Challenger Class

Final Week of Term

May 17, 2020

Well this term has positively whizzed by!  I really cannot believe we are in the final week before a well-deserved half term holiday.

Children have worked so hard this term on The Great Fire Of London topic and I have been delighted to see the fruits of their labour. Well done everybody for truly reaching up! 

For the final week we are going to change tack and in addition to the usual phonics, reading,  journal writing and maths core work, children are invited to work on an Animal Project.  In the buttons Animal Project and Objectives and Resources you will find details of the project, ideas for what form it might take, learning objectives from the Animals (Including Humans) science unit and resources linked to each objective.  Projects can take any form you like and should show understanding of one or more of the learning objectives.

Have fun!

The Week ahead

May 09, 2020


I hope everyone has had an enjoyable bank holiday weekend.  I know lots of you were planning to celebrate on VE Day and I look forward to hearing all about it in Monday’s zoom at 11.30.  I am also looking forward to finding out the results of our London to Cairo Challenge.  Whatever the result though, I think the Nettlebed School community has done itself proud with our amazing efforts.

Topic: Fire Fighting Then and Now

We are coming to the end of our Great Fire of London topic and this will be the final week.  We have already found out a lot about the Great Fire of London and the measures taken to control and finally extinguish it. This week’s topic area is a comparison of firefighting in the 17th century and firefighting techniques used today. Resources linked to this and associated activities appear in the topic section of the daily planning.  Work around this topic is to be carried out throughout the week and completed as and when you like.



There are new Spelling and Grammar allocations on Active Learn.  These are not new areas of learning for the most part but need consolidation and regular practice.  Even when children seem secure in their understanding it does not necessarily mean that they will apply these rules all the time in their own writing.  I don’t tend to correct all errors and misspellings in a piece of work but please look out for the grammar rules and spellings that you know they have understood and should be applying correctly.


Maths Overview for the week


  • Day 1  - Find totals to 20p

  • Find totals using number facts

  • Find change from 20p

  • Understand and create symmetrical patterns

  • Spot whether a pattern or shape is symmetrical / lines of symmetry


  • Arrays as an image to show commutativity (the fact that 3x5 = 5x3)

  • Grouping model of division, including remainders.

  • Multiplication and division, using arrays and beaded lines.

  • Weight: comparing with the kilogram and 100g.

  • Measure weight to the nearest 100g, reading scales 


All children can access Maths Factor on Active Learn.  Some children are already following this programme and enjoying it.  It helps to revise key skills in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.  To access, use the usual Active Learn login which children have in the front of their planners. They are all in this format:

Username:JBloggs (your child’s initial and surname)


School code: nett


Outdoor Learning

If, as one family described, children are experiencing ‘fire fatigue’ you might like to explore further some of the outdoor learning ideas that Diana Mills has introduced in her Forest School @ Home zoom sessions.  These activities are all available on the Outdoor Learning page of the website.


Zoom Sessions this week

  • Challenger Class - Monday, Wednesday and Friday @11.30am

  • Phonics with Mrs Lowe – various times

  • Reading with Ms Walsh – various times

  • Forest School at Home – Wednesday @1.30pm

  • Spanish – Thursday at 1pm

  • KS1 Story time – daily at 3pm


Have a great week!

The Week Ahead

May 03, 2020

I have to start with…WOW!  The work you are sending me is superb. Please keep it coming in. I will follow that up with a heartfelt THANK YOU for the amazing efforts of parents who are making all the learning possible.  Here we are then – Term 5, Week 3…Enjoy!


In our Great Fire of London Topic Work, we will be considering Samuel Pepys’ contribution to our understanding of historical events.  We will look at some biographical details of his life, what he is famous for and how historians have used his diary.  Children might like to have a go at their own portrait of this famous historical person. I will suggest a few activities throughout the week.  They do not all have to be completed on the day set, please dip into these as you think appropriate for your child. 


SPAG I have allocated more grammar exercises on Active Learn including:

  • Days of the Week

  • -un words

  • Apostophes for possession and in contractions

  • Imperative verbs – giving commands / instructions including a fabulous song on Youtube.  Children could make up their own verses.  Videos welcomed!


Overview of maths topic areas this week.

Y1 Week 5 of Hamilton Learning at home pack

Day 1 – Add and subtract 11 by adding/subtracting 10, then 1.

Day 2 – Add and subtract 12 by adding/subtracting 10, then 2.

Day 3 – Compare weight by direct comparison.

Day 4 – Measure lengths using non-standard units.

Day 5 – Measure lengths and find a difference between them.


Y2 Week 5 of Hamilton Learning at home pack

Day 1 – Use number facts, place value and counting on to calculate additions.

Day 2 – Use number facts, place value and counting back to calculate subtractions.

