Year 1

Welcome to Year 1 Donaldson’s homepage. Mrs Hayes is our Class Teacher and Miss Natalie is our Teaching Assistant. Please check on the website every Friday for weekly updates but also for the weekly homework. Enjoy!



Class Updates

Friday 3rd December



Firstly, a big thank you for embracing our new homework in Year 1. If you have any questions about it, please do get in touch. As last week, the children will have been given a Storybook yesterday (which they will have already read in class). They should read the green words and speed words, read the story, discuss the questions about the text and write sentences in their homework books. Their spelling test will be on Monday. Their next Book Bag Book will be given to them on Monday and needs to be returned on Thursday.


Mathletics this week is on shape. If you finish, go onto live Mathletics.


Thank you for practicing the nativity songs! Please keep doing so this weekend so they are ready for their performances on Thursday 9th. There are two shows of the nativity play, one at 9.30am and one at 2pm. You do not have to book a ticket for the nativity however, you will need to wear a mask.


Voluntary homework

English – Please think of some question sentences. Don’t forget these often end in how, why, what, when, who and they always include a question mark at the end.

Maths – Find below a suggestion for Maths:

Maths Homework 3rd December

Science – We have been talking about the sense of taste this week so think about the foods you eat at home and see if you can say whether they are sweet, salty or sour.

Our week

Please could you continue to send in your recycling on Monday and Tuesday for our robot making on Tuesday. The more we have the better!

In Maths, we finished our unit on subtraction and addition. The final lesson was discussing how the two operations are the inverse of one another. This was a tricky concept for the children to understand so keep practicing adding two numbers and finding an answer and then using the same three numbers in a subtraction sentence. We started thinking about 3D shapes this week. The children learnt about cuboids, cubes, square-based pyramids, cones, cylinders and spheres. We discussed their different properties and introduced the language of vertices and faces. Have a look at home for any 3D shapes you can see and let us know what they are.

In English, the children made a posted searching for the Big Bad Wolf in the Three Little Pigs. They described the wolf with excited adjectives and explained what he was like and how he behaved using words with the prefix ‘un’ (e.g. unkind, unhappy and unfriendly). Finally they names the Big Bad Wolf and asked a question about him.

In Science, we have been exploring the sense of taste. The children all tasted a small selection of foods (lemon, crisps, strawberries, biscuits and olives) and had to describe whether they were sweet, salty or sour.

In Humanities, we found out about the first moon landing. We learnt that the US sent three astronauts to the moon in 1969 and watched very grainy footage of Neil Armstrong landing on the moon and saying “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind!”  We then answered a few questions about the moon landing and thought about why people were so excited and interested in exploring space.

In R.E, we have been discussing the role of the shepherds in the nativity story.

In Art, we have been looked at Keith Haring however this time we have been drawing dancers intertwining with each other. We then drew Haring’s signature ‘lines’ in the background.

Science in residence

This week’s Science session was entitled From The Jungle and the pupils found themselves stuck in the canopies after parachuting out of a stricken aeroplane. They had to fashion a basket for a Lego person to slide down a zip wire to the jungle floor.

They then encountered a wizard who would only let them pass if they unscrambled the names of some of the materials they’d been studying in the previous sessions.

Having done that, they had to create a bridge to span crocodile infested waters. The bridge had to be freestanding and capable of holding the weight of a few handfuls of coins.

A troll blocked the way to a ramp and the price of passage was the successful completion of a word search containing the names of materials. Word search completed, they could send the Lego figure down the ramp to a sandpit. They had to build two sandcastles and lay a ruler between them to straddle the sandpit.

Finally, the satellite phone they needed to call their rescue party was locked in a coded box. The code was in the form of numbers (A=1, B=2, C=3 etc). Deciphering the code revealed the code words to be “friction”, “floating” and “sinking” – all key words they’d spent the last two weeks exploring.

It was certainly a fun way to round off and recap the materials topic.

Have a great weekend!

Mrs Hayes

Friday 26th November


Children have been given a Storybook to bring home, this is a book they have been introduced to in their phonics group this week. There are 4 activities for the children to complete with their grown-ups – you can spread them out or do them all at once, depending on what works for you and your family.

