Year 1 Blog

Welcome to the blog for our Year 1 classes. The year group blogs are a great communication tool. Teachers will be posting news, photographs, details of homework, examples of work, and anything they wish to share with their pupils and parents. Please speak to your class teacher if you have any question, feedback or concerns.

Mrs Foulds

Green Class Teacher

Mrs De Vynck

Purple Class Teacher

We have two year 1 classes. Children in these classes are developing their skills and building on the learning from Foundation Stage. When the children are ready, usually by October half term, the learning becomes based on the Key Stage One National Curriculum Programmes of Study. We still believe that children learn best when the ‘subjects’ are linked in a meaningful way and then basic skills are taught for a real purpose. We encourage the children to take ownership of their learning, ask questions and have a say in the planning process. We hope to motivate all children by taking account of their needs, strengths and interests and provide rich experiences and learning opportunities which will continue to excite them.

Donations for Red and Blue


If you have any of the following items that you are happy to donate to reception, please hand them to either Red or Blue class to enhance our learning outdoors.

  • Old CDs or DVDs (with or without the case)
  • Empty plastic bottles with lids
  • Doll accessories such as cots, car seats and baths.
  • Large washing up bowls.
  • Crates
  • Logs in a variety of shapes and sizes.

If anyone knows of a tree surgeon who may be happy to donate logs or similar please let us know.

Thank you

Mrs Barwin and Miss Lewis

It’s getting colder and colder…

…but we are still looking for opportunities to go outside whenever we can. In Purple Class we have started our daily jog. It isn’t happening daily yet ~ because it all depends on our lovely weather but we are just under completing our first 1K and the children’s target for next week is one mile. The perimeter of the playground is 75 metres, so you do the Maths.

However, do not try to ask the children to do the repeated addition themselves just yet. This week in Maths we have focused on shapes and directions. We also talked briefly about algorithms as a sequence of detailed instructions and gave instructions to each other using only left – right – backwards and forwards (and number of steps). We will go back to this during Computing in the future, so if you can practise left and right with your children there are a lot of rhymes to help with.

We did the second observational drawing of our trees outside and the children discussed the many changes that happened in only one month since their first drawing.

18th October

18th October

14th November

Can you see the changes too?

On Thursday, as you might have seen in other class’s blogs, we had our Islamic Workshop. Mrs Claire Ali spent all day in school and after a  whole school meeting, when she told the children the purpose of this visit, each class had a 40 minutes workshop. She used the book: Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns, by Hena Khan to talk about the Islam through the different objects described in the book. The children joined in beautifully and they all enjoyed learning more about each other’s beliefs.

Following up from the workshop, we used the same book for our writing on Friday. We asked the children to think about some object that was important/special for them and describe it using adjectives, especially colour, shape, etc. Many children mentioned their baby blankets, other described religious artefacts, or even toys that are special for them. One child in Purple Class drew and described his mum’s necklace and said it was important to him because she was given the necklace when he was born.

The children are becoming more and more confident logging on the laptops by themselves and most of them can log on Purple Mash independently. We are making celebration cards. The children are creating their own Christmas Cards but those who don’t celebrate this festival can choose a different celebration, in line with his/hers own family traditions.

We have started practising our song for the Christmas concert. Letters will soon come home about costumes and – not wanting to spoil the surprise on the big day – if you hear some songs about snowflakes or red robins, it has to do with our performances.

Tchoo tchoo… Next week it will be all about trains. We will talk about how and when the first trains arrived in St Albans and on Thursday we will visit the St Albans old signal box. We are all looking forward to it. Purple Class will leave the school shortly after Read Write Inc, so if you are helping please arrive at school for a 10am briefing before we start walking. We will return at 12 and the children will have lunch at school. Green Class will have lunch at school and leave at 12:30, returning at 2pm. We are all really looking forward to this visit and fingers crossed the weather will be adequate for the walk.

Keep warm and we hope to see you all on Monday.

Eco Ambassador Blog

Today, the Eco Ambassadors met with Mrs Barwin and I.


Amelia “We done some recycling of wasting papers”, this included some children taking the recycling boxes from each class to the recycle bin outside.

Lily “We had a look at them to see how much to be recycled”

Ben “We’ve been getting paper waste and then we were looking to see how much has been wasted”

Lots of paper is being wasted!

dscn4086   dscn4091  dscn4094 dscn4088 dscn4089 dscn4093

Toby “We’ve been thinking about electricity, we have to turn off the lights”

We discussed our jobs we have been doing for Switch off Fortnight and saw that our ambassadors and monitors have been keeping an eye on these.

