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Garden Suburb Junior School

Year 4

curriculum overview 

Click below for an overview of topics covered in Year 4:

Curriculum Overview


Click below for an overview of the English Curriculum in Year 4:

English Overview Year 4 (Autumn Term)


Click below for an overview of the Mathematics Curriculum in Year 4:

Mathematics Overview Year 4 (Autumn Term)


        Below is an overview of the topics that are covered in Science in Year 4.

Liv     Living things and their habitats

Pupils will be taught to:

  • recognise that living things can be grouped in a variety of ways
  • explore and use classification keys to help group, identify and name a variety of living things in their local and wider environment
  • recognise that environments can change and that this can sometimes pose dangers to living things


Animals, including humans

Pupils will be taught to:

  • describe the simple functions of the basic parts of the digestive system in humans
  • identify the different types of teeth in humans and their simple functions
  • construct and interpret a variety of food chains, identifying producers, predators and prey


States of matter

Pupils will be taught to:

  • compare and group materials together, according to whether they are solids, liquids or gases
  • observe that some materials change state when they are heated or cooled and measure or research the temperature at which this happens in degrees Celsius (ºC)
  • identify the part played by evaporation and condensation in the water cycle and associate the rate of evaporation with temperature



Pupils will be taught to:

  • identify how sounds are made, associating some of them with something vibrating
  • recognise that vibrations from sounds travel through a medium to the ear
  • find patterns between the pitch of a sound and features of the object that produced it
  • find patterns between the volume of a sound and the strength of the vibrations that produced it
  • recognise that sounds get fainter as the distance from the sound source increases

  El    Electricity

          Pupils will be taught to: 

  • identify common appliances that run on electricity
  • construct simple series electrical circuit identifying and naming its basic parts, including cells, wires, bulbs, switches and buzzers
  • identify whether or not a lamp will light in a simple series circuit, based on whether or not the lamp is part of a complete loop with a battery
  • recognise that a switch opens and closes a circuit and associate this with whether or not a lamp lights in a simple series circuit
  • recognise some common conductors and insulators and associate metals with being good conductors



Below is an overview of the topics that are covered in Computing in Year 4.

We are artists

The pupils use vector and turtle graphics to explore geometric art, taking inspiration from the work of Escher and Riley, as well as experimenting with complex ‘fractal’ landscapes.

We are network engineers

In this unit, the pupils investigate how computer networks work. They use a simulation and learn some simple command prompt (C:) tools for testing network connections.

We are toy designers

In this unit, the children work together to design a simple toy that incorporates sensors and outputs and then create an on-screen prototype of their toy in Scratch. 

We are HTML editors

In this unit the children learn about the history of the web, before studying HTML (hypertext mark-up language), the language in which web pages are written. They learn to edit and write HTML, and then use this knowledge to create a web page.

We are software developers

The pupils start by playing and analysing educational computer games, identifying those features that make a game successful. They then plan and design a game, with a clear target audience in mind. They create a working prototype, and then develop it further to add functionality and improve the user interface. They test their game and make any necessary changes.

We are co-authors

Wikipedia is a free online encyclopaedia that anyone can view and edit. In this unit, the pupils collaborate to create a ‘mini Wikipedia’. They then go on to add or amend content on the real Wikipedia.

religious education & British Values 

Below is an overview of the topics that are covered in Religious Education in Year 4.

Why are some buildings and places considered to be special?

In this unit the children will identify key features of a synagogue. They will investigate what a synagogue is and who worships there.

What makes a time special?

In this unit children will learn about some religious practices and beliefs and relate it to their own lives. They will begin to understand and explain the meanings contained in a religious story. The children will also be able to describe how the following festivals are celebrated: Ramadan, Eid-ul-Fitr, Pesach, Lent, Easter and Baisakhi.

What is life like?

In this unit the children will understand that there is a sequence of events in all living creatures. They will begin to understand that most people have similar experiences of stages of life. They will also learn what an initiation ceremony is.

