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Maple Year 3

Welcome to Maple Class 2019-2020


Welcome to Maple Class website page! We are a Year 3 class who are energetic, extremely friendly and hardworking. We are very lucky to have Mrs North and Mrs Bones (our brilliant TAs) who will work alongside us, encouraging us to challenge ourselves and go the extra mile. Our teacher is Miss Hillier. Please feel free to come and see us before or after school if you have any queries and we will be happy to help. 


Our Class page is constantly changing, so please keep checking to stay up to date with all of the exciting learning we are doing!


Below you can find all the links you might need: 

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Homework Information

Home Reading Journals

Times Tables Support 

Take One Tune: Earth by Hans Zimmer

For the first week of this term, we have been focusing on our Take One Tune project. During this week, we explored Earth by Hans Zimmer. We started by listening to the piece of music and discussing what we thought the title could be. Next, we extended this thinking to consider what they tune could be about and the types of instruments we could hear. Here are some of the other activities we completed: 


English: Fact File

Maple spent time investigating the composer of our piece of music. Here are some facts:

  • Hans Florian Zimmer (born 12 September 1957) is a German movie score composer and music producer. 

  • Hanz Florian Zimmer was born in Frankfurt am Main, then in West Germany.

  • He was the son of Brigitte (Weil) and Hans Joachim Zimmer.

  • In the early 1990s, Zimmer made the score for The Lion King (1994) – this soundtrack has sold over 15 million copies.

In total, Zimmer’s work has been nominated for 7 Golden Globes, 7 Grammys and 7 Oscars.


Music: Composition

Zimmer pioneered the use of combining old and new musical technologies.  He has been able to integrate the electronic musical world with transitional orchestras. In Maple Class spent time designing pieces of music using a three note pattern. We explored that Zimmer’s piece of music gets a bit ‘busier’ during the middle part – we started to think about a camera zooming in on the Earth and the moving away again. Everyone worked in small groups to compose a piece of music which contains a variety of instruments and different three notes pieces and patterns.  We considered the crescendo of the piece (moving from soft to loud) as the camera moved closer to the Earth. Here are some photos of our work:


Photos are arriving soon

Art: Collage

Over the course of our project, we worked in groups to create a collage of the Earth. Everyone had the opportunity to help create an Earth. We even had one group creating an Earth which showed what could happen if the temperatures rose and more countries experienced drought or wild fires (like Australia currently). Here are some photos of our work:
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English / Science: Posters

We also spent time investigating how we can help our Earth. Maple started y investigating what climate change is 'Climate change is the name given to changes in weather and temperatures that pose a challenge for us now and in the future.


These changes are a result of human activity and are not good for the planet. We then explored why the World’s Climate is changing - Over the past 200 years, industrialisation and a huge increase in the world’s population has led to the increase of gases that can lead to rising temperatures around the world. Then, we discussed the causes of global warming and what greenhouse gases are. Maple considered 5 different things we could do to help our planet. We then designed posters to share our knowledge:

More information coming soon…

The Snowman! 

The first project of this term is The Snowman. In English, we were given the title 'The Snowman' and a copy of the front cover of 'The Snowman' by Raymond Briggs to find clues about our project. We were asked to consider the following questions - What do you think the book might be about? Who might the book be about? Where and when was the book set? What do you think might happen? Maple class came up with a large range of possible answers which they shared and recorded. 


Next, we were given a series of pictures from the story of 'The Snowman' and asked to sequence the events of the story. We worked in teams to complete this and discussed why we believed the pictures were in a particular sequence, here are a few examples of the sequences made: 

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Maple had the opportunity to complete some Outdoor Learning in the Fir Tree garden. We spent the afternoon exploring the garden area, including: the poly tunnel; fruit trees and the vegetable patches. Excitingly, we even saw a frog jumping around in the garden! We met Mel and her team who explained that our job was to plant daffodils ready for the Spring. Everyone worked in small teams to complete this challenge - we learn how to accurately plant a bulb using compost and small plant pots. It was a fantastic experience! 


Science - Light

This term, Maple are learning about light in our Science lesson. We started our project by recording our currently knowledge. It was fantastic as there are some extremely knowledgeable children already! 


