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Penguins Class

Class News Autumn Term 2023


Dear Parents and Carers,

Welcome to the first class email of the school year from Penguins class. It has been a real pleasure to get to know all of your children after their summer holidays; what a fantastic start to the year they have already made! I have been so impressed with how well the children who have moved up from reception have adjusted so far and so proud of our new to year Year Two’s who have been excellent role models for our youngest members of the class; well-done everybody! I know that Miss Sheldrick will be a very lucky teacher when she returns to work soon.

During our first week together, the children have already made portraits of themselves to decorate the classroom and they look truly fabulous. We have also completed some tasks linked to our summer reading challenge - ‘The Giraffe, Pelly and Me.’ In particular, the part of the story where the Pelly commends the giraffe for her wonderfully long neck. We thought about how it feels to be praised and then played a game called ‘Pass the Praise’ where the children thought of some lovely things to say about each other. In addition to this, we made some sweets inspired by the story but with a healthy twist. I wonder if the children can recount the steps we took to make delicious fruit roll ups? I’m sure they will remember the tasting part.

Penguins Class will have their Physical Education (P.E) sessions on Thursday afternoons and we have certainly made the most of our first two lessons with our athletics theme. The children worked hard to gain as many points as they could for their teams while taking part in lots of mini races and agility courses. It was fantastic to see so many excited faces and lots of co-operation and encouragement. The children also take part in another P.E session each week with their new maths group where they have been acquiring some new ball skills. This week we looked at different techniques of passing the ball with a focus on rolling to a target, using the opposite arm to leg.

Last week we kick started our Geography lessons by going on an animal safari to Kenya. The children were able to name and locate the continent of Africa and some were able to locate Kenya independently as well; fantastic! We found out that it is a hot country with mountain ranges as well as dry, flat plains. They thoroughly enjoyed singing our song all about the continents. Here’s a link if you would like to join in with them at home! Seven Continents Song - YouTube

Well done to everybody who has made such a great start to reading this year by logging on to the Boom reader app and logging all the books you have already read. If you need to speak to a member of staff about your child’s reading book or need help logging on please feel free to see me at the end of school where I will be only too happy to help you:)

Every week in Penguins class we will nominate a child for our class ‘Perfect Penguin’. This will be given to children who are always trying their best, being kind, helpful and in general an all-round fabulous member of the class! The children have not made this easy to decide but the first week’s winner of our ‘Perfect Penguin’ award was given to Beau P. Congratulations for making a fantastic start to Year One and trying so hard with all that you have been doing.

Finally, I hope you all have a very relaxing and enjoyable weekend with your lovely children.

Love from Mrs Hartley, Mrs Harrison, Mrs Braithwaite and Mr McAleese x

Messages: Homework this week will be English. You will either be given a paper in your child’s book bag or it will be found on your child’s google classroom.

It is also an expectation that the children complete reading every day and spend time on TT Rockstars/ Numbots at home. This is especially important to build up fluency in both areas of their learning. By doing so the children will be able to free up their working memory and gain a deeper understanding in the different areas of their learning. Every day counts and we really can see the difference of those who set about this so diligently. There will be rewards and incentives to help motivate the children to do this throughout the year. Thank you in advance for your support with this.


Dear Parents and Carers,

These last few weeks have been wonderful, everyone is really settling into life in Key Stage 1 and it is clear how learning has become the centre of classroom life! We have been learning the song ‘What are you Growing?’ for Harvest and it has been fantastic to listen to the children singing with such enthusiasm! (I have put the lyrics at the end of this letter if you want to sing along at home!) It was also really lovely to be able to go to Wardown museum and play with the old toys! Thank you so much for your support with this!

We have had a wonderful few weeks in PSHE, talking all about bullying and what characteristics can make a great friend. Reviewing the policy on bullying at Lark Rise, it was clear that it is not something to be tolerated in school and the whole of KS1 understand how we should treat our friends. There was a really rich conversation surrounding this that highlighted the vision of Lark Rise Academy to: “include everybody in our school by understanding, accepting, and celebrating their similarities and differences; this will also make sure we know how to help people be the best they can possibly be.” The children then explored what makes a good friend, and are brilliant at highlighting these qualities through the friendships that they have. Some of the qualities included: being kind, listening, understanding, making sure no one is left out during playtime and caring about one another. These qualities are what make all the children in Key Stage 1 such brilliant friends! Keep up the good, kind, thoughtful work!

Over the last couple of weeks the children have been learning to recognise the different land features (savannahs, valleys, mountains, beaches) of Africa. To support their learning they have created amazing paintings of the Kenyan savannah to which they then added animals that they might be able to see and labels too; fantastic! The children then recapped some of their learning about the compass points North, South, East and West and went outside with real compasses to consolidate their understanding. We then thought about where in the world Kenya and Africa are using the compass and looking at Google maps. Finally, we have begun looking at the similarities and differences between the UK and Kenya. Ask your child what they can remember about Kenya or maybe have a look in a book together as a nice way to share their learning.

