WEEK COMMENCING 29 MARCH 2021
Hi everybody - and Happy Easter! At the end of one of the strangest terms we've ever experienced, we're glad to be able to take a breather and tack stock of everything we've done in the last few months, and how different the position we're in is compared with where we were before Christmas.
The enforced second lockdown certainly took the wind out of our sails, but the children have been working incredibly hard to catch up with what they'd missed. Unquestionably there are still things that we'll need to revisit, and key education skills that we'll need to work on, either in smaller groups or as a whole class. This will mean that our school timetable is going to be a bit different when we get back, as we work to identify and plug any remaining gaps. For now, though, thank you all for the support you have given us during this difficult time - we know it will have made a huge difference to your children.
We haven't set any specific homework for over the Easter holidays - we're sure that you've all had enough of home learning for a lifetime! - but if you can manage to encourage your child to read as often as possible, that would be great. We'll be straight back in to super readers when we get back after the holiday, so now is the perfect time to get into good habits. As well as reading, we'll be reinstating weekly spelling tests after the break. If you're wanting to get some practice in, there's a full list of all the tested spellings for Years 1 - 4 on our class page on the school website - just click on the "documents: link at the bottom of this page!
In the meantime we've been hard at work this week, even if it's only been for four days! In literacy, we've put together our descriptive and plotting skills to create our own "Portal Stories" based upon our class text, Leon and the Place Between, applying our skills to create an original story and write it up in our very best handwriting. In maths, we've been continuing to look at fractions, this time learning how to add and subtract fractions, convert from improper fractions to mixed numbers, and even learning how to find equivalent fractions so as to be able to add and subtract fractions with different denominators - if any of these phrases triggers bad memories of your own school days, we do apologise! In our foundation work we have been looking at the Easter Story in our RE lessons, looking at the key events and their significance to Christian beliefs, and have been running a fun science experiment, looking at the effect of submerging an egg in different liquids!
Today we signed off the term in style with a fun celebration of Easter in the classroom. Thank you to everyone who helped out with bonnets, artwork and other creative skills - it really is appreciated! You can check out all the creations in the gallery on the class website; just click on the star icon at the top of this page!
Have a lovely break, everyone, and we'll see you all in a couple of weeks!
Miss Louth and Mr B
Sorry for radio silence last week, it seems to have been an even more action-packed term than ever and the weekly update got missed in all the excitement. Never mind, we've been just as busy this week so we've got plenty to tell you about!
To start off, we've collected together a lot of the photos we've collected this half-term and added them to the Year 3 class page on the school website. If you want to have a look, just click on the icon above!
In our literacy this week, we have been working hard to continue to develop our descriptive writing techniques, this week focusing on setting descriptions rather than character. Both classes have excelled themselves, and we are starting to see a real development in the range, sophistication and accuracy of the pupils' writing skills. We'll be finishing off our Portal Story work next week, so hopefully they'll be able to put this all together into one last knock-out piece of writing before the Easter break!
In our maths work, we have been using our newly-polished division skills to start looking at fractions. This was an area of maths that got curtailed last year because of the first lockdown, so we have been having to build things up slowly, starting off by finding fractions of particular shapes or numbers. A lot of the children found this tricky at first, but as the connections between fractions, division and times tables started to fall into place, their confidence and fluency has grown rapidly - we have had lots of "lightbulb" moments this week, which as teachers are one of the very best parts of our jobs! We'll be learning how to add and subtract fractions next week, so we'll all be masters by the time we break up for the holidays!
We've been very busy in our foundation work, too! On Monday we started learning about the important of Easter, beginning with looking at the events of Palm Sunday (including a recreation of Jesus' arrival in Jerusalem, and creating our own palm crosses). We have been continuing our journey through time in our "The Arts" theme, this time looking at the stupendous artistic flowering in classical Greece 2,500 years ago, focusing in particular on Myron's wonderful statue Discobolus, and what this can tell us about Ancient Greek society. It's amazing to think that the Greeks first came up with the idea for the Olympic Games in 776 BC and kept them going for over 1,000 years!
