Year 4

Year 4

Hello everyone!

You can follow our exciting journey with us and watch our learning unfold.

It is a pleasure to be part of a great team and we look forward to diving into our first topic ‘The Great Outdoors’.

Class routines and information

The children use lockers so we ask that the equipment they bring in is kept to a minimum. A small bag is essential as is any suitable stationary the children wish to bring in. We will provide stationary for any children unable to bring in their own.

Children need to wear full school uniform each day unless it is a PE day where children can still come into school in their PE kits.

 

In the Autumn Term-

PE days will take place every Tuesday and Friday.

On Friday’s during the Autumn Term the children will partake in swimming lessons.

Please ensure children have the correct swimming kit- this should consist of a one piece swimming costume, swimming cap, towel- if your child requires goggles, please ask for a letter as this will need to be completed and returned in order for your child to wear them due to health and safety. If you previously completed a goggles letter this will need to be renewed.

 

Water

Keeping hydrated is conducive to good learning. Please encourage your child to bring a reusable, named bottle of water to school to drink throughout the day. These can be topped up as required.

 

Home school link diaries

The expectations remain the same for the children and their reading – four times per week to earn stars in their reading diaries – and for their reading diaries to be brought into school each day. Please continue to make a note in the diary of when you have heard your child read or encourage your child to write in their own diaries, however parents must sign this off.

Building independence in Year 4

Children are now able to leave the classroom without the supervision of a teacher at the end of the school day. However, children cannot leave the school premises without an adult. If your child has a sibling in Reception or Year 1-they can make their way down to the KS1 Hall if you wish them to meet you there. Please note children should not leave the school gates without adult supervision. If they cannot find anyone who is taking them home they must return to the classroom or go to the school office.

For any further queries, please contact the office.

Times tables

There is a huge push in Year 4 for the children know and recall their times tables fluently, so please ensure that you are assisting with this at home. Times Table Rockstars is an ideal tool for this.

Autumn 1

Hello everyone!

The children began their expedition into the ‘The Great Outdoors’ by researching and writing about several incredible adventurists, producing biographies on Bear Grylls, Steve Backshall and Ellen MacArthur. They have spent much of the Autumn Term recapping and learning new writing skills including fronted adverbials. Incorporating their new skills along with other grammatical features, they have planned and written their own adventure stories based on our class read, Enid Blyton’s ‘Mountain of Adventure’.

In Math’s, the children have spent several weeks focusing on place value looking at 4-digit numbers. Our incredible children have become super fluent in this area. By demonstrating their visions and values, the children have established a positive attitude towards their work and are always seeking feedback to help improve upon their own learning journey. They have faced new challenges by taking part in problem solving activities using reason to determine their answers. We are so proud of you all!

In topic, they have been putting our map reading skills to good use. They have been learning all about the rivers, seas and mountainous regions of the UK. Then, they dove deeper, researching mountainous regions and rivers across the globe making comparisons. Furthermore, the children looked at the water cycle and how rainfall is caused.

 

In Science, the children have put their investigative skills to the test in our ‘States of Matter’ unit. They explored the properties of solids, liquids and gases and spent time dramatizing their particle movements. The children have taken part in several of Bear Grylls science school investigations including, ‘Does gas add or reduce weight in fizzy drinks?’ and ‘At which point does chocolate melt the quickest?’

 

Take a look at some of the photos of our learning!

Autumn 2

In English, we have been reading ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’ and from this, wrote a character description of Lucy as she entered the magical kingdom for the first time. We explored show-not-tell features through drama and talked about the importance of facial expressions and gesticulations to express how we feel alongside tone of voice and movements.

 

 

In Science, we began to work for Forsbrook Electrical services. We spent time working out how to create simple circuits and the importance of electrical components. Then, we used our knowledge to predict whether we thought different circuits would light up and explain our reasoning’s. This followed by looking at the importance of switches. Next we learnt about conductors and insulators, we then experimented and used the information we had acquired to discover which materials were conductors and which were insulators.

