Year 4 Newsletter
Term 1 & Term 2 2019
Welcome back! I hope you have all had a wonderful summer and feel suitably refreshed to begin Year 4. My name is Mrs Kinloch and I will be the Class Teacher. I am really looking forward to providing a learning environment where your child can be suitably encouraged and challenged in order for them to give their best at all times. We are very fortunate to have Mrs Kraftl and Mrs Still as our Teaching Assistants this year. It is hoped with your continued support and your child’s effort and positive attitude to learning; they will progress well and have a successful time in Year 4.
Below is an outline of what your child will be learning in Terms 1 & 2 (until Christmas) and any other information that will help you support your child.
TOPIC - this term we will be focussing on ‘Extreme Explorers.’ This is a project with a geographical focus on different cultural lifestyles around the globe; this will include locating countries on the world map, identifying regions, reading maps and knowing key topographical features: including the continents and the natural wonders of the world. We will be learning about a variety of explorers that have been chosen to hook the children and allow us to learn the difficulties they faced on their travels. All the explorers begin their journeys within the UK and as they venture far and wide, we will join them on their expeditions and find out how they managed to survive extreme conditions. There will be many opportunities throughout the term to walk in the shoes of each explorer and look forward to new discoveries as we do so.
SCIENCE – We will be looking at Forces, Magnets and Electricity over this term and linking it to our Extreme Explorers topic.
ENGLISH - Although are topic will have a Geography and History focus, we will also be using these remarkable people as inspiration for our English learning. To begin, the children will have the opportunity to demonstrate their retained knowledge of instructional writing from Year 3. It is hoped your child will ‘match or better’ their piece of writing that they produced at the end of July. We will then use this as a baseline and a starting point for the new academic year. This year we will continue using ‘Talk for Writing’ (T4W) throughout our lessons. This is based on the thinking and creative processes involved in ‘being a writer’, including knowing how to generate and develop ideas; drawing on a breadth of reading and understanding how to draft, refine and improve writing. Your child will be writing a range of different genres and I am certain you will enjoy reading some of them when you have the opportunity to come in to school. To help your child further, it would be beneficial if you continued to read stories to them at least 3 times a week. By doing this, your child will have the opportunity to access a book that is pitched a little higher than their own reading ability, which in turn gives them the exposure to a wider range of vocabulary. As you discover the more adventurous words or wonderful descriptive phrases, please encourage your son/daughter to write them in their Reading Record book as this can act as a gentle reminder for them to include them in their writing in school.
MATHS - We are continuing to ensure that we all become masters of the mathematics curriculum where reasoning and problem solving - using the help of our Maths characters, ‘Convince Me Vince, Generate Jess and Captain Conjecture’ - will deepen our understanding of mathematical concepts. We shall also be looking at the place value of numbers in greater depth and linking this with fractions, decimals and percentages. Once it is clear that we are all secure in our understanding here, we shall begin looking at the rest of the four operations in more detail. During this time, the children will be encouraged to use maths equipment, draw pictures and use abstract approaches to help them solve maths challenges and demonstrate their understanding. It goes without saying that ALL pupils should be fluent in their times tables up to 12 x 12, in random order, by the end of Year 4. With that in mind, I urge you to encourage your son/daughter to practise them every night for a few minutes preferably making links with their related division facts.
COMPUTING - Our unit this term will begin by revising the importance of staying safe on the internet. It is the responsibility of the adults at school as well as the adults at home, to monitor your child’s online activities and have open discussions about keeping safe online.
RE – Islam will be our topic this term. We will be looking at the similarities and differences between the Christian and Islamic religion. We will be striving to answer the question “What is important to Muslims living in Britain today?”
PSHE/MINDFULNESS – We will be following Unit 1 of the Jigsaw PSHE programme. We will also be exploring how mindfulness can help us relax and focus on the ‘here and now’. We will learn some breathing strategies to help us unwind when we may be feeling anxious or overwhelmed and it is hoped that these lessons will become part of your child’s every day coping mechanism.
FRENCH - Your child will have the opportunity to study French and Grammar (each for 45 minutes) with Mr Hollingshurst every Friday morning.
MUSIC – Mr Hole will be working with the Year 4 children on Friday mornings and will be helping us with our topic ‘Extreme Explorers’
P.E. – We shall be continuing to follow the Real PE scheme of work. Please note: it is helpful to have PE kits in school at all times. Please remember to take your child’s earrings out on PE days if they are unable to remove their own earrings otherwise they will be excluded from PE for health and safety reasons. Any long hair/long fringes need to be tied up with hair bands. Remember to include a pair of socks if your child wears tights. PE kits will be sent home every term for washing.
Please ensure all clothing, such as sweatshirts, cardigans, PE kits and footwear are clearly labelled.
HOMEWORK - Homework is given out on Thursday and to be returned no later than the following Tuesday. Please encourage your children to aim for high levels of presentation, as with any other schoolwork. For example, Maths should be completed in pencil and include written methods where indicated and English books should be completed in black pen with joined handwriting and complete sentences where applicable.
As part of your child’s homework, to help them develop a love of reading, they should be reading for at least 10 minutes every day and recording this in their reading record. Regardless of reading level, I also ask that you listen to your child read at least 3 times a week as reading aloud enables your child to hear where they need to use expression; recognise the use of punctuation and identify its function in order to help them pause at key points within the text.
National Curriculum Objectives state that by the end of Year 4, children should be able to recall all times tables up to x 12. I would therefore encourage all pupils to practise these for 5 minutes every evening. This continued effort at home will pay dividends in class and help to improve your child’s progress within Maths over the academic year. Each week the children will be given spellings to learn. These will be assessed in the form of a dictation task and will be based around the statutory Year 3 and 4 words. Yr3/4 will be stapled in their Reading Record book. Each week they will be informed of the words we are going to focus on within the dictation tasks but again the expectation is that your child will also practise - for 5 minutes every evening - any of the Year 3 and 4 words on the spelling list that they are not able to write accurately. Playing games such as Hangman or Scrabble are both great ways to help with spelling revision.
CONSULTATION EVENINGS - I would like the opportunity to meet with you and discuss your child’s needs and progress. Two evenings are to be held on the 16th and 17th October. However, if you wish to discuss your child before this or at any time throughout the year, you are welcome to make an appointment via the school office.
We welcome your children having water bottles in school however, due to limited time and water machines we have asked Year 4 children to take their bottles home every night and fill them up before coming to school the following morning. This allows your child to then access teaching and learning promptly during registration, as I will be providing a maths task every day from 8.40am to review questions taught in previous lessons.
May I please remind families that children are welcome to bring a 'healthy snack' to school to eat during their break. As an Enhanced Healthy School, we encourage all children to eat either a piece of fresh/dried fruit or vegetable, when children bring biscuits or crisps they will be asked to save them to eat at lunchtime. Thank you for supporting our school with being healthy!
As part of our ‘Extreme Explorers’ topic, we will be going on an expedition to Stanwick Lakes on Wednesday 18th September 2019 with Year 3. We will have a chance to walk in the shoes of an explorer by shelter building and the different ways of recording an expedition studying outdoor art by collecting, drawing and photography. More information with transport details and costs will follow in due course.
Year 4 Teacher