W.B 16th July 2018
On Monday we received a letter from Lilly and Len. They told us that they were happy with all of our learning so they wanted to invite us to their woodland. They explained that they had left a trail of moonstones to follow which would keep us safe and that the boggarts were deep underground because they don’t like the sun. The children were squealing with excitement as we sent off to visit Lilly and Len’s woodland. We spotted boggart clown faces, boggart runes and moon stones. We followed moon stones and stick arrows through the trees and between the tall grass. The children were amazing at spotting clues and they really let their imagination run wild. They identified scratch marks on the trees from a troll, boggart holes in the mud to their underground homes, a magic potion and a doorbell on a tree trunk. Some children were convinced that they saw fairies amongst the long grass with the butterflies and one child was adamant that he saw a boggart with green eyes!
The following day we created maps of the woodland with a key to identify where the clues were. We also wrote a letter to Lilly and Len to thank them for inviting us and to tell them about all the wonderful things we discovered.
For the rest of the week we unpicked a story which was split up into 9 sections. Each day we read three sections in our learning teams and answered questions about it. The children were very invested in discovering what happened to Tess and her dad, especially as each section tended to leave them on a cliff hanger. We discussed new vocabulary such as ‘peppered’ and ‘sparse’. At one point a mysterious creature (polar bear) appeared and we had to use the clues given to us in the story to work out what it was. The children were very good at digging deep to find clues and considered multiple answers to a question. Their comments were thoughtful and imaginative. We really enjoyed sharing ideas and building on each other’s responses.
Miss Castle has also been pulling small groups out at a time to explore volume and capacity and the children have had time to rehearse for ‘Westdale’s Got Talent’. On Monday 23rd the children who wish to enter will get the chance to perform in their classroom. Following this everyone will create a written vote for the two acts that they think should get the chance to perform in front of the whole school on Tuesday. You may want to ask your child to perform to you at home if they are entering an act.
Thank you to the parents who have handed in some feedback regarding the reports. We really value your comments and it really helps us to reflect on what has worked and what needs changing to improve. If you haven’t done this yet and could spare some time to write a few comments down we would really appreciate it.
Almost there now…three school days left!
W.B 2nd July 2018
The main event this week has been our trip to Yorkshire Wildlife Park. The children were absolutely amazing. Their behaviour was fantastic and they all had impeccable manners. We were so proud that we had to put the whole of Year One in the Gold Book this week to celebrate! First of all we got on a double decker bus which was very exciting as it meant that Shooting Stars could go on the top on the way there and Comets could go on top for the way back. After the excitement of seeing wind turbines, sprinklers in fields, and a possible ‘faraway tree’ we arrived at the park. We followed the park map to visit all of the animals. We saw lions eating, meerkats hiding in the shade, tigers prowling, polar bears play fighting and much more! We also went into some of the enclosures which allowed us to get up close to wallabies, lemurs and squirrel monkeys. The children were very good at identifying which group the animals belonged to and discussing the information on the signs. We enjoyed our lunch near an ostrich and an armadillo. At the end of the day we also had a play on the park which was so much fun. There was a telescope, monkey bars, huge slides and lots of things to climb on.
We would like to say an extra big thank you to our wonderful volunteers who helped with the trip and enabled it to go forward. It really was a lovely day!
At school this week we have labelled and created facts about tigers, sorted animals into their groups, designed our own animal hybrid like a griffin/hippogriff, created amounts using coins, and introduced notes in money to play shopkeepers. We also had a go at drawing our favourite animals and practised our songs for the year 1 performance. The children have managed really well this week to say they have been hot and tired from the trip and film night. We hope you have a relaxing weekend and get plenty of sleep!
W.B 4th June
Welcome back! We hope you had a relaxing week.
On Tuesday we received a mysterious box with a letter on top from the Boggarts. They have left us their pet ‘fangle’ because they don’t want to look after it! The fangle freezes when humans are around but gets up to all kinds of mischief when they are alone. Already our fangle has appeared in different places around the classroom each morning. Who knows what it will get up to next!
In English this week we have labelled facts about a badger, identified split digraphs to make real words, wrote a letter to Lily and Len, created our own boggart pet with interesting facts, marked a piece of writing to check punctuation/capital letters, and practised performing our story extracts ready for our performance next week.
In Maths we have recapped how to solve addition number sentences by drawing tens and ones. We have also looked at how to solve subtraction number sentences by drawing tens and ones and crossing out.
In Phonics we have recapped reading words containing phase 2 and 3 phonemes with careful segmenting and blending. We have also continued to revisit split digraphs ready for the phonics check.
Remember all split digraphs end with a magic 'e'.
In Guided Reading they have read the Boggart letter, wrote a recount about finding the pet fangle, sorted real and alien words, made origami fox heads and learnt how to join ‘ee’ in handwriting.
W.B 21st May
This week we received a message from the boggarts. They weren't very happy about our pictures of them so they have told us to 'watch out'.
In English this week we have made instructions on how to look after a baby hedgehog, recounted what the boggarts have done in our classroom, labelled facts about a fox, created our own boggart drawing with interesting facts, and rehearsed part of a traditional tale.
In Maths we have learnt how to tell the time. The children have been absolutely amazing at this. We have learn o'clock and half past. As a challenge we also introduced quarter to and quarter past. The children have created their own clocks, drawn hands on a clock to show a certain time and have labelled clocks to identify the time it shows. We would appreciate if you could continue to embed this at home by referring to the clock at different points throughout the day and encouraging the children to tell the time e.g. at half past 5 it is dinner time, at 7 o'clock it is bedtime etc.
In Phonics we have recapped split digraphs because they are very tricky and they always come up in the phonics check.
Remember all split digraphs end with a magic 'e'.
