Otter Class Blog

Friday 11th October

This week has been a very exciting week for Seal and Otter. We started the week with a trip to Chelmsford Museum, where we took a step back in time to the Stone, Iron and Bronze Age. The children took part in a variety of exciting activities including:

  • Becoming archaeologists to find evidence that shows how and why life changed from the Stone Age to Iron Age.
  • Practising Stone Age skills such as making string from hemp, grinding grain with a saddle quern and using a bow drill.
  • Creating their own cave paintings using chalk, pigment, egg and honey.
  • Investigating the lives of Mesolithic hunter gatherers and Neolithic early farmers through studying artefacts.

Seal and Otter also presented their e Safety assembly to the school and their adults, discussing their top tips for staying safe online.


Friday 4th October

This week in Otter and Seal we have been learning about angles, comparing different angles with a right angle. Discussing whether they are greater than or less than a right angle. We used our arms to show the different angles of a polygon. 

In Literacy and Language, we have been learning about inverted commas and when to use them in writing. We also discussed the different characters' feelings and thoughts. Ask us about speech marks! You can get your child to write something you say, using inverted commas.


Friday 27th September 2019

Otter and Seal enjoy an afternoon of sport on Wednesday afternoon.

We have been learning how to play chess. Chess is a board game of strategic skill for two players, played on a chequered board on which each playing piece is moved according to precise rules. The object is to put the opponent's king under a direct attack from which escape is impossible ( checkmate ). This has to be done in complete silence so the players can concentrate.

Mr Juson teaches us PE, from team games to fitness challenges like this week, we measured our long jumps to write in our Fitness passports. Next week we will be comparing them in Maths.


Friday 13th September 2019

Last week the children kick started their new topic with a WOW afternoon in the Manor as we stumbled across a cave. The children walked very sensibly to and from the Manor, following Forest School rules. As we got the cave, we explored the items inside, some newspapers, a few toy figures, an animal fur coat and a book. 

As a class we discussed who would live there and we had all sorts of suggestions including a cave man! Which led us into a topic book 'Stig of the Dump'. This will be our class read which we will be reading from every week. Ask your children what they remember from our walk into the woods?


Friday 14th June

This week the children have continued with their theatre set models. Most children have completed their backdrops and are now making their 3D set pieces. There are a number of stories that the children have taken inspiration from; some pairs are recreating Mr and Mrs Twits' garden, others the BFG's Cave, and some have even decided to make the chocolate room of Willy Wonka's factory. 

This year we were invited to be part of an Art Project set-up by Turner Prize-winning artist and Oscar-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen. Together with Tate Britain, Steve McQueen is creating a large-scale exhibition of class photographs, and has invited every Year 3 primary school class in London to be involved. The exhibition will be taking place at Tate Britain in London from November 2019 to May 2020, and will be free to attend! A photographer came to our school and talked to the children about the project, answered their questions, led a short workshop and then took our photograph! We can't wait to see it. 

It was also our UNICEF Day for Change this week - starting with a Breakfast served by children to their parents and carers on the playground, and continuing with penalty shoot-out challenges and mini football tournaments throughout the day. The children really enjoyed having the opportunity to score a goal against Mr Kellum - a semi-pro football player, and he enjoyed trying to save all of their best attempts!


Friday 7th June 

The week of the Great Maylands Bake Off! This year we decided to create an more unusual bread; the tradition German soft pretzel. The children enjoyed preparing the dough, and then working hard to recreate the tricky shape of a pretzel. Otter Class created poppy seed savoury pretzels, whilst Seal Class prepared sweet cinnamon sugar pretzels. Although we didn't win, we had lots of fun making (and eating) the pretzels!

In Literacy our topic is all about mystery stories so we have really enjoyed coming up with ideas for our own mystery stories... 


Friday 24th May

The children have started a new project this week all about Set Design. We looked carefully at the photographs from Matilda the Musical and talked about the way that artists and designers have created different sets for each scene in the play. The children learnt about the jobs that people in the theatre might have to do; from set designers, to stage hands. Then they had a go at designing a set for a different Roald Dahl story. We are working towards building our own miniature model theatre stage. 

It was Outdoor Classroom day this week, and we were lucky to receive a visit from Vicky from Thames Chase. Vicky was part of the team who helped to install our pond and plant the trees in our orchard. She gave the children the challenge of identifying the different trees in our orchard area. We counted how many different types of fruit tree we have planted, and looked at the trees that were already growing around the perimeter of the area.  Vicky and the team at Thames Chase also gifted us a beautiful book about different types of trees for us to continue learning with - thank you! 

The children also conducted a science investigation in our outdoor learning area this week. We were inspired by James and the Giant Peach and decided to investigate how the surface a peach is rolled on would affect the speed it would travel. The children were able to discuss the forces acting on the peach, and why it would roll faster on a smoother surface.


