Bendish Lane, Whitwell, Hitchin, Hertfordshire. SG4 8HX

01438 871241

St Paul's Walden

Primary School

News and Photos from The Silver Birches

For information about our curriculum, please visit our Year 3 and Year 4 Termly Curriculum Information page here

Welcome to The Silver Birches 2023/24

Our class teacher is Mrs Hawtree. Our Teaching Assistants are Mrs Constable and Mrs Daniels. 

We have worked together to create our class values. 

In Silver Birches, we: 

  • listen to whoever should be speaking.
  • put our hands up when we want to say something.
  • sometimes make mistakes but they help us learn. 
  • are kind to each other. 
  • include others.
  • follow instructions
  • try our best.
  • have fun!

Have a look at our Curriculum Overview to see what we are learning about this half term.

Our PE lessons are on Monday and Wednesday, so make sure you come to school in your PE kit on those days.

Please come back regularly to see what we have been up to!

News and Photos from Silver Birches!

Spring 1 2024

Tuesday 13th February 2024 - Pancakes and cooking!

Today we had a very busy afternoon cooking, racing and eating! For our cooking this half term, we made chocolate chip muffins. While they were cooking, we had a brilliant time taking part in the school pancake race before enjoying some pancakes. We then took our delicious muffins home.  

Geography - Rainforests

In Geography, we have been learning about rainforests. We have been finding out where they are in the world and what weather and the climate is like there. We have been learning about different animals that live in different rainforests and the different layers that make up the rainforest. This has inspired us to build our own version in our classroom. We are also adding the different animals you find in each layer too. 

We have also been finding out about the world's largest rainforest, the Amazon. Many of us were shocked by the size of it and some of the amazing facts we found out. 

Science - Living things

We are learning all about classifying living things. We have looked at different ways of classifying living things and learned to use and create our own classification keys. We have classified ourselves in a range of ways, different animals and leaves. 


We have also been researching bees and finding out why they are good for us and the environment. 


We have been reading 'Stella and the Seagull', where 5 year old Stella organises her own beach clean up in order to help animals and sea creatures. We have been researching why it is important to recycle and the impact of littering. We then used this to improve Stella's poster to make it more persuasive. 

We were also inspired by Stella's actions and how no one is too young to make a difference. We explored Whitwell and found there were many areas with a lot of litter, especially outside of our school. This inspired us to write a persuasive letter to the Parish Councillors to ask if we could have more recycling bins in the park and outside of our school. We are looking forward to hearing back from them. 

We are in the process of writing persuasive speeches to tell others in the school about the importance of putting rubbish in the bin and recycling if they can.


In Art, we are studying the French artist, Henri Rousseau. We have learned all about his life and his style. We have been inspired by the way he painted plants from real life and photographs. We have been practising our sketching skills by sketching plants from real life and photographs. 

Autumn 2 2023


We have been using our knowledge of light and shadows to create shadow boxes. 


In Maths, we have been learning about different types of angles. We have been investigating many different angles, making right angles on clocks and deciding whether angles are right angles,  or smaller or greater than right angles. 


We have been cooking our own gingerbread mince pies. For many of us, this was our first time trying a mince pie. They were delicious! 

Golden ticket winners!

Well done to our latest golden ticket winners!


We have continued to investigate light and darkness. This week, we have been creating shadows and exploring what happens when they get closer to and further away from a light source. We also experimented with what happened when we changed the angle of the light source and if we put our shadow puppets together. 

School trip - Tuesday 28th November 

Today we had a fantastic school trip. We started the day visiting Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara in Hitchin, where we learned about key Sikh beliefs and how they worship. We were then also treated to refreshments in the langar (the kitchen). We then made our way to Hitchin Mosque where we learned about key Islamic beliefs and how Muslims worship. It was also brilliant to have the chance to have a look at some of the items they use to worship more closely. Before lunch, we stopped off at Hitchin Train Station as we are currently learning about railways. We discussed how we think the station has changed over the years and what would and wouldn't have been there when the railway was first built. We will look at this more closely in our future lessons. We then stopped off for lunch and managed to then squeeze in a visit to St Mary's Church before catching the bus back home. It gave a great opportunity to compare the places of worship we had visited today, and All Saints' Church, which we visited earlier this term. 

Everywhere we visited was incredibly welcoming and eager to help us learn. It was also lovely to see how many similarities there are between the different religions we have been learning about and how their messaging is all about kindness and love.


In History, we are learning about the railways. So far, we have learned about when the first railways and locomotives were invented. We have been looking at how the railways changed people's lives and what a Victorian holiday looked like. We have been using different sources to understand what a Victorian holiday was like and comparing it to a UK beach holiday today. 


In English, we have been studying a play called 'A Tune of Lies'. We started by using images from the story to make some fantastic predictions about what we thought the play would be about. We also investigated the meaning of new vocabulary that is used in the play.


