Year 3 Alternative Activities Festival – 29.11.23

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On Thursday 29th November, 9 children from Year 3 participated in the Alternative Activities Festival at Norwich Arena. This involved a carousel of activities which involved various different skills. There was frisbee, bowling and yoga to name just a few!

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The children particularly enjoyed the trampolining, where they had a small trampoline each and had to follow the instructors moves. It really warmed everyone up and got hearts and lungs working well.

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Mrs Pawley was very impressed by the children’s self-belief in trying these exciting different sports. All of the children loved the day, trying the kayak machines and using the parachute for amazing games. They even managed to fit in a game of stuck-in-the-mud! Behaviour was exemplary throughout the day and everyone tried their best and had fun.

Well Done, Year 3!

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Autumn 1 2023, Year 3 School Trip

On Wednesday 11th October, Year 3 visited the Norwich Cathedral and participated in their Sacred Science programme of study. We explored different aspects of Science and learnt all about the history of why the cathedral was constructed. We re-capped our geographical learning with compass points and absorbed the magnificence of the cathedral as a historic building.

As part of our current Science unit: Forces, we explored how effective the force of gravity was in the construction of the cathedral during William the Conqueror’s reign. We used the medieval mason’s template to re-create an archway. We worked together beautifully to create our arches, we displayed determination, resilience and perseverance which enabled us to be successful medieval stonemasons.

As part of our upcoming Science unit: Light, we also explored Opaque, Translucent and Transparent materials. We discussed how our bodies block the sun, causing shadows.

We examined the effect of stained glass on light. Exploring the translucent qualities that create the vibrant colours of the cathedral windows. We compared the stained glass windows with the clear glass of the modern section of the cathedral and observed that it was transparent.

We all had the opportunity to create our own stained glass window, with opaque and translucent materials. We explored depth of colour and during the process we explored the effect of light on our own creations. The work was amazing and we are creating a year group display of them.

After learning so much new information, including that the cathedral has its own cat: Budge, we left at the end of the day able to talk about our fabulous experience.

Pupil quotes about the day:

“I loved going to the cathedral because we learned more about Forces which is our Science topic.” Emmy-Mae

“I liked making the stained glass windows because they were really colourful. It showed us how the stained glass is translucent.” Anni and Alice.

“I loved being in such an old building and knowing people still go to pray today.”

“I really liked learning about how the windows tell a story.” Kendra

“I liked learning about gravity because I didn’t know what it was.” Elliott

Year 3 Autumn 2023 Ancient Egyptian Day

On Monday 18th September, Year 3 had a visitor from Portals to the Past to develop our understanding of Ancient Egyptian. The visitor brought many resources with him that enabled us to visualise and use some of the objects in the same way as the Egyptians!

Firstly, the whole year group had an introductory talk about Ancient Egyptians and their everyday life. We discovered how Lower and Upper Egypt were united and all about the demise of Cleopatra – the last Pharoah and how the Romans conquered the territory.

Afterwards, we had a number of activities (artefacts, quiz boards and Ancient Egyptian game) that each group explored throughout the morning.

From the exploration of the artefacts, the children discovered how enormous the ear piercings were for Ancient Egyptians and the stone decorative studs that they wore, as well as the make-up palettes and the reason the Egyptians wore black make up under their eyes – Ancient Egyptian’s answer to sunglasses!

The children were able to give plausible explanations about what they thought the objects were for by considering the clues given e.g. A make-up palette for mixing make up on, a small pot used to hold kohl, amulets and versions of alabaster pottery.

From the quiz boards we learnt about everyday life; the pyramids and how Cleopatra’s relationships caused the demise of Egyptian rule. We applied the skill of researching from the information boards and learnt some facts about many things, including why Gods and Goddesses were so important, but no longer worshipped in the same way. The things we found out on the information boards and from our visitor helped the children to conclude that Cleopatra’s love stories played a significant part in the demise of the Egyptian rule. It was interesting for the children to consider how invasions from other cultures, such as the Persians and the Greeks, had an influence on their faith and that once the land became Roman led, the land became Christian, then later Muslim and Egyptians ceased to worship their old gods and goddesses. We also learnt about the influence of some of these invasions on the language used, such as the word “pyramis” which translates to “wheat cake” as the pyramids reminded them of the shape of their wheat cakes with a pointed top.

