This week is Year 4….


There are FIVE essential elements in the Primary Years Programme curriculum:

 Attitudes, Knowledge, Key Concepts, Skills, and Action.

 This week we introduced our students to the essential element of Action.  We talked about how their learning and understandings will lead them to making connections and taking action.

 Authentic and meaningful action needs nurturing and like all the essential elements, action is ongoing and takes time to develop and grow. Action captures the children’s interest and provides opportunities for ongoing learning.

 Some thoughts shared by the students about what action means to them were:

 ….to do something

….to move

… to change something

… to be kind and caring

….to decide

….to share

… to speak

….to listen

….to help someone

….to think about something

Learning about taking responsible, thoughtful and meaningful action is all about who we are.  We look forward to the children developing their understanding of what responsible action looks like for them and how they will transfer their understanding to taking action in school, at home and in the wider community.


In Math this week, children from all three classes in Year 4 came together for a collaborative lesson. Their goal was to create 2-D geometrical shapes by cutting them out of a folded piece of paper with just one cut. It began with an inspiring video, Brains Grow and Change, whose message was that there is no such thing as a math brain or a math person! Anyone can learn any level of math with hard work and effort!



Unit Of Inquiry – Reading and Writing

In the unit this week students began finding out about their questions (wonderings) from last week.  Students are using library books and charts to do their research.   We unpacked the features of a non fiction text:

  • Captions: help you better understand a picture or photograph
  • Glossary: helps you define words that are in the book
  • Graphics:  are used to help you understand what the author is trying to tell you
  • Illustrations/Photographs: help you to know exactly what something looks like
  • Index: this is an alphabetical list of ideas/keywords that are in the book. It tells you what page the idea is on.
  • Labels: these help you identify a picture or a photograph and its parts.
  • Maps: help you to understand where places are in the world
  • Special print: when a word is bold, in italics, or underlined, it is an important word for you to know
  • Subtitles: these headings help you to know what the next section will be about
  • Table of Contents: helps you identify key topics in the book in the order they are presented

Tuning in to Who We Are…

Year 4 started the week as special guests in the Primary library! 

Our school librarian, Ms Anton, hosted all year 4 classes and gave us a much needed orientation session of the layout of the different sections and new locations of texts (fiction and non-fiction) in the library.

We reviewed the guiding number system chart and were introduced to the new picture symbols and colour codes used to help us find the books we would like to read.

We were reminded of some of the procedures and practices used when choosing and taking books from the library.  The children were then invited to take action and select a fiction and non-fiction text to check out for their own use.

The year 4 teachers checked out a collection of non-fiction texts, which focus on human body systems.  These books will be used to support the children’s inquiries and learning throughout our Who We Are unit.

We look forward to seeing the children become experts at using the library as a primary resource for their own learning, curiosities, adventures and enjoyment throughout the year.

In class the students began inquiring into our first unit, Who We Are.  So far the students have engaged with a multitude of resources in all 3 classrooms, practicing a Visible Thinking  routine, I see, I think, I wonder.  Some of their wonderings are..

  • I wonder how the brain works?
  • How many bones does a skeleton have?
  • How does the heart work?
  • I wonder how the brain gets messages?
  • What does saliva do?

Students also shared their prior knowledge of body systems as you can see in the photos below…what body parts do you know?  What body systems do you know? How are they connected?

Math in Year 4

Over the next few weeks students will be introduced to and be practicing a range of problem solving strategies These are geared towards building a growth mindset in Maths, as well as laying the mathematical foundation for the rest of the year.

Here are some photos of some Year 4 students collaborating  on THIS problem.

All of the Year 4 teachers completed an online course ‘How to Learn Math’ from Stanford University. Some of you may know a little about Jo Boaler, who is a maths professor at Stanford and has completed many research projects on how students learn best. Please follow  THIS LINK  to see a handout from Jo Boaler about the best ways to support your child with maths at home. As a school we are working hard to ensure your children receive the best possible maths learning.  Furthermore students are being registered with again.  User names and passwords will be  distributed  to students when the registration is completed.

Some of our thoughts about Math….


Who We Are

This week students in Year 4  began inquiring into our first unit for the year. You will find the learning outcomes for this unit here  – WHO WE ARE.

Some learning from the week :

We hope the students will build upon their knowledge and understanding from the unit in Year 3, which looked at different types of health. We look forward to collaborating with Dr Nazneen in this unit to ensure the students develop an understanding of human biology.

Our language links will include reading and writing explanatory reports about body systems, how they are connected and learning how to present information in a variety of ways. Ms Anton, in the library, will be supporting the students’ research skills and helping them find the features of different explanatory texts.

Some of our mathematics will be taught through the unit, using Data Handling to collect and record information including heart rates, height, PE records of distances they can run and throw and timing themselves carrying out various physical activities. The PE department will be working closely with us on this unit.

If you have, or know of anyone who has some expertise in this area, please let us know! We would love to have more guest speakers to share ideas and information with the students.

We look forward to hearing about the action your children may take as a result of the learning in this unit.



Welcome to Year 4.1

Dear Parents, Carers and Students of Year 4.1,

Welcome back to our returning families and welcome to our new families! My name is Arishana Riek and I’m very excited to start a new academic year with you all. This is my fifth year here at LIS, Angola and before that I taught in Azerbaijan and Cambodia. I have been teaching in the Primary Years Programme (PYP) for over 10 years. I have also worked as a librarian and as a teacher of adults who were learning English.  I am from Durban in South Africa.

Please be aware that our class blog will be the main source of information this academic year. The purpose of our blog  will be to communicate, share and inform you all of the learning that will be happening in Year 4.1. Either myself or the students will be posting photos and explanations of our learning and we welcome you to comment and engage with our class. We will also share recent articles and items of interest about learning, and some ideas of how best to support your child’s learning at home. Please subscribe to the blog  and you will receive a weekly update every Friday with all the posts from the week.

Here is the 4.1 timetable. I will also send home a hard copy today.

Our first unit of inquiry will be under the transdisciplinary theme of Who We Are. Further details and information about this will be posted later this week.

We look forward to our first Parent Connection Meeting on Friday 1st September and our Year level ‘Back to school’ evening presentation, on Tuesday 5th September.  Further information of these events will be communicated in due course.

Ms.  Annabelle Ngulube is the teacher in Year 4.2 and Ms. Whetu Wilson is the teacher in Year 4.3.  The teaching assistant in all the Year 4 classes is Ms Vera Antonio.  If you have any questions or queries about anything please email me: 

I’m looking forward to a fantastic year of learning,

Ms Arishana