Curlew's News Archive

January News

January has been a busy month packed full of learning for our inquisitive Curlews! Our ‘Mabe Matters’ topic has proven to be a real hit with the children. To launch our theme and give our village a geographical context, we began by locating Mabe Burnthouse on national, regional and local maps. We thoroughly enjoyed our walk around the village, which involved identifying physical and human features and drawing a route map on our return. I must say that I have been most impressed with their geographical skills! In this past week, we have pondered the question, Has living in Mabe always been the same as it is today? Using evidence from photographs and a Vimeo clip of nearby Penryn, we were able to consider how life has changed/remained the same. The children were really interested and asked many of their own questions about the past. Great historical enquiry skills!

In Science, the children became quite animated and passionate about various issues such as climate change and deforestation.

Maths-wise, we have completed two units this month: Division and Statistics. The children’s skills of rapid recall, reasoning and problem-solving are developing day by day. Paired/group talk indicates that they have grasped some super Maths vocabulary.

In English, Read Write Inc groups are making good progress and the Talk for Writing group have written their own Mabe Matters front pages. Congratulations to William and Lacey whose Mabe Matters font designs will feature in future publications! Guided reading is now whole class in its nature and we have explored a Mabe Matters edition, extended our Bunny Brown narrative and this week explored key vocabulary in our Palm Oil explanation text.

PE-wise, we have been extremely lucky to have expert football tutoring from Mrs Cooch and excellent gym coaching from Bex! Mrs Pearce has also been learning new skills!

In February, we look forward to Maths in action on Number Day (7th), our visit to Trenoweth Quarry (10th), our whole school cross country (11th) and our Trebah Gardens trip (25th).

Friday 24th January

After postponing the trip due to last week’s bad weather, we had a lovely start to the week with our sunny walk around Mabe. The children identified various physical and human features of the village, including houses, bungalows, the community hall, trees, the hillside, the shop, hairdressers, the playpark, roads and the university. We also used directional language such as left, right, forward, ahead, across and opposite. On returning to the classroom, the children created a map of our route and tried to represent features from a ‘bird’s eye view’ perspective. A big thank you to Anna and Jess for accompanying our trip!

As part of our Mabe topic, we designed a new font for the Mabe Matters publication. Editor Amanda Wills was very impressed with the whole class’ efforts, however, after much deliberation, chose William’s nautical design to front the edition after next. Her eye was also drawn to Lacey’s floral design, so she is going to use this in the publication after William’s. Great designing, Curlews!

In Maths, we started our new Statistics unit. The notion of gathering and sharing data was quite a new concept for many. During the week, we made and interpreted tally charts, 1-1 and 1-10 pictograms. The children really got stuck in and have been enjoying ‘handling data.’ If you would to see one of our Maths lessons ‘in action,’ be sure to sign up for our Number Day event in two weeks’ time (Friday 7th February). There will also be an assembly as well as a parent session during the morning. We’d love to see you there!

In Science, we discussed the crucial question, ‘Are we using too much energy?’ We talked about the meaning of the term ‘energy’ and how we use it both at home and at school. The children were tasked with creating persuasive posters to encourage people to use less energy, giving reasons why it affects the environment and suggesting alternatives.

Tuesday saw the eagerly awaited return of Mrs Cooch from Plymouth Argyle! This time we were able to go outside and onto the field for our session. The children worked hard to improve their dribbling skills using a series of tips from Mrs Cooch.

Friday 17th January

We continued with our Mabe Matters newsletter article in both Talk for Writing and Guided Reading sessions. We discussed unfamiliar vocabulary form within the text such as process, finally, re-equip, zone, designed, community, addition, containing, energetic, regular, disruptions and immediately. The children were tasked with choosing some of these new terms to put into their own sentences. Those children taking part in morning Talk for Writing sessions completed an innovation where they pretended that a company was planning to build a swimming pool beside the Argal Lake car park. As part of their article they had to consider people’s views about this controversial plan. It was great to see how animated they became when taking on the role of those for and against the venture!

In Maths, we completed our division unit. We divided by 2 by (a) using known facts and (b) by halving. We investigated odd and even numbers and also divided by both 10 and 5. Talk to your child about what happens when you add 2 odd numbers, add 2 even numbers or add one of each. Are the answers odd or even in each case? Give examples to match. Keep going with Mathletics and practising for the Multiplication Challenge. It really does make a difference!

As we were unable to go out on our village walk due to the weather, we brought next week’s learning forward. The children considered the ‘human’ features of our village. As part of our lesson, we considered the sorts of jobs people might do in the locality and reasons why certain professions could not be carried out in Mabe. If you were a pilot, you would need to work elsewhere as we do not have an airport. Also, there isn’t a Downing Street for the Prime Minister to work from! We discussed the sorts of jobs that we would or wouldn’t like to do. It was lovely listening to their ideas. Our aim is to reschedule our walk for Monday 20th January.

In Science, we identified which materials can be reduced, reused or recycled. As part of the session we sorted rubbish and designed a lunch with limited waste. We linked this learning to our Topic DT task where we are reusing materials to create a mini Mabe.

We were all disappointed that we had to cancel the whole school cross country, but this will be rearranged for another date in the near future. Safety is paramount and with the winds forecast, we felt it wouldn’t be a very safe or pleasant experience for the children. We did, however, have a fantastic first football lesson with Mrs Cooch from Plymouth Argyle. We listened and participated superbly; Mrs Pearce was impressed with how hard we all worked.

Friday 10th January

Welcome back to school! We hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas holiday and are ready for Spring Term. We have three outings to look forward to – a village walk, a trip to the quarry and a visit to Trebah Gardens! Each outing links closely to our Topics of ‘Mabe Matters’ (Spring 1) and ‘Sowing and Growing’ (Spring 2).

In our English learning, part of the class continued with their Read Write Inc Phonics sessions, while the others started our new Talk for Writing unit, ‘Mabe Matters.’ Our set text is a replica of the front cover from the 2018 July/August edition which talks about the forthcoming installation of the park. The whole class will access the text during afternoon guided reading sessions next week. As an assessment piece, the children have written their Christmas holiday news. They were excited to see the progress they have made since their Summer holiday entry back in September.

In Maths, we started on our division unit, initially recapping on elements of our multiplication learning from before the holidays. Vocabulary included multiply, divide, equal groups, commutativity, expression, remainder, stem sentence, share and skip count. We used classroom manipulatives (counters, the counting stick and Numicon) and visuals to help embed our understanding.

In Topic, we located Mabe Burnthouse on a national, county and local map. During the next few weeks we will be creating a ‘Mini Mabe’ using recycling materials. The children chose their partners and decided which building they will recreate. Next Monday we will be walking around the village, so please let us know if you can help and ensure you have completed the slip.

In Science, we started our new unit, The Environment. We explored the question, “Is our global climate changing?” by conducting a comparative test using clingfilm and ice cubes. We learnt about the effects of greenhouse gases and considered what could be done to help address this huge problem.

This morning we welcomed Becs back into school to teach our gym lesson. She will be with us each Friday until Easter and the children always make such fantastic progress with her. We are very lucky as we will also be be welcoming Anne Marie Keast from Plymouth Argyle to next Tuesday’s PE lesson. She will be leading a series of football coaching sessions with the whole class.

Next Tuesday will be a very active afternoon as we have both football and the whole school cross-country to enjoy. Don’t forget to send in trainers for the event.

Friday 20th December

We have had a lovely last week of term, spending time enjoying a range of Christmas activities. Our Christmas party was a real highlight and the children had great fun taking part in various games such as pass the parcel, musical statues and musical chairs.

