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Year Four

ENGLISH

Reading

Year 4 is a continuation of Lower Key Stage 2 and builds on the work in Year 3. We continue to focus on children’s comprehension in reading. They learn the conventions of different types of writing, such as diaries or narrative poetry, and will identify how language and structure contribute to the meaning of texts.  Teachers continue to help children develop a rich vocabulary by exposing them to a wide range of literature, including stories, poetry, plays and non-fiction. They will be able to choose from a variety of books from the school library and the local library in Sheen Lane.

As children learn differently, we will continue to teach a range of strategies to support their reading. We will ensure that children know how to spell common words and can use their knowledge of phonics, root words, prefixes and suffixes to approach unfamiliar words and use a dictionary effectively.

Weekly Guided Reading sessions allow the children to explore fiction and non-fiction texts under the guidance of the class teacher. Discussions take place around the setting of the book, the context, characterisation, the use of figurative language and inference. Children are taught to justify their views about what they have read, helping them to become clear thinkers and confident speakers.

Writing

At Thomson House we place a high value on teaching and sustaining good handwriting. We believe that children’s self-esteem and pride in their work can be raised by good quality presentation. Children will continue to have regular handwriting sessions to develop a consistently legible, cursive handwriting style, using the handwriting scheme.

Children will be taught to express their ideas in writing, using good punctuation, spelling and grammar. We want them to develop as effective and imaginative writers and will teach them to use an increasing range of writing techniques and narrative structures, building on their vocabulary and grammatical knowledge. Children will write for a variety of purposes and their writing will be published and displayed whenever possible to reach a wide audience. 

Speaking and Listening

We want children at Thomson House to be clear and confident speakers.  To achieve this we provide a literacy rich environment with opportunities to use language in a variety of situations and for a variety of purposes and audiences. These may include drama productions, formal presentations to the class, debates, assemblies, poetry or public speaking festivals and competitions. Weekly News encourages them to share with others what they have been doing; Current Affairs hones the skills of discussion and debate and engages children with their wider world.

 

Maths

At Thomson House we aim for all pupils to become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, with the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately, to reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry using mathematical language and to solve problems by applying their mathematical knowledge to a range of problems in different contexts.

In Year 4 our primary focus is to build on children’s increasingly fluency with whole numbers and the four operations, including number facts and the concept of place value. They will be taught to perform calculations accurately with increasingly large numbers. We will teach children to develop their ability to solve a range of problems, including simple fractions and decimal place value. They will be taught to use measuring instruments accurately and to analyse shapes and their properties.

Children learn at different rates. By the end of Year 4 we expect most children to have memorised their multiplication tables up to 12 and to be able to use them accurately. They will be taught to read, spell and use correct mathematical vocabulary.

Maths can be divided into four different strands of learning – number; measurement; geometry and statistics (data handling). Maths at Thomson House will be taught through explicit teaching of skills, investigative work, rote learning, questioning assumptions and a creative and challenging curriculum which uses examples from everyday life.

In number pupils will be taught:

  • Number and place value (including thousands, hundreds, tens and ones; order beyond 1000, counting backwards to negative numbers, rounding to 10, 100 or 1000, solving problems)
  • Addition and subtraction (including up to 4 digits in columns, estimate and use inverse operations to check, solving two-step problems in context)
  • Multiplication and division (multiplication and division facts for tables to 12x12, using place value and factor pairs to multiply and divide, solving written and mental problems)
  • Fractions (families of common equivalent fractions, counting up and down in hundredths , decimal equivalents of ¼, ½, ¾, dividing by 10 and 100, rounding decimals, adding/ subtracting with same denominators, equivalent fractions, solving problems involving money or decimals)

In measurement pupils will be taught to:

  • Convert between units of measure e.g. hour to minutes
  • Measure and calculate perimeter of  rectilinear figures in cm and m
  • Find area of rectilinear figures by counting squares
  • Estimate different measures, including money
  • Read, write and convert time between analogue and digital 12 and 24 hour clocks
  • Solve problems involving conversions

