Dear Parents /Carers of Year 4 children,
The new school year is here and we are very much looking forward to meeting our new classes; we hope you had a great summer. We have a very exciting and busy year ahead. The Year 4 curriculum is packed with engaging learning opportunities and fascinating topics. The purpose of this letter is to outline what your child will be learning in this first term. It would be great if you could read this letter with your child so that they too can get excited about returning to school.
This half-term, we will be studying some powerful and inspiring new texts. Using the Kate Greenaway-nominated picture book Leon and the Place Between by Angela McAllister and Grahame Baker-Smith, children will write their own narratives [about being transported to a different world]. Following this, children will write their own information texts inspired by the aspirational Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World by Kate Pankhurst. This book, which was nominated for both the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Children's Book Awards in 2018, will enable children to learn more about inspiring figures such as Frida Kahlo, Mary Anning and Sacagawea. Children will complete the half term by exploring and writing Kennings poems, and producing an explanation of how the digestive system works. By engaging with such a vast array of text types, your child will learn to write academically and creatively for different purposes and audiences.
This half term we will be focusing on developing a secure understanding of number sense and numbers up to 10,000; comparing and ordering numbers; rounding to the nearest 10, 100 and 1000 and mastering the formal methods for addition and subtraction. We will continue to focus on problem solving regularly in lessons and further embed the times tables they have learnt in years 2 and 3.
Science – How Our Body Works?
Our topic during the first half term is ‘How Our Body Works’, where your child will learn all about the human digestive system. They will also learn about the teeth of humans and other animals and begin to understand how diet and teeth are related.
Geography – The USA
Through studying the population density; analysing maps; locating rivers, mountain ranges and lakes and researching Native American communities, your child will become an expert on North America. We will use atlases and other geographical sources to develop skills of investigation, analysis and observation.
RE – What do Hindus believe about God and the world?
Children will explore the important elements of belonging to the Hindu faith.
PSHCE – Understanding our feelings
The theme this term is: ‘Understanding our feelings’. A range of feelings (e.g. happy, sad, brave, afraid, angry, calm, generous, selfish) will be explored through storybooks, poetry, roleplay and discussion activities. We will be developing your child’s language to describe different feelings, how an emotion may feel in our bodies and how our feelings can link to our actions.
The children will also have a weekly Circle Time session. This is a structured class discussion, which helps children to understand and support each other.
This year, we are once again investing significantly in our music provision. This is being extremely well supported by governors and also through additional PTA funding. We are delighted to inform you that Year 4 are going to be experiencing a programme for instrumental tuition. Your child will learn to play an orchestral musical instrument. This term they will be focusing how to hold the instrument correctly, how to produce a good sound, play a variety of notes, play songs using those notes, improvise and finally how to read simple rhythm patterns.
Year 4 will be making a series of observational drawings and mono prints of birds experimenting with a variety of materials exploring value and texture and movement.
Children will be working on movement and agility activities with a focus on muscular endurance & flexibility to help improve their overall fitness and fundamental movement skills. Children will be set personal challenges to achieve their personal bests over a period of weeks through HIIT training and circuits.
We will also explore other physical activities such as yoga, mindfulness and athletic based skills for running & jumping. Children will work independently, with partners & groups solving problems, communicating and working creatively.
Pupils will be learn to say where they live and to identify a variety of rooms. They will learn the vocabulary about types of furniture and they will learn to describe them by using more adjectives.
Year 4 will learn how to use search engines effectively and safely as their online safety topic for this half term. They will then learn to program and systematically debug using Lego Mindstorms.
Homework will first be set on the16th September; a letter will be sent home with login details and instructions. Maths homework will be set weekly via Mathetics (mathletic.com). English homework will be set fortnightly via SPaG (spag.com).
Children will also be given a list of spellings in their reading records each week. They should practise spelling these words at home using a range of strategies (as shown in the Reading Records). They will then be tested on these spellings through dictations in class.
Every pupil will be given a new Reading Record in which they will be set weekly reading homework. In the Reading Record, the children can record and complete their reading homework as well as using it to record their independent reading both at home and at school. We will note your child’s reading targets for that half term in the record and comment on their reading and comprehension skills every other week. We recommend that all children spend 30 minutes each day reading independently at home to improve fluency, vocabulary and confidence. We will also write specific notes to parents should the need arise.
Children will need to bring their record with them every day. Please sign the record each week, as this is an essential form of parent/teacher communication and to show that your child has practised their spellings and that you have seen the reading homework.
Healthy Eating at Playtime
All children in KS2 can bring in a healthy snack for break time. This should consist of fruit (fresh or dried), vegetables or a small savoury sandwich. It is also advisable that the children bring in a bottle of water daily, labelled with their name.
Communication between home and school
At the start of the school day, your child needs to line up with their class teacher and ensure that they always say goodbye to the teacher at the end of the day before leaving the school premises.
In order to keep your child safe, teachers will only allow your child to go home with someone else provided you have clearly given permission, the child’s parent/carer, to your child’s teacher or the school office.
It is important for your child’s safety that the school has two accurate contact numbers in case of an emergency but also for us to be able to contact you and discuss what is happening in school. Please ensure that home and any mobile contact numbers that have been sent into school are correct and up to date.
We will work in close partnership with families to ensure your child’s time at school is successful – if you have any queries concerning your child’s education or welfare please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher on the playground or through the office and we will be glad to discuss any queries with you.
Catriona Hill (4H – Year Leader), Stephanie Grosvenor (4G), Lydia Common (4C), Pia Zombanikas (4Z),
Alex Edwards (4E)