Year 4 is a year in which teachers work to nurture and encourage the feelings of independent thinking, learning and decision making. So just what can you expect if you have a child in Year 4? They already know the routines for the KS2; they have already realised that they have to do homework; they already understand that they are expected to learn a lot in a year; they can dress themselves (mostly!). Read on for our guide to life as a parent of a Year 4 child.
In Year 4 there are some great science topics that children love, such as: food chains, sound, electricity and states of matter. Fun and engaging history and geography topics are also taught in Year 4. We learn all about the Romans, Vikings and the Rainforest at some point. These are the subjects that fire the imagination and that children remember. These are also the lessons that will get your child talking at home, so you might enjoy finding out a little about the topics they are learning so you can chat about them together.
In maths, and English too, we will be aiming to ensure that your Year 4 child knows and understands particular key skills. Apostrophes, commas, times tables and key spellings are just some of the things children in Year 4 are expected to use accurately. In Year 4 children are encouraged to write in handwriting pen as well as receiving focused handwriting sessions to develop and improve their cursive writing skills.
Overall, perhaps the single most important aspect of this year is children’s increasing independence and confidence in what they can achieve at school. Your child will be encouraged to start to think about their own learning. They need to make decisions on how to present work, how and when to complete homework and also how to learn best.
In the morning, children are encouraged to come up to class on their own to build independence. Children must come in through the door by the swimming pool and no parents are allowed in the main school building at this time. If you need to get a message to or make an appointment to see the class teacher, a member of the Year 4 team will be waiting by this entrance to take any messages. Alternatively, please see the office staff who will be happy to help.
At the end of the day, the Year 4 children come down the main staircase by the swimming pool with their class teacher and can be collected by the wooden gates that separate the playground from the staff car park.
As the children get older, some of our children in Year 4 may walk home from school without an adult. The safety of our children is of the utmost importance, so if you wish for this to happen then please ensure that you have given permission for them to do by signing the relevant form in the office, otherwise we will be unable to release them at the end of the day.
Obviously, keep doing all of the usual things that have helped them to be successful so far in HTPS. Continue to hear them read, practise times tables, help them with homework, talk to them about their day and encourage them to read by visiting the local library, bookshops or using eBooks online. Make sure they are in on time every day and that attendance is high.
Carry on reading together: For English, the single most important thing that you can do is to hear your child read. Good readers make good writers because they are exposed to a greater variety of vocabulary, syntax, grammar and style.
When you listen to your child read, there are a number of things to remember:
- Make it fun! Use silly voices and read to each other as well as just listening.
- Ask questions about the text, the characters, the plot, the setting, the style of writing, the words. Anything to get them to think about what they are reading and understand the language and the deeper hidden messages in the sub-text.
- Read a wide range of writing — from comics to newspapers; from novels to Pokemon cards; and even the children’s own writing!
- Look up individual words in a dictionary or thesaurus together to find out what they mean.
- Stop if they or you are tired!
- Be a good role model for reading yourself. This is the perfect excuse to curl up on the sofa, forget the chores and read a good book yourself!
Of course, children in Year 4 are perfectly capable of reading to themselves as well, and independent reading (and writing) must also be encouraged. However, it is important that those comprehension skills are regularly checked and reading aloud is perfect for that.
Times tables: In maths there is an expectation that by the end of Year 4 all times tables are known and learnt fluently. Anything you can do to help that knowledge go in and stay in is fantastic:
- Practise regularly and go back and repeat tables, previously practised.
- Sing tables in the car; at mealtimes; before bed; walking the dog; at any spare minute!
- Put a poster at the end of their bed or give them tapes to listen to in the car.
- Download an app to practise on a laptop or tablet.
By far the most important thing that a child can do at home is read. Children are expected to read each day at home (minimum 5 times a week) and this should be recorded in their reading records. Children are never too old to be heard reading or to be questioned on a book that they are reading. The discussion that can come from reading with your child and questioning them can encourage a real love for reading that really helps them in all areas of the curriculum.
Children will be given spellings to learn each week which will follow the spelling patterns taught in their spelling groups. They will be tested on these the following week. They will also be given a maths and an English or Topic activity to complete each week. This work will be based on the learning the children are completing in class that week.