Primary 4 Curriculum


Literacy and English

In Primary 4, pupils develop their ability to scan texts for information and read a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction texts. Comprehension skills are developed through appropriate questioning where pupils identify the main ideas and decide on conclusions based on previous reading. Pupils become familiar with key features of text as they explore passages of greater maturity and complexity.

Pupils learn to write in a style appropriate to the task, using suitable organisation and vocabulary and punctuating most of their sentences accurately. They begin to spell less frequently used words, using a dictionary if necessary, with increasing confidence and accuracy. Pupils are expected to use a fluent, legible, linked style of handwriting.

Much of the extended and imaginative writing is cross-curricular and may be linked to Social Studies or Science. Pupils are introduced to the thesaurus and are encouraged to think about the use of more sophisticated vocabulary, connectives, openers and punctuation in all their written tasks to help develop their writing skills.

Listening and Talking
Pupils are encouraged to demonstrate understanding of information they have heard and respond appropriately. In group or one-to-one activities, the emphasis is on listening attentively to others and on making relevant comments. Pupils are given the opportunity to talk to audiences, ensuring that they speak audibly and clearly. Talks on an aspect of a class topic are prepared at home and presented to the class.

Modern Languages

With a Modern Languages specialist, Language projects are introduced to the Primary 4 girls. They learn simple vocabulary and greetings and develop their knowledge about different countries and their cultures.


Numeracy and Mathematics

In Primary 4, pupils are taught Numeracy and Mathematics in sets in order to best address the range of individual abilities and learning needs. These groupings are drawn up by the class teachers, in consultation with the Head of Junior School from evidence gathered through a variety of assessments.

Number, Money and Measurement
Pupils gain further practice in addition and subtraction of 2 and 3-digit numbers. They use their tables for multiplication and division and develop their knowledge of fractions. Pupils continue estimating and measuring length, weight and volume. They carry out further work with time, including time intervals.

Information Handling
Pupils collect information using a questionnaire or tally chart and develop their ‘graphing’ skills to include bar charts graduated in multiple units. They use simple spreadsheets to create bar graphs and continue to develop their skills of interpretation.

Shape, Position and Movement
Pupils continue to work with 2D shapes and 3D objects and construct various shapes from nets. They use coordinates, find lines of symmetry, work with right angles and learn to recognise other angles.

Problem Solving and Enquiry
Pupils continue to tackle a variety of problems through active learning and learn the strategies of trial and improvement.


Social Studies

In Primary 4 the Social Studies programme aims to develop knowledge, understanding and skills through the following topics:

    • Mapping Skills
    • World War 2
    • The Romans



In Primary 4, scientific ideas are developed through play, investigations, first-hand experiences and discussion. A highlight of the first term is a trip to Edinburgh Zoo to further the study of vertebrates and invertebrates.

Topics covered are:

    • Identifying Living Things
    • Electricity
    • Water


Outdoor Learning

Our Outdoor Learning Programme across each year group aims to ensure continuing opportunities for children to experience the outdoors across a range of curricular areas. As topic work allows, the Primary 4 pupils take their learning outside.

Our Outdoor Learning programme aims to provide opportunities to:

    • increase the children’s knowledge and skills without the confines of the classroom.
    • offer numerous and ever-changing natural resources and features which, unlike man-made equipment, are non-prescriptive, their uses limited only by the child’s imagination.
    • create a forum for problem solving skills.
    • create opportunity for child-led learning in unstructured play.
    • nurture creativity and imagination.
    • use the physical freedom of the outdoors to give real freedom to the mind and stimulate creative play.
    • develop physical health.
    • enhance the learning experience and enjoyment of the activity.
    • support confidence and emotional resilience.
    • improve behavioural and social skills – the children will be engaged, motivated, work in a team and co-operate better with each other.
    • offer risk-taking, discovery, adventure and challenge.
    • emphasise healthy routines, protection skills and responsible decision-making.
    • make appropriate use of active learning, whole class teaching, related individual work, small group discussion and collaboration.
    • make appropriate use of role-play and simulation activities.


Health and Well-being


In Primary 4, pupils explore the three areas of Health Education: Physical Health, Social Health and Emotional Health through discrete topics or as a link to another curricular area.

The topics include:

    • Our Community
    • My Healthy Body
    • Friendships

Physical Education

Primary 4 has three 40-minute lessons per week.

