Wolves Year 3
Wolves’ Curriculum Letter 2019/2020 Term 1
Welcome to Year 3, the Wolves’ class! For those who don’t already know me, I’m Miss Cressey and I am looking forward to getting to know you all. I hope you all had an enjoyable summer holiday and you are all feeling refreshed, relaxed and ready to work your socks off this year.
Year 3 can be a big change as your child moves up the school into Key Stage 2, so I have included a brief outline of what we will be learning this term and some top tips for your child’s success.
English: Our main focus this term is broadening our vocabulary with a particular focus on the description of a setting from Charlie and the Chocolate factory. We will also be writing a diary based on the book ‘Stone Age Boy’ using our historical knowledge to inform the reader.
Maths: This term, we will be securing our knowledge of place value including reasoning and fluency. Additionally, we will be learning about different methods of addition and subtraction as well as focussing on learning our times tables and related division facts.
History: We will be exploring our key question: When do you think it was better to live the Stone Age, Bronze Age or Iron Age? After completing a timeline, we will compare life from the Stone Age to other time periods and learn how these changes have affected our lives today.
Geography: Our cross- curriculum topic will be Italy. We will discover the delights of Italy and what it is famous. We will use our English skills to persuade people to visit by producing our own travel brochure about Rome. We will also have our very own Italian day where we will explore the food, culture and fashion that Italy has to offer. We will also use an Atlas to locate important geographical features and discover about Italy’s volcanoes.
Science – In Term 1, we will explore the science behind light! We will hunt for light sources in our surrounding environment, investigate reflective materials for a high visibility book bag and explore how shadows are formed. We will investigate how shadows change depending on where a light source is placed. We will also learn about transparent, translucent and opaque materials and test different materials to create a set of bedroom curtains. In Term 2, we will learn about forces and magnets, observing how magnets attract or repel each other and attract some materials but not others.
French – This term, we will be learning basic French words and phrases to introduce ourselves. We will learn how to greet people, say our names, count to 10 and discuss our ages. Later, we will learn to follow French instructions, the names of body parts, clothes and colours.
PE: We are lucky enough to have swimming lessons at Tides leisure centre where the children will continue to learn to swim competently using a range of strokes. We will also learn to perform dances using a range of movement patterns in our dance sessions.
Art: We will be discussing, analysing and giving our opinions on artwork by artists such as Matisse and Kandinsky. We will also look at their methods and their background.
Computing: Our Computing topics this term will be ‘We are programmers’ and ‘We are debuggers’ which involve coding.
DT: Linking with our Science topic of ‘Light’ we will be designing, making and evaluating our own shadow puppets using a range of materials.
RE: Our exciting new curriculum means we will focus in depth on key questions such as ‘What is it like to follow God?’ We will also be learning about Sikhism and what is important to Sikhs.
Top tips for Success
I cannot encourage your child enough to practise their times tables regularly as this will increase their confidence and help them in other areas of Maths. Being fluent in times tables means achieving quick recall, not counting on fingers. You can use games such as ‘Hit the Button’ on www.topmarks.co.uk to help. A secure knowledge of times tables allows your child to have the time to grasp more difficult mathematical concepts.
Children should aim to read their reading books every evening or as much as possible (even if it is just a few pages). Please let us know how your child is doing by recording what they have read in their reading records, especially if they have made any interesting points or observations about their book which we would love to hear about. We like to encourage independence as your child enters Key Stage 2 so if they finish their book it is their responsibility to let an adult know so it can be changed.
We will have weekly Spellings and Mental Maths tests on a Friday morning. The children will be given a list of spellings and times tables to learn for each week. Homework will be given out on Friday and must be handed back in by Wednesday so it can be marked and given back out by Friday.
For your information, PE will be on Monday afternoons (and Wednesday afternoons on weeks we are not swimming). All children are encouraged to have a named weather- appropriate PE kit as we will be going outside, weather permitting. We are lucky enough to have swimming lessons this term too. Our first swimming session will be on Wednesday 11th September (Week 2) and will continue for 5 weeks on Wednesday mornings (there will be no session on 16th October 2019). After the half term break, we will continue to have swimming lessons for a further 5 weeks (starting on Wednesday 31st October until 28th November, which will be our last lesson). Please ensure you provide your child with a snack (either fruit or vegetables) as this will help their concentration later in the day.
Pencil cases – I will initially be allowing children to bring in their own pencil cases including Smiggle items, however if there are any problems the children will be asked to leave their pencil cases at home.
Finally, as we have only a limited time in class, extra work at home is always encouraged and celebrated. Whether this is research, story writing or recapping new methods learnt in class – every little helps and you may even earn extra team points.
If you have any concerns, do not hesitate to call in after school if I am available; otherwise please book an appointment at the office.
Thank you in advance for all your hard work and dedication and here’s to a good year.
Under the current National Curriculum, children are supposed to know their times tables up to 12x 12 by the end of Year 4. The Department for Education (DfE) has introduced a new assessment, the purpose of which is to determine whether Year 4 pupils can fluently recall their times tables (being able to answer times tables questions accurately and quickly, without having to work out the answers).
The Multiplication Tables Check (MTC) will be administered to Year 4 children starting in the 2019-20 academic year. The check is part of the new focus on mastering numeracy, giving children the skills and knowledge they need for secondary school and beyond.
The DfE says the purpose of the check is to help teachers identify which children are falling behind and target areas where they’re not being given a chance to succeed.
How will the test be administered?
Children will be tested using an on-screen check (on a computer or a tablet), where they will have to answer multiplication questions against the clock. Calculators and wall displays that could provide children with answers will be removed from the room that the test is taking place in.
The test will last no longer than 5 minutes and answers will be marked instantly. Children will have 6 seconds to answer each question in a series of 25. Each question will be worth one mark. There is an emphasis on the 6, 7, 8, 9 and 12 multiplication tables because these have been determined to be the most difficult multiplication tables.
There will be no "pass mark" (expected standard threshold) and no child will "fail" the test. Multiplication facts will be the only things tested (there will be no testing of children's knowledge of division facts or problem-solving in the check).
How can you help your children prepare?
Because the National Curriculum for maths is so extensive, there is an expectation that parents will help their children learn their times tables at home and not rely on schools to bring them up to speed.
Some of the techniques you can use include:
- Practising times tables by rote.
- Asking your child multiplication questions out of order – such as ‘What’s 11x12? What’s 5x6?’
- Using arrays to help your child memorise times tables – you can use fun objects like Smarties or Lego bricks to make it more entertaining.
- Giving your child word problems to test their skills, like ‘If Peter has 800ml of orange juice and needs to share it between four friends, how much can they each have?’
- Using apps and games like TheSchoolRun’s multiplication games or Topmark’s ‘Hit the button’ game to build speed.
- Singing times tables using songs like Percy Parker.