In Maths we solved Christmas-themed problems and continued with our addition and subtraction booklets. The children have brought them home in case they have a spare moment to practise mathematical skills over the holiday. Don’t forget to make use of our Mathletics resource. Curlew usage has slipped recently.

In RE, we added captions to pictures of the Christmas story and in Science, we completed our Animals unit with an investigation called ‘Glitter Bugs.’ We covered our hands in glitter to represent germs and attempted to remove the ‘germs’ in various ways. Washing our hands with warm water and soap proved most successful. We learnt that running our hands under water for two seconds does not remove germs!

We hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas holiday and that you come back refreshed in January! Mrs Pearce and Mrs Moody.

Friday 13th December

Wow! Wow! Wow! What a great performance Curlews and Sandpipers gave in our Lights, Camel. Action 2: The Sequel performance. Brilliant acting, awesome narrating, wonderful singing and, of course, fabulous dancing darling! We are very proud of each and every one of our pupils and we hope that you have enjoyed watching it as much as we enjoyed putting it together. Thank you for your support with learning lines, providing costumes and bringing the children into school for the evening performance.

In our English sessions, we wrote Cornish-themed tales. This activity acted as an assessment piece and I am so impressed by how much progress the children have made since September. Next week, we will write our own Christmas Senses poems and take part in a SPaG assessment.

In Maths, we completed our multiplication learning, focusing on the 2 times table and interpreting arrays (Christmas-themed, of course!). The children completed a mini end of block quiz and I am pleased with their developing understanding. An increased use of manipulatives and practical resources has had a positive impact.

In Monday’s Topic learning we decorated our mini Christmas cakes using roll out icing and various decorations. The children were very pleased with their creations; you can see their proud faces below in our key activities photographs.

Next week we look forward to Christmas lunch, parties, craft and other festive activities.

Friday 6th December

We can’t believe that our Lights, Camel, Action 2 performance is literally days away. We have spent the week polishing our lines, thinking about where we stand, perfecting our dance moves and really belting out our songs! We can’t wait for you to watch! Monday is our dress rehearsal date, so we are looking forward to showing off to the rest of the school.

In English, the children planned and started to write their Cornish-themed story inventions. They were able to complete quite detailed story plans, with many moving away from the plotline found in our Mousehole Cat model text. All tales were set in Cornwall, but their content varied. We had jewellery shop robberies in Truro, stranded rabbits on the beach, stolen chicks and a plethora of other dilemmas. Next week we will be completing our inventions and I cannot wait to read them!

In Maths, we completed the multiplication element of our Multiplication and Division unit. After Christmas, we will move onto looking at division, which we will link carefully to our current multiplication learning. This week, we focused on using arrays and the 2, 5- and 10-times tables.

Our Topic learning has been a real highlight of the week. Today’s mini Christmas cake production has been great fun and I would like to say a huge thank you to Fred’s mum, Caroline for helping with our festive fare! On Monday, we will decorate our cakes. We linked our cooking to last half term’s Materials unit – we observed how ingredients changed upon heating, cooling, mixing and so on. New vocabulary included: viscous, separate, combine, solid, liquid, consistency, yolk and whisk.

Finally, don’t forget those fancy frocks and bow ties for Wednesday’s performance!

Friday 29th November

Lights, Camel, Action 2: The Sequel has naturally been of prime importance this week. The children continue to impress me with their commitment and enthusiasm. We can’t wait to share it with you in a couple of weeks’ time.

Another key feature this week was our visit from Charlestown headteacher Mr Clutsom. He taught the children all about online safety, which is such a crucial part of modern day living. Thank you to everyone who attended the parent session later in the day.

In our English learning, we made our own innovations based on The Mousehole Cat. Sticking closely to the original text, we simply altered the location, star animal and meals. Next week, we will become more creative when we write our inventions.

In Maths, we started on our new two-week Multiplication and Division unit. Using a range of visual images and practical resources, the children explored equal groups, repeated addition and the use of the x symbol. This week’s question for discussion is: What’s the same and what is different – 2 x 4, 4 x 2 and 4 + 4?

