Y3 & 4 Update

A warm hello to all of our families! We hope you enjoyed a terrific Mother's Day with loved ones. It was a lovely treat to see so many parents, particularly mums, attend our Mothers Day School Meeting. The weather was blissful, and it was beautiful to have a glimpse of what life was like pre-COVID.

It's been a hectic time in the middle school area at Penbank. Here's an overview of what's been happening and what we have been learning: 


Our Year 3 students have taken part in their very first NAPLAN tests. Although we try to put the students at ease in preparation for NAPLAN, it is an anxiety-inducing experience for many. Apart from the test content, students have to contend with a wholly new experience and unfamiliar test conditions. We have been so impressed at how the students overall have completed NAPLAN. The tests do not consider (but good teachers do) are students' attitudes, levels of determination and perseverance, and adaptability. Well done to all students who did the tests.  


Year 3 Lines of Inquiry 

  • Exploring relationships between addition & subtraction  
  • Using the relationships between operations to assist with solving problems  
  • Describing the effectiveness of number strategies  

Year 4 Lines of Inquiry  

  • Patterns with addition & subtraction  
  • Relationships between addition & subtraction  
  • Solving problems involving addition & subtraction  

Times Tables  

Building understanding and confidence in knowing times tables have been a huge focus this term and will continue with. All children have been developing practical strategies to learn their times' tables through games and fun activities. A conceptual understanding of multiplication (and associated addition, subtraction, and division facts) is most important when developing multiplicative thinking. However, speed and accuracy are also critical. Feel free to throw random multiplication questions at your children! 

A few important points: 

Multiplication facts should be worked on in a specific order.  

  • Begin with ones, twos, fives, and tens. 
  • After students are comfortable with these, work on threes and fours (remembering that fours are double twos or double-double). 
  • Next, eights (which are double fours, or double-double-double). 
  • Then sixes (which are double threes). 
  • Nines (there are several strategies for nines). 
  • Finally, sevens. Students will know their sevens if all the preceding tables have been mastered (i.e., they have already learned their twos, so they know what 2 sevens are). 
  • Elevens and twelves can be taught but are not necessary. Flexibility with multiplying and adding numbers is more important. If students know 10 sevens and 2 sevens, they should use them to establish 12 sevens. 
  • Most importantly, keep at it and try to make it fun. 

Extra information on using strategies to learn times tables at home can be found on the following website- 


Students have been combining their inquiry learning to develop their persuasive writing skills. While Year 4 has been arguing who they think deserves to be on a $200 note, Year 3 focuses on the basic structure of persuasive writing. This means writing about opinions, reasons to support ideas, and examples to give strength to arguments. 

We have begun a new writing unit by exploring the question, 'What makes a sentence a sentence?'. As sentences are the building block of good writing, we want to ensure our students have a solid foundation of sentence structure. We will continue to explore this question as we go along, building on the children's understanding of grammar, punctuation, and language.  

Our reading focus has been on fluency and comprehension and how reading smoothly helps our understanding of a text. Students have been paying attention to their pace, phrasing, and emphasis on correct words as they read aloud.  

While reading at home with your child, try the following strategy: when children come across a tricky word that causes them to stop and break the flow, encourage them to re-read the sentence from the beginning. This will assist their comprehension and fluency while building their vocabulary.  


We are moving onto the interdisciplinary focus of 'How We Organise Ourselves, with a specific focus on our interconnectedness with Earth's environmental processes. Students will learn about systems used by people to prepare for and respond to such procedures (i.e., natural disasters). Students will develop research skills and critical thinking skills (cause and effect) as they learn about how humans adapt to the ever-changing conditions of the planet. 


Bunjil Concert - Week 6 Monday 24 May 

Selected students to perform music items. All welcome to join the audience.  

Lamont Book Fair in the Library – Week 5, Tuesday 18 - Friday 21 May 

Reconciliation Week - Week 7 

Our school community will be joining the celebration of reconciliation during Week 7. Reconciliation Australia's theme for 2021 - 'More than a word. Reconciliation takes action!' - urges the reconciliation movement towards braver and more impactful action. Penbank will be welcoming Aboriginal Australian author Boorie Monty Prior.