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Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon class is made up of 30 wonderful Year 1 children who love learning and who strive to be the very best they can be. Our Class teacher is Miss Bestwick. She has helped us adopt an ‘I can do it’ attitude so we believe anything is possible.


Let us introduce ourselves …


In our Class we are very fortunate to have a range of adults who love to help us learn. Every Thursday when Miss Bestwick has her planning, preparation and assessment (PPA) time we are taught by Ms Williams. We are also supported by Mrs Edwards on a Tuesday Morning and Miss Gunnell throughout the week.




Summer term weekly updates:

Monday 30th April 2018

Yet another fun-filled, busy week in Grand Canyon Class continuing our learning around dinosaurs.


In Mathematics we have continued our work on addition. Miss Bestwick decided that adding two numbers was far too easy for us all now so we have progressed on to adding three numbers together. Initially the children were a little worried about this but took this in their stride and proved that no challenge is too big! We had lots of fun problem solving – Miss Bestwick gave us all an amount of money. Some of us had £10, some had £20 whilst the very lucky ones had £50 to spend. We had to find out how many different combinations of farm animals and produce we could buy.


In Literacy we practised being grown-ups and editing and up levelling our writing. We felt very important because we were able to polish our writing and make it the very best it could be. After we edited our writing, we published the book ourselves. We designed our own front cover, made our own title and started to perfect our writing. Watch this space – we will upload some of these onto our webpage.


The children absolutely loved music this week. We explored a wide range of musical instruments and pretending to be the music man. The children then chose a musical instrument of their choice and added this to a nursery rhyme or song and performed this to the class.


Forest school was a real hit this week. The children continued making den using more resources and also made their own potions.


Monday 23rd April 2018

The children have worked very hard in all of our lessons this week. In Maths the children have recapped addition and subtraction using a variety of strategies. We are now trying to encourage the children to use the methods which work best for them. Some children are continuing to use cubes to help with adding and subtracting, others prefer a number line whilst some children are taking on the challenge of using mental strategies to find an answer or solution.


In Literacy the children have thoroughly enjoyed continuing their adventure story. As a class we discussed the middle of the story and how this usually involves a problem. We had so much fun thinking about what could go wrong in our own stories. The children helped me to write my own story too – Miss Bestwick seems to have had a very scary and exciting adventure according to the class. They decided that whilst Miss Bestwick was exploring the land of the dinosaurs a pterodactyl swept m off my feet and placed me in a tall swaying tree. The children said I did not just scream for help, but screeched and a diplodocus came stomping to my rescue. I slid down the diplodocus’ long smooth neck and back to safety with the class.


We had so much fun in Forest school this week. The weather was a little rubbish but it tried to be nice and stayed dry for the majority of our lesson. This week the children had lots of fun using potato peelers to carve their own sticks – we had some magical wands. Other children had fun exploring the forest and started to make their own den.


Monday 16th April 2018

Another week has flown by in Grand Canyon Class. I can hardly believe where the time is going! The children are blossoming more and more each day and have really started to have confidence in everything we do. It is so lovely to see all of the children thriving for a challenge and trying their very best to succeed.


In Maths this week we have continued to explore factions. The children have coped extremely well with this concept and have enjoyed sharing a variety of objects by a ½ and a ¼. Some children even explored ¾ with some progressing on to a 1/3. You all amazed me with your hard work this week.


In Literacy the children have become authors by writing our very own adventure dinosaur story. The children worked really hard to use descriptive phases to introduce the characters in their story. Anastasia described herself as ‘having eyes as green as leaves.’ Jessica described her hair as long, straight and beautiful which touched her feet.’ Jack H explained he wore clothes as neat as a prince. Again I was impressed with their efforts in their independent writing this week – all of the children tried hard to use interesting adjectives as well as similes and also tried to use a variety of sentence openers to make their writing not so repetitive.


In our topic and science we have continued becoming dinosaur experts. We had lots of fun trying to learn the names of many different dinosaurs whilst they have been learning how to classify them. Grand Canyon class thought Miss Bestwick was useless at saying the dinosaur names – we are sure Miss Bestwick made some of them up with her pronunciations!!


