Year 1 Blog
Welcome to the blog for our Mitchell, Spencer, and Churchill class children.
The first two days back after half term have been very creative! The children have been busy making their own amazing sketch books and filling them with artistic techniques such as dots, dashes, cross-hatching, flicks and outlines! They have been illustrators like Quentin Blake and used mirrors to make self portraits.
Noah said “Before I found sketching quite tricky, but now I’ve practised and had a go I’m feeling much more confident.” One child who had a go at sketching their portrait commented “when I drew my face I made sure I added detail including my glasses and my eye patch.”
During child initiated play some children chose to colour, they remembered to go slowly and really concentrate on colouring inside the lines.
The children are looking forward to using their sketchbooks every weeks to consolidate and improve their drawing skills.
Our Learning Hero Duck has been busy! Over the Christmas holidays and on the first day back at school delivered tricky maths challenges to each class!
Challenges involved making patterns, sharing and finding combinations that add to make a number. Year 2 solved magic boxes, Mitchell class went outside to solve the problem of getting from one end of the field to the other without letting their feet touch the floor! Churchill class made an estimation station where one child filled a bowl with dinosaurs and another child had to guess how many there were!
The Happy Puzzle company also came to visit and gave the children lots of puzzles to solve as a team in our school hall!
The children were encouraged to talk about the problems they encountered and find ways of overcoming these together (even when they were really tricky!)
Here are some quotes from the children following two fantastic days of being expert problem solvers just like Duck:
“We had to do teamwork and not give up like duck when solving the puzzles.” – Juliette
“I’m going to do a Duck challenge.” – James N
“It keeps going on and on. You can even put it in a circle and it’s still a pattern” – Anna taking part in a pattern challenge
“It gets harder and harder but I really like hard stuff.” – Maxime
“I like that it’s hard and it’s a challenge.” – Jojo
“I just like that we get to do tricky challenges.” – Sam
“You get to make puzzles.” – Kerr
“This one is the heavy one because there is rocks inside… Or maybe playdough.” – Grace
“Because you get to build a tower and this one is getting trickier and trickier!” – Aaryan
Last week I met twelve very proud and excited children from Year 1 and Year 2. The new School Councillors met me in my office and received their new badge. They introduced themselves to the other members of the group and told everyone something they really like doing.
Alban Class – Ella and William
Morpurgo Class – Lilybelle and Casper
Ryder Class – Caitlin and Freddie
Mitchell Class – Ava and Oula
Churchill Class – Alex and Rosie
Spencer Class – Charlotte and William
The rest of our first meeting was spent choosing new signs for our playground. I was particularly impressed with the reasons they gave for the choices they made:
“We should have this one because it will help us learn” – Number bond flowers
“The little children will like this one” – Seasons
“We should have this one because it will keep us healthy” – Football scoring game
Look out for the new boards which should arrive in school before half term.
Sports Day was a massive success! Thank you to all the staff who worked hard to organise such great events and to parents for making the time to come and watch. The real stars of the day were of course the children…
Clarence and Verulam started the events with an egg and spoon race where Verulam Class’ eggs looked like they may have been glued into place (Mr Wilson and Mrs Randall have assured us they weren’t!) Following that was an impressive obstacle race which involved getting a cup of water from one end of the field to the other, climbing over stepping stones and crawling under tables!
Next up were Heath and Heartwood, they exchanged the baton with skill and gave each other a well rehearsed high five during the hurdles. They too tackled the daring obstacle race with the winning team collecting 900ml of water between them.
All in attendance could not fail to notice the sheer joy on the faces on the children as they did their best in each event. When it came to the skipping race we saw a wide variety of techniques as the smiles turned to looks of pure concentration and determination. The crowd of spectators did a great job of encouraging and applauding our youngest athletes.
