Keep Calm, It’s Nearly Christmas!

P3 have a very busy week ahead of them! Here is a quick run-down of what’s on:

  • Tuesday morning – Whole School End of Term Assembly
  • Tuesday afternoon – P3 Party
  • Wednesday – Various Christmas/Winter related activities
  • Thursday – Fun morning with P7s
  • Friday – Games, then Carols in the stairwell

Toys & Games – On Friday, children can bring in toys or games from home to play with their friends (nothing expensive or very precious and nothing electronic, please).

PE Kits – We will be sending home PE kits for washing and to check if anything has been outgrown. Please return these to school on the first day back after the holidays (Wednesday 9th January).

Pencil Cases – Pencil cases will also come home. Please could you check that your child has several writing pencils, a rubber, a pencil sharpener, a glue stick, a set of coloured pencils and a highlighter pen. Rubbers seem to be something we are particularly short of at the moment.

Social Studies Reporting – Don’t forget to complete and return the RLS reporting sheet by this Friday.

The P3 team would like to say a big thank you for all your help and support this term and to wish you a very



Here is this week’s (very Christmassy) child-friendly plan:

Child friendly plan 17.12.18


Plenty of Patterns

Now that reading, spelling and homework have stopped, we are properly in the festive mood and getting on with some Christmas crafts, Christmas stories and some Christmas songs.

In maths, we are looking at pattern this week. We will be identifying what is being repeated with each pattern and using that knowledge to continue them. In shape patterns, this can mean what sequence of shapes is being repeated each time (eg ♥ ♥ ♦ ♥ ♥ ♦ ♥ ♥ ♦ ♥ ♥ ♦ – in this case, heart, heart, diamond is what is repeated). In number patterns, it is what is being done to the numbers each time that is repeated (eg 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 – in this case,  each number is doubled to find the next). Here are clickable links to a couple of online games you could play to practise shape (tablet-friendly) and number patterns (requires Flash).

In Literacy, we will be focusing on listening and visual literacy by using short films as a stimulus for activities such as sequencing and comprehension. We will continue to read the books that the children are bringing in.

As well as all that, there are various festive activities coming up before the end of term:

  • Wednesday 12th December – Siblings of P1 children to visit Deanbank to see the Nativity
  • Friday 14th December – Christmas jumper day at Comiston Road.
  • Tuesday 18th December (morning) – Whole school Christmas assembly at Morningside Parish Church, one parent helper required for each class to walk there and back (please call the office or speak to the teacher if you can help)
  • Tuesday 18th December (afternoon) – P3 Christmas Party (bring party clothes to change into after lunch)
  • Thursday 20th December – P3/P7 fun activities
  • Friday 21st December – Last day of term, Comiston Road finishes at midday

And here is this week’s child-friendly plan:

Child friendly plan 10.12.18 blog

P3 Light the Way

**STOP PRESS** P3 Christmas Party changed from afternoon of Monday 17th to afternoon of Tuesday 18th.

It’s all about light in P3 this week. We are continuing our Emergency Services topic with a look at the history and use of lighthouses. Some of you probably already know that there is a link between our Robert Louis Stevenson topic and this one, as RLS’s grandfather, uncles and father were all lighthouse engineers.

P3B carry on the theme for their assembly which is on Festivals of Light. P3B parents/carers are welcome to come along to see the class perform – just come to the main hall after the 8.40am bell this Friday.

This is the last week of homework until after the winter break. We have sent home a little bit of maths homework, based on the 2, 5 and 10 times table and we would appreciate it if you could support your child to complete this. In class, we are doing some more data handling work, this time on bar charts and Carroll Diagrams (click the links for more information).

Primary 3 will be having their Christmas party on the afternoon of Tuesday 18th December (note change from Monday 17th, if you read this before). Your child is welcome to bring in a party outfit with them to change into after lunch (no heeled/skiddy shoes please, as we’ll be running and dancing).

Here is this week’s child-friendly plan:Child friendly plan 3.12.18

Lights, Music, Action!

Everyone at SMPS is getting excited about going to see the Lyceum production of Wendy and Peter Pan – tomorrow (Tuesday) for P1-5 & P7 and Thursday for the P6s. Some classes have been reading the story, some have been watching films, we will be making banners for the hall on the theme and many classes will be writing reviews of the show. Ask your child what they thought of it – what rating would they give it, who was their favourite character, in what ways was it similar or different to other versions they have seen/heard.