We had so much fun in Forest school this week. The weather was much better although still very muddy. We enjoyed our hide and seek game, we struggled to find everyone but luckily Miss Bestwick, Miss Gunnel and Miss Barrett found everyone! We had lot of fun making our own trails for our friends to follow and at the end we found a surprise. I am so impressed with the children’s imagination during Forest school as well as their behaviour – we have been listening very carefully to make sure we all stay safe!


A huge congratulations to all of the children in Grand Canyon class for completing their class assembly to the school. All of the children took this in their stride and learnt their lines off by heart and said these with such confidence to the school. Miss Gunnell and I were very proud of all of the children – we could have cried and I am sure you probably could have too!


Monday 9th April 2018

Welcome back to everyone in Grand Canyon Class. I hope you all had a lovely break and a wonderful Easter. I can hardly believe we are already in the summer term – the children have progressed so much already and blossomed into positive, enthusiastic and hardworking children.


This term we will explore a new topic. Our topic question is:


Which creature would make the best pet?






Thank you to all of the children who completed their Easter homework – thinking about which creature they would most like to keep as a pet. I was really impressed by the wonderful models, collages and drawings we had and how creative the children have been. Thank you to you as parents for supporting your child to complete this.


To begin our summer term topic the children have been thinking about this question and sharing their answers with the rest of the class. We have tried really hard to describe why we think these animals and creatures would make the best pets by using adjectives and similes.


During the first half of the Summer Term we will be focusing heavily on dinosaurs. I am so pleased with how engaged the children already are with this topic. They have loved telling me which dinosaur is their favourite and have shared lots of interesting facts. This week we have begun to explore which is the most popular. Most of the children love the T-Rex because of their loud and fearsome roar. Some children thought it was funny that a T-Rex was like a celebrity because they are the king of all dinosaurs. Other children loved the diplodocus. In Literacy we used similes to describe this dinosaur. Some children compared a diplodocuses neck to a double decker bus, the tallest tree and lots of snakes in a line!


Throughout the first half of summer term we will continue to develop the children’s writing skills through GAPS, spelling and phonics. We will also continue to complete our ‘special thoughts’ writing on a Monday where the children can share all of the wonderful things they have been up to over the weekend. It was so lovely to hear how much you enjoyed reading these at parents evening – even though some of the children were very imaginative and wrote about things they did not even do! We will also continue to touch upon poetry and story writing. In Maths we are continuing to explore number. We will begin the term introducing fractions – the children have coped really well with finding a half and a quarter of a shape and are exciting about progressing onto finding fractions of amounts. Towards the end of the term we will recap our basic number skills to consolidate and secure these.


We have had so much fun learning our line (s) for our class assembly and are very excited to perform this to the whole school as well as our parents. Just to remind you that our class assembly is on Thursday 19th April 2018 at 9.05am. Please feel free to join us!

Spring term weekly updates:

Monday 29th January – Friday 3rd February 2018

Yet another busy week in Grand Canyon class continuing our hot air balloon topic. This week in literacy the children took on the role of being a teacher to correct all the mistakes in Miss Bestwick’s writing. The children are convinced I have become forgetful and forgot my ‘thinking hat’ whilst I was off poorly. They did a fantastic job at spotting where I had missed capital letters, finger spaces and full stops and they were even able to spot where I had misused these skills. Some children recognised when I should have used question marks and exclamation marks and even practiced using these in their own writing.







In our maths lessons the children have continued to consolidate their skills and knowledge on division. This week the children have been introduced to dividing through repeated subtraction and have continued to divide through sharing and grouping. In an assessment at the end of the week the children were able to apply these methods and the children are beginning to use the methods they feel work best for them.


In our afternoon lessons we have continued to learn about the United Kingdom, exploring Northern Ireland and Scotland. In art we have continued to add layers on to our paper mache balloons – the children are starting to get stuck in to this now and are no longer worried about getting paste all over their hands. In our Religious Education lessons, the children have been learning about the Christianity, Hindu and Islamic creation stories. The children have thoroughly enjoyed learning about how different religions believed the world was created. Throughout our discussions we have acknowledged that everyone has different beliefs and how we believe the world could have been created. Grand Canyon class had some wonderful ideas:


  • Isabelle, Jennifer, Maja, Ava, Anastasia, Elliot Q, Oliver and Osniel believe that God created the world.

