23 Nov 2018

Yr4 Curriculum Update – 23/11/18

Working together to achieve success for every child

Transdisciplinary Learning – It’s all connected!

Living things survive and thrive in specific ecosystems.

UOI & Literacy

We have been threading wellbeing into several areas of our last two weeks. Along with the continued morning movement we introduced in the beginning of Year 4, we have also met our Year 2 buddies. This is an opportunity for us to make the Year 2 students feel welcome, include them in our games, communicate with others outside our class and to problem solve together. We have used this opportunity also to be playground leaders with the Year 2 students in our PE lessons. Another aspect of wellbeing which we have threaded into our learning is the introduction of the Zones of Regulation. This encourages us to identify how we are feeling throughout the day and to identify tools which will enable us to be agentic and get back into the ‘green’ learning zone.

What a wonderful opportunity for all our budding actors and actresses to experience being involved in our KJS musical ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ last week. It was an amazing production and goes to show what hard work, commitment and dedication can do. Well done to everyone involved.

Our unit of inquiry and Literacy throughout the last two weeks have been closely connected. We have been inquiring into the adaptations of animals and how they help them survive within their ecosystem. We have enjoyed finding out about some fascinating adaptations. We are ready to begin thinking about our personal inquiries where we can choose an animal or plant to inquire into. We will use many elements we have learned about in Literacy to help us ‘determine importance’ when reading relevant information, use ‘signposts’ to help guide us to the relevant information and use various strategies to make notes and write information in our own words. We are also starting to understand how we structure an information report and all the writer’s features to describe and inform about our plant or animal. Our skills focus is of real importance now, how do we know that we ‘comprehend’ what we read and learn and how can we ‘observe’ when being a scientist and inquiring into these plants or animals. To help us in our information reports, we have been learning how to communicate what we observe by using a scientific sketch or diagram.

One way we have all been observers and inquirers was our Y4 excursion to the Hong Kong Wetlands Park.  We spent an amazing day spotting mudskippers, butterflies, egrets and how they use and are adapted to their ecosystem.

Phew! It is so amazing to see all our learning of skills, concepts in UOI and Literacy begin to come together for us to begin to research, inquire and communicate like a real scientist.

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

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

As we are all enjoying our increased technology, one skill which will really help our students enhance their learning is learning to type. They have been using https://www.typing.com either with their own account or without, and playing the games and watching the lessons to help them.  Consider exploring this website with your children.



Our Central idea is:

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

Wait! What? There is more than one way to solve an addition? And a subtraction? But how can that be? If our students have a thorough sense of number and their place values, they will recognise that there are several different ways to solve number operations such as addition or subtraction. In one ‘number talk’ in one class, students shared about five different ways they add and subtract. We have used these ‘number talks’ as a starting point to teach each other our different strategies. These strategies involve the jump, partition, column, rounding and adjusting, using near doubles or halves to mention a few. To further consolidate our understanding of what addition and subtraction is, we have been estimating our answers before solving the problem, to check if we have a reasonable answer. Modelling addition and subtraction helps is to ‘see’ the maths. Jo Boaler, an influential maths professor, tells us that visualising the maths helps us to make sense of numbers, so we have been modelling and  ‘trading’ with base ten blocks. The ‘trading’ part of number operations is the all important concept we are learning about.

Why not ask us to teach you a strategy? And ask us how we can prove it works? We are also using these strategies to solve more real life authentic problems. Why not speak with us about how we can work out the change being given in the shop? How many minutes to wait for that bus? What percentage of battery is needed to recharge our phone or tablet? What about two phones?

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:



  • None at the moment


Important Dates

Friday 23 November                              Quiz Night / Bingo Night

Tuesday 27 November                           ESF Kowloon Netball Tournament

27 to 30 November                                Y5 Camp

3 to 7 December                                    Y6 Camp

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