WestdaleInfant School

A happy community where magical things happen…

Search Search
Translate Translate

Shooting Stars

End of Term Quizzes

Use these quizzes to assess your child's recall of key information and skills.

Dip into them throughout the summer to support their long term memory.

Make it fun.


A must do unit


Week beginning 13.07.2020

Letter from Lilly and Len




Week beginning 06.07.2020

Start with the letter from Lilly and Len

Letter from Lilly and Len


Week beginning 29.06.2020

Start by reading the letter from Lilly and Len

Letter from Lilly and Len


Week beginning 22.06.2020

Start with the letter from Lilly and Len


Week beginning 15.06.2020

Start with the letter from Lilly and Len, it will set the theme of the week.


Week 6    08.06.2020



After so many weeks keeping safe and working hard at home learning we are designating the rest of this week as 'Well Being Week'. We have attached a list of fun activities for children and parents to do together if possible, to give you time to chat and listen and care for each other. The activities are linked to our topic.


Fun Family Activities


Week 5  18.05.2020

Start with the letter from Lilly and Len


Week 5 and 6   18.05.2020

Create a short sound story for a section of a story. For example if you chose Jack and the beanstalk you could show

• The stealthy growth of the beanstalk overnight
• Jack climbing the beanstalk
• The giant’s famous chant ‘Fee, fi, fo fum…’
• The magic hen calling to her master
• The axe chopping down the beanstalk
• The clink of money now that Jack and his mother are rich!

Experiment with a range of soundmakers:

found objects eg homemade shakers filled with rice, lego or marbles, crinkly or rustly paper, flapping card, try finding a beater(a pencil or wooden spoon will do) and choose objects to tap or scrape to make different sounds, jars filled with different amounts of water.

∙ voice or body sounds.

∙ Any actual musical instruments you may have in your home.

Which sound will come first in your story? Does it need to be high/low/fast/slow/loud/quiet? Will there be a pattern or word rhythm? If you want more than one sound at once you could get a family member to join in. How will the music change through your story? How will it end?


Week 4    11.05.20

Week 4 letter from the wood elves


3. Get singing: Westdale children are fantastic singers! Singing is great for well being too so keep singing! Here are a few school favourites your children might want to sing along with but encourage them to sing whatever they enjoy.


Week Three   04.05.2020


Get listening!

Ask friends/relatives to recommend some music in any style for you and your family to listen to and pick one each day to enjoy. Chat about it. Do you like it? Why/why not? What does it make you think of? How does it make you feel? Why do you think that is? Have fun! Put on some lively music and have a dance!

To tie in with the Enchanted Woodland topic why not have a listen to the first couple of minutes (or more) of Mendelssohn’s overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream. You could put out drawing/painting materials and see if your children can draw what it makes them think of. Or they could respond by moving to the music. Then chat about it together. Here’s a link:

Parent Letter regarding Home Learning for after Easter


Week Two 27.04.202


Week One 20th April 2020

Hi everyone, welcome to our new topic.

Please look at the Topic introduction first, and then the letter from Lilly and Len.

Each week will start with a letter from our woodland friends.


Independent learning ideas for the topic

Parents can have a go at this quiz about Mary Anning

Year One Weekly Newsletter    09.03.2020

Last week at a glance…

Phonics – the jeep on Jurassic Phonic Island took us to base 10 where we explored the digraph ‘ou’. We read, wrote, created and sorted words.

English/History – we spent the week exploring the life and work of Mary Anning, a key figure in British history. We watched different videos about her life and compared the different details they shared. We wrote about her being struck by lightning when she was a baby. We wrote sentences for key events in her life. We also completed a true and false questionnaire about her life. You could give it a try! We did a whole class comprehension about a poem which shared a rock fall involving Mary Anning and her dog Tray.

Maths – In maths we continued our work on subtraction, combining it with our number facts to 10 and 20. We used a variety of place value based equipment to help us. We drew the place value to help us work out missing numbers e.g.  10 - _____ = 8      20 - ____ = 15

We keep revisiting our number facts, our counting in 2s, 5s and 10s, our 2D and 3D shape names as well as our pairs to 10 and 20.

Science – We worked scientifically; performing a simple test and used our observations and ideas to answer questions. We had some little beads and predicted what would happen if we put them in water. We discussed what happens when we put sugar and salt in water, bubble bath and how it dissolves. We discussed how we have toys we play with in the bath and how they stay the same. We had a great discussion with some people thinking they might grow bigger, some stay the same and others melt away. We ran the investigation and the beads absorbed the water!

