Having a jam-tastic morning 

This morning we have been making jam sandwiches. All as a way of following instructions to help us later write our own set of instructions.

It was very funny at the start as class 4 had to tell Miss Cosh how to make her jam sandwich, it kept going very wrong as Miss Cosh didn’t know what to do. She put th bread on her head rather than a plate. She used her hands to spread butter on the bread instead of a knife. Then she put the whole jar of jam on the bread rather than a little bit. It was a good job class 4 were there to tell her how to do it properly.

We then got to make our own jam sawdwiches in pairs by telling each other what to do.

The best bit by far was getting to eat what we made at the end! They were delicious!!

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Year 4 joined us for a story

We were treated to Miss Van Daesdonk’s class joining us last Friday during our story time.

They all bought with them a favourite book and sat and read to us all in class 4. It was a lovely way to end the week and very relaxing and engaging for all the children.

It was extra special because we have a lot of siblings in these year groups and it was lovely to see them sat together engrossed in a good book.

Thank you so much year 4 for joining us, we hope to do it again very soon… I know my class can’t wait to maybe visit you next time and share some stories in your classroom.

Enjoy some of the pictures of the session…

Behaviour system in year 1

In year 1 we introduce the whole school behvious system. Every child had their own name label and we begin each day like new with the names all going back to a good start. This helps the children with their confidence at know that every day they can chose whethere they are going to make positive or negative behiour choices and that no matter what it is a fresh start…

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The children start on this every morning so they learn that every day is a new chance and a fresh start…

 

We have 3 lower tiers on our behiour chart and the children have to move their name down themselves so they are active in their behaviour management. Names can be moved down for a number of reasons including: not listening, disrupting other children’s learning, rude behaviour, negative choices, not showing our school values in an unkind way.

In class 4 if a child has to move their name down and it is still there at the end of the day they lose 5 minutes of the Golden Time on a Friday afternoon. It is important that children understand that their actions have consequences and we tend to see an improvement in behaviour when children realise this…

Children always get a verbal before their name is first moved down. Then if their behiour continues to be disruptive they are given a 5 minute time out within the classroom or in another nearby class to think about their actions and have some time to reflect on their choices. Occasisionally in extreme cases a child will be moved down to red alert, it doesn’t tend to be a common occurrence but if this happens their parents will be contacted and we will explain what has happened for their child to be on this tier of behaviour.

We put a real focus on the positive behiour in class 4 and children can move their name up throughout the day for a good working attitude, showing kindness or other school values, attitude and effort and many other reasons. It is great that a child can alter their a choices throughout the day and they see that just because your name was moved down for one thing you do have the opportunity to get it moved up for better choices later in the day. Children also receive 2 house points for moving their name up to super star and this adds a real team spirit within the class.

My favourite bit of our behaviour chart is exclusive to year 1 as we have a higher positive tier after super star material. The name of this changes every term depending on our topic and parents and children have always responded positively to this. At the moment it is called “Awesome Astronaut” and not only does the child earn 5 house points for getting on this, they also get a certificate to take home. So they have a real sense of team reward and individual reward. Children get so excited when they get on to this and really strive to be on it! We even began introducing s higher level which means the child gets a sticker added to their certificate. This is currently called “being out of this to world” in relation to our space and alien topic.

The key to all behiour management systems is consistency and reward and consequence. The children in class 4 know never to ask to move their name up, this reward has to be earned and valued… They also know exactly when they have made a choice that means their name will have to be moved down…

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Hopefully you will see and hear about the success of your child throughout the year and I am always so proud in how they grow throughout the year. We keep a record of the children who move their name down each week and we find that as the terms move on this gets less and less which is super to see children developing and making positive choices throughout the school day.

 

 

 

Term 1 isn’t even over yet and we just can’t stop learning!

What fun and excitement we have had in the first five weeks! Year 1 are beginning to transition and adapt to their new classrooms and a new way of learning and it has been super! We have been lucky mostly with the weather and been able to learn and play in our year 1 garden a lot of the time. It has been great to see so many children learning to share and take turns and this ties in with our value this term that is cooperation. 

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In maths we have been working on recognising numbers and showing their value in different ways. Look at all the amazing ways we can show numbers and the different equipment we are learning to use.

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We have ordered numbers to 10 and even higher and also stretched ourselves by having to think of missing numbers and how we know that number is missing…

We also showed how we could represent those numbers and their value by using the squares in our book, one square per number and we noticed it made steps in our book getting bigger and bigger as the number got bigger.

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We looked at number bonds and how to make 10 using a ten frame. These were a bit tricky to draw but we soon got the hang of it! We stretched ourselves by having to prove our work and show we knew how we got to that answer.

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We have also had a bit of fun by dressing up as superheroes for the day! This was because superheroes have to show they can face anything, even if it’s scary and new and that’s what we are learning to do at school.

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Miss cosh made us go for a long run around the field dressed as super heroes and it was so funny having our capes billowing out behind us as we ran! We tried out our super hero poses as we ran and kept going even when we were getting a bit tired! After all, a superhero can’t stop just cus he’s tired!!