We're getting near the end of term now, even though it doesn't seem like five minutes since we got back to full classes. As you know, we will be having our Easter Bonnet Parade on Thursday next week, even if this time it's going to be taking place virtually. Please do use this weekend to get creative if you can - it would be lovely to make it the most spectacular parade ever if we're going to have to show everything off online!
Finally, today we said goodbye to Miss Sullivan, who has been working with us since just after Christmas as part of her PGCE Teacher Training course. She has had to cope with some of the most unusual circumstances you could imagine for her training but has been absolutely brilliant with the Keyworkers Group and Elephants class throughout, and will be greatly missed by the pupils and Year 3 staff! We're sure that she is going to be an absolutely fantastic teacher, and we wish her all the best for the rest of her course and her future career.
Have a great weekend, everybody, and we'll see you all on Monday!
Miss Louth and Mr B
Week commencing 8 March 2021
We're back, woo-hoo!
It's been absolutely lovely to have everyone back and safe. We know it has been a horrible start to the year, but we're getting back into the swing of things now, readjusting to life in Year 3 and starting to pick up the pace in our learning. We hope you've been getting some happy reports from the children at the end of each day - the mood in class has been very positive with lots of energy and a real sense of happiness at seeing each other again. Long may it continue!
In our literacy work this week we have started looking at a new class text, Leon and the Place Between. This is a classic "portal" story, where Leon steps through a door into a magic box and finds himself in another world, full of magic. The children have started mapping out the story and identifying some sparkling new vocabulary to get into their own work. Next week we will be creating characters and settings, so we can try them all out.
In maths, we have jumped straight back in to work, starting with division. Some of the children have covered this in more detail during lockdown, but it's always worth a recap, so this week we have gone through from basics (manipulating physical objects into equal groups) into using arrays, finding remainders and finally dividing on a number line. We will finish this off next week before moving on to fractions.
In our foundation subject lessons we have begun a new theme, "The Arts", which looks at how we can study works of art and other artefacts, researching all about them and using them to help us understand past peoples and cultures better. This week we began right back in the Stone Age by looking at the wonderful cave paintings in Lascaux in South-West France. We conducted our own research to build a fact file, and then had a go at recreating the artwork ourselves.
One last point - can you please make sure that, as of Monday, your child is bringing their reading books and reading record into school every day. They should now all have school library books in the appropriate band, and we will be listening to individual readers regularly between now and the Easter holiday as part of our catch-up programme. Plus, we want to give out some super reader prizes!
Have a great weekend everyone!
Miss Louth and Mr B
Week commencing 5 January 2021
Well, this is certainly not the start to the Spring term we were hoping for. Fingers crossed it won't be for too long and we can get back to something like normality as soon as possible.
The teaching staff are sorting out what we can do for online learning today. At the moment the plan is that we will be setting tasks through the Class Dojo portfolios page, like the practice tasks we set last term, but on a regular basis so that every child will have "lessons" set for each day in maths, literacy and foundation subjects, as well as having online reading books set through Bug Club. It may be that we use other resources as well to assist with the learning, such as posting videos or links to other websites on the class page on the website.
Please do keep checking on both the school website and on Dojo for updates - we are sure that things will be developing very rapidly over the next couple of days. They can both be accessed from the RM Unify home page, as can Bug Club and all the other applications we generally use.
Please do stay in touch and let us know how you are getting on. In particular, if you are having any difficulties in completing any of the home learning tasks please let us know straight away so that we can help you and your children as soon as possible. We don't want anyone falling behind if we can possibly help it!
Take care, everybody, and watch this space - more info will be coming very soon...
Miss Louth and Mr B
As a starting point to our remote learning provision, we have been going through the full Year 3 curriculum for all subjects, looking at what we have covered so far and in how much detail, and working out where the biggest gaps to fill at the moment are. We have added a copy of this document to the Dojo class story so you have the full picture.
Not all of the topics covered are just for Year 3 - for some subjects (e.g. literacy) the curriculum covers Years 3 and 4, and for others (e.g. history, geography etc) it covers the whole of Key Stage 2 - so please do not be alarmed by all of the bits which we still need to do. For most subjects, the children will have another 3 and a half years to get them done in!