Friday 17th May

This week the children watched an assembly led by West Ham Ladies FC Player, and founder of She Can Play, Kat Clifton. She Can Play is an initiative that encourages more girls to enjoy playing football by running girls and women only football sessions, led by professional, qualified female coaches who represent teams in top women's leagues. 

She Can Play run two training sessions local to our school, in Romford. You can find more information here: Kat also told the children about the Women's World Cup 2019, and got us all excited to watch England's first match on Sunday 9th June at 5pm on BBC One. They will be playing Scotland in their first match of the competition!

On Wednesday we had our final parents consultation of the year - it was lovely to speak to parents and carers about the progress the children have made at the start of their Key Stage Two journey.


Friday 10th May

The children have enjoyed spending time in the learning areas during free learning this week. Highlights have included:

- Using the construction area to create exciting buildings and structures. 

- Using the theatre role-play area in Otter Class to re-enact Matilda the Musical. 

- Using the BFG Cave role-play area in Seal Class to design and create their own dream jars. 

- Designing their own board games with detailed rules. 

- Practising their chess skills. 

- Building a finger football stadium. 

They have also completed their biographies about Enid Blyton, and began a new science topic: Forces and Magnets.


Friday 3rd May

It has been lovely to be back at school again, with the children excited to share how much of the Dahl & Blyton Easter Bingo challenge they completed. This week we have started by learning all about Enid Blyton. The children are working towards writing a biography about her life, practising organising their work into paragraphs and using interesting subheadings. We have also started a new unit in RE and are learning about Mosques, and the Islam religion. 

This week the children will be writing a biography about an adult in their family for their home learning. 

Otter Class have also enjoyed being back at Forest School this week, and have continued working with their friends to create, build and explore.


Friday 12th April

It's the final week of Spring term already! We have had a really exciting week doing lots of work following our visit to Matilda the Musical, including running our own Mr Wormwood car dealerships. The children also had the opportunity to try Fencing for the first time, with the company who will be running a fencing club in school in the Summer term. Then on Friday we finished the term with a brilliant Easter Egg hunt and the Easter Bonnet parade. Thank you to all the parents and carers who supported the children with making their brilliantly creative bonnets!


Friday 5th April

Wow! What an incredibly exciting week. To start our new theme: Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton, we went on an amazing trip to see Matilda the Musical in the Cambridge Theatre. The children arrived at school to a special breakfast restaurant, then travelled to London where they visited Covent Garden before seeing the spectacular West-End performance. It's inspired the children to perform a song from Matilda the Musical at next week's whole school Music Showcase.


Friday 1st March

We started our first week back with a repeat of our egg drop challenge. First we reflected on how successful the last attempt had been, and talked about the inspirational people we had mentioned on our previous jigsaw day and the determination and resilience they must have shown if they didn't achieve their goals on the first attempt. Then the children got back into their teams, suggested improvements and remodelled a protective case for a new egg. Finally we dropped the eggs from a great height to see who could achieve their goal of protecting an egg from its fall. This time the children were 4x more successful - showing that determination is important to succeed.

We also started learning about poetry this week, and had a visit from children's poet Kate Williams who ran a poetry workshop about dragons. The children then wrote their own dragon poems using some of the ideas and vocabulary that they had picked up during their session with Kate. Later in the week we studied a poem about the Water Cycle, and started to learn more about features and genres of poems - trying to identify them in different examples. 

We also had the very exciting arrival of 10 eggs this week, which have now hatched into 10 beautiful chicks. The eggs arrived on Monday, on Tuesday we estimated how many we thought would hatch and what percentages would be male and female, on Wednesday they began to hatch, on Thursday we were able to identify their sex and on Friday the children held them. We have 5 males and 5 females, well done Eduard and Teddy who got this right and won a prize! 

We have continued with our daily Times Tables Championship - now asking children questions based on the 2, 3, 4, 5, 10 and 11 times tables!


Friday 15th February

We have enjoyed learning all about the water cycle this week! The children studied an explanation text about the water cycle before planning and writing their own, and enjoyed watching videos and singing songs on the topic. You can enjoy one of our songs at home too!

We had a mini Kahoot quiz on Light (our science topic) to see who could remember the most about Isaac Newton's famous discoveries... The children enjoyed competing against teams from the other Year 3 class! 

We also had a Jigsaw day on Friday, focusing on 'Dreams and Goals'. We talked about the dreams and goals that others have had, and the challenges they may have faced. Then we thought about inspirational people we had heard of such as; Rosa Parks, Amelia Earheart and David Attenborough. The children wrote about people who they admired for achieving their goals - some of these were famous people, sportsmen and women, family members or friends. 

