Nature Explorer!

Hello and welcome to our Year 1 blog, it has been a pleasure to get to know the children over the past few weeks and we have had great fun getting our learning under way.

This term our topic is Nature Explorer. We will be looking at how the seasons change during the year and the weather that each season brings (our learning about the seasons will be a recurring theme throughout the year). We will be learning about trees, looking carefully at their different parts, and drawing them as part of art.

In English we have been reading After the Storm by Nick Butterworth. The children have loved retelling the story through role play and making puppets. This story links well with our learning about The Great Storm. The children have really enjoyed looking at photographs, books and videos all about the storm! They did a super job at finding out about the storm as part of their homework too! Well done!

We have experienced our first taste of Forest school this term! The children have had a great time in the forest at Sevenoaks Prep, exploring, playing and asking lots of intriguing questions.

Summertime and Strawberries!

This term in Year 1 our topic has been summertime.

In English we have been reading The Lighthouse keeper’s Lunch, we designed our own sandwiches to keep the seagulls away. We also wrote instructions on how to make a sandwich.

This linked in with our trip to the Strawberry Farm, whilst half the class were strawberry picking, the rest of the children stayed at school and used their instructions to make a strawberry jam sandwich. They also iced a biscuit with strawberry flavoured icing and placed a strawberry on top. These were then enjoyed as a picnic in the afternoon with some of the delicious strawberries they had picked in the morning. We even got to make a delicious fruit salad as part of healthy week.

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the morning strawberry picking, we first sat down to enjoy a talk about the strawberry farm and how the strawberries are grown, we then took a walk to where the strawberries were growing and got to try two delicious types of strawberries to find out which was our favourite. Then we were allowed to fill our punnets with juicy strawberries to bring home!
















In science this term we have been learning all about sunflowers and seasonal change, at the beginning of term we planted our own sunflowers and have enjoyed watching them grow! We have planted them into the planter in the Reception garden and we are enjoying watching them grow taller every day!

Term 4

This term in Year 1 we have been learning all about Animals around the world.

We started the term by having an Animal Workshop, the children loved looking at all the different animals and learning about them.



We have had great fun looking at the book ‘One Night Far From Here’ by Julie Wauters. We have learnt about the African Savannah, Russian Taiga, Amazon Rainforest and Woodland areas.

We have also enjoyed learning about hot and cold climates in Geography and have created some beautiful artwork using watercolours.

In Maths we have been learning about length and height. We have measured objects around the classroom, objects outside and even ourselves!


We have had a very busy term! Enjoy the break and we will see you back in Term 5! 🙂

Sumdog competition – Get playing!

Welcome Maths Enthusiasts. I have entered the whole school into a Sumdog competition against other schools.

All you need to do is log onto Sumdog with your usual username and password then enter the school code sjs3 to help us gain as many points as possible. The competition started today and ends next Friday 14th February at 8am.

How do you earn St John’s some points? Simply play! The more you play the more we earn.


Good Luck children!


Mrs Gillhouley

Amazing Me

Our topic this term is Amazing Me.

In science we have been looking at different parts of our body and learning about our senses. We had a fun afternoon exploring with our eyes, some of our activities included making glasses, looking at optical illusions and using magnifying glasses with ‘Where’s Wally’ books. We have also taken part in a crisp investigation and had to guess the flavour crisp. We used our senses to see what they look like, feel like, smell like, sound like when they break and finally, what they tasted like.



We are exploring the author and illustrator Nick Sharratt in English and have been learning all about adjectives and connectives. We have been searching for adjectives in the books we read and adding them to our English board. We have read Elephant Wellyphant and created our own elephants in class to describe using our adjectives. We have then made this into a class book that is in our book corner. We have also read I went to the Zoopermarket and have written letters to Nick Sharratt inviting him to school for some yummy lunch. We have also read Chocolate Mousse for Greedy Goose and wrote about different foods we like and dislike.

Term 2

Year 1 thoroughly enjoyed the trip to The Vine at the end of last term to consolidate our learning about The Great Storm. We had a fantastic time counting the oak trees, and measuring how tall they were by looking through our legs. We also measured around the trunks to find the biggest tree.

This term Year 1 have been learning all about Toys from the Past. We have found out what everyone’s favourite toy is and whether children in the past would have played with that toy. We have also been looking at toys that children would have played with in the past and compared them to our toys today.

We have really enjoyed looking at the toys in our museum and it is lovely to see so many toys in there.

In Maths we have just finished our addition and subtraction topic and have moved onto 2D and 3D shapes. Today we went on a shape hunt around our classroom to find different 3D shapes. We found different cylinders, cubes, cuboids, spheres, cones and pyramids.


Welcome to Year 1

Hello and welcome to our Year 1 blog, it has been a pleasure to get to know the children over the past few weeks and we have had great fun getting our learning under way.