In our data handling work in maths this week, we are focusing on pictograms. The children have already learned about simple versions in P1/P2 and we are extending this learning in a couple of ways. Firstly, we are gathering more complex information from them than before, looking at relationships between data and influences. For example, if a tuck shop sells items at half price one day a week, can you tell from the number of items sold on each day which day that is – and why do you think this happens? This is something that is very relevant to the world of work and we have spoken about how lots of jobs use data and its interpretation. If your work involves data collection and interpretation, perhaps you could speak to your child about it. Also, rather than a simple “one picture stands for one thing” graph, we are looking at pictograms where one picture might stand for 2 or more things. In these cases, there will be a “key” with the pictogram to tell you how many things each picture stands for – eg ♦ = 5, so ♦♦♦♦ stands for 20 things. Here are a couple of links to online games/activities that allow some pictogram practice:

There are a couple of wee reminders to put out:

  1. Don’t forget about the Christmas jumper exchange.
  2. P3B have their class assembly next Friday (7th December). P3B parents/carers are welcome to come and watch – just come to the hall after the 8.40am bell.

And here is the child-friendly weekly plan:Child friendly plan 26.11.18 blog

P3 All At Sea

In our topic work this week, we are focusing on rescue at sea. Combining a bit of history with our Emergency Services theme, we are learning about Grace Darling and the rescue for which she is famous. There is a BBC School’s short film about it here, if you would like to know the story too.

P3B and C are revising multiplication and division while P3A has started learning about how to interpret data from tables and pictograms. If you are doing any maths work at home, it would be helpful to focus on the 2, 5 and 10 times tables and the relationship between multiplication and division (eg if 5 x 6 = 30, then 30 ÷ 5 = 6). Games like Hit the Button and Mental Maths Train can help with quick recall. If you are looking for more of a challenge, Number Fact Families helps to link multiplication and division but works beyond just the 2, 5 and 10 times tables.

Our new spelling work is up and running now. You should find each week’s spelling pattern on a slip in your child’s homework diary if you want to help them practise at home. Mrs Donegan’s Read, Write, Ink team will have their own spelling words in the homework bag for RWI.

All three classes are still waiting for some of the Health & Wellbeing feedback sheets that were given out at Parent Consultations to be returned. If you have not yet completed this sheet, please do so ASAP and return it to school, along with the bag it came in and any Health & Wellbeing work that was with it. The class charter and the Literacy feedback sheets should be kept at home.

It’s not December yet, but Christmas plans are getting underway at SMPS. P7s are coming round the classes to collect any contributions to the Christmas jumper exchange. If you have any children’s Christmas jumpers that have been outgrown and you would like to pass on, please send them in.

Here is this week’s child-friendly plan:Child friendly plan 19.11.18 blog


P3 Divide It Up

**STOP PRESS** There seems to be a wee bit of confusion about the date of P3B’s class assembly. Just to confirm that it is on Friday 7th December and P3B’s parents/carers can come to the hall after the bell at 8.40am for an 8.50am start.

This week, building on their work on multiplication, P3 have started learning about division. In P1 and P2, this was known as “grouping and sharing” and we are still using these practical strategies to illustrate division. In grouping,  a collection of objects is divided into equal groups of a given number and then the number of groups is counted (eg 15 divided into groups of 3 results in 5 groups). In sharing, a collection of objects is shared between a given number of groups and the number of objects in each group is counted (eg 16 divided between 2 groups results in groups of 8). Check out this YouTube video for an illustration (but ignore the remainders – we’re not quite there yet!). The main development from P2 is that we are starting to talk about the process as division and to use the divide symbol in written sums. There are games on Top Marks and Snappy Maths to practise these skills. Both games work on desktop/laptop computers rather than tablets.

In Literacy, we are doing quite a lot of work on sentences: remembering to use capital letters and full stops and using full sentences to answer questions. If you are reading to your child at home or when they are doing their reading homework, you could talk to them about what makes a sentence. P3A have talked about sentences having a subject (a person, animal, object or place) and a main idea (what they are doing, what they are like or what is happening to them). So, in the sentence “The girl walked down the street”, “The girl” is the subject and “walked down the street” is the main idea. We used this to help us answer questions. If the question is “Who walked down the street?”, the answer should not be just “The girl” but “The girl walked down the street.” – “The girl” is not a piece of information that makes sense on its own because the main idea is missing.

