St Joseph's Catholic Primary School, Thame

Inspired to be our best.....

Friday 1st July 2022

This week we have been so fortunate to enjoy a wonderful sports week... Monday was kicked off with a skipping workshop using both single and double skipping ropes. Everyone managed to run and jump into the swinging skipping rope which was fantastic. Tuesday we experienced a rather intense BoxFit class which really tested our resilience and perseverance in the face of some pretty hard circuit exercises (and thankfully no one got punched anywhere they shouldn't!) Wednesday was a great session of athletics, mixing running, throwing and jumping activities into a mega-cool PE lesson! Thursday we ended the day (and our sports week) with a Musical-Dance masterclass in which every child worked in a group to create their own dance routine linked to school which they were able to perform. Today (Friday) we are looking forward to a new kind of excitement as we all move up to our new classes for the morning and get a taster of what life might be like in Year 4 come September. 

Friday 24th June 2022

This week Year 3 have dived further into time and have enjoyed the challenge of using 'past and to' to tell the time, as well as converting between analogue and digital (and thus using the concept of AM and PM and 24-hour). In English we have focused on our VIPERS reading skills (see below) as we have read more of The Iron Man. Every child has been able to do some reading out loud to the class and we continually discuss and explore the text through questioning and discussion. In RE we have explored the gifts of the Holy Spirit, what they are and what they can give us. In our Dimensions we have been looking at our final science elements of the year, Plants and Flowers.
 
V - Vocabulary, I - Infer, P - Predict, E - Explain, R - Retrieve, S - Summarise

Friday 17th June 2022

This week Year 3 have begun looking at time in Maths, a notoriously challenging concept, and have been super at reading time from analogue clocks using 'past' and 'to' terminology... allowing us to move on to the links between analogue and digital clocks next week.  In English we have begun devising our own mythical dragons, which we will be developing to create our own non-chronological reports about... we will be the 'experts' and will have to share facts about them, using headings and subheadings to group our information.  In RE we have looked at the feast of Pentecost within the Catholic Church, how the Holy Spirit came to the disciples 2,000 years ago and considered some of the qualities it can give us today.  In PE we have enjoyed practising running on our running track using technique to conquer the hurdles, and also enjoyed a game of rounders in the unfortunate absence of going swimming this week (playing early to avoid the midday heat!) 

Friday 27th May 2022

Friday 20th May 2022

This week in Maths Year 3 have been ordering and comparing fractions, both when thinking about fractions with the same denominator or different unit fractions.  We have also begun to look at decimals and how tenths can be represented as a fraction or a decimal.  In English we have been looking further at the life of the Queen, conducting research and working in groups to order information from her life chronologically in order to write a biography ahead of next month's jubilee celebrations.  In RE we thought about why Jesus died on the cross for us and have been writing Eastertide prayers, considering how he helps us and gives us strength in our times of need.  In our Geography topic we have been learning about the eight points of the compass and how we use four-figure grid references to read a map.  PE has also been thoroughly enjoyable this week as we are privileged enough to be going swimming at Thame Leisure Centre and taking to the school field with our golf equipment and are learning to hit shots with different golf clubs.

Friday 13th May 2022

This week Year 3 have been exploring the finding fractions of amounts in Maths... identifying the difference between unit and non-unit fractions, and how the change in the numerator affects how many parts we want to count when looking at a number or a set of objects. In English we have been starting to look at autobiographies and biographies this week as we begin building up to learning about and writing a biography of the Queen before half term in honour of the upcoming jubilee. In RE we looked at Eastertide Bible stories, in particular Jesus revealing himself to travellers along the Emmaus Road. In our Geography topic we have explored the UK in further detail, using maps to identify the countries and capitals of the UK and other significant locations around our isles.

Friday 6th May 2022

This week Year 3 have been continuing to look at fractions, looking at how tenths represent a whole being broken down into ten equal part, and counted forwards and backwards in tenths in more detail. We have also looked at what happens when we add (and subtract) fractions, noting the change in the numerator but how (and why) the denominator doesn't. In English we have been developing our understanding of similes (one of my favourite writing techniques) which can really help to up-level and improve our written work. In RE we looked at the importance of Easter to the church and the significance and symbolism of the Paschal Candle. We have also started our newest topic, Out and About, which has a geography focus... and we have been exploring what it meant by Human and Physical Geography, and examples of each around the UK.

Friday 29th April 2022

This week we have returned from our Easter break and delved into the world of fractions, in particular how fractions represent part of a whole.  We have looked at how pairs (or groups) of fractions can make a whole and counted forwards and backwards using tenths.  In English we have focused on the use of apostrophes to show possession and how it differs between a singular or plural noun.