By playing the game ‘Hounds and Jackals’, the children brought alive the fun and excitement from the Ancient Egyptian period as this was a popular game, played in the poorest and the wealthiest households of the time.

The children were able to apply their historical understanding skills and discuss similarities to games developed and played today, like snakes and ladders! They were pleased and unhappy in turns about the snake and ladder on the board (the black curvy lines that you can see in the photo).

In the afternoon, we took part in and watched a role-played version of the life and death of a pharaoh, including his mummification! We watched the process that we had learnt and discussed the job roles of different people that were employed in the process. Watching this on a life size dummy allowed us to really visualise the process and consider the significance of this event in their culture on history.

Finally, we played a game of Hounds Versus Jackals. The objective of which was to aim for the animals that would have been present in Ancient Egypt. Each animal had different points for their temperaments and importance in Ancient Egyptian life.

Year 3 RE Trip

On Thursday 13th July, Year 3 visited Norwich Cathedral and participated in their ‘Through the Window’ programme as part of our SAW (Science, Art and Writing) week. The children really enjoyed the beautiful windows, the glorious cloisters, and exploring the nave and presbytery. They learned lots about how Christians commit to God and the different roles that people have within the Cathedral. Throughout the day, the children engaged in a number of activities including dressing up as priests and bishops, learning how shepherds tend to their flocks, and colouring their very own stained glass windows!

It was noted by numerous members of staff at the Cathedral, as well as many visitors from the public, that Year 3’s behaviour was exemplary and a real credit to Toftwood. Miss Makins, Mrs Traferri and Mr Williams were all very proud of how sensible, mature and engaged the children were throughout the day, and what an excellent example they set to others. Mabel said, “I really enjoyed dressing up as a Bishop.” Oscar’s favourite part was colouring the stained glass window because “I love art and it was fun to do it whilst learning about the Cathedral.”

Well done, Year 3!

Summer Term 2022 – Year 3


In the Summer term, year three have been focussing on writing biographies, persuasive letters and non-chronological reports.

After completing our research, we wrote a biography on Mary Anning – who is our focus scientist in Year 3. Next, we wrote a persuasive letter to the Council explaining why they should / should not build houses

First of all, we read all about the Tongo Lizard before creating our own fantastic beasts – a hybrid of existing animals. Some were very formidable! We then thought carefully about creating headings and organising information to write in note form. Once this was done, we created a non-chronological report on our own beast.

Following this, we used our volcano knowledge to create a non-chronological report on ‘Vicious Volcanoes’, organising everything we knew into different sub headings and paragraphs. We also created a glossary for all that new technical vocabulary.


In Maths, the children began the new term learning about Fractions, money, analogue and digital time and duration of events. We then moved on to the world of shape where we examined 2D shapes and started to add to our vocabulary from Year 2 to connect the properties of 2D and 3D shapes. We learnt about different angles, plus how to identify parallel and perpendicular lines. We also learnt the vital life skills of measuring accurately plus categorising and sorting shapes with different properties.

Our final maths unit was statistics where we learnt about bar charts, pictograms and two-way tables.


This term, we have been learning about Plants and observed over time the experiment of planting bean seeds in soil, sand, and just water. We then observed the changes each week and recorded these observations over time on a table. At the end of the experiment, we planted the beans plants outside and we have been studying a biology unit – ‘Animals including Humans’. We have learnt about different types of skeletons in animals including comparing human and animal skeletons. We have become budding doctors, learning the names of major bones and muscle groups. For our Dinosaur Day, we even created Dinosaur skeletons from art straws!

Then we moved on to nutrition, studying what is needed for a healthy diet, the names of food groups plus how to examine food packaging. We were very surprised at the nutritional content of some of our favourite fast food items!

We also really enjoyed SAW week (Science, Art & Writing) where we researched dinosaurs and wrote a haiku onto our artwork.


We have learnt about Jeannie Baker and her collage work in ‘The Window’. We emulated this with natural materials using the views from our windows at home as inspiration.

