Welcome to Beech Class – Years 1 & 2

Teacher: Caroline Norris 
 Teaching Assistants: Tracey Thompson & Tara Butcher

Welcome back!

Welcome back to school.  Please see our new termly booklet to find out more about our plans for the term. We’ve had a lovely start to the spring term in Beech Class.  Our new topic is ‘Light and ‘Dark’ and we enjoyed learning about Vincent Van Gogh and looking at examples of his art.  We particularly loved ‘Starry Night’.  On Wednesday, we practised colour mixing with the  primary colours, making secondary colours.  We also challenged ourselves to discover what colour you make if you mix all three primary colours together.  Today we’ve had a closer look at ‘Starry Night’ and ‘Sunflowers’, selecting parts of each painting with a viewfinder or small frame.  We then used oil pastels to create our own version, trying to include areas of light and dark and to fill the page with vibrant colour.  We’re looking forward to sharing our art work at the next KS1 parents assembly.

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In maths, the Year 1s have just completed their addition and subtraction within 20 chapter and are looking forward to investigating shape.  Year 2 have been working really hard on their division and making links with multiplication.  Any practice of counting in 2s, 5s and 10s will help with this.

Today we started a new book called ‘Time to go home, Little Bunny.  Not only is it a lovely story, but it is also beautifully illustrated, with pictures that change when you open a flap.  We loved it and are looking forward to writing our own versions next week.

Click here for the website with the latest game that we have been practising in class.  We have been working on subtraction, but it also covers, addition, multiplication and division.




What have we been learning this week?

Year 2 were very excited to start on division this week and learning about how it is related to multiplication.  Year 1 have practised different ways to add including making 10 and counting on.  Both year groups enjoyed working on number fact fluency with the game ‘Alien Addition’.

We had a very exciting visit from a Wildcat helicopter this week, with Christmas elves on board.  The children were inspired to do some fantastic writing.

Today, we had our final practice of the Starlight nativity  and we are looking forward to performing for the rest of the school at our dress rehearsal on Monday.  Thank you for providing costumes.

What have we been learning this week?

We’ve been very busy working on the nativity this week.  The children know many of their lines by heart and we were able to concentrate on the acting and even practised using the stage!  In English, we loved the book ‘The Night Shimmy’ about a child and his imaginary friend.  We wrote our own stories on the same theme today and next week we will work on editing and improving them, just like published authors.  In maths, the Year 1s have continued to become familiar with numbers from 11 – 20 in both numerals and words.  They have compared them, worked out 1 more and 1 less and ordered the numbers.  Year 2 have worked brilliantly on their multiplication chapter.  Here are some photos of them showing what they know on the whiteboard.

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We looked at the Oxford Owl website and the vast array of electronic books that you can read for free.  Here is the link (the children know the username and password):

Oxford Owl

We also looked at some fun maths games that can be found on the internet (external sites).

Here are some we liked:

Alien addition

Funky Mummy

Hit the Button


Our poetry reciting celebration

William Morris inspired printing

beech-leafBeech Class Information

Homework and Home Learning

Spelling words:

Year 1: good, look, took, push, pull, friend

Year 2: new, flew, threw, view, knew, spooky, mushroom, choose, balloon, smooth

Homework:  maths for both year groups.  Year 1 have some addition and subtraction calculations and Year 2 are practising multiplication.


Here are some links to online games that may help with maths practice:

Hit the Button

Number fact families

Please ensure that spelling test books & spelling folders are brought to school by Friday.

Don’t forget that we also have links to lots of educational games (from external websites) in our learning links section.

Reading – All children have a reading book. This is primarily a home reading book, to read to parents or other adults. Please see the section on reading rewards for further information. Within school, we carry out a range of other reading activities, such as guided (or group) reading, where the teacher hears individuals read and then the group discusses the text, and shared reading, where the class reads together.

Reading Rewards

We are very keen for children to become regular readers and we use a reward scheme to encourage home regular reading, at least 3 times per week. Mrs Thompson will be updating the chart every Monday, so please ensure that home reads are written in the home link book. Thank you!