  1. Read green, red and speed words (the speed words are usually at the back of the book).
  2. Read the story.
  3. Discuss the questions at the back of the book about the text.
  4. Write sentences based on the story (the exact number and nature of the sentences will be explained in your child’s homework book).

Each child has been given spellings, which are taken directly from their phonics learning. These will be tested on a Monday.

The Storybooks and Homework books should be retuned on a Monday along with their library book.

On Mathletics, you have been set two new tasks from the Addition and Subtraction Unit. Please only do the tasks that we have set you. If you finish, go onto live Mathletics.

Over the next week, please can they also learn the lyrics for ‘Uh-huh-oh-yeah’ and ‘Fit For a King’ and go over the dance moves.


Fit For A King!

You will find the lyrics here:

The Inn-Spectors lyrics

Voluntary homework

English – Think of some adjective to describe the wolf from ‘The Three Little Pigs’ and put them in a sentence. You don’t have to write these down. You can tell them to your grown-up.

Maths – Find below a suggestion for Maths:

Maths Homework 26th November

Science – We have been talking about two of the five senses (touch and sight). Tell your grown-up five things you can see and think of an adjective (describing word) for five different objects you have touched.

Our week

Next week in Art, we will be making our very own robots out of recycling. Please could you keep any recycling from now and next Thursday and send it in to school. McNaughton will be making their robots on Friday 3rd December and Donaldson will be making them on Thursday 2nd December.

In English, we learnt that a noun is a naming word. Following this, we looked at how we can change singular nouns. We discussed that we add ‘s’ at the end of certain singular nouns to make them plural however, if a singular noun ends in the sound ‘sh’, ‘ch’, ‘ss’, ‘s’, ‘x’ or ‘z’ you need to add ‘es’ at the end to make it plural. If a word ends in a ‘y’ swap the y for an ‘i’ and add es. On Tuesday, we read the story ‘The Three Little Pigs’ and stopped at various point to discuss how a character might be feeling. We then discussed the characterisations of the three little pigs and the wolf as well as how they might walk and what they might sound like. In groups of 4, we acted the story out from beginning to end. To finish our lesson, we had to create a scene for after the story had finished. To finish the week, we completed a reading comprehension based on ‘The Three Little Pigs’.

In Maths, we were continuing to think about subtraction however this time we looked at using part whole models to help us work out number sentences. We discussed how the whole is the amount that you start with and the parts are made up of what you take away and what is left. Then in pairs, we looked at some word problems and for each of them drew a picture, a part whole model and a subtraction sentence. To finish the week, we looked at the different between two numbers using the stem sentence ‘The different between ____ and ____ is ______’.

In Science, we have been learning about another of the five senses (touch). The children had a bag of different objects that they had to touch and think of three adjectives to describe each object.

In Humanities, we found out about the first aeroplanes. We learnt that first glider was made 200 years ago but only stayed in the air for a few seconds. The Wright brothers then began designing ‘flying machines’ and in 1903 the first engine powered aeroplane flight took place. Finally, we looked at aeroplanes and airports today and discussed how they are different.

In R.E, we talked about Mary and Joseph’s role in the Nativity story and why they were chosen.

In Art, we have been looked at Keith Haring however this time we have been drawing dancers intertwining with each other. We then drew Haring’s signature ‘lines’ in the background.

Science in residence

This week Year 1 continued to explore materials with Scientist-in-Residence Colin Stuart. The focus this time around was friction.

First the students interleaved the pages of two books and were surprised to find that they couldn’t pull them apart again.

Now clued in to the fact that friction stops materials from sliding over one another easily, they built a hovercroft. Colin had glued a bottle cap to a CD and by attaching a blown up balloon to the cap the escaping air provided a cushion on which the CD could glide across the table more easily.

The students were also able to lift a water bottle filled with rice using just a pencil. Jabbed hard into the rice, friction stopped the pencil sliding out easily.

Finally, the session was rounded off by covering wooden ramps in various materials before sliding cars down them. The children correctly predicted that the car would move fastest down the smoothest ramp.

