Otter Class – Year 3, Year 4
Otter Class is an important stage in the life of children at Nunney First School. Expectations are high led by the full time qualified teacher Miss Murtagh supported by a member of the Teaching Assistant team. These are the final years before the children move to the local middle schools, an important time when children will be developing their academic learning, their social skills and their broader approach to lifelong learning.
During his or her three years in Hedgehog Class, coming across to the main hall each day for assembly and lunch, or for PE or Multi-Sports Club, each child will have peeped through the door of Otter Class and seen a very different classroom, where the chairs are bigger and the displays on the walls are more complicated with a more demanding vocabulary. Otter Class is in the oldest part of the school where children have been educated since 1896; the room, the library and hall next door all have high ceilings with big tall windows that let in lots of light.
The school day is a little more formal, the work more challenging. Pupils in Years 3 and 4 are likely to be given responsibilities such as School Council members, playground leaders, team captains and reading champions. They often represent the school at sporting and community events, for example the Tag Rugby Festival, a community harvest celebration and carol singing for our neighbours at Dallimore Mead.
Years 3 and 4 should see a growing capacity in each child for independent learning, backed by the Loops of Learning and other strategies which are a core part of our approach to teaching. In English fluent reading and writing is the norm, with an enriched vocabulary and growing confidence in using language in a greater variety of situations, for a variety of audiences and purposes, including through drama, formal presentations and debate. Daily spelling and phonics exercises continue to make sure that this innate skill is embedded in each child.
Mathematics becomes more demanding and more challenging as the children become familiar with greater numbers, more complicated calculations, fractions, measurements, geometry, statistics – natural steps in their progression backed by the solid foundations laid in the previous years.
Other topics are introduced in line with the National Curriculum, including science, history, geography, religious studies, personal, social and health education, modern languages; sport and outdoor activity form a key part of the school week preparing them for the demands of whichever school they move to.
Year 4 leavers have a dedicated Leavers Assembly in July celebrating, amid much laughter, applause and the odd tear, their achievements at Nunney.