D/T – we started sticking the details on to our puppets with adult help. Eyes and horns, stripes and spots, in cheerful attractive colours. We will post photographs of some of them on Dojo.

PE: we had an active week in support of Sport Relief, attempting to do a daily mile each day. Please complete and send in those activity logs.

We carried out our Spring phonic screen to help us identify gaps in learning. Please look carefully at split digraphs e.g.  rode   ride   rude   grade  these    where the e is silent but he makes the other vowel use its alphabet name.

Our first parents evening was on Wednesday, a full evening of parents keen to discuss their child’s progress. Sorry if we ran over a little, 18 meetings without a break is quite a challenge! Thank you for your patience.

Sadly due to the present health crisis we will not be holding our second set of meetings. We will send home their interim report for you to read. Please message us on Dojo if you require any clarification about the report.

The school will keep you updated on developments as soon as it hears from the government or authority. Thank you for your understanding at this difficult time.

Year One Weekly Newsletter    02.03.2020

Last week at a glance…

Phonics – the jeep on Jurassic Phonic Island took us to base 9 where we explored the digraph ‘ir’. We read, wrote, created and sorted words.

English/History – we started reading a book by Laurence Anholt called ‘Stone Girl, Bone Girl’, which tells the life of Mary Anning. We learnt about key parts of her life and why she became world famous. We looked at new vocabulary and watched videos about her. We wrote about when she first discovered the ichthyosaur fossil with the help of her dog Pepper. We then wrote sentences about key points in her life like when she was struck by lightning as a baby. Thursday was World Book Day and the outfits looked amazing and the cakes were scrummy, many thanks for your efforts and support. We engaged in LOTS of reading throughout the week.

Maths – In maths we started looking at subtraction, using equipment to take away from a larger number and then using drawing of tens and ones to find an answer. Most of our maths problems didn’t bridge ten. There were some chilli challenges for bright sparks, which kept everyone engaged. We finished the week with a subtraction story, a paired activity that encouraged them to use the strategies explore during the week.

Science – we looked at fossils and used the first line of scientific enquiry, just like Mary Anning, which was observation. We looked carefully at their texture and shape and tried to identify them. A kind parent donated some lovely little fossils to the school, including a fossilised shark tooth and polished ammonite!

D/T – we started making our hand puppet dinosaurs, learning the running stitch after selecting the base colour of our puppet. This may take some time”

Next week we will be carrying out our phonic screen check for Spring. Please find time to go over their phase 2, 3 and 4 phonemes, phase 5 if time. Go over blending skills and spotting the digraphs and trigraphs in words. All this will help the screen process.

First of our parents evenings next week. Please remember its ten minutes only. Check your time and arrive ready to chat with your class teacher about your child’s progress.

Year One Weekly Newsletter    24.02.2020

Last week at a glance…

Phonics – the jeep on Jurassic Phonic Island took us to base 8 where we explored the digraph ‘ew’ a chameleograph because it is a digraph with 2 phonemes as in few and crew. We read, wrote, created and sorted words.

English – we remembered a section of the story ‘We’re going on a dino hunt’ and added actions to the words to help us recall details and words. We thought about each scenario and how it would make us feel had we been there. We hot-seated the characters Whistler and Whitney, asking them questions about their adventures. We took turns being the characters and asking the questions. On Friday we wrote out the section of the story independently.  

Maths – In maths we went back over how we add a two digit number to a single digit number, and a two digit number to a two digit number. We used a variety of equipment, then we drew the problems using our place value and then solved problems and word problems of different star challenge value. We even had some chilli pepper questions which bridged ten – when the ones in the numbers being added make an extra ten or more e.g.  14 + 18 = 32       4 + 8 = 12 + 20 = 32

Science – we compared the similarities and differences of human and dinosaur bodies, there were a lot of similarities and only a few differences. We also created detailed labels for the human body explaining what each common part did.

D/T – we started the design process for our dinosaur hand puppets, the brief being to make a fun attractive toy, which included sewing skills and gluing skills.

RE – we had a visitor from the local Hindu temple who shared information about her faith and Lord Ganesh. In class we looked at the birthday festival of Lord Ganesh and also the festival of Holi, celebrating the end of winter and the start of spring. We wanted to throw coloured powder paint over each other as the Hindu people do, but because of the mess we threw it on a drawn figure instead.

The week starting 2/3/20 is World Book Week with World Book Day on Thursday. Did you know that on Thursday you can travel on a Nottingham bus for free if you show the driver a book that you are reading? Give it a try – don’t forget to take photographic evidence!

