Robins - Year 4
Curriculum Overview 2023-24 Year 4
Pizza Express Visit 25th April 2023
This week we visited Pizza Express at Tower Park, Poole where we learned about where food used to make pizzas comes from, and how to make a pizza. Sophie led our group and Ivan was the pizza chef.
When we arrived, we washed our hands to make sure they were clean before preparing the food, then we put our aprons on.
We completed a taste test and completed the sheet using different ingredients. Some of us were tasting these for the first time! We tried lemon, basil, tomatoes and olives.
The pizzaiolo (pizza chef) was busy preparing the pizza dough, and we all had a turn at kneading the dough in the flour. It was very soft and springy. Once we had our pizza bases ready we spread passata, (tomato sauce) on them and topped them off with mozzarella cheese. The pizzas took just 3 minutes to cook in the huge pizza oven. We used the pizza cutters to carefully slice our pizzas before taking them back to school for lunch.
We were all awarded Junior Pizzaiolo certificates!
Outdoor Classroom Learning Day
Sustainable Swanage at St Mark’s Primary School
Thursday 3rd November was International Outdoor Learning Day and the Year 4 pupils from St Marks’ Primary school were able to take advantage of this by working with Sarah from Sustainable Swanage.
Sarah spoke to the children about her love of trees and her enthusiasm certainly inspired our children. We dodged the showers and took part in an Autumnal Tree walk round our spectacular grounds. The children used an ‘I-D wheel to identify the trees and made a palette of many different colours using fallen leaves.
Sarah said: “Outdoor classroom day was so much fun, I really enjoyed the opportunity to work with local schools. All the children were so enthusiastic, interested and excited about our local trees and how to identify them.”
Before leaving Sarah told them all about the new ‘Tree Trail’ in Swanage which many of them seemed interested in following.
Internet Safety Day
We begin each morning by learning our weekly spellings, using a range of methods from the Pyramid Technique to a Timed Challenge. We are currently following the Babcock spelling scheme, which includes the Year 4 National Curriculum spelling list but also provides opportunities for looking at a range of spelling skills such as the use of the apostrophe, suffixes and prefixes.
Following our daily spellings we have a 20 minute Guided Reading session. This year we will read the following texts:
- The Dinosaur Garden
- Cliff Hanger
- Flat Stanley
- The Fastest Boy in the World
Each week there is an opportunity for individual pupils to read to the class, but we also read sections aloud as a whole class. It is wonderful to listen to the pupils reading with increased confidence and improved expression. Our weekly lessons involve questioning of the text, word and meaning tasks and an activity based around the chapter of the week, for example writing as one of the characters or predicting what might happen next within the story.
Pupils are taught Numeracy every morning and each lesson begins with a 5-a-day set of questions. This is an opportunity for the children to look back at previously taught aspects of their numeracy as the curriculum covers many areas. During the Autumn and Spring Term the pupils learn the four operations, number facts and the concept of place value. Pupils use efficient written and mental methods to solve a range of problems including simple fractions and decimal place value. One of the key elements in Year 4 is the knowledge of the times tables. By the end of the year pupils are expected to have memorised their times tables up to and including the 12 times table. The children are set a times table to learn for their weekly test. When they have a secure knowledge of a times table they progress to the next one. The test will take place on Thursday and you will be informed of your child's progress via marvellous Me. Our class have access to TT Rockstars to assist with their learning. Each child will be given their own personal login details and password.
Year 4 Multiplication Tables Check
In Year 4 we are expecting all children to complete the Multiplication Tables Check. This is a Government assessment which will take place in the Summer Term. All children are expected to have learnt all of their times tables (up to X 12) by the end of Year 4. To help children with this we will be providing the children with additional practice materials on TT Rockstars (see above).
We read the following texts in our Literacy lessons:
Street Child by Berlie Doherty
Oliver & the Seawigs by Philip Reeve
Stig of the Dump by Clive King
Pupils study the techniques used by these authors and the ideas from the stories are used to generate the pupils own writing of: narratives, explanation texts, play scripts, letters, biographies, diaries & newspaper reports. Pupils begin by studying examples of the text type they will be producing. They create word banks, study the features used such as chronological order, use of the first person and emotive language if they are writing a diary. Pupils plan their writing, produce a first draft and finally re-draft their piece of work. The pupil's re-drafted work is displayed and shared with our Head of School. As we update this page we will be including examples of the pupils writing.
We also read, write and perform poetry as part of our literacy curriculum. So far this year we have studied Jabberwocky by Lewis Carol & read a number of poems by Roger McGough from his selection in Poetry Pie.