Have a great weekend!

Mrs Hayes

Friday 19th November

I hope you have all seen the email regarding the new reading books and homework. This change will start on Monday and spellings will be sent home with the green homework book on Thursday so there will be no homework this weekend. There will still be Mathletics and if your children are desperate to do some work please suggest they think of any words starting in the prefix ‘un’ and for Maths they can practice taking away. For more information on the new homework routine, I have added the letter in a separate blog below.

In English, we have been writing instructions for making a Leaf Man. We began the week making our own versions with lovely autumn leaves and then learnt how instructions need to include bossy (imperative) verbs and sentence starters. We then wrote our own version of the instructions remembering capital letters and full stops.

We finished our Maths topic on addition thinking about ‘counting on’ using a number line. Now we are looking at subtraction. In class the topic was introduced with the idea of ‘how many left’ and today the children were introduced to the subtraction symbol and wrote their own number sentences.

Humanities has been once again focused on transport in the past and this week the children learnt about the first cars. They then had to order pictures of cars from earliest to latest and explain how they have changed over time. I think most children agreed that they would like a newer model car when they’re older!

In Relationships and Health, we talked about what ‘fair’ means and how we should all be treating each other with the same kindness. We then talked about what bullying is, why it sometimes happens and what we can do if we think someone is bullying us.

It may be only November but we are turning our attention to the Christmas Story in RE. This week’s lesson, the first of four, introduced the character of the Angel Gabriel. We discussed the good news he announced to Mary and Joseph and chatted about his importance in the Christmas Story.

Finally, Colin, our in-house scientist, was back today and the children had a brilliant time.

Have a lovely weekend.

Mrs Hayes

Homework and reading information

The way we are organising homework in Year 1 is changing.

In line with the latest research and Ofsted guidance, from now on all of the children’s reading homework will directly relate to the phonics sounds they have been learning and practising at school that week.

Children will bring home two books a week, both reflecting the phonic sounds that have been revisited and learnt that week. The general program of homework is laid out below along with the days homework / reading books will be issued and need to be returned.

Monday Children will be given a Book Bag Book to bring home and read to their grown-ups. There are also questions to discuss at the back of the book to help with comprehension. Ideally this book should be read each evening – revisiting the text creates confidence and promotes long term learning.


The Book Bag Books should be returned on a Thursday.


Thursday Children will be given a Storybook to bring home, this is a book they have been introduced to in their phonics group that week. There are 4 activities for the children to complete with their grown-ups – you can spread them out or do them all at once, depending on what works for you and your family.


1: Read green, red and speed words (the speed words are usually at the back of the book).

2: Read the story

3: Discuss the questions at the back of the book about the text

4: Write sentences based on the story (the exact number and nature of the sentences will be explained in your child’s homework book).   


The Storybooks and Homework books should be retuned on a Monday.


Children will also be given spellings on a Thursday – taken directly from their phonics learning. These will be tested on a Monday.

On the weekly class blog, suggestions of English, Maths and a Foundation Subject activity will be given – these are voluntary. Children are welcome to bring in any work they have completed to share with the teacher but it will not be marked. The idea is that they are practical, fun activities to help embed long term learning or introduce new topics or ideas.

On a Monday, the children will also be bringing home a library book each week. These books are meant to be read together and are likely to be above the level most children are currently reading. These books should be read for pleasure but feel free to point out words the children know and especially red words and those that feature recently learnt or practised phonic sounds. Library books should be returned by Monday. Please be aware that, if a child does not return their book, they will not be permitted to take out a new one until either it or a replacement copy has be brought in.

This new program will begin this Monday 22nd November.

We thank you for your continued support.


Friday 12th November

Another great week with your lovely children!

Our digital library system ‘reading cloud’ is extending its reach to include Year 1. This means that as of next week, Year 1 will visit the library every Monday to borrow a book of their choice. The book will need to be returned the following Monday to ensure your child can borrow a new book. This book is a book that you can read to them. It would be really great if you can ask them some comprehension questions throughout and after reading the book.

