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 Gibbons

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.

Rosh Hashanah

Today in Purple Class we talked about the Jewish New Year Festival, which lasts two days, and occurs during Autumn. The children watched a video about how the Rosh Hashanah is celebrated. After discussing which food is used during the celebrations, the children had a taster of apple and honey. We also talked about what other religious celebrations have they heard of and they mentioned Eid, Christmas, Easter, Diwali.

We wish you all a “Sweet New Year”.

Tasting apple and honey

Tasting apple and honey in Purple Class.

w/c 19th September in Green Class

The good weather this week meant that the children could experience more Science learning outside, first-hand. They did observational drawings of plants and then labelled their drawings. I dug up one of our plants – cosmos – from green class garden to see what was under the soil, as the roots are important part of a plant which we cannot see above ground. We learnt about the names for the different parts of trees by using the outdoor labels Mrs Lyal added to the unsuspecting tree. On Friday the children added these labels to their own pictures of trees.

We will learn more about trees on our walk to Highfield on 10th October. If you are free and would like to accompany the children, please let your class teacher know.

In Maths the children have been learning about more and fewer by making groups with real objects and making other groups which are both larger and smaller in size.  We talked about the fact a group doesn’t just have to be one more than another group – it may be one more, or five more or any other number more! We talked  a lot about increase and decrease as these two words are easily muddled and we did some actions to illustrate the difference between the tw0 – maybe your child can remember what they are and show you.

We put in the purple mash and bug club log-ons in the children’s home learning books this week. I do need to check the bug club books on everyone’s accounts, so apologies if your child’s needs updating. I’ll do this as soon as possible. There are lots of topic-related activities on purple mash which are all accessible and free to use at home. For example, labelling the parts of a body or writing autumn sentences. If you enter either of these in the search bar you’ll be taken to them easily. Please remind your children about e-safety at every opportunity. They should not use website- based material unaccompanied and tell an adult straight away if they see anything which worries them.

Mr Bainbridge has been teaching the children “Dem Bones” and they accompany the different parts of the body with a percussion instrument each. They have to get the timing just right, which takes some practice! We are also practising a lovely Harvest song, for our Harvest celebrations on Wednesday 19th October.

The children are really enjoying the new handwriting and are doing very well. We are doing “straight letters” just now. Last week we tried x (the pre-cursive version which I don’t think is available on the blog font!) which was quite tricky. We won’t linger over that as the letters which come next – o, c a, etc – are much more common and useful!

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It was on the news: yesterday was British equinox so from now on nights will be longer than days. We have been observing and plotting the weather every morning during Maths Meeting and the children get very excited every time we add one more counter to our sunny days column.

To make the most of these days, we do our best to bring our learning outside. On Tuesday the children labelled several trees outside. They used the names of the parts of the plant they learnt then to label their own trees during our writing session this morning.

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During our writing session, the children questioned if all trees had the same parts, and they suggested we looked and labelled a banana tree. When you are out and about with your children, talk to them about the parts of the trees and flowers. They might surprise you, as they have surprised me, with quotes like: “the twigs connect the leaves to the branches”.

In Maths we have just started learning about ordinal numbers to ten, describing the position of objects using first, second, third, etc, as well as next, before, after…

In PE the children are using other parts of their bodies, as well as their feet, to travel (move) from place to place. They had much fun inventing ways to move using their backs, knees, elbows even. We are also talking and training our balancing skills.

I really enjoy reading about the children’s home learning, so please remember to send their books to school on Wednesday and thank you for practicing the spellings with your children.

When we talked about our week today, many children mentioned that they are enjoying handwriting sessions. So far we have learned how to do the cursive i, l, t, c and a, and they are becoming much more confident to start their letters from the line.

If you haven’t done so yet, please sign in for the “Bring your Parent to School” day on Friday. The sheets have been outside the classroom but if you haven’t had the opportunity to sign in, please feel free to contact the office to book a slot. It is looking like it will be a very well attended day and the children are really looking forward to it.

We are really proud of how well Purple Class has settled in and I look forward to seeing all their big smiles again on Monday.

Have you all a nice weekend.

Mrs De Vynck


W/c 12th September in Green Class

Green Class ended the week by writing their first sentences in their new topic books! They were following the important rules of using capital letters, finger spaces and full-stops in every sentences; and using these skills to write about parts of the body. Writing about our current topics is an important way to write for a purpose and keep writing relevant and interesting for the children.

