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The Rissington School
Aspire - Belong - Challenge

01451 820857

Phantom Class


Phantom Class


Useful information:

PE is on Mondays and Tuesdays

Homework is set on Thursdays and due in on Tuesdays

Spellings and times table tests are on Fridays


hunter gatherers autumn topic web 23 24.pdf


Welcome back to a new school year!  We are so happy to have everyone back in school and are excited about the learning we will do during the 2023/24 school year.  We hope you all had a fantastic summer break and that you are now ready for a very busy Autumn term.   

The Curriculum

Our main focus during the autumn term will be “Hunter Gatherers”.  We begin our topic with the question – Who lived in Britain first?  Early in the term we will have a workshop to discover why we are not extinct and the lives early Britain’s would have led.

Throughout the Autumn the term we will investigate the changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age.  Part of our study will involve looking at the Neolithic Hunter Gatherers and early farming making comparisons to our harvest and farming today.  We will learn about Bronze Age religion visiting a local Neolithic stones site and later in the Autumn term learning about Iron Age Hill forts

In English we will look at a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts; such as How to Wash A Wooly Mammoth, Stone Age Boy, Stig of the Dump, The First Drawing and The Pebble in My Pocket.  All our reading will inspire our writing and reading and understanding the complexities of the different texts will have a high priority throughout all curriculum lessons. Children do not write well unless they have something to write about!  All our texts will enable the children to write from different perspectives, write stories of their own and to use evidence from a text to map out events.  There will also be an expectation on improving accuracy of spelling, grammar and punctuation and the quality of handwriting.  Pen licences, will be awarded and re-awarded to those children who write using cursive and fluent script. 

In Maths we start, as always, by looking at place value including the value of decimal places and we will have a strong focus on mental arithmetic (number bonds, counting in multiples, addition and subtraction facts).  As the term progresses, we will move onto mental and written methods for addition and subtraction of numbers, including larger numbers.  Finally, we will begin to look at multiplication and division, beginning to develop written strategies to complete these calculations.

By the end of Year 4 it is essential that the children know and have instant recall of all times tables up to 12x and their inverse.  During the Autumn term the Y4 children will start to prepare for taking their multiplication check in the Spring Term.  In Year 3 we will also have a strong focus on times tables and the children will have a weekly times tables test.

Science:  Plants:  Biology will be our key strand during the first half term.  We will quickly re-visit the learning covered in year 2, before moving on to identifying and describing the functions of different parts of flowering plants; exploring the requirements for life and growth; how water is transported within plants; and exploring what part flowers play in the life of flowering plants.  During the second half of the term we link our science to geography and study rocks and soils:  comparing and grouping different kinds of rocks; understand how fossils are formed and recognise that soils are made from organic matter.

Throughout the term, in PSHE we will be thinking about personal responsibilities and keeping ourselves safe at home and outside. In Religious Education, we continue to follow the Gloucestershire Curriculum for RE and begin with considering What do Christians learn from the creation story? In the second half of the term we will consider How do festivals and family life show what matters to Jewish people?  As usual at this time of year, we will also think about our own new beginnings and participate in Harvest celebrations.  As we near the end of the autumn term we will of course be participating in our Christmas celebrations.


In Music, we will be continuing to build on the glockenspiel skills that the children began to develop last year.  We will be learning about Beethoven, and learning to play Ode to Joy, then moving on to adding our own percussion accompaniments and composing our own pieces.


Computing will begin with a unit on the Internet – focusing on understanding how networks have been made to create the World Wide Web we have today, how websites are shared and how to spot and evaluate the reliability of websites.  After half term, the children will look at audio production and work up to creating their own “podcast episode” based on our History unit this term.


We will also be using our history unit to inspire our Art this term, studying the Lascaux caves in France and developing our drawing skills with pencil and charcoal, our painting and use of vocabulary to describe tone and colour, and finally exploring different styles of print making.  In Design and Technology after half-term, we will be working on a textiles unit, designing and making our own foraging bags.

PE:  On the days that we have PE, the children may arrive in their PE kit and remain in it all day.  PE will continue to be twice a week and we begin with hockey and our indoor PE will be Gymnastics.

PE kit should comprise:  blue t-shirt, black shorts/skort (or as the weather becomes cooler – plain leggings), a warm jumper/school sweatshirt, long dark coloured socks.  It is essential that your child wears good fitting, outdoor training shoes as we will be outside as much as possible.

HOME LEARNING: It is our aim to support the children in becoming self-motivated and organised with their home learning and as such we will be refreshing passwords and use of  DB Primary in the classroom during the autumn term.  Weekly home learning will be set, and further details will be sent separately, however we do expect the following: 

READ: for at least half an hour each evening and make an entry in their reading journal.  Parents are encouraged to continue reading with their children as well, even as they join Key Stage 2, sharing time reading for pleasure.  The reading journal will then be collected and monitored during their guided reading session each week. 

Spelling lists will be sent home at the start of each term detailing each week’s spelling pattern – children should then learn their spellings for that week, ready for a spelling test each Friday. In addition, a copy of the Year 3/4 national curriculum expectation for spellings has been sent home already – further copies can be found on the class DB Primary page should you need them.

Times Tables:  each week your child will be set times tables to learn for their times tables test each Friday.

In addition to the above, your child may be issued subject specific homework by the class teacher.  This will usually be given on a Thursday, and brought back into school/completed online by the following Tuesday

Additional Information

We will also keep our DB primary class page up to date.  Children have their own logins for this page and the easiest way to access our page is by clicking on the link at the bottom of the school website home page.  DB Primary also has an email feature, which is the easiest way to get in touch with your class teacher outside of the start and end of the school day.

Formal parent evenings will be held in October to discuss settling in and your child’s progress.  However, if you would like to discuss any aspect of your child’s education or have any concerns at any time throughout the term, please do not hesitate to make an appointment.