In Topic, we discussed the occasions when our bodies might not be so brilliant (as a result of illness etc) and considered ways in which to keep our bodies as healthy as possible. This included thinking about eating a balanced diet, taking regular exercise and looking after our minds.

Our Science learning linked closely to our Topic work as we explored the effects of exercise on our bodies.

Please note that there will be no multiplication challenge next week (6th) as we will be busy baking our cakes. We will hold our last test of the term on Friday 13th December.

Just a polite reminder - please can you send in a clean tuna tin for our Christmas cake baking next Friday (6th).

Friday 22nd November

This week, we started on our new Talk for Writing Text, “The Mousehole Cat.” This wonderful story is based in our county and full of such beautiful language. We talked about how Mousehole is such a special place to visit at Christmas time, so you might get a request to have a festive look at the lights! At the beginning of the week, we had fun exploring the text, creating story maps and spotting special words within the tale.

In Maths, we spent a second week learning about money. We compared amounts, found totals, calculated differences, worked out change and solved two-step problems. Please take any opportunity you can to help your child count up the change in your purse, select the correct money to pay for items and find coin equivalences. This week’s question for discussion is: What is the largest and smallest total you can make with 2 coins? How about 3?

In our Topic session, we explored the question, How do we use our brilliant bodies to express our thoughts? Focusing on the Queen song, “You’re My Best Friend,” we discussed the lyrics, speed, dynamics, instruments and how they made us feel. In small groups, children performed dances along to the songs to express their feelings about friendship. Their moves included hand claps, dancing in friendship circles and the conga!

Music and Dance have also played big roles in our Lights, Camel, Action 2 rehearsals. We are so proud of the children’s enthusiasm and commitment to ensuring the play will run smoothly. They are so excited that the stage is up and it gives them a real sense of how the performance will operate. We actually managed to run through the entire play on Tuesday.

In Science, we considered how to be healthy and planned well-balanced packed lunches in our groups. We learnt about food groups as part of the session.

Just a quick reminder that we would like you to send in washed, empty tuna tins in readniess for our mini Christmas cake baking next month. Thank you to everyone who has already sent one in!

Friday 15th November

We have really been getting to grips with our Lights Camel Action 2 songs this week. Ranging from gospel through to the conga with a ceilidh thrown in, the songs are great fun and so catchy! We are also practising saying our lines out loud. Don’t forget that the children need their scripts in school each day. Line rehearsal can count as a read remember, so pop any practises into your child's reading record. Our next task is to plan dances to accompany the songs – the play is based on Strictly after all!

In our English learning, we compiled our own Senses poems based on the model text of the same name. We created sets of rhyming strings in the planning phase of the writing process. We have also spent time honing our proof reading and editing skills, which are both important aspects of the Year 2 writing curriculum.

We started our brand-new Money unit in our Maths lessons. We spent time counting pence, pounds and notes, selecting the correct coins to make a given total and making the same amounts. Please make use of our Mathletics online resource to practise money-related activities. This week’s questions for discussion are: How many different ways can you make 37p? How about 99p? Would you be able to make either amount with just silver coins? How do you know that?

Art was at the forefront of our Topic learning when we created our self-portraits. We explored the work of famous artists such as Vincent van Gogh and created a toolkit for creating our own portraits. Our masterpieces are on display in our classroom if you would like to take a look!

In Science, we answered the question, “What do animals need to grow?” We created a poster explaining that we need air, water and food. Some children considered the challenge question, “Do trees have the same basic needs?”

Friday 8th November

On Monday, we started our two week ‘Senses’ poetry unit. As well as following on from last week’s Bonfire Night poetic study, the ‘Senses’ poem also links closely to our ‘Brilliant Bodies’ topic and our current Science theme ‘Animals, including Humans.’ Each new verse explored a difference sense and the children became quite proficient at performing the poem out loud. Please help your child to learn and explore ‘Senses’ at home. You should have received a letter with the poem attached and key features listed.

