Spring 1

First Aid training

We had 2 very special visitors come and see us (one was a human and one was a monkey!) We started off with a little introduction to find out why they were here. Afterwards, we discussed what we would do in an emergency, who to ring and how to check for breathing. These are very valuable lessons for children even at Year 1 age! The children then did a little bit of role play and we finished off the session with some question time.


In RE this half term our topic is Families and Celebrations

This year we are looking at the Year of the Word. We have focused on parables from Matthew in the Bible. We have looked at a few of these parables, focusing on the message behind these and discussing the stories. The children then decided on their favourite parable that they have heard and drew this in their book. Afterwards, they did some writing about the parable, explaining what it is and how they feel about it.


We have continued our learning of the Year of the Word and focused on the Lord’s Prayer. We began our lesson by praying together to God through the Lord’s Prayer. We then looked at the words used in this prayer and starting to unpick the meaning of the words. The children then used the prayer as inspiration to their prayers as they wrote their own prayer to God.

We have been looking at what it means to be apart of a family in RE. We have looked at 2 of our families, our school family and our home family. The children discussed the importance of us having these families and the importance of God being the Father in each and every family. The children started off by thinking of words that remind them of family e.g. love, kind, share and put these into a house template. Afterwards, we looked at what it meant to be apart of a school family, where we all share a common vision in worshiping God and having him as our Father. We made a paper chain line of each of the members of our class and these are now on display in the class.

We have been role playing when Jesus visited the temple with his family. The children all took on their roles beautifully and the role play really helped to understand the story and the key messages and emotions behind the story. It fitted well with our RE topic of Families and Celebrations. The children were asked to get into groups of 6 and choose appropriate parts for the story. They then had to work together to come up with creative and ambitious ways to present their role play back to the class. After the role play, the children became critical friends and supported each other in improving their work and saying what they liked about it.


In English this half term, we are building up to writing a diary entry by Aladdin or Princess Jasmine from our topic of Aladdin. Before we start this learning, we are focusing on recounts of our holidays! The children were buzzing with excitement as they came through the door on the first day back to share all of the wonderful things they have been up to in their holidays. We worked together in groups to produce spider diagrams of some of the activities we did. This will become part of our planning for our full recounts later on.

In English we have been focusing on expanded noun phrases so that we can use them in our diary entries at the end of the half term. We started off by recapping what a noun is and what an adjective is and used some of these to describe the characters in Aladdin. Afterwards, we looked at combining these to make expanded noun phrases. The children were set off on a Burn 2 Learn activity where they needed to find the adjectives in the classroom and the nouns. Once they had collected them all, they had to choose the most appropriate adjective to describe the noun to make expanded noun phrases on their whiteboards.

Preparations are underway for our diary entries as Aladdin! We have been looking at the features of a diary entry and looked at the feature of chronology. We discussed the meaning of the word and discussed it in our own lives too. Afterwards, the children were given an example of a diary entry by Aladdin. However, it had all been chopped up! The children had to work in teams to put the diary entry back into the correct order looking at the language and what came at the beginning and end of the diary entry.

In English we have been writing our diary entries as Aladdin. We chose to write from the perspective of Aladdin whilst he was flying on the magic carpet through the kingdom on the magic carpet. The children really got into character as we planned, wrote and edited these to ensure they were our best work. The children remembered the features of a diary entry and were successful in putting these into their diary entries. Each of their pieces of work was individual and it was a real pleasure to read these as I saw a different perspective from all of the children as they pretended to be Aladdin.


In Maths this half term, we are focusing on measurement! We began our learning journey for this half term by focusing on length and height. The children were set the challenge of getting themselves in height order, using the language of taller than and shorter than. Afterwards, we moved onto non standard measurements to measure some of the resources in our classroom. The children worked well to practically measure with their hands the different items in their table.

After this, we moved onto measuring using a ruler. The children understood that you must start from zero and measured accurately the different towers. We looked at both height and length when measuring these and the children were comparing their towers to their partners to see who’s was taller and who’s was shorter. I then even gave the children the challenge of finding the difference between the 2 lengths/heights. Great use of mathematical terminology and great learning Year 1!

In maths we have moved our focus to weight and mass. We have began by looking at the key terminology we will need for our learning and looking at balancing scales to determine whether something is heavier or lighter. The children all worked to estimate how heavy an object would be and to compare it to another object. Some children were even set the challenge of estimating how many of our multi-link cubes it would take to weigh more than some of our classroom items e.g. glue sticks.

