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During Diwali, Hindus draw bright rangoli patterns on the floor by the front door to encourage the goddess Lakshmi to enter their homes. They are traditionally drawn using rice, flour, sand or chalk and the designs are usually inspired by nature. Working collaboratively, we put our design skills to the test and created our own colourful rangoli patterns.
Our Chapter 15 challenge
As we tracked Edward Tulane's transformation, we expanded our narrative-writing toolkit in preparation for our challenge – to write an alternative version of Chapter 15. Inspired by Bagram Ibatoulline’s stunning illustrations, we also produced careful copies of our favourite drawings to accompany our delightful descriptions.
By observing how our shadows changed across a day, we were able to draw some important conclusions about how shadows are formed and what might cause them to change.
How to make your own fossil
To help consolidate our understanding of fossil formation, we carefully followed instructions to make our own fossils out of plaster of Paris. We were delighted with the realistic results!
Feeling peckish? Fancy a tasty treat?
To enhance our instruction-writing skills, we wrote instructions for how to make a jam sandwich. Once we had drafted, edited and redrafted our instructions, we evaluated their effectiveness by following them to make (and munch) some scrumptious jam sandwiches. Yum!
How can Brahman be everywhere and in everything?
To immerse us in our enquiry, we considered the many roles we have and what we mean to different people. We created special cubes that reflected six of these important roles. Inside our cubes, we posted personal qualities that never change and make us who we are. Next, we revisited our leaning about Hindu worship before investigating Hindu beliefs about god. We discovered that Hindus believe that there is one supreme spirit called Brahman who is omnipresent. Although Brahman has many forms, there are three main aspects of Brahman and these are expressed in the trimurti: Brahma, the creator; Vishnu, the preserver; Shiva, the destroyer. As our challenge, we demonstrated our understanding of the nature of Brahman by creating colourful representations of our school values.
Edward in the secret garden
Using our outdoor space for inspiration, we visited the secret garden and created a senses board for Edward. Full of ideas, we went on to plan and write some superb setting descriptions using adverbial phrases, powerful word choices and figurative language.
We've been exploring figurative language as a tool for making our descriptions more vivid. After learning how to use alliteration and similes, we wrote and illustrated a creepy collection of magnificent monster poems. Read them if you dare!
We took our learning outdoors for a measuring challenge. Working collaboratively, we drew and measured chalk lines on the playground before Mrs Williams judged our accuracy!
What makes the journey more important than the destination?
Year 3 enjoyed a special day with their favourite soft toys and dolls, posing for portraits, telling their toys' life stories and having fun in the sun at a picnic. Our wonderful wow day launched our new enquiry, 'What makes the journey more important than the destination?', in which we will follow Edward Tulane, a toy rabbit, on his miraculous journey.
Another sensational showcase
Inspired by Caroline Binch’s stunning watercolours, we used chalk pastels to recreate her seascape. By carefully blending the pastels, we were able to produce a vibrant colour palette and create the illusion of movement. We also used our descriptive writing skills to write vivid descriptions of the scene at dusk when Gregory reflects on his time in Tobago so far.
How do Christians remember the Easter story?
An Easter garden reminds Christians of the Easter story. After identifying its key features, we worked collaboratively to create our own Easter gardens. Using materials from our natural environment, we made a grassy mound, three crosses and a tomb with a rolled-away stone. We also added flowers to symbolise new life.
We ate hot cross buns and considered the significance of the cross on top. Traditionally eaten on Good Friday, we decided that the cross symbolised the crucifix and reminded Christians of Jesus' crucifixion.
Miss Nie taught us how to play the traditional Chinese national sport of jianzi. The aim is to keep a weighted shuttlecock in the air by using any part of the body, apart from the hands. This required concentration, coordination, balance and teamwork - a challenging combination!
We had great fun taking on the role of Gregory and using green screens to film vlogs set in Tobago. Our vlogs document Gregory's first experiences on the island and capture his thoughts and feelings. After an uncertain start, Gregory soon begins to embrace life in Tobago and it starts to feel more like home. Wish you were here...?
We had a great day practising our coding skills, using two clever apps - Lightbot and Kodable. We wrote algorithms, debugged, repeated commands, debugged, created procedures and debugged some more! The programs became progressively more complex so we really had to put our heads together!
Gregory's emotional journey
In preparation to create vlogs as Gregory, we got into character by freeze-framing key events from his first few days in Tobago. Next, we practised using a thesaurus to find synonyms for some of the emotions experienced by Gregory.
How do we move and grow?
Our science enquiry got off to an exciting start with a close-up look at a real skeleton and heart. We even got to see how muscles work! Wow! Next, we explored the human skeleton and worked collaboratively to construct a model with moving joints. After that, we investigated muscles and discovered that, by contracting and relaxing, they work in pairs to move the bones. Finally, we researched the different food groups and looked closely at the 'Eatwell guide'. Then, we designed our own balanced plates of food to show the proportion of each food group we should eat in order to stay healthy. As our challenge, we shared our group knowledge of how we move and grow in a class video. Take a look! We also showed our individual understanding by drawing and labelling diagrams of the inside of the human body.
