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Year 3 - Apple & Maple

Welcome to Year 3!

18 March 2022

Squashed Tomato Challenge


Last week, we began our Mountains topic. We started by discovering how fold mountains are formed when tectonics plates collide and push rock upwards. To understand this better, we carried out an experiment using three towels, stacked on top of each other, to represent the plates. We pushed them together from either end and could see what happens when plates are forced together. Each time a slightly different 'mountain range' was formed. 


In pairs, we have been assigned a mountain to research and are creating fact files using a tool in Purple Mash. During our research, we discovered that Mount Everest is well-known as the tallest mountain on earth, but it depends how the height is measured. Mount Everest is 8,848 metres above sea level but if we take the measurement from base to peak then Mauna Kea in Hawaii would be the tallest at 10,211 metres, only 4,205 metres being above sea level. 


What's all this got to do with squashed tomatoes? Well, we learnt about a community living in the mountains in Nepal and how difficult it is for them to transport their produce (including tomatoes) down the mountainside on foot. It takes them up to three hours; this can cause their food to spoil and sometimes they fall on the treacherous journey, so we have been challenged with designing a pulley system to transport their goods quickly and safely. Next newsletter we should have our first prototype designed to share with you. 


In science, we have been learning about parts of plants and their functions. We know that plants need light, air, water, space, and nutrients from soil to grow well, but does it matter what soil they grow in? We have set up a fair test to find out. We have planted seeds in compost, earth, sand, cotton wool, paper, and leaves to see which of our seeds will grow. 


3 March 2022

Flying High with the Wright Brothers and Leah Hing


Well, what a week for Year 3. We have had such fun this STEM week. We started off by discovering that we would be looking at the first flight and learning about the Wright Brothers - did you know the first flight only lasted 12 seconds! We watched lots of videos about the brothers and recording information about their lives and achievements.  Also, in English we wrote biographies about the pilot Leah Hing, who became the first Chinese American woman to get a pilot's licence. 


For our DT part of STEM week we designed, evaluated and redesigned paper aeroplanes. Wow, what a fun lesson that was! We have become experts in paper aeroplane folding. To evaluate our planes we watched videos from the World Recorder holder. He told us the perfect plane should have crisp folds, up turned wings and tails to help balance the four forces (gravity, lift, drag and thrust) which is needed for flight . We added these to our designs. John Collins' world record breaking plane flew a staggering 69.14 metres.  For the science part of STEM week we carried out a fair test to see which of our planes flew the furthest using a plane launcher to ensure the same thrust was applied each time.


The children have thoroughly enjoyed making paper planes, testing them and learning about different aviators. 

11 February 2022

Egyptian Day


Our day started when we stepped back in time to the 8th year of reign of the Pharoah Akhenaten and his wife, Nefertiti. The first task was to appoint a new high priest to the Aten sun disk. We then entered the market square where stall vendors were ready to help us learn how to prepare a royal body for its journey to the afterlife. We mummified a peg and made Canopic jars. By grinding charcoal with guar gum crystals, we made our own ink and then tried using it to write with a quill pen on a sheet of papyrus. (This was quite tricky!) We made bread but didn’t eat it as the Egyptians used lots of salt to preserve it and it wouldn’t have tasted very good. We were also able to try stone painting, perfume cone making, amulet making and scarab moulding.

As the morning rolled on, we became suspicious of a few of the vendors as gossip spread that someone was unhappy with the decision to get rid of the old gods and to only worship one new god. It was reported that someone had threated to kill Queen Nefertiti, but who? Rumours were rife throughout the day.

In the afternoon, we split into small groups to practise either a play or a dance. Each of the four groups then performed the plays and dances for his majesty, Pharaoh Akhenaten and his Queen, Nefertiti in the Royal Court at Amarna. At the end of each performance, approval was sought from Akhenaten and Nefertiti. Thankfully, they approved of all four performances.

Just before leaving the Royal Court, it was revealed that Mrs Patel had been found guilty of plotting to kill Queen Nefertiti. She was sentenced to death and taken away by the guards. Fortunately for Apple Class, Mrs Patel has an identical twin sister who was able to take over her role.

A brilliant day!

21 January 2022

The Ancient Egyptians


Year 3 have had a brilliant start to the new year! In English, children have created their own Ancient Egyptian God and are developing a non-chronological report to explain everything about them. Did you know that the Egyptians believed, that if the Gods weren’t obeyed, they wouldn’t make it to the afterlife? Our brains have been challenged even further this week by some tricky subtraction! We have used dienes equipment to exchange hundreds and tens so that we can subtract using column method. During our history lessons we have been exploring what Ancient Egyptians did for pastimes and why they built pyramids. The children rose to the challenge of building a pyramid of their own as well as playing the game of Sehet. Lastly in science, we explored different sources of light and investigated different reflective surfaces. We even found out that our eyes are not a source of light!

21 December 2021


Christmas Is On Its Way!


In history this week, we learned about some Ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses, but not all of them. Did you know there are thought to be over 2000! We were given a description of a god and had to find its matching picture hidden somewhere in the classroom. After that we created our own fact files for our favourite god or goddess. 

In art we have been learning how to shade using different grades of pencil and pressure. We drew the mask of Tutankhamen and are in the process of shading them in using our new skills.  I’m sure you’ll agree they look amazing. 

In English, we have now finished writing and editing our Egyptian Cinderella stories. We have started to write them up in best and illustrate our pages ready for the books we plan to make in the New Year.  