As part of our SAW event, we created a beautiful sunset silhouette for our dinosaurs using a watercolour wash. Following that, we created a dinosaur skeleton ‘X-ray’ using white art straws on a black background.



We have loved our latest topic of Volcanoes. We have been fascinated by what is underneath our feet, learning about the layers of the Earth. We have learnt why volcanoes erupt, the stages of eruption plus the different types of volcano. We have also learnt about Tectonic plates and how they are connected to ‘The Ring of Fire’ around the Pacific Ocean. We used our learning to write some brilliant non-chronological reports and also loved watching our volcano explode.


This half term our big question has been ‘What is philosophy? How do people make moral decisions?’ with a focus on Judaism.

We had an introduction to philosophy by considering philosophical questions such as ‘What is true happiness’ and ‘What makes you, you?’ Then we learnt about the ten commandments and religious symbols in Judaism. We learnt about spiritual thoughts by considering the story of ‘Abraham & The Stars’ and designed a special meal based on the Shabbat meal.

We rounded off our year of R.E. with a school trip to Norwich Cathedral where we combined art, science and R.E. investigating light, colour, symbols and patterns. We learnt how bible stories were shown through the stained glass windows, mosaics and paintings, we met a shepherd from the time of Jesus and created our own modern stain glass window.


This term, children have enjoyed learning how to play cricket. We have worked on our bowling skills trying to improve accuracy. We then worked on our fielding skills, being able to stop a ball and return it quickly. We have also been mastering batting skills, firstly by hitting a ball cleanly from a tee, then progressing to a bowled ball that proved a bit harder. We have really enjoyed taking part in our Sports week where we recapped our Tennis knowledge as well as continuing our cricket skills. We ended the term with a fabulous race day where we took part in a hurdles, sprint, relay, and egg and spoon race. We finished the race day with a parent race!


In the Summer term, Year 3 have covered stop-motion animation and branching databases. The Year 3s loved taking a sequence of pictures

To make a branching database, pupils first learned how to ask specific yes/no closed questions. We then looked at the characteristics that we could sort our data into. Pupils then created a paper branching database where they physically sorted pictures of animals with different characteristics such as diet, colour or habitat. Finally, pupils transferred this branching database to our online software on J2E.


This term the children consolidated their prior learning of greetings and simple sentences. Recapping their understanding of numbers, colours and body parts. The children used this knowledge to have a conversation with each other and write descriptive sentences.


Children are now getting confident with their ukuleles with many able to change fluidly between 2 and even 3 chords in the songs we’ve been playing. It’s lovely when you see that moment when children realise they are able to make music and really are musicians. (Mr Hardy hopes to see some of them in Ukulele Club next year.

We also had Toft-o-Vision song contest – our annual interclass singing competition. It’s really interesting to see how each class’s character comes out in their performance. A very close run competition this year, a big thank you to all the children and their teachers for putting their hearts and souls into this! 


We designed, created and evaluated a seed bag using a number of materials and stitches (running, over and back stitch). We also made a meatless pasty, making out own dough, gravy, and filling. They were absolutely delicious and as one child said “I was surprised I liked them because they didn’t have any meat in them!”

Year 3 and 4 Mini Tennis Competition

On Thursday 15th June, some Year 3s and Year 4s visited Easton Tennis Centre for a WNDSSP competition. The children were split into teams of 4 and played a number of single matches against opposing schools. The 5-minute matches required a variety of skills and serves learned in lessons across KS2.

The umpires from Ormiston Victory Academy said several times how impressed they were with the children’s resilience and determination. Miss Makins and Mr Williams were very pleased with the kindness and compassion the children showed to competitors.

Nevaeh, one of the Years 3s, said, “Today has been so much fun!” Oliver, one of the Year 4s, said, “I’ve really enjoyed all of the day.”

Well done, Year 3 and 4!

Spring Term Year 3


In the first part of Spring term, Year 3 learnt all about the Stone Age. We used this as a fantastic opportunity to explore what day-to-day life would have been like in this period. We looked at the tools the Stone Age people used and the different ways they caught and prepared food/clothing as well as the various types of dwellings they had. We studied Stone Age themed books in Guided reading to support our assessed piece of writing. First, we looked at an informative picture book called, “The Pebble in my pocket” which followed the life cycle of a rock. Then we read, “Stone Age Bone Age” which as another picture book that combined elements of non-fiction writing in a narrative style.

