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Year 1 Butterflies

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Year 1 - Butterfly Class - Mr Hancox

Friday 23rd February 2024

 

P.E. Days and Forest School

Forest School sessions for Year 1 will run every Wednesday for the first three weeks of this term.

As with P.E. days, children should come in wearing their P.E. kits including jogging bottoms (no bare legs in the copse for safety reasons) and a hoodie.  Long hair must be tied up and any watches, earrings or other jewellery removed.  In case of bad weather, they should also have a waterproof coat and wellies.  Due to the nature of forest school sessions clothes may get muddy, so please don't send your child in anything that can't be washed!

P.E. days will be Wednesday and Thursday for this term; can children please come in wearing their P.E. kits on these days.  Long hair must be tied up and any watches, earrings or other jewellery removed.  Children should have shorts for P.E. sessions; for safety reasons, only children wearing shorts can be allowed to use the P.E. apparatus.  Children should also wear a hoodie and jogging bottoms in case of cooler weather.

 

Meet the Teacher

Thank you to everybody who was able to attend the 'Meet the Teacher' session back in September.  If you weren't able to attend, the PowerPoint for the session, along with any other relevant documents, are attached to the bottom of this page.

 

Phonics Word Wall

 

We go through all the words on our Word Wall every day as part of our Phonics lesson.  The borders are colour-coded to indicate which book bands the words will appear in (Pink/Red, Yellow/Blue, Green/Orange), mirroring the order in which the different Phonics sounds and phases are taught.

Age-related expectation is that children should be reading Orange books by the end of Year 1, and should therefore be able to read, recognise and understand all the words down to the bottom of the board when they appear in a text.  They should also be able to start using them in their own writing, utilising the Word Wall in order to help them with their spellings.

You can watch a video of Mr Hancox guiding you through the Word Wall by clicking here.

 

Internet Safety and Parental Controls

There have been instances of children across a number of year groups discussing inappropriate Internet content they have viewed at home.  Please ensure that your Internet-linked devices at home are suitably supervised and protected using the parental controls available.  For advice on how to keep your child safe online, including the use of parental controls, click this link to the NSPCC website.  If you'd like to know how to set up parental controls specific to gaming - limiting game time, in-game communication or setting spending limits for instance - click on this link to the EA Games website.

 

Home Learning

English:  Make time to read with your child for approximately 5-10 minutes every day.  Children are encouraged to change their reading books regularly, however you can find extra reading material on the Oxford Owl website.  Our Library Day is every Wednesday, so children can also bring their library books back and exchange them for new ones then.

You don't need to record each daily reading session in your child's Reading Diary, but do make an entry at least two or three times a week; whenever they finish a book; or just to say that they enjoyed a particular story you've shared. 

​The Reading Diary also contains lists of our Phonics sounds, along with Learning Tools to compliment your child's reading, and get them thinking, talking and sharing their opinions about the books they've read.

At the front of the Reading Diary is a list of Non-Negotiables for Year 1 - these are learning targets we are hoping to achieve by the end of the year.  From time to time, specific targets will be selected that you can focus on at home, so please check the Non-Negotiables list for any notes or annotations that will help to focus your home learning.

At the back of the Reading Diary, there are also Bronze, Silver and Gold certificates for them to earn too, which are awarded upon completion of 5, 10 and 15 of the Learning Tools respectively.  House Points are also on offer to those children who earn their Bronze, Silver and Gold certificates.

Spelling Shed and online games:  Additionally, children can practise their spellings online using the Spelling Shed logins which are in the front of their Reading Diaries: word lists including learning to spell the months of the year, days of the week, and high frequency and tricky words in line with our current Phonics learning.  There are also a range of word games, maths games and coding games available to play on Purple Mash and in the 'Assignments' section of the Brainzy website for which the children have also received login letters.

Phonics:  This week, as well as reading all the words on our Word Wall, we've looking at alternative pronunciations of the sounds l (el - tunnel, al - crystal and il - pencil) and m (mb - thumb); look out for these words and sounds in your reading and conversation, or try the 'Split Digraph Roll and Read' game attached to the bottom of this page for some extra practice at these difficult sounds.  The Phonics Play website also has some excellent free resources and games for extra practise, and there are some "Alien" word flashcards attached to the bottom of this page.  We also sang along to the Alphabet Song on the Super Movers website.

Handwriting:  We're teaching the children cursive letter formation, using the Teach Handwriting scheme of work.  The website, which includes animations featuring correct letter formation along with worksheets, can be accessed by clicking here.

