Hello, welcome to the year four page of our website!
At Highwoods we think Year 4 is really special. We cover lots of exciting themes and look forward to sharing some of our learning with you.
The teachers in Year four are Mrs Parsons, Mrs Buckingham, Mrs Chester (Mon- Wed) and Mrs Tolhurst (Thurs, Fri). There are lots of other adults to help us to learn too including Miss Munford, Miss White, Mrs Williams and Mrs Hunt, as well as all of the support staff at the school. We hope you enjoy looking through our news and learning. The parent handout is below that gives an overview of how year 4 works.
Please feel free to contact us with any comments or questions you have.
Our email address for year 4 is firstname.lastname@example.org . This gets checked every day (but not during school hours!)
In summer term we start with our theme Dedham Vale. We find out about physical and human features of an area and look at a couple of local artists – Constable and Munnings, before trying our own versions of their famous works!
In the second half of the summer term, our theme is Lights, Camera, Action. We find out about the history of film as well as how special effects work. We have a visit from a special effects supervisor and a trip to Warner Brothers Studio Tour, which then help inspire us to make our own films based on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. We look at how to write scripts and make sets before writing and making our own. We then rehearse, act, direct and edit our films together using our very own school greenscreen area and a great greenscreen app on the ipads. Finally we finish up with the Oscars ceremony, where we perform a class dance and have a chance to show our parents our final films – and hopefully win an Oscar for our efforts!
Summer term's books
We come back after Easter to a very exciting blockbuster of a book – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. We read the book alongside watching the film, which brings up a good discussion on why films are sometimes different to books and is a good basis ready for our Lights, Camera, Action film making theme. It is also really inspiring for our writing. We compare Dudley and Harry and write diaries about their zoo visit. We look at how Diagon Alley is described and filmed and write setting descriptions. We write about the first view and experience of Hogwarts and the Great Hall and do a reading comprehension on the sorting hat. We also design and write about our own fantastic beast and write instructions for our very own potion. Finally we write a dramatic narrative about the trials Harry, Ron and Hermione face once they get past Fluffy and the trapdoor.
We finish up the year with another classic. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. We use this as the basis of our Lights, Camera, Action theme and alongside the 2005 film with Johnny Depp, it inspires our own films. We use it to design our own 6th ticket winning character with a bad habit. We then think about what sort of room in the factory they might meet their chocolatey demise before designing and and making a small version of it for our greenscreen filming. We listen to and read the songs written by Roald Dahl for each character and come up with our own and inspired by the book, we write scripts for our own screenplay.
The first half of Spring term, we will be learning about the Shang Dynasty of Ancient China in our theme Dragons from the East. We will find out who they were and where they lived. We will also find out about their cities, beliefs and food among other things.
The second half term, our theme will be Adventurers and Explorers. This is where we find out about the world. We look at the different continents and how their climates differ and what amazing places we have around the world. We also look specifically at Antarctica and Mount Everest and what is needed to survive in those harsh environments. We find out about Ernest Shackleton, Tenzing Norgay, Edmund Hillary and Amelia Earhart and do some fantastic art on icebergs and mountains.
Spring term's books
Our first book is Charlotte’s Web, by E. B. White. We read it in class alongside the film and use it to inspire our writing- a diary from Fern’s point of view, a setting description and dialogue between characters.
We then move on to The Firework Maker’s Daughter by Philip Pullman. We use this to write a letter from Lila to her dad and to write instructions on how to make our own fireworks.
Our last book of the term is Kenuke’s Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo. It’s the story of a boy who ends up stranded on a desert island and how he survives. Before the island though, he was sailing the world with his parents and this fits in perfectly with our Adventurers theme. We write diaries as though we have been to Rio De Janiero and Cape Town, descriptions of our time sailing and what we saw, a letter from friends and family back home and then a report on how to survive on a desert island.
This half term, we will be learning about the Ancient Greeks in our theme work. We will find out who they were, and where they lived. We will also find out about their cities, beliefs, entertainment and food among other things.
The second half term, our theme will be Push The Button. This is where we will think about how things work and the mechanisms needed. We learn about cams and levers and make our own, as well as work in teams to make our own marble runs. The theme runs perfectly alongside our science in this term, which is Electricity, where we will build circuits and eventually make our own torches.
Autumn term's books
Our first book is Varjak Paw, by S F Said. We read it in class and use it to inspire our writing- Varjak diaries, descriptive writing about the city, discussions about the Vanishings and more.
Our second book is The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, by C. S Lewis. We read it alongside watching the film, which we then combine to help us write diaries, learn how to punctuate speech, act scenes out and write lots of exciting narrative. It’s the perfect way to begin the colder autumn months as we describe the winter wonderland of Narnia!
In December, we read The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher to get us perfectly into the winter mood as well as do some fun maths around the idea of the North Pole.