Hello everyone! We are very excited to welcome you and are very much looking forward to the year ahead. The children have settled fabulously; they are certainly feeling fresh, happy and ready to learn 😊
Year 3 is the first sample of KS2 life for our children and we will continue to enable them to become responsible and independent little (ish) members of our wonderful school community, learning many new skills along the way!
Of course it’s important that we have LOTS of fun as we learn, and our Cornerstones Curriculum offers a range of exciting topics (starting with Rocks, Relics and Rumbles!) to help us to do so as well as a range of engaging subjects to broaden our knowledge.
Throughout the year, we aim to collaboratively learn, share and explore the world around us. We continue to build friendships, make good choices and set high expectations both inside and outside of school.
Destination Reader is our approach to teaching reading in KS2. It involves daily sessions incorporating whole class modelling prior to the children applying these skills through partner work and independent reading. Children deepen their understanding of the texts they read through the systematic use of a series of strategies and language stems. Destination Reader allows children to access real books of a high quality that are engaging and exciting. To encourage respective communication, children are taught to use sentence starters to support them in actively listening and participating and discussing and explaining their ideas. Here is an example of the stems that we use within lesson and children could also be encouraged to use them at home:
The program covers seven key skills identifies within the national curriculum to support the reading and understanding of a wide range of texts. These are:
Writing: The Talk for Writing approach is a method of writing we use in school. This approach enables children to read and write independently for a variety of audiences and purposes within different subjects. A key feature is that children internalise the language structures needed to write through ‘talking the text’, as well as close reading. The approach moves from dependence towards independence, with the teacher using shared and guided teaching to develop the ability in children to write creatively and powerfully.
Spelling: Pupils’ spelling of common words should be correct, including common exception words. The Word Lists for years 3 and 4 (see below and on website) are statutory. These are the non-decodable words that the children should be able to spell by the end of Lower KS2. Please see our pages on the website for The Year 3 English Programme of Study and Knowledge and Skills Maps.
In Year 3, we aim to ensure that pupils become increasingly fluent with whole numbers and the four operations, including number facts and the concept of place value. We want to develop curious mathematicians who can spot patterns, make connections, whilst also be able to express their justifications. Therefore, we aim to equip all pupils with the skills and confidence to solve a range of problems through fluency with numbers and mathematical reasoning. The three aims of the National Curriculum (fluency, reasoning and problem solving) are addressed during every mathematics lesson. We promote a growth mindset and believe that all children can get better at maths when they put in the effort and work at it. Our teaching focuses on depth of understanding and we ensure that learning always builds on prior knowledge. We believe that our approach to teaching maths will enhance understanding, enjoyment and achievement for every child.
We recently piloted Maths No Problem Scheme to support our delivery of the National Curriculum objectives: we wholeheartedly believe that this method will provide a consistent approach to teaching maths across our school as it is underpinned by a methodical curriculum design that spirals and builds upon prior learning. Crucially, ideas are revisited at higher levels as the curriculum spirals through the years.
Science: The focus of our science teaching in lower Key Stage 2 is to enable pupils to broaden their scientific view of the world around them. We do this through exploring, talking about, testing and developing ideas about everyday phenomena and the relationships between living things and familiar environments. We encourage the children to ask their own questions and make some decisions about which types of scientific enquiry are likely to be the best ways of answering them. Our Science topics will cover Plants, Animals including humans, Rocks, Light and Forces and Magnets.
RE: As a Church of England (Voluntary Controlled) school, we follow the locally agreed Kent syllabus for Religious Education. This supports children in developing an understanding of both the Christian faith and other many other world religions. Our coverage for Year 3 is as follows:
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development (SMSC): PSHE is at the core of all we do and enables our children to become independent, confident, healthy and responsible members of society, as well as developing the ‘whole child’ intellectually, morally, socially and spiritually.
Following the Jigsaw PSHE scheme, our curriculum equips children with relevant and meaningful content, which is supported through a strong emphasis on emotional literacy, building resilience and nurturing mental and physical health.
With an ever-changing society, we are able to provide our children with a strong understanding of the diverse world around them and support them in playing a positive role in contributing to the school and the wider community. It is important that they are aware, at an appropriate level, of different factors which may affect their world and that they learn how best to deal with these so that they have good mental health and well-being. We have developed an environment where all children respect and celebrate cultures and languages. We celebrate positive behaviour choices through class reward systems, our whole-school house system, and celebration assembly.
🏠 Homework: Reading is key to all of our learning, and reading for pleasure is celebrated throughout the year. Our expectation is that children are reading at home with an adult every day. Reading records are checked each morning, so please ensure they are completed and signed 📚
Please see below a range of spelling strategies that we use in class; the children already have their favourites, so I am sure they will be happy to show you at home!
Home learning each week consists of: Reading (minimum of 10 mins per day); Doodle Maths (5-10 mins per day; Times Table Rockstars (5-10 mins per day) and topic grid homework (one piece each week). Thank you already for your support in ensuring that your child completed their homework on time and to a good standard – this is such a valuable addition to their learning in school.
Uniform: A quick reminder too about school uniform. Smart school uniform should be worn with polished black school shoes (leather upper) and not with trainers please. All children need to wear a tie to school every day. We have talked in class this week about taking pride in our school and in our school uniform and the children are very keen to ensure they are doing both. Hair should be tied back for school if it is long enough and should be fastened with plain green, navy or black hair fastenings.
Our P.E day is Friday, and children should continue to come to school wearing their PE kit- this allows optimal time in lessons and far fewer lost ties!
Top Tips for Year 3 Parents:
As a team, we are always here for you. If you need to discuss anything, please don’t hesitate to send a Dojo message, or we can arrange an appointment so we can discuss your child without feeling rushed.
As always, thank you for your continued support.
Mrs Jones, Mrs Andrews and Mrs Oldfield
Helping at Home: