Wrapping up – Who we are

Over the past 7 weeks year 4 have been inquiring into the transdiciplinary theme of Who We Arelearning about how our body systems work together to keep us healthy.

Some of the learning engagements that have particularly supported this learning include;

  • Discussing the differences between a healthy and unhealthy lung. Some questions that arose included, “Why did that person smoke?”, “How does smoking affect the circulatory system?” and “I wonder if the lungs are dry?”
  • Expert research groups: Students worked in small groups to find out about a body system of their choice. They used brainpop videos, non-fiction texts and websites to find out about the function of the system, how it is connected to other systems and what our responsibility is to keep the system healthy. They are currently completing their explanation text on their chosen system and will finish publishing them next week.

Students discussed different scenarios and identified connections to explain the interdependence of different body systems. We are beginning to understand that there isn’t a body system that can work on its own; they each rely on others to keep us alive and healthy.

  • Students also spent some time thinking about the choices they made each day to keep themselves healthy. These choices were connected to our body systems and how this choice has impacted them.

Students developed their understanding of research skills through inquiring into Data Handling in maths. We studied bar graphs, pictographs, interpreted line graphs and used venn diagrams to compare and contrast different body systems.

Please discuss this unit with your child and ask them about any action they have taken. Please share and comment below if your child has talked about or done anything differently over the last few weeks as a result of their learning in this unit.

Approaches to learning

One of the essential elements in the Primary Years Programme (PYP) is approaches to learning/skills. During recent weeks year 4 students have been developing some of these approaches to learning/skills through the unit of inquiry, specifically our thinking , self-management and research skills.

Thinking skills: Acquisition of knowledge and comprehension

Working in small groups, students have been researching a body system of their choice.  Following on from library lessons with Ms Anton, we read non-fiction texts, watched Brainpop videos and shared our learning with 4.3. We needed to find out about the organs and function of the system, how to take care of the system and how it is connected to other body systems.

Self-management skills:  Healthy lifestyles

Students worked collaboratively with 4.3 to discuss the positive and negative impacts of lifestyle choices on body systems. They practiced the visible thinking routine: See, think, wonder to generate questions about how to take care of our bodies.

Research skills: Recording, organizing and interpreting data

In Math, students have been working on Data Handling. In PE, data was collected, recording how fast students ran 50m and how many laps of the field students ran in 6 minutes. Students interpreted the results recorded in a table, unpacking the information in detail, sharing their understandings and discussing other ways of representing data. Students brainstormed their own class list of possible data they were interested in collecting and are working on various surveys (using tally charts and representing the data in bar graphs and pictographs).







Making Home Learning Meaningful

Home Learning Guidelines

Daily reading has been shown through research to be the most beneficial home learning for primary aged students.

  • We encourage parents to develop the love of reading in their child by listening to them read and reading to their children regardless of their age.
  • Therefore, we encourage parents to ensure their children regularly practice reading skills by accessing books, magazines, online reading resources etc.
  • Daily reading practice promotes important life-long reading habits and develops the skill of reading.
  • We encourage students to continue reading throughout the whole year including during all vacation breaks.

In addition to assisting students with their daily reading, parents can support learning by providing an environment conducive to learning by talking and discussing the concepts and ideas being explored. Parents will find details about their child’s learning on the class blog.

Qs reading conference

Qs reading conference Portuguese

As a home learning engagement, teachers may ask students to enhance their learning by collecting resources or artifacts, discussing ideas with friends or family members, completing surveys or other related inquiries.

We offer student access to online learning e.g. Mathletics, Brainpop, Tumblebooks. Students have the option to access a variety of these fun learning sites from home.


We encourage parents to have frequent discussions with their children about their learning, including the concepts covered and interesting events from their day. This reinforces student learning, builds on their understanding and helps build child/parent bonds.

Home Learning – Reflect, connect perspectives and take action.

Year 4 students have reflected on home learning experiences and identified sets of aims for home learning engagements.  Some of the aims highlighted were: being responsible, being independent, being curious, being an inquirer, being a risk-taker and making good choices.

Below are glimpses of the reflective process used to identify our aims and direct students in making their own home learning lists.


Other home learning ideas:   Home Learning


Year 4 classes generated their own home learning lists and/or passion project lists, which they may modify or extend over time. Our students will bring home their lists, which they are expected to share and discuss with parents. Parent support, encouragement and advice may be needed as students choose what they will investigate from their home learning list.

Students share their home learning lists and plans below:


Reading into who we are.

Who we are – reading within the unit

 In the Who We Are unit, some of the language learning outcomes for reading are:

  • students  will realize that there is a difference between fiction and non-fiction and? use books for particular purposes.
  •   students will  (with teacher guidance) recognize and use the different parts of a book, for example, title page, contents, index, glossary etc.

In Year 4 students have been reading various non-fiction texts that explain how our body systems work  (function) and how we can take care of them (responsibility). We went to the library and explored the features of non-fiction books with Ms. Anton, our librarian.


In class, during our provocations and exploring books about this unit, we wondered about different parts of our body systems.  We sorted our questions by concepts, and then further sorted them by body systems. We are currently inquiring into some of these questions using the techniques we learnt in the library.



Who We Are

This week the students began inquiring into our first unit, Who We Are (see below for the details of the unit). So far the students have engaged with a multitude of resources in all 4 classrooms, discussed what a system was and considered which part of the body is the most important. They also shared their prior knowledge of body systems as you can see in the photo below.

Pre-assessment tasks:


Who We Are – Our body is made up of systems that contribute to our health and survival. – an inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities, and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human.

Key concepts: function (how does it work?), responsibility (what is our responsibility?) and connection (how is it connected to other things?)

Related concepts: biology, systems and health

Lines of inquiry:

  • Body systems and how they work (connection)
  • How body systems are interdependent (function and connection)
  • The impact of lifestyle choices on the body systems (responsibility)
  • Maintaining body systems (responsibility and connection)

The approaches to learning/skills the students will develop during this unit are:

Thinking skills: acquisition of knowledge, comprehension

Research skills: recording, organizing, interpreting data

Self-management skills: healthy lifestyles

Learner profile attributes: balanced, principled, caring
Attitudes: commitment, cooperation

Transdisciplinary connections:

Science strand
Students will use a variety of instruments and tools to measure data accurately, interpret and evaluate data gathered in order to draw conclusions and consider scientific models and applications of these models (including their limitations)

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

Our language links will include writing information reports about a chosen body system 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 information texts.

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.