Welcome to Squirrel Class
Welcome to Squirrels, our Year 1 class. Miss Douglas is our class teacher and Ms Portwain is our teaching assistant. We have a very exciting year ahead of us! This page will be updated regularly with photos and news of all of our amazing learning.
Our PE days are Monday and Thursday. Indoor PE will be on Mondays so children will change into their PE kits at school. Outdoor PE will be on Thursdays so children will need to come into school in PE kit please.
Copies of our yearly overview, Maths Medium Term Planning and Topic Web as well as information about home learning can be found on our curriculum class page by clicking here.
Please check your child's book bag regularly. The children will receive a new decodable colour book every Friday as well as a book that they have chosen to read for pleasure.
Our PE days will be changing in Term 5.
From Monday 17th April our outdoor PE day will be a Tuesday. Children will only need to come into school wearing their PE kit on a Tuesday.
Welcome to an exciting new term in Squirrels! We hope everyone had a lovely relaxing break. This term our topic focus is History. We will be learning all about three famous queens of England - Elizabeth I, Victoria and Elizabeth II. This will link to our English topic which is all about a fantastic book called 'The Queen's Knickers'!
In Science this term we have been asking the question 'What is it like to be human?'. This week we conducted a series of experiments based around our senses! The children were thinking very scientifically and asking lots of questions about their senses. We had a taste experiment where we wanted to find out if we could taste even when we cannot smell or a see, a touching experiment using a feely bag and a sight experiment to find out if we see better with one eye or two.
In Art we have been exploring colour! We have learnt all about the colour wheel and how we mix primary colours to make secondary colours. Then we experimented with mixing colours and made our very own artwork as a class in the style of Kandinsky!
We've had a fantastic week celebrating the King's Coronation. We have done loads of fun activities like coronation collages, making our own crowns and writing questions for the new king. We even learnt to sing God Save the King and had a lovely party with cakes!
The children have been making so much progress in their Maths recently. We have been learning all about 2 digit numbers and the children can partition them into tens and ones and even solve equations about them!
We are doing Indoor Athletics in PE this term. We started the week by practicing some of the key skills we will need - jumping from two feet to two feet, leaping, skipping and chest passes. The children tried really hard!
Welcome back to another exciting term in Squirrels class. Our topic this term is 'Our Amazing World'. We will be learning all about the different continents. If you have travelled to another country we would love to hear all about it and maybe see some pictures!
In RE this term we are learning all about the Christian story of Easter. We have learnt the different moments from the story, sequenced them and sorted them into happy and sad moments.
In Computing this term we are learning all about programming. We have learnt that an algorithm is a set of instructions we give to a computer. We practiced giving specific algorithms to each other - exact instructions using pictures to copy a lego structure. We learnt that we had to be very specific with our instructions and make them step-by-step so that our partner could follow them.
In DT this week we continued to experiment with our moving pictures. This time we used split pins to make moving parts. The results were fantastic!
With the weather starting to improve, we are hoping to spend lots more time outdoors this term. We started off our Science topic, 'Plants' by learning about the structure of a flower. We then went on a nature walk to find all the different features we had learnt about, including stems, roots and leaves.
In English, we went on an Antarctic expedition around the playground . This will help to inspire us to write our very own diary entries of a polar adventure later this term.
In DT, we experimented with making moving pictures so that we will be able to make a moving picture for our diary entry at the end of term. We started with sliding pictures. They turned out so well and we were really proud of ourselves!
World Book Day!
The children showed off their creative skills with their amazing wooden spoons decorated with their favourite characters. We had a lovely day celebrating our love of reading by making book marks, sharing stories and even dancing to the story of 'The Enormous Crocodile'!
Welcome back to another exciting term in Squirrel class. Our topic for this term is Travel and Transport where we are learning all about the history of transport.
We had a very fun and busy Resourceful Day this week. We learnt all about what it means to be resourceful, such as helping our friends, using things to help ourselves and persevering with tasks. We had lots of tricky tasks to try, including building a tower out of spaghetti and marshmallows, building a bridge to support our Bossy Badger toy and recreating a picture with lots of different colours using only red, blue and yellow paint. I was so impressed at how hard all the children worked. Then we thought about our school motto, 'Learn, achieve, grow: together', and created a beautiful puzzle together to showcase how we can learn and grow as a team. In the afternoon, we had lots of fun doing teambuilding activities and playing mini golf. The golf was quite difficult but we kept trying and really enjoyed it!
In English this week we have been learning about bossy verbs in preparation for writing our very own instructions for how to make a paper plane. We used bossy verbs to give each other instructions to make a jam sandwich. We enjoyed being very bossy!
In Indoor PE this term we have been doing some fun Pirate-themed fitness activities, including scrubbing the deck, picking up coconuts, searching for treasure and climbing the rigging! We have been thinking about how exercise is good for our bodies and how we feel after exercise.
This week in Maths we have been learning about odd and even numbers. We can now sort numicon shapes into groups of odd and even, count in evens/odds and recognise odd and even numbers - even really big ones!
We finished off our DT project which was linked to our Science learning about UK animals. I was blown away by the children's sewing abilities. Their hand puppets of UK animals were absolutely fantastic!
We did three amazing performances of our Nativity this week. The children sang beautifully and looked so amazing in their costumes. We were very proud of them!
We have had a very exciting week getting in the Christmas spirit! We had a wonderful visit from the Bridge Project about how Christians prepare for Christmas. We were inspired to create beautiful angel pictures to decorate our classroom. We were also very luck to have a visit from Father Christmas!
In PSHE we have been discussing friendship and how important it is to make new friends. We made friendship chains with other people in the class where we thanked each other for all the things we do that make us such good friends. It was so lovely to hear the children talking about their friendships and showing each other so much kindness.
The children have worked so hard this week. It has been quite strange having such a tiny class due to the various bugs travelling around but the children have adapted so well and put lots of effort in! We have been applying our skills with part-part-wholes to bar models and been really successful in our Maths. We have also been learning about physical and human features in Geography and made a map of our school for an alien to us on his visit to us! We have started to learn our Nativity songs so you might hear lots of humming at home now - the songs are very catchy!
In outdoor PE this term we are doing Football! The children have been working hard on their dribbling skills and were ready to start passing this week. They have been trying really hard to use the correct part of their foot to ensure their ball travels the way they want it to.
Squirrels have had a brilliant first week back with lots of smiles despite the wet weather. We were blown away by the children's fantastic Bonfire Night poetry and the children have worked really hard in their Maths lessons where we are learning about part-part-whole models. The children are becoming really confident to find the beat during their Music lessons and are starting to improvise using their instruments!
Our topic this term is 'Where I Live' with a focus on local Geography. Keep checking this page for updates on all of our exciting learning!
All of the Squirrels' amazing hard work this term paid off and they filled their marble jar! We voted to have a movie night as our treat. The children had a lovely time in their PJs having popcorn and watching The Lion King with their teddies.
To finish off our 'All About Me' topic we drew and sculpted self-portraits. The children put lots of time into their artwork which really paid off - the self-portraits are brilliant!
We practiced so many amazing skills on Skilful Day including gift wrapping, shoe lace tying, smoothie making, map reading, maypole dancing and sewing! The squirrels put so much effort into all of the activities and we were very proud of what we achieved.
This week we had a very exciting Computing lesson with the laptops! We learnt how to log in to the computer and click and drag to make shapes in Paint. We made shapes of all different colours and sizes. We can use these skills to learn how to make a picture in our next lesson!
In Maths this week we have practiced our counting in lots of fun ways, including counting using actions, counting objects in different orders and counting accurately by crossing off pictures.
PE - Ball Skills
In PE this term we have been getting better at our ball skills. So far we have been practicing stopping the ball with our feet, dribbling the ball and kicking the ball. This week we used our hands to roll the ball. The children are getting much better at judging how gently or forcefully to roll the ball depending on how far they want it to go!
As part of our 'All About Me' topic we have been learning about how we have changed from baby to now. We had great fun playing our baby Guess Who? game and talking about all the things that have changed about us as we've grown up!
Week 2 - The Bridge Project
This week we had a visit from the Bridge Project. They taught us more about the Creation story and how Christians give thanks to God for creating all the incredible creatures in our world. We then got crafty and created our very own special creatures! The results were amazing and the Squirrels were very proud of their creations.
In RE this term we are learning all about Creation. This week we had a lovely walk around the school grounds, appreciating the everyday wonders of nature. We found lots of beautiful things and clues about the wildlife that has been in our school! We discussed how Christians believe that God created all of these amazing things around us and thought about how Christians might say thank you to God for nature and wildlife.
Remembering Queen Elizabeth II
The children created some beautiful pictures of the Queen today and discussed how they will remember her.