As of next week, our Year 1 reading scheme will be changing to link up with our Read Write Inc phonics. We will inform you of everything you need to know about this before the books are changed. On Monday the children will receive two books from the Oxford Reading Tree scheme that we have been using so far this year along with their new book from the library.

We are starting to learn the choreography for our class nativity song ‘Uh-huh, Oh yeah’. It would be great if your child could practice what we have learnt so far. Here is a link of Miss Whiting doing the moves we have learnt so far:

In English, we have been writing a descriptive piece of writing about the Gruffalo. This is something the children have loved and have created such fantastic work from. We even wrote our first paragraph. Very exciting! To begin the week, the class thought about what adjectives they wanted to use to describe the Gruffalo. Following this, we introduced the joining word ‘and’. We then wrote extended sentences describing the Gruffalo using our interesting adjectives, capital letters, full stop and ‘and’. I was extremely proud of them all!

In Maths, we have been working on our number bonds to 10 and 20 through physical and pictorial concepts. We have also been comparing two different calculations using our greater than, less than and equal to symbols.

In Humanities, we have been finding out about the inventions of trains.

In Science, we have been exploring what part of our bodies we use for different activities.

In R.E, we have been developing an understanding of the importance of saints to Christians and suggesting reasons why saints are important to Christianity.

In Art, we have been looking at the work of Bernard Stanley Hoyes. We were inspired by Hoye’s art work ‘The Dancing Lady’. Using oil pastels, pencils and black felt tips, we created our own versions of this art work.

In Relationships and Health Education, we have been discussing our similarities and differences.

In Computing, we have been learning about algorithms and debugging.

Have a great weekend!

Mrs Hayes

Friday 5th November

We’ve had a lovely week back after half term. I’ve loved hearing about what the children got up to over the holidays.

If you have time this weekend, please could you collect some autumn leaves and bring them in to school on Monday ready for our new English unit.

Yesterday we learnt about Diwali and decorated some Diwali pictures.

In English, we have been reading ‘The Gruffalo’ by Julia Donaldson. We started the week sequencing the story and creating our very own endings. We had a very exciting acting lesson where we thought about how each character from the book might walk and talk. In groups of three, the class acted out the story from beginning to end and also created a scene based on what they thought would happen after the story had ended. On Wednesday, we completed a reading comprehension based on ‘The Gruffalo’. To finish the week, we identified key features of a descriptive text about the Gruffalo. We picked out adjectives and joining words. On Monday, we will be thinking of our own adjectives for the Gruffalo. It would be fantastic if the children could start thinking about these over the weekend.

In Maths, we have been adding two one-digit numbers and a one-digit and a two-digit number. We have also been working on our number bonds to ten using a tens frame. To finish the week we practised our number bonds to ten using rainbows.

In Science, we have started our new topic ‘My body’. This week we have been naming and labelling different parts of our body.

In Humanities, we start our new topic ‘transport’. This week we have been grouping different modes of transport into old and new.

In R.E, we have started our new topic ‘why are saints important to Christianity?’ and this week we have been identifying what a saint is and discussing who the saint of our school is.

In Art, we have been looking at Paul Klee’s work and creating our own art based on his work.

In Relationships and Health Education, we have been celebrating our differences.

Yesterday, Y1 had their first session with Scientist-in-Residence Colin Stuart. The focus was on materials, particularly experiments involving water and the concepts of floating and sinking.

First they predicted whether raisins would float or sink when dropped into a bottle of water. The raisins sank, but the children were surprised to find them floating when dropped into a second bottle of fizzy water.

Next they made an “Ocean in a Bottle” by first adding some blue food colouring to water in the bottom of a bottle and then topping it up with cooking oil. The result was a clear separation between the two liquids, with the oil floating on the water.

Then came the eggs. The students carefully placed an egg in a jug of water, where it sank to the bottom. But they were able to make it float by adding salt to the water.

Finally they coloured in ducks, some with felt tips and some with crayons. Colin then sprayed the drawings with water to show the wax to be waterproof, but the ink not.

Have a great weekend all!

