Year 4 Newsletter Term Four

15 February 2018
Information Booklet
Curriculum - English
Curriculum - Maths
Learning Support and Extension.
Specialist Timetable Timetable Changes
BRPS & Year Four Special Events
Cave Hill Creek Camp Wednesday 18th - Friday 20th July
Expectations of BRPS students
Student of the Week
Monday Morning Assemblies
Bike Education
Extra Information
Black Rock Primary School
(03) 9598 2293
71 Arkaringa Crescent
Black Rock, Victoria, 3193


We would like to welcome all new and existing parents to another fabulous year at Black Rock Primary School. Here’s to an exciting and rewarding 2018!


In Year Four the teachers aim to provide a stimulating and secure learning environment. Students are provided with positive feedback, a vast array of challenging activities and a safe learning environment. Teachers also work towards developing students' personal organisation, independence and responsibility as they move towards being a part of the Senior School.


We hope that the following information will be helpful to you in understanding what your child will be involved in throughout the school year.


We look forward to meeting you at the Parent/Teacher Interviews and answering any questions you may have about Year Four.


Thank you,


The Year Four Team



Being present at school every day is the single most important part of your child’s education. Students learn new things at school every day – missing school puts them behind.


In the event that your child does need to be away, please take note of the following instructions outlining how to notify the school of their absence:


Full Day Absence:

* A key feature of the Compass App is that it allows parents to quickly and conveniently notify the school of your child’s absence. Notification via the app (or browser version of Compass) will automatically update the class roll and provide a documented explanation of your child’s absence, and is the school’s preferred method. Alternatively, please phone 9598 2293 or send a note to enable us to document absences. Other­wise, absences will be recorded as ‘unexplained’ for DET records.

* Parent approvals for absences can be entered using the app for any time period up to 28 days long and can be entered ahead of time or retrospectively – where possible, approvals should be entered prior to the absence occurring.

* There is no need to change the default times of 8am – 5pm when reporting full-day absences.

* A record of absences can be viewed in the browser version of Compass by clicking the ‘Profile (Attendance, Schedule, Reports)’ link on the Home page and selecting the ‘Attendance’ tab.

(Lateness or leave during school hours for appointments etc., are reported via the V-Pass system on the iPads at the Office when you sign your child in/out, not via Compass.

Late Arrivals: Sign your child in via V-Pass and collect a Late Arrival pass from the Office for students arriving after 9.00am. These are then given to your child’s teacher.

Early Departures: Please report to the School Office to sign your child out via V-Pass and obtain an Early Departure pass form to be handed to your child’s teacher.



Curriculum - English

Speaking and Listening

Students will also be involved in informal discussions, small group discussions and formal presentations of project work. Being an active listener and asking relevant questions is also expected at this level and beyond.


Reading and Viewing

This year we will continue our CAFÉ approach to reading. CAFÉ focuses upon Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency and Extending Vocabulary. In the classroom, CAFÉ will give the students the opportunity to read, interpret and respond to a wide range of written and electronic material in different formats.

Activities are completed through individual, partner, small group and whole class reading. Students are encouraged to monitor their reading goals through conferencing with their classroom teacher.



At Black Rock we use Big Write and VCOP (Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers and Punctuation) methodologies to guide our teaching of writing. VCOP is based on the premise that ‘if they can’t say it, they can’t write it’. Learning is scaffolded in the classroom to allow students to become articulate thinkers and speakers, who in turn become articulate writers. It is a differentiated approach, allowing teachers to cater for varying needs. After completing a ‘Big Write’ students assess their own work using a criterion scale. This empowers the students by allowing them to analyse where their skill set lies, and specifically what steps they need to take in order to further their writing.



A word study program focusing on phonics, vocabulary, and spelling strategies will be taught from Year One to Year Six. Word study involves active exploration of words and offers students the opportunity to make their own discoveries about how words are  spelt by comparing, categorising and manipulating them. When students understand the spelling and meaning of words, they become more excited about words and are more confident to apply these correct strategies in their reading and writing.  The students are assessed and their errors are examined.  After this, the students are grouped into ‘like ability’ groups for instruction and they are taught at their point of need.



Year Four students will continue to develop their handwriting skills, with a focus on the correct letter size, sloping, spacing and joining. Students are expected to write in grey lead until they receive their pen licence sometime during Semester Two. Expectations for achieving a pen licence will be discussed and modelled to the students. It is our aim that all students will receive their pen licence by the end of the school year.               



Curriculum - Maths

We aim to build upon the students’ mathematical understanding through using a range of formats including; games, computer technology, calculators and hands on materials. Developing the students’ problem solving strategies and mathematical reasoning will also be a focus throughout the year.

Students will be involved in:


Number and Algebra

* Working on the recall of multiplication facts and their related division facts.

* Building upon estimation skills.

* Working with fractions and recognising common equivalent fractions.

* Examining number patterns.


