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Autumn term 1 - weekly updates

Our topic question for Autumn term is:

'The Enchanted Woodland.'


During the autumn term the children will be consolidating their basic skills in English and Maths and building upon the areas they learnt in Reception.


In our English lessons we will be exploring the story 'The Tin Forest' by Helen Ward. Our focus will be based upon sentence structure to enable the children to write short narratives. This process will be built up using Talk 4 Writing which the children are familiar with from last year. Each time we learn a new story we will follow the same process; listening to the story told by an adult, adding actions and role-playing the story, sequencing the story, creating story maps and story boards before using all of these skills to rewrite the story.


In Maths we follow the White Rose scheme of work which blocks concepts into units. For Autumn term 1 the focus in Maths will be based around number and place value. The children will continue to work on their counting skills however this will now extend passed 10 and the children will learn to count forwards and backwards to 20, then 50 and finally 100. The children will familiarize themselves with counting by using language such as; more than, less than, equal to, most and least and will eventually progress onto finding 1 more or 1 less than any given number.


Our Topic focus this term is heavily influenced by the Geography curriculum as we will be using first-hand practical experiences of woodland environments alongside aerial photographs to learn the features of a typical woodland. We will touch briefly upon the History of Robin Hood and use the history of Sherwood Forest to engage with maps.


In Art we will be working on a woodland masterpiece, first by designing the background and then using tree rubbings, leaves etc. to create the foreground. We will also engage with clay by creating our very own boggarts!


In PSHE the children will engage with a unit called 'being healthy.' This unit of work focuses on the importance of keeping both the body and mind healthy. Over the term we will explore what being healthy means and practice a variety of ways through eating healthily, keeping active, yoga/meditation and mindfulness techniques.

In RE we will be looking at each child's likes and dislikes and making the link that we are all different and unique. Following on from this we will explore children's individual beliefs and begin to explore a few religions. We will be asking the questions: Who is a Christian and what do they believe? and Who is Jewish and what do they believe? Once we have touched upon both religions we will refer back to our initial lessons by comparing similarities and differences.


In our computing sessions we will explore basic computing skills before learning the importance of e-safety. This will link well to our PSCHE unit on keeping ourselves healthy.


Thursday 24th October 2019:

Wow! We can hardly believe that the children's first half term in Year 1 is complete. They have settled in well and are working hard to develop their independence. Just a polite reminder that now the children are in year 1 it is their responsibility to take letters home or hand in appropriate letters in a morning. The children are asked on a daily basis but it is becoming apparent that they are unaware that they have letters in their book bags so do not hand these in. Unfortunately the day is so busy in Year 1 that we do not have time to check book bags individually, please can you remind your child before entering the gate or hand the letter to them as they come through the gate in a morning.


We had a lovely end to the term. In our English sessions we have been busy hot seating characters o develop our questioning skills. We explored questions starting with who, why, what, where and when. The children loved getting into role as an animal and answering all of their peers questions. Once we had learned lots about woodland animals we decided to explore invitations so we could invite other animals to visit our woodland. 

In Maths we completed an end of block assessment within addition. The children have definitely impressed both Year 1 teachers with their ability to add and how well they have mastered the methods and skills. Towards the end of the term the children had the opportunity to complete additions using their preferred methods; concrete resources, pictorial representations, number lines or through counting on/mental maths. There was a wide selection across the class. Ask your child to see which method they chose in class!

In Art we finished our tree boggarts. We went on a nature walk around school and collected resources we thought were appropriate for our boggarts features. The final pieces look brilliant! The children will be bringing these home in Autumn Term 2. In our Science lessons we put all our skills and knowledge to the test to design our very own Woodland habitat. We discussed everything we had learnt so far and created a class criteria. This included how many wild plants we needed to include, how many different trees (deciduous and evergreen) and specific types of animals. We then had to use this criteria to make sure our woodland was accurate. All of the grown up ins year 1 were amazed by how much knowledge we had retained. Mrs Robinson was also very impressed as she quizzed some of the children too!



Friday 11th October 2019:

Another week filled with lots of exciting and engaging learning opportunities. In English we completed a senses walk around the school to try and describe a familiar setting. We then applied this knowledge to an unfamiliar setting to try and develop our imagination. It was tricky but we managed to succeed with this task. On Wednesday we created our very own candy forest, the photo will be on class dojo very soon!


in Maths we have continued with addition however we have moved on to the use of number lines. Both Y1 teachers were amazed at how quickly they mastered this concept with children moving on to adding 3 numbers only the day after introducing the skill. Next week some of us will be creating our own number lines which we think will be tricky!


Our afternoons have been just as fun. Our favourite part of the week was a visit from Paddy. He worked with us for indoor PE and taught us lots of fundamentals like how to balance.

A reminder that spooky disco return slips need to be in next week so that the PTA can finalise numbers. 

Friday 4th October 2019:

A busy week in Spain class learning lots of new skills.


in our English lessons this week we have been looking at ways to extend our sentences. We discussed the term ‘noun’ and found all of the things in our classroom and woodland which would be classed as a noun and then we introduced the term ‘adjective’ and tried to think of all the words we could to describe the nouns. We found this a really tricky concept and some of struggled to put these into sentences despite having incredible discussions and vocabulary. We will be spending more time on this throughout the Autumn term.


in Maths we moved our learning on by looking at the ‘part-whole method.’ I was very impressed by the children’s understanding of this and how quickly they started using this language within their discussions. We looked at how a number can be broken down/partitioned from a whole into two (or three) parts. This helped us to learn some of our fact families. To keep this going the children have a number bonds card in their book bands which helps you to learn the number facts/stories all the way up to ten. The children can earn bronze, silver or gold stickers based on their fact recalling. Please check dojo for more information.