 

We linked Design and Technology with our topic on electricity as we designed and created our very own light up Christmas cards using all the electrical components we knew we needed based on new found science knowledge. We spent time researching different designs, we thought about our target audience and continued to improve upon our ideas before creating our final product. 

 

In Computing, we spent time learning about the important of photo editing. We spent time increasing our understanding of how digital images can be changed and edited, and how they can then be resaved and reused. We also considered the impact editing images can have and evaluated the effectiveness of our choices.

 

Also, this half term we have been busy taking part in Bikeability and First aid training!

Spring 1

It was an unexpected start to the new year, when we returned to school and discovered that our classrooms had been struck by an earthquake! Desks were overturned and belongings strewn around the room as we discovered where and why earthquakes happen and how to stay safe if we are unfortunate enough to experience one. As part of our physical geography enrichment day, we also learned how volcanoes are formed and what happens when one erupts!

Disruption was the perfect segue to our topic for this half-term – The Vikings! We’ve had lots of fun discovering facts about this age in European history, including dispelling myths that not all Vikings were vicious, and they didn’t wear horned helmets. We also had the opportunity to practise a new skill as we took to our looms and produced a piece of textile to reflect the clothing choices at the time.

In English and guided reading, our study of the text ‘How to train your dragon’ by Cressida Cowell, lead us to writing a letter from the perspective of Hiccup, the main character, requesting permission to drop out of a dragon training programme and use dragons for the Vikings’ advantage. Through our use of persuasive language, we were able to produce a variety of compelling arguments!

Staying with the Viking theme, we delved into a range of non-fiction texts that enabled us to understand the key features of a non-chronological report. Our newfound knowledge was showcased in double-page spreads that focused on our favourite aspects of Viking life, ranging from weaponry to fashion and entertainment.

As we continue to prepare for the Year 4 Multiplication Tables Check (MTC), our focus this half-term has been on multiplication and division. Exposure to a variety of concrete and abstract methods for completing calculations including recognising patterns and related facts has enabled us to apply this knowledge to real-life scenarios and embed our knowledge of times tables.

Science focused on an investigation of sound – from identifying sound sources to explaining how sound travels. Our learning was underpinned by a variety of experiments, including using musical instruments to examine the impact of vibration on sound and how to change pitch. We particularly enjoyed sending messages across the quadrangle to demonstrate sound travel through air.

In addition to our core and wider curriculum activities, we also had opportunities to review safe and respectful use of the internet with a range of exercises on Safer Internet Day 2022. Furthermore, we learned how to boost our growth mindsets by focusing on positives, identified who forms our support networks in times of need and stepped outside of our comfort zones as part of our Children’s Mental Health Day focus.

Overall, we have had a great start to the new year. Our Viking topic has clearly captured the children’s interest and staff have been delighted with the effort and engagement in terms of classwork and homework – whether that’s producing messages in Viking runes or the manufacture of amazingly authentic jewellery designs. We can’t wait to see what the children achieve in Spring 2!

Keep calm and carry on!

 

It’s been a blooming lovely half-term in Year 4, which we began with a day of enrichment activities focused on plants. After learning about the functions and lifecycle of plants and what they need to thrive, we dissected a daffodil and then wrote our own care guide for flora before sowing sunflower seeds. We were so excited to see the first shoots sprouting and we’re looking forward to seeing just how tall our sunflowers grow.

 

We stepped back in time to the 1940s as we launched our new topic, World War II, underpinned by our class text, Rose Blanche, which provided a wonderful opportunity to explore different writing techniques. Using figurative language including metaphors, similes, and personification, in conjunction with an array of fronted adverbials, we produced engaging story settings that showcased our writing skills. We also demonstrated our ability to write direct speech during our World Book Day activities, which we later performed. 

