Year 1 Blog
Welcome to the blog for our Mitchell, Spencer, and Churchill class children.
Just to let you know our new blogs are almost here! They are just being finalised and we will be ready to share some exciting updates later on next week.
One of the key changes is the ability for you to ‘follow’ your class blog. This means you will be sent an automatic message each time a new blog is posted, keeping you up-to-date with everything happening in school.
Look out for more information next week.
Year 1 have had a great start to the new academic term. It has been a pleasure getting to know the children and their interests. We started by learning about our classroom environments and how to use them most effectively. For example, children became familiar with the art area, what resources there are and how to use them. In English the children have been practising writing sentences, remembering a capital letter, finger spaces and full stops. They have transferred this learning to Child Initiated Play (CIP) and we have seen lots of evidence of children making mini books and writing labels for the models they make. In Maths children have been learning to form their numbers correctly and getting to grips with their number bonds to 10. Our theme has been ‘Helping Hands’ and the highlight for the children was our Helping Afternoon. Children enjoyed helping younger friends, using the litter pickers, sweeping the leaves and sorting the welly boxes for Year 2.
Grandparents Afternoon was another huge success with over 200 Grandparents visiting school. Children went on nature hunts, dug outside in the vegetable patch, and shared some of their learning. Children loved looking at photos from the past that Grandparents brought in and they had lots of enthusiastic questions to ask. We are very thankful to the people who travelled from near and far to come.
After a well-deserved rest in half term, we look forward to learning about special celebrations such as Diwali and Christmas. Have a wonderful half term and we look forward to welcoming the children back ready for exciting new learning.
We will be updating you on the children’s learning via blogs on the website next half term.
From the £1,400 spent by parents at our Book Fair in April we raised just over £800 in rewards to be spent on books for school. Here are the new books we’ve received this week. Due to the extremely tight budget this has been a huge help to us and has enabled us to update and replenish books in the library, in classrooms and to support our 1:1 Readit2 programme.
A huge thank you for your support – we are incredibly lucky!
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
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.
At Bernards Heath we value talking about feelings and listen to what children say. Children are invited to write about their feelings and post them into the ‘Feelings Box’ (kept in the hall) this is regularly monitored by an adult so we can have a conversation with a child if, for instance, something is making them feel worried or sad. We also enjoy celebrating positive feelings. At school we acknowledge all feelings, no matter how they make us feel and understand that all feelings are valid and part of being a human. Our PSHE and wider school ethos teaches children what to do when they feel certain things so they can grow into happy and successful members of our community.
Some of the things we have found in the Feelings Box include the following:
‘I am happy because I made a new friend’
‘I am feeling proud because I am good at running now’
I am happy because I ate a strawberry and I am sad because my sister feels poorly’
‘I like doing maths because I like counting’
‘I like playing with my friends’
‘My tummy was hurting but Mrs Banahan’s food made it better’
‘Today I am feeling tired’
‘I am feeling excited because it is nearly my birthday’
‘I feel happy because I like school and I love the lunches’
‘I love my school because my teacher is very imaginational‘
What a blast from the past! Everyone impressed us during our 110th birthday week with their fantastic costumes; we saw flat caps, aprons, long skirts, frills and waistcoats. Children got a real taste for what the school might have been like 11o years ago, learning about what the classroom looked like, the activities children might have engaged in and the different toys and resources they would have played with. During the morning Mrs Rimmer visited each class and carried out a hand inspection and being quite strict! Teachers stayed in character all day, giving the children a real taste of Edwardian school life. A big thank you to everyone for organising the costumes, it was a great way to help us in our 110th birthday celebrations.
Healthy Living Week – 27 June to 1 July 2016
Wow, what a fantastic range of activities we had the opportunity to engage in! We learnt how to stay safe and to keep healthy, helped by a wide range of visitors. Year 2 children learned safe scooter skills – how to stop safely and how to negotiate obstacles. Year 1 and Foundation Stage practised their road safety skills. Mr Desborough donned his School Crossing Patrol uniform to help us, and one class discussed how to improve the safety of the roads and paths on the approach to school. Year 1 inspected the safety features of a car on the playground and learnt how to be safe around dogs. Foundation Stage 2 welcomed a visit from a Guide Dog Arthur and puppy in training Earl. A parent kindly offered her time to teach us meditation skills. Children rounded off the week by making their own healthy snack.
Sports Day 2016
Foundation Stage children took turns to cheer each other on and run their races. The sun was shining, the bunting was flapping and we had lots of enthusiastic spectators. All children tried really hard, we were very proud of their efforts and the way they supported each other.
We were very excited about trying out the new KS1 sports day format for 2016. Following feedback from our Pupil Voice questionnaire, we included a blindfolded obstacle course. This enabled the children to demonstrate the key skills of collaboration, cooperation, trust, safe practice and communication. Tennis on the playground with Mr Denyer was great fun, with the children showing real concentration and determination. Finally, in our races on the field the children demonstrated great teamwork in their relay races. We would like to thank parents for their very supportive feedback on this new format.
Festival of Sport
The Festival of Sport showcased a wide variety of sports, including dance, football, cricket and athletics, with reference to the Olympics in Rio. We managed to dodge the rain and the children all loved showing their skills to an audience. They went on and off stage through a balloon tunnel and were very well supported by an excellent audience.