Friday 22nd October

We began the week with an assembly celebrating Black Voices. The particular focus this year has been on ground breaking scientists. In 1 Donaldson, we studied Wangari Maathai who was an important environmentalist in Kenya. She began something called the Green Belt Movement which encouraged women, in particular, to plant trees all across Kenya. She was honoured with the Nobel Peace prize in 2004 – the first African woman to receive the award. We started off by reading a story about Wangari and watched a video of Wangari herself talking about her mission to make Kenya a green and verdant country. Then in celebration of Wangari’s trees, the children created their own trees made from real autumn leaves (thank you for the contributions!) and on the trunks wrote key words about why trees are so important to the planet. Finally today, we had a go a recreating one of Wangari’s trademark African headscarves by block printing onto a strip of material – the results are brilliant!

We have also enjoyed a successful DT day on Wednesday. The whole school have been making puppets and in Year 1 we chose to create animals, inspired by our English book Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion. Using paper plates, card, paint and sticks, the children made either a hippo, crocodile, giraffe or monkey. Hopefully you will have now seen their fabulous creations.

Today was Red Card to Racism Day. We read a good book called ‘What is Racism’ and then had a discussion about the book. The children have all be very mature about understanding the importance of treating everyone equally and fairly.

Inspired by our puppet making skills, we rounded off our English unit on Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion by acting out scenes from the book. We made a mini ‘stage’ and the children performed the book with puppet cuts outs of the main characters!

In amongst all of this, we have finished off several units of work: we finished learning about Islam in RE, thinking about where we Live in Humanities, and looking at the changing seasons in Science. In Maths we will continue to look at addition after half term break.

Phew! I am sure all your children are exhausted after such a jam-packed week. I just want to say how fantastic they have been this half of term. The jump from Reception is – as you all know – fairly significant but all the children have had a great first half of term. They all deserve lots of treats and well-earned rest!

Finally, on a housekeeping note, a few children are still having little ‘accidents’ so please can we request children bring in spare underwear and tights/shorts as we do not currently hold may spares in school.

I hope you all have a lovely half term.

Mrs Hayes

Friday 15th October

The Year 1 classes have been transformed into a riot of red and yellow for Hispanic Day today! After a brilliant flamenco workshop by Ilusion Flamenca we were lucky enough to have Jennie read us the book Ferdinand by Munro Leaf. She read the Spanish version and then gave us a quick summary in English so we knew what was happening! After that, we made beautiful tissue paper flowers inspired by Fernando’s love of nature. We all found out a little bit more about Spain and then decorated and made some fans. Finally to round off a very busy day, we enjoyed practising yoga and learning Spanish words with Juliana.

In English, we started a lovely new book called Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion, a modern reworking of the classic Little Red Riding Hood. We began the week predicting what might happen in this new version of the story and then sequenced the different scenes. Finally our grammar focus was to look at what verbs are and talk about how their suffixes often change eg from walk to walking.

In Maths, we are using ‘part whole models’ to help us understand that when adding two numbers together, there are two parts that make the total or whole. It is a tricky concept for the children to understand but they have listened and worked brilliantly. We will be continuing with addition next week and the beginning of Autumn 2 to really make sure the children feel comfortable with the topic.

In Relationships and Health Education, we have talked about friends and the recipe for a good friendship. Our class is full of kind and caring children but sometimes it is good to be reminded that we need to be kind and patient with each other. On that note, we introduced the idea of a kindness badge that children being particularly considerate with their peers will get to wear for a week.

In R.E, we learnt about Mosques and the important rituals that take place in them and found out that some mosques are beautiful and grand but some are just ordinary houses. We then made and decorated our own pictures of a mosque.

Finally, in Science, we looked in more detail at the different weather we get during the seasons and thought about the symbols used to show different weather on a weather forecast.

Next week is Black Voices week and we will be learning about the Kenya environmentalist Wangari Maathai. On Tuesday, we will be making trees using real leaves so please can I request that you collect any lovely leaves you spot in the park this weekend and bring them in on Monday.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Mrs Hayes

Friday 8th October

Year 1 have had a brilliant week! Next Friday is Hispanic day and our year group’s country is Spain! We will be looking at the book ‘The Story of Ferdinand’ by Munro Leaf.


