Vision and Aims
The purpose of Year Three at Reach is to expose children to the more rigorous methods of learning in Key Stage 2. We therefore put time into creating a curriculum which is both academically demanding but also drives the students to develop their independence: two key attributes of a successful learner. By building the student’s confidence in their own abilities we aim to create students with the skills, the knowledge and the reflective attitude to enable them to take more ownership of their own learning.
By the end of the year, our aim is that all pupils:
- Are able to read fluently, using inference and deduction to demonstrate understanding
- Are able to write a variety of text types independently using varied sentence structures
- Ask and answer questions using a wide and technical vocabulary
- Secure a command of the four operations in mathematics and use these in problem solving contexts
- Develop independence in both their learning and in their social interactions
Every child in year three is continually assessed in every lesson by teachers and additional adults through a variety of different techniques including: mini-whiteboards (in which all children scribe a response to a question), cold calling (in which children are questioned at random) and exit tickets (completed at the end of a lesson to demonstrate the children’s understanding).
After each lesson, work is checked and marked to assess whether or not each child has met the learning objective, allowing an opportunity for re-teaching. Work is also diagnostically marked at least once a week with next steps added to further the child’s learning. Writing is assessed through independent writing task twice every half term. In addition to this there are end of term ‘quizzes’ in maths and reading that help us to gain a greater insight into a child’s progress and the chance to analyse any gaps in their learning to inform future planning.
All children are also assessed against key constructs for reading, writing and maths – using mastery criteria of emerging, expected, excelling – half-termly.
These assessments are shared with parents using termly reports, parent consultations and regular email. Parents are also very welcome to visit their child’s class to take part in a lesson and/or celebrate their child’s work.
In Year Three, each half term is carefully designed to allow cross-curricular links, ensuring that each learning experience has meaning and relevance for the children. For example, if healthy lifestyles is our topic, children will write recipes and instructions in their literacy lessons, using their experience from cooking sessions in Topic.
In Literacy we aim for all children to become strong readers and writers, as we know that these skills become the foundation upon which the rest of learning can be built. We therefore put a high priority on choosing engaging texts, linked to our topic, that provide meaningful opportunities for reading. In Year Three we focus on developing children’s inference skills which we believe enables them to gain more from the text. The children read a broad variety of genres not solely in teacher led sessions but also in our daily 15 minutes DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) session. Together these provide children with both the skills and time to become keen readers.
In writing sessions, we give children the opportunity to write a range of fiction and non-fiction text. In literacy lessons, we encourage children to both tell and write texts thus building their speaking and listening skills alongside their writing skills. We believe that this approach enables all children to truly engage with the literature and the vocabulary of the texts. Features of the different text types are also explicitly taught and practised independently before bringing these different elements together for extended writing sessions. Children are taught to use a wider range of punctuation, and to extend sentences using coordinating and subordinating conjunctions. In addition to this, children begin to master a range of different adverbs and clauses to enable them to use more complex sentence types.
In Maths children are given the opportunity to explore mathematics using concrete manipulatives, ensuring conceptual understanding of the operations being taught. We expect children to reason in an increasingly sophisticated manner, proving their answers and explaining what they are doing using mathematic vocabulary. In addition, children complete regular mathematical investigations which encourage them to apply their knowledge of maths to solve different problems. We also use a short, daily maths meeting to ensure fluency in number, including securing number bonds to 100 and the ability to ‘roll numbers’ (count in fours, sixes, sevens etc).
In Topic, we thematically teach the objectives of foundation subjects including history, geography, art and design, and design and technology as well as exposing children to rigorous methods of study. For example, if our topic was the Stone Age, we would start by looking in detail at sources, considering the validity of each and using these to gain an understanding of the period. Through this, children start to gain a greater insight into the way history is studied. Then, having developed, for example, an understanding of stone age tools we might then seek to recreate the techniques of carving stone age spears in the classroom ( although out
of soap rather than flint)!
In Science we carry out investigations and use our observation skills to explore: life processes, including animal skeletons and nutrition; light and shadows; forces and motion; growing plants; and rocks. Children also start to become more familiar with the process of scientific experiments: thinking about making predictions, recording results and making conclusions using appropriate scientific vocabulary.
In French, children are treated to an immersive experience with a Modern Languages teacher from the secondary school teaching by speaking only in French. Children learn common phrases and build their French vocabulary through songs and games.
In Computing we teach the children to code, write algorithms and become digitally literate using a range of tools.
In Music children are taught the clarinet by a trained music teacher. Each child is able to loan a clarinet for the year along with a book to allow them to continue to practise at home.