Spring Term 1 2020

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.

R.E.-Called to Change

This half term the children read the bible story of Zacchaeus and the Parable of the Lost Sheep, using role play they reenacted these stories. We hot seated being Zacchaeus and asked him questions about his actions, feelings and why he decided to change his behaviour.  We discussed ‘living simply’ and how Zacchaeus made these important changes.The children make links between these important bible stories and the role and the importance of forgiveness and reconciliation.

Year 3 read the story of the Lost Son Luke 15:11-32. In this story In the story, a father has two sons, a younger and an older. The younger son asks the father for his inheritance, and the father grants his son’s request. However, the younger son is prodigal spends his fortune, eventually leaving him with no money. The younger son is forced to return home empty-handed and intends to beg his father to accept him back as a servant. To the son’s surprise, he is not scorned by his father but is welcomed back with celebration and open arms. Envious, the older son refuses to participate in the festivities. The father reminds the older son that one day he will inherit everything, and that they should still celebrate the return of the younger son because he was lost and is now found.

The children acted out this story and freezed framed as how to the younger son felt when he received the money and how the Father felt when he realised his son had left. We also acted out how the Father and son felt at the end of the story when the son returned.


Year 3 discussed how the story of the Lost Son teaches us about God’s forgiveness. They also explained how the father in the story is like our God the Father. This story has a very important message for us to learn from that we too can turn back to God no matter what things we have said or done wrong. 

Take a look at our learning journey so far.


Year 3 are deepening their understanding that Jesus called people to change and are currently reflecting  on how Jesus calls us to change. Year 3 will be preparing for the Sacrament of Reconciliation by understanding what this means and reflecting on God’s love and forgiveness. 

English – The Tin Forest

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 tinforest.

“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 have been writing descriptions of the setting of the Tin Forest using more adventurous vocabulary– such as adjectives, adverbs and similes.


Year 3 worked alongside Year 4 to develop their skills of recognising nouns, proper nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, prepositions and determiners.They deepened their understanding of using and applying them to construct a sentence. Initially, they had sort of the different vocabulary and then use it to make a descriptive sentence. This was a fun, active game that was quite tricky at times so the children had to show resilience to be able to go back and correct any misconceptions

.Following this activity, the children applied these skills write descriptive sentences about the old man’s dream in the tin forest.

We shared our ideas by writing them on white boards first. We added our shared sentences to the working wall. The children used nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, prepositions and similes. Year 3 made sure they met their writing targets too to consistently apply knowledge and skills.

Following this, we self assessed our writing against the top tips. We had to evidence where we had used and applied them in our writing. We used our purple polishing pens to edit and improve our writing if we had missed out any of the top tips. These were to use expanded noun phrases, adverbs and prepositions.


As part of our whole school Readathon, where our pupils are being sponsored to read as much as they can over a week. We have been enjoying going to library to spend extra time reading there too. 







Maths-Multiplication and Division

This half term Year three’s Key Instant Recall facts are; To know by heart 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 x tables facts and the corresponding division facts. 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 recalling time tables facts.

Following this we have be writing and calculating two digit numbers times one digit numbers, using mental methods and progressing onto using the column method to multiply. Being able to recall multiplication facts quickly has deepened our understanding of this. Multiplying using the column method is tricky we we persevere and show resilience when faced with a challenge. We use the resources in the classroom to support us. We began by multiplying without carrying a tens and then progressed onto carrying the tens over. We have also been using the bar model to solve division questions. This has supported us to gain a further understanding of the whole and equal parts. We used linked our understanding of multiplication and division to be able to check our answers.

We have been lots of KIRFs practise in class and in the hall. This not only get our brains active but our bodies too. We love playing against one another to practise our timestables. We use the dice in class to multiply to the two numbers together. We have been challenging ourselves to be resilient and roll 3 dice to multiply.

We also practised our timetables in the hall. We had to compete against one another to recall them quickly.

Using money

To begin with, we discussed the value of each coin and note to understand what these values represent. We learnt that money can be represented in different ways but still have the same value. Next, we were able to add coin values together to find the total amount. We used the ‘whole part model’ to support our learning.

Some questions we discussed were;

What is the value of the coin/note?
What does p mean?
Why do we have different values of coins and notes?
What’s the difference between £5 and 5p?



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.

Take a look at out working wall. We found out that shadows are formed when the source of light is blocked.

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 drawing on the knowledge they had retained from the previous lesson. 


Before we begin to make a soft toy flower, Year 3 have been working on practising different stitches. They initially began with practicing a running stitch using binca. We watched a video first too gain a better understanding how to do it. It was quite tricky at first but we showed great resilience and patience to persevere.

Next, we practised how to to sew a back stitch. This proved even trickier but we showed great determination and resilience. We discussed when we would use a running stitch and back stitch.

We then choose our own felt flowers and thought about the colours we wanted and what colour wool we would use to stitch them. Drawing on the skills we had learnt we independently choose which type of stitch we wanted to use and gave reasons why.

