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16th November 2017

We have had a lovely, busy week with lots of hard working, happy children. 

Maths: The children have flown through the work on subtraction and really impressed me. We have covered subtracting by crossing out, subtract by using number bonds, subtract by counting backwards, making subtraction stories and solving picture problems. We have also used the language involved in subtraction such as minus, take away, difference between, left and subtraction
English: We have looked at the story book , “Imagine you are a Mermaid.” We found lots of words for our, ‘word awareness’ and we discussed the meaning of words such as; decorative, vain, mythical, legendary and appearance. We had a long discussion about the sentences in the book, “Mermaids do not lead very useful lives. They are mainly decorative.” The mermaids seem to have captured the children’s imagination and they did some amazing writing about mermaids.
Phonics: The children are using robot arm and phoneme fingers to help sound out words as well as adding sound buttons to the words they write, a sound button is added to each phoneme so sea has two sound buttons (one for s and one for the digraph ea), beach has 3 sound buttons (b ea ch), bleach has 4 sound buttons (b l ea ch) and so on.
RE: We started our new topic; “Why does Christmas matter to Christians?” We collected the children’s initial ideas which made me smile as there was a little confusion as to whether Jesus works for Father Christmas or the other way around! Lots of Children did mention the baby Jesus being born which was a good start.
Science: We looked at evergreen and deciduous trees. We discussed the difference between the two types of tree and the children impressed me that they were able to name several trees and tell me which category they fell into. Baby Sophie, who was last years baby popped in to see us today, she is 10 months old and gorgeous. The children were amazed that she is crawling, standing and eating proper food. Mia’s mummy happened to pass our room with baby Theo, it was a lovely opportunity to compare the two babies who are only 7 months difference in age and will be in the same academic year yet at such different stages in their development at the moment.

We have continued working on the Christmas play with Year 2 and we are adding and songs and extra lines for the children to say. The play is getting longer and longer, some members of staff were asking if Miss Sutton and I if we were planning an interval selling ice -creams! (It won’t be that long I promise!)

I hope you have a lovely weekend. The cold weather is meant to be coming so wrap up warm and remember to label all hats, gloves and scarfs the children bring into school!

Sara Welsh

9th November 2017

This week has just flown by.

We had a lovely time making poppies for our Remembrance display. We joined year 2 to watch a short simple CBeebies animation that shows war as experienced by rabbits on a WWI battlefield. We talked about the soldiers who fought including Miss Sutton’s Grandad and my great grandfather and great uncles who fought in WW1 or WW2. The children reflected in their RE books about why we wear our poppies. 

Maths: In Maths we have continued adding two numbers. We have done the addition review and will be moving on to subtraction next week.

English: The children shared their holiday news. It was lovely to hear confident, detailed accounts of what they had done during half term. We talked about targets and consistency in our writing. I want to see that the children have thought about what they want to write, have started with a capital letter, used capital letters for I, place and people names, put a full stop at the end of the sentence, used ‘sweeps and flicks’ handwriting and applied their phonic knowledge. Not much expected of our 5 and 6 year olds!

In phonics, we have started phase 4, which is applying all the phase 3 sounds into reading words. The children have impressed me with their knowledge so we might have a whistle stop tour of phase 4 before tackling phase 5. In Phase 5 we learn all the alternative spellings for each sound. In every phonic session we recap, revisit prior learning and then apply our skills.

We explored Bonfire Night when my mum was a little girl almost 70 years ago (when the world was black and white!) They could not believe my mum made a Guy that she pushed round London with her sister collecting a ‘penny for the Guy’ or that she spent the money collected on fireworks she and her sister could buy in the shops. The children were so interested and asked lots of questions. They compared Bonfire Night today with Bonfire Night 66 years ago. They were able to think of many differences, (different coins, very different safety around fireworks, low key events often held in back gardens, slightly rubbish fireworks) but they could also think of lots of similarities as well, (wrapping up warm, the excitement about the fireworks, eating jacket potatoes etc).

I have loaded some games to the Spelling Shed. I hope you all manage to log on and the children enjoy having a play with them. I will continue to add games that complement our phonics and include ‘tricky words’ they need to learn to spell. I have started simply and they will get progressively harder.

We have started looking at the Christmas play. Costume letters have been sent home, please don’t feel like you need to go out and buy something, we do have some costumes in school we can sort for you. As the weeks go by Miss Sutton’s and my enthusiasm grows and the play generally gets longer. Children who want a larger part; dancing, singing or speaking, can have them written in for them.

