Mr Hancox, Mrs Browning and Mrs Webber
Friday 23rd October 2020
Our Class Charter
We discussed our rights and the Articles of the UNCRC that the children felt were the most important to them. We then used those Articles to create our class charter. Ask your child why they thought these Rights were the ones we should include.
Virtual Harvest Assembly
The global pandemic may have prevented us from getting together for our harvest celebration this year, so we're bringing the celebrations to you! We hope you enjoy our very first virtual Harvest Assembly!
Home Learning Menu
There's no formal home learning for the Half Term holiday, however here are some ideas if you do want to keep your child's brain busy.
For English we recommend that you continue to read daily with your child. Reading Diaries have gone home in which to record your child's reading activities. They also include phonics sounds and tricky words to practise. You can also explore Serial Mash and Oxford Owl for extra reading, and the 'Assignments' area of Spelling Shed for extra spelling practise.
In Phonics we're recapping Phase 3 of Letters and Sounds. This week we concentrated on the sounds 'ear' (hear), 'air' (hair), and 'ure' (sure), as well as the tricky word 'they'. Look out for them in your daily reading and in everyday use. There's also a set of sight word flashcards attached to the bottom of this page for extra practise, or try the interactive sight words games on Education.com using the logins provided.
The Autumn Term Reading Challenge is also up and running. The challenge sheet has been sent home, but there's also a copy of it attached to the bottom of this page along with the BAME book list.
In Maths, we've been looking at whole-part models and addition within 20 as well as number bonds within 10. Try the interactive games on Education.com using the logins provided.
Our current Music unit is 'Hey You' and can be accessed on YuMu for those doing their learning at home.
Seesaw Electronic Learning Journal
We'll be using the Seesaw Family app to share some of the children's learning this year. Check your email for an invitation from your child's teacher and download the free Seesaw Family app for your device or log in on a computer.
Wellies at Playtime
Please remember to send a pair of wellies in for your child so they can continue to enjoy playtimes out on the field. The field can become wet and muddy at this time of year, therefore children without wellies may have to stay in class during playtimes.
A Taste of Our Learning
Week 7 - Little Red Riding Hood, sensational seasons and dazzling drawings
We started exploring the story of Little Red Riding Hood this week, and what better place to begin than in the woods!
After listening to (and acting out) the story, we headed out into the copse on an adjective hunt, finding descriptive words hidden amongst the trees and deciding if we'd attribute them to Little Red Riding Hood or the Big Bad Wolf.
We then wrote about the characters using our adjectives, and even found time to make some wonderful wolf traps in a junk modelling session.
Can your child tell you the story of Little Red Riding Hood?
We'll be exploring the changing seasons throughout the year, so this week we looked at what causes the seasons.
Using some very high-tech demonstration technology (well, a satsuma with a pencil stuck through it) we examined how the Earth's tilted axis causes sunlight to hit some parts of the planet differently at different times of the year.
We then went outside to see what signs of autumn we could find, from fallen leaves and acorns to fungus and berries.
Ask your child what they found and how our class photo will look different the next time we take it, in the winter.
On Fridays we have a little post-playtime mindfulness session. Half of the session is yoga and the other half is Draw With Rob.
Children's illustrator Rob Biddulph has created a series of 15-minute videos where he guides you step-by-step through drawing a character.
It encourages the children to focus, concentrate and enjoy the process of creating a picture which they can then colour in.
So far this year we've drawn a snake, a dolphin, a dragon, a pufferfish and a rabbit. It's fantastic fun and we often surprise ourselves with how well our creations turn out! Which was your child's favourite?
Week 6 - Discussing deities, pupil voice and an amazing assembly
This term's World Faith and Philosophy took on a pretty big concept: God.
We began by looking at the concept of God in Christianity, talking about what we thought God might look like and reading some stories from the bible to learn more about how Christians view God.
After that, we looked at Hinduism and discussed how most Hindus believe in many different gods representing different roles and characteristics within the Hindu faith.
