Year 4 Teaching and School Life
Children are usually taught English and Maths by their form teacher and have different teachers for other subjects. A class timetable will be given to each child at the beginning of term.
In addition to academic subjects the children will take part in a range of sporting activities. In general, for boys, emphasis is placed on rugby, football, cricket, athletics, cross-country and swimming and, for girls, on netball, hockey, rounders, dance, cross-country and swimming. There is also a wide range of clubs available for children to take part in. You will be informed by letter of the clubs available and how to register to participate.
Music and Drama, too, hold an important place in the School and opportunities to participate are available through class lessons, individual lessons, orchestra, choir, hymn practice, concerts and clubs.
Art and Design
As the pupils move through Key Stage 2 they will take on more complex tasks which, in turn, develop their imagination. They are taught to express their ideas through drawing, painting, collage, printmaking, textiles and sculpture. They are encouraged to use a sketchbook to help record information from their surroundings.
They will explore and learn about a range of new materials and techniques and study artistic ideas from other ages and cultures relating to work being covered in other lessons.
Their artwork is always well presented and displayed throughout the school.
After-school clubs and holiday courses are available to those who would like to further their interest in the subject.
We concentrate on the basics in reading, writing, spelling and grammar. Children read to their teachers on a regular basis and are encouraged to read independently. Creative writing forms a large part of the year’s work but many other genres of writing will be experienced. There are formal grammar lessons, and spelling and general development are carefully assessed.
Comprehension is a regular exercise with more emphasis being placed on inference reading. The children take part in dramatic and oral work, including mime, poetry recitation, talks and organised discussions. The requirements of the National Literacy Strategy are closely monitored and relevant areas of learning are incorporated into the general teaching strategy.
By the end of Year 4, children are expected to be able to say and spell the verbs “to be”, “to have”, “to like”, “to eat”, “to look at”, “to speak”, in the present tense, with the negative form
The numbers up to 30, the time, the days of the week and the months of the year are revised.
The colours, the rules concerning adjectives are studied. Words such as “sur”, “sous”, “devant”, “derrière”, “dans”, “près de”, “loin de” are used within short sentences. The vocabulary is increased. Children continue to talk about themselves, they start talking about their families, their pets, their hobbies and the food they enjoy.
Along with these verbs, the vocabulary is increased. Children continue to talk about themselves, (parts of the body are revised), they start talking about their families, their pets, their hobbies and the food they enjoy.
In the first term we concentrate on becoming familiar with the Atlas, paying special attention to Europe and the British Isles.
The second term is devoted to the study of volcanoes and earthquakes. This includes a special emphasis on Japan.
In the third term we cover such topics as latitude and longitude, compass directions and grid references.
Location work continues throughout.
The History curriculum in Year 4 covers a wide chronological spectrum. Three separate eras are studied. We look at an ancient civilisation examining the early Egyptians. We then study early events in this country, when we look at the invading Vikings. We finish the year with a modern unit, starting with the 1930’s, looking in depth at the war years, and working up to the present day. The latter topic is backed up by a visit to Beaumanor Hall, where children experience life as an evacuee. A recent development in the Year 4 curriculum is an understanding of methods of evidence gathering and types of evidence, chronology and a look at some key events in British History.
The children are encouraged to develop their skills as young historians, and we always try to foster a long-term interest in the subject.
Children use the computers to strengthen their word processing and redrafting skills, in order to enable them to use word processing as a valuable tool in a variety of lessons throughout the curriculum. Graphics programmes are also explored, as well as a variety of educational software.
The children build on their basic numeracy skills, working extensively in the four rules and continuing to revise and extend tables knowledge. Most will be working towards having learnt up to 12 x 12 by the year’s end. They further their knowledge of time systems and calculation, and of fractions. They are introduced to decimals and will begin to learn how to measure angles and construct triangles and recognise other two dimensional and three dimensional shapes. Other specific areas covered are sorting and displaying information, length, mass, capacity, area and shape. There are regular mental tests.
Understanding and application of the processes learnt is developed and problem solving and investigations are widely used in this area. The National Numeracy Strategy is carefully monitored and relevant areas are included in the syllabus.
In Year 4, children further develop their singing skills with regular sessions, singing action songs, rounds and some more challenging songs in two parts. In class lessons they learn the basics of musical theory through learning to play the recorder, keyboard and percussion. Songs and tunes from many cultures and styles are used as a basis for performing, listening and simple composition work. Children are encouraged to perform in front of their class and to wider audiences, such as school assemblies where possible, and to use their instruments in lessons.
The school orchestra, keyboard club and theory group run as extra activities. The Festival Choir, with members from Years 3 and 4, takes part in several concerts during the year and all Year 4 pupils take part in end of term performances, notably the annual Carol Service and Spring Concert.
Physical Education / Games
P.E. and Games in Year 4 follow the requirements of the National Curriculum at Key Stage 2 in the following areas of study: Games, Gymnastics, Dance, Swimming and Athletics. Games lessons concentrate on the development of individual and team skills in small sided team games, building to larger sided games and the introduction of simple team tactics and competition. Games taught include rugby, football and cricket for the boys; netball, hockey and rounders for the girls. In the winter and spring terms, all participate in cross-country runs and, in the summer term, everybody is introduced to a range of athletic activities.
