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Balgowlah Heights Public School

Balgowlah Heights Public School

Excellence and Opportunity

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Year 4

English is taught daily and embedded within the Learning Areas. In this subject, students study how the English language is used to create meaning in spoken, written and visual texts. Through responding to and composing a wide range of texts and through the close study of texts, students will develop knowledge, understanding and skills in order to:

  • Communicate through speaking, listening, reading, writing, viewing and representing.
  • Use language to shape and make meaning according to purpose, audience and context.
  • Think in ways that are imaginative, creative, interpretive and critical.
  • Express themselves and their relationships with others and their world.

Literacy sessions focus on a range of learning experiences related to aspects of reading, comprehension, writing, spelling, vocabulary and discussion. Students will practise their skills independently and in small groups. There will also be whole class lessons with activities suited to the various range of literacy skills across the class.


A major goal for students this year is to increase their reading volume and learn to read more complex texts. Students will participate in daily reading activities to strengthen their comprehension skills including the ‘Super 6' comprehension strategies:

  • making connections
  • predicting
  • questioning
  • monitoring
  • visualising
  • summarising.

Students will work individually, in small groups and as a whole class to read a variety of quality fiction and non-fiction texts including the School Magazine. They are also encouraged to complete the Premier's Reading Challenge which is a significant part of the library program.

In Term 1, there will be a particular focus on persuasive texts so students will explore how meaning is created in texts such as advertising posters and video clips, letters to the editor and book reviews.

In Term 2, there will be a particular focus on imaginative texts including poetry.

Speaking and listening

Students will participate in poetry recitals, mini-debates, impromptu speeches and plays.

In Term 1, students will give an oral presentation to the class on their research project about the voyages of an early explorer, eg Zheng He, Torres, Jansz, Tasman, Captain Cook or La Perouse.

In Term 2, students will prepare and present a three minute speech for the Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking Competition. Examples of common speech topics for are:

  • The same but different
  • Every family has a story
  • Kids can make a difference
  • "Boo" to racism in sport
  • Refugees
  • Racism – it stops with me
  • The Australian Flag
  • Multiculturalism in the media
  • What makes a community?
  • Harmony Day


In Term 1, writing lessons will focus on writing persuasive texts. Students will participate in activities to develop their skills in writing paragraphs with a topic sentences and supporting details. In grammar lessons, which are supported by activities in the Doorway to Practical Literacy (DIPL) program, they will learn to use tense, pronouns, and verbs more effectively in their writing. Writing tasks for this term will link to our history program and the themes of exploration and discovery.

In Term 2, writing lessons will focus on writing imaginative texts including narratives and poetry. Grammar and punctuation lessons, will provide students with practice at using commas, speech marks, similes, adjectives and adverbs to improve their writing.


Students will complete weekly handwriting lessons using the NSW Foundation cursive style, as they start to work towards achieving their pen licences.


Spelling is supported by the DIPL program. Lessons will build knowledge of sound-letter relationships and letter combinations to spell words. The following letter combinations will be a particular focus: oe, o-e, oa, ow, old, ue, e-e, ew, oo, oo, ar, ou, ow, oi, and oy. Students will learn spelling rules for plural nouns. They will be encouraged to develop their visual memory of words using the look, write, cover, check learning strategy. Students will develop personal spelling goals to learn common misspelled words from their writing. They will also participate in activities to develop proofreading skills including recognising errors, using a dictionary and considering meaning and context when spelling homophones such as their/there/they're.

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