wriggly workshop

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.


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!


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.


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.


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


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.


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!



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.

one night far from here

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!


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.


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!


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


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.


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.


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!


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!


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.





It’s behind you!

This week Year 1 have been exploring, shape, pattern and position in many different ways. We were amazed to be able to find so many 2D shapes around the school; circles on the doors and floor, rectangles on the walls. triangles on displays and squares on windows! Keep looking, Year 1. I wonder what others places you will spot them?

We made patterns and pictures using shapes and got much better at being able to talk about their corners, curved and straight edges, and knowing how some were the same and some were different. We also learned that it did not matter which way the shapes were turned, they stayed the same shape.


On Friday we were treated to a wonderful insight into the history of pantomime. We are now already with our boos and cheers for our visit to the theatre on the last day of term.


Penny for the Guy

The new term got off to a exciting start as we learned about fireworks and the history of bonfire night. We made chalk pictures with added sparkle, and learned how to use capital letters to make our words LOUD!

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We also began learning about money and how the different coins actually do matter when paying the shopkeeper. The children quickly learned to add the coins rather than simply count them.



Finally, a quick apology as I completely forgot to write a blog after our trip to The Vine last term. Here are a few pictures of the fun we had, counting, comparing and measuring the trees… yes, we are looking between our legs to help us calculate the height of the tallest tree. Here’s the mathematical explanation:

tree height


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The great Storm

We have been reading a book called Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert in which a character made from autumn leaves is blown, by the gentle breeze, on an interesting journey. We used our class autumn leaf collection to make a family for Leaf Man. Many children are now making leaf pets to add to the family!

leaf men

We then continued our learning about The Great Storm of 1987 by having a special visitor come to talk to us. To enhance our learning in history this term, Mr Oatley has kindly allowed us to borrow his collection of newspapers from the time of the storm, and some books to help us find out more. He came to find out what we have learned and to share his own memories. It was great to add to our first-hand accounts, as so many of the staff at St Johns are too young to have any! Mr Oatley, thank you for sharing your books, newspapers and time with class 1.


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Maths magic

Year 1 got to grips this week with knowing by heart, pairs of numbers that make 5 and 10.

We played what seemed to be a magical game, where I could work out the number on my forehead by looking at the number that everyone else was showing me on their fingers. At first it seemed like magic, until the children realised that I was using my number bonds!

They were keen to have a try themselves…

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We also continued our learning about the work of artist, Luiza Vizoli.  We used pastels to draw winter trees, then brightened them up by adding collage leaves, or as the children thought, baubles! Finally we added fingerprint snow to make then really wintery.  We think Luiza would be pleased with the creations that she inspired.