Sunflowers and Strawberries

I cannot believe we are now in our final term in Year1! The children have come so far and are such a lovely class to teach. This term our topic is simply named ‘Summer-time’ in the hope that we will have some beautiful weather and be able to enjoy lots of fun in the sun.


Much of our work will be focussed around the weather and plants that grow at this time of the year, in particular sunflowers and strawberries. This week we have been sharing a book called ‘Camille and the Sunflowers’ about Vincent Van Gogh. It has stimulated lots of vocabulary and chat about what they look like and how they grow. We have also planted a sunflower seed each and have made predictions about how long we think it will be before we see the first tiny shoot. Our damp pots of soil are being avidly scrutinised each morning, let’s hope we do not have to wait too long!

We have our Strawberry Day planned for a few weeks time when we are lucky enough to be going to Stonepitts Farm to pick strawberries. This is such a fabulous learning experience and, unsurprisingly, many parents have volunteered to help! Thank you and sorry that I cannot accommodate more of you.

Next Tuesday and Wednesday, Year1 will be completing their Statutory Phonics Screening. Although it is a low-key affair, please help your child by making sure that they have slept well and eaten a good breakfast – every little helps!

Nearly half term!

First and foremost, I’d like to say a huge well done to all of Class Two. They have worked particularly hard on their SATS this term and all of the children have performed well and  should be incredibly proud of themselves!

I’d also like to thank you, the parents and carers, for helping with homework and for your on-going support and cooperation as always.

Thankfully, as well as SATS, we have enjoyed growing some more plants and learning about our local area. At the start of the term we planted out spinach seeds and have spent the last few weeks watching them grow in different conditions. Class Two have since established the perfect growing conditions for plants and many have told me they cant wait to do some gardening at home. Also we managed to plant some cress which everyone is keen to taste when it has grown a little more.

Indoor CressOutdoor cress

We also had one more very important visitor come in and see us on Wednesday and she bought her little baby in. Everyone in Class Two were so excited to see Miss Prendergast and baby Isla.

I know everyone is Class Two is eager to find out all about the end of year production when we return after half term!

SATs in the Sun

Welcome back to all of Year 6 and their families since the Easter break. I hope everyone had a brilliant time, despite the fact that the weather was pretty dire! And of course, the sun has decided to make its appearance as we return back to the classroom – adding to the general aroma of our classroom, lovely!

However, we are taking every opportunity to get out in the sun with Sports Day and District Sports practices on the meadow and the school field. We’ve chosen our new class book too, an overwhelming majority of the class chose “Room 13” by Robert Swindells.  We are already making serious progress with this book so may be on our second choice before the next blog!

With all the excitement of the weather, visiting local Olympic gold medalists and starting new, creepy books, we have also firmly kept our sights on the impending SATs. On Monday we calculated how many working school days we had left until our first test on the 14th May – as I type we stand at 15 working days.

 

 

 

 

Plenty of time for us to revise and practise our essential knowledge, skills and techniques for the test. Although we understand that we shouldn’t be stressed or worried about the SATs (and in fact we should feel excited and ready to show how amazing we are!), we’re also very aware that with all the efforts we’ve gathered over the recent months we want to do our very best to achieve the best score personal to ourselves.

A few more weeks of preparation, one week of tests that we’re going to smash and then we’re ready to focus on our leavers activities and transition to our secondary schools.

Keep going, Class 6! We’re so nearly there!

 

A sunny start to Term 5

The children have all returned well-rested, enthusiastic and cheerful after the Easter break, especially as the weather has improved. It has been wonderful to hear about all their adventures over the holidays and how many different places have been visited. I am especially delighted with the excellent homework that has been returned and I am so impressed with the children’s new knowledge and the effort put into their projects. There have been so many beautiful peices, it has been difficult to display them all but here are a few on display, making our classroom look even more colourful. Many children chose to do more than expected which is fantastic! I know that you all enjoyed the project and the freedom to choose which tasks to do. Great work year 4!