In English, we have been writing question sentences based on ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear what do you see?’ which the class were amazing at! They were excellent at using question marks at the end of their sentences. They loved drawing question marks in the air during our class input as well. We also looked at rhyming words and how we could use rhyming words in our writing. In partners, the class played a rhyming words game, which they loved! Towards the end of the week the class planned their own version of ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear what do you see?’ where they had to choose a selection of animal and colours along with a selection of verbs. At the end of the week, the class wrote their own story using their plan to help them. Everyone did amazingly and we were so proud of them all!


In Maths, we started the week by ordering numbers on a number line and recognising one more and one less than a given number. Following this, we looked at ordinal numbers. We read a story about animals running a race and had to order them from 1st to 10th place. Towards the end the week, we revised everything we have learnt so far in place value and then completed a place value test.


In Art, we created our own piece of pop art based on the artist Andy Warhol. The class traced a picture of themselves and transferred this four times onto a piece of paper. They then chose four contrasting colours to use for their pop art self-portraits.


In R.E, we discussed how and to whom Muslims pray. We discussed that Muslims use a prayer mat when they pray to Allah and that prayer is very important for Muslims and is called ‘Salah’. We talked about the importance of being ready (clean) and facing Mecca (a holy place) when they pray. The class then designed a prayer mat.

In Humanities, the class have been describing where they live and in Science we have been discussing how daylight changed with the different seasons.

In Relationships and Health Education we have been talking about who is special to us.

I hope everyone has a brilliant weekend!

Mrs Hayes

Friday 1st October

We’ve had a lovely week and have produced some incredible work. Your children are amazing! We loved going to church on Thursday to celebrate Harvest Festival. It was so lovely to hear all of the children singing together.

In English, we started the week by writing our final instruction text based on making a honey sandwich. We are now experts at this! The children used lots of imperative (bossy) words and time starters. On Tuesday, we started our new English unit based on the book ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?’ by Bill Martin JR and Eric Carle. We listened to the story being read and then had to try to remember the order that the animals appeared in the story. Following this, we answered questions that were based on the book. Finishing off the week, we wrote question sentences based on our new book. The children were really focussing on using a question mark at the end of a question sentence rather than a full stop.

In Maths, we have been using the language greater than, less than and equal to along with the symbols < > and =. The children were comparing numbers using both the language and symbols. We have also been ordering groups of objects and numbers. To finish off the week, the class worked in a carousel where they completed 6 tasks. Task 1 was to order a set of dominoes from smallest to greatest according to the amount of dots they have and vice versa. Task 2 was to order Numicon from smallest to greatest and vice versa. Task 3 was to order numerals from smallest to greatest and vice versa. Task 4 was to order words (numbers) from smallest to greatest and vice versa. Task 5 was to create a patterns using dienes and a sequence of numbers. They all did amazingly and we are very proud of Year 1!

In Science, we looked at how we are affected by different seasons and how humans and animals adapt to the different seasons. We sorted fruits and vegetables according to which season of the year they are harvested.

In Humanities, we have been exploring the city we live in by discussing the roads we see, what buildings we see, if there are any fields, rivers, hills, the seaside and what shops we see.

In R.E, we have been learning about how Muslim babies are welcomed into the world which is a ceremony called the Aqiqah.

In Art, we have been looking at pop art particularly at Andy Warhol’s work. The children looked at a range of different pieces and we discussed them as a class. We also finished our Paul Klee inspired self-portraits, which will be up on display shortly.

Have a great weekend! Fingers crossed for some sunny weather!

Mrs Hayes

Friday 24th September

We ended the week today with a lovely long play outside, making the most of the glorious sunshine. The children were very deserving of some free time after another very busy week in Year 1.

In English, we have been writing instructions for how to make honey sandwiches and thinking about sentence starters such as first, next, after that and finally. The children then made their own honey sandwiches in partners and even got to eat them. More than one child reported it to be the ‘best day ever’! We also spoke about bossy (imperative) verbs and how they tell us what to do.

