Valley Road Academy

Success for All

Corporation Road, Sunderland, Tyne And Wear SR2 8PL

0191 553 7750

0191 553 7748

Success for All

Autumn 2016


In Year 4 our topic for Autumn 2016 is Rainforests, this can be viewed below:


Year four visited Beamish Museum to find out more about the rainforest. We discovered that the Victorians were really destructive and that they travelled to the rainforests and shot animals to bring home to show people. We saw a rhino’s foot, elephant’s ears, insect collections and tortoise shells. We were lucky enough to have access to the restricted resource centre where they store lots of artefacts. Some these include furniture made from trees from the rainforest and objects such as snuff boxes and hair clips that were made by using tortoise shell.


As part of our Rainforest topic, we visited Castle Eden Dene which is a national nature reserve. Castle Eden Dene is a temperate woodland where they protect animals and plants. We found out that plants are the most important part of a nature reserve because they provide animals with food and somewhere to live. The main types of trees here are Oak, Elm and Ash.

We visited here to identify the similarities and differences between a rainforest and a local forest. Rainforests are located around the equator between the tropics of Capricorn and Cancer. They have four layers, the forest floor, emergent layer, understory layer and the canopy. A temperate forest has a forest floor layer, herb layer, shrub layer and a canopy layer. A rainforest has two seasons, a wet and a dry season whereas we have four seasons.


As part of our rainforest topic, we visited Sunderland Winter Gardens. We experienced what it would be like in each of the four layers of the rainforest. There were many exotic plants, such as ginger, that could be used for essential medicines. We found out that chocolate comes from the cocoa plants which is scooped out of the pods and dried. During our visit, the children made notes of various facts that they could then include in a persuasive letter in our literacy lessons.

We also visited Mowbray Park and played PE games using cards showing different animals from the rainforest.


Year 4 visited Bethesda Free Church to hear stories from the bible. We met several characters from the bible and we were even visited by a Roman soldier! The children learned about what life was like many years ago and what beliefs that people had. Back in school, we completed a quiz about the bible characters we had met.