In Maths we have continued to work with  numbers up to ten and have begun to compare different groups, using the language “equal to”, “more than” and “fewer” (moving on from “less” which is used in Reception). The children work with their learning partners and use manipulatives together, talking about what they can see and have found out. “Working with numbers up to ten” might seem a simple objective, but is it the concepts and possibilities in the number which we think about. Also, articulating what is being done and what can be seen is more demanding than it seems at first. For instance, on Friday the children, with their learning partners, chose an object in the current “big picture”  to count and represent with unifix which they built into towers. One partner then had to say “There are more cups than bears.” and the other partner “There are fewer bears than cups.” We also have what we call “next steps for deeper learning” which are activities and questions for those children who have mastered this learning. For example,  a question might be “There are fewer bananas than scarves.” Is this true? Why? Why not?” The children need to used the evidence in the big picture and reason as to whether the sentence is true or not.

We have talked a lot about looking closely when drawing and have used this skill to practise drawing a face and, with Mrs Reed,  to do observational drawings of plants. Both these activities teach Science (parts of a body, parts of a plant and naming common plants) and Art (observational drawings) in a cross-curricular way, making the learning more meaningful and creative.

The hot weather put paid to going outside with bikes and scooters for part of the week sadly, but Green Class had their first PE session in the hall. They got ready well and joined in well, following instructions quickly and enthusiastically. We were playing games to use the space well and safely and follow instructions promptly.

Thank  you for your support with reading and spelling at home. We sent home a note explaining, in a bit more detail  how to do the home spellings; and hope this is useful for you.

All changes

Our theme for this term couldn’t be more appropriate to describe this last week in Purple Class. The children continue to settle in very well and are getting used to all the new routines in Year 1.

Taking advantage of the lovely warm weather we had in the beginning of the week, we had several opportunities to learn outside and had our PSHE session, when we talked about how to make everyone feel welcome in our school, sitting in the music area of the playground.

We have started our Maths lessons and the children have been “talking numbers” the whole week. We emphasize the importance of speaking about maths rather than just calculating. In this first unit we are learning to represent numbers within ten. The Maths Mastery programme uses fairy tales pictures to illustrate their lessons and in this unit we have been counting objects inside the Three Bears cottage. Today we were comparing the numbers of objects, using more and fewer.

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Every Monday Purple Class’s PE lesson is lead by Challenge Sport. These started this week as well and the children had an excellent time practicing new games and skills.


In Science, we are talking about plants. Mrs Lyal brought some plants in and the children were able to pull them out (and replant afterwards) to investigate all parts of the flowers (including the roots). They then made observational drawings of these plants and labelled carefully.


Another enjoyable moment for Purple Class this week was the Art lesson with Mrs Gibbons, where they learnt about drawing self-portraits. They were very proud of their masterpieces:


Mr Bainbridge is teaching the children the song “Dem Bones”. His version includes several parts of the body: toes, foot, ankles, legs, knees, tights, hips, back, shoulders, neck and head and the children play different instruments for each of them. There is a shorter version of this on Dem Bones if you’d like to have some fun at home.

In Computing the children are learning to log on using their own logins and passwords and how to use the internet safely. We talked about what to do if something goes wrong when they are using the laptops:

Before you click, click, click…

You need to think, think, think…

And tell someone!

In RE we have been talking about how wonderful is our world and wondering about the beauty in nature.

On that note, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and see you on Monday for another fun-and-learning-filled week.

Mrs De Vynck

Today in Green Class

Today we started the first of our whole-class  Maths sessions, when the children were learning to count a group to 10. There is more to the learning and the sharing of what the children learn than the learning objective implies. The children used ten-frames. When the group of counters is placed on the ten-frame, there are many different ways which any number can be represented. One challenge was to show the number 5 in as many different ways as you could.  When asked to show a group of, say, 6 on the ten-frame the temptation, when you are 5 years old, is to not stop at six but to continue until all the squares have a counter. The representation of the numbers was linked back to “real life” by showing a big picture of the 3 bears’ cottage where the children could count groups of various different objects.

Green Class was outside this afternoon, looking for plants. The question “Is a tree a plant? – Why do you think so/think not?” was discussed. We mentioned some names of plants we could see – marigolds, firtrees, cherry tree, a laurel bush ( and discussed the differences with a tree) which is an area of knowledge we will be revisiting and building on over the course of the year.

There was some rain while we were outside and, because not all the children had coats with them, we had to come back inside. Please could you send your child with a light raincoat every day. The rain is an ever-present fact of life in England and we will not be able to explore outside as we wish if we don’t have suitable clothing.

