A ‘rocking’ start to Year 3

What an amazing start it has been!

The gradual reveal of our class text, ‘Ice Palace’, has kept us on the edge of our seats with the children begging to read on to reveal more of Ivan’s plight and journey into the perilous unknown! The language the children are using in their writing is sensational and, labeling ourselves as ‘Year 3 magnificent magpies’, we are keen to steal and share vocabulary from the author Robert Swindells as well as from each other in class. Next time you are in our classroom, ask us what the ‘WOW words’ on our brick wall mean and how we might use them in our writing. We are building up quite a spectacular word-bank!



In maths the children have been using concrete apparatus to build 3 digit numbers, showing their understanding of the value of each digit. Having explored the make-up of these larger numbers, the children are now practising the formal, written method of column addition and subtraction.

We have thoroughly enjoyed learning about seed dispersal, with lots of the children telling me how they have been on forest walks and outdoor adventures to find examples of seed dispersal in action! We have found a space for everyone’s creative homework to be displayed in class- beautiful! Linking with our topic of ‘Stone Age’, we have now moved on to learning about rocks and fossils in science. I am pleased to share that we have many budding geologists in our midst! Magnifying glasses, mini-microscopes and of course a huge range of rocks, shells and fossil samples to explore and identify – the class are eager to discover more in the coming weeks!


A healthy term

For this term’s blog the children have written about their highlights of the term. One highlight was ‘Healthy Minds and Healthy Bodies’ week:

‘I loved making smoothies with strawberries. I also like healthy minds and healthy bodies week when we made a booklet about how to get germs away.’ Max P


A few of year 3 have represented the school in the interschools tennis tournament and District sports. Thank you to the parents who accompanied them!

‘I have enjoyed representing the school with tennis. I loved it because I had challenging rivals who were much better than me but I just managed to be victorious’ Jamie

‘I loved district sports because we were free and we could do whatever we liked. I felt very nervous but my friend cheered me up. We came second last in the relay race but it was good.’  Freya

We are incredibly fortunate to have so many dedicated parents who have given up their time in all weathers to enable the children to try a different kind of sport – horse riding. It has been a source of great excitement for the children and they have enjoyed the experience despite the downpours!

‘I have really enjoyed horse riding. It’s such an experience being in control of a pony and feeling the beat of a pony’s heart. You feel free in nature. Stable management is amazing as well, the pony trusts you to lead it where it needs to go.’ Flo

‘I really enjoyed horse riding because I love horses. Also I felt free in nature. I could feel the fresh air because I was so high!’ Felix

Children even mentioned activities which are a regular feature of the weekly school curriculum:

In the last term I really enjoyed writing the news reports about Corky getting bitten by Krindlekrax. It was also really fun writing chapter 46-47 about Ruskin going down the sewers to fight Krindlekrax.’ Arthur

In Art/DT we have taken on the challenge to make a class quilt inspired by the traditional tales from Africa we studied last term. Each child drew an African design and translated their design in fabric using their sewing skills to complete the project.

I have enjoyed doing sewing on Friday afternoons. I love sewing but I thought I wouldn’t finish my giraffe so I was a bit nervous but I enjoyed it. I did a giraffe, a moon and a star.’ Jessica

We wrote letters with lots of questions to year 4 and received lovely letters with their answers. Thank you, Year 4!

We made the most of the sunny weather to  create and measure shadows in our science topic on Light.

Egyptian Day

Year 3 dressed as Egyptians yesterday to travel back in time to ancient Egypt.  We were workers in the Street of the Dead, learning the different skills and crafts needed to  prepare our Pharaoh for the after life.

We discovered that Pharaoh Akhenatun had been poisoned but was still alive. The Street was buzzing with rumours about who had attempted to kill him. Some thought it was the high priests, others thought it was Nefertiti.

To celebrate the life of the king, Nefertiti held a great banquet. Whilst royal slaves served food to all the workers in the Street of the Dead, the year 3 Egyptians performed dances and dramas based on the legends of ancient Egypt: Isis and Osiris and The Wax Crocodile. We even had a fortune telling display from the Apis Bull!

Here are some extracts of the diaries Year 3 wrote as their Egyptian character:

My name is Nefertiti. No, no, not her majesty, I was named after her. I had woken up lazily and rubbed my eyes. Suddenly my mind came into focus. I had to do Ma’at! I sprang up and raced outside, not bothering to put on my shoes. I knew the Pharaoh would not be happy. 

