Spring 1 2023

Happy New Year! This half term out topic is “Sensational Safari!” as part of this topic we will be focusing on Kenya. Take a look at our class newsletter for more information on what we will be getting up to this half term.


In RE this half term our topic is Families and Celebrations.

Collective Worship

This week our theme in Collective Worship has been Epiphany. The feast of the kings. As part of this learning the children have listened to Mathew in the Bible and learnt about the three kings visiting Jesus after his birth. The children have also learnt about how the feast of the three kings is celebrated in countries such as Spain.

On Friday we had a special visit to Church for Mass focused on Epiphany and some of the children helped Father Andrew to re-tell the story, acting as shepherds and kings.

In worship this week, we have also been learning about Pope Benedict XVI who sadly passed away on New Year’s Eve. On the day of his funeral, we had a whole school assembly with reflections, prayers, reading and songs to remember this inspirational Christian. Miss Milivojevic taught us lots of interesting facts about him, and reminisced about how she took a group of pupils from St Joseph’s school back in 2010 to see Pope Benedict when he visited England. We watched real footage of the event in Twickenham and Miss Milivojevic shared fondly of how this experience impacted on her.

Miss Milovojevic taught is many key messages from the Bible that Pope Benedict XVI shared during his time as Pope and how he put this into practice. We then listened to readings from Corinthians, Ephesians, Isaiah and Proverbs. We gave thanks to God for Pope Benedict XVI.

Our school song ‘Siyahamba’ came as a result of this visit which is the first time that Miss Milivojevic heard it as a choir performed to Pope Benedict. We enjoyed singing the song together and finished with prayers for Pope Benedict XVI. May he rest in peace.

We have been learning about the different families that we belong to; our family, our school family and our church family. We have been reflecting on our roles within these families and how it makes us feel to be a part of a family. Here are some of representations of being part of different families. We have been saying thank you to God for all the things in our lives that we are thankful for.

We listened to Luke 2: 22-40 from the Bible. The story told us about Jesus visiting the temple with his parents and the people he met there. The children learnt that people had waited for Jesus to come for a long time and that this was a celebration for them. The children then acted out the story in small groups, identifying the main people and their thoughts and feelings towards meeting Jesus.



We have started this half term focusing on the story Why Elephant has a trunk. The story is a traditional tale from Africa, a focus for us this half term. To kick start our learning we revisited the traditional tales that we learnt in FS2, focusing on their settings and characters. We concluded that traditional tales from our culture are usually based in a woodland setting, either in a house or castle. We also concluded that characters are usually animals, children and older people.

We then started to explore “How Elephant got his trunk” and compared it with the traditional tales that we are familiar with. We concluded that their were similarities and differences that were due to different cultures and environments. From this learning we have started to sequence the story and began developing our story writing skills when re-writing the traditional tale. These skills will support us in beginning to write our own traditional tales.


This week we have focused on re-writing the story of “Why Elephant has a trunk”. We have explored language used in traditional tales, focusing on sentence starters such as “Once upon a time” and “One day”. We have also extended our learning on adjectives and conjunctions from last half term and explored how we can embed this learning into our story writing.

Now we have re-written the story “Why Elephant has a trunk” we have stated to explore writing our own Tinga Tale. We have used a story mountain to help plan our ideas, including our main character and setting. The children have then used this structure to write their own stories with a clear, beginning, build up, problem, resolution and ending.


This half term in maths we are focusing on measures and shapes.

Length and Height

We started our focus on length and height recapping our learning from FS2 on length and height and how we have learnt to measure how long or tall something is using objects in our environment. We talked about how measuring with objects in the environment may not always be accurate as objects can be different shapes and sizes. We practised using our skills of doubling to make sticks of unifix that were double the height of another.


We then introduced rulers to the children and explained that they provide us with a standard measure in cm. The children each had a careful look at different rulers and learnt how to measure accurately with them before measuring items in the classroom with a partner.

Weight and Mass

This week we recapped our understanding of weight and mass from FS2. We then explored balance scales and learnt how we could read the scales to identify which object was the heaviest and which was the lightest. The children have then spent the week solving problems linked to weight and mass, comparing and ordering objects from heaviest to lightest and testing out the idea that larger objects are always heavier.

Capacity and Volume 

This week we have been learning about volume and capacity. We have focused on the difference between volume on capacity and compared the capacity of containers and the volume of the liquid in them, ordering them from greatest to least. We have then developed this learning by measuring in millilitres and litres. As part of this we did a Burn2Learn activity where the children had to completed challenges, reading scales and ordering items in terms of their volume and capacity.





We have continued our animals topic by exploring another way of classifying animals – by what they eat. We enjoyed listening to and joining in with a song that introduced us to the words Carnivore, Herbivore and Omnivore and what those words mean. We were then active in our learning and sorted animals into carnivores, herbivores and omnivores – some we had to research as we were not sure.

Human Sense

Our learning journey has moved on to investigate human sense. We have been trying to name the body part associated with each sense, as well as the sense’s name. We went on a B2L “Senses Hunt” outside and used our senses of sight, hearing, touch and smell outside in the playground. Linking to our maths learning, we made a tally chart of how many things we saw, heard, felt and smelt. This was a fun way to get us using our senses!


Performing a Simple Test

We have had so much fun working scientifically and performing simple tests. We recapped our senses song and thought about which part of the body was associated with each sense. Then we performed three tests; predicting, carrying out a fair test, recording results and concluding.

