Year 4 Newsletter | Term 4 Week 4

We have continued our English unit, now exploring the way authors approach a similar theme.  Using picture books, our students have been thinking critically about the theme of immigration, comparing the author’s handling of refugees and convict immigration.  This brings up rich discussion about the differences in reasons for leaving one’s country to live in another land. Another point of comparison is how people leave their country and their mode of transport.  Through the use of these texts we are gaining understanding of context – how a piece is written and for what purpose. Those considerations will dictate style and we are analysing the reading and using varying styles in writing.

We are just completing a short unit in Maths called ‘Nice Dice’ where we are reviewing concepts of 3-D objects, probability, measurement, using tables and column graphs.  Our investigation centred around fair and unfair with probability as the students created novel types of dice to accompany a new (fictional!) game. They could use any regular shape and finally they needed to test that the dice rolled a fair mixture of sides.  

We have continued our geography unit, ‘Every Week is Earth Week’ by looking at the geographical features of South America and Africa.  There was discussion around the use of a key in mapping, and logical ways to show physical features such as rivers, mountains, deserts, etc.  Other important geographical terms were discussed, such as the Tropic of Cancer and Capricorn, Equator and the poles. Biomes and the types of animals that live in those biomes were also researched.

One of the most exciting things was a Skype talk on Wednesday by a real explorer!  Karina is an Australian born scientist who has lived and worked in the Amazon, Australia and more recently, Palawan, Philippines.  She was able to Skype our students from Spain, where she is currently working, and talk to them about what she has done and where she has been in her work, and her involvement with sustainability and preservation of national parks and indigenous people.

She was a perfect match for our students – young, vital, energetic, funny and very knowledgeable and our students loved the session with her. Additional to that, we will also be discussing primary and secondary sources (we touched on this during the Library component of History earlier in the year) and their reliability.  Your can find out more about Karina and her work at:

We have now finished swimming lessons for 2019, and this week all Year 4 students did time trials to be placed in heats before the swimming carnival.  Thanks for helping them remember to bring in their swimming kit. We are looking forward to the swimming carnival later in November.  

We would like to acknowledge the Year 4 SRC representatives who volunteered their Tuesday afternoons to visit the elderly at China Coast Community nursing home this term. Madeline Fung, Luke Weston, Teresa Cheung and Violet Chaplin have had a great time meeting and chatting with the residents. A special mention to Joyce Lee – although she is not a SRC representative, she has been participating in these weekly visits since 2018! The SRC have also worked hard with the SRC Buddies in preparing for the Early Childhood Disco, which is happened this Friday at lunch time. Keep an eye out for photos in the Dhanara next week.

Health and Wellbeing
This has been ‘Optimistic October’ and mental health has been at the core of a session each week.  We had an assembly centred around wellbeing and particularly mental health. We read and discussed the book A Huge Bag of Worries. Each child identified 5 trusted people they could talk to about things that bother them and made a ‘talk train’ illustrating those people.  Most recently we played several dice games that gave certain things that the students would talk about in their group, such as ‘What makes you feel sad?’, ‘How have you helped someone recently” and ‘Talk about something you are proud of’.  This helps children to understand that everyone has these feelings at times and it is not only all right to share them, but can lessen the burden when shared.  

In Health, after our introductory lesson, we started looking at drugs that are hidden.  We explored where caffeine is found in unlikely places. For example, did you know there is caffeine in both chocolate and Panadol? This week we found out about benefits and harmfulness of over the counter  drugs such as pain killers, cough medicine and prescriptions for antibiotics.  

Dental Clinic
Just a reminder to those who opted for the dental scheme that students should bring their dental record book (if they have one) and their toothbrush to take along on Friday 8th November.

Important Dates

  • Friday 8 November: 9:10 – 10:40am Dental Clinic visit (for enrolled students)
  • Monday 11 November: Remembrance Day
  • Thursday 21 November: All day, Years 3 – 6 Swimming Carnival, Kwun Tong Pool
  • Friday 29 November: 8:30am Year 4 hosts Assembly
  • Thursday 5 December: AM, Year 4 Arcade Games Festival

The Year 4 Team

Suzanne Sinclair
Celestine Yeung
Susan Blumenthal
Mark Wnek