Spring 1 2022

Happy New Year! This half term the children have chosen the topic “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.

This week we started our topic on families and celebrations. We began by exploring what family is and what it means to the children. The children then wrote their thoughts into a house image to summarise their beliefs on their family and what made it special. We then explored other families that we are part of and focused on our school family. The children considered their role in our school family and shared them with the class. These included: to be kind to everyone, to use good manners, to learn, to always tell the truth, to set a good example. To symbolise this learning the children then drew themself in their school uniform. We plan to put the pictures together around the classroom to show our school family.

Church Family
This week we have been focusing in the Church family that we all belong to. The children have considered what it means to be part of the Church family and how they are apart of it. The children have then written prayers to God thanking him for being part of his family and his world. As part of these prayers the children made promises to look after God’s world and their family.

God as our Father
Following on from our learning about our different families we have begun to consider God as our Father. We explored different prayers and Bible scripture where God is described as “Our Father” and considered why he is called this. We talked about our daddy’s at home and their role as our father and the simmilairites and differences between them and God. We concluded that without God we would not have life, or our wonderful world. Therefore, he is a father to us all. We then considered all the questions that we might have about God as our father and all that he has created. The children shared their questions and we addded them to our working wall. 

Jesus visits the temple (Luke 2: 22-40)
Today 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.

Today we have focused on Baptism as an important celebration. We have learnt why it is so special and important, bringing someone into God’s family. We then explored the different people that may be at the Baptism and each of their roles. We then looked at the different objects and symbols used in Baptism and their significance. 


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 familair with. We concluded that their were simmilairites 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 the children have been re-writing “Why Elephanf has a Trunk”. The children started by sequencing the story on a story mountain, identifying each part of the story that they would need to write about.

The children then wrote each part of their story, applying their understanding of story structure, conjunctions and adjectives.

As we were writing longer pieces it became apparent that we needed to work more on using full stops correctly. To do this we paused our story writing for a couple of days and focused on putting full stops and capital letters into our writing in the correct places. We learnt that we usually use a full stop when we have a new idea. However, we must make sure that the points before and after the full stops make sense on their own. If they do not then the full stop is in the wrong place. After practicing this skill we then began to apply it in our own writing.

Once we had completed our re-write of how Elephant got his trunk we began to develop our own Tinga Tales to write. The children chose their main character/ setting and then developed their title. All this planning was put into another story mountain and each part was developed orally before putting it into the plan. The children then used this to write their own Tinag Tale.

Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain
Over the last two weeks we have been focusing on poetry. We have learnt that poems are an expression of feelings or ideas. Sometimes they rhyme but they do not have to. We have then focused on rhyming poems, taking inspiration from “Brining the Rain to Kapiti Plain”. The children have identified the rhyming words and explored the structure of the rhyming sentences. We have then brought this learning together and began to write our own rhyming verses. 



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 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.

From this learning the children have practised and applied their measuring skills, taking on measuring challenges across the week.

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.

Volume and Capacity 

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.

2D Shapes

We have now moved onto focusing on 2 D shapes. To start our learning we recapped our learning on shape from FS2 and named the ones that we could remember. We then learnt the names of new 2D shapes before focusing on their properties. The children then used their understanding of properties to complete a table, identifying the different properties from vertices, to straight and curved sides.

To bring our learning on 2D shape together we played a Burn2Learn game. The children were put into groups and had to take it in turns to jump or hop through the hoops, collect a 2D shape and return to their team. When they returned they had to describe the properties of the shape and their team had to guess the shape. Once it had been guessed correctly the next team member could go and collect another shape.




In Science this half term, we will be learning all about animals. We have started by naming a variety of different animals from all over the world, focusing on African animals as part of our topic. Once we were confident naming a variety of animals we started to put them into different groups. We grouped the animals into mammals, amphibians, birds, fish, insects and reptiles and began to consider the features of each.

This week we have been exploring the common features of each type of animal and comparing them. We have answered questions such as “Can all birds fly?” and “Do all mammals have four legs?”.

Now that we are confident with the different types of animals, we are moving on to exploring different animals diets. We have learnt new vocabularly “carnivore, herbivore and omnivore” and learnt what each diet means. We have then explored different animals that have these diets, grouping them together in teams. 

