A typical week in Year 1
As it was the last week before the Half Term holiday, it was the perfect time for the children to demonstrate their learning. This is a progress check carried out by all, giving the children a chance to shine.
Small groups of two to four had a range of practical apparatus, Numicon, number-lines, 100 squares all available, which the children are familiar with using on a daily basis. Meanwhile the rest of the class enjoyed time in continuous provision, challenging their own learning, revisiting symmetry with paint, or completing an independent weekly challenge.
Outdoor Wild Learning School (OWLS)
Year 1 children enjoy the opportunity to visit the School Woods on a fortnightly basis with our OWLS Teacher. Today we were enriching our learning in Science about seasonal change. We started in the new lodge and then went hunting for signs of autumn, identifying the leaves we found.
The children excitedly gather the resource boxes and set themselves up ready for ‘Dough Gym’ and ‘Funky Fingers’. The class works in two small groups and carry out their task for one week. The aim is to improve their performance over five days.
The pop music begins and the children excitedly get straight to work. This week’s Funky Finger task is to attach paperclips together; it is a wonderful way to hone fine motor skills.
Within the box are three levels of difficulty this week. We have named them the ‘Hot Chilli Challenge’, ‘Medium Chilli Challenge’, and the ‘Mild Chilli Challenge’! The Dough Gym routine involves gross motor; large scale moves as well as resistance exercises and arm muscle work. All this daily exercise is having a positive impact on our handwriting and cutting skills.
The minibus collects Maple class for their weekly swimming lesson at the Senior School. The swimming teacher, supported by two qualified lifeguards in the pool and one on poolside teaches the children at their own level to practice their backstroke and breathing for front crawl.
The children enjoy a game at the end of their session called “Go Fishing” (collecting sinking fish from the bottom of the pool). Maple Class love to sing Ten Green Bottles as we wait on the step outside for the minibus. They are so good at counting backwards now!
Visit to Langham Glass
Year 1 visited Langham Glass for the morning to support our learning in Science on Materials. What a fantastic time we had!
The children gained first-hand experience of how the raw materials were transformed into various objects and each made a pressed candleholder, selecting which shape and colour they wanted.
We cannot wait for them to arrive at school tomorrow once they have been cooled! After a wonderful morning, we arrived back to school in time for a picnic on the lawn.
Our weekly visit to the library takes place this afternoon, when the children relish the chance to browse the wonderful collection of fiction and non-fiction books alone or with their friends.
They choose a book to take home to share, which they then return each week. We also share stories 1-1 with the teacher and then enjoy a whole class story.
We have now finished our weaving and are all very proud of our results! It is time to evaluate what we have done, two stars (we are proud of) and one wish (for next time). We complete our evaluations.
The children gather the boxes and quickly get ready for ‘Dough Gym’ and ‘Funky Fingers’; their independence is wonderful to see.
The music begins and the children excitedly get work once more. As the music finishes, I hear: “Yeeees, I beat my score from yesterday!”, from the Funky Fingers group – self-motivation, challenge and fine motor skills all in one!
Meanwhile the Dough Gym group have followed the routine with more control and pace than yesterday. They tidy up and pack away the resources ready for tomorrow.
Letters and Sounds
We have speed sounds to start us off today, revisiting all of the sounds taught so far this term. We practice recognising them and blending them to read words. We work to recall the new sounds introduced yesterday and have fun playing a game to practice reading our high frequency sight words.
The children enjoyed learning some new songs today with our specialist music teacher. Although it seems a long way off they are getting ready for their nativity in December.
Letters and Sounds
Today we practiced spelling this week’s new sounds on wipeboards, using correct letter formation. We then read some flashcards using the focus sounds. We are getting really accurate at identifying special friends and knowing where sound buttons go. One word was extremely long, but as we have learnt to use syllables (‘chin wobbles’) when breaking them down, it was easy!
Once a week we show off our best handwriting in our books. Today, it is the correct formation that we have been practicing on our boards each day.
Sadly, the rain stopped us going out onto the field this morning, but Mr Watson, our specialist sports coach, involved us all in an active lesson in the hall.
We were demonstrating all the skills we have been learning this half term so far, catching, rolling and aiming with balls. We ended the session with an exciting team game!
It is easy to tell the children are half way through the week. The Dough Gym routine was completed more quickly and smoothly! We even managed to get through it one and half times today. We focused specifically on holding our core body really straight and strong when making our moves for maximum impact. The Funky Finger group decided they were ready for the ‘Medium Chilli Challenge’ today, such progress!
We worked through a flipchart, learning about materials and recalling what we had learned about different materials and their properties and where they came from.
After our visit, fresh in our minds from yesterday, the children’s knowledge about glass was amazing. They could recognise where it came from, how it was made and many could describe its uses and properties. Our tea light candles were delivered to school at lunchtime, we are so proud of our special keepsakes.
Reading and Continuous Provision
While I hear the children read individually, the children challenge their own learning.
They are very used to accessing all of the areas within our environment and help themselves to paint, building blocks, writing materials and other items at their disposal.
Letters and Sounds
We played a new online game today where the robot had a real or nonsense word for us to read by identifying the individual sounds. We first spotted the special friends and then used our finger talk to say each sound before blending them together.
Reading, Phonic Assessments and Continuous Provision
As we have reached the end of our first half term in Year 1 it is time to monitor our progress. The Teaching Assistant and I worked with children individually to demonstrate their current understanding. The children enjoyed the 1-1 time and were so proud to see their progress over time, “Look how many more I have now!” exclaimed a child who saw their new highlighted words since September.
Meanwhile, the children accessed the areas within the classroom and an amazing amount of learning unfolded this morning. One child drew a pumpkin picture on the interactive white board, which we printed off. Another suggested it become a puppet. As one puppet was made with the use of a lolly stick, many other children decided to join the learning, soon a whole cast of characters evolved. “We need a theatre”, said one boy. Directly, a team worked together to create a theatre using modelling boxes and loose parts. Meanwhile others began to arrange the viewing chairs.
The children performed the show, which was filmed. We all enjoyed watching it mirrored up onto the interactive white board. What an amazing play that involved teamwork, creativity, performance, art, ICT and language. It was independent, child led, ‘In The Moment Planning’ at its best!
A team of specialist teachers from the Prep School visit each Thursday afternoon to teach all of the classes a wider range of subjects to enhance their curriculum. The children engage in a DANCE session, where they enjoy moving to music and exploring their bodies in an imaginative way.
The children have a music lesson, sometimes in the hall or in the music room with a range of instruments and actions.
It’s circle time and SEAL topics (Social Emotional Aspects of Learning) are explored.
The children have an opportunity to work in the computer suite, using a range of programmes to learn a wide range of skills. Each child confidently operates their own computer.
Specialist language teachers lead fun, interactive sessions where vocabulary is learnt through games, songs and online activities.
Today, sadly, we are at the end of our poetry unit. The children have really enjoyed exploring their senses and expanding their use of language. Today, we completed the work by touching and handling clay to inspire our writing and descriptive phrases.
With the change from summer to autumn and the difference in lighting, the children went outside to investigate shadows.
The children drew around their shadows on the playground at playtime, did so again at lunchtime and again in the afternoon. How on earth had the shadow moved?! We had an amazing discussion with reasoning about the path of the sun!
The children are practicing estimating by making use of the many loose parts we have in our environment. We gathered handfuls and containers to practice making a sensible guess. Learning to group them saved time in our counting. Making 2s, 5s and 10s enabled us to see quickly how accurate our estimations were.
A sports coach, arrives from Prep School to take all of Year 1 out for one of our two weekly PE sessions. The children are learning throwing and catching skills today, and rather good they are too.
Following our visit to St Andrew’s Church in Holt last week, we remembered the signs and symbols of baptism that we saw. The children then made cards for ‘Baby Edward’, our doll who we baptised in the real font as part of a role-play exercise!
School Trip – the end of the week
We have reached the end of a busy and exciting half term and what a great way to end it! We are taking all the children on a trip to celebrate how hard they have worked and to explore, first-hand our local history.
The visit is one of three that will take place during the year to three National Trust Halls that we have named our school Houses after. Today was the turn of Oxburgh, the home of Green House. The coach took us to the Hall where we explored the beautiful garden and went back inside to see the amazing decoration and furnishings.
The children were challenged to locate the seven secret doors and a priest hiding hole, which many children went inside! A picnic in the grounds was followed by a clay activity to imprint and make a letter seal.
We are so lucky to get out into our local area often to enrich our learning in the classroom.