Year 3 Learning Updates

Welcome to Year 3, 2023-24!

Mindfulness in Year 3

In the last few weeks of Term 5, we have been thinking about how we can look after our wellbeing and mental health. We have enjoyed peaceful afternoons, focussing our minds on completing simple, creative tasks. In Week 5, the whole school celebrated Wear it Green Day for Mental Health Awareness Week. We enjoyed an assembly about the importance of looking after our mental health, launched our new online worry boxes and met our beautiful new therapy dog, Sam!

Term 5 Weeks 1 and 2

Science 

Year 3 are a force to be reckoned with! What a tremendous launch to our new science topic, 'How do forces impact our lives?' We had a brilliant time investigating the strength of different magnets, the effect of friction on objects sliding down a ramp and thinking about what actions need a push, a pull or both. The children were motivated and engaged and they came up with some intriuging Questions of Discovery that we can't wait to investigate!

Term 4 Week 6

Canterbury Cathedral

What a lucky group of children we have in Year 3! This week, we enjoyed a 'fascinating', 'impressive' and 'inspiring' (adjectives all chosen by the children) day at Canterbury Cathedral. Prior to the trip, we spent some time researching the history of the cathedral, including the sad and shocking end to Thomas Becket's life, so that when we arrived we were able to answer lots of questions about the cathedral as well as ask some really insightful ones. The children enjoyed a guided tour of the immense space, and particularly enjoyed feeling ever so small by lying down in the vast nave. Another highlight was the art session that we had where we made our very own souvenirs in the style of medieval badges which pilgrims would have taken with them. Overall, it was an incredibly successful day and the children impressed staff from school as well as at the cathedral with their manners, intrigue and delightful behaviour! 

 

Term 4 Week 4

Science Week

What an incredible celebration of Science and the STEM industries we have enjoyed this week! In Year 3, we took part in a live lesson and learned about the metamorphosis process which some invertebrates go through. With the topic of 'Time' on our minds, we discussed what we would do if we could pause time. Among the adventures (including breaking into sweet shops) we would have, we also spoke about how we could help other people if time stopped and even how we could try to combat climate change.

One of the most exciting parts of the week was investigating how we could transform a normal plastic bottle into a clock! We had to pierce the lid and invert the top of the bottle and then pour in water. Using a pen and a timer, we drew a line on the side of the bottle for each minute that passed. Finally, we checked the accuracy of our clocks by testing them as a class. We were very relieved to find that our clocks were all accurate!

One of the highlights of the week was having parents from National Rail and BAE systems in to talk about their careers in the STEM industries (go to the Science Zone page to find a full write up about BAE systems). We are so grateful to the parents who gave up their time to come and inspire us!

Our week culminated in a whole-school science showcase. It was a wonderful opportunity to share all that we had learned with our friends in other year groups. We were all so impressed by children across the school presenting their learning and we were very excited to see how the learning progressed through the school.   

Term 4 Week 3

World Book Day!

What a fabulous celebration of books we had on World Book Day! The children and adults made so much effort with their incredible costumes and we all had lots of fun. In Year Three, we joined classes from across the country for a 'Live Lesson', in which we recommended our favourite books to others and discussed what we would like to learn more about from non-fiction texts (Nightingale class were very enthusiastic about learning more about Florence Nightingale, while Curie Class are a lovely bunch of astronomers who are keen to learn more about space). In the afternoon, we had a very sophisticated session, sharing our favourite books over a biscuit or two. We hope our incredible costumes inspire and interest you, check them out below!

Term 4 Week 2 

Science 

What a group of super scientists we are! We are coming to the end of our unit all about light and shadow. We have been discussing the importance of protecting our eyes from bright light, particularly the largest natural light source, the sun. Having investigated suitable and unsuitable materials such as card, tin foil and coloured cellophane, we created our own stylish sunglasses. Through our investigation, we decided that coloured cellophane would be the most suitable material as it is translucent, meaning that it lets some light in, so we could see but it wouldn't be too bright. We had very serious discussions about why our sunglasses investigation was interesting and very useful, but our sunglasses would not protect our eyes from the sun, so we should not use them in place of a real pair.  

