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Curriculum – Year 3


During each term the children explore both fiction and non-fiction themes which are linked to our topics. Spelling, grammar and punctuation are also taught through these topics.

Autumn Term

Our topics for this term are Heroes and Villains and Urban Pioneers. The children will write a riddle about a hero or villain and write a biography of a famous person, hero or villain. The children will also write a formal and informal letter.

The children will then write a fairy tale from a key character’s perspective and write their own version of a fable.

Spring Term

Our topics are Flow and Tremors. The children will write a haiku poem about The Lonely Lake Monster and a non-chronological report about Rivers. The children will also write a newspaper report about a natural disaster, including quotes from eye witnesses.

The children will then write an adventure story including descriptions of settings and characters and write an adventure story using the story mountain approach.

Summer Term

Our topics are Gods and Mortals and Tribal Tales. The children will write a kenning poem, as well as research a poet and perform familiar poems. The children will also write an explanation text and write and evaluate a set of instructions.

The children will then write a diary from the point of view of a character from a Myth or Legend and write a recount about a famous historical person or event.


MATHS (Maths No Problem)

Year 3
Autumn The first term in Year 3 focuses on number skills. The children will be extending their understanding of counting, number and place value and developing their knowledge of all four operations with numbers up to 1,000. Addition and subtraction will include calculations where renaming is required. They will be consolidating their knowledge of the 2, 5 and 10 times tables before moving on to 3’s, 4’s and 8’s. Their calculations in multiplication and division will included the need to regroup.
Spring In the spring term the focus is on measurement and time will be spent learning about length, mass, volume, money and time. Year 3 will be revising their knowledge of cm and m and measuring objects with increasing accuracy. They will be converting metres to centimetres and kilometres to metres. They will be comparing lengths and revising the use of < and >. Their work on mass will include learning to read a scale and work with both grams and kilograms. Volume will focus on measuring volumes in both millilitres and litres. Their work on money will include finding multiple ways to show an amount of money and to use the ‘counting on’ strategy when giving change. Year 3 will then be introduced to the 12 hour clock and the use of am and pm. They will be telling the time on both digital and analogue clocks including those with Roman numerals. They will be applying all their measurement skills to word problems.
Summer This term the children will be learning about pictograms and bar graphs. They will begin by constructing graphs to represent data and understanding that a picture can represent more than one item. They will then move on to reading and interpreting different types of graph. The next focus is fractions. The children will be learning to count in tenths and to recognise how many tenths are shaded. They will be combining fractions to make one and adding those with the same denominator. They will be finding equivalent fractions through shading and paper folding. They will be using pictorial representations to help them understand the numerical nature of the numerator. They will be finding fractions of shapes, quantities and numbers. They will begin to use bar models to represent fractions in a word problem. In geometry their learning will focus on the properties of shapes, angles and how to calculate perimeter. In their learning about angles they will be learning what an angle is and identifying different types of angles within shapes including right angles. In their shape work the subject specific vocabulary will include perpendicular, parallel, vertical and horizontal. They will develop their ability to recognise different properties of 2D and 3D shapes and to use these to construct the shapes. They will be learning how to measure and calculate the perimeter of basic shapes using both squared paper and rulers.


The National Curriculum requires children at KS1 & KS2 to study science. Starting in the school year 2017 – 2018, children throughout Holdbrook are following an exciting new science scheme called ‘Engaging Science’. This scheme covers all aspects of the National Curriculum and is supplemented by additional exploration in relevant Cornerstones topics. The life and work of famous scientists are linked to relevant units of work throughout both Key Stages.

The national curriculum for science aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.
  • develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them.
  • are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.

Further detail about the National Curriculum requirements for science at Key Stages 1 & 2 can be found by following this link:

National Curriculum Science

Our Curriculum:


Year 3


Children will carry out a long-term investigation of the factors that affect the growth of plants, observing and measuring their plants for the course of the unit. They will learn about the main functions of the different parts of a plant and will study the life cycle of a flowering plant, including studying the structure of a flower and the different methods of seed dispersal.