We are really looking forward to the run up to Christmas (lots of excited children!)

Have a super weekend.

Sara Welsh


We had a very interesting and rewarding trip on Friday to the Beeline Festival, at the Hive in Worcester. The children were just wonderful and we had an amazing time. The author and illustrator, Chloe Inkpen, shared two of her stories with us and there was lots of audience participation! She also showed us how to draw her witch character, she picked Eden from the audience to help with her picture which was fabulous.

Maths: We have continued our work on addition. We have completed a section on making an addition story which the children enjoyed. We also worked on number sentences which many of the children struggled with. They were able to use, ‘part, part equals whole’ to find the missing number; ? + 1 = 7. They could recognise the number 7 as the whole, the 1 as one part and work out that the other part would be 6. However, when the equation became more complex many children struggled, such as 5 + 2 = ? + 1. The children were able to understand the concept and show how to work it out when supported through the process, however, when left to work independently they had a tendency to do ?=7 as 5+2=7 and forget that the = sign is about balancing the equation.

English: The children did some lovely writing about autumn, using words they had collected over the last weeks.

Science: We looked at sorting animals according to what they eat and grouped the animals according to herbivores, omnivores and carnivores. The children were introduced to Venn diagrams to record their ideas.

RE: We finished our unit “What do Christians believe God is like?” The children were assessed about their knowledge and understanding.

Your child should have come home with a letter about our trip to the Sea Life Centre on Monday 3rd December. Please complete and return the reply slip when we come back to school after the week off.

Have a fantastic half term.

Remember Monday is a Teacher training day so I look forward to seeing you on Tuesday 6th November.

Sara Welsh


The children have been so wonderful this week, they are a joy to teach. They are enthusiastic and keen to learn. I love Year 1! They were amazing in our harvest celebration, not just their singing, (which was great) but also sitting so still and quietly for an hour.

Maths: We have begun adding numbers to 10. We have worked on various strategies, including using ‘part’, ‘part whole’ and ‘jumping on’ using a number line. The children have to, ‘prove it’, showing their calculation in a number of ways using a wide range of equipment from white boards to the two-sided counters, to ten frames, jumps on a number line and the ‘part’, ‘part whole’ diagram. They have impressed Mrs Cutler, who came into watch our maths lesson. They also impressed me.

English: We have continued to talk about autumn, collect autumn words and listen to a wide range of poetry. The children had some lovely ideas and they had a go at writing their own poems. Some of their poems were fabulous.

Phonics: We have focused on the sounds, ‘ie’ as in cried, tied and replied, ‘ea’ as in meat, treat and seat and ‘aw’ as in lawn, jaw and shawl.

Art: We had a lovely afternoon getting ‘creative’ with collage. The children made whatever representation of autumn that they wanted choosing from a wide variety of different materials: paints, crayons, pens, collage materials, wool, tissue paper, fabric etc. We saw a lot of investigation of the various materials and development of skills. I was delighted, I’m not convinced Mrs Hill our caretaker/cleaner was as impressed!

RE: The children drew pictures and annotated the ways they think Christians show their beliefs about God. Their ideas included; praying, singing, acting as God would like them too and following the Christian values.  

I hope the sunny weather continues and you have a happy weekend.

Sara Welsh


It was lovely to meet you all properly and talk about your child’s start in Year 1. As I mentioned Year 1 can be quite a step up from Reception. I am absolutely thrilled with the children’s attitude and behaviour. We are going to have an amazing year! I hope you know that if you have any worries, concerns or question I am available to hopefully sort them out and put your mind at rest! I understand some children do not give much away about their day to day life at school and this can be frustrating, hopefully the blog helps.

Talking to parents brought some common themes which I will try and clarify:

Water: We actively encourage all children to drink water and have regular water breaks. We have talked about the brain being like a sponge and it needs to be hydrated to work well and that the human body is made of up to 90% water. We will have a big push on this and keep encouraging the children to drink.

Books: Guided reading books; Your child will bring home one or two guided reading books a week to either finish at home or re-read and share with you. The “Bug Club” books have a brilliant page inside the front cover with the focus sounds found in the book and the tricky words, so it is well worth spending some time on this page. Home readers; we are happy for the children to change these wherever they have finished the books they read, we actively encourage the children to change their books on the days they do guided reading with an adult in the class (which is three times a week). Library books; normally with a silver hologram sticker on the spine and the library label inside. These books are probably above their reading level so they are to be shared. These books get changed every two weeks.