In Guided Reading we have read a Japanese traditional tale 'The tale of Momotaro', followed an algorithm to draw boggart heads, built a bird house out of construction, created a magical woodland creature mask, and learnt to join 'ng' in handwriting.
W.B 14th May
On Monday Lily and Len the woodland elves made an appearance in our classroom. They also sent a letter to warn us about the King of the Boggarts being in Nottingham. Our wanted posters are more important than ever to warn everyone else to keep a look out!
In English this week we have explored extracts of different traditional tales. Each learning team was given a different extract to recite. We allocated parts, explored voice, and added actions for expression.
In Maths we have continued to work on fractions. We have explored whole, halves and quarters of shapes. We have particularly looked at how 2/4 is 1/2. We have also found halves and quarters of numbers by linking it with our work on division.
In Phonics we have looked at these alternative phonemes:
oi, oy (boil, boy)
r, rr, wr (rabbit, arrest, wrong)
s, ss, c, sc, st (sweet, kiss, city, scent, castle)
We have also continued to embed split digraphs
a-e, e-e, i-e, o-e, u-e (snake, even, slide, bone, flute, cube)
In Guided Reading we have read facts about Barn owls and squirrels to label a picture and write some of our own facts, we have also joined nd/ld in handwriting, created our own magical story based on a picture, and we have finished reading Into the Forest.
W.B 8th May
In English this week we have focused on an extract of the story 'Hansel and Gretel'. We sequenced the events from when Hansel was captured by the witch to when he escaped. Then we created actions to verbally rehearse the language and we made a story map as a visual aid. On Friday we did an independent write to retell this part of the story.
In Maths we have started to learn about fractions. We explored halves and quarters by cutting a cake, folding shapes and splitting up a number practically using multi-link. This showed the link with the division work we have previously done.
In phonics we have explored these alternative phonemes:
ar, al, a, ear, are, augh (car, half, father, heart, are, laugh)
s, sc, ss, c, st (see, scent, ice, kiss, city, whistle)
We have created our own fairy doors out of salt dough. We had a lot of fun making them and they are all unique. We have also done the third entry for our bean diary. There has been a lot of growth since our last bean diary entry because of all the sun at the weekend!
W.B 30th April
On Monday we had another visit from the bothersome Boggarts. They put twigs around our bean plants with pictures and a sign to warn other Boggarts to stay away. We received another letter from the woodland elves Lily and Len who have suggested that we create wanted posters to warn the rest of the school and continue to write letters to inform them on what is happening.
In English we have been exploring the traditional tale 'Hansel and Gretel'. On Monday we were given part of the story without being told what it was. No-one instantly recognised it (including the adults in the staff room!). We had to be detectives and carefully unpick the text. There was so much to discuss that we spent a morning and afternoon session on it before working it out. On Tuesday we read the whole story and discussed it. On Wednesday we created open questions that we would want to ask the characters in the story. On Thursday we hot seated the characters in groups. One person pretended to be the Witch/Hansel/Gretel while the rest of the group asked them the questions. On Friday we wrote about the characters in the story reflecting on our questions.
In Maths we have learnt about division. First we explored division practically by using multi-link ('sweets') to share equally into groups. Then we have moved into using drawings to calculate division number sentences. The children have also marked the teachers division number sentences and corrected any mistakes we made.
In Phonics we have been recapping alternative phonemes for:
oi/oy (soil, boy)
r/rr/wr (read, stirring, write)
In Guided Reading we have read half of the story 'Into the Forest'. There were a lot of hidden links with other traditional tales which the children had to spot. They have also described the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood, wrote instructions to create a putrid potion, practised joining id and ig and created a magical map using symbols from a key.
We have observed the growth of our bean plants and have wrote about it in our bean diary. We have also made our own mint sweets like the sweet house in Hansel and Gretel.
W.B 23rd April
This week we have been visited by mischievous boggarts. The children have really enjoyed spotting the messages and clues that they have left behind.
In English we have looked at instructions. We read instructions and unpicked the features. We have also created our own instructions about how to grow a bean plant.
In Maths we have been learning about multiplication as repeated addition e.g. 4 x 5 = 20 or 5+5+5+5=20 Knowing how to count up in 2s, 5s, and 10s has really helped with this.
In Phonics we have explored alternative phonemes such as:
oo/ue/u-e/ew (food, due, flute, flew)
n/ nn/ kn/ gn (nest, dinner, knight, gnome)
In Guided Reading we have read instructions about how to trap a dragon, created instructions on how to make a boggart butty, followed instructions to create a boggart head out of plasticine, used co-ordinates to accurately place boggart litter on a map, and identified whether litter can be recycled or not.
We have also planted beans and have started a bean diary to record their growth.
W.B 16th April
Welcome back to our lovely year ones. We hope you feel well rested after the two week break.
Our topic this half term is 'Enchanted Wood'. The children are already engrossed in all things magical.
In English the children have enjoyed completing missions set by the woodland elves Lily and Len. This included identifying names of plants, parts of a plant, parts of a tree, magical creatures, woodland creatures and traditional tales.
In Maths we recapped place value looking at partitioning a number into tens and ones.
In Phonics we recapped alternatives ou/ow (e.g. shout, brown) and oa/ oe/ ow/ o/ o-e (e.g. boat, toe, row, go, bone).
In Guided reading we read 'The Gingerbread Man', described a boggart using adjectives, created a littering poster and designed a fairy door.
Have a look at the attached newsletter to see what we will be doing this half-term.
Week beginning 5th February 2018
In English this week we have been exploring poetry. We learnt two dinosaur poems, rehearsed them in our learning teams, created actions and then performed them to the rest of the class. We had to consider rhythm, expression and be very brave! We have also sorted rhyming words and filled in the missing gaps to complete a dinosaur poem. Some of us even had a go at creating our own.
