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Hawks Class

Class News Autumn Term 2021

17.9.2021

Dear Parents and Carers

Hello and welcome to the very first Penguins Class email of this academic year! I always look forward to writing the fortnightly email so we can share with you all of the things we have been doing in the classroom. Already we have been super busy little Penguins and have covered so much in the first two weeks.

I have to say the children have been absolutely fantastic; settling in brilliantly and adjusting to the routines of Key Stage One. A particularly huge well done to all of the children who have joined us in Year 1 from Reception. You have all been amazing as we know how different it is to what you are used to. However, there have been lots of positive changes for all of the children across the school as we have started the new school year and we, as teachers have been delighted to see this over the last couple of weeks. We have all been able to collect together, almost daily, for whole school assemblies, which has been lovely. We have also been able to use our freshly painted Eatery to eat our packed lunches or hot dinners, which some children have never experienced before. We have been able to mix with other children from across the school, which feels almost ‘normal’ and it has been so lovely to see the school ‘come alive’ again. 

We have so many things to look forward to throughout this half term – our revised curriculum opportunities where children will focus on subject topics; rather than our half termly themes. Over the first half term in Key Stage One we will be learning about the following in our afternoon foundation subjects:

History – Toys: Past and Present

Geography – Going on Safari (focusing on Kenya)

Art – Aboriginal Art

Design and Technology – Moving Mini beasts 

I hope that the children have been coming home and talking about some of the things they have learnt in the classroom already. They particularly enjoyed looking at some old toys that appeared in our classroom. We have even had some come in from home for us to look at, which is great. If you are able to send in any old toys that you used to play with (or grandparents) then we would love to see them.

As you are aware Physical Education is a priority across our curriculum in school so we are pleased to be able to offer two hours of dedicated time for this. One of the sessions will be in your child’s base class (always a Wednesday afternoon) and the other session will be when they are in their Maths groups (due to timetabling the Hall for all of the other classes to be able to use). Hopefully your child came home with a sticker last Friday which detailed their 2nd day of PE. If you are unsure about this then please ask at the end of the day.

The children have been amazing at moving around the Key Stage for different learning opportunities; sometimes moving for Mathematics and Phonics lessons. They are also really organised (mostly) and remember their belongings; water bottles and pencil cases! Pencil cases will be sent home each Friday for checking the contents and sharpening pencils etc so they are ready for the start of the week on a Monday. 

Homework will be set each Friday on Education City with Mathematics and English (or Phonics) activities allocated on alternating weeks. Please can children also be accessing Numbots (Year 1) and TTRockstars (Year 2) as often as possible to support the development of accuracy and fluency with number facts. The children will also be using these daily in school and any support with this at home is greatly appreciated. You will have received information regarding the ‘GoRead’ app which has been launched this week and it’s great that so many of you are using this to log your child’s reading at home. You will also notice that books shared/read in school are also logged on here. We will use the information from the GoRead app to acknowledge when reading has been completed at home in order to change their book in school. This can be done daily if logged by an adult at home. 

Our perfect penguin award has been given to Charlie and Harleigh....well done you two! Handwriting hero and heroine has been awarded to Aaryav and Alicja.

Finally, just to say I am looking forward to working with you, as parents and your children throughout the next year – I think it is going to be a good one! Have a lovely weekend with your families and see you all on Monday morning.

Love from Mrs Hartley, Mrs Braithwaite and Mrs Phillips xxx 

1.10.2021

Dear Parents and Carers,

We have had another fantastic two weeks in Hawks Class. The children have really enjoyed all of the learning opportunities they have been given and have continued to show me what a fantastic group of children they are.

In PE, we have continued our tag rugby skills. The children have really improved their teamwork skills, which is especially difficult in rugby as you are only allowed to pass the ball backwards. This has meant that the children have really had to work on being aware of their own position in relation to others so that they can receive the ball. They have worked really hard on some drills and exercises to get these skills to come more naturally; the children are excited to apply this to matches in the coming weeks.

Wednesday of this week saw our annual celebration of ‘Pobble Day’: a dedicated day to reigniting the children’s love for writing. From this day onwards, teachers are constantly on the look-out for pieces of writing worthy of being published on the Pobble website. The day got off to a flying start, with a memorable assembly from Mrs Smith and Mrs Francis. Upon hearing that this year’s theme was superheroes, the children were raring to go and write! In their English lessons, they crafted well-thought out pieces of writing, from describing their favourite superheroes to creating their very own. A big well done to all of the children; you should all be incredibly proud of your hard work and creativity.

