White Rock Primary School

'Inspiring Learning Together'

White Rock Primary School

Kestrels are enterprising and creative, and they approach all their endeavors with focus, commitment and enthusiasm, so they can soar above the land.  As the older members of the year 3/4 team, the Kestrels use all these skills to be positive role models to the whole White Rock team.

Welcome to Year 4 Kestrels


Kestrels' class teacher is Miss Sarah Durnford. The Learning Support Assistants are Mrs Tummon and Miss Pearson.


P.E days:

PE kits are required to be left in school from Monday to Friday. The kit consists of a white t-shirt, blue shorts and trainers/plimsolls. During winter months, it is suggested that children are provided to a tracksuit. All items of PE kit should be labelled with the child's name and class.


Home learning:

Home Learning will be given out on a Friday and collected in on the following Wednesday. 


Team Leader:

Year 3 and 4 Teaching and Learning Lead: Miss Sarah Durnford

KS2 Lead: Mrs Leanne Foster

If there are any issues or concerns, please feel free to come in and see the class teacher (Miss Sarah Durnford) or contact

SDurnford@white-rock-primary.torbay.sch.uk or alternatively a team leader:



Upcoming Events 


Tuesday 21st November: Year 3 and 4 Learning Celebration 2.45pm - 3.15pm

Academic Year 2017-2018

Setting the scene for Science Fiction

This week Kestrels started our new Literacy Journey. We will be writing a Science Fiction story based on an invention that goes wrong! We started by identifying features of Science Fiction narratives and then wrote a setting description. Have a look at what Rebecca and Jack S wrote:



In the midnight sky, a sphere is sat, as if it is on a shelf, looking at a dark, echoing canyon. As the jagged, sharp formation of stone curl in, they create this canyon. Hanging from the endless, moonlit sky, blinding lights shimmer as if they were diamonds. The sky is filled with a strange, mysterious mist, the black hole is sucking this in. As the starlit sky brightens the darkness, these blinding jewels are the most beautiful thing in the night sky.


Jack S

On a moon not yet discovered, jagged, needle like cliffs are erect, towering above this rocky landscape. Floating in midair, is a beautiful, stargazing blank hole shimmering like a shard of glass. There, in the dazzling sky, is a oval shaped object stuck frozen in midair, creeping with shadowy darkness.


Check back next week to hear our character descriptions!



The digestive system

In Science, we recreated the digestive system using bread, apple juice, a pair of tights and plastic cups with holes in! We used lots of scientific language as we talked about the different organs and the roles they play in helping to digest the food we eat.

Grenville House - The Revisit

What an amazing day we had at Grenville House! We started on the high ropes and used our teamwork skills to build towers out of crates. Then we all climbed 'the leap of faith'. Every single person in our group pushed themselves and made themselves proud with their achievements. After lunch, we built our very own raft and took it out in the harbour for a sea worthiness test. Joe said 'this was the best day ever! We cannot wait to go back again on Friday.

Good vibrations!

This week Kestrels have been learning about sound vibrations and how they travel. We experimented with rice and drums so that we could see the effect of the sound vibration. We also put a tuning fork in water to see whether or not sound travelled through a liquid (we may have caused a bit of a splash!). We also explored the difference in pitch, volume and tempo using our voices and a balloon.

This week we received an exciting letter from 10 Downing Street! This was a reply to the letters that we sent to Theresa May concerning plastic pollution in our oceans. We are always very proud of our writing and are overjoyed that we received such an amazing response. Have a look at the letter below.

Type 1 Tea Party

This week Jess organised a tea party to raise money for Type 1 Diabetes. She baked cakes and made sandwiches to sell, as well as games to play. It was a great success and raised over £40!


Another week and another amazing adventure for Kestrels! This week the sun shone on us as we learned some new orienteering skills at Primley Woods. We had to follow a map whilst looking for footpaths and other features. We even had a quiz on where in the world different countries are.

Rock Climbing

This week Kestrels were lucky enough to practise some of the skills we learned at Grenville House on the indoor rock climbing course at Parkfield in Paignton. Have a look at the pictures to see how we got on.


What an amazing time we have had at Grenville House! We have done orienteering, high ropes, climbing wall, solved problems by using our teamwork skills and we have even had a snowball fight and made snowmen and snow angels in the snow! The food has been delicious - we think the hot chocolate and the biscuits at night time were the best though! It has been wonderful to spend time together with our friends and to do and try things we have never done before. 


Junkman Music

This week Kestrels took part in a musical workshop where we used different objects as musical instruments. It was so much fun! We also got to watch a performance in assembly.

Dear Madam Prime Minister...

As we continue learning about the effects of marine pollution we realised that we needed to make a change. Not content with reusing our own plastic we decided to think big and wrote letters to the Prime Minister Theresa May to ask her to set up a National Beach Clean Day. We will let you know what her response is…

Reuse, Reduce, Recycle!

This half term we have been learning about marine pollution and discovered that plastic pollution is one of the biggest threats to marine life. We decided to do our part to help by reusing and recycling some of the plastic we have been using at home. We made pencil pots, plant pots, bird feeders and even a jewellery holder! Our next project is giant sea creatures made from recycled materials.

Magnificent Mathletes!


