Fourth Class is the sixth year in primary school. Children in fourth class are generally aged 9-10 years old. The school day for children in Fourth Class begins at 8:45 and finishes at 14:25. The children in Fourth Class partake in 12 different subject areas, including the three core subjects; English, Maths and Irish, which they study every day. Where appropriate, the teacher will link some of these subject areas in a thematic approach. For more information on how you can help your child in Fourth Class, please see some advice from the NCCA.
Writing: Children will develop their capabilities as writers across the different writing genres. They will become more consistent in their application of spelling and grammar rules, and show increased confidence in using conventions of print, such as capitalisation and use of punctuation.
Reading: There is a continued focus on fluency, recognising and understanding print conventions, and comprehension strategies. There is now a particular emphasis on developing higher order comprehension skills such as connecting and inferring (‘reading between the lines’). Children will also be able to use a range of word-identification skills with confidence.
Oral language: In Fourth Class, this is both taught explicitly and incorporated into every lesson. There is a focus on skills such as pace, tone and body language and the children will continue to develop and extend their vocabulary. The children will also build on their capabilities to explain and justify their opinions and viewpoints.
Oral Language: Children continue to build on their bank of vocabulary ‘as Gaeilge’. They develop their knowledge of grammar rules and sentence structure. Developing their oral language skills is a pivotal part of learning Gaeilge so lots of games, songs and conversations are used.
Reading: The children read short texts ‘as Gaeilge’. There is a focus on recognising words and developing their fluency, pronunciation and comprehension skills.
Writing: The children practice their spelling and grammar skills by writing short pieces. They also begin writing in different tenses.
Areas covered in Fourth Class: Number, Algebra, Shape and Space, Measures, Data. Introduction of new concepts: Long multiplication, adding and subtracting fractions, adding and subtracting decimals, division with remainders.
Social, Personal and Health Education
In Fourth Class, children will build on their existing knowledge of the human body, and begin to develop an understanding of the changes that occur during puberty. They will also begin to learn about human development and new life. If you would like more information on this, the Busy Bodies programme is an excellent resource developed by the HSE for parents and teachers of children aged 10-14.
Suggested novels for children in Fourth Class can be found in this document. Children’s Books Ireland also issues Reading Guides to newly published books every year, arranged by theme and age.