We’re rounding up our History learning after our trip to Wardown Park looking at old toys. The children have enjoyed exploring the different toys from different decades as well as the origin of the teddy bear. We have looked at the differences between the original teddy bears and our stuffed animals today. We’ve looked at toys in chronological order and placed them on a timeline for historical context too. A little survey has been added to Google Classroom for children to ask older relatives (e.g. their grandparents) ready for next week! Please send answers in by Tuesday so we can share in classes. 


We’ve been busy in Art this past fortnight with lots of painting! We’ve been donning our Art shirts and getting stuck in during our afternoon carousel of art, music and PSHE. We have continued our Art of the Aborigines learning, looking at dot painting last week decorating handprints with earth colours. This week we looked at aboriginal weapons and tools before painting our own boomerangs using dotting. We have enjoyed getting stuck into the art lesson routines and using different resources with our peers. Just one final ask for any toilet roll tubes before next week if you have any! 


Lots of love,

Miss. Sheldrick, Mrs. Braithwaite and Mr. McAleese


Messages: Homework this week will be English and you will either be given paper in your child’s book bag or it will be found on google classroom.

What are you growing? - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDYBrX4DI3k#:~:text=Verse%201%20I%20was%20out,a%20pot%20for%20my%20tea!


Verse 1:

I was out in a field one day and said, 

“Farmer, what are you growing?” 

He looked up at me, then he smiled and said,

 “Look at what I am sowing.”



Beans, beans, tall as the eye can see, 

Ev’rything’s grown naturally, 

Beans, beans, tall as the eye can see, 

Put in a pot for my tea! 


Verse 2 

I went back when some time had passed and said,

 “Farmer, what are you growing?” 

He looked up at me, then he smiled and said, 

“Look at what I am sowing.” 


Pre-chorus 1 

He grows corn for Making your breakfast flakes, 

Wheat for baking all kinds of cakes. 


Chorus Verse 3 

I went back when some time had passed and said, 

“Farmer, what are you growing?” 

He looked up at me, then he smiled and said, 

“Look at what I am sowing.” 


Pre-chorus 2 

He grows leeks for making a tasty stew, 

Peas, potatoes and carrots too, 

Corn for making your breakfast flakes, 

Wheat for baking all kinds of cakes. 


Chorus Verse 4 

I went back when some time had passed and said,

“Farmer, what are you growing?”

He looked up at me, then he smiled and said, 

“Why not wait and see – it’s only spring, Just come back in the autumn!” 


Pre-chorus Repeat Pre-chorus 2 Chorus 


Put in a pot for my, Put in a pot for my, Put in a pot for my tea!


Dear Parents, Carers and Penguins class,

Happy first week back everyone! It has been lovely to see everyone and hear about all the wonderful things the children have done in the half term! It has been fantastic getting back into a routine and learning some wonderful things. The week before half term our Perfect Penguin was Elsie and for this week our Perfect Penguin is Sophie, super well done to you both for always being kind, resilient and trying your best! Our handwriting hero and heroine for this week are Kaylan and Myra! Well done for working hard on your presentation and formation of your letters!

Last half term the children did such a fantastic job in Music  learning a traditional South African song ‘Hands, Feet and Heart’ and really impressed some special visitors to our school with their rendition of it in class. Not only did they learn all the words and sing with such confidence and great pitch but they also began to show some understanding of using dynamics  when performing to the whole school; fantastic! I wonder if they can remember what the  children in different key stages  sang to them when they performed? I’ll give you a clue one song was a major hit for ABBA and one was a major hit for the rock legend Jon Bon Jovi! This term we have begun looking at how music is used in T.V adverts and how it makes us feel. The children were excited to explore and improvise with a range of tuned and untuned instruments to make different sounds and rhythms. Watch this space to find out what they’ll be composing next! 

In History, we have begun one of my personal favourite topics- ‘The Great Fire of London.’ It always engages the children who find it fascinating. We began by sharing a brilliant book by Kate Adams and explored what happened on the night of the 2nd of September 1666. See if your child can tell you where and how the fire began?

Last half term the children were able to gather all the knowledge that they learned on the country of Kenya in the continent of Africa. They made video fact files acting like the experts that they are, I was so impressed with how well they were able to recall their learning of the Savannah, the wet and dry seasons as well as how hot it would be to visit the country! A highlight was learning and talking about all of the animals that can be found there! We decided that we would only go there on holiday if we had lots to do on the long plane ride to get there, like playing on the iPad or colouring, and watching at least 3 films! We would also need to bring and wear lots of sun cream and our Summer clothes as it is mostly hot because of how close it is to the equator.  For our learning this term we are going to expand our knowledge of the equator and discover which countries are close to the equator, looking at Ecuador and how it is different from and similar to the UK. We had the opportunity to recap our knowledge on continents and listened to the continent song which is something that everyone has enjoyed! We could even locate the North pole and look at how the animals who live in Antarctica need to be prepared for the freezing cold. I’m really excited to see what else we can learn about the World around us! 