In phonics we have been looking at the alternative /ch/ phonemes: t tch ch and spotting them in alien and real words. We have also recapped the /ee/ phonemes: ee ea y ie ey and the /a/ phonemes: a ai ay ea a-e ey eigh by spotting them in words and sentences to keep them fresh in our minds. We practised instantly recognising the words 'day', 'make', 'made', 'came', 'oh', 'their' and 'people' to create sentences that made sense. Can you spot any of these words in your books at home?
In maths we have been looking at 2D shapes in more depth. We explored different ways to sort them such as by colour, shape, curved/straight sides, number of corners and number of sides. We also played a game called the 'odd one out' where we had to spot which shape didn't belong in the group and explain why. We have looked at using 2D shapes to create a repeated pattern and discussed what shape came third, sixth, second etc.
Internet safety day was on Tuesday so a lot of our learning in the afternoons has been based around this. We read 'The adventures of Smartie the penguin' in our guided reading groups and discussed what we would do if something popped up on our ipad. We also sorted ways to keep ourselves safe, discussed good/bad choices when using the internet, and had a go at writing compliments about a friend to show the importance of saying nice things to each other.
In art we continued making our dinosaur egg fossils which should be ready to be painted next week. It has been a long process but it will be worth it in the end.
On Thursday we had our phonics/reading meeting. Thank you to all the parents who came along, we hope you found it useful. If you were unable to attend the Powerpoint has been attached below for your viewing pleasure!
Week beginning 29th January 2018
We have been working on our museum pieces this week, writing, making and drawing. We have been making sure that everything we do is our best.
In English we have been working on our sentence writing skills, making sure that we have all the basic sentence elements and then adding more detail. We have been working in mixed teams on different sections of our welcome booklet, ready for new children to our class or visiting adults. We have also worked on ordering statements about NOT owning a pet dinosaur, placing them in our own order of importance, explaining our reasoning. We have written short scripts for our museum explaining our favourite dinosaur and why we chose it. We have also designed a Supersaurus, combining our favourite parts of different dinosaurs, again explaining our choices.
In phonics we have been looking at the alternative /ee/ phonemes and spotting them in words and sentences. We have looked at e ee ea y ie ey. Can you think of any words that use these making an /ee/ phoneme? We also recapped on /a/ as well to keep it fresh in our minds.
In maths we have been looking closely at 3D shapes such as cube, cuboid, sphere, cone, cylinder, triangular prism, square based and triangular based pyramids. We have learnt about faces, edges and vertices. Counting these on a 3D shape has not been easy! We have looked at the 2D shapes that make up the faces of different 3D shapes too. We have also been spotting them in our environment.
In history we looked again at Mary Anning and sorted out true and false statements.
In art we continued making our dinosaur egg fossils as well as critiquing the work of an Amrican artist who sculpts dinosaurs using scrap metal.
In guided reading we looked at 10 different reasons not to keep a pet dinosaur. Cleaning up their mess was quite a big deciding factor!
Week beginning 22nd January 2018
We really are becoming experts on dinosaurs, especially the Jurassic period. We are still working toward our Museum next half term which you will all be invited to.
In English we have been working on our non-chronological reports, which we are presenting as posters. We have researched the different areas of study and are now using sub headings, detailed sentences, diagrams and labels. It has been tough because we are trying our best on our presentation, it will hopefully be on display for our museum so it has to be the best. We have been trying hard to do more than a one start sentence and add adjectives, connectives and interesting topic language. You will be able to judge for yourselves soon!
In phonics we looked at the alternative phonemes for /a/, such as a, ay, a-e, ai, ea, eigh and ei. Not as easy as it seems! Can you think of words that use any of these? It should help our reading and decoding skills. We also looked at the /c/ phoneme alternatives such as c, ck, ch, x and qu.
In maths we continued to look at measures, especially length, in standard and non standard. Using a ruler is not as easy as it seems and drawing lines of a certain length taxed even the bravest of us. We will keep trying though, as practice makes perfect and we all want to be Richie Resilient. If you want you can help us at home and we can measure things around the home together in centimetres and metres.
We have also been checking on last terms class maths challenge; number pairs to 10 and 20 as well as working on our new challenges; counting up and down in 2s to 20 and 5s to 100. Please help us at home! We until Easter to be experts.
In DT we are still working on making our dinosaur eggs, this is a tricky and sticky job but we know they will look amazing. We can't wait to design our camouflage patterns to paint on them. Most of the dinosaurs laid their eggs on the floor so we will look at birds who do the same now and learn what their camouflage looks like. The adults can only manage a few children at a time and the eggs need at least 5 layers to make them strong enough.
In science we have looked at the life cycle of a T-Rex from egg, to hatchling, juvenile, adult, deceased and finally decomposed! Did you know that fossils eventually become oil? So our plastic dinosaurs started life as a real dinosaur!! WOW!!
Three weeks until half term and so much to do!
Week beginning 15th January 2018
The topic is going down really well and we have learnt even more about their favourite giant prehistoric creatures. We should be able to use words such as 'carnivore, herbivore, omnivore, predator and prey' with greater confidence.
This week in English we continued our look non-chronological report writing, breaking it down into easier sections . We looked at diet, explaining what they ate and how they caught or consumed their favourite food. We also looked at their appearance, using a wide variety of adjectives and explaining what certain parts of their bodies were for. We are building up our vocabulary and knowledge so that we can create a poster about one specific dinosaur using various subheadings to help us organise the information.
In maths we looked at measurement using non-standard measures such as cubes and mm, cm and metre rulers. We developed our language of longest, shortest, longer, shorter, estimate and difference. We spent time on the skill of using the ruler accurately, not as easy as you think! We hope to do more next week.
In Science we made links with english and learnt about the oviraptor, its habitat, diet and appearance.