Maths:  (20-30 minutes per week)  Following the White Rose Maths scheme, we're studying addition and subtraction to 20.  Can your child add and subtract numbers by counting on, using a number line, or by using objects to help them?  Can they explain what the commutative law is and how it can help make adding easier?  You could even try this Robot Addition and Subtraction game for some extra practise.

Number recognition is also important in Year 1, and the children frequently struggle to recognise the tricky teen numbers between 10 and 20.  I've attached some number recognition flashcards to the bottom of this page if you'd like to practise at home.  The 'Out and About' cards on our maths page also have some great ideas for exploring numbers in everyday situations.

History:  This term, we'll be learning all about the Great Fire of London.  Can you find out any interesting facts about the Great Fire using child-friendly search engines such as Kiddle?  Try playing this Great Fire of London Game online, or for an extra challenge, can you track down the building on Petersfield High Street where Samuel Pepys and King Charles II both stayed?

Personal P.E. Challenge:  The children chose, for their personal P.E. Challenge, to see for how many seconds they can balance on one leg.  Try it at home and see how long they can balance.  Does it change depending on which leg they're standing on?  Can they improve their results with practise?

​Extreme Reading Challenge

For our reading wall display, we want to prove that Langrish children love to read anywhere and everywhere!  

What's the most unusual place your child has read a book.  Up a tree?  In a hammock?  On the beach?  Bouncing on a trampoline?  Email us a photograph of your child reading a book in an unusual place (nothing dangerous of course!) and we'll put it up in the 'Extreme Reading' display of our new book corner.

I look forward to seeing the unusual places you've been reading your books!

 

This Week's Primary Picture News

Primary Picture News is a child-friendly and age-appropriate look at fascinating events that are going on in the wider world.  This week, the children heard about some schools teaching British Sign Language.  Ask your child about the story using some of the conversation-starters above.

 

This Week's Story Time Selection

We read a range of books in our daily story time.  This week, one of them was 'The Dot' by Peter H Reynolds.

It tells the story of Vashti, who tells her art teacher that she "Just can't draw!"  To prove it, she simply draws a dot on a piece of paper.  But when that dot ends up framed on the art room wall, Vashti's inner artist is unleashed...

Ask your child what happened in the story.  Do they think the story had a message?  Which of our 'Learning Detective' behaviours does Vashti demonstrate?  Maybe your child could create some of their own dot-art, just like Vashti.

 

A Taste of Our Learning

Week 21 - Heating up history, jumping gingerbread and terrific typing

In History, we began our new topic of the Great Fire of London.  The children were given a range of books, pictures and objects and had to figure out what linked them all together.  There were fire helmets, maps of London, history books, some bread, portraits of King Charles II and Samuel Pepys, a large wig, and a feather quill.  After some time exploring, the children soon figured out that they all related in some way to the Great Fire of London.  We then created a timeline, going back past 1666 and looking at some of the historical events which occured between the Great Fire and today.

Can your child tell you any facts about the Great Fire of London?

In English, we're continuing our work on traditional tales by looking at 'The Gingerbread Man'.  We began by listening to the story, then breaking into groups to act it out.  We then looked at other versions of the tale, including 'The Runaway Pancake', and discussed how we could tweak the familiar story of 'The Gingerbread Man' to make our own verions of the traditional tale.  The children then set about making changes by deciding what their runaway foodstuff would be and what kinds of creatures they'd meet along the way to their inevitably sticky end!

Can your child tell you about their version of 'The Gingerbread Man'?

In Computing this term, we're moving on from the coding of Computer Science to look at the more practical uses of computers with Information Technology - namely, word processing.

Over the course of this term, the children will learn how to use a basic word processing package, and how it can help them to compose, edit and publish a piece of writing.

This week, we concentrated on finding the letters on the keyboard, using the space bar, and using the shift key to type a capital letter.

Can your child show off their typing skills?  Maybe you could try the BBC's 'Dance Mat Typing'.

Week 20 - Super safety, amazing artworks and a wonderful workshop

Tuesday this week was Safer Internet Day.  After a whole-school assembly, we heard two stories featuring the characters Mo and Jaz, both of which emphasised the message that we should always tell a trusted grown-up whenever we encounter anything on the Internet that we don’t understand, or that makes us feel worried, scared or sad.  This in turn reminded us of the ‘Funny Tummy Song’ from our previous online safety learning with ‘Jessie and Friends’, which the children asked to view again, before we completed our Safer Internet Day booklets, including colouring, a word search, and designing an online safety poster.

Ask your child about their Safer Internet Day activities.

