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8th November 2019

The children have come back to school refreshed and ready to learn, it feels like they have been Year 1 forever! They have settled down into Year 1 life and they are impressing Mrs Medlicott and I with their learning.

Maths: The children have begun working on subtraction. We have covered subtracting by crossing out and subtracting by using number bonds. When subtracting using number bonds we have learnt the sentence stem, “The whole take away part equals the part.” The children are so good at using the part, part whole model and can see the relationship between addition and subtraction. We have also used the language involved in subtraction such as minus, take away, difference between, left and subtraction.

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, written on the line and applied their phonic knowledge. Not much expected of our 5 and 6 year olds!

Art: We have started to do printing as our art topic for the next half term. We are hoping to produce for you a beautiful printed calendar for 2020 using all the printing techniques we learn over the next 7 weeks.

I hope you have a lovely weekend.

Sara Welsh

25th October 2019

We have made it! The children have had a brilliant first half term in Year 1. They have worked so hard and we can already see progress in their books. I am so sorry I didn’t get round to posting a blog before but I was poorly last weekend. This one will be a lengthy one!

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 them 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 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 twice a week) Library books; normally with a silver hologram sticker on the spine and the library label inside. These are usually above the child’s reading level so to be shared, the children get the opportunity to change these books every two weeks.

Team points: Team points are mainly given for home work in year 1; every week the children receive a team point for each time they read at home, 1 for their phonics, 1 for their maths. We record these each week on a class list then transfer them to the children’s individual cards. The points they earn get put into their house boxes, Breadon, Clent, Lickey, Malvern. The team points are collected and counted by the year 4’s and contribute to who 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, platinum, to earn each award you have to get a set number of team point, 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 that 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. Therefore, I am looking at putting on a Maths evening soon, possible to be combined with some information about the phonic screening check. This will really help you to know the principles and practices behind Singapore maths and help support you child in class.

This week and last week…

The children were just wonderful at the Beeline Festival. We watched an alternative production of, ‘The selfish Giant.’ We went to the Hive, where we were told facts about the library and listened to an extract of, ‘Matilda’ by Roald Dahl. The children got creative making book covers for books Matilda might want to read. We had our lunch then a flying visit around the Infirmary Museum, which was interesting, before getting the coach back to school!

Maths: We have continued with addition we have completed a section on making 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 whole to find the missing number; ? + 1 = 7. They were able to recognise the 7 as the whole, the 1 as one part and work out 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 the = is about balancing the equation.

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. The children made puppets, lift the flap whales, drew pictures or created scenes from the story. They really enjoyed these activities discussing happily what they were doing, talking about the story and then explaining the key messages from the story. We discussed what the message behind this story might be in relation to our big question, “What do Christians believe God is like?”

I hope you all have a wonderful week, hopefully the sun will shine. Look forward to seeing the children when we return to school. Remember Monday is a Teacher training day so I look forward to seeing you on Tuesday the 5th November.

Sara Welsh

11th October 2019

We have had a lovely week in Year 1.

Maths: We have begun adding numbers to 10. We have worked on a number of 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.

English: We finished our whole class reading book, ‘The Pirates Next Door’ by Jonny Duddle. We really enjoyed reading this book over the last few weeks and have several more books written by him so we will be able to compare and contrast the stories. In whole class reading we discuss the story in lots of detail, we talk about the language and words the author uses, we make predictions and discuss how characters are acting and behaving. The children are all motivated and engaged. We have begun to think of our own questions that we would like to ask a pirate. We made a list of ‘question’ words, such as when, where, how, which, why, do etc. We discussed the use of a question mark at the end of the sentence to show a question has been asked. In year 1 we say full stop question mark, so we put the question mark on top of the full stop. In this way we still remember it is the end of a sentence and the next sentence will start with a capital letter! (Full stop, exclamation mark)!

Phonics: The children have continued working on the phase 3 sounds. We have concentrated particularly on the ea and ee sounds and we have looked at words which contain these sounds. They have been reading lots of words and continued to recognise the two letters one sound in words.

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 which they recorded inside the envelop.  

Have a lovely weekend. I’m looking forward to meeting and chatting to you all next week at parents evening.

Sara Welsh

4th October 2019

Another busy week has flown by and lots of good learning is happening in Year 1!

Maths: In Maths we have continued to look at number bonds and to tell number stories whilst looking at pictures. The children have also done some journaling where they have to show and prove their mathematical thinking. They are really getting the hang of this now and Mrs Medlicott and I have been very impressed.

English: We made our own PowerPoint as a class about, ‘a bad pirate’. The children really got into the swing of things and had wonderful ideas! These ranged from, “A bad pirate chops people heads off” to “A bad pirate chews chewing gum.” They thought about a bad pirate’s appearance and what awful deeds a bad pirate might do. They rehearsed their sentence and then drew a picture of their bad pirate and wrote all about him. I am looking forward to marking them this weekend (as much as you can look forward to marking at a weekend!).