In history we looked at the life of Mary Anning who found the first complete ichthyosaur fossil near Lyme Regis. Having been born in 1799 she struggled for recognition in a world where the scientific community were mostly rich Anglican gentlemen. Sadly she received very little recognition for her work during her life time but is now recognised for the ground breaking work she did in this field. If you are curious look her up on line for more information.
In D/T we continue to work on our dinosaur eggs, suing tissue paper, balloons and PVA glue, water mix. This is taking some time but will be worth it in the end!
In phonics we have begun to look at the alternative vowel phonemes and how they can sound differently in words e.g. ant, apron and was. This will hopefully help us with our decoding of unfamiliar words.
We also looked at adding the suffix 'er' to verbs to create a noun e.g. paint - painter.
In music we have worked on a variety of dinosaur songs as well as exlporing duration and pitch. Our sessions with Mrs Watkins are a highlight of the week.
Week beginning 8th January 2018
Happy New Year!
New year, new term, new topic; 'Dino Dig'.
To help kick off our new topic we had 'Life Long Ago' come in on Wednesday morning with their replica dinosaur fossils which the children excavated and identified. The hall was buzzing with excited conversation as the sand was carefully brushed aside to reveal the treasure beneath. The provider was very knowledgeable and the children surprised even him with some of the words they already knew! What is it about dinosaurs that seems to catch the imagination of young and old alike? This is going to be a great topic.
Our shared area continues to be developed into a Jurassic environment, with our 'dino-hide' now in place for eager dinosaur spotters to try out their own handmade binoculars, spotting silhouettes of dinosaurs and identifying them.
In English this week we looked at a few dinosaur fact files; developing vocabulary as well as looking at key features of non fiction text. We spent a couple of sessions developing our question writing skills, using facts we had learnt.
In maths we looked at ordinal numbers - 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th etc. We also ordered 5 random numbers from smallest to largest using our place value knowledge. We have started using our new maths books and getting used to using squared paper properly is taking a bit of practice. On Friday we spent time on our class target of knowing our pairs of numbers to 10. Most of us now know the facts so we will be working on a new target for Easter break. This will appear in our classrooms soon!
In history/science we have been looking at how we describe and share information about dinosaurs, how we sort information into paragraphs and link ideas together. We have been able to compare dinosaurs with living animals that we know and use the work we did last term to help us. We also began to look at timelines, especially when dinsoaurs ruled the Earth.
In PE we will be doing games, working in teams and developing those skills which can be used in a variety of team sports e.g. sending and receiving.
As part of the school's accreditation for 'Investors in Pupils' we have all been given a classroom responsibility, this is to help us not only appreciate what goes into keeping a school running and the cost of items but also to care for our learning environment and each other.
Our first set of spellings were sent home on Friday along with new ideas for homework based on our new topic. One of the ideas is a dino diary, where the class dinosaur goes home with a selected member of our class to have adventures which we draw and write about. The dinosaur toy and diary are brought back into school the next day to share with the class. We have all been asked to mention it to you so that if you are happy for our names to be popped into the 'Dino-diary' hat you could let us know so we can tell our teachers.
Please read with us daily and log every read in our planners - more reads mean more Dojo points and prizes!
Week beginning 11th December 2017
Another busy and exciting week at Westdale Infant School, with performance dates fast approaching, the number of rehearsals increased and most of the learning was linked to the festive season. To be honest we are so excited (and tired) that actual learning is not easy so we are spending a lot of time consolidating past learning and exploring the Christmas story itself.
In English we looked at the story of the nativity, we then sequenced a set of images and added the captions. We worked on recalling the story and telling each other key events.
In maths we consolidated a lot of the skills covered this term. We did this in a carousel of activities, all Christmas based, and had lots of fun.
In Art/DT we painted our clay creations with a base coat in readiness for the decoration next week. We also did a number of sketches in preparation for our Christmas card designs using basic shapes and light sketching.
Some of us sang in the choir/recorder concert which went very well indeed. We will be popping across the road on Monday to sing to the residents at St Andrews (this is not open to public or parents) as part of our community link work. We are sure they will enjoy it just as much as our parents and families did.
Some of us attended the disco and had a great time. It was very well attended and we hope to have many more in the future.
Some of us had our anti-flu spray as well and we were all very brave and took big sniffs!
Friday was an exciting day as Santa paid us a visit and gave us a gift each. It was Christmas jumper day and Christmas cracker day too!
One more week to go and a very busy week it will be, with performances, Christmas crafts, parties and scraping exhausted teachers up off the floor.
Last Friday's spellings are the last of the term, the check will be next Thursday and then no more spellings until the new term. It is important that the children have a break, behave like children, enoy the family season and make the most of life experiences.
Week beginning 4th December 2017
You can tell that the Christmas festivities are fast approaching by the number of colds, coughs, ear aches and infections plaguing our classes! And that is just the staff! Despite this we soldiered on and managed to compete some learning this week.
In English we concentrated on Design Technology, writing a diary of our team designing, construction and evaluation of replacement robots for our alien visitors. Their robot had been damaged when they bumped into our school roof and they asked us to come up with a design for a replacement. We worked really well in our mixed teams and created some very effective recycled robots. We learnt a few new techniques and were able, with adult help, to assemble our designs. They are on show in our classroom. Thank you for the junk modelling items.
In maths we finished off our subtraction work and moved on to 2D shape (very useful for our robot deign making), naming common 2D shapes and describing them by their attributes.
In art we started to make our clay coil pots for our family gift, a special something for a centre piece on the Christmas dinner table. All made, bar a few, and we will need to decorate them next week. Working with clay is a messy business but rolling sausages is not only messy and fun but also good for fine motor control.
We have begun working with year 2 now during our Wriggly Nativity rehearsals, the show looks like it will be amazing!! All costumes in this coming Monday (11th) please so that we can rehearse wearing them before the performances the following week.
Our timetable will be disrupted over the next two weeks with rehearsals. performances, Christmas crafts and parties but homework will still come home on the Friday.