In geometry pupils will be taught:

  • To compare and classify geometric shapes based on properties and sizes
  • Acute and obtuse angles, ordering angles by size
  • To identify lines of symmetry in 2D shapes
  • Complete a symmetric figure against a specific line of symmetry
  • Position and direction including describing positions on a 2D grid as coordinates in the first quadrant, plotting points to draw a given polygon

In statistics pupils will be taught to:

  • Interpret and present discrete and continuous data using appropriate graphical methods including bar charts and time graph
  • Solve comparison, sum and difference problems using graphical information

At Thomson House we ask children to explain how they arrived at the answer, to describe different strategies and methods, to be able to reason and justify their ideas. We understand that this ability is of equal importance to getting the answer right in maths. We encourage children to show curiosity in their learning and to show courage in participation.  We recognise that children can sometimes learn more from getting the answer wrong!  Children should not be afraid to fail as this is a vital part of the learning process; what we wish to imbue is resilience.

 

SCIENCE

By building up a body of key knowledge and concepts, children at Thomson House will learn to recognise the power of rational explanation and be encouraged to develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They will learn how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave and analyse causes. Wherever possible, their learning will be first hand and will make use of opportunities beyond the classroom.

Our science teaching aims to ensure that all children

  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
  • develop an understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science
  • are equipped with the scientific knowledge to understand the uses and implications of science in society.

In Year 4, children will be encouraged to ask questions about what they observe and make decisions about the type of scientific enquiry which would be best for answering them. These might include observations over time, carrying out comparative and fair tests, as well as using secondary sources of information.  We will teach them to draw simple conclusions and to use scientific language. They will learn to ‘work scientifically’ through a programme of study which includes the following:

Living things and their habitats

Using the local environment, children will be taught to group living things in a variety of ways. They will learn to construct and use classification keys. They will learn about environmental change and its impact on living things.

Animals, including humans

Through observation and investigation, children will learn about the digestive system and the different types and functions of human teeth. They will construct and interpret food chains, identifying producers, predators and prey.

States of Matter

By exploring a variety of everyday materials, children will learn to identify solids, liquids and gases and investigate the physical changes of heating and cooling. They will learn about the water cycle.

Sound

Linking with music, children will explore how sounds are made by vibration in a range of musical instruments from around the world. They will learn about pitch and volume and how sound travels to the ear through a medium.

Electricity

By constructing and experimenting with simple circuits, children will learn about electrical components as well as common conductors and insulators. They will be taught electrical safety and identify appliances that use electricity.

 

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

At Thomson House we believe that healthy bodies link closely to healthy minds. We stipulate that all children from Year 1 onwards will have 3 hours of weekly curriculum time devoted to PE.

We aim for children to develop fundamental movement skills, to become increasingly competent and confident and to have access to a broad range of opportunities to extend their agility, balance and coordination, individually and with others. They will be engaging in competitive (both against self and against others) and co-operative physical activities, in a range of increasingly challenging situations.

Children will be taught to:

  • master basic movements including running, jumping, throwing and catching, as well as developing balance, agility, strength and co-ordination, and begin to apply these in a range of activities – the children will have a weekly gymnastics lesson and the opportunity to join a multi-sports lunchtime club.
  • participate in team games, developing simple tactics for attacking and defending – such as football.
  • perform dances using simple movement patterns to music.
  • master swimming strokes – front crawl, back stroke, breast stroke and butterfly.

 

HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY

At Thomson House we encourage enquiring minds – we link history and geography to Philosophy For Children, exploring ideas, questioning assumptions, justifying explanations and reasoning with each other. Our creative curriculum will allow the children to learn history and geography in relevant and exciting topic based ways. 

Geographically, in Key Stage 2 we aim to ensure that all pupils:

  • Develop contextual knowledge of globally significant places. They will be taught locational knowledge and place knowledge.
  • Understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world, how these are interdependent and may change over time.
  • Are competent in the geographical skills needed to engage with fieldwork and to interpret maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and digital technologies.