This half term our Science topic is going to begin looking at Seasonal Changes and then move into Everyday Materials. This week we began our Science learning with an investigation into seasonal changes to the leaves on the trees. We looked on our school grounds and observed what has happened to the different trees around our school field. Children could explain that in Autumn the leaves from certain trees change colour and as the winter months roll in they will lose their leaves as a way to protect themselves from the harsh weather.  

In Design Technology this half term we will be looking at puppets and working on our sewing skills in our Textiles focused lessons to eventually create a glove puppet. We will be investigating different types of puppets and designing a product for a specific purpose and user. We are excited to get this started!  

PSHE for last term was about the importance of understanding our feelings and making sure to know what makes a good friendship. All the children really demonstrated what it means to be a good friend, keep up the good work! For this term we are discussing what makes us unique and what it means to be a kind friend who ensures that everyone is treated fairly. This is something I know the children will thrive at, understanding how important it is to know our similarities and differences, celebrating how unique we all are!

Lots of love,

Miss. Sheldrick, Mrs. Braithwaite and Mr. McAleese


  • Homework this week will be either English or Phonics based. You will either be given a paper copy in your child’s book bag or it will be found on your child’s Google Classroom (logged in with their own school login). 

  • We'll be holding our annual Rockstar dress up day on Monday 20th November. It will be great to see all the rockstars dressed up and can be as simple as a pair of jeans and a coloured t-shirt. 

  • This half term we are learning about the Great Fire of London. Could we please have any cereal boxes or something similar to this for our end project? 

  • In RE we are going to be recreating the gifts given to Jesus from the Nativity story, could we please have any tissue boxes that are finished with? Thank you all.


Dear Parents and Carers,

Our perfect penguin last week was Theo L and this week it is Elliott! Super well done to the both of you for being helpful and kind to everyone in Penguins class and for working hard! Our handwriting hero of last week is Timmy and for this week it is Sirous! Massive well done on working hard in your handwriting classes and for trying your best! Our handwriting heroine of last week was Annabelle and this week is Lucy! Well done to you both for always wanting to try your best and improve your handwriting!  

Over the last two weeks, we have been busy celebrating many important events at Lark Rise Academy including Children in Need today. May we take this opportunity to thank you for all your efforts to support us in raising awareness and money for such an important cause. I’m sure the total amount raised will be sent out to you later next week. 

We have also been raising awareness for anti-bullying week in school starting with an assembly led by the lovely Mrs. Lang on Monday. During the assembly, she read a story called ‘Peggy the always sorry pigeon’ which the children really enjoyed. It was a great way to start conversations around standing up for yourself and others and I would highly recommend sharing at home if you can get your hands on a copy (especially if you like a giggle). In addition to this, the children loved coming into school in their odd socks on Monday as a symbol of our acceptance of everyone being unique in their own way and also being ready to accept each other’s differences. This has led to some more amazing discussions with the children in school who have shown such kindness towards each other. Although this is an important topic ongoing through the year, It’s always nice to highlight it with the children and make sure they are always comfortable to talk to a safe person about their feelings or if anything is troubling them at school.  

Now onto some more exciting news as this half term  preparations are already underway for our Key Stage One Christmas play! This Year we are going to be performing ‘Baaarmy in Bethlehem.’ As usual our Year Ones will be our Choir with some brand new Christmas songs to sing. Year two’s all get a speaking role/ dance  if they would like to. Hopefully your child has come home with a slip to tell you what their part will be this year and ideas around costumes or props. Please let us know if you need any help with this :) 

In Science we have been looking at seasonal changes, examining the different changes that occur on trees in the autumn and winter months. We began this with an investigation and then used our knowledge to explore the different types of trees on our school grounds. Then we were able to compare deciduous and evergreen trees. See if your children can explain the difference to you. This week we have moved onto our Everyday Materials learning with our first lesson focusing on exploring a variety of different materials, including fabric, wood, plastic, metal and glass.  

We’ve begun our Design Technology learning around puppets with an investigation lesson researching and exploring different types of puppets, including marionettes, rod puppets and hand puppets. The children then drew their favourite puppet and labelled the features. This week we began looking at and practising some stitch types. This was tricky for our little fingers but we challenged ourselves and enjoyed the process. We have had an exciting assembly this week to launch our first Design Technology Hero of the half term for this year in the form of Lego founder and creator Ole Kirk Christiansen. We learnt about his inspiring start to designing the earliest version of Lego (which in Danish is an abbreviation of the two Danish words “leg godt”, meaning “play well) and how his legacy has carried on into the development of our modern Lego bricks today. Mrs Shilvock and Miss Westrope have challenged the children to create something exciting out of Lego bricks if they have them and to send us photos of their creations!  

In Geography we have been learning all about the capital city of Quito and comparing it to our capital city of London. It is certainly a lot warmer in Ecuador than it is in the UK! We had the opportunity to research and find out some interesting facts about Ecuador, especially about all the interesting animals that live in the Galapagos Islands. Our learning for this half term in RE is all about what Christmas means to Christians and have had wonderful conversations about what Christmas can mean to different people, exploring what celebrations everyone celebrates within their own families. We have been learning about what makes us special and unique in PSHE and this week we could apply our knowledge to what makes people special to us. It was wonderful to hear all about the people in our lives that really inspire us and make us feel safe and loved. It is wonderful to know that all of the children have such fantastic role models to look up to in their lives! 

