Year Four Newsletter

Understanding the World

Our big question this term is ‘How have the Anglo-Saxons shaped our world today?’ We will be looking at Britain during the Anglo Saxon and Viking times and how things changed due to their settlement. We will focus on their customs, beliefs and cultures. We will understand how countries developed over time, including historical civilizations, colonial relationships and post-independence. We will also consider the causes and effects of immigration.

Mathematical Development

This half term we will be continuing with daily Big Maths sessions to boost our mental and oral skills. It is really important that your child regularly practises times tables at home to ensure they have a quick recall of their times table facts. Y4 is the year group that have a national times table test towards the end of the year.

In our main maths lessons we will be ordering numbers beyond 1000, recognising Roman Numerals and partitioning numbers to 2 decimal places. We will then move on to using the four operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

Communication, Language and Literacy

To link with our Anglo-Saxon theme, we will be reading and interpreting a range of texts based around the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings. Our two fictional writing units this term will be based on The Write Stuff. For each unit we have a stimulus, such as a book or a short film, and the children use a number of writing structures to compose their own guided write. Afterwards, they show off their skills in a structured independent write based on everything they have learnt!

During guided reading, we will be reading The Accidental Prime Minister and Y4 will be a really important year for developing inference skills.

We are continuing to use our new scheme for spelling and will still have daily spelling sessions to support your child’s learning.  Weekly spellings will still be recorded in journals for your child to learn at home.

Handwriting will also be part of your child’s routine.  Even though your child will already have a really good knowledge of how to form the letters correctly within the lines, we will refresh their memories and continue as we mean to go on with beautiful presentation.

Physical Development

Our indoor sessions will be gymnastics and looking at how we can improve our fitness levels, over time. In our outdoor sessions, we will be developing the skills of basketball and bringing these together to play the game. Both sessions will be taught by the class teachers.

Personal, Social Health Education

Throughout the first half term, we will be discussing friendship and what makes a good friend, as well as exploring happiness. During the second half term, we will be using the annual Anti-Bullying week to learn about how to be safe online. All of these discussions and sessions will take place in weekly circle times, bubble time if needed and during lessons.

Expressive Arts and Design

As part of our topic we are going to be looking at a range of Saxon and Viking artefacts and recreating them using a range of techniques such as observational drawing, sculpture and painting. We will also be re-enacting battle scenes and designing and making Viking long ships

How you can help!

Home Learning

Home learning is very important and will involve tasks to do at home over time. These tasks will take place with specific home learning tasks, weekly spellings, and reading at least four times a week. We are hoping to award every child a reading mileage badge for their 40 Autumn reads.

Please remember that home learning is set to allow for increased progression and the revision and embedding of key learning points, as well as to consolidate knowledge or skills.

Here is the Autumn home learning menu:

Multiplication Tables

It is a national expectation that your child knows all their times tables and the division facts that go with them by the end of Y4.  We will be expecting your child to have this knowledge and will begin testing them in the first half term.  Every child in the year group will already have a Times Tables Rock Star login, we will give these out again soon into the term (see your child’s journal), and this online activity is a great way for them to practise.


Spelling tests will be on a Friday and there will be a number of words to learn each week. We are continuing with the new spelling scheme, which has lots of materials to help the children remember letter patterns.  Please support your child in learning their spellings.

Here are the first half term’s spellings but these will also be stuck in your child’s journals for each week:


During our music lesson today, as well as learning a new note on our recorders (note ‘g’ – covering the back hole with our thumbs, and three fingers on the first three holes with our left hand), we listened and played to a well-known ABBA song!

We listened to ‘Mamma Mia’ and answered some questions about it. We thought about what instruments we could hear – a guitar, a keyboard, voice, a drum kit and a bass guitar. We even thought about the order of the song: intro, verse, pre-chorus and chorus. 

Afterwards, we used our new note ‘g’ to play the “bass” of the song Mamma Mia. Some of us are making progress but we have a long, long way to go with our recorder playing journey!

Speedy addition and subtraction

We are currently working on addition and subtraction in maths. We are doing well with using the methods of column addition and subtraction and trying to apply this into missing digit problems.

