Welcome to Fir Class
Hello everyone! It's Mrs Underwood here! I am so happy to be teaching in Fir class this year! I wanted to say hello and introduce myself!
I have been teaching for 21 years and I still LOVE being a teacher! It is my passion! I am SO lucky to have been given the chance to work at Churchfield for this year. Year 1 is my absolute favourite year to teach! I started officially in April when things were all very different - but I was able to get to know some of the children and almost all of the super staff! There is such a great team feel at Churchfield and I just know that this is going to be a super year for us all!
Last week was our first week back and I simply could not be prouder and happier. What a great group of children! They haven't stopped smiling and they have also been so helpful and polite around the classroom. I really couldn't ask for more! Last week we were able to talk about new rules and classroom routines. The children know that we need to stay safe. They know that they must be kind and supportive towards others.
Our first theme has been: Leaf
Leaf is a wonderful story all about a polar bear who loses his way due to the ice caps melting. It is a story of friendships and not judging others. The children in Fir class have loved answering questions about the story. We are looking forward to researching cold and hot countries next week.
PE is on a Tuesday and a Thursday for Fir class.
It would be so helpful if you could read every night with your child - it really will boost their confidence and the children can receive special reading rewards if they have read both at home and during their discovery time in school.
I do hope that you got to read your child's first week message on Tapestry. Thank you so much for your support!
I will add to this blog space as often as I can to keep you updated and to show off the wonderful learning projects that your children are involved in!
Summer B - 'Jurassic Giants!'
Hi Fir class.
If you are continuing to work from home please find the days Maths and English tasks by clicking on the stars, all other subjects are in separate subpages please do these any days you wish.
If you need any support I will be checking Tapestry and our class email as often as I can but will respond on Mondays and Wednesdays as these are my days working from home.
Dinosaur quest photos
I hope you are enjoying the Dinosaur quests we have sent home (this can be found, the newsletter, on a weekly email and above in other ideas if you have missed it).
Here are some photos of us completing some of the quests at school and at home. Please do send in your photos and Mrs Mann will update this slideshow regularly. It is lovely for the children to see their friends learning even when we are apart.
Summer A - Oh I do like to be beside the seaside!
Hi Fir class!
Remember you can share your home learning on to Tapestry, I check it every week day so will rely to any questions or concerns too. If you struggle with Tapestry or prefer to email please use the email address I have recently used to email you.
Please do not hesitate to contact me as ever I am here to help!
Our new topic is 'Oh I do like to be beside the seaside'.
Here is a knowledge organiser containing facts and information you will need to learn over this half term.
Home learning Information
Click on the stars it will take you to that days English/phonics or maths which has been set. All other subjects are in a sub page underneath, just click the image. Along side this please remember to keep reading to your child and hearing them read too.
If you would like some more ideas I've kept the other links on our page too, be sure to check them out, keep scrolling down - I've also added a May daily challenge!
Online phonics lessons are available from Letters and Sounds for home and school. New lesson will be uploaded Monday to Friday at the times below I highly recommend you fit these in daily where possible.
10am - Phase 3 and 4 Recap for children who can blend and read words such as ‘fish’ ‘chat’ and ‘rain’. This is good for a recap for any children who need that extra reminder.
10.30am - Phase 5 this is aimed at our current year 1 learning
Please find the link below:
Art from a sentence
Did you listen carefully to the sentence Mrs Mann read from our new story on Monday? Well done if you have created art based on the sentence too. Below is a selection we have been sent in for you to see.
A challenge a day!
Free Marvel comics!
Until Mon 4 May, Marvel Unlimited (its digital comics subscription service) is giving access to a curated selection of comic books completely free – there's no payment required.
You can either read the free comics online via your computer, or on an iPhone, iPad, or Android device via an app. Here's how to swoop in and bag yourself a bargain...
Once you've opened the app, you'll see a red 'Free Comics' button on the landing page (see below) – this button will show all available free comic books for you to enjoy. Simply select a comic to read it.
QR links to stories:
I thought this might be a fun and exciting way to engage with stories. Scan the QR code for the story.
At 6pm GMT Oliver Jeffers (https://www.oliverjeffers.com/books) will be reading one of his books every weekday, and talking about some of the things that went into making it.
Also, Mac Barnett (https://www.macbarnett.com) will be doing the same with his books daily, an hour later.
Daily at 11am David Walliams will be reading one of his ‘worlds worst children’ stories, https://www.worldofdavidwalliams.com be sure to tune!
This a brilliant free website you can access e-books:
Please make sure you record all reading in their reading records.
Need to release some energy?
Have a go at these activities if you need a movement break.