Over the last two weeks, we have continued our investigations into light. Last week, the children were amazed by periscopes! After learning about their use in war trenches and submarines, the children made their very own periscopes which they enjoyed using around the key stage to see round corners and above high shelves. We discussed how the light enters the periscope and reflects off two mirrors until it eventually reaches our eyes. This week, we extended that learning further by exploring angles of incidence and reflection. The children investigated the relationship between the angles as a light bounces off a surface; to their amazement, they found that the angles are always equal! Applying this back to our periscopes learning, the children were able to work out that the mirrors in the periscope must have been at an angle of 45 degrees to make a total of 90 degrees in the two angles! Wow - what a great two weeks of physics.

We are keen to share with you the books your child is reading in school and would also like to be kept up to date with your child's reading habits at home. If you haven't already, we encourage you to download the Go read app, called GoAppsParent on the app store, enter your child's details sent out to you on the letter previously, watch the webinar https://go-read.co.uk/parents/ to learn how to use the app easily including for more than one child. Children will then be able to collect gems which they can trade in for virtual cards every time they read and log books which motivates them to continue reading and logging books. 

Hawk of the week for the past two weeks has been awarded to Oscar and Isla. Handwriting Hero and Heroine has been awarded to Jason, Darragh, Arabella and Freya.

Have a lovely weekend with your families,

Miss Stevens

15.10.2021

Dear Parents and Carers,

It was lovely to see you at Hawks Class Assembly this morning; the children have been so excited to show you their hard work and celebrate their learning. I was really impressed at how quickly so many of the children knew their lines - they showed real dedication to putting on a good show for you and, I think you will agree, their hard work definitely paid off! It was also great to be able to speak to so many of you about how your children have settled in during our Learning Review Meetings yesterday; I always enjoy sharing such positive news with you.

Last week, we celebrated biology week in school with a 'plant' theme. The children all took part in a planting activity with winter bedding plants; we are excited to see how they grow over the winter and into the spring. We also used our reading skills to learn about adaptations of succulents and cacti; the children were great at applying their echo-reading skills to a non-fiction text in base classes and then playing a 'true or false' game to test their retrieval skills. This week in science, the children continued to learn about light; focusing on the functions of different parts of the eye and how light is perceived.

In Geography we have been looking at ‘Natural Resources’ – who would have thought that this would be such a topical news subject when it was planned? Children began by considering what some of Britain’s natural resources are including geological resources such as coal, petroleum, natural gas and limestone to name just a few. Atlases were then used to label maps of Europe to show where the coal and gas used in Britain comes from. Children thoroughly enjoyed using our new chrome books to identify clean and renewable natural resources used to produce electricity (such as wind turbines), and to discuss the pros and cons of their use.

In French we have spent some time reviewing our previous knowledge – such as saying hello, how are you, what’s your name, colours, describing food etc – as well as learning French phonemes which will help us with our reading and writing.  Maybe you could ask your children how to pronounce the following phonemes (and the animals associated with them!): oi, eu, ou, ch.  I have been so impressed with the children’s engagement in the lessons; their language learning has been truly ‘formidable’!


I would like to take this opportunity to thank those children who have completed all homework set since the beginning of term. Their hard work at home certainly has not gone unnoticed! Two pieces of mathematics (on My Maths) and two pieces of English (on Literacy Planet) are set every Friday for the children, with the expectation that all four pieces are submitted by the following Wednesday. Completing this learning away from the classroom is crucial to helping your child consolidate and extend their knowledge. If you are experiencing technical difficulties and your child has been unable to complete all of their homework on time, we ask that you communicate this with us via your child’s planner. Thank you for your support in continuing your child’s learning at home.

Hawk of the week for the past two weeks has been awarded to Ayrton and Eloise. Handwriting Hero and Heroine has been awarded to Dexter R, Harry C, Isla and Bethany.

Have a lovely weekend with your families,

Miss Stevens 

5.11.2021

Dear Parents and Carers,

It’s been lovely to welcome the children back to school this week after their half-term break. The children have quickly settled back down into routines and were very excited to share stories of the fun things they got up to during their week!

