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20th October 2017

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. Mrs Cutler and I reviewed progress in writing and she was impressed with the children’s effort and attainment.

Maths: In Maths we have begun adding two numbers using number bonds and number lines. With the number lines we have tried to remember to put the largest number first and then count on. You can practice this at home by counting some objects into a box, for example count 6 pieces of pasta into a box and then put 3 pieces of pasta on the work surface. Then say 6+3=, don’t re-count the 6 just count on from the 6 already in the box as you put the last 3 pieces of pasta in saying 7,8,9 and then model the number sentence 6+3=9.

English: This week the children have been writing independent pieces to see how their writing is coming on. The children wrote their news on Monday and on Thursday they wrote Wanted posters about a pirate. They did well and impressed me with their sentence structure using full stops and capital letters. They are really trying to sweeps and flicks in their handwriting.

In phonics, we have continued working on the phase 3 sounds and have been applying this knowledge in our reading and writing. Over the holidays please let them play on Phonics Play phase 3 games which focus on blending and segmenting. The children wrote Captain Blackbeard’s shopping list using their sounds, they really enjoyed this activity – maybe they could write your shopping lists over the week.

RE: We listened to the story of Jonah and the Whale and recorded the story in our own way. 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 they then explained the key messages from the story.

Unfortunately, I didn’t go to the Hive trip as I was working with Mrs Cutler, however, all members of staff said how proud they were of the children, Mr Bennet has written; On Wednesday, the children had a fantastic time on our trip to the Hive! Just being outside of school and in different surroundings was very exciting. When we arrived in Worcester, firstly, we were treated to a story from Indigo Moon. They used clever lights and projections, as well as traditional Indonesian puppets to tell us a story. It was about the creation of the rainforest and how important it is for us all to look after the forests of the world. The story had lots of funny moments, but also quite a few scary moments too, but the Year 1 children were sensible and brave throughout. Next, we went to the Hive, where we were told part of The BFG by Roald Dahl. We heard about dreams that the BFG would catch and put in jars. The children then had a go at drawing their own dreams onto little jars. The story certainly captured the children's imaginations. 

Hope you all have a wonderful week, hopefully the sun will shine and storm Brian won’t affect any of us too much! Looking forward to seeing the children (and you) when we return to school on Monday the 30th October.

Sara Welsh

13th October 2017

It has seemed like a really busy but lovely week with parent’s evenings, Harvest and Cinema Night. I have been out on a couple of courses and so Mr Bennet has taught Year One for an extra day. Harvest was wonderful and the children sang beautifully, they all seemed so grown up and impressed me with their behaviour.

Sorry for the long blog, however, I wanted to address questions which were raised at parents evening.

Parents evening: It was so lovely to meet and talk to you all this week. 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 enough.

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 three times a week). Library books; normally with a silver hologram sticker on the spine and the library label inside. These are probably above their reading level, so are to be shared. These get changed every two weeks.

Team points and DoJo’s: Some parents were asking about these! DoJo’s are on the interactive white board and are given for good behaviour, sitting quietly, participating, super effort etc. We have a DoJo reward chart so collecting 5 DoJo’s is a sticker, 10 is a colouring sheet, and so on if they collect over 20 they can change their DoJo avatar! Team points are given for class and home work; each week the children get 1 team point for reading 5 times a week 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 children then put the points they earn into their house boxes, Breadon, Clent, Lickey, Malvern. The children also get team points for class work where they have made amazing effort. The team points are collected and counted by children in Year 4. These points are added and contribute to which house has won the team cup which is awarded 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, and progress through silver and gold to 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 play: 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 and it really helps with their blending of sounds. We are on phase 3 sounds, you can pick a sound if your child needs extra support or just use all phase 3 sounds.

Maths: We have continued 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 then the other plate must have 4 apples on it.

English: Captain Blackbeard sent us another message in the bottle. As he didn’t go to Tardebigge First School he can’t actually write! Therefore, he sends us pictures and we have to do the writing for him! He sent us pictures of all the things that a bad pirate takes or steals and we discussed pirate punishments. The children wrote some fantastic sentences starting, “A bad pirate . . . . “ When marking their work we identify two words for them to correct which we write on yellow paper (our golden words). They practice writing and spelling these words and then edit their work with pink pens to correct any mistakes.

RE: The children examined the way Christians show love to God and painted pictures to represent these ideas. They also reflected on our Harvest Service and we talked about how lucky we are that we have food, water, shelter, warm cosy beds and mummies and daddies who love us. Many of the children wrote about loving the song that Year 4 sang (Let it Grow) best of all!

Have a super weekend, enjoy the forecasted good weather!

