Beech Class

Welcome to Beech Class – Years 1 & 2

Teacher: Caroline Norris
Teaching Assistant: Tara Butcher

Beech Class termly booklet – Spring 2020

Homework and Home Learning

Spelling words for tests on Friday 31st January

Year 1 spelling words:  ear, near, hear, fear, year, clear

Year 2 spelling words: hopeful, helpful, beautiful, thankful, helpless, hopeless, painless, harmless, fearless (9 words this week)

Homework: Due Monday 27th January

Year 1 and Year 2: reading challenge, see details below

Both year groups: practise playing Numbots.  Click here to log in.

What have we been learning this week?


Making our shakers

Observing, drawing and labelling different types of seeds

We’ve had an exciting and busy week in Beech this week.  In DT, we’ve spent several sessions creating our shaker, stiffening the structure and ensuring that the instrument will match our design criteria.  We linked our science to this topic by working scientifically to closely observe different types of seeds with mini magnifiers, drawing and labelling them.  These seeds will be used inside our shakers and we will experiment to see which make the best sound.  In English, we have started to read ‘Jim and the Beanstalk’ and we’re really enjoying each instalment of the story.  In maths, the Year 1 have finished workbook 1 by revising everything they have learnt so far this year!  Year 2 are starting on the final chapter and completed some excellent problem solving involving mass, multiplication and division.  We are really excited about completing our reading challenge this weekend, and some fantastic and extra-special reading reward pencils have arrived, ready to be awarded next week!


We’ve had an amazing week in Beech Class story mapping, retelling and writing the story of Jack and the Beanstalk.  We also worked with partners to help us edit and improve our writing.

In maths, the Year 1s have been working on length and the Year 2s have moved on to mass.  Five more children also received a beautiful headteacher’s sticker for practising their maths facts on Numbots.

In science, we revised the names of common British plants and we were able to identify many more than last time though some still proved a challenge!

Today we designed our musical shakers which will be filled with different types of seeds.  We’re looking forward to making them next week and using them to accompany our singing.

Finally, we will be carrying out a reading challenge for our homework. Each child that reads every day from (and including) Sunday 19th January and Sunday 26th January will earn a special reading reward, as well as working towards their half term gold medal reading prize.

Enjoy reading everyone!


Welcome back!

We hope you had a great Christmas holiday.  Our new topic is ‘growing’.  Please click on the termly booklet link above to find out more about the exciting things we have planned for this term.

We’ve all really enjoyed listening to and reading Jack and the Beanstalk stories this week and finding differences between them.  We’ve also begun our DT topic by investigating musical shakers, looking at the materials used, colours and design.  We will use this research to help us design our own shaker next week.  Well done to everyone who enjoyed reading over the holiday and playing Numbots to help with their fluency with number facts.  Mrs Brooking will be coming in next Friday to award some headteacher’s stickers to another group of hard working children!



We had two fantastic Nativity performances this week, well done everyone!  Don’t forget to enjoy lots of reading over the holiday and practice on Numbots.  We will have our next spelling test on Friday 10th January 2020.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

From Mrs Norris and Mrs Butcher


Click here to look the Postal Museum website and game (remember to scroll down for the game)

Click here to log in to the Oxford Owl reading website.  Remember to click on the class login button and then enter the username and password that we looked at in class.Enjoy reading!

Click here to take you to the Hit the Button maths website.

What have we been learning recently?


We’ve had a great week of learning in Beech Class.  We enjoyed doing lots of geography research into the capital cities of the countries of the United Kingdom and have found out some surprising facts about the population of each.  In computing, we’ve become more confident logging into the chrome books and using the internet to search for facts about our topic.  We have also thought about the ways that we communicate and how this has changed over time.  We loved rewriting a message in ‘text’ speak, putting it into ‘standard’ English!  In maths, the Year 1s are now working on addition and subtraction within 20 and the Year 2s are using their knowledge of multiplication to help them tackle division problems.  We also had our first practices of the nativity without scripts and incorporating some acting.

Keep practising your lines everyone!



