Spring Term 1 2023

Happy New Year! I hope you had a happy and holy Christmas holiday. Our theme for this half term is ‘The Rainforest.’ Keep checking our class web page to see all the exciting things we get up to this half term!

Collective Worship

In Year 3, we have collective worship monitors who help prepare the collective worship table in class.

In worship this week, we have been learning about Pope Benedict XVI who sadly passed away on New Year’s Eve. On the day of his funeral, we had a whole school assembly with reflections, prayers, reading and songs to remember this inspirational Christian. Miss Milivojevic taught us lots of interesting facts about him, and reminisced about how she took a group of pupils from St Joseph’s school back in 2010 to see Pope Benedict when he visited England. We watched real footage of the event in Twickenham and Miss Milivojevic shared fondly of how this experience impacted on her.

Miss Milovojevic taught us many key messages from the Bible that Pope Benedict XVI shared during his time as Pope and how he put this into practice. We then listened to readings from Corinthians, Ephesians, Isaiah and Proverbs. We gave thanks to God for Pope Benedict XVI.

Our school song ‘Siyahamba’ came as a result of this visit which is the first time that Miss Milivojevic heard it when a choir performed to Pope Benedict. We enjoyed singing the song together and finished with prayers for Pope Benedict XVI. May he rest in peace.


This half term our topic in RE is, ‘The Sacrament of Reconciliation‘. We began this topic by considering what reconciliation means. We learnt that it means when people become friendly again after a disagreement. The children reflected on a time that they needed to reconcile with a friend. They considered their actions and how they gained forgiveness. We then moved on to a story where someone needed to reconcile with God. We talked about the story of Zacchaeus. The children learnt how he was truly sorry and that Jesus forgave him because of how he showed he was sorry!

We talked about the scripture that says Jesus forgives 7 times not 77 times which means all the time! Here are some pictures of the children acting this story out.

The children then moved onto the story of ‘The Parable of the Lost Sheep’. The children made puppets and retold this story being careful to ensure that they included the important message that God will always be there for us even if we make wrong choices and go down the wrong path He will always love us

Following this, the children learnt about the difference between sins and mistakes. They learnt that sins happen on purpose and we understand that it is wrong, whereas, we all make mistakes and, if we are truly sorry, God will forgive us! The children put this altogether to write a letter all about the sacrament of reconciliation. They learnt about what happens in before, during and after reconciliation. A great way to prepare for their own First Reconciliation which is happening very soon!


English-The Tin Forest by Helen Ward

This half term, linking to our topic The Rainforest, we have used ‘The Tin Forest’ as a stimulus for our guided reading and writing. We started off by looking at the front cover of the book and discussing what we thought could happen by making inferences from the pictures. The children loved making these predictions and commented on why they thought there was one colourful flower amongst the tIn forest.

“There was once a wide, windswept place, near nowhere and close to forgotten that was filled with all the things that no one wanted.”

So begins the tale of the Tin Forest where an old man lives who tidies the rubbish and dreams of a better place. With faith, ingenuity and hard work, he transforms a junkyard into a wondrous, tropical rainforest. The children loved reading this story and enjoyed looking at and finding expanded noun phrases in the text. The children then had a go at writing their own expanded noun phrases about the rainforest. We then improved our writing by including adverbs and prepositions to say where something is.

Following on from this, the children planned and wrote a letter inviting imaging they were the old man inviting his friend to come and visit them in the rainforest. We made sure we included in our writing all the skills we had been practising writing. These included expanded noun phrases, adverbs and prepositions. Finally we edited and improved our letters to ensure they were the very best that they could be. We worked with a talk partner to help check our writing too.


This half term Year three’s Key Instant Recall facts are; to add and subtract up to 3 digit numbers using the column method. Children will also be adding and subtracting 10 and 100 mentally from any given 2 or 3 digit number. We have been practising these both in the classroom and outside through fun, active Burn 2 Learn games. Year 3 love playing these games which deepen their knowledge and understanding of these key facts.

Addition and Subtraction

Year 3 will be revisiting adding and subtracting mentally 1, 10 and 100 to a given 2 and 3 digit number. We will be adding and subtracting 2 and 3 digit numbers using the column method. Year 3 will also be learning methods to estimate their answers to addition and subtraction calculations. We will also be looking at the inverse operation as a means for checking answers.

Data Handling

This half term, the children have been working on some data handling. We first of all thought about why we might use data handling in the real world! We considered doctors, researchers, politicians, teachers, sports coaches and much more! The children learnt how invaluable this skill is and gave a real reason as to why we need to learn this. 