Finally, we read, “A Rock is Lively” and admired the beautiful illustrations! We used all of our knowledge from our History unit to help us write a recount in the style of ‘Stone Age Boy’ by Satoshi Kitamura.

In the second half of Spring term, we looked at Fairy tales, focussing on the story of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk.’ We read different versions of the tale from ‘Paco and the Giant Chile Plant’ by Keith Pollette to ‘Kate and the Beanstalk’ by Mary Pope Osborne. We then innovated parts of the story to create our own version which we then presented using our word processing skills. We have created our own class book of fairy tales and they look amazing!

To round off the term, we continued with the theme of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ and created haiku poetry.


 This term, Year 3 have been working on multiplying and dividing a 2-digit number by a 1-digit number. Then we moved on to measuring lengths and measuring the perimeter around a closed 2D shape. After this, we worked hard on comparing, ordering and counting in fractions. We also used number lines and bar models to work out equivalent fractions. Finally, we have loved using the equipment to learn about weighing mass in standard units of grams and kilograms and measuring volume and capacity in millilitres and litres!


Our focus in Science was Mary Anning in Spring 1 and rocks and fossils in Spring 2. First, the children made their own fossils and excavated using tools. We learnt how to identify igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic from their physical features and this helped us to remember how each rock was formed.

During Science Week, we explored the science of making toothpaste! We agreed that a good toothpaste should kill bacteria, have a nice scent and stay on the toothbrush! We carefully mixed ingredients to make our toothpaste. We then needed to think scientifically to plan a fair test to compare our own toothpaste to branded toothpastes. Finally we collected the results in a tally chart and presented the results in a series of bar graphs.


This half term, we have looked at the works by Georgia O’Keefe.  Year 3 has emulated them using the techniques of shading and toning.

We initially used sketching pencils, showing how we are able to use the different shading techniques to create colour and shape variation.

We completed our Georgia O’Keefe unit by sketching and then painting flowers in the style of the artist.


We started our learning about The Stone Age by mapping the timeline of the era before meeting our visitor who showed us his artefacts. We discussed the evidence used that aids our understanding of what happened in this time period and analysed cave paintings before creating our own. We gathered sticks and other materials to see the different effects of mark making on textured paper. We also learnt about evidence of settlements by looking at Skara Brae and inferring what kind of lifestyle they had at the settlement. We finished the term by creating our own model round houses with authentic decoration. We also learnt how, later in the stone age, humans used weaving and sewing for clothes and bags. We also thoroughly enjoyed our return to the cooking room this half term and baked healthy flapjacks.

In D&T, have been exploring various sewing techniques and using them to make our own bags! After choosing between a variety of designs such as the drawstring bag, the children created their own labelled sketches to show what their bags would look like, including deciding what colours to use and what fastenings they would like. The children then practiced their running, overcast and back stitches on pieces of paper before selecting the stitches they most wanted to use and using them with the real materials. The children have really enjoyed creating their own bags and their final work is fabulous!


Year 3 explored the Big Question: How Do People Express Commitment to a Religion in Different Ways?

We looked at the three religions: Christianity, Sikhism and Judaism and learnt about the different (and sometimes similar) ways they expressed their commitment to their chosen religion. We learnt about the special ceremonies in each religion – Baptism and confirmation in Christianity, Bar Mitzvah (boys) and Bat Mitzvah (girls), in Judaism and the Amrit ceremony in Sikhism. We were really lucky to have a whole day off curriculum where we learnt more from Marsha and Todd [Discovering Judaism] about Judaism.


This term, children have enjoyed learning how to play tennis. They learnt the correct technique for the forehand, backhand and volley as well as having a go at serving to start a point. There were lots of fun games to play throughout the unit of work and the children also enjoyed playing competitive points at the end of the term. In Real PE they have focussed on sending and receiving balls to their partners.


