Grade 4

Curriculum Guide

Child Protection Program

The International School of the Sacred Heart promotes a safe and welcoming  environment in which each person is valued, cared for and respected. Schools fill a special institutional role in society as protectors of children. Schools need
to ensure that all children in their care are afforded a safe and secure environment in which to grow and develop, both at school and away.

Program’s Main Ideas:
We all have the right to feel safe all of the time
Nothing is so awful we can’t talk about it

  • Lesson 1: Feeling Safe
  • Lesson 2: Nothing is so awful we can’t talk
  • about it with someone
  • Lesson 3: Let’s Practice Safety Steps
  • Lesson 4: Touching Rule and Safety Steps

Creative and Performing Arts

The Junior School Art curriculum introduces students to a variety of creative  experiences. The curriculum encourages personal expression using a variety of techniques and materials. Students are introduced to art of different cultures and the
works of master artists, their lives, techniques and styles. Subjects taught in the grade level classes are integrated throughout the art curriculum. The Art program develops students’ abilities to:

  • Recognize a variety of lines and shapes
  • Identify different color groups, telling how they are made and how they can be used to enhance artwork
  • Use media and materials in a safe and responsible way
  • Recall specific works of art belonging to different artists, places, cultures and times
  • Respond and express their personal feelings, memory and imagination through their own artwork
  • Recognize and implement the elements and principals of design

Music in the Kindergarten and Junior School focuses on developing a love and appreciation of music through song, dance, movement and instrumental performance.

At all levels, music is taught as a language, with the aural and physical experiences preceding the cognitive. From the very first days in the music classroom, the foundation to music literacy is laid using visual icons and manipulatives, melodic hand signs and “stick” notation. Students progress towards fluency with standard music notation in the later grades. 

The music program also strives to address a number of other skill areas. By taking part in musical games and activities, children develop self‐confidence, effective  communication skills and conflict resolution strategies. Music also develops the intellectual faculties; discerning patterns and variations brings the child’s cognitive abilities into play, and learning the words, melody and actions of a song aids
memory development. Developing proper technique on classroom instruments (drums,
xylophones, recorder) promotes physical coordination and manual dexterity.  Additionally, musical experiences awaken the child’s imagination, relieve internal tension and pave the way for more abstract thought processes.

Above all, students are instilled with a realization that music is a natural human expression that celebrates the richness and beauty of the world around them.
More specifically, students in Grade Four: 

  • Increase repertoire by learning 20‐25 new songs, games, canons and two‐part song
  • arrangements
  • Know by memory 10‐15 songs and be able to sing these with solfege and rhythm names
  • Perform all songs with accurate intonation, clear diction and clear head tone

Recorder Playing

  • Demonstrate proper holding and breathing technique
  • Perform short songs using diatonic notes from high F ‐ low C, including the chromatics low F#, low G#, low Bb and high C#
  • Perform duets, trios and quartets Melody
  • Perform solfege hand signs for patterns including the notes of the full diatonicscale
  • Recognize new melodic material from stick notation and staff notation
  • Recognize melodies in major and minor both aurally and visually (staff and stick notation)
  • Recognize whole steps, half steps and skips
  • Sing absolute letter names with increasing confidence


  • Know names and written symbols for eighth rest, tam‐ti (dotted quarter‐eighth), ti‐tam (eighth‐dotted quarter), tim‐ri (dotted eighth‐sixteenth) and ri‐tim (sixteenth‐dotted eighth)
  • Perform ostinatos, exercises and canons using new rhythmic material 

Reading and Writing

  • Read and write well‐known rhythmic or melodic patterns from hand signs, stick notation or staff notation
  • Write 16‐beat rhythmic patterns from memory or dictation
  • Write melodic patterns from memory or dictation using stick or staff notation
  • Sight‐read in two parts 
  • Apply absolute letter names to simple melodic exercises

Part Work

  • Sing 3‐part canons and partner songs
  • Sing in two parts from staff notation and stick notation
  • Switch parts when given a signal (beat/rhythm/melody/solfege/absolute letter names)


  • Improvise endings or missing sections within a song


  • Recognize different meters
  • Recognize standard instruments of the orchestra


English as a Second Language (ESL) classes are offered by the ESL specialist for those students whose first language or mother tongue is a language other than English. The school offers two ESL programs in Junior School:

  • Modified Program ‐ students with limited English attend intensive English language lessons in the ESL classroom
  • In‐Class Support – the ESL specialist will work with ESL students in the mainstream classroom to provide assistance during language‐based activities

These programs are designed to provide both survival English as well as English for academic purposes. They are generally designed for those students who have little to no English and the number of classes provided per week will depend on the student's English language level. A student new to using English on a daily basis will often be
placed in both programs at the same time. As their language develops they will then exit the modified program, but continue to receive in‐class support when necessary.