Year One Weekly Newsletter    03.02.2020

Last week at a glance…

Phonics – the jeep on Jurassic Phonic Island took us to base 5 where we explored the digraph ‘ie’ a chameleograph because it is a digraph with 2 phonemes as in shield and pies. We read, wrote, created and sorted words.

English – we read a dinosaur riddle together and then added actions. We learnt it off by heart so that we could then write it down. We might even perform it for you at our museum!

Maths – In maths we looked at 2D shapes and their properties. We then looked at repeating patterns with 2D shapes.

Science – we recapped our work on materials and did a properties investigation, looking at hard/rigid, bendy/flexible and transparent/see though and opaque/not see through.

Art – we looked at the work of Jackson Pollock and linked it with our science work on dinosaurs and their eggs. We looked at bird eggs laid on the ground and how they are camouflaged. Some of us tried our own ‘drip’ technique paintings.

Music – more work on our dinosaur songs and recapping on the music skills covered so far this year. We used percussive instruments to explore beat and rhythm.

Year One Weekly Newsletter    27.01.2020

Last week at a glance…

Phonics – the jeep on Jurassic Phonic Island took us to base 4 where we explored the digraph ‘ea’ a chameleograph because it is a digraph with 3 phonemes as in each, head and great. We read, wrote, created and sorted words.

English – we looked at writing descriptive sentences, adding adjectives for extra detail. We looked at various pictures with dinosaurs in, used a simple word bank for tricky words and thought up exciting sentences to explain what was happening.

Maths – In maths we continued  working on measurement, especially the vocabulary of height and length, concentrating on tall, tallest, taller, long, longest, longer, short, shortest and shorter. We measured in pterosaur wing span diagrams in centimetres, draw lines in centimetres, problem solved by using a ruler and on Friday we measured using a metre stick.

Science – we looked at carnivore, herbivore and omnivore animals and linked them to the 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac.

D/T – we continued the work on our dinosaur badges, learning how to trace an outline and then personalising our designs with colour and pattern.

Music – our dinosaur songs are sounding great and we can’t wait to share them at our museum next half term. We also worked on following a conductor and symbols.

Geography – we created our own habitat map using a key of symbols. We chose where the swampy ground was, the tall forests, the open grasslands, the mountains and even a volcano!

The school is looking carefully at reading in school and at home. The more a child reads the greater the chance they will improve. We do a wide variety of reading activities in school and one to one reading can be tricky to slot into our very busy schedules. Please read often at home and foster that love for books.

Year One Weekly Newsletter    20.01.2020

Last week at a glance…

Phonics – the jeep on Jurassic Phonic Island took us to base 3 where we explored the digraph ‘oy’. We read, wrote, created and sorted real words. Friday was a phonic check up day going over phases 2, 3 and 4 as well as the phase 5 covered so far. The segment and blend skills are very impressive.

English – we began our crew fact files on different dinosaurs, which allows us to be experts on a greater number of creatures. It also helps us remember the different sub headings like appearance and diet. This will continue into next week as there is a lot of research to do.

Maths – In maths we began working on measurement, especially the vocabulary of height and length, concentrating on tall, tallest, taller, long, longest, longer, short, shortest and shorter. We measured in non-standard measures, such as cubes, hands and feet and then moved on to centimetres. Lining up the zero and finding the nearest number will take a bit more practice.

Science – we looked at carnivore, herbivore and omnivore animals and compared their skeletons. We also looked at a T-Rex life cycle.

D/T – we began work on our dinosaur badges, learning how to trace an outline and then personalising our designs with colour and pattern. We are still learning to shade and mix colour with pencil crayons.

Music – we are doing really well with our dinosaur songs. We also looked at following picture notation and following a conductor.

RE – we had a special visitor called Mr Singh (we met him last year in F2) who shared his religion with us and made us realise how close some of the Christian teachings are to Sikhism, love, tolerance, striving to be our best and kind to others. If the children talk about ‘sweet jam’ it was his metaphor for love!

Please continue to read regularly with your child, it is a major focus for the school and supports us a great deal. Keep up the good work.

Year One Weekly Newsletter    13.01.2020

Last week at a glance…

Phonics – we boarded the jeep on Jurassic Phonic Island and headed off to base 2 where we explored the digraph ‘ay’. We read, wrote, created and sorted words that were real and alien.

English – we continued our work on non-chronological reports/fact files and researched information about the much-maligned oviraptor. We worked in teams to add labels to a diagram, then added adjectives to the labels and then matched the information about each body part. We then researched the categories appearance, diet, habitat, life cycle and interesting facts. We created our own leaflet choosing our favourite facts, being careful to keep them in the correct sections with their subheadings.

