09 June, 2022

Sparking Curiosity in Year 4

‘I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.’ A. Einstein 

Year 4 students had a busy and exciting year. Our focus was on sparking curiosity and encouraging risk-taking during learning, with the view to empower learners, increase their self-esteem and build resilience to failure. 

Children had plenty of opportunities to develop curiosity about the world around them through our IPC topics, as they explored the impact of art on our lives and learnt about inventions which have changed the world in the autumn term. In the spring, Year 4 learners delved into the ancient worlds of Egypt and Sumer. Later in the year, children explored the Solar System, learning about its effect on time and places on Earth. One of the highlights of Year 4 was undoubtedly the travel and tourism IPC unit, during which children planned and organized a trip for the whole year group. Learners collaborated and communicated effectively to agree the schedule, conduct a risk assessment and write a permission letter for the trip. Everyone who participated loved the trip and each student was justifiably proud of the input which they had into organising it. 

It was this kind of hands-on learning that provided children with opportunities for having a real-life impact on their school life. It also provided a supportive and safe environment which fostered children’s curiosity about the world around them and about their own place within that world. We all have agency and Year 4 learners took every opportunity to enact theirs; through actively participating in student leadership groups, developing a friendship and conflict management strategy called the WITS, or leading year group assemblies. Year 4 also pioneered new technologies, becoming student leaders in Virtual Reality within the school. In VR, they were transported to Anne Frank’s house or Jurassic world; undertook missions on the ISS; and became 3D architects. Next year, we look forward to them leading VR further within the Primary school and supporting its use within lessons to spark curiosity among all students.

This year, children loved welcoming visiting artists to Year 4. In the autumn term, Ms Miriam Turek (a British artist who lives locally) conducted workshops with Year 4 children, teaching them to apply seven elements of art to sketching. A masterclass which followed, saw children apply watercolor to their work, creating some truly amazing paintings of shells. In the summer term, we were very lucky to host Ms Suna Koçal (a renown Turkish Ebru artist) who introduced Year 4 children to this traditional, millennia-old Turkish art of painting on water which is included in the UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage List

  

Year 4 Team: Mr McCammon, Ms Ward and Dr Britton