Our next topic is the Emergency Services. We will be learning about the work of the Fire, Police and Ambulance services, as well as others such as the RNLI and Mountain Rescue. There will be a little bit of history with the stories of Grace Darling and the Great Fire of London as well as visits from the police, ambulance, RNLI and mountain rescue (their important work permitting), and a visit to the fire station. This week, the classes are thinking and talking about what they know about the emergency services already and what they would like to learn during the topic.

Here is this week’s child-friendly plan:

Child friendly plan 12.11.18 blog

P3’s Pirate Party

Today was our end-of-topic Pirate Party. We wonder what Robert Louis Stevenson would think if he knew that his books were still being enjoyed and celebrated more than 120 years after he died. We had pirate stories, pirate games and even some pirate yoga!

Spelling has started this week and you will find the words your child’s group is working on in their homework diary. If you want to do any work on this at home, there is also a spelling activities grid in the diary. We are not expecting any work to be handed in and please do not do any of these activities in the homework diary – it is just for the home learning slips and other such communications.

We are continuing our work on multiplication with the five and ten times tables. There will be laminated bookmarks for these tables coming home to help you to practise them. There are also some tablet-friendly online games for reinforcement here and here.

The P3/4 assembly time has changed from 9.20am to 8.50am on Fridays and it is quite a tight turnaround to get everyone in, organised and registered to be ready in the hall for the start. We would really appreciate it if you could make sure your child is on time and in the line for 8.40am on Fridays (as we do for the rest of the week!).

Whole class silent reading is still happening on a Friday as well, so your child can bring in a book to read from home during this time. There are also books in the classroom and they can read their school library books too.

Finally, there seems to be a bit of a Rubik’s cube craze going on just now (Mrs Closs’s memory is being whisked back to the first one when she was at school in the 1970s/80s!). The children are allowed to bring in cubes (and snakes and all the other Rubik’s shapes) to play with in the playground but we would ask you to make them identifiable in some way – sharpies are great for this – in case they get lost.

Here is this week’s child-friendly weekly plan:

Child friendly plan 5.11.18 blog

P3 Become Smarter Learners

Now that we have finished the Edinburgh Literacy Rich program, we will be separating our Language lessons into spelling, grammar and language skills (eg alphabetical order, using a dictionary).

Spelling will start next week, most of it in school. However, at parent consultations, many parents/carers expressed interest in having a copy of the spelling words. With this in mind, you will find the spelling words your child is working on in their homework diary along with their homework slips each Monday. There is no expectation that the words will be practised at home and we would ask you not to hand in any written work.

This week, we are looking at the -er suffix. When -er is added to a verb, it can turn it into a noun (eg teach becomes teacher, learn becomes learner). When it is added to an adjective, it makes it “more” (eg smart becomes smarter, tall becomes taller).

In maths, we are introducing multiplication. The children will already have carried out multiplication calculations while working with equal groups and arrays in P2 but we are now using the multiplication symbol and learning times tables. This week, it is the 2 times table, next week it will be the 5 and 10 times tables. If your child is not confident in giving answers to calculations within the 2 times table, this is something you could practise with them at home. Here is a tablet-friendly game for reinforcement – it covers all of the tables so there should hopefully be enough challenge for most children.

Here are some important dates for your diary for this week and next:

  • Wednesday 31st October – P3B & P3C to visit Morningside Cemetery as part of RLS topic.
  • Thursday 1st November – P3A to visit Morningside Cemetery as part of RLS topic.
  • Friday 2nd November – P3C’s Sukkot assembly (P3C parents/carers who can attend should go to the hall through the school’s main entrance after the bell at 8.40am).
  • Monday 5th November – P3 Pirate Party (children who would like to dress up can bring along a bag of pirate clothes to get changed into after lunch).

And here is this week’s child-friendly weekly plan:

Child friendly plan 29.10.18 blog


Symmetry in P3

Welcome back – we hope you all had a good break. The weather is definitely colder now, so please could all children come to school with a coat to wear. Please also make sure that you have returned your child’s PE kit (shorts, house t-shirt and gym shoes – all named and in a suitable gym bag).

We will be doing some revision in Literacy this week. Hopefully, you will all have had the feedback from the end of block Literacy check-up. It would be really helpful if you could practise anything highlighted on there with your child. The tricky words for Block 8 are: enough, almost, mountain, family, question, area, piece, complete, knew, cold, toldhearddoor, duringstudy, hour, happen & whole.

In Maths, we are focusing on symmetry. We will be looking for lines of symmetry in shapes, objects and patterns as well as completing “half shapes” to make them a full symmetrical shape. There are two tablet-friendly online games you can use to practise at home – one on sorting shapes and one on matching them.

