Year 4 Spring Term -The Age of Exploration

An in-depth study of the Explorers through the ages.

Art and Design

In this topic we will explore art of the Renaissance period with a focus on pattern and symbolism.

We learn how to create art work using mixed media  and develop and refine our painting skills by using different techniques to create specific effects.

Our artist this term is Frank Hurley who is a photographer. We will learn about his life, investigate his work and then begin to edit our own photographs using our computing skills.

Design Technology

This term, we are going to learn about the history of transport and how it has been adapted through out the age of exploration and beyond. We will investigate how ship building has changed from the Vikings and how ship building was once a major industry in our region. We will then design, build and evaluate our own vessels.

In spring 2 we are going to build on our learning from Year 3 and focus on expeditions through the Arctic and Antarctic. Using our knowledge, we are going to create shelters that would be appropriate for this extreme environment.


We are going to begin by investigating the ‘Age of Exploration’ 1400’s—1700’s

· What was life like in Britain during this period

· Why was there a need for exploration of the wider World

· Investigating the chronology of specific voyages and expeditions

· Study of early explorers including Drake, Columbus, Cook and Henry the Navigator

· What did the age of Exploration mean for the wider world


In computing, we are going to become computer programmers and use a range of software to design, write and debug programs in order to accomplish specific goals. We will experiment with different variables and various forms of input and output.


In Geography we are going to further develop our knowledge of the wider world. We will find out how trade was an important driving force in the Age of Exploration and plot specific trade routes. We will study the work of cartographers and compare how maps have changed over time.

We will also look at settlements, both indigenous and as a result of exploration and discuss the impact of colonization.

In the second part of the term, we will complete an in-depth study of the Artic and Antarctic – building on our knowledge and understanding from Year 3. We will investigate both the physical and human geography of these regions.


We investigate reasons why music was so important during this time period and will explore the music of various composers including Leonin, De la Halle, Vivalidi, and Bach.

We are also going to learn about the history of particular instruments and the first printed musical scores.


Our focus this term is all about living things especially animals (including humans). We are going to learn about simple classification and how we can group things in certain ways. We will also use keys to identify things in our local and in wider environments. We will find out how animals adapt to survive in specific environments and we construct food chains using the correct vocabulary.

In the spring, we also study teeth. We find out what they are called and the function of the different types of tooth.


We are going to investigate what makes a community and identify the different communities that we are part of. We will learn what makes a strong community and how we can all play our part. We also consider family and friendships and ways in which we can promote positive relationships.


This term we are going to continue our study of Christianity. We will investigate the importance of prayer and worship within the Christian faith and look at significant events such as baptism and Holy Communion.

In the second part of the term, we learn about Easter and ask how the Easter story is linked to the concept of forgiveness


As we become more confident in French we are going to extend our vocabulary to include days of the week and months of the year. We will practise using our new vocabulary in conversation but will also learn how to read and write the words as well!


For our indoor sessions, we are going to focus on dance. We will learn a choreographed routine that we can perform at the Gateshead Dance Festival. Outdoors we are going to explore outdoor and adventurous activities and then we learn the skills required to play hockey.

In addition to the taught aspects of our curriculum we also provide children with many other opportunities to develop and extend their learning. Please click on one of the following links to find out more.