The afternoon involved a change of venue as we moved to the Heath. Year 1 and 2 had the opportunity to really gather speed as they sprinted from one cone to the other. Parents cheered whilst some got comfy on chairs and blankets. The expectations were raised for Year 1 and 2 and the afternoon finished with competitive sprints where 1st, 2nd and 3rd badges were awarded. Children were learning to win and lose and we were impressed with the incredible atmosphere of team spirit and good sportsmanship. One of our favourite quotes of the day came from a child in Year 1 who fell mid race, got up and ran for the finish line. It was all a bit overwhelming at the end of the race but when we chatted later she explained that she had thought of the Lion King when she had fallen, and in particular the bit where Simba got bumped on the head by the baboon and was told “Don’t worry about it, it’s in the past!” We were particularly impressed with this positive attitude and how it impacted on others who might have been feeling a bit disappointed about not winning their race.
Sports Day not only gave children the chance to show off what they can do physically, they also got the chance to stretch their personal, social and emotional muscles, building resilience and celebrating their best efforts whatever the outcome. We are all very proud.
We were so Proud to be announced as Primary School Champions in the St Albans Fun Run for the third year in a row. On Sunday 12th June we laced up our trainers, put on our red t-shirts and gathered by the Bernards Heath flags in the runner’s village in the park. At 10.15am we ran, jogged, raced, meandered and piggy backed our way along the 1.5 mile course. It was great to work in a team with our Junior School and to see children from Nursery to Year 6 running together and sharing words of encouragement. It was a hot day and some little legs got very tired; it didn’t stop us though and we remembered our Learning Hero Duck who never ever gives up in the face of tricky challenges!
Thank you to children, parents and staff for supporting this exciting event… see you there next year!
Reading Workshops in FS2 and Year 1
We would like to thank all parents who attended the series of Reading Workshops with their children last half term. This was the first time we have organised workshops in this way and are very proud to report that they were a great success!
Here is some of the feedback from parents:
‘It has been really lovely to learn together. The shared experience and my son teaching me has been invaluable. It also helped him to be focused about doing reading at home…Fabulous! Would love to do more!’
‘The workshops have been really useful in helping my own understanding of phonics…Reading at home has now become really positive for both of us as I can confidently answer my son’s questions…’
‘Fantastic opportunity for parents and children. Great learning and better understanding of what to do at home – so valuable! Thank you’
‘Very useful games to assist in learning…she has enjoyed the ‘egg hunt’ game and wants to do this at home all the time.’
‘Really enjoyed the workshop. It has helped a lot with reading at home and given us some great ideas to try. It has also helped me with making the right sounds for each letter.’
‘The workshops have highlighted the strategies the children use – these are helpful reminders when we read together as I feel better equipped to help prompt…It is a treat to spend time with my little one at school. Thank you for supporting us in this way!’
We are looking forward to planning our next series of workshops in the autumn.
We did it! With everyone’s support we have so far raised over £2,000 for an incredible charity.
A HUGE thank you for joining us on the walk, donating your money, donating food for our sleep out, collecting cardboard, reading our Y2’s Newsletter and most importantly, for supporting the children to understand how they can make a difference to the lives of others. We are incredibly proud of the children and will continue to work with them to increase their understanding and find other ways to support people just like them.
On your marks, get set…GO!
Today is the day of our walk and sleep out! A huge thank you to all those who have donated so far, and to those supporting the cause; joining us on our walk or delivering food to those preparing for a night on the field!
Help Refugees – Click the link to read the Year 2 Help Refugee Committee’s first published newsletter.
Donate here – Click here to see the fundraising total and to add a donation of your own – so far we have beaten our target of £500! Will we make it to £1,000?
Meet on the playground at 5pm today – Friday 31st March to join us on our 4 mile walk and raise awareness in our local community,
See you there!
There has been a lot of excitement at school over the last 24 hours and visitors to Churchill Class have reached record numbers!
The reason? There is something wonderful happening!
12 brown eggs were sitting in an incubator on Tuesday afternoon and within 24 hours we said ‘Hello’ to a small grey/brown friend who has since become a fluffy yellow chick! There are now 7 chicks occupying the incubator and lots and lots of cheeping!
The children have been inspired and have painted pictures of our visitors, are writing information texts about how to take care of them and are talking about where they have come from and where they are going next. Churchill Class have managed to continue with their letters and sounds lessons and have had to ‘be like dog’ and manage this brilliant distraction. Well done them!
Come back to the blog next week and we will update you on what has been happening.