Animals & Skeletons

Children revisit the classification of animals according to diet as carnivores, herbivores or omnivores, researching the diets of animals in more detail. They look at human dietary requirements and begin to identify different food types and their different uses in the body. Dissecting an owl pellet provides a link between learning about diets and the study of skeletons. Children learn about external and internal skeletons, making a life size skeleton cut-out and studying the names and functions of the major bones and muscles in the human body.



Forces & Magnets

Children explore magnetism and non-contact forces, suspending magnetic items in mid-air under the influence of magnetic forces. They test materials for magnetic properties and think about what materials are magnetic. They describe the properties of a magnet in simple terms and learn about the uses of magnets.


Children explore the characteristics of rocks and learn their names. They carry out simple tests on different rocks and use chocolate to model how rocks are made. They explore the composition of soil and think about how soil is made. They learn about the formation of fossils and make their own model fossils. They look at pictures of dinosaur fossils and try to come to some conclusions about the living dinosaurs the fossils came from.




Children learn to distinguish a light source from reflected light. They learn that light travels in straight lines, study how we see and are taught how to protect their eyes. They investigate the transparency of fabrics using data loggers and carry out some experiments to find out about shadow formation.

Additional unit: Animal Homes

Children look at the “homes” that insects and birds need and make the school friendlier towards these creatures.   They evaluate the success of the measures they have taken. Children also observe plants over time to explore the development of seeds and the life cycle of plants.


The Science Museum and the Natural History Museum in London are both free and well worth a visit.

TOPIC (Cornerstones)

We follow the Cornerstones Interactive Learning Projects scheme of work in order to build a group of well-rounded individuals who love to learn in innovative and dynamic ways. This new scheme has allowed us to create links between pupils’ learning, the classroom environment, the outdoor space as well as consolidate learning through trips and visitors.

Each half-term we engage our children with a new topic, develop their ideas and understanding, allow them to innovate with their new skills and express their ideas using all of their creativity.

Below is a summary of what Year 3 will be learning about during each half-term. You will find information about their topic, the books they will be reading, the phenomena they will be investigating – as well as information about what they will be studying in each of the foundation subjects during that time.

Ensuring children are exposed to high-quality literature is key to improving vocabulary and writing as well as developing a love for reading that will stay with children for life. We have invested in classic literature which supplements and adds to the curriculum themes. Our English curriculum has also been developed in line with the Cornerstones’ scheme of work so that children’s understanding and application of skills can be developed throughout the school day.

Homework ties in with the curriculum in school- the details for this can be found in our revised Homework Policy.




Autumn 1 – Heroes and Villains

Whilst there is no explicit History or Geography taught in this topic, the children will still develop their geographical knowledge, particularly their human features knowledge such as notable landmarks and global positioning to ensure all strands of the curriculum are covered.

Autumn 2 – Urban Pioneers Ge SF1 Ge PK1 Ge SF3 Hi 5

Whilst this topic is primarily Art and D&T focused, the children will still develop their geographical knowledge  through learning about famous landmarks around the world.  They will also use atlases to develop their knowledge of parts of the world.

Spring 1 – Flow Ge SF2 Ge SF3 Ge HP1 Ge LK1 Ge HP2 Ge LK2

In this geography focused unit, the children will be looking at the water cycle and how physical geography plays an integral part in this essential process. They will make a 3D model of the water cycle to support this learning.  They will also be identifying the key features of rivers and looking at the differences between major rivers from around the world. They will produce non-chronological reports, as part of their English lessons, to further develop this learning and understanding.  Next, they will look at how rivers benefit or hinder the local area and discuss the causes and effects of river pollution and what can be done to stop it.  Children will also continue to use atlases to develop their understanding of the world, especially the location of the 7 continents and 5 oceans of the world.


Spring 2 – Tremors Ge HP 1 Ge SF 1 GE LK 1 Ge LK 2 Hi 2

In this geography centred unit, the children will be focussing on the physical features of the planet Earth, namely volcanoes and earthquakes. They will begin by identifying common sites for these natural disasters to occur to strengthen their global awareness and knowledge and move on later to understanding why these events occur. Lastly, the children will discover what human geographical features now exist to help manage these natural events.

They will then look at the history surrounding some well-known natural disasters such as Pompei and more modern examples and what lessons have been learned from these catastrophes.

