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Curriculum – Year 4


During each term the children explore both fiction and non-fiction themes which are linked to our topics. Spelling, grammar and punctuation are also taught through these topics.

Autumn Term

Our topics for this term are I am Warrior and Blue Abyss. The children will write a soliloquy from the view of a warrior, as well as use the witches’ scene from Macbeth to write their own version using rhyming couplets. The children will produce a newspaper report of a Roman battle, as well as write a persuasive letter representing an environmental action group about protecting the Great Barrier Reef.

The children will then write a story based on mystery and write an adventure story using the sea.

Spring Term

Our topics for this term are Road Trip USA and Traiders and Raiders. The children will write a kenning poem about the USA and write a diary entry focused on settings for example a description of a view over the Rockies. The children will also write a historical report on Vikings.

The children will then write a story based on characterisation and write a Viking quest based on the adventures of Erik the Viking.

Summer Term

Our topics are Misty Mountain Sierra and Playlist. The children will write a narrative poem and write their own alliterative poem based on The Sound Collector. The children will also write an explanation for a children’s science magazine explaining how the water cycle works, as well as write a biography of a famous musician.

The children will then write a fantasy story based on Yeti sightings and stories and write a section of a narrative focusing on the setting and using a dramatic piece of music from a film soundtrack as inspiration.

MATHS (Maths No Problem)

Year 4
Autumn The year begins with a focus on counting, number, place value and calculation using all four operations with numbers up to 10,000. They will be comparing and ordering numbers and learning to round them. How to estimate will be examined and the children will be encouraged to use this skill when solving problems. The children will be further developing their understanding of addition and subtraction including those calculations that require them to rename. Their work on multiplication will cover all times tables up to and including 12 and they will be applying their knowledge to both multiplication and division calculations and word problems.
Spring The spring term continues to develop their understanding of multiplication and division. The children will be multiplying 2 and 3-digit numbers and multiples of 100. They will be learning to divide 2 and 3- digit numbers with and without remainders. The children will then move on to drawing and reading bar and line graphs. Their learning about fractions and decimals will cover work on counting in hundredths, writing mixed numbers, finding equivalent fractions and simplifying fractions. They will be learning to add and subtract fractions, presenting their answers in the simplest form. Decimals will include learning about tenths and hundredths and how to compare and order them. Links will be made with their learning about fractions when they are asked to write fractions as decimal numbers. Work on measurement in this term sees a focus on time. They will be learning about the 24 hour clock and converting between hours, minutes and seconds. They will then apply their skills to solving word problems requiring them to calculate duration.
Summer In the summer there is further learning about measurement but this time in the context of money, mass, volume and length. To begin with they will be recording money in a variety of different ways, including rounding amounts to the nearest pound. In their learning about mass they will be measuring and comparing the mass of objects and converting units of mass when necessary. They will be measuring volume and converting units of volume. For length they will be measuring their heights and calculating the perimeter of shapes in both cm and mm. They will be introduced to the concept of area and how to calculate it initially by counting squares before using the formula. They will then move on to geometry where they will study the properties of shape and learn about position and movement. They will be identifying types of angle and comparing them. They will be learning to classify triangles and quadrilaterals and developing their ability to identify reflective symmetry. At the end of the year they will be learning about Roman Numerals and will be able to write Roman Numerals to 100.


The National Curriculum requires children at KS1 & KS2 to study science. Starting in the school year 2017 – 2018, children throughout Holdbrook are following an exciting new science scheme called ‘Engaging Science’. This scheme covers all aspects of the National Curriculum and is supplemented by additional exploration in relevant Cornerstones topics. The life and work of famous scientists are linked to relevant units of work throughout both Key Stages.

The national curriculum for science aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.
  • develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them.
  • are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.

Further detail about the National Curriculum requirements for science at Key Stages 1 & 2 can be found by following this link:

National Curriculum Science

Our Curriculum:


Year 4


In this unit children learn about the structure of the mouth and about how to care for their teeth, investigating which drink stains teeth the most. They learn about the structure of the digestive system and building a model of the digestive process and making “poo” then using their knowledge to produce a piece of creative writing. The explore interrelationships in food, constructing food chains and food webs.




Children learn that some materials allow electricity through them and others do not. They learn about the history of electricity and they make and test electrical circuits with a variety of components. They use their knowledge of electricity to design and build a model of a burglar alarm for a house.