Handwriting: We have finished the caterpillar letters (c o a d g q s e) and started the one armed robots. These start on the line, sweep up, pause, go straight back down, straight back up again and then… so for r they flick but n they go over and back down and flick. The one armed robot letters are r n m h p b k.

In phonics, we have continued working on the cvcc (consonant, vowel, consonant, consonant) words: lamp, tent, pond, band etc. We have worked hard to hear and write all the sounds in the words.

Science: We had a visit from Rosie’s kittens; Whiskers and Simon, they are 4 month old now and they are very cute. We did careful observational pictures of conkers and discussed the feel of the outer shell and the conker itself. On Wednesday the children collected lots of conkers from the horse chestnut trees in the meadow.

RE: We shared the parable of, ‘the Lost Son’. We had an interesting discussion on how they thought the brother might feel when the lost son came home.  

Have a wonderful weekend.

Sara Welsh

27th September 2019

We have had a busy, hard working week. The children are really into the year 1 swing of things and transition from guided reading to handwriting to phonics to Singapore maths is so much easier and faster.

Maths: In Maths we have been looking at Number bonds, the two numbers that 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, they then partitioned the number into two parts that can make the whole number. They recorded their findings using a part, part whole, model.

English: We went back to our sentence, ‘I can see’. We expanded this by adding more detail to what we could see and using the word, ‘and’ to link our ideas. For example, ‘I can see a parrot. It is bright and colourful'. We have continued writing the caterpillar letters; d, g, q and s. The children generally struggled with forming the letters, g and q . It would be lovely if you could practice these at home.

In phonics, we have looks at cvcc words such as tent, lamp, sink, band. We have used robot arms to sound them out and the children have been writing them on their whiteboards. They have been making me laugh talking about the second vowel as the sneaky letter; so they were telling me, “there is a sneaky ‘n’ in tent!” I do hope this will help them remember these sneaky letter when they come to sound out and write the words!

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.

Please can you make sure all uniform is named; we now have two polo shirts, three jumpers, a pair of trousers and shorts, some hair bands, clips and a sock in our classroom!! If any of these items are yours, please ask your child to come and tell us or drop us a note and we will happily send the item home.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Sara Welsh

21st September 2019

We have had a fantastic week it has been so lovely to have sunny weather. 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 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. We have continued working on one more and one less than a number to 10.

English: This week, after sharing a PowerPoint and book on ‘Mrs Pirate’ the children wrote their own lists of items Mrs pirate might buy. They had some great ideas and were amazing at rhyming, for example they thought she might buy a ‘Jolly Roger flag and a new shopping bag!’ We have finished all the long ladder letters in handwriting; i, l, t, j, u and y and have started writing the caterpillar letters beginning with c,a and o.

I have heard all the children read individually and assessed their reading. I am really pleased with their progress so far.

In phonics, we have re-caped some of the phase 3 sounds and have looked at words which contain these sounds. The children are brilliant 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 three letters one sound!

Science: We have started sending home the science bag and shared their first experiment that had been written up. We had a visit from Mrs Marley-Foster and her rabbits, they had grown so much from when they visited the class in reception. We have looked at the oak tree and will monitor changes across the year. We planted bulbs which we hope will grow and flower in the spring. We set up out door thermometers so we can monitor the temperature and weather trends across the year.

Please remember any issue, concerns or worries however big, small and seemingly insignificant please come and talk to me.

Have a great weekend. Enjoy the sunshine.

Sara Welsh

15th September 2019

This week has just flown by, the children have worked hard and all seemed very tired by Friday afternoon.

Maths: We have continued with our Singapore Maths and have been using a variety of equipment which the children are free to use to help work out calculations. 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 . There is far more information on the site if you want to read more about Singapore Maths. 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 love them. We have been focusing on comparing and ordering numbers to 10.

English: We have continued to work on really understanding a sentence and have written very simple sentences: ‘I can see a …’ linked with a pirate picture. The children made telescopes and practiced their sentences before writing about the things they could see on the pirate 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 in their handwriting. We have started handwriting practice this week beginning with long ladder letters, so far we have focused on letters: l, i, t, u, y and j. We use the language – start on the line, sweep up, pause and straight back down and flick.

We have checked all children’s phonic knowledge and are recapping phase 3 which was taught in Reception. Phonics is a very important method of teaching children to read and spell. At the end of this year we have a phonics screening check.

I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday Year 1. It was lovely to see some of you at the Tardebigge Fair on Saturday. I popped into school and you will see your wonderful pirate paintings on display on Monday!

Sara Welsh

7th September 2019

Hello and a very warm welcome to Year 1. This blog will be updated each week with our experiences and learning in Year 1 and will also contain ideas on how you can 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!

I am absolutely delighted 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. We have had a wonderful 4 days getting used to lots of new routines. The children have been amazing and adapted really well, I think the transition week in July really helped them to settle in so well.