  • Oakley, Dylan B, Dylan D and Xavier believe planets collided causing a new creation called ‘Earth’ to be developed.

  • Cameron believes there was a flash of light and suddenly the world was created with humans and animals.


Monday 22nd January – Friday 26th January 2018

Wow what an eventful week we have had in Grand Canyon class. The children were able to tell me about all the things they have learnt whilst I was off and have shown just how much knowledge they are retaining – I am very impressed!


In our maths lessons we have introduced the concept of ‘division’. All the children explored division practically through sharing cubes or objects before progressing onto sharing pictorial representations. Later in the week the children explored division through grouping and were able to choose the method they preferred to work out a range of division sums.







In our literacy lessons the children have continued to think about adventure stories. The children have been gathering ideas about the different settings they could use in their writing and the kinds of characters they could meet along the way. The children loved using their knowledge of traditional tales and films to help them identify which characters lived in which setting. They then began to unpick what they would be able to see, hear, smell, taste and touch. The children had some fantastic ideas:


  • Dylan D thought we would meet astronauts and aliens in space. He even explained he would see aliens bouncing off planets and hear spaceships zooming past.

  • Cameron explained we would see mermaids and sea creatures in the ocean. He thought he would taste salty sea water, feel sinking soft sand and hear the waves crashing down.


In our art and design and technology lessons the children have been working in pairs to make a paper mache balloons. The children loved using the paste to stick newspaper and coloured paper onto their balloons to build up layers. Once the children have finished their paper mache balloon they will be deciding on a design in pairs to turn them into their own hot air balloons.






Monday 8th January – Friday 19th January 2018

Whilst Miss Bestwick has been off school we have been very lucky to work with our old reception teacher Mrs Powell. She has helped us to learn lots of new skills and cannot believe how much progress we have all made since our time in Reception!


In our maths lessons we have been busy looking at multiplication and have become experts on our 2’s, 5s and 10’s times table. The children worked exceptionally hard with multiplication and enjoyed using arrays to help them work out simple multiplication facts.


In our literacy lessons the children have loved becoming authors. We have been writing about our very own hot air balloon adventure. The first step required the children to think about where their hot air balloon would take them, who they would travel in the hot air balloon with and what happened along the way. Each child came up with their own amazing ideas which they loved sharing with the rest of the class. Some of our fantastic work is even on display outside of our classroom! After finishing our own stories we have been reading and retelling the story ‘The Magic Key.’ The children loved exploring the characters and settings in these books and even predicting what would happen next.


The children have loved our science sessions over the last two weeks. They have been busy planning their own experiment which requires them to drop an egg from a certain height without it breaking. The children have all worked very hard to design something which would protect the egg and stop it from cracking. Grand Canyon class are excited to test out their designs soon but we have decided to leave the experiment for when Miss Bestwick is back so she can clear up all of the mess!!


 Thursday 4th January - Friday 5th January 2018

Happy New Year! We hope you all had a lovely Christmas break. Grand Canyon Class all came back to school with lots of enthusiasm and a positive attitude towards school life. It has been lovely to see how quickly the children settled back into their routines and we are all ready and looking forward to an exciting spring term with our new topic.

















To begin our spring term topic the children read the story ‘Curious George and the hot air balloon ride.’ This sparked the children’s imagination, enabling them to design their own hot air balloon whilst thinking about where they would like to travel. The children loved sharing their ideas with the rest of the class – we had some children hoping to travel locally to West Park or Miss Gunnells house, whilst others wished to travel further to Africa or Australia.


During the first half of the Spring Term we will be focusing heavily on geography, in particular the countries and capital cities that make up the United Kingdom. We will use our hot air balloons to travel around England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and will make our very own passport to show what the weather was like and any landmarks we visited along the way.


During the second part of the Spring Term, our lessons will still have a heavy geography focus, however we will explore the word on a wider scale, rather than concentrating only on the United Kingdom. Whilst exploring the wider world we will begin to look at extreme weather and start to keep our own weather diary.


Please come back and visit our webpage soon to see some of the wonderful work we have completed!