Freebies and further ideas
Home learning for Spring B
While children are not in school, please find below the work we would like them to complete. We will update this page regularly with further work.
Children can also access the following websites to support their learning:
- Spelling shed https://www.spellingshed.com/
I will set a new spelling list every Monday which will be active for a fortnight.
- Times table rock stars https://ttrockstars.com/
- BBC Bitesize KS1 Maths https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/subjects/zjxhfg8
- BBC Bitesize KS1 Computering https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/subjects/zyhbwmn
- BBC Bitesize - Let's explore the UK (Linked to our Geography focus) https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/zyhp34j/articles/z4v3jhv
- BBC Bitesize - plants (linked to our science focus) https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/zpxnyrd
With year 1s phonics screening fast approaching it is vital you help recap and support their phonics knowledge at home. Here are some great free games:
- Phonics games - https://www.phonicsplay.co.uk/Phase5Menu.htm
- Phonics games - https://www.phonicsbloom.com/uk/game/list/phonics-games-phase-5
- Phonics games - https://www.phonicsbloom.com/uk/game/list/phonics-games-phase-4
Do not forget the amazing Numberblocks available on BBC iplayer - https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episodes/b08bzfnh/numberblocks
These shows are an incredible and help deepen children's understanding of number.
While on iplayer be sure to check out an episode or two of Newsround. Its a great starting point to talk about many events at an age appropriate level. https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround
We have printed off a pack of activities for you and they will be available from school.
The current work set for the children can be found below:
(Children know their groups)
Here are a few more ideas to keep little hands and fingers busy and strong! Please remember I regularly update the funky fingers slideshow below, many of these activities are easy to set up at home too.
Here is an interesting science experiment to try at home.
If you have a go ask someone to film you and upload it to Tapestry.
Create a piece of art of a local area. If you need inspiration try the beach, your garden or Apex.
Explore the local area and make a list of the different buildings you can see. (Or buildings you can see from your windows/or local buildings you can recall)
Listen to songs from local artists such as The Wurzles or Somerset Chamber Choir.
Help your child learn their address.
Collect any brochures or leaflets about the local area that you can bring into school and share. If you are unable to leave your house, have a look online and write down some information. Maybe have a go at writing your own list of recommendations of days out!
Explore Apex (or your garden) and collect different leaves from trees and have a go at identifying them.
Recycle materials from home and make a rocket.
Make a fact file about the town where you live.
Alongside this please keep practicing these sight words (reading and spelling) and listening to your child read their reading books as often as possible. Remember it is also vital that your child hears you read as well so grab a cup of tea and biscuits and snuggle down for some quality story time!
In addition, here are some additional ideas for projects that children could complete at home linked to our current learning:
- Listen to Gustav Holst- The Planets and draw how the music makes you feel. Compare the different sections of the music to the drawings, are they different? How are they different? (Linked below)
- Make an instrument out of recycled materials.
- Build, paint or sketch different Somerset landmarks such as The Willow Man, Glastonbury Tor, Weston Pier.
- Find your house on Google maps, can you navigate to somewhere you often go maybe a friends house or the supermarket. Can you find school and navigate back home?
- Play shops with money, we have been working really hard to add coins together to make a total and have started to work out the change, any practice with this at home will be very beneficial.
- Look after some plants or grow seeds at home - a few ideas below. Can you keep a diary of how it grows or draw some pictures of its development.
Spring B - Celebrating where we live - Somerset
Urban or Rural
Our trip to ‘We the Curious’
we loved exploring all the different exhibits.
Thank you to the parent volunteers who helped supervise this trip, without you it could not have happened. If you would like to support us on our next trip dates and information will be available soon.
The Secret of Black Rock (Whole school book focus)
As part of our National Book Week celebrations our school focused on ‘The Secret of Black Rock’. In Fir class we have listened to and learnt the story, created setting descriptions, designed and made puppets to retell the story (a performance will be uploaded soon) and we also created an audio book with a musical element. The entire class took part in this and below is a section of our retell with musical instruments, the children worked hard to group themselves and rehearse the sounds they needed to make and at the correct time. They are so proud of this and we hope you enjoy it too.
Our musical retell (audio book) The Secret of Black Rock
We really enjoy doing our funky finger sessions every morning. They are very easy to recreate at home here are just a few ideas to inspire you. Any activity to make our finger muscles work hard help us to become wonderful writers.
We also planted our own seeds and wrote instructions of the process including time connectives (first, next, then, after that, and finally).
Bob the man on the moon
Story bots video about Earth
Home challenges and information about Spring B
Spring A - How has life changed?
February half term home challenges
Year 1 are doing so well with their phase 5 phonics and have made huge progress over the last half term. Please can you try to complete these activities over the half term week to keep their letters and sounds knowledge firmly in their minds.