We have also been busy with Christmas activities. We made Rudolph and Snowmen hats for our Christmas lunch and enjoyed listening to Christmas songs whilst eating our delicious dinner. We have been busy rehearsing our Christmas songs and sang beautifully for our Christmas Concert recording. We are looking forward to seeing the whole concert when it has been merged with the rest of the year groups.  

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support this term and hope you all have a very Happy Christmas and a healthy New Year.  

3 December 2021


Ancient Egypt


We have been super busy the past couple of weeks travelling across the world and back in time to Ancient Egypt! To kick-start our topic we became Egyptologists and went to discover the tomb of Tutankhamun. In the tombs we found treasures that had been left behind like a tunic, senet, chariot, and an ostrich feather fan. It made us think about what was important to the Egyptians and gave us hints to what they might have worn, and what they did for fun. We have been engrossed in our learning and we are beginning to answer our key question: 'What were the key achievements of the Ancient Egyptians?' We understand that The River Nile was a lifeline for people, animals and crops. The fact that it flooded once a year (around September) was crucial for life to continue in Egypt. Did you know that the Ancient Egyptians believed the Nile was a passageway between life and death?

In English, we are continuing our Egyptian theme by exploring the text Egyptian Cinderella by Shirley Climo. We have compared the story to a traditional fairy tale and explored how the character is feeling through role play and freeze frames. The children had a great time using what they had learnt to role play their own versions of the story in small groups. We can’t wait to read their own versions of the story!

In science, children were using their scientific enquiry skills to explore how many paper clips a magnet could hold and whether bigger magnets were stronger than smaller magnets. They certainly made some fascinating discoveries.

12 November 2021

Bonjour from Year 3


Last Monday, Year 3 went on a fact-finding mission to uncover clues as to what our new topic might be. The children discovered pictures of the Eiffel Town, pain au chocolats, Monet, a ticket for the Euro Star and many more. All these clues led Year 3 to guess we were going to be finding out about France and comparing it to another country they know very well – the UK. So far the children have located France and its bordering countries on a map of Europe and have written a fact file about France, including some fun facts, like snails are a French delicacy. The children have been inspired by the French artist, Monet and have made a good start at recreating their own masterpiece.  


In science, the topic of ‘Forces and Magnets’ has got underway. The children explored lots of different ways objects could be changed, describing the force used as a push or pull. They investigated the amount of force used to pull a car over different surfaces, concluding that smooth surfaces needed the least force and bumpy surfaces needed the most force. 


Our English work has been centred around a fantastic book by Anthony Browne, called Into the Forest. The children greatly enjoyed listening to the story, exploring the detailed pictures, hunting for different fairy tale clues and making predictions. They are hard at work planning out their own narrative written from the boy’s point of view. 


What a busy couple of weeks so far! 

1st October 2021


Wonka-licious Treats 


Last week, Year 3 started their chocolate creation journey with a chocolate tasting session in the hall. First the children collected a cake case filled with melted chocolate from the chocolate zone and then they selected ingredients from three of the following; the flavour zone, crunchy zone, chewy zone, creamy zone and fruity zone. We were all very excited to discover what our flavour combinations tasted like. Some of us were lucky enough to try them before leaving school but others decided to allow theirs to set before tasting them. Since then we have evaluated our initial creation and discussed how they can be altered to improve the taste, if desired. We are now beginning to think about the names of our chocolate bars and packaging design. There have been some fantastic suggestions so far including a ‘Fozzwonka’, ‘Wonkafizz delight’ and a ‘Whizzcracker’. We are looking forward to finalising our ideas, making our bars and packaging. 

In English, we had a visit from Augustus Gloop who described his ordeal after falling into the chocolate river at Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory. We then stepped into Augustus’ shoes to write a diary entry in role about his eventful day, making sure that we described his thoughts and feelings.  

In science, we have been learning about the three different types of skeleton - endoskeleton, exoskeleton and hydrostatic – and which animals have which type of skeleton. This week, we had the challenge of working together in groups to construct a human skeleton. We identified the different bones, including some of their scientific names, and built our new classmates!

17 September 2021

A World of Chocolate


Year 3 have been busy exploring ‘A World of Chocolate’. Last week we received a letter from a distraught Mr Willy Wonka, asking for help. Who would have guessed that the world famous chocolate factory is in decline and Mr Wonka is nearly bankrupt! Dishonest thieves have attempted to steal his most top secret recipes! Willy Wonka asked the children to come up with some original ideas for new sweet creations to boost his flagging sales. Let’s hope that they are able to design and make some scrumdiddlyumptious creations in time to save his factory!

Of course, before making any chocolate creations, we needed to find out where chocolate comes from. We watched a video showing the process to the point at which cocoa mass is transported around the world. The children learnt that chocolate actually grows on trees…well the cacao seed, which is the main ingredient does. They discovered an interesting fact about where the seed grows on the tree—ask your child to find out more. Year 3 also learnt that cacao trees only grow in tropical climates and we labelled world maps to show where these countries are.


We wanted to learn more about Willy Wonka himself. We described his appearance and created miniature versions of him for display.


All the talk about chocolate left Year 3 craving sweet treats!  So in science we felt we had to address healthy eating and ensure the children understood the need for a balanced diet. We looked at the five food groups and the seven nutrients needed for humans to be strong, healthy and grow.