Here is this week’s child-friendly weekly plan (correction – see change in Science plan):Child friendly plan 23.10.18 blog (1)

Take it Away, P3!

This week, we continue to practise subtraction calculations using various strategies (eg count on/count back, using knowledge of addition number bonds and jump and spilt strategies for bigger numbers). Ask your child to tell you about what strategies they’ve been using in class. There’s a great tablet-friendly mental maths game you can play for practice: click on the train carriage with the minus symbol and try out some of the challenges.

We are checking up on how much everyone has learned in Block 8 of the Literacy Rich Edinburgh scheme. You will receive feedback on your child’s progress at parent consultations and we will be doing some revision in the first week back after the October break.

As we have found out during our topic on Robert Louis Stevenson, he didn’t just write stories – he was also a poet. This week we will be reading two of his poems – My Shadow and From a Railway Carriage – and looking at rhyme and description in them both.

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at parent consultations this week. If you cannot make it to your appointment for any reason, please let us know as soon as possible.

On Friday, after the Harvest assembly at Greenbank Church, we are expecting a visit from the wonderful Mrs Gardi, who is going to tell us more about how Sukkot is celebrated.

** PARENT HELPERS NEEDED** – On the subject of the Harvest Assembly, each P3 class needs a parent helper to walk them up to the Church and back this Friday. If you are free from 8.40am till approximately break time (10.20am), please let your child’s teacher know.


Here is the child-friendly plan for the week:

Child friendly plan 8.10.18 blog




P3’s Adventures on Treasure Island

During our work on Treasure Island, many of the children have been keen to make up their own island adventures. So, we are giving them free rein to use their imagination this week. You can look forward to reading the results next week at parent consultations.

This is the last week of Literacy Block 8. We will be learning about how to add -ed to the end of verbs that end in -y, by dropping the -y and adding -ied (eg ‘hurry’ becomes ‘hurried’). The tricky words learned so far are: enough, almost, mountain, family, question, area, piece, complete, knew, cold, toldhearddoor, during & study. This week’s new tricky words are: hour, happen & whole. Next week we will be doing the end-of-block check-up so any practice of reading/writing tricky words would be helpful.

After doing a check-up on the maths work we have done in P3 so far, we will be working on subtraction strategies until the October break. We will use the same split and jump strategies that we used for addition and apply them to take away sums. The split strategy involves splitting numbers into tens and ones before tackling the sum – eg 46 – 14 becomes 40 – 10 and 6 – 4 so the answer is 32. It can be written down like this:

Split Subt

The jump strategy involves jumping back, first in tens and then in ones, to find the answer. Using the jump strategy, the same sum (46 – 14) would look like this:

Jump subt

The other thing we will be practising is missing number subtraction sums. Here is a quick-fire, tablet-friendly game you can play at home for that.

Look out for a slip with your parent consultation time on it in the reading bags this Wednesday. If you have not returned the photo permission slip already, please do so ASAP – duplicate forms will be sent home tomorrow for any pupils who haven’t returned one.

Here is this week’s child-friendly plan:

Child friendly plan 1.10.18 blog



P3 Unpack Their Adjectives

Last week, P3 were learning about adjectives (describing words). This week, they are putting them to good use in their Big Writing. Using the marvellous maps of our own terrific treasure islands, we are writing descriptions using adjectives to make them more detailed and interesting. If you want a little trip back in time to the song that provided this week’s update title, click here. An equally catchy, but slightly more up-to-date, song about adjectives can be found here.

In literacy, we are in the penultimate week of Block 8 – the final block of the Literacy Rich Edinburgh scheme. We are adding -ed to verbs where the final sound sounds like “t” (eg as in “worked”, “washed”, laughed” and “dropped”). The tricky words we have learned so far are: enough, almost, mountain, family, question, area, piece, complete, knew, cold, told & heard. The new tricky words this week are: door, during & study.

We are continuing with our map theme in maths this week, working out how our position would change if we performed 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 turns, clockwise or anticlockwise. We will also be be looking at giving and following directions using forwards, left and right, as well as learning about the compass directions.

If you would like to do any maths at home, please continue to develop confidence and speed with number bonds and fact families.

We are taking a short break from Robert Louis Stevenson to learn about the Jewish festival of Sukkot, which falls in this week this year. Hopefully, your children will be able to tell you why and how Jewish people celebrate Sukkot.