Day 3 – Add 2-digit numbers by adding multiples of ten then ones.

Day 4 – Describe and recognise regular and irregular 2-D shapes.

Day 5 – Describe and visualise common 2-D shapes; identify properties.

The Week Ahead

April 24, 2020

Zoom sessions – we are so pleased to have seen so many of you joining zoom meetings last week.  It was lovely to see the children and to hear from them, sharing their work and achievements of the week. It takes some courage to speak live to an audience you can’t really see so well done to all of you; it’s easy to get a little put off or forget what you want to say.  You may have noticed that on Friday, I even managed to sing the wrong words to Happy Birthday! Thanks for being so patient.

QUIZ – don’t forget to make up some questions for the class about any of the work we are doing at the moment.  Please email your questions to me so that I can prepare for our quiz next week.

Whole class zoom meetings:  Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 11.30  The invitations are sent via email.


The Great Fire of London Topic

Different Approaches

Children can stick to what I am planning each week or do things in a different order.  Also children might  find their own areas of interest  and should be allowed to pursue these. Ideally children should be working towards a project that they can present in some form or other.  This could be a book, a poster, videos etc.  There is a link in the daily planning to a fantastic playmobil animation explaining the events of the Great Fire of London.

Over the next few weeks we will focus on the following aspects:

London Then and Now

  • comparing London of 1666 to London today

  • D&T 1666 House Construction project - what materials could you use?  What did they do differently when London was rebuilt?  Christopher Wren.

Samuel Pepys

  • his dairy as an important historical primary source.  

  • what he wrote about. 

  • what would you write about today if you were a diarist like Samuel Pepys?  

Fire Safety - Then and Now

  • how the fire was extinguished

  • establishment of Fire Brigades - Fire Insurance

  • fire safety posters


Maths Summary of topic areas for this week

Year 1

  • add 10s to 2 digit numbers (incl. money)

  • add 11 to  2 digit number (incl. money)

  • subtract 10s from 2 digit numbers

  • measure height and length (1)

  • measure height and length (2)

Year 2

  • using ordinal numbers

  • round to the nearest 10

  • round prices to the nearest 10p

  • measure using decimetres

  • measure using centimetres


Which maths to do?  If you want to challenge yourself - make sure you do the hot practice sheet and the Investigations.  If you need to take things a bit slower use A Bit Stuck?


As usual please do contact me if any of the links don’t work or if you have any questions about the work. Don’t worry if you can’t get everything done.

Welcome to Term 5

April 16, 2020

I hope you have all had a lovely Easter holiday, although it has probably been a little different to the school holidays to which we are accustomed.  I have been having a lovely, relaxing time with my family; we have been walking a lot in our beautiful Oxfordshire countryside, playing games in the garden and generally enjoying the lovely sunshine. Don’t worry though, I have also been busy preparing some work for you all for the new term! As this term’s theme is Excellence, I am looking forward to seeing some more of your excellent work.

New topic: The Great Fire of London

Our new topic for this term is The Great Fire of London; we’ll be talking about this in our Zoom session on Monday morning.  In the planning for this week I have suggested some ongoing project work on this topic which children could add to over the weeks as they find out more and more about this famous historical event. 

Daily Journal

I won’t include this in planning every day but children may like to keep their daily journal going as a record of this unusual time in their lives.

Zoom Sessions

We would love to have as many children taking part as possible but please don’t worry if you are unable to join for any reason.  Apart from the three sessions that I will host, Ms Walsh will lead some guided reading sessions to small groups and Mrs Lowe will lead some phonics sessions for her phonics group.  Please look out for the invitations to these zoom sessions that will arrive via email.

Ms Hutton will be delighted if you join her at 3pm every day for her Book Club, when she’ll be reading some favourite stories.

Daily Plans

Daily plans will appear on the Challenger Class web page as before with new tasks and activities set on a daily basis.  There are some new resources allocated from Active Learn: Bug Club Phonics for some children and Spelling and Grammar.  You’ll find these activities in the usual way and it is the same Active Learn login details for all. 

Please let me know if you are experiencing any difficulty accessing any of the work. 

Good luck and have fun with the learning!

Easter Holiday Fun

January 08, 2020

Ideas for Easter
Have some fun over the holidays with these websites where you will find ideas for things to keep you busy at home. Adult supervision may well be required.



March 29, 2020

Well it seems like more than a week ago that I posted the first blog and what a strange week it has been!  The school week usually flies by but this one has seemed to go on and on.  We are all having to adapt to this new way of working and I hope that, as well as facing new and difficult challenges, you are discovering some unexpected delights in home learning.