In Maths, we have been thinking about one more and one less of a number. The children used resources to build towers and visually see what one more and one less than a number looks like. In the latter part of the week we introduced the language greater than and less than and the children had to identify which groups of objects or numbers had more and which had less. We will be continuing to work on this next week and will be introducing the symbols for greater than and less than.

In Humanities, we continued to learn more about the four different countries that make up the UK. We looked at what makes them different and talked about their national flowers, animals and described their different landscapes.

In Science, we continued looking at the different seasons and thought about how animals are affected by each season. I have to say the children were really impressive and articulate using very grown-up language such as adapting and hibernating!

In Art, we continue to use the artist Paul Klee as inspiration. The children all did self-portraits in pencil and then outlined them in black pen. Next week they will be covering their portraits with a mosaic of tissue paper before they are displayed on our wall!

Please do get in touch with any questions.

Enjoy the sunshine!

Mrs Hayes

Friday 17th September

We are so impressed with how all the children in Year 1 have settled into their new classes. It is a big change from Reception but the children are doing brilliantly and are happy and focused (long may it continue!)

The major excitement of the week was playing with all our lovely new toys! FOSS (Friends of St Stephen’s) raised enough money for the Key Stage One playground to be replenished with lots of great new things to play with including an obstacle course, an aeroplane, space hoppers, balance blocks and a giant foam Jenga game.

It has been a busy week in English and the children have coped superbly. We continued to use ‘Daisy Eat Your Peas’ as the focus text and learnt all about nouns and how to use ‘and’ as a joining word to extend our sentences. Next week we will start thinking about writing instructions using bossy verbs!

In Maths, we have been counting forwards and backwards to twenty and writing our numbers as words. Once again, we have made sure to keep the Maths very hands on with practical ‘carousels’ set up of different activities on different tables.

In Humanities, we continued to think about the question ‘Where do I live’? This week’s learning was focused on the United Kingdom and the children learnt all the different countries of the UK and their capital cities.

In Science, we continued looking at the different seasons and identified the most typical type of weather in each season. Tricky to talk about summer being hot and sunny when it really hasn’t been!

R.E continues to focus on Islam. This week we have been learning about why the Qur’an is important to Muslims and how it is looked after.

Finally in Art, the children were inspired by Paul Klee and ‘taking a line for a walk.’ Without taking then pencils off the page they created all sorts of exciting doodles which they then coloured in or added extra details to.

Once again the homework set is due in on Wednesday and there will also be Mathletics tasks. Reading books will be handed out on Monday and need to be back in on Friday. Please can you ensure you sign the yellow book so we know your child has read their two books.

Attached to our class blog is the poem ‘Nut Tree’ by Julia Donaldson. Over the course of this half term the children will need to learn this poem at home and in school. Each half term we will have a new class poem to learn.

Have a lovely, restful weekend.

Mrs Hayes

Friday 10th September

Another fantastic week in Year one with your amazing children. It has been so lovely to have a full week with them and see so much joy and enormous smiles. They honestly are such a wonderful, lovely class.

In English, we have been looking at the book ‘Eat Your Peas’ by Kes Grey. The class have been writing and reordering sentence using capital letters and full stops. This is something we will be really focussing on this term. I got to experience the class’s incredible acting skills this week when they performed this version of ‘Eat Your Peas’. What super stars they are!

In Maths, we have been working hard on our place value skills with numbers up to 20. We have been doing a lot of practical Maths this week where the children have been counting different objects as well as written work where we have been writing numbers and words. We have also been matching objects to the correct number and word.

In Humanities, we have been learning to identify and locate the seven continents of the world including Europe, Africa, North America, South America, Asia, Australia and Antarctica.

In R.E, we began our topic on Islam. We began reflecting on what we already know about Islam and then thinking about what we would like to learn. We looked at images of Muslims at prayer and we also listened to a recording of the call to prayer. We began to establish important vocabulary (Muslim, Islam, mosque, Qur’an). In partners, we discussed and wrote what we already know and what we would like to find out.

In Science, we have been thinking about different seasons and what we might wear in a particular season.

In Relationships and Health Education, we have been discussing different emotions and who we might talk to if we are feeling a bit sad or worried.

In Art, we have been mark making. The class had 16 different boxes and lots of different inspiration patterns to explore mark making.