This week we have had two highights. Firstly, seeing Olympic Gold medalist, Lizzie Yarnold  at The Vine and secondly, discovering that eggs have been laid in Sophia’s bird box over the half term. We think they are Blue Tits and we are hoping that they will hatch. Very exciting!

This term’s learning promises to be equally exciting with plenty of outdoor learning opportunities.  In Literacy, we have embarked on a new journey with Edward Tulane and in Maths we are continuing our learning journey on decimals, relating these to money and measures, with Mr Field planning plenty of practical measuring activities. Mr Field will also be taking the children on a “journey” through North America during Geography lessons.

In Science, we are completing our investigations on Sound. This week we investigated how to change the pitch of a sound with hands-on enquiries and recorded our findings using the iPads.

In a few weeks, we will begin learning about living things and their habitats and are delighted to once again have the opportunity to attend Forest School to supplement our learning at school and carry out some important scientific research.

Reminders: Please have your PE kit in school every day and your instrument in on Mondays.

Spellings and times tables will once again be tested on Wednesdays.
As the weather is warm, please bring in a water bottle to keep in the classroom.

 

 

 

 

Walk like an Egyptian

Ancient Egyptian News!

As a conclusion to our Ancient Egyptian Topic, Class 3 stepped back in time, donned suitable costumes and with help from ‘History off the Page’ participated in an amazing ‘Egyptian Day’ workshop.

We were transported back to the 14th Century B.C. to the New Kingdom of Aten, where we encountered artisans dealing in many crafts. Each member of Year 3 visited every craft station and made a variety of objects including: a clay canopic jar, carved shabtis, a clay amulet, an Egyptian style fresco, a papyrus with hieroglyphics and finally embalming oils were made and mummification was practised on peg dolls.  Items were carefully made and with trepidation, were presented to the Sun God, Aten, under the vigilant watch of the temple guards!

The afternoon continued at the Royal Court as we sought to entertain the Pharaoh and Queen Nefertiti and appoint the new High Priest of Aten. We rehearsed and performed dances, plays and mines to entertain our esteemed guests. The ‘slaves’ worked hard presenting and serving the banquet and a fun time was had by all!

The children left for home with a bag full of exciting objects which I hope they shared with you?

Lizzie Yarnolds Bus Parade – with pictures

St John’s School certainly made the right impression on behalf of Sevenoaks Town this morning in honor of Lizzie’s 2 gold Olympic Skeleton Medals.

The Vine,one of the oldest cricket grounds in the UK, was the first port of call in her Open  Top Bus Parade around the area from Sevenoaks to West Kingsdown via Swanley.

There, lining the the whole length of the ground were all 250 children,staff and a few parents all waving their flags and Lizzie Yarnold badges as she slowly passed at 9.40am on the hottest day of the year.

What a great way to start a school day, a relaxing sunny 15 min walk from the school to the Vine and back and making sure Lizzie’s day had the best possible start!

There’s K-no-le Hike like a St. John’s hike!

This term we have contended with extreme weather conditions, fractions, The Highway Man poem, visits to St. John’s Church and a 7 km hike to Knole Park in aid of Sports Relief.

Here are some of our experiences in pictures.

Snow Globes and snowflakes:

 

Our visit to St. John’s Church to find out more about Holy Communion with Father Matthew:

Our epic hike!

We would like to thank all the children for their hard work this term and all the parents for their continued support. It was lovely to see you at parent consultations.

 

Next term we will be thinking about writing our part in the summer production, reading a new book (shh, it’s still a secret) and embarking on our PGL residential. Yeah!

 

Mhairi Mackelworth and Jane Gillhouley

Fun at the farm

I cannot believe it is almost time for the Easter Holiday already! In Reception we have had another week packed full of exciting learning and discovery.

