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Ballykeel Primary School & Nursery Unit

Year 3



 Happy New Year!

We hope you have had a wonderful Christmas break and that Santa was kind to all of you!

Here are some of the things we plan to do until Easter.

Our new theme is called ‘Time for a Change’ and within this we are going to discuss and decide on

  • Personal changes that we can all make (yes, those dreaded New Year’s Resolutions)
  • Changes in weather- making weather charts, writing and presenting weather reports (Frank Mitchell, watch out!) and learning about wicked weather- tornadoes, tsunami etc.
  • Changes in animals- how they grow and develop – lifecycles and metamorphosis
  • Changes in plants as they grow.
  • Changes in substances – steam to water to ice
  • What happens when we cook food? – E.g. baking, toasting, melting, freezing etc.
  • Please send in anything you think might ‘link-in’ with this theme – books, pictures etc.


This term we will be continuing to learn tables each night so children have quick recall of number facts. We will focus on subtraction in our number work and incorporate a good deal of practical work to develop good understanding initially. We will then use our knowledge of subtraction to then find change from amounts of money e.g. 10p, 20p and 50p.

We are aiming to know our numbers to 100. We should be able to count to this number and recognise all numbers in written form. We will use little ‘word problems’ to help your child develop problem solving skills and decide whether to add or subtract to get the correct answer. Please help them with this at home by giving them little puzzles to work out for themselves.

In measures we will do some activities involving weighing things (hopefully not the teachers!) and measuring liquids. They will become more familiar with terms like ‘heavier’ ‘lightest’ and ‘half-full’ ‘empty’. We will also measure lengths and use non-standard measures to do this. From this the children will see the need to have a standard measurement and we will introduce terms such as ‘shorter than a metre’ and ‘longer than a metre’.

Please help your child learn the months of the year and if you want to teach them the little rhyme:

‘30 days has September,

April, June and November.

All the rest have 31

Except February alone,

Which has 28 days clear

And 29 in each leap year.’

Time - we have already learned how to tell the time using the analogue clock so now we will move on to introduce reading time on a digital clock. Encourage your child to read the time from a digital clock e.g. an alarm clock.


We continue to learn about alphabetical order- putting lists of words into alphabetical order and how to use a dictionary. Continue to check that your child knows the alphabet and can use a dictionary to search for words.

In Grammar, we will revise terms such as adjectives and nouns. We will learn what verbs and adverbs are and how to use and recognise them in sentences. Good punctuation and handwriting are both essential as always in every piece of written work.

Please continue to check your child is using these skills properly in their written homework.

Read to your children and encourage them to read independently. This helps to develop their creativity and gives them good examples of how to write in a way that effectively communicates their ideas and helps with spelling (our focus this year).

As always, keep looking at our photo gallery for recent photos of what your child gets up to in school.

Thank-you for your continued support.



Christmas is coming!!!!

World Around Us

This term we continue with our theme on Home Sweet Home and for the next few weeks we will study homes from long ago. This will involve looking at features of a castle and what it was like to live in a castle. If your child has anything related to this theme, perhaps they could bring it in for display purposes. On the run up to Christmas it is also a time to be thankful for everything we have. In PDMU we will discuss homelessness both in our own country and the wider world.

Numeracy - Problem Solving

The children will continue to do investigations and problem solving with money, number, map skills and pattern. This will incorporate a lot of fun activities whilst making maths relevant and meaningful to the children.

Keep learning table facts at home with your child as this will help them with their mental maths and work with number bonds.

Time: Revise over o'clock and half past times with your child. In class we will introduce quarter past the hour and eventually quarter to the hour.

Shape: Revise over names and properties of 2D shapes and keep a look out for these in everyday objects.


Phonics - Continue to learn the weekly sounds for Friday tests and to encourage improved spelling and writing in class.

Writing - We are encouraging the children to use and develop their creativity to write good stories and to use their knowledge of grammar to add detail and good description.

Grammar - The children will be working on alphabetical order and using a children's dictionary...a good idea for a Christmas pressie!

P3 Nativity

Our Nativity this year is called ‘Midwife Crisis.’ As always it involves lots of singing and dancing. So set the date in your diary (bring hot water and towels :-) on Friday13th December at 9:30am! We will also be performing this to the senior citizens that afternoon when we host a Christmas Afternoon Tea. More details will follow.