To start this project, we explored different light sources. We learnt that a light source is anything that makes light (whether this is natural, e.g. the Sun and stars or artificial, for example televisions or lamp posts). Maple had a discussion about what a light source was and the fact that some items (e.g. the moon, a window and a mirror) look like light sources but in fact are not. We then investigated that dark is the absence of light. To test this, we completed an investigation using different black bags – inside the bag it was dark so it was impossible to see the item. We started by describing what we could feel and then were able to open the bags, illuminating the object, to see what was inside. Surprisingly, we were able to guess a number of items based on the sense of touch but we were unable to give specific details (for example, the colour of a pen) until allowed the light to get inside the bag.  


Then we started to investigate reflective light – we learnt that:

  • Light travels in a straight line.
  • When light hits an object, it is reflected (bounces off).
  • If the reflected light hits our eyes, we can see the object.


We found out that some surfaces and materials reflect light well and others don’t (e.g. ‘Cat’s Eye’s or retro-reflectors). Our challenge was to design a new book bag with the following key S2S; it has to be able to:

  • Carry items to and from school
  • Ensure children stay safe while walking to and from school
  • Ensure the bag can reflect light so drivers are able to see the book bag


In order to complete this, we had to test a variety of materials to see which material was the most reflective. At the start of the session, we wrote a prediction and then got the opportunity to test a range of materials to see whether or not they were reflective.


Linked to this learning, we then explored how mirrors work – this is one of most common types of reflective surface. We learnt that the light reflected by a mirror preserves most of the characteristics of the original light, so it creates a clear image. The image in the mirror appears to be reversed – for example, if you look in a mirror and raise your right hand, the mirror image appears to raise its left hand.  We completed two experiments using mirrors to test this reflective surface. Firstly, we completed the mirror message game. We had to follow a set of instructions to make sure we completed each stage of the experiment:

  1. Use your mirror to write a mirror message to your partner.
  2. Write a short message in normal writing (between one to three words is enough). Then hold a mirror at the right hand side of the page, so you can see your message reflected in the mirror.
  3. Copy the message you see in the mirror onto another piece of paper, so that your writing is reversed.
  4. Swap messages with your partner, and hold the mirror at the left hand side of the page. Can you read their message in the mirror?


We then thought about how the mirrors helped us to read the message. Our next experiment was a mirror maze. We went outside to complete this one – our first step was to create our own maze in groups – Maple really enjoyed this. We held a mirror over our heads so we could see the line and our feet reflected in it. By looking only in the mirror, we had to try to follow the wiggly line from one end to the other. We had to take our time when carrying out this task so that we could be very careful. Here are some examples:

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Next, we investigated what shadows are and how they can be made. Shadows are created when an opaque object blocks light. The light cannot go through or around the object, so a darker patch of less light is created behind the object. We learnt that shadows are not reflections! Reflection is when light bounces off an object. A shadow is caused by light being blocked. We also explored the question: Why do shadows change size. We found that the closer an object is to the light source, the more light it blocks. This means the shadow created is bigger. But if an object is far away from the light source, it does not block out much light, so the shadow is smaller. To help us with our learning, we created shadow puppets linked to the Nativity or Christmas. To make our shadow puppets we:

  1. Chose what type of puppets we wanted to make and decided how we were going to make the shadow puppet.
  2. Drew outlines for our puppets on the card and cut them out – we made sure not to add details to the image as these wouldn’t have been seen.
  3. Used sellotape to attach a ruler to the back of each of our puppets.
  4. Put a lamp / torch on the floor or on a table. Point it at the wall and turn it on. Turn off other lights.
  5. Held our puppets between the light and the wall.

Children in Need

To help celebrate Children in Need, Maple class changed their normal PE session to complete some yoga. We learn different stretches and mindfulness alongside Pudsey, for example the: bird, butterfly, cat, dog, kite, bee, daisy and picnic pose. Also, we learnt how to practise some ‘balloon breathing’, some relaxation and meditation.

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General Election

Thursday 12th December 2019 was an extremely important day for people living in the United Kingdom as they had the chance to participate in a General Election to decide which political part we wanted running our country.  Maple started the morning by learning about the General Election and asking any questions to gain more knowledge about this major event and the different political. Here is some of the information we found out:  

  • General Elections in the UK are made up of 650 individual elections that take place on a single day across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
  • The UK is separated into 650 areas, known as constituencies.
  • Every eligible resident gets to go out and vote for one of the would-be representatives, called candidates, in their constituency.
  • The candidate with the most votes in each area wins a place, or seat, in the House of Commons. They become a Member of Parliament, or MP.
  • If one party is able to win more than half the seats in the House of Commons (326) then its leader gets to become Prime Minister and form a government.
  • All other parties become the opposition. The party that wins the second largest number of seats becomes the main opposition party. Its leader becomes the Leader of the Opposition.