  1. The Smell Test – we had 4 pots to smell; coffee, mint, blue cheese and chocolate.
  2. The Taste Test – we had 4 foods to try; dark chocolate, honey, a crisp and lemon/lime. We learned the words bitter, sweet, salty and sour!
  3. The Touch Test – we went on a B2L feeling hunt around the playground!

We have recorded our results in lots of different ways!



This half term we are learning all about mechanisms. We will be focusing on mechanisms in picture books that make the books come to life.

Today the children were introduced to mechanisms. We explored mechanisms in the real world before looking at how they are used in children moving picture books. The children then evaluated the effectiveness of them.

We have started exploring specific mechanisms and creating our own in story pages. This week we have explored a lever mechanism to help Jack climb the beanstalk. The children worked hard to create the mechanism and evaluated how successful it was once complete.

We have continued exploring mechanisms this week by creating our own wheel mechanism to show the wolf creeping down the path towards Little Red Riding Hood!


We have started our computing this half term with some more learning on how to stay safe online. To do this we recapped our STOP BLOCK TELL motto that we use if something happens when we are using a device and we are not sure what it is. Today we focused on applying this when pop ups appear on games or when we are watching videos on Youtube. The children helped Smartie the Penguin to make the right choice to keep himself safe. We also discussed age restrictions on games, what they mean and why it is important that we adhere to them.


This half term we are learning how to use keynote to present information. Today we learnt how to access Keynote on an iPad and create a basic presentation with text and an image.

Today we recapped the children’s learning on keynote from last week and used these skills to create a new page in our presentations about Kenya, writing facts linked to their Geographical learning.



This half term, our Geography learning is focusing on Kenya. We began by recapping our learning about Wetherby and looked at which country Wetherby is in. We looked at England as a country and learned that the seas around England are called The Irish Sea, The English Channel and The North Sea. We had a fun B2L session where we moved around the seas of England. We then located England on a map of Europe and discussed that there are different continents in the world.

Our learning then moved on to looking at the continent of Africa and the country of Kenya. We located Kenya on a map and we looked at where it is in relation to the equator. From our previous knowledge, we predicted what the weather is like in Kenya.

We have then been learning about the key features of Kenya. We began by using observation skills to sort pictures into photos taken in Yorkshire, linking back to our prior learning and Kenya, using lots of geographical observation skills. We learned about the Big Five, game reserves, Safari trips, mountains, coastline, cities and towns. We had a very fun lesson and pretended we were in a safari jeep, surrounded by the big five animals! We watched some clips of the animals in their natural habitats and then made fact files and posters about the key features of Kenya!


During Music this half term, our focus is on African Drumming Music, linking with our learning about Kenya. We have been learning the names of the drums and we have enjoyed being immersed in the sound that they make. We have responded to the music and discussed how it made us feel.

Our learning journey has continued and we have been playing call and response games with drumming music. We have used body percussion and we had to concentrate really hard! We played rhythms at different tempos and played steady beats as well, linking to our learning from the Autumn term. We enjoyed playing solo, in duets and as an ensemble.

We have applied our learning about beats and rhythms, by working in small groups to create short musical patterns. We had one drum and played call and response games, one person was the leader and the others had to copy the drum pattern. We took turns and practised playing different rhythms. We thought about how we could extend our learning by playing at different tempos and how we could create different sounds with different parts of our hands and fingers.


Over the last two weeks the children have been focusing on their balance, accuracy and agility skills in PE. To start the sessions the children have been enjoying the game “rats and radishes” where the children have to follow instructions and listen carefully to win their points. We have then moved onto throwing skills, using different hands, throwing under arm at different distances and then with some movement. These have been challenging skills to master and taken lots of concentration.

Over the last two weeks the children have enjoyed developing their balance skills during gymnastic sessions with Mrs Powell. The children have practiced balancing on the ground and then on different apparatus., moving along and balancing in different ways.

This week the children have enjoyed developing their dance and rhythm. The children have listened carefully to different styles of music and then moved to the beat, considering the speed and type of movements.



Rule of law

Today we have focused on understanding the importance of rules in all aspects of our lives in ensuring that we keep ourselves and others safe. We have discussed where we might have different rules, their purpose and who makes them. We have recapped our school rules and how they keep us and others safe.


Roles and Responsibilities 

Today we considered what our roles and responsibilities are inside and outside of school. The children said their role in school was to learn, follow the school rules, be kind to others. Outside of school it is their responsibility to look after God’s world and listen to their family members.

Working together

Today we focused on the importance of team work and working together. We discussed why this is so important and the skills you need to be able to work as a team, listening, taking turns and helping each other. To show the importance of these skills we played a team game where the children had to individually remember all the items on the tray and then tell their team. The winning team remembered the most items.

Children’s Mental Health Week

This week we have focused on our mental health and what this means. The children developed their understanding and we listened to the story “Have you filled a bucket today?” the children understood that what we say and do can fill and empty others and our own buckets and it is always important to be kind.

The children then created posters on what they do to look after their mental health.


In MFL, we have started the half term learning the primary colours – bleu, jaune and rouge. We enthusiastically took part in singing a song that introduced us to the colours and then we practised saying them. We went on a colours hunt around the classroom and searched for items that were the colours that we had been learning. When we found them, we had to say the colour in French!

Our learning journey continued by making a primary colours wheel, saying and matching the correct word. We were active in our learning and showed resilience with working hard on our French pronunciation. We then thought of objects that were each colour (rouge, bleu and jaune) and drew them.


We have explored different types of foods and learned some more new words; le pain, fromage and l’oeuf. We linked this to our previous learning of colours by looking at what colour the food was too! We played a fun and active game which was to listen to the phrase in French and then run to the correct food!