In Spanish this term, Year 3 children have been learning to name different classroom equipment, eg. un lapiz, (a pencil), una regla (a ruler), un boligrafo (a biro) and, my favourite, un sacapuntas (a pencil sharpener). We have been learning to spot masculine and feminine nouns and started to see how that affects the adjectives we use. Un lapiz rojo (a red pencil)/Una regla roja (a red ruler).

The children have looked at different ways of translating text – using dictionaries and apps on tablets.


For Music, children in Year 3 have been increasing their ukulele skills! As well as learning different picking and strumming patterns we have started holding down the strings on different frets to create chords, beginning with A minor and F. The children particularly enjoyed playing ‘Land of the Silver Birch’.

All the children also took part in a very exciting rock band workshop – learning about the electric guitar, drums, keyboard and the role of the vocalist as front-person. We then ended the term with a live performance of Jazz from the Norfolk Music service.


This term we have been building on the concept of sequence as ‘a set of instructions read from beginning to end’ whilst learning the fundamentals of the Scratch coding platform. We have opened example programs and explored how a sequence of blocks will make a Sprite move across the stage. Pupils have been writing a program to move a Sprite around a maze with arrow key inputs and they have worked hard to debug any errors in their sequence of code.

Science Week

As part of British Science Week, Year 3 had a visit from some of the meteorology team from RAF Marham. We learned about how the meteorologists take measurements of the weather and how they use supercomputers to predict what the weather is going to be over the next few days. There is a lot of maths and a lot of scientific recording involved! We then learned why it so important for the British Armed Forces to have accurate weather forecasts and how they help keep people safe and doing their jobs effectively.

During Science Week 3, Year 3 explored the science of making toothpaste! We agreed that a good toothpaste should kill bacteria, have a nice scent and stay on the toothbrush! We carefully mixed ingredients to make our toothpaste. We then needed to think scientifically to plan a fair test to compare our own toothpaste to branded toothpastes. Finally we collected the results in a tally chart and presented the results in a series of bar graphs.

World Book Day in Year 3, Spring 2, 2023

This year, we asked the children to dress up as a character from their favourite story book and to bring their book in.

We enjoyed the assembly where we listened to Mrs Hughes introduce World Book Day and saw all the teachers dressed up in their world book day costumes which was very funny. All the teachers had chosen very different costumes!

In class, we used one of our reading techniques to ‘skim’ the text for interesting words as we were making our very own vocabulary dozen for our books. We loved ‘skimming’ as it is a new technique we have been taught and we thought it was lots of fun.

We were creating a story hat and were putting the vocab on bands across our heads. Once we had chosen our 12 words, we drew the main characters from our books and placed these on our hats.
Some of us, then chose four words from the vocab dozen to intersperse between our characters.

We had a great time. We really enjoyed bringing our books to life and sharing them with our friends.

Spring 2, Year 3 R.E. Visitors

Today, we have had the opportunity to learn more about the Jewish religion when Marsha and Todd came to visit us.

In the morning, each class had a session where they explored objects from the Jewish faith. These included a tallit (the Jewish prayer shawl), the mezuzah (a parchment inscribed with religious texts and attached in a case to the doorposts of a Jewish house as a sign of faith), the yad (a pointer used to follow Hebrew on the Torah scrolls).

Marsha and Todd explained the different types of Jewish people, from the traditional orthodox to the progressive modern Jew. We found it really interesting to learn about.

In the afternoon, we were shown a Jewish service from a synagogue in Park Avenue, New York, USA. The children were fascinated to see two boys undergo their Bar Mitzvah and to learn that once a child is presented with their tallit (prayer shawl) the parents are no longer responsible for their actions – they are!

We noticed that as one of the Torah scrolls were carried around the synagogue, the congregation touched the scroll with their tzitzit (the tallit’s tassels) or their prayer book and then kissed these objects. Marsha and Todd explained to us that this was indicative of putting the word of God in their mouth.

Did you know . . .

Hallelujah is actually a Hebrew word that means praise to God.

Bat Mitzvah is the name given to the initiation ceremony of a 12 year old girl.

Bar Mitzvah is the name given to the initiation ceremony of a 13 year old boy.