A few minutes later I was at the Street of the Dead. The Vizier was giving out orders and I went to the stall that made perfumed wax cones.’  ( Sophia)

Next I made a scarab beetle, carved into soap. It took a long time to do it with the tools we used with slave mistress Barber. Soon after I’d started it, i got called by the Vizier. “Hathor! Come, you’ve been chosen to be a warrior!’ So I went over with my friend Imtas who was another warrior. We had to ask the slave mistress questions.’  (Jessica)

‘I painted the pyramids and definitely did the sun because of Aten. After that I went to write my name in hieroglyphs so when I die my soul can find me.’ (Iona)

‘I went to learn mummification, it’s fun you should try it. You make a mixture of myrrh, cinnamon and coriander. Then grind it up and pour it into a pot then mix it up.’ ( Sam)

‘I got a pestle and mortar to crush coal and gum. We made ink out of it. We wrote our name in hieroglyphics on papyrus ready for the afterlife.‘ (Maxwell)

We had an amazing learning adventure together and were able to do so many different activities thanks to our parent helpers who gave up their time to become slave mistresses in the Street of the Dead.

Thank you too to all year 3 parents. The children all looked magnificent in their egyptian costumes and being in costume helped us imagine that we really were in ancient Egypt. The children (supported by parents and other family members) had gone to great and creative lengths to assemble their costumes. We all learned so much and had fun doing it!

Term 5 information

This term we are travelling back in time to ancient Egypt and are looking forward to a very special history day at the end of this term, when we hope the children will come to school dressed as egyptian slaves.

We will be doing various exciting art and DT projects based on our Egypt topic. We would be very grateful if you could send your child in with a clean jam jar with its lid in the week beginning 20th May. We will be using them on Thursday 24th May.

We are revisiting plants in science this term, learning how seeds are made and how plants survive.

Our Thursday PE is now street dance. The children will need to have their full PE kit in school each Monday. We will send their kit home on Thursday evening so that they can wear their PE kit and house t shirt for Friday.

Horse riding will take place in small groups on Wednesday afternoons.

Easter Joy

In RE this term we have been learning about the Christian doctrine of Salvation.  Father Robin visited Year 3 to explain about how Christians prepare for Holy Week from Palm Sunday and  Ash Wednesday continuing through Lent to the quiet reflections and mass on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday before the joyful celebrations of Jesus resurrection on Easter Sunday with the lighting of candles and setting off fireworks!

Year 3 were able to share their learning about Easter with the St John’s community at the school Easter Service, through the Hot Cross Buns recorder and song performance and the year 3  Easter Joy drama.

The children worked so hard to learn music and words by heart, remember  lines and where to stand. The children used their deep breathing skills, which they practise each morning, to help them control their nerves and give of their best for the service. Well done, year 3, everyone played their part.


Sumdog competition – Get playing!

Welcome Maths Enthusiasts. I have entered the whole school into a Sumdog competition against other schools.

All you need to do is log onto Sumdog with your usual username and password then enter the school code sjs3 to help us gain as many points as possible. The competition started today and ends next Friday 14th February at 8am.

How do you earn St John’s some points? Simply play! The more you play the more we earn.


Good Luck children!


Mrs Gillhouley

The Trinity, Forest School, Forces

In RE year three are learning about the Holy Trinity, exploring the meaning and importance of the Tri-une God; God the Father, God the Son ( Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit.

We have been looking at the baptism of Jesus from Luke’s gospel and will be exploring Christian traditions of baptism with two visits to local churches.

On Thursday afternoon next week we will be visiting St John’s church where Father Matthew will explain the anglican practise of infant baptism.  The following afternoon we will be welcomed by Jim Crockett at Vine Baptist church to see their baptistry. and hear from Rev Crockett how they baptise adult believers.

We hope that these visits will help the children understand the importance of baptism for Christians.  If any parent would like to accompany the class on either the Thursday or Friday next week, please get in touch with Mrs Clark.

Forest School

The children have been enjoying the chance to explore the great outdoors in forest school.  Keeping busy in the forest is essential in chilly weather and the children have thrown themselves into this opportunity to learn about nature and work together to  complete challenges.


Forces and Magnets

Year 3 have embraced this term’s science topic with gusto.  They have been learning how to work scientifically by setting up a fair test, conducting an investigation, working collaboratively,  collecting data and presenting data as a bar chart. Why not ask your child how they got on with their friction investigation and what they have learned from testing  a travelling object on different surfaces.

Stone Age Day

Year 3 were so inspired by our visit to Butser Ancient Farm at the beginning of term, they leaped at the chance to dress up in Stone Age furs for a Stone Age day. Everyone looked splendid in their Stone Age costumes!