A cross-country club is run through the Spring term to which all are welcome.
As many children as possible are asked to represent the School in a range of sports against other Schools. As well as building good sporting techniques, we encourage the children to play with the correct attitude to their own team, the opposition and officials. The children are encouraged to represent the School with pride and determination. Within Year 4, we also have League matches in the major sports and, in the summer term, we have a Swimming Gala. We also host a Year 3 and 4 athletics meeting during the Summer term when two local primary schools are invited to attend. All matches are concluded with a match tea; an important social event following any sports event.
The Year 4 pupils have two afternoons of games and two P.E. lessons per week. Groups for games are dependent upon age and ability whilst P.E. is carried out in class groups.
The children learn some of the great stories of the Old Testament, from the birth of Moses to the fall of Jericho. New Testament work covers the baptism and temptation of Jesus, the calling of his first disciples and some of the miracles he performed.
Topics covered this year include the Skeleton, Vertebrates and Invertebrates, Magnetism and Electricity, and the Senses. As much use is made of practical lessons as possible, with children building upon their knowledge of fair tests to conduct various experiments.
Arrival and Collection
Staff are present from 8.15am and pupils should arrive no later than 8.25am for the register to be taken at 8.30am. Children who arrive before 8.15am may not be supervised.
Generally, children in Year 4 finish School at 3.30pm. and should be collected from the courtyard. It is possible for children in these forms to stay for tea and ‘homework’ (preparation) with the children from Year 5 to Year 8 and leave circa 5.20pm. This facility is provided mainly for the benefit of parents who have children to pick up at different times or whose work commitments preclude a 3.30pm collection; in general it is not seen as ideal because of the length of the day and because it lessens parental support and rapport with homework which is useful for this young age group.
If your child is to be collected by anyone other than parents a note should be given to their form teacher.
In order to prevent infecting other children, we would ask that parents keep their children at home for at least 48 hours if they have sickness or diarrhoea.
Food and Playtime Snacks
We are trying to encourage healthy eating, so sweets (including chocolate) and chewing gum are not allowed, but fruit and healthy snacks are acceptable. The only drinks that should be brought into School are fruit juices and water (no fizzy drinks) and should be in a non-spill, non-glass container. Break time snacks should not be too substantial as this might impair the child’s appetite for lunch!
It is imperative that children do not bring in snacks that contain nuts. Children sometimes bring treats for others, e.g. to celebrate a birthday or other occasion. Please bear in mind the above information if sending anything in with your child.
Absence from School
In the case of absence, please ring the office or email your child's Form Teacher with a reason for the absence. It would be appreciated if you could let us know if the disease is infectious. Please try to arrange dental appointments etc., during the holidays. Children cannot be excused from games lessons unless they bring a note from their parents/guardians.
Your attention is drawn to the School uniform list (see below for link). Specific uniform items must be purchased from our uniform provider www.schoolblazer.com. It is essential that the correct uniform is always worn as it helps the child to feel part of the School. All items of clothing and belongings must be clearly named. Sewn on tapes are preferred (schoolblazer provide this service). We have particular difficulty with underwear, swimwear, towels and socks. Please note that trainers should be white.
All games kit should be brought on the first morning of each term.
A small zip type document case may be brought to carry pencil cases and books to and from School. Large cases or bags should not be brought as they take up too much room.
All relevant/necessary games kit, including swimming clothes, should be brought on the first morning of each term.
The School cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage, however caused, to property and personal belongings brought on to School premises by the children. It is therefore the responsibility of parents to make sure that adequate insurance is in force to guard against such loss or damage. It is important that children are instructed to take particular care of any articles of value whilst articles are on school premises. Watches should have a name engraved on them. Electronic devices should not be brought to School.
Please note that mobile phones are not permitted in school.
We hope that you will find us to be friendly and approachable. All queries should initially be addressed to your child’s form teacher before approaching the Headmaster.
There is continuous assessment of the children’s work through observation and marking of classwork and homework, and tests in such areas as spelling or tables. There are also formal exams in the Summer term in English and Maths. Reading and spelling are assessed regularly on a recognised standard scale. Children’s progress is compared against national standards by the use of nationally recognised tests which are marked independently outside the School.
Parents are encouraged to take an interest in their child’s work and progress, and to bring any concerns to the attention of the form teacher. School Reports are issued as follows:
Autumn: End of Term
Summer: End of Term
There is a Parents’ Day early in the Spring term to discuss when both form teachers and subject teachers may be seen and academic progress can be discussed in greater depth. You are always welcome to make an appointment to talk to your child’s teachers.
We try to encourage a happy social atmosphere in the School. Outings in year groups can contribute tremendously to this in addition to having educational value. In recent years we have visited such places as Beaumanor Hall, The Black Country Museum, The Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and Rutland Water to name just some. We also have incoming visits from various theatre groups and lecture tours. There is a Christmas party, Summer Fête and numerous events to raise money for charity.
Option to Stay at School until 5:30pm
Children in Year 4 have the opportunity to stay for 1st prep (3.30-4.15pm) and 2nd prep (4.15-5.30pm including tea) to do their prep in a classroom, where they will be supervised by a member of staff. This is an entirely optional facility and is by prior arrangement.