Lots of love,

Miss. Sheldrick, Mrs. Braithwaite and Mr. McAleese 



  • Thank you to those who have brought in a cereal box, as well as a tissue box for our history and Religious Education projects. If these could continue to come in that would be amazing.

  • It is TTRockstars day on Monday as part of our Maths week celebrations so I look forward to seeing the children all dressed up as the superstars that they are!


Dear Parents, Carers and Penguins class,

Well done for the last few weeks’ learning, it’s been a challenge now that the weather is colder and the nights get darker faster but we have all shown great resilience! Our handwriting hero and heroine for last week were Teddie and Charlotte, well done! This week our hero is Elliott and our heroine is Izabella, fantastic work from you both! Perfect penguin was Alexandra last week, well done for always being enthusiastic with your learning and for trying your hardest at all that you do! For this week our perfect penguin is Kira for always trying new things and being a kind and considerate friend! Well done both of you, keep up the good work!

We were so happy to see so many of you at our book look last week. The children loved showing you around our classrooms and getting to show off their hard work from their first term of this academic year. I’m sure you’ll all agree we’ve had some great learning opportunities, lovely magic moments and have already shown great improvement with our handwriting and presentation. 

Our Geography has been interesting these past two weeks; we’ve been busy looking at different climates above and below the equator and the animals found in hot or cold places. We sorted pictures of animals into a table of ‘hot climates’ and ‘cold climates’. This week we identified human and physical features from aerial photographs. 

We’re still loving our History learning on the Great Fire of London. We’ve been exploring the houses from 1666, Pudding Lane and looking into why the fire spread so quickly and stayed alight for so long. We talked about the different materials houses were made out of back in the 1600s and what happened after the fire and how the Lord Mayor and the King made changes to building laws to prevent the fire from reoccurring, such as making new houses in London from brick and stone, not from wood or thatched roofs, as well as ensuring they were more spaced out and not overcrowded along the streets. We can’t wait to finish our box houses and then set alight our very own mini Pudding Lane! 

In DT we’ve been busy with our Puppets topic, making paper finger puppets to explore joining and decorating techniques, as well as designing our glove puppet. Next week we will be using felt fabric to sew together two pieces of fabric and decorate using our chosen animal and our chosen applique features. Watch this space! We can’t wait to show you all our final outcomes. 

In Science our learning has continued with Everyday Materials, looking closely at different materials and objects made from them, such as wood, metal, plastic, glass and paper. We went on a little hunt around the classroom to collect different items and then recorded what they were each made from as well as other items made from the same material, i.e. a pencil and the scissor block are both made from wood. This week we looked at recycling and carried out an investigation with the following enquiry question: Which materials can be recycled?

Computing lessons have taught us the important lesson of being precise with our instructions! We instructed the teacher to make a jam sandwich and had to make sure to tell them exactly how to make it because they kept putting jam on with their fingers - you need a knife to spread! They also cut the bread wrong - it needs to be cut into equal triangles or rectangles! We then wrote our own instructions, being sure to talk about exactly what needs to happen in order to have a successful algorithm! Our next steps are to present making a jam sandwich, using our instructions and presenting like a TV chef!

In our PSHCE learning we have been discussing what makes something fair and unfair! We have had some wonderful discussions about times that felt unfair to us and what we could do to resolve the situation. We are able to see how the school rules are fair and how we all need to work collaboratively and cooperate with one another in line with this half term school value. We have also been brilliant at discussing kindness and what it looks like to be kind to one another. As a key stage we are amazing at showing those around us acts of kindness, using our words to make others feel good about themselves, something that we will continue to do!

Lots of love,

Miss. Sheldrick, Mrs. Braithwaite and Mr. McAleese


  • Homework this week will be either English or Phonics based. You will either be given a paper copy in your child’s book bag or it will be found on your child’s Google Classroom (logged in with their own school login).

  • Thank you so much for bringing in the costumes for the nativity, if you are able to continue bringing those in that would be fantastic, the earlier we get them the better!


Dear Parents, Carers and Penguins class, 

Congratulations to our handwriting heroines of the last two weeks, Jemima and Izabella, as well as our hero Elliott who has started to successfully join his letters! Our perfect penguin last week was George for always coming into school with a smile and having a positive attitude to his learning! THis week is Anastasia for being a kind and ready to learn member of the class! Well done all of you! 

What an amazing end to a busy half term with the children’s fantastic retelling of ‘Baarmy in Bethlehem!’ I hope you will agree that the children’s performance was absolutely smashing. We are all so proud of them for all their hard work and bravery to stand on the stage and deliver such wonderful performances. Lots of the children told us before we started that they were very nervous to speak on the stage so to see their confidence grow with each rehearsal was very special indeed; well done everyone! I can’t wait for our lovely Year One children to have the starring roles next year as I’m sure they will do just as well. 