It was a great pleasure to hear from many of you last week and to know that you have been able to access the work and are finding the planning useful – there are some wonderful things going on out there.  As I said last week, home learning will ‘look’ different in all of your families so please find a way that suits you and that works for your own family situation.

Please get in touch via email if you have any queries about the work or if you are unable to access anything.

Healthy Body / Healthy Mind

I am loving Joe Wick’s daily workouts.  I haven’t missed one yet and I definitely have some aching muscles in a few places.  In this week’s planning I have included links to some of our favourite mini workouts that we use for lesson breaks in school.  Joe set some homework on Friday.  If you didn’t catch it he has asked children to plan their own 20 minute routines.  Write out a plan for 20 minutes of exercise; you decide what to do, how long to do each exercise for and how long the rest breaks should be. Great idea!


I am aware that children will either have finished or will soon finish the reading books sent home in book bags.  In my view there is no substitute for a ‘real’ book to read but actually there are some pretty good alternatives if you want to try something new so here are a couple of online suggestions:

  • Rapid Reading

I have allocated books to all children.  Use the Active Learn link in the Learning Links and login with the same username, password and school code that you use for the maths practice games.  In ‘My Stuff’ you will see a RAPID icon next to the abacus one.  Click on that.

  • Read Theory

Access this via the Learning Links.  I will email your child’s login details to each of you.  Some of you may have already accessed this so carry on as you are if this is the case.  Children are assessed individually when they first login and according to this assessment they are assigned an  entry level.  They will need help understanding what to do but please don’t help them with the reading.  Warning! This is an american site, so watch out for the american spellings of some words.

Music, Computing and Easter Activities.

See the daily planning document for other areas of the curriculum.

We would have done some Easter themed work in school this week so I have included a few Twinkl suggestions in the planning.  One of the powerpoints suggests making an Easter garden.  I can remember making indoor gardens when I was at primary school, although I don’t recall them being Easter- themed.  It was fun to do as I remember.  Here are some ideas to get you started.

Home Learning

March 22, 2020

Hello everyone!  Here is my first Challenger Home Learning blog entry.  My plan is to post weekly news, which will include an overview of the week and suggested on-going activities that children can dip into as they choose.

This is a new situation for us all and to some extent we will have to ‘feel’ our way.  At Nettlebed we want to be able to support parents as they embark on this task which for some may seem quite daunting.  You may be feeling overwhelmed not least by the amount of advice, websites and ideas that have been bombarding your social media and inboxes. Please be assured that I am here to help!


The daily plans/weekly overview will provide a framework and set out core objectives.  Home learning can take many forms and some of you will already have lots of ideas for things you want to do with your children. 


Click on the days of the week button for the day’s suggested activities in a range of subjects.  Some of these will carry on over more than one day.  For example, the water cycle work could be carried out over the whole week.


Daily Writing - My Home Learning Journal. 

Please use an exercise book if you have one – it doesn’t have to be brand new.  This will be an on-going piece of work which will include a daily writing task and could well be the sort of thing children will keep and treasure.  In years to come they may like to look back on it  as a lasting record of this extraordinary time in their lives.


Phonics and spellings – click on buttons above for the week’s spellings and weekly focus for different groups.  Children will know who teaches them for phonics.  There are lots of different activities we do in phonics which incorporate a range of learning styles including multi-sensory learning, I will suggest a few activities to help learn the sounds / spellings each week which will appear on the links above. 



Follow the links to Hamilton’s Learning at Home packs for each Year group.  You can print these off or read from the screen.  Answers can be written down in an exercise book or worksheets printed and completed.  There are also resources to print off but these could easily be made on paperor card and cut out for use.


Also check out the LEARNING LINKS by clicking on the button above.  There are links to many very useful websites.  I’ll suggest a few to get you started…

  • Active Learn for maths practice games

  • PE with Joe – daily fitness sessions

  • Languages – for links to the songs and videos used in Spanish lessons


That’s all for now folks!  Happy learning!


March 17, 2020

If you find yourself at home this week, please see the following list of things that children could be doing:



  • Learning this week’s spellings – these are in your planner and on the Challenger page on the school’s website.

  • Practise reading and then spelling Y1/Y2 CEW words – again lists are on the class page.


Reading and Phonics

  • Read your school reading book

  • Read a book from home.

  • Check out the reading-related Learning Links on our website for book ideas and tips on how to help your children with their reading.

  • Teach Your monster to Read. Login with your child’s name (first name only) at this address:


English – Describe your sea monster

  • Today we read about Scylla and Charybdis – two terrifying sea monsters from Greek mythology.  Odysseus encountered them both on his way back home to Ithaca and just about managed to escape. 

  • We have also been looking at word classes this week (nouns and adjectives, verbs and adverbs).  Tomorrow we will be drawing and describing our own sea monsters, saying what they look like and sound like, describing how they move and what they do.  I am prepared to be very afraid!