The reason we have put the curriculum overview up is so that you have got some guidance about what we have done already, what we hope to be able to do next, and what it might be useful for your children to start finding out about for themselves when they have finished off daily tasks - we might not get the chance to look at Ancient Greece, South America or Pop Art this year, but if the children want to start learning about it, this will be useful for them in the future!
Remember, please do ask if you are feeling stuck or overwhelmed at any stage - we do understand, and will do our very best to help until we have got everyone safely back in class....
Miss Louth and Mr B
Week commencing 11 December 2020
Well, we managed to make it through to the end of the term without any major disruption in the end, and given everything else that has been going on in the world, the children have had a fantastic first term in Key Stage 2! Thank you for all of the support at home, especially with spelling practice, listening to your child read, and going through all those different homework projects that we've been setting through the year. We know they're repetitive and can lead to some battles but it really does make a huge difference to progress in all subjects, so please do keep this up - the children have missed so much schooling over the last 12 months that we're all playing catch-up, and every child will benefit.
The tinsel and glitter was out in force in the last week of term, but we kept on working hard right up to the last day of the year. This week in literacy we completed two reading comprehension tasks, making sense of a text and then answering questions about the contents. Some of the children might now be able to recite some parts of The Night Before Christmas, or at the very least tell you what happens in it, so please do ask them to see what they can recall! In maths, we have been doing a lot of IT work, building on our work the previous week regarding 2-D and 3-D shapes. We have used Scratch (a basic programming package) to create algorithms to draw a variety of 2-D shapes, using what we have learned about the properties of shapes, angles and turns. If the children aren't too giddy over the next few days, it would be great if they could have another practice on Scratch, which you can get to easily off the RM Unify front screen. We'll be doing more programming later in the year, so, once again, any practice now will be helpful!
The current Education City homework tasks will be running until the end of the first week in January, which should be more than enough homework to be on with - after a 15-week term, all the children (and us grown-ups) all need a proper rest! We hope you all have a good break and look forward to seeing you back, refreshed and raring to go, in January 2021. Merry Xmas and happy New Year to you all!
Miss Louth and Mr B
W/C 4 December 2020
Happy Friday everyone! As you know by now, this will be our last Friday of the term, as school will be closing on Thursday 17th December. It does feel like it's been a very long term, and certainly some of the children have been flagging a bit this week. If we can all get a good rest over the weekend, hopefully the final four days will be a lot of fun.
Just a reminder that all Christmas cards have to be in school for Tuesday so that they can decontaminate before we distribute them out.
We have been busy this week too, finishing off our dance routines in PE, modelling 2D and 3D shapes in maths and looking at features of a newspaper in literacy. We'll be keeping the work going right until the end of term, so that at close of business on Thursday we can all head off for a well-earned break!
Have a lovely weekend everyone.
Miss Louth and Mr B
W/C 30 November 2020
Woo hoo! We're into December, the end of term (and all the associated festive goodness) is in sight, and all the hard work we've been putting in at the start of the year has really started to pay off. We're all really pleased with how hard the children have been working this week, and as a collective we think that Year 3 has produced their best writing and best maths of the whole year over the last few days. Well done everyone - let's keep the momentum going right to the end of term so we can sign off with a flourish.
In literacy this week we have been finishing off our work based around Escape from Pompeii. Having spent last week building up our vocabulary to produce a setting description of a sleepy, happy Roman holiday town, this week we made things a lot more exciting by describing the eruption of Vesuvius and the destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Spurred on by our dramatic video reconstructions, the children really did excel themselves, creating some really vivid descriptions packed with exciting detail, emotional description and lots of great originality in sentence construction. This was a BIG step forward from earlier writes, and if we can keep going like that for the rest of the year we'll have some wonderful stuff to show off by summer.
In our maths work, we were tackling the formal grid method of long multiplication. Taking things steadily, we started off looking at how we could use physical, or pictorial, arrays to help us multiply, then simplifying things by partitioning the numbers to save time. From this we built up to multiplying 2-digit by 1-digit numbers, then 3-digit by 1-digit, and finally 2-digit by 2-digit. This is a complicated operation, requiring several different mathematical skills, but the children really did work hard at it and were making some great progress by the end of the week. It will be a very useful skill to keep in practice with, so please do encourage your children to have a crack at multiplying different numbers and checking how they do it so that this stays embedded. Better still, ask them to teach someone else how to multiply with grid - it's a brilliant way to learn and really does help them to clarify their thinking.
