aliens, babies and a special treat!

With Christmas fast approaching, Year 1 are busy learning about how we prepare for the celebration and about the first ever Christmas. We have talked about how all babies are special and that the birth of baby Jesus was extra special too.

We have been having so much fun discussing who we think each baby is – some of the pictures are very deceiving! There is much debate about the little one with the mass of dark hair, top left corner of the display,  the children cannot wait for me to reveal the identity!

The focus for our learning in English is to use adjectives. We enjoyed describing the old toys kindly lent to us for our toy museum, using words such as: old, scratchy, rusty and  broken. We are now using our imaginations to create a planet for our book character, Beegu. He has some weird and wonderful things on his planet according to the children, such as green pizza and lollipop trees. 

 

In Year 1 we work together as a team to fill our class marble jar. So far our treats have been to have shortbread (linked with our learning about Scotland), strawberry donuts, spotty balloons, and a classroom disco. The next treat we are collecting for  is to watch a film together. However, our treat came early yesterday! We were lucky enough to have free tickets for this year’s Into Film Festival at The Stag Cinema. We took our packed lunches, wrapped up warm, and set off to walk there. We thoroughly enjoyed the showing of Despicable Me3, and I can say that the children’s behaviour and attitude was exemplary.

You always make me proud Year 1!   

 

Toys old and new

With Christmas now on the horizon, the exciting new topic in Year 1 is all about toys.  We have our Toy Museum set up ready in the classroom and are eagerly awaiting old toys to be lent by parents and grandparents. I wonder what we will get?

Our focus in English this term is to understand how to use capital letters. We have already been using capitals to make words LOUD in our writing. We have watched fireworks on screen in preparation for this weekend’s firework displays and thought about the type of noises we may hear. POP, BANG, WHEE, WHIZZ were among our favourites.

We are becoming experts now at adding and subtracting and are more than half-way through our current Maths Learning Journey. Our challenge this term is to know all the pairs of numbers that make 5 and 10. When we know these by heart we will work out all the number bonds for all the other numbers. Year 1 are always busy!

 

Year One’s Autumn Fun

How wonderful to have a bright-eyed, new class of children to get to know! It really has been a pleasure to meet them and get our learning under way. This term we are beginning our topic of Nature Explorer, with the well-known and much loved story character Percy the Park Keeper leading the way. Using his story ‘After the Storm’ we have been learning about weather and oak trees and also what happened nearly thirty years ago during the real Great Storm of 1987.

We thought about different types of weather that Percy may encounter in his park. I then thought we would make weather hats, but one super-thinker had the great idea to turn them into weather belts, a suggestion met with enthusiasm by many!

We have also taken up the  challenge of spending five minutes every day focussing on spelling words correctly. This includes the tricky, exception words that we have to learn to spell correctly by the end of the year, as well as applying our phonics carefully for all other words. We are thinking up imaginative ways to learn and apply our spellings, this week we played a stepping stone game in our socks!

We are half way through the term and still have so many exciting things to learn and do, including our first Forest School experience – I had better find my wellies I think!

 

Planes and Pizza!!

What a fantastic term in year 1 – full of investigation and discovery. Our topic about flight proved to be immense fun as we explored the best material to make a helicopter, based on the principal of how a sycamore seed flies. We were surprised to find that paper flew and spun the best with craft foam a close second. The children also came in enthused after their homework challenge to make  a parachute for a toy, asking ‘what flying thing are we making next?’

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We continued with our investigations by designing, making and improving paper kites. Luckily we were blessed with a windy afternoon to carry out our testing, and retesting once we had strengthened our kites with drinking straws. The kites looked really professional and the children were keen to take them home rather than have them displayed in the classroom.

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Paper planes were our next challenge! Many of the boys professed to be experts already, however they keenly followed the video instructions to make a dart plane. With our planes decorated and named (Some with hugely creative names like ‘Blaze’ and ‘Sapphire’) we once again went outside to see what our creations would do. After a few trial runs, our planes were flying brilliantly, especially after adding blue tac to balance them.

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The children were thrilled to arrive one morning to find a Pizza Shop in the conservatory! Our maths about wholes, halves, quarters, money, and counting in twos, fives and tens was fun and practical, as well as helping our communication skills and manners!

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The children are now wondering what might appear in the conservatory next…

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To end our learning about animals Year 1 were treated to a visit from a Zoolab animal expert today. We were all really excited to find out what we were going to meet…

During our learning session we touched Simba, the giant African lands snail. We learned that it had two noses, teeth on its tongue and could grow up to the size of a football! We correctly worked out that it was a  herbivore.

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Next we met Dory, a beautiful Madagascan hissing cockroach. Maxwell said that it was ‘smooth and bumpy’ as it had its armour on the outside, rather than bones on the inside. We were amazed to find out that it was fire-proof and would survive in ice for up to two months. It would also live without its head for ten days du to having two brains, one in its head and one  in its bottom!

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Our third visitor was a creature that had a sting in its tail and luckily stayed in the tank, an Asian forest scorpion called Olaf. We were not allowed to touch it in case it pinched our finger with its enormous claws.

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Our final one was a furry mammal called Blueberry. She was a beautiful grey rat who was incredibly tame. Despite having a bad reputation we learned that they are actually very clean animals, using their paws to wash all over four times each hour.

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It was great to see these animals up close and to apply our scientific knowledge from last term.

