Autumn 2 2023

Welcome back Year 1! We hope you have had a lovely half term, spent with your family and friends.

This half term our topic is “Home and Away”. We have lots of exciting learning planned, based around our book “Dear Polar Bear”. Take a look at our class newsletter for details of our topic.

Collective Worship

Week 1
This week our virtue for Collective Worship has been “Prayer”. During collective worship each day we have reflected on why we pray, who we pray to and what we say when we pray. We have joined together in prayer and collective worship to observe the Holy Day of Obligation on November 1st, All Saints Day. We reflected on and spent some time thinking about how we can honour the Saints.

Week 2
This week we have focused on remembrance. Throughout the week we have been thinking of those who have fought for our country and continue to do so today. We have given thanks to God for looking after those people and their families. On Friday at 11am we took part in a 2min silence to remember those who have lost their lives.


This week we have began advent. We have explored the ways in which we count down and look forward to Jesus’s birth. The children talked about their chocolate advent calendars and how many sleeps it was until Christmas day. We then explored another way of counting down through the advent wreath. We learnt what each coloured candle represents and the order in which they are lite on each Sunday of December and then on Christmas day.




This half term our topic is “Mary our Mother”.

We have started our learning journey by reflecting on what we already know about Mary from our work on “God’s Family” in FS2. The children recalled that Mary was Jesus’s Mother and that God was Jesus’s Daddy. They also understood Joseph’s role as Jesus’s earth daddy.

The children also knew that Mary was visited by an angel to tell her that she had been chosen by God. They also remembered that Mary was there when Jesus died on the cross. From this we revisited Angel Gabriel’s visit to Mary and consider how she may have felt after his visit. To support us with this we did some hot seating that helped us to understand Mary’s perspective. Here are how we thought Mary might have felt!

This week we read Luke 1: 39-45 and learnt about Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth. In small groups the children acted out the story and performed to the class. The children listened carefully and we discussed what a promise was. The children then answered questions about the Bible story in order to further their understanding. This learning included making their own promises to God. It was fantastic to hear so many children make promises linked to looking after God’s world and those within it.


Linking with this we have had Blackout for Creation day and we have all made promises about how we can look after God’s World.


Today we turned our focus to the Christmas Nativity story from the Bible and Mary’s crucial role in it. The children have been working hard on their nativity performance “Baarmy Bethlehem” and have used this to help develop their understanding of the true meaning of Christmas. The children have enjoyed sequencing the story and re-telling it in groups along with writing about each section, identifying the important people and their roles.


Reading for Pleasure

We are encouraging the children to develop a love of reading and encouraging them to explore a range of different authors and poets. This half term, our key author is Michael Bond, who wrote the Paddington stories. The children are enjoying the quiet space and enjoying reading stories in our Author Corner!

We are learning some facts about Michael Bond and the children were impressed with the fact that he wrote every day from 9 o’clock even on Christmas day!



Our key poet this half term is A.A. Milne and we are practising reciting the poem Now we are Six.

Our English Learning Journey

We have started our English learning by really getting to know our book – Dear Polar Bear. We have listened to the story and made predictions about what might happen next. This also linked to our Geography learning about the Artic and Antarctica. Using our Word Aware approach, we explored new vocabulary and decided on our worthy words. We have also explored the characters in the books and the key events, through drawing, role play and hotseating!

The children are making us so proud with their attitude towards their learning and applying all the skills that they have been taught. We are aiming for writing in the past tense as well as the present tense, so we have been had some active Burn to Learn sessions understanding how to turn regular verbs into the past tense by adding an -ed suffix and the present by adding ing. The children have shown a lot of resilience to try to understand this tricky SPAG concept! We practised matching verbs to their past tense version.

We have also had a lot of fun and active Burn 2 Learn sessions to embed using -ed as a past tense ending on regular verbs including speaking in the present tense and the past tense outside on the playground.

In preparation for writing their diary entries the children have also been exploring adjectives to add detail to their writing. We listened to Michael Rosen explain what adjectives are and why they are important! We have played B2L games where the children have had to sort nouns and adjectives and then use them to write silly sentences. The children have then begun to apply this in their own writing.



This half term we are focusing on addition and subtraction. We are starting our learning by focusing on number bonds to 10. This week we focused on knowing all number bonds for all numbers between 1 and 10. We did this practically before recording it in part, part whole models. Once we are confident with this fluency aspect of our learning we will move on to varied fluency, exploring how number bonds can be represented in different ways.

This week we have been furthering our understanding of number bonds, solving problems with number bonds for numbers 0-20. This has required perseverance and resilience to take on new challenges and succeed. We have also been learning about the relationship between addition and subtraction and extending our learning using fact families. 


We have been applying our knowledge and practising our fluency of doubling by playing doubling games and singing doubling songs! We also practised working in teams and listening to each others’ explanations. We had lots of fun!









This half term we are focusing on the work of Henri Matisse, a French artist who is famous for both is paintings and collages.

This week we had an introduction to Henri Matisse’s life and work. We made connections to our French learning that the children began last half term. I was very impressed with how confidently the children have picked up key French phrases as part of this learning and facts that they already knew about Paris where Matisee was born. The children then looked at Matisee’s work, commenting on the colours and shapes. They then gave their opinions on his works, stating what they preferred and why.

Today we focused on collage, Henri Mattisse is famous for his collages that he started later in life after initially preferring paintings. The children learnt how to collage using ripped up pieces of paper or cutting them up and arranging them together to create an image before sticking them down. To practice this skill the children created collage poppies linked to remembrance day.



This half term we are continuing to focus on staying safe when using technology.



To begin our Geography learning this half term, we have been exploring photographs of Wetherby, Leeds and the Yorkshire Dales. Our learning is focusing on exploring places and looking at the similarities and differences between the places. Here’s some photographs of us finding and describing the different photographs before sorting our pictures and enjoying sharing our own experiences with our friends. We were active in our learning and discussed the photographs with lots of enthusiasm! Once the photos had been sorted the children filled in the gaps in their sticky knowledge sentences based on their learning from the day.

Our learning journey has continued and we have been using the geographical enquiry skill of interpreting maps and globes. We were very excited to find the Artic circle and Antarctica on a light up globe and we couldn’t believe how small the UK was! We then located the equator and discussed how the countries near the equator have hotter climates than the Artic and Antarctica. We then drew on a map the hot, warm and cold areas of the Earth based on how close they were to the equator and developed a better understanding of why the Arctic and Antarctic are so cold!








Anti Bullying Week:

Protected Characteristics: Disability 






This week we have been focusing on our football skills, specifically passing a ball with accuracy. To warm up the children worked in pairs, copying each others movements and then stretches. Once warmed up the children passed their ball to a partner with the side of their foot, aiming to hit the cone.

This week we have been focusing on our control of a ball. The children worked in pairs to travel with a tennis ball and then throw underarm and catch it with  partner at various distances. The children had to think about the force at which they threw the ball depending on distance and making sure that they threw it with accuracy so their partner was able to catch it.

Inspiring You Week!

This week the children have enjoyed a dance workshop as part of Inspiring you week. Kayleigh from Flex came in to speak to the children about her love for dance, the different types of dances she does and what dance has done for her throughout her life. The children then enjoyed a street dance workshop where they learnt a routine and performed it to music.