Maths – In maths we moved on to subtraction using two digit and single digit numbers. We used practical equipment and then moved on to pictorial representations of the problem. We then solved subtraction number sentences by drawing the 10s and 1s equipment e.g.

  2   4   –   3 =

  ll   ::               we crossed out 1 ten and three ones  = 21

Science – we looked at carnivore, herbivore and omnivore animals that are alive today, making links to the prehistoric creatures we are learning about.

History/Geography – we looked at the preferred habitats of a selection of prehistoric creatures, reading clues and looking at pictures. We then cut out drawings of the creatures and stuck them onto a drawn map.

Art – we finished off making our own fossils using salt dough, they will now need to dry before we can display them at our museum next half term.

Music – we went over the new song from last week and started learning a new dinosaur song this week. We looked at beat and rhythm.

Year One Weekly Newsletter    06.01.2020

Welcome back to Westdale Infants and Year One! We trust you all had a lovely break and wish you all the best for the New Year. Thank you for your kind cards and gifts they are much appreciated.

This week at a glance…

Phonics – we have arrived on Jurassic Phonic island with our guides, Whitney, Whistler and Whip. Each week our jeep takes us to a new base and a new phase 5 phoneme. This week we were at base 1 where we recapped the split digraphs a-e, e-e, i-e, o-e, u-e.

English – we started our new topic by looking at fact files/ non-chronological reports on dinosaurs. We labelled a stegosaurus and researched facts, writing down our favourites. We looked at how adjectives add more information to a label or sentence.

Maths – we went over our place value and addition, using ten sticks and ones and then drawing them to help us solve problems such as 13 + 4 =    ,  12 + 15 =      ,  35 + 24 =

Science – we looked at carnivore, herbivore and omnivore dinosaurs and creatures from long ago. We looked for clues in their appearance, their moths and linked them to animals we know alive today. We completed a cut and stick sorting activity.

History – we had a super visitor in school from Life Long Ago who brought along lots of fossils for us to carefully uncover and identify by matching to pictures and reading the research. This WOW moment brought the start of our topic alive! We also cut out and stuck a T-Rex skeleton together, using the skills of a palaeontologist reassembling a real fossil using clues from a live animal skeleton (we looked at a kangaroo skeleton).

Geography – we looked at a gridded map of a dinosaur island and found the grid reference for each dinosaur. We also tried to identify if they were a carnivore, herbivore or omnivore as well!

Art – we began to make our dinosaur fossils using salt dough, selecting our dinosaur skeleton and making an impression in a carefully moulded shape.

Music – we recapped on some old favourite songs, learnt a new dinosaur song and looked at identifying long and short sounds.

PE – we started gymnastics (Monday) and games skills (Tuesday).

Week beginning 02.12.19

Our alien eggs finally hatched with our little visitors hiding up in our ceilings until their grateful parents collected them. Willow has set about decorating her lighthouse for Christmas and has been posing us questions about the season and giving some ideas on things to do.                                        English/RE: We researched the nativity and created our own nativity scene, placing the characters in order of importance.                                       D/T: we continued working on our boxes and our gift labels.              Science: we looked at the parts of the face, drawing and labeling a diagram. In Music with Mrs Watkins we are perfecting our Christmas songs.                 In hand writing we continued the curly caterpillar letters c, a, d, g, q and o.     We have been choreographing our dances and looking at staging our production. We have been going over lines but still need help learning them at home.  

Week beginning 25.11.19

Willow has managed to return to Earth and she and her friends are getting used to being back by the sea.                                                      Phonics: we have been consolidating our reading and use of the split digraphs via a variety of different activities such as cross-splits, a crossword game where we try different vowels to make real words fit into the grid. \we are becoming more confident and will now start looking at the other long vowel alternatives.                                                                          English/History: Willow’s adventures on the moon got her to thinking about the first men in space and on the moon. She also wondered when the first woman went onto space. We completed whole class comprehensions and tried a true or false game about Neil Armstrong. It helped us realise how history can be altered by a bit of misinformation!                                                   D/T: we finished off our moon crater inspired Christmas table tea light-holders and then began detailed Masu origami boxes to hold them safely. We hope to make lids too if we have time. Some children took part in a joint DT project with other schools in the area on Monday afternoon, creating salt dough Christmas decorations.                                                                  Science: part of our human body studies is to look at personal hygiene. On Monday we looked at hand washing and cleaning teeth, taking part in a variety of different activities. On Wednesday afternoon one of our parents, a professional nurse, came in and taught us all how to wash our hands just like real nurses and doctors! It was very informative and the children should now be able to share this with you at home, a leaflet came home too.  Thanks to Niamh’s mum, you were a star!                                                             In Music with Mrs Watkins we are concentrating on our diction and sweetness of singing, now that most of the words have been learnt for the Christmas show. Performance and singing are an integral part of our music curriculum.                                                                                         In hand writing we went over the curly caterpillar letters c, a, d, g, q and o.                                                                                                         We had our final parent’s evening on Wednesday, not without its own dramas! Unfortunately Miss Newcombe slipped just prior to the meetings beginning and suffered a nasty injury to her hand. Thankfully she is alright, though suffered a very bad strain and must look after herself and keep her hand elevated. She has bravely been coming into school. Her meetings will be rescheduled.