Today we used all our learning from the half term so far to make animal fact files. The children chose their favourite animal from Kenya and completed the fact file, The fact file included the type of animal it was, its features, diet and some of the foods it may eat. 

This week the children used their fact files to create animal habitats. The children had to make their animal with its correct features, create its food based on its diet and then apply their geogrpahy learning to make the correct habitat for it to live in. 





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. We started our learning by looking at real picture books and how the images move and change. We then evaluated them and began to think about the mechanisms we might like to use in our own moving pictures.

Over the last few weeks we have been exploring different mechanisms and practiced the skill of making each of them within the context of traditional tales. We plan to use these skills to make our own moving picture based on our own Tinga Tale that we have written in English. 


This half term we have started the half term with a focus on online safety, linked to the devices the children use and what they access on their devices. To do this we did a survey with the children to help us to focus on areas of need. The main areas that came up were around age restictions on games and knowing which games are best for the children’s age. As part of this we recapped STOP BLOCK TELL and added actions to it so that children know what to do if they are on a device and something comes up that they are unsure of or makes them feel uncomfortable.

This half term we have been exploring Keynote as part of our computing lessons. The children have learnt how to make a new presentation, insert text and record short clips that can then be inserted to their keynote presentations. Once the children have explored the key features we have then linked it to our Geography learning where the children have recorded each other saying key facts that they have learnt about Kenya that have then been inserted into their Keynote presentations. 



This half term we are focusing on Kenya! We have started the topic by finding out where Kenya is in the world, locating the continent of Africa and Kenya within it. We have also explored key facts about Kenya and the variety of different landscapes that it has to offer. We have done this through Burn2Learn activities, group discussions and writing activities. 

To bring all this learning together the children have created posters all about Kenya to share with people who do not know anything about Kenya.

This week the children have been learning about National Parks and Nature Reserves. They have explored the differences between them and looked at maps of National Parks. When exploring maps the children have learnt how to read the key and what this tells them about the map and what is on it. From this the children have created their own National Park maps, drawing on tracks, rivers and animals and completing their key. Mrs Hemming (Geography Lead) came to see the maps and was very impressed with the detail of them and the children’s understanding. Well done Year 1!

This week we have focused on Human Geography when learning about the Maasai Tribe. The children have learnt about their culture and traditions, including wearing red dress for special occassions and their jumping dance. They have also learnt about their lifestyle, earning money from the land and animals and the roles of men, women and children. 


In Music today the children listened to some African music as part of their topic. We started by looking at a world map and identifying England and Africa, discussing the size difference and how to get to the continent from England. The children then looked at a PowerPoint of some African Instruments, such as a dumbek and oud. They listened to the sounds and compared the appearance and sound to instruments that we use in school. We then listened to some music from each instrument and the children clapped along to the rhythm and discussed the dynamics and tempo of each piece. This was to music from a dumbek, dejembe, oud, mbira and marimba. The children then enjoyed dancing to the music. Every child was given an instrument to then play to the rhythm of the different songs. They did a fantastic job of this.



This week in PE the children worked on their underarm throw, two handed catch and then a one handed catch. For a warm up they copied the adults actions and then either ran to the left or right during a game of rats and radishes. The children were brilliant at listening to the instructions and following the actions.
The children then found a partner and stood 2 ​meters apart, throwing and catching a beanbag using an underarm throw and two handed catch. To extend this further, the children were asked to try and catch the beanbag one handed, which they found much more difficult. The children had to aim for their partners open hand to support with this.
The next part of the lesson supported children’s listening as they turned their back on their partner and could only turn around to catch the beanbag when their name was called. We were very impressed with how quickly the children reacted to their name to then catch the beanbag.
To cool down, the children moved from one side of the hall to the other with a beanbag on their head and then walked around the space as a giant and then pixie before lying down to relax their bodies.
During today’s PE session the children were working on improving their hand position for a range of catches. Their warm up involved copying the movements of their partner, such as by skipping, hopping or shuffling across the floor. The children then took on the role of an elephant, frog and superhero. 
In groups of three, the children worked on their underarm throws and cupped hand catches today. They threw a ball to the person in the middle, who then threw it to the person that was behind them, before then throwing it back along the line they had made. The children showed great skill and patience during this activity. 
To cool their bodies down again, the children moved from one side of the hall to the other in different ways, from faster movements such as jumping and hopping, to slower movements such as rolling. 