We’ve done lots of work on our stamps topic this week.  On Monday, we carried out some more fieldwork in the village, walking down to the post office to post our letters to Montacute House.  We also took the opportunity to look at the war memorial and poppies in the churchyard.  Today, we investigated stamps from around the world, observing them carefully and sketching them.  We then wrote descriptions of them using our amazing English skills.  In art, we sketched ideas for our own stamps, then creating a printing block using a special type of polystyrene tile.  It was a lot harder than it looked!   In maths, the Year Twos are enjoying multiplication, learning how different equations can describe the same picture and the Year Ones have started focusing on the numbers to twenty.  Both year groups have learnt more about  Queen Victoria, who was the reigning monarch when stamps were introduced.  They also contrasted her life with that of Queen Elizabeth I.  Finally, we have started to practise our nativity!


What have we been learning recently?


After a lovely week off, we started this half term with a great school trip to Montacute House.  We had a wonderful time and loved the workshops, discovering more about the history of the house and its inhabitants.  Many thanks to the parent helpers that accompanied us.  In English this week, we wrote letters to our leaders from the trip at Montacute, editing our work and publishing it in our best handwriting.  We will be posting the letters next week.  In maths, the Year Ones have enjoyed learning about ordinal numbers and the Year Twos are now taking on the new challenge of multiplication.  We are looking forward to the new challenges of this half term, including preparing for and performing our Nativity.  Letters and scripts will be sent home next week with further details!


It’s been a very busy couple of weeks in Beech Class and we are all working really hard on teamwork and helping each other to learn.  In maths, both year groups are now working on subtraction and we are all enjoying games that help us practise our number bonds within 10.  We started a new book this week, named ‘The Queen’s Handbag’ and we enjoyed using Google Earth to visit all the places that the Queen had to visit.  We also carried out some geographical fieldwork this morning, looking for interesting man-made features in Thornford that we thought the Queen or another visitor might like to see.  Here are some pictures of our fun but wet walk!


Beech children have had an exciting week, carrying out lots of collaborative activities to learn together.  In maths, we have been working on our maths talk, explaining our ideas to a partner and ensuring that we use the word because.  In English, children of both year groups worked together, learning about adjectives, nouns and expanded noun phrases.  We then applied our scientific understanding of the senses to poetry writing, creating some fantastic harvest poems.  We are looking forward to our poetry celebration next week and to working in teams to perform the poems we are learning by heart!


It’s been a busy week in Beech as we are beginning to settle into our daily routines.  In English this week we have learnt about alphabetical order, the difference between information books and stories, and found examples of bold writing, headings, pictures and paragraphs within information books.  We enjoyed ordering animals alphabetically, which also helped us practice our cutting and sticking skills.

In maths, both year groups have started using their workbooks, with maths equipment to help  visualise and represent numbers and problems. Both groups are doing very well, though the Year 2s do have a very thick workbook this term, so they have lots of great maths to work on!  Here are some photos of the Year 1s hard at work.  We will try and capture some of the Year 2s for next week’s post.

Spellings and homework have been sent home today for the first time.  The spelling folders do not need to be brought to school until next Friday.  The homework is due next Thursday, though it can be returned earlier if complete.


Welcome back!


Welcome back to school.  We hope you had a great summer holiday and have come back to school ready to learn and enjoy lots of exciting activities.  More details about this term’s topic can be found in our new termly booklet, accessible through the link at the top of the page.


We’ve had an exciting few days in Beech Class, getting to know our new classmates and class routines.  We’ve enjoyed Quick Maths and writing about our holidays for our special writing wall.  We have also used our handwriting books for the first time!  We worked together as a team to  create a nature collage in RE and have had great fun with our first PE lesson of the term.

We’ve also loved warming up our brains and bodies with Supermovers.

We’re looking forward to a full and busy week next week!


What have we been learning this week?


It’s been another busy week in Beech this week, with some fantastic story writing based on the poem ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’ by Edward Lear’  We were very excited to share our stories with Elm Class and to see how much they liked them.  We also heard that Oak Class had received the letters that we posted to them, thanking them for an amazing science fair, and we hope that they will write back to us!

In Maths, the Year 1 children have worked hard on coin and note recognition.  The Year 2s have been consolidating knowledge of fact families and fractions.

The whole class have also learnt about everyday materials, naming them and thinking about how we could describe their properties.  This is to prepare us for our forthcoming trip to the Fleet Air Arm museum at the beginning of July.  We’re all looking forward to it.


