing them from cracking. Some teams tried to cushion the eggs with sponge. Others tried to build a protective cage around the egg. Some teams used they knowledge of wind resistance to build a parachute.  

Teachers were amazed by the variety and uniqueness of designs and wish congratulations to the successful teams.




World Book Day 2023
Year 4 had a great time celebrating World Book Day today.

First, we read our focus book for the day The Wizard of Oz. We explored how the different characters were all missing something different at the start and how they came to get this by the end. We designed our own fantasy characters that were all missing something and thought about how they could get this by the end. 
We also designed some super posters to encourage reading as part of a whole-school competition. Miss Bridges and Mr Jeakins were very impressed by the bright posters year 4 came up with and if it was up to them there would be loads of winners for this competition!

The best part of the day was of course the costumes we dressed up in. It was great fun to show them off in assembly and get to stay in them all day. There are some pictures of our day below.

Visit from the Life Education Centre

This week we had a visit from the Life Education Centre where we learnt about all the amazing things our bodies can do and how this makes us great. We learnt about our organs and what they do, talked about smoking and alcohol amd how these things affect our bodies and then went on a trip to space to a planet where everyone was exactly the same. We saw how boring it is when everyone is identical and then celebrated the things which make us unique. Here are some photos of us on the bus.

Safety week year 4

This week we have been learning all about how to keep ourselves safe.

On Tuesday, it was Internet Safety Day, and the theme for this year is 'Let's talk about it!' We have encouraged the pupils to talk about what they do online with their adults at home, both the positives and the negatives. You could also share with your children about what you do online too to keep the conversation going. We have talked about how to keep ourselves safe online and have shown our teachers how confident we feel about keeping ourselves safe from some of the issues we might face.

We also spoke about our network of support and who our trusted adults are. We have identified how we feel if we are worried about something and know who to talk to if that happens. We know that we can share our worries with our trusted adults, no matter how big or small!

Finally, we had a visit from the fire service who gave us a great assembly about what to do if there is a fire.

Year 4 Trip to meet author Sam Sedgman

 Students in Year 4 had the amazing opportunity of meeting a real author, Sam Sedgman. Mr Sedgman is a children's author whose book The Highland Falcon Thief was first published in 2020 and won Children’s Fiction Book of the Year at the British Book Award and is now part of a 6 book series called the “Adventures on Trains series”. 

Mr Sedgman gave Year 4 a brilliant talk on what inspires him to write and how he researched his books. He shared his love of trains and how he bases all his books on real journeys he takes with his co-author M. G. Leonard.  Shirley children also got the chance to ask Mr. Sedgman questions.


After the talk Mr Sedgman spent some time signing books and autographs for children and answering additional questions. Shirley children were super excited to speak with a real author and Mr Sedman was also kind enough to donate some copies of his books to Year 4 which we will be reading in class together.

Year 4 Museum Trip

Yesterday Year 4 went on an exciting trip into Cambridge. We visited two museums. At the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology we learnt about the Bronze Age. We got hold real object from the past, and smell real smells which may have existed around that time. At Sedgwick Museum we saw some HUGE skeletons of animals from the past and completed a trail around the museum. Here are some photos of our day.


Anti-bullying Week 2022

This week is anti-bullying week so we have been doing lots of activities based around this year's theme of 'Reach Out'. Reaching out can be talking to other people if we feel like we are being bullied, telling someone if we witness someone being bullied, and checking in with people who look like they might not be ok. We discussed lots of ways we could reach out and then created some displays for our windows full of our ideas. This means we can see them from the playground and can use them to help us. Here are our 2 windows:

3rd November 2022


In maths recently we have been practising our addition and subtraction in columns. In year 4 we add and subtract thousands numbers. When starting our topic, we did some graffiti maths where we drew visual representations of adding and subtracting all over our tables. Here are some of our pictures.

20th September 2022


Welcome to our first blog of the new school year! Year 4 are learning all about digestion in Science at the moment. Today, we created our own digestion system out of tights and a plastic bag! We put some crackers and water in our 'stomach' and added orange juice to represent the stomach acid. We then mixed this all around. After that, our food travelled through our small intestine (a pair of tights!) and back again through the large intestine. This got rid of all the water and other nutrients that might have been in the food so that out the other end of our intestines came the waste material that was left. We found that very funny!