In Maths, we are learning about fractions. We have been using different objects in the classroom to build our own fractions. We have also been comparing and ordering unit fractions.


This half term, we are learning about light and shadows. We have learned about different light sources and explore what darkness is. We then used our learning to build the darkest dens we could in the classroom. We have also been exploring mirrors and investigating how we look in different shaped and sized mirrors. We found out that mirrors also help us see around things or see in different directions without looking that way!

Autumn 1 2023

We have had a brilliant start to the new school year and everyone has settled into the new term incredibly well. We have begun lots of exciting topics. 

Well done to all our Golden Ticket winners this half term. 

Nyasha, Shaurya, Hayden, Hugo J, Hugo C, Gabriel, Thomas, James, Josh, Lucy, Lilly, Matthew and Cameron


In Science, we had been learning about what different foods do to our bodies and what makes a balanced diet. For homework, the children were tasked with planning a balanced meal. I was incredibly impressed with the effort the children went to as many children made their meal and shared photos of their creations. 

Today, we made Hayden's tray bake. While it was cooking, we practised our cutting skills and chopped and ate cucumber and peppers. We thought the meal was delicious and many of us tried new ingredients for the first time. 


For our final art piece for this half term, we have applied everything we have learned about L S Lowry; landscapes; mixing colours; background, midground and foreground and water colours; to make these fantastic watercolour landscapes. We were inspired by our school field to create our own Lowry-style paintings. Throughout this, we also learned brilliant lessons about perseverance and how sometimes it’s important to try things again and in a different way.  These were our second attempts but all look absolutely fantastic and everyone could see the progress they had made.


In RE, we are learning about worship. On Tuesday 10th October, we visited All Saints' Church to learn about how Christians worship. We met with Canon Stephen Fielding who kindly showed us around the church and then held a small service for us so we could experience what happens during a Christian service. We sang songs, Matthew did a reading from the Bible and Stephen also shared with us other key elements of the service such as the Creed and the blessing. 

At the end we were able to ask lots of questions and he played the organ for us which we really enjoyed listening to. 


In Computing, we have been using Scratch to create our own mathematical games. This week, we got creative with our Sprites (characters) and backgrounds. Some of us have created our own funny responses for if the answers are correct and incorrect. Some of us have even confused the player by telling them their answer is wrong when it’s right!


In Art, we have been looking at the different colours Lowry used in his painting and learned how to mix different colours to make tints, tones and shades. 

We have also been learning about the background, mid-ground and foreground. We are using our colour mixing skills to show how objects that are further away are lighter, and adding more detail in in the foreground to show objects that are nearer.


In Science, we have been learning about food and why it is important. We have been learning all about the different food groups and what they provide our bodies. We have also been learning about how much sugar is in different drinks. 


We have also been looking at our skeletons and why they're important. We have learned some of the key parts of the skeleton and made and labelled our own skeletons using cotton buds! They look fantastic!


We have begun studying the work of L S Lowry and spent time observing and comparing different examples of his work. We have created fact files of what we know about him, with some of us attempting to recreate his designs. We have had a brilliant time creating his 'matchstick people', using cotton buds, glue spreaders and even our fingers! 



In English, we began the year by drawing an image of our favourite thing we did over the summer holidays. We then used this to learn about and generate nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs, which we used to describe the activity we enjoyed doing over the holidays. We then used all this fantastic vocabulary to write brilliant descriptions about our favourite parts of the summer holidays. 

Summer 2 - 2023

Science - Towers

We have been using our knowledge of strong shapes to construct tall but sturdy towers. One group was challenged to create a tower with a square base and the other group has constructed a tower with a rectangular base. We're going to test and compare the load each can hold. 

Maths - Fractions

We have been recapping our knowledge of fractions recently. We have been comparing unit fractions and proving that as the denominator gets bigger, the size of the fraction gets smaller. We have also been using our examples to add fractions.


In Science, we are currently looking at bridges and towers to see how and why they are made. We have started focusing on bridges, learning how they are strengthened in various ways. 

We had a brilliant (and rather sticky!) investigation with spaghetti and marshmallows to see which shapes are strong and why. We then used this knowledge to see if we could build strong bridges. 


This half term, we are learning all about natural resources - what they are, what they are used for and where they are found. We have been doing some brilliant map work to find out where different resources are found around the world. This also helped us to realise which countries have lots of different resources. We have also focused on which resources the UK has and how the land and weather impact which resources are in which areas. For example, sheep are found in hilly, grassy areas whereas crops are grown in flat areas with nutrient-rich soil. 