The Physical Education curriculum in Primary 4 builds on the broad foundations laid in previous years. The programme consists of gymnastics, dance, swimming, athletics and games. The games programme focuses on the development of generic games skills and principles. Sport specific lessons in tennis and hockey are introduced.
Throughout the programme, pupils are encouraged to:

    • develop their stamina.
    • use appropriate skills in predictable situations.
    • repeat simple sequences of movement accurately.
    • produce imaginative and original solutions to set tasks.

Personal and Social Development

Personal and Social Education is encompassed within the teaching of several subjects, notably, Physical Education, Religious and Moral Education, Health and a number of cross-curricular themes. It is an integral part of the whole curriculum.

We use a variety of resources, discussion and drama activities to explore issues in this area.


Religious and Moral Education

The programme in Primary 4 covers the following areas:

    • Christianity: The story of Moses, Christmas, Easter
    • World Religions: Judaism
    • Beliefs and Values: Rules and fairness, Influences, Rewards


Expressive Arts

Art and Design

Specialist Art and Design lessons give pupils the opportunity to begin developing their visual awareness and creativity using a wide range of two- and three-dimensional media and technologies. These lessons take place in the purpose-built Art block, where the pupils experience artwork produced by students throughout the whole school.

Course outcomes include:

    • Exploring a range of media and technologies to create and present work using the visual elements 
    • Expressing and communicating ideas, thoughts and feelings  
    • Exploration and imagination to solve design problems 

Responding to the work of artists and designers and learning to give and accept constructive comments on my own and others’ work.


At all levels, pupils improvise and experiment with movement, speech, space, physical objects and sound, showing imagination and inventiveness appropriate to age and stage of development. As they progress through the levels, pupils develop their understanding and control of the media and processes of drama.

In Primary 4, drama is often developed through contexts, which relate to other areas of the curriculum. Pupils are encouraged to explore, sustain and develop roles within a drama activity and to co-operate with others in a drama situation.


The Music Curriculum in Primary 4 is based on the skills of performing, listening and composing. It aims to teach the principles of Kodaly musicianship to pre-Bronze Level 1 and includes ensemble playing in a variety of genres including Jazz and Blues, Rock and Pop Scottish and Orchestral. 

Each class has two music lessons per week. One of these is an ensemble-based lesson to which pupils are encouraged to bring the instruments they are learning. During the other lesson, the recorder continues to be taught.

During the year Primary 4 will take part in a Christmas production with the Primary 3 and 5 girls and they take part in their own Primary 4 Musical.   

In P4, the pupils have increasing opportunities to take individual instrumental lessons and join suitable ensemble groups; Junior Recorder Group, Junior Choir, Junior Orchestra and Junior Guitar Group.



Craft and Design

Practical and design skills are developed further using equipment, materials and processes to design pop-up mechanisms.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

Pupils in Primary 4 are timetabled for weekly sessions in the Junior School Information Centre and also have access to a computer and a Smartboard in their own classroom. In Primary 4, the pupils develop their ICT capability in the following ways:

    • Learning to touch type
    • Learning to design pages with pictures and text and edit their work
    • Using the Internet to find information on various topics
    • Learning to use a simple database
    • Learning simple programming through SCRATCH to create animation incorporating movement and image
    • Using PowerPoint to present to the class
    • Learning about the importance of keeping safe on-line


Support for Learning

Support for Learning has a broad role, which allows students with specific learning needs and general academic difficulties to be supported in relation to their individual requirements. In order to maximise the individual’s potential, it is considered important to develop support strategies that complement individual learning requirements. 

At this stage, pupils are carefully monitored for progress by staff. The aim is to help students meet their long-term targets in the Primary curriculum. Ongoing liaison between class teachers, Support for Learning staff and parents is an essential part of this process. 

In Primary 4, pupils identified as requiring support in meeting their long-term targets, are taught either individually or in small groups by specialist Support for Learning staff, who work in conjunction with the class teacher to ensure that individual needs are met.



Homework is very much a part of our school programme and it helps to foster a link with parents in their support of the girls' learning throughout the Junior School Years. As the pupils progress, they are acquiring individual study skills beyond the classroom which in turn contribute to the development of independent learning as they mature. We always appreciate interest and support in this essential aspect of the learning process. The time required for individual tasks may vary. However, please let your daughter's teacher know if she is regularly taking longer than the guide times. Homework is generally given on 4 evenings each week (Monday - Thursday).

In Primary 4, there is approximately 30 minutes per evening. Generally, two items are selected from: Mathematics, Spelling, Reading, English Language, Topic work.