Class News Autumn Term 2020
Dear Parents and Carers
Welcome to the first class email from Hummingbirds class in this academic year. It has been wonderful to be back in the classroom with your lovely children and have the opportunity to get to know them a little better. I have been so impressed with how well the children have come back in to school this new school year especially considering the exceptional circumstances we have been experiencing so a very big ‘well done’ to all the children and parents for such an amazing achievement and in particular to the new Year 1 children who missed out on their transition activities and have still managed to settle well into their new classroom and routines.
During our first two weeks together as a class, we have been busy listening to stories, drawing portraits, making models with playdoh and lego, creating worry monster rocks and beautiful Hummingbirds for displaying in our class as well as some pretty fantastic spinners. I have been amazed at all of their efforts so far. We have also talked about lockdown and reflected on what we love about being back at school. I think at the top of that list was being back with their friends every day!
In the mornings, we have begun to go over some important maths skills that are crucial to moving the children’s learning forwards. Following that, the children have also enjoyed some phonic games to help get them reading and writing again. In Hummingbirds class, we also had a go at ‘echo reading’ a text as a whole class. We used a text called ‘That’s not my dinosaur’ which you may be familiar with. Even though the children are all at different levels of reading ability, the idea was to get them used to ‘echo reading’ as a class, using lots of expression as this is something they will be having a go at with various different books over the year. I’m sure your children will be able to tell you more or may even be able to remember the whole order of the book and recite it to you or their younger siblings! Of course it was no accident that we chose a book about a dinosaur, as this terms new theme will be ‘out of eggs’ which will feature lots about dinosaurs. For all those budding palaeontologists out there I’m sure this will be a dream come true!
Across the whole school we have all been using a text ‘Here we are’ in our English lessons; it is a book which explores many areas of life as we know it. The children have loved looking through the pages and talking about all the wonderful things we love about the world and things that we missed when we were unable to come to school. The children’s work is being put up on a working wall in the classroom so that we can reflect on all of the things the book helps us to think about. We have used Google Earth in the classroom to zoom in on our local area and could see the school building and grounds; the children loved this and we have even begun to make our own class book to display and share.
Physical activity is so important at the moment for the children so we have been able to develop our skills in many ways; from yoga in the hall to running around outside. We have also been using imoves in the classroom to give us a physical break between lessons. Fortunately the weather has been very kind to us and we have been able to get lots of outdoor play time throughout the day.
The children may have also talked to you about Harold the giraffe. He is the mascot for a new scheme we are running across the school to support our Physical, Social, Emotional Education (PSHE) curriculum. The children have been introduced to this over the past two weeks and the word SCARF which stands for Safety, Caring, Achievement, Resilience and Friendship. We have had lots of opportunities to talk about these words and their meanings.
This week’s Happy Hummer is Bertie Parr for being an outstanding role model to his peers and always trying his best.
Next week we are planning on moving the children into their Mathematics and English teaching groups and once they are settled you will receive a letter from their group teachers to explain things such as reading books, spellings and organisation.
There has been so much to remember as we return to school and you are all doing a great job! I will send pencil cases home on a Friday so that they can be checked/restocked/sharpened ready for Monday morning. Don’t forget our Physical Education (PE) days are Wednesday and Thursday in Key Stage One so children need to be in PE kits on those days.
Have a lovely weekend and see you all on Monday!
Lots of love
Miss. Slough and Miss. Ofoma
Dear Parents and Carers,
What a fantastic fortnight we have had in Hummingbirds class! I feel so proud of how well the children are doing; demonstrating excellent behaviour choices and trying hard with their efforts towards learning in class. It’s been wonderful to see how well they look after each other and show care towards each other’s feelings especially as we are at the beginning of the new school year when there are many new changes to get used to.
Our first topic of the term is called ‘Out of eggs’ and the children have really enjoyed the focus on dinosaurs. The children have been busy making dinosaur puppets from the Cretaceous period in Design and Technology and drawing some wonderful examples from their imaginations in Art; fantastic!
In Science, the children were particularly captivated when we recreated the stomach of a herbivore using twigs and leaves and for the carnivore there were some interesting food choices. See if your children can remember what we used to make the flesh, bones and blood! We continued with a pre-recorded talk all about teeth from a Zoo keeper and former teacher at Lark Rise to help us recognise the different features of herbivore, carnivores and omnivores. The children also examined pictures of dinosaurs looking closely at the clever adaptations some dinosaurs had to protect themselves and survive. I was impressed with some of the prior knowledge that your lovely children had and the conversations about dinosaurs were quite deep and insightful; brilliant!