After this, we had the opportunity to read the different political party manifestos and discussing the different ideas each party had. We set the classroom up as a polling station and everyone had the chance to vote using a Ballot Paper. We discussed how the voting system worked in the UK and who was allowed to vote. Here are some photos of our morning:


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The Nativity

For the last two weeks, we have been learning about the Nativity – please see our RE books for all the work we have completed. Throughout this project we have completed a range of activities to increase our knowledge of the Nativity, here are all the different areas we investigated:

  • Who Mary / Joseph were and the start of the Nativity story.  
  • What happened on the day Angel Gabriel shared a special message.
  • Where Nazareth was on a map.
  • Why Mary and Joseph had to go to Bethlehem.
  • How Mary and Joseph travelled to Bethlehem and described the journey they went on.
  • Why Jesus was born in a stable.
  • How the shepherds heard about Jesus’ birth and the message they told Mary and Joseph.
  • Who the Wise Men were and the meaning of each gift (Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh).
  • Why King Herod wanted to find Jesus and how Jesus manged to stay safe.


To support our learning, we completed the following activities. We:

  • Recorded notes about Mary and Joseph (for example that Joseph was a carpenter)
  • Created a text message from Angel Gabriel to Mary sharing the good news about the birth of God’s son.
  • Labelled maps of the Middle East / Israel.
  • Used atlases to locate these Israel and key cities /towns.
  • Recorded facts about the Roman Census and the importance of travelling back home to be registered.
  • Used Google Maps / Earth to map the journey Mary and Joseph went on.
  • Compared the time it would take them to travel by different forms of transport (e.g. walking, by donkey, in a car or plane).
  • Used different route planner websites to plan the route Mary and Joseph took.
  • Completed some drama to show Mary and Joseph travelling to Bethlehem and knocking on the door of different inns but being told there was no room.
  • Took part in a hot-seating activity to understand the different characters.
  • Spent time investigating the role of a shepherd and the message Angels sent.
  • Spent time recording a fact file about the Wise Men and how they were astrologers.
  • Created a poem, rap or song about the Wise Men.
  • Completed a conscience alley to get people’s views on whether King Herod was trustworthy. We had to provide reasons as to why he was good / not.
  • Created a wanted poster that King Herod placed up in Bethlehem for all the baby boys


On Monday 16th December 2019, Maple and Cedar went to St Mary’s Church to rehearse their Nativity performance. We practised each part of the poem and the acting / freeze frames we had created. The adults provided us with feedback, here are a few examples:

  • We had clear voices and used the microphones well to project our voices.
  • Our acting skills were improving and we were remembering which scenes we were part of.
  • Next time, we needed to remember to stay at the lectern until we had finished speaking (saying Christmas Tree would help). We also needed speed up the changes between scenes.

We returned to school and spent some time practising our Nativity in class.


Then on Thursday 19th December, we returned to St Mary’s church with the rest of the school to perform our Nativity Poem / Freeze Frames. We spent time considering the key S2S for our performance. For our final performance, we worked really hard as a team and the rest of the school, families and friends enjoyed it. Revd. Rice also shared a Christmas message with us.


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This term, Maple class are learning about dragons. To start our project, we heard a non-chronological report about the Manchester Ridge-Back (MRB) by the Dragon Seeker Pie Corbett. Here are some key facts we learnt about this type of dragon:


Manchester Ridge-Back

  • MRB are covered in shiny scales and are the size of a cat
  • Ridge-backs are dark green – so they can hide in grass and trees
  • Juveniles were born with a yellowish tinge
  • They are only seen only at night
  • They are vegetarians / herbivores
  • MRB’s nest in fir trees
  • They are found in Manchester – especially in parks and gardens where they feel the safest
  • Ridge-backs are the smallest dragon in the British Isles
  • Some have been tamed as household pets
  • They don’t breathe fire but their breathe is warm
  • MRB’s aren’t dangerous to humans
  • They are good at playing chess (some have become world champions)
  • Ridge-backs aren’t interested in gold, silver or any valuable stones
  • They are kind, gentle and shy

To help us learn about the Manchester Ridge-Back we created washing lines to help us remember the non-chronological report, here are a few:

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Maple warmly invited a VIP into the classroom – Professor Know It All – to ask this scientist further questions about the MRB.