Historically, in Key Stage 2 we aim to give pupils a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world, helping them to understand the complexities of people’s lives, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups. We will:

  • develop a chronologic knowledge of British, local and world history
  • combine overview and depth studies to help pupils understand both the long arc of development and specific aspects of different periods
  • study aspects or themes, such as an aspect of social history or significant turning points in British history
  • learn about the achievements of the earliest civilisations, such as ancient Egypt, ancient China and ancient Greece
  • study a non-European society, such as early Islamic or Mayan civilization

 

MUSIC

At Thomson House we are devoted to our musical learning journey.

Each class will have two music lessons a week and a singing assembly. Every child has the opportunity to attend choir – one of our lunchtime clubs.

In lessons the children will be taught to:

  • use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes
  • play tuned and untuned instruments musically
  • listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music
  • experiment with, create, select and combine sounds using the inter-related dimensions of music

We believe that every child should learn to play a musical instrument so, following on from percussion in EYFS and recorder in Key Stage 1, we would encourage older children to have individual instrumental lessons at a small charge. Currently piano and cello are on offer but the list will be expanded as the school grows. Lessons take place during curriculum time although the timetable is rotated to ensure that no child misses the same lesson each week.

 

ART & DESIGN

At Thomson House we provide a high-quality art and design curriculum to engage, inspire and challenge children, equipping them with knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own work.  As they progress, we encourage them to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design. Pupils will be taught:

  • to create sketchbooks to record their observations and use them to review and revisit ideas
  • to use drawing, painting and sculpture proficiently, using a range of materials, to develop and share their ideas, experiences and imagination. 
  • to develop a wide range of art and design techniques in using colour, pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space
  • to know about the work of a range of artists, architects and designers in history, describing the differences and similarities between different practices, cultures and disciplines, and making links to their own work.

We will have themed weeks throughout the year which will incorporate art and design through a range of different mediums. As well as visiting galleries, we often have visiting artists and workshops to motivate and enthuse our budding artists.  Children’s art and design work is displayed throughout the school.

 

DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY

Design and Technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject.  Through a variety of creative and practical activities, we will teach the children at Thomson House the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in the process of designing and making products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts. They will learn to:

  • Design using research and design criteria to design innovative, functional and appealing products that are fit for purpose and they will communicate their ideas in a range of ways
  • Make things by selecting from a range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks, choosing materials and components for their functional and aesthetic qualities
  • Evaluate their ideas and products against existing products and their own design criteria, considering the views of others to improve their work
  • acquire Technical knowledge on strengthening complex structures, mechanical and electrical systems, applying their knowledge of computing to programme, monitor and control their products.
  • Cook and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating, understanding seasonality, provenance and how to cook a range of dishes using different techniques.

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RE/PHILOSOPHY

At Thomson House we believe that RE should be taught through Philosophy For Children, SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural learning) and through our Well-being programme of assemblies, circle times and specific lessons. The children will be taught to respect the beliefs of others and to respect different cultures.

The children will attend assemblies which will cover emotional well-being; school values; morals, social skills and other cultures. Within the classrooms, teachers will implicitly teach skills through philosophy for children such as questioning, reasoning, explanation, justifying and debate.

Each class will debate and discuss issues which arise as the year progresses, such as, friendship, settling in, sharing, self-esteem and bullying.

Learning about different religions and beliefs, through Philosophy for Children, allows the children to explore ideas, challenge assumptions and debate ideas.  Exploring the concepts of religion and belief helps children to develop moral awareness and social understanding.

 

LANGUAGES

The focus of our teaching of modern foreign languages will be on practical communication: listening attentively, joining in simple conversations confidently and developing accurate pronunciation and intonation with familiar words and phrases so that others can understand. Reading and writing is also introduced at the appropriate time. All children from Reception onwards have access to lunchtime language clubs – these and other language clubs can be arranged subject to enough sustained demand. Languages become part of the formal curriculum from Year 1, when Italian will be taught. In Year 4 there will be the opportunity to learn Mandarin Chinese.