We would like to welcome all of the children (and parents and carers!) back to school and also to Year 4. It is lovely to return to something very close to normal and this is reflected in being able to return to a full timetable, while still retaining an emphasis on ensuring that gaps caused by the school closures are closed as quickly as possible.
There are some familiar faces among the staff in Year 4, with Mr Stother, Miss Drummond, Mrs Hill - Cornwell and Miss Price as class teachers ably supported by Mrs Trew. Joining the team this year are Mrs Sheehan and Mrs Nawaz who will also be teaching classes at different times and Mrs Dasgupta as a Learning Support Assistant.
We are always willing to talk to parents and carers, however we would ask that if you wish to discuss aspects of school life with us then you please email the Office in the first instance so that an appointment can be made to talk with you.
Homework is set on Google Classroom and typically this will be reading (which should be recorded by the parent or carer in the reading record), spelling and grammar, and maths every day. This can be found by typing Google Classroom into any search engine (Google, Safari etc) and then selecting the page to open from the results. All children have a login and password which is stuck in the inside cover of their reading record.
As part of Google Classroom, children have their own Castlefield email address. Children are only able to use these addresses to communicate with other children at Castlefield. These addresses should not work for general email with the ‘outside world’, meaning that children are kept safe. We shall be monitoring threads between children to ensure that all contact is necessary and appropriate.
If you have any problems with your child getting on to Google Classroom to complete homework then please contact the school office to arrange to discuss this with the child’s class teacher. Similarly, it is expected that all children complete their homework every day. If there is a good reason why your child has not been able to do so, then please email the office so that the class teacher is made aware.
This term in Maths, we are building on our knowledge of Place Value to include 4-digit numbers. We will learn how to represent numbers in different ways (using blocks, counters and number lines), as well as ordering, comparing and rounding numbers. We will also be tackling negative numbers in the context of temperature among other things.
Once we have mastered Place Value, we will move on to Addition and Subtraction using our knowledge of the place value of 4-digit numbers and formal methods of calculation to solve problems.
White Rose Maths have excellent home learning resources for parents wishing to give their children a little extra help: https://whiterosemaths.com/homelearning/year-4/
Year 4 is the time when the Government tests children on their knowledge of times tables in the summer term. In preparation for this, we recommend that children spend time at home every week practising their tables and recommend Times Tables Rock Stars as a fun way to do this. All children should know their login details.
In English, we will be linking much of our writing to our fascinating topic – The Romans – while learning techniques to improve our writing, grammar and reading.
To get things started we will look at a poem not linked to Romans called The Magic Box. We will look at the features of the poem before adding some verses of our own in the same style.
The Romans were famous for mosaics and we will study this artform and create our own examples together with writing instructions to ensure that these ancient skills are not lost!
After, we will look at the skill of describing the setting in a story using a Roman-themed narrative. For a change in style, we will look at two very different, but equally important, figures from the time of the Roman invasion of Britain – Julius Caesar and Boudicca. Learning more about these characters and the times in which they lived will allow us to write biographies, detailing their lives.
We will also look at the Roman invasion army, how they lived and why they were such an effective fighting force. Exploring and developing the skill of formal letter writing, we will write a letter of application to join the Roman army.
In reading, we will begin by enjoying the very funny Dragons at Crumbling Castle by Terry Pratchett. This collection of short stories will link to non-fiction reading such as researching tortoises.
In Science we are learning about teeth and the digestive system, gaining an in-depth understanding of the journey taken by the food we eat once it has left our plate! We will attempt to answer many questions including: How many different types of teeth do we have? What can we learn about an animal’s diet from its teeth? What is the digestive system? and What are food chains and food webs?
In Year 4, the children take part in swimming lessons every Monday at the Wycombe Leisure Centre. Swimming is an important life skill and can literally save a child’s life. The children are split into different groups and each group is led by an experienced and qualified swimming instructor. At the first session, children’s swimming ability and confidence in the water is assessed. After this, children are placed in the group most appropriate for their swimming experience. The teaching of each group will then focus on increasing the children’s confidence and competence in the water. There will be a number of children who are currently non-swimmers and these children will be introduced to the skills required to become swimmers in a fun, safe and non-threatening environment.
One and a half classes will go swimming on Monday afternoon for 11 weeks starting on 13th September. The remaining children, will go swimming after the Christmas break. A letter will be sent out to the parents and carers as their child’s turn to swim arrives. This letter will contain further information. Children who are swimming will require a suitable bathing costume (ideally a one-piece costume for girls and swimming trunks/shorts for boys), a towel and a swimming hat. If you have any questions regarding swimming then please arrange to discuss these with your child’s class teacher by emailing the Office after you have received a letter with details.
Like swimming, PE is split into two groups: those children who are swimming in Term 1 will have a PE session on Friday learning tag rugby. Children who are not swimming in Term 1 will have PE on Tuesday and Friday each week and will also do tag rugby plus netball. May we please request that children have their PE kits in school every day and that all items (PE kit and school uniform) are clearly labelled with the child’s name?
Religious Education (RE)
This term we will be looking at Important People and seeking to answer these questions: Who is an important person in this religion and why? and What role do they play? This will be achieved by looking in depth at some religions but calling upon the experiences of all children, regardless of faith.
The Roman invasion and occupation of Britain brought with it major changes and technological advances. By looking at where the Romans came from and how they lived, we will be able to answer the classic question: What did the Romans do for Britain? As part of this topic, we will have a Roman day as well as making shields and mosaics.
We will start our computing learning with programming and learning what children can do with the free application called Scratch. This will include exploring Scratch and learning how to program an animated character – called a sprite – to move, make sounds and perform actions to build an animated sequence.
Scratch is free to use and children can access it at: https://scratch.mit.edu
To many, the art of Picasso is difficult to understand. We will look at what influenced Picasso and how he used shape and colour to produce his art. Using this knowledge, children will attempt their own composition in the style of the master!
We always seek to enrich children's learning by including experiences as part of the curriculum. This term we will be having a Roman Day and we will send information home to all parents and carers nearer the date.
The virtual Meet the Teachers presentation was held on 17th September. If you were unable to attend then the slides from the meeting are attached below for you to read at your leisure.