What English Is Taught In Year Four?

Written by Dan

In Year 4, English education is designed to build upon the foundational literacy skills children have acquired in earlier years.

The National Curriculum for England sets out clear objectives to ensure pupils are developing a robust understanding of both written and spoken English.

Pupils are taught to read a wide range of texts fluently and with good comprehension. They also continue to cultivate their writing abilities by composing texts with increasing accuracy and creativity.

Related: For more, check out our article on  What English Is Taught In Year Three?

In a classroom, a teacher stands at the front, pointing to a whiteboard covered in English vocabulary and grammar rules. Students sit at their desks, eagerly taking notes and participating in discussions

Pupils’ language skills are enriched through the introduction of more complex grammar, punctuation, and vocabulary.

Teachers guide students in exploring various genres of writing and in interpreting different texts, thus fostering analytical thinking.

Exposure to a diverse selection of literature aims to instil a love of reading while equipping pupils with the capacity to express themselves and communicate effectively in writing.

Key Takeaways

  • Year 4 English builds on previous literacy foundations, enhancing reading comprehension and writing skills.
  • The curriculum focuses on expanding grammar, punctuation and vocabulary to strengthen communication.
  • Students are exposed to diverse texts to encourage a lasting interest in reading and writing.

Related: For more, check out our article on  What English Is Taught In Year Two?

The Foundations of English in Year 4

In Year 4, the focus is on strengthening the core areas of grammar, vocabulary, and spelling, alongside ensuring that handwriting remains both legible and fluent.

These foundational elements are crucial as they underpin the more advanced aspects of English that pupils will encounter in later years.

Grammar Essentials

Year 4 deepens a student’s understanding of English grammar. At this stage, they learn about various sentence structures, the use of commas to clarify meaning, and appropriate application of possessive apostrophes.

They are taught to recognise different parts of speech, including nouns, verbs, and adjectives, and use them effectively to construct sentences. Pupils also begin to develop an understanding of paragraphs and how to use them to organise their writing logically.

Vocabulary Development

Vocabulary expansion is a key aspect of Year 4. Students are encouraged to explore root words, prefixes, and suffixes, which helps them understand how words are constructed and subsequently assists in enhancing their word choice in writing.

A considerable emphasis is placed on using a glossary to learn the meanings of new words, fostering an environment where students are confident in their ability to comprehend and use an increasingly diverse vocabulary.

Spelling and Handwriting

Progressing from their earlier education, Year 4 students are expected to spell a wider range of words correctly and employ various spelling rules and strategies.

The importance of handwriting persists, with students expected to maintain legible cursive writing. The curriculum often introduces children to a standardised spelling list that includes high-frequency words as well as words with common prefixes and suffixes.

Regular practice of these spelling patterns fortifies their ability to write fluently and clearly across different subjects.

Related: For more, check out our article on  What English Is Taught In Year One?

Reading and Comprehension

A classroom with children aged 9-10, sitting at desks, with English textbooks open, and a teacher at the front of the room, teaching English grammar and vocabulary

In Year Four, pupils expand their literacy horizons by enhancing their reading and comprehension skills.

This key stage focuses on students’ ability to understand and interpret different texts, ranging from fantastical stories to factual non-fiction books.

Understanding Fiction

Year Four comprehension syllabi emphasise the importance of fiction. Pupils engage with a variety of stories, learning to identify themes, character development, and plot.

They are encouraged to infer meaning from the text, which helps them to think critically about the story and its components.

Fiction in this stage goes beyond mere reading; it’s about connecting with the narrative and understanding the underlying messages.

Exploring Non-Fiction

When it comes to non-fiction, Year Four pupils delve into a diverse range of topics presented in non-fiction books.

This exploration is designed to build their comprehension skills by extracting facts, understanding the structure of informational texts, and distinguishing between opinion and evidence-based statements.

This hands-on approach with non-fiction texts equips students with the analytical skills necessary for academic success and everyday understanding.

Developing Read Aloud Skills

Read aloud sessions are an integral part of the Year Four curriculum as they foster not only reading fluency but also auditory comprehension. By practising reading aloud, students enhance their pronunciation, intonation, and expression.

These sessions allow them to interpret the text, give it voice, and, importantly, share the experience with peers, fostering a rich literary culture within the classroom.

Related: For more, check out our article onĀ  What English Is Taught In Year Reception?

Writing and Composition

In Year 4, pupils consolidate their writing skills, learning to adapt their writing for various genres, including fiction, non-fiction, as well as poetry and plays.

They learn to use an increasing range of sentence structures and vocabulary, and are encouraged to experiment with their writing style.

Fiction Writing

Year 4 students encounter a broad range of fiction writing styles. They are taught to develop their narrative techniques and how to structure a plot effectively.

Emphasis is placed on the use of fronted adverbials, descriptive vocabulary, and varied sentence lengths to create tension and atmosphere. They explore character development and are encouraged to use dialogue to advance the action or reveal aspects of a character.