Week beginning 18.11.19

Willow is still stuck on the moon! Too many moon moths attracted to her green gems causes them to stop working well enough for a successful launch!. She searched the moon and found out that they were part of an old experiment sent from Earth. She planted cabbages and flowers, and with a bit of magic helped them grow enough to attract the moths away from her lighthouse. We hope that she will be able to blast off for home soon!

Phonics: we went back over all the split digraphs, reading real and alien words. We managed to fit in some phonic screen work with pupils from both classes too. We hope to complete the rest next week. It is looking good so far!

English: we explored the life of Laika the space dog and Ham the chimp who successfully returned to Earth. We looked at how to put a fact file together, (or non-chronological report), choosing facts we found interesting during our research.

D/T: work on the Christmas clay projects continued.

Science: as part of our human body studies, we looked at the differences between boys and girls. We also carried out an investigation on sound and hearing.

We labelled a diagram of the solar system, being careful to put them in the correct order from the sun.

In Music with Mrs Watkins we continue to work on those tricky words from the traditional carols we will share with you all. We are most impressed by how quickly and how well they are performing the songs.

In hand writing we went over the one-armed robot letters, as they are still proving tricky! They are r, n, m, h, b, k and p. You can look them up on the internet and practice them at home too.

Thank you for making it to parents evening. Our next one is this coming Wednesday 27th November – please check your times.

Week beginning 11.11.19

We returned back to school after the weekend to find the egg still glowing a bit red/brown and it had spread more tendrils across our ceiling. The children think it’s getting ready to hatch. Many messages received from Willow on the moon. She has met a small roboctopus, who was helping her collect more green space gems to enable her to blast off back to Earth. She spotted the damaged alien spaceship orbiting the moon; the occupants even secretly searched the lighthouse for their vessels missing parts. A big bot came along offering large green space gems for the missing parts. Roboctopus had found his original crash site where the parts still lay (he had a bump on the head and temporary amnesia). The swap was successful and Willow will be preparing to return to Earth. Once the alien spaceship is fixed, will they return to collect their eggs?

The space element of this topic is capturing imaginations and lots of super homework is being shared. Prompt your child to share their work with the class!

Phonics: we looked at the remaining split digraphs; i-e, o-e, u-e and the skills of decoding alien words e.g. bloosh, drobe and splix.

English: we worked on learning the first part of the story ‘The Way Back Home’, using actions to aid recall and when sentences began and ended. On Thursday we wrote the story down with only the pictures and our actions to help us. Great resilience was needed and everyone gave it their best. On Friday we competed a seasons poem making our own selections from a class generated word bank. We are becoming quite good season experts.

D/T: some of us started our Christmas clay project, using skills practiced last week when making divas.

Science: we began looking at the human body, playing body bingo. We had to select six parts of the body of a friend to label from a given selection. As the teacher called out each part, if we had labelled that part we could remove the label. The winners were the group that removed all the labels before anyone else. This was a popular game. We then labelled a diagram of the human body.

In Art: we explored composition, placing our planets on our star splattered backgrounds. We chose 5 planets out of the 8 we had made and moved them around until we were happy with the overall effect. They are exhibited in our classrooms, have a look next time you are in.

In Music with Mrs Watkins we worked on our Christmas songs and the tricky traditional words are beginning to sink in.

In handwriting we look at one-armed robot letters, these are tricky because they include a bounce! They are r, n, m, h, b, k and p. You can look them up on the internet and practice them at home too.

Week beginning 04.11.19

After a fortnight break, we started the new half term with two days of RE studies. We looked at Hinduism, the festival of Diwali and the story of Rama and Sita.

Willow’s lighthouse shot off into space at the end of last half term, with Willow, Polly, Percy and the raven king hiding in her bed! They bumped into an alien spacecraft and then landed on the moon! The aliens crashed onto the school roof and left us a message. They had left a couple of eggs for us to look after while they looked for the bit of their ship knocked off by Willow.