In RE we have begun to look at the events of the Easter weekend when Jesus was crucified on the cross before rising again, as well as the symbolism within the Jewish feast of Passover and how it has compares to the Last Supper that we looked at before the Easter Break.

Also, as I am sure you have heard lots about, we had a very enjoyable and successful walk to Thame Leisure Centre where all the children got involved and embraced the 'challenge' of swimming, whatever their experience and confidence. We already cannot wait to go again next week.

Friday 8th April 2022

This week we are delighted in Year 3 to have started looking at fractions in Maths ahead of diving into them fully after the Easter break... The next big topic on our Maths curriculum.  In English we have developed our ideas around Michael Rosen's We're going on a Bear Hunt and written our own similar stories about going on a parent hunt.  The idea was to focus on using and identifying prepositions in our writing, but these have developed into so much more! 
We have given RE extra focus this week as we approach Holy Week in the church calendar... We have looked at the church's liturgical calendar, identifying the different colours and meanings and different periods. We looked at the events of the Last Supper and the Garden of Gethsemane in detail and imagined what it would have been like at that time to be one of Jesus' disciples, namely Peter (who tried to defend Jesus at his arrest, before then denying his name three times before the cockerel crowed!) 
 
As you can see from our photos, we were a privileged class this week to be taught a PE lesson by Year 5 children who have been learning to take on the role within school of Active Leaders. Under the guidance of their trainer, they had devised a range of core skill games which we all got to experience around the playground. It was particularly exciting for us to be listening and learning from our peers, friends and even siblings rather than the same old boring teachers!
 
Thank you everyone in Year 3 for a super half term, enjoy a wonderful Easter and a well-deserved break (but please do keep up reading and practicing your times tables!).

Friday 1st April 2022

In Year 3 this week we have been undertaking our assessments, which not only show how we can apply our learning independently but also allow us to get used to the process of 'testing' and the emotions and preparations which go with them, something which is important as we continue to grow in our school careers and in life.  As well as actually taking the tests, we have looked at some of the skills and strategies which help us to be as successful as we can.  In RE we have considered the qualities Jesus showed through his life and examples in the Bible where he showed his true miraculous spirit... and how we can aspire to be more like him as we grow and change through Lent (and beyond!).  We have also conducted research into some of the important Greek battles, notably the Persian wars and the Battle of Marathon, when the Greeks somehow managed to repel the far larger and better resourced Persian army through some clever strategic thinking.

This afternoon Year 3 blew me away with their imaginative amazing story writing skills.  We all worked together to create a whole class version of 'We're Going on A Bear Hunt'.  Have a read below!

Friday 28th March 2022

This week Year 3 have been looking at poetry in English and have written some lovely short poetry using the different styles they have looked at, notably Kennings and Haiku's.  In Maths we have revisited place value through work on finding 1, 10 and 100 more or less than a given number as well as some of the key operational skills that help when answering different style maths questions independently.  In RE we continued to focus on how Jesus helps us and how he helped others, focusing on the bible story of Jesus healing the Paralysed Man and writing about it from different perspectives from within the story.  

Friday 18th March 2022

In Year 3 this week we have been looking at how we can develop more interesting ways to open our sentences in our writing.  Using the acronym ISPACED, we have written about a haunted house using -ing words, similes, prepositions, adverbs, conjunctions and -ed words to start our sentences.  In Maths we have been converting and adding together different units of length and this has led into understanding what the perimeter of a shape is (and finding perimeter by either measuring the sides or adding given lengths).  Looking at Ancient Greece, we have built maps of the regions (and practiced our scissor skills in the process) and are beginning to look at the differences in the city states, notably Athens and Sparta.  In RE we have been thinking about 'Who is God to me?' and why it is important to have God in our lives.  We have also considered how to strengthen this relationship as we continue into Lent.

Friday 11th March 2022

In Year 3 this week we have had a great week exploring the rules of dialogue in our English lessons, creating our own written conversations and developing it further into a short story.  In Maths we have been looking at measurement, focusing on the units of millimetres and centimetres (with a few metres thrown in) and have been using rulers and metre sticks and converting between the different units.  We have also begun to look at Ancient Greece and looked at the conventions of a timeline... in particular how BC (or BCE) dates go in the 'wrong' direction away from 1AD and the birth of Jesus.  This week has also been the first complete week of Lent and we were fortunate to have a visit from Father David who came and gave us a very informative and interesting talk on the meaning of Lent and the experiences of Jesus in the desert and how we can reflect on these in our own lives at this time of year.