Week beginning 27th November 2017
The weeks seem to be flying by so quickly and the pace of our rehearsals picking up to match. We have been cramming a lot into our days so if we are a little tired and crabby at home you must forgive us.
In English this week there has been a scientific theme following the discovery of bits of the alien spacecraft on out school roof! Chunks have dropped off after a clumsy landing. Luckily there was no damage to our school apart from a few scorch marks. We investigated the pieces and looked at the materials used and why they might have been chosen. We wrote about them using adjectives and conjunctions. We also ran a waterproofing experiment after a request from the aliens who are finding our weather a little challenging.
In maths we started working on subtraction of two digit numbers from two digit numbers, using equipment, drawing the tens and ones and then applying the new skills to maths sentences such as 36 - 13 = 23 We drew the larger number and then crossed out the amount of tens in the smaller number and the amount of ones in the smaller number and recounted what was left by combining the tens and ones to make a two digit number.
In Phonics we continued looking at the split digraphs ( make, tide, rode, these, flute) and going over some of our tricky words. Segment and blend are key skills for us at the moment and the more help we have at home the better we will get at it;fl-amm-ab-le.
We also did a little food technology/art in the afternoon which was very enjoyable, icing biscuits to look like gas giants and then popping them into our mouths and consuming them! Lots of hygiene rules, fine motor skills, choices of colour and pattern as well as breaking all the healthy diet rules! We think we have deserved the treat though!
Parent evenings were well attended, thank you for coming along and supporting us with your child's learning. Keep up the good work and remember to note every time you read with your child so that it counts for their Dojo read awards. Please use the handouts as well to keep on top of sight reading words, spellings, phonics and handwriting.
Remember box modelling materials for next week - robot modelling week - boxes, tubes, lids, buttons etc.
Week beginning 20th November 2017
Another busy week with reading checks, phonic checks, spelling checks and Christmas show rehearsals. Add to that all of our learning and a generous helping of cold and sickness and we have done well to reach the weeks end!
In English this week in response to a message from our alien friends, we mixed our reading and writing with geography, comparing and contrasting Earth with an imaginary alien planet. We built up our skills with adjectives so that we could describe natural and unnatural features of a landscape as well as designing our own alien island using a key of features. Our big write this week was landing on an alien planet, meeting aliens and describing their home world. Our teachers have been so pleased with our writing resilience that we are now allowed to write in special pen!
In maths we have been developing our skills in adding two 2 digit numbers together whilst exploring our tens and ones in equipment and in picture form. We nicknamed the alien tens and ones as chips and peas! We borrowed the equipment from Year 2 and it really helped us see the value of each digit. We then looked at the drawings of chips and peas - a little like this: ll: = 22 lll :. + ll : = lllll ::.
3 3 2 2 5 5
You could help us practice this at home but don't bridge ten (when the ones add up to 10 or more. Avoid the tens doing the same or you move up into 100s).
In phonics we looked at 'au' as in taught, 'ey' as in donkey and monkey, i_e the split digraph as in like and mine, the i phoneme becomes the long alphabet vowel name, and then e_e as in theme and delete. In guided reading we focussed on the 'ed' endings of past tense regular verbs such as jumped, landed and popped.
In art we used oil pastels to create exciting self portraits with a difference, we added an alien feature to ourselves such as feelers, an extra eye or two or green tentacles for hair! A display should be up in our shared area soon.
We continue to self select activities in the afternoon after guided reading, using the role play, construction, small world, writing corners etc. We have had some new water and sand equipment arrive so this means we can begin to use these more effectively in our imaginative play!
Some parents have been asking for individual spelling check results to be sent home via dojo, as you can imagine that is 30 messages per class on top of the work our teachers already have to complete. We will shortly be bringing home our homework books. These will have the new spellings in them each week with room to practice writing the words on the page as well as an envelope at the back where all past check results will be kept. Remember the checks are not like a test with a pass and fail, they are an indicator at well remembered they are and if they are likely to be used effectively in writing. Its a personal challenge for us as individuals.
We apologise for any mix up on performance dates, the rate we have to work and the amount we have to manage increases weekly and mistakes will happen. We can only aoplogise for being human. All key dates are on the web site.
If all parents would kindly sign up to parent mail and class dojo, we could then be ceratin that all messages are getting through to everyone.
Please complete the questionnaire about the phonics evening so we can plan accordingly.
Next week already looks quite exciting with the planetarium and parents evenings, we are all looking forward to it.
Week Beginning 13th November 2017
This week was not only poetry and non-fiction writing week but also anti-bullying week and Children in Need! A busy week. The children rose to the challenge and managed to pack in lots of super learning as well as having time to explore skills during self selection (continuous provision).
In English we wrote poems using our senses (science link) that were based on our bonfire night experiences. Then the focus shifted to non-fiction writing and creating sentences that shared information about the first chimp in space. We watched the film about Ham the chimp who set off into space in 1961, an experimental mission to check that humans could survive in space. A lively discussion arose about the ethics of sending a poor defenceless animal into space, especially after snatching him from his family as a three year old wild infant on the continent of Africa. The children were thrilled to see he arrived back safely and lived to good old age after his adventure. We played a true or false game in teams and had to sort the real facts from false facts - this demonstrated how easy it is to change history! Luckily we had film evidence of the event as it is in living memory of some of our older relatives. Ham's bravery allowed the space race to begin in earnest. On Friday's big write we used the research and adapted it to make our own fact sheet about Ham. During the week we also drew our families to celebrate difference as well as create a poster that showed what a good friend and a bad friend might behave like. If we always do our best to be a good friend then we can stop bullying.
n maths we looked at ordering random numbers to 100, as well as consolidating our learning about place value, the value of both digits in a two digit number. We also looked at ordinal numbers, as numerals and words. we continue our work on our class targets; 'to know the pairs of numbers to 10'. Some children have been working on these at home and are now getting quite confident! They could try ; 'to know the pairs of numbers to 20' challenge.