Foreign Languages

Students who elect to learn French in the fourth grade meet twice a week. The program is intended to introduce the French language to young children with particular emphasis on comprehension. Students are expected to:

  • Build up lexical and communication skills that are adapted to their needs and interests
  • Develop accurate pronunciation, articulation and rhythm
  • Acquire a general awareness of French grammar and an understanding of how the language “works”, through  activities of observation and classification
  • Approach French culture and traditional festivals, cooking recipes, songs and stories, family life, leisure activities

Students learn the French language as a whole process, gradually refining the different skills that make up the language process. Those skills, speaking, listening, writing and reading, are viewed as interrelated processes. However, given the age of the students and their early stage of learning, the emphasis will be put on comprehension rather than production. Structure and vocabulary are presented in dialogues, songs, rhymes and poems, stories and exercises. As much as possible, classes are conducted in French.

Japanese Language
Japanese is the language of the host country of our school. Through the study of  Japanese language, students not only develop the ability to use the language effectively for purposes of practical communication, but also provide insights and appreciation of the Japanese people and their culture.

In Grade 4 the Japanese Language program will provide four levels of basic instruction. Two of the levels, Japanese as a Second Language (JS) are designed for foreigners and the other two levels, Japanese as a First Language (JF) are designed for native speakers. Each level of  Japanese will build upon the previous level and will provide a basic foundation in Japanese language. This language program begins at grade two and goes through grade twelve.

Japanese Culture
In this course students are introduced to the Japanese culture and language in young people’s everyday life through music, arts, language and performing arts. Through the study of the cultures, students will also discover and reflect on their own culture and language and compare those of other people in the world.


The International Primary Curriculum (IPC) is an international program aimed at K3‐Grade 4 children growing up in the 21st Century. At the Sacred Heart, the IPC encompasses Science and Social Studies topics that are developmentally linked to reflect the growing complexity in thinking as children mature, as well as the rapidly changing world we live in.
One important and overarching principle that defines the IPC is its objective to encourage international‐mindedness in the student body.
This can be defined further as engaging in learning that fosters universal values,
intercultural understanding and non‐violent conflict resolution.
Through student centered inquiry based learning a love of learning is encouraged and the necessary key skills and personal qualities that will enable children to be successful in life are introduced and expanded upon.
Currently IPC themes for Grade 4 are:

  • Brainwave: An inquiry into the anatomy of the brain, how we learn and the different learning styles we have
  • Time and Place, Electricity: An inquiry into the properties of electricity and its use as a resource
  • Our Planet: An inquiry into how plate tectonics, earthquakes and volcanoes have affected the lives of people and communities
  • Rock Finders: An inquiry into how rocks and minerals are classified

Language Arts

Language is an integral part of every subject in the curriculum, affecting children’s ability to form concepts, access information and to develop and maintain relationships. The ultimate purpose of the Language Arts curriculum is to teach students the language abilities they need to communicate effectively as individuals and as contributing
members of society. In Grade Four, the focus of our Language Arts program is to further develop and extend reading and writing skills so that students become confident readers and writers. 

Our Language Arts program provides rich and  varied experience in each of the four interrelated language skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking.
Gr 4 students learn to:

  • use resources to locate and sort information with guidance
  • choose reading material at appropriate level
  • read aloud with fluency, expression and confidence
  • make connections between their reading and other books and authors

Gr 4 students learn to:

  • write a variety of organised fiction and nonfiction pieces
  • use strategies to develop: Ideas, Organization, Word Choice, Voice, Sentence Fluency, Conventions and Presentation in their writing
  • follow the writing process to publish writing with greater confidence

Listening and Speaking:
Gr 4 students learn to:

  • listen to and follow multi‐step instructions
  • listen attentively to teachers and classmates
  • actively participate in class discussions
  • use language to verbally express ideas clearly and appropriately