Measurement and Geometry

* Comparing areas of regular and irregular shapes.

* Solving problems involving time.

* Using scaled instruments to measure length, area, mass, capacity and temperature.

* Classifying angles.

* Interpreting information contained in maps.


Statistics and Probability

* Investigating different methods for data collection and representation.

* Construct data displays and graphs.

* Describing the probabilities of everyday events.




Beginning with the history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, students examine European exploration and colonisation in Australia and throughout the world up to the early 1800s.

Earth and Space Science 

Students begin to appreciate that current systems, such as the Earth’s surface, have characteristics that have resulted from past changes and that living things form part of systems.

Design and Technology 

Students explore and learn to harness their creative, innovative and imaginative ideas and approaches to achieve designed solutions.

Magnetic Moves 

Students learn that forces include non-contact forces and begin to appreciate that some interactions result from phenomena that can’t be seen with the naked eye.

Learning Support and Extension.

CEAL- Conditional Entry for Accelerated Learning- Katrina Hutchins

The school runs an English CEAL and Maths CEAL program for selected students in Year Four.  The sessions are designed to challenge and extend select students’ skills, knowledge and understanding in Maths and English.  The sessions are an extension of the classroom activity. 

To be eligible to be tested for Maths CEAL, students must be 12 - 18 months above standard in Number in their Semester Two report in 2017.  

To be eligible to be tested for English CEAL, students must be 12 - 18 months above standard in both Reading and Writing in their Semester Two report in 2017 . Our Student Performance Analysis program and the assessments are used to select the top percentage  of students in Maths and English. 

CEAL students will be notified in Week 6 of their selection into the  program. 


The Teaching and Learning Support leader- Katrina Hutchins

The Teaching and Learning Support Leader will assist teachers and students in achieving the best educational outcomes throughout the year. They will work closely with the year level teachers to plan and implement rich literacy and numeracy activities where students will be both extended and supported. Depending on the students’ needs they will be exposed to a variety of learning environments, such as 1:1, focus groups and whole class activity. The Teaching & Learning Support Leader will work closely with teachers during curriculum and assessment planning, ensuring more support for individual needs.


Specialist Timetable
Timetable Changes


Please note there will be timetable changes that take place throughout the year due to school events such as camps, excursions & swimming programs. Students will be encouraged to record such changes in their diaries.


BRPS & Year Four Special Events

Term 1

* February 16th: House Swimming Sports

* February 19th — March 1st: 9 Day Intensive Swimming Program

* February 20th & 22nd: P/T Interviews

* March 12th: Labour Day Public Holiday

* March 29th: Easter Hat Parade & End Of Term One — 2:30pm dismissal

Term 2

* April 16th: First day of Term Two

* April 25th: ANZAC Day

* June 11th: Queen’s Birthday Public Holiday

* June 29th: End of Term Two — 2:30pm dismissal

Term 3

* July 16th: First day of Term Three

* July 18th - 20th: Year Four Camp at Cave Hill Creek

* TBA: P/T Interviews

* August 22nd: House Athletics Carnival

* September 21st: End of Term Three  - 2:30pm dismissal

Term 4

* October 8th: First Day of Term Four

* November 5th: Curriculum Day

* November 6th: Melbourne Cup Holiday

* December 21st: End of Term Four - 1:30pm dismissal

Cave Hill Creek Camp
Wednesday 18th - Friday 20th July

Wednesday 18th - Friday 20th July

Year Four students attend camp for three days and two nights. This year the Year Four students are going to Cave Hill Creek. Cave Hill Creek is a spectacular bush venue, surrounded by the mountains of the Mt. Cole State Forest. Cave Hill Creek is only 45 mins drive from Sovereign Hill and we will combine our camp at Cave Hill Creek with an Australian history excursion to Sovereign Hill.


During their time at camp, students will visit many spectacular exhibitions such as gold pouring, venturing underground on a gold mine tour and witnessing tradesmen such as, candle makers and confectioners apply their trades. Activities at Cave Hill Creek focus on developing a child's love for the outdoors through challenging and fun experiences. Camp programs include cultural and indigenous awareness, the environment and sustainability.  Camp is an important place for students to build life skills, relationships, (both with their peers and teachers), independence and resilience.


If your child does not feel comfortable staying away from home, please consider a few extended sleepovers at a relative or friend’s house well before end of Term Two.


Detailed information regarding Year Four Camp will be issued to parents in Term Two. We also hold meetings with all of  the Year Four students leading up to the camp to talk about our time away and to answer the students’ questions. 


· Please notify the school office immediately should any family details change e.g. phone number, emergency contacts, etc.
· Diaries will be used to record important events. We ask that the students bring their diaries along every day.
· Compass is our primary form of communication with families this year. It is vital that you have connected correctly to Compass to ensure you receive all future communications relevant to your child throughout the year. A key feature of Compass is that it allows parents to conveniently notify the school of your child’s absence.
· Reminders, updates and photos of school events can also be found on the school’s Facebook page
· Class lists will be sent home shortly containing information of families in your child’s class that give permission for their details to be shared. Please ensure that if you have a printed copy of a class list you store it in an area where it is not on display for others to read.

