What will my child learn in Year 4?
This is your child's second year learning the Key Stage 2 curriculum, so much learning will be built upon the foundations laid early in their time at the school.
2. Developing writing skills
Your child will continue to work on spelling patterns, with more emphasis on understanding and learning the spelling rules, as well as attention to prefixes and suffixes. There are statutory spelling lists for Year 3 and 4, which we split across the two years. Teachers may add additional topic-linked words or words they feel their class needs to practise.
In writing, we will focus on creativity and developing writing styles. Children's grammatically knowledge will be developed, including ensuring they are confident to use commas and apostrophes in their writing. Your child will continue to write a variety of different genres.
By the time children leave Year 4 they are expected to know all their times tables to 12 x 12, and recall them very quickly. This is tested in Multiplication Test set by the government, which is administered in the Summer term. We use Times Table Rockstars to help children practise this automatic recall.
The national curriculum ‘mastery’ style of teaching concentrates on breadth of knowledge, and children will be encouraged to use their understanding of the new concepts to solve challenges to deepen their understanding. Your child will use column addition and subtraction of four-digit numbers this year, as well as learning about multiplication and division, and using — and applying — their times tables knowledge. They will build upon the learning in Year 3, including shape, space and measure.
4. Science and the wider curriculum
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. These subjects often fire the imagination and are the learning 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.
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 home learning and how to learn best. Children often ask questions and their teacher will encourage them think for themselves too.
How can I help my child in Year 4?
1. 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, and the words. Anything to get them to think about what they are reading and to consider the deeper messages hidden in the subtext.
Read a wide range of writing – from comics to newspapers, novels to collector cards, and even your child’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. 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.
2. Learn 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, making sure to go back and repeat tables you have practised before.
Sing tables in the car; at mealtimes; before bed; walking the dog; at any spare moment!
Put a poster at the end of their bed or give your child tapes to listen to in the car.
Download the Times Table Rockstars app to practise on a laptop or tablet every day.