Welcome to Year 3!

Welcome to Year 3!

As memories of the summer holidays fade, life in Year 3 has begun with gusto. With enthusiasm, the children have settled easily and happily into the new routines and expectations of Key Stage 2 and are beginning to show greater independence. We have welcomed two delightful new members to the class, Ashton and Zachary.

With our emphasis upon ‘Treating others as we would like to be treated’ Class 3 have both delighted and amazed us, by filling our ‘Kindness Jar’ with cubes, not once, but twice, since the start of term! Well done to all those children who have acted kindly and considerately to others. Keep it up!

Reading and a love for stories and poems is at the heart of all that we do. We have been enjoying our class book ‘One dog and his boy’ By Eva Ibbotson and ‘One hundred best poems for children’ particularly the poem about ‘Homework’! Our literacy work this term is based around another fantastic book written by Robert Swindels ‘Ice Palace’. We are thoroughly enjoying all our reading and learning how to write descriptive narrative with tension, kennings, and information leaflets.

In History, we have begun learning about life in the ‘Stone Age’ and are very much looking forward to our trip next week to ‘Butser Ancient Farm’, which is a settlement of reconstructed Stone Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age, dwellings.

In science we begun exploring the fascinating world of plants and discovering the different ways plants make sure that their seeds can find a good place to begin life.  After a few week studying seeds we will begin our rocks and fossils topic, but we will return to discover learn more about plants in the spring and summer.

We are excited about the many learning opportunities ahead and look forward to watching your children flourish and grow!

Mrs Clark and Mrs Boshoff

Our Iron Age Adventure

At the end of last term, Year 3 and 4 ventured back in time on our visit to Butser Ancient Farm, which is a settlement of reconstructed Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman and Anglo Saxon dwellings.
Year 3 explored the Iron Age and Bronze Age thatched roundhouses, constructed with wattle and daub walls and high, oak-beamed, straw-covered, conical roofs. The first house had an open fire blazing in the centre of its mud floor, with an iron pot hanging above it (our first clue that we were in the iron age). The only light flooded in from the double wooden doors. As soon as the doors closed we were enveloped in darkness. Deer skins lay on the floor so we could imagine iron age children getting up from their animal skin blankets in the morning to greet the iron age day.

We set to work practising our wattling skills, weaving hazel branches through oak posts to make secure fencing for our flocks of sheep. Our guide, Louise explained that metal jewellery were signs of power and wealth during the Iron Age so we learned how to use tools to bend and shape copper wire to make rings. After an iron age lunch al fresco, we completed an archaeological dig, unearthing hidden treasures and thinking carefully about what these incomplete artefacts might be.
Finally, the highlight of our day was a very messy activity. We mined and crushed chalk into fine powder to mix with water, straw and mud ( also harvested by our own fair hands which by this time were very mucky!) to make clunch which is an iron age building cement. We formed clunch bricks for building a wall in the new Iron Age roundhouse. Each St John’s child has contributed to an historical experiment to explore how Iron Age people mixed their cement.
Tired but inspired by our trip into the past, we made our journey back through time to present day Sevenoaks.

African Adventure

Having explored Ancient Egypt last term, we are continuing our exploration of African culture through a collection of traditional African tales.
We have been learning how to use the internet safely to research the countries where the stories originated. The children used their research to create fact files of each country.

Looking at the patterns to be found in nature (african animals and landscapes) has helped us understand the geometric patterns often seen in african art. The children have used their maths knowledge of parallel, perpendicular, horizontal and vertical lines, regular and irregular polygons and different angles to help them create designs and patterns for their own african calabash ( pot).

Now that summer is beginning, we are studying plants in science lessons. Last week we learned how different root systems work and this week we tested one child’s hypothesis that the plant needs the stem to carry water from the roots to the rest of the plant. We set up a test with celery to see if we could prove the hypothesis. Some groups discovered that the the tops of their celery had turned blue which showed that the coloured water had travelled up the stem to the top, which proved the hypothesis.

Walk like an Egyptian

Ancient Egyptian News!

As a conclusion to our Ancient Egyptian Topic, Class 3 stepped back in time, donned suitable costumes and with help from ‘History off the Page’ participated in an amazing ‘Egyptian Day’ workshop.

We were transported back to the 14th Century B.C. to the New Kingdom of Aten, where we encountered artisans dealing in many crafts. Each member of Year 3 visited every craft station and made a variety of objects including: a clay canopic jar, carved shabtis, a clay amulet, an Egyptian style fresco, a papyrus with hieroglyphics and finally embalming oils were made and mummification was practised on peg dolls.  Items were carefully made and with trepidation, were presented to the Sun God, Aten, under the vigilant watch of the temple guards!