The week began with a fabulous book called ‘Click Clack Moo, Cows That Type’ in which a Farmer has a little problem when the cows on his farm get hold of a type writer and decide to go on strike, sending letters with demands of electric blankets in exchange for their milk! The class were delighted when I then opened a letter addressed to them from Framer Brown himself, telling them about all the other animals and their various problems! They decided the only option was to write back to Farmer Brown with their own ideas of how to keep the animals happy!

 

As always in Reception, we have been exploring our creativity during our ‘Farm’ topic using a range of mediums from printing to junk modelling. It has been fabulous to see how imaginative and resourceful many of the children have become over the course of the year, demonstrating such imagination when it comes to creating models and crafts, often now working completely independently from the designing stage through to the final piece! Here are a few examples of our wonderful farm headbands and tractors!

 

 

 

This week we have been having a great time practising adding two groups of objects together and then writing it as a ‘number sentence’. The children have picked up this idea brilliantly and are already beginning to make connections between numbers using their mental arithmetic as well as practically counting objects.

  

As I have mentioned previously, we have been making great progress with our tricky words alongside learning our digraphs in phonics. I have added a link below to the tricky word song we use to help us on you tube. Just a little warning, it is very catchy! It is worth noting that the song refers to the letters as their ‘letter name’ as opposed to their ‘sound’.

Tricky word song

 

 

Springtime Adventures at Carroty Wood

What an active way to end Term 4 :The Sport Relief Walk and Carroty Wood!

After all the snow and ice, the sun finally came out to warmly greet us as we ventured to Carroty Wood for our exciting residential trip. Class 4 excitedly boarded the coach and headed off for their active adventure on Wednesday. The children happily played imaginative games in the woods, built dens and structures before having lunch together. It was wonderful to see how creative they can be, having the freedom to play and explore.

The afternoon commenced with the High Ropes and Low Ropes courses, with many children conquering their fear of heights and challenging themselves to have a go even when it looked too difficult. Resilience, encouragement and courage were demonstrated in abundance.

A special treat awaited us after swimming in the evening in the form of pizzas! Exhausted by the activities, we flopped into our beds and all slept soundly.

Thursday morning, we were challenged to work in teams to complete the Maze or the Mission Impossible before playing a game of Rounders. Before returning to school, we ate our packed lunches (made by the children) and reflected on the fun we had had together.

A memorable (muddy) experience for all!  Here are a few photos to enjoy;

Animals all around

Year 1 have been fascinated by the book we have been sharing this term called ‘One Night Far from Here’. It is a beautiful and unusual book with transparent pages and real animals that we have never heard of. You would think the tricky, new animal names would put the children off, however the opposite has been true. For example, they were keen to look up ‘golden orb weavers’ and ‘goliath birdeaters’ using the Ipads and discovered that they are in fact spiders. The children have asked daily whether we were having a new page or not, such is their enthusiasm. They have also been bringing in animal facts to share, well done Year 1.

In DT we have been exploring how to make moving pictures using flaps, split pins, sliders and springs. These clever pictures all have a secret part hidden by a flap!

I hope that all the Year 1 mums enjoyed their springy, spring flower cards on Mothering Sunday. I was exceptionally proud of my class when they sensibly and ably opened the Mothers’ Day church service. Despite our rehearsal time being very limited because of the  four, fabulous snow days, the children remained professional, even when using the microphone for the first time!

This term we have been thinking about Springtime and the signs and varied weather that it brings.

It has certainly been true recently with snow one day and sunshine the next! Our walk for Sport Relief was luckily dry, cold but incredibly muddy… almost up to our armpits as one child told me when they slipped over! The children walked an amazing distance with good humour and energy, maybe it’s just my legs that ached the next day as they all bounced into school as normal. Well done to all, old and young legs alike.

It was great to have the opportunity to talk with you about your child’s progress last week at our Parent Consultations. Many people asked about the list of exception words which Year 1 are expected to know how to spell by the end of the year, so here they are: