Directions, Directions, Directions

Left, right, forward, back. To the left, to the right, above and below.

In 1AB this week we have been thinking about directions and positional language in many different contexts; from describing pictures to programming Beebots .

In our Computing lesson, we wrote algorithms to programme a Beebot to get from one city in the UK to another. Several children had a chance to try out their algorithms on a large map and decide whether they needed to debug it.

In Maths we have been learning about the language that we use to describe turns and the position of objects in relation to other objects. Some of us went out and directed each other around the snakes and ladders on the playground. This all came in very helpful when we were programming our Beebots. It really was a lot of fun!



Understanding Arrays

Over the past few weeks in maths the children have been introduced to the early skills required for a strong understanding of multiplication and division. Our very first task was to understand and make equal groups and also understand what the opposite ‘unequal’ looks like. Once we had this under our belts we could look at arranging these equal groups into arrays. The children were fantastic at describing images of arrays in terms of the number of rows and the size of the row to their partner who then had to build the same array using blocks.

From these arrays the children have been able to draw out repeated addition to describe what is happening. i.e. 4 rows of 5 will be written as 5+ 5 + 5 + 5

As we have moved onto early division by grouping it has been rewarding to see the children draw on this structural knowledge to be able to describe and show the number and size of groups based on this foundation work.


Happy Easter!

Happy Easter! Have a lovely break and thank you to everyone who very kindly brought me flowers and chocolate. The flowers look beautiful and the chocolate? Well…….. 🙂

We had a great week in 1AB, thinking about what emotions we know and how to recognise them, learning about the difference between capacity and volume, our Easter celebration class reward and of course, our Superhero day when we talked about Autism Acceptance and met The Trummies.

On Friday we thought about emotions. How many could we name and how can we recognise these emotions in others? How should we respond when we see these emotions? We created paper plate mouths  to show different emotions and then tried to show the same emotions with our eyes. Can you guess the emotion from the photograph?


In maths we were exploring the difference between capacity and volume and thinking about why knowing the capacity of a container is important. We started by having a relay race to fill a jug with different sized containers. Who do you think finished first? Why might that be?

We moved onto looking at the language of capacity and volume and then used this knowledge to make comparisons? Does the taller pot always hold more water than the shorter pot? Perhaps you could take a bowl of water out into the garden this holiday and make predictions about which container will hold the most or the least. What will it look like when it is half full? Or nearly empty?


On Monday we celebrated filling our class jar with ping pong balls for good choices by having an Easter afternoon. We made chocolate nests and laid chocolate eggs. We had Easter stories and made Easter bunnies. What a lot of fun!

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And finally….. we mustn’t forget our Superhero day for such an important cause…. raising awareness and acceptance for autism.

If You Go Down to the Woods Today……

Who will you find in the woods today?

Last week the children spent a wonderful day at Testwood Lakes discovering more about the creatures and plants  that live on our doorstep. Thanks to the team there who took us on a fabulous journey where we balanced like squirrels, listened like rabbits, curled up like hedgehogs being chased by a fox and moved along like a mole, each time using different senses or parts of our body to emulate how these animals  survive in the wild.

In the afternoon we moved on to looking at the plant life that exists in our local environment, picking small leaves but being careful not to take from rare or poisonous plants that might be around such as the leaves from the yew tree which are dangerous to animals. If you are not sure then do not touch it. We also had a relay race where the children raced to gather the things that their adult ‘plant’ needed to grow. How many of those things can you remember?

It was a fantastic day of hands-on learning and one that I hope the children will remember for a long time.


Budding Plants

Our Science focus this term has been to look at animals and plants in our local environment. This week the spotlight fell on parts of a plant. We had some fabulous discussions on what parts of a plant the children know and the job that they do.

We explored some poor unsuspecting pansies to find out more about what parts they could identify. Thankfully the pansies are now in recovery in the Year R garden!

Finally we made and labelled our own flowers. When you are out and about this weekend, have a look and see which parts of a plant you can spot easily and which parts are harder to see. How are some plants the same and how are others different?

Enjoy your discoveries!

There’s No Place Like Home

There was a bit of a mystery in 1AB this week when footprints appeared in the classroom over lunchtime. Who could they belong to? The mystery deepened when a second set appeared over night, leading to the cupboard in the classroom. With great trepidation Mrs Brown peered into the cupboard to discover………

A fabulous new book about a mole that is looking for a new home. Perhaps it was the mole that left the footprints in the classroom?

The children set about learning the story using story maps and actions. We talked about the beginning, middle and end of a story and in the end knew it so wll that we were able to put parts of the story map back into the correct order.

In the weeks to come, watch out for some fabulous writing that we will be doing using our knowledge of the story to help us.



Celebrating World Book Day

This week we have been celebrating World Book Day for the whole week! Mrs Templeton has been running a fun competition in the library where the children have been using extracts from favourite books to guess who is hiding in the bags. The children were so quick at this. Sometimes they only needed two or three words to guess correctly! The power of reading familar stories 🙂

In class, and as a school, we explored The Matchbox Diary and the children all brought in items that are special to them that fit inside a matchbox.

We had a lovely time, exploring the images from the book, sharing our special items and writing riddles in our specially made matchbox flipbooks. When you get a chance, come and take a look in your child’s book to see if you can solve their riddle!

One More, One Less – Uncovering the structure of number

Part of the mastery teaching approach to maths that we have adopted in Year 1 and beyond is that all of the children are able to understand the same key concept, teaching the maths in a way that is accessible for all children to grasp. In order to be able to do this we need to break down the maths into tiny steps, often using equipment to expose the structure of the number and concept that we are working with.

All sound a bit confusing? Let me tell you what the children have been learning this week.

Our focus was to understand and find numbers that are one more and one less than numbers up to 50. You might think that children would just need to be able to count on and back but this relies on rote knowledge and we cannot presume that even when children can do this, they fully appreciate what is happening to the number itself.

So, we started by building 2 digit numbers using our Dienes rods which allow us to see how the number is made of tens and ones. Here’s one we made earlier 😊:

Ask any of the children and they should be able to tell you that the number is 46 which is made of ‘four whole tens and six ones’.

Using this structural knowledge, when we want to think about one more, we now know that we are looking at ‘four whole tens and seven ones’ because we are bringing attention to the fact that we have added one more one.  Similarly, when thinking about one less, we know that we will have ‘four whole tens and five ones because we have taken one one away. The children can quite easily then use this explanation to give the correct numerical answers. This strong foundational understanding of how numbers are built will support the children as they move further up through school and work with ever more complex numbers.

Here we are looking at lines on a 100 square and discussing what is happening to the numbers as we move backwards and forwards along the line:



Who Are You Gonna Call?……..GERMBUSTERS!

This week we continued to think about how to keep ourselves healthy with a focus on……germs.

We shared a story and spotted the germs and decide how they could be avoided through good hygiene. We saw how quickly germs could be spread with our glitter germ experiment. All of the children then designed their own germbusting machine, thinking about the features that it would need to beat those pesky germs. What would you include?