 

Term 4 Week 1

Computing 

What a brilliant start to Term 4! Not only does it feel like Spring is on the way, but we had the excitement of a computing day to kick off the new term. Our question for discovery was, 'How can I design, write and debug an algorithm?' We have worked with algorithms in Year 2 and Year 3 with Lego WeDo. This time, we used Scratch Junior, which is a slightly more challenging program. We created block code to direct our sprite to move across the screen. We then changed the background and created code so that the basketball sprite would bounce, realisitically, across the court and into the net. This was a real challenge and took lots of debugging to create an accurate algorithm. Our final challenge was to create a dance party with a different background, at least two sprites, a repeated section and even some music! We worked hard and showed lots of perseverance throughout the day, but most importantly, really enjoyed our computing day!

Term 3 Week 3 and 4

Science

In science, we have explored the amazing way that light travels and enables us to see. The children have set up and carry out a range on investigations and have used the skills of prediction and recording data. Below, you can see how the children explored letting in a small amounts of light into a box to enable us to see an object more easily. 

Art and Design

Some of the most enthusiastic learning this term has happened in our art sessions. We have learnt about the abstract painter Alma Thomas, who was a teacher turned artist who lived from 1891-1978. She used small squares of harmonious colours to create beautiful landscapes and other abstract scenes. We hope you enjoy the children's artwork below. 

Term 3 Week 1 and 2

Maths

This term has been very productive! In maths, we have honed our multiplication skills and are beginning to explore division. As you can see, we follow a concrete-pictorial-abstract learning journey in order to understand the foundations of the operations before moving on. The children have worked incredibly well as learning buddies as well as independently.  

English

In English, we have been using Floella Bejamin's book, 'Coming to England' as inspiration for setting descriptions of sunny, tropical Trinidad and rainy, grey England. As you can see below, the children used a variety of similes, expanded noun phrases and fronted adverbials to ensure their writing was engaging. 

 

 

Term 2 Week 5 and 6

Design and Technology

What a busy time it's been in Year 3 over the past few weeks! We were inspired by our guided reading text, 'The Wild Way Home,' to design and sew pouches that the main character, Charlie, might need to store his deer tooth. We felt so creative that we even moulded our very own teeth from clay! Well done to all of the children for using blanket stitch to secure the pieces of felt together, cross-stitch to attach the button and running stitch to add decoration. 

Science

As well as our Design and Technology, we have also been busy scientists, discovering what soil is made from. We carried out an investigation using a soil sample and water and noticed that organic material such as twigs, grass, seeds and leaves rose to the top of the water while inorganic matter such as rocks and sand stayed at the bottom of our beakers. As the day went by, the water became clearer as the organic and inorganic matter separated. 

 

 

Term 2 Week 2 - Super Science!

Having teachers on the Science Team means that in Year 3, we carry out lots of exciting, scientific investigations! This term we have been learning about rocks, soils and fossils. In order to find out more about the different types of rocks and their uses, we carried out an investigation to find out which types of rock are hard, which are soft, and which are permeable and impermeable. We were given pipettes, water, blue paper towel and a selection of igneous rocks, metamorphic rocks and sedimentary rocks to carry out our investigation. We used our scientific skill of observation to look closely at our findings. We found that:

- Sedimentary rocks are the softest, chalk is a good example of this.

- Metamorphic and Igneous rocks are hard, marble and granite are good examples of these.

- Lots of the sedimentary rocks we had were permeable, meaning that they have tiny holes which the water could travel through.

- The metamorphic and igneous rocks that we had were impermeable, meaning that they didn't have tiny holes and the water dripped off of them on to the paper towel. 