 

We’ve been introduced to key figures including Neville Chamberlain and Winston Churchill and have flexed our mapwork skills to highlight who the Allies and Axis Powers were. This period in history has certainly caught our attention and many of us have taken advantage of the opportunity to extend our learning by completing a range of topic related homework projects. The teaching staff have particularly enjoyed decoding our morse code messages!

 

In computing, we’ve been cracking codes of a different type, as we’ve explored the concept of repetition in computer programming using the Scratch environment. We’ve modified existing animations using count-controlled and infinite loops and we can’t wait to design and create our own games next term!

 

In maths, we completed our multiplication and division unit and mastered measurement, finding the area of rectilinear shapes. Our latest focus has been on fractions where our confidence in identifying equivalent fractions and simplifying fractions continues to grow, as does our mathematical vocabulary with the addition of improper and mixed fractions.

 

We finished off the Spring term making fabulous Easter cards for family members. Thanks to our D&T lessons and newfound understanding of levers, our designs incorporated moveable features for extra wow factor.

 

The highlight of this half-term, however, was participating in the Year 3/4 production. We had so much fun getting into character and putting on a performance for the first time in over two years. Everyone worked hard, practising their lines, learning songs and choreography – not to mention adopting London accents. The storyline also brought our learning about the wartime period to life and generated many happy memories.

Summer 1

Flanders’ Fields, fractions and bodily functions

 

Year 4 kicked off this half-term by exploring the four countries of the UK. We created our own family coat of arms and sets of bagpipes, sang in Welsh and performed an Irish dance. Moving closer to home, we named and located counties of the UK before designing an information leaflet to encourage more people to visit Staffordshire. We finished off our enrichment activities by tucking into local oatcakes!

 

The literacy focus in Year 4 has continued to be underpinned by our WWII theme. After identifying the key features of a diary entry, we wrote our own from the perspective of a child in hiding, using Anne Frank as inspiration. This provided a fantastic opportunity for us to describe an unusual setting and consider the emotional impact of circumstance.

 

We have also read and analysed a variety of topical poems, including the iconic ‘In Flanders Fields’ by John McCrae. After honing our ability to use features of poetry including rhyme, simile and personification, we wrote our own poems imagining that we were a poppy growing in Flanders’ Fields, highlighting the struggles endured in order to flourish.

 

We built on our knowledge of fractions in maths, extending our knowledge of adding and subtracting fractions to fractions where the answer is greater than one and subtracting a fraction from a whole number. We also continued to find fractions of an amount. With the Multiplication Tables Check (MTC) on the horizon, every spare moment this half-term has seen us practising our multiplication and division facts to ensure fluency in our calculations which has also helped us in our fractions’ work. Since completing our fractions’ unit, we have discovered how fractional amounts can be written as decimals, using the tenths and hundredths columns.

 

Our science topic has been something that everyone could relate to as we’ve been investigating different functions of the body. From recreating the digestive system from start to finish to discovering why we have different types of teeth and how to keep them healthy, we have really enjoyed getting our hands dirty with a variety of experiments.

 

In history, we continued our focus on World War II and discovered how Britain stood firm against the German threat during the Blitz. Using primary sources of evidence, we then debated the pros and cons of child evacuation during this period before considering the impact and significance of WWII on the role of women.  

 

With the ultimate goal of drawing a portrait of a WWII soldier, our art lessons centred on the mastery of specific elements, including producing detailed sketches of an eye, nose and mouth, which were then combined to create our final piece. By breaking each aspect down into small steps, even those of us who did not consider ourselves to be natural artists were able to produce wonderful pieces of artwork, whilst gaining confidence in this medium.

 

Our newfound knowledge of creating infinite loops when coding was put to good use in our computing lessons as we designed and created our own Scratch programmes. We discovered that we need to be specific when writing code to ensure that our sprites do what we expect them too and have been using our debugging skills to fix any coding errors.

 

Bring on the summer term!