Beginning the day as archaeologists, we researched Stone Age artefacts on the British Museum website to create our own fact files on Stone Age objects.

We then tried our hand at various Stone Age skills: weaving, rock painting, fire making and making rocky road biscuits.

The weaving demanded nimble fingers and lots of concentration! We made small cardboard looms and chose different coloured string to create a small woven cloth. We wove with the string we had dyed in our science lesson the previous day, using dyes extracted from various plant materials. We discovered that blackcurrants make a beautiful soft pink and  ruby chard stems create a darker blue-ish pink, nettles went a  pale green and marigold flowers turned the string beige!

Taking inspiration from rock and cave paintings discovered by archaeologists, the children created their own design, using pastels to transfer their design to the pebble.

Rocky road biscuit making was very popular ( thank you to Mrs Clark, who came in specially to do this activity with the children) and delicious.

Heavy rain on Stone Age Day meant we could not get out for our fire making activity. Happily, the next day was fine and sunny, so small groups of children went into the school grounds to practise making fire and learning about fire safety.The children decided that in their Stone Age village, Lenny would be the chief fire maker. His group created a roaring fire that took many jugs of water to extinguish at the end of our session!

Thank you to parents for your costume making efforts, to the children for their enthusiastic learning and to all the teachers and TAs who helped to make Stone Age day ‘ rock’!


Welcome to Year 3!

Welcome to Year 3!

As memories of the summer holidays fade, life in Year 3 has begun with gusto. With enthusiasm, the children have settled easily and happily into the new routines and expectations of Key Stage 2 and are beginning to show greater independence. We have welcomed two delightful new members to the class, Ashton and Zachary.

With our emphasis upon ‘Treating others as we would like to be treated’ Class 3 have both delighted and amazed us, by filling our ‘Kindness Jar’ with cubes, not once, but twice, since the start of term! Well done to all those children who have acted kindly and considerately to others. Keep it up!

Reading and a love for stories and poems is at the heart of all that we do. We have been enjoying our class book ‘One dog and his boy’ By Eva Ibbotson and ‘One hundred best poems for children’ particularly the poem about ‘Homework’! Our literacy work this term is based around another fantastic book written by Robert Swindels ‘Ice Palace’. We are thoroughly enjoying all our reading and learning how to write descriptive narrative with tension, kennings, and information leaflets.

In History, we have begun learning about life in the ‘Stone Age’ and are very much looking forward to our trip next week to ‘Butser Ancient Farm’, which is a settlement of reconstructed Stone Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age, dwellings.

In science we begun exploring the fascinating world of plants and discovering the different ways plants make sure that their seeds can find a good place to begin life.  After a few week studying seeds we will begin our rocks and fossils topic, but we will return to discover learn more about plants in the spring and summer.

We are excited about the many learning opportunities ahead and look forward to watching your children flourish and grow!

Mrs Clark and Mrs Boshoff

Our Iron Age Adventure

At the end of last term, Year 3 and 4 ventured back in time on our visit to Butser Ancient Farm, which is a settlement of reconstructed Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman and Anglo Saxon dwellings.
Year 3 explored the Iron Age and Bronze Age thatched roundhouses, constructed with wattle and daub walls and high, oak-beamed, straw-covered, conical roofs. The first house had an open fire blazing in the centre of its mud floor, with an iron pot hanging above it (our first clue that we were in the iron age). The only light flooded in from the double wooden doors. As soon as the doors closed we were enveloped in darkness. Deer skins lay on the floor so we could imagine iron age children getting up from their animal skin blankets in the morning to greet the iron age day.

We set to work practising our wattling skills, weaving hazel branches through oak posts to make secure fencing for our flocks of sheep. Our guide, Louise explained that metal jewellery were signs of power and wealth during the Iron Age so we learned how to use tools to bend and shape copper wire to make rings. After an iron age lunch al fresco, we completed an archaeological dig, unearthing hidden treasures and thinking carefully about what these incomplete artefacts might be.
Finally, the highlight of our day was a very messy activity. We mined and crushed chalk into fine powder to mix with water, straw and mud ( also harvested by our own fair hands which by this time were very mucky!) to make clunch which is an iron age building cement. We formed clunch bricks for building a wall in the new Iron Age roundhouse. Each St John’s child has contributed to an historical experiment to explore how Iron Age people mixed their cement.
Tired but inspired by our trip into the past, we made our journey back through time to present day Sevenoaks.