Where is home?
On our journey to becoming Purple Learners, we put our collaborative learning skills to the test in a special mission. Our mission, if we chose to accept it (which, of course, we did), was to work together in teams to design and make the tallest and most stable, free-standing palm tree out of newspaper. After generating steps to success for collaborative working, we were each assigned a specific role within our teams before we set to work!
This morning, we really enjoyed working with the Year 6 PE Leaders to develop our coordination, balance and agility. Our determination and the useful coaching we received enabled us to improve our performance during the session. We all left feeling both successful and worn out!
After reading about Gregory's arrival in Tobago, we discussed his thoughts and feelings. We used the text to infer his emotions and the pictures to read his body language. Next, we found out how he spent his first day on the island and now, we're ready to write our first journal entry as Gregory.
To launch our new enquiry, we sampled a selection of tasty Caribbean treats. Yum! At first, some of us were a little uncertain about trying the food on offer, but we're glad we did! We'll be learning more about Caribbean culture as we follow Gregory's adventure on the island of Tobago.
Why and how did ancient Egyptians make mummies?
Maths in action
After two weeks, we carefully removed the tomatoes from the salt mixture to reveal seven perfectly preserved specimens! We hoped that they would weigh less after this stage of the mummification process. If they did, it would mean that the moisture had evaporated after being absorbed by the salt mixture. Using our expert problem-solving skills, we compared the weight of the tomatoes before and after and we were delighted to discover that they now all weighed between 10 and 20 grams less!
'When we uncovered the tomatoes, we were all excited to find out if they weighed less.' (Bailey R)
'Removing the tomato from the salt mixture was a very dirty job for our group!' (Owen)
'It was gruesome but fun! The mummified tomato was dry and wrinkly because we'd covered it in a salt mixture that acted like natron.' (Jacob)
'The tomato wasn't mouldy but it did smell!' (Kacie)
A cartouche is an oval-shaped frame surrounding the name of an ancient Egyptian noble or pharaoh. It represents a looped rope that possesses the magical power to protect the name written within it. A cartouche was meant to protect against evil spirits both in this life and the afterlife. After studying the hieroglyphic alphabet, we wrote our own names inside carefully decorated cartouches.
'I can't believe the ancient Egyptians wrote like that. How did they learn all 2,000 hieroglyphs?!'
'We coloured our cartouches in ancient Egyptian colours. They didn't use pink or purple so we used red, orange, green and yellow.' (Charlie)
Not all the information you find on the internet is reliable because anybody can write anything they want to online. You should always compare the information with other websites, books or experts to check it is accurate. We created unreliable information net nasties to remind us not to trust what we find online without checking.
Once experts on the mummification process, we were ready to undertake our enquiry challenge - to mummify an organic item. Each group was presented with a tomato and a mixture of salt and baking powder which would act as natron - the salt mixture that ancient Egyptians used to preserve dead bodies. We worked collaboratively to carefully remove the inside of the tomatoes and completely cover them in the salt mixture. Whilst we wait for all the water to be absorbed, we'll be exploring the journey to the afterlife and the weighing of the heart ceremony.
What is a place of worship?
Before revisiting the question 'What is a place of worship?', Year 3 enjoyed a special trip to the Hindu Temple in St George. We received a very warm welcome from the priest who gave us an informative tour and answered our many questions about Hinduism. Now, we're ready to deepen our knowledge of Hindu worship and compare and contrast the key features of a mandir with those of a church.
'At the Hindu temple, we were introduced to a priest and he showed us around. There were lots of interesting things to see.' (Erin)
'A Hindu temple is where people worship. The priest told us about the different forms of God and we asked him lots of questions.' (Bailey S)
Despite the bitter weather conditions, we really enjoyed our first training session with the Bristol Basketball coaches.
'Basketball was really fun because we played games like Jail break and Toilet tag.' (Abbie)
'I loved basketball! I enjoyed the warm-ups and in the last session we played a real match.' (Louise)
'Basketball was fun and challenging. I loved playing Chaos tag.' (Sam)
'Our teacher, Jordan, taught us different passes and shooting skills. It was tricky but fun!' (Kristian)
To launch our new enquiry, Year 3 were joined by the energetic, funny and extremely knowledgeable Egyptologist Doctor Worrall who transported us back in time. We all enjoyed a very exciting day with Doc experiencing life in ancient Egypt through stories, quizzes, puzzles, games and role-play. Now, we're really looking forward to becoming historians and immersing ourselves in the world of the ancient Egyptians.
What is the place between?
This term, inspired by the visually stunning Leon and the Place Between, by Angela McAllister and Grahame Baker-Smith, we’ll be using words and pictures to create the mysterious Place Between. After looking closely at the book’s captivating combination of collage, painting, photography and gilding, we’ll learn a variety of new techniques to use in our own magical masterpieces. At the same time, we’ll be developing our descriptive writing skills before using these to write vivid descriptions of Leon’s extraordinary adventure.
After plenty of practice and preparation, we were ready for our challenge. We cut, painted, sprayed and glittered and we were delighted with the magnificent results!