We first began by revising tally charts as the children wanted to revise this from their previous learning. We then moved onto pictograms then bar charts too. We always began by recalling data then problem solving. The children will be applying this learning throughout the curriculum, including creating and drawing their own in Science. 


​We began our topic by discussing where light comes from and that there are natural sources of light and man made sources of light.  We made the classroom as dark as possible and discussed where the light source was coming from (the sun) and what it would be like if we didn’t have natural light sources.

This half term in Science we will began by thinking about questions we want to find the answers to. We added these questions to our Science working wall.

Some of these questions were:

  • What would it be like if there was no light?

  • How are shadows made?

  • How far away is the sun?

  • Does everything make a shadow?

  • How hot is the sun?

  • How are light bulbs made?

Year 3 absolutely loved investigating how shadows are formed. They used the torches to explore making different shadows. As part of our Working Scientifically objective ‘Pattern Seeking’ the children investigated patterns in the way that the size of shadows change. Do you know how to make a shadow smaller or larger? Year 3 had some much fun making shadows move. Some children even had a go at narrating their own shadow shows.


Following this, the children set up their own experiment to investigate how the size of shadows alters. They had to choose their own equipment to measure the shadows, what they were going to use to measure the distance of the source of light from the object and finally which object they were going to use to block the light. This was quite tricky to set up and the children had to ensure they measure accurately to make it a fair test. Some children measure the shadow of different objects and we discussed as a class why this would not be fair. Before measuring the width of the shadows, the children predicted the size of the shadows by drawing on the knowledge they had retained from the previous lesson.

Year 3 , enjoyed investigating reflective materials. They sorted a range of materials into those which are reflective and less reflective. They found out that smooth, shiny materials were reflective and dark, dull colours absorbed the light and were less reflective. We discussed why it is important for some clothing to be reflective and who might wear reflective clothing such as police, builders, ambulance drivers, the fire brigade and cyclists.


Our topic this half term is drawing. We have begun our learning journey by exploring some new art vocabulary; tone and shade. We then moved on to investigating different drawing pencils to find out which ones we we use to create darker and lighter tones. We talked about using an even pressure when sketching. The children came to the conclusion that darker tones come from B pencils and lighter tones come from H pencils.

We then moved onto applying these skills in drawing. We did some step by step drawings of rainforest animals. The children loved this so click the link below if you would like to continue working on this at home!

www.wedrawanimals.com Step-by-step drawing of animals

The children then designed their own rainforest animals using what they know from their Geography learning. The children spent time practising first, then trying their final designs. They were extremely proud!



Online Safety

We revisited the very important tips to stay safe whilst using the internet. The key message that we took was that if we are unsure of anything on the internet we should ‘STOP, BLOCK AND TELL!’ We discussed in depth what this means.

Here were the key top tips we learned for staying safe online:

  • Keep your personal information safe and private (don’t share it with anyone).

  • People online are not always who they say they are(don’t become friends with someone online that you haven’t met before in real life and never meet up with anyone you speak to online).

  • Ask before you share– think carefully about the photos you post on the internet. You need to have permission before you post photos of other people online.

  • Think carefully about the words you use on the internet.

  • If you see something you feel uncomfortable with, STOP, BLOCK AND TELL! 

  • Always speak to a trusted adult.

Geography-The Rainforests

Year 3 began by their topic by thinking about questions that they want to find out the rain forests. We added these questions to our working wall and wall refer back to them during our learning journey, this half term.

Some of these questions were:

What is the largest rain forest?

Where are the rain forests?

What animals live in the rain forest?

Is the Amazon the largest rain forest?

How many predators live there?

What is the rarest creature?


We then used the topic books to read around the subject and find out new facts that we didn’t know before. We also wrote down new key vocabulary that we have had learnt too, such as climate, deforestation and logger.

The children then the used atlases  to find out where about in the world the rain forests are located. They also had to name and write down the world’s continents, oceans and tropics.

Take a look at our learning journey and working wall so far.

They also looked at the climate of The Amazon and used and applied their maths skills answer questions about it. They also drew bar graphs to represent the amount of precipitation on average the Amazon gets each month

The children learnt all about the different layers of the rain forest, the types of animals that live there, what life is like for the people who live in the rain forest and importantly the dangers that the rain forests encounter through deforestation for the production of palm oil. A shocking and saddening statistic is that every minute the size of 20 football pitches of forest are being cut down!

Tropical World School Trip

Year 3 had a fantastic day at Tropical World! We began with an excellent workshop that helped the children revise some of their learning in class and then develop on this with some new learning. They thought about the hot but wet climate of the rainforest. We used metre sticks to compare the 65cm of rain Leeds gets every year and compared it to the 2.5m of rain that the rainforest gets. The children were amazed at the rainfall!