The main focus of Year 4 Science is to develop the children’s scientific understanding of the world around them. Our Science lessons encourage the children to ask questions about scientific concepts, and answer those questions through scientific enquiries such as investigations and experiments.
Our Topics this year include:
Autumn 1 – Living things and their habitats (1)
Autumn 2 – Electricity
Spring 1 – Sound
Spring 2 – States of Matter
Summer 1 – Animals, including humans
Summer 2 – Living things and their habitats (2)
In our RE lessons, we embrace the opportunity to explore and look in depth at different world religions, whilst also exploring the Christian faith and its teachings. Our lessons include research, recording of ideas, and also discussion and the sharing of views and opinions, as we explore together.
Our Topics this year include:
Autumn 1 – Buddhism
The Buddha’s Teachings – Is it possible for everyone to be happy?
Autumn 2 – Christianity
Kingdom of God - What does the Kingdom of God mean to Christians?
Spring 1 – Islam
Prophethood - Why do Muslim's call Muhammed the 'seal of the prophets'?
Spring 2 – Christianity
Salvation – How does believing Jesus is their Saviour, inspire Christians to serve others?
Summer 1 – Hinduism
Karma – Why do Hindu's want to collect good Karma?
Summer 2 – Sikhism
Equality - How do Sikhs put their beliefs about equality into practice?
Our weekly topic lessons cover the following areas:
Autumn: Ancient Greece & The Egyptians
Spring: Rivers & The Romans
Summer: Natural Disasters & Japan
Wherever possible, we include 'hands on' experiences for the pupils to bring these topics to life. During our Ancient Greece Topic work we looked at a range of sources, working out what each item could have been used for and what each artefact told us about life at this time in History. The children also made replicas and drawings of Greek Pottery for their Home/School Learning Project.
This term we are planning a trip to the Tutankhamun Museum to learn all about the excavation and treasure found in the tomb of Tutankhamun. Check out this space for photos later in the term.
In March the Robins visited the Dorset Museum in Dorchester to learn about the Romans. The day began with a visit to an actual Roman Town House which is situated in Colliton Park. The children explored the outside of the property, learning about the rooms that would have been located there. They were very interested in the well and finding out which Roman artefacts had been discovered inside it.
After putting on over shoes, the class were allowed inside the town house where they looked at the mosaic floors and found out which rooms and furniture would have been inside.
Back at the museum, the pupils became archaeologists as they dug in replica graves, unearthing a number of ‘grave goods.’ These ranged from pieces of pottery to beautiful jewellery. The artefacts were studied and used to identify the type of person they would have belonged to.
Finally the Robins visited the Roman Exhibition. Here they were able to look at a replica of the town house they had walked around and see many of the artefacts they had uncovered with their trowels and brushes.
The children had a wonderful day and have written some detailed recounts about their visit.
Water Cycle Work
The Robins visited the Tutankhamun Museum in Dorchester to learn about the discovery of Tutankhamun's Tomb in the Valley of the Kings. It was an appropriate time to visit as the tomb was discovered by Howard Carter 100 years ago. The Museum is divided into different sections, the first one explains the importance of the Rosetta Stone's discovery and how the translation of the stone led to the discovery of the tomb. The children then visited the reconstruction of the Ante Chamber which has models showing how the discovery was made and the images of what could be seen. After this the children visited the Burial Chamber and finally the Hall of Treasures which appeared to be their favourite area.
In addition to this the museum also has a separate Mummies Exhibition which explains the mummification process and has a number of realistic replica mummies on display.
The children had an enjoyable and informative visit which was evident from the recount writing they produced after their trip.
Art & Design Technology
Areas taught in Art over the year include, Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture, Appreciation and Evaluation, and also How art is influenced by the time, place and the culture in which it was made.
In DT, the children learn skills in product research, disassembling and building products, making prototypes, testing, designing and evaluating. Food technology is a major focus of our DT curriculum and we have a mobile kitchen unit with oven and hob that can be transported to be used wherever it is required.
We are revising how to introduce ourselves; to count; name the days of the week and months of the years and how to say colours in Spanish.
In Year 4 we have two lessons of PE every week and also take part in a daily run. Our curriculum for each term is outlined below:
Autumn 1: Health Related Exercise & Football
Autumn 2: Dance & Rugby
Spring 1: Gymnastics & Basketball
Spring 2: Outdoor Adventurous Activities & Hockey
Summer 1: Tennis & Fielding & Striking (Rounders & Cricket)
Summer 2: Athletics & Swimming
The children also have access to a wide range of clubs and take part in a number of sporting competitions and festivals. See our PE page for more details.
