Year 4 Curriculum Overview

Autumn 1Autumn 2Spring 1Spring 2Summer 1Summer 2
The Circle Of LifeThe Explosive PlanetFood Glorious FoodNational TreasuresIncredible IndiaWater, Water

The Circle Of Life

This topic covers many biogeography concepts and ideas and many of the case studies will feature the African  Savannah or Grasslands. The children will look at where the continent of Africa is located and with the help of an atlas identify and name the countries which make up this vast landmass.

Using photographic evidence, children will identify the similarities and differences which exist between African villages and cities compared to the UK. They will then imagine how this will affect how people live in these areas.

The children will discover how the Savannah plants and animals have adapted in order to survive the very dry conditions of central Africa. They will also be looking at seed dispersal including parts of a plant and what both animals and plants need in order to survive. They will explore the idea food chains and how these create the circle of life and exploring how this links to an even bigger food web! Comparing habitats is also important for the children to understand that not all animals live and survive in the same habitats, linking to adaptations. A trip to Whipsnade zoo allows children to see the African animals up close and have an educational session with a zoo keeper to look at animal artefacts up close.

They will study and recreate African sunsets by blending colours together. In Literacy the children will be writing African myths and creating persuasive booklets to encourage others to visit the beautiful and mysterious African National Parks. Alongside this, the children will also look at the positive and negative impacts humans have on the Serengeti and the importance of protecting its decreasing number of wildlife.

On wow day, the children will take on the role of an African Tribe called Maasai and learn about a day in the life of their families. Children will have a look at the male role of protecting his tribe and learn spear throwing techniques using a javelin. When looking at the women in the tribe, children will learn about their clothing and how to make a beaded necklace, using different colouring beads to represent different meanings. Later in the day, the children will get to build their very own Masaai mud hut.

The Explosive Planet

This topic involves studying the processes which cause extreme natural disasters and has an explosive start! The children begin by looking at what happens when volcanoes erupt and create and explode their own model volcanoes in class. They examine the geological  structure of the Earth i.e. the core, mantle and crust and see how movement in the mantle, due to a movement of heat from the core, cause the formation of volcanoes. Children look into the disaster of Pompeii and how the events of an eruption wiped out an entire village.

Children label the different parts of a volcano and understand how the tectonic plates cause earthquakes which lead to the eruption of volcanoes. They study rock samples and identify the main characteristics of the three rock groups: igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks and explain how each type is formed.

Children will have the knowledge that volcanic eruptions can cause significant  impacts on the natural  environment and the people living in the area.

In topic writing,  they will be writing to persuade others to visit Iceland due to the positive impacts of the volcanoes situated there including geothermal energy.

In English, children will be looking at the book Escape from Pompeii and writing a recount narrative which will later be innovated to writing their own recount narrative linked to the San Adrease fault line.

Food Glorious Food

This topic involves the discovery of why food is so important to our daily lives. Children  will be given the opportunity to investigate the different ingredients that make up a meal and consider why peoples’ tastes differ in terms of their age, culture and gender, as well as why we like the taste of some foods more than others. Children will go on to study the science behind how taste, smell and appearance can affect our food choices and what happens when we eat and digest our food.

Children will gain an understand of the digestive system and the role each organ plays within this. They will write a recount, pretending they are a piece of food, and explain the journey through the body.

They will discover where many of the foods we eat originate from and work out their carbon footprint in terms of food miles i.e. plough to plate; how far the food on their plate has travelled.

Children develop their drawing skills by creating their own     still-life arrangements using food items and study the paintings of Giuseppe Arcimbolo. They will also design and paint their own fruit faces.  Children compare how food is grown by   different farming methods around the world. They will look at the farm as a basic system and compare how it has changed over time. They will gain an awareness of fair trade and learn money skills of sharing profits between workers.

In English, the children will write their own fantasy stories based on the journey of Alice in Wonderland. Along the way, Alice experiences different food and drink that impact her behaviour, the children will discuss and debate whether this is a good idea or not. From this they will be able to write their own fantasy stories, exploring portals and magic objects.

National Treasures

In this Citizenship and PHSE topic pupils will learn about what represents the cultural identity of Great Britain today and what is Britishness—based on values and rights/ responsibilities and laws. They will research and investigate role models and aspirational people from the past and present, who are seen as national treasures i.e. The Queen, William Shakespeare and political leaders such as Winston Churchill, sportsmen and sports teams and national sporting events such as Wimbledon and the 2012 London Olympics.

The children will investigate why some people or objects (Stonehenge, Buckingham Palace and Blackpool Tower) are regarded as national treasures by some people but not by all and will therefore come up with their own definition of the term ‘national treasure’ and what they perceive their own national treasures to be.

They will learn about the iconic images and products that are synonymous with Great Britain in the past and today i.e. pop culture, food and traditions such as fish and chips, roast beef and cream teas and    identify how values and social attitudes have changed over time i.e. chicken tikka masala has now become the UK’s most  popular dish.

In Geography, the children will learn what countries make up the United Kingdom and British Isles. They will look at the different flags of the four nations and see how they are represented within the Union Jack.

In English, children will look at another great piece of Shakespeare’s; Macbeth and a Midsummer nights dream They will break the story down by performing it and then transforming it into a play script where they will eventually write an alternative endings.

Incredible India

In this unit the children will learn about the location of India within the world and the geographical features of the country. They will be investigating the origin of the term “Bollywood” and its impact on western society.

During dance lessons children will create their own Bollywood dance production which they will perform to their parents at the end of the topic. Pupils will also learn about the Indian culture and lifestyles of people that live there, tasting authentic Indian foods and learning about various types of clothing and traditions. Pupils will have the chance to use Batik paints in order to create their own authentic Indian artwork.

Throughout the unit the pupils will learn about historical Indian role models such as Gandhi and the impact they had as individuals on their country and the wider world.

In English, the pupils will also be studying stories from other cultures. These stories will consist of what it is like to live in India and Asia through popular culture and historical settings.  Children will write their own, thinking about how choice of vocabulary can help our reader understand about their way of life.

Water, Water Everywhere

During this Geography / Science topic pupils will investigate water as a finite resource which shapes our lives, the natural environment and societies around the world. All living things need water, as it is essential for survival.     However, while many people locally waste this precious         resource, other places in the world receive very little water.

Children will develop an understanding of the importance of water in our lives and an appreciation of how it affects       different societies and economies. The final outcome of this topic will be to develop a campaign to conserve water, both at school and in the wider community.

The topic is expanded with a Marvellous Middle visit to Stoke Bruerne to investigate how water has been used as a means of transport and also the importance of canals to the local area during the Industrial Revolution. Children will  develop an appreciation of the Grand Union canal by beginning to understand how this important local resource has shaped a variety of industries and settlements over time and has affected the lives of those who lived on, or near the canal.

The children will be able to explain the erosional and depositional features formed by the movements of rivers i.e. valleys, waterfalls, meanders and deltas. They will also be able to identify these features from photographs and be able to identify where within the river system they will be found. The children will also investigate how our rivers are under threat from pollution and exploitation.

In English, pupils will create their own adventure story based on the book, Kensuke’s Kingdom.

In Science, pupils will investigate the water cycle and understand the processes of evaporation, condensation (cloud formation) and rainfall (precipitation).