The children enjoyed looking at the layers of the rainforest and discovering the different creatures that live there. They learnt about how the different animals are adapted to live in the rainforest too. One child even got to dress up as a chameleon! The children also looked at the vegetation of the rainforest. The children learnt the term ‘bio-diverse’ to understand the wide range of creatures and plants in the rainforest. We looked at the leaves of the rainforest and learnt how they were adapted to cope with all the rain.  They learnt all about the drip tip and how the leaves keep the water away!

The children then went for the second half of their day into Tropical World. They certainly learnt what a tropical climate feels like! The children certainly learnt in a practical way what it means for somewhere to be humid! They enjoyed searching in the different areas for the creatures that live in the rainforest. 

Year 3 truly loved their day out. Here are some comments from the children about their day.

“I liked it because it was really, really humid were the butterflies were and I liked the crocodile too! Thank you for taking me there!” Rose

“10/10. It was very good and I loved it so much!I want to go there again!” Jemima 

My day was a 10/10!” Megan 

“I loved the day. Out of 10, I’d give it a 10!!” Hugo

“My favourite bit was seeing the meercats! My day was 1000/1000!” Harrison


This half term, we have begun by revising the months of the year in French. The children began by listening to a song to support our pronunciation of this French vocabulary.

The children played a great game to help their instant recall of this new vocabulary.

This half term, we also worked on ‘Jours de Semaine’. We recognised the tune from learning the days of the week when they were in KS1 and we used it to help us with French in KS2! The children worked on singing the tune and pronouncing the days of the week with increasing accuracy. We had a fun competition at the end with each table taking a turn to sing it too!



The children worked together as a class to create the sounds of the rainforest. They used body percussion to do this. They had to work carefully as an ensemble and watch their conductor to make sure their dynamics were accurate. The end result was brilliant! It sounded like they were in the rainforest!

The children then focused on composing their own music by using the chime bars. They were given the task to make it really relaxing and to remember 4 beats in a bar. They were given a sheet to help them with recording their compositions. 

Next, the children did some singing and performing. They enjoyed singing along, learning about how to layering of sounds and putting together what they have learnt about timbre and tempo. We even used the hall to put actions to songs. It sounds easy, but there were a lot of actions to remember!


In PE, the children will be developing their skills in playing ball games. They will be exploring the different rules in sports like hockey, football, tennis or basketball. They will also learn about the importance of timing and being able to read game situations correctly.

We started our PE learning by working on our skills with footballs. The children had to work on their aim as they were passing between themselves and their accuracy in timing their kicks. They had some very precise shots and worked well as small teams!


In PSHE, we will explore the topic of how we can keep safe and we will learn about British Values. At the beginning of term, we will focus on The children will be learning about valuing the similarities and difference between themselves and others.

We learnt about the British Value of showing respect and tolerance. The children were very knowledgeable and could think of various examples from their own lives when they show respect and why it is important to be tolerant in our lives and treat everyone like we would like to be treated.

Our next focus was individual liberty from our British Values. Our class discussion focused on how we can be proud of who we are and how we can express ourselves. . We also revisited our statement of we are all the same but we are all different.

We further explored our British Values and learnt more about how we live in a democracy and how this shows through the elections and voting. We read about what MPs do and how they are elected and we also had the opportunity to express one topic that we felt important which we then shared with the class.

We carried on our learning about consent and personal space. The children worked in groups to discuss various scenarios where consent would be required. They could also mention online or offline scenarios of their own too. We also reflected on how to make sure everyone’s personal space is respected.

On Safer Internet Day, we learnt more about why this day is important and we discussed what personal space is offline and online, as well as what consent is and when we should give our consent. The children worked in groups and could reflect on various scenarios very well. We had a detailed discussion where the children had to reason and present their opinions to the class.

To learn about what manipulation can look like offline and online, we explored different ways videos, photographs or voice recordings could be edited. The children learnt about what memes are and this learning linked well to our online safety prior knowledge. The children could also confidently talk about what peer pressure is and how they should behave in different scenarios.

During Well-being Week, we had a lot of discussion with children about what mental health is and what supports our well-being day-to-day. We all investigated the 5 ways of well-being and made plans and set goals to achieve to make us feel great! We had a think about how to connect with others, how to give to others, how to keep learning, how to be active and how to take notice of our surroundings and be mindful throughout the day. The children also designed their own posters about mental health and how that can affect us in both a positive and negative way. We learnt ways to keep ourselves positive to help with our mental health.