Ancient Egyptian and Roman Day

As we have recently been learning about the Ancient Egyptians and the Romans, we had a day inspired by them. Some of us dressed up in Roman or Ancient Egyptian clothing. We completed activities related to each topic, such as finishing our Ancient Egyptian death masks, writing reports on the discovery of King Tutankhamun, and learning Roman numerals. We also learned about different foods they  both had and the foods the Romans brought to Britain. We made our own Roman biscuits and had a Roman inspired feast. 

Ancient Egyptians

We have been learning all about the Ancient Egyptians. We have learned about where Egypt is, what life was like in the Ancient Egyptian times and what was important to people. We have studied what they believed about the afterlife. They believed in mummifying people when they died so they could live on if they got into the afterlife. We have made our own Ancient Egyptian death masks and canopic jars (where they stored organs). 

Science - Electricity

This week, we investigated how to create a simple circuit to light a bulb. We were incredibly quick at this and then explored other components, such as buzzers and motors. Mrs Hawtree was really impressed that we made brilliant predictions about what would happen as we added more components in the circuits. 

Coronation Celebrations

Ahead of the Coronation, we looked at the coronation of the late Queen Elizabeth II. We looked at some of the key features of the service and compared it with what is planned for King Charles and Queen Camilla's coronation. We spoke about how historic the occasion is and then created bunting and paper chains to celebrate. We had a brilliant Dragons and Phoenix vs Griffins and Unicorns competition with the Rowans to see who could create the longest paper chain. Both were exceptionally long and it was incredibly close! We really enjoyed our whole school celebrations on Friday. 


In RE, we have recently been learning about Pentecost. We had a fantastic visit to All Saints Church where Canon Stephen Fielding spoke to us about Pentecost and what he believes it means to Christians. We also had the opportunity to look around the church, here he told us what different parts were and told us more about the history of the church. 


In Science, we have been learning about teeth and eating. We learned all about what happens to the food we eat through modelling the digestive system. We modelled chewing the food with various teeth - cutting with incisors and grinding it down with our molars. We looked at the different body parts it travels through and how nutrients are taken out. 

Roman Chariots

In History, we have been learning about the Romans. In our D&T lessons, we have been making these fantastic Roman chariots. We learned all about the key parts of a chariot, designed our own and then built them. We learned key skills such as using a handsaw to cut a piece of dowel, how axle supports are needed to make the wheels spin, and how to score our cardboard to allow it to bend into the curves we needed. 

School Trip - Whipsnade Zoo!

We had a fantastic time on our whole school trip to Whipsnade Zoo. When we arrived, we had a workshop about tigers and preserving the tiger food chains. It was really interesting to learn how tigers are tracked. We had a brilliant time looking around the zoo and particularly loved the otters!


After a lot of talk of and drawing pepperoni pizzas in PSHE, we made our own pizzas! They were delicious!


In PSHE, we have been learning about how to use the internet safely. We have also been learning about how to be precise when searching for something online. Mrs Hawtree explained this to us by asking us to draw a picture of something on our own without speaking to anyone else. We kept repeating the activity, with her being more precise. Our drawings began to look much more similar. We then searched the same online to see how the results changed. 

Science 03.03.23

This half term, we are learning all about teeth and eating. Last week, we set up an experiment where we put egg shells (which represented our teeth) in different liquids to see what would happen to them over a week. Throughout the week, many of the cups began to look and smell pretty bad! In today's lesson, we poured away the liquid to see what had happened to them. We were very surprised to see what they looked like! 

We then set  up another investigation where we coated the egg shells in toothpaste. We are going to leave them in the same liquids to see what happens to them next week! 

Shrove Tuesday 2023

After a brilliant whole school pancake breakfast, we had a fantastic time taking part in pancake races! 

Magnetic games!

This week, we have been using our knowledge of magnets to design and create our own games. We had lots of fun playing them! 

Roti and raita!

In RE, we have been learning about the Islamic festivals, Ramadan and Eid. We learned how Muslims fast during daylight hours during Ramadan, which lasts around 30 days. Every night, they break their fast by eating special meals with their family. We made roti and raita which are a flatbread and dip, which Muslims eat during Ramadan. 

Science: Do magnets work through different materials?

We had a brilliant Science lesson this week where we tested whether magnets work through different materials. We chose lots of different materials and compared using different magnets. 

Geography: What layers are in the Earth? How are earthquakes, volcanoes and mountains made?

In Geography this week, we were learning about the different layers that make up the Earth. We created models using playdough that the Willows had kindly  made especially for us. 


We then learned that the Earth's crust is made of tectonic plates and we used crackers and play-doh to learn what happens when these move apart and collide. We looked at different situations and how earthquakes, volcanoes and mountains happen. 

Science: What are magnets?

We've been busy investigating magnets this week. We've been using them to see which objects are magnetic and which are not. We then looked at how magnets could be different strengths. We created our own investigation to see how many paperclips different magnets could pick up. Some of us were quite shocked by how many the big magnet could pick up! 