Week 1 - The Three Little Pigs
We have had an amazing first week back and we are so proud of the effort the children have put into their learning They are settling into Year 1 so well.
We had some special visitors in our outdoor area and they left some clues for us! We were detectives and worked out that the Three Little Pigs had built their houses in our outdoor area. We are going to be learning all about the story this term. We had a go at building our own houses for the pigs to live in. We were fantastic builders and the wolf (Miss Douglas) couldn't blow any of them down! We also had a go at acting out the story ourselves. We definitely have some budding actors in Squirrels and laughed very hard when the wolf burnt his bottom!
Only One You
On our transition day, the children created beautiful unique fish. We were inspired by the book 'Only One You' by Linda Kranz and our display shows how we are all unique in Squirrel Class but we still work and 'swim' together as a team.
Welcome to Squirrel Class
2021 - 2022
Welcome to Squirrel Class! We have a very exciting year ahead of us; It is also going to be a very important year with regards to closing any remaining gaps in the children's learning, that were caused by the periods of lockdown.
Please continue to access the home learning, which is attached below. The home learning helps to reinforce the learning that we do at school. Even if it is just 10 minutes a day, it helps your children to feel more confident with their learning at school. We would ask that, when completing Home Learning, the children focus on practicing the reading and spelling lists as a priority.
Please continue reading with your children at home every day, it really is important that they have as many opportunities as possible to read.
Copies of our Long Term Plan, Maths Medium Term Plan and Topic Web can be found on the curriculum class page.
Our outdoor P.E. day is on a Tuesday so P.E. kits to be worn to school on a Tuesday please. Our indoor P.E. day is on a Wednesday but children are to come to school in school uniform please.
Emergency School Closure or Self-Isolation Home Learning
These grids are to be used to access learning activities when self-isolating or absent from school, whilst well enough and able to undertake learning.
There are five days of learning activities on each grid. Each grid should provide a full weeks worth of learning, if required. There is no obligation to complete all of the learning. Please access and use this resource as required.
Free Airshow @ St Nicholas
This week we had not one, but two private air shows at St Nicholas.
Just after break time, on two consecutive days, the skies over the school erupted in a cacophony of roaring T-50 jet engines and red, white and blue smoke trails. The children (and staff) were so excited and enthralled by the daring aerobatics of the eight Black Eagles. It was a real treat and one that could certainly not be ignored.
Child Initiated Learning - Aerospace Engineering
This week we had a special request from one of our Squirrels, to build a space rocket. Construction of the rocket is ongoing and I am pleased to report that the project is currently running within budget. A completion deadline has not currently been set and all efforts are being made to ensure that it is completed within a suitable time frame. Our budding Aerospace Engineers have been hard at work this week reinforcing the fuselage and ensuring that it is suitably insulated to withstand the extreme temperatures and forces associated with space flight. We will keep you updated as the project progresses.
Under the Sea Collage
This week we finished off our under the sea collage pictures. Last week we used watercolour paints to create some beautiful sea coloured paper. This week we tore the coloured paper into strips, mixed the strips all up and layered them to create an underwater picture. As a finishing touch we cut out and stuck on some characters to add to our underwater scenes.
The Elves and the Shoemaker
This term our Story Making and writing will be based on the traditional tale of 'The Elves and the Shoemaker'.
This week we had a visit from the Shoemaker, which allowed the children to ask questions and get to know more about the characters and the story.
Kwik Cricket Part II
This week we continued with our Cricket training and I am pleased to report that our hit rate has significantly improved. I am also pleased to report that there has been a significant reduction in cricket related injuries. (Which is surprising considering that most of the children have a tendency to wield their cricket bats like they are trying to score a home-run in a baseball game!)
We now need to work harder on our fielding skills because the balls are being hit further and it takes rather a long time to retrieve them.
Summer must be here, as the cricket season has started at St Nicholas School. Squirrel Class have got off to an excellent start, but I don't think the English Cricket Team have anything to worry about just yet! I did see a couple of the squirrels actually hit the ball, which was impressive. I also witnessed a few direct hits on the wickets, both with the ball and also the bat.
Kandinski Trees (Art) 28/04/2022
This week we created some Kandinski style trees using crayons/pastels and we also painted our own class Kandinski abstract picture.
Happy Easter Everyone
Mr. Waddington took his 'bravery pills' and let the children loose with paint. The children painted beautiful Easter Eggs. It went really well, with limited spillages and mess!
