Year 3

Curriculum Overview for Year 3


Please click the button below for a termly overview of the curriculum topics that will be covered in Year 3.

Curriculum Information for Parents

The table below provides a more detailed overview of the curriculum, the specific topics to be covered, as well as practical ideas to help support your child’s learning at home.


This term the children will learn about fractions. They will be able to recognise them in different representations, find fractions of amounts, compare, order and use them in calculations. The children will also learn how to find the inverse and estimate calculations to check their answers. They will also recap the formal written methods for multiplication and division and mental strategies for addition and subtraction. There will also be a huge focus on geometry this term. Children will identify horizontal, vertical, parallel and perpendicular lines. They will also be introduced to angles, with a particular focus on right angles. 2D and 3D shapes will be revisited, the children will draw and create them and use this to describe their properties Encourage your children to practise their times tables at home as this will significantly benefit their learning in various areas of Maths.





This term will start with a whole school writing project. This is a lovely opportunity for the children to work with others across the school. They will join together with other children from each year group to listen to and learn one of our classic nursery rhymes. Back in class, the children will share each other’s nursery rhymes and then each class will produce writing about the nursery rhymes based on different genres. In Year 3, the children will be retelling their nursery rhymes as a story but with an alternative ending. At the end of the project, the children will meet in their mixed groups to share their work.

Our main text this term will be ‘The Butterfly Lion’ by Michael Morpurgo. This is the heart-warming story of a young boy, Bertie, who rescues an orphaned white lion cub from the African bush. They remain inseparable until Bertie has to go away to boarding school and the lion is sold to a circus. The children will use the text to write character and setting descriptions, diary entries and instructions. They will also consider the arguments for and against animals being kept in captivity and express their opinions on whether the family were right or wrong to sell the lion to the circus.

Encourage your children to read at home as often as possible as this will build their confidence when decoding unfamiliar words and also expose them to new vocabulary. In turn this will has a positive impact upon their writing. Encourage your children to practise their spellings weekly. Can they put their spellings into sentences to show that they understand the meaning of them? Are they confident reading and spelling the year 3 and 4 high frequency words?

Our science topic this term is magnets.  The children will learn about magnetic force and investigate materials to find out which are magnetic and which are not. Through their investigations they will also come to understand that some materials are more magnetic than others and some magnets are stronger than others. They will discover what a magnetic pole is and what it can do, and will find out about a variety of uses for magnetic materials. They will practise asking relevant scientific questions and using different types of scientific enquiries to answer them, as well as gathering, recording, classifying and presenting data in different ways. They will apply their knowledge about magnets when they design and make a magnetic fishing game.  







In history this term, the children will be revisiting and extending their local historical knowledge of Hurworth, building on what they learnt in Year 1. They will research three different places of historical significance in the village: All Saints Church that dates back to the 15th century and was renovated in the 1800s; the plague pits located on the village green – they will find out what the plague was, when it started and how it spread; and the home of William Emerson – they will research the life and work of this famous local 18th century mathematician. The children will be able to place these events on a timeline of the village and use what they learn to write their own historical guide to Hurworth and we hope to invite children from another school for a guided tour of the village. Does your family have its roots in Hurworth? Do you have any old photographs or pictures of the village or anecdotes about its bygone days? Does your house have a history of its own? We’d love to hear about it. Why not ask your child to take you, other family members or friends on a guided tour of the village.

Linking with our history topic the children will be learning more about the geography of Hurworth. They will locate the village on a map of the UK and will use aerial photographs to identify key geographical features of Hurworth and the surrounding area. They will compare aerial photographs with an ordnance survey map of the area, learning to identify key symbols and how to use 4 figure grid references and the eight points of the compass to describe the location of key landmarks. Following a visit to the village, they will draw their own sketch maps, using symbols in a key. Try using google maps at home to look at other familiar places or giving your child a map to follow on your next walk or car journey. Can they tell you which direction you are heading in or use the map symbols to tell you where the nearest church, airport or pub is?


In art we will be learning about the artist J S Lowry. The children will find out who he was and what made him famous as an artist. They will learn about the style of his paintings and be able to identify and talk about some of his most famous works of art. The children will use Lowry’s work as a stimulus for doing their own sketches and paintings of buildings in Hurworth in a similar style.

Most of us love a chocolate egg at Easter and this term the children will be designing their own Easter egg packaging. They will investigate existing examples of packaging and think about the materials it is made from,  whether they are recyclable or reusable, how has it been constructed, the size, shape and colour , what information it shows and how attractive the design is. The children will use their maths knowledge of 3d shapes and nets to design and make their own packaging.  




