In our latest blog series – ‘Year Overview’ – we help you get familiar with all the key topics your child will learn and the key skills they’ll improve in primary and secondary school. Here’s a brief overview of Year 3 in English, maths and science with focus areas and main topics.

* Year 3 Overview *

English – Years 3 and 4

Ms Brown – English teacher

Over these two years the children will become fluent readers. They ‘ll be encouraged to be independent readers who enjoy reading widely and regularly. The focus will move away from the decoding of words to the widening of their vocabulary and reading in more depth. In school the children will read a wide variety of texts; fiction, poetry, plays, and non-fiction texts such as reference books and text books. They’ll learn to read in far more depth such as recognising different poetic forms and being able to infer meaning from the text, (for example, how a character is feeling and what clues they can find in the text to support that idea). The children will also work on their reading comprehension skills; they’ll become confident in selecting the main ideas from a text and using evidence to support their opinions.

dictionary-theasaurus-content-index-pageOver Years 3 and 4, the children will become technically accurate writers who use joined up handwriting and multi-clause sentences. They’ll use dictionaries to look up how to spell unknown words and they’ll learn to evaluate, edit and proof-read their own work. The children will also be encouraged to read their own work aloud. They’ll be encouraged to write for a variety of different purposes and over these two years they’ll be able to write fast enough to keep up with their own thought processes. Those shaky letter formations of just a couple of years ago will seem a lifetime away!


Mr Lamberth – Maths teacher

21thDuring Year 3, children need to confidently know and be able to apply their 3, 4 and 8 times tables in addition to those already learnt. Their understanding of place value, now including the hundreds column, should be secure enough to allow them to fluently add or subtract 10 or 100 from any number. They’ll also develop their estimating skills and understand that they can check addition using subtraction and vice-versa. Some totally new significant concepts introduced at this stage include negative numbers, right angles and doing simple calculations with fractions. In fact, fractions take on greater importance when tenths are introduced and children start representing equivalent fractions in pictures. Children will be adding and subtracting everything that they’ve been measuring and need to be able to tell the time fluently. They also need to understand how seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years are related. Finally, in Year 3, they encounter scales on bar charts and will need to interpret these accurately in order to compare data.


Ms Latham – Science teacher

This year teaches children to work scientifically through five key topics. They’ll be encouraged to ask their own questions, be able to observe changes over time, notice patterns, group and classify, carry out simple comparative and fair tests and find things out using secondary sources of information. Children should draw simple conclusions and use some scientific language to talk about and to write about their discoveries.

pumpkin-seed-growingIn ‘plants’ children will understand different parts of flowering plants, explore the requirements of plants for life and growth, and investigate how water is transported within plants. They’ll also explore the life cycle of flowering plants. In ‘animals, including humans’, children will identify nutritional needs and study skeletons and muscles. The ‘rocks’ topic enables children to compare and group different kinds of rocks, describe how fossils are formed and recognise that soils are made from rocks and organic matter. ‘Light’ will teach children to recognise the need for light, to observe light reflection, to know that sunlight can be dangerous to eyes and to study how shadows work. In ‘forces and magnets’ children will compare how things move on different surfaces and study magnets and magnetic materials.