We have equally had lots of fun in the afternoons. In Geography we used our knowledge of maps and features of landmarks to help us map out the key features of the playground. We then went inside to explore different map symbols and construct our own for those we didn’t know. We were very creative and we devised a very clear map which hopefully will come in useful to someone else one day!


in Art we finished our Henri Rousseau inspired work and we will be sharing photos of these next week. They will also be displayed for the parent drop in should you wish to see some of the incredible pieces of work the children have produced in such a short space of time.


Have a lovely weekend! 


Friday 27th September 2019:

A lovely week in Spain class filled with lots of active lessons.

In our English we finished the story of 'The Tin Forest' using the talk for writing process and the finished pieces are fab. I am currently taking photos of their beginning, middle and ends as a complete story so I will post some on the class dojo page once these are finished.

In Maths we finished our number and place value unit and so today we had an assessment to check we could apply all of these skills. I was pretty impressed with these scores!


In Science we enjoyed a very wet and slightly muddy welly walk around the school grounds to learn the names of the trees and to then decide if they were evergreen or deciduous trees. I think all of the adults learnt a few extra names too! In Art designing our very own clay tree boggart which we will be putting to these test next week - once these are complete we will post you some photos! In PE we have been practising our throwing and catching skills. So far we have tried to perfect the underarm technique.

Today the school celebrated 'Stand up Derbyshire' day where we aimed to make 50% of the day active. We finished the assembly with a dance and all of year 1 were lucky to have an extra session int he hall where we made sure our bodies were constantly moving! Even Miss Bestwick was tired by the end of the session!!

Have a lovely weekend. I hope the rain gives us all a break.


Friday 20th September 2019:

Hi all,


Another week over and done with, we can hardly believe how fast it is going already!


In our English lesson we have continued learning the story ‘The Tin Forest’ and have used a talk for writing approach to add actions and act out the story, sequence the events and rewrite the beginning and middle of the story. 


In Maths we have represented numbers in different ways and then used this knowledge to find  one/ten more or less. Some of us even moved on to the challenge of reasoning and solving some problems involving number!


Another busy week in the foundation subjects. We have learnt the difference between garden and wild plants in science and even helped Mrs Norton sort them into categories on Monday! The children loved topic again, exploring how aerial photographs can show us landmarks. We used these to explore basic human and physical vocabulary in geography. In Art we have started to create the foreground to our woodland pictures by experimenting with colour and pattern on different things woodland animals.


We completed our first spelling test of Y1 on Tuesday and the scores were impressive. We appreciate they had these spellings in reception summer term but if we can try and nail the last few they are struggling with then it sets them up to write independently with much more confidence. Our next test will be on Tuesday with another 10 words. 


I have had a few parents ask questions about how to support their child at home. At this moment in time the best thing would be:


English: writing sentences - making sure they have clear sounds in unfamiliar words, correct spelling with those from our spelling list and that they are beginning to use capital letters and full stops. 


Maths: recognising numbers to 100 and writing these in digits. Counting is always a good area to focus on as by the end of Y1 children must be able to count forwards and backwards to 100 in 1s but also count in 2s, 5s and 10s.


Reading: trying to read at least 3 times a week. Children will receive merits on their sticker cards for this. 


A few parents have also asked me about MyMaths. We tend to start setting this homework once the children are fully settled however I am more than happy to set individual pieces to your child if you would like these earlier. Just ask 😊


Thank for all of your support over the last few weeks. We know it’s a tough step up but we couldn’t achieve the things we do without having you all on board. It is greatly appreciated! I’ll be posting photos of the children’s work early next week so keep your eyes peeled 😊


Friday 13th September 2019:

Wow, where is the time going? The children have come back to school with a positive attitude and have blown us away with how well they have coped with the transition for reception. This class have got to be the first in the history of year one classes who haven’t asked when we are playing and instead just rise to any challenge.



In English we have been reading the story ‘The Tin Forest’ which the children have been hooked on. We listened to the story read by the teacher and watched a short animation clip. As we have only read the beginning the children are very eager to find out what happens next.


In Maths we have practised counting to 100 forwards and backwards and then used this knowledge to help us complete number tracks and sequences. We have also been trying exceptionally hard to improve the presentation of our work by making sure we fit one number in each box.


Our foundation subjects have been just as fun. We learnt the basic structure of a flowering plant and tree in science and independently labelled these. We learnt what aerial photographs show us in Geography and explored photographs of Long Eaton/Sawley and our school grounds. The children had the tricky task of creating an aerial photograph of our classroom. In Art we studied a famous artist called Henri Rousseau and created a background using his style. 


Just a few reminders:

Please can all of the children’s clothing be labelled as we already have some PE kits not being owned up to and cardigans handed over to lost property.


PE takes place on a Tuesday and Friday. We still have some children without a PE kit, can we make sure these are in school for next week.


The first spelling test or Y1 will take place on Tuesday. 


August 2019

It was lovely to meet some of you at the meet the teacher event last week and finally put a few names to faces. Over the summer I will be updated our class webpage with our weekly timetable and any important dates and information you may need so keep checking. I hope you all have the a wonderful summer and the sun shines for you all. I look forward to hearing all about what your children have been up to when they return in September. Happy holidays!