During Year Four pupils are encouraged to take a more independent attitude to their learning and to think for themselves.
In literacy, pupils explore a range of writing styles including stories from other cultures, newspaper writing, persuasive writing, information texts, as well as traditional literature and poetry. In their own work, children are taught to edit and improve their writing themselves, how to use a wide range of punctuation to good effect, and how to sustain longer pieces of writing.
Daily reading continues to be a feature of classroom life, with each pupil reading at least once a week with the class teacher. Children also take books home and complete weekly reading journals. The focus, by Year Four, is to develop excellent levels of comprehension as well as fluency.
Maths extends children’s problem-solving skills. Children are introduced to new topics – including angles, area and powers of ten, amongst other things – and expected to use existing skills to solve problems featuring increasingly big numbers, negative numbers, decimals and fractions. Children continue daily mental maths practice and are expected, by the end of the year, to know all times tables up to 10 x 12.
Investigational and problem-solving skills are also developed in weekly Science lessons. Year four topics include: forces, electricity, thermal materials, our environment and micro-organisms. Children plan, carry out and write up experiments and think about cause and effect.
Other subjects are taught in a themed way. In the autumn term Journeys loosely covers learning about India and Hinduism as well as a journey back in time to learn about the Romans. The spring term topic of Water lends itself to learning about the water cycle; children also visit the National Gallery to look at examples of how artists depict water. While in the summer term children explore Origins, looking at Greek drama and history.
Outside the classroom children have the opportunity to further develop their physical skills by taking part in an increasing number of after-school clubs including the popular multi-skills and dance clubs.