Thank you for all your support over this half term especially those who brought in homework for our display about ‘How has life changed’. We will issue the next set of home challenges linked to our new topic ‘Celebrating where we live’ during the first week back.
Have a lovely holiday and we look forward to seeing you all on Monday 24th February.
Year 1 team
Home learning challenge - Phase 5 Phonics
This week we have studied the street artist Banksy and compared him to Lowry our focus artist from the past. We were fascinated to find out Banksys identity is a mystery. Lots of us knew Bristol was a nearby city and some of us were able to recall visit to Bristol. We spoke about graffiti and we had a discussion around if Banksys work is art or if it is vandalism which prompted some very interesting debates and we spoke about graffiti and vandalism in Highbridge. Nevertheless we really enjoyed Banksy art and were interested to trial street art for ourself. We practiced writing our name on brickwork paper and had a go and copying some of Banksys famous pictures on to ‘walls’. We also produced a collaborative piece of art using black paint to paint figures on to brickwork wall paper.
Results of our bread experiment
Here are the results of our hand washing/bread experiment. We were fascinated (and disgusted) by the mould that had developed on the bread. This experiment really helped us to see the germs that could be living on our hands and reinforced the importance of hand washing.
Mastering measurement and number bonds
This week we have recapped our number bonds to ten and twenty as well as moving on to measurement. We have measured length and height using non standard units, and are becoming confident with ordering, estimating and comparing different lengths.
Washing our hands, Dental hygiene and Exercise
As part of our Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) topic we are looking at keeping ourselves healthy.
Our focus today was hand washing, we carried out an experiment with bread, one slice was only touched by gloves so it is clean, one slice was passed around the circle and touched by lots and lots of little hands and once slice of bread was rubbed on our carpet. We then predicted what would happen to the bread. Many of us thought all the bread would go mouldy but some of us thought the bread with the most mould will be the one that went on the carpet. We’ve stuck the bags of bread on our door and are excited to look for any changes over the week.
We also sang ‘this is the way we wash our hands’ to help us wash our hands really well and for a reasonable length of time and reminding us to use soap! We are also going to see the effects of soap and the correct procedure that doctors and nurses use to wash their hands.
Be sure to check back as we will post updates about our bread experiment.
Hot seating - Snowman
Under the winter sun
We then focused our English work around the stop motion animation ‘Under the winter sun’.
Please watch the animation at home with your child.
When we were first introduced to this animation we only watched the first five seconds and then needed to write about what we saw and what we thought would happen next.
Next we watched the entire animation and made a class shared story, we also each created a story map based around our shared story.
Alongside this we also investigated snow and made a bank of interesting adjectives (describing words) linked to our scenes that we’ve started to use in our written work.
This week we have studied the artist L.S.Lowry a famous English artist. We were inspired by his art to create our own. This week we concentrated on the buildings and background we noticed that Lowrys art is very straight so we developed our ruler skills whilst creating our art. This was a very challenging skill but one we persevered well at and most children were able to use rulers independently during the art lesson. If you could practice this skill at home it really helps with your child's presentation in school. Next we will paint our pictures before adding on people and finally any other relevant details.
Check back to keep up to date with our progression with this project.
We studied the 80s, we spoke about big hair, some interesting fashion including leg warmers! We were excited to find out Ghostbusters the movie is an 80's movie that many of us knew and E.T.
This week we focused on the vocabulary of 'past and present' and sorted toys, transport and technology into past or present categories. Please reinforce this language with us at home.
We are really enjoying our dance session each week and this week learnt some iconic MJ moves and preformed to Thriller! A video will be uploaded soon.
Stories from different decades
We still love our voting station in Fir class and each week we have had the choice of two books from our focus decade.
So far the winners have been:
60s- The Tiger that came to tea (1968)
70s- Don't forget the bacon (1976)
'The Tiger that came to tea' was a familiar and much loved tale to many. However 'Don't forget the bacon' was an unknown text to all but they really enjoyed it. It sparked a conversation about going to the shops without an adult and how times has changed and as well as an important reminder about 'stranger danger'.
This week we have focused on the 70's. We listened to Abba classics while we practiced and performed our 1970s inspired dance routine in PE. We loved doing this and this week Mrs Mann challenged us to make our performances even better by adding a starting position to our routine.
We spoke about VHS's going on sale and how many televisions now showed coloured television. We compared black and white and coloured images, we then attempted to draw our own. Some of us brought in Monopoly games from home during our green time as we learnt this was a popular game in the 70's.
We have started to receive some fantastic homework challenges and it is great to see how you are helping your children to understand changes in living memory and many are excited to discover their family tree. Thank you!
