Year 4 Information for Parents - Autumn Term

Dear Parents,        

Welcome back to a new school year. Here are some details about what we have coming up this term.

Topic Work

We start the year with ‘Disaster Zone’, a geography topic which looks at the effects of flooding and other natural disasters. We will be writing leaflets, explanation texts and newspaper reports, as well as a script for a tv news report, which we will film. Our Science topic within it is ‘Our Sustainable World’ and we will study the planet and look at green issues. The elements of PSE that come from this topic will be around empathising with people who suffer from these disasters. If you want to do any research at home, you could find out more information about the very recent Hurricane Harvey and the monsoon in India, Nepal and Bangladesh, Aberfan, the Boxing Day Tsunami or other natural disasters which have been in the news. We are planning a trip to Welsh Water in Cilfynydd on Tuesday 26th September – more details about that to be announced soon.

After half term, we have ‘Children of the Revolution’ as our topic. This is an ideal topic leading up to Christmas as we study the Victorians. We will find out about the life of the rich and poor in Victorian society, as well as people like Dr Barnado who did a lot of good for the society. We will do report writing and persuasive writing as we persuade Queen Victoria to support our own good causes – think Dragon’s Den and Oliver Twist! Woven into this topic will be the artwork of the era as well as the music.

Alongside these topics, the children will also have Welsh and RE lessons. The first Value of the year will be Respect, where we find out about respecting others and respecting the planet. Our second Value will be Peace. We will continue the Pod Antur work in Welsh with two new characters, Dyfs and Izzie, teaching us more patterns in the past tense, third person and legends in Welsh.

If you have anything which may help us at all with our topics, or know someone who could visit school and talk about the topic, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. All suggestions will be gratefully received.

P.E. and Games

Our hall timetable is now finalised and Year 4 can use it for PE and Games on a Monday afternoon and Wednesday afternoon. Please make sure your child’s PE kit is labelled with their name on every item as we often have lots of unlabelled PE kit left over at the end of the year. They need shirt and shorts for indoor PE. As Games lessons are usually outdoors, many parents like to give their child a pair of jogging bottoms and a sweatshirt during the winter months.

Later in the year, Year 4 start swimming lessons. These will be weekly so we will drop one of the PE lessons each week. You will receive more information about it when it occurs.

Reading Books

Group Guided Reading has proven to be very successful in providing the children with the opportunities to develop their ‘higher-order reading skills’ – understanding the characters and plot in the story, getting deeper meaning from the book etc. Children will read these books every day in school. They will bring home a variety of free choice and other books. I would like to change all books on a regular day each week, so please return all books on a Thursday. If you need to keep the book for longer, please put a note in the home reading book. Reading is such an important part of your child’s homework, so please find opportunities to read with your child.

Handwriting

We continue to practice our handwriting three days a week, at the start of the day. Please encourage your child to join their writing at home whenever possible. In school we use the phrase, ‘Make it nice, or do it twice!’ We want the presentation of all the children’s work to improve, so they need to make it nice (neat and tidy), or stay in at playtime and do it again. I am also looking for more children to gain their pen license this term, so keep practising.

Spelling Tests

Spelling continues to be every Friday and we will start back next week. Please ensure you have practised spellings with your children during the week and signed their red spelling book. It must be returned to school every Friday. As well as earning two house points for remembering their red spelling book, they can also earn two house points if they get all their spellings correct.

Maths

We continue to use the TAPAS Maths scheme. Every lesson has an element of real life Maths in it; we call it the QC – the Question in Context. For example, we may practise adding up in the lesson, and then finish the lesson with a money question which involves adding up.

By now, most children should have secure knowledge of their 2X, 3X, 4X, 5X and 10X tables. We are currently learning the 9X table (only 4 sums to learn). This coming year, we will be learning the 6X (3 sums), 7X (2 sums) and 8X tables (1 final sum). We will be using negative numbers and fractions, measuring to the nearest millimetre and using the 24-hour clock. Children in Year 3 ought to be able to give change from £2 and we will extend that to giving change for several items from £10 in Year 4. We will continue to give a small amount of homework out on a Tuesday which should be returned on the following day. We will have a Beat That test each week and a CLIC test once a month.

Other timetable information

We still have singing practice on a Friday morning. Circle Time (SEAL) is on a Wednesday morning. I have my PPA time on a Wednesday morning when Mrs Francis will teach the class.

Lost Property

Please make sure your child’s name is in all their clothes so anything lost can be returned to you immediately.

Water bottles

Leaving the classroom to have drinks from the water fountain can be very disruptive in lessons, so we do encourage children to have a drinks bottle in school with them on their desk. They are encouraged to fill it up at playtimes and lunchtimes. They are also taught about the dangers of leaving water in it overnight.

I look forward to a really good year with this class. If you have any queries, please do come and speak to me if I am on the yard. Unfortunately, parents cannot freely enter the building, so if I am not on the yard, then please speak to the secretary at the front entrance.

Mr Oram.