• Fir Tree Junior School

'Learning and Growing Together'

Home Page

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: 

Picture 1

Homework Information

Home Reading Journals

Times Tables Support 

Pancake Day

On Shrove Tuesday (25th February 2020), Maple class went into Wallingford town centre to support the annual Pancake Race. We went to support our Year 6 classes and other members of the local community. Excitingly, Mr Wilcox ran in the race and came joint first!  Maple learnt about the tradition of Pancake Day and that it is the feast day before the beginning of Lent (Ash Wednesday).

Ross Montgomery

As part of this year’s World Book Day celebration, we were treated to a visit from Ross Montgomery! Luckily, Ross led an assembly and workshop, where he inspired us by sharing a range of his picture books, chapter novels and some books which are yet to be published. Ross shared how he became a writer and what he enjoyed to read when he was younger, including: The Beano annuals, Horrible History, Jacqueline Wilson and Terry Pratchett.


The author shared some ‘Top Tips’ for becoming successful writers. If you want to be a writer, you need to:

  1. Read loads (even stuff you haven’t read before)
  2. Write loads
  3. Never give up!
  4. Get a notebook and write down ideas


During our workshop, Montgomery explained how he wrote each of the books and how long it took him to write each book. Ross shared how he spent time researching his subjects, writing, rewriting, editing and improving.


We learnt about Ross’ book, Max and the Millions and he shared information about how he came up with the ideas, what the book was about and the different storylines he used. At the end, Ross shared that he had two more books coming out this year and we heard about ‘Rock Bottom’ which is going to be released in July 2020.

Picture 1
Picture 2
Picture 3
Picture 4


Excitingly, this term, Maple have the opportunity to learn how to play cricket with Nick (our instructor from Chance to Shine)!


Week 1:

In our first session, we learnt to play: “Hedgehogs, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” – this got us moving very quickly and developed our reactions skills. Our aim was to get a ball off the cone before our partner when we heard the word ‘toes’. We then practised our throwing and catching skills – Maple started throwing the balls with two hands throws before practising throwing and catching with one arm - this help us to improve our hand-eye coordination. We were then challenged to cover one of our eyes and continued to activity. Maple found catching the ball much more challenging but persevered and achieved this task. After this, we played a game which was similar to Rounders. The batting team had to hit the ball as hard as possible and run around the cones to get back home, while the fielding team had to collect the ball as quickly as they could and return it to Nick. If we hit the stumps with our bat, if Nick hit the stumps or if the ball was caught by the fielding team, we lost a bat for our team. We really enjoyed our first session and are looking forward to next week.

Picture 1
Picture 2
Picture 3
Picture 4
Picture 5
Picture 6

Week 2:

To start our session, we learnt how to play ‘Ball’. This was where Maple practised throwing and catching a variety of balls including: slow ball, fast ball, spin ball, wicket ball and clap ball. Nick taught us some cricket “lingo”, for example “Howzat” (How’s that). This is a term which is used by cricketers when they think the batsman is out. The fielders have to ask the Umpire “How is that?” before the Umpire will give a decision. Nick also taught us what LBW means – Leg Before Wicket – this happens when the Umpire believes that ball would have hit the stumps if they hadn’t been obstructed by the batsman’s pads.


After this, we developed our over-arm throws. Nick set out three different cones for us to try and shoot to. We spoke about the power and energy needed to throw a ball over a far distance. He explained that by stepping into our over-arm throw, we were converting the energy from our body to our arm and then the ball. To end the session, we played a game to practise our throwing skills. There were 7 sets of stumps in the middle of the court. Maple were split into two groups and our aim was to hit as many stumps as we could; if the wickets fell over then that team would earn a point. The first team to knock them down won! Half way through the game, both Maple teams were neck-to-neck! It then took a further 5 minutes for one of the teams to hit the final set of wickets which had spun around, making it very difficult to knock over.

Picture 1
Picture 2
Picture 3
Picture 4
Picture 5
Picture 6

Week 3:

This week we learnt a new warm up game – it was called: ‘Yes, No, Wait’. It helped us to develop our listening and decision making skills. We used three different lines of the netball courts – one line represented ‘No’; the others represented ‘Wait’ and ‘Yes’. Our job was to listen to the instructions given by Nick and make a decision as to whether we ran to ‘Wait’, ‘Yes’ or stayed on the ‘No’ line. Nick explained that this decision making was made by cricketers within a game, they would need to clearly communicate to their partner whether runs were possible or not.