Friday 4th March 2022

Year 3 have had a brilliant first week back after half term, ‘celebrating’ Ash Wednesday and reflecting on why we have the Lenten period in the build up to Easter.  In Maths we have continued to look at statistics, in particular drawing and reading bar charts, while in English we have started looking at the rules around writing using direct speech.  However, this week was ‘dominated’ by World Book Day which was enjoyed by one and all in their wonderful array of Pyjamas and the sharing of a super range of favourite bedtime stories!

Friday 18th February 2022

In Year 3 this week we have enjoyed writing our own African Tales, taking a story we have looked at in class and adapted it by changing our animal and it's distinctive feature, whilst still 'hugging' the story structure (For example 'Why the Leopard has Black Spots'). In Maths our learning has turned to statistics and this week we have focused on tally charts and pictograms, before we look at bar charts and tables after half term. In RE we have written our own Acts of Contrition as we continue to look at our relationships with God and how he forgives us when we repent for our sins.  Our curriculum learning has continued to focus on the human body as we dived into the human digestive system (literally!) and explored the functions of our skeleton (Hopefully your child can tell you that it provides support, protection and movement!). 
 
For those who have asked this week, when exploring reading we ask questions using the following acronym: VIPERS
V = Vocabulary, I = Inference, P = Prediction, E = Explain, R = Retrieval, S = Summarise. You will see these themes within the questions linked to the Home Learning Reading comprehensions that your children complete each week.
 
I wish you all a very happy and healthy half term and that your children enjoy a very well deserved rest.

Friday 11th February 2022

In Year 3 this week we have continue to look at money in Maths, in particular adding and subtracting amounts of money (using previous skills of column addition and subtraction).  Please do continue to explore this practically and 'in real life' with your children.  In English we have worked collaboratively and individually to write our own African Tales about why Elephants have long trunks... I cannot wait to see how the children apply this to their own animal idea next week.

In RE we have looked at the parable of the Prodigal Son, sequencing the story and thinking about the message of forgiveness... Next week we will be writing in role as one of the main characters in the story.  We have also looked at our human bodies in more detail, looking at our bones, our teeth and our digestive systems.  To mark Children's mental health week, we have also discussed how we are all growing together and how we all experience a range of varied emotions at different times, and how we can appreciate positive emotions and learn to deal with negative ones (but that these are normal, OK feelings to have).

Friday 4th February 2022

In year 3 this week our Maths focus has shifted to money, looking at the values of different coins and notes and how they can be combined to create different amounts.  We have looked at converting between pounds and pence and identifying combinations of coins which make up £1 when presented with a large number of coins.  In English we have continued to build up to writing some African Traditional Tales of our own and have devised some super ideas which we will develop next week.  In PE we have been really developing our rugby passing (and catching skills), the idea of having to pass 'backwards' across the body is really starting to stick and we even added overlap running to our lesson this week... well done Year 3.  In RE we have moved on to looking at Reconciliation and will be diving into the gift of forgiveness over the coming weeks. 

Friday 28th January 2022

In year 3 this week we have been working hard in Maths, focusing particularly on division.  We have identified division strategies and also thought about methods for dividing larger number (beyond 12 lots of).  In English we have begun looking at a traditional African tale... 'Why the Rhino has Grey Skin'.  We are going to be building up to writing our own version of a traditional tale using a different animal from the savannah!  We have also enjoyed another chess lesson this week and the children are taking on a lot of new information and rules really well.  I'm sure you have also heard lots about the African masks, music and dance which Mrs. Hanson has kindly fitted into this busy week for us... I know they have been a big hit amongst all the children and a lovely way of exploring a new culture in a different way. 

Friday 21st January 2022

This week started in fantastic fashion as we all enjoyed the visiting pantomime ‘Aladdin’, and it was great to see all of Year 3 be such wonderful role models amongst their younger peers.  In English we have enjoyed using our word class understanding to create some poetry, initially about the (African) jungle, before applying the structure to a setting of our own choice.  In Maths we have looked at two different methods of solving large multiplication problems, namely the Grid Method and the Column Method… Maybe your child could explain to you their preferred method!  We have also been fortunate to have our first visitor this term, who has introduced us to the game of Chess and the movement of the pawns… unfortunately I too was so engrossed that any photos of this shall have to wait for a future chess lesson! 

Friday 14th January 2022

Since returning from our Christmas break, Year 3 have been continuing to look at their times tables in Maths and making links, for example between 3 x 4 and 30 x 4… Our next step will be to develop written methods for larger problems (eg. 43 x 8 =).

We have started our new Dimensions topic focused on Africa, finding the continent on a globe and working systematically to identify and label some of the 54 countries on a blank map before researching some which interest us.  We have also been using a story set in Gambia as a focus for our English work this week, including writing from the perspective of an African child.

In RE we have been thinking out how we listen to the Word of God, focusing on the Bible story of Samuel and Eli and how Samuel was prepared to listen when God called on him.