In History we ordered a space timeline - key events in the race into space and in more recent history. Can you remember the name of the last Englishman who travelled into space? You could research him with your chilren at home.
The aliens have been blamed for the repeated blocking of our Year One toilets with mounds of clean toilet tissue! It would be awful to think that a child in Comets or Shooting Stars could be capable of such a thing! The tissue costs the school a lot of money to replace and those funds would be better used on writing pens or glue sticks. We have spoken at length to both classes - could you please discuss the need for care with school resources to ensure that it doesn't happen again!
As autumn begins to fade and winter sends its chilly fingers across Nottinghamshire, we are all donning our warmer clothing. Our cloak room is cramped and difficult to keep tidy! Please ensure that all items of clothing are clearly labelled and that your child tries their best to keep them on their peg.
If a costume list for 'A Wriggly Nativity' have not reached you yet then it soon will, we are sure you will be creative and work with your child on their specific characters outfit! Thank you in advance for your support with this.
Week beginning 6th November 2017
The aliens are ever present in our classes, leaving us messages to decode and urging us to translate our names into alien using the code breaker. We have been sharing lovely picture books that involve aliens and expanding our vocabulary. We will continue to look for clues as to where they are hiding and what they are up to!
In English this week we have been focusing on retelling the story of Beegu, orally and in written form. The week saw us progressing our skills until the big write on Friday. Everyone had a go and gave it their best. This piece of writing will set our writing targets for the next few weeks. It may be capital letters, finger spaces, full stops, spelling common exception words correctly or adding exciting verbs or adjectives. Knowing the text so well helped us develop our vocabulary as well as help us think of sentences to write.
In Maths we looked at counting in tens, up and down to 100. We then tried counting in tens from any given number using a hundred square to support us. Did you know that tens get bigger as you go down the columns? They then get smaller as you go up the columns! The ones digit stays the same too! We noticed and discussed these patterns. On Friday we started to count in twos, these will help us with our odds and evens as well as counting larger amounts of objects reliably. We are all becoming more confident with our numbers to 100.
In science we recapped on materials and described their qualities. We looked at the most common materials and uses. If you have time, spend some time with us at home to help us recognise how materials are used in our homes. Watch out for wood, metal, plastic, fabric, stone and glass. How many bowls do you have made of different materials, or drinking vessels? Which materials do we use most for decoration in our homes and which are more practical?
In phonics we looked at the phonemes oy, ir, ue and aw. We did practical activities, read sentences and wrote down words using these phonemes. Help us spot them in our reading and encourage us to say them as a phoneme and not break them into single phonemes. For example the word 'draw' should be sounded as d-r-aw. We also looked at the words Mr Mrs looked going and said.
In music we have been exploring alien songs that encourage us to use different pitch as well as working on our Christmas production songs.
In our geography we have been exploring the solar system and trying to remember the order of the planets, which ones are largest and which ones smallest. Do you know where Earth is in the order of planets from the sun?
We had our very first spelling check (replacing the words by sight work) and it was evident that a lot of work has gone on at home, so thank you for your support. New words will be coming home every Friday for you to work on daily, as well as mixing in some of those that have been done already to ensure they have been remembered. If your child picks them up quickly then test them with dictated sentences. If they are struggling a little then play snap with the words, put them around your home and play find the word, pop them on the stairs and as you go up and down they can be said out loud. Encourage the use of letter names (alphabet) rather than phonemes when sounding out.
We are looking forward to another exciting week of learning and wonder what exciting things our teachers have planned for us!
Week Beginning 30th October
In English this week we received a recorded coded message from some visiting aliens. The universal translator on our computers translated the message and we found puzzle pieces around our classes. We pieced them together and discovered a photograph of a flying saucer hovering over our playground trees! There was also a piece of text from a book on our shelves all about a visiting alien who needed friends. We think it is the aliens telling us they are friendly. They promise to visit again - we wait with baited breath! We looked even closer at the book (Beegu) and have begun to sequence the story and give actions to each part. We have created word banks of WOW words and hope to use these in our own retelling of the story next week. We have also written about one illustration from the book, sharing what we can see, what we think about Beegu as a character and her motivations.
In Phonics we have now moved on to phase 5 and looked at the first four digraphs; ay as in h/ay, ou as in ou/t, ie as in t/ie and ea as in ea/t. We have played games making words using the phonemes, helping us segment and blend more confidently. We have made alien words and real words and read sentences full of words using these digraphs.
In Maths we have looked at place value; what each digit in a two digit number represents. We have been building on our maths from last half term where we ordered numbers and used more than and less than. We have used numicon, arrow cards, ten sticks and ones to help us understand 0 as place holder. We even looked at alien numbers using 'chips and peas' ll :: = 24. We ended the week with trying to fill in a 100 square, hoping to show our confidence in place value as well as knowing our numbers to 100. We will come back to this so we can see how much we have improved!
We have begun our new topic, 'Moon Zoom' and our rooms have begun to grow into space and alien themed areas. There are alien notices to decode as well as new role play and small world to work with in the afternoons during our continuous provision. In science we have started looking at common materials such as wood, metal, glass, plastic and clay, this will carry on throughout the half term. We have also been painting, creating stripes and adding water to cause a bleeding effect. This is being turned into planet mobiles, watch out for them in our classrooms, they look space-tacular!
On Tuesday we began working our our Chr*****s production (ssshhhh its a secret) and learning our class songs. In our second PE sessions we will begin choreographing our class pieces for the production. Costume details will come out soon so that you can prepare in good time.
