Year 3 sees the children mature as established members of the senior classes in the school. Their lessons become academically more demanding and formal without losing the excitement and fun of learning new facts, concepts and ideas. Specialist subject lessons in history, geography and science bring a rich stimulus that prompts plenty of creative discussion and cross curricular work. The children also continue our programme of age moderated standardised tests which informs our discussions with parents about future senior schooling after Year 6. Homework increases considerably this year, and we aim to support parents in establishing a positive routine at home for this essential activity. The class teacher is closely supported in developing
the children’s learning by the Year 3 teaching assistant.
Most importantly, the children and parents often tell us of the enthusiasm for learning which the children experience in Year 3. Maths and History are often cited as the most exciting subject this year!
A highlight for the children is always the Year 3 play which is performed as an evening event during the Easter term paired with a Year 4 play.
The high standard of English at Broomfield is maintained and enhanced through the Year 3 programme of study. The children's basic literacy skills are reinforced and we aim to enable every child to write at their full individual potential. Reading is heard regularly in class and should be supported by parents at home as often as possible. Grammar and comprehension studies are advanced considerably during the year, with a focus on paragraphs, sentence structure, the detail of punctuation, and a wide range of parts of speech. The children's factual and fiction writing develops with a particular emphasis on writing for different purposes including story-telling, reproducing a story, factual reports, and composing both letters and poetry. Spellings, in line with the 2014 National Curriculum, are learned and tested weekly, while regular teaching and practice of handwriting continues. Reasoning, both verbal and non verbal, also supports the English and mathematics curriculum.
The combined requirements of the National Numeracy Strategy, the 2014 National Curriculum and the Year 6 senior school examinations inform the broad syllabus covered in Year 3 mathematics. Daily lessons provide the opportunity to cover all topics in number, measure, shape and space and data handling leaving time for extension and reinforcement according to individual needs. The starting point for each topic is the knowledge already gained earlier in the school. Number work builds towards calculating in the early thousands, using the four rules, applying these to the solving of problems in everyday life, learning tables up to x / by 12, handling money up to £10, establishing firm foundations with fractions and building confidence with mental arithmetic. Other topics include practice in measuring length, weight and capacity, recognising the properties of 2D and 3D shapes, learning to use the 4 and 8 point compass, including making right-angle turns, and understanding how to organise/interpret data using different charts or diagrams.
In science, Year 3 children learn about teeth and eating; magnetism, springs and elastic forces; materials and their properties; rocks and their origins; conditions needed for healthy plant growth and light and shadows. They are taught through practical work and learn to advance predictions which they then test.
In French, the children focus on developing their vocabulary, listening skills and conversational abilities further with an emphasis on building up longer sentences and becoming more familiar with the written word. They also begin to undertake role-plays in some everyday settings. Topics include: sports and hobbies, the cafe and the family.
History, Geography and Religious Education
In History we cover a distinct set of periods each term. We begin at the beginning by considering what is known about the history of our earth. Finding out about the evolution of man always provokes enormous interest before we move on to investigate one of the world's earliest and most fascinating civilisations, Ancient Egypt. The Spring Term is rich in both fact and fiction as we explore the adventures of Odysseus set against the background of Ancient Greece. From there we move to Britain and begin to consider this country's history and development seen in the light of the invasions by the Celts and the Romans. In our Geography we begin with considering where we are in relation to the rest of the world followed by a look at map reading skills. In the spring term we look at rocks and mountains. Our final topic brings us back to our local area looking particularly at the environment, the land use and the issues of pollution, recycling and conservation. Religious Education teaching in Year 3 aims to introduce children to certain aspects of some of the world's religions, Judaism, Christianity and Hinduism, and to foster the importance of tolerance and multi-cultural understanding. Many interesting issues are raised giving opportunities for discussion between the children.
Music and Drama
Music and drama are both taught by our specialist staff. In singing, the children start to sing rounds and partner songs, and use the percussion instruments to accompany some songs. The children sing to parents at Christmas in Kew Village, in the school Carol Service, in our Harvest festival and in the Year 3 play. Many Year 3 pupils take up one of a large variety of musical instruments available to learn, from trumpet, sax and trombone to clarinet, violin, flute and piano. Some Year 3 children take Trinity College, London music examinations for which the school is an examination centre. Our drama activities build the children's confidence in voice production, public speaking and performance, with many plays and poems learned for school assemblies as well as school productions. In the Spring Term, the class prepares and presents a show on a curriculum theme to the whole school and their families.
In ICT the children are made more aware of the importance of ICT in the modern world. They build on previous skills and learn how ICT can be used to communicate messages using a combination of graphics and text.
Art and Craft
Our art lesson in year 3 takes a cross curricular approach with history themes as a starting point for work, as well as using different artists' work as an inspiration. We aim to develop children’s skills giving them plenty of practice with a wide range of materials. They learn how to use watercolour painting and have the opportunity to practise cutting and sticking skills in collage work. Year 3’s artwork is regularly on display in the staircase and classroom. Year 3 benefit from a special drawing class from our artist-in-residence for one term during the year, enhancing their technical drawing skills and introducing them to observational drawing.
Year 3 children participate in sports three times a week. In PE they enhance their ability in developing their correct body shape with a programme of stretching exercises, and as they progress explore themes such as twisting and turning, symmetry and asymmetry, as well as enhancing their understanding of working in a group and with a partner. In swimming, the children progress further into swimming unaided for a sustained period, using a range of recognised strokes and having an understanding of water safety, all in preparation for year 4 when they first become eligible for our successful swimming team (2nd in the borough finals in 2003, 3rd in 2002). In their weekly Games lessons, the children are coached in team sports such as football, an introduction to contact rugby and cricket for the boys, and netball and rounders for the girls.
Class trips vary from year to year in Year 3. However, regular trips are made to a children’s theatre, often the Polka Theatre, the National Gallery, the British Museum or the Science Museum. In the summer a day is often spent at Legoland where the children participate in excellent technology workshops and have lots of fun near the end of a good year's work.
In the lead-up to children's entry into Year 3, it is most helpful if, over the holidays, parents continue to hear their child read and begin to discuss plots and characterisation with them. This will help prepare for the slightly deeper level of comprehension, including inference and deduction, which begins in Year 3. Parents are also encouraged, over the holidays, to keep up the times tables practice. Experience with handling money is also useful: pocket money can be a great incentive! Once in Year 3, we work closely with the parents in establishing an appropriate routine which will support a positive attitude to the increased homework this year. Lastly, we encourage parents to continue reading to their children even when they have become independent readers: they will soak up the richness of language, imagery and ideas in works they are not yet able to read for themselves. This time also creates a few quiet and enjoyable moments together in the hurly-burly of daily life.
The Year 3 classroom is located on the middle floor of our purpose-built Broomfield House Annexe.