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.

It’s a material world!

It was really good to see everyone back from the Christmas holiday with renewed energy, ready to learn and the children quickly get back into their routines.

We have introduced the new topic for this half-term, when we will be learning about everyday materials by sorting objects by the materials they are made of and describing their properties e.g. shiny or dull, hard or soft, rough or smooth, etc. You can help your child by discussing these and using their senses of sight and touch to describe how each material feels and looks like.

In Maths we continued to practise regrouping for addition and subtraction within 20. We used place value charts, cubes and dienes to show how to make teen numbers by grouping 10 and used these to add and subtract practically. Our next unit starts on Monday and it’s all about time. We will be learning about sequencing events in chronological order, seasons, months of the year, dates and telling the time to the hour and half-past.

In RE the children started talking about belonging and they discussed which groups they belong to both in and outside school. Mrs Lyal asked if they could bring something to school that represents a group they belong to. It could be a uniform or special clothes they wear, certificates, photographs, etc.

The children were ever so excited with the snow on Friday. They had an extended playtime to allow them to have much fun in the snow dusted fields. A gentle reminder that children need to bring coats, gloves and hats to school everyday as the weather does change very suddenly sometimes.

We have sent the home learning books home with a new grid and also some ideas on how to help your child with Maths at home, compiled by Mrs Gibbons, who is also our Maths coordinator. Thank you once again for your support at home.

Have you all a nice weekend and keep warm!

Have a happy holiday!

The last few days of term have arrived with plenty of surprises and treats for everyone. Yesterday all children came to school dressed in something festive for our Christmas lunch. They had fun popping their crackers and having dinner all together in the hall.

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In the afternoon, while we sung carols in the hall, we received a special visit from Santa who gave each child a present. The children were very excited and once again sang this year’s play’s songs with great enthusiasm.

The children have been doing some Christmas related activities and yesterday they made paper chains in a repeated pattern. They then counted how many rings each chain had and measured if they were smaller or larger than 1 meter using the meter sticks.

This morning we talked about all the things we have learnt this term and how far the children have come already in Year 1. It has definitely been a fantastic first term and we are all very proud of their learning.

We wish you all a happy holiday and a fantastic new year. We look forward to welcoming you back in January.

Seasons greetings,

The Year 1 Team

Ps.: Purple Class helped to write this post!


Singing and Showing in Green Class

We have seen a lot of the parents this week, which the children have really enjoyed. They liked showing their adults their work and classroom yesterday. Please remember that it is always ” open door” at the end of the day and if you would like to pop in to see something your child has learnt about after school, you are very welcome. Everyone behaved beautifully at the church for our Christmas songs, which was a lovely event. Green Class sang their snowflake song beautifully at the two performances of the Christmas play, keeping their own part going at the same time as the other group very well. They all did very well at learning the words to the other songs, making an important contribution to the play as a whole.

The children are continuing to rewrite the Christmas Story. We are focusing on writing in good sentences – using capital letter, full-stops and finger-spaces – and including adjectives and time words. In Maths we have been adding 2 single-digit numbers and, today a single-digit number to a 2-digit number. The important learning is not to simply add on, which would be the easy way, but to make 10 first – or regroup into ten and see how many are left over. This is to equip the children with essential calculating strategies now, which they will use in all future Maths, rather than simply count on. Children at this stage can count on very quickly, but they need to develop other skills as well.

For example – 13 + 4. We took (literally, using cubes) 10 from the 13 and saw that there was 3 left. We added the 3 to the 4 to make 7. The children that 10 + 7 is 17, so also that 13 + 4 equals 17.

Home Learning books have been taken in for the holidays. Keeping up with reading – school books, books as presents or Bug Club books – over the holidays is an ideal way to keep home learning going. If you would like a note of the Bug Club details, then please let me know and we can copy them from the home learning books if need be.  I look forward to seeing the children next week for the last few days before the holidays.

Busy as elves…

Where can we start? Purple Class has been busy this week. They shone through the dress rehearsal and two performances of our Christmas play as Red Robins. They all sang and performed the actions to the song beautifully. I was really proud of how well they learnt the actions which they had chosen themselves.


