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1.2.2019

We have had a lovely week and the children have worked hard. We thought we might have had a snow day on Friday but we enjoyed our bonus time together instead!

English: On their design sheet children had made three different designs for alien underpants. They picked their favourite design and re-created it in bigger, better, bolder detail and finally added labels. They then wrote about them with the starting sentence, ‘My alien pants are…’ .

Maths: We added a one digit numbers to teen numbers. We partitioned the teen number into the 10’s and 1’s and then added the ones together and added this onto the ten. The children could again do the maths but found the recording of the part, part whole, tricky. We will do more work on this next week before moving on to subtraction.

Phonics: I have completed assessing the children in a practice screening check. They all did well and showed a super effort even if they did find some words tricky to sound and build. Some children need to be encouraged to identify the diagraph, trigraph or split digraph in the word before attempting to sound it out. Also the more confident readers need to ensure they take the time to check and not just read what they think they see at a casual glance. This is especially true with the nonsense words. A number of children, for example, read night for nigh and strip for stripe. In phonic lessons we have been working on the alternative sounds oi’ – ‘oy as in joy, annoy and toy, and ‘ai’ - ‘ay’ for play, stay and away. We have looked which grapheme it tends to be depending on where the sound comes in the word. So ay is nearly always at the end of a word (except crayon) and ai is normally in the middle. We also recapped the split digraph a-e. Ask your child to show you the split digraph for Caveman Dave. If you want to see how a split digraph works google the Phonics Fairy Caveman Dave or click on the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGXPKJmbIjU.

RE: The children thought about different Special and Sacred Places. We discussed what would make a place of worship special to a Christian and what would make a place of worship special to a Muslim. The children thought of questions to ask a believer about the place of worship that they go to. The children painted a Mosque and discussed how it might make a Muslim feel to be in the Mosque.

Hope you have a lovely weekend. Look forward to seeing you on Monday.

Sara Welsh

26th.1.2019

We’ve had a very busy couple of the weeks. All the year 1 staff are so impressed with the children’s attitude to their learning and behaviour. This week we had both the explorer dome and astronaut training, both of which were brilliant.

English: We have been busy doing lots of writing. We have (after requests from the children) focused on aliens. They wrote about the alien they had drawn and painted starting their sentence with, “My alien…” This writing was amazing, so we decided to display it, the children wrote it up in their best handwriting onto a balloon and we have displayed it in the classroom along with their alien paintings. They wrote a list of things they would take to space using their phonics and best handwriting, many mums and dads would be taken along with teddies, dogs, cats and some grandparents. We thought about what we would do if an alien came to visit and wrote about what would happen, we skipped past the stranger danger and decided it was a friendly alien!

Maths: Singapore maths has become a little tricky this week! We have been adding numbers to 20 and having to partition numbers. This was difficult for some of the children who find it easier to just add without the partitioning. However, when you look higher up the school you can really see the value of the children being able to partition and regroup their numbers when adding. It is a strategy many adults use without giving it a thought but teaching it has been hard work this week. If the children are adding 8 and 4 instead of counting on like we used to do they would now partition the 4 and add 2 to the 8 to make 10 then add the 2 to the ten to get 12. We recorded the partitioning in our part, part whole diagram. I think it is frustrating for those children who think they just know the answer, however, it will really benefit them in the long run and it does give a real number sense

Phonics: We have been focusing on split digraphs, (this used to be called magic ‘e’). We have talked about when the ‘e’ is added the vowel doesn’t say its sound which they have learnt but says its name. So pet becomes Pete, tub becomes tube, can becomes cane, with magic ‘e’ making the vowel say its name. We have looked at all 5 vowels and words associated with these. So a-e as in make, cake, shape, e-e as in Pete, theme, even, i-e inside, slide, prize, o-e as in home, phone, throne and u-e as in tube, huge, excuse. It is really important that the children are able to identify these in their reading.

RE: The children thought about different Special and Sacred Places, they talked about where they feel safe and places that are special to them. The children created their own picture of their special places using pastels, paints or felt tips.

Art: Children have looked closely at Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night. They have developed their sketching and shading skills using pencil to recreate a small section of the picture they observed through a peep hole. They went on to attempt recreating the whole picture using pencil, focusing on shade, tone and line.

Have a super weekend.

Sara Welsh

11th January 2019

Happy New Year to you all.

I hope 2019 is an amazing year for each and everyone one of you. Can I start the blog by saying a really huge, “Thank You”, from all the staff who work in Year 1 for your really kind, thoughtful and generous gifts and kind words this Christmas. They were very much appreciated. It certainly sounds from what the children said that everyone had a lovely time. The children certainly did!