This week also saw The National Gallery's 'Take One Picture' week, and this year the School Council chose two paintings by Claude Monet to inspire the school.  Year 1 were looking at creating different textures in our paintings, which we did by using sponges, loofahs and scourers to create a rippled watery surface.  Of course, a lily pond wouldn't be complete without lily pads, and these were created using ripped tissue paper to add yet another texture to our artworks.  We finished the week by looking around all the other classrooms to see what the rest of the school had created.

What can your child tell you about their Monet-esque masterpiece?

On Friday, there was great excitement as the inflatable SCARF classroom took over the hall!  SCARF is the basis of our PSHE curriculum, and Friday's workshop was all about our feelings.  The children talked about different emotions, describing how they make us feel and learning a variety of ways to recognise, describe and cope with them.  We then met Harold the Giraffe, who was being weighed down by a big bag of feelings that he needed help with.  Fun, engaging and pitched perfectly to Year 1, the children all had a wonderful time in the SCARF house.

Ask your child what they remember about it, and how they helped Harold the Giraffe.

Week 19 - It all adds up, gymnastic genius and talking PANTS

Now we've finished our learning about number and place value up to 20, it's time to put that knowledge into practise with some addition and subtraction.

We're starting with adding, looking at how we can use our knowledge of number bonds and the commutative law to help work out some simple addition calculations within 20.  As always, there are plenty of challenges on offer, including number bonds word searches, real-life maths problems and a matching activity to get the children thinking about doubles.

Which method of solving addition calculations does your child prefer?

There was great excitement in P.E. this week when the wall bars and climbing apparatus were brought out for the children to use.  Once the ground rules for safe usage had been explained, the children had the opportunity to use their strength and balance in order to climb up and through the equipment.  They also put their core strength to the test by holding poses and positions on the different pieces of apparatus, as well as finding different ways to travel across the benches.

As you can see, they all thoroughly enjoyed themselves!  What was your child's favourite piece of gymnastic equipment?  Can they show you any of the positions and poses they created?

In PSHE this week, we've been talking PANTS!  PANTS stands for: 'Privates are private'; 'Always remember your body belongs to you'; 'No means no'; 'Talk about secrets that upset you' and 'Speak up, someone can help'.

Using their mascot, Pantosaurus, PANTS is the NSPCC's child-friendly safeguarding campaign, centred around making young children aware that they have ownership over their own bodies, and empowering them to recognise and say a loud 'No!' to any situations which make them feel unsafe or uncomfortable.

To find our more about the NSPCC PANTS campaign, click here or read the parents' guide attached to the bottom of this page.

Week 18 - Meteorological measurements, brilliant balance and Picassoesque pastels

As part of our year-long look at seasonal change in Science, we measure the weather each week.  To ensure scientific accuracy, we always take our meteorological measurements at the same time: 9am every Friday.  Using our outdoor weather station, we measure the amount of rain that has fallen over the past week, the temperature, and we also use a trusted website to look at how many hours of daylight Petersfield will get on that day.  We then take all of that information and plot it onto graphs and tables in the corridor, so we can compare it week-by-week and see what's changed.

What can your child tell you about our weather measurements?  Maybe you could do something similar at home.

We braved a sunny but cold day for our outdoor P.E. session this week in order to practise our balance, co-ordination and ball-passing skills.  The children began by trying to walk as steadily as they could with a cone balanced on their heads, before practising sending and receiving a ball to and from a partner.

Balance was on the agenda again during our indoor P.E. session, where the children followed an interactive yoga story, holding different poses along the way and building up their balance and core strength as they went along.

What was your child's favourite part of P.E. this week?  Can they teach you any yoga poses?

In Art this term, we're looking at the many different styles, techniques and media used by the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso.  Having already been introduced to Picasso and his works, and after looking at different line-drawing techniques last week, we turned our attention to oil pastels this week.  We began by looking at how Picasso used oil pastels in his work, before the children got to experiment with the rich colours and soft textures the pastels can produce.  There were some fabulous results, from erupting volcanoes to abstract artworks to colourful birds and fire-breathing dragons!

Ask your child what they drew with their oil pastels.

Week 17 - Talking about twenty, confident coding and spellbinding safety

Having explored number and place value up to 10 last term, we're now looking at numbers up to 20.

We've been getting to grips with what each number is worth, with the children using physical and visual representations such as tens frames, Numicon and Dienes to build each number.  We've also been practising using the number line, working out one more and one less than a particular number, and writing each number as a word as well as digits (remembering to get our digits the right way round!).

Can your child recognise, write and spell those tricky numbers between 10 and 20?