Expectations of BRPS students


* We build positive relationships and create a positive learning environment.

* We have shared and agreed classroom expectations.

* We promote a growth mindset.

* Students are expected to be respectful of everyone in our school community at all times. 

* Students are expected to respect school property and the property of those around them.

* Students will be held accountable for their actions and recognised and praised for their achievements.

* Students will hand in homework on time and it will be completed with genuine effort. 

* Students are expected to complete all tasks to the best of their ability.

* Students are encouraged to ask for help when they do not understand something.

* Students are encouraged to share their ideas and opinions in class discussions.


Homework is in most cases given out Mondays and is due back at school on Fridays. Please encourage your child to be responsible for bringing their homework book back to school on Fridays.


 Setting Homework

Homework tasks that are set by your child’s teacher will reflect the learning focus that has been taking place in your child’s classroom. Homework helps to strengthen the home/school connection as it gives families an insight into what their child has been learning about and helps open up conversations.

Throughout the year homework tasks will include Reading, News Report presentations, Writing and Maths tasks, and other tasks related to our Inquiry unit.


Speaking and Listening

The students will be asked to prepare and deliver a variety of presentations throughout the year. Information regarding Term One’s presentation has already been pasted into the students’ homework books.



Reading is a very important part of the homework schedule - we hope that students develop a regular pattern of reading at home. Regardless of your child’s ability, we encourage all students to read aloud to someone else on a regular basis so that their accuracy and expression can be monitored. We encourage parents to question and discuss the content of their child’s books.


Times Tables

By the end of Year Four, students are expected to know their times tables, to at least 10x10, and associated number facts. Students will be supported to consolidate their knowledge of these during the year through homework tasks.


A Parent’s Role In Homework

* Be involved, but don’t complete the homework for your child.

* Set a designated place at home for your child to work.  Supply paper, pencils, a ruler and other materials they may need.

* Help your child establish a homework routine.

* Encourage your child to do their best.

* If your child is putting in effort and is still struggling, please bring the homework session to an end and send in a note or see your child’s teacher to explain the situation prior to the day it is due.



Student of the Week

Student of the Week awards will be given out at assembly throughout the year. It is the school’s policy that from Year Three and up, parents and students are not informed that they are receiving an award.

Monday Morning Assemblies

Assembly takes place each Monday morning starting at 9am. Assemblies will either be held on the asphalt or in the school stadium, depending on the weather. If your child arrives while the Australian National Anthem is playing we ask that they stand still as a mark of respect, until the anthem has finished. After this, they can join their class. Hats will be taken off at this time.

Bike Education

Year Four students will participate in their first year of Bike Ed. The aim of the VicRoads Bike Ed. program is to enable students aged 9 to 13 years to develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours to ride a bicycle safely and independently.


Bike Ed. aims to enable students to:

· Gain knowledge and understanding of the road traffic environment and the road rules.

· To develop their physical and cognitive skills to manage the road traffic environment.

· To develop responsible behaviours, attitudes and decision-making skills.


Bike Ed inspires students to develop their bicycle riding skills and their physical capability. Other benefits include enhanced health, fitness and wellbeing, confidence, independence, learning and social development. Bike Ed will be run by Mr Fox.

Extra Information

House Sports


Supervision of Students

Please note that teachers are on yard duty before school from 8.45 to 9.00 am  and after school from 3.30 to 3:45 pm. Students who are in the playground before or after these hours, without supervision, are sent to Outside School Hours Care. Please ensure your child is registered to attend.


Excursions & Incursions

Notices or notifications via COMPASS will be sent home to inform students and their families of upcoming excursions and special visits to the school. We aim to provide students with meaningful and relevant experiences that enhance their classroom learning.

School Times



Late Arrivals:

Late pass to be collected from the School Office when students arrive to school after 9.00 am and given to your teacher. Please use the iPads to sign them in.

Early Departures:

Early Leavers pass to be collected from the School Office when collecting your child early and the pass is to given to your child’s teacher. Please use the iPads to sign them out.

Parent/Teacher Contact

As educators we value and recognize the importance of the home/school connection and are happy to speak to you about your child. Please don’t hesitate to discuss any concerns with us. However, like you, we also love to hear the good things!


Before school is often busy, but we are usually available for a quick chat. Alternatively, we ask you to arrange a mutually agreeable time to meet.


There are two parent/teacher interview periods scheduled for the year. The first ones will be taking place February 20th & 22nd. The second parent/teacher interview day will be held in Term Three, after you have received your child’s Semester One Report.


Thank you, we're looking forward to a wonderful year ahead!


Adam Littlehales, Beth Tyrrell, Sandy Bassoukos & Alannah Rowell


Year 4 Newsletter Term Four