Team points: Team points are mainly given for home work in year 1; each week the children get a team point every time they read at home, 1 point for their phonics and 1 for their maths. We record these each week on a class list then transfer them to the children’s individual cards. The children then put the points they earn into their house boxes, Breadon, Clent, Lickey, Malvern. The team points are collected and counted by the year 4’s and establish which house has won the team cup in celebration assembly. The children’s individual totals go to team point awards which are little credit card type cards which are also given out in celebration assembly on a Friday. These awards start with bronze, silver, gold and then platinum. To earn each award you have to get a set number of team points, so bronze is the easiest to get with 20 team points then silver is 40 team points and so on.

Phonics: As I mentioned to many of you we have a phonics screening check in Year 1. A website I mentioned to some parents at parents evening which we use in school and the children love is It has a number of free games which the children can play which really helps with their blending of sounds. We are on phase 3 and you can pick a sound if your child needs extra support with it or just use all phase 3 sounds.

Singapore Maths/ Maths No Problem: Lots of parents would like to help and support their child with their maths and there were many questions about Singapore maths. I have decided that they best way is to show you, so I am planning a Maths evening soon. This will really help you to know the principles and practices behind Singapore Maths and help support you child. I will also share some information about the phonic screening check on this evening.

This week…

Maths: We have been working on our number bonds and have used the number bonds to find the missing numbers so if we know the total number of apples is 7 and there are 3 on one plate the other plate must have 4 apples on it. We have used a ten frame and double-sided counters to help illustrate our number bonds.

English: We have been listening to a wide range of poetry and collecting autumn words in order to write our own autumn poems next week. This is linked to our continuous provision work in science where we are looking at each season.

Phonics: The children have spent time looking at the tricky words; ‘oh’, ‘people’ and ‘their’. We have focused on the sounds, ‘ay’ as in Monday, crayon and stray and ‘ou’ as in cloud, loudest and sprout.

RE: The children got creative showing the story of Jonah and the whale in any way they wanted, they really impressed me with some of their creativity, such as, flaps with Jonah in the whale’s tummy. We discussed what the message behind the story might be and thought about how this related to our big question, “What do Christians believe God is like?”

Have a lovely weekend.

Sara Welsh

5th October 2018

This week has been very busy, I have been on courses on Monday and Thursday but I was in school on Wednesday afternoon when Mr Bennett usually has the class.

Maths: In Maths we have been looking at Number bonds, the two numbers that added together make another number. We investigated all pairs of numbers to make 6; 0 and 6, 1 and 5, 2 and 4, 3 and 3. The children worked at looking at the whole number and the numbers that can make up this.

English: We looked at the first page of the book, ‘The fish who could wish.’ The children drew what the fish could wish for and wrote a sentence to a match their picture. The children are doing daily handwriting and really impressing me with how they hold their pencils, starting on the line, sweeping up, pausing and forming their letters, remembering the flick at the end! Cursive handwriting is quite tricky to master, however, it does mean that by year 4 our children have beautiful, fluent, joined up writing.

In phonics, we have continued working on the phase 3 sounds and been applying this knowledge in our reading and writing. The children seem to be able to write the sounds, for example, in the word ‘hair’ they remember to write the ‘air’ trigraph whereas when they are reading they don’t always recognise the 3 letters (like air) make one sound. We will continue working on this and if you could discuss when reading this would be helpful.

Science: We had done some real scientific thinking. We sorted animals into groups and gave reasons for this, the children really impressed me with their categories and thinking and discussion about these. We then had a long discussion and debate about whether humans are animals (most children thought not) they were quite persuasive in their arguments! In the end I explained that humans are animals. We looked at the categories of animals, mammal, insect, bird, fish, amphibian and reptile and sorted our animals according to these criteria. We were lucky enough to have baby Theo come in to visit us. We could see how he had grown a little bit, he is now in the next sized nappy and drinks more milk (he is still not crawling or eating fish fingers and chips though)! It was lovely to observe the small changes and discuss how and why babies do things, such as why babies cry, because they are; hungry, uncomfortable, in pain, bored etc. We also talked about baby Theo having more bones than an adult (which the children were surprised about). We discussed how the rib cage protects our heart and lungs and the skull protects our brain. Thank you to Mia’s mum for bringing our science to life.    

