Year 4 Curriculum Newsletter for Spring 2
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.
Robyn Hayton & Natasha Lax
Learning Challenge: Are the ancient Greeks a myth?
As part of their topic work this half term the children will be learning about the life of the ancient Greeks. This fantastic topic will launch with a hands on deep dive into ancient Greek society with a Greek visitor. This is a fabulous opportunity for the children to get up close with a range of artefacts and find out all about Greek life. They will be learning all about scaled timelines and creating these with a range of sources. They will also be learning about how the Greeks worshipped and will be having the opportunity to debate with one another using their own opinions based on a range of historical sources. Using their historical enquiry skills, the children will investigate the origins of the Olympics and try to understand how archaeologists learnt about the sporting competitions that were held during the event.
In reading this half term, the children are reading a wide variety of texts which are designed to immerse the children in their learning challenge about the Greeks. These texts will include non-fiction guide books, extracts from Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan and a selection of Greek myths such as Theseus and the Minotaur and Pandora’s box. The main focus for the lessons will be giving evidence and explaining their answers, building on their previous retrieval learning.
In writing this half term, the children will create a time travel adventure story set in ancient Athens and a piece of descriptive writing based on the fields of Asphalt from a scene in Percy Jackson and the lightning thief. Towards the end of the half term, the children will also spend some time learning about the role of drama and theatre in Ancient Greek life and will take part in some drama activities based on this. As part of this work, the children will be focussing on sentence structure and using paragraphs as well as being creative with their language choices. In grammar lessons this half term, we will be revisiting the apostrophe – a concept that we have found challenging this year as well as writing using fronted adverbial phrases.
In maths this half term, there will be a focus on fractions. An important strand to this unit is converting between fractions and finding how they are equivalent. The children will explore this in depth, developing their understanding of fractions of amounts as well as refering to their understanding of division to problem solve. Children will continue comparing fractions, considering their value as well as learning to add and subtract fractions and the way that this works. We will be using the phrase, ‘equal amounts of a whole’ throughout the unit and developing children's conceptual understanding of what this means. Alonngside this, children will continue to develop their times table fluency through our Times Table Rockstars approach and children will continue to build on their learning at school by practising on Times Table Rockstars regularly.
This half term our science topic is all about the human digestive system as we ask the question ‘Where does poo come from?’ As part of this topic the children will find out about the main organs of the digestive system and their functions. We will also find out about the different types of teeth, what they are for and how to look after them. The topic will finish with a focus on food chains, they will learn about predators, prey and consumers and their different roles.
Our R.E. focus this half term is all about the Muslim faith. The children will learn about the most important features of Islam as well as why the Prophet Mohammed is important within the faith. Finally, the children will learn about the five pillars of Islam.
This half term, the children will be continuing their swimming lessons on a Monday, focussing on building stamina when swimming and maintaining good technique. The children will also be focusing on the fundamental movement skills of balance and coordination, looking at ball skills. We will be spending time developing our ability to balance while moving in different ways, ensuring that our movements are controlled and fluid. We will also be working on our ability to hold a ball securely whilst moving in different ways, and will look at how to pass and receive a ball in a controlled, safe way. As well as these fundamental movement skills we will be working on developing our cognitive ability, by planning ahead, using quick fire decision making skills and thinking about evaluating our own work in PE sessions.
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.
This half-term in French, the children will be learning how to ask questions and give responses about themselves. They will take part in lots of speaking and listening activities to build on their confidence in having short conversations. They will be writing descriptions of themselves too. They will learn about Easter traditions and will be writing sentences using their knowledge of adjectives and conjunctions.
The children will learning about branching data bases this half term, learning how to create a ready-made database to answer questions. The children will add and organise their data in different ways before presenting it to other children within the class.
In Music this half-term, the children will be singing with awareness of features that influence the ‘tone-colour’ of the singing voice. They will sense the pitch movements in song melody and show this using hand movement. They will use chime bars to illustrate pitch changes. They will also be exploring music from a range of genres and learning about the history of some of this music, as well as some well-known musical artists.
This half term the children will study the role of art within Ancient Greek culture, focussing specifically on the information that the pots give us about Ancient Greek life and the stories that they tell. The children will then do some observational drawings of the pottery before creating their own design, Finally, the children will create their own Ancient Greek pot using modelling clay before painting an Ancient Greek inspired picture on it.