After doing this, we then learnt how to bowl a cricket ball using an overarm throw. Here are the different stages:

  1. Move your tummy to your partner
  2. Jump sideways
  3. Place your first hand straight in front of you
  4. Place your back hand straight out behind you
  5. Move your back arm straight over (by your ear)
  6. Keep your arm straight and then release the ball


Once we had practise this with a partner, we were introduced to a new game. This required us to have a set of stumps and a wicket keeper. The aim of the game was to hit the stumps – if we did this were got 5 points; if the ball landed between the two cones (which were near the stumps) we would receive 1 point bowling the ball to an accurate area.

Picture 1
Picture 2
Picture 3
Picture 4
Picture 5
Picture 6

Week 4:

To start our session, we learnt how to play ‘Marshmallows and Custard’. We were split into two teams and had to practise our underarm throwing skills. Our aim was to throw all of the ‘moon rock’ onto the other team’s planet (e.g. Marshmallows were throwing to the Custard planet and vice versa). We had a limited time to complete this in! Nick provided a countdown before we had to gather all the ‘moon rock’ to see which team won – if we throw any balls after the countdown, the ball’s score was doubled! Amazingly, Maple drew several times during this game.


Next, we developed our batting techniques by learning how to accurately hold the cricket bat and hit four balls (which were balanced on cones). One person in the batting team would hit all of the large tennis balls and then run between two cones to earn their team a ‘run’ or point. During this time, a fielding team had to quickly collect the balls and place them back on the cones. The additional challenge was that each person was only allowed to hold one ball and replace it on the cone – it more than one person touched the ball the batting team got longer to run around the cones, earning themselves points. The batting team only stopped running after all of the balls were replaced on the cones.  It was really fun and tested our teamwork!

Picture 1
Picture 2
Picture 3
Picture 4
Picture 5
Picture 6


Our project this term is the Romans. Please see the information below to show our cross-curricular learning. 



As part of our English project, we have been learning a Myth and Legend - the story of Romulus and Remus. To start, we have created and performed freeze-frames to show the main events. Then, we completed a ‘Conscience Alley’ to develop our knowledge of the different characters; Maple focused on Remus, Romulus, Amulius, King Numitor and Rhea Silvia. We even invited a Roman God into Maple class, the God of War – Mars! After this, we held a debate where we had to decide if we thought it was right that Romulus killed Remus. Maple had some mixed views:




“I think Romulus killing Remus is justified because otherwise Rome wouldn’t have been invented and Romulus / Remus would still be arguing.”


“I think Romulus was right to kill Remus because without this fight, Rome wouldn’t be there now.”

“I don’t think it is right that Romulus killed Remus because they could have shared both hills and made a bigger city.”


“I think it was unjust that Romulus killed Remus because you can’t just steal someone’s life over some land.”


Picture 1
Picture 2
Picture 3
Picture 4


We then spent the next week retelling and learning the story in different ways. First, we went outside (onto the playground) and stepped out the story of Romulus and Remus with a partner. Next, we sat in a story circle and retold the story as a class using a talking object. After this, we practised telling the story with a partner and we focused on adding conjunctions and interesting sentence starters. Then, we watched an animated version of Romulus and Remus to give us another example of how this story could be told. Finally, we worked in a group to retell the story, each taking it in turns to retell a box from our story map. We focused on describing the story using adjectives.

Picture 1
Picture 2
Picture 3
Picture 4
Picture 5
Picture 6

By the end, we were expert storytellers and used this knowledge to create our own comic strips – here are a few examples:


Pictures coming soon! 


In our Reading, we have spent time exploring different types of poetry, including Kennings, Haikus and acrostic poems. During our sessions, we then had the opportunity to perform them, adding actions and freeze-frames for particular stanzas or lines. Here are some photos:

Picture 1
Picture 2
Picture 3


As part of our Roman project, Maple have been studying Roman coins. We spent time looking at different Roman coins and wrote some S2S for the key features of the coins, these included:

  • Small pictures on the face of each coin
  • A famous Emperor’s head or God / Goddess on the coin face
  • Patterns around the edge of the coin
  • Coins that showed wear and tear
  • Roman letters of numerals on the coin face
  • A range of metals being used to show the value of different coins


Using this knowledge, we then designed four different coin faces using each of the key features and evaluated which one looked the best. Based on our favourite design, we then created our own Roman coins, here are a few examples:

Picture 1
Picture 2
Picture 3
Picture 4
Picture 5
Picture 6

Science – Scientists and Inventors

Maple Class have been researching and collecting information about famous Scientists and Inventors. They have worked in groups to produce posters, leaflets or PowerPoints to share all of their knowledge about their famous scientist. To finish our project, the children presented their famous scientist to the rest of the class - we learnt a lot of information and key facts. Here are pictures of us sharing our knowledge:

Picture 1
Picture 2
Picture 3
Picture 4
Picture 5
Picture 6

Judo – Grading Practise

Since September, Maple have been developing their Judo skills by learning different hold downs and throws. This term, we had the opportunity to practise how to participate in a grading as we are going to have a competition with Cedar class soon. Here are some photos:

Picture 1
Picture 2
Picture 3
Picture 4
Picture 5
Picture 6

More information coming soon…

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:
Picture 1
Picture 2
Picture 3
Picture 4
Picture 5

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:

Fighting Fit!