Have a wonderful weekend. I’m looking forward to meeting and chatting to you all next week at Parents’ Evening.

Sara Welsh

28th September 2018

We have had a wonderful week. It was so lovely to have some sunshine.

Maths: We have continued with the language of more than, greater than, less than, fewer than, equals to and the same as. We have added in greatest and least to the sets of objects we have been looking at. Please continue to use the language at home to really embed this learning. We have continued working on one more and one less than a number to 10.

English: The children made ‘speedy telescopes’ on which they wrote, ‘I can see’ using their best handwriting. We then rehearsed saying some of the underwater things we could see on our display using our telescopes. We looked at an underwater poster and picked different objects and wrote adjectives to describe it, for example, shark – mean, fierce, grey, pointy nose etc. The children did some super writing yesterday using the structure, I can see …. . It is …. and … . They wrote some fantastic sentences.

Phonics: The children have continued working on the phase 3 sounds especially ea and ee and they have looked at words which contain these sounds. They have been reading lots of words especially ones in which they need to recognise the two letters make one sound.

RE: We have continued examining the parable of the Lost Son. The children thought of the literal end to the story, the father being happy at his sons return and throwing a party and recorded this on the outside of an envelope. They then thought about the hidden message that Jesus was trying to show in this parable; God loves us and forgives us. They then recorded the hidden message inside the envelope.  

Have a great weekend. Please remember to come and talk to me if you have any issues, concerns or worries, however big, small or seemingly insignificant I am here to listen.

Sara Welsh

21st September 2018

We have had a fantastic week and the children seem to really understand all the routines and they are transitioning so well from Reception. 

Maths: We have continued with Singapore maths and the children are impressing me with how well they are using the equipment to show their working. We matched objects, numbers and written words and added this to our maths display to help support our learning, for example, counting 8 objects looking at the digit 8 and the written number eight. We have been representing the objects we have counted on the ten frame. We have been comparing numbers and using the language of more than, greater than, less than, fewer than, equals to and the same as. The children found some of the language tricky so if you could practice this at home it would be very helpful.

English: This week, after sharing the story book, ‘The Rainbow Fish’ and reading factual information about rainbow fish the children drew their own rainbow fish. They have been working on sentences starting with, ‘My fish is ….’ .

In phonics, we have re-caped some of the phase 3 sounds and have looked at words which contain these sounds. The children are amazing at recalling the sounds when they see them written in isolation, however, when reading they often don’t see the sound as two letters one sound and will sound every letter in the word. For example, for shark they might sound out s-h-a-r-k rather than sh-ar-k. Please help when they are reading to point out the two letters one sound or even with, ‘air’, (h-air) three letters one sound!

RE: The children discussed how we show love to our mums and dads and the things that parents do to show love back. They recorded their ideas.

This week: The children have come home with library books. These are to share and enjoy at home. The children visit the school library every other week so don’t need to bring their book to school each day.

Have a great weekend.

Sara Welsh

14th September 2018

We have had a very busy week which has just flown by.

Maths: We have started Singapore Maths and have been introducing the children to the equipment they will use. Singapore Maths is a scheme based on the concept that – “Concrete, pictorial, abstract (CPA) is a highly effective approach to teaching that develops a deep and sustainable understanding of maths.” This quote was taken from Maths no Problem and there is far more information on the site if you want to read more. The methods are heavily based on demonstrating, showing and proving knowledge. There is a lot of partner work which the children really enjoy. The children have started using their Singapore Maths books and they love using them, we have been focusing on numbers to 10.

English: We have worked on understanding what a sentence. The children have written very simple sentences; “I can see a …”, linked with an underwater picture. The children have been encouraged to remember capital letters at the start of their sentence, full stops at the end, finger spaces and ‘sweeps and flicks’ handwriting. We have started handwriting practice this week beginning with the letter i and also l. We use the language, “start on the line, sweep up, pause and straight back down and flick”. We have worked on making expanded noun phrases (just describing the noun in more detail). We ended up with a, “petrifying, sharp toothed shark”, and a “squishy, jelly like octopus.”

We have checked all children’s phonic knowledge and are recapping phase 3 which was taught in Reception. At the end of this year we will have phonics screening so phonics is a very important aspect of our work in Year 1.