We sent home the first set of spellings on Friday, if for any reason they didn't make it home - the book bag goblin likes munching messages - please ask and we will give you another copy. The spell check will be on Friday 10th November and new spellings issued on the same day. Please work with your child so that the words are read by sight and spelt correctly and consistently. Put them into simple sentences, hunt for them in books, play pairs games with them etc.
We are constantly working on our afternoon timetable to facilitate continuous provision, guide reading sessions, topic work and two afternoon plays a week (these are when we have music on Tuesday and PE on Thursday, which both leave little time to engage in topic studies). It is a delicate balance between delivering a play based curriculum and making sure we have coverage and breadth of study.
So far the children have worked well with our changes and there have been no grumbles, if anything they have risen to the challenge and are showing greater maturity.
Please sign up for parent evenings, details on parent mail.
Week Beginning 16th October
In English this week we have continued our learning about Robin Hood. We sent a detailed message to Robin Hood to let him know that the Sheriff of Nottingham had captured Maid Marian. Luckily, he received the message in time and rescued her. We also created some sentences about a sequence of pictures where Maid Marian fought off a guard who tried to take her away again. She managed to flip the guard over and put him in a pig sty which the children found very amusing! In handwriting this week, we have focused on vowels. If you could reinforce what the vowels are at home that would be very helpful.
In Phonics we have continued to explore phase 4 by spotting phase 3 digraphs and trigraphs in words to help us segment to spell and blend to read. We have made our own alien words using phase 3 digraphs and phase 4 clusters. We also read and matched labels about real-life superheroes.
In Maths we have started to learn about subtraction. We discussed the different vocabulary for subtraction and also explored strategies to solve it. To begin our learning, we practically subtracted using uni-fix. Then we moved onto using drawings and crossing out. Finally, we used a number line to count back.
In our Topic this week we have been very busy! On Wednesday we had our superhero dress up day where we created our own healthy fruit smoothies. The children understood food hygiene and were fantastic at carefully chopping up the fruit. On Friday we had a visit from real-life superheroes. The fire service let us sit in the fire engine and use the hose. They taught us that if there is a fire we need to get out of the building, stay out and then call 999. We also learnt that if there is a lot of smoke it is best to get low to the ground and if fire gets onto our clothes we need to ‘stop, drop and roll’. The children were very polite and listened to the fire fighters brilliantly even though they were very excited.
On Tuesday we also performed our harvest songs at the church. I’m sure you will agree that the children sang beautifully and were impeccably behaved.
When we return to school our topic will be different so watch this space and have a lovely half-term break.
Week Beginning 9th October
In English this week we have been learning all about Robin Hood.
On Monday we acted out the story of Robin Hood and explored using our body language and facial expressions to create freeze frames. We have written sentences about Robin Hood and Little John meeting on the bridge and debated about whether we think Robin Hood is good or bad.
We have continued to do daily handwriting to practice our letter formation. This week we have focused more on the zig-zag monster letters.
In Phonics we have continued to explore phase 4 by spotting phase 3 digraphs and trigraphs in words to help us segment and blend to read. We have also looked at the tricky words he, she, we, me, be, said and so. We have written a sentence dictated by the teacher focusing on reading our work back and checking for capital letters, finger spaces and full stops.
In Maths we have continued our learning about addition but we have primarily focused on counting on. We have introduced number lines and modelled how to count on by accurately jumping up. We have used this to solve addition number sentences such as 6+3 but we have also started to look out how to use number lines to solve missing addition number sentences such 6 + __ = 9. Some of us have also used numbers up to 20.
In our Topic this week we have been outside to spot the signs of Autumn. We collected leaves that were different sizes, shapes and colours and used this to decorate a giant arrow thinking about composition. We also had a go at making leaf rubbings, Robin Hood finger puppets, and paper straw arrows.
In Year One we have started to set up ‘zones’ for when we have continuous provision in the afternoons. We have a sand zone, water zone, junk modelling zone, puppet/theatre zone, construction zone, small world zone, and role play zone in the cloakroom/ shared area. Within the classroom we have a maths zone, writing zone, reading zone, computing zone, colouring zone, and creative zone.
Each zone has a mission set for the week e.g. to create a LEGO bridge for Robin Hood to cross the river in the water tray.
This week we have sent out a letter for you to access class dojo from home. We are hoping to use this to communicate more with you to share classroom moments, photos and updates. So if you haven’t already please sign up it is completely free. If you have lost the letter just let me know and I will reprint it for you.
Don’t forget Tuesday 17th is Harvest Festival and Wednesday 18th is our Year One Superhero dress up day.
Week Beginning 2nd October
In English this week we have been continuing to explore rainbow grammar. We created our own rainbow grammar sentences using pictures of Evil Pea e.g.
Evil Pea hid on top of a cake.
Some of us used adjectives to add detail, the three-star challenge was to use two adjectives with a comma e.g.
Evil Pea hid on top of a delicious, pink cake.
We have continued to do daily handwriting to practice our letter formation. This week we have focused more on the one-armed robot letters.
In Phonics we have started phase 4. We have continued to spot phase 3 digraphs and trigraphs in words to help us segment and blend to read and we have also practised reading the tricky words ‘said’ and ‘so’. We had to segment to spell words containing digraphs in order to break a superhero code. The next day we were sent a top secret envelope with clues inside. After reading the clues in our learning teams we discovered that some real-life superheroes were coming to visit us! It was very exciting.
The fire service came to visit us on Wednesday but unfortunately there was an emergency so they had to leave. We are hoping to rearrange the visit soon so the children can learn all about fire safety and ask the firemen the brilliant questions they thought of. Watch this space!
On Thursday some children reached 18 points on the class dojo for reading at home. They got their own certificate and can bring in a book from home to share in class next week (thank you for reading so much at home).