The afternoon continued at the Royal Court as we sought to entertain the Pharaoh and Queen Nefertiti and appoint the new High Priest of Aten. We rehearsed and performed dances, plays and mines to entertain our esteemed guests. The ‘slaves’ worked hard presenting and serving the banquet and a fun time was had by all!

The children left for home with a bag full of exciting objects which I hope they shared with you?

Fly the Flag!

Year 3 were once again delighted to be invited to attend the ‘Fly the Flag’ ceremony to celebrate Commonwealth Day and commemorate the centenary of World War 1.

Despite the drizzle, our spirits were not dampened as we made our way to Sevenoaks Town Council Offices. Upon our arrival we were joined by Chairman Cllr Larry Abraham, several war veterans, Sea Cadets and other dignitaries. After a short service, the flag was raised, prayers were offered and Class 3 then took shelter from the rain and enjoyed a well-deserved drink and biscuit!

Next, we were led into the Conference Room where a Single Commemorative Act took place to mark the WW1 centenary. After two minutes silence, four symbolic candles were lit, extinguished and relit as a mark of remembrance for all those who lost their lives in the First World War.

Excitement mounted as KMT television crew requested interviews with the children. Four children were selected to represent Year 3 and they each spoke clearly and eloquently.

Mrs Clark was so proud of all the children: they were excellent ambassadors for the school. Their behaviour and manners were exemplary throughout the morning.

If you would like to see the television interview, please follow the link below:

http://www.kentonline.co.uk/kmtv/video/flying-the-flag-sevenoaks-celebrates-commonwealth-day-11802/

 

 

 

Another SNOW DAY!

Hello Year 3!

I hope you are having fun in the snow. Don’t forget all those important top tips for staying safe in the snow that we looked at when we studied the Ice Palace in Term 1.

I think many of you will have brought your homework and MA books into school so won’t have them at home with you.  So homework this week is:

Learn set 8 spellings.  We will do a big joint test of set 7 and set 8 next Friday.

Learn your 8 times table multiplication and division facts. We will do a mixed test of multiplication and division next Friday.

For the rest of the term our tests will be based on all the tables we have learned so far: 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 and 10. We need to know the multiplication and division facts for all these tables by heart by the end of Year 3. Spend time practising the 3s and 8s this week.

Keep reading!

What to do today?

First, have fun in the snow. It doesn’t happen often so get out there!

Build something different out of snow ( a snow rabbit,  an ice palace, a miniature igloo for a tiny creature).

Look for tracks in the snow. What has been travelling through your garden or street? Can you tell from the imprint in the snow what kind of animal they are? How can you tell from the track how big or heavy they might be?

When you are cold and need to head inside to get warm. How about trying these activities:

Imagine. Imagine that Sevenoaks was blanketed with snow for 6 months of the year. What would your life be like? What would we get good at doing in the snow? What wouldn’t we be able to do so easily?

Imagine and design. Jo from the UK space agency told us that robots are used in space because they don’t get hot or cold or need food, water and oxygen like humans. Imagine your very own SNOWBOT (snow robot). What would you programme your SNOWBOT to do for you?  Would it shovel snow? Would it hold snowballs? Would it keep hot chocolate warm when you are playing outside? Would it carry shopping for your family? How would you design its feet to move over snow (think about snowploughs)?

When you have imagined your SNOWBOT, draw and label a picture of it to show the different jobs it would do.

Keep warm and safe everyone!

Mrs Boshoff

 

Snow Day Work for Year 3

To stop you getting bored at home, here are some activities for you to choose from.

Pick one English activity and one maths activity… and if you are still bored, have a go at the science activity.

English

Choose A or B and write it in your homework book or on a sheet of paper if your homework book is at school.

A Write a poem about snow. Add in a few interesting similes. Why not try a kenning poem (grass coverer, path blanketer, road icer, water freezer)  or a riddle poem ( see the example below).

Snow

As crystal clear as diamond

Flowing down very shy

As delicate as glass

Slowly dancing by.

 

As shiny as an emerald

Dropping down from the sky

As glittery as a star

Comes from very high.

 

A winter riddle

Sparkling, delicate, amazing

Glittery, crystal, clear

Peaceful, blanketing, making angels

Shivering, frostbite, creamy, fun.

Birds can’t find food.

What am I?

B  Write a diary entry about ‘My snow day!’ 

 

Maths

Choose A or B. Write your discoveries in your homework book or on a sheet of paper if your homework book is in school.

A.  How far can you throw a snowball?  

Make 3 snowballs.  Make a start line.

Throw the 1st snowball and measure how far you threw it in paces (or with a tape measure if you have one at home). Record your throw.

Now throw the second one. Measure and record that throw.

Now throw the last one.

Measure and record the throw. Which throw went the furthest? Which throw was the shortest? What was the difference between them?