Sara Welsh

6th October 2017

The children have been working really hard this week.

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 six:  0 and 6, 1 and 5, 2 and 4, 3 and 3 etc. The children looked at a whole number and then worked at finding all the numbers that, added together, made up this whole number.

English: This week we have been working on the sentences; Captain Blackbeard likes… Unfortunately, Captain Blackbeard can’t write (he didn’t go to Tardebigge school!) so he sent us a message in a bottle, these were pictures of his favourite foods. The children were amazing at using their phonics to write a list of Captain Blackbeard’s favourite foods. They wrote sentences about Captain Blackbeard’s likes and dislikes. They have started to use a pink pen to edit and improve their work, correcting spelling mistakes or adding punctuation if forgotten.

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. However, when reading, they don’t always recognise that 3 letters, (for example ‘air’) make one sound.  We will continue working on this and if you could discuss this when reading it would be very helpful.

RE: Our RE focused on love going both ways. We began to make connections between parents love and our love for our parents. The children thought about all the ways their parents show their love for them and things that they do to show their love, for example, take them swimming, to school, cook meals, hug and kiss them, read stories, tuck them into bed and turn them upside down! Then the children discussed ways they show their love to you – tidy their rooms, kiss you, love you, snuggle on the sofa.

Science and DT: We had a great time predicting and reasoning why our boat would float or sink, then placing them in the water and seeing if we were correct. The children then thought of ways they might be able to improve their boats so they would float next time.

A German orchestra visited us at Tardebigge church, they were amazing! The conductor used to play at church when he was a child and he talked about music being a universal language. He introduced us to each of the instruments in the orchestra and let some children have a go at playing them. The orchestra then played a range of music including, Beauty and the Beast, Dynamite and a bit of ABBA! The children really enjoyed listening to the music.

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

 Also don’t forget Harvest is on Friday morning at 9.15.

Sara Welsh

29th September 2017

This week has been mostly about pirate ships! We have designed, built, talked about and written about our pirate ships and had lots of fun!

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.

Science: We had done lots of experimenting with floating and sinking. We looked at a range of balls made of different materials, e.g. glass marble, ping-pong ball, rubber ball, tennis ball etc. We predicted with each one if they would float or sink and where the water level would come up to on the ball if it would float.

DT: Our design brief was to create a ship which would float holding treasure (a 2 pence piece!) The children designed and made their pirate ships and had great fun although I am not convinced how closely they stuck to their designs! I can’t wait until Monday when we see which ships will float and which will sink. We will also try and work out why!

English: We have been working on the following sentences.  My ship is …. . It is …. and … . The children had a photo of their ship taken and gave it a name. They then described it with their second sentence.

Phonics:  The children have continued working on the phase 3 sounds especially ng, ai and air and 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.  

This week: The children have come home with library books. These are to share and enjoy at home. These books only need to be returned on your child’s next library day which is every other week. I will let you know which group is on which day in my next blog. (I haven’t brought the timetable home with me!)

Hot dinners: Many children are ordering jacket potato every day which is why I sent home the sheet to highlight meals you think your child will enjoy. If you haven’t filled it in and you want us to encourage your child to have a more varied diet than a daily jacket potato please let me know and I can send another sheet!  

That’s all for this week!

I hope you have a lovely weekend.

Sara Welsh

22nd September 2017

We have had a fantastic week and the children seem to understand all the routines and are transitioning so well from reception. Year 1 is more formal with less independent learning and learning through play.

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, for example counting 8 objects looking at the digit 8 and the written number eight. We have added pictorial examples to our maths display which the children can refer to, these will help to support their learning. 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 we have been working on the sentence, I can see …. . It is …. and … . The children made speedy telescopes on Monday on which they wrote, ‘I can see’ using their best handwriting. We then rehearsed saying some of the pirate things we could see on our display. We looked at a page of our pirate book and picked different objects and wrote adjectives to describe them, for example, parrot – bright colourful, spotty etc. The children did some super writing today using the structure we had been working on and produced some fantastic sentences Alfie wrote, “ I can see a bottle of grog. It is brown and poisonous. I can see a cutlass. It is sharp and shiny. I can see a parrot. It is colourful and can fly 2.

In phonics, we have re-caped some of the phase 3 sounds, especially ch, sh, th 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 make the sound from two letters 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 when two letters makes one sound, or, even with a word like ‘air’ three letters makes one sound! There is some confusion between ‘f’ and ‘th’ and we have been practicing sticking our tongue out a bit for ‘th’ and putting our teeth on our bottom lips for ‘f’

Ahoy Pirates: In our pirate topic, we have made our own maps with x marks the spot, we looked at co-ordinates and identified where the treasure was buried. Mrs Bright had brought in a suitcase full of large pebbles for us to paint, (inspired by our pirate pebble Mrs Medlicott brought us on her summer holiday). The children drew three different pirate designs and picked their best one, giving reasons for their choice and why they would paint their pebble according to that design. We began painting our pebbles and they are looking fab!

