Year 4 Overview
As their vocabulary widens, children begin to repeat phonemes and read a range of familiar phrases aloud more accurately. They begin to write more descriptive sentences, are introduced to adjectival agreement and follow the pattern of a model, substituting and modifying given elements. As experience grows, children are encouraged to make simple links evident in spelling patterns and constructions.
Autumn 1: Key questions review, numbers 16-31, Birthdays, instructions with adverbs, time on the hour
The key questions learnt during Year 3 are revisited here and responses to, ‘How are you?’, are built upon with some alternative phrases. (More complex constructions will be looked at in Year 6 Autumn 1.) A wider variety of classroom instructions are introduced, together with simple adverbs.
Numbers up to 31 are introduced and months of the year revisited, to enable children to say when their birthday is. A poem about fireworks gives the children experience of following the written version of a short text whilst listening, and children can experiment with their own version, using their knowledge of colours. The children learn how to tell the time on the hour. They will progress to half past times at Year 5, and quarter to and quarter past times at Year 6.
Autumn 2: Classroom objects, describing with colour, Christmas vocabulary
Through the topic Classroom Objects, children extend their existing understanding of noun description with colours as they begin to find out that some colours have masculine and feminine endings that change (agree), according to the gender of the noun they describe. At this stage, adjectival agreement will be confined to singular nouns, leading to the description of plural nouns in Spring 2/Summer 1 through Parts of the Face/Body. Children learn a Spanish rap about classroom objects and listen out for familiar/unfamiliar vocabulary in the song, La mochila (The rucksack). Vocabulary connected to Christmas is introduced, involving investigation in the bilingual dictionary.
Spring 1: Epiphany, parts of the school, giving directions
Epiphany celebrations in Spain are looked at more closely here, and children learn about traditions. Parts of the school are learnt together with a set of instructions to equip children to listen to, follow and give simple directions around school. The question and response to, ‘Where are you?’ (first met in Year 3 Summer 2) is revisited with reference to these parts, and a different form of the question is practised through, ‘Where’s Wally?’, ‘Where is he?’ Directions will be revisited at Year 5 via the topic In the City.
Spring 2: Parts of the face, describing an alien’s face, describing my eyes and hair, Easter eggs
Children will expand upon their existing knowledge of describing nouns with colours in Autumn 2 by progressing to the description of plural nouns and exploring their necessary adjectival agreements. This is done through the topic Parts of the Face, where children describe and identify alien faces. To support this learning, children listen to the story, Fuera de Aquí Horrible Monstruo Verde (Get out of here Horrible Green Monster) in which they are encouraged to listen out for words they do know and deduce the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary from the context of the story. Children will describe their own eyes, moving on to learn some alternative adjectives to describe their hair type.
Summer 1: Parts of the body, describing an alien’s body, saying which part of the body hurts
Children will learn the names of the parts of the body, creating and describing aliens to reinforce their knowledge of adjectival agreements acquired in Spring 2. They will build upon their use of instructions, moving parts of the body in a given way. They will also learn how to say which part of their body is hurting, linking the construction me duele/me duelen to the previously learnt preference phrase me gusta/me gustan.
The use of adjectives will be developed further in Year 5 through the topics Jungle Animals, School Subjects and Clothes, where children will be challenged to find their own adjectives in the bilingual dictionary and apply their knowledge of agreements to suit different nouns.
Summer 2: Family, Not Now Bernard, ice cream flavours and preferences
Children learn to say, read and write the names of family members, observing the spelling patterns for male and female members. This is supported by the Spanish story, Ahora no, Bernardo (Not Now Bernard). Children hear a native speaker telling the story and are encouraged to identify known/unknown vocabulary using different clues.
At Year 3 children express simple likes and dislikes with one phrase, however they now learn to expand their preferences using 3 different opinion phrases. Children are given the scaffolding with which to build sentences around ice cream flavours and encouraged to join two opinions together with the word, ‘but’. The construction of the phrase me encanta/me encantan is linked to those previously learnt (me gusta/gustan, me duele/me duelen).