Here is an overview of what your child will be learning this half term in the different subject areas. The Learning Challenge focus usually encompasses several curriculum areas. If you have any questions about the learning this half term, please contact us as we are more than happy to discuss any queries with you.
Felicity Hughes, Jonathan O’Dwyer
Learning Challenge: Can we save the world?
As part of their topic work this half term the children will be learning about human geography. We will be asking the question, 'Can we save the world?' as we consider the effect global warming is having on our planet. We will learn about the different things humans are doing to affect the environment, including deforestation, burning fossil fuels and our carbon footprint. We will consider some of the changes we can make in our own lives to reduce the effects of global warming such as reducing, reusing and recycling. They will find out about land use and how it alters around the world. The children will also learn about the impact of humans on their planet and global warming. The children will then go on to consider how to live responsibly in the environment and the responsibilities of large scale industries and governments. They will develop this further through a creative project.
Using a short film-clip from Wall-E as inspiration, the children will be learning about how to describe settings and characters in detail using similes, metaphors and personification. They will then go on to plan and write their own stories starring an eco-warrior character who must solve a problem to save the world. In their non-narrative work, children will be building on some of the persuasive writing they covered in the Spring term, and write letters to persuade others to make changes in their lives to reduce their carbon footprint. Children will explore spelling rules and patterns in daily lessons and should also continue to learn the Year 4 spelling lists. Handwriting is, as always, a strong focus for us at Springbank and children are given regular sessions to practice different letters and joins. Year 4 are also excited to be reading a new class novel called ‘The Firework Maker’s Daughter’ by Philip Pullman. This is a fast paced adventure story, with a strong heroine. The children will carry out a range of follow up activities in our guided reading sessions to look at the story in more depth. These will contain discussion aspects, not only to develop the children’s reading and understanding, but also speaking and listening. We will also use the book to teach a weekly reading comprehension lesson, this half term these will be moving towards interpreting the text and justifying our ideas with evidence.
In maths this half term, we are starting by recapping the division work that we did in Spring 1. Following this there will be a focus on tenths and hundredths and how decimals link to fractions. An important strand to this unit is converting between fractions and decimals and finding how they are equivalent. The children will then begin to look at estimation, comparing and calculating different units of measure including money, where again decimals will be relevent. For this they will not only be using measures, but also revisiting place value, the four rules of number and decimals. This unit will also include converting between different units of measure such as grammes to kilogrammes and minutes to seconds. When they learn about conversion, the children really draw on all of their ‘real world’ experiences such as baking and working out timings, it is great to hear all of the ways that they help out (and learn!) at home.
This half term our science topic is all about changing states. The children will learn about solids, liquids and gases and discover how matter changes between these states. Linking to our learning challenge the children will discover how this links to the water cycle and answer the question “Why do puddles disappear?”
Geography will be taught through the learning challenge this half term.
Our R.E this half term continues the theme of words of wisdom. This unit uses examples from Sikhs, Christians and Muslims to enable pupils to think for themselves about sources of guidance or wisdom in their own lives. Stories and sayings from the religions are used, not for skills of recall and memory, but for the opportunity they provide to reflect upon the pupils’ own values and experiences. The unit is a very holistic one which encourages children to be reflective and contains methods of stilling (such as meditation and mindfulness), guided story and guided reflection. The unit helps the children to learn from religion about their own individual spiritual development.
This half term, the children will be continuing their swimming lessons on Mondays for 4H and Friday for 4D. The children have been really enjoying these sessions and are showing signs of good progress. In our further lessons at school, Year 4 will continue to develop balance and coordination skills through our real PE scheme.
During Spring 2 the children will develop their understanding of risk taking and decision making. They move from looking at general risk-taking activities to considering choices related to taking risks with their health. They will learn to identify factors that affect their choices and practise skills for resisting peer pressure and other influences. They learn the importance of making informed choices about their health. There is a specific focus on alcohol.
In French this half-term, the children will recap vocabulary and skills covered so far this year. They will then go on to learn some new vocabulary related to family and will construct sentences about family members. They will read and act out a traditional story. They will also learn about some French Easter traditions.
The children will be continuing their work on coding this half term exploring variables and making sure they are writing algorithms with clear and precise technical language learning how to develop their instructional language as well as working systematically. The children traditionally love this unit and it really build independence during its course.
This half-term in music, the children will be singing songs to establish the ‘thinking voice’ which enables them to internalise a song and recall the rhythm of the melody, developing their musical memory. They will become aware of sound qualities in the human voice through a range of singing and listening activities. The unit will centre on Benjamin Britten’s Cuckoo, which was made famous in 1934 as a way to teach music and poetry together in developing children’s awareness of tune and rhythm.
This half term, as part of the topic the children will be responding like art critics to a range of emotive images that link to our learning challenge. Later in the term they will use these pictures to create a graffiti mural as a year group in an exciting two day art project!