How do people’s actions express their beliefs?

In this unit of work the children will reflect on what influences their own lives and identify the associated feelings. They will investigate the life of a volunteer (Non-religious) and understand why people volunteer. They will also find out about the role of a rabbi.

Why is Jerusalem considered to be special? 

In this unit the children will think about the places that are important to them. They will learn what a pilgrimage is and why it is important to different faith groups. They will understand how Jerusalem is a place of pilgrimage for Jews, Muslim and Christian people.


Democracy and elections

The children will learn about what a democracy is and how ordinary people have a say in what the Government does. They will also learn that voters decide how their country or community is run and who represents them.


The Rule of the law

The children will learn what a law is and understand what the differences are between the civil and criminal laws of England. They will also learn about what parliament is and how laws are made.


Below is an overview of the topics that are covered in History in Year 4.

The Romans

The children will learn about the Roman Empire with a particular focus on how this affected life in Britain. The unit will start with a timeline activity in order to help the children understand the chronology of the time period. They will learn about initial invasion attempts and have a class debate about Boudicca, focusing on sifting through sources and asking historical questions to come to a conclusion. The children will learn about how Romans changed the way of living for the people of Britain.

The Victorians

This unit focuses on life in Victorian Britain. The children will  learn to interpret different secondary sources in order to write a diary in the style of a young factory worker. They will understand the Industrial Revolution: the creation of factories, the new inventions and the mapping of canals and the knock-on-effect in the countryside.

Ancient Greece

The children start by comparing ancient and modern-day Greece. They will then use secondary sources to research famous Greeks, such as Socrates, and architecture. There will be cross curriculum link with English, with Year 4 performing Greek myths and creating their own booklet about the Olympic Games.


Below is an overview of the topics that are covered in Geography in Year 5. 

Study of an area of the UK: London

Children will:

  • use atlases to compare the location and to investigate the common features of major cities

  • understand how transport systems are trade routes are important to city locations

  • create a brochure to encourage visitors to London

Study of a European Country: Greece

Children will:

  • identify and describe the features of Greece using a map

  • learn about the differences between the physical features in Greece and the UK

  • investigate how Greece’s climate impacts on its people

design technology 

Below is an overview of the topics that are covered in Design Technology in Year 4.

Industrial Revolution – Moving Picture

In this unit, the children will create a moving picture with a lever and linkage system. This project links to their learning of the Industrial Revolution.

Pupils will be taught to:

  • develop an understanding of how simple systems can create movement

  • investigate a range of lever systems to see how they work and evaluate their function

  • measure mark and shape a range of materials using tools and equipment

  • develop planning skills using prior knowledge

  • join and combine components accurately and with appropriate tools


Cuisine Planting and Cooking

In this unit, the children will design and create a Greek salad which links to their History topic on Ancient Greeks.

Pupils will be taught to:

  • develop and deepen their understanding of a healthy diet and lifestyle

  • investigate the different food available during certain seasons

  • plan, prepare and cook a savoury dish


Greek Sandals

In this unit, the children will design and create their own Greek sandal linked to their History topic on Ancient Greeks.

Pupils will be taught to:

  • explore different sandal designs from ancient civilisations using a range of historical sources

  • develop planning skills with a specific design criteria and flow chart

  • measure their feet accurately onto appropriate material and make allowances for a seam

  • sew materials together using a range of stiches and fastening


Below is an overview of the topics that are covered in Art in Year 4. 

Roman Mosaics

Children will use tiles to create a mosaic representing the Roman period.

Pupils will be taught to:

  • create a mosaic in a Roman style

  • investigate mosaic designs

  • create a design for a Roman mosaic.

  • plan a layout for a mosaic

  • evaluate mosaic design and make process

LS Lowry Art study

Children will create an art piece in the style of JS Lowry using oil pastels adding detail with charcoal. Children will understand the concept of perspective and proportion and include this in their final piece. 