B. How long does snow take to melt? How much water will there be when it melts?

Fill a cup and a small bowl with snow.  Estimate how much water the snow will make when it melts.

Use a clock or timer to time how long the snow takes to melt for the cup and for the bowl. Record what you find in hours and minutes.

When the snow has melted pour the water into a measuring jug to measure the water. Record what you find.

Write a sentence explaining what you discovered.

 

Science

This term we are learning about why animals need food and what sort of food they need.  Create a food plan with the foods that you would most like to eat for breakfast, dinner (lunch) and supper. You can write a list or you can draw the different meals. You choose!

Would your food plan be different in summer? Would it be different for a Snow Day in winter?

Have fun in the snow today.

Mrs Boshoff and Mrs Clark

Once in a blue moon!

Since January 2018 is the month of the blue moon, we have been exploring how the moon changes each month. We have learned facts by reading non-fiction writing about the moon and enjoyed discovering how myths explain natural events in interesting and surprising ways.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year 3 have written evocative moon poems,  created 3D moon pictures and have even written their own moon myths. Year 3 have plenty of creative and imaginative ideas to explain why the moon gets fatter and thinner! Some say that a lawnmower mows down the moon each month and the moon grows back just like grass! Some say that a black ghost feeds off the light of the moon to get the strength to eat his victims which is why the moon gets thinner each month! Or that a moon monkey thinks the banana shaped moon is good to eat which is why the moon looks nibbled!

We have discovered Newton Meters to measure the force needed to move different objects in our classroom.  Our special science agents have conducted an investigation to work out how to create better friction for James Bond’s shoes so he can grip slippery surfaces more easily! We have discovered the surfaces in our classroom with the best friction..       

 

It’s 2018! Feel the Force!

Happy New Year to you all! We hope all the year 3 children and their families had a fun and restful Christmas holiday.

This term is a short one but it is packed with new challenges and interesting things to learn.

January began with the brightest moon of the year and will end with a blue moon, so it is appropriate that we continue our work on Tomi Ungerer’s Moon Man in our English lessons.

Our big maths challenge for the New Year is to learn our 8 times table, which is not as difficult as we think (once we know our 2 times table and 4 times table!).

We will be encouraging Year 3s to ‘feel the force’ (as the Jedis say) as we explore how we might make things move without touching them in our science lessons! Can you work out how we might do that?

In Topic lessons we will be continuing our exploration of ancient history by discovering all about the Iron Age and what the Celts got up to in Ancient Britain.

Our RE lessons will really stretch our thinking as we try to understand what Christians believe about the Trinity. We will be reflecting on Bible passages, Christian art and different symbols to help us explore the idea of the Trinity.

Finally, don’t forget to get your goggles ready for Year 3 swimming lessons which begin in week 3 of this term!

 

 

 

 

Year 3 Rocks!

This term, Year 3 have extended their learning about the formation of Rocks and Fossils through our Rocks and Fossils Day. Mr Cartwright, a geologist, brought his extensive collection of rocks and fossils for Year 3 to examine. Some of the rocks were out of this world – literally! We were very excited to hold part of a meteorite which we discovered was magnetic! We were also a little shocked and disgusted to learn that one rock that we had been passing around wasn’t a rock at all but was, in fact coprolite (fossilised dinosaur poo!).

In museums fossils are often behind glass cabinets but our visiting museum allowed us to handle many different types of fossil – cast fossils, mould fossils and trace fossils. We marvelled at fossils from a woolly mammoth – a tusk and an enormous vertebra! We held a large tooth from a woolly rhino, examined a complete fossilised fish and learned about the strange and wonderful creatures that roamed the earth and swam in the oceans thousands and thousands of years ago. The highlight for many of us was the chance to hold a hadrosaur egg.

As part of our rocks and fossils day we learned how cast, mould and trace fossils are formed and had a go at making our own cast and mould fossils with plasticine and plaster of paris, which was great fun and a little messy!

The children learned how to identify different sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rocks using a scientific key and worked well in small teams discussing the different properties of the rocks that they were given to identify.

 

Since Rocks and Fossils day, the children have been extending their learning in science and geography by learning how soils are formed, studying different types of soil and their properties. We have investigated the permeability of compost, sandy soil and loam and made some surprising discoveries as we timed the rate at which the water passed through different types of soil. Last week the children put all their learning into practise by designing their own soil recipes for a worm restaurant.

Following on from our work on igneous rocks, the children have been learning about the formation of volcanoes in geography lessons and have produced fabulous descriptive writing about volcanoes inspired by our English lessons based on “The Pebble in my Pocket”.

We have many sharp-eyed budding geologists and palaeontologists in Year 3. It has been lovely to see so many children bringing in their own collections of rocks and polished stones as well as geodes and fossils they have found on beaches.

Rock on Year 3!