At lunchtime, 2 children will monitor Purple class to check that paper towels are not wasted and are being put in the bin, and the taps turned off.

Today our ambassadors are taking certificates and stickers back to their classes to celebrate a successful Switch Off Fortnight.

Our ambassadors have requested a display board for certificates and photos, this will be commencing next week.





Friday in Green Class

Friday morning was started with making sandwiches in Green Class. The skills being learnt, in D&T, were using materials and tools – safely and, most importantly, hygienically – to make sandwiches. The children could choose between white and brown slices of bread – or one of each – and cucumber, cheese or jam as fillings. I was impressed by how many children chose the healthy options. Each sandwich did actually look different – some children chose to cut the sandwiches into 2, with the two equal parts being halves; others to cut them into 4 equal parts (quarters, which could be either triangular or rectangular shaped). I was incredibly impressed by the children’s beautiful manners – using yes please or no thank you without being prompted – their capacity to wait politely (even with all the knives from my kitchen drawer the children needed to share) and their ability to work neatly and carefully. Afterwards they calmly and sensibly wiped down the tables with paper towels. Once all the sandwiches were made I took a photo of each one, for the children’s books and the children waited till everyone was ready and they ate carefully and politely together – crusts and all!

Later on Friday the children had their second session of apparatus. They all listened very well for the instructions how to move the apparatus safely and worked well in their groups of 4 to organise the apparatus.

Thank you for some offers of help for our walk on Thursday 24th. If anyone else is able to accompany us, I would be very grateful. Thank you.dsc07139 dsc07140 dsc07141

w/c 7th November in Year 1

We did the last day in addition and subtraction in Maths on Monday, looking the difference between two numbers by taking away. We used “real life” examples like there are 9 cups and 7 children – how many cups do we need to take away so there is the correct quantity? Since then we have been learning about shape – 3D shape and now 2D shape, which we will continue next week. The children have talked a lot about shape, to name and describe the shapes using properties accurately. This includes evaluating properties – eg which is the most important property about a circle? We have been using the new word for corner and corners – vertex and vertices. Identifying shapes in the environment is an important area of Maths and one you can practise at home – can you find something which is like a sphere, cube, cuboid, square-based pyramid, triangular-shaped pyramid or cylinder ? AND – how do you know that these are the shapes you think they are?

Both Purple and Green classes try to get outside once or twice a week to observe the changing seasons and the trees in the school grounds. The wildlife area has a good range and variety to plants, particularly trees. We have made our own tree-spotting sheet and, over time, will learn the names of some of the trees and their features – eg seeds/berries/leaf shape and size, etc.  I have decided to do what I have asked the children to do, and bring in some wellies, so I don’t get soggy socks like this week.

Mrs Reed and Mrs Lyal continue to do creative, engaging Art or D&T with the children on Tuesday afternoons. This week the children weaved a mat, which they will complete next week. The act of weaving – over, under, over, under – is a very good fine motor skill activity, help teaches directional language, also helps with co-ordination and results in colourful, attractive objects.

The current RE topic is “Festivals of Light”. There are several important festivals, from different wold religions, about this time of year. Mrs Lyal has been teaching the children about Diwali and the children have been identifying the “goodies and baddies” in the “Rama and Sita”. If you would like to share any stories or information from your faith, please let your class teacher know. It is much more meaningful for the children to hear about faith at first-hand from familiar people. As teachers, we learn more, first-hand, too. Similarly, if your child celebrates a festival or participates in worship, s/he is very welcome to bring in photos, artefacts, etc, to share and discuss with the class.

The photos below show some groups of children after they have sorted their 3D shapes into 2 groups. Can you work out which sorting criteria they chose and agreed themselves?

dsc07107-1 dsc07111-4


Eco Ambassadors Meeting

Today I met with the Eco Ambassadors for the first time to get some ideas of what they would like to focus on for Switch off Fortnight.

We looked at our posters and decided where to put them so that everyone could see them.

Jessica-Rose suggested “The library”

Ben suggested “The Hall”

William suggested 1 should go on a window in  the library where we line up for lunch.

Amelia said “In the hall because when we go to meeting, everyone can see them”

Eleanor agreed with Amelia.

Spencer said “So when we go to the library to get new books you can see them and then when you come in to lunch you can see them”

We went round looking for good places and decided to put 1 in the hall, 1 in the library and 1 in the dining room.

dsc07234 dsc07235dsc07236

We then discussed ideas for what we would like to look at in Switch off Fortnight.

