7 Dec 2018

Yr4 Curriculum Update – 07/12/18

Success for Every Child

Shooting the AAROW of success at KJS

Achievement, Agency, Respect, Opportunity, Wellbeing


Year 4

Curriculum Update



Learning – It’s all connected!


Living things survive and thrive in specific ecosystems.

UOI & Literacy

Did you know…? I didn’t realise….! What’s that….? How does it…..? These are the curious utterances the Year 4s are making as they delve further into their personal inquiries about adaptations. Let’s take a moment to check if we are firing the AAROW of success straight into our inquiries.

Achievement: we are clear about how we can achieve success in our inquiries by using class constructed checklists for comprehension and observation skills and a rubric which describes how we can be successful in our lines of inquiry. Agency: just take a peek into our shared area, the independence and enthusiasm of our students is  so infectious you will want to be choosing your own plant or animal and finding out about it’s cool adaptations! Respect: sharing the planet is our overarching transdisciplinary theme for this unit. Ask us and we will be willing to share how we can take responsibility to help reduce the impact of humans on our ecosystems. Also take a look at our own impact on ecosystems when some of us spent a day helping Mr Melsom, plant new plants in our very own KJS Secret Garden! Opportunity: the variety of opportunities open to Y4 to learn and to share their learning throughout this unit were numerous. We have been lucky enough to have many hands on experiences seeing what our planet has to offer by taking a trip to the Wetlands Park, helping create and maintain our Secret Garden and also the opportunity to visit Tai Po Kau next week. Some of us also had the opportunity to share our learning in our year 4 assembly, the students were nervous but they rose to the challenge! Wellbeing: what finer way to enhance our wellbeing than by being surrounded by nature. There is much research on the impact of nature on our wellbeing; it reduces stress, anxiety, anger and fear. So let’s get outside in this cooler weather and enjoy what Hong Kong has to offer.


This week we are finishing our research and creating our information posters for the culmination of our learning in our ‘Sharing the Planet’ unit of inquiry. This research process involves: using a key question to help focus us, searching the internet or books using keywords, using note taking strategies to help us understand what we read (such as ‘Facts, Question and Response’ organiser) then creating our own sentences from our notes making sure we use our own words so we have not copied from the book or website. This whole process of research, note taking, comprehending and writing in our own words is a key skill which we will use time and again throughout our lives. We are also showing our understanding of writing to inform by using technical vocabulary, writing mainly in present tense, describing words, creating burger paragraphs with topic sentences and supporting sentences, including scientific sketches and including facts not opinions. The end result will be a chosen way to share this information such as a paper created poster, model or a Google draw created poster.


Now to look forward to our exciting last week of term next week!


Keywords: ecosystem, adaptation, survive, thrive, producer, consumer, decomposer, specific, impact.

Consider exploring these keywords in your children’s mother tongue to help comprehension.



Our Central idea is:

The four operations are connected to each other and are used to solve problems.

As the focus of our maths Unit of Inquiry about the connection of addition and subtraction draws to a close, it is time to reflect. As Dewey reminds us:


So it is time to revisit our understanding of modelling addition and subtraction and using different strategies to solve addition and subtraction ‘real life,’ problems.  We might revisit our pre-assessment which we started this unit with and see how our understanding has changed and grown. We will synthesise our understanding through thinking routines to help us think about our mathematical learning so far.  We will remember that this is a journey which we are on and that even though our Unit of Inquiry will change, our learning and understanding will continue throughout our other units. We might also make real life connections and create opportunities to use our new understandings.


After the December holiday, we will be focusing on the different strategies used for multiplication and division, modelling multiplication and division and solving real life problems involving these number operations.

Key maths vocabulary:

Visualise – can you create an image in your head which shows the problem?

Connections – how does the problem/situation connect to other things?

Questions – what questions can you ask to deepen your understanding?


Key maths vocabulary

add, sum, total, subtract, take away, decrease, increase, difference, addition, trade, units, tens, hundreds



In the Chinese classrooms, we continue to focus on the concept of wellbeing and providing different learning opportunities for children to explore their own interests and promote agentic learning.

Here is a glimpse of some of our classrooms:


Message from the PE Department

Sports Days this term

Over the last few weeks, our students have been preparing for their Sports Days to be held in the final week of this term. These are exciting opportunities for students to showcase their athletic ability in a safe and fun environment and to promote the importance of physical activity during our wellbeing focus week. Parents are encouraged to attend and support the children. Please see details below.

Tuesday 11 December – Y3 from 9:30 am – 11:30 am; Y4 from 12:15 pm – 2:15 pm.

Wednesday 12 December – Y5 9:30 am – 11:30 am; Y6 from 12:15 pm – 2:15 pm.

To add to the colour and excitement on the day, please wear the colour of your child’s house team.


  • Trip to Tai Po Kau on Monday 10th December (4C, 4K and half of 4D)
  • Trip to Tai Po Kau on Thursday 13th December (4F, 4M and half of 4D)
  • Sports day Tuesday 11th December, wear PE clothes


Kit list for Tai Po Kau (please bring in a medium-sized backpack)

  • PE uniform to be worn on that day
  • Water bottle
  • Hat
  • Sunblock
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Binoculars (OPTIONAL – only if they already have them)
  • 1 hearty, filling snack to eat when we arrive at the park (we will be eating lunch a bit later than usual that day)
  • 1 packed, easy to eat lunch that students will leave at school so they can eat it when we return (SODEXO lunches have been cancelled on the day of each classes’ trip.)


Important dates:

Friday 14 December                        Last day of term – half day

17 December to 4 January              Term Break – No school

Monday 7 January                           First day of Term 2

Friday 11 January                            Y6 Immunization