In Maths, we completed our Addition and Subtraction unit, focusing in on subtracting 2-digit numbers, finding bonds to 100 (tens and ones) and adding 3 single digit numbers. Next week we begin our Money unit, so if you would like to practise coin recognition and totaling over the weekend, that would be a great help. This week’s question for discussion is: What’s the same and what’s the difference between these two calculations? 34 – 29 = and 78 – 41 =? Think abut how you might solve the calculations. Is it more efficient to count on, use the column method or any other approach?

In Science, we explored the question, ‘How are the 6 stages of human growth similar and different?’ This session built on last week’s Topic learing when we identified changes between our lives as babies, toddlers and children.

In Topic, we considered why our senses are brilliant. We went on a senses hunt around the school, mapping what we could smell, see, hear, touch and taste at various locations. Some children were able to take their learning further and consider what our senses would reveal a little further afield, such as at the farm or up at the quarry.

There was plenty of musical activity this week in Curlew class! As well as our weekly Music lessons with Miss Allen, we are also taking every opportunity to sing songs from our Lights, Camel, Action 2 nativity. They are super catchy – I can imagine that you might have heard them once or twice!!

Friday 1st November

We hope that you all had a wonderful half term holiday and that you are ready for the busy, yet fun weeks ahead. To begin our English learning this week, the children completed their holiday news independent writing task. They looked back to their initial task of the year and were all able to see the progress they have made. During the rest of the week, we examined bonfire night poetry and used some of the literary devices found in these texts to create our own poems. You can see similes, alliteration and even onomatopoeia (sound words, such as woosh, bang and crash) within the children’s writing.

In our Maths learning, we continued with our Addition and Subtraction unit. The focus was upon adding and subtracting two-digit numbers using the column method. This week’s questions for discussion are: 1. Always, sometimes, never, if there is a 0 in the tens column, the number will be a single digit number. 2. What could the number be if there is a 7 in the 10s column?

We started our new half termly topic, Brilliant Bodies on Monday. Our key umbrella question for the unit is, “Why are our bodies brilliant?” We will endeavour to find our answer through a range of activities related to Maths, Geography, History, Dance, Science, Art & Design, DT, Music and PSHCE. This week, we created mini timelines of our lives using photocopies of the photographs you kindly sent in. We compared what our bodies are able to do now with what we could do when we were babies and toddlers. We also looked to the future and predicted what new things we might be able to do as teenagers.

In Science, we learnt about animal babies and life cycles. We considered the question, “Do all creatures grow in the same way?” This linked well to our Topic learning.

In RE we thought about light over darkness, whilst in PSHCE we began our new unit “Growing Up,” this week focusing on our bodies.

One of the week’s highlights was our first run through of our Lights, Camel, Action 2 songs. We joined Sandpipers in the hall to sing and talk about elements of the play. We have a busy few weeks ahead of us putting the performance together. Mrs Thomas and I can't wait!

Thursday 17th October, 2019

Wow, I can’t believe that we have reached the end of our first half term already! Where have the weeks gone? We packed so much in and can look forward to another busy half term after the holidays. Be prepared to get your glad rags on once again as we put on a Strictly Come Dancing-style performance called ‘Lights, Camel, Action 2: The Sequin.’ Three years ago we put on the original show and it was greatly enjoyed by children and parents alike.

In our English learning, we invented sets of instructions based on ‘How to Become a Knight.’ The children had to choose one of the following castle residents to complete a ‘How to Dress a …’ invention: king, queen, princess, prince, jester or cook.

