Feathers, Fur, skin and scales

Bird Week at the end of last term was fantastically, feathery fun in Year 1. We made Cheerio bird feeder in maths, created our own bird fact books, built lego bird homes and painted pointillism birds using cotton buds.

We read a brilliant book called Some Birds by Matt Spinks which gave us great ideas for adjectives and verbs that we could use to write our own bird poems.

We also measured birds’ legs using cubes and found their numerical difference by comparing and subtracting. We also measured the length of feathers using a variety of measuring equipment.


We ended our week by visiting Year 4 to try out our ‘tickle sticks’ as part of our learning about senses. We discovered that their most ticklish body part was their hands and face! It was great to hear all the squeals and giggles from our very patient guinea-pigs, thank you Year 4.


Our next topic follows on very neatly this term as it is called ‘Animals Around the World’.

Nurses and nibbles!

As part of our topic called Amazing Me we have been thinking about hospitals in the past and hospitals now. We have found out about Florence Nightingale and discovered that she really was a ‘Hospital Hero’. We did not fancy being a patient in the past and laying on the floor with rats crawling around, or drinking unclean water. We decided to have our own nurses’ station and had lots of fun helping our patients. We had patients with broken ankles, bruised ears and poorly tummies! We have some budding doctors and nurses in Year 1 I think!

Continuing with our learning about senses and how they keep us safe and healthy, we firstly played games where our sense of hearing was most important. We had lots of giggles when we played ‘Squeak, Piggy, Squeak’, Chinese Whispers and The Keeper of the Keys. I think this was the quietest I have ever heard our class.

During another afternoon we explored our sense of sight. We were amazed by the optical illusions, loved the kaleidoscopes, and were increasingly frustrated by searching for Wally using magnifying glasses in our Where’s Wally? books. We even made our own fashionable glasses to wear while we worked.


Our most recent science lesson was the children’s favourite by far… using our sense of taste to identify crisp flavours. The children were very restrained as they investigated each crisp by looking, feeling, smelling and listening before finally tasting. Salt and vinegar flavour proved to be the firm favourite with 21 children voting for it.


We still have our perfume laboratory and feely bags to look forward to, this really is one of my favourite topics to teach!

Term 3 off to an amazing start!

Before we move swiftly into a new term, may I first thank all the volunteers who accompanied us to the pantomime on the last day of last term. It was a wonderful treat for everyone and a fabulous way to finish for Christmas. Another big thank you from all the year 1 staff for our cards and gifts, we really appreciate your kindness.

The children worked very hard in the last few week of term despite busily rehearsing and then giving outstanding performances as dancing stars in the nativity. Below are some pictures of the work we did about the story of Jesus’ birth.


After a lovely Christmas break, Year 1 are now raring to go with our new topic called ‘Amazing Me!’.We introduced the topic by thinking about what kind of superhero we would be and the super-talents we may have. Many children thought it would be useful to be super-stretchy, while others thought being super-brave would enable them to help lots of people. We designed our superhero costumes and chose our favourite one to be made into super-sized superhero picture for our display.  Our wonderful new superhero – real name Grayson, is now waiting for his body parts to be labelled during our next science lesson.

This term we will be learning about real-life heroes such as Florence Nightingale and Louis Braille, linked with learning about our senses and how they keep us safe and healthy. We are also exploring  books written and illustrated by Nick Sharratt. Please encourage your child to have a look through their books at home to see if they can spot any. HIs books are hugely entertaining and we have already had fun sharing a few of his books, I have never seen the reading corner so busy! In art we will be learning about portraiture and creating our own art gallery, as well as finding ways to create pictures without pencils or paintbrushes. A busy term as ever and off to a flying start!


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…

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!