Welcome to Beech Class – Years 1 & 2

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

What have we been learning this week?

This week, Beech Class carried out some fieldwork in the village, with a visit to our beautiful church.  We enjoyed finding different features inside and outside the church and also thought about which materials had been used for both the building and the furniture.  In English, we continued to work on our understanding of what a sentence is and how to punctuate it correctly.  We also used our fieldwork to help us create a report about one feature of the church, working collaboratively with a partner.  In maths, the Year 1 children had lots of fun using positional language and practice using left and right.  Year 2 were delighted to finish the long and challenging addition and subtraction chapter of their workbook, and are looking forward to beginning work on multiplication and division.  Everyone had fun today dressing in spots and pyjamas to raise money for Children in Need, and in our Pause for Thought reflection we thought about all the different ways we can help others.


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What have we been learning this week?

We’ve been thinking a lot about Remembrance this week; what is means and the symbols that represent it.  We did lots of research at home and in school, finding out about poppies, memorials and what happens on Remembrance Sunday.  Today we shared our poppy homework with partners and began to write our non chronological reports, following our school Remembrance Service.  We are proud of the work we have put into our reports and they will be displayed on our writing wall in the classroom.  The large photograph at the top of this post is of our class poppy at the Digby Hall in Sherborne, in the exhibition last Tuesday.  It can now be seen in Sherborne Museum.

Here are some photos of us sharing our poppy homework with a partner.

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What have we been learning this week?

We’ve had a great time in Beech this week, learning more about non fiction writing and non chronological reports in particular.  We then tried to write our own reports all about our favourite hobbies and toys.  Our homework this week is to find out more about the poppy and why it is used as a symbol.  Next week, we will be using this knowledge to help us write reports about Remembrance.  We thought about how men and women in the armed forces have to work as a team and used this as our inspiration when creating our contribution for an exhibition at the Digby Hall next week.  You can see the amazing results below!


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Our poetry reciting celebration

William Morris inspired printing

beech-leafBeech Class Information

Homework and Home Learning

Spelling words:

Year 1: laughed, walked, played, checked, jumped, hunted

Year 2:  didn’t, I’ll, shouldn’t, couldn’t, wouldn’t, I’ve, doesn’t, don’t, haven’t, Christmas

Homework:  investigating materials at home


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.