Dear Parents / Carers,
Welcome back! 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 and thank you for your continued support. We have an exciting and busy year ahead. The Year 4 curriculum is packed with engaging learning opportunities and fascinating topics. This letter outlines what your child will be learning in Autumn 1; it would be appreciated if you read this letter with your child so that they too can get excited about returning to school.
Before 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. 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 also be exploring and writing Kenning 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 the following: 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 children have learnt in years 2 and 3.
Science – How Our Body Works
During the first half-term, our topic is ‘How Our Body Works’ in which your child will learn all about the human digestive system. They will also learn about the teeth of humans and other animals, beginning to develop an understanding of how diet and teeth are related.
Geography – North America
Through studying population density, analysing maps (to locate 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 – Right and Wrong
This half term, children will explore religious and non-religious approaches right and wrong. They will ask questions about moral decisions and guidance based on sources of wisdom and begin to give their own opinion about how people decide right and wrong.
PSCHE – Understanding Our Feelings
The theme this term is ‘Understanding Our Feelings’. A range of feelings (such as happiness, sadness, bravery, fear, anger and calm) will be explored through storybooks, poetry, role-play and discussion. 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. During Circle Time sessions, children will enjoy structured class discussions, which help them 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 on 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, texture and movement.
Outdoor Children will be learning POP Lacrosse, which is the form of lacrosse played in primary schools. It is a non-contact version of lacrosse, which uses plastic-headed sticks and large, softer lacrosse balls.
They will learn the fundamentals of using the stick to pick up, carry and throw the ball individually and in pairs. They will have the opportunity to be competitive in relay races and play small-sided competitive games to understand the rules and scoring.
Indoor: Webb’s Road
This half term, the children will explore creative tasks to compose solo, group and class dances that they are able to share and comment on. They will use the contemporary Ballet Boyz resources for cameras & gadgets as their starting point to generate movement.
Indoor: Meteor Street
Children will be taught dance by our specialist dance teacher, Rhian Robbins. The children will have an opportunity to create, explore and perform movement in response to classroom curriculum-based topics and given stimuli such as music, visuals and text. This first half term our stimulus will be North America to compose small group dances. Children will be encouraged and taught to share and develop language to feedback and comment with an emphasis on creativity, composition, performance and peer learning.
As last year, children should come to school in their PE kit and do not need to bring their normal uniform to change back into. Please do make sure that they have warm enough clothes for the whole day e.g. some jogging bottoms if they wear shorts for PE.
In all year groups we will be spending the first half term setting expectations for best French learning behaviour, getting to know each other and learning key classroom language to help us communicate in French in the classroom. This will be done using songs, movement and interactive activities, with a focus on spoken French.
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. They will also use an innovative combination of gamification combined with literacy, numeracy and “21st century skills” called Sleuth IT to problem solve.
English (spag.com - fortnightly) and maths (mathletics.com - weekly) homework will both be set on Wednesdays and should be completed by the following Monday. Homework will first be set on the 13th September; a separate letter will be sent home with login details and instructions.
Children will also be given a list of spellings in their Reading Records each week starting in the week commencing 11th September. 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 in the following week.
Every pupil will be given a new Reading Record and Guided Reading homework will be set from the week commencing 11th September. 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 (in the Wider Reading section). We will note your child’s reading targets for that half term in the record and comment on their reading and comprehension skills every two weeks. We recommend that all children spend at least 30 minutes each day reading independently at home to improve fluency, vocabulary and confidence.
Children will need to bring their Reading Record to school with them every day. Please sign the record each week, as this is an essential form of parent/teacher communication to show that your child has practised their spellings and that you have seen their reading homework.
Healthy Eating at Playtime
Children in KS2 can bring in a healthy snack to eat during break time. They are allowed to bring a piece of fresh or dried fruit or vegetable, or a small savoury sandwich (no crisps, biscuits, sweets, yogurts, cakes etc please) – teachers will monitor these snacks to make sure they are suitable. There should be no foods containing nuts brought into school.
All children need to bring a small, labelled bottle of plain water to drink throughout the day and take it home each night to be washed. They can re-fill this bottle from the water stations in school during the day.
Communication between Home and School
At the end of the school day, your child must always say goodbye to their teacher 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 advance permission 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 current.
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.
We look forward to meeting you all if we haven’t done so already, and to welcoming your children back to school!
Lydia Common (4C - Year Leader)
Jenni Morrison (4JM)
James Mountford (4M)
Noemi Suarez and Siobhan Jackson (4JS)