Welcome to Year 3.
The children are now based upstairs at school and are in lower Key Stage 2. 3B is taught by Mrs Bryden and 3S by Miss Smith. Mrs Mirza covers PPA and management time in both classes. The children are supported by a team of great teaching assistants: Miss Touissant, Mrs Mussa, Mrs Bapu, Mrs Slater (1:1) and Mrs Norman (interventions). In Year 3 the children, the teaching time is slightly longer and the children do not have a break in the afternoon. They are encouraged to bring healthy snacks or to purchase toast at morning break. Water bottles are essential as it becomes extremely warm in the upstairs’ classrooms.
Spring term 1
We began this term with a special Arts fortnight.
During the 2 weeks we focussed our work on art, drama, music, poetry, DT and dance.
Our inspiration came from the theme of ‘The Jungle’.
We studied the work of Henri Rousseau in art. The children learnt how to draw animals, plants and flowers in great detail, before producing their own jungle art work in the style of Rousseau using oil pastels and water colours. We had a visit from the artist, Sarah Hicks who led the children with jungle collages.
The children learnt a jungle themed dance with Miss Whittaker which they performed in front of the school and enjoyed drama work with the students from Moor Park High School. The children produced their own poetry based on the poem, ’Walking through the jungle’ and loved making and decorating biscuits in the shapes of lions, toucans, crocodiles, hippos and giraffes.
Spirit of Christmas
We focussed on Germany, learning about festive traditions and customs, particularly those associated with Christmas.
Our chosen country to focus upon in Year 3 was Germany.
We began by finding out where Germany is in Europe, its surrounding countries and its main cities and rivers. The children carried out research into what Germany is famous for e.g. cars, inventing x-rays, sausages, etc and gained a sense of Germany as a place.
We observed similarities and differences between how Christmas is celebrated in this country and how it is celebrated in Germany.
The children focussed upon Christmas preparation in Germany: Christkindl, Knecht Ruprecht and St Nicholas and the stories behind the traditions.
They designed and mod-rocked shoes ready to leave out on the eve of St Nicholas; the well behaved children received bags of sweets in their shoes, while one or two children received sticks, with a hope that their behaviour would improve. The children looked at and researched more origins of some of Christmas traditions from the past. They put Christmas firsts onto a timeline in chronological order.
Christmas markets were studied, with the main ones being located on maps and the children discovered the different goods that were sold there.
In the penultimate week, a German Christmas market was set up in the hall. Children came dressed appropriately and enjoyed lots of lovely treats such as Lebkuchen, pretzels, gingerbread and hot mulled punch.
Our first topic of 2018 is ‘From out of the shadows…’ which focuses upon light, electricity and sound.
We begin by discussing and exploring what happens when light touches mirrors, reflective clothing and the moon. They will explore what happens when light is blocked and how shadows are formed. The children will make their own shadow puppets and predict what will happen as the light source moves away from the puppet; ‘Will the shadow become longer or shorter as the light source moves away?’
We will make a class table of all appliances and items that use electricity, including those items which use batteries. The children will be asked to sort and classify the items to show what the electricity enables the appliance to do e.g. heat up, have a moving part, make a noise etc. Moving on, the children will explore using wires, bulbs, clips, batteries and cases to make a bulb light up and will be asked to record the circuit they have created in a pictorial way. The children will be introduced to the conventional circuit symbols. A series of circuit drawings will be given to the children who will be asked to ascertain whether the bulb will light up and to explain their results. They will be provided with the equipment to make circuits independently so they can check their thinking. The children will be asked to consider environmental issues, by introducing switches to their circuits which will save electricity.
To complete electricity, the children will play Pass the Squeeze, where they will hold hands and squeeze the next hand along when their other hand is squeezed. We will explore how some materials allow electricity to flow through them, while others stop the current. We will play Pass the Squeeze again and this time choose a child /children to be insulators who will stop the current. The children will be asked to explain what happens to the current. The children will test a range of materials to ascertain whether they are a conductor or insulator of electricity.
Finally we will finish with sound. The children will begin by playing Sound Bingo to introduce this part of the theme. Then, they will experiment with tuning forks. What will the pupils notice when the tuning fork is still, when it is struck? They will go onto placing the vibrating tuning fork on top of water - what happens? Why? They will be asked whether they think sound travels in water. They will explore what happens when an alarm is placed within a sealed plastic bag and listen to it put in the water - what do they notice about the sound? They will draw diagrams of how sound travels and research the parts of the ear, explaining the significance and job of each part. They will be asked to explain what happens when we strike a drum hard/softly using beads/rice on the drum skins after exploring with them. Finally, the children will listen to a piece of music with an unaccompanied solo instrument and asked to discuss pitch, ensuring they are clear about the difference between high and low sounds. The children will use straws and cardboard to make pan pipes. They will be asked to predict what will happens if we shortened some of the straws, to explain what happens to the note and how we can link the pitch of a note with the length of each straw.
We hope to once again have a Lego day, where the children spend a morning or afternoon creating buildings and surrounding landscapes, before making electrical circuits to light up the buildings. This is a brilliant opportunity for the children to see their skills of circuit building put in place independently. The gasps of delight when the buildings are lit up is always breath taking.