On Tuesday Mrs Lyal taught the children about Christingle, another religious celebration which uses light. Each group made and lightened their own Christingle while they discussed the meaning of each element: the orange, the red ribbon, the four sticks, the sweets and the candle.


All the children have now finished re-writing the Nativity Story and we have had some fantastic writing. The children are becoming more confident in saying their sentences before they write and improving these using adjectives. Even though they are showing the tired signs of a long term, their stamina for writing is clearly improving.

We have been practicing what we have learnt in Maths through some mental Maths sessions and also some practical problem solving. We always encourage the use of manipulatives during Maths sessions and the children are getting more independent in making their own choices of objects to help with their learning.

Just a reminder that on Tuesday the children can wear something festive for our Christmas lunch.

Wishing you a good weekend and looking forward to the last three days of Autumn term.


Christmas is coming in Green Class…..

The children have been busy finishing their decorations, Christmas cards and practising the songs for the Christmas play – today they needed to perfect verses 2 and 3 of “Away in the Manger” which they did very well. All the costumes are ready – thank you for sending them in, labelled and on hangers  – and rehearsals have gone well. We have enjoyed sharing the lovely Christmas and winter books the children have brought in. If your child has a favourite seasonal book we would love to read it together. The post-box is now in the hall and any children can bring in cards for their friends at school and post them. They are then all sorted and distributed by our efficient year 2 post boys and girls.  The Salvation Army collected the presents on Monday and they were very pleased with all the gifts which would be distributed.

The children have started writing their own versions of the Christmas story and we will complete it in instalments, round the play and other end-of-year events. It’s fantastic to see the children use skills and techniques which have been taught and developed over the last year or so. Some children use time connectives independently; others use the “red words” on the window so they can spell tricky words like “said” or “are” correctly; they nearly all use capital letters, finger-spaces and full-stops nearly all the time; and adjectives feature regularly in writing.  This is a great foundation to be moving on from in the spring term.

Thank you for your support practising spelling days of the weeks at home.We will be continuing with these in the New Year, after we see which days the children can spell independently. A year-end objective for year one is to write all days of the week independently and some children will need regular practice, over time, to perfect this.

In Maths we have moved on from exploring teen numbers to adding 2 singe-digit numbers together. The strategy learnt was not counting on, but making ten first and then adding on the remaining ones to find the answer, which was a number from 11 to 19. So if the problem was 8 + 5, then the children would show the two amounts on a place-value chart and move 2 cubes from the 5 to the 8 to make 10. They then used these 10 cubes to make one tower of 10, added on the remaining ones and so found out the total. The children used the resources brilliantly. I will try to download or photograph some of the resources from the Maths Mastery programme of study which we use to show you the resources and recording. In Maths Meeting I have written equations on the board with the operation missing, for the children to say whether + or – should go in the gap. When the children can correctly identify the missing operation and, importantly, explain why that’s the only which which would work, it shows that they can reason about numbers and calculation. For example, you could say that the missing operation in 9 ____ 4   = 5     is – because when the answer is lesser than the amount you start off with, you must be subtracting – or when the group gets smaller, you must be subtracting. I have been very impressed by the fact that children routinely use the words “decreasing” and “increasing” when talking about the relative sizes of groups and numbers. Also during Maths Meeting, we have had less opportunities to use the “frosty” picture and instead have discussed the differences between “overcast” and “cloudy” and whether or not it is sunny.

I’m sorry that I have not posted many photos recently. I have had a few technical problems, but will try again next week to see if I can have more success. Wishing you all a good weekend and looking forward to next week, with our performances, finishing with the carol concert at St Luke’s Church which parents may attend (with tickets).





wc 28th November in Green Class

The children have been learning about teen numbers. This is different from learning to count to 20 because the children need to understand the concept behind “teen” numbers – what makes then a teen number. The children need to know – and say, clearly, using the correct Mathematical language – that a teen number is made up of one ten and some ones. I try and make it clearer by explaining that sometime in history the work “ten” became teen and the some of the words for the ones changed too – eg three became thir, five became fif. The English language has a rich background, influenced by several other languages; and this is reflected in the lack of logic or clarity in some of the words we have (and their spellings!) Crucial to year 1 – in fact, all primary school – learning is using manipulatives, or real, touchable, objects to show what is being meant. This is not just for simple concepts. Over time, the children will be able to use objects and pictures to show more complex learning (such as fractions). Moving on from this, next week we will be looking at addition and subtraction to 20. The children will use what we have learnt this week – that a teen numbers contains ones – to apply their knowledge of bonds within and to 10 to add and subtract up to 20.