In Computing, we've moved on from programming BeeBots to writing algorithms on the computer, using 2Code on Purple Mash.  We practised offline first, using coding blocks in an unplugged activity to identify the 'object' and the 'action' in each command.  We then logged onto Purple Mash and did the 'Fun With Fish' activity, which included different levels of challenge.  The children began by writing simple code, before using their new-found knowledge of block coding to debug an algorithm that wasn't working properly.  Finally, they programmed a whole 'Fish Tank' screensaver, even adding in some 'event' blocks to spice things up!

Why not log onto Purple Mash and try it together.

On Wednesday, the children - along with Reception and Year 2 - were treated to a Road Safety Magic Show.  Using a mixture of comedy, puppets and mind-blowing magic tricks, the children explored how to use different types of road crossings; discussed the importance of wearing bright clothes at night and a helmet when riding a bike or scooter; and also learnt the four magic road safety words: "Stop, Look, Listen and Think". 

It really helped to embed the core road safety messages we cover all year round at school in a wonderfully fun and engaging way.  Can your child tell you what happened in the show?

 

Week 16 - Traditional tales, brilliant buddies and checking out change

We're looking at another traditional tale in English at the moment: the story of the Little Red Hen.

We began by listening to the story, then breaking into groups so the children could role-play the tale and really get to grips with the narrative.  We then made a 'story map', using pictures to represent each part of the story, and came up with actions to accompany the map in order for the children to hone their storytelling skills.  All of this allows the children to remember, recall and retell the story, which we've now begun to do in our writing.

Can your child tell you the story of the Little Red Hen?

On Tuesday afternoons, we're lucky enough to be joined by Year 6 for a 'Reading Buddies' session.

Every child from Year 1 gets to read one-to-one with one of the older children, who encourages them to enjoy and understand their book by helping them with their phonics and asking them questions about what they've just read.  It's a wonderful opportunity for the younger children to read aloud, but it also gives the older children a chance to reflect on how far they've come in their learning journey, and to use their own skills to help nurture a real joy of reading in others.

Who did your child read with this week?

Our World Faith & Philosophy unit this term was all about change.

The children began by discussing the meaning of 'change', and even used a dictionary to look up the official definition, before being tasked with sorting a selection of objects into things that did and did not change.  They then heard and role-played some stories from the Bible, and discussed how Jesus changed the lives of people he encountered, from Zaccheus the tax collector to Jairus and his daughter. 

What can your child tell you about change and how Jesus changed the lives of others?

Week 15 - Welcome to the Spring Term!

Cute Lamb Images – Browse 280,453 Stock Photos, Vectors, and ...

Despite January's short days and cold weather, may I officially welcome you back for the Spring Term!  I hope you all had a restful break and a lovely Christmas with your families, and I look forward to updating you on all the exciting things we'll be getting up to over the coming weeks.  P.E. days this term remain unchanged as Wednesday and Thursday afternoons.

Week 14 - Merry Christmas!

It's been a busy last week of term in Year 1!  We've had the Nativity performance, Christmas party, Christmas lunch (the menu for which the children voted for themselves), Christmas jumper day, and even an end-of-term pantomime - no wonder they need a break! It just remains to wish you and your families a very happy and peaceful Christmas from the whole Langrish team.  See you again in January!

Week 13 - Animal appetites, perfect painting and marvellous morning work

In Science, we've been learning about animals and their habitats.  We discovered how adaptations make certain animals more suited to particular habitats, and some of these adaptations may revolve around their diets, so this week we've been learning about carnivores, herbivores and omnivores.  We began by looking at what each word meant and investigating the diets of different animals from each category.  The children were then given details of an animal and its diet, before sorting all their animals into the correct groups: carnivore, herbivore and omnivore.

Can your child tell you about carnivores, herbivores and omnivores?

You may have noticed from your laundry that for the past few weeks, Friday afternoon has been all about paint!  That's because the children have been investigating the concept of colour through the work of Piet Mondrian.

They've learnt about primary colours, have experimented with colour mixing, and have now produced their final piece of artwork, putting together all of their learning to create an abstract work of their own using lines and blocks of colour.

Can your child tell you about Mondrian's and his use of colour?  Which colours did they choose for their final abstract artwork?

We don't waste a minute of learning time in Year 1, so even first thing in the morning there's always a job to do!  After the children put their coats and bags away, they know to get on with their independent morning work while we wait for everybody to arrive.  This can vary from mindfulness colouring or a fine motor cut-and-stick activity, to Phonics word searches or quizzes based on our recent learning.  It's a great opportunity to recap previous topics - keeping them fresh in the memory - as well as covering more general knowledge, such as the names of the oceans and continents.

What's your child's favourite morning activity?  Can they name all the oceans and continents?