Non-Fiction Writing

Non-fiction writing in Year 4 focuses on organising text into coherent paragraphs, using headings and subheadings when appropriate. Pupils are introduced to styles such as reports, explanations, persuasion, and discussion texts.

They learn to express points of view clearly, using formal tone and factual language when necessary. Students also practise summarising information succinctly, often drawing on cross-curricular topics for material.

Poetry and Plays

Poetry study allows Year 4 pupils to play with rhythm, rhyme, and free verse. They are taught to identify poetic features and to use them in their own writing.

When studying plays, students focus on the structure of dialogue and stage directions. They engage with reading scripts aloud, teaching them how to convey meaning through inflection and timing.

The aim is to develop not just a written understanding of poetry and plays but also their oral and performance aspects.

Enriching Language Skills

A classroom with colorful posters, books, and a whiteboard. Students engaged in language activities, such as reading, writing, and speaking

Year Four in the English curriculum is a pivotal time when students expand their communication abilities and embrace the diversity of global cultures through literature.

They enrich their language skills considerably during this period, focusing both on their proficiency in speaking and listening, as well as on their exposure to literature from different parts of the world.

Listening and Speaking

In Year Four, students enhance their listening skills by actively engaging in discussions and heeding different viewpoints. Speaking activities are designed to bolster their confidence and fluency, enabling them to articulate thoughts and questions with clarity.

Teachers encourage children to use new vocabulary and adverbs in their speech, which expands their oral language capabilities, and they learn to employ conjunctions effectively to form complex sentences.

These speaking and listening exercises not only build a robust language foundation but also foster social interaction and collaborative learning.

Exploring Literature from Other Cultures

Students’ exploration of literature encompasses a range of texts from other cultures, granting them invaluable insights into diverse traditions and ways of life.

This exposure helps them to build a rich vocabulary while they experience different literary structures, themes, and characters. It instils a respect for multiculturalism and international viewpoints, which is essential in today’s interconnected world.

By engaging with stories and poetry from around the globe, pupils gain a deeper understanding of the world and the various ways in which stories can be told.

Curricular Integration and Resources

A classroom with diverse reading materials, grammar charts, and vocabulary posters. A teacher and students engaged in group discussions and collaborative activities

In Year 4, the integration of English with other subjects is essential to provide a well-rounded education. Resources supporting this integration are curated to strengthen understanding across disciplines.

Cross-Curricular Links

In the Year 4 English curriculum , literacy skills are interwoven with other subjects to enhance pupils’ learning experiences. For instance, history is enriched through historical texts, fostering both reading comprehension and historical knowledge.

Science and maths concepts are often explored within English lessons through subject-specific texts aiming to develop not only literacy but also numeracy and scientific enquiry.

Furthermore, English extends to geography, as geographical texts improve vocabulary related to physical and human landscapes. This interdisciplinary approach ensures pupils make meaningful connections between English and their broader educational context.

Resource References

The resources recommended for Year 4 English include a variety of materials that align with the National Curriculum’s programme of study and attainment targets.

English Appendix 1: Spelling, available from the Department for Education, outlines spelling patterns and conventions. Similarly, the National curriculum in England: English programmes of study provides guidance on grammar, punctuation, and language structure for Key Stage 2.

It is vital for resources to adhere to these documents to ensure compliance with national educational standards and laws.

Moreover, carefully selected texts across different subjects support the curriculum by enabling students to apply their English skills contextually.

Frequently Asked Questions

A classroom with a whiteboard displaying "Frequently Asked Questions: What English Is Taught In Year Four?" on the wall

In Year 4, students progress through a structured English curriculum designed to build upon their reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. This section addresses common queries regarding the content and expectations for Year 4 English.

What topics are covered in the Year 4 English curriculum?

The Year 4 English curriculum encompasses a variety of topics including reading comprehension, writing in different genres, grammar, and vocabulary development. Pupils are also introduced to poetry, plays, and non-fiction texts.

Which grammar concepts should Year 4 students be familiar with?

Students should be familiar with parts of speech, tense, punctuation, and sentence construction. They are also taught to use conjunctions, adverbs, and prepositions to express time and cause, and to form complex sentences.

What are the expected literacy skills by the end of Year 4?

By the end of Year 4, students are expected to read with increasing fluency and expression, write structured texts using appropriate grammar, and engage in discussions about books, offering thoughts and opinions. Their speaking and listening skills should also be developed.

How does the Year 4 English curriculum prepare students for Key Stage 2?

The curriculum is tailored to ensure that Year 4 students acquire the foundational knowledge required for the upper stages of Key Stage 2. It focuses on enhancing their literacy skills, comprehension abilities, and knowledge of text types and genres.

What types of texts are Year 4 pupils expected to read and comprehend?

Pupils are expected to read a wide range of texts, including fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. They should be able to understand the context, identify themes, and recognise language features within these texts.

How is writing taught in Year 4, and what genres are introduced?

Writing instruction in Year 4 includes narrative, persuasive, descriptive, and instructional texts. Students learn to plan, draft, and edit their work, ensuring it is coherent and stylistically appropriate for the genre.

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.






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