Year 3 is a very important year at St. Anthony’s. It is a year when the foundations that have been laid throughout the Junior House are further consolidated and pupils are able to make links and explore their learning with greater independence. They are expected to arrive at school on time, to be organised and to work hard. They have a big responsibility as the top forms of the Junior House and are expected to set a good example.
The two form teachers in Year 3 are Louise (3L) and Lizzy (3E). The school day starts, formally, with Registration at 8.55. However, we expect the boys to spend the minutes before this time getting themselves ready for the school day, handing in homework and making sure that they have everything that they need for their first lessons. It is therefore really important that they arrive in good time. The boys are sent to their classrooms from the Hall at 8.45 and it is certainly important that they arrive at school before this time. If you have any information to pass on to Louise or Lizzy, or any of the other teachers, please do tell one of the members of staff on duty in the Hall. Alternatively, e-mail messages can be sent through the school office at email@example.com and these will be forwarded to the relevant member of staff.
It is important that the boys develop their independence and their organisational skills. Please encourage your son to get ready with the things that he needs for school every evening before bedtime to help avoid stressful mornings – never a good way to start the day! We will be providing him with a timetable organiser and a homework diary to help him (and you) with this.
He will need to bring a water bottle (labelled with his name), his St. Anthony’s book bag, containing the things that he will need for his school day, appropriate outdoor wear and a small break-time snack to school every day. In addition, he will need to bring in his swimming kit and P.E. kit to school on the appropriate days (see below).
Both classes have Games on a Tuesday morning. Please can your son come into school in his Games kit every Tuesday with his uniform brought to school in his sports haversack to change back into. They also have P.E. on Friday mornings and kits will be sent home at the end of the day ready for the following week.
3E swim on Wednesdays and 3L swim on Thursdays, so they will need to bring a swimming bag containing their swimming trunks, goggles, flip flops and a towel to school on these mornings. If your child is feeling under the weather and not well enough to swim, please do send a written note to your son’s form teacher on the relevant morning.
The Year 3 P.E. kit should consist of the school tracksuit, blue sports shorts, a white t-shirt and trainers. For Games lessons, your son will also need a school football shirt, available from the school uniform suppliers and plain navy football socks, football boots (in a boot bag), shin pads and a mouth guard are also needed. These are available from many pharmacists and sports shops, though ‘Opro’ mouth guard fitters do visit the school early in September if you would like one professionally fitted).
Please do label all items of clothing – including socks, goggles and pants on Games days! Now that your son is wearing football boots, it would be helpful if you could practise tying shoelaces so that he is able to do this independently.
The boys are developing into independent readers but we still feel that it is important that the boys read out loud, at school and at home, as much as possible in order to develop fluency. We hear the children read twice a week. This might be on a one-to-one basis, as part of a small reading group, or during a lesson. The boys are encouraged to develop their comprehension skills, to summarise plots, develop critical thinking and to learn to infer the meaning of unknown vocabulary and to predict outcomes. Throughout the year, we look at the different elements of fiction and non-fiction texts by introducing them to different genres.
Dana, Lizzy and Louise all teach Maths in Year 3, but English, Science, Religious Education and Humanities are taught primarily by the form teachers. The children are also taught by several subject specialists, including Rachel and Rosalind for French, Jonathan for Music, and the Senior House Sports’ department for Games, Swimming and P.E.. The children will also be taught by a specialist Mandarin teacher.
A detailed outline of the Year 3 curriculum is available on the school website at www.stanthonysprep.org.uk.
Now that your son is in Year 3, after the first few weeks of term, your son will be taught Maths in a set. Whilst both groups cover the same programme of study, the school has found this system to be of great benefit in meeting the varying needs of the boys in Maths, and we frequently review the make-up of each set.
On Mondays, your son will be given spellings to learn for the following Monday. We recommend learning the spellings for about ten minutes every evening rather than ‘cramming’ in a panic the night before. The boys have been taught to use the ‘look, cover, write and check’ method during this time, as outlined in the front of their spelling book. In addition to this, we would like them to write out their spellings in their handwriting books, using the same ‘look, cover, write and check’ method. This will be given on Monday evenings, to be completed and handed in on Wednesdays. You will also notice a list of High Frequency works in their spelling books (and attached), which the boys will be revising and learning throughout the year.
On Wednesdays, your son will be given Mathematics homework to be completed that evening and handed in on Thursday.
On Fridays, your son will be given a piece of homework relating to work carried out in the classroom. This may be Language, Humanities or Science. This work is to be handed in on Mondays.
These written homeworks should take about thirty minutes, though some may be completed in less time and, occasionally, some may take slightly longer.
Your son is also expected to read at home every day for fifteen minutes and to be heard by an adult at least three times a week. His reading book and Reading Record Book should come home every evening so that this reading can be recorded. Please can you also reinforce the number bonds and times tables introduced in class at home on a regular basis.
We expect the boys to do their homework to the best of their abilities and to ensure that it returns to us on time. This has an important role in developing their responsibility. However, if problems do arise and your son is anxious, please speak to either of the form teachers or send in a note. We are encouraging the boys to use their homework diaries to help them develop independence and organisational skills but ask that you initial your son’s actual homework as an indication that you are happy that he has completed it satisfactorily.
As well as table tennis, chess and peripatetic music lessons, now that your sons are in Year 3, there are a number of other hobbies that are open to them which run on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. You will be receiving a letter about these from Dana in due course. In Year 3, Louise also prepares Catholic boys for their First Holy Communion. Please do look out for further information in the September Newsletter. (Please note that the consent of your parish priest is required.)
Throughout the year, a number of visits and activities are planned to support and enrich the children’s learning. We do value parental support but require that any accompanying parents have DBS clearance processed by the school. Please do see Kathryn if you did not have an opportunity to do this last year. Please do be aware, that we have a strict policy regarding ratios and, if parent helpers drop out at the last minute, there is a chance that trips may have to be cancelled. Please do only volunteer yourself for individual trips if you feel sure that you are able to make a firm commitment.
To keep you updated on your son’s progress, the reporting schedule for this academic year will be as follows:
October 2018: Target setting meeting with form teachers;
December 2018: End of Term Report in English, Maths and Science;
January 2019: Parents’ Evening to discuss report and to set targets for the coming term;
April 2019: Target setting meeting for the Summer Term;
June 2019: End of year report in all subject areas.
We hope that this schedule will ensure that parents get valuable feedback about their children’s progress at key times throughout the academic year. If you have any concerns at any other point throughout the year you should, as always, feel free to make contact with either your son’s form teacher, through the main office e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org, or directly with Dana.
Here are a few things that you can do to help your son.
• Encourage your child to read for joy! Reading should never be a chore. Take the time to find a series that you son enjoys and really explore the details of the story with them: characters, setting and vocabulary, and encourage them to begin inferring the meaning of unknown vocabulary and to predict what happens next.
• Encourage your son to complete his homework independently and make sure that he packs his own bag every day, containing everything that he needs for school.
• Teach your son to tie his own shoelaces. Practice makes perfect!
• Ask your child to tell you the time. We will be looking at both analogue and digital time this year and any extra practice will be very beneficial.
• Count out any spare change together: try to look at different coin and note combinations. This will also help to develop key mental arithmetic skills.
• Practise speedy number bonds and help them to become confident with times table recall.
We hope that this information is useful. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch – we will always get back to you as soon as we are able to!
Here is the poetry booklet containing most of the poems being covered in Year Three this year, plus some interesting links