Hello! I'm Miss Hanley, the Year 3 class teacher. Miss Habermacher, our wonderful teaching assistant, and I will be teaching the Year 3 curriculum this year. We feel very lucky to have 27 fantastic students in our class and I have had a great few weeks getting to know them all. I will keep this page up-to-date with all the exciting and interesting things we get up to in class.
Our first topic of the year is "Scrumdiddlyumptious!" This is a topic all about food. So far we have examined various fruits and vegetables and used these as inspiration for our still life sketches.
Friday 23rd September
Today the children took part in a Paralympic's sports day to celebrate the paralympics! The children were learning about important values such as inclusion and respect as well as improving their team work skills. They engaged in games designed to allow them a glimpse of the challenges faced by people with visual impairments and other disabilities.
In today’s topic session, we sampled foods from around the world. We tried onion bhajis, samosas, poppadoms, croissants, vegetarian sushi, prawn crackers, bagels and nachos. We learned about the countries that these foods originated from and compared them in terms of smell, look and taste.
To celebrate the end of our topic Scrumdiddlyumptious, we went on a school trip to Cadbury world. We had a fantastic day and learned all about how chocolate was first discovered, where it comes from and how it is made today. The children were even able to sample some delicious chocolate treats.
Chocolate marble cake!
We invited parents into school to help us make chocolate marble cakes in the school kitchen area. First, we worked out how much mixture we would need in order to make enough cakes for the whole class. We had to double up our ingredients in order to do this. Then we weighed out all our ingredients. We learned to how whisk, beat and fold the different ingredients together. Finally, we popped our cakes in the oven to bake while we listened to the next part of our story: Charlie and the chocolate factory! Because we were making chocolate marble cake, we made one batch of vanilla mixture and one batch of chocolate mixture. We then gently stirred them together. When we cut into our cakes, we could see the marble effect from the two types of mixture.
Every Tuesday, Year 3 have a drumming session with Mark. The children love the lessons and are learning the names of and how to play many different types of drums. They are getting really good at keeping a beat!
As a special treat we all got to watch a pantomime version of Cinderella. It was really funny and we all had a lovely afternoon! We particularly enjoyed joining in with all the singing!
The mysterious box!
On Monday morning, a mysterious collection of boxes appeared in the playground. Mr Varney delivered one of these boxes to year 3. It was a huge treasure chest, covered in labels from all over the world. On the front of it was a label saying "Pandora's Box - DO NOT OPEN!"
We also noticed a label on the box which told us it had been sent from Greece and was heading to Greenland. Perhaps it had gotten lost on the way!
When we opened it we found...
...lots of tiny butterflies and dragonflies, all carrying an important message. Each creature had a school value attached to it, and released these into the air.
This term, we have started reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher's stone. This is a fantastic book in terms of the writing style and also its imaginative content. We are really hoping this will help to further inspire and promote the children's love of reading (I know it did for me when I was a child!).
We are also reading Aesop's fables. Aesop was a Greek slave who lived in ancient times. He couldn't read and write but his fables were so well loved that they were passed down through generations until someone eventually started recording them. Over 200 of them still survive today! Aesop's fables all have a powerful moral meaning, many of which have been inspiring our Philosophy and PSHCE sessions.
In our art session today, the children practised moulding and sculpting clay in order to make clay pots inspired by the ancient Greeks. They learned to heat up the clay in their hands by kneading it, to attach pieces of clay together so that they wouldn't fall apart once the clay had dried and to manipulate the clay to achieve certain effects.
This week we have been learning about families. We looked at the royal family and then planned our own family tree. We talked about what makes a family. We decided families are people who love and care about each other and who look after each other.
There is no such thing as a wrong family. All families are unique and special in their own way. This week we are learning to help each other and pass on to each other what we know. Many cultures pass knowledge down from generation to generation.
Families do lots for each other and we should all try to help our parents and carers at home as much as we can. On Friday afternoon, we worked with our families to build models out of clay. We passed onto our parents what we had learned during the week about how to sculpt and mould clay. We worked as a team to create our models.
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
To celebrate the end of our Gods and Mortals topic we went to visit Birmingham Museum and Art gallery. We had a fantastic day and really enjoyed examining all the Greek artefacts. We even got to look at some Roman and Egyptian exhibitions as well!
After lunch, we took part in a Greek Gods and Goddesses workshop where we performed a play and put on a parade.
We have started reading a new book for Christmas; The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher. This book is both hilariously funny and also incredibly poignant as it touches upon some very important and relevant issues concerning bullying. We are really enjoying the book so far and it has also inspired several of our Philosophy for Children sessions.
This week, we read the Greek myth of Icarus and Daedalus. We decided we should make Icarus a new pair of wings. The children created their wings in groups, with very little adult input, and they have done a fantastic job. They started off by measuring their materials against a potential wearer so that they could ensure their wings were an appropriate size. They then drew the outline, cut it out and decorated it.
The Black Hole Planetarium!
The Black Hole planetarium visited us in school to teach us all about light. We learned about how our eyes see things, what shadows are, how we see the moon and light refraction. This was a fantastic experience for the children who found the session really exciting and engaging.