Summer 1 – Gods and Mortals Ge SF1 Ge HP 1 Hi 8

In this term, the children will be learning about the fascinating and ancient culture of Greece. They will start of identifying where in the global timeline the Greek period occurred and will learn more about their culture, dress, achievements, notable figures, Gods and architecture. They will then move on to looking for influences still around in the modern world from this period and how Greece has changed throughout the years since the Greeks were prevalent in society.

Summer 2 – Tribal Tales

In the children’s final topic, they will be looking at the role of an archaeologist and look at maps to locate sites that could be potentially excavated with a focus on the periods known as the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age. The children will continue to develop their topographical awareness of the world as a whole by identifying and recapping the major continents and oceans.

The children will be starting off by creating timelines of this period to develop their chronological awareness of Britain’s history and to order significant events during this time. They will then use this knowledge to understand how and why Britain changed during these times and what lasting influences still remain today through a comparative study.

Here are links to the National Curriculum website that explains these strands and other expectations of your children in more detail:

Geography: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-geography-programmes-of-study/national-curriculum-in-england-geography-programmes-of-study

History: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-history-programmes-of-study/national-curriculum-in-england-history-programmes-of-study

The Department for Education, as part of the new Primary National Curriculum (2014), stated that Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education would remain non-statutory. It did, however, guide that ‘All schools should make provision for PSHE education, drawing on good practice.’

At Holdbrook Primary School, we teach Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education through the comprehensive scheme of learning called ‘Jigsaw’. During the year, all classes from Nursery through to Year 6 benefit from a weekly, engaging PSHE lesson.

The ‘Jigsaw’ approach has children at its heart and helps them to understand and value who they are and how they contribute to the world. Celebration Certificates are awarded in a weekly assembly, to pupils in each year group, to recognise their contribution to a particular aspect of each theme.


Lessons are based on a theme (Jigsaw piece). In Year 3, Jigsaw Jino will help children learn about: Being Me in My World; Celebrating Difference; Dreams and Goals; Being Healthy; Relationships; and Growing Up.



Autumn Term

The lessons in Year 3 in the Autumn term cover this learning:

Spring Term

The lessons in Year 3 in the Spring term cover this learning:

Summer Term

The lessons in Year 3 in the Summer term cover this learning:

Further information about the ‘Jigsaw’ approach in Year 3:






Autumn: Keeping Informed

The class starts to understand the difference between data and information. They use sensors, apps and other tools as part of their investigations to monitor and record data, and then how to interpret the data they collect. They use branching and flat-file databases to enter, organise and search data, deriving information which they present in different forms. The children develop their eSafe practice through the use of CEOP resources and a whole school unit on staying safe online both at school and home.

Spring: Bringing Images to life

The children develop an understanding of digital images, where they are found and why they are used in different contexts. They learn how to transform and edit images, respecting copyright and ownership, using different art manipulation software packages. The programs used are freely available so the children could download them at home if they wanted to continue their learning out of the classroom. They explore stop animation creating their own versions using Scratch or other appropriate software. They produce programmed animations, using sequence, repeat and selection. Children are reminded of their learning about eSafety, especially if animations are going to be posted online.

Summer: Developing Communication

The class use online communication tools such as email and blogs to support collaborative learning, safely and respectfully. They start to understand how to use appropriate formal or informal language, depending on the audience they are writing to. They begin to investigate the technology used in digital communication networks. They use simple sound editing software to record and manipulate sound clips. The children are reminded of their eSafety responsibilities when online and what to do if they are contacted by someone who’s communication makes them feel uncomfortable.

Department for Education Computing Program of Study KS1 and 2




The National Curriculum requires children at KS2 to learn a language. At Holdbrook, we have decided that children will learn Latin. Although this is a ‘dead’ language, it forms the basis of many modern European languages (including English) and will therefore support learning of these languages when children move on to secondary school.

National Curriculum: “If an ancient language is chosen, the focus will be to provide a linguistic foundation for reading comprehension and an appreciation of classical civilisation. Pupils studying ancient languages may take part in simple oral exchanges, while discussion of what they read will be conducted in English. A linguistic foundation in ancient languages may support the study of modern languages at key stage 3.”