This half term we are focusing on British Values. We started our learning by exploring Democracy. I gave the children some examples such as “Hands up if you would like the door open/ closed” and took the votes and went with the majority. I then asked the children to tell me what they thought democracy meant. They told me that they thought it was about voting for things. We then watched a video where we learnt about the Houses of Parliament and the history of voting in England. This developed our understanding further. Finally, we had our own class vote on what our next class treat would be. The children had three options to vote for and had to vote by writing the number of their choice onto a piece of paper. They then put their vote into a basket to be counted, just like a real vote! It was very tense as the votes were counted and then announced. The option with the most votes was hot chocolate. This real experience of voting helped the children to understand the importance of democracy and a fair vote.

Individual Liberty
During today’s PSHE lesson, the children’s objective was to discover what individual liberty means and to give some examples of it. They started by listening to the story ‘The Hueys in the new jumper’ by Oliver Jeffers, where they discovered that the Hueys were all the same in every way such as their likes, clothes and thoughts. The children were asked if the Hueys lived like we do, to which Eloise replied “no because they are all the same and we are unique, all different.” George suggested that one of the Hueys rules was that they “wear the same clothes” and Lottie thought that “they all drink coffee”. Rian suggested that they may all “have to sleep in the same house” and Scarlett said “they all eat the same”. The children were then asked what they can do that the Hueys cannot?  Nathan “Do different things like if you want to play and others do not.” Eva “They can’t wear different clothes.” 

The children found out that this is because the Hueys do not have individual liberty.  

We then listened to the rest of the story, where Rupert makes a jumper and then the others decide that it is okay to be different and get their own unique clothing. Charlotte “They are not the same, all wearing different things.” George “Some have a scarf and some do not.” We were pleased to see that the Hueys all had individual liberty by the end of the story and that they could make their own choices.

The children looked at some new proposed school rules and expressed their sadness and frustration towards not being able to do these things anymore, such as talking about football or being able to smile at school. William “Sad because we want to choose what to do.” Barnaby “You have taken away our individual liberty.” Annabelle “Sad because I like smiling.” Theo “So sad I cannot play football.” 

The class then shared their ideas of the things that they have individual liberty about and we wrote these up together.

Consent and Personal Space
Today in our RSE lesson our focus was “My Body Belongs To Me!”. We talked about our responsibility to look after our bodies before moving onto our physical personal space. To show personal space we used a hoop. We talked about who may enter this personal space and why. For example, parents to help us get dressed, grandparents to give us a hug. We then linked it back to the children’s bodies belonging to them and that they decide who enters that personal space. We recapped our school rules focusing on TALK and emphasised the importance of using our voices to say no if someone enters our personal space when we need to. We also thought about others personal space and then need to ask before we enter it. We used the example of some people love hugs but others do not and it is important to check first.

We then focused on Pants are Private and recapped this learning from FS2. We listened again to the song and discussed how this links to our personal space and using our voice to say no if someone does something that we do not like and to tell an adult we trust.

To complete our learning, we did some role play with different scenarios and our personal space hoop. Children volunteered in different roles and acted out what they would say and do.

Childrens Mental Health Week 

This week we have taken part in National Children’s Mental Health week. Each day we have engaged in activities to help us understand out mental health and how we can take care of our own and others. We started the week by focusing on what we already knew about mental health and what it means. We wrote our ideas on flipchart paper in red. We then clarified our understanding on what our mental health is before looking at this weeks theme of “Growing Together”. 

Each day we have furthered our understanding, exploring different things we can do to keep our mental health healthy. We have done this through role play, senario cards, team games and mindful colouring in. We have also explored the story “Have you filled a bucket today?” that we first visited back in FS2. The story teaches us that we all have a bucket that others can add to or take away from. We made links from this story to our mental health and the effect that bucket filling or dipping can have on each other. 

On Friday we revisited the flip chart that we started on Monday and added everything that we have learnt this week about mental health in a different colour. From this week the children have learnt lots about the importance of looking after everyones mental health and what to do if they are struggling with their mental health.