This term’s topic is ‘Nature Explorer’. This term we will be looking at how the seasons change during the year and the weather that each season brings (our learning about the seasons will be a recurring theme throughout the year). We will be learning about trees, looking carefully at their different parts, and drawing them as part of art. We will be finding out about the history of Sevenoaks’ seven oaks trees. In RE, we will be focusing on the big question: What do Christians believe that God is like? We have daily teaching of maths and English, with dedicated phonics sessions.

 PE Full PE kits should be brought to school at the start of the week and will be send home Thursday ready to wear to school on Friday.

After October half term full PE kits should be brought to school at the start of the term and stay in school until we send them home for a wash, usually at the end of each term. Every child needs to have: trainers, shorts/skort, royal blue T shirt, tracksuit trousers and jumper. Girls should also have socks if they are wearing tights with their uniform. All uniform and kit must be clearly labelled so that your child can identify their clothes. It is also really useful if PE bags are labelled clearly on the outside, preferably with a sharpie pen in the bottom right hand corner – we spend hours looking for names on bags!

We have two timetabled PE sessions each week, Wednesday morning and Thursday afternoon.

Children’s Belongings PE bag are stored in the plastic boxes outside our classroom door. Children’s coats and bags are hung on pegs in the year 1 conservatory area. Lunch boxes are stored on the shelves outside our room. As always, please ensure all items belonging to your child are named clearly and your child knows where to find their name label, this includes shoes!  Now that your child is in Year 1 please discourage them from bringing toys to school. They are welcome to bring books or items related to our learning and topic. Details of our learning each week will be in the Home Learning Book.

Phonics and Reading: Children are taught and practise phonics three times a week, in small groups that focus on the specific stage that they are working at. They also reinforce their reading and phonics skills during class literacy sessions, individually with an adult and in reading groups. Your child will have opportunities to read with a number of adults in school but these will not always be recorded in their reading contact book.  However, we do ask that you make a comment when your child has read their reading book at home, and whether they would benefit from re-reading it, maybe focusing the second time on vocabulary, phonics or punctuation rather than just decoding to read the text. Reading Diaries will be checked by staff daily and changed as appropriate for your child, usually three times a week.  Please ensure that we have reading folders in school every day.

Handwriting: Please continue to encourage your child to use the correct letter formation that they learned in Reception. Please ask a member of staff for a reminder sheet if you are unsure of any of the phrases that support your child’s handwriting.
Home Learning: It is expected that all children complete homework activities. The activities provide opportunity for your child to have one-to-one adult attention, to consolidate understanding and to further their classroom learning.  If you are unsure how to support your child then please come along to the Thursday Homework Club with your child where a member of staff will be able to help you both. Activities will be sent home towards the end of each week. Please support your child with their learning but allow them to do it themselves, especially with writing tasks. Please return their book to school at the beginning of the following week – on Monday or Tuesday. Work should be done in pencil.

Other Matters:

  • A bottle of fresh, plain tap water should be brought in daily, no other drinks please.
  • Children may bring in a small amount of money to keep in their tray for the break-time tuck shop if they wish. Please put money in a small, named purse – it is advisable to provide 5p, 10p and 20p coins as snacks cost between 20p and 30p.
  • Fruit is provided every day in class which all children are encouraged to eat.
  • Please let me know if you have paid for your child to receive milk.
  • As the majority of the class now have a school meal, please allow your child to use a knife and fork to cut up their own food at home. Resist the urge to cut it for them, however frustrating it is to watch them.

If your child occasionally has ‘little accidents’ you may like to put clean underwear and a small plastic bag into their PE bag for such times.

With the colder weather approaching please encourage your child to be able to put on and zip up their own coat, as well as find the hanging loop with which to hang it up – they are on the outside of the school coats. Also, they should be able to do up their own shirt buttons and put on their tie, as well as pull their clothes the right way out in order to put them on. These simple skills save so much time during the school day!

The teaching assistants in our class are: Mrs Ottway, Mrs Thompson and Mrs Pinder.

We look forward to working with you to ensure that your child has a happy, busy and successful year. Please feel that you can share any concerns or raise any queries as they arise. You can catch me in the playground at the end of the school day, or write a note in your child’s reading diary. For confidential matters please place a note in an envelope or make an appointment to see me in the classroom.

Kind regards

Miss Giles (Year 1 Class Teacher)

Forest School

I went yesterday with Class 1 to their first day of Forest School at Sevenoaks Prep. The Prep are kindly giving us one of their trained Forest School teachers, Lucy McGilchrist, every Monday afternoon to give all of Classes 1,2 and 3 a really meaningful Forest School experience in rotation by the end of the academic year. If the first lesson is anything to go by then it will be a year to remember. A cross section of Class 1 arrive by school bus, get out and are met by Lucy, someone they have never seen before. She introduces herself, gives them a game to play immediately and then takes them over to the Forest School. From the moment they got out of the bus they were concentrating the entire time, asking interesting questions and taking on all the tasks with real energy and thought.  It was just all so impressive, and to think they are only 5 and yet to get that behaviour at that age just again proves the great teaching strength that St. John’s has, to make sure the children know how to get the best out of themselves and all around them.

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!