 

Term 2 Week 1 and 2

What a fabulous start to Term 2! Year 3 had a brilliant, creative day time travelling and creating incredible works of art. We started in the Stone Age where we used charcoal to decorate our classroom 'caves'. We ensured that most of our artwork depicted fierce animals and beasts, as people in the Stone Age did. After play, we hopped into our time machine to the Neolithic Era, when people would have begun to use clay to make pots. Lots of us were keen to decorate our pots, so we used natural resources such as twigs and even sea urchins to add texture and interest. After lunch, we travelled thousands of years to the 1960s and became Abstract Expressionists! We created drip paintings using colours to represent our moods. What a creative, expressive Year group we are! 

Term 1 Week 6 and 7 Stone Age Day

We have been very lucky recently as we stepped back in time with our Forest School leader, Mrs Chapman, to experience activities that Stone Age people took part in. In Discovery Walk we made intricate, exquisite jewellery made from delicate bones, sharp teeth and beautiful shells (made from salt dough, but, shhh! don't tell anyone). We foraged for sticks and leaves to create fine paintbrushes before digging mud and collecting charcoal to make sludgy, dark paint. We later used the paint to create our cave painting masterpieces. Finally, we relaxed around the camp fire and used rose hips, blackberries and sloes to dye fabric as people would have done in the Neolithic times. We are enjoying our learning journey through the Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic eras so far, and cannot wait to learn more next term!

Term 1 Week 3 Happy Birthday to The Discovery School!

We had an incredible day celebrating the 20th birthday of our lovely school. We designed party hats, learnt about the history of The Discovery School, met visitors who used to be teachers and pupils here...but the most exciting part of the day was our picnic! Thanks to Mr 'DJ' Stannard, we enjoyed dancing with our friends to some excellent music. 

Term 1 Week 1, 2 and 3

Computing

What a wonderful start we have had to Year 3. The children have impressed us so much by following our school values of Perseverance, Kindness, Friendship, Honesty and Respect. 

In Computing, we have had a great time building and programming robots with Lego Wedo. The children had to persevere by following the instructions carefully and debugging the algorithms when there were any mistakes in the block code. 

 

Young Writers Competition

You may not know this, but we are budding poets in Year 3! We enjoyed a brilliant session with the poet Mark Grist, writing poems about ourselves. Mark introduced us to his sweet dog, Bruce and taught us how to write a 'Recipe poem'. The poems were so much fun to write and so well written that we have all entered a competition organised by Young Writers! We will let you know if we win any of the amazing prizes!  

Learning in 2022-2023

Term 6 Week 1 and 2

Money, money, money!

Welcome back! What a lovely break we have all enjoyed and we are ready to a very full and exciting term in Year 3.

In maths, we have been continuing to learn about money this week. We can now identify and order all coins and notes. In addition to this, we can count different amounts of money and make amounts in different ways. We have deepened our learning by adding and subtracting amounts in order to find change. We have had fun playing 'shops' with partners and we have loved using the Purple Mash app to play an interactive game giving change from £5, £10 and £20. We can access Purple Mash from home, so we look forward to sharing this game with our families! 

Just before the half term, we had a very exciting team of visitors who set us some maths challenges. Here were some of our favourite parts of the session:

'My favourite part was making the cube because we had to think carefully about where to put the 3d shapes.'

'My favourite part was making polygons because it made my brain think about the different sided shapes.'

'I liked the dominoes because it was difficult, but it was fun type of difficult, like solving a puzzle.'

 

 

Term 5 The Coronation

What a fabulous week of learning we have had at The Discovery School. Not only have we been learning about the upcoming Coronation, but we have each also been assigned a decade since the King's birth in the 1940s. Year 3 have been lucky enough to have the 1980s! With this in mind, we created colourful Sgraffito and researched an important event of the 1980s: the invention of the internet! In order to be able to provide our families and friends with commentary on the big day, we also learnt about the intricate details of a coronation. 

We ended our week with a wonderful, 1980s inspired party (see the classic buffet below), a picnic and a whole-school concert! To top off the excitement, we invited our adults from home into class so they could see all of the incredible work we have done this week. Have a look at our incredible 1980s inspired Coronation song, chosen because Year 3 really are a 'Kool' gang.Year 3's Kool and the Gang inspired 'Coronation' song!

Term 4 Week 5 and 6

Science Week 

Wow! What an incredible week we have had learning all about connections in science! We loved seeing Professor Lucy again and learning all about forces. 

Professor Lucy taught us that centripetal force is strong enough to keep the connection between a bowl and a tray when she swung it in a loop. The centripetal force even ensured that water stayed in the bowl rather than spilling out!

Using an energy stick, we learnt about the importance of creating a circuit connection in order for electricity to travel and light up the stick. We even created a circuit as a class! When we tried to use wood in the circuit, it didn't work as wood is an insulator rather than a conductor. 

Professor Lucy introduced us to a new word, 'plasma'. She explained that plasma is gas with lots of energy. We could see the plasma in a plasma ball and learned that when there is a thunderstorm, we can also see plasma in the form of lightning!

In the final part of our workshop, we had a hilarious time observing the effects of static electricity on our friend's hair. When his hands were fully connected to Van de Graaff generator, the positive charges repelled, making his hair stand on end! 

 

Term 4 Week 1 and 2 

World Book Day

What a wonderful celebration we have had this week. The whole of The Discovery School went over and above with their efforts for World Book Day! Children and adults alike transformed into their favourite characters from a vast array of stories, biographies, autobiographies and poems!

In year 3, we had a wonderful afternoon sharing our favourite texts with each other during our book club and enjoyed a buddy reading session with our Year 6 friends.

Here are just a few snippets of what the children had to say about their very favourite book choices.

'My book is Pipi Longstocking. She’s 9 years old and lives alone in a house and does crazy stuff. She has no mum or dad. I like this book because she’s very funny. One day, she went to a friend’s house and the mum had friends over for coffee and Pipi was found drinking coffee and she ate all of the cakes.'

'My book is Horrid Henry. In the story, Perfect Peter, his little brother loses a tooth and Horrid Henry tries to trick the tooth fairy. I’ve read almost all of the Horrid Henry books and I like most of them because he does really cheeky things which make me laugh a lot.'

'I’ve got a Neil Armstrong book. My favourite bit is when he went to university because it’s got loads of hard words and information. He was really lucky to make it to NASA because he had a friend working there who just slipped in his application at the last minute.'

'I brought in 'The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse'. I like it because it’s all about kindness love and respect. My favourite part is when the mole brings a cake for the boy, but he eats it!'

Term 3 Weeks 5 and 6 

Computing

In our computing work week, we have been gathering and recording data on Google Sheets. We have learned that Google Sheets is a 'cloud' based app. One of the benefits of this was that once we had signed in, we didn't need to press save. The app automatically saved our work for us which we really appreciated! First we inputted the data into a spreadsheet which we then converted into a bar chart. Presenting the data in this way made it much easier to compare. The data we collected was how many different birds we had spotted during The Big Bird Watch. Later on in the week, we showed our understanding of our learning again by creating a bar chart independently. This time, the data we used was based on our 'Safer Internet Day' learning. We discussed what we loved about the internet and recorded the frequency of each benefit. 

 

 

The Born Free Foundation

We had a visitor from the Born Free Foundation who held workshops with all of the children in the school. We were lucky enough to learn all about threats to wild animals who, in some cases, may be at risk from extinction. Curie class were thrilled when Charlie, from the Born Free Foundation, spoke about the orca that we have adopted, who is called Springer. In addition to orcas, we discovered fascinating information about tigers, elephants and even hedgehogs. We discovered the makaton signs for each of the animals and look forward to writing fact files about them soon. 

Let's Connect  - Children's Mental Health Week

We have had a brilliant week thinking about our mental health and how healthy connections with other people, animals, characters and communities can have a positive impact on how we feel about ourselves and the world around us. On Friday, The Discovery School expressed ourselves by wearing whatever we wanted to! In Year 3, we had astronauts, footballers, people in pyjamas, police officers and super heroes. We enjoyed expressing ourselves by singing and dancing (which are excellent ways to support good mental health), drawing and colouring, and just being our-wonderful-selves! 

