Dear Parents / Carers,
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, especially over the last two years which have been challenging for so many.
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 complete Autumn 1 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 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 – USA
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 – Hinduism
Children will explore the important elements of belonging to the Hindu faith, including a (potentially virtual) visit to a local temple.
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, roleplay 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.
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 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.
We are very excited to be able to provide an experienced lacrosse coach who works at Spencer Lacrosse Club and many of our local schools to continue with our second year of lacrosse lessons for Y4. Miss Ogunyemi will work alongside the coach to deliver lessons to the children weekly. It was thoroughly enjoyed last year and they made great progress each week, resulting in some excellent small-sided competitive games.
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.
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 will learn to describe them by using a wider range of 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.
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 15th 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 13th 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 13th 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.
Stephanie Grosvenor (4G – Year Leader)
Sam Bevan (4B)
Lydia Common (4C)
Phoebe Dee (4D)
Pia Zombanakis (4Z)