Year 4


My name is Mr Thompson and I am the year 4 teacher. I have been teaching at Dame Dorothy since 2007 and I really enjoy it and I’m sure your children will do to. I am responsible for PE and Science in the school.


The literacy lessons consist of the teaching of a number of key elements; Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation (SPAG) and text level work which involves reading a text and then exploring it through shared writing and independent writing. The SPaG element will involve using prepositions, subordinating conjunctions, speech marks, paragraphs and much more.


This term we will be reading Charlotte’s Web and will be basing a lot of our literacy work around that. There is a big focus on handwriting in the school this year. Our joined up handwriting is coming along nicely in Y4. Presentation is so very important!


Y3 and 4 generally have the same spellings over the course of the year. We begin by going over some of the Y2 spellings and then move onto the Y3/4 list. Spellings are given out on a Monday – the children will be tested on these the following Friday.


Dame Dorothy Primary School boasts excellent mathematic skills. Each morning, the children have mental maths to complete. It is important that the children get to school promptly at 8:45am so they don’t miss out on their mental maths. I would also encourage the children to access a number of online games at home which will help develop their stamina towards their knowledge of times tables and related division facts as well as quick fire addition/subtraction mental maths (see the links below).
In maths teaching, we are working in line with the New Curriculum and the children are being taught more formal methods. You have all received a copy of a handout detailing the written methods used in Y4 and I hope you are finding this useful. The children must know their times tables and related division facts to support them in their work. It’s the basis of so much of what we will learn this year!


This term, our topic will be Traders and Raiders which is a study of the Vikings. It’ll be a study of the geography of where they came from and visited and the history of when this happened. We will also have opportunity to look at religion, clothes, longships and weapons. From this topic we will achieve writing, reading skills, art, DT, RE and even some maths so it really will be a topic based curriculum!

In Science we will be looking at Animals inc Humans. It will follow on from the Y2 unit of the same name and is biology based.


We have the opportunity to use a wide range of ICT resources such as laptops and iPads. We ensure that the children are aware of how to keep safe when using the internet and they are always extremely responsive to this. On a weekly basis, the children are learning basic programming skills and are learning to write simple instructions (algorithms) to make things happen; the children are really motivated by this.


In Year 4 we will be continuing to learn to play the recorder together. The children also have a chance to have additional ukulele tuition at lunchtime on a Wednesday. In our curriculum music lessons we will be learning about melodic ostinato and using these patterns to create an accompaniment to a simple tune. The children can use glockenspiels to try out their ideas –  we have enough instruments for everyone to have their own. We will learn songs to celebrate Harvest and later Christmas.


PE lessons are on a Monday afternoon. Please make sure your child has the correct kit and can remove any earrings they may be wearing. We will be doing rugby for the first half term and netball for the second half term via expert teaching from our PE coaches. Please note, it is essential that your children have suitable footwear for PE sessions. Trainers must be worn.
Swimming for Y4 will begin after the half term and will take place on a Friday afternoon. Please make sure your child has a swimming kit this day. Black one piece costumes for the girls and black shorts/trunks for the boys. We will need adult helpers to walk us to and from the Aquatic Centre so please help if you can!


We go to the library on a Tuesday. We have been lucky enough to buy new reading books this year. Our books are colour banded depending on reading ability. These books will be changed weekly. We invite you to read with your child and make comments in their reading journal. The children will also have the opportunity to take a library book home to read at their leisure. We urge our children to read every day for an hour.


A few reminders
Homework is given through the week and usually consists of spellings, maths and handwriting. This is due in the following day and the children will be tested on their spellings the following Friday. All homework set will be relevant to learning in class. Homework is a great way of keeping parents informed about class learning as well as giving the children the opportunity to consolidate their skills. Please feel free to see me or write in your child’s homework book if there are any issues. It is essential that home and school communicate effectively, working in partnership to ensure that the children receive the very best from school.

We have already booked three trips to Beamish next year. These trips are paid for by the Tom Cowie trust and are will be unique one-off trips to enjoy and are not connected with our topics. Dates are 21/09, 03/05/18 and 21/06/18. We will concentrate on different parts of the museum on each visit.

If parents have any concerns, however trivial you feel they maybe then please don’t hesitate to speak to me, you should be able to catch me most afternoons at 3.20pm (except Wednesdays).