In Maths, we focused on adding 2 digit to 1 digit numbers, subtracting 1 digit from 2 digit numbers and adding 2 2 digit numbers. Remember that the children can practise these skills using Mathletics. Well done to everyone who is making use of this resource – we often top the school leaderboard for the greatest class usage! Keep up the good work; Mathletics really does make a difference! This week’s question for discussion is: Jack is counting back to solve 35 – 7. He counts 35, 34, 33, 32, 31, 30, 29. Is Jack correct? Explain your answer.

In our Topic learning, we completed our own personal coat of arms shields. We chose images/words that were special to us and you can see our finished products on display in the classroom.

In Science, we learnt about the inventor John McAdam, who created the macadamisation process. We completed a fact file about his life and explained how his invention impacted on modern day driving.

One of the week’s undoubted highlights was our visit from Daya on Tuesday. The children took part in a range of activities to explore the Hindu festival of Diwali and traditional Indian culture. We cooked, sampled food, dressed up, meditated, listened to stories and danced! See below for photographs of our day!

Many thanks to everyone who contributed food items to the Harvest Festival today. It was lovely to see many of you there for the event. The children loved practising and performing our Autumn Days poem.

We would like to wish you all a very happy half term!

Friday 11th October

We are zooming towards the end of the first half term with great speed and I can’t believe how much we have managed to squeeze in! In our English learning, we started our second topic-themed Talk for Writing unit, entitled “How to Become a Knight.” As they learnt the set of instructions by heart, the children were also absorbing historical information. The text is full of historical facts and key technical vocabulary. This week we also created our innovations called “How to Dress a Knight.”

In Maths, we continued with our Addition and Subtraction unit, this week focusing on finding bonds to 100 (tens), adding and subtracting ones, finding 10 more/less than a given number, adding/subtracting 10 and adding a two-digit to a one-digit number. Haven’t we been busy bees? Don’t forget to make full use of our Mathletics resource – Your child’s login details can be found inside the back cover of their reading record. If you have any problems, please let us know. This week’s question for discussion is: How many different multiples of 10 bonds can you make for 70? e.g. 30 + 40

In our Topic learning, we spent our lesson answering the question, “How were members of Pendennis Castle entertained?” We sorted images of Tudor entertainment, compared entertainment then & now and explored how the piece of music Greensleeves made us feel.

In our Science lessons, we looked at the process of recycling and discussed why it is crucial to sort our rubbish carefully. We talked about which materials can and can’t be recycled and considered whether, after research, more materials might be recyclable in the future.

Many thanks to all of the parents who attended our meetings at the start of this week. It is so valuable for us to be able to chat about your child early on in the year so that we can allay any worries and share how they have settled into Year 2. As I have said before, I am proud of each and every Curlew!

Don’t forget that we have a short week ahead and as next Friday is an INSET day, the multiplication challenge will begin again on 1st November.

Friday 4th October

We’ve reached the end of another packed week at school; the highlight undoubtedly being our trip to Pendennis Castle! The visit put our topic learning into context as the children were able to handle castle artefacts and explore this magnificent historic building first hand. There are photographs on our website class page if you would like to take a look at. Many thanks to Mr Higgins and Mr Carter for helping out.

In English, we wrote a recount about our castle outing, which included using the past tense, adjectives and time connectives. You can see our completed pieces of writing displayed on our classroom washing line.

In Maths, we started our new topic, “Addition and Subtraction.” We focused on finding fact families, checking calculations, comparing number sentences and finding related facts. Don’t forget to make full use of our Mathletics resource – Your child’s login details can be found inside the back cover of their reading record. If you have any problems, please let us know. This week’s question for discussion is: What’s the same and what is the difference? 5 + 4 = 9, 15 + 4 = 19 and 50 + 40 = 90?

In our Science learning, we sought to answer the question, “Can all materials be changed by squashing, bending, twisting and stretching?” As a class, we decided on our own method, hypothesis and materials. We tested a range of items in our table groups and drew conclusions about our findings.

Each Thursday afternoon, the children work with Ms Richards, practising their coding skills in Computing and reflecting on how to be safe in PSHCE (Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship education). This week, they focused on staying safe outside.

