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Year 4

Year 4 Curriculum

Below is an overview of what Year 4 children cover in each subject over the year.   



In English, children are introduced to a variety of sentence structures which they read in example texts and use in their own writing. They build confidence in independently writing different genres for a range of purposes. English lessons are based around our class readers: ‘The Fire Maker’s Daughter’ by Philip Pullman, ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ by Cressida Cowell, ‘Greta and the Giants’ by Zoe Tucker and Zoe Persico, ‘Varjak Paw’ by S. F. Said and ‘Odd and the Frost Giants’ by Neil Gaiman. In addition, a range of non-fiction and poetry books are read throughout the year. 


Reading Records

We encourage children to read to an adult at home. Reading Records are sent home for parents to make a comment on their child’s reading progress each time they read. Children who read at least three times a week at home will be entered into our weekly Reading Raffle Prize Draw. 



In maths, children use the written method for all four calculation types, using these with numbers up to 10,000. Across the year, there is a strong focus on becoming fluent with multiplication facts to 12 x 12. Every week, children are encouraged to log into Times Table Rockstars at home for additional practice and to become familiar with the format of the Multiplication Tables Check which they complete in the summer term. This year, children are also introduced to decimals, relating these to corresponding fractions. Children study rectilinear shapes and learn how to calculate perimeter and area.



This year in science, children have the opportunity to further develop their scientific enquiry skills through a range of exciting experiments. During the autumn term, children learn about animals including humans. They construct and interpret a variety of food chains, identifying producers, predators and prey. In spring, they focus on states of matter before constructing simple electric circuits. Summer gives children the chance to explore how sounds are made, as well as learning about living things and their habitats. 


Art and Design

In art and design, children explore the works of many different artists, with a deeper focus on Ruth Daniels who is best known for her Caribbean-inspired paintings. This enhances their cultural development. Year 4 also develop their drawing skills during a Power Prints topic. They also study light and dark through painting and mixed media, before exploring 3D sculptures. 


Year 4 children access a broad and balanced curriculum in computing: the internet, audio production, repetition in shapes, data logging, photo editing and repetition in games. Children are given the opportunity through trial and error to explore these topics, using both computers and iPads. 


Design and Technology

Throughout the year, children plan, make and evaluate a range of products. This year, there are many exciting, hands-on lessons planned for children with topics that include creating torches, designing slingshot cars and developing a biscuit recipe!



Across Year 4, the children develop their geographical skills through the use of maps. During the first term, the focus question is ‘What are climate zones?’, building on the work they first encountered in KS1. In spring term, children compare life in the UK to life in Italy by looking at the cities of Durham and Bologna. The focus in the summer term is on how natural disasters affect people and places. Case studies are used to deepen children’s understanding of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. 



In history, children look at a range of topics, across a vast period of time, developing a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of each. Children start the year with the question ‘How Have Children’s Lives Changed?’ where they compare their lives to children who worked during the Victorian era. The focus question in spring is ‘How Hard was it to Invade and Settle in Britain?’ before a more in-depth study of the Vikings in the summer where children discover if they were raiders, traders or settlers. 



In music, children learn about different styles of music and each term have a focused song that they use to explore different musical elements. The first topic in music for Year 4 is based around the ABBA song “Mamma Mia”. The children also explore a range of different music genres, such as rap and soul.  ‘Lean on Me’ by Bill Withers is appraised before being performed. 



During Year 4, children attend weekly swimming lessons.  They are taught a range of strokes and how to stay safe in the water. They build on previous work to develop their skills in games. Attacking and defending games are used to improve passing skills and children continue to develop ball-striking skills in cricket and tennis. Dance, gymnastics and athletics are also covered across the year, allowing pupils to work creatively whilst improving their fitness and sport-specific techniques.



In RE, children look at different religions, their beliefs and celebrations, understanding what makes them important. Children continue to study enquiry-based questions to deepen their understanding. In Year 4, questions include ‘Are all religions equal?’, ‘Why is the Bible the best-selling book of all time?’ and ‘Does the language of scripture matter?’



Children have weekly RSE and PSHE lessons which cover a vast range of topics, in a fun and easy to understand way. Children explore five areas in Year 4: ‘Family and relationships’, ‘Health and wellbeing’, ‘Safety and the changing body’, ‘Citizenship’ and ‘Economic wellbeing’. 



Over the course of the year, children will cover a number of exciting topics in Spanish. There continues to be a focus on developing core vocabulary and phonetics.  Children encounter a range of activities across each unit which support them to read, write, listen and respond to and speak the language.  Enrichment opportunities are available through after-school clubs and International Day of Languages is also celebrated to promote the diverse world in which we live.

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