With all this fun and learning we even had time to develop our fine motor skills! Have you heard of Dough Disco? No? Well it’s amazing!! We have a warm up video which is super quick and we have to squeeze and push and roll a piece of play dough.

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Then Miss Cosh puts on some music and we can sing along and create a picture out of our play dough. We have until the song ends to finish it. Miss Cosh played “under the sea” from the little mermaid so we all created things we might find in the ocean, like mermaids or fish or ships! It was great fun and a real work out for our fingers!

Can you believe all that we have done in Year 1 in just a few weeks?! It’s amazing!

Year 1 will certainly be ready for half term soon!

One proud and tired teacher, 30 smiley and sleepy children!

 

A new year…

With the Summer holidays whizzing by its that time of year again where we welcome a new class …

It it is always a lovely time getting to know your new students and this year is no different.

As well as getting to know 30 new children, you also have to learn all the new faces of parents, grandparents, child minders etc and it is a whirlwind to get your head around. But it is so nice, at the end of the day, seeing all the smiling parents waiting to see their children again after a long day of school….

So many have said to me how tired their children are and I don’t blame them! They have been working super hard in class 4 this week and sharing so many wonderful stories about their summer holidays. We have used this as inspiration for create some wonderful writing, role play ideas and some super creative arts and crafts. I am always impressed at how quickly the children settle back in to a routine…

The writing in year 1 is wonderful and the children were clearly working very hard on establishing the correct pencil grip whilst in reception. This is so important and fine motor development is key to creating a strong writing style and having stamina when writing. It is evident how hard the reception team worked at this and I am really excited to introduce the children to cursive writing. It is so much easier to do cursive if you have a good pencil grip, so watch this space with our writing in year 1…

 

A new term

Wow what a crazy and exciting first week back!?

Mrs Hughes and I had been busy plotting and planning all EASTER and on Tuesday we finally got to share with our Year 1 children our new topic of Circus! Although, with our brightly decorated classrooms and corridors, most managed to guess pretty quickly…

We let the children lead our learning and they have “planned” out some amazing ideas, including learning about:

  • money, shape and time in maths
  • ticket making and persuasive writing in literacy
  •  balancing, gymnastics and circus skills in PE
  • Using ICT to create posters 
  • and to really finish the topic with a BANG they decided we should put on our very own St James’ Circus!! So watch this space…

The very next day we had an amazing treat of getting a circus performer in to teach us some key skills! He was amazing and using our iPads we got some great slow motion videos of how to perform some super acts… Within half an hour of finishing the majority of class 3 and 4 were in our Year 1 garden practicing what they had just leant. Mrs Hughes and I were amazed at such a sudden focus and development in gross and fine motor skills, as well as coordination and reflexes.

On Wednesday after we were getting sporty with house football on the junior playground. All houses played brilliantly and Mrs Pullen was really impressed with the skill shown by some of our Year 1s. She also commented on how supportive all the children were during every match, which is wonderful to be credited on. 

Throughout the week we have been super busy glazing all 60 of our clay penguins that we made last term. These take a long time to do and you really need to build up the layers of paint to end up with a professional end result. Every child has taken their time and concentrated  brilliantly whilst doing this. It’s a difficult and careful task to undertake, but they really prove what you can achieve with some focus. Loads of parents have popped in during the week to help which has been lovely and means we can get through so many more. We think they will appreciate just how long a process clay work is, but we think it is worth it as they really will look fantastic once complete.

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Explorer Day

Wow! What a day we had on Tuesday!! It was incredible!

Year 1 were learning about explorers, mainly our local hero Edward Wilson and we celebrated all we know by having a whole theme day about Scott and the team and their Antarctic Expedition.

We started the day with a guest speaker from The Wilson Gallery in Cheltenham, Sophie Williams. She shared all her knowledge about Edward Wilson, including his early life in the Victoria Era and his many jobs and skills. Did you know he had three professions?! He was a scientist, a painter and a doctor…

Sophie also shared with us some of the equipment similar to that which Scott and the team would have used in their expedition. What was really cool was that we got to also try on some of these items!!

Year 1 were extra lucky as after play time we went with Mrs Cottrell in to Forest School. We had some hot chocolate and marshmallows to keep us warm (this is authentic, we promise!) Then we got to make dens and try and shelter from the freeeeeezing polar wind that would have affected all the men whilst trecking the Antarctic.

The afternoon was just as fun filled as we split in to groups and did a carousel of activities.

We used junk modelling to recreate some vital equipment that every explorer would need including: binoculars, flags, ice picks, sledges… It was super fun and Miss Ladley is always great at helping us get creative and a little bit messy.

We split in to teams and using the PlayPod we recreated a fun and dangerous treck across the polar expanse, racing our way along the ice sheets. The challenge was, only two people in each team could touch the ground. We had to think of imaginative ways to get across the playground to reach The South Pole. Have a look at just some of our methods!

We were also treated to an exciting talk from a real polar expert. Mr Hughes shared with us all his incredible knowledge about Edward Wilson and what it takes to survive as an explorer. He really knew his stuff and it was super to pick his brain with our questions and discussions.