What can we learn about Christian symbols and beliefs by visiting churches? This term the children will visit and research churches of different denominations to explore worship in church buildings by focusing on the objects found in churches and used in church worship, for example the cross, candles, icons, stained glass windows, colours, vestments, banners, rosary beads and statues.  They will also learn about why Christians use actions when worshipping in church, such as kneeling, raising or shaking hands and making the sign of the cross. As we approach Easter, we will be asking the question:   What do Christians remember on Palm Sunday? The children will learn happened when Jesus entered Jerusalem and how and why different people reacted to this. They will consider what Christians mean when they call Jesus ‘king’ and how Christians celebrate Palm Sunday today. If your family worships at a particular church, perhaps you could talk at home about some of the objects and actions used in worship there. Or you could encourage your child to find out how people from different religions worship. If someone in the family has a palm cross left over from last Easter, perhaps your child could bring it in to show the class.

This term the children will be focussing on invasion skills (dribbling, passing and moving) in hockey and football. They will continue to work on core fitness through circuits and will also do tennis and dance. There will be an opportunity for children to take part in the Darlington schools tennis tournament. Please ensure that your child remembers to bring their PE kit every Tuesday. We will be outside in all weathers (within reason) so warm tracksuit, waterproof, hat and gloves are also needed. We very much appreciate the support we get from parents with transporting children to and from sporting events – thank you!

This term the children will learn about the term ‘responsibility’ and how that applies in the home, the school and the community. Sticking with the theme of community, children will learn about their own community and the different groups of people you would find in it. They will also learn about what effects the environment and how they can help it. There will be a huge focus on safety this term, the children will learn about stranger danger and what to do if a stranger approaches them in person or online. Road safety will be revisited with a focus on using bikes safely around roads. The children will also be taught how to be safe around rivers and train crossings. Also the children will explore fire safety. Please reiterate to your children, the key messages about road safety, stranger danger and what to do if there is a fire.

This term the children will widen their repertoire to include more challenging songs. They will continue to follow a conductor, using dynamics in singing, including solos, small group parts and harmonies within songs. They will increase their awareness of different genres and learn how to describe them using musical vocabulary. They will continue to build their confidence when singing on the microphone and to listen sensitively to each other’s performances and offer helpful feedback. Before we break up for Easter, the children will give a performance for parents of what they have been learning this term. Please come along and support your child at their end of term performance. They will showcase what they have been learning and having worked so hard it would be lovely for them to have a smiley, appreciative audience. Date and time is on the Dates for your Diary on the website or please ring the school office for details.

This term the children will count on from 10 to 20. They will learn the key vocabulary in French from the well-known story ‘The Enormous Turnip’ or ‘La Navette Enorme’ and be will be able to listen to and follow the story in French, joining in with familiar phrases. They will find out about some similarities and differences in French and English playground games and learn some of the key vocabulary linked to these. They will also learn vocabulary for common pastimes and activities such as swimming and reading and begin to understand that all nouns in French are either masculine or feminine and how to recognise them (le, la, un, une). Encourage your child to share some of the words they have learnt with you. Could they count things for you in French or tell you about a French playground game? The BBC schools website has some great games, videos and audio clips for lots of the vocabulary and topics we will be covering

The children will create an algorithm for an animated cartoon using the software ‘Scratch’. They will program their animated cartoon to tell a ‘knock, knock’ joke. The children will also have lessons on e-safety, with a focus on being safe and showing respect online. There will be opportunities for children to apply their basic computer skills throughout other areas of the curriculum too. Encourage your child to be safe when online. Use apps that support their learning. There are lots of amazing free apps and websites!



MATHS This term we will be covering the place value of numbers up to 1000. The children will learn a variety of strategies (both mental and formal) to support answering calculations with the four operations. We will measure our height and length of objects and convert these measurements using our knowledge of multiplication and division. We will recap our knowledge of 2D and 3D shapes and be introduced to quadrilaterals Additionally, the children will learn to measure and calculate the perimeter of common 2D shapes. The children will lean to tell the time to 5 minute intervals on analogue clocks and calculate time durations between events. Encourage your children to practise their times tables at home as this will significantly benefit their learning in various areas of Maths.


Ask time related questions to your children at home e.g. if its five past 7 now, how many minutes is it until bedtime?

ENGLISH This term we will be reading the illustrated story book Stone Age Boy by Satoshi Kitamura, the story of a young boy who trips over one day and falls into a world that existed 20,000 years ago. He makes friends with a young girl and is welcomed into her family camp where he learns how to make fire, make tools, hunt, cook and prepare animal skins – all with implements made of wood, stone and bone – then finds some amazing cave paintings, meets a ferocious bear….and falls back into the twenty first century!

The children will be retelling the story, writing in role as one of the characters, writing a sequel to the story, and writing non-chronological reports on sabre-tooth tigers or woolly mammoths.


Here are some other stories set in the Stone Age that you could read and enjoy together:

SCIENCE Food and Our Bodies

We will learn that animals, including humans, cannot survive without eating because food provides them with energy for survival and growth in the form of nutrients. We will find out more about what constitutes a healthy balanced diet and about the main food groups and why we need them. The children will use their knowledge to write a letter to Miss Laing advising her on how to improve her unhealthy diet! The children will also learn that skeletons and muscles are used for movement, support and protection and will find out the names of some of the major bones and muscles in the human body. They will also discover that different types of animals may have different types of skeleton or no skeleton at all!


