Welcome to Beech Class – Years 1 & 2

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

What have we been learning recently?

It’s been extremely busy in Beech class recently, with lots of work and fun! We really enjoyed learning more about the Victorian period, though we were quite shocked by the lives of poor children compared to those of the rich, and compared to the lives of children in Britain today.  We loved discovering the works of William Morris and have begun sketching our own designs.  We will use these after half term to create printing blocks, following in the Morris tradition.  In maths, we have continued to work on our times tables, thinking about how they can be used to help us with division.  We have also investigated the links between addition and subtraction with our maths partners.  We had an amazing week writing stories last week, and this week we evaluated our own work and tried to make improvements.  This week we have loved learning poems by heart and can’t wait to take part in our poetry recital and celebration on Friday.

We have a Victorian School day coming up on the 6th March and a school trip to the Rural Life Museum in Glastonbury on the 21st March.  Details to follow shortly!

What have we been learning this week?

We’re all very excited about our new theme for the term: the Victorians.  We looked at a timeline of the kings and queens of England to see which ones we already knew (King James I, Charles I & Charles II) and how and when Queen Victoria fitted in.  We also used our writing skills to describe a portrait of the Queen in her coronation robes.  In maths, we have been working on recognising 2d shapes and describing their properties.  We enjoyed writing ‘guess my shape’ puzzles for other children to answer.  We have also begun to learn about halves and quarters and how these fractions relate to periods of time.  Our Science work has focused on seasonal change and noticing the differences between autumn and winter in the natural world.  The children also have some homework about these topic.

Please see our termly booklet (sent home today or on our website) to find out more about our plans for the term.


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What have we been learning this week?

Happy New Year everyone!

This week in maths we learnt about measure.  We enjoyed practical challenges in the classroom measuring and comparing lengths. We also worked hard on learning how to tell the time on analogue clocks.  Both Y1 and Y2 have been telling the time to o’clock and half past and the Y2 have also begun to tell the time to the quarter.  This was quite tricky so we need as much practice at home and school as we can get!  We had a great PE lesson practising our multi skills and using timers to see how quickly we could carry out tasks.  We have also written all about our Christmas holidays and we enjoyed hearing about everyone’s different adventures.

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Learning and playing with maths equipment

A busy day in class, Spring 2017

beech-leafBeech Class Information

Homework and Home Learning

Spellings to be tested Friday 23rd February 2018

Year 1: more, score, before, wore, shore, chore

Y2 Tigers & Lions: door, poor, floor, more, explore, chore, launch, sauce, pause, caught



Active Learn & other homework:

Active Learn: new games allocated 8th February 2018

Written homework:


Y1 & Y2: project about winter, due on Thursday 25th January 2018

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 reading. If the children read 3 (or more times) a week to an adult at home, then they will receive a sticker on the chart. Every three weeks, those children with a sticker for each week will receive a small prize, building towards a larger reward at the end of the term. 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 27.4.15)

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.