We have been looking at measuring time! We started off our learning by looking at the days of the week. We listened to songs, learnt actions and learnt rhymes! Afterwards, we started to look on an analogue clock at o’clock and what this looks like. We completed a Burn 2 Learn activity to practice telling the time to the hour and race against our friends! The children were able to identify the hour hand and the minute hand.

We have started applying our knowledge of half past and o’clock to match digital times to analogue clock faces. The children were given a set of digital times and put into teams to race around the hall to see who could match the digital times to the clock faces the fastest. The children gained a good understanding of time through this and were able to recognise the time on the clock faces and match this to the digital time.

We have moved along our learning journey and are now looking at fractions. We have been focusing on finding, recognising and naming 1/2 and 1/4 of shapes, quantities and amounts. We started off by looking at halving, working together to half quantities and numbers. Afterwards, we looked at finding a 1/4 and what methods we can use to find a quarter of a number. The children understood they needed to look at the bottom number to know what they need to share the amount into and this really helped the children to read and recognise fractions! We have really enjoyed the practical side of learning with fractions, as well as the written work and the problem solving. 



In Science this half term, we will be focusing on materials.

We have started our learning journey by exploring the different materials there are and what their properties are. The children have been investigating a number of materials in the classroom to see how they can be changed by squashing them, twisting them, bending them and stretching them. I asked some of the children to predict what they thought might happen and we will be writing up our findings in future weeks.

We have been conducting an investigation in Year 1! We wanted to link our investigation to our topic of Aladdin so we decided we would look at materials and which would be best to have as a carpet so it could float. We first of all gathered a variety of materials to investigate if they would sink or float. After this, we predicted which materials would sink and which would float. We then got investigating and put these materials into water. The children had a great time in our investigating and we also found out that if you put coloured paper into water, the water turns that colour too!

We have produced write ups of our investigations in science. The children were explaining the method they took to complete the investigation, what happened and what they might do next time if they were to do this investigation again. The children had some great ideas about what they might experiment with next to see what can sink or float. Some of the children had some really interesting observations that linked to the volume of water in the tubs. 


In art this half term, we will be focusing on the artist who drew the characters from our topic, Aladdin. We have started our learning by looking at some of the drawings and discussing what we like and don’t like about them. The children were fair to each other’s opinions and wrote some fantastic ideas of things they would change about the drawings if they could.

In art we have been focusing on the work of Disney artists such as Glen Keane. In our most recent art lesson, we have been focusing on the characters from our class theme of Aladdin. We have been looking at how to colour in our work neatly to ensure it is presented in the best way possible. Miss Mac demonstrated to the children a few colouring techniques (and a few not so good ones!) so that the children had clear, high expectations for themselves and their art work. Some of the art work produced was amazing and the children really look their time with their colouring skills!


In computing, we have been working on the app Scratch Jnr. The children were first set the task of creating their own background and character to use in the app. They then were asked to explore how to make the characters move along using the simplest algorithms. After this, we looked at how to make our characters jump and how to make them grow and shrink. The children worked in pairs to work through the challenges. Great work Year 1!

In computing we have been learning about how to use a loop in our algorithms whilst using the Ipad app Scratch Jnr. The children used their prior knowledge of Scratch Jnr to choose a character, background and how to make the character move before adding a loop to their characters. The children challenged themselves to make the characters move continuously, as well as loop the characters spinning round and growing and shrinking. The children were resilient in their computing lesson as sometimes it took a couple of goes to get the algorithm correct. It was nice to see some of the children giving themselves an extra challenge and try and give 2 or 3 characters a set of algorithms. 


In Geography this half term, we are flying on Aladdin’s magic carpet to go round all of the 4 countries in the United Kingdom. We started our learning by looking at the 4 countries and where they were on the map. Afterwards, we discussed the capital cities of these countries before we took flight on our carpet to focus on England. We landed in London, our capital city, to look at what was there and what attractions there were. The children then produced a poster to show the different fantastic places in London. It was fantastic for the children to learn about all of the wonderful places in London. I wonder where the carpet will take us next…

In Geography, we have continued to fly around on our carpet to the other countries in the UK. We have visited Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as England now! We have been learning all about the culture of these countries as well as some key facts and activities that can be done whilst visiting these countries. Here are some of the things the children have learnt about these countries.