Summer 2

It’s been a busy time of year for us, with many extra-curricular activities to enjoy in addition to our action-packed curriculum. We began the half-term by travelling back in time to the 1970s as part of the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations. We researched what life was like and the key historical events of this period including decimalisation, The Three-Day Week and advances in women’s rights, in addition to popular toys of the day. We also had an opportunity to get our dancing shoes on as we performed a song and dance to popular 70s tunes. Finally, after learning more about the artist Vincent Van Gogh, we imitated his style to produce fabulous portraits of the Queen.

 

Then it was time to pack our bags and head off to Malham in North Yorkshire for a 3-day residential. What a fantastic time we had! The glorious Yorkshire countryside was the perfect place to investigate the great outdoors and we had lots of fun making the most of our new environment to explore physical landforms, including the local river and stunning locations such as Gordale Scar and Malham Cove. Furthermore, we developed a range of technical skills including map reading and navigation incorporating a geocaching challenge, as well as fossil casting, minibeast hunting and so much more!

 

It’s certainly been an active period for Year 4 as in addition to participating in the KS2 Sports Day, we also enjoyed an Olympic Legacy Day of activities at Blythe Bridge High School. Working with children from local schools, we had opportunities to engage in a variety of sporting pursuits; from trampolining to long jump, street dance, throwing activities and teambuilding games. It was a hot day, but worth it to experience so many events while making new friends.

 

Back in the classroom, we relived our favourite moments from the Malham trip as we produced recounts of our time in Yorkshire, making sure to demonstrate our ability to use time connectives. We then moved onto our new text, ‘The Lorax’, which coincided with our topic work on sustainability. Shocked and saddened by the impact of human activity on the environment, we were inspired to write letters to companies whose commercial undertakings result in the use of excessive amounts of plastic, highlighting the plight of wildlife and requesting that they change their practices to help address the issues faced.

 

In maths, we completed our study of decimals, which led us nicely into the unit of measurement, starting with money. Our knowledge of decimals certainly came in handy when thinking about pounds and pence. This was followed by another practical life skill as we learned how to convert between units of time and represent time in different ways. Finally, we turned our attention to geometry and recognising a variety of angles, discovering what the difference is between irregular and regular shapes, naming and describing quadrilaterals and triangles and identifying lines of symmetry in shapes and patterns! During the half-term, we also completed our Multiplication Times Check (MTC), where our hard work practising times-tables paid off with fabulous scores across the year group.

 

Our science studies continued with the theme of animals and living things and we took advantage of our wonderful eco garden to explore habitats and investigate food chains. We found lots of examples of producers and primary consumers but fortunately there were no predators lurking in the undergrowth! We wrapped up our science curriculum by conducting further investigation into living things and their habitats, including recognising that living things can be grouped in a variety of ways, exploring and using classification keys to help group, identify and name a variety of living things and recognising that environments can change and that this sometimes poses dangers.

 

In art, we had an opportunity to explore how artists and designers use pattern in their work and develop a range of technical skills and knowledge through drawing and collage. Letting our creative

 

juices flow, we used colour, line and shape to create a variety of patterns, including sensory drawings, tessellations and repeated patterns. Meanwhile, in DT, we extended our sustainability focus to consider sustainable eating practices. This resulted in the design and preparation of a range of delicious, vegetarian-friendly salad.

 

As part of our religious studies, we learned more about Judaism, beginning with the foundation of the religion and the importance of the Torah, which motivated us to create our own Ten Commandments. We then discovered what Shabbat is and how it is celebrated. We even baked delicious, braided challah bread and tasted foods that are shared during the special Passover service, Seder.

 

What a busy half-term it has been and a wonderful end to our time in Year 4. We have learned so many new skills, enhanced existing knowledge and engaged in some fantastic experiences and opportunities during the year which have prepared us for the next part of our academic journey and generated memories to last a lifetime.

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Spring 2