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What Will My Child Learn in Grade 3 and 4 Curriculum?

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) is a group that shapes what children will learn each year.. There are eight learning areas (or subjects) within this framework which strive to provide a modern and relevant curriculum for every child in Australia. The theory is that even if your child moved states their learning would never be disrupted – an even playing field for every student.

Children in grades 3 and 4 will be exploring the seven general capabilities as they prepare to learn, live and work in the 21st century. The intention of the curriculum is to develop successful learners, confident and creative individuals and the fostering of motivated, active and informed young people who are ready to take their place in society.

Students in year 3 will be introduced to the NAPLAN tests for the first time. Although these can often be a source of stress for parents and students, they are intended as a ‘snapshot’ that will inform curriculum planning and distribution of resources. They are not, and should not, be used as a negative judgement of either the student or the school. Some schools may do set preparation in the lead-up to these tests but others have it embedded in their curriculum.

Grade 3 and 4 Curriculum in Queensland schools

It is compulsory that children aged between 6 years and 6 months to 16 years attend school in Queensland. Queensland schools implement the Australian Curriculum using proven teaching and assessment practices to focus on improving student achievement. State schools use Every student succeeding – State Schools Strategy 2014-2018 and you might also hear the acronym C2C (Curriculum to Classroom). This refers to the provision of a central set of classroom and assessment materials which schools then adapt to meet the needs of their individual students. There is certainly flexibility for schools to provide vibrant, interesting and relevant content that will interest and appeal to your child.

English in Grade 3 and 4

Literacy will remain a high priority in the grade 3 and 4 curriculum but will move away from ‘learning to read and write’ towards ‘reading and writing to learn’. Students will continue to listen to and read enjoyable familiar texts but slowly be introduced to new and different voices and perspectives.

Typically, students will:

  • Listen to, read, view and talk about books, stories, films and online texts
  • Independently read books and discuss them with other students, teachers or family members (an easy way for you to connect with their school experience and promote literacy in the home)
  • Continue to sound out and recognise words
  • Use simple punctuation (capital letters and full stops) with skill and begin to incorporate more complex forms (commas and inverted commas)
  • Develop skills in order to create their own texts and to understand texts created by others
  • Continue to develop vocabulary
  • Continue to develop their control over spelling
  • Begin to use metalanguage (Language used to talk about language. For example – metalanguage in a poetry unit would be words like rhyme and imagery)

Mathematics in Grade 3 and 4 Curriculum

Maths students will find themselves extending the understandings of concepts they have already covered in earlier years. These concepts are to do with numbers, patterns and relationships, measurement, geometry and statistics.

Typically, students will:

  • Be introduced to fractions and decimals
  • Increase the ways they use models, pictures and symbols to represent and communicate mathematical ideas
  • Collect and investigate data from simple problems with the development of reasoning skills
  • Describe and draw shapes and objects and use units to measure length
  • Continue their work with currency and time
  • Recall multiplication and focus on number and place value

Health and Physical Education in Grade 3 & 4

Health and Physical Education classes will see an increased range of activities with a focus on critical and creative thinking. This looks to develop social and emotional skills to do with working with others, understanding and respecting diversity, challenging stereotypes, accepting change and figuring out roles and responsibilities.

Typically, students will:

  • Develop specialised skills
  • Play structured games
  • Participate in fitness, challenge and adventure activities
  • Explore concepts to do with movement and health
  • Workshop strategies to develop respect, empathy and the value of diversity
  • Ensure they know what to do if they feel uncomfortable or unsafe

Humanities and Social Sciences in Grade 3 & 4

In grade 3 and 4 curriculum, students continue to draw on their growing experiences of community and the world. This will help them to understand the world, its systems and their relationships to other people, places and systems – past and present.

Typically, students will:

  • Explore Australian history, geography and civics and citizenships
  • Develop an understanding of celebrations and commemorations around the world (China, Asia region, France, United States)
  • Undertake methodical observations
  • Use a variety of information sources (primary and secondary)
  • Develop inference skills (making meaning using already known information to fill in gaps)
  • Develop prediction skills
  • Develop reflection and generalisation skills

Science in Grade 3 and 4

In grade 3 and 4, students learn to recognise questions of interest that they can investigate scientifically.

Typically, students will:

  • Complete units on biology, chemical science, earth and space and physical science
  • Conduct a variety of experiments and tests
  • Undertake measurements, make predictions and describe patterns and relationships
  • Explore the idea of cause and effect
  • Use evidence to explain and present findings

The Arts in Grade 3 and 4

Through various art forms, students (independently or in groups) participate to express and reflect their developing understand of the world. They are continuing to develop their arts technical skills.

Typically, students will:

  • In Dance, improvise and structure ideas using expressive skills. They will identify how elements of dance influenced their decision making and also explore a unit on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dance.
  • In Drama, explore ideas and narrative structures in improvisation and devised drama. They will use their bodies and voices to sustain roles, relationships and tension. They will also explore a unit on the drama of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  • In Music, develop skills be exploring, imitating and recognising elements of music. They will sing, play instruments and use elements of music including rhythm, pitch, dynamics and form.
  • In Media Arts, investigate and devise representations of people in their community using images, sound and text. They will identify the purposes and meanings behind a variety of media artworks.
  • In Visual Arts, explore ideas and artworks from a variety of cultures and times including Australia. Use a variety of techniques and processes and compare and contrast artworks.

Technologies in Grade 3 and 4

Through exploration, design and problem-solving, students learn how digital and other technologies work and how to create solutions with those technologies.

Typically, students will:

In Design and Technologies

  • Design, explore and test a variety of materials, components, tools and equipment
  • Generate, develop and communication design ideas and decisions

Digital Technologies

  • Collect, assess and present different types of data using software.
  • Plan, create and communicate ideas and information independently and with others, applying agreed ethical and social standards

Languages in Grade 3 and 4

Your child may have an opportunity to learn a language other than English.

Typically, when learning the language, students will:

  • Use simple and complex words and phrases to respond to instructions and participate in shared learning experiences with some visual support
  • Read simple phrases and sentences that have familiar vocabulary
  • Write a variety of words and some simple and complex sentences
  • Gain insights into other cultures as a way to promote tolerance and acceptance of difference
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Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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