Term 3 Weeks 3 and 4

Design and Technology

We have been very busy in Year 3 over the past couple of weeks. We are making excellent progress with our pouches for Charlie Bucket's Golden Ticket. Most of us have created pattern pieces for our decoration and used running stitch to attach it securely. Some of us have moved on to joining the pieces of felt together using blanket stitch. It's a challenging stitch, but we think you'll agree that the pouches are looking spectacular!

 

Science

We have begun our new topic in Science, which is Light. To begin this unit, we discussed what we have already discovered from our learning in EYFS and Key Stage One as well as what we have learnt at home. Then we visited activity stations to develop our knowledge and answer questions such as, 'What could we see if there was no light?',  'How can we protect our eyes from the sun's rays?', 'What is the difference between sunlight and moonlight?'. I wonder if you can have a go at answering any of those questions. 

In our next lesson, we learnt how to set up a enquiry to answer a question. Our question was, 'How does light help us to see?'. We set up a dark box which let in just a little light, placed different objects inside which were reflective and dull and then investigated which were easier to see with less light. I wonder if you can predict our findings.   

Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year is celebrated in many countries across Asia and this year is the year of the rabbit.

We are very lucky to have a child who has lived in Hong Kong in Curie class. She was very excited to share her knowledge of Lunar New Year with us, as it has been a very special celebration for her and her family over the past few years. We learnt about the importance of Chinese dragons and even learnt how to count to 10 in Chinese! At the end of the day, each child received a special envelope with a chocolate inside to share good luck and prosperity for the year ahead.

In addition, we were able to try on traditional Korean clothes called Hanboks. In Korea, Hanboks are worn at Lunar New Year (Seollal). During the celebrations, children bow to their parents and older family members and often receive money as a gift in return.  We loved the bright colours and beautiful fabrics of the Hanboks.  

Term 3 Week 1 and 2

Happy New Year! We hope you had a wonderful break and are ready for an exciting term learning about the UK. We started our term by thinking about a famous author from the UK, Roald Dahl, and one of his most famous books, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. We were a bit concerned that poor Charlie might lose his golden ticket, so we are designing and sewing him a pouch using three different types of stitch! We have worked very hard to learn running stitch, blanket stitch and cross stitch. 

Can you answer the which stitch quiz questions?

1) I am a very strong stitch used to neaten up edges. Which stitch am I?

2) I am a strong stitch used to attach one piece of material to another. Which stitch am I?

3) I am a decorative stitch which can be used to attach buttons securely. Which stitch am I?

Answers:

1) Blanket stitch 2) Running stitch 3) Cross stitch
Computing

In our computing session, we have continued to explore how to design, write and debug an algorithm. We created an algorithm in Scratch Junior to direct a sprite to move and pause. Following that, we instructed a ball to bounce towards a basketball goal. Finally, we assessed our learning by creating a dance party. Independently, we chose a new background and sprites and then created an algorithm to make the two sprites dance repeatedly. Some of us even added music! I wonder if you can complete the computing quiz below.

1. A precise set of instructions is called an ________________.

2. A character that we created block code for is called a ______________.

3.  If there is a problem with the code and we need to make a change, it is called ___________.

Answers below:

1) algorithm        2) sprite       3) debugging

 

Year 3 Performance of 'Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday'

We really enjoyed singing this Christmas classic by Wizzard for our Carols in the Hall performance!

Term 2 Week 4

What a fantastic day we had at Canterbury Cathedral! In our RE lessons, we are learning about how and where Muslims, Hindus and Christians pray, so we thought we would join the thousands of pilgrims who had travelled before us, to visit Canterbury Cathedral. We gained a deeper understanding of how and where Christians pray and even heard a prayer led by the vicar. We also learnt about the unfortunate end to Thomas Beckett's life and wondered about some of the mysteries the Cathedral holds such as, 'What happened to the stone-mason who left a pillar in the crypt unfinished...?'. We also thought about our science topic, rocks. The cathedral is made of Normandy limestone, which is a sedimentary rock, which explains how Pilgrims could chip parts off as souvenirs and why parts of it have worn down over the years. 

What a fascinating day!

Question you might like to ask your child:

Who did you dress up as, why? 

