As with other years in primary school, Year 4 teachers follow the schemes of learning set by the government.
In Year 4, there are some great science topics that children love, such as food chains, sound, electricity, and gases. Fun and engaging history and geography topics are also taught in Year 4. It will vary slightly from school to school, but expect them to learn all about the Stone Age, the Romans, and the Anglo-Saxons at some point. These are the subjects that fire the imagination and that children remember.
These are also topics that will get your child talking at home, so you might enjoy finding out a little about them so you can chat about them together.
In maths and English, the teachers 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.
Year 4 is also often the year that children earn their ‘pen licence’ – that peak of handwriting neatness that allows your child to write in pen at school. This can be a big thing for the child whose handwriting is not the neatest. It is good to have something to aim for and often raises the profile of handwriting.
However, don’t worry if your child is not writing with a pen straight away. They will get there eventually!
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 how to learn best.
Children often ask questions and their teacher will encourage them think for themselves too. Could they answer the question themselves? Can they make that choice? If they can, then they are learning skills which are vital for Year 5, Year 6, and adult life. That is how their learning changes from the beginning to the end of the year!
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:
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.
There are lots of free eBooks on the eBook library — a quick and easy way to expose children to different books without spending a lot of money.
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.
So that’s it – Year 4 at a glance. Have a lovely, happy, and most of all fun year.