Over the last two weeks in English we have been busy reading ‘The Snowman’ by Michael Morpurgo in our base groups. Consequently, our final writing outcome this term was a recount of the party scene from the story with James and his snowmen friends. We had a lot of fun in Penguins class dancing to the music from the film to get us in the mood for writing. The children needed to write sequentially using time connectives to help retell the events of the party in order and include James’ feelings as though they were their own. This was a very tricky task but the children have done brilliantly and we are so pleased with their outcomes as they should be too.

Finally, we got our chance this week to have our Magic moment in History when we burned our very own Great Fire of London. The idea of this, although very good fun, was to help the children to understand how the fire spread so quickly, what the houses and streets of London were like at that time period and also why the fire raged on for so long. Hopefully we have created some fantastic memories and a lifelong love of History as a subject. 

We concluded our half term topic in Geography of ‘My World and Me’ by looking at aerial photographs of London and Ecuador and other cities and comparing them. Then we explored maps and their uses and even created our own map of our journey to school using different symbols and even made our very own key too. We can’t wait to see where our Geography learning takes us next half term.  

We’ve all really enjoyed the final outcome for our Design Technology project this half term as we designed our own hand puppets then were able to choose which colourful felt and wool thread we would use to sew together the pieces. We created our very own animal hand puppet, decorated it with different applique parts too with the help of adults. We used our knowledge of running stitch and looping overstitch and applied them to our final products before evaluating what we found tricky and what we would do better next time. Our puppets all looked great!  

Our value of the half term has been collaboration and cooperation, which is something our key stage has demonstrated a great understanding and appreciation for. We have had the opportunity to read some wonderful stories in relation to this value, including The Little Red Hen which explores the importance of helping others to create something wonderful and share the benefits with one another. The children had a wonderful discussion surrounding how the other animals did not help the little Red Hen, something they said was not the kind choice to make! We also read Room on the Broom and loved how the cat, dog, frog and bird worked as a team to save the witch from the Dragon! It is clear how well the whole key stage understands the value of teamwork and making sure to support and help one another. We even created a class song to the tune of ‘We go together’, an incredibly fun activity that allowed the children to express themselves through music, collaborating together to show appreciation for one another! 

In science this half term we have been exploring 2 big ideas, seasonal changes and everyday materials. The children's work on seasonal changes allowed us to go outside and explore the effect that seasons have on the trees. It was a fantastic opportunity to observe nature and understand why deciduous trees change the colour of their leaves and fall to the ground! The children especially enjoyed the exploration of evergreen trees, understanding that these trees stay forever green, just like Christmas trees! We have also explored everyday materials and are confident with understanding the difference between a material being what something is made from, as well as the object and what the material has become. There have been some wonderful learning points for reducing, reusing and recycling, allowing us to see the benefit of living a more sustainable lifestyle. For one of our lessons we had the wonderful opportunity to carry out an investigation in the classroom, predicting what material we would find the most of and then discovering if our predictions were correct - it was plastic and wood! 

Our learning in computing this term has surrounded the concept that we are TV chefs! It has been a fantastic set of lessons that has allowed us to understand the importance of creating clear instructions to make a jam sandwich. The children even directed the teacher to do this - although they had to be clear because the teacher kept putting the jam on with their hands and following their instructions too literally! It was a great opportunity to really reflect on what information needs to be shared in order to create a jam sandwich using the approved method. THe children have also had the opportunity to create their own sandwiches and film themselves like TV chefs! Using technology in order to inform and instruct. 

Thank you for all being such amazing members of key stage 1 and penguins, this first half term has been a wonderful one with all of you. I hope you have the most magical Christmas, eat lots of lovely food, play lots of brilliant games and spend as much time doing the things you love as possible!  

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and warm winter wishes!

Lots of love,

Miss. Sheldrick, Mrs. Braithwaite and Mr. McAleese 

Class News Spring Term 2024


Dear Parents, Carers and Penguins class, 

Happy 2024 everyone! It has been so lovely to hear all about the childrens break, especially how much fun they had spending time with friends and family!

Congratulations to our handwriting heroine of the week,  Anastasia, as well as our hero Malcolm! Since coming back it is clear that you are trying really hard with your handwriting and it has really improved, keep up the amazing work! Our Perfect Penguin before Christmas was Wren and the class loved seeing the photos she took with Perfect Penguin. He had a fantastic Christmas and seemed to feel at home visiting an ice skating rink, as well as soft play. Thank you for always being a positive role model and happy presence in the classroom. This week is Izabella, thank you for always working hard, listening and always trying your best in everything that you do!  We look forward to hearing about all the adventures you have with Perfect Penguin this week! Brilliant work all of you!

It certainly was an exciting start back on Thursday after the children discovered that something had been digging an enormous hole in the field surrounded by twigs and leaves! Seeing as the children in Key stage One are such amazing detectives, they were asked to investigate the scene and make some predictions about what could have caused the disturbance. There were many lovely ideas including a variety of animals which the children justified by explaining that some animals live underground; fantastic! After break, the children came back to their classes to find out that our new class book was Fantastic Mr. Fox. That then set the idea that perhaps we have a family of foxes living at the back of the field! We shall have to be observant and see if anything else changes. 