A reminder that next week we have Christmas lunch on Thursday, and then Christmas jumper day on Friday. Also, we'll be finalising orders for the virtual fair early next week, so if you haven't yet placed an order but want to do so, please try to let us have that order in by Monday next week. Also, if you haven't done so yet, can you please fill in and return the flu vaccination forms as a matter of urgency - even if you don't want your child to have the spray, we have been asked to get forms from everyone. Thank you for your help with this - we know it's a pain, and we do appreciate your support.
No Education City homework this weekend, although we will be setting some tasks next week to keep everyone going until the end of term and through the holidays. However, we'll be putting some maths homework up on the Dojo portfolios for you to have a look at, as we're taking a break from number work in maths next week and moving on to Geometry...
Have a super weekend, everyone, and see you all on Monday!
Miss Louth and Mr B
W/C 23 November 2020
It's been an EXPLOSIVE week in Year 3! Having signed off our Winter's Child reading project last week, we have started a new sequence of learning, based around "Escape from Pompeii" by Christina Balit:
To start things off, we have been immersing ourselves in all things Roman, sharing what we already know as a collective, deciding what we are interested in, setting our own research questions and then conducting our own research. We have focused in particular in what we can learn about the past from studying different buildings and objects, thinking about who built them, how, and why, and what this tells us about their culture. This technique will be important through Year 3 and Year 4 during all of our history learning, so it is good to start getting into practice already.
In our literacy lessons, we started off with a "cold-write" to see what we could manage unsupported, then spent the rest of the week working on techniques to build up our descriptive writing. We built up to a final write this Friday, describing the town of Pompeii on the eve of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Things are probably going to be getting a bit more lively in the town next week, but we'll be using the same techniques again and seeing how we can build on our previous learning to come up with some even more impressive writing.
In our maths, we have been looking at some informal methods of multiplication and division, seeing how using arrays, bar modelling and number lines can help support our calculation. Next week we will be moving on to a more formal method of calculation; grid method multiplication. Of course, the children will find this easier if they are feeling confident in their times tables, so if you haven't had the chance before, now is the time to hit Times Table Rock Stars - apart from anything else, there is a TEACHERS CHALLENGE this weekend, with biscuits for the best performing classes...
Finally, in PE we have started putting together some dance routines to the song "Pompeii" by Bastille. It might be handy if the children want to have a watch of the video to get to know the song a bit better - and also to see if they can come up with any exciting signature moves we can incorporate into the routines!
Have a great weekend everyone!
Miss Louth and Mr B
W/C 16 November 2020
Another week done, and this time with a lot less disruption. Thank you to everybody for making the effort with social distancing, mask wearing etc - we know it's a pain, but hopefully it will help us stay that little bit safer and avoid any unnecessary closures.
In literacy we have been wrapping up our writing project about Winter's Child. This week we have focused on poetry, unpicking the Pie Corbett list poem "Six Ways to look at the Moon" and creating our own version about the Sun, packing in some wonderful descriptive metaphors. We've also got some fantastic artwork and writing to show off - just click on the "Winter's Child" icon below to have a look through our virtual gallery!
Meanwhile, in Maths, we've been starting work on multiplication and division, learning how we can use arrays to tackle multiplication of any size, and also learning the limitations of arrays and why finding more formal methods of calculation is important. We've also recapped on number families, and found out that multiplication and division are similar to addition and subtraction - if you know what 3 x 2 is, you also know 2 x 3, 6 divided by 2 and 6 divided by 3. Useful stuff! We'll be carrying on with multiplication and division for much of the rest of this term, so if you do get the chance please have a practice on Times Table Rock Stars over the next few weekends to build up your fluency with both operations.
We'll be adding some more homework on Education City shortly; as usual, the children will have two weeks to complete this and will gain dojos for their work.
Have a lovely weekend - and do have a browse through the photos of the children's work when you get the chance, because it's really worth showing off. A huge thank-you to everyone who has been supporting their child's learning by assisting with the home learning tasks, it really does make a difference.