Can your child remember the names of any Hindu gods?
Our World Faith and Philosophy lesson also tied in nicely with our UNCRC Article of the Week: Article 14 - the right to choose your own religion and beliefs.
As a Rights Respecting Educator, we also ensure that children get a say about what goes on in the school.
This week our school council wanted to hear from the children about how safe they felt in school and whether anything needed to be changed or improved. I'm happy to say that Year 1 all said they felt safe, and they also knew what they could do if ever they felt worried or scared.
Ask your child what they remember about our discussions this week.
This Friday saw our first ever virtual Harvest Assembly being broadcast across the school.
With a mixture of music, stories and information about the harvest festival, all the classes watched it at 11am (and some of Year 1 couldn't help but join in with the dancing again!)
We then had a socially distanced parade around the school in order to deliver our donations the the harvest table, and Year 1 even got a round of applause for our film as we walked past the other classrooms!
We hope you enjoy watching our virtual assembly as much as we enjoyed making it!
Week 5 - Fabulous forest school, messing with materials and a peek at Klee
If you go down to the woods today...you'll probably meet Year 1! Wednesday afternoon saw us take over the copse for a forest school session with Mrs Browne.
After climbing trees and collecting sticks for firewood, we had a sing-song around the campfire while we cooked up some hot dogs as an afternoon snack. And for those who were still hungry, melting marshmallows to make s'mores for pudding was the icing on the cake!
It was a truly joyous afternoon for the children who absolutely loved being outdoors. Ask your child what they enjoyed most about forest school.
Science this term is all about everyday materials. We started by bringing lots of objects into the classroom made of everyday materials, and the children had to sort them into five groups: objects made of metal, wood, glass, plastic and fabric.
We talked about how we could tell what each object was made from because of the properties of the materials involved, as well as why those properties made it the best material for making that particular object.
Could you conduct a similar sorting investigation using everyday objects around your house?
After working hard on our Christmas cards for the past couple of weeks, we got back to our 'Colour Chaos' Art unit this week by looking at the work of Paul Klee.
The children looked at Klee's abstract works and discussed his use of colour to create different moods.
They then had a go themselves, colouring their own version of Klee's 1922 work 'Senecio' using watercolour pencils.
Ask your child what colours they used and why they chose them.
Week 4 - Amazing algorithms, chatty choosing and awesome acrostics
In computing this week, Year 1 were learning all about algorithms: a list of instructions that needs to be followed precisely and in the correct order.
The children had to follow my instructions in order to draw a cartoon character, then (when all the drawings came out looking slightly different), they had to decide how I could improve my algorithm in order to make it more precise, so that everybody would end up drawing the same picture.
They then had a go at writing their own character algorithm and challenging a friend to follow their instructions.
What did your child's algorithm character look like?
Choosing time is still as important (and popular!) in Year 1 as it was in Year R.
It's a fantastic opportunity for children to do things they enjoy, while at the same time honing such invaluable social skills as sharing, conversing and (inevitably!) the occasional bit of conflict resolution.
There's lots of offer in the Year 1 classroom, from quiet reading and mindfulness colouring to dinosaurs, cars and even virtual reality headsets.
Ask your child about their favourite choosing time activity.
In English, we've been writing acrostic poems about the harvest festival.
We began by looking at what an acrostic poem is by reading some examples of other harvest-themed acrostics.
Next, we gathered together all the words we might need for beginning each sentence with the correct first letter. The children then planned out how their poem would take shape.
Finally, the children wrote their poems, making sure they were stretching out their sentences to make them as interesting as possible.
Can your child tell you about their harvest acrostic poem?
Week 3 - Active learning, copse time and Christmas comes early!
Maths and P.E. morphed into one this week as the children put their number recognition skills to the test in a variety of games.
These ranged from challenging the children to find particular numbers that were hidden all around the hall, to pretending they rabbits who had to return to the correctly numbered rabbit hole when the hungry eagle came swooping overhead.