Why were you crawling up the steps in the Cathedral? 

Who did you spot on the outside of the Cathedral? 

 

 

Term 2 week 3

On 10 November, we joined together with hundreds of other schools around the UK to celebrate our planet with 'POP '22 Day' (POP stands for Protecting Our Planet). The whole school took part in different activities learning about what we can do to help slow and stop climate change. In Year 3, we took part in interactive sessions about how to protect the forests and earth from climate change. We then read 'The Great Kapok Tree', and created scripts detailing the threat to wildlife from climate change and deforestation and what we can do to help.

Below you can see stills from our science investigation into how trees and natural barriers can help to stop the dreadful impact of flooding. Nathaniel explains that when the hill into the town has no trees, the rain (shown by marbles) will all run down the slope quickly, flooding the town. If trees and other natural barriers are planted and placed on the hill, the roots will take on some of the water and the obstacles will slow and trap some water, providing time for the rain to be absorbed into the soil. This will limit the impact of rain and flooding.

 

Term 2 Week 1 and 2

Welcome back to Year 3! Recently, we celebrated Diwali with the rest of our school. We loved learning about the importance of Diwali and the traditions that people enjoy at this time of year. We learnt the story of Rama and Sita and used our incredible acting skills to retell it. Below are some 'freeze frames' from one of our performances.

We have also been creating artist studies about an interesting and talented artist, Jackson Pollock, who was an American abstract artist. He splatted, poured and flicked paint onto huge canvases to express his feelings. As he was often sad, he tended to use dark colours. I wonder if you can guess how we were feeling when we created our Pollock inspired work by looking at the colours that we used. 

 

 

Term 1 Week 5 and 6

We have been very lucky recently as we stepped back in time with our Forest School leader, Mrs Chapman, to experience activities that Stone Age people took part in. We stepped back in time in Discovery Walk and made intricate, exquisite jewellery made from delicate bones, sharp teeth and beautiful shells (made from salt dough, but, shhh! don't tell anyone). We foraged for sticks and leaves to create fine paintbrushes before digging mud and collecting charcoal to make sludgy, dark paint. With all that creativity, we had worked up an appetite, so we sharpened our spears and launched them into the air to hunt for huge woolly mammoths, fierce cave bears and terrifying sabre-tooth tigers. We later used the paint to create our cave painting masterpieces. Finally, we relaxed around the camp fire and used spinach to dye fabric as people would have done in the Neolithic times. We are enjoying our learning journey through the Paeliolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic eras so far and cannot wait to learn more next term!

Term 1 Week 3

This week was our Computing week. We discovered the answer to the question, 'What is block code and how can we debug it?' We worked in pairs to build a robot and wrote code to pull stones from Wales to Wiltshire, like modern-day builders of Stone Henge! We displayed our school values of kindness and perseverance and we all found success by debugging any errors in our code. We wondered whether the builders of Stone Henge in 3000 BC would have used the same technique as us...perhaps not!

Term 1 Week 2 

Wow! What a wonderful start to our Year 3 journey. Our Question of Discovery this term is, 'What was life like in Prehistoric times?' 

We started year 3 with a fantastic WOW day where we travelled back to the Paleolithic (Old Stone Age) times by creating cave paintings using charcoal (we got very messy!) and blow pens. We learnt that people in Paleolithic times would have blown particles of colour through hollow bones, but we thought blow pens would be more colourful! We then jumped forward in time to Neolithic (New Stone Age) times and made clay pots. We decorated them with our fingernails as the Neolithic people would have done. Finally, we explored the outdoors and went hunting and gathering. Some of us even took down huge mammoths with our spears (foam javelins!). What an exciting day of learning to get us asking questions about life in Prehistoric times.  

Welcome to Year 3 2022 - 23

Term 1 Week 1

What a funny and informative start to Year 3! We enjoyed a visit from Fantastic Fred who taught us all about how to look after our mental health. Fred was very silly, but he taught us that we can help ourselves to feel good by thinking carefully about the Food we eat, making sure we Rest, getting enough Exercise and limiting our use of Devices.