Fun at the Fair!
The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra also visited us in school to teach us all about the instruments in an orchestra. We learned a lot about brass instruments and how these make sound. Kathy even had a go at playing the hosepipe! Then we were given our own pbuzz to play! We wrote and played our very own tune about flying polar bears!
Our topic this term is Urban Pioneers and so we have started learning street dance every Thursday afternoon! Gem's dance academy have been teaching us the routines and we are really enjoying these sessions! Dancing is also a great way of keeping fit, healthy and happy!
For health week we used the smoothie bike to make lots of yummy smoothies. This meant that we were making a really healthy snack whilst doing some exercise! We had great fun on the bike although it was hard work!
We also used the ipads to find out how much of each food group we should eat everyday and how much sugar there is in certain foods we eat regularly.
We had a great day on number day! We played lots of games using our costumes such as "find the person with the lowest number" and "how much do we all add up to?" We also used our bodies to make particular numbers whilst the rest of the class had to work out what number we were.
On the 14th February, we were very lucky to have a graffiti artist come into school to celebrate the end of our Urban Pioneers workshop. "Flake" talked to us about the legal and illegal forms of graffiti, showed us examples of lots of different types of graffiti and street art and then taught us how to create tags in our own graffiti style. We had a fantastic day creating our graffiti tags on canvas and then developing our own, huge, Merritts Brook piece which all the children worked together to create.
Birmingham Primary Proms
Year 3 and 4 were very lucky today because we were able to go and see the Birmingham Primary Proms at Symphony Hall. We had a fantastic day and were really impressed with the performances we saw. Schools from all over the country had come to Birmingham to perform at the hall to an audience of 2000 people. We were even given the opportunity to join in with some of the acts.
Heroes and Villains!
Today, we met the terrifying Cruella De Vil. She strolled right into our class, looking for her missing dalmatian puppies! We interrogated her about what she wanted to do with them and told her we didn't approve of her plans.
Harry Pother themed planter!
Year 3's planted follows a Harry Potter theme as this is the book we are currently reading. We made owls out of clay which we painted based on the colours and patterns of real species of owls. We also painted signs to places from the stories such as "Hogwarts", "Hargid's Hut" and "the Forbidden Forest". We even wrote potion recipes and made our own magical potions by experimenting with mixing together different colours. We are currently growing our pumpkins in the classroom but hopefully they will soon be ready to be replanted outside.
Heroes and Villains!
This week, we created our own hero and villain masks. We covered balloons in paper-mache and left them to dry over night. Then we cut out eye holes and painted our masks to look like our favourite characters. Can you guess who we are?
Villainous Sock Puppets
This week we have been making sock puppets of the most frightening fictional villains. We gave our puppets hair using needles and wool and then we cut and glued on felt to decorate them.
Today we set up our experiment to find out what conditions plants need to grow. Firstly, we discussed what makes a fair test and reasoned why it is important to keep all variables the same except the one we are researching. We discussed what we would need to keep the same (amount of water, seed type, amount and type of compost, pots, temperature, amount of light, number of seeds per pot).
We set up 4 plants in each condition to increase the accuracy of the test. This means that if one seed doesn’t grow because it is damaged, it wont impact too much on our experiments because we will still have several other seeds in the condition to compare with.
We will keep all the conditions in the same place in the classroom, except the no light condition which is kept in a cupboard. We will put icepacks around the cold condition which we will change regularly. We also gave the “no soil” condition cotton wool instead of compost.
To introduce our Predators topic, an animal handler came into school and brought several of his friends with him. We met Mr Sunshine, a 4m albino Burmese python, a chameleon with a deadly tongue, a cane toad, an angry, bird eating tarantula as well as a passive tarantula, and Mr Crosby, the barn owl! We were given the chance to examine, hold and stroke these incredible creatures. We even got to see a chameleon catch and eat its prey! We had a fantastic afternoon and learned lots about these fascinating animals.
Today, we went to Dudley zoo to celebrate the end of our topic 'Predators'. We had a fantastic day and fortunately the weather stayed dry! We saw and learned about some really interesting creatures: giraffes, tigers, chimpanzees, orangutans, snow leopards, bactrian camels, homboldt penguins and sea lions are just some of the amazing creatures we met today.
Lapworth Geology Museum!
Today, year 3 visited the Lapworth Geology Museum as part of our new topic: "Tremors". We had a fantastic day and learned loads about plate tectonics and their involvement in many natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis. We also learned how mountains are formed and were able to examine many different fossils. We even saw models of dinosaur skeletons!
Look out! Earthquake!
Today, we examined impressive buildings which are able to withstand powerful earthquakes such as the US bank tower in California and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. We then worked in teams to design our own tower made solely from newspaper and sellotape. We were given half an hour to construct the tallest tower possible, using only the available materials, which would be able to withstand an earthquake. We worked in teams of four and experimented with different methods of creating a strong structure such as adding 'legs' to prop the tower up or twisting the newspaper to give it more strength.
After we had created our towers, we tested them out to see whose was able to withstand an 'earthquake'. To make it a fair test, the same person rocked the same table for the same number of seconds. The tallest tower able to withstand the earthquake was the winner!