Autumn term:

In our autumn term topic we explored the question ‘Up a beanstalk or under the sea, where would you live and who would you be?’  In this topic we first concentrated on a range of Disney stories, exploring Aladdin, Little Mermaid and Peter Pan. We loved reading the stories together and enjoyed adding our own actions so that we could recall the key events in the story. During the second part of the term we began to look at some traditional tales, focusing on Little Red Riding Hood and the Three Little Pigs. We became brilliant story writers and even practiced innovating the well-known stories to make our very own version. We loved sharing these with the rest of the class!


In our other curriculum areas we became problem-solvers, helping all of the characters solve lots of different problems. These ranged from investigating the best material to make a zip-wire for Goldilocks in Science, to naming the five oceans to help Ariel in Geography.


We have also been very lucky to attend a ‘Mini Movers’ festival at Long Eaton School where we took part in a range of Physical Education (PE) activities. We loved practicing our skills and showing each other what we could do. Towards the end of the term we also went on a trip to our local church. We listened to the Christmas story – some of us were even able to act out the roles.



Grand Canyon class school           We made our very own clay        We loved using objects to help us

council representatives.                pots in art.                                learn our addition skills.



We love to sit and read         We love choosing our own story as well       Everyday we do a Go Noodle

in our reading garden!           as reading our class book - 'The Twits.'       dance to warm up our brains. 




Talk 4 writing actions.               Celebrating friendships for                    In Grand Canyon class we are all

                                                 anti-bullying week                               friends.



We love to help each other             We love to work as a team.                We know what makes kind

learn.                                                                                                         friends.



We were so excited it was                  Everyone got dressed in to              We had so much fun at the

Halloween!                                        their scariest outfits.                      PTA Halloween party!



We went to the local church           Some of us even acted out                We had fun making our own

to listen to Christmas story.            the parts of the Nativity.                    craft stable.






In Grand Canyon Class we are always trying to be the very best versions of ourselves. We love working hard and dreaming big. The children below have impressed Miss Bestwick and any other adults in our class and have received recognition during our ‘well done’ assemblies.


A huge congratulations to:

  • Jasmine Long
  • Maja Wiatr
  • Cameron Tegg
  • Isabelle Bradly
  • Fraser Pyefinch
  • Pippa Orgill
  • Dylan Brown
  • Jessica Larkin
  • Finley Dekepper
  • Osniel Segal
  • Anastasia Higgins
  • Jennifer Wilkins
  • Dylan Dent
  • Zak Le Poidevin
  • Robert Lister
  • Ava Mitchell
  • George Duffus-Conway


All children in Grand Canyon class have now received their bronze award. The children are working hard everyday to earn merits around school to enable them to reach silver!



Important notices:

PE - This year we will have two P.E lessons a week. Our Indoor P.E session is now on a Thursday afternoon and our Outdoor P.E is on a Friday afternoon. P.E bags will be sent home at the end of every half term.


SpellingsEvery Tuesday afternoon children will be tested on their weekly spellings. Spelling books will then be marked Wednesday night and returned to the children with their new spellings on Thursday. New spellings are glued into the red spellings books which are sent home in the children’s book bags.


HomeworkChildren will receive homework with a writing focus at the end of each half term to prepare them for the start of the following topic. The children will also receive MyMaths homework once we have finished learning about a concept or skill. This homework will be set on a Friday and you will receive a text as a reminder. Please be aware this homework is not weekly and will only be set at the end of a topic or to recap skills. During spring term we would appreciate if you could practise your child's spelling to prepare them for their Tuesday spelling test and to complete regular reading - including key words.


Reading books

Reading books are changed on a weekly basis. If your child is reading regularly at home, I am very happy to change their book more often. The children will need to leave their reading book and reading diary on my desk first thing in the morning. This will give me enough time to change their book during the day. Please could you write a little note in their diary asking for books to be changed so I know they have definitely finished and remind them in a morning to hand their diary and book in.

Dates for your diary:

Tuesday 2nd & Wednesday 3rd January 2018 – INSET days


Thursday 4th January 2018 - Return to school for Spring term 1


Thursday 11th January 2018 – Visit from and workout session with a GB athlete!


Friday 16th February 2018 – Break up for half term


Monday 26th February 2018 – Return to school for Spring term 2.


Thursday 19th April 2018 Our class assembly!