Yusuf suggested “Paper” “We could sometimes turn off the lights and we could sometimes have the light on”

Toby suggested “turn the oven off when we’ve finished making dinner”

Ben suggested we look at the lights “When we go home” and “we just turn it off when we’re coming out of the classroom”

There were so many ideas that we chose 1 idea for the ambassadors and their monitors to look at for each year group.

Red and Blue will be checking lights are off

Purple and Green will be checking computers are turned off when they aren’t being used

Gold and Silver will be making sure paper isn’t wasted and helping to recycle paper.


Thank you Ambassadors for such fantastic ideas!




New Eco Ambassadors and Switch off Fortnight

Today we have launched Switch off Fortnight.  Miss Lewis and I led the whole school meeting to discuss saving energy by switching off.

We were amazed at the knowledge the children had about electricity, wind turbines and solar panels.

We talked about how we can switch off lights, put a jumper on instead of the heating and take short showers.

We elected 12 Eco Ambassadors to work with us for the next few months and gave them 3 Switch off Monitors per class to help them over the next fortnight.

Our Eco Ambassadors have their first meeting with Miss Lewis on Wednesday.

We can’t publish the photo of our Eco Ambassadors, as some can’t appear on the website.


Mrs Barwin and Miss Lewis

dscn3877 dscn3878 dscn3879



Welcome back Year 1!

It was really nice to see everyone happy to come back to school after the half-term. The signs of Autumn are getting more evident now and our weather chart, once populated with sunny days, has been getting more cloudy and rainny entries and we even started recording foggy days as a tally.

This week we have been re-telling the Gunpowder Plot and below you can see some children enacting Guy Fawkes and his friends talking about their “nasty plan” to blow the Houses of Parliament up. Today they showed what they have learned by describing some of the artefacts related to the topic.


We have had plenty of opportunities to talk about Bonfire Night: in Music the children played “It’s Bonfire Night” using instruments to play the different fireworks: rockets, catherine wheel. They are also learning a new song about trains, in line with our “All Change” theme for this term. In Art lessons they used lines and mixing colours to create fireworks designs. Some of these can be seen in a display in Purple Class.

In Maths the children have practised adding and subtracting by counting on and counting back and they are getting very confident in trying different strategies to solve missing number problems.

The school value for this half-term is courage and some children have already shown they are able to overcome their fears when they stood in front of their peers and told the class why they should be voted to represent their class as School Councillors. Congratulations to our newly elected councellors in Year 1: Lucca and Eva (Purple Class); Tim and Neha (Green Class).

The home-learning books have been sent back today, together with this half-term overview.

Have a sparkling bonfire weekend and stay safe.

See you on Monday for another week of exciting learning.

History and Music in Year 1

This week year 1 has been learning about Guy Fawkes. Can your child remember the “Remember remember” rhyme? We acted the story out and the teachers retold the story of Guy Fawkes’ life, from his time in Spain to the night of 5th November 1605 under the Houses of Parliament. In a second session, the children were good historians by tracking down evidence. The children had 5 statements about the story of Guy Fawkes – for example, ” He wore a big hat.” or ” Guy Fawkes was arrested” – and they had to pick the pictures which formed the best pieces of evidence for that statement. Shakers were the Catherine wheels, bangers were expertly portrayed by children randomly banging drums and the rockets were made from a sequence of glockenspiels, tambourines and then rainmakers. The children really enjoyed it and worked together very well indeed.

Home learning books will be home tomorrow, with new suggestions for home learning activities and this half-term’s overview.

It’s been a fresh start to the new half-term. The children in green class have been excited to be able to use the “foggy” and “frosty” weather symbols for the first time. With the longer nights, it would be useful to talk about this seasonal change with your children, and discuss why there is this change in daylight.


A Leaf Maze – Red and Blue Class

The children have been thinking about Harvesting this week, Anna’s Grandma brought in a pumpkin, which the children observed, cut and investigated with tweezers and magnifying glasses.  Then they went on a vegetable hunt around the school, to see what other vegetables could be harvested.

Following the windy weather, we went outside and made a leaf maze, which required teamwork, cooperation and hunting skills.  We were thrilled with the outcome.

Have a lovely half term.

See you on the 31st October.

Miss Lewis and Mrs Barwin

dscn3607 dscn3609 dscn3613dscn3604


© 2014-2017 Cunningham Hill Infant School All Rights Reserved | Website by Pink Desk Studio