Twyford St Mary's
Church of England Primary School


Sycamore Class

Welcome to Sycamore Class (Year 3 and Year 4)

All children in Year 3 start Key Stage 2 in Sycamore Class, situated in a warm and welcoming room that opens into the library on one side, and to the outdoor space on the other. As a bridge from KS1 to KS2, Sycamore Class aims to be a nurturing space with lots of opportunity for low level working – such as in master classes by the board – as well as independent and group work. For the Year 4 cohort in Sycamore the Autumn Term is a great opportunity to act as unofficial mentors for the younger children. This boosts confidence across the class and often sparks new friendships that endure throughout the school.

We lead the class together, splitting the week with a time to liaise and handover on Wednesdays when Nikki is in school and working on her SEND leadership. We each teach both year groups in parallel and find our approach gives the children plenty of scope – in this middle point in their primary years – to work up to greater depth, or access extra support in areas where they may need it.

Year after year, Sycamore is a lively and rewarding place to learn – and teach – as children find their groove and start to take on more roles of responsibility across the school. And, with the much anticipated first residential field trip in Year 4, this is a time when we love seeing their independence and maturity really start to flourish!

Nikki Lawrence and Jo White


How it works

Teaching Year 3 and Year 4 children together naturally presents a range of needs, but we have lots of tools we use to give every child the support and stretch that they need to succeed. With around 30 children in the class, this number gives us room to adapt our teaching and – through Assessment for Learning (AFL) – we are constantly running on-the-spot checks of what knowledge the individual has and what they need for the subject at this time.

We often use a Masterclass approach where we bring children together in small groups – often on the carpet around the board – to create focus for a new concept or to revisit information. This works both for greater depth learners and for those who might be struggling. Scaffolding is another technique that works well for children in Year 3 and 4 and we might use scribing or visual support aids to take some of the pressure away from the individual This way we can give each child the freedom to build their confidence with a topic in the way that works best for them gives them the scope to continue their learning independently.

Although technology is introduced from Year R, using IT becomes increasingly valuable in Sycamore. As well as discrete computing and coding-based sessions – using Purple Mash – we use our iPads and laptops to support independent work across the curriculum.

Meet the teachers

Mrs Lawrence

Sycamore Class Teacher, and Twyford St Mary’s SENDCo, Nikki Lawrence has been teaching since 2010 and came to teaching through a family connection (her Godmother was a Deputy Head) and an emerging passion for all things education. From an administrative role in a school through working as an LSA, her love for teaching – and particularly for Special Educational Needs – emerged and now Nikki is not just one of our Sycamore Class teachers but leads our SEND approach across the school, as well as being SENDCo for Durley School. She has two young children and, in another life, would have been an actress!

Mrs White

Sycamore Class Teacher, Jo White, has also been in teaching since 2010. Her route to teaching was unusual as she started off her career in the third sector, working in communications for charities such as YWCA and WRVS. She was drawn to the inspirational aspect of teaching and since qualifying has worked in both large and small schools. She is drawn to working in KS2 where, she says, she loves to see the inquisitive and curious independence at work in the children she teaches.  She also has two young children. 

Staying in touch

We have regular touch points across the school year to keep families informed of your child’s progress, including parents’ evenings, in-class events and meet the teacher sessions.

We are always happy to talk to parents or carers about any aspects of your child’s learning or well-being and if you have any quick questions or pertinent information you want to share about your child, you can usually find us on the playground at pick up. If we can please ask that you wait until we have ensured all children are safely on their way home, then we will be free for a quick chat!

For any other concerns, or if you would like a meeting to discuss any issues, please contact the office and we can arrange a phone call or a meeting.


Key days and dates

PE –

For the diary

Spring 1:

6/7 Feb : Parents Evening

Spring 2:

Summer 1:

Summer 2:


More information

Sycamore 2023 Curriculum Focus