Welcome to Year 4

Welcome to the Year 4 webpage

Year 4 Teaching Staff:


Miss. C. Butler.

Miss. D. Clowes.

Mr. A. French.

Y4 Teaching Assistants:

Mrs. T. Stoneman.

Miss. E. Stoneman.

Welcome to our webpage. Here, you can find out about some of the learning taking place this term.

Our class novel this term is...

Life on the Scilly Isles in 1907 is bleak and full of hardship. The story tells of life on the Isle of Bryher through the diary of a girl called Laura. Laura’s twin brother, Billy, disappears and then a storm devastates everything.  It seems there is little hope…that is until the sailing ship called the Zanzibar is wrecked on the island’s rocks and everything changes.

Can you find out what 'bleak' and 'devastates' mean? Click on the dictionary link below - you could use it for any vocabulary you are not sure about.

You might remember this author from our study of 'The Butterfly Lion.' Look carefully at the cover of the novel - do you think anything might be similar about the two stories?

Michael was born in St Albans, Hertfordshire, in 1943. He had an unhappy time at boarding school - remember the Butterfly Lion? Michael was evacuated to Cumberland during the last years of the war. He then returned to London and later moved to Essex. After a brief time in the army, he took up teaching and started to write. He left teaching after ten years in order to set up 'Farms for City Children' with his wife.  He is also a father and grandfather, so children have always played a large part in his life. Every year he and his family spend time in the Scilly Isles, the setting for three of his books.

You can visit his official website to find out more about him by clicking his photograph above. 


Here is a picture of the Isles of Scilly. The Wreck of the Zanzibar is one of Michael Murpurgo's stories set on the islands. Have you heard of the Isles of Scilly?

 Here is a map if you are not sure where they are. You will need to look carefully in the South West part of the map to find them...


Here is a picture of one of the islands today. 


The Scilly Isles are a picturesque place to visit but in 1907, when the story was set, life on the islands was difficult. The characters in our story had little to eat and living was tough as you will soon find out. You will find out why the ocean was so important to the characters.

Because of the rocks around the islands, there have often been shipwrecks. Here are some pictures of real shipwrecks from around the islands. You can click on them to enlarge. Do you think these are modern ships or modern photographs? What evidence is there? What do you think happened to the cargo on the ships when they were wrecked?

Shipping has always been important to the UK - can you think why?

The seas and oceans can be exciting and beautiful places but the sea can also be very dangerous. Think about what happens in the novel.

You will find out about how people worked together to look after each other. How ordinary people can find amazing courage in times of tragedy. 

We will find out more about staying safe around water in our topic this term. Fortunately, today if an accident happens at sea we can call 999. Do you recognise this boat?


Where do you think the crew are going?

You might recognise the tune. It was written in 1860. It is a British hymn traditionally associated with seafarers and was inspired by the dangers of the sea. It is sometimes called 'The Naval Hymn,' and sometimes known as "For Those in Peril On The Sea.'

Do you know what the word 'peril' means? (You could check the dictionary.)



Our novel is fictional but there have always been stories of acts of bravery around the UK when rescuing people in peril on the sea. Have you heard the story of Grace Darling? Do you think there is anything similar about her and our main character Laura?

Click on the picture of Grace Darling to read her story. 


 As well as kindness towards other humans, the characters in our novel also show kindness to a sea turtle. Have you seen a sea turtle before? Here is a short video clip. What can you find out?

VIPERS questions.

Can you think of any VIPERS questions that you could ask about the novel? Let us know.


Our topic this term...

Here is a clue about our topic.

Have you ever heard these instruments before? This is a steel pan or a steel drum. These instruments come from the islands of Trinidad and Tobago which are in the Caribbean ocean.

Do you recognise the tune? Do you know where the Caribbean sea is? Hopefully, by the end of our topic you will!

You have probably heard this tune before - played by our very own Dinnington Colliery Band...


Our topic this term is called:


We will be learning about the oceans and seas around our planet. We will find out what they are called and as geographers think about where they are located. As scientists, we will think about the creatures that live in the habitats that they provide and the food chains that exist below the surface. As environmentalists, we will think about how to look after our oceans and seas and why it is important to take care of them.


Can you name any of the oceans and continents on this map?


You can start finding out about seas and oceans for yourself by clicking on the DK logo to visit the  DK Find Out website. What facts can you bring into school?


Our seas and oceans are amazing places. They are full of fascinating creatures and habitats - and lots of mysteries. Have you ever wondered how deep the seas and oceans are?

Click on the logo below to visit a live webcam. You can watch some of the species living in the world's oceans and seas at the Monterey Bay aquarium in California - in the USA. 

If you are lucky, you might even spot a sea turtle like the one in our novel.

We will also be learning about how to stay safe near water. If you visit the coast, would you know what to do in an emergency?


You can find out more about staying safe at the coast by visiting the RNLI website. Click on the flag.

What do you already know about staying safe near water? What dangers can you spot here?

What would you like to learn about in our topic? Do you have any questions?

It is an expectation that each week all children read at least 3 times per week, practise their times tables and learn their new spelling rule(s). 

  • Reading record books will be checked weekly. Maybe you will become one of Year 4's reading champions?
  • Times tables will be tested in school weekly, your child should know which times table they are working on. By the end of year 4, all children should be able to quickly recall times table facts up to 12 x 12.
  • Children will be taught new spelling rules every Friday. These will be taught in class and then a supporting sheet will be sent home that day. All information about the new rule will be explained on their spellings sheet. Please encourage your child to learn as many words as possible that follow the spelling rule so that they can apply this rule to a wide range of words. On the following Thursday, children will take part in a short spelling dictation which will check their understanding of the rule.

If you would like to take part in any other home learning activities please explore our homework menu. This is a list of topic related activities you can complete at home. Please encourage your child to share any home learning with us in school - we would love to share it with other children and display their efforts in school.


Our homework menu for the summer term is below. Use your imagination - you might be able to come up with another task or idea. Remember, you don't need to complete all of the options in this order...

If you are going to use the internet for any research, stay safe. Remember what we learnt about e-safety and staying safe online...

Here is our long term plan for Novel Study and our topics for the year.

Other Useful Information



All of Year 4 will have 2 PE sessions a week. One of which is likely to be with our sports coach - Mr Smith. 

Please ensure that your child brings their PE kit in on a Monday and keeps it in school until Friday (when it will be sent home for washing etc). This is very important as sometimes timetables may need to be changed and PE sessions may be on alternative days.

Also, please consider what you send your child with for PE, particularly during winter months as we will continue to do PE outside whenever possible.  



Please be reminded that no jewellery should be worn and earrings MUST be removed before PE  by the child for any PE session. Long hair needs to be tied back.




This website has a good range of free games to practise phonics and decoding skills.



This has a good range of games which support your child’s spelling and grammar skills.



Remember your login to practise your spelling.



This is a fun and competitive way for your child to learn their times tables. Look out for new competitions and challenges. Try to top your class leader board.