Art and Design: We were artists! We explored different techniques that could be achieved with paper. We looked at the artist Zoe Bradley who works with paper and the children were amazed by her work! The children then created their under the sea masterpieces.

RE: We continued our question, “What do Christians believe God is like”. We thought about God as a forgiving father by starting to look at the parable of the Lost Son.

Forest school: Mr Bennett was absent on Wednesday so I was lucky enough to do Forest School. The children were amazing, and we had a great time, we did lots of scientific discussion about weather, the seasons, the plants and animals in the environment. We thought about questions we could ask and explore over the year. Coming in waterproofs and wellies will save lots of time. Please send children with a named carrier bag containing their school shoes. The bag needs to be big enough for them to put their wellies and waterproofs in to bring home. Also, as the weather gets colder, they might need two pairs of gloves, ones that will get muddy at forest school and their normal lunchtime gloves which could come into school in bookbags or the bag with their shoes.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend Year 1. Remember photographs on Monday – so best smiles!

Sara Welsh

Our first week in Year One

9th September 2018

Hello and a very warm welcome to Year 1. I am absolutely thrilled with how well the children have settled in already. They all seem so grown up and are coming into school happy and ready to learn, we can’t ask for anything more. This blog will be updated each week with our experiences and learning in Year 1 and will also contain ideas for you to support your child’s learning at home. It would be lovely if you shared the blog with your child, in this way you will have a better idea of their school life. If they are anything like my son when asked, “What did you do at school?” I get the response, “Nothing!” Hopefully the blog might shed some light on their daily activities!


We have had a wonderful 4 days getting used to lots of new routines and members of staff. The children have been amazing and adapted really well, I think the transition week in July really helped. The children have been introduced to entering school via the main door, new pegs, groups, tables, using the big toilets, where to put water bottles etc. So many new routines to remember! They were introduced to Mrs Medlicott, our fantastic teaching assistant, and myself. Together we talked about our expectations in Year 1. We are so lucky that Mrs Bridgwater has moved up from reception with the class. She is with us every morning and out and about at lunchtimes too. Mr Bennett teaches in Year 1 on a Wednesday when I am with Mrs Cutler having assistant head time. In the morning he will be going down to Forest School and then teaching computing in addition to the normal phonics, guided reading and maths.


This week we have been very busy with our learning. Our topic is ‘Under the Sea.’ We looked at the book ‘Only one you’ in transition week and have continued to work on it this week. The children designed fish pebble; their designs were very good. They then used sharpies to create their design onto a pebble these were absolutely brilliant. I couldn’t believe how carefully the children recreated their design (I have never seen so much care and attention or children following their design so carefully, I was blown away)! Year 2 have also created fish pebbles and we are going to display then between our two classrooms.


Maths: We have done lots of counting, number rhymes and recognising numerals. The children have done some maths recording. Next week we will start Singapore maths which the children were very excited about (having a book to work in)!

English: We started with speaking and listening to holiday news. It was lovely that all the children were confident enough to tell the whole class what they had been up to over the summer. They wrote their news independently then drew the pictures of something they had done in the holidays.

RE: We began our topic of “What do Christians believe God is like” We thought about the question what do we think God is like? The children created their own piece of art to answer this question and explained what they believe God is like, we had some really thoughtful answers.

Our new baby: Last year Mrs Woodhouse brought gorgeous baby Sophie in to Year 1 every 4 weeks and we all benefited from seeing how she had grown and changed. The new Year 2’s will continue to see and observe her development this year. In Year One Mia has a beautiful new baby brother, Theo. Mia’s mummy has kindly agreed to let us adopt him as our class baby this year! She will bring baby Theo in once a month so we can see how he has grown and changes over time. Baby Theo came in to visit us on Friday morning and we talked about all the things he could and couldn’t do, we looked at his bottles and saw how much milk he can drink at a time (2oz) and saw his tiny nappy. Thank you so much for bringing Theo in to help with our science across the year and brightening up Friday morning. And thanks again to Sophie’s mummy Mrs Woodhouse for sharing you beautiful daughter last year.

PE: Mr Alexander and Mr Underhill are teaching PE to Year 1 on Thursdays. This term they will be focussing on foot co-ordination and ball skills.

If you have an questions, queries or worries, however big or small, please pop and see me.

Sorry for the lengthy blog. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend Year 1. See you on Monday!

Sara Welsh

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