Many thanks for the wellies which you are sending in – and also for the donated wellies. I don’t know which individuals have donated them, so will have to offer a general thank you – your support is very much appreciated.

Please remember water bottles and sun-tan cream tomorrow as the forecast is still for hot weather. Thank you.

Green Class’s First Week

It’s the end of a fun, mostly sunny week in Green Class. The children are settling in very well and getting used to the routines and expectations of year 1. They have proved to be very good at tidying up after learning, as you will see from the photo of the role-play area which is currently Percy the Park-keeper’s hut.

This first week has given the adults opportunities to get to know the children, to listen to them read and learn in small groups and on a one-to-one basis to see where the learning should go next. It started with some children weeding and tidying up our garden, so we can see the pumpkins and sweetcorn better.  Some bulbs have been planted so hopefully we should have some spring colour.

Other children have painted a body for the wall, to help the children learn the names for parts of the body, which is our first Science topic. We have sung action songs to help use learn them, including the less well-known terms such as “shin”. Mr Bainbridge, in our first Class Music session, started to teach the class the song “Dem Bones”. Another was of learning parts of the body is to play the labelling activity on the free educational website, “crickweb”, which can be used at home, if the children would like to.

We have made the most of the lovely weather and equipment the children are used to from Reception to play outside on bikes and scooters and on the large apparatus, which is so useful in building up upper arm strength so the children have good stamina for writing. The children have written the first entry in their handwriting books – their name! In Year 1, we will print off the each child’s name in the new “precursive” script and I will send a copies home, for the children to practise.

Reading books and diaries should now always been in book bags, so if your child’s is not there please check that s/he hasn’t left it in her/his drawer, as this can sometimes happen early in the year! Your support in reading at home is invaluable; and each child does need to read at least three times each week, at home, to make good progress in Year 1. Please keep in touch with school if there any problems with this, so we can overcome them and help children improve at reading. A love of reading is also an important life skill and changing books weekly at the school library is a good way to nurture this.

Well done, Green Class, on a great first week and I look forward to seeing you next week.

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Our first week in Purple Class

Wow! I can’t believe it is Friday already: it has been an exciting week in Purple Class and all the children are settling in very well. During this week the children got to know more about the classroom resources through a variety of activities and started to familiarise with the new routines.

We have also learnt a few new songs, so join in if your child starts to sing “What’s your favourite, what’s your favourite season, season?” (they will know the tunes). As an introduction to our Parts of the Body Science topic, we have been practising “Head Shoulders Knees and Toes” and its variations (you can change one part for another, eg. Head Shoulders Elbows and Toes). Our favourite so far was Head Neck Armpits and Toes. It saves a lot in gym membership!

Read Write Inc lessons have started and the children are already going independently to their groups each morning. Both myself and Mrs Hogan were very impressed at how quickly they got changed into their PE kits for our first games lesson.

At our school, we like to celebrate extra-curricular achievements as well. We have a display of “Magnificent Moments” in the dining halll where these can be shared. The children are usually very proud to show their peers what they are up to when they are not at school. On the last photo we can see Cara showing her medal and certificate for completing the Big Friendly Read Challenge at the local library during the Summer holidays.

Role Play Area


The pegs have been very popular this week


Forming works using the letter tiles


Owen, Isabelle and Billy-Joe have been working on a real-size picture of a child for our display.


The Maths table was also popular this week, especially making patterns .


Cara and her magnificent moment.

Have a lovely weekend and see you all on Monday.

Mrs De Vynck

Hypoallergenic Plastic Earrings

During Meet the Teacher, we discussed covering earrings with tape or plasters for health and safety reasons at school.

Following this discussion, we have been shown a pair of hypoallergenic, plastic stud earrings. These earrings bend when caught and the butterfly/backing covers any points or ends.

These earrings are suitable to wear for school, and do not require taping for PE.

We have seen them available on ebay for approximately £2.50


Leavers’ Concert

Today was the day the school said good-bye to the year 2 children. The year 2s sang and played topic songs about pirates beautifully. We also heard lovely recorder playing, fantastic piano playing and the ukelele players  played some very tricky pieces very well indeed – all by the very talented year 2 children. Year 1 sang two songs – “Building” which is a song with three parts sung simultaneously – and “Butterfly”, where 2 parts sing on their own and together. Reception’s song was also very acccomplished. One group sang “I Hear Thunder” and the other sang “Three Blind Mice” while some children accompanied the singing with chime bars. The children behaved beautifully and, as usual, Mr Bainbridge was the Master of Ceremonies “par excellence”. A wonderful afternoon of talent and great memories.

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