We have all be very proud of the children this week during our assessment week. The children have shown real resilience and stamina to work their way through all of the English and Maths assessments; we have been blown away at the determination shown by the children to set themselves ambitious goals to work towards, during this assessment week and as the year progresses. A huge ‘well done’ to everyone!

This half term in Computing, we are learning all about cryptography: the study of sending communication secretly and securely so that it cannot be intercepted. This week, the children looked at communicating using semaphore, where two coloured flags are held up in different positions to symbolise each letter of the alphabet. This method of communication was often used on ships to communicate across long distances but, unfortunately, once the code was cracked and an interpreter knew which flag position related to which letter, secret messages could be read! In the upcoming weeks, we will be looking at more communication methods and how they can be made even more secure!

In Music, we have started to look at some classroom jazz music. The children have been really good at appraising the music this week; talking about things they liked and what the music reminded them of. The children then applied their glockenspiel and percussion skills to play some of the notes in part of the song. I'm very excited to see how they musical talents develop in the coming weeks.

In Geography we have started a new topic of learning about the world’s biomes, a term some children were already familiar with due to a keen interest in Minecraft! The children were blown away by breathtaking footage of tropical forests, vast deserts and the snow-clad tundra. Given a specific biome to research in groups, the children became experts about its climate, animal population and vegetation before ‘speed dating’ other children in the class to pass on their learning. They were then able to apply their knowledge by sorting the different biomes into several categories: near the equator, found in Africa and those that store oxygen, to name a few. I’m sure the children would agree when I say what a truly magnificent world we live in.

As part of our reading strategy, we use the Bedrock App (https://app.bedrocklearning.org/) every week in school with the children to encourage the important acquisition of new vocabulary.  We then try to use the new vocabulary in our writing and encourage children, as always, with lots of house points and rewards. For maximum benefit, it is really important that children complete a minimum of two sessions per week, one of which forms part of their weekly homework. We would therefore like to encourage children to make this a key part of their homework learning each week – we will, of course, reward those children who are going above and beyond with their vocabulary learning both in the classroom and in celebration assemblies. The login details for children can be found in their planners.

Hero and Heroine have been awarded to Owen and Louise.

Have a lovely weekend with your families,

Miss Stevens 

19.11.2021

Dear Parents and Carers,

We have had a very busy two weeks in Hawks Class. Between Anti-Bullying Week, Maths Week, Children in Need and Remembrance Day, the children have still managed to engage in all of their curriculum lessons which is a testament to their hard work!

This week, all the children have started to explore our new key text in English: Skellig. After first exploring some key vocabulary which described the themes that come up in the story, children made predictions about what they thought may happen and have started to read the story. The story is about a boy who has just moved house and finds a creature in the abandoned garage that his family now own. In parallel to this, the boy has a newborn sibling who is very poorly. We are all wondering how these events may be related and combine throughout the book!

In history, the children have been captivated by our topic of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. This important part of history has really engaged the children and we have seen them asking questions and taking on the new information with great sensitivity. We have explored pictures of primary sources from the time and have looked at the triangular nature of the slave trade between Europe, America and Britain. The children have treated this topic with great maturity and respect which we are very proud of.

In our RE (Religious Education) learning this half term, we've been focusing on the word 'inspiration'. The children have shown great insight into why others may be considered inspirational, highlighting role models within their own lives as well as world religions. I felt a real sense of gratitude around the room during a lesson about Malala Yousafzai, a Muslim activist who fought for the right to education. The children were able to crucially reflect on their free access to education as they came to the realisation that others in the world aren't quite so lucky. Some incredible campaign posters in support of Malala were created as a result!

Last week saw the celebration of Maths Week. The week got off to a flying start with our school-wide 'Rock Stars Day', with many of the children choosing to come into school dressed as a rock and roll star - face paint, wigs and all! Prizes were awarded to those who competed against each other in Rock Slams on Times Tables Rockstars, promoting the children's need (and love) for learning their times tables. Later in the week, maths groups transformed into real-life rock bands by performing times tables songs. The children thoroughly enjoyed singing along to covers of Shake It Off by Taylor Swift, Rolling in the Deep by Adele and Bad Habits by Ed Sheeran. What a bunch of rock stars your fantastic children are!

Hawk of the week has been awarded to William. Handwriting Hero and Heroine have been awarded to Charlie and Jessica W.

Have a lovely weekend with your families,

Miss Stevens