Welcome to Year 4
with Mrs May
Mr R Pask
with Mrs Sowerby
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All of us in Year 4 wish you a very warm welcome to the new school year. Our students are settling in beautifully, and with a wonderful attitude to their learning. Thank you to all parents and carers that have helped our young people prepare for September.
This week in Year 4
Key learning skills: Resilience, Respect, Confidence, Independence, Enthusiasm & Cooperation
Our key learning skills focus for this half term is resilience. In class we will be giving the children lots of opportunities to demonstrate resilience and to also identify resilience in others. If your child demonstrates or recognises these skills in others outside of school, we would love to hear about it!
English and Reading
This week we will be introducing the book 'Escape from Pompeii' by Christine Balit. We will be writing a description of the city of Pompeii using expanded noun phrases, SPAMO (simile, personification, alliteration, metaphor and onomatopoeia) and using our senses.
We will be using concrete materials to secure number bonds to 10, 20 and 100 and to represent numbers to 1,000.
We will be researching the key events of AD 79 and watching a video clip about Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius.
This half term will will be following the Charanga music scheme and learning to sing and perform the song Mama Mia.
PE this year will be taught on a Tuesday. Please ensure that your child wears their full PE kit to school on this day. In addition to weekly PE lessons, we will also be participating in the Daily Mile every day.
Contacting the Year 4 Team
Although we may not be able to meet face to face currently, we are more than happy to receive emails on the above links. Please bear in mind that we may not be able to respond until the following day.
At times, you may prefer to arrange to speak to us over the phone. You can do this via email, again using the addresses above, or by calling the school office on 01305 783876 and leaving a message.
The School Day
To ensure safety of families, pupils and staff, the school drop off and pick up times have altered from the previous year. Children can now arrive arrive between 8:30 and 8:50am and will leave school at 2:50pm. Each student will have their hands sanitised at least 6 times a day, and always upon entering and leaving the school.
Traditionally, spellings have been tested weekly, using Statutory Word lists, prefixes and suffixes learned in class. However, we have noticed that the pandemic has negatively impacted our students’ retention and produced gaps in their learning.
Although Spelling Shed is an important part of helping our learners to improve their vocabulary, it is not necessarily useful to all our learners. Some students may like to continue to rise to the challenge by using the app, but others may need a differentiated approach.
As reflective practitioners, in Year 4, we have identified that many of our students would benefit more directly by revisiting our Phonics programme, Read Write Inc. Once secure in the individual sounds for each set, your child will then move on to the trickier Statutory Word lists.
We have already started identifying the gaps and are now able to deliver a more personalised programme to improve your child’s progress. This means that, rightly, each student will be at different stages in their spellings, reading and handwriting. Each half term, we will be able to re-assess your child, and adjust our support accordingly.
The individual sounds will be from Sets 2 and 3. Students will not be expected to progress to Set 3 until the sounds of Set 2 are embedded securely. After Set 3, we will reintroduce prefixes, suffixes and Year 3 & 4 Statutory word lists, following the Read, Write, Inc programme.
There are 12 Set 2 ‘speed sounds’ that are made up of two or three letters which represent just one sound, e.g., ay as in play, ee as in tree and igh as in high. When learning their Set 3 speed sounds, they will be taught that there are more ways in which the same sounds are written, e.g., ee as in tree and ea as in tea. The speed sounds will be delivered in order of the frequency with which students will come across them when reading.
We encourage all students to read widely with a grown-up at home, discussing the content of books they read so your child becomes fluent in vocabulary, grammar, inference and comprehension skills, maximising their experience and enjoyment of reading.
Children can now bring in book bags every day, along with their reading record. New books will be issued Monday so students can read with their adults at home and at school over the week. To enhance the experience, Year 4 children are also encouraged to use Oxford Reading Buddy regularly at home, as they do in school.
Oxford Reading Buddy moves students automatically through Oxford Levels. Once a student has met specified thresholds, based on the number of quiz scores above 80%, they are ready to move up to the next Oxford Level. Threshold numbers vary between levels, and numbers reduce at higher levels because the texts are longer and take more time to read.
The conditions for movement through Oxford Levels have been based on expected rates of progress and achievement. In the event that a student runs out of books at a given Oxford Level without having met the thresholds necessary to move up to the next Oxford Level, previously-read books will appear at the start of their eBook library ready for re-reading, and quizzes will be reset for a second attempt.
We are coaching students regularly on how to improve their book Quiz results in the classroom. As there is no time limit and no sense of competition in the quizzes, we are focussing on taking the time to read the questions and search the text before committing to the answer, just as students will need to in a Reading Comprehension Test. Consistently scoring 80% or more will maximise their progression to the next level, where many more e-books will be available.
Year 4 students are expected to know their times tables up to 12 x 12 by June 2022, when they will take part in the Multiplication Tables Check. This is a series of 25 questions with 6 seconds to answer and with a 3 second gap between questions. It is hard, requires maximum concentration and the multiplcation facts really do need to be known ‘off by heart’ in order to pass. To this end, we encourage all students to practise these at home and school, as well as participate in TT Rockstars.
There are links below to some sites that may support additional learning at home.
Children should wear full school uniform to and from school with black outdoor school shoes, which should be suitable for field play and wet weather. A warm, waterproof or water-resistant coat should be provided in wet and cold weather. When the playing field is muddy, students are encouraged to wear their PE shoes in the classroom when returning from outside breaks.
From Week 2, 13th Sept, as we are unable to use other classrooms to change in for PE, Year 4 students can come to school in their proper PE kit, with tracksuit bottoms and school jumper when necessary.