Children learn about the variety of living things and how they can be grouped according to shared characteristics. They use and construct keys to identify unfamiliar animals and plants. They study the life of Carl Linnaeus who developed the system of classification used today.



States Of Matter

Children learn that materials come in three states of matter: solid, liquid or gas. They identify materials as solids, liquids or gases, including some that are harder to classify such as sand or sponge. They learn how to use a thermometer and investigate changes of state. They learn about the water cycle.



Children listen to and identify sounds and learn how our ears work to detect sounds. They carry out experiments to help them learn about loudness and pitch and use data loggers to investigate the best material for muffling sound. They make and play musical instruments.


Additional unit: Respecting Our Environment

This unit is intended to be taught across the whole year with at least two lessons in each term.   Children look at the area within and near the school grounds and at the impact of humans on the environment. They discuss the need to balance human requirements against those of the environment.


The Science Museum and the Natural History Museum in London are both free and well worth a visit.

TOPIC (Cornerstones)

We follow the Cornerstones Interactive Learning Projects scheme of work in order to build a group of well-rounded individuals who love to learn in innovative and dynamic ways. This new scheme has allowed us to create links between pupils’ learning, the classroom environment, the outdoor space as well as consolidate learning through trips and visitors.

Each half-term we engage our children with a new topic, develop their ideas and understanding, allow them to innovate with their new skills and express their ideas using all of their creativity.

Below is a summary of what Year 4 will be learning about during each half-term. You will find information about their topic, the books they will be reading, the phenomena they will be investigating – as well as information about what they will be studying in each of the foundation subjects during that time.

Ensuring children are exposed to high-quality literature is key to improving vocabulary and writing as well as developing a love for reading that will stay with children for life. We have invested in classic literature which supplements and adds to the curriculum themes. Our English curriculum has also been developed in line with the Cornerstones’ scheme of work so that children’s understanding and application of skills can be developed throughout the school day.

Homework ties in with the curriculum in school- the details for this can be found in our revised Homework Policy.



Autumn 1 – I am Warrior Ge HP1 Ge PK1 Ge LK1 Ge LK2 Ge HP2 Hi2

The children will begin the year by going back in time to the period known as the Roman’s to research the impact of this once great empire on Britain today and what influences still linger today as part of the children’s chronological development.

Next, continue to improve their ability to name countries and regions from around the world with a focus on areas affected by the Roman Empire. Later, the children will learn about key features from landscapes including both human and physical features. They will also delve briefly into economic geography to explain what made the Roman Empire so successful!

Autumn 2 – Blue Abyss Ge LK3 Ge SF1 Ge HP2 Hi 6

In this topic, the children will be mainly focussed on the oceans from around the world. They will use a variety of sources to find their information and begin to understand the impact of human involvement within these areas. Also, the children will delving briefly into the history of these oceans to determine the history of their names as well as how these oceans are used to enable human life on Earth as part of their human and economic geography development. Linked to this, the they will look at the different ocean layers and what creatures dwell within by watching the Blue Planet: The Abyss. Later, the children will look at the significance of longitude, latitude, Equator and the different hemispheres of Earth and why they exist.

Spring 1 – Road Trip USA Ge SF1 Ge HP1 Ge hP2 Hi9

Predominately a Geography and D&T topic, the children will begin with identifying the United States on the global map and understand how the country is divided into various states. Next, the children will look at geographical features that are common to the US and other cultural icons from the 20th century.

The children will also be looking into the Iroquois people that are still prominent around parts of the US including tracing their heritage and history.

Spring 2 – Traders and Raiders Ge SF1 Ge SF2 Ge HP2 Ge LK1 Ge LK2 Hi 3 Hi 4

To start with, the children will go back in time again to the period just after the Romans and look at the period known as the Anglo-Saxons and later Vikings to extend their knowledge of British history. The children will look first at the history of the period and what influences remain today followed by the other major events of this period up to the time of Edward the Confessor.

Later they will look at the topography of Britain during these times with a focus on settlement building and the reasoning behind their positioning. The children will continue to develop their geographical knowledge of Britain by looking at major land marks and features of the country and their history.

