Year 4

In Year 4 the children will cover a wide range of interesting topics, interwoven through thematic and linked learning. Each topic will give the children a chance to embed and expand upon their learning throughout Hill West so far.

As they work their way through Year 4, the children will take increasing ownership over their learning. Children will be given more opportunities to challenge themselves in a safe space and feel more comfortable asking increasingly complex questions about the world around them. 

Through an engaging and challenging thematic curriculum, the children will explore a variety of topics. History focuses on the reigns of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I and how the world changed thanks to exploration during the Golden Age. Children will also travel back in time to discover what life was like during World War II, by learning how to ‘make do and mend’ and how everybody contributed to the war effort. In addition to this, children will also learn about the Roman Empire, the invasion of Britain, and the legacy left in as a result. Geography learning allows children delve into life in Chembakolli – an Indian village – and compare the differences between lifestyles across two continents. It also allows them to discover where and why earthquakes occur and create a model seismograph to measure seismic waves. Personal Development and Well-being is also an important aspect of the Year 4 Curriculum. Through a variety of engaging texts, children learn about different types of relationships and the nature of the consequences of bullying and how to deal with it – online and offline. In PDW, children also identify a variety of emotions and strategies to help them self-regulate negative behaviours. 

English in Year 4 links closely to our key questions and themed learning in order to spark the children’s interest and create a real purpose for writing.  At the heart of all our English work is a strong foundation in reading and we expose the children to a wide variety of interesting texts, including fiction, such as Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Goodnight Mr Tom, Jemmy Button and The Demon Dentist, and Holes. Focussing specifically on developing children’s ability to analyse writers’ choices, the children will focus on the purpose and language of a text, as well as continuing to develop reading skills – such as inferring, predicting and summarising. Children will use a range of other quality texts to use as models to scaffold their writing and create engaging, well-structured, pieces of work. Using tiered vocabulary will help the children develop a stronger awareness and understanding of vocabulary. Additionally, being given the chance to vocalise their ideas through drama and debate will aid them in developing good rhetoric to further support their writing. The key grammar covered in Year 4 will include punctuation for speech, fronted adverbials and embedded clauses.

In Maths, to support the school’s practice of interleaving, the children will be taught in shorter blocks spread throughout the year. Expanding on and deepening their learning from Year 3, children will learn the place value of four-digit numbers – this will give them a solid foundation to help them compare, order, estimate and round numbers. Further learning will include decimal and fraction equivalents, identify a range of angle types and order these by size, understand the differences between discrete and continuous data and develop their problem-solving skills by independently deciding which methods to use. Reasoning and problem-solving feature throughout every Maths unit and children are encouraged to articulate their approaches to problems so that they can explore a variety of methods. Linking to our PDW, children will be encouraged to embrace challenges and feel safe to make, and learn from, their mistakes and misconceptions. 

In Science, children continue to develop their investigative skills through a range of topics such as electricity, sound, the digestive system and states of matter. Particularly focussing on developing the children’s independence in Science, so that they can confidently generate their own lines of enquiry, making decisions about what they will investigate, how they will carry out these investigations and how best to record and present their findings. This enables children to expand their knowledge through an enquiry-based approach which means they find out most of the answers for themselves. Children also develop skills such as how to create informed predictions, understanding comparative and fair tests, identifying patterns in results, drawing conclusions from investigations and posing further questions to explore.  Children love the challenges they are presented, including creating a Lego house with a working light switch and doorbell, trying to find the most effective way to stop an ice cube from melting and creating a practical, interactive version of how the digestive system works!

Key Questions to drive learning and progress

  • Blood on his hands: Can Macbeth right his wrongs?
  • What would happen if the lights went out?
  • A tree falls in an empty wood — does it make a sound?
  • India: Luxury Living or Slum Survival?
  • Which of Henry VIII’s wives got the best deal?
  • How did the Romans become the best at battling?
  • Chamberlain’s choice: did he make the right one?

Exciting events in Year Four

  • Visiting Stone and Blakesley Hall.
  • Weekly swimming lessons to ensure we can all swim at least 25 meters confidently.
  • A two night residential to Whitemoor Lakes.
  • Making paper maché dragons.
  • Creating a Tudor house and Roman onager using woodwork materials.
  • Recreating an Air Raid shelter as part of our World War II topic.
  • Having the chance to learn a musical instrument such as the clarinet or tenor horn.

Class Novels include

Stig of the Dump by Clive King, Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome, Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney, The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham, How to Train your Dragon by Cressida Cowell, Holes by Louis Sachar, Fing by David Walliams.