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We then had the chance to research dragons, here are a few of the new species of dragon Maple class found:

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After this, we designed a map to show where our dragon lived – we really consider the key for our maps to ensure our audience understood our drawings - below are a few examples:

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In our art lessons, we have been exploring marking making and had a go at creating our own designs. In addition to this, we spent time investigating the artist Paul Klee. Maple Class learnt the following facts: 

  • Paul Klee was born on 18th December 1879.
  • He was born in Muchenbuchsee bei Bern, Switzerland.
  • Klee's father was a German music teacher and his mother was a Swiss singer.
  • Originally, Klee wanted to train to be a musician but when he was a teenager he was inspired by art.
  • In 1898, Klee studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich.
  • He became friends with Wassily Kandinsky in 1911.
  • By 1933 he completed more than 500 pieces of work.
  • Six years later, he had completed 1200 pieces of art.
  • Over his lifetime, he had designed over 9000 pieces of artwork.
  • By 1939, he completed 1200. He finished more than 9000 pieces of art in his lifetime.
  • Klee died on 29th June 1940 and is buried at Schlosshaldenfriedhof in Switzerland.



Maple applied their knowledge and skills to design a draw eye. We then spent several afternoons recreating our designs using clay. We used our marking making skills to make the eyes look real and represent the scales of our dragons. Here are our final pieces:

Science - Rocks


This term, Maple have been exploring different types of Rocks. We have learnt that there are three types of natural rock – Igneous, Sedimentary and Metamorphic – and man-made rocks such as concrete, mock rock and bricks. Interestingly, igneous rocks are formed by molten rock which can be intrusive or extrusive. Sedimentary rock is formed under the sea. Metamorphic rock starts off as either sedimentary or igneous rock and is changed by pressure and heat to form metamorphic rock. Here are some examples of the different types of rocks:















After this, we started to investigate fossils and turned into palaeontologists. We discovered that fossils are: “the remains or impression of a prehistoric plant or animal“. There are three main types of fossils – body fossils, trace fossils and chemical fossils. Body fossils are the remains of an animal or plant such as bones, shells or leaves. We explored that some whole body fossils can be formed when the original body has been preserved in ice or amber. Trace fossils record an activity of an animal – for example footprints, trackways or fossil faeces.


We then learnt about a key palaeontologist, Mary Anning, a British scientist who found the first ichthyosaur skull. She lived in Lyme Regis and collected her fossils in the Jurassic Coast.


Excitingly, we had a diamond expert come to share her knowledge with us. Sam spoke to us about the different types of natural rocks (Igneous, Metamorphic and Sedimentary) and explained that diamonds can be found in certain types of igneous rocks – for example kimberlite. The diamonds were formed over 3.2 billion years ago (around the time of the dinosaurs). Our VIP explained that diamonds form in the magma of volcanoes, which is very deep in the ground – around 200km - and can be seen when they travel up volcanic pipes. Thank you Sam for coming to share your knowledge.


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Maple Class are learning about Judo as part of our PE. In our first session with Mr Hutton, we learnt that Judo was founded in Japan. We developed our knowledge of key terminology and Japanese words including:

  • The word ‘dojo’ means exercise or practise hall where you learn how to do Judo.
  • ‘Sensei’ means teacher
  • ‘Ha-jime’ means start or begin
  • ‘Matte’ means stop – Mr Hutton will use this when he wants to say something to the class; if he wants us to listen to instructions or to ensure we are safe.
  • ‘Rei’ means bow.
  • ‘Goshi’ is the Japanese word for hips.
  • 'Obi' means belt 
  • 'Gi' is a suit jacket that you wear in Judo - it helps you to get a sleeve and collar grip on your opponent. 
  • The Judo mats are called 'tatami'.


As a class, we have learnt how to tie our ‘obi’ (belt) – here are a few steps we used:

  1. Find the centre of your obi.
  2. Hold your obi to the centre of your tummy (on your belly button).
  3. Pull your obi firmly across the front and pass both ends around the back.
  4. Cross your obi over and bring both ends to the front again.
  5. Pass one end over the other and up between the body and the whole of the obi
  6. Pull hard on both ends in an outward direction to ensure the obi is secured around your body
  7. Loop the right end back over and under the left end and pull both ends to form a knot.


It is really important that we only practice Judo in a dojo!


