- OUR SCHOOL
- KEY INFORMATION
- CLASS PAGES
- NEWS & EVENTS
What are we learning this half term?
In English, we are continuing to develop our sentence structure, exploring how to form sentences from fragments and also looking at different sentence types. We will develop this through writing our own story inspired by The Promise by Nicola Davies before writing a recount based on Shackleton’s Journey. They will then apply what they have learnt in History, writing an explanation text, explaining what was the same/different from Roman life to today.
In Maths, we will be using formal written methods as we multiply and divide 2 digit by 1 digit numbers and 3-digit by 1- digit numbers. We will then begin to explore area by counting squares and fractions, where we learn about tenths, hundredths and equivalent fractions.
In Science, we are learning about ecology. The children will learn about the seven things that all living things have in common; movement, sensitivity, respiration, nutrition, excretion, respiration and growth. This content is not essential to cover the national curriculum, but being introduced to the concepts here will help children to prepare for upper KS2 and beyond.
They will study food chains and will look at what happens when a food chain is disrupted. They will learn that ecosystems are complex webs of life, with many things dependent on one another. They will understand how humans can impact both positively and negatively on ecosystems. In Lesson 4, the children will look at air pollution as an example of how human actions impact the environment. They will learn how air pollution can impact upon ecosystems and how dangerous it can be for many living things.
At the end of this unit, there is a lesson designed to include a local study incorporating a local ecological issue or project such as a nature reserve. This will help them to see science in action and will encourage them to reflect on how human actions impact their own local area.
In History, we are learning all about Life in Ancient Rome. The children will learn about the changing political context of Rome- from being governed by a monarchy, to the Republic and the Empire. The children should be familiar with the concept of government and democracy, and during this unit they can compare and contrast how Rome was ruled with other ancient and modern civilizations they have studied. The will also look at similarities and differences between democracy in Rome and democracy in Britain today.
In addition, the children will also begin to learn about Rome’s social classes and compare the lives of Patricians, Plebeians and Slaves. Teachers may wish to go into more detail on this, and also look at the ways that men and women were treated differently (Rome is known for having a very patriarchal society). During this unit, the children will learn about the everyday lives of Roman citizens and the types of leisure activities that they enjoyed such as chariot racing, visiting the forum and Roman baths and gladiator fights. Teachers must use their discretion and consider how much detail to go into regarding more violent activities such as gladiator fights.
During this unit, one lesson is dedicated to looking at artefacts found at Pompeii. The children will learn how artefacts are used to find out more about the past. This has previously been explored in other units, such as ‘The Stone Age to the Iron Age’ and ‘Ancient Egypt’. Children should be given the opportunity to look at images of real artefacts found at Pompeii and use their knowledge of the Romans to interpret what the artefact teaches us about life in Ancient Rome.
The children will also look at one important legacy of Ancient Rome- the Latin language. They will explore Latin words and look at how Latin has influenced many world languages, including the English language.
In Geography, we are learning about Eastern Europe. In lesson 1, children will identify the countries of Eastern Europe. They will look at the border between Europe and Asia. They will identify Russia as the largest country in Eastern Europe. Children will learn about the Balkan and Baltic countries. They will revisit ‘peninsula’ from previous learning and will identify the Balkan peninsula and the Baltic Sea. Children will learn that different languages are spoken in Eastern Europe. They will look at the Cyrillic alpha-bet and think about how it differs from our own. Building their understanding of the region, children will look at the climate of Eastern Europe in lesson 2. They will use their prior knowledge of the poles and the equator to find out about climatic influences in Eastern Europe. The term continental climate is introduced, helping children to develop their understanding of climate and how it differs around the world. Children have previously looked at the maritime climate of the UK. Children will look at climate data and a climate zone map of the world. In Lesson 3, children will learn about physical features of Eastern Europe. They will use a relief map to identify mountainous regions. They will locate the Black Sea, The Baltic Sea and the Caspian Sea. They will learn that the Caucasus Mountains create a geographical boundary between Europe and Asia. They will look at some of Eastern Europe’s rivers including the Volga and the Danube. They will learn that steppe is a grassland biome that spreads across large areas of Eastern Europe and into Asia. They will learn more about the steppe biome and the history of some of its nomadic tribes when they learn about Baghdad in AD900 in History in Year 5. In Lesson 4, children will undertake a geographical comparison of the UK with a chosen Eastern European country. In this lesson, children will be developing skills of comparison whilst looking at the two countries from a geography perspective. They will think about factors such as location, coastlines, borders, physical features such as mountains, lakes, rivers, marshes, and landmarks. They will use data from an atlas to explore lenses such as GDP, life expectancy, adult literacy, and population. In lesson 5, children will learn about the recent conflict between Russia and Ukraine. It is crucial that this lesson is handled with sensitivity, particularly if you have refugee children from Ukraine in your school. As teachers, we must ensure we teach with impartiality and consider how we present facts to children without presenting personal viewpoints. Guidance from the Department for Education is linked below. In this lesson children will learn that Crimea is an important geographical region in Eastern Europe that has been fought over for many years due to its location and the access its ports have to Mediterranean Europe and the Middle East. They will learn that Crimea was part of the Ukraine before Russia took control in 2014. Children will learn that Russia invaded the Ukraine in 2022 and began a war which caused many people to flee their homes. The countries that received refugees will be explored on a map of Europe in this lesson. Children will also be taught that the conflict prevented ships carrying food including grain to leave Ukraine which caused food shortages and price rises around the world. This will help to develop understanding that places around the world are interconnected.
In Art, we are learning about design. The children are introduced to the idea of analysing art by splitting it into separate constituent parts by looking at Kauffman’s paintings at the Royal Academy of Art which represent colour, design, composition and invention. They learn that we now analyse art by identifying that design (or composition) in art means how the different elements of art (line, colour, shape, form, tone, space and texture) work together to make a piece of art.
The concept of design is then explored by considering how the elements work together in the cut-outs of Matisse in his book called Jazz. Over the course of three lessons the children explore how Matisse worked and make their own cut-outs of trapeze artists based on the work Les Codomas.
In lesson 4-6 the children examine the design of Munch’s work The Scream of Nature, learning how the artist used colour and line to communicate strong emotions. This is known as expressionism. In particular, they consider how Munch uses complementary colours, first introduced to them in the unit on Colour, Shape and Texture in year 2. They conclude the unit by creating their own picture showing a scream, using mixed media.
In PSHE, we are learning about diversity and community. This will see the children explore their identity, explore different families, cultures and traditions and the roles of people who support their community.
In RE, we are learning about the deeper meaning of festivals.
For regular updates and photographs of our learning please be sure to visit your child’s class story on Class Dojo.
Below you will find knowledge organisers for Art, History and Science for this half term. These detail the key knowledge and vocabulary that we will be learning in these subjects. Please use them to help you discuss what the children are learning.
Here are some useful resources to help with your child’s learning.
There are posters which show the formal written methods we use when adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing as well as a useful resource showing the end of Year 4 expectations in spelling, puncuation and grammar.
Here is a link to some excellent vocabulary games with the Vocabulary Ninja…haaaaiii-yah!