In Maths we have been learning all about addition. We have discussed the different vocabulary for add such as plus, altogether, total, sum, make etc. We practically made our own addition number sentences using + and = symbols with unifix. We have also started to record the number sentences on white boards and have also introduced ‘counting on’ as a strategy rather than counting all.
All the adults in Year One have been really busy setting up the learning environment to make it the best we can for the children. You may notice that a few things have changed around following our inset day.
Week Beginning 25th September
In English this week we have been learning all about nouns. We matched the names of our body parts to an appropriate verb.
We also started to learn about ‘Rainbow Grammar’:
Subject- who/what (green), Predicate- what it did/what happened (orange), Stop- . ? ! (red). We matched the subject and predicate to create sentences that made sense. We also started to make our own sentences on coloured card based on our super bodies. Some of us even used adjectives to add detail e.g.
I chew with my sharp, metal teeth.
We have continued to do daily handwriting to practice our letter formation. This week we have focused more on the one-armed robot letters.
In Phonics we have continued to revisit our phase 3 phonemes. We have filled in phoneme frames to match the pictures and named aliens using phase 3 digraphs and trigraphs. We revisited phase 3 tricky words (he, she, we, me, be, you, are, her, was, all, they, my) by playing bingo which the children really enjoyed. When you are reading at home encourage your children to instantly recognise the tricky words and see if they can spot any phase 3 digraphs and trigraphs.
In Maths we have been learning all about number bonds. We have used the part-part-whole method to split numbers up into different parts to create number sentences. We have modelled using a systematic method to ensure they have found every possible way, this has encouraged the children to spot patterns and check their work. We have particularly focused on number bonds to 10 as children in Year 1 are expected to instantly recall these. To practise this we have used numicon, multi-link, games, and ladybirds. It would be great if you could practice number bonds to 10 more at home so they can quickly recall them, we will continue to revisit this throughout the year.
You may have noticed that we have opened a ‘S.P.I.D.E.R Investigation Station’ in Comets Class. The children have loved being secret agents researching about superheroes and looking for clues with the magnifying glasses and torches.
We need your help!
We desperately need your help to develop our KS1 outside learning spaces. We want to try and create outside ‘learning zones’ with lots of outdoor play equipment as well as access to creative/writing resources.
We need people who will be willing to run and organise a couple of fundraising events where all proceeds would go towards this cause. Please get in touch if you can help!
Week Beginning 18th September
On Monday a surprise letter arrived from Evil Pea saying he had captured Supertato and all the vegetables! Luckily all the children in ‘Comets Class’ are undercover superheroes so they found the vegetables and saved the day. Thankfully we managed to rescue Supertato and capture all the Evil Peas as well. We decided to freeze the Evil Peas so they could not escape and commit more terrible crimes. Some of us also wrote letters to Evil Pea to tell him about our successful mission. We had so much fun!
In English this week we have been learning all about verbs. We have ‘magpied’ verbs from stories, worked in teams to select missing verbs to make silly/ real sentences, and we have been on a verb hunt around the room. We have also been doing daily handwriting to practise our letter formation.
In Phonics we have been revisiting our phase 3 phonemes. We have sorted words into nonsense and real words and we have also had a go at making our own. We have been revisiting phase 2 tricky words (I,no, the, to, go, into). When you are reading at home encourage your children to instantly recognise the tricky words and see if they can spot any phase 3 digraphs and trigraphs.
In Maths we have been ordering numbers by their size sometimes this has been ‘smallest-largest’ and other times it has been ‘largest-smallest’ so we have had to look carefully at the words. We have been identifying one more/ one less than numbers to 10 using cubes and number lines to help us. We have also investigated odd and even numbers by exploring whether we can share them equally. We started to spot patterns and discuss rules to identify odd and even numbers.
Mr Peat has started to take some children to do a bit of gardening once a week. Everyone will get the chance to have a go and I know they are very excited about it.
'We are Comet Class, we are cool,
We all go to Westdale School,
Learning powers as our guide,
In our work we can take pride.
A new year has begun. New class for the children, and a new school for Mr Hedges. Settling in has gone quite well for all of us, only a few tears in the morning (mostly mine), and everyone has chuckled, giggled and tried their best.
Our starting topic is 'Super Heroes' - please check out the attached newsletter for extra detail.
We have been exploring the book 'Supertato' and Evil Pea has been spotted in the school building. The children remain ever vigilant! We have discussed super heroes we admire, be they real (mum, dad, nan etc) or imaginary (Batman, Super girl etc) and the children have been showing us their writing skills. Lots of speaking and listening has been happening, with ideas being shared and questions being asked. We have labelled parts of 'Supertato' and 'Evil Pea' which led on nicely to labelling the human body (science).
Our maths focus has been to secure our knowledge of the numbers to 10, their numerals and word names. We have counted out various amounts to 10, compared them using words such as greatest, least, fewer, more, less etc. We have played team games to encourage the use of mathematical language and explanation. We even counted back from any given number! That was a little tough for some of us but we will keep returning to it throughout the term.
A six week break is a long time and some of us have fallen back in to old habits with our letter formation, so there will be a lot of focus on letter formation as well as numeral formation and orientation. It is vital that we get these correct at this stage so that we can share our ideas with a wider audience as we go through school. You may be asked to work with children on this first thing in the morning or even as a little home task. If you are unsure of our handwriting policy just ask a member of staff.
Across Year 1 we are providing continuous provision as best we can in the afternoons, offering the children the opportunity to self select tasks as they did in F2. Our curriculum is quite full and a year is not really enough to cover everything in depth as it is, so we do run more structured mornings. So far nobody has downed tools and demanded time to 'play' and all the children have risen to the challenge of working on a task together instead of small isolated groups. This does allow greater coverage as well as aid maturity and responsibility for learning.
Don't forget 'Meet the Teacher' this coming Thursday, where we will inform you of the Reading Dojo award scheme as well as topic over views, homework, how you can support at home etc.