Mr B and Miss Louth
UPDATE - CHRISTMAS FARE
As you've probably heard - or guessed - we aren't going to be able to do our usual Xmas fare this year because of Covid restrictions. Instead, we're having a virtual fare, and will be creating and selling a lot of produce to boost funds for the school and, at the same time, give everyone the chance to pick up something nice at bargain prices!
Key Stage 2 are going to be very busy this year - please have a look at the flyer below to find out more...
W/C 9 November 2020
Happy Friday everybody!
It's certainly been a strange old week, but the children have been working incredibly hard both inside and outside the classroom. Well done to all the Elephants working remotely on Tuesday and Wednesday - fingers crossed that we don't need to repeat, but it was great to see how well Dojo worked for setting, submitting and giving feedback on schoolwork.
During the rest of the week, the children have been working hard to learn how to understand and choose the correct operation and method of calculation to tackle different word problems in their maths, using the column addition and column subtraction skills they have been developing in previous weeks. Next week, we will be moving on to multiplication and division; with this in mind, if you do get the chance this weekend, it would be fantastic if possible if you could have a go on Times Table Rock Stars - or preferably a few goes, to get times table recollection up to speed before we start. If you haven't got a login, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can get this sorted.
Aside from that, our focus this week has again been our literacy writing project, based around the Winter's Child. However, things had warmed up by Monday morning, as we welcomed Summer's Child to the school! We have decorated the corridors with some great homemade flowers, generated all sorts of detailed vocabulary, and finally planned out and produced finished pictures and written descriptions of our characters. We will be entering some of these into the whole-school prize competitions and hopefully will snaffle a lot of prizes for Year 3 - the quality of work the children have produced suggests we've got a great chance! We will create an online gallery of the work next week, so you can all enjoy what the children have been producing.
There is still another week for our Education City homework before we create another set of tasks, so if you haven't had a go yet please do - dojo points are available, of course! Apart from that, there are also our home learning tasks tying in with the writing project (see the "my activities" section of the Pupil Class Dojo page) as well as another set of spellings to learn before a test next Friday. We'll be adding electronic copies on Dojo later on, in case your paper copy hasn't arrived home safely!
Have a great weekend everyone
Miss Louth and Mr B
W/C 2 November 2020
Welcome back everybody!
What a busy start to the half term we have had! Everything was very strange on Monday morning, as the children arrived in school to find there had been a blizzard over the half-term holiday, and the staff were all wearing coats, hats, scarves and gloves. Fortunately, things soon warmed up as we learned that this was all scene-setting for our three-week writing project, focusing on the book "Winter's Child" by Angela McAllister:
The children have thrown themselves into the project, creating their own winter characters, building up some fantastic creative vocabulary and stitching this together into some lovely descriptive paragraphs. We will be sticking with the book for another couple of weeks yet, although we suspect that things might be getting a bit warmer in the classroom soon. No spoilers...
Our afternoons have been focused around the book, too, firstly in creating some great decorations for our classrooms and corridor, then, in our science, looking at friction and how this can effect how objects move - very important for getting around in our winter landscapes - and finally, in art, spending two days in researching, sketching out and finally painting our own versions of Peter Bruegel's "Hunters in the Snow" - we'll be adding a gallery of the amazing creations in due course, so do watch out for it.
In our maths lessons, we have continued studying formal methods of calculation, this time looking at subtraction. We have been taking it steady, as it is one of those vital skills (like column addition) that the children all need to be completely secure with going forwards, so if you can encourage them to keep on practicing to build up their confidence and fluency, that would be great. We'll be recapping our addition and subtraction next week and finishing off this part of the curriculum with some problem-solving tasks, so every little bit of practice would be handy in the meantime!
Thank you to everyone who has been engaging with our various home-learning activities, whether it's the spellings we are sending out every week, our Education City homework tasks (another batch has been published today), our remote learning activities on Class Dojo, or Times Table Rock Stars. It does make a big difference to the children, and we are always delighted to shower praise, and dojo points, on any contributions that we get through. Thank you also for taking the time to speak to us this week in our telephone consultations. We know these aren't the same as a full parents' evening meeting, but it was great to talk to so many of you and we hope that you feel reassured by the progress the children are making.
Have a great weekend, everyone.
Miss Louth and Mr B