Purbeck Cross Country Champions
PSHE is taught using a scheme called Scarf. This scheme supports our pupils social, emotional and physical well-being. There are many opportunities for discussion & role play within these lessons. We also include PSHE afternoons when National School Topics arise so far this year these have been Anti Bullying & Mental Health & Well-Being for Children.
The children will be given a personalised set of spellings to practise each week and there will be a spelling test every Monday to check the progress of the children.
The children will also be expected to learn their times tables each week and they will have a test on this every Thursday. Children can practice on TT Rockstars or Hit the Button. Each child will be given personal login and password for TT Rockstars.
English and Maths Homework will be set on a Friday, and this should be completed by the following Friday. (Maths or English will be set on alternate weeks).
The children will also be expected to complete one piece of homework each half term based our class Topic. This usually involves a piece of research, Art or DT, and we are constantly amazed at the ideas the children have, and the work produced, often involving the whole family!
Reading is given high priority at St Mark's and all children are expected to read at home regularly. Each child is given books linked to our Reading Scheme and suited to their reading level, or, once a Free Reader, is able to choose a book from our extensive library. Each week there is the opportunity to win a book of their choice by being awarded with a Golden Ticket. In order to win a Golden Ticket, your child should read at home at least 4 times during the week, and their Reading Log should be signed by an adult. They will then be entered into the draw which takes place every Friday during Praise Assembly. Good luck!
Tremendous Team Building Day
Our final outing with the Robins of 2021-22 was a full day of team building activities at Carey Camp in Wareham. The heat wave had arrived but we were able to spend the day in the shade of the forest and enjoy all the timetabled events.
The children enjoyed exploring the tunnels, where they completed trails and hid objects for their partners to find. The 'Spider's Web' was excellent for encouraging communication skills, especially when the children were blind-folded. The blind-folds were in use again on the paired blind-fold course. The children were able to explore lots of the site whilst taking part in the Orienteering. Another favourite was the archery where the children listened carefully to all the safety information and were extremely successful when aiming at the target.
The whole day flew past with lots of smiles as you will see from the photographs.
A great way to end the term!
International Outdoor Classroom Learning Day
Outdoor Classroom Day
Outdoor Classroom Day is a global movement to make time outdoors part of every child’s day. On two days of action each year, teachers take children outdoors to play and learn. The first Outdoor Classroom Day this year was on Thursday 19 May 2022 and to help the schools of Swanage get involved, the Dorset Coast Forum together with the Environment Agency hosted sessions at Swanage seafront highlighting the areas that are at flood risk and how we currently protect the town from coastal flooding. As part of this scheme the Robin's Class spent a fabulous, sunny morning at Swanage Beach, where we met Sara, from the Dorset Coast Forum, and Diamond, from the Environment Agency. We met at Albert Gardens and looked at the view of Old Harry Rocks and the different types of cliff face we could see from this spot. We walked along past the Mowlem Theatre looking at the sea wall and the blocks which are used to prevent flooding during the Winter Months. On the seafront we found the painted drains and discussed the things that are being put in place to prevent flooding in Swanage. We walked to the pier and looked at the wooden groynes and concrete that have been used to slow down the coastal erosion. We enjoyed our outdoor learning session and look forward to our next opportunity to take part. Sara and Diamond were impressed with our behaviour and the questions we asked and answered.
World Book Day 2022
Dorset County Museum Trip
We launched our new humanities topic 'The Romans' with a visit to Dorset County Museum where the children participated in a 'Bones and Metals' workshop. The children became archaeologists and were able to discover 'grave goods' and use these to work out which status their replica skeleton held within Roman society. Emma and Brian (the museum staff) were both so knowledgeable and enthusiastic that the children were spellbound from the minute we arrived.
After the children had uncovered all the Roman artefacts they visited the Roman Exhibition to see if they could locate their 'finds' and learn more about Dorchester or Durnovaria as it was called by the Romans.
The class also had an opportunity to dress up as rich and poor Romans. Looking the part, the children walked to see the examples of Roman mosaics displayed in the museum.
Roman Town House
Our final activity was a visit to the Roman Town House. Here the children learnt about the layout of a rich Roman home by studying the remaining walls with Emma and reading the information boards. The opportunity to sit in a replica amphitheatre, which is just one year old, while looking at the only entire Roman Town House in Britain will hopefully be one the children will remember for many years to come.