Now the children have practised and show number bonds within and up to 10 on several occassions, they can practise them lots to really embed that knowledge, for all addition and subtraction to the greatest of numbers. We shall send home activities to do this, from time to time. It is something you can practise at home whenever you like. Eg I have 5p, How many more will I need to make (p? (or 6, or 10, or 8). It’s absolutely OK to use real objects to practise this lots. Over time the facts should be recalled mentally.

We have read an excellent story called “The Dragon Machine” this week and used this as stimulus to think about verbs, which are doing words. To help your child’s understanding, you could ask which word in a sentence is a verb and ask if he or she can think of another verb which has a similar meaning. We also used adjectives, or describing words, to make descriptions more precise and interesting.

Green Class is practising hard for the Christmas play and we sent home the words of a few songs. If you have a chance to help your child learn the words that would be very helpful.

The children completed some sparkly, lovely Christmas decorations with Mrs Reed, who is very skilled at combining curricular learning with creative, enjoyable activities. Four of the decorations are on the tree and I will put the rest of them round the class next week. They will be sent home just before the end of term. The lights on the tree were officially lit on Thursday afternoon. It is a particularly stunning tree and looks wonderful with all the presents underneath it. The Salvation Army will come on Monday morning to collect all the presents, so your child can still bring one in on Monday morning.

Many children are completing sewings of leaves, thanks to our parent helpers who reliably come into class. I absolutely understand that many parents cannot come in, due to family or work commitments – I cannot help in my son’s class so I do understand! – but the commitment to put the endless “to do” list to one side and help children at school, voluntarily, is really appreciated and enhances the children’s learning.

There have been several Festivals of Light for the children to find out about this half-term – Diwali, Hannukah and now Christmas (specifically, Advent just now). If your children have any artefacts, books, clothes, etc to do with the family religion, they are very welcome bring them. Similarly, if you or another family member would like to come in and talk about your faith, then please do so. The children love hearing from other families and it brings the learning to life for them.

This varied, wintery weather is excellent for saying sentences to describe different types of weather. The children, as a class, are improving at understanding the difference between season and weather.



When the Red Red Robin…

If your child can’t stop bobbing along at home, it’s a sign that we have been practicing for our end of year performance, when Purple Class will be singing and dancing as red robins. Thank you to all of you who have already brought the costumes in. If you haven’t done so, please remember to bring dark trousers/tights/leggings and red tops by Monday the 5th December. A note was sent home this week with more details. Feel free to ask if you have any questions.

Yesterday was a special day, as we hang the decorations the children made on the tree and Eva helped Mrs Cooper to switch the tree lights on. All the presents that the children have kindly being donating to the Salvation Army have also been placed under the tree and they will be collected on Monday. Thank you for the lovely presents you have been bringing in.


Eva helping to switch on the lights.


Hanging the beautiful snowflake decorations the children made.

This week in Maths we have been representing teen numbers using manipulatives, especially dienes. The children have been introduced to the concept of place value through learning to group ten in a group of objects and counting on to 20. We have also compared two or more numbers using greater, greatest, less, smallest.

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If you heard anything about dragons and want to know more about what we have been up to, you can read the book The Dragon Machine by Helen Ward. We read the book and the children re-wrote one session of it using their own ideas. I am very proud of how far they have come already with their writing.

A plea for volunteers: we do welcome parent/grandparent helpers and Purple Class would love to have some of you coming in on a regular basis to spend some time teaching the children some skills that require more support such as cooking, sewing, gardening, playing a game with a group of children, etc. If you think you could commit some of your spare time to help with our learning, please come and discuss with me. We do appreciate that most parents work and/or have younger children and we are also very thankful for the occasional help with school trips and visits as well.

Wishing you a happy weekend.

Mrs De Vynck

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