'The art was one of my favourite activities this term and I was very pleased with my lantern which is on display. The best shape I cut was probably the heart.' (Lola)
'I liked doing the spray painting.' (Kristian)
'I enjoyed adding glitter to our lanterns and hand shadow puppets.' (Cain)
What is the true meaning of Christmas?
After revisiting the story of the birth of Jesus, we explored the symbols of Christmas, shared our gifts to the world and reflected on what Christmas means to us.
Are magnets magic?
Professor Sam explains:
'No, they're not. All magnets have a North Pole and a South Pole. Like poles repel and unlike poles attract. Within their magnetic field, magnets attract iron, nickel and cobalt.'
Anti-Bullying Week provided us with an important opportunity to discuss the differences between bullying and unkind behaviour and to think about ways to prevent and stop bullying. We learnt about physical, verbal, non-verbal and cyber-bullying and we talked about what to do if someone is being bullied - don't retaliate and tell a trusted adult. We also made a class friendship chain, celebrated our differences and wrote kind messages to each other, which we loved giving just as much as receiving.
In preparation to innovate our own descriptions of the Place Between, we performed a readers theatre for a key section of the story. We used our voices and actions to bring the text to life and to help us remember some of our favourite words and phrases.
“Will you show me?” asked Leon.
The boy smiled. “Hold on tight.”
He gave the carpet a tug. With a swoop, off they flew. Everything that disappeared by magic, appeared in the Place Between. Cards and doves fluttered in the lantern light. Coins and rings spun past, flashed and were gone. Ropes, cups and balls danced in the perfumed air. A magician’s assistant stepped out of nowhere as another vanished in the blink of an eye! It was a world of astonishment. A world of the unexpected. It was alive with MAGIC.
We were glad the rain stopped so we could take our maths learning outdoors with Mr Britton - a great way to practise our number skills and get active at the same time.
Hand shadow puppets
Before creating hand shadow puppet templates ready for our enquiry challenge, we had fun attempting dog, bird and spider-shaped shadows using only our hands. Some of us even managed to make our dogs bark!
Brilliant bar model
We've been learning how to represent related addition and subtraction facts using the bar model. Our next step is to use the bar model to solve word problems.
We've been busy practising our cutting skills ready to make intricate paper templates. Accurate cutting certainly requires a great deal of concentration!
To launch our new enquiry, 'What is the place between?', Year 3 had a wonderful wow day with Magic Mike. We were treated to a marvellous magic show, a magic workshop and making balloon animals. We all thought Magic Mike was absolutely brilliant! Now, we're looking forward to immersing ourselves in our magical new class book, Leon and the Place Between.
'I loved it when Magic Mike came. He taught us how to perform magic tricks and how to make balloon dogs.' (Rylie)
'Magic Mike performed an outstanding magic show. It was amazing!' (Erin)
'I loved making juggling balls and learning how to juggle. It was tricky but so much fun!' (Bailey S)
What is a place of worship?
...a peaceful place
...a place to pray
...a place to get married
...a place to talk to God
...a place to celebrate festivals
What makes a hero?
Our first exciting enquiry of the year will ask us to consider the qualities of a hero. After researching the lives of some real-life heroes and developing our poetry-writing skills, our challenge will be to identify our own personal hero and describe him or her with a kennings poem. We'll celebrate our heroes by setting up a special 'Hall of Fame' and inviting parents to visit. To support our enquiry and inspire some writing in-role, we'll be reading the weird and wonderful Krindlekrax, by Philip Ridley.
This afternoon, we were excited to welcome our parents, carers, grandparents, family and friends to 'Our Heroes' Hall of Fame'. We were very proud to share our personal heroes, presented in specially designed frames with accompanying kennings poems. Thank you for coming!
After finishing Krindlekrax, we freeze-framed the end of the story in preparation to write our final diary entries as Ruskin. We'll be including all the key features of a first person recount, as well as applying our expert knowledge of noun phrases and compound sentences. Visit again soon to read our wonderful writing!
A kennings poem by 3AG
We used hot seating to explore the character of Ruskin, before writing in role about the day Elvis was chosen to play the hero in the end-of-year play - a part Ruskin wanted more than anything.
'Our first time using the Playpod was a lot of fun.' (Erin)
'I enjoyed riding on the scooters.' (Jamie)
'Great! Fantastic! Loved it!' (Lauren)
At St Stephen's, we all agree that learning can happen anywhere, not just inside the classroom! So, our first week back was 'Wild Week', a chance to take our learning outdoors.
3AG had an action-packed week, hunting bugs, creating soundscapes, gardening, printing leaves and even lighting campfires! On Wednesday, we explored the long grass and used wax crayons to make bark rubbings which we turned into colourful bookmarks. The next day, we went to Forest School where we had great fun playing 'Giant's keys', moulding clay animals and lighting a campfire. To top off the week, we mixed magic potions using ingredients from nature and wrote recipes for our crazy concoctions.
We had a wonderful week exploring the grounds of our new school and learning how to use our outside space responsibly. Now, we can't wait for our next outdoor learning experience!