Following on from that, we learned about how many millions of years the dinosaurs roamed the earth for and as such the timeline for the whole Mesozoic Era (name for the overall time of the dinosaurs) needed to be divided into three parts. I wonder if any of the children can be superstars and remember what they were? A little clue for them; it starts with the ‘Triassic Era’…
Yes, that’s right, it was the Jurassic Era and then finally the Cretaceous Era. This was tricky to learn about and the children did brilliantly completing timelines and placing different dinosaurs in their correct time period. This was something that we will continue to recap as it is not the sort of thing you can remember overnight, as you can imagine! However, your children are showing themselves to be really resilient in persevering on some challenging learning and I am wholly impressed.
This week we had a music lesson with a difference; there was no singing! However, undeterred we had a go at tapping, clapping and moving our bodies to find the pulse and the rhythm of a new south African song called Hands, Heart and Feet. In addition to this we added sign language to the song which was nice and repetitive so we got the hang of it quite quickly with the help of a video to match the song. The children picked up on the fact that we are all different and learning sign language would be a useful new skill for many reasons. How lovely they are.
You will have noticed that your child has had some log in details stuck in the front of their reading records. One of these is for them to access their weekly homework on Education City and the other is for them to access TT Rockstars and Numbots. These are both great programmes used across the school to develop accuracy, speed and fluency in the recall of times tables and number bonds. Please support your child with accessing these at home whenever possible. You will have received a letter today (Friday) with more information about accessing TT Rockstars and Numbots.
This week’s Happy Hummers winners are Frankie Gower and Emily Dyson. Congratulations to you both for consistently making fantastic behaviour choices and being a pleasure to have as part of our class.
Our handwriting heroes and heroines over the last two weeks are Ethan and Harleigh. Well done for all your efforts during our handwriting tasks.
Finally, I hope you all have a lovely weekend.
Miss Slough and Mrs. Ofoma
· This week’s English homework is on Education City. Please access using the account details stuck in your child’s reading record book and select the English homework scheduled for completion.
Dear Parents and Carers,
Hummingbirds classroom has been a busy place over the last two weeks with the children throwing themselves into their learning with enthusiasm. I have been so impressed with how the children are tackling the new challenges that face them every day and continue to be aware that this has been harder for some than others. Nonetheless, I am so proud of each and every single child in our lovely little class and I’m sure you would be too.
Which brings me on to say a massive ‘thank you’ to all of the parents that managed to log on for a parents evening with a difference! It was so lovely to get a chance to speak to you about your very special children if only for a short while and I appreciate the time that each of you gave in order to do so. I hope it helped a little to be able to hear how your child is doing and to see what the next steps are in their learning journey which I know lots of you continue to be committed to supporting the children with.
Last week was a special week as we celebrated National Biology Week. This is something we do every year and it’s one of my favourites. This year was no different as the theme was ‘Fantastic Fungi’. It has been an incredible learning curve for us all as a whole school and I have been amazed at how much the children have discovered over just one week about fungi.
We started the week off in style with a hunt around the school grounds to see if we had any fungi to observe and discovered the lichen on tree branches (which is a type of fungi). However, it wasn’t until later on in the week when we were doing some running on the school fields for P.E that we discovered one lone fungi that had appeared after all the damp weather. The children’s faces were a delight and who would have thought that one small fungi could bring so much joy. The children have since been able to label the parts of a mushroom (the fruit of fungi) and understand more about the underground system and conditions that fungi likes to live in. We have even been able to grow our own type of fungi in a class experiment using different foods (thank you for the donation of an old banana for this) see if your child can tell you what we did. Thank you to all of you who sent in pictures for your children to share with the class as well; fantastic.
In our other learning, we continue to discover more about the dinosaurs and have made some beautiful clay models of these to bring home and share. The children relished the chance to get their hands on some clay and in all honesty I think making clay models should be on the curriculum for every day it was such fun!
Talking of fun, we had a brilliant start to the week on Monday with our mysterious Pobble writing adventure ‘beyond the door…’. We discovered a door in the playground and thought about where it had come from, why was it in our school playground and most importantly… what was beyond the door?! Well done to our Pobble writing champions this week; Zain, Bradley, Emily and Ethan who all won a prize for their brilliant writing efforts following this activity. Please look out for an email asking your permission for your child's work to published on the Pobble website. Following the success of previous years, we will continue to use this website to publish pieces of work and celebrate writing throughout the school year. It is a fantastic way of sharing your children's work with you, the school community and on a global platform! It will only be published with your child's first name and age group. If you click on the link in the email it will take you to the website and you can give permission for their work to be shared.