Week 12 - Shaping up, cultural celebrations and toying with history

In Maths, we've been learning about 2D and 3D shapes.  As usual, there were a number of practical challenges to get the children really thinking about the subject.  This week, these included a 'Mystery shapes' game, in which the children had to identify shapes hidden behind the hatches using touch only.  There was also 'Shape Bingo', a challenge to build a 3D shape out of lollipop sticks and pipe cleaners, and an outdoor 'Shape Hunt' challenge, where the children had to spot as many real-life 2D and 3D shapes as they could around school grounds.

Which 2D and 3D shapes can your child recognise?  Can you spot any when you're out and about?

We were celebrating different cultures in school this week, and Year 1 concentrated on Poland and Italy.  The children learnt a little about the geography of each country, before moving on to some fascinating facts and practical activities.  We learnt the most popular dog name in Poland, and made some traditional Polish paper craft.  We then looked at Italy, picking up a few simple Italian phrases, before turning our attention to Italian food.  We found out how the Margherita pizza got its name (and colours), and identified pasta shapes by translating their names into English, such as 'Little Tongues', 'Butterflies', 'Quills', 'Shells' and 'Little Strings'.

What can your child tell you about Poland and Italy?

In History, we're learning about how toys have changed within living memory.  This week, the children finally got to play with some old-fashioned toys!  There were yoyos, spinning tops, clockwork toys, dolls, a Jack-in-the-box, a cup-and-ball game, and many other toys to choose from.  While playing, the children were challenged to think about the toys: what materials they were made from, how they were powered, and if there were still any similar toys around today.  We then compared them to modern toys, looking at how some things have changed, but many similarities still remain.

Can your child tell you about the similarities and differences between modern and old-fashioned toys?

Week 11 - The Book of Butterflies, sampling the sixties and reflecting on road safety

In English, we've been writing a 'Book of Butterflies', based on a short film of the same title.

We began by exploring adjectives, collecting as many describing words as we could to paint a vivid picture of the butterflies with our words.  We then looked at verbs, so we could describe the ways in which the butterflies swirled, fluttered and glided through the air.  Finally, we put it all together, writing about the butterflies using adjectives, verbs and using the word 'and' to connect our ideas and allow our writing to flow more naturally.

Which verbs and adjectives did your child use to write about the butterflies?

In History, we were answering the question "What do people remember about the 1960s?"  We did this by looking at lots of pictures featuring people, events and inventions from the 1960s to see if any of them were familiar to the children.  They were able to recognise a surprising amount, including 'Dr Who', Concorde, the moon landing, the Beatles, 'The Jungle Book', Barbie and Ken (Ken arrived in 1961), and England winning the World Cup in 1966.  Next week, we'll begin looking at some of the toys from the 1960s and seeing how they compare to toys from today.

Can your child remember any of the people or events we looked at from the 1960s?

On Wednesday, the children were encouraged to come in wearing bright or reflective outer layers as part of the 'Time to Shine - Be Bright, Be Seen' campaign.

They attended an assembly led by our Junior Road Safety Officers - children from Year 5 who have been specially trained to teach important road safety messages to their peers.  The children were shown what a difference it makes when you wear bright clothes at night, and how making yourself visible is an important part of staying safe on or near the roads.

Can your child tell you why it's so important to 'Be Bright, Be Seen'?

Week 10 - Beating the bullies, curious about candles and pyjamas for Pudsey

It was Anti-Bullying Week this week, and on Monday it was Odd Socks Day so we could all show our support for the event.  We took part in a range of activities around anti-bullying, including lots of discussions about the difference between being rude, being mean, and being a bully.  We designed our own pair of odd socks and thought about the trusted people we could 'Make a Noise' to if ever we saw or experienced bullying.  Perform came in and delivered a wonderful drama workshop, in which the children learnt to be Anti-Bullying Warriors through a mixture of role-play, imagination and confidence-building techniques such as power poses.

Ask your child about our Anti-Bullying Week activities.

Our World Faith & Philosophy unit this term was all about the symbolism of candles.  We began by looking at the candle in Christian culture, including how it's used for prayer and remembrance.  The children also looked at an advent wreath, and learnt the meaning behind each of the four coloured candles.  We then explored how candles and light are celebrated in the Hindu culture during Diwali.  The children listened to and discussed the story of Diwali, before getting to make their very own diya lamps out of clay (using battery-powered candles of course!).

Ask your child about the different ways in which both Hindu and Christian culture use candles.