Phonics: we are moving on to phase 5 and starting with the long vowel sounds. We looked at ‘ai’, ‘ay’ and ‘a-e’ split digraph.

English: we wrote about a part of the Rama and Sita story. We had a part of a story to read and find clues about. We then looked at the full story and answered lots of questions about the text, events and characters.

D/T: we made paper lanterns, decorating them with patterns and we also moulded diwa lamps out of plasticine.

Science: we used our 5 senses to explore traditional Diwali food. We used our sight to look at the colours, our sense of smell to sniff its yumminess and taste to savour the spicy flavours. The mango lassi was a favourite.

In Art: we coloured and created rangoli patterns. We explored making secondary colours using just the primary colours, watching them bleed and merge in a wet on wet technique to make secondary colours. This will be used for our planets in a space picture. We also learnt how to splatter to make stars on our space background. Our teachers got covered!!

In Music with Mrs Watkins we rehearsed our Christmas songs – yes it does seem early but there is a lot to cover and learn!

We started our handwriting workshops this week and on these days the atmosphere was calm and purposeful. Remember you are welcome in class on Mondays and Fridays to share read and write in diaries to earn extra Dojo points.

Week beginning 14.10.19

Another week of learning before we break up for a well-deserved two week half term holiday. The children have managed to combat a variety of different illnesses, though some did succumb and stay in bed.

Willow returned to Plover Scar with the fire gem and the raven king. The lighthouse was mysteriously cloaked in a creepy fog and her two puffin friends failed to welcome her back. She discovered them in her bedroom, squeezed into a hollow pumpkin with their beaks tied up with sticky web. The huge spider was busy covering the room with more webs as a booby trap for Willow. The room was full of spooky Halloween pumpkins too! Willow grabbed her broom and swept them all out of the window freeing her friends. She sent a letter to the Autumn Sorcerer asking for a meeting. He appeared and gave her a new green gem, one from the sky. Willow experimented with it but it exploded and sent her lighthouse out into space, with her hiding in her bed with her friends. Where will they end up?

Phonics: more work on the tricky trigraphs from phase 3 and those all-important sight words from foundation. It is vital that your child extends their sight vocabulary, please play the games sent home!

English: we started the week with a visual comprehension, an image of what Willow discovered in her bedroom. We looked for clues to piece together the events. We went over vocabulary we might need for our writing. We later in the week wrote about the image, adding extra detail to our sentences.  

Maths: we started work on place value, understanding the value of each digit in a two digit number e.b. 12 is one 10 and two ones, 15 is one ten and five ones. We learnt to make them using tens sticks and ones cubes. We went over the teen numbers. We then looked at equipment to work out which teen number it made. We then drew the equipment for a given number. There were two star and three star challenges where we looked at larger numbers e.g. 36 is three tens and six ones à lll :::

Science: we completed an autumn treasure hunt, looking carefully at 11 different plant fruits from our playground and then finding where they were. This was a lot of fun despite the drizzle!

In Art: we designed some spooky faces for Halloween pumpkins.

In Design Technology, we recorded our evaluations of our windsocks, the artistic design as well as how well it worked.

In Music with Mrs Watkins we rehearsed harvest songs and then performed at the church on Thursday. Thank you to those of you who walked with us, and those who attended. The children did us proud.

Next half term we will follow Willow’s adventures into space. New homework ideas connected to space are in book-bags (you can stick them into home study journals). The first two days back will be about Diwali, Hinduism, and the Rama and Sita story.

Please remember you are welcome to come in to classrooms for a Dojo read on Mondays and Fridays. The other days of the week, adults will be allowed into the cloakroom only, allowing us to crack on with our handwriting workshops. This will also allow greater independence and a calmer start to our working day.

Enjoy the half term.

Week beginning 07.10.19

We thought last week was tough! This week has been super busy but the children have shown great resilience! Storm week was fine for most of the time and then on Friday along came the rain and wind! Maybe next week we will have sunshine back again.

Willow sailed across to Liverpool and caught a coach to London. The oldest building in London is the white tower, part of the Tower of London. Whilst searching the grounds and inside she found ravens, beefeaters and a temporary exhibition of pumpkin paintings! Somewhere in the Tower she hoped to find her fire gem. Following clues she finally met the king raven who had hidden the gem deep in the dungeons. He released the gem only after she agreed to help him escape the tower of London!

Phonics: we continued with our usual recap of phase 3 with special attention to ‘air’, ‘ear’ and ‘er’. We made words, decoded words and read words. We went over another set of reception words.