Science: What are forces?

In Science, we have been investigating forces. Through different activities, including tug of war, we learned about push and pull forces and how they are needed to make things move.

We then investigated how different surfaces impact how things move. We tried pushing toy cars along different surfaces and compared how much force we needed to make the cars move, and whether this was different on the difference surfaces. We designed and carried out a fair test to compare how far the cars travelled on each surface. 

The British Schools Museum

We have had a brilliant start to the term and on Thursday enjoyed a fantastic trip to the British Schools Museum. We were transported back to the Victorian era and had a real life experience of what a lesson would have been like for children. We did arithmetic using Victorian money, used slate and chalk to write on and then had a go using a fountain pen and ink. Some of us even had to wear the Dunce hat for not knowing the answers to questions!

We also had the chance to explore the Headmaster's house and to experience Drills. 

Making ice cream! 

On Friday we investigated freezing. There was no better way of doing this than making our own ice cream! It was a very cold process (especially on an already cold December day!) but it worked and got a thumbs up from everyone!

Investigating melting

This week we have been investigating turning solids into liquids through melting. The children came up with their own investigation questions of what they wanted to answer and what items they wanted to compare. They made their predictions and decided what they needed to do to keep the test fair and allow them to compare results. We then had fun carrying out the investigations!  

Science - Solids, liquids and gases

In Science, we are learning about different states of matter. We have been investigating what makes something a solid, liquid or gas and have been able to compare and group different items. 


In History, we are learning about life in the Victorian era. We have started our topic by understanding when the Victorian era began and ended. We then looked at different items that were invented during the era and wrote down our ideas of what we thought they were. We then learned whether we were correct or not and compared the items to the modern-day version.

We plotted on our timeline when we thought the item was invented before learning when it was.

Olaf Falafel's visit

On Friday, Olaf Falafel, a local author, illustrator and comedian visited our school. He shared with us what he’s done throughout his career and how he became a children’s author. He has written several picture books and just released his first book for KS2 children called ‘Trixie Pickle Art Avenger’. Through the book and through his Art Club videos, he also teaches children about different artists. He taught us how to create one of his characters. 


On Thursday, we made coconut squares which are a snack Hindus make to celebrate Diwali. 

Science - How are rocks made?

We have had a busy Friday investigating how rocks are made. We created our own versions of sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks using a range of ingredients including bread, brown sauce, lettuce and lots of chocolate!

English - Ulf the Finger-Eater

In English we have been studying ‘Ulf the Finger-Eater’. We have been designing some excellent posters to warn others to watch out for Ulf and what to do if they see him. In Friday’s lesson we learned Ulf was planning on tricking Gudrun. We wrote as if we were Ulf and explained what our plans were.


Over the last couple of weeks we have been investigating rocks. We have been inspecting them, grouping them in different categories and identifying their properties. On Friday, we learned about Mohs' scale of hardness and you can test the hardness of rocks using the 'scratch test'. We had a go at this ourselves and were able to order rocks from hardest to softest. 


In Geography, we have been learning about lines of latitude and longitude. This week, we explored how the world is split up into lines of latitude and longitude and created our own version of this in class. We made lots of comparisons and observations before having a go at using coordinates to find positions. 

September 2022

We have had a great start to the term and the new Year 3 and 4s have settled in really well. We are learning about some really interesting topics (read down to see more of our great work and topics!) and it's great to see everyone so engaged in lessons and always trying their best. Thank you and well done for such a great start to the year and for making me feel so welcome at St Paul's Walden. 

Mrs Hawtree


English - Poetry

In English we have been studying different types of poetry. We have enjoyed learning about word play and have had fun using this in tongue twisters and riddles, and to create interesting images. In groups, we gave some excellent performances of a poem we had studied called 'Water-Cycle' and carefully chose actions to emphasise parts. 

Inspired by fireworks and waterfalls, we also created our own poems where we experimented with features such as onomatopoeia, alliteration and rhyme. We have also carefully presented our poem to emphasise words or phrases when it is performed. 

Science - Rocks, Fossils and Soil

We have started this topic by focusing on soil. We asked the question 'What is in soil?' To help us solve this we gathered soil samples from around the field and had a look to see what was inside. We found that soil is made up of lots of things! We also experimented by mixing water with soil to see what happened over time. We recorded our observations and found that over time some of the parts in the soil separated. 

Art - Treasure maps

In art, we have identified key features you may find on a treasure map. We learned about sketching and practised our sketching skills by sketching physical and human features used on treasure maps.  We have started to explore adding colour to our sketches by using watercolours. We are going to explore another medium and compare which we prefer. Before the end of the half term, we will bring all of our  skills together and create our own treasure maps! They're looking great so far! 

RE - How do Hindus express their faith?

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