Welcome to Beech Class – Years 1 & 2

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

What have we been doing this week?

Beech Class have worked very hard this week.  We really enjoyed learning about  different groups of vertebrates and their characteristics in Science.  We applied this knowledge to our story writing, choosing our own ‘baby animal’ character when writing our versions of ‘The Bog Baby’.  We have also reinforced our knowledge of 3d shapes by using the Flexitree branching database computer program to help us divide them into groups by their properties, for example, number of vertices (corners) or faces. We even managed to fit a maths test into the week!

The whole school had a fantastic Red Nose Day today, with the Dragon’s Den Fair as its highlight.  We are ready for a well deserved rest now!

What have we been up to this week?

We’ve had a very busy time in Beech Class recently, including even more reading, writing and maths than usual!  Last week all the children in the class learnt a poem by heart and practised reciting it for an audience.  This culminated in a whole school celebration with every child performing their poems brilliantly.  We also had a great lesson from some visiting sports and nutrition teachers who helped us to understand how to be healthy.

To tie in with Fair Trade fortnight, we researched Fair Trade and how it helps farmers and producers in poorer areas of the world.  As part of our research, we discovered that the Dominican Republic produces many fair trade goods including bananas and coffee.  This week we have continued to find out more about the area and have written our own reports about all the amazing things you can see and do.  We look forward to showing everyone at our parents assembly on Friday.

What have we been up to this week?

It’s been an exciting week in Beech Class.  We’ve been learning about different ways to measure and the equipment that can be used.  In groups, we investigated who had the heaviest shoe, reading scales and using a bucket balance.  We then tested the capacity of different containers which was not only educational, but also lots of fun!  In English, we’ve been working on poetry, both reading and writing, and have produced some beautifully descriptive shape poems for a class book.  We are looking forward to practising and learning poems by heart for our poetry celebration next week.

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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 – for test on Friday 31st March 2017

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

Tigers: face, race, ice, icy, city, fancy, cereal, bicycle, cylinder, circle

Lions: fierce, century, palace, icy, city, fancy, cereal, bicycle, cylinder, circle

Active Learn & other homework:

Active Learn allocated today

Homework:  Year 2 word problems, Year 1 number sentence investigation.  both due Friday 31st March


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.