Our class Happy Hummers over the last two weeks are Zain Meakins and Ada Smith.
Congratulations to you both for consistently making fantastic behaviour choices and being a pleasure to have as part of our class.
Our handwriting heroes and heroines over the last two weeks are Edward Skelton Isabelle Igbokwe, Max Marshall and Daria Dunca. Well done for all your efforts during our handwriting tasks.
Finally, I hope you all have a lovely weekend.
·The children have their spelling test every Wednesday so thank you for supporting them with their learning of these.
·This week’s English homework is on Education City. Please access using the account details stuck in your child’s reading record book and select the English homework scheduled for completion.
·Please try and access Numbots or TT Rockstars with your child at least once a week to support their learning in maths. Thank you to all those of you who are helping your children to achieve this.
Miss Slough and Mrs. Ofoma
Dear Parents and Carers,
I hope you have all enjoyed a lovely half term with your wonderful families after such a busy start to the academic year. The children have been truly amazing coming back into school and I am really happy with how settled they all now seem to be in Key Stage 1; fantastic!
After an exciting time learning about fossils and how they are formed last term, I hope you were as impressed as I was with the children’s own attempts at making fossils with clay as well as their own 3D models of their favourite kind of dinosaur. Although fragile, I thought they were spectacular and the children were so excited for you all to see back at home so I hope they got pride of place on your mantlepieces back at home! ;)
As this week was the build up to fireworks night, we started Monday morning off with an assembly all about Guy Fawkes and in a twist on our history learning this year we decided to become detectives back in the classroom looking at the sources which incriminated Guy Fawkes in his plot to commit treason. The children had to decide if the evidence supported his guilt in the crime or not. It was lots of fun and there are definitely some budding detectives out there! The children also really enjoyed making their own fireworks paintings to celebrate the 5th of November and despite no big displays this year we watched our own display from the comfort of our classroom to inspire our paintings. I have to say watching the children’s faces light up as they delighted in watching the fireworks dance and burst in the sky really made me smile.
This week we also began our new theme for this term: ‘Home and Away’ and it is based upon finding out all about our local area and a part of the world a little further away; Chembakolli in India. The children made a great start by identifying pictures from places in Dunstable and deciding if they were a human or physical feature. Usually, during this topic, we would take the children for a walk into the local area for some fieldwork studies where we would look at the route from the school to the park at Bennetts Rec in Dunstable. Once there we would also look at the facilities and decide how they could be improved further. Unfortunately, due to the current restrictions this will be unable to go ahead as planned so we would like to ask you if at all possible you could take some time over the next couple of weeks to visit the park with your children and let them become familiar with all the facilities there (I am sure they won’t complain!) in preparation for their lesson on this in school. Many thanks in advance for all your help with this.
In Science this week, we started to think about the changes in the seasons and watched a time lapse video of the changes that happen to deciduous trees over the year. The children were brilliant at describing and drawing the changes so we then began to make links to the months of the year to the different seasons and what celebrations happen. Funnily enough, everyone seemed very happy to be thinking about Christmas that is fast approaching in the winter season!
During our P.S.H.C.E. (Personal, Social, Health, Citizenship Education) lessons the children enjoyed playing some great games that help us recognise the similarities and differences in each other and how important it is to value these. The children’s responses to one particular game ‘The sun shines on those who…’ were priceless. In this game the children have to think about one thing about themselves that they like, or are like or something they have and say it out loud and then if other children can relate to it too they stand up with that child. Some lovely examples were ‘The sun shines on those who like rainbows/ love their Mummies/love playing with their brother and sisters; beautiful!
Our class Happy Hummers over the last two weeks are Freddie Mitchelmore and Millie Randall. Congratulations to you both for consistently making fantastic behaviour choices and being a pleasure to have as part of our class.
Our handwriting heroes and heroines over the last two weeks are Gracjan Pieniazek, Ellie Ridge, Bradley Chrisokere and Gabriela Tawurayi. Well done for all your efforts during our handwriting tasks.
Finally, I hope you all have a lovely weekend.
Miss Slough and Mrs Ofoma
• The children have their spelling test every Wednesday so thank you for supporting them with their learning of these.
• This week’s Maths homework is on Education City. Please access using the account details stuck in your child’s reading record book and select the Maths homework scheduled for completion.
• Please try and access Numbots or TT Rockstars with your child at least once a week to support their learning in Maths. Thank you to all those of you who are helping your children to achieve this.
Should you wish to communicate with the class teacher, please contact the school office by phone or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).