Friday, 12 January 2018

Communication Letter

 Communication Letter

Dear Parents/ Carers of Year 4 Pupils

Happy New Year and I hope you have had an enjoyable Christmas break with your family. The children have all came back from the holiday eager to learn and have settled back in wonderfully. Our exciting news is we have a new topic called ‘Somewhere to settle’. 

Topic
The first topic of this term is ‘Somewhere to settle’. In this unit, children go back in time to find out how the towns and cities of the UK first developed. The children will learn about the needs and requirements early settlers had when choosing a place to build a home. They will look at place names around the UK to see how the Anglo-Saxons, Romans and Vikings all left their mark. Through use of digital and paper maps, children will investigate land use in different sized settlements and the ways in which settlements are linked together. At the end of the unit, children draw together all their learning about settlements to design their own new settlement!  We have also had some fun already in this topic learning about settlers’ needs, before evaluating the benefits and disadvantages of certain locations within a fantasy world (Narnia, Toad Manor, Hogwarts, Camelot’s castle, Alice in Wonderland etc. – These were linked to our last unit of fantasy stories in English).  I have attached some photographs of this group work to this letter.

Science
During this term Year 4 will be learning about ‘States of Matter’. This unit will teach the children about the differences between solids, liquids and gases, classifying objects and identifying their properties. The children will work scientifically and collaboratively to investigate the weight of a gas. Furthermore, they will have chance to find the ideal temperature to melt chocolate. They will explore in-depth how water changes state, exploring melting, freezing, condensing as well as a particular focus on evaporation. Finally, they will learn about the stages of the water cycle, creating mini water worlds and an interactive water wheel to represent the different stages.

RE
We will be investigating and discovering ‘What makes some books sacred? ‘. The children will be looking and studying some of the stories in the Bible, then reflecting on how these stories are used in church and influence the lives of Christians.

PE
Year 4 outdoor PE this term will be Hockey.  In addition, the children will be learning dance in our indoor PE sessions. The dance lessons will focus upon transitions between movement, creating and evaluating dance motifs.  Sometimes our timetable has to change so PE kit should be in school each day please.

Art aprons
Please would you provide an old shirt or apron for art that stays in school at all times - thank you.  We will be creating a landscape painting in the medium of water colours.

Music
This term the children are lucky enough to be receiving brass music tuition from county. The class will be learning how to play the trumpet and maybe a song or two.
I have attached some photographs of their first lesson – they were fab and had lots of fun.

English
This term the children will be moving away from narratives and learning about non-fiction text types with a focus on non-chronological reports. We will be learning a model text type example of a non-chronological report using Pie Corbett’s talk4writing approach, before innovating and creating their own non-chronological report about a place (linked to our topic). In SPaG we will continue to build upon the fabulous progress the children made last term in possessive apostrophes, while introducing the concept of adverbial phrases.

Our second unit of work will be performance and imagery poetry. This will provide the children with the chance to experience and develop their performing skills, before the annual school poetry competition (fingers crossed).


Mathematics
The start of this term will be focused heavily on the children’s formal written method of multiplication and division.  It cannot be stressed enough how vital fast recall of the times tables facts are for your child’s progression in this strand of mathematics.  We will then move onto looking at shape and measurement later in this half term.

We have learnt how to scale by 10, 100 and 1,000, multiply a two digit number by one digit number in our head and also multiply three numbers together (mostly mentally). If you could frequently practise these skills at home it would be beneficial for their mental maths strategies and much appreciated.

Homework Mathematics
The children will continue to receive maths facts to learn as part of their weekly homework. It is great to see the progress they are making in their times tables.  We will continue with times tables until at least next half term before moving onto other mathematical facts.

Homework Spelling
Spellings will continue to be set and tested weekly.  The spellings are from the national curriculum and follow the Year 3 & 4 list (Lower Key Stage 2). If your child is confident with the spellings, they should challenge themselves by finding words that follow that pattern and learn them as additional spellings. I have asked the children to return the spellings weekly with 6 additional words that follow the pattern. I also challenge the children by giving them five unknown words that follow the pattern as part of their test, although these don’t affect their scores. It is one thing for children to learning spellings to pass a test, but another to consistently apply patterns to their writing in class.  Please could you regularly practise and test your child on their half termly spellings. Thank you for your help.


Please don’t hesitate to come and see me if you have any questions. I know that I’m looking forward to another amazing term with the class.  