It was also Children in Need day this week.  As always, everybody at Langrish threw themselves into raising money for this wonderful cause, and the children had voted to come in wearing their pyjamas in exchange for a small donation to Children in Need.  Alongside popping on our pyjamas, the children also launched into some Pudsey-based maths problems, solving calculations and breaking codes using their newly-acquired expertise in addition and subtraction.  We also heard a story about Pudsey's own money-raising efforts, and learnt a little about what Children in Need does with the money they raise.

Thank you for your donations!

Week 9 - Fabulous Phonics, hatfuls of habitats and end-of-day exhibitions

Thank you to all the parents who managed to attend (or watch online) the Phonics workshop this week.  Phonics forms the building blocks of reading and writing, and we teach it every day following the DFE validated scheme Smart Kids: The Code.  Each lesson covers short bursts of sound recognition; blending words together using that day's focus sound; segmenting words using that day's focus sound; practising the high frequency word and tricky words on the Word Wall (colour-coded to match the Phonics-linked book bands) and using those Word Wall words to create sentences, modelling correct spelling, punctuation and grammar.

How many of our Word Wall words can your child recognise?

We're looking at habitats in Science this term.  Last week we learnt what a habitat is, and this week we were looking at different habitats and the animals that live there.  The children were each given a picture of an animal, and had to decide which habitat it might live in: desert, farm, garden, polar, lake, ocean, forest or rainforest?  There was a lot of discussion involved, and they did a fabulous job of sorting the animals according to their habitats.  Next week, we'll be looking at some of the adaptations that allow those animals to survive in their different habitats.

Ask your child about some different habitats and the animals that might live there.

We have very busy days in Year 1, but if we have time at the end of the day, the children can bring in something to share during Show & Tell.  We encourage the children to exhibit items of interest or things that link to our learning.  Recently, we've had stories the children have written at home, maps of the seven continents, fossils, an article about the Beatles (tying in with our look at the 1960s in History), and - although toys aren't generally encouraged for Show & Tell - some old and new toys to compare.  Speaking in front of the class takes a bit of courage, so it's great for building up the children's confidence and presentation skills.

Has your child brought anything in for Show & Tell? 

Week 8 - Terrific timelines, brilliant Beebots and a good look at learning

We began our History unit this week by looking at the way in which we talk about different time periods.  With our historian hats firmly on, we looked at the ways in which time is divided up by historians into different periods, and how our current learning will be looking at different decades, specifically the 1960s and the 2020s.  We then focused on putting events into chronological order, using the dates of events to help us make a timeline of British history, stretching nearly a thousand years from the Battle of Hastings in 1066 to the London Olympics of 2012.

Can your child tell you many years there are in a decade, or remember any other events from our historical timelines?

In Computing, we continued our look at programming by using the Beebots to create simple algorithms.  The children were challenged to send the Beebot to different places on their 'Toy Shop' maps.  When things got a little complicated, using a whiteboard really helped, enabling the children to plan and jot down their algorithms first before programming the Beebot.  As well as programming the Beebots themselves - and debugging their programs when things went wrong - they were also challenged to look at algorithms written by others and predict where those program would send the Beebot.

If you want to try some programming at home, there's a free Blue-Bot app available for most phones and tablets.

We do so much learning in Year 1 it's difficult to keep track; luckily we have the Learning Detectives to help us!  Each day, two children are selected to be Learning Detectives.  Their job is to keep an eye out for positive learning behaviours, including resilience, curiosity and teamwork.  Later, they report back to the class, giving examples of excellent learning they've spotted throughout the day.  Every child gets a turn at being a Learning Detective; it's a great way to get them thinking about their own learning and exploring the positive learning behaviours that will serve them well as they move up through the school.

Can your child give you some examples of excellent learning, or tell you about any of our positive learning behaviours?

Week 7 - Amazing addition, glorious glockenspiels and promoting Petersfield

In Maths this week we've been looking at addition to 10.  We began by talking about number bonds, and how two numbers can be combined to make another number.  That led us onto systematically working out all the number bonds for different numbers, and that led us onto working out all of our number bonds to 10.  As always, there were different challenges to complete throughout the week, from colouring pairs of number bonds and completing part-whole models, to making number bonds using Numicon and playing a number bonds board game (attached to the bottom of this page if you'd like to print it out and play at home.

Can your child tell you any number bonds to 10?

If you were within a five-mile radius of the school during Music this week, there's a good chance you were treated to a glorious glockenspiel concerto!

The children were challenged to play along with the music, following the beat and keeping to time.  It was a simple three-note pattern, but it still took a lot of concentration to hit the right notes at the right time, allowing the children's glockenspiel accompaniment to blend seamlessly with the musical backing track.