English: we looked closely at a still life painting of pumpkins by an American artist Janet Rickus. We talked about what we saw and answered questions that made us look deeper and discuss our feelings, preferences and even use our imaginations to tell a story. We went on to write interesting sentences about pictures of ravens doing various things.

Maths: we continued with our pairs to 10, exploring through a variety of different activities. We finished the week by going over our number formation in an attempt to cure some of our reversal issues.

Science: we looked at the four seasons and ordered them. We then coloured trees to show what happens in each season. As a class we completed an autumn quiz.

Art: In art we sketched a still life of pumpkins using sketching pencils. Later in the week we drew the pumpkins using oils pastels, trying our best to draw what we saw, shape, colour and texture.

In Design Technology, we waited for a dry windy day and then tested our windsocks. We found out that it worked best when the mouth points into the blowing wind, that way the tails flap straight behind and show which way the wind is blowing.

In Music with Mrs Watkins we went over our travel songs and then went over the harvest songs in readiness for next week’s harvest festival.

Thank you to the group of parents that made our phonics and reading evening, we hope you found it useful. We plan on amending the presentation and placing it on the website for those who couldn’t make it.

The results of the questionnaire regarding morning drop off have been collated. The large majority of those who responded were in support of parents coming in on Mondays and Fridays, only dropping off in the cloakroom on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. This will enable us to run a handwriting workshop straight away during register. This will commence straight after the half term holiday.

Week beginning 30.09.19

‘Wind Week’ seemed to have more rain and sun than wind, but we carried on regardless and managed to complete work using what we already know and from watching videos of live footage.

Willow reached Belfast using ‘Leprechaun Airlines’, after delays due to high winds in Scotland. She followed clues to Belfast castle and we helped her complete tasks set by the leprechaun and sneaky sea gull! By the end of the week we had worked hard enough to help her find her air gem! She now needs to travel to London in England to find her fire gem. She is looking for the oldest building in London. Do you know what it is?

Phonics: we did more work on phase 3 and worked on our segment and blend skills with a practical word maker in our learning crews. We also worked on sight recognition of some of the reception words to fill further gaps.

English: we had to help Percy the puffin complete challenges set by a tricky sea gull. He had written some sentences about wind but they did not include all the rules of a sentence. We worked in our learning crews to spot the mistakes and correct them. The missing finger spaces made it extra tricky. We then wrote simple sentences and captions about the wind and signs of autumn. The rules are easier to remember than use!

Maths: we explored the pairs of numbers that make 10. We worked on practical tasks, pictorial representations and then number sentences. We sang songs that will hopefully help our recall. We will do quizzes and play a variety of games to help us build up recall. Please play games with these numbers at home. Start with a logical pattern then mix them up.

Science: we used what we knew about common materials to identify them, describe them and then match them to their source material. We watched some videos about materials being created; metal ore into metal, wood into paper, sand into glass etc. It is truly amazing how human beings discovered all these things!

In Design Technology we designed our wind socks, selecting patterns and colours. We constructed them with help and next week we will test them (if any wind arrives) and evaluate them. You may have seen a gallery of them in the classrooms!

In Music with Mrs Watkins we have been learning songs about transport and also harvest. The harvest festival will be coming very soon!. We have looked at dynamics in music, how to make things softer and louder.

Please respond to the messages sent you about our phonic meeting and the handwriting workshop on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, leaving Monday and Friday for Dojo reads. We value your opinions and your assistance at home. The phonics meeting will be practical and fun, and hopefully very helpful!

Week beginning 23.09.19

A busy week this week! We have managed to cram a lot in and still manage continuous provision (self selection/learning through play). It was rain week and nature didn’t let us down too much! The clouds opened and the sun shone, quite a mix and a lot to discuss.

Willow made it to Edinburgh by train and was met by worse weather than us. She took shelter in Edinburgh castle and we helped her solve clues that took her to the statue of Greyfriars Bobby. We saw kilted men playing bagpipes and learnt about haggis!

Phonics: we carried on with our recap of phase 3 and worked on our segment and blend skills with a word maker. We also worked on sight recognition of some of the reception words to fill any gaps.

English: we had our first whole class comprehension, reading a message sent by a sneaky seagull to the Autumn sorcerer. We read it together and in our learning crews before answering questions. We spotted new words and worked out the meaning of some others. In the next session, we explored a word map, all words and phrases to do with rain. Some we have heard our families use, like ‘cats and dogs’. We tried using our favourites in spoken sentences. Some of us continued using them to describe the rest of the week’s weather! We then looked at writing simple sentences about a rain-inspired picture. Finally we created a whole class poem about rain using some of the new language.