The class loved their very first Spanish lesson with Mrs Pereira on Thursday. They also had so much fun in Music, Kick London and Gymnastics! A reminder that on Mondays and Tuesday’s the class will need to come to school in their P.E kit.

Homework will start this week. You will see all the information you need about homework in the previous blog. The children’s Mathletics username and password will be in their homework book and their spelling group will also be in their book. Here is the Mathleics link:

Please do not worry if all the homework isn’t complete in the first few weeks. We completely understand that it is a step up with homework and the transition into completed more homework will take time.


Schools are fortunate to have received funding from the government this year to support children to catch up on missed learning caused by coronavirus (COVID-19). Mrs Wordsworth, as our KS1 Specialist Catch-up teacher, will be working with a number of children from Year 1 who need additional support with their Maths and English. These sessions will take place on a weekly basis as one-to-one sessions and in small groups. More details will follow later on in the term.

Have a fantastic weekend!

Mrs Hayes

Friday 3rd September

What a brilliant first two days of Year 1 we have had! Your children are amazing and have made me smile and giggle the whole day long! They’re an absolutely delight and I know we are going to have the most amazing year!

Starting next week, the children will enter through the wooden door which is near Miss Whiting’s classroom as this is easier for them to put their coats on their pegs, bags in their box and enter the classroom.

This year P.E is on a Monday and Gymnastics is on a Tuesday so they will need to come to school in the kit for those two days.


Homework will set each week on a Friday and will need to be returned by the latest on Wednesday the following week. Your child will be given a green homework book to complete their spelling homework, sentences and Maths homework in. The homework sheet will be uploaded to the class blog on a Friday which will explain all.

They will have a set of spellings to learn. There will be a sticker at the front of their homework book that explains if they are in green group (6 spellings), red group (9 spellings) or blue group (12 spellings). This will be something that is fluid throughout the year. They will need to learn these spellings for a relaxed spelling test each Friday at 9.30am as well as writing each of words 4 times in the front of their homework book to help them remember how to spell them.

Following this, they will need to write three sentences using words from their spelling list in the front of their green homework book.

There will be a small Arithmetic task set at the bottom of the homework sheet, which is to be completed in the green homework book.

Each Friday we will set tasks on Mathletics, which is to be completed by the following Wednesday. This will start on Friday 10th September.

We are very aware that we don’t want to overload the children with homework at the beginning of the term as the main thing is that they feel settled and happy within their Year 1 environment so the homework above will start on Friday 10th September.

For homework this weekend we have sent home an A4 piece of paper draft for our ‘We Are Britain’ display. Please help your child complete the sentences in the purple box. In the box at the bottom, we would like them to draw a picture of the flag of the country they were born in.

Please ignore the blank space at the top of the page. We will include a picture of your child here for our display.

We have also uploaded a copy of this to the blog in case you need another sheet.

On Monday, the children will be given two reading books. We will be assessing the children next week as reading levels may have changed over the holidays however we will not be able to finish this by Monday so the books on Monday will be based on where they left off in Reception. Reading folders will go out each Monday and will need to be returned by Friday with the yellow book signed so we can change them on Monday. We will only know if the books have been read if you sign the yellow book so please make sure you do so.

Information on blog

I have uploaded a copy of our red word mat on the blog and our class timetable.

What have we been up to?

On Thursday, we practised our handwriting. Following this, we discussed all the exciting things we have in our classroom and the class asked me any questions they had about Year 1. We then had a vote on what we wanted our tables to be called this year. Sea creatures won the vote! After that, we planned and wrote a piece of text all about ourselves. I found out so many great facts! To finish the day the class made birthday cards for each other so when it is their birthday they can each pick a birthday card from the pack to make they feel extra special!

On Friday we discussed our class poet Julia Donaldson and looked at some of her poems. Following this, we came up with some excellent classroom rules. As well as that, we made our Art book front cover and drew a self-portrait of ourselves. To finish the day we talked about the worry monster and what we might do if we are feeling worried about anything.

I hope you all have any incredible weekend!

If you have any questions at all please email me.

Mrs Hayes