Can your child find the beat of their favourite song and use clapping or body percussion to play along?

We've been learning about our local area in Geography this term, and the final part of our topic was for the children to create posters enticing visitors to come to Petersfield.  The children had to choose two things to draw - one example of physical geography and one example of human geography - that they thought might get tourists jumping into their cars and heading up the A3 in our direction.

Places like The Heath and the Country Park were popular, and the Library and Town Square also made an appearance...alongside McDonald's!

Which Petersfield landmarks did your child include in their 'Visit Petersfield' poster?

Week 6 - Diabolical debates, balancing bean bags and crazy about Christmas

We've been exploring the story of Little Red Riding Hood this week, encompassing role-play, using adjectives to describe the characters, and even having a debate as to where the Big Bad Wolf would rank on a list of villainous characters from familiar tales.  Imagine our surprise when we got a message from the Big Bad Wolf explaining that he'd changed his ways, become a vegetarian and wanted to come into school to talk to the children!  The class came up with lots of questions they'd like to ask him and were very welcoming to our visitor who had, indeed (thankfully) changed his ways.

What was your child's question for the Big "Good" Wolf?

P.E. was all about balance this week, as the children showed off their deportment skills by moving around the playing field in different ways while balancing a bean bag on their head.

We tried small steps, big strides, and even had a relay race to see which house colour could bag the beanbag balancing bragging rights.

We then adapted our relay to involve a little target practice, throwing the beanbag back to the next participant so they could have their turn.

Can your child show off their balancing skills at home?

Yes it's only October, but Christmas came early in Year 1 this year, if only for an afternoon.  With Christmassy music in the background, and Christmas craft activities and colouring galore to inspire them, the children set about designing their Christmas cards for this year.  They could choose to create a snowman or a Christmas tree card, and had to use finger-painting to create the outline of the shape before filling in the rest of the sheet with some suitable festive colours.

Designs will be coming home on Friday, so don't forget to order your cards and accessories in plenty of time for the festive season!

Week 5 - Hooray for harvest, amazing algorithms and exciting experiments

It was the Year 1 Harvest Celebration Assembly on Wednesday, and we'd spent the past week practising for our show.  There was an awful lot to learn, with poems and songs as well as spoken lines, with everybody having something to say or do.  We even took advantage of some good weather to do some outdoor rehearsals before the big day on Wednesday.  The children put on an amazing show, and delivered their lines perfectly, before launching into a rousing rendition of 'The Harvest Samba'.  Afterwards, Year 1 led the whole school in presenting their donations to representatives from the Petersfield Food Bank.  We hope you enjoyed the show!

In Computing this week, we've been learning about algorithms as an introduction to programming.  The children discovered that an algorithm is a set of precise instructions that need to be followed in a specific order.  They then made their own picture algorithms by building a simple LEGO model and taking a photograph at each stage; they then challenged their partner to follow their step-by-step picture algorithm in order to construct the same LEGO model in exactly the same way.  We also talked about some everyday algorithms - such as cookery recipes, or following a 'Draw With Rob' video.  Can your child come up with an algorithm for an everyday activity, such as brushing their teeth or making a sandwich?

Science this week began with an S.O.S. message from a mermaid!  Marissa the Mermaid had lost some scales from her tail, and had to find a material to cover the area until her real scales grew back.  We discussed what properties a suitable material would have, and decided that we needed to find something waterproof, strong, soft and flexible.  The children then tested a number of materials to find the best one, ensuring a fair test by using exactly the same amount of water on each material, and making notes of their findings.

Which material did your child think would be best for a temporary mermaid's tail and why?

Week 4 - Horrible hands, learning about logins and pondering properties

The children attended a special 'Horrible Hands' workshop this week, mixing Science and PSHE in order to explain how washing our hands properly can protect us, and those around us, from germs and illness.  The 'Horrible' part involved learning all about germs, sneezes and snot, as well as an experiment using glitter and hand lotion to show how easy it is for germs to spread.

Can your child explain why it's so important to wash your hands?  What facts can they remember from the workshop?  Two of our favourite Super Movers songs include verses about handwashing; click here to dance along to the 'Staying Fit and Well' song.

This week, we went from keeping ourselves safe from germs to keeping ourselves safe online when we looked at logins in Computing.  We talked about how having a username and password protects our digital accounts and personal information from being accessed by others, why it's important not to share our logins with anyone, and why remembering to log out once we've finished is essential.  The children also created avatars - digital representations of themselves (rather than a real picture) for their Purple Mash accounts.

Can your child tell you why it's so important to keep your login details private and why we use avatars online rather than actual photographs?

