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Academic Handbook Grade Four



Clifton Preparatory School - Academic Principles The children and staff respect the following principles x Support for self-directed learning. x Programmes which reflect the real world and its changing nature. x The recognition and support of individual needs and aspirations. x Involvement of the parents and the community. x Striving for the development of lifelong learning. x Maintaining flexibility and accountability within the academic curriculum. x Fostering critical and creative thinking, problem solving, risktaking and decision making. Message from the Staff As a staff we take pride in the achievements of all our children. We encourage the pursuit of academic excellence, yet at the same time instil the important values of respect for self, others and the school. We provide an environment that makes all our children feel at home and that encourages them to be active learners involved in a variety of experiences. We teach them to be self-motivated, self-disciplined and self-directed in their learning. All our efforts around their education take into account the following principles of learning: x x x x x x

We all learn in different ways We all learn at different rates We learn through interaction We learn through observation We learn through effort Learning should be fun

We are committed to providing the best education possible for your sons and daughters. Knowing that you, as parents are the primary educators of your children, we encourage your involvement and participation - our doors are always open. The Clifton Staff 2

Message from Mrs Leanne Kurz and Mrs Di Taylor Welcome to Grade 4. This booklet is designed to answer any general questions that you may have regarding the year. Should there be anything that you would like to be clarified or explained, please feel free to make an appointment to discuss this in more detail. We are here to provide the very best possible education for your child. This is only possible with your support and encouragement—please get involved as much and as often as you are able to. Should there be anything that is happening at home that may be out of the ordinary, please let us know. Small issues that may seem trivial to you could have a bigger impact on your child than you think. The death of a pet, an illness in the family, sibling rivalry, Mom or Dad going away for an extended period etc are all very relevant and we need to know about such things at school. Our aim is for the children to discover their unique learning style and to use their learning strengths as often as possible and thus reach their full potential. When information is processed through ones strengths, learning is both accelerated and fun! We hope this self knowledge would help them to become independent learners and enable them to politely advocate for their needs both at home and at school. If there is anything that you would like to see added to this Information Booklet please let us know so that we can look into making the necessary changes. We hope that the year is a successful and rewarding one.


Daily Routine 07h40 07045 10h00 12h30* 14h00

Children to be at school. Lessons commence Tea break Lunch break Sport practices / matches begin - As per Sport Program

*On a Friday school ends at 13h30. Day scholars and weekly boarders may elect to miss lunch and leave immediately the academic day finishes. There is no homework on Fridays and Wednesdays, although children should be encouraged to read. Aims and objectives in the classroom English: x To promote confidence in oral and written work. x Extend and consolidate knowledge of grammar rules. x Explore creativity. x To instil in the children a love and appreciation of reading. Language work comes from Language Across the Curriculum (LAC) themes and novels read. Creative exercises come from LAC themes; novels read and personal experiences. Comprehensions are taken from LAC themes; novels read; SRA listening and individual comprehension. Reading Reading is done for ½ an hour on most days. We try to listen to all the pupils at least once a week. Weaker readers do get more individual attention. ½ an hour of reading is allocated every day for homework which should be 10 minutes of reading aloud to someone and 20 minutes of silent reading. Spelling The “Off the Wall Phonics” Programme is followed. Words from themes and other work areas (for example Maths) are also included. Spelling is graded according to ability. All the words are discussed during class. Exercises related to spelling are done for homework and then gone over 4

in class the next day. Pupils are encouraged to learn their spelling in varied ways using their leaning style strength. Please note that right-brainers do not look at words sequentially. They love the shape of longer more high interest words. Language across the Curriculum Themes Animals Journeys The Great Explorers Farming Trees and Forests Water and Weather Mapwork Plants Birds Air Current Affairs The themes may vary and be more topical. Themes include: Reference work; comprehensions; research tasks; language exercises; creative exercises. Language Across the Curriculum (LAC) Theme: x To instil an enjoyment of introduction to History, Geography and Science related topics. x To make pupils independent in their research techniques and presentation of the subjects explored. Handwriting The final development of handwriting follows a set approach during ½ hour lessons each week. The entire alphabet is revised by practicing letters of similar style, usually two at a time. Pens (ink) are introduced half way through the year depending on whether or not the children are ready for this change or not. By the end of the third term all the children should be writing in ink. There is much motivation to qualify for a pen license.


