Twyford St Mary's Primary School

Twyford St Mary's Primary School


Several teachers at Twyford have been using 3ml over an extended period. Here we focus on the work of Sophie Davies, who devised and taught a set of five lessons on consecutive days. Mrs Davies is now the headteacher.


The school

Twyford St Mary’s is a Church of England state school. It teaches the National Curriculum and is controlled by the local authority. Pupil roll at 21 Feb 2021 was 157, in the age range 4-11.

The pupils who used 3ml

Combined Year 4/5 class (= Primary 5/6 in Scotland). 33 pupils took part. 470 stories were completed.


Teacher comments: Sophie Davies, headteacher at Twyford St Mary's

What teachers liked about 3ml

"The concept and information are great! What I like most is the genuine connection between curriculum skills for reading and scientific concepts and language. That meant we could recap and revisit the science learning while enhancing the children's ability to practise the core reading skills. The work my class did on electricity, light and the human eye - and our conservation work - were all supplemented by the 3ml reading and activities. It sparked meaningful conversations about science while they engaged with their reading."

What pupils liked most

"The way the texts are linked to real scientists, places and events they could relate to - and then make connections with their curriculum science learning.

Did the 12 science anthologies help deliver the curriculum?

"Yes! As a school we decided that the 3ml units would help to ensure the threads of the previous science learning were not lost after the science units were taught. The reading the pupils did, as well as the activities and review questions helped pupils to meet and use essential scientific vocabulary in context and remember key curriculum concepts."

Did you find the review questions we provide for each curriculum topic helpful?

"Yes. Information retrieval, revisiting and remembering is a key focus for Ofsted and something the school would like to continue to work on."

Which parts of the science curriculum did 3ml support?

"Our science curriculum states: 'Pupils should read and spell scientific vocabulary correctly and with confidence, using their growing word reading and spelling knowledge.' 3ml supports this 100%. In addition, in the last 3 years of KS2 Yr 6 SATS papers there has been a focus on a science-based text as one of the three presented in the reading booklet for their end of key stage assessment. This is packed full of language that the children encounter on 3ml!"

Which parts of the English curriculum did 3ml support?

"Reading, KS2: comprehension, discussing a wide range of non-fiction and reference books or textbooks; checking that the text makes sense to them; discussing their understanding and explaining the meaning of words in context; asking questions to improve their understanding of a text; identifying main ideas drawn from more than one paragraph and summarising these; retrieving and recording information from non-fiction."

Were pupils generally keen to use 3ml again?

"Yes! A number of them really loved the science based/online reading and as they became more familiar with the system their speed and skills were really enhanced with the four main areas of reading skills the programme is aimed at."

One improvement that would add value to 3ml?

"I think elements of the software could be made slightly more user-friendly for teachers and pupils. Some kind of reward-based system would be nice too."

Final thought?

"I would recommend 3ml to other teachers. It's a real asset to any science and english curriculum."

3ml lesson planning

Five lessons, delivered one a day on consecutive days.

Day 1. We Are Learning To explore reading online.

Starter: Tim Peake video to introduce the 3ml resource. What does STEAM stand for? (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics education). Reading science texts is important skill - new language and new knowledge. Main: The four activities. 1) Connect, 2) Think of a question, 3) Summarise (captures the main idea), 4) Clarify (word meaning). Model as a class using a 3ml story. Check with class they understand a quality answer. Get pupils to log in and practice opening a story. Plenary: Review 4 activities and how they help our reading. Anthology focus for this half term (linked to our science learning).

Day 2. WALT explain the meaning of unfamiliar words in a STEAM text.

Starter: Login to 3ml and recap the 4 activities to briefly model. Main: Today’s focus is meaning of unfamiliar words. In pairs: Pupils log into an anthology and collect a bank of new and unfamiliar words to use from the stories. What are our strategies to work out new words? Model using the 3ml drop-down menu and pupils have a go. Plenary: Pupils to answer the word meaning section on an anthology text for teacher assessment.

Day 3. WALT summarise a STEAM text.

Starter: Login to 3ml and recap the 4 activities. Today’s focus is capturing the main idea – also called Summarising. Main: Group model summarising using an anthology story. Sometimes challenging to find one main idea. How to prioritise? Model choosing a few possibles and how we decide on the MAIN idea. Pupils log in to their accounts in pairs and try to capture the main idea on their previously chosen story. Plenary: Share with another pair – do you think they found the main idea?

Day 4. WALT ask questions about a STEAM text.

Starter: Review our learning of previous skills – unfamiliar words and capturing the main idea. Today we are learning to ask quality questions. What makes a quality question? Main: Model asking poor questions – why are my questions no good for this text? (unrelated or already answered in the text) What are the rules to a quality question? (one that links to what we have read and isn’t answered already in the text, and you can add grammar rules of a question here too). Pupils log in and try think of a question on their previously chosen text. Plenary: Sharing questions with class – justifying why they are quality questions.

Day 5. WALT make connections with what we have read or our lives or something we already know.

Starter: How can you connect your life to one of these images? Connections are a powerful way to relate to a text and add meaning to what we read. Today’s focus is making connections to what we know or have experienced - perhaps through our daily lives or through our science learning? Main: Whole class look at anthology text and discuss connections we can make to our experiences, knowledge or classroom learning. Pupils log in and try to capture a link to their lives or science experiences on their previously chosen text. Plenary: Self-reflect. Which of the 3ml skills is the most challenging for you? Why?