This week we focused on the swinging 60s. We made flower headbands, painted the peace symbol and talked about how we could be peaceful in our mindfulness sessions. We enjoyed play ker-plunk and mouse trap which were very popular in the 60s.
We listened to 60's music and discussed popular icons such as The Beetles, Elvis and many more. We spoke about popular films and TV shows such as James Bond and Doctor Who.
We learnt 60's inspired dance moves such as 'the pony', 'Fosse hands', 'the twist' and the very popular 'chicken head'. We then worked in small groups to create a short dance piece to preform to the rest of the class. This was our first time doing this and we worked so well in our groups listening to each others ideas. We are very excited to do this again next week inspired by the 70's.
How has life changed.
Our new topic for this half term is ‘How has life changed’.
Over the next few weeks we will be learning all about different decades.
One of focus text is ‘Major Glad, Major Dizzy’. The story of two wooden toy soldiers who observe the passing of time from 1870 to the present day. From this we discussion important historical events and predicted how we envisioned our future. The characters from our story inspired us in DT to design and make our own characters from wooden pegs and create stories featuring our characters in English.
In maths we are focusing on place value and counting in multiples of 2s,5s,10s then we will be moving on to measurement before we break for half term.
Please find attached the letter recently sent home giving you a further information from the term including homework challenges.
Autumn B - Gojetters
This term we have been using the GoJetters to help us with our learning quest.
We received the GoJetters suitcase which they had lacked with the wrong items, we wrote to the GoJetters and told them the correct things they needed for their trip to the Himalayas. During their trip we also needed to help them design a hat and make a map holder so in science we investigated and tested a range of different materials and compared their properties.
Next the GoJetters went to Canada and we had to help them learn facts about bears.
Finally they were off to Lapland and we needed to describe Father Christmas to the GoJetters so they could spot him. In Art we have produced stunning art work looking at the different shades of colours to create cold, winters scenes.
Alongside this in maths we have focused on the language found in number stories such as; first, then and now as well as continuing to develop our arithmetic skills with our recall of number bonds.
Autumn A - Once upon a time
We love to read 💚📚
In Fir class not only is our topic of ‘once upon a time’ encouraging us to learn and love stories but we are also growing into enthusiastic readers in our independent learning time. We share stories with friends or look at books independently whenever we can....our reading areas are always busy.
We have phonic phones to help even the most reluctant children to read as well as a voting station which contain two books not related to topic or a focus but simply books to read for pleasure. Every few days we count the votes (using our tens frames) to see which is the winner. We enjoy sharing lots of different books this way and reading simply for the pleasure of reading. Mrs Mann also reads to us by the crackle of firelight sometimes which makes it even more special!
We have a new magazine reading box available on our snack table which is a huge hit. If you have any magazines, catalogs or newspapers you would like to donate Fir class would love to take them off of your hands.
Home work challenges
I’m Stickman, I’m Stickman I’m Stickman that’s me!
We started our fourth story with a wonderful trip to Weston playhouse to watch The Stickman - Live! We were mesmerised by the performance and came back so excited to start our new story focus. We made our own Stickman, we retold the story using a story map, looked for sticks in our forest school area and spoke about the seasonal change from Summer to Autumn. We drew pictures of our own family tree, made boats to float in our water tray like when the Stickman floated out to sea and made sand castles in our sand tray the way the man did during the beach scene of the story. We identified and matched rhyming words from the text and used sticks to make shapes and large art work and worked together to paint a branch to hang things on that we make in class.
The Little Red Hen
We’ve moved onto our third story of the term ‘The Little Red Hen’.
We even had a very special visitor for the morning - our very own Red Hen. We asked lots of questions and were fascinated to observe the hen. We baked our own bread, made a range of art work linked to our story and took part in many other activities to immerse us into the story.
The Three Billy Goats Gruff
Our story focus over the past week has been ‘The Three Billy Goats Gruff’.
We enjoyed learning about different types of bridges and constructing our own over the river in our classroom. We had the opportunity to write a letter to the Toll, make masks, recreate and be inspired by other artist interpretations of Goats, as well as make posters about being kind which we displayed in the corridor. We loved acting out our story in our role play area especially when the last goat sent the troll flying over the bridge with an almighty splash!
The Three Little Pigs
Hello and a warm welcome to Fir Class!
We have had an excellent and exciting start to Year 1 with our ‘Once upon a time’ topic. The children have been enthusiastic and extremely well behaved, learning lots already.
The PowerPoint below should answer all your new year questions, however please feel free to pop in with any queries you may have.
Don't forget to check back here regularly for updates!
We're looking forward to a successful year.
Mrs Mann and Mrs Lukins