Welcome to Primary 3

We hope both you and your child have had an enjoyable and relaxing summer. Each term we will publish information and pictures on our class page, so do remember to have a look on a regular basis. It’s a good way of keeping in touch with what your child is doing, learning and perhaps needing to bring in for their themes.

We also welcome our new team members Mrs. McBurney (P3K) and Miss. Bailey (P3M).

Please ensure that your child has everything they need for their school day.

  • Pencil case
  • 2 sharpened pencils
  • 1 Pritt stick (white)
  • 1 rubber
  • 1 sharpener


On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights the children will have:

  • Reading
  • Spellings
  • Number facts(tables)

Written Homeworks:

Monday: Literacy homework (game or written activity)

Wednesday: Numeracy homework (game or written activity)

Thursday: Make a special effort to revise tables and spellings for the Friday Test the next day.


We thought you might appreciate these Homework Hints.


Your child will need:

  • A quiet place
  • A flat surface
  • A sharp pencil, a rubber
  • Time-don’t leave homework until it’s late

Once your child has completed his/her homework, please make sure you sign it.

Tips for learning spellings


1. Look at the words

2 .Say them

3.Cover them

4.Write them

5.Check them

Have your child spend some time learning spellings for his/herself. Teach them to use these steps.

Ask your child to write down the words as you call them out.

Make sure they have completed the spellings section in their Homework Diaries.

Learning Tables

  • Have your child say or write tables at least 3 times
  • Try not to ask the tables in order
  • Ask some ‘quick fire’ questions


It is important to practise reading aloud and silently. Choose a few pages to read aloud, focusing on fluency and expression.

Discuss what your child has read and sign the reading log book.

Shared Education

During term 1 we join with P3 St. Brigid's PS to learn more about our World Around Us themes. We will visit each other's school to participate in lots of fun activities such as activity based learning, art and PDMU lessons. The provisional dates of our visits are as follows:

  • Tuesday 24th September (All About Me)
  • Tuesday 8th October (Archimboldo Art)
  • Tuesday 15th October (Activity Based Learning)
  • Tuesday 22nd October (Healthy Homes)
  • Tuesday 5th November (Portglenone Forest)
  • Tuesday 19th November (Differences Help Us Learn)
  • Wednesday 11th December (P3 Nativity in Ballykeel PS)
  • Nativity in St. Brigid’s PS - To be confirmed

World Around Us Theme: HOME SWEET HOME

During the first term we study the theme ‘Home Sweet Home’ and this includes many exciting things to do and see. We learn about how houses are built and what materials are used. We discuss together what makes a’ house’ a ‘home’ and this leads us nicely in to talking as a group about our families, our special memories, our family celebrations in our homes. Having thought about how much we all have, we then focus on those who do not have the same as us-homelessness, homes around the world, and these help us empathise with others. Our creative ‘juices’ start flowing when we dream up our little magical, mythical homes and recreate these in clay.

If you have anything at home that links in any way with these, please feel free to send them in with your child.

We will partner with our St. Brigid's friends to engage in activities linked with this theme. Look out for all the pics in the photo gallery!!


These are the areas that we will be covering up to Christmas:

Number –

  • Add numbers mentally and in written form up to 20.
  • Make and learn number bonds to 20.
  • Recognise coins up to 20p.

Measures –

  • Be able to use language to describe, compare and order length of various objects.
  • Know the days of the week and their sequence.

Shape –

  • Recognise and name common 2-D shapes
  • Be able to describe 2-D shapes according to their properties e.g. 4 corners, straight sides and number of sides.

Data Handling –

  • We will be recording results using a Venn diagrams and Pictograms.


Reading –

  • Use visual clues to find information.
  • Be able to recognise words and use Jolly Phonics for unfamiliar words.
  • Talk about what they have read and answer questions.

Writing –

  • Talk about what they are going to write.
  • Write words using Jolly Phonics.
  • Encourage good punctuation when writing sentences and stories i.e. capital letters and full stops.
  • Ensure handwriting is neat and tidy.

Thank-you for your support and co-operation this year!

Mrs. Montgomery and Miss. Kane



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