This half term our whole school values are unity and tolerance. The children started their learning with a discussion about what these values mean and how we can demonstrate them in our everyday life. The children shared some lovely ideas of how they can sometimes be tolerant as they develop their understanding of these important values. 

In Music, we are learning all about the genre of Rock Music with our key song ‘I wanna play in a band.’ The children did an amazing job of listening and appraising the song, thinking about its tempo, finding the pulse and discussing what instruments they could hear. They then did a fantastic job of learning to sing the song considering pitch and dynamics. We will continue to build on this great start ready for a final half term performance with the rest of the school in our Music Assembly;well done everybody!

The children were excited to find out that we will be learning about their local area in our History learning this half term. We began the new topic by exploring photos of Dunstable’s high street from over the last 60 years and attempting to place them into chronological order. We honed in on details such as the clothes of the shoppers and types of vehicles on the road in order to do this. The children were quick to understand that if a photograph is black and white, this doesn’t necessarily mean it was taken a long time ago!

Our PSHE focus for this half term is ‘Keeping Myself Safe’. We started the topic by discussing different types of medicines and how to use them safely. The children’s knowledge of this was particularly impressive, leading to a fantastic class discussion. In coming weeks, we will be looking at other ways children can keep themselves safe, such as healthy sleep routines, healthy relationships and regulating emotions.

We’re off to China for our geography learning this half term! The children demonstrated their skills by using an atlas to find China on a world map, pointing out significant places. We discussed the Great Wall of China and how it can be seen from space! We also found out about the capital city of Beijing, the beautiful mountains, the Yangtze River and the Yellow Sea. We also discussed Chinese/Luna New Year and how 2024 is the year of the Dragon! We also talked about the Chinese Zodiac animals of the years we were all born.

Science this half term kicked off with a fantastic outside lesson to discover living things and their habitats! We had a discussion about living things, dead things and things that have never been alive. A great example of this was discovered during our investigation. We are alive (because we can breath, eat and sleep!), leaves and twigs are dead because they are no longer on living trees and most of our toys that are made from plastic have never been alive. We then took our learning a step further and investigated microhabitats around the school, taking great care with living animals big and small. It has been lovely to see how engaged the children have been with our science learning, especially with regards to our scientist of the half term who is called Suzanne Simard. The children are very knowledgeable of her work and how she discovered that trees can talk to each other, with a mother tree to take care of them all. Hopefully they have shared this scientist with you, if not please ask them about her, the children have all shown that they are expert scientists!

Lots of love,

Miss. Sheldrick, Mrs. Braithwaite and Mr. McAleese


Dear Parents, Carers and Penguins class, 

It was lovely to see a lot of you at our parents and carers learning review meetings, and I speak for the whole of the Key Stage One team when I say it was a joy to talk about how wonderful the children are and how they have been progressing with their learning. Well done to Zakariya KS, Teagan and Jemima for being the last three perfect penguins! All of you have a fantastic attitude to your learning and we love having you as members of penguins class! Our handwriting heroes have been Zack A, George and Zachary G, with Beau, Sophie and Alexandra

as our heroines. The effort all children have been showing in regards to their handwriting is really being reflected in the quality of their work! Well done all!

The children have really impressed us in their English writing groups over the last few weeks. Firstly, with their wonderful recounts as the Fantastic Mr. Fox and more recently their retelling of the story of the Cockerel and the Fox by Helen Ward. It has been so lovely to see all the hard work that the children have been putting into their writing this year starting to come together for them. Well done everyone! One of the biggest differences in children’s writing habits we have noticed is how advanced children’s writing can become when they are prolific readers at home as well as in school. Thank you so much to those of you who are encouraging your children with this at home  and also taking time to read to your children daily (they are never too old for this!).

In Music, this half term we have been focusing on the genre of Rock in Key Stage One. We  had lots of fun watching a performance of Freddie Mercury at Wembley performing ‘We Will Rock You’ and included our own air guitar impressions; fabulous!  I have even heard rumblings of this around getting ready for break time. Put it on at home with your child and see if they can find the beat and sing along with you:) They have also been busy learning the notes to play the glockenspiel in time to their own song ‘I wanna play in a band.’ For our performance on the final Wednesday the children are invited to bring in a tie to put around their forehead (School of Rock style!) or, have a rock hairstyle for our whole school performance. Please speak to Miss. Slough if you need any further information on this.

Our walk around Dunstable town centre two weeks ago was the perfect ‘magic moment’ for this half term’s history learning. The children impressed everyone with their sensible behaviour choices when out in public; they definitely represented Lark Rise well! The children were quick to point out where old shops on the high street used to be and were confident in explaining where they had visited with family before. We also spoke about the different ways we can pay nowadays in comparison to the past, which linked nicely to the year 2’s recent maths learning about money.

The children have loved learning all about microhabitats over the last few weeks in science; we even ventured outside to find any minibeasts living within our school grounds. We looked closely at the suitable conditions needed for a variety of insects. Can your child remember where a pond skater lives? (The clue is in the name!) Each lesson, we have made sure to refer back to the processes all living things go through, such as movement, respiration and growth. We’ve since moved on to discuss food chains and the importance of these on a habitat.