We continued our Science topic of 'Everyday Materials' this week by looking at the properties of different materials.  We even managed to link it to our previous English work on adjectives, as it's all about how materials can be described.  Having discussed the types of properties different materials might have (shiny or dull, rough or smooth, transparent or opaque), we then tested a variety of objects and recorded in a table the name of the object, the material it was made from, and simply whether the material had the property of being bendy or not bendy.

Can your child name the properties of some everyday materials?

 

Week 3 - Amazing acrostics, discussing deities and geographical genius

In preparation for our upcoming Harvest Assembly, we've been writing harvest-themed acrostic poems this week.  We began by learning about the Harvest Festival, and collecting as many harvest-themed words as we could think of beginning with H, A, R, V, E, S and T.  We then wrote an acrostic poem together as a class, before the children wrote their own poems, choosing which level of challenge they wanted and colouring in their page borders for artistic effect.

Can your child recite their harvest poem?  Maybe you could write your own acrostic poem at home (on any subject).

Our World Faith and Philosophy unit this term is all about exploring the concept of god.  We began by looking at the Christian concept of a single God, hearing stories from the Bible and thinking about how God is portrayed in these stories.  After that, we learnt about Hindu gods, and how Hindu culture has different representations of god for different roles (this included an outdoor scavenger hunt to find pictures of as many different Hindu gods as we could).

What can your child tell you about how the concept of god in these two cultures?  Can they name any Hindu gods? 

Our Geography topic this term is all about Petersfield in the local area, but we began by looking at what the subject of Geography is all about.  We started by looking at the difference between human geography and physical geography.  The children looked at photographs of different landscapes, and identified those elements in the photos that were human geography and those which were physical geography.  Then, during our Outdoor Learning session, the children were given cameras and tasked with finding and photographing their own examples of both human and physical geography.  Can your child tell you the difference between human geography and physical geography?  Maybe they can point out some examples while you're out and about.

Week 2 - Super Sorting, Marvellous Materials and Perfect Playgrounds

As part of our Maths lessons, we've been sorting objects into groups according to different criteria and counting the number of objects in each group. 

This spilled over into our Outdoor Learning session too, when the children were challenged to collect a range of objects and sort them into different groups.  They did a fantastic job, with some groups sorted by colour, some by shape, some by size, and some by the type of objects they'd collected.

Ask your child what they collected and how they made different groups.  Maybe they could do a similar activity at home.

All that practise sorting objects into different groups came in handy during our Science lesson this week too.  This term's topic is 'Everyday Materials', and the children were given a range of objects made from either wood, metal, plastic, rock or fabric to explore.

First, they had to name the material the object was made from.  Then, we sorted them into groups by material, discussing why each material's properties made it the best choice for that particular object.

Can your child remember which objects we looked at and what they were made from?

Thinking about materials also featured in our Design and Technology, as we began our unit on playgrounds.  We started by looking at pictures of playground equipment and noting how they were built.  We noticed that triangular supports were often used to provide stability, and that almost everything was made out of plastic, wood, metal or a mixture of those materials.  We discussed why these were the best materials for building playgrounds, before drawing and labelling our favourite pieces of equipment.

What's your child's favourite piece of equipment in the playground and what materials were used to construct it?

Week 1 - Staying safe, checking our charters and celebrating summer

This week was all about settling in and setting expectations for the coming year, and that included learning about how to keep ourselves safe online.

The children heard the story of Smartie the Penguin, and we talked about what to do if we ever see something online that makes us feel sad, scared or worried.  This message was backed up by a video featuring Jessie and Friends, and enabled us to create and sign our own Year 1 E-Safety Charter, which you can find at the bottom of this page and in your child's reading folder.

Can your child tell you how they can keep themselves safe online? 

As well as creating our E-Safety Charter, we also created our Year 1 Class Charter based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).  After going through the Articles that were most appropriate for Year 1, the children chose the Rights they felt were most important to them and included them in our Class Charter.

These included the Right to be heard (Article 12), the Right to an education (Article 28), the Right to play and rest (Article 31), and the Right to nutritious food and clean water (Article 24).

Ask your child about the UNCRC.  Which Rights did they think were most important, and which Right did they draw a picture to illustrate?

In Science this year, we'll be undertaking a year-long study of the seasons and how seasonal changes affect our environment, and this week has been the perfect week for catching the tail-end of summer.

The children went outside to make notes about what they could see, hear, smell and feel on what turned out to be one of the warmest days of the year.  We took a photograph in front of the copse, and will repeat this research in autumn, winter and spring to see what changes we notice.

Ask your child how they think they picture will look different across the changing seasons.

 

 

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