We have had a fun packed four days and worked incredibly hard, the children have come back refreshed and ready to learn.

On Thursday we discussed our holiday news and favourite presents, I am so glad that Father Christmas visited every child, I never had my doubts! The children wrote their Christmas holiday news in their new topic books which have whole pages of lines (no space for a picture!)

We had a very exciting alien encounter when we received a text that said that possible aliens had dropped evidence near Tardebigge First School. Sure enough when we went to investigate, we found pants which had been cordoned off! The children spotted many clues, the air smelt funny, they had heard a big crash, they saw shadows in the church! We went back into class and deduced that whatever else we knew we know that aliens obviously love pants! We designed different pants and picked our favourites. Some children painted what they thought an alien would look like. We finished the day reading aliens love underpants. We continued our alien work with the children writing questions that they would ask an alien. They had some wonderful ideas.

In maths we have started numbers to 20, in Singapore maths this involves having a full 10 frame and then counting on. We have been grouping ten and counting on to find how many objects there are. We have been writing the numerals 11-20 to match the digits or objects. We had a go at journaling showing our own representation of the number 14.

Have a lovely weekend, hope it is relaxing.

Sara Welsh

7th December 2018

Gosh, what a busy time we are having in Year 1! I realised although the blog was written last week (Mrs Medlicott wrote it) it never got posted – so sorry!

Year 1 and 2 had a brilliant time at the Sea Life Centre! The children were beautifully behaved and listened attentively throughout our tour. We loved Polar Express in the 4D cinema and all saw Father Christmas, who was kind enough to give me 60 gifts to give to the children for being so wonderful! We learnt lots of fascinating facts about the creatures we saw and our guide was impressed with the children’s knowledge. One of my highlights was the children belting out our Christmas songs whilst waiting for the bus to park, the people of Birmingham had a real treat hearing our Christmas songs sung with Tardebigge enthusiasm! 

In English we discussed our trip to the Sea Life Centre. We talked about the different things we had enjoyed and learned about during our visit and we then wrote a recount of our trip. We were very impressed with the children’s writing.  

In Maths we have had a go at journaling. Basically, demonstrating our knowledge and understanding. We asked the children to, ‘represent 7’, and they did an amazing job! They did pictures, wrote the word seven, some chose to write equations such as 4+3=7, 3+4=7, 7-4=3, etc. The children also begun work on ordinal numbers, first, second, third etc.

For the rest of the week the children have been creating their Christmas cards and Christmas decorations for the church's tree at Worcester Cathedral.

We took our rehearsals onto the stage in church on Tuesday and practiced again today, Miss Sutton altered the script for the final time at lunch and then this afternoon we made more changes! The children are absolutely amazing, and I think you are in for a treat on Thursday

Have a great weekend Year 1.

Mrs Welsh

24th November 2018

Wow! What am amazing opportunity the children had when it snowed in Forest School on Wednesday. We started in Forest School and soon ran out onto the field to have a run around in the snow! It was a such a lovely experience for the children, which lead to a change on our daily dash board for the days weather. We were cold, but the hot toast when we returned to school soon warmed us up! Thank you for sending in extra layers, hats and gloves Forest School- please could you send the same for the foreseeable future.

In literacy this week we have used our skills to create questions that we would like to ask a mermaid. We saw the children ask, “Do mermaids like to eat fish fingers?” “Can mermaids do forward rolls?” “When do mermaids sleep?” The children were tasked to use all their phonic skills, think about their handwriting, punctuation (with emphasis being on the formation and position of the question mark) and presentation. Skills which we expect through all their writing.

Singapore Maths (Maths no Problem) has seen us use both addition and subtraction functions. We have learnt about number families and the inverse of a set of equations. The children have been amazing with using our equipment/ resources to ‘prove’ their answers. Proving mathematical answers is high priority in maths and something we encourage the children to do. They are becoming more confident at using a wider variety of methods and equipment and explaining their answers.

DT: The children had a designing and making morning, where they looked at a range of fridge magnets, evaluated them. Created their own fridge magnet design, picked their favourite and gave reasons for this. They then created their under the sea magnet and evaluated it. You should find them in the book bags as we thought it would be nice for them to bring them home.

We have continued working on our Christmas play singing. The children have been singing in the true Tardebigge way by giving it everything they have got! Our Christmas play will soon be here!

Have a great weekend everyone!

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

26.10.2018

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

19.10.2018

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

14.10.2018

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 www.phonicsplay.co.uk. 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

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