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.

Equals and Autumn

In Maths the children learnt about what equals means – ie the same as, totals, balances. To understand this more deeply, they used balance scales and Numicon tiles (which are properly weighted according to value). The children chose their challenges  – to balance either a 5-tile, 10-tile or 12-tile (made from and 10 and 2 sellotaped together!) with 2 other tiles. Some children chose to balance the total tile with 3 or more tiles, which showed great understanding. The scales also help the children understand that number sentences, like equations, can be written either way round – eg 2 +8 = 10 is the same, and as valid, as 10=8+2. This inverting of Maths is an important area of conceptual understanding for year 1 and something we will be revisiting and building on over the year. The children make a good start to creating a list of bonds to 10. They will not be learning number bonds by rote, but by different practical tasks which, over time, will start to come naturally.

We have been talking a lot about autumn, the signs and why it happens. The children drew pictures of what autumn means to them. We have shared books, watched some short videos, explored our school grounds and talked about what else we know of autumn. It would be really useful to build your children’s knowledge of this by discussing how the natural world is changing – eg by noticing at which time it gets dark every day. Our autumn table has a few things on it and it would be lovely to see some more, varied contributions. I’m uploading a few pictures from on of the books we have shared. These pages give a flavour of the learning behind what makes autumn – the tilt of the earth determines how much each part of the earth receives, depending on the time of year.

We have been practising our class performance for next Wednesday’s harvest at school, at 2.30. The children work well together as a team and everyone has been remembering their words well.

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Democracy Day

As part of Hertfordshire Local Democracy Week, we have talked to the children about democracy and what it means. We had a visitor today, Sandy Walkington from a local party, who talked to the children about the role he plays as a local councillor. This afternoon the children are going to take part in our own poll to vote on their choice of non uniform for the 23rd October. We have made our own polling station, with booths, our own ballot papers and a ballot box. We will let you know the results once all the votes have been counted by our school councillors.

Last week in Green Class

In Maths the children have been learning about taking-away. We have a focus for the week and concentrate on building up the skills and understanding as the week progresses, while also introducing useful resources and practising with them until the children are confident. The aim is for  children to naturally choose their own resources, or manipulatives, according to the task and what they think most suitable and useful. The key language in taking away includes fewer, less, group gets smaller, the answer is less than the first amount. We frequently look at sums or statements and ask “Could that be right?” or “What has gone wrong there?” The  next crucial question is “How do you know?” or “Show me (how you know that)” ( the precursor to “Prove it to me.”)

We were all very excited and proud on Friday morning because the children wrote their first poems. Writing poetry, with the specific poetry layout, can be tricky, especially as it goes against the rules we are working so hard to establish – eg “Write to the end of the line”, “Use a full-stop after every sentence”! The children were writing about autumn, using their senses for ideas to explain what happens at this time of year. The poem is a good example of cross-curricular learning – practising an English skill, but also using the knowledge acquired during Science learning. Throughout the year, we will be talking about the tilt of the earth and the impact this has on seasons.

On Friday every class enjoyed a half-hour session with “Perform”, a drama group. Green Class had a wonderful time, preventing the witch and dragon get Excalibur, King Arthur’s sword.

Some children put into practice the colour mixing skills they have been learning with Mrs Reed, but “taking their pencil for a walk” to make swirly patterns which they then filled in with paints based on a secondary colour, also lightened and darkened with white and black paint. The children are practising their independent skills in many areas, such as preparing the making table for use by themselves.

I have updated bug club books, so the colour band should be the same as the one they choose their reading books from. If you have any queries about logging on or the titles your child has been given please let me know.

The letter about our walk to Highfield went out on Friday! If the weather is awful that day then we will simply do the walk another day, which is one of the advantages of going somewhere so close. If you are able to come and accompany the children, we would be very grateful. The year 1 trip is just one day before the year 4 trip (we moved it so there wasn’t a direct clash), but we really want to go before half-term.

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Purple Class Autumn.

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Welcome to the Purple Class blog!

We have had a fantstic start to the school year with lots of learning in all areas. In Maths we have been using Dienes and Numicon to start to add and take away-the children have engaged very well using this maths Manipulatives and have produced some great work!

We have been discussing the school grounds (as above) and we are starting to make our own maps and 3D models of these. In this instance, lego went down a treat as a learning resource with the children!

Thank you for taking the time to read this and speak to you all again soon.

Maths in Green Class

Last week Year 1 learnt about adding, using practical resources Dienes and dice. This week they are focusing on take-away, starting with finding one less. The children used Dienes to find one less than numbers up to 20. Some children decided whether statements were true or false -eg “19 is 1 less than 18.” They needed to prove why they thought this was true or false by drawing a picture of Dienes.

The language for take-away which we will be using is smaller group, decrease, less, fewer, decrease.

The children started building their models for what will be our 3D map of the school grounds. Team work is essential in deciding how to use the construction kits to recreate what is in the playground.

School grounds in Green Class

Last week some of our topical learning was about the school grounds. Through a cross-curricular approach the children learnt about the features in the school grounds – to name some of them and to start to describe them – and practised writing sentences on Friday. First of all they talked about why they liked certain parts of the school grounds – the apparatus is easily the most popular area! – and then they put these ideas into sentences. English objectives were achieved by using “Fred sounds” and remembering full-stops and capital letters. The children did some early map work by drawing certain features they had to find from obscure photos, and then drawing and labelling what was nearby.

Year 1 has been using different “manipulatives” (Maths resources you can touch and hold) to add groups. We have been talking about how a group gets bigger when more is added to it. One independent activity was to find which dominoes had spots adding up to 7, which is an activity the children could play at home. More than one domino can be used to make the total.

We have been talking about following instructions closely and working independently on challenges.

The children worked together very well as a whole team on enough occasions to earn 30 glass beads in the “jar” and so they had 15 minutes outside in the apparatus, as they requested. There is just one glass bead in the jar just now. Hopefully it won’t be long till it is full again!

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