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15th September 2017

Hello and a very warm welcome to Year 1. I am absolutely thrilled with how well the children have settled in. 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 very busy two weeks getting used to lots of new routines and members of staff. The children have been amazing and adapted really well. Last week the children were 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 also have two fabulous members of support staff. Mrs Friday who works in the morning and covers PPA on a Thursday afternoon when she teaches Music and French and Mrs Allmont (who was Miss Frascina before getting married in the summer.) Unfortunately, Mrs Medlicott is now off from school recovering from an operation. She asked me to tell you she is already missing the children and will be back as soon as she can. We were lucky that Miss Bright who worked in reception a couple of years ago was available to cover Mrs Medlicott’s absence! So, this week Miss Bright has been getting to know the children and the children have been spending time reading and talking to her about brothers, sisters, pets and life in general! Mr Bennett also teaches in Year 1, he covers for me on a Wednesday when I am with Mrs Cutler having assistant head time. In the morning he will be teaching computing in addition to the normal phonics, guided reading and maths and in the afternoon he will take the children for Forest School.

We are so lucky that Maisy our new school puppy is in the sunshine room right next door to us and are having to remember to be extra quiet in case she is having a nap! Maisy has been doing half days but will be at school full time next week and I am sure the children in Year 1 will be reading to her and getting to know her better over the next few weeks.

Maths: We started our Maths with lots of counting and trying to correctly record numerals in order (trying to get them facing the correct way!) We have started Singapore Maths and have 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 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 are loving it, we have been focusing on numbers to 10.

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 drew the most beautiful pictures of something they had done in the holidays and then wrote their news independently. We have moved on this week to learning about Pirates, what they were like and what they looked like. We drew around Louis and made him into a pirate. The children were fantastic, labelling all the pirate features and even adding some of their own. We worked on making expanded noun phrases (just describing the noun in more detail.) We ended up with a “squawky, colourful parrot”, a “long, shaggy, dirty beard.” The children worked towards recording their sentences using full stops and capital letters. 

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 to year 1. The children also completed a range of reading assessments to check the reading levels, which the teachers can use as a bench mark to see how well their reading progresses this year.

RE: We began our topic of “What do Christians believe God is like” We thought about who God is to us and where God may be. We began looking at the parable of the Lost Son.

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.

French: Mrs Friday taught the children a lovely greetings song in French. Get your child to sing it to you at home!

We had a class vote to pick children for some of the important roles we needed to fill. The children were very sensible and voted wisely, I am pleased to announce:

School Council– Tristan and Erin May

Eco Committee – Jake J and Olive

Crew Team – George and Imogen

Value Ambassadors – Bradley and Gaby

Meeters and Greeters – Jake C and Izzy

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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