The Bridge Project - Sounds of Easter
This week we were visited by the Bridge Project. The bridge ran a special Easter workshop called 'The Sounds of Easter'. We learnt about the main events in the Easter Story and created sound effects to accompany the narrative. We waved palm leaves, broke crackers, dropped pieces of wood, knocked coconut shell halves together and marched in a bowl of gravel, all to create sound effects from the Easter story.
We've had a wonderful day at the farm and the weather couldn't have been better. The children thoroughly enjoyed the day and made us all proud!
Nature Mandalas (With Hedgehog Class). Making art out of nature and natural materials.
This week we added an extra Geography lesson to our topic learning. We learnt lots of facts about Poland and we learnt about the Wieliczka Salt Mine. You can find lots of information about the Wieliczka Salt Mine at the official website, https://www.wieliczka-saltmine.com/. I will be adding it to my bucket list!
We also made some Polish flags, and learned some Polish phrases.
Maths - Money
This week we have been learning about money and the value of coins. Children have been learning to recognise and know the value of different denominations of coins. Children have been using their knowledge of place value to match coins with equivalent values. For example, ten 1 pence coins is equivalent to one 10 pence coin.
Key questions that the children should be able to answer when working with coins:-
How can you organise a set of coins?
How can you sort a set of coins?
What is the value of each coin? How do you know?
How many 1 pence coins will you need to make 2 p? 5 p? 10 p? 20 p? 50 p? 1 pound?
How many 1 pound coins will you need to make 2 pounds?
Safer Internet Day 2022 (08/02/2022)
Today was Safer Internet Day 2022. We read a story about Digiduck and what happened when he played an online game on a tablet, and accidentally ran up a long list of in-game purchases. The story also covers the importance of keeping passwords private and choosing passwords that cannot be easily guessed.
The link for the page and the story is below.
We talked about who you should talk to if you are not sure about something that pops up in a game and more importantly, who you should talk to if something pops up on the internet and it upsets you. The children drew pictures of the people they would talk to or go to for help if something worried them or upset them online.
Please find the link to the 'Internet Safety' page of our school website below. There you will find lots of useful information and links.
Awe and Wonder - Paper Aeroplanes
This week in 'Topic' we explored the development of flight. We looked at:-
* the first hot air balloon
* the first successful flight by the Wright brothers
* the first helicopter
* the first passenger plane
* the development of the space shuttle
We placed these significant events in chronological order on a timeline.
We then carried on with the theme of flight in our Science learning, and spent the afternoon making and testing Paper Aeroplanes.
The Bridge Project
The bridge project came in this week to talk to us about how Christians get ready for Christmas, and why advent is important to Christians. Squirrel class showed off their fantastic knowledge of advent and the nativity story, providing some incredibly insightful and knowledgeable answers.
The workshop centered around the Christian advent wreath and the significance of the 5 candles.
Art and Design
This week we had lots of fun making potato prints.
Mr. Waddington cut some potatoes into Christmas themed shapes and the children used them to print their own patterns and designs.
The idea is that our printed designs could be used as wrapping paper for presents at Christmas.
This might be a nice craft idea to do with the children at home, to make some presents that little bit more personal.
Children in Need 2021
Squirrel Class raised £24.70 towards Children in Need. We learnt a little bit about what Children in Need is and we took part in some Children in Need themed activities in the afternoon.
This week for our Art learning, we learnt how to do Lino Printing. We drew a design into the surface of a polystyrene tile and used a special printing ink and a roller to print our design onto paper. The results were very effective.
The Three Little Pigs
This week we started our 'Talk 4 Writing' story making, which is based on the 'Three Little Pigs'.
On Monday we discovered that some building had been taking place in the KS1 garden. There was a barrow full of straw, a barrow full of sticks and a brick house.
This led us into learning our story making version of 'The Three Little Pigs'.
Art and Design
This term we are learning about different printing techniques.
This week we have made pictures and patterns by printing with our fingers, using primary colours.
We have also made some beautiful fireworks pictures by printing using straws and pipe cleaners.
We had a fantastic Aspirational Day on Wednesday (03/11/21).
We took swabs of surfaces and objects around the classroom and spread them onto agar jelly in petri dishes to see if we could grow some bacteria. (As of Friday we had some very promising bacteria colonies growing). Yuck!
We had a very interesting talk from Mrs. Williamson and Mrs. Holtby about working within the fields of Science.
