Year 4 is when the children start to come of age as senior members of the school. They begin to take on roles of responsibility when occasionally deputising for Year 5 and 6 prefects as well as leadership roles in their House sports teams and at House charity events. The children take full advantage of the new opportunity in Year 4 to represent the school in sports teams and sometimes appearing in character roles in the senior school summer play. Year 4 present their own play as an evening shared with the Year 3 play in the Spring Term. The overall aim of Year 4 is to prepare the children academically for the challenging final two years at Broomfield whilst having plenty of fun along the way!
Year 4 lessons are academically demanding. The Year 4 teaching assistant works closely with the class teacher supporting the children through their year, sometimes working with them in small groups for reinforcement or extension work. The children continue through our programme of age moderated standardised tests in Year 4. This informs our discussions with parents about future senior schooling after Year 6. Homework increases considerably this year again, and we aim to support parents in maintaining a positive routine at home for this essential activity.
The high standard of English at Broomfield progresses through the Year 4 programme of study. Reading is heard regularly in class and should be supported by parents at home every day. Grammar and comprehension studies advance considerably during the year. Comprehension work focuses on inference, reading for detailed information and key ideas, and using our workbooks and other literary sources.
Grammar exercises develop tense agreement within paragraphs, and further
study of parts of speech and punctuation. Children's language development is improved through speaking and listening exercises, writing for a variety of purposes including story telling, report writing, posters, instructional and explanatory texts and a wide range of imaginative writing through studies of poetry and on a popular poet.
Spellings, incorporating the 2014 National Curriculum guidelines, are learned and tested, with a focus on common errors, consonant and vowel blends and double consonants amongst others. Reasoning, both verbal and non verbal, also supports the English and mathematics curriculum.
Mathematics, the syllabus in line with the new 2014 National Curriculum, progresses in Year 4 in all the key areas of work number, measure, shape, data handling and mental arithmetic. In each area a wide range of work is undertaken to build on the knowledge established in earlier years. Number work is up to 10,000, with multiplication and division up to 1000 and by 10 and 100 in positive and negative numbers. Equivalent fractions, simple fractions of quantities, and writing fractions as decimals are learned as well as plenty of mental maths using the four rules, applying these to real life word problems. Other themes include units of length, mass and capacity, 2D and 3D shapes, symmetry, eight compass directions and representing and interpreting data in tables and diagrams. All these prepare the children well for the academic rigours of the Years 5 and 6 maths curricula.
The children in Year 4 get to grips with some challenging concepts in the areas of physics and chemistry. They refine and develop their scientific skills when investigating a range of interesting topics, including moving and growing, keeping warm, solids and liquids, electricity and plants, enabling the children to benefit from regular educational workshops in Kew Gardens.
In French, the children have an exciting year. During the Spring Term the class play is performed in French. In addition, the children also visit Lille for the day in the Summer Term. French in the classroom is focussed on developing skills in everyday situations such as shopping and eating in cafes.
History and Geography
History and geography increase the children's knowledge of these subjects with themed work in each term. History covers the Vikings, the Normans and the Middle Ages. Study involves both primary and secondary sources of evidence including a trip to the Tower of London and designing and making a Viking boat. In geography, the children learn about village settlements, research Chembakolli, an Indian village, and look at human responsibility for the environment and sustainability. They also have penpal links with an Indian school in the Himalayas (Pioneer School in West Bengal) and learn key life skills and entrepreneur/business skills through running a ‘Lemonade Day’ stall at Kew Fete.
Music and Drama
Music and drama are all taught by our specialist staff. In music, the children develop their ability to sing part songs learning directly about harmony, and are thus able to audition for Chamber Choir (although the majority of children chosen for Chamber Choir are from Years 5 and 6). Many year 4 children also take part in our school band directed by our head teacher. The children sing to parents at Christmas in the school carol concert and in our Harvest festival as well as in the senior school summer play, and in their own Spring Term year 4 play. Many year 4 pupils play one or more of a large variety of musical instruments available to learn, from trumpet, sax and trombone to clarinet, violin, flute and piano and take Trinity College, London music examinations for which the school is an examination centre. Our drama activities build the children's confidence in voice production, public speaking and performance, with many plays and poems learned for school assemblies as well as school productions. In the Spring term, the class prepares and presents a show, often in French on a curriculum theme, to the whole school and their families.
In ICT the children learn that ICT can be used to organise, reorganise ,develop and explore ideas and that working with information in this way can aid understanding. It also gives children opportunities to discuss their experiences of using ICT and how it is used in the wider world.
Art and Craft
Art and crafts work in Year 4 is taught in our school art room and aims at exploring the children’s senses for techniques, design and their imagination. The children have the opportunity to learn about the colour wheel, basic printing techniques and drawing of 3D shapes. Their work also contributes to displays for their drama performance and is also regularly put on view in the school dining hall. Our artist-in-residence provides a special extension course for Year 4 children and this enhances further their ability to control the technical and observational aspects of drawing for one term during the year.
Year 4 children participate in sports three times a week. In PE they enhance their ability in developing their correct body shape with a programme of stretching exercises, and as they progress explore themes such as springing and landing with large apparatus, bridging and partner work, rotation, twisting and turning. In swimming, the children progress further into swimming unaided for a sustained period and receive badges as they achieve new distances. The children enhance their ability to use a range of recognised strokes and to understand water safety. Year 4 children compete in school teams, both within school house competitions and in external matches. In particular year 4 children successfully compete in our successful swimming team. In their weekly Games lessons, the children are coached in team sports: football and cricket for the boys, and netball and rounders for the girls with athletics for everyone in the summer term. Other sports, such as rugby, are also introduced.
Class trips vary from year to year in Year 4. However, regular trips are made to a water sports centre and the Tower of London and a daytrip to Lille in France. All these trips are linked to curricula areas of study and enhance the children’s enjoyment of learning.
To help the children's development, we ask parents to read at home every day with the children as well as supporting them in establishing a positive attitude to homework both in the weekdays and weekends. With reading, we hope parents will spend time discussing the content of the books being read by their children to stretch their comprehension of the text. Additionally, parents' support in learning and reinforcing knowledge of times tables is most welcome, developing the children's accuracy and speed of recall especially. Before entering Year 4 it is most helpful if parents can spend time with the children reading as often as possible over the summer holidays, discussing what they have read and intend to read next. Parents are also encouraged to keep up with times table practice during holiday so that children are ready for the new term.
The Year 4 classroom is located on the ground floor of Broomfield House, accessed through the little white door from the main playground and near the 3D studio and Study.