We will also be learning about the wonders of light, including reflections and shadows. The children will investigate different sources of light and sort materials into those which are good and bad reflectors of light. They will experiment with mirrors, studying their own reflections and trying to make light change direction. They will also how shadows are formed, how to make shadows bigger or smaller and sort materials into those that are opaque, translucent and transparent.

Next time you go shopping, you could quiz each other on what food groups each item in your shopping trolley belongs to.


Encourage your child to keep a food diary one week to see how many of the food groups they have included.






HISTORY We will be learning about life and changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age. The children will learn about Stone Age man’s survival instincts and life as hunter gatherers and find out how life changed in the Stone Age when man started to farm. They will discover what life was like in the Stone Age from a case study of Skara Brae. They will learn about Stone Henge, why it is so difficult to work out how it was built, and will create a tourist leaflet to inform visitors about this ancient site They will also find out how much life changed during the Iron Age and work together to solve the mystery of the 52 skeletons of Maiden Castle, writing a newspaper report about it. Why not go to the library to borrow some books about the Stone Age? Or do some online research together? Perhaps you could have a competition to see who can build the best model of Stone Henge out of lego or old packaging!
GEOGRAPHY Building on their previous knowledge of the UK, the children will learn that the UK is split into areas called counties. They will find out how many counties there are, the names and main cities of some of them, and research further to find out about the human and physical geographical features of County Durham. They will practise using a compass outside and describe the location of different counties using the 8 points of the compass. The children will also find out where in the UK there is evidence of Stone Age settlements and why these places were chosen by our ancient ancestors. Next time you go on a longer car, bus or train journey, why not use google maps or an atlas to plan the journey and talk about which direction you will be heading in and which counties you will pass through.


The focus of this term’s DT is food and the children will be linking their learning to the science and history topics. They will investigate recipes for a variety of smoothies, assessing them for taste, appeal and nutritional value. They will then design their own smoothie recipe and make it using a range of tools and equipment and practising skills such as peeling, chopping, slicing and blending. They will then test and evaluate the effectiveness of their own and other’s products. The children will also apply similar skills and knowledge to create a Stone Age fruit stew. Cooking is an essential life skill. Encourage your child to help with food preparation at home. As a family, you could try some fruit and vegetables that you’ve never tried before. And of course, get them to make their smoothie and fruit stew recipes at home for you all to enjoy!



The children will be learning about the Sikh religion. They will find out about this religion’s main beliefs and how they are expressed. They will also discover what it is like at the Sikh place of worship, the Gurdwara, and why the Gurdwara is so important to Sikhs.


As we approach Christmas, the children will be thinking about how Christians prepare for Christmas during the period of advent such as lighting advent candles, singing carols, opening advent calendars. They will explore different types of advent calendars comparing the images and symbols in them and their meaning. They will be revisiting the story of the nativity and preparing for our own school carol service.

Lots of information about Sikhism that you could explore together on the BBC Schools website.

Of course we all love those chocolates in our advent calendar but here’s an idea for an alternative way for your children to celebrate advent, shared by one of our former pupils. On each day of advent, try to do a good deed such as making a thank you card for someone you appreciate, donating to the local food bank, or giving someone a compliment. And of course please join us for our whole school carol service if you can.

PE Over the course of this term the children will be practising invasion skills in rugby with coaches from Mowden Rugby club. They will also do fitness training, gymnastics and orienteering. Please ensure that your child remembers to bring their PE kit every Tuesday. We will be outside in all weathers (within reason) so warm tracksuit, waterproof, hat and gloves are also needed as we head into winter.


In lessons, the children will begin their new school year by thinking about rules and responsibilities, respect and honesty. They will share ideas about what keeps us healthy including the importance of a balanced diet and exercise. As always we will be celebrating anti-bullying week in November which this year has the theme ‘Choose Respect’ and a special ‘Stop, Speak, Support’ theme focussing on cyberbullying. Find out more at:


MUSIC The children will be learning a range of songs from different genres, from traditional to pop. They will be working on singing confidently and understanding how to approach and perform them differently according to the genre. They will also be learning how to follow a conductor and introducing dynamics into their performances.

They will be listening carefully to each other’s performances and offering helpful feedback. In Autumn 2 the children will be working towards the whole school Christmas carol service.

FRENCH This term the children will start to learn French. This will be done through lots of singing, rhymes and games as well as starting to introduce reading and writing familiar French words. They will learn how to greet someone and introduce themselves; count to 10 and say their age; say who is in their family; respond to some classroom instruction in French; and make a French Christmas card. Encourage your child to share some of the words they have learnt with you at home. Perhaps they could say au revoir and bonjour to you as they set off for and arrive home from school.
COMPUTING This term the children will learn about keeping passwords safe when using electronic devices and being on online. Part of the PSHE curriculum links with computing through cyberbullying; the children will learn about how to keep themselves safe and what is acceptable behaviour when using electronic devices. Additionally, they will be introduced to Microsoft excel and use the software to collect and analyse data. Encourage your child to be safe when online. Use apps that support their learning. There are lots of amazing free apps and websites!