Take a look at our final flowers, we also added some detail to them. We are really proud of what we achieved!



Online Safety

We had a whole school assembly on Monday morning to remind all children of the very important tips to stay safe whilst using the internet. The key message that we took from the morning was that if we are unsure of anything on the internet we should ‘STOP, BLOCK AND TELL!’

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.

For more information on how to stay safe online, watch the video below that was shared in our assembly or visit the following websites for more information:

Book Creator

This half term, we are working on developing our skills in Book Creator – an application to help users create their own  books The skills we have developed over the half term are:

  • Saving images
  • Using search engines
  • Inserting text, images, changing backgrounds and combining audio

The children used their knowledge about rain forests to create their own information books. They began with creating their own contents page and then inserting pages with text and images to illustrate this.

Show and Share-Computing using keynote

We did Show & Share a little differently this year and invited our parents/carers to join Year 3 with one of their computing lessons. Year 3 loved reversing the roles and teaching their parents a thing or two and our parents/carers commented on how much their children knew. Our focus was all on using hey note to create their own presentations about the layers of the rain forest. Take a look at some of the pictures of Year 3 and their parents in action! Thank you to all those who could attend our Show & Share sessions – we are so pleased you enjoyed it!


This half term the children have been starting to learn to recognise, spell and say words in French related to food and drink. For some words, they are able to spot similarities in spelling between French and English which gives them a clue; for other words, this is not the case so it makes learning them a little trickier. The children challenged themselves to say whether they liked them or not in a sentence. They enjoyed playing a game too where they had to identify the food when the heard the word spoken in French.


This half term in Music the children have been focusing on rhythm. We began by learning a song called, ‘I Wanna Play In A Band.’ The verses of this song provide the perfect platform for group composing where the children have to write rhythm statements about the type of percussion instrument that they have been allocated. They then turned the syllable structure of these statements into actual rhythms to be played on those instruments.  Each group’s rhythms were then used as the verses to the song. This composing exercise also encourages the children to develop ensemble performance skills, group co-operation skills and even conducting skills.
For the rest of this half term, we have been learning to read rhythm notation using a variety of different songs and exercises. The children have represented notation physically and have now learned to read note values that include minims, crotchets, quavers and semiquavers.  This was very tricky and Year 3 had to use great resilience and perseverance. Part of this process involved the ‘Kodaly’ teaching method.  Zoltan Kodaly was a 20th Century Hungarian composer and educator who developed a style of teaching that involves children learning through singing and playing musical games.  The process of learning rhythm notation was extremely good fun!

P.E- Gymnastics

This half term in PE, we will be focusing on gymnastics. We are very lucky at St Joseph’s to be working with a specialist coach who has come to work alongside us teachers in delivering the gymnastics for this half term. Year 3 explored making different shapes and balances such as the pike, straddle, star and dish. The children were provided with the different shapes they could make with their bodies and were asked to work in groups to do so. The children were fantastic at having a go at these and being resilient learners, even when they found some a bit tricky. Afterwards, we moved onto using these shapes but in jumps! We finished off by demonstrating our favourite jumps and positions in groups. What a fantastic way to start our new term being active this morning!


in PE with Mr Cooper, the children have been practicing balancing and making different shapes with their bodies. This followed on nicely from our gymnastics session earlier in week, so we could use and apply the active skills we had been practising. The children have been balancing using their strength and stamina to hold the position  for a few seconds.



First Aid Training

During some very important first aid training today, Year 3 learnt skills which might one day save someone’s life. They were taught the basics about what to do in an emergency situation so that they could not only help someone who needed it but whilst also keeping themselves safe.
Year 3 learnt initially about the clear action plan – DRAB – so that they would always be ready to act quickly if they saw someone collapsed on the floor.

Anti-Bullying Fortnight

Our theme for the first week of our Anti-bullying fortnight has been ‘Change Starts With Us’. As a class we discussed the following:

-That bullying is the repetitive, intentional hurting of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power.

-That our school does not tolerate bullying at all.  All instances of bullying are taken seriously and we will help to sort out all instances of this.

-How the Change Starts with the children. We discussed that if they see bullying taking place or they are the victim of bullying, by speaking to any adult then we can make a change for them and for others to make it better.


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!

The children took part in a Burn 2 learn activity where they had to decide which fact was about the canopy layers. Following this, Year 3 then wrote about the canopy layers. They used their target cards to ensure these were being included too.

Take a look at how our working wall and learning journey has developed.

Year 3 discussed the simple changes we can do at school and at home to help protect God’s world. We said we would ensure the classroom lights are switched off, when not in use, ensure litter is put into the bin, ensure taps are not left running and not be wasteful with paper.

To find out what you can do to help save the world’s endangered rain forests take a look at the Rain forest Alliance.


Year 3 worked exceptionally hard on their geography projects which was set as home work. Take a look at what we made. Teh children said they really enjoyed doing this.