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This term our new topic is called ‘Up, Up and Away’, and is about flying and materials. We have lots of exciting investigations to complete involving paper planes, kites and helicopters.

sunny end to term 4

Term 4 has come to an end after plenty of fun and learning. We have now completed our topic about animals,  and the children really enjoyed learning about all kinds of creatures and using new words such as: carnivore, omnivore, herbivore in order to sort them. We have also discussed animals’ features in terms of  being amphibians, reptiles, mammals, birds, fish and  insects, such a lot of new and grown-up vocabulary. We used some of our new knowledge to research and make fact posters.

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Our DT project about ‘moving pictures’ was huge fun and showcased the creative talents of Year 1 excellently. The  children learned to make flaps, use split pins, create paper springs and sliding mechanisms. The children spent a lot of energy and concentration making their Mothers’ day and Easter cards,  utilising their new skills to add a moving part. I hope that all recipients of our cards were suitably pleased!

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On the subject of Mothers’ Day, I was deeply impressed with every child in Year 1 when we gave the opening presentation at the Mothers’ Day church service. The children were true professionals as they each stepped up to use the microphone in front of  the whole school and packed congregation, explaining clearly about the history of Mothering Sunday and how it is celebrated around the world. I am not sure that I would have been so brave and felt immensely proud of them.

Our term ended with two exciting events. Last term, having studied books written and illustrated by Nick Sharratt, we were delighted to attend the Knowle Literary Festival where were actually got to meet him! Sitting in the Great Hall, Nick Sharratt gave us step-by-step drawing instructions to draw like he does, and then got to meet him as he signed books and bags. Meeting one of our literary heroes was fabulous!

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Secondly, we were invited to watch KS2 House Sport afternoon. Not only was this entertaining, but it was so sunny that we were able to try out the glasses we made last term. The lenses changed the colour of everything we looked at making it hard to know which team was winning!

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Animals!

This term Year1  are having an exciting (and imaginary!) trip around the world, learning about animals and their habitats. We are beginning by sharing a beautiful book called ‘One Night, Far From here’. The language is quite tricky and it is testing our phonic skills brilliantly. It is full of weird and unusually named real creatures which we are enjoying finding our about using the ipads.

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So far we have visited  the hot African savannah and met a generuk. We have trekked through the snow in the Russian taiga and spotted a caribou, and been surprised to see a praying mantis in the Amazon rainforest. We cannot wait to see where we travel to next!

Term 3 fun and learning

Learning about ourselves and how amazing we really are, has been really engaging for the children. When I asked them which bits they enjoyed most, unanimously they agreed that our taste and smell experiments were the best! They also enjoyed getting messy with paint and creating their own superhero characters.

Our pointillism portraits, inspired by the work of George Seurat, were created entirely with our fingers, not a paint brush in sight!

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We tasted crisps and used all of our senses to try to determine what they were. We were surprised how much they varied in colour, texture, crunch and smell, as well of course in taste.

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Most of us agreed that mustard was not a scent we would like to have in  a perfume… the top three smells were chocolate, vanilla and orange, the class prefered a tasty smelling perfume it seems!

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We tricked our eyes with optical illusions, we never did agree on how many legs this elephant has!

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Our final two weeks of term included Book Week. I loved meeting the children’s toy superheroes made for homework, and the comic strip style stories they created were fabulous. We even made photo stories with speech bubbles and clip art sound effects using the ipads.

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A busy term with lots of learning. Well done Year1.

Amazing Me!

Term 3 began with such excitement as we had a science morning on the very first day. Organised by Mrs Casewell and Mrs Quirk, everyone in the school investigated making tin foil boats and finding out how many pennies they could carry. After experimenting and improving our boats, Lenny had the winning boat in our class… carrying over 100 coins!IMG_2035

Our new topic, Amazing Me! is now in full swing. We started by thinking about what superheroes are like, and decided what talent we would have if we could be a superhero. We designed our costumes, and then voted for which costume was our favourite.

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Elizabete was chosen to be our superhero on the wall, her costume was fantastic! Our learning about superheroes and talents will continue by learning about real-life superheroes; Florence Nightingale and Louie Braille. In science, we will be finding out about our senses and how we use them to find out about the world around us. We have lots of interesting experiments to do involving listening, looking, smelling, touching and tasting.

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Creating portraits is the focus of our art this term. We are learning about pointillism as used by George Seurat and will be creating our own portrait gallery. We will also be looking at the clever work of Guisepe Archimboldo later in the term.

So, a busy term ahead!

‘Born in a Barn’ Bonanza!

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What a wonderful finale to a busy Christmas term! The children have all worked exceptionally hard; learning lines, songs and dances. They have impressed us all with their performance and star quality! Our show certainly dazzled and shone with plenty of gold medallions and neon glowing halos. We could have given every child a halo for their outstanding efforts individually. We are sure that you enjoyed it as much as we did too!

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Reception have completed our Space topic and I wonder how many of the children are now aspiring astronauts?

In Year 1 we are now expert puppet-makers, having completed finger, hand and sock puppets. We have had great fun writing scripts for our puppet shows and performing them to be recorded on iPads.

In Year 2 we finished learning how to write a set of instructions effectively. The highlight of our learning was writing instructions for how to make jelly, making it and then finally eating it! Wobble wobble!

We wish all of you a very merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

Miss A, Mrs T and Miss P.