I look forward to seeing you all next Monday or Tuesday for our parent meetings when I can talk to you about how your child has settled into the class. This is also an opportunity for you to tell me anything or to ask questions about life in Year 2.

Friday 27th September

The children have had another busy week at school! They continue to impress us with their fantastic attitude to learning and brilliant behaviour. It is hard to believe that they have only been in Curlew class for just over three weeks as they have adjusted to routines and expectations with such speed.

We are pleased with the progress that so many of our children have made during their Read Write Inc lessons. It is already having an impact on reading and spelling skills, which is great. We completed our Rapunzel Talk for Writing unit this week by writing creative inventions. The aim is that the children write with real creativity and move away from the model text as much as they can, whilst retaining the genre’s structure.

We also completed our Place Value unit in Maths. We practised comparing numbers, ordering objects/numbers and counting in 2s, 3s, 5s and 10s. This week’s question for discussion is: Always, Sometimes, Never? If I find 10 more than a number, it will end with the same digit as the number I started with. Is the same true of 20 more than or 10 less than? Explain your reasoning.

This week’s Topic question is “When and why was Pendennis Castle built?” We created a class timeline detailing key events in the castle’s history. The children then labelled timelines of their own, adding images and sentences. Key vocabulary included century, Tudor, Henry VIII, World War I, World War II and pentagonal fortress.

Our Science learning linked directly to our Topic work, as we answered the question, “Are all parts of a castle made from stone?” We listed various castle parts and recorded which material they were constructed from. We discussed why certain materials were suitable for specific jobs.

In PE, we played ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ as our warm up, practised footwork moves such as hopscotch and skipping in our skills section and applied these skills in a ‘follow my leader’ paired activity.

Two dates for next week’s diary: On Monday, you are invited to our Read Write Inc parents’ meeting and on Tuesday 1st October, we head to Pendennis Castle for our first trip of the year!

Friday 20th September

During our English Talk for Writing lessons, we have been busy innovating our own versions of Rapunzel. The name ‘Rapunzel’ actually means lettuce in German and so our first task was to choose a German fruit or vegetable name for our main character. We then changed key aspects of the fairy story, replacing the witch for another mean character, the tower for an alternative hidden home, the prince for a replacement hero and so on! The children have been really quite creative with their ideas. Next week, we move away from the model text by inventing our own imaginative stories.

Read Write Inc lessons continue to be a very enjoyable aspect of the day, with the children really getting to grips with the sounds and associated phrases. Don’t forget to pop along to our parent information evening on Monday 30th September at 6pm to learn more about this new approach.

We continued with our Place Value unit in Maths, this week focusing in on adding with the help of a part-whole model, using a place value chart and comparing amounts using the <, > and = symbols. This week’s question for discussion is: How many different numbers will correctly fit into the gap: 23 < ____ < 42?

In Science, we ventured out and about around our school, hunting for examples of objects that are made from wood, metal, plastic, fabric, glass, rock, paper and cardboard.

In our Topic learning, we answered the question, “Where is Pendennis Castle?” after looking at Google Earth images and various maps. We labelled a map of the area and created a plan view sketch of the castle within its immediate surroundings. Key vocabulary discussed during the lesson included: Pendennis Castle, St. Mawes Castle, Carrick Roads, Falmouth, Penryn, Flushing, Gyllyngvase, headland, locate, location and plan view. Don’t forget to return the Pendennis Castle permission slip as soon as possible!

