"Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much." Helen Keller
In Year Four, we continue with a traditional approach to the teaching of English with weekly lessons dedicated to instruction in Grammar, Spelling, Reading, Composition, Comprehension and Handwriting. In their handwriting lessons, the children are encouraged to form their letters with the correct joins and formation of letters and when they have reached a competent level they are rewarded with the presentation of a handwriting pen –something the children prize greatly!
They continue to read aloud to an adult both at home and school and they are encouraged and rewarded in their independent reading with the Highfield Reading Challenge. Every Thursday, the children visit the school library to change their books, to discuss their reading options and to read quietly.
The children practise verbal reasoning tests and they sit a CATS paper in March to assist with pupil tracking, progression and development.
They also sit a formal Summer Exam in English which includes testing in Reading, Writing, Grammar and Spelling.
Our Maths curriculum aims to help our children to become confident and independent thinkers, computers and problem solvers. We dedicate a double period each week to dealing with one and two step real-life word problems and mathematical investigations. We also dedicate a weekly lesson to both timed Mental Arithmetic tests and Times Tables. We teach our children the formal methods for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division and Year Four focus their attention on the following mathematical skills:
The children practise non-verbal reasoning tests and they sit a CATS paper in March to assist with pupil tracking, progression and development.
They also sit a formal Summer Exam in Mathematics.
The children enjoy their Science lessons in our Science laboratory and their study of living things in our outdoor classroom: Highfield Haven. We are looking to develop their curiosity and their investigative skills as well as teaching our pupils the tools they require for accurate observation and recording of data. In Year Four, the children study the following topics:
The children sit end of topic assessments throughout the year in Science.
At Highfield, we aim to teach a curriculum that helps children to make sense of the world around them. We dedicate time each week to discussing current affairs, world affairs and world geography. We want to ensure that children know who the major political leaders are as well as who the great historical leaders and thinkers were. We want them to know the names and locations of rivers and mountains as well as countries. We want them to be able to understand a basic chronology of historic events. In short, we want our children to have a knowledge of the world and not just a curriculum. We encourage our children to take note of the news and the newspapers and in HPSED they take this further and become news reporters.
Throughout Year Four, our children explore the religions that are practised in our neighbourhood. They also focus on developing a greater understanding of Hindu worship, Christmas journeys and the celebration of Easter. Once again, our aim is to help our children to be aware, knowledgeable and tolerant of all faiths that are practised within our community.
At Highfield we have created our own brand of Speech and Drama exams which are tailor-made to equip our children to speak with confidence and purpose throughout their lives.
In Year Four, the focus in the first term is on preparing for a dramatic performance which will take place on The Charter Theatre stage in Preston. For many, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and one that they will never forget. Every child is given lines to perform and a great deal of focus is spent on building confidence and self-belief. We join together with Ms Burns’ dancers from Reception through to Year 6 so that the finished performance is a real spectacle to behold. The children are involved in the whole process of staging a production and help with the decision making in lighting, costume, sound and special effects. They have a tour of the theatre and their favourite part is being shown to their dressing rooms which have lights around the mirrors and make them feel like stars…which of course they are!
In the Spring Term, the children become news reporters and are examined in “Speaking to Inform” as they present their news bulletins.
In the Summer Term, the focus is on “Speaking to Persuade” as the children learn how to present an argument for or against a given topic. They are once again examined in this discipline. At the end of the year, the children are presented with a medal to wear on the lapel of their blazer which bears the level they have achieved across the three disciplines.
This is an essential part of our curriculum as it is time that is dedicated in the week to answering all the confusing questions that children store up in their heads in the course of a week. It is also a time that is dedicated to social issues and any problems the children may be struggling to deal with in the appropriate way. The key areas of focus in Year Four are:
In Year Four, our children enjoy an afternoon of Games and a morning of swimming each week. They are all given the opportunity to take part in competitive fixtures against other schools as well as valuable time spent learning key skills in the following disciplines:
Fixtures are played in Football, Netball, Rugby and Cricket as well as inter-school competitions in Swimming, Athletics and Cross-Country.
In Music, our children explore the History of Music and famous composers. They also develop an understanding and appreciation of music from different times and different cultures. Their exploration of musical elements and musical notation helps them in their practical work and in their private instrumental lessons.
All children are encouraged to audition for our very popular school choir which meets each Friday lunchtime to rehearse. We are very proud of our school choir and we enjoy hearing it perform for a variety of events at many different venues throughout the year.
Each term, Miss Macklam produces a Musical Assembly which gives our budding musicians a chance to perform in front of an audience. It is always very rewarding to see how our musicians progress and gain confidence from year to year.
Our children are taught French by a native French speaker which really helps them to speak with the correct accent from their first introduction to the language. They focus on the alphabet and numbers up to 60, and introductions and greetings. They then extend their ability to talk about themselves in French, to talking about their families and pets and even going shopping. By the end of Year Four, they should be able to make themselves useful on a holiday to France!
Year Four pupils are given two pieces of homework each night and it is expected that a child will work for 20 minutes on each piece.
Weekly spellings are given out on a Friday and are tested on the following Friday.
Children are encouraged to read each night.