“The capital city of Scotland is Edinburgh.” – Andrew

“In Scotland they sometimes wear kilts!”- Eva

“There are 600 castles in Wales, my mummy didn’t believe me when I told her so she had to google it!” – Grace

“Their flag has a dragon on it.”- Henry

“The Titanic was built in Ireland.”- Ryker

“Northern Ireland is part of the UK, not Ireland.”- Emily


In Music we have been looking at rhythm and tempo. To do this, we have been playing lots of clapping rhythm games and getting to know the terminology used in music. The children were fantastic at the games and really listened carefully to the different patterns of sound. The children were split into groups and asked to think of a rhythm they can clap together. Once they had mastered the tempo together, they performed back to the class so that we could try and guess which song it was!



This half term in PE, we will be focusing on gymnastics. We are very lucky at St Joseph’s to be working with a specialist coach who has come to work alongside us teachers in delivering the gymnastics for this half term.

We have been looking at different shapes in gymnastics. The children were provided with a number of different shapes they could make with their bodies and were asked to work in groups to do so. The children were fantastic at having a go at these and being resilient learners, even when they found some a bit tricky. Afterwards, we moved onto using these shapes but in jumps! We finished off by demonstrating our favourite jumps and positions in groups. The children had a lot of fun and were really ambitious with their choice of jumps and shapes.

We have now moved our learning on to using some apparatus! The children were asked to use the benches (now called beams) to practice their shapes they learnt last week on the beams. They needed to travel to the middle of their beam, hold their shape and then jump off the end of the beam and perform their shape in the air. The children listened really carefully to how to land safely and appropriately from the jumps and showed an excellent range of skills. Mr Cooper then recapped this learning with the children in our next PE lesson.

We have continued our learning of gymnastics with Miss Willoughby and are continuing to work on the beam. The children have been practicing travelling safely on a beam and jumping along the beam. Miss Willoughby was really good at modelling to the children an effective warm up and cool down, whilst allowing them the independence of choosing appropriate stretches for their legs after the session.

With Mr Cooper, we have been looking at sequencing movements in groups. The children were asked to get into groups and think of a dance that included a spin, glide and jump. The children were asked to perform the dance and make sure it fit into a count of 8. It was lovely to see how the children interpreted the instructions and chose lots of different ways to perform their dance to the music. I can see some natural choreographers in Year 1 already!

Aikido Taster Session

We have been so lucky in KS1 to have had Mr and Mrs Grundy come in and show us Aikido. The children were first shown a demonstration of Aikido and given a background to the sport. Afterwards, it was a competition between the boys and the girls to see who could get the stick from behind the opponents back! We then had a go at wrestling to get the wristband off of our opponents. After a close match and a LOT of fun, the girls came out victorious! The session was so much fun to have in school and I know the children learnt a lot about this martial art. Thank you to Mr and Mrs Grundy for sharing your knowledge with us!


In PSHE, we have been focusing on who we can go to for help. The children discussed this topic really well on the carpet and their contributions were mature, well thought out and purposeful. The children then wrote down 5 different people they felt comfortable going to if they felt they needed help. It was lovely to see that the children were confident in their opinions and respected the opinions of others too.

In PSHE, our big focus is Anti-Bullying Week. We have been focusing on how we can make our school a better place and what changes could be made to ensure everyone is happy, safe and feels secure in school. The children had some great ideas of ways to behave in different areas of the school to ensure all are safe, as well as ideas of ways to behave towards our friends in school. Some of the children’s ideas about how to make the school a better place were really thoughtful and reflective such as ‘be kind to everyone always’ and ‘have more lessons on anti-bullying so everyone is always reminded.’

Trip to Rainbow Factory

As part of our Anti-Bullying week, we have been on a trip to the Rainbow Factory. Our chosen topic was ‘digging deep into fairytales’ as we focused on the story of Little Red Riding Hood and the bad character; the big bad wolf. We got to hear his side of the story and the children started to understand the importance of listening and trying to understand everybody before they judged. We learnt that the wolf really just wanted to make friends with people, but didn’t have the tools to do so, so we decided to help! We got to do lots of different activities including role play, story telling, model making and walking through a story forest. The children had a fantastic time and it really opened their eyes to trying to understand peoples motives rather than taking every action at face value.