Ideas for talking about books with your child:

As your child gets older you tend to ‘hear’ them read less and less because they become more fluent. However, it is important that the children continue to develop their comprehension and reasoning skills, through talking about the books they are reading. These brief discussions will count towards your child’s reading reward too, so please note them in their home reading log.

Here are some ideas to help:


1) Ask them to find their favourite paragraph in the chapter they have read
· Ask them what happened before this?
· Why did they like it?
· What do they think will happen next?
· How do they think the issue/problem will be resolved?

2) Ask the children about their favourite character in the book. Then ask them if they have read any other books with similar characters? Or ask them if they know of books which have characters that are completely the opposite.


Is the information presented clearly?
Do you think then layout is good? Would you lay it out differently?
What age do you think it is intended for?

Year 1 Parent Information


We currently use the Letters and Sounds phonics scheme as a basis for teaching phonics, though this is supplemented by the guidance from the National Curriculum for English 2014, Years 1 & 2.

Please find below some information taken from the Government guidance on the Year 1 phonics screening check, which is carried out nationally.

What is the Year 1 phonics screening check?

The phonics screening check is a quick and easy check of your child’s phonics knowledge. It helps your school confirm whether your child has made the expected progress. The check normally takes place in June.

How does the check work?

  • Your child will sit with a teacher he or she knows and be asked to read 40 words aloud. (20 real words and 20 ‘pseudo words’)
  • Your child may have read some of the words before, while others will be completely new.
  • The check normally takes just a few minutes to complete and there is no time limit. If your child is struggling, the teacher will stop the check. The check is carefully designed not to be stressful for your child.

 Year 2 Parent Information

Assessment Information

As well as ongoing teacher assessment, which takes place throughout Year 2, pupils will take end of Key stage 1 tasks or tests in Reading, Spelling, Grammar & Punctuation and Maths. These new tests were used nationally for the first time in 2016.  The administration times of these tasks and tests are flexible to a certain extent, though most will have to be taken during May.    The results of the tests are combined with teacher assessment of each child’s work throughout the year to show where each child is in relation to age related expectations (ARE) by late June.  These results will be reported to parents in the annual report in July.  As we move from the old curriculum to the new, it may appear that your child is no longer doing as well as before. This is nothing to worry about and is due to the way the new curriculum has been designed, with some difficult concepts moved down to Year 2 from older age groups.   Please let us know if you’d like further information or discussion about your child and how they are getting on.

Learning Links

Here are some links to external websites for more information and games to play (updated 23.2.18)

Antarctic timeline (may not work on iPads but may work on other tablets!)

Time for Kids Antarctica

Discover Antarctica

Weather websites

Switched on kids for electrical safety

Play the continents and oceans game.  Can you name them all?

Find out about how children live in different parts of the world by exploring the BBC program ‘Little Human Plant’ in iPlayer. 

Explore simulations by clicking on the link below.   Includes the paper plane game!

Explore maps with Goggs!

Explore the parts of a vehicles, axles and wheels

Rainforests and exploring

Rainforest SOS

National Geographic for kids

Kids Corner Brazil

Christopher Columbus – BBC Schools


Food – a fact of Life: lots of games, videos and activities for different ages.  Explore them all!


Get Set Olympics – lots of games and information for children

Get in the Zone – games about healthy bodies and healthy eating


Loads of reading and spelling games with Roy the Zebra

ICT games

BBC Words and pictures

Phonics Play

Click here to view a video produced by the Department Of Education showing the correct way to articulate different phonemes (sounds)


Hit the Button games (Times tables, Doubling & Halving, Number Bonds)

Other Times Table links

Counting in different multiples: select Numeracy, and then ‘Counting’ from: ICT games

Funky Mummy

Shark Game

Counting Cars

Fractions flags

Number Bond Games

Number Bond Twins

Time games – lots of them!

Money games

Lots of shape games below:

Crickweb shape games

Guess the shape

A big variety of shape games!

Shape and measure games


BBC Science clips – select the quiz that you are interested in

A really great site for habitats and having fun learning about habitats

Short film clips about Electricity from the BBC

Blobz Guide to Electric circuits! 

Other websites about electricity


First school years website: Louis Braille

Great Fire of London   New!

Christmas (Click here)

Scroll down the page until you get down the title ‘Games and Apps’.  There are lots of websites listed undermeath with online games.