Here is this week’s child-friendly plan:

Child friendly plan 25.9.18 blog

P3 Map it Out

We are mad for maps in P3 this week! In maths, we have been learning about how coordinates work: using given coordinates to place something on a map and giving coordinates of an existing landmark. There is a game for this you can try (not tablet-friendly) – go to either “Find the Co-ordinate” or “Treasure Hunt”, A to G & 1 to 8 grids for both.

In our topic on Robert Louis Stevenson, we have begun the story of Treasure Island (a P3-friendly, abridged version). We will be making a map of our own treasure island, working in pairs to produce different sections of the map using collage.

In literacy, adding -ed to verbs is a bit trickier this week because they sound like they only have a ‘d’ at the end (eg “payed” and “filled”). The tricky words are: cold, told and heard.


Please you make sure that your child has a (reasonably-sized – not too enormous) pencil case in school, containing: a couple of writing pencils, a pencil sharpener, a rubber, coloured pencils, a whiteboard pen and a glue stick.

We’re nearly there with PE kits – just make sure that your child has an appropriate bag to keep their kit in at school.

And here is this week’s child-friendly plan:

Child friendly plan 18.9.18 blog


It All Adds Up in P3

Over the next four weeks, we will be learning how to add -ed to the end of verbs. This week’s focus is words where you can hear the whole “ed” sound at the end (eg “mended”). This week’s new tricky words are: complete, knew and piece. Carrying on from our work on nouns, you might want to check out the verb rap we have been trying this week.

In maths, we are revising addition strategies, looking at quick recall of number bonds within 10 and 20 and, for bigger numbers, using split and jump strategies. For some practice of speedy sums, try this game at home (click on “Number Bonds” and find the level that suits you best).

Thanks to some awesome parent helpers, the library is up and running and we are starting to organise our slots. Here they are so far (we will update the page with P3C’s day ASAP):

  • P3A – Monday
  • P3B – Tuesday
  • P3C – TBC

Now that the children are in P3, we are asking them not to bring in toys to school. It is too easy for them to become distractions in the classroom or to get lost in the playground. Separate classes will have their own arrangements for Show and Tell or special times when things can be brought in and we will let you know about these.

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the curriculum evening next week.

Here is this week’s child-friendly plan:

Child friendly plan 10.9.18 blog



P3 Open the Case

We have had lots of good ideas and suggestions about the identity of the owner of our mystery case. This week, we will be opening it up to see if there are any more clues inside. Ask your child about what we find.

In Literacy, we are continuing to practise dropping the ‘e’ at the end of verbs before adding -ing. The new tricky words are: family, question and area. We have also been learning about nouns: that they are words that name a person, place or thing. Here is a song about nouns that last year’s P3s loved.

In Numeracy, we are working on place value. The classes learned about tens and ones (or units) in P2 and we are revising this and introducing the hundreds column. The important thing to know about place value is that each place can only hold one digit / a maximum of nine items. Here’s a song to help everyone to remember how it works. There is also a game for practice.

Please can you check that you have completed and returned all of the forms that have come home.

Thank you to the parents from each class who have come forward to organise the reading rotas and to any parents who have signed up already. We are looking forward to starting group reading after the September holiday.

Finally, here is this week’s child-friendly plan:

Child friendly plan 3.9.18 blog



Welcome to P3!

This is where you will find our weekly plans and updates on what we are learning, as well as any notes and reminders.

In Literacy this week, we have started Block 8, the final part of the Literacy Rich Edinburgh scheme. The pattern we are practising this week is dropping the ‘e’ from verbs before adding -ing. For example, to add -ing to save, take off the final ‘e’ and then add -ing to make saving. Our new tricky words are: enough, almost and mountain.

Last week and this week, we have been practising skip counting in 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s and 10s. There’s a nice wee tablet-friendly game you can play, if you want. Just click on Sequencing and then choose from ‘Counting in Twos’ on Simple Sequences, ‘Multiples of Ten’ / ‘Multiples of Five’ in Counting in Multiples or ‘Steps of Ten’ / ‘Steps of Five’ on Counting in Steps. Stick to Multiples/Steps OF and not UP TO unless you fancy a challenge 🙂.

We are starting a new topic this week. A old, brown case has been discovered in the school attic, with a label bearing the initials R.L.S. – who could it possibly belong to?

Here is this week’s Child Friendly Plan:

Child friendly plan 27.8.18 blog

Welcome to the Primary 3 yeargroup Page

The P3 Team:

P3A Mrs Closs
P3B Mrs Phillips
Miss Morren



Click here to see our P3 Blog