We have had a brilliant first term in Year 4. Some highlights include: making ice cream in science, learning new instruments, zooming a BBC journalist for some advice with our newspaper reports, performing a mini excavation of Anglo-Saxon artefacts, inspecting our own teeth with dental mirrors to identify molars, canines and incisors, zooming a food scientist who has spent his career creating chocolate for Green and Blacks, being detectives and solving a SleuthIT mystery on ICT day, experiencing a virtual reality through Now Press Play and becoming expert mathematicians! We’ve been busy!
This letter outlines what your children will be learning in Spring 1.
Spring Term in Year Four begins with children learning about a remarkable story of heroism. Using Shackleton's Journey by William Grill (winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal in 2015), we will read about Sir Ernest Shackleton's attempt to cross Antarctica. As well as the award-winning book, the children will watch original footage from Shackleton's expedition in the remarkable 1919 documentary South - Sir Ernest Shackleton's Glorious Epic of the Antarctic. Based upon these stimuli, children will write explanations of how to plan an expedition, as well as keeping a diary of key moments from this epic tale of bravery and survival. Following that, the powerful There's a Rang-Tan in My Bedroom by James Sellick (illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon) will provide the inspiration for persuasive writing in the context of looking after environment.
This term we will be focusing on developing a secure understanding of division by using the bus stop method and dividing large numbers with remainders. The children will then go onto learning about graphs and data. They will begin to learn about continuous and discreet data and learn how to represent it on bar and line graphs. We will focus on ordering fractions, understanding mixed numbers and finding equivalent fractions through problem solving. Towards the end of the half time, the children will revisit their learning on time by reading and recording time on a 12 and 24 hour clock. They will also be converting units of time and solving time related problems. Year 4 continue to work on their times tables and related division facts, from the 2 times table up to the 12 times table.
Science - Electricity
In Science, Year 4 will be learning all about electricity. They will construct a simple series electrical circuit, identifying and naming its basic parts, including cells, wires, bulbs, switches and buzzers. They will identify common conductors and insulators of electricity and be able to describe why a material conducts electricity. The children will learn to identify whether or not a lamp will light in a simple series circuit, based on whether or not the lamp is part of a complete loop with a battery and be able to recognise that a switch opens and closes a circuit thereby allowing or halting the flow of electricity. They will end the unit by designing and making their own simple torch.
Geography – Polar Regions
Our geography unit is about Polar Environments. The children will learn about typical characteristics of polar regions and understand the similarities and differences between our local environment and polar environments. Through this unit, the children will use images, maps and globes and learn about human and physical features of the environment. Children will also be learning about climate change and the effect it is having on the Arctic and Antarctic regions.
RE – Journeys and Pilgrimages
Our topic this term is Journeys and Pilgrimages across a number of different religions. They will study the importance of making the Hajj in Islam, the importance of Jerusalem in both Judaism and Christianity and the importance of the River Ganges in Hinduism. Additionally, they will also learn about why some non-religious people choose to make pilgrimages.
This term the children will be looking at the topic of ‘Keeping Safe and Healthy’. They will be unpicking what this involves and will explore different ideas and scenarios. This will include anxiety, e-safety, mental health and drugs and alcohol. More detailed information will be sent before we start teaching this unit.
In art this term, Year 4 will be looking at Vincent Van Gogh landscapes, taking a virtual tour around the Van Gogh museum. They will explore colour theory, building up a textural mixed media landscape painting, experimenting with mark making and creating light in a painting.
In each class the children, in groups of ten, will continue to be taught brass, string or woodwind instruments by a specialist instrumental tutor. The children will continue to learn a musical instrument for the full academic year.
The children will be learning how to describe what people look like. There will be a focus on colours for hair and eyes, describing physical features, a person’s personality and using the third person to be and to have.
Computing In Online Safety we will be discussing the question ‘What does media balance mean for me?’ In ICT, we will be creating presentations about climate change.
English (spag.com) and maths (mathletics.com) homework will both continue to be set on Wednesdays and should be completed by Monday. Mathletics will be set every week, and English will be set every other week.
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. The children will be given a reading book and homework based on this book each week. They will need to complete this by their next reading day. We recommend that all children spend 30 minutes each day reading independently at home to improve fluency, vocabulary and confidence.
Children will need to bring their record to school 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.
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 and jumping. Children will work independently, with partners & groups solving problems, communicating and working creatively.
All children are encouraged to bring in a healthy snack for break time. This should consist of fruit, vegetables or a small savory sandwich. It is also advisable that the children bring in a bottle of water labelled with their name on a daily basis.
Teachers are available before and after school in the playground. If you are unable to speak to us at drop-off or pick-up times for any reason, please make an appointment to discuss any queries or concerns through the school office.
Many thanks for your continued support,
The Year 4 Team
Catriona Hill (4H – Year Leader), Stephanie Grosvenor (4G), Lydia Common (4C), Pia Zombanikas (4Z),
Alex Edwards (4E)