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’. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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

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