Summer 1 – Misty Mountain Sierra Ge SF1 Ge SF2 Ge HP1 Ge PK1 Ge HP 2

During this topic, the children will be developing their physical geographical knowledge by focussing on the mountains of Earth. The children will begin by understanding how these giant natural structures were formed millions of years ago and how they differ from hills and plateaus. Next, the children study how the mountains form an integral part of the water cycle and how unique biomes are formed on and around these areas. Lastly, the children will look at the major mountain regions from around the world and how we as humans cope with them in our lives from around the world.

Summer 2 – Playlist Ge SF1 Hi6

Whilst predominately a music and D&T topic, the children will continue to develop their geographical sense by discovering and recapping the location of countries, continents and nations from around the world where this music originates from with a brief look at how the physical features of the land have influenced the native styles of music. The children will be reviewing music from the early 20th century and comparing it to popular, contemporary tracks and understanding how technology has changed music around the world.


Here are links to the National Curriculum website that explains these strands and other expectations of your children in more detail:

Geography: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-geography-programmes-of-study/national-curriculum-in-england-geography-programmes-of-study

History: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-history-programmes-of-study/national-curriculum-in-england-history-programmes-of-study



The Department for Education, as part of the new Primary National Curriculum (2014), stated that Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education would remain non-statutory. It did, however, guide that ‘All schools should make provision for PSHE education, drawing on good practice.’

At Holdbrook Primary School, we teach Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education through the comprehensive scheme of learning called ‘Jigsaw’. During the year, all classes from Nursery through to Year 6 benefit from a weekly, engaging PSHE lesson.

The ‘Jigsaw’ approach has children at its heart and helps them to understand and value who they are and how they contribute to the world. Celebration Certificates are awarded in a weekly assembly, to pupils in each year group, to recognise their contribution to a particular aspect of each theme.


Lessons are based on a theme (Jigsaw piece). In Year 4, Jigsaw Jaz will help children learn about: Being Me in My World; Celebrating Difference; Dreams and Goals; Being Healthy; Relationships; and Growing Up.


Autumn Term

The lessons in Year 4 in the Autumn term cover this learning:

Spring Term

The lessons in Year 4 in the Spring term cover this learning:

Summer Term

The lessons in Year 4 in the Summer term cover this learning:

Further information about the ‘Jigsaw’ approach in Year 4:






Autumn: Accuracy Counts

The children discuss what computer networks are, including the internet and the services it offers. They explore how search engines work and what influences results, evaluating search engines and using sources. The start to be aware of fake news and how to check sources of information to check it is reliable. They learn about the threat from computer viruses, develop understanding of intellectual property and relate this to their own content. The children develop their eSafe practice through the use of CEOP resources and a whole school unit on staying safe online both at school and home. They use spreadsheet software to create graphs and to explore number patterns and start to become more proficient in the evaluation of their data.

Spring: Programming & Games

Children explore a variety of simulations, investigating the structure and exploring how they might be programmed. They begin understand how long code instructions can be changed to simplify them using loops. They decompose tasks, creating and debugging algorithms and understanding how algorithms support the programming process, looking at code step-by-step to find and correct errors. They write, test, debug and refine programs to achieve specific objectives, using sequence, repetition and procedures. The children explore selection in digital systems.

Summer: Authoring

The children investigate computing storage capacities and ways of saving data on local servers and networks and start to understand that data can also be saved to the ‘cloud’. They develop understanding of the school network and operating systems. They use varied resources, including the internet and tablet apps, to create digital content, creating and manipulating images and words. The children can select and use software to create non-linear content for specific audiences and objectives.

Department for Education Computing Program of Study KS1 and 2




The National Curriculum requires children at KS2 to learn a language. At Holdbrook, we have decided that children will learn Latin. Although this is a ‘dead’ language, it forms the basis of many modern European languages (including English) and will therefore support learning of these languages when children move on to secondary school.

National Curriculum: “If an ancient language is chosen, the focus will be to provide a linguistic foundation for reading comprehension and an appreciation of classical civilisation. Pupils studying ancient languages may take part in simple oral exchanges, while discussion of what they read will be conducted in English. A linguistic foundation in ancient languages may support the study of modern languages at key stage 3.”

Further information about the National Curriculum requirements for languages at Key Stage 2 can be found by following this link:

National Curriculum Languages

For the year 2017 – 2018, all KS2 classes are following the Y3 plan for Latin, as it is new to everybody. In subsequent years, children will move on to the Y4, Y5 and Y6 plans. By the year 2020 – 2021, our ‘Minimus’ Latin programme will be fully rolled out.