We experimented with making paper bridges in a STEM activity session. We explored the strength of cylinders, triangles and corrugation.
To end the day we had a fantastic science show, where we learn lots of fun science facts!
On Monday we had our first Resourceful curriculum day. In Year 1 we have been focusing on being resourceful by showing perseverance, kindness and independence.
Our first activity was making Gingerbread People out salt dough. This took perseverance to get it to look how you want it, despite the sticky dough getting on your hands. It also required kindness because we had to share some of the tools and equipment. We also had to be independent and make them all on our own.
(See the photos of the finished gingerbread people in the photo reel)
Our second activity was to make up and play games using marbles. The rules of the marble games were:-
1. Everyone starts with 10 marbles
2. You have to be fair
3. There can be more than one winner
4. You win by giving me 100 marbles
After playing games for quite some time the children realised that they were a long way off from getting 100 marbles and it was unlikely anyone would win. It was then explained to the children that if they got together into groups of ten and gave me all of their marbles they could all have won.
For our third activity we played games with counters/tiddlywinks. The children had to work independently to get their counters into the circle on the sheet. They had to persevere until they managed it. They had to show kindness and give each advice on the best techniques.
For our fourth activity we had to try and work out how you can cut a tiny loop of paper to make it big enough to wriggle through. After some very creative suggestions and ideas the solution was finally revealed. The loop of paper must form an infinity loop (Mobius strip) and when you cut it down the middle, all the way around, it creates a larger loop; and every child in squirrel class was able to wriggled through it.
Our fifth and final activity was to play the fun, but sometimes frustrating, game of snakes and ladders. Just when you think that you are ahead and going to win, you land on a snake and slide back down the board. This was a true game of perseverance, kindness and independence. Play to win, take it in turns, persevere and be happy for the winner.
Week 7 - PE Yoga
This week for indoor PE we continued with our Jungle themed yoga story. We learnt two new positions this week and practiced all of the positions we have learnt so far. Ask the children to show you some of the positions at home.
Week 6 - Physical Education
This week we have been working on our under-arm and over-arm throwing skills. We warmed up with a quick game of bridges and after that we played a really fun game with hula-hoops and tennis balls.
The children's accuracy when throwing a ball is improving, as you can see in the photographs.
Week 5 - Planting Daffodils
On Thursday the children planted some daffodil bulbs in the ground to the left of the main school gate. We know that we won't see any flowers for a little while, but we cant wait to see them emerge and bloom in the spring.
Sorry about the mud! :)
Week 5 - Music Learning
This week we started our music lessons. Our music lessons are based on a 'Hip-Hop' song called "Hey You!" by Joanna Mangona. 'Hey You!' is an Old-School Hip Hop tune written especially for children to learn about the differences between pulse, rhythm, and pitch and to learn how to rap and enjoy it in its original form.
As well as learning to sing, play, improvise and compose with this song, children will listen and appraise other Old-School Hip Hop tunes.
This week, after some fun warm-up exercises, we learnt how to find the pulse and began to learn the song.
Hey, you! What you gonna do?
I'm gonna clap some rhythms.
Hey, you! What you gonna do?
I'm gonna sing some songs.
Hey, you! What you gonna do?
I'm gonna play my instrument.
Hey, you! What you gonna do?
I'm gonna keep the pulse.
Week 4 - Harvest
On Friday, we harvested our crop of carrots that we planted when we were in Badgers. Most of the carrots were quite small, but a few were really large. We enjoyed comparing the sizes of our carrots.
Week 4 - Year 5 Afternoon Visit
On Thursday afternoon the Year 5 children joined Squirrel Class in the KS1 garden to play games and listen to readers. It was wonderful to listen to the squirrels reading to the Year 5 children. The Squirrels certainly seemed to enjoy having the attention of bigger children.
Week 3 - The Bridge Project
This week we had a visit from the Bridge Project (https://www.the-bridge.org.uk/), who came in to talk to us about creation.
We discussed the Christian belief that God created the world and all living things. The children went on to create their own unique creatures using Play-Dough and craft materials.
Week 2 - Squirrel Class Art Display
Topic - 'All About Me'
All of the children coloured in a fish, as brightly and as uniquely as possible. We then arranged the fish in a shoal formation on the wall. This display signifies that all of the children in squirrel class are the same, in that they are all year 1 children (the shoal) and they are all equal, but they are also individuals who are different and unique (the fishes).
Unfortunately not the ones with chocolate chips.
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