Maths: x To extend and consolidate mathematical concepts. x To develop an understanding of the many aspects of numbers. x To instil enjoyment and confidence when working with numbers. x To allow pupils to be creative when exploring with numbers. Clifton follows the Singapore Maths Curriculum, using My Pals are Here! Maths. This is a comprehensive, activity-based program designed to provide pupils with a firm foundation in Maths and to develop creative and critical thinking skills resulting in efficient problem solvers. Contents of the Program include: x Numbers to 10 000 x Addition of numbers within 10 000 x Subtraction of numbers within 10 000 x Solving Addition and Subtraction Word Problems x Multiplication Tables 2 to 9 x Multiplication x Division x Solving Multiplication and Division Word Problems x Mental Calculations x Money x Length, Mass and Volume x Bar Graphs x Fractions x Time x Angles x Lines x Area and Perimeter Homework This generally consists of: x Spelling x Tables; bonds and other Maths exercises x Reading x Completing classwork activities x Preparing for oral presentations 6

Assessment x Maths, English, Science and Theme are assessed in Grade Four for mark and promotion purposes. x Two sets of marks are calculated, at half year and the end of the year. x Continual assessment and various weekly tests also contribute to the year mark. Maths tests are given at the end of sections covered. x The Learning style programme allows for much self assessment.

A breakdown of the mark allocation for each subject is as follows: English x Oral and reading = 60 marks x Creative writing = 40 marks x Comprehension = 40 marks x Spelling = 20 marks x Language = 40 marks x

Theme and Science Continual assessment of the various activities, projects and other assignments done. Each task given is discussed in detail in class and instructions given as to how they should be approached. Should your child come home with a particular assignment, please encourage him/her to set about completing it timeously. Assistance may be given to ensure that your child is giving the relevant information and not just copying information from a text. Please do not do any part of the project although you are welcome to give suggestions as to the setting out of the task. Maths x Mental maths (bonds and tables) = 20% x Research, problem solving, application and tests = 80%


Parent Teacher Appointments These take place in the first and third terms of each year. In the third term the interview takes the place of a report. Term 1 - Individual discussion with the teacher. Term 3 - Individual appointments where your child will show you his/her work followed by a discussion with the teacher. General: As parents you are encouraged to come in and look at your child's work at any time. Please let us know when you will be coming. Excursions Overnight Excursions Roselands- This is a two night stay during which time we cover, the following areas: x Group dynamics x Farming—sugar and tea x Team building x Meeting challenges Farm - We have a visit to a farm which includes learning about farming as well as creative activities. Specialist Subjects Book Education x How to use the Library. x Revision of fiction and non-fiction. x Introduction to the Dewey System. x Research games. Art Term 1: During the first term the children are taught the fundamental requirements for drawing. This comprises of many exercises and culminates in a project that reinforce what they have learnt. There is an optional choice of media and technique which can be used. 8

Individual attention is given to whatever media and technique the individual chooses. Term 2, 3 and 4: Subject matter is chosen according to the ability of each grade and individual. A specific skill is emphasized with each topic. The following skills are covered in various degrees of difficulty: Observation of shapes that make up an object; Texture; Looking at background; The focal point; Blending of colours; The colour wheel; Primary and Secondary colours; Line and movement; Extending a colour image; Impressionism (Monet; Renoir; van Gogh); Pointillism (Seurat); Sketching; Pencil Techniques; Shape and form; Shading; Portrait painting / drawing; Composition—still life; Fabric painting; Papiermâché work—construction. Zulu At Clifton we have adopted an approach to the teaching and learning of our second additional language, which is essentially introductory and conversational. The children will spend most of this time involved in oral work and modules are designed to assist their understanding of the language through themes for oral communication purposes. A range of multi-media is used to improve interest and to enhance the learning and discovery process. Basic word recognition is done, with some emphasis on rules of grammar and language. Afrikaans The aim of teaching Afrikaans is to give the children an opportunity to learn a second language for communicative purposes. Children are motivated to apply what they learn in class in their daily speech. Games, songs and role play are used to reinforce structures learnt. The following outcomes are covered: listening, speaking, reading and viewing, writing, thinking and reasoning and the use of sounds, grammar and vocabulary. x Grammar: Children are taught to write sentences with correct grammatical structure. To achieve this, grammar rules are learnt and applied. x Oral: To enhance oral competence, the children are encouraged to apply correct grammatical structure. 9

Physical Education Programme One hour per week where the focus is on gaining and/or improving swimming skills, developing large motor skills and refining various sporting techniques. The children will also do a fitness assessment at regular intervals, so as to monitor their development. Music and Movement The following is covered in music: x Movement Exercises: moving to music and learning to feel the music through bodily movements x Pulse (“heart beat� of music) x Basic Notation: reading and writing of music x Tempo: (fast/slow), rhythm and clapping games x Peter and the Wolf x Music Appreciation: Listening Skills x Playing various percussion instruments and the recorder x Singing Drama In Drama, the children are given opportunity to express themselves in a creative way. They are taught how to project their voices and use body language, voice and facial expressions to portray meaning in various contexts. They are taught improvisation skills and fundamental skills of acting. They are taught how to use space on stage and ways of communicating with an audience.


Grade 4 Handbook