In the afternoon we set the children a goal to practise their teamwork, determination and communication skills - The Egg Drop Challenge. The teams were given time to plan, and then make something to protect their egg from its 3m fall, and had to work together to overcome obstacles they faced that may have prevented them from achieving their goal. Of the 11 eggs that were dropped; 1 safely survived, and 2 remained intact but cracked. Well done to these teams! 

In the words of L, Seal Class - "It was an egg-cellent afternoon."


Friday 8th February

It's the penultimate week before half term, and as always we have been very busy in Year 3. We have reached the end of our current Literacy and Language unit; Folktales, and so it was time for the children to write their own folktales. The children enjoyed creating their own story maps, acting out parts of the stories during drama sessions and being authors. We also talked about Chinese New Year this week, and looked at ways that this is celebrated by people both in China, and here in England. In Science we have continued with our new topic about Light.

Well done to the children who worked really hard on their river poster for their home learning; including Eduard who created this wonderful, labelled diagram. 


Friday 11th January

Our first week of learning in 2019 got off to a very exciting start with our DT day. We spent a whole day learning more about food technology, with the children setting up their own restaurant (The Seal and The Otter) and serving the delicious homemade vegetable lasagne, poppy seed bread rolls and butter they had made to their adults. 

Then we started our new theme learning with an exciting visit to the 'Riverside Cinema', where the children watched an exclusive screening of The Nile. (You can enjoy this with them at home too, on BBC iPlayer - just search Earth's Great Rivers). The children were wowed by the cinematography and it has inspired us to begin our learning about the River Nile.


December 2018

As part of our theme learning the children have been making their own Bronze Age-inspired clothing. They had to measure each other, design their tunics, and use a sewing machine to make it.

After they had worked with Miss Flint to sew their tunics, the children dyed them using fruits and vegetables (just like they would have done in the Bronze Age). 

They were so excited to see the final product, and wear it proudly to celebration assembly.


Friday 16th November

It is Children in Need week so we have been learning about this wonderful charity and all the things they do to support children all over the UK! The children have researched some of the projects funded by BBC Children in Need and written non-chronological reports about the charity. We also decorated our own Pudsey and Blush bears for the cake sale on Friday! 

In Maths the children have been continuing to practise their 3 times tables, with the Times Tables Championship taking place every day! Well done to all the children who have received the trophy and been a times tables champion so far! We have also been practising column subtraction; revising Year 2 learning about carrying tens from the tens to the ones column.

We have been really lucky to have won a special prize from the HES Catering Services after they drew school names from a hat. Luckily our chances were very high, as our children all enjoy a hot school meal every day which means we had lots of entries! As a result of winning this prize our school will be taking part in a West Ham United Foundation community project where every week a visitor will be coming in to lead a workshop with our children based on healthy living.

This week the children have also continued learning French with Mr Kellum, and have been practising naming farm animals, introducing themselves to one another and talking about their siblings.


Friday 9th November

It has been a very busy week in Year 3 as we have continued with our theme learning this week! First we learnt more about Stonehenge - some children already knew some things about this wonderful monument from the home learning they had completed during the half term break. We created our own small versions of Stonehenge from biscuits - and nicknamed them Bourbonhenge! Then the children wrote newspaper reports and adverts to persuade someone to visit Stonehenge. Then the children were researchers - using the iPads and non-fiction books to find out about Skara Brae, and then create fact files to help someone else learn. This week was also Diwali so the children used clay to make their own Diva lamps, and talked about how people might use these in their Diwali celebrations. Some children in Seal and Otter class celebrate Diwali at home so they enjoyed being able to tell their friends about what they would be doing with their families this week. Happy Diwali to all our families celebrating! 


Friday 2nd November

We have really enjoyed fireworks themed learning Year 3 this week; writing stories about Bonfire Night and preparing for the Enterprise Challenge.

We have also been learning about the human skeleton and making our own split pin models of the skeleton. Did you know? There are 206 bones in an adult human skeleton, and the smallest one can be found in your ear! 

Otter Class also had their e-safety assembly this week, getting parents and carers to take part in an interactive quiz just like Seal Class! Thank you to all those who came along to their child's e-safety assembly to support their learning and all the hard work they had put into it. 

Well done to the children who came along to support their class fundraising initiative on Friday night too, you did a fantastic job of running the stalls like fairground professionals! We can't wait to find out which class has raised the most money for our outdoor area, and won the cup!


Friday 29th October

We are so excited to be back at school, especially with our Maylands' Fireworks Spectacular to look forward to! 

It has been a very busy week with lots of story writing, scientific puppet making, and last minute preparations for the Enterprise Challenge. The children also made their own 'indoor fireworks' in a jar - why not see if you can make them at home too?

Well done to the children who brought in their fantastic home learning projects about Stonehenge - we have lots of wonderful models, posters and leaflets on display in our Key Stage 2 corridor. Thank you to the parents and carers who supported with this. 