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. Mr Bennett teaches 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 in the afternoon he will be teaching computing and PE. On a Thursday afternoon Mr Alexander teaches PE and Mrs Friday teaches French and music.

This week we have been very busy with all our learning as well as routines. Our topic is, ‘Ahoy Pirates.’ Year one has a more formal approach to learning than Reception, however, we try to make learning fun and active and ensure all children are engaged. The children have been brilliant starting so many new things, we have done dough disco and started our handwriting books as well as making paper sculptures in art. We made fantastic 3D artwork in the style of Zoe Bradley by changing the shape, form and texture of paper. The end results were brilliant and displayed outside the Year 1 classroom!

Maths: We have done lots of counting, number rhymes and recognising numerals. We started our Singapore maths books in transition week and the children have been excited about having a book to work in!

English: We started with some speaking and listening about our holidays. The children all attempted to independently write their own holiday news. We wrote a good sentence together and looked carefully at all the things that a good sentence needs to have. This sentence we displayed on our English working wall and together we have made some actions to go with it to help us remember the following; finger spaces, capital letters, full stops, writing on the line etc. The children also completed a piece of work about themselves. They used sentence starters; I am, I can, I have and I like. It was lovely that all the children were confident enough to tell the whole class what they wanted us to know about themselves, especially their likes and the things they can do.

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 thought about and tried to answer this question and they thought of some lovely ideas.

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

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

Sara Welsh


Wow! What an amazing activity week! Full of exercise, healthy eating, sunshine, teamwork and smiles. The children have been amazing showing perseverance, determination and working collaboratively. This week the children are writing the blog…

“This week we had a fruit kebab and bananas. I liked doing, ‘Rob the Nest’ because you get to rob the nest.” Henry G

“On Sports Day I liked having lunch with my mum and dad. I liked the obstacle race the best, where you put the beanbag on top of your head, because it was a bit tricky. I like activity week because you can go in your own clothes. ” William M

“I liked the Bouncy Castle because it was bouncy and fun. I liked the running race because it was fun and I came first.” Summer

“I liked the horse riding because on top of the horse you had a great view.” Eden

“I really liked the recorders being played because I really like the sound.” Thomas

“Activity week was good; I liked the jump rope and egg and spoon race.” Mia

“I liked the egg and spoon race and the running race because I came first in both of them. I liked that some of my family were there. I liked the fun run because it was so much fun I wanted to go on again and again and again.” Livvi

“I liked the jump rope because you can jump where you want to go. You can skip really fast if you want to, you can do it backwards, front and side to side.” Jacob

“I liked the jump rope because I learnt how to skip backwards and star jumps when skipping.” Rosalia

“We went horse riding, I felt happy.” Bethany

“I liked activity week because we do loads of activities that aren’t the same. My favourites were the fun run, horse riding and jump rope.” Harvin

Next week the children are with me in year1 on Monday then they move up to Miss Cooke in Year 2 on Tuesday.

Have a lovely week Year 1, lots of sleep after a very busy week.

Sara Welsh


We have had another hard-working week. The children are so lovely and with activity week next week and then transition week, I am really thinking about how much I will miss them!

English: We have re written the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. The children thought of their own Nibbles adventure where Nibbles could go next and wrote their own story. These were fantastic, they were all so different and the children had such wonderful imaginative ideas.

Maths: We are finishing our Singapore Maths books working on the review and revise chapters and the children are working at their own pace through the books. They are remembering lots of the maths taught across the whole year (which is great.)

Art: After all the skills lessons the children created their own Miro pictures, which were amazing.

Science: We looked at lots of different plants, identified and labelled them.

We also enjoyed CREW assembly on Wednesday and getting rather muddy at Forest School!

Useful information for ‘Activity Week’: reminder that it is Activity Week next week therefore children can wear sporty, active wear throughout the week suited to the weather.

- Children are to come to school wearing PE sportwear.

- On Thursday after school there will be an opportunity for your children to have another go on the inflatable fun run on the field. We will be running this as a school fundraiser activity and therefore asking for a small payment per go (bring your change!)

- On Friday the children will be given the opportunity to buy a skipping rope after their Jump rope session. Details of cost will be on the newsletter.

Timetable for the week:

- Monday: Tardebigge Trek in the PM. Parents/carers are invited to join us at 1.15pm.

- Tuesday: Sports Day. The children have already pre-ordered a sandwich at school. In the morning the children will be engaging in group activities. There will be a picnic lunch on the field at 11.30 and the track events will be in the afternoon. Children to wear a t-shirt of their house colour.

- Bredon- blue

- Clent- green

- Lickey- yellow

- Malvern- red

Parents/grandparents are welcome to join us for part/all of the day.

- Wednesday: Forest School session (bring waterproofs!)

- Thursday: Inflatable fun run on the field

- Friday: Horse riding and Jump rope session

If you have any queries regarding Activity week then please just ask!

Remember water bottles, sunhats and sun cream as we will be outside a lot.

Have a wonderful weekend. Enjoy the sunny weather.

Sara Welsh

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