30th June 2022

Year 4 have been learning about food waste this Eco-Week. We started by studying the effects of food waste on the environment, food shortages in other parts of the world and ways to tackle food waste at home. On Thursday, we went into the garden to plant our vegetable seeds for harvesting in the autumn! First we had to weed the beds before we planted pumpkin, carrot and brussels sprout seeds!

10th June 2022

Jubilee Week

This week Year 4 have been celebrating the Queen's Platinum Jubilee. Throughout the week we learned how much the world has changed in the 70 years the Queen has been on the throne. We enjoyed looking at how technology has evolved over time and how the company 'SONY' was formed to make the 'pocket radio.' On Friday morning, we welcomed Mrs Norman and Mr Caldwell into our classes, who taught us all about what life used to be like at the time of the Queen's coronation. A highlight of the week was learning and performing the song 'Let it be' by the Beatles, which was written in the 1970s, to our special visitors at the Whole school Jubilee Celebrations on Friday. 

27th May 2022

Diversity Week

This week Year 4 have been learning about Roma, Gypsy and Traveler culture, history and events. We began by studying the history of travelers, discovering how some people moved from Northern India to Europe in the medieval period. We then designed our caravans, known as vardos, after studying traditional caravans. We also learnt about Appleby Horse Fair and why it is such an important and special event. We designed our own posters to celebrate the fair.

17th March 2022

Finished Lighthouses

This afternoon Year 4 used their knowledge of electrical circuits to bring their lighthouses to life! They enjoyed challenging themselves and thinking of creative ways to make sure their circuits worked.

11th March 2022
Science Week

This week Year 4 have been using our knowledge of Lighthouses from Guided Reading and electricity from Science to create our own model Lighthouses for Science Week! We are looking forward to creating the electrical circuits next week and testing our designs!

23rd February 2022


Today Year 4 made their own mini Water Cycle to take home and try! We look forward to seeing the Water Cycle in action over the next few weeks! 


Pantomime Trip

On Friday 7th January Year 4 enjoyed visiting the Cambridge Arts Theatre to see their production of ‘Aladdin’. We were treated to a morning of music, fun and laughter. We even had to resist the temptation to stand up and dance along! Our favourite characters included ‘Wishy Washy’, ‘Princess Poppy’, the evil ‘Abanazer’ and of course Aladdin himself. Some pupils were even asking if they could go again! We cannot wait to see what the pantomime will be next year. 

22nd November 2021


This week we were treated to a virtual tour of the Houses of Parliament! We travelled through the House of Commons and the House of Lords. We also asked lots of questions about the building. We discovered who our MP is and how laws are passed.

Anti-bullying Week: 15th – 19th November 2021

During anti-bullying week Year 4 discussed different ways in which we could spread #OneKindWord. We explored and understood that bullying can be physical, emotional, cyber or psychological and discussed the impact bullying has on those who are experiencing the actions of someone displaying bullying behaviour. Towards the end of the week we learned about how to be active bystanders on the playground and enjoyed practicing these in a series of role play activities. We finished the week by signing our Shirley Primary School Anti-Bullying Charter and by making posters showing our understanding of what bullying behaviour is and what bullying behaviour is not. Year 4 agree to show the red card to bullying.

18th October 2021


This week we have been adding and subtracting using the formal written method. We've been practising by using our graffiti maths on the tables before trying to answer questions.

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Mental Health Week 2021
As part of Mental Health Week 2021, Year 4 learnt all about having a growth mindset. We discussed the habits of Gibbo Giraffe and Fixed Fox. Afterwards, we discussed what we were good at and how we could improve on things we need to work on instead of giving up.

4th October 2021


We have been learning all about Place Value by using objects to represent numbers and thinking about how numbers can shift when we multiply and divide by 10, 100 or 1000! Of course, we remembered the golden rule - the decimal point never moves!

6th September 2021


We've enjoyed being back in school and settling in. We have been building bridges and trying the hoop challenge to help us develop our teamwork skills!