Seal Class also had a fantastic time at their first Forest Schools session of Year 3 and were really excited to climb, make and explore this week.


Friday 12th October

This week the children have continued being personal trainers and dietitians as part of their science learning. In groups they were introduced to their client, and began by analysing the food diary they had been keeping for the past week. Then they created bar charts on purple mash using the data they had obtained. 

We have also been preparing for our Enterprise Challenge; seeing which class will be able to raise the most money at our Maylands' Fireworks Spectacular. After a vote between ideas the children had thought of as part of their home learning, Seal Class have decided on a hook-a-duck stall, whilst Otter Class will be running a penalty shoot-out. May the best class win! :) 


Friday 5th October

This week was really exciting as we went on our first school trip! On Tuesday the children really enjoyed our visit to Barleylands, a farm and craft village in Essex, for a Stone Age Day. Here is what they did, saw and learnt in some of their own words:

This week we also started our exciting Chess Curriculum, where every week the children will be having a one hour chess coaching session with a professional chess player. This will help them to improve their memory and problem solving skills, and we are hoping to be able to choose some children to represent our school in a national chess tournament later this year. As well as chess the children have had the opportunity to start learning French with Mr Kellum every week. This week they practised counting to 10 in french, and learnt some of the colour names. 

On Friday we had our Harvest Festival, where the children shared their artwork and the facts they had learnt about the Harvest Moon, which were chosen from their home learning sentences. Thank you to all the parents and carers who donated to the Harvest collection, which will be donated to our local food bank. 

In Forest Schools the children practised being hunters and gatherers in a new area of our forest - they made spears, bows and arrows to catch mammoths and other stone age animals. They also enjoyed climbing a tree they discovered that was low and wide, the perfect height and shape for clambering up and down.



Friday 28th September

We have really enjoyed continuing our learning in preparation for our school trip to Barleylands next week. This week we learnt about the stone age diet; practising being hunters and gatherers in our outdoor area. The children learnt about the types of animals and plants that might have been hunted and/or gathered, and discussed the seasons of the year when this might have been a bit easier or more challenging. The children were also illustrators this week; creating a book cover for 'Stone Age Boy' using only the information from the blurb, the title and the author. They enjoyed creating artwork based on inference. On Thursday it was challenge day in PE, the children measured how quickly they could complete a 40m sprint, how far they could throw a beanbag and how far they could jump. Then the children recorded their results in their health and fitness passports, and set targets for the end of the year. 

In Forest Schools the children made bows and arrows, musical instruments, and wands from natural materials. They enjoyed playing on the swing again, and exploring the area during a game of hide and move with Mr Kellum.


Friday 21st September

This week we have continued our learning about the stone age. The children had the opportunity to improve their observational drawing skills by doing sketches of the stone age artefacts we saw last week. In Maths we have continued practising our time telling skills; most of the children are very confident at telling the time to every quarter hour now. Please continue this learning at home, especially if your child is not a confident time teller yet!

In Forest Schools Otter class enjoyed playing with the swing built by Rick Robin, creating a Forest secret service base and decorating some areas of the forest with leaf hedgehogs.


Friday 14th September

This week the children found out about our new theme; Stig of the Dump. We went in to the forest and discovered a dwelling; there were some clues about who lived there including the evidence of a fire, animal furs, a gathering of berries and a book! We read some of the book together in the forest and began to guess who could live in the home we had discovered there. We found out that we would be learning all about the stone age, bronze age and iron age this term. Then we saw some amazing artefacts from the stone age including a hand axe, flint arrow head and clay pot. We also learnt about cave art, and the children had a turn at creating some of their own in "caves" in the DT room. 

At Forest Schools we continued to explore the forest, some children discovered and identified some growing fungus, whilst others set up a forest restaurant serving leaf pizzas to all their friends! 


Friday 7th September 

What a fantastic first week in Year 3! This week we have been learning about our Year 3 focus artist: Leonardo da Vinci. We started the week with a treasure hunt for facts about da Vinci, using QR codes to find the information we needed. Then the children shared what they had found out and challenged themselves to go home and find out some more interesting facts about Leonardo da Vinci.
On Thursday the children wrote their own fact files about Leonardo da Vinci, remembering how to write in paragraphs with correct punctuation, and checking their spelling and grammar. We also decided to create our own flying machines, inspired by the inventions of Leonardo da Vinci. The children had to choose a 3D shape for the main body of their machine, draw a net, add their own design, assemble their machine and then design and attach wings. They really enjoyed creating their own da Vinci-esque drawings. Finally we practised writing backwards, just as Leonardo da Vinci had done in his own diaries, and checked how accurate our sentences were with mirrors! What an exciting and busy first few days!