The mathematics curriculum provides a rich, exploratory program in which basic skills are learned and applied. It is based on using a “hands‐on” approach using concrete materials and emphasizes practical, problem solving. We aim to develop mathematical thinkers who can make connections to real life situations. Students apply their knowledge through practice, reflection, analysis and synthesis.
All Mathematical Investigations are incorporated into the following strands.
Number Concepts and Computations:

  • Understands place value to 1,000,000
  • Understands the relationships between multiplication, division, addition and subtraction
  • Adds, subtracts with and without regrouping beyond 1,000
  • Multiplies by 2 digit numbers
  • Divides by a single divisor using long division
  • Adds and subtracts fractions 

Measurement and Geometry:

  • Recognizes, names and explores properties of 2D and 3D shapes
  • Determines elapsed time, forward and backward
  • Finds perimeter and area
  • Understands when to use appropriate measurement tools

Probability and Data:

  • Independently collects and graph results
  • Interprets graphs and tables
  • Combines and compares graph data
  • Expresses probability in fractional terms

Algebra and Pattern:

  • Describes the rule for a pattern sequence
  • Identifies missing in a pattern sequence
  • Finds distributive properties e.g. 2x(3+4) = (2x3)+(?x?)


The K/JS Library Media Center is fundamental to the Language Arts Curriculum and to the promotion of reading. Reading for enjoyment and pleasure can be a lifelong joy to a student in addition to facilitating all other school endeavors. Knowledge of the library media center and associated library skills enhance students’ powers of observation, critical thinking, and growth in appreciation of other cultures and realization of the many opportunities and ideas in the world today. Reading can open doors to a tremendous wealth of creativity and ideas for the future. Our Mission is to provide a vibrant environment in which students and staff can read for enrichment and use information and technology ethically, creatively and critically thereby being empowered to become lifelong learners.

Parents as encouraged to check out books to support their children’s reading and research. The K/JS Library serves both a classroom and a library; therefore we are not open to parents and staff during library classroom hours. The hours the library is open for parent use will be posted. Parents who are interested in checking out books need to register for a “library account” with the K/JS Teacher Librarian.

Technology is integrated throughout the curriculum, and students are taught to use
computers, software, and the Internet responsibly.

Physical Education

The Physical Education Curriculum is designed to develop and refine the students’ basic gross and fine motor skills. It introduces games and activities relevant to the students’ age and ability. Each unit places an emphasis on particular motor skills as well as general fitness principles and social skills. The curriculum provides opportunities for the students to develop a positive self‐image. The importance of sharing,
working with one another, and good sportsmanship is stressed at each grade level.

It is our goal that each Sacred Heart student should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a competency in many movement forms and proficiency in some movement forms
  • Apply movement concepts and principles to the learning and development of motor skills
  • Exhibit a physically active lifestyle
  • Achieve and maintain a health‐enhancing level of physical fitness
  • Demonstrate understanding and respect for differences among people in physically active settings
  • Demonstrate responsible personal and social behavior in physical activity settings
  • Understand that physical activity provides opportunities for enjoyment, challenge, self‐expression, social interactions and sports participation
  • Apply rules, strategies, techniques and safety measures in a variety of physical activities 

The curriculum will aim to achieve these objectives through the following activities:

  • Gymnastics
  • Large Ball Skills
  • Small Ball Skills
  • Striking Skills
  • Body Awareness
  • Skipping
  • Athletics


The Values program deals with issues such as rights and responsibilities, friendships and relationships, and festivals of some of the world’s major religions.
The aims of the program are:

  • To foster a spirit of love, forgiveness, patience, tolerance, compassion, respect
  • To reflect communally/personally
  • To share their experiences with others
  • To learn about God who loves each one of us
  • The goals and criteria of all Sacred Heart schools
  • History of the society of the Sacred Heart
  • Celebrate Sacred Heart schools’ feast days
  • Celebrate Catholic feast days: Advent/Christmas, Lent/Easter
  • Celebrate feast days of other religions

Throughout the Junior School, we emphasize our ‘Be Attitudes’ – Be Respectful, Be Responsible, and Be Your Best. The children are encouraged to be respectful of self, others and the environment. They are guided to be responsible and independent contributors to their class, family, school, and community. The children are expected to be their best in their every thought, action and deed.