Our Learning Foci:


Year 4 Subject Matter Grammar Content

The Best Days Of Your Life

education & writing revision (nouns, adjectives & verbs)

Romans & Britons

Britons & Candidus’s experiences adverbs

Off To Town

a trip to Eboracum (York) consolidation

When in Year 4, children will learn more about the Romans in history lessons. If you would like to give your child a greater insight into the Latin language and life in Roman Briatain, a visit to Verulamium Museum in St Albans would be a great day out.



At Holdbrook, we are now following the ‘Music Express’ program for teaching Music.


 Year 4                                                                                                    
Autumn 1 The topics are ‘Poetry’ and ‘Environment’.

In the topic ‘Poetry’ the children will develop performances of continuing poems. They use their voice to speak expressively and rhythmically, and discover ways to create ostinato accompaniments to enhance their performances.

In the topic ’Environment’ the seasons and the environment will provide the stimuli for compositions. The children will make descriptive accompaniments and discover how the environment has inspired composers throughout history.

Autumn 2 The topics are ‘Sounds’ and ‘Recycling’.

In the topic ‘Sounds’ after exploring how sounds are produced and classified, the children will use their voices to make beatbox sounds, sin four-part songs and perform a jazzy round.

In the topic ‘Recycling’ the children will make their own instruments from junk and use them to improvise, compose and play junk jazz music in a variety of different music styles.

Spring 1 The topics are ‘Building’ and ‘Around the World’.

In the topic ‘Building’ building themed songs will allow the children to explore how music can be structured to provide different textures. They use layers and rondo structure to combine ostaniti played on body percussion and tuned instruments.

In the topic ‘Around the World’ the children will explore pentatonic melodies and syncopated rhythms, learning that the fundamental dimensions of music are the same all over the world.

Spring 2 The topic is ‘Ancient Worlds’.

In the Topic ‘Ancient Worlds’ the children will celebrate achievements of the ‘Amazing Egyptians’ and explore 20th century minimalist music inspired by the age of Akhenaten’ They will arrange and perform a layered pyramid structure.

Summer 1 The topics are ‘Communication’ and ‘Time’.

In the topic ‘Communication’ the children will create a news programme, complete with theme music and school news headlines. Using songs and raps this musical news bulletin will alert the school to the burning issues of the day.

In the topic ‘Time’ music featuring bells and clocks will help the children to understand rhythm and syncopation. They will learn to sing and play bell patterns, listen to orchestral clock pieces and create their own descriptive music.

Summer 2 The topics are ‘In the Past’ and ‘Food and Drink’.

In the topic ‘In the Past’ the children will use a variety of notations to build performances from different periods and styles. They will learn a Renaissance dance, walk down the aisle to Wagner’s Bridal March and dance the mashed potato!

In the topic ‘Food and Drink’ the children will cook up a musical feast. They will enjoy a varied diet of healthy beans, exotic Tudor banquets and DIY pizzas before celebrating in a song performance.



At Holdbrook Primary and Nursery School the children will learn about the six main religions: Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, and Sikhism. The children may also learn from other religions and theological ideas to ensure they are exposed to a diversity of faiths and viewpoints so they can begin to appreciate and understand that people around the world may have different beliefs and practices from their own.

This academic year, the RE curriculum will be delivered in a new and exciting way. The children will participate in six curriculum days, meaning they will not follow their usual timetable instead they will spend the whole day learning about Religious education. Each curriculum day will be based on a different ‘theme’ and the children will study a key area of focus set by Hertfordshire for Learning.

The themes for this academic year are:


Curriculum Day



Term 1 – Curriculum Day One Nature and Thankfulness
Term 1 – Curriculum Day Two Creationism
Term 2 – Curriculum Day Three Belonging and Places of Worship
Term 2 – Curriculum Day Four Festivals
Term 3 – Curriculum Day Five Ceremonies
Term 3 – Curriculum Day Six Signs and Symbols


What are the eight key areas of learning that the children will study?

Belief and practices Sources of wisdom Symbols and actions  


Ultimate Questions


Identity and belonging Prayer, Worship and reflection Human responsibility and values Justice and fairness


Click on the link below to see key information regarding Religious education in English schools (Non-statutory guidance)