Excitingly, we have started our main project for this term! We are exploring Fighting Fit which is a Science based project.


Science: Healthy Eating and Skeleton

We started our project by thinking about why living things need food – we discussed that living things need food to: grow, be strong and be healthy. Maple then explored how living things obtain food – we investigated what photosynthesis is and how plants use water, sunlight and carbon dioxide to create their food.


We then spent time looking at how food is commonly divided into 5 food groups – fruit and vegetables, carbohydrates, proteins, dairy products and oils/spreads. After this, we looked at the different types of nutrients. There are 7 types of nutrients – vitamins, minerals, water, fibre, protein, fats and carbohydrates. Most foods contain more than one type of nutrients; for example cereal contains fibre, carbohydrates and vitamins. However it is included in the fibre group because this is main nutrient you get from eating it.


We investigated each of the nutrients, their main role and the types of food which are high in these nutrients:



Gives you energy

Bread, Pasta, Fruit, Potatoes


Helps your body to grow and repair itself

Red Meat, Fish, Beans, Yoghurt


Gives you energy

Nuts, Oils, Avocados, Butter


Keeps your body healthy

Oranges, Carrots, Beef, Nuts


Keeps your body healthy

Milk, Spinach, Salt, Sweetcorn


Helps to move nutrients in your body and get rid of waste that you don’t need.

Foods high in water include:

Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Lettuce, Strawberries


Helps you to digest the food that you have eaten

Cereal, Apples, Wholegrain bread, Lentils


Art: Julian Opie

We have spent some time studying the artist Julian Opie as part of our Fighting Fit art sessions. To start with, we explored his life – here are a few facts:

  • He began drawing aged 11. He draws anything in the world around him.
  • He remembers getting an art prize at around the age of 12 after carving a bar of soap into a Henry Moore sculpture.
  • The human body is one of the main themes of Opie’s work.
  • Many of his works show black outlines filled with flat colour.

Our job was to create images in the style of Opie – here are a few examples:

Take One Country: Australia

Over the course of this year, Maple class are studying the country of Australia as part of our Take One Country project. Please keep an eye on this post throughout the year for updates!


January 2020: Australian Bushfires

We heard about the catastrophic bushfires in Australia and felt we needed to do something – so Maple decided to hold a non-school uniform day to raise money to help the crisis in Australia, with a particular focus on the animals. We shared our idea with the whole school in an assembly and then started to design posters to advertise the event.


English: Fact File / Posters

Maple spent time investigating the Australian Bushfires and learning about the problems being experienced in Australia. Here are some facts:

  • More than 10 million hectares have been burnt
  • The areas affected by the bushfires are the equivalent of 40% of the entire UK
  • It is estimated that 1.25 billion animals have been affected
  • The remaining 30% of the entire koala population have been affected


We used this information to create eye-catching and informative posters, here are a few examples:


We managed to raise a total of £368.50! Thank you to everyone who donated.

Picture 1
Picture 2


We also created skeletons using the mediums of chalk pastels and art straws (to create a 3D piece of artwork). Maple spent time exploring the human skeleton and considering the lengths and widths of different bones. Here are some of our pieces of artwork:  

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: 

Picture 1
Picture 2
Picture 3


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:

Picture 1
Picture 2
Picture 3
Picture 4

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.

Picture 1

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:


Picture 1
Picture 2
Picture 3

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.


Picture 1



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:

Picture 1
Picture 2

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

Picture 1
Picture 2
Picture 3

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

Picture 1
Picture 2

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:

Picture 1
Picture 2
Picture 3
Picture 4



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.


Picture 1



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: 


Picture 1
Picture 2

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:

Picture 1
Picture 2
Picture 3
Picture 4
Picture 5
Picture 6
Picture 7
Picture 8

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:

Picture 1
Picture 2
Picture 3
Picture 4



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:

Picture 1
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: 
Picture 1
Picture 2
Picture 3
Picture 4
Picture 5
Picture 6
Picture 7
Picture 8