Pupils will be taught to:

  • research LS Lowry

  • use proportion to draw figures accurately

  • use perspective to draw a crowd

  • add colour to highlight elements

  • add oil pastel and charcoal to sketches

Greek vases

Children will plan how to combine Greek pictures and patterns that represent them. They will then create a Greek Vase using plans, sugar paper and black felt tips.

Pupils will be taught to:

  • research Ancient Art

  • use symbols to represent a Greek god or goddess

  • look at an artist who uses patterns

  • plan repeated Greek patterns 

  • combine Greek pictures and patterns to create a composition 

  • use plans and ideas to inform a design for a Greek vase


Below is an overview of the skills that are taught in Music in Year 4. 

Singing and Performing

♫ Children will be encouraged to sing with confidence by expanding their known repertoire across diverse genres. They will improve breathing and posture, singing in 2-part harmonies and canon. They will read and write music in the key of C, and use the full spectrum of simple rhythm. They will perform famous works, traditional and world music using multi-tone and un-tuned percussion instruments in multiple parts.

Improvising and Composing

♫ The children will will develop an understanding of melodic shape and line through graphic scores, and by reading and writing in steps and skips on the stave. They will learn about compositional devices such as ostinato, drone, phrases and form, and will use these devices when they compose in groups. They will compose and improvise using sound poems, themes and titles, and learn how to tell stories with sound.  


Listening and Aural Awareness

♫ The children will expand their musical vocabulary with more complex terms, such as pitch, dynamics, tempo, texture and instrumentation, and will be able to identify them when listening to music of varied genres. They will learn about famous repertoire and composers, and will articulate ideas about what they can hear using their extended vocabulary. They will be able to keep a beat in simple and compound time, as well as echoing increasingly complicated rhythms and use rests in heard phrases.


Autumn 1:

In this half term children will cover the following topics:

  • Classroom instructions
  • How to say where they live (in a house /flat)
  • How to say in which town and country they live in.


Autumn 2:

In this half term children will cover the following topics:

  • Classroom objects
  • Asking for classroom items and being able to reply
  • How to give directions
  • Rooms around school 
  • Christmas in Spain - cross- curricular links to RE.


Spring 1:

In this half term children will cover the following topics:

  • Telling the time in Spanish: They will be able say the time in Spanish and will create clocks
  • Daily routine: They will be able to talk about their daily routine, incorporating time.


Spring 2:

In this half term children will cover the following topics:

  • Forecasting the weather in Spanish
  • Watching live links of the weather in Spanish
  • Numbers 40- 200 - cross-curricular links to Maths
  • Easter in Spain - Cross curricular links to RE.


Summer 1:

In this half term children will cover the following topics:

  • Likes and dislikes of sports
  • School activities using the negative form
  • Using the formal and informal of ‘tu’ and ‘usted’
  • Food preferences – drawing a picnic basket for display


Summer 2:

In this half term children will cover the following topics:

  • Writing sentences on food
  • Appearance – children will be able to describe themselves and others, hair (description of hair), colour of eyes and height
  • Comparing traditional stories.

physical education

Below is an overview of the units that are taught in PE and Games in Year 4. 



Pupils will be taught how to develop flexibility and strength. They will also learn technique, control, balance and directional change whilst travelling.


Pupils will be taught how to perform dances using a range of movement patterns based around their History topic of the Industrial Revolution


Pupils will be introduced to athletics activities and a range of exercises from sports day as well as competing in track and field events such as long jump, sprints and relay races in preparation for athletics tournaments.

Sports Day preparation

The children practise the activities they will be competing in, in preparation for sports day.


Pupils will be taught to use a range of strokes effectively and swim in the water safely




Pupils will be taught the skills needed for different shots such as; grip, stance, positioning, shot delivery and technique.


Pupils will be taught how to apply the basic principles of attacking/defending tactically in small groups.

Adventure and co-operation games

Pupils will be taught how to navigate areas around the school using maps and coordinates and incorporate mathematical understanding in order to create and play a range of physical games.