Lemurs Year 4
Dear Parents and Carers,
Happy New year, and a huge welcome back after the Christmas break. We are all extremely excited to be using our brand-new classroom this term, and engaging in lots of fabulous new learning that is outlined below.
Our topic for Term 3 is crime and punishment. Whilst this will be with a Historical focus, this theme will run through many of our other subjects, particularly in English.
English: In English this term, we will be using our crime and punishment topic to inform some very exciting persuasive writing but will also be using this to engage in speaking and listening activities at the end of Term 3.
Maths: This is a very exciting term for Maths, where lots of new mathematical concepts will be explored. We will first be looking at multiplication and division of 2 digit numbers, before moving onto formal written methods of long multiplication and division. We will then learn about how to calculate the area of shape. Fractions and decimals form the basis for Maths learning in Term 4.
Science: Science will focus on the sparky topic of Electricity this term. There will be opportunities for children to problem solve and to create basic circuits. The children will continue to apply and refine their process skills as young, inquiring scientists with a focus upon collecting and recording data in various ways.
History: Our History topic this term is a very exciting one of crime and punishment. Here we will explore punishment through the ages, including the Romans and Victorians, and comparing this to life today. We also have some exciting themed days taking place, including a crime themed drama workshop on the 14th January.
Geography: Geography this term will see year 4 considering the “Extreme Earth”, a very relevant but exciting topic that covers many aspects of physical Geography.
PE: In PE this term, we will be playing quik cricket, working on our skills of batting, bowling, and teamwork. We will also have a focus on gymnastics, and will be using the apparatus to explore how our bodies move.
Computing: We are going to become software developers in our computing topic this term, reviewing and creating new interactive games using the programme Scratch.
Art: The fascinating and detailed work of Escher will be used as inspiration for our skills-based work this term. We will look at the links with mathematical tessellations and have a go at printing using his unique style as a springboard for our own creations.
RE: Our topic for Term 3 is “Gospel”, where we will be considering Jesus and the role of his disciples. As well as this, we will be studying the topic of Hinduism in Term 4, where we will be learning about the Hindu beliefs, their gods, and their traditions.
Music: In Music this term, we are going to be using percussion instruments to compose.
French: In French, we will be consolidating our learning of family members and transport before moving on to discussing the weather. You can help to support your child’s French learning by downloading the free app ‘Duolingo’, which explores in depth many of the topics that are covered in the primary curriculum for French.
Spellings and times tables: As in terms 1 and 2, spellings will continue to take place on a Thursday with Mrs Forsyth. However, times tables tests will now take place on a Friday. Please offer your child a chance to practice these at home as part of their homework.
Homework: As before, homework will again be given to your child on Thursday, and is due in the following Tuesday. Sadly, if homework is handed in late, it will be looked at but not marked. Altogether homework should not take any longer than 90 minutes each week. If you find that the homework is taking too long or that your child has had enough, please just stop and let me know. Equally, if your child would like an extra challenge, I will upload some short activities onto the Virtual Learning Environment. As well as this, Year 4 have a fast approaching times tables test later this year. I actively encourage the children to make use of their Times Table Rockstars account at home if they can do so, where they have the opportunity to compete with their peers and staff and can earn lots of exciting rewards.
Reading: It is expected that your child reads daily as part of their homework. As part of an incentive to win team points, children are able to acquire reading points by reading at least five pages of their book. It is incredibly important that your child has the opportunity to read at home, whether this is a school book or otherwise. Please write any comments in your child’s reading record, and sign or initial when you have listened to them read.
PE kit and uniform: It is expected that PE will take place both indoors and outdoors this term, therefore please ensure that your child has their full PE kit (including trainers) with them every day in school. PE will take place on a Monday and Wednesday afternoon. On these days, please ensure that hair is tied back, and that earrings are removed if they can be.
I hope that this information has been useful. As ever, if you have any questions or queries please do not hesitate to come and discuss them.
Have a wonderful term!
Mrs Allen and the Year 4 Team
Under the current National Curriculum, children are supposed to know their times tables up to 12x 12 by the end of Year 4. The Department for Education (DfE) has introduced a new assessment, the purpose of which is to determine whether Year 4 pupils can fluently recall their times tables (being able to answer times tables questions accurately and quickly, without having to work out the answers).
The Multiplication Tables Check (MTC) will be administered to Year 4 children starting in the 2019-20 academic year. The check is part of the new focus on mastering numeracy, giving children the skills and knowledge they need for secondary school and beyond.
The DfE says the purpose of the check is to help teachers identify which children are falling behind and target areas where they’re not being given a chance to succeed.
How will the test be administered?
Children will be tested using an on-screen check (on a computer or a tablet), where they will have to answer multiplication questions against the clock. Calculators and wall displays that could provide children with answers will be removed from the room that the test is taking place in.
The test will last no longer than 5 minutes and answers will be marked instantly. Children will have 6 seconds to answer each question in a series of 25. Each question will be worth one mark. There is an emphasis on the 6, 7, 8, 9 and 12 multiplication tables because these have been determined to be the most difficult multiplication tables.
There will be no "pass mark" (expected standard threshold) and no child will "fail" the test. Multiplication facts will be the only things tested (there will be no testing of children's knowledge of division facts or problem-solving in the check).
How can you help your children prepare?
Because the National Curriculum for maths is so extensive, there is an expectation that parents will help their children learn their times tables at home and not rely on schools to bring them up to speed.
Some of the techniques you can use include:
- Practising times tables by rote.
- Asking your child multiplication questions out of order – such as ‘What’s 11x12? What’s 5x6?’
- Using arrays to help your child memorise times tables – you can use fun objects like Smarties or Lego bricks to make it more entertaining.
- Giving your child word problems to test their skills, like ‘If Peter has 800ml of orange juice and needs to share it between four friends, how much can they each have?’
- Using apps and games like TheSchoolRun’s multiplication games or Topmark’s ‘Hit the button’ game to build speed.
- Singing times tables using songs like Percy Parker.