7th June 2019

Our first week back after the holiday has been filled with excitement as we had a maths and science week in school.  We were very excited to see four of our lovely parents who told us all about how they used maths and science in their jobs and let us ‘play’ with some of the equipment they use.  Many thanks to them.

Today we loved visiting the science fair held by Oak class.  There were lots of interactive displays and we added to our scientific understanding as well as having a lot of fun!

Click here for a link to the 3D matching shape game we enjoyed playing in class.  This is an American website so they use a couple of different words.  They call a cuboid a rectangular prism and they call a square based pyramid a rectangular pyramid.

Can you find any other good games to share with the class?



What have we been learning this week?

17th May 2019

We’ve had very busy week this week.  We’ve really enjoyed looking at the webcams of different birds to see how they have grown.  We finally saw some puffins today!  As the weather was lovely, we enjoyed going outside on plant and bird hunts in the grounds.  We’re becoming much better at recognising different birds, though we still need practice at being quiet enough to hear their song!



We’ve had a really exciting week this week. with lots of work on our topic of ‘Flight.’  We found some amazing webcams of birds’ nests and have really enjoyed watching the chicks and their parents.  We were amazed by how often the blue tit parents had to feed their young and loved writing some information to accompany the webcam.  We also enjoyed reading our book ‘Fly by Night’ and retelling the story, sequencing events.  Next week, we will write our own stories based on the theme.  In maths, Year 1 have worked brilliantly on fractions of shapes and numbers.  Year 2 have enjoyed working on money, including coin recognition and adding different values of coins and notes together.

Here are  links to some of the webcams that we have viewed in class:

Blue Tits (This one is amazing!)


Peregrine Falcons

Puffins (I have only seen 1 puffin in the distance so far!)

We also loved learning about the land art of Andy Goldsworthy.  We watched a short BBC clip about him creating one piece of art (click here to view it).  We used grey paper and chalk to create our own individual slates, inspired by what we saw in the film.  Then we arranged them together to make a piece of collaborative art.  It is harder than it looks!


What have we been learning this week?


Welcome back to school for an action-packed summer term.  Our new topic is ‘Flight’ and we have lots of exciting activities planned, including a trip after half term.  See our termly booklet for more information. This week, we loved investigating shadows by creating shadow puppets, writing our own questions and discovering the answers through our research.  In English, we enjoyed reading one of our favourite books,  Owl Babies.  We then retold the story for our special writing wall work.  In maths, the Year 2 children worked hard on telling the time and the Year 1s enjoyed some outside learning, representing numbers using natural materials.  Both year groups learnt how to complete and interpret bar charts about birds.

What have we been learning this week?


We’ve had another super busy week in Beech Class.  We loved writing our own stories based on the Lighthouse Keeper’s lunch and tried hard to include exciting words such as concocted and scrumptious.  Our favourite phrase from the book was ‘devoured with great gusto’!  In maths, the Year 1s worked very well on multiplication, learning about the importance of equal groups and representing problems with their apparatus.  The Year 2s had some tremendously tricky word problems to work on, in two parts, and we also learnt how a bar model can help us to represent the problem.

We were very excited to do some investigative work this afternoon for our DT projects this afternoon.  We experimented with rolling paper to create structures and tried various ways of creating a winding mechanism.  We will begin the design process on Monday, so please try to bring your box to school early next week if you haven’t already done so.  Thank you!



What have we been learning this week?


Working on our coordination skills!

We’ve loved sharing the book ‘The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch’ this week.  We particularly enjoyed  the amazing word choices of the author.  Today we all invented a new way that the Lighthouse Keeper’s wife could send his lunch to the lighthouse.  Next week, we are going to look at other books in the series and plan and write our own version of the story.

In maths,  the Year 1s worked really hard on their word problems and are now much more confident with the language used such as ‘how many more/less’ and ‘the difference between’.  The Year 2s have been working on fractions of amounts which we found exciting and challenging.

Using objects to help visualise a maths problem.

We’ve loved out focus on St. Lucia and this week using a graphing program to plot the mm of rainfall that they get each month on average.  We also created our own Thornford flags, using the symbolism of the St. Lucia flag as a model.


Beech Class Information

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.


Contact Us

For more information or to get in touch:

01935 872706
or by Email