Yours sincerely,



Luke Sherlock














Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Digestive System Experiment

Year Four have been learning about the different organs and stages of the digestive process. We looked at comparing the digestive system between two different animals, followed by a comparison to our own digestive system.  We learnt about the function of each part of the digestive system, before carrying out a practical experiment which recreated the digestion process in the classroom. Using household items such as plastic cups, orange juice and a pair of tights, the experiment enabled the children to visualise the process of digestion in an engaging, practical way. Plus they got to make poo!














Friday, 15 September 2017

Communication Letter September 2017

 Communication Letter

Dear Parents/ Carers of Year 4 Pupils

Welcome to Year 4! I hope you have had an enjoyable summer with your family. I am very excited to be teaching Year 4 and I’m looking forward to a great year getting to know your child and helping them to develop.

Year 4 is an exciting year and it is fundamental for children to become more responsible and take ownership for their equipment, so please encourage them to be as independent as possible.

Curriculum to be covered this term:

Topic
The first topic of this term is ‘Riotous Royalty’ unit and we will look in depth at William the Conqueror’s reign from 1066 onwards, how King John made himself very unpopular as monarch and why King Henry VIII married so many times. This topic also teaches who Queen Anne was, what
Queen Victoria achieved during her reign and look at the role of the British monarchy today.

Science
During this term Year 4 will be learning about animals including humans. This unit focuses on the digestive system in humans and animals and the functions of teeth. Children will learn more about herbivores, carnivores and omnivores in the context of teeth, digestion and the food chain. In addition, they will extend their understanding of food chains to more complex chains and food webs.

RE
The children will be examining the question ’What do Hindus believe God is like?’  Children will have time to identify some Hindu dieties and say how they help Hindus describe God. Along with this children will make clear links between some stories from the Hindu faith e.g. (Svetaketu, Ganesh and Diwali) and what Hindus believe about God.

PE
We will start off in outdoor PE with touch rugby skills and the children will be learning gymnastics in our indoor PE sessions. The gymnastics will focus upon travelling, balancing, jumps and creating gymnastic sequences.  Sometimes our timetable has to change so PE kit should be in school each day please. Key Stage 2 children, who forget their PE kit on 3 occasions in a term, will be in less than 10.

Art aprons
Children will need to have an old shirt or apron for art. Please ensure your child has one in school at all times.


English
The English unit this term will be stories with historical settings. This unit fits in perfectly with our history topic, as the children will be writing about characters and settings based from an era of one of our monarch’s reigns. We will then be moving onto a letter writing unit and final poetry, where the children will experience a range of poetry that create specific images, and then finally write their own.

Mathematics
The start of the term will be focused upon place value and the latter part of the term will be focused upon addition and subtraction.  We will then be moving onto multiplication after Christmas.

It cannot be stressed enough how vital fast recall of these facts will be this year.  The new curriculum’s expectation for Year 4 is that all children will be able to recall times table facts up to 12 x 12!

Children’s reading record / Communication Books
The children will be using their reading record to record the reading they undertake at home, whether this is with an adult or independently.  I would ask that your child records a sentence about what they have read and not a generic comment e.g.‘ I love this book!’

The communication books will be checked weekly on a Friday. If time is permitting I will try to do this additionally on a Wednesday. Therefore, if there is an argent comment from yourself please either find me on the playground or put a post-it note on the page and make sure your child brings it to me in the morning.  

I would also be grateful if you could practise times tables (up to 12 x 12) with your children and record this in the weekly planner. Your support with this is much appreciated- thank you. There is no charge for the KS2 planner, but if children lose it and require a new one then there will be a charge for a replacement (which is subject to availability).

Spellings and maths facts homework
Homework this year has changed across the whole school. Children will continue to have their termly and weekly spellings. In addition, the children will also have a fact sheet to learn with mathematic facts.  The children will receive these on a Friday and will be tested the following Friday.  This is to help improve children’s fluency of recalling mathematical facts e.g. times tables and division facts, conversion of lengths, days in each month and counting through negative numbers etc.

Homework Reading
As you know children hugely benefit from reading regularly, every night where possible, and it is still important for children to be reading with an adult on a regular basis. For many children comprehension based discussion is the most valuable use of shared reading time.

I know that it will be a really busy and exciting year.  Please don’t hesitate to come and see me if you have any questions.

Yours sincerely,



Luke Sherlock