Friday 13th September

We have filled our first full week back with lots of learning and started our new Read Write Inc sessions. Read Write Inc Phonics teaches children to read accurately and fluently with good comprehension. We have adopted the approach throughout the Early Years and Key Stage 1, so we now have a consistent method of teaching reading from the outset. For the first half of term, we will be focusing on Speed Sounds sessions, where the children focus on a specific sound each day, whilst also recapping on previous learnt sounds. During the lesson, children say the sound and its accompanying phrase (e.g. ar – start the car), read the sound on its own, recognize the sound within a set of sounds, read words containing that sound (e.g. start & sharp) and spell words containing the sound. Children are grouped according to their phonic ability (which we assessed at the end of last term) and taught by one of our RWI trained members of staff. They will be re-assessed before half term ready for the full lessons (which include reading and writing activities). Spellings will be set each Tuesday and tested on the following Monday within RWI Phonics groups. This way they are matched to the children’s level, which we feel is much more appropriate. Please note that we will be holding a Read Write Inc Phonics parent meeting on Monday 30th September. During the meeting, we will explain the approach and answer any questions you might have.

In addition to Read Write Inc Phonics, the children will take part in Talk for Writing sessions, which they have previously experienced with Mrs Champion in Year 1. This week, we began our first unit of the year, “Rapunzel.” I chose this particular traditional story to link with our Castles topic. Please help your child to explore and learn Rapunzel by heart, using the text and story map sent home with an accompanying letter at the start of the week. Please let us know if you did not receive a copy.

In Maths, we continued with our Place Value unit, this week focusing on representing numbers to 100 (using manipulatives such as Base 10, Numicon and place value counters) and partitioning numbers using the part-whole model. Each week, I will pop a Maths question related to current learning into this blog for you to discuss with your child. This week’s question is: Does 30 + 7 = 307? Why? Why not?

As you know, this half term’s Topic learning is all about castles. The key umbrella question for the unit is “Is Pendennis Castle unique?” Each week, we will answer a sub-question to help us reach an answer. On Monday, we considered “Are all castles the same?” During the session, the children sorted images of castle features (bailey, battlements, tower and portcullis) from six different castles. They talked about their similarities and differences. Following this task, they then looked at images of Pendennis and Warwick Castles, labelling each one and explaining how they differ. A key feature of the children’s learning is to have a solid grasp of vocabulary related to the topic in hand. This week, key vocabulary has included: moat, battlements, bailey, portcullis, tower, barbican, drawbridge, arrow loops, contrast, describe and unique. Please chat to your child about these terms.

In Science, we started our Uses of Everyday Materials theme. The children considered the suitability of materials for specific jobs, such as glass for windows and wood for a chair. We made links to our Topic learning, by considering how stone was a suitable material for building castles.

Friday 6th September

Welcome to Curlew class! The children have adapted very well to their new classroom environment and to their new teaching staff. We are very proud of their attitude to both learning and behaviour during this very short week. In terms of the latter, I am sure that your Curlew has mentioned our new reward system, “Class Dojo.” Dojos replace housepoints as our whole school system. Each child has an onscreen avatar (alien type creature) who earns “dojos” for specific reasons, such as participating and being kind. Some of the reasons are generic across the whole school, whilst others are class specific, such as our top table award. As well as our ‘positive dojos’, there are ‘needs work’ dojos, such as hurting others with unkind words. The children are already really excited and motivated by this new approach. Pop in to see us if you would like to find out more.

In our English learning, we have written our summer holiday news as an assessment task and also super sentences about ourselves. Next week we begin our much-awaited Read Write Inc sessions and our first Talk for Writing unit, “Rapunzel.”

In Maths, we began our Place Value unit. Place value forms the basis of all mathematical understanding, so is a crucial start to the year. We practised our skills of counting up to 100, as well as reading and writing numbers in numerals and words. Please take any opportunity you can to help your child practise their number recording skills.

On Thursday afternoon, I introduced our new topic, “Castles”. We talked about what we already know and what we might like to find out about these significant medieval buildings. Just as an early heads up, we are visiting Pendennis Castle on Tuesday 1st October. Please let me know if you can help out!

We completed the week by sketching our class bird, the Curlew. We were very careful when creating our sketches and you can see the finished artwork on display in our cloakroom area.