Maths: we looked at 1 more than and 1 less than a given number, practical and then written. We looked at finding all the pairs of numbers to 5 and then recorded some of them in our books.

Science: we carried out a waterproof investigation, using our prediction skills, carrying out the test and then recording the outcome. Some of us predicted correctly using what we already knew about the materials. Some of the materials were a surprise, like the cardboard. This investigation was to help Willow make her own umbrella.

In Design Technology, we made our sandwich designs and for most of us, they were a complete hit, despite only just having had lunch! We were able to describe what made it a good sandwich and what we might add to make it even better next time.

All this work helped Willow track down her water gem inside a haggis! She is now heading off to Belfast in Northern Ireland to find the next stolen gem. Watch this space!

Next week is ‘Wind week’ – interestingly enough hurricane Lorenzo is due to visit us on Wednesday! Please share all the words and phrases you use to describe the weather with your child

Week beginning 16.09.19

Our second full week in year one started a little shaky for some but we soon got back into the swing of it. It is tiring for the adults let alone the children! Colds have begun as well so we are going over hygiene rules; hand over mouth for a cough, tissues used once and put in the bin and lots of hand washing.

We had our ‘meet the teacher’ meeting on Tuesday when we went over systems, end of year expectations and how you can support at home. We also sent home a double-sided game and a list of words and phonemes. Please use these at home to support their sight recall of high frequency words and their spelling of the foundation word list. If your child is already confident with these then please ask us for the 100 high frequency words and the following 200.

We continue to follow the adventures of Willow the weather witch as she searches the UK for her stolen weather gems. So far, she has been to Cardiff in Wales and our learning has helped her locate the missing ‘storm’ gem. She is now on her way to Edinburgh in Scotland. Please share with your child anything you know about Wales and Scotland to aid their understanding and knowledge of the UK.

Phonics: we continue to recap the phase 3 digraphs and trigraphs such as air, ear, ure and er. We also go over segment and blend skills as well as playing a word game for sight recall.

English: we have been looking at making vertical lists using bullet points for each item on the list. We made a list of things we might put in a suitcase for a short trip and for the ingredients to make a healthy sandwich should we be hungry during the journey.

Maths: we looked at which is the smallest and largest number in a random pair up to 10, up to 20 and then up to 30. We also ordered 5 random numbers to 10, to 20 and tried some up to 100. We continue to sing the count up and count down songs to 20.

Science: we identified objects, their materials and selected the word that would best describe them using our senses. We worked in learning crews and then on our own.

Next week we will be making our sandwich designs (the one we created a list for) and evaluating them. We are aware of a variety of different dietary needs within the cohort and will ensure that there is gluten free bread available, non dairy spread and choices for those who do not eat meat or pork (ham). If you have any concerns please let us know asap.

Week beginning 09.09.19

Our first full week in year one has gone really well, with only a few tears and shaky mornings. We can assure you that after you have gone they settle really quickly and get on well with their day.

Phonics: we have been revisiting phase 2 and phase 3 to see how much has been recalled over the summer break. The children seem to have retained a lot of the phase 2 phonemes which means we can concentrate on the phase 3 digraphs and trigraphs up to half term. We will be checking their tricky word recall over the following week, making sure they have remembered the reception words before moving on to the year one words. You can help with this at home. We will discuss homework at the coming ‘Meet the teacher’ meeting.

English: we have been following the adventures of Willow the weather witch and helping her solve clues so that she can travel around the capital cities of the UK and retrieve her stolen gem stones which she uses to create weather systems. This week she was directed to Cardiff and we had to write two simple sentences describing what we saw in the clues. The children also showed us sentence rule recall and their letter formation.

Maths: we have been looking at counting reliably up to 20, saying the numbers to 20 from any given number and in reverse. We have also written our numbers to 20. This helps us know what we need to cover to meet expected by the end of the autumn term. Teen numbers are an area to work on for many of us, and counting back will be part of a class target for this half term.

Science: in science we have been learning about common materials. After Willow’s lighthouse was damaged in a failed spell experiment, she has started repairs. The children identified materials she might need and what for. We identified common materials in the classroom and described them using our senses. You could look for things made of wood, metal, plastic, glass, rubber, leather, fabric, brick, stone and wool at home.

During this first half term we will be easing the children into the Year 1 curriculum with a similar system to foundation, with small group tasks, short whole class tasks and time for them to self-select and learn through play.

PE is Monday and Tuesday. Please supply tape for earrings.