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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.




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


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!