Further information about the National Curriculum requirements for languages at Key Stage 2 can be found by following this link:

National Curriculum Languages

For the year 2017 – 2018, all KS2 classes are following the Y3 plan for Latin, as it is new to everybody. In subsequent years, children will move on to the Y4, Y5 and Y6 plans. By the year 2020 – 2021, our ‘Minimus’ Latin programme will be fully rolled out.

Our Learning Foci:


Year 3 Subject Matter Grammar Content

Meet The Family

introductions & greetings nouns

Food, Glorious Food

food & entertaining adjectives

Work, Work, Work

slaves & servants verbs



At Holdbrook, we are now following the ‘Music Express’ program for teaching Music.


 Year 3                                                                                                  

Autumn 1 The topics are ‘Environment’ and ‘Building’.

In the topic ‘Environment’ the children will be exploring songs and poems about places. They will create accompaniments and sound pictures to reflect sounds in their local environment.

In the topic ‘Building’ the sights and sounds of a building site will provide the inspiration for exploring and creating rhythms. The children will be playing games, singing and composing music to build into a performance.

Autumn 2 The topics are ‘Sounds’ and ‘Poetry’.

In the topic ‘Sounds’ the children will explore how sounds are produced and classified. The children will be exploring timbre and structure through musical conversations in music from around the world.

In the topic ‘Poetry’ three contrasting poems will be explored and developed. The children use voices, body percussion, instruments and movement to create their own expressive performances.

Spring 1 The topics are ‘China’ and ‘Time’.

In the topic ‘China’ the children will be exploring the pentatonic scale and ways of notating pitch. They will listen to traditional Chinese music, sing, read and compose music, ending in a musical celebration of Chinese New Year.

In the topic ‘Time’ the children will develop their understanding of beat, meter and rhythm. They will combine melodic and rhythmic patterns, and use staff notation as part of a final performance.

Spring 2 The topics are ‘In the Past’ and ‘Communication’.

In the topic ‘In the Past’ the origins of pitch notations will be introduced as the children make hand signals and compose three-note melodies. They will learn basic dance steps and prepare a performance.

In the topic ‘Communication’ the children will learn to make music inspired by technology and computing.

Summer 1 The topic is ‘The Human Body’.

In the topic ‘The Human Body’ skeleton dances and songs will teach the children about the human body. Percussion instruments are used to improvise, create word rhythms, and build a final skeleton dance.

Summer 2 The topics are ‘Ancient Worlds’ and ‘Food and Drink’

In the topic ‘Ancient Worlds’ the children will be exploring ancient Greece with music inspired by Orpheus, Echo and Theseus. They will perform a song cycle and a round, and compose their own ostinato.

In the topic ‘Food and Drink’ it will be a feast of chants, songs and performances. Composing word rhythms, singing a round, and creating musical recipes will develop the children’s skills from breakfast through to dinner time.



At Holdbrook Primary and Nursery School the children will learn about the six main religions: Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, and Sikhism. The children may also learn from other religions and theological ideas to ensure they are exposed to a diversity of faiths and viewpoints so they can begin to appreciate and understand that people around the world may have different beliefs and practices from their own.

This academic year, the RE curriculum will be delivered in a new and exciting way. The children will participate in six curriculum days, meaning they will not follow their usual timetable instead they will spend the whole day learning about Religious education. Each curriculum day will be based on a different ‘theme’ and the children will study a key area of focus set by Hertfordshire for Learning.

The themes for this academic year are:


Curriculum Day



Term 1 – Curriculum Day One Nature and Thankfulness
Term 1 – Curriculum Day Two Creationism
Term 2 – Curriculum Day Three Belonging and Places of Worship
Term 2 – Curriculum Day Four Festivals
Term 3 – Curriculum Day Five Ceremonies
Term 3 – Curriculum Day Six Signs and Symbols


What are the eight key areas of learning that the children will study?

Belief and practices Sources of wisdom Symbols and actions  


Ultimate Questions


Identity and belonging Prayer, Worship and reflection Human responsibility and values Justice and fairness


Click on the link below to see key information regarding Religious education in English schools (Non-statutory guidance)