Kestrels are feeling very proud this week after our huge Mathletics commitment paid off. We are the White Rock's 'Super Mathlete's' for the 2nd week in a row! A huge well done to everyone that helped us win our award.

Classifying vertebrates

This week we have been learning about different types of vertebrates. We used a flow chart to classify them and wrote riddles using what we found out.

Mathematical Yoga!

This week we have been identifying and comparing different angles. We learned that:

'Right angles are exactly 90 degrees' - Joe

'Acute angles are bigger than 0 degrees but less than 90 degrees' - Kathryn, and

'Obtuse angles are greater than 90 degrees but less than 180 degrees' - Daniel


We looked for these different angles in Rangoli patterns and then created yoga poses to show the different angles. We even explored which times would make the different angle types using the minute and hour hands.


Symmetrical Art

In Maths this week, Kestrels have been learning about lines of symmetry. We found out the rectangles have no diagonal lines of symmetry when looking at flags from around the world. We then applied our new symmetry skills to create Rangoli designs in Art. Have a look at the photos below to see how we got on!

Christmas Labyrinth

Kestrels visited Goodrington Methodist Church this week to learn more about the Christian nativity story. We were able to think about our wishes for ourselves and the world as well as smelling frankincense and myrrh. Some of us even saw some snow on the walk there!

Paignton Lantern Parade

This week Kestrels have been making lanterns for the Paignton Lantern Parade. We used bamboo to make the frames, then covered it in tissue paper and finally painted them with festive designs.

Year 4 Learning Celebration

This week we invited our parents and carers in to share some of our learning from our Learning Journey, "Do all heroes wear capes?" We took part in some circuit building after learning about Thomas Edison, we became musical heroes when composing our own pieces of body percussion, we were mathematicians after completing a times tables puzzle, we practices our spelling lists and finally we matched facts about all the heroes we have learned about since September! Take a look at our pictures!  

Water Cycle in a bag!

This week we have been learning about the water cycle and created our very own water cycles in a bag! We started by drawing the necessary geographical features (a lake, clouds, trees and the sun). Next we poured warm water into the bag and watched it evaporate into the clouds. After a while, the water vapor cooled and changed back into a liquid, causing condensation. When there was enough liquid it started precipitating from the clouds! We were all amazed at what we had achieved.


We also became the water cycle and created movements to show each stage of the cycle.

Designing a wetsuit for Ellen MacArthur

In Science this week we were given the task to design a wetsuit for Ellen MacArthur. First of all we had to find the best material to use. We decided to test lots of different materials to find out which one would dry fastest. We also learned about evaporation as a scientific process and how it would help the materials to dry.


Sailing Heroes


This week Kestrels have been learning about Ellen MacArthur and Christopher Columbus. We have started writing a discussion text to explore who had an easier journey and why that was. Have a look at the learning below and see what you think!

Our local heroes


This week we were extremely fortunate to have Paignton Fire Services visit our school! We had a good look around the truck and found out how tools help them complete such dangerous tasks. We asked them lots of questions about their roles and experiences within the local community. 


Dance this half term

In Dance in Year 4, we have looked at traditional African dance positions and used ideas from these to create our own short dances in groups. We had to ensure that we had strong movements within our dances and included different levels.

Nelson Mandela


Kestrels completed our Nelson Mandela diaries this week, inspired by the South African desert silhouette pictures we created in Art. We have now moved on to learning about a literary hero, Roald Dahl. In Geography we looked at the topographical features of landscapes and applied this to our setting description in Literacy. In Maths, we've been learning about addition and subtraction and the importance of exchanging within place value columns. On top of this, we've had a visit from Kevin Foster, MP and had the opportunity to ask him questions ahead of 'Democracy Week' next week. 

Macmillan Coffee Afternoon

We would like to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who supported us in raising money for Macmillan during our coffee afternoon. Thanks to your donations (cakes and coins!) we raised a massive £281.39.

Kestrels get cooking!

This week we have been preparing for our White Rock Coffee Afternoon in support of Macmillan. We are taking part in 'The Worlds Biggest Coffee Morning' and have been making some tasty treats to sell. Make sure you come along on Friday 29th September at 2:45pm for cakes, fun and games.

The Nelson Mandela Debate

Kestrels have been learning about the civil right hero Nelson Mandela. We started off with a debate about whether he should have been sent to prison. Here are some of our arguments...


Kathryn said ' It was right that he went to prison because he planned to destroy some buildings and that is against the law'.


Sahana said 'He shouldn't have gone to prison because he was trying to end the apartheid and that was the right thing to do.'


We then made posters to demonstrate our opinions.

Kestrels light up learning!

This week we explored electrical circuits. We found that metal conducts electricity whilst plastic doesn't. We created our own circuits using wires, bulbs and cells and even made our bulbs light up.

Welcome to Year 4!

Wow - what a busy first few days we have had in Kestrels. We started our new Learning Journey 'Do all heroes wear capes?' and completed a fact hunt to learn about Marie Curie, Florence Nightingale and Alexander Flemming. 


In Maths, we applied our place value knowledge in a game called 'naughty or nice'. We had to roll a dice and decide where the best place to put the digit was to make the biggest possible 4 digit number.


We also looked at 'Mamma Mia' by Abba, we discussed the impact they had on pop music and learned part of the song.


Have a look at the photos below... 

Mamma Mia.mp4

Still image for this video

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