One of the things we have noticed though is that a lot of us are struggling with our quick recall of addition and subtraction sums with single digits, particularly those where the answer bridges 10. For example: 3 + 8 = / 7 + 5 = / 9 + 4 = / 17 – 9 = / 8 – 3 = Many of us are still relying on counting on our fingers or drawing dots, which allows a lot of room for error. We are also making unnecessary mistakes ith these simple questions through guessing or a lack of confidence.

We will be working on this in class, when we can, but it would really help us if these skills could be practised regularly at home (like times tables) to ensure that this information remains fresh and speedy. It is really essential to all areas of maths, as well as life skills for shopping etc. Below are many ideas of how this can be done. Thank you in advance!


– Dice games with quick recall:Roll two dice, or one dice twice and encourage children to add the numbers as quickly as they can without counting the dots

This website has a random dice generator if you don’t have side at home

– Random numbers written on a piece of paper for children to choose and add from at speed- Turning over digit cards in 2 piles and adding the top number from each pile

– Flash cards to quickly add – hold up two digit cards/ flash cards and children to recall the answer when adding them together – Missing number questions: for example: 6 + __ = 13 / __ + 5 = 5

– Playing cards for quick addition, either two piles or turning over the top two to add (Ace = 1, Jack = 11, Queen = 12, King = 13 or remove picture cards)

– The below are online games/ board games that can be printed and played

A good method to assist with quick mental recall and addition is to teach them to count on from the LARGEST number 1st. Eg. 2 + 9 = 9 + 2. Also, being able to see images of numbers, such as the way they are represented on a dice, and instantly recall the number helps children visualise addition more clearly using them, like in arrays for multiplication.


Many of the games and activities for addition can be used for subtraction too. Obviously, the key thing here is that subtraction must be start with the largest number first. Therefore, when rolling dice or turning digit cards/ playing cards over, make the first digit into a ‘tens’ number. For example:

The first number becomes 15, so it is 15 – 4 =

The first number becomes 11, so 11 – 10 =

– Below are further online games that can be used to practise quick recall subtraction

Thank you again for the effort you are putting into this, hopefully we will see an improvement in CLIC and Beat That scores as well as an increase in accuracy and confidence in our lessons.

Miss Eden

Halloween Dress Up Day

Dear Families,

On Thursday 21st October we will be having a spooky dress up day in school. Your child can come to school in a Halloween type costume. Please don’t feel you have to go out and buy an outfit specially, home-made is absolutely fine.

Thank you! 🎃

Lantern Making

Today we had the luxury of being able to make lanterns and objects from willow for our Viking village ready for the Parkwood Springs festival on Saturday 16th October 2021. Here are some of the pictures from today. We have made fish, oars for a longboat and shields!

Star of the week

Ava is our star of the week this week in Y4GENH. She has a fantastic attitude to learning and takes responsibility for her own progress by doing extra work at home! 

Our star of the week last week was Vinmaya. She has answered lots of questions in class and it has been lovey to watch her confidence grow! 

Parkwood Springs Lantern Festival

An owl made by our children in a precious year

Next week, Y4 and Y5 children are making lanterns for the 2021 Parkwood Springs Lantern Festival, which will be held on Saturday October 16th at 4.30pm, finishing at 7pm, on the helipad field off Shirecliffe Road, (S5 8XB).

It will be a bit different from previous years, because of Covid. There will be lantern-making, a circus skills workshop for children, and treasure hunts, followed by wonderful lanterns made by Watercliffe Meadow children, music from Treebeard and a fire juggler as night falls. Tea, coffee and snacks will be available.

Come early – it will be a great family event! It will be wonderful to see as many Watercliffe Meadow children there as possible!


This morning was our first music lesson where we had our recorders. We learnt how to play the note ‘b’, with our top finger of our left hand covering the top hole on the recorder, as well as our thumbs on the back. 

It was a very steep learning curve of how much air to blow into the recorder so as to avoid it squeaking loudly. We had some good success though and we have already made good progress!

Cup telephones

We were exploring how sound travels through different materials on science today. We made cup telephones and tested the effect they had on how our voices sounded at a distance. It turned out that the sound was much louder when I travelled through the string. Can you remember why this is? 


Each week, your child is being sent home a CLIC WAGOLL for the question on their weekly CLIC test that they answered incorrectly. In order for them to gain understanding of this question, it is really helpful for them to practice their skills at home. If they are still struggling, below are two videos that explain how to answer all the questions on the Y4 CLIC tests. They show Miss Eden’s working out and have her explaining exactly how to do it.