29 Mar 2019

Yr4 Curriculum Update – 29/03/19

Working together to achieve success for every child









Transdisciplinary Learning – It’s all connected!

Simple machines help people do work..


We are now a couple of weeks into our ‘How the World Works’ unit on simple machines. Through their research the students have been finding out about the 6 different machines – specifically their parts, how they work and how they help us in our daily lives – these machines are literally EVERYWHERE! Scavenger hunts around the school to find examples of them, gave the students the opportunity to apply what they had found out in their research. Please ask your child to point out the simple machines around your home and when you are out and about. A children’s playground is a great place to see and experience the machines in action, as well as having family fun time. A highlight of the learning this week was the session with Bricks for Kids where the students built and tested a variety of simple machines.


Identifying the language features of explanation texts has been a focus in literacy this week. Prior to inquiring into the specific features of this genre, questions were formulated to guide the inquiry. A checklist of features was co-created and this was used by students to independently self assess their own written explanations in order to identify their next steps when writing their own explanations. One of the language features is to use cause and effect sentences eg. When you ……, this causes…… Whilst completing experiments with simple machines, students have formulated cause and effect sentences to explain what they have learned. Some examples from 4M include:

  • ‘When you pull the weight up the inclined plane, this made the rubber band stretch because you use less effort’.
  • ‘When you move the fulcrum closer to the load, this means you have to use more effort to make the lever balance.’

Keywords:  machines, lever, pulley, wheel, axle, screw, wedge, fulcrum, inclined plane, work, mechanical advantage, newtons, design, engineering, hypothesis, test, predict, measure, force, friction, load, pull, push, torque, tool, spring, curiosity, experiment, distance, knowledgeable, variables

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



The maths strands of measurement and data handling will be used to support student understanding in this unit of inquiry. The outcomes we will be learning are:

  • Estimate, compare and measure objects using standard units. Length, width, mass, capacity, and volume.

The students were given the question ‘What can you measure about an orange?’ Then they chose equipment and undertook the measurements. This was an exciting way to uncover prior knowledge and see the direction needed for future learning. It was very clear to see which students use weighing scales at home to bake or measure quantities. Following recipes is a great practical way to encourage accuracy when measuring, especially if they get to eat what they have produced! The data we collected from the orange measuring will then be analysed, displayed and interpreted so we can see things like who had the juiciest orange!

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?



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:


Important Dates

Friday 29 March                                Annual Music Concert

Monday 1 April                                  School-wide Exams (just kidding, April Fools!)

Tuesday 2 April                                 Wear Blue Day for Autism Awareness

Thursday 4 April                              ESF Primary Choral Concert

Friday 5 April                                   Ching Ming Festival – No school

Monday 8 April                                  Student Led Conference (evening)

Tuesday 9 April                                 Student Led Conference (full day)

Thursday 11 April                            School Disco Postponed until June

Friday 12 April                                  Last day of term – Half day

15 to 26 April                                   Term Break – No school