In Design Technology we finally finished creating our vehicles for an alien, looking at wheels and axles. The teachers have been so impressed with the vision of the children, as well as their resilience and ability to work independently. They have shown how creative they can be, as well as how determined and sure they are of their own minds and vision. I hope they shared all of their learning with you by showing off their creations. We are so proud of how hard they have worked on this unit and we cannot wait for our next lesson where we are able to evaluate each other's creations. Massive well done to you all!

Our Geography learning has been a great opportunity to really explore Chinese culture, looking into megacities and all of the incredible landmarks that China has to offer. It has been especially exciting to learn all about the world and the amazing things we can do if we work towards understanding and appreciating other countries and communities. The children have been incredible with their oracy and understanding of different types of places in the world, we especially loved talking about Beijing and if we would like to live in a mega city - it would definitely be a different and busier place to live! The great wall of China and the terracotta army were the top places we would like to visit with all their rich history and we have begun to create our booklets for any tourist who would like to travel there!

This last week was children's mental health week and it has been really lovely to see how important this is to all children in the key stage. They have shown a great understanding of wellbeing and checking in with friends to make sure that everyone is ok. The theme has been that every voice matters and should have the opportunity of being heard. During a discussion of this with the children, it was wonderful to hear their team spirit, understanding that everyone should be valued and respected. In response to this it has been great to see children working on actively listening to one another and practising the values of tolerance and unity.

Safer internet day has been a great opportunity to see how confident the children are in their knowledge of staying safe on the internet. The children were able to explain what they would do when faced with anything on the internet they were unsure or afraid of by telling a trusted adult or turning off their electronics. We understand that it is important to always be kind to others, including on the internet. It was lovely to have an assembly delivered to us by the Key Stage Two safety squad. It is so important to stay safe on the internet and our electronics, something the children seem to really understand and take responsibility for. 

Lots of love,

Miss. Sheldrick, Mrs. Braithwaite and Mr. McAleese x


Class Messages:

  • There are quite a few cardigans and jumpers in penguins class so if your child is missing any, please ask them to have a look, we will also keep them in the lost and found box.

  • Well done for those who participated with the TT Rockstars competition, keep up the good work with Numbots as well as your TT Rockstars!



Dear Parents, Carers and Penguins class, 

I hope you all had a wonderful half term, it was lovely to come back and hear about all the amazing things the children did over the holidays! They all loved sharing their experiences with friends and it was lovely to see their eagerness to start our new learning of the half term. Congratulations to Charlotte for getting Perfect Penguin the week before half term. Penguins class loves how kind and caring you are to everyone, as well as how hard you work on your learning, well done! Also well done to Sirous this week for getting Perfect Penguin, you are really thoughtful and try your best at all you do! Our handwriting hero for this week is Theo and our heroine is Emily, well done both!

Well done for your final musical performance of the half term, all of you were absolutely amazing performing ‘I wanna be in a band.’ The children embodied the genre of Rock and were so brave and fearless when they sang and played their glockenspiels to the rest of the school. So much so that Mrs. Lang has decided to give the children an extra non- school uniform day to celebrate their success; well done everyone! Thank you also to all you lovely parents, carers and grandparents who helped prepare the children for this performance with their funky hairstyles and props; we couldn’t have done it without you :)

It is always an exciting time in Key Stage One when we introduce our new key text and this term was no exception as the children came into their classrooms from assembly only to discover three bowls of porridge and a broken chair! The children had great fun examining the evidence and guessing who they belonged to and how they even came to be there in the first place. The children drew on their prior knowledge of  traditional tales to make some super predictions and then wrote some beautiful sentences in their writing books to justify their opinions. Later on we received a parcel delivered to our classrooms and when the children opened it they found the book ‘Goldilocks and the three bears.’ written by the amazing author Lauren Child. This is such a lovely version of the story with amazing photographs on each page. I hope your child enjoys this enchanting version as they familiarise themselves with the text.

In History,  the children discovered a rucksack in the classroom with binoculars, map and a compass. They considered questions such as: What is this? Who might have packed this?  And, What are the items for? It was a great opportunity for oracy in the classroom and the children were excited to find out that they belonged to an explorer  from the past known as Christopher Colombus. See if they can tell you any of his main life events or even research  him a little further at home with your support.

Our art learning for this half term centres around Henri Rousseau style paintings. This week we got to learn all about his life and who he was as an artist. We even got to explore his famous painting ‘Surprised! Tiger in a Tropical Storm.’ It is a fascinating painting that the children loved talking about. It is lovely to know that Henri Rousseau was not actually a professional painter and he trained himself in his time off from being a tax collector. The children found it amazing that he practised and painted, even though he wasn’t considered a ‘professional’ and he was still able to create beautiful masterpieces and become a famous artist. We are really excited to be able to recreate his most famous painting at the end of the half term and have already started thinking about the skills we are going to use in art - like using different shades of green, painting oversized flowers and having animals at the front of our paintings (just like Rousseau!)