Computing: Mr Bennet has been teaching a unit of work called, ‘We are treasure hunters’.

RE: We continued our topic on “What do Christians believe God is like”.  We talked more about the parable of the Lost Son. The children began re-telling the story and drew pictures from the parable.

Have a great weekend. Please remember any issues, concerns or worries you may have, however big, small and seemingly insignificant, please come and talk to me.

Sara Welsh

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

Week ending Friday 14th July

Can you believe it is going to be our last week in Year 1 next week?! How fast has it gone?

This week we have done...

Literacy: We researched facts about different types of transport and created a non-fiction booklet.

Numeracy: We have continued to learn multiplication using arrays.

Computing: We made Growth mindset posters for our new classroom on the iPads.

On Wednesday we went to Year 2 for our transition morning. The children found out that our new topic is "Pirates!" which they are very excited about. They paint pirate portraits and discovered their pirate name. We are looking forward to September even more!

See you next Monday! Remember it is our Multi-Skills trip to Trinity High School on Tuesday afternoon so please make sure your PE kit is in school. 

Year 1 Activity Week

Here is a video about our fantastic week! A big thank you to Miss Cox for organising such fun activities. Year 1 have thoroughly enjoyed themselves and have displayed fantastic skill and sportsmanship. Well done!

Children have started an activity week booklet in school today. Homework is to complete this. Teampoints will be awarded!

Week ending Friday 30th June


Literacy: We have recapped our learning about the suffix –ed. Year 1 understand this suffix is added to a verb (a doing, having or being word) when it happened in the past. The children have also learnt how the prefix –un is added to the start of a word and changes its meaning to the opposite. In their writing, Year 1 wrote a postcard acting as the girl in our book “Journey”. I am so delighted with how hard they worked to include the 4 different types of sentences we focussed on last week.

Numeracy: We returned to work on multiplying numbers. The children identified equal groups and added these groups. We practised counting in 2s, 5s, 10s and 3s!

RE: We looked at how Muslims show they belong to the Islam faith. The children demonstrated their excellent existing knowledge about the mosque, prayer mats and Qu’ran. We practised writing in Arabic and learnt about the pilgrimage Muslims go on called “Hajj”.

Next week is Activity Week therefore children are required to wear sporty clothes all week! Please ensure water bottles and hats are in school as we will be outside and active throughout the week! On Thursday it is Sports Day. More details can be found on the newsletter with regards to clothing and timings.

Have a brilliant weekend!

Week ending 23rd June

We have had a fantastic week in Year 1! The children have definitely enjoyed the sunshine but have still worked hard, despite the hot classroom!

On Monday the whole school enjoyed a Creation Day focussing on the story of Genesis and how Christians believe God created the world. We thought about God’s creations around us as we sat and reflected in the Zen Garden. The children danced to music and used playdough to represent the 7 days of creation. Then they created collages to show how beautiful God’s world is. A wonderful day!

In Numeracy, Year 1 have been solving word problems involving addition and subtraction. They have applied all the methods learnt so far in order to answer questions. They understand that

  1. We must decide if the problem is asking you to + or –
  2. Write the calculation the problem is representing
  3. Use a method to answer the problem

We have used number lines to count on/back, number bond diagrams and ten frames to add by making 10. A new method the children have worked on is “bar modelling” that appears for each year in the Singapore Maths scheme. An example, shown below, demonstrates how we use the method to solve both addition and subtraction problems.


I am really proud of the perseverance shown in this week’s maths lessons. Well done!

In Literacy we have enjoyed reading a wordless book “Journey” by Aaron Becker. The imagination from the children was fantastic. They used the detailed illustrations to describe, predict and create their own ideas about what was happening in the book. We learnt about 4 different types of sentences: statement, command, exclamation and question. I challenged them to use one of each to describe a page in the book. We will continue this next week.

In DT Year 1 have made, painted and evaluated their clay transport figures. The children are so proud of their creations and were very excited to bring them home for parents to see!

In Computing we used J2Code: Visual to input commands as an algorithm. Children can access J2E at home by logging on to the website. Children are very confident in doing this!

Well done for a fab week. Before we know it, it will be the end of term! Thank you for remembering sun hats and water bottles. Please continue to do so as we hope for more sunny weather! There is no longer any Maths homework as children have completed the booklets. Please continue to complete Phonics, Spelling and reading. Have a wonderful weekend everybody!

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