We have also had the opportunity to learn some hold downs – these included:

  • Gesa-Gatame (the Car Hold)
  • Yoko-Shiho-Gatame (the Shark Hold)


As well as this, we have learnt about the different grades or ‘Mons’. The grades are each represented by a different coloured belt:

  • White Belt
  • Red Belt (1st to 3rd Mon)
  • Yellow Belt (4th to 6th Mon)
  • Orange Belt (7th to 9th Mon)
  • Green Belt (10th to 12th Mon)
  • Blue Belt (13th to 15th Mon)
  • Brown Belt (16th to 18th Mon)


As a junior, there are 18 Mons in total you can achieve. After this, and when you are older than 16, you can learn how to be a black belt.


Excitingly, we also learnt how to count in Japanese from 1 to 5 – Ichi (1), Ni (2), San (3), Shi (4) and Go (5).


Photos are coming soon…

Skateboarding Session 


On Thursday 3rd October, Maple had the opportunity to take part in a skateboarding workshop. This was run by Team Rubicon – for more information please see: To start the session Ben showed us how to put on all the safety equipment (including helmets, knee and elbow pads). We then were taught how to get on and off of a skateboard correctly. By the end of the session, we were jumping onto the skateboards and having a go at skating around the playground either individually or with some help. Here are some photos:


Photos coming soon…

Take One Picture


Today, Maple started their Take One Picture project. At the start of the session, the picture had been split into four pieces and we had to work as detectives. Our job was to write clues of what we could see in each of the sections and start to think about what the picture would look like altogether. Everyone did a fantastic job! After this, we saw the picture in full for the first time and we had the challenge of thinking about a title for this piece – we had lots of ideas, here are a few of them:


The Sea

The Beach


St Ives


The city of Atlantis


The city by the sea

The village by the sea


At the end of the session, we learnt that this picture had been designed by the artist Janet Bell and she had named the piece St Ives Deckchairs.




We have had the opportunity to create our own seaside themed picture; learn about the artist and draw our own seagulls. To showcase our project, we decided to recreate this picture. Everyone designed and drew a house for the background. We then worked in teams to focus on different parts, for example: the palm tree, lighthouse, seagulls, boats and clouds.


This is Janet Bell's Picture:                                                                                      This is Maple's Version: 


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We also found out some key facts about our artist, here are a few:

  •  Janet Bell’s work is based on the English seaside
  • She has links to Denmark
  • Janet Bell has been painting since 2001
  • She set up a studio in Chester
  • Janet and her husband moved in 2007 to the Isle of Anglesey where she opened the ‘Janet Bell Gallery’


Maple also had the opportunity to design and create their own seagull using a paper plate. Seagulls are an important part of this picture and also link to our English project based on a media clip called Piper (by Pixar).  Here are some examples:

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Design and Technology: 


We also had the opportunity to develop our DT skills by creating our own lighthouses. Maple class spent time researching lighthouses – what they looked like; their size and their purpose. We then created our own lighthouses using plastic bottles and strips of card. Here are a few:

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Maple sat and watched the Pixar clip – Piper – which is all about a little seagull. Together we recorded all the key events that happen to Piper during the clip. Here are a few: 


  1. Piper’s Mum came out of the nest to get some food for Piper.
  2. Piper’s Mum stayed there by the sea and tried to get Piper to meet her.
  3. Piper ran out of his nest to the sea and tried to get to his Mum really quickly.
  4. Piper tried to get some food but got caught by a massive wave.
  5. Piper got wet and fuzzy – he didn’t like the feel of the water and was scared of it.
  6. Piper was hungry.
  7. He saw a mini sea crab and watched him collect food. The sea crab dug a hole in the sand to wait for the water to go by.
  8. Piper copied – he dug a hole because the water was coming in so fast.
  9. Under the water, he saw where all the food was and how lovely the sea could be.
  10. In the end, he loved the water and got lots of food for the other seagulls.


Maple class also did some storytelling - we went out onto the playground and retold the story of Piper with a partner. To help us, we used our storyboards and retold the story in sections. Everyone did a fantastic job and were able to tell the story from the start to the end.  

Science - Electricity


As part of our project, we spent time investigating lighthouses and focusing on circuits and electricity. Maple class spent time learning how to create a circuit using wires, a battery and bulb. Some of us really challenged ourselves by adding in a switch to control the flow of electricity. We learnt that a circuit has to have a battery (or cell) to provide the power. Also, we spent time exploring how to accurately draw each of the components within our circuits using scientific symbols:

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Several members of Maple completed some exploratory learning by adding more than one of each component to the circuit (for example: two batteries or two bulbs). They found that the more power that was in the circuit the brighter the bulb and the more bulbs used in the circuit the ‘duller’ the light was. Here are some of our circuits: 
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