In geography our learning of the term is rainforests and the children loved exploring Atlas’ to find the three biggest in the World. They asked some fantastic questions about all of the animals and trees that we can find in them, learning about the ecosystems as well as watching videos that made us feel as though we were there! Ask the children what they can remember, they are expert geographers and we can’t wait to learn more about the structure, plants and animals we can find in our next lesson. The children were also excited that they are learning about Rainforests in Geography and then get the opportunity to look at paintings of them in art, especially as they will be able to paint their own!

Our science focus this half term is Everyday Materials and our focus scientist is Stephanie Kwolek. The children were fascinated to find out that Stephanie discovered a brand new material called Kevlar. This material is used for items such as bulletproof vests and tyres. Impressively, the children have already been able to use their retrieval skills from Autumn Term to identify various materials that we have in our classroom. They were then able to label these materials with new vocabulary (transparent, translucent, opaque, strong, weak). We managed to link this back to our focus scientist, explaining that Kevlar must be a very strong material. Next, we moved on to answer our first investigation question: Which materials are shiny and which are dull? The children wowed with their identifying, classifying and grouping skills, creating a table in their books to present their understanding.

We had a very special visitor at the end of last half term and the children could not have been more excited: The Mayor of Dunstable! The Mayor and two of her councillors explained how privileged they felt to visit Lark Rise and watch such a fantastic presentation about Dunstable from all of your wonderful children. All of the adults in Key Stage One were blown away by the sheer resilience and bravery of presenting to such an important person. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house!

This year for World Book Day the Reading Ambassadors have made suggestions for running a competition. You can either create your own design for a book cover of a favourite story or design a sock puppet of a favourite story character. Entries to be submitted by World Book Day on 7th March when they will be judged by the Reading Ambassadors and prizes awarded. You can choose to either get arty and design your book cover by drawing it or you can use Canva to design your own digital version of a book cover and print it or share it electronically with us; the choice is yours! The Reading Ambassadors are looking forward to judging your entries.

Lots of love,

Miss. Sheldrick, Mrs. Braithwaite and Mr. McAleese


Dear Parents, Carers and Penguins class, 

It has been an amazing half term so far! We have had the opportunity to participate in World Book day, science week and red nose day! Well done to everyone, Penguins class are brilliant with their attitude to learning and being kind to one another. Congratulations to Sirous for being our Perfect Penguin last week, as well as Lucy for this week! Also well done to our handwriting heroine Emily and our handwriting hero Zakariya, everyone has improved with their handwriting but it has been lovely to see how proud the children are of their work!

It was so lovely to celebrate World Book Day with all the children! They loved coming into the classroom and finding wet lily pads all over the floor - which we discovered were left by some frogs, just like in the story Tuesday by David Weisner. We loved pretending to be a frog and writing a diary entry about all our adventures. It was brilliant to be in our comfortable pyjamas, especially for stop, drop and read where we could relax and enjoy a good book for a few moments. The assembly by Mrs Francis was amazing and we are so grateful for all the staff who participated in the masked reader! It was great fun to guess who was reading! The entries to the world book day competition were just amazing and we are so proud of the creativity and passion of the children in key stage one! We loved celebrating with you all, thank you for a wonderful day!

Our art focus on Henri Rousseau continues to allow everyone to express themselves and learn all about the skills and techniques that Rousseau used. We loved the use of oversized flowers and the children drew such wonderful interpretations of this. We have our plan for our end piece of work completed and I cannot wait to see how creative and expressive the children are when we create our masterpieces next week!

Over the last few weeks we have been learning about the different layers of the rainforest: the Emergent Layer, The Canopy, The understorey, the shrub layer and the forest floor. Can your child name any of these layers and tell you about any of the animals that live within them? Next, we looked at the climate of the Amazon rainforest and discovered that they only have two seasons - wet and dry. It is also home to the second largest River in the world- The Amazon River. See if your child would like to explore this weblink with you to share some cool facts at home  Rainforest Habitat facts and photos (nationalgeographic.com) 

As our whole school value this term is peace, we took the opportunity to read a lovely story called Wangari’s Trees of Peace and listen to John Lennon’s song ‘Imagine and discuss the messages within them.’ The children have also been able to share what peace means to them and where they find it. Some children said at the park, some at the seaside and some said in their bedrooms. Why not have a chat with them and find out where they choose.

In history, the children have continued their learning about Christopher Columbus by considering the impact of his discovery. Did you know that his team brought back mangoes, vanilla and pineapples to Europe? Sadly, we also found out that he brought back Native Americans as slaves. Continuing with our theme of explorers, this week the children were thrilled to be learning about the first man to land on the moon - Neil Armstrong!

In PSHE, we have been focusing on different rights and responsibilities. The children have very eloquently expressed what they would do and who they would contact in an emergency as well as practise some basic first aid.

Lots of love,

Miss. Sheldrick, Mrs. Braithwaite and Mr. McAleese


Class messages:

  • Thank you so much for all your hard work with your homework, it is lovely to see so many of you completing it every week! Just a reminder that all children need to accept their google classroom invite in order to access this homework.