The children had a great time, and it all helped cement their knowledge of what numbers look like - particularly those tricky teens!
Can your child recognise all the numbers from 1 to 20?
It's vital to get outside as much as we possibly can, and we're so lucky to have the copse area to explore several times a week.
The children built dens, created some delicious recipes in the mud kitchen (which I politely declined to try!) and even found clusters of eggs covering the backs of some oak leaves which, upon further research, turned out to be laid by gall wasps.
There are still plenty of leaves on the trees, and we talked about how the copse would begin to change now that autumn has finally arrived.
Ask your child about their favourite copse activities.
It may only be September, but we're already getting festive in Year 1 as in Art this week, believe it or not, we began creating this year's Christmas cards!
It does seem a little early, but we need to get our designs to Cauliflower Cards by October in order for them to be processed and available for you to purchase in plenty of time for Christmas.
It certainly looks like this year's cards are going to be eyecatchingly colourful, so we'll let you know as soon as they're ready to order.
Week 2 - Counting, crocodiles and Cosmic Kids
This week found us doing lots of very practical counting and sorting activities to begin getting us thinking again about numbers, shapes and colours.
The children could decide for themselves how they wanted to sort their objects. Some did it by colour, some by shape and some by size. If you look very closely, you'll also see that one group even sorted their colourful compare bears into a socially distanced line!
The children did some great thinking and we had lots of fun discussions about how many different ways you could sort a tubful of plastic elephants!
As it was Roald Dahl day at the beginning of the week, we decided to read the story of 'The Enormous Crocodile'.
The children listened to the story out in the copse, and afterwards we had lots of fun recreating scenes from the book, including when the Enormous Crocodile tries to disguise himself as a coconut tree and a children's seesaw.
You may have heard that we even had a surprise visit from our own enormous crocodile in the classroom! Luckily he was a friendly, vegetarian crocodile though - phew!
As part of the recovery curriculum, we've been doing Cosmic Kids yoga sessions in order to encourage mindfulness and relaxation practices amongst the children.
Each session takes the form of a story (this week about the importance of hand washing), and the children interact with the adventure by using yoga poses that mirror the different characters and actions. At the end of each session, a moment of quiet relaxation helps the children to centre themselves by concentrating on something calming and positive.
The children really love these sessions and it's a fun and entertaining way of encouraging positive mental and physical health.
Week 1 - Welcome back!
Relaxed and refreshed after the summer break, the children have finally returned to school this week and it looks somewhat different to how it did this time last year when nobody had even heard of local lockdowns, COVID-19 or social distancing.
This week the children have been getting used to all the new school routines as well as a new classroom and, I'm happy to say, have taken it all very much in their stride.
From socially distanced lines and seemingly endless hand washing, to relaxation areas and picnic lunches in their year group bubbles, the "new normal" is quickly becoming second nature to the new Year 1s.
We've always loved to get outdoors as much as possible in Year 1, and the new timetable has been designed to maximise the amount of outdoor learning that can take place across the school.
As you can imagine, the firm favourite amongst Year 1 pupils is the copse time we're allocated three times a week.
Whether it's jumping off toadstools, cooking up a storm in the mud kitchen, or building bark dens and bug hotels, the children love getting out amongst the trees. And with autumn just around the corner, it's also an amazing space for exploring our long-term science topic of seasonal change.
We have spent some time in the classroom though (with all the doors and windows open of course!)
We had time to hold an election for our School Councillor and Arts Ambassador, do lots of dancing (but sadly no singing) and even tackle a few fun number challenges.
As part of our ongoing PSHE work we talked about things that might worry us and how we can deal with them, as well as what happiness is and things that make us happy.
We also heard the story of Smartie the penguin and how he manages to stay safe online, after which we made our own Internet Safety Charter for children and parents to sign and return to school.
It's been wonderful to welcome my new Year 1 class into school this week, and they've amazed me every day with the way in which they've thrown themselves into a new - and very different - school year with such joy, enthusiasm and resilience.