  • Measuring weight and capacity.

This is a very hands-on week of measuring weight and capacity.  So far we have compared the weight of objects and said which is heavier and lighter.  We have found things around the classroom which are heavier and lighter than 100g.  We have talked about grams and kilograms and the fact that 1000g = 1kg.  Today I challenged children to find a group of objects that they thought would be equal in weight to 1kg.  There were quite a few surprises when we weighed them to check.  This activity could easily be done at home.

Tomorrow we move on to capacity.  We will estimate and measure the capacity of various containers.  We will talk about millilitres and litres and the fact that 1000ml = 1litre. 

We will also be looking at a variety of scales and finding out how to read them.

I have already suggested doing some cooking at home, with children doing the weighing and measuring, of course.  Children could also have a look through your cupboards and put tins/packets into order of weight.

  • Children can login to the Abacus website and have a go at the practice games. The link to the website is in the Learning Zone on this site.  Logins are in the front of their planner.  They all have the same format: 

       Username: JBloggs (no spaces)

       Password: maths

       School code: nett


Please look out for further ideas and links to other sites in the coming days.  Happy learning everyone!

The Week ahead

March 15, 2020

It was lovely to see you all last week at parents’ evening. Thank you for coming and for continuing to support your children’s learning.


Our maths work this week is all about measure.  Children will be comparing objects according to weight and capacity and then measuring weight and capacity using non-standard and standard units.  If you cook with your children at home, please encourage them to do the weighing and measuring; this is using maths in the real world, for a real purpose.

In English this week we will be looking at Sea Mythology and in particular the story of Odysseus and the sea monsters he encountered on his travels.  We’ll have a particular focus on descriptive language and find out how adjectives and adverbs bring writing alive.  The children will be able to put this into practice I hope when they describe sea monsters of their own imagining.

In D&T we’ll continue with our waterproof bag designs and begin to think about suitable materials for constructing them.  If you have any suitable fabrics at home that are no longer needed we will gladly recycle them for you. 

We are looking forward to the KS1 cross country event on Tuesday afternoon.  Children should wear PE Kit to school on that day and must have warm and waterproof layers as well.

The Week Ahead

March 08, 2020

In English children will be writing an ocean adventure using Julia Donaldson’s wonderful ‘The Snail and the Whale’ as inspiration.

Our D&T work this term ties in with our Watery World topic and children will be designing and making a waterproof bag.  The idea of a waterproof bag to carry something special might even feature in their ocean adventure story.  We’ll begin with a look at bag designs and their function with a particular focus on what they are made of.

In maths we are beginning a unit on fractions which follows on nicely from last week’s work on multiplication and division. Children should be able to see the link between some of the multiplication and division facts we were using last week and fractions of numbers we’ll be looking at this week.


Maths and phonics homework came home for most of the class this week as well as weekly spellings.   Please also continue to read regularly with your children – it is so important that they are reading as much as possible.  Reading does not have to be confined to the school reading book.   

I look forward to seeing you all at Parent Consultations this week.

The Week Ahead

March 01, 2020

Last week the children were learning to name and locate the seven continents and five oceans of our watery world.  Please ask them to about this to see if they can remember the names and any facts.

We’ll continue these week with a look at the different layers of the ocean and find out what it is like there and what life is supported.

In maths we’ll be continuing with our exploration of multiplication and division.

Y1: Counting in 2s, 5s and 10s; division as grouping; reading arrays for 2s, 5s and 10s.
Y2: Arrays; links between division and multiplication; division as grouping; commutativity, solving multiplication and division problems.

Spare Clothes

It is very useful if children have a change of clothing (bottom half only) in school.  If they fall over in the playground, they can get very wet and muddy at this time of year.  Jogging bottoms and plimsolls can be kept in a named bag on the children’s pegs.

Term 4

February 21, 2020

This term sees the start of our new topic, Our Watery World and we’ll be finding out all about the great bodies of water that make up more than 70% of the surface of our beautiful blue planet. Later in the term we’ll turn our attention to rivers and the water cycle.

The grammar focus this week is on suffixes and how adding these endings to words changes the meaning.  Children will use comparative and superlative adjectives to write factually to compare the world’s five oceans.

In maths this week:

  • step counting and relating this to multiplication

  • odds and evens

  • the relationship between doubling and halving

  • times tables (2s, 3s, 5s and 10s) and the related division facts.

PE sessions are on the same day as last term:

Y1  indoor PE on Wednesday and football on Thursday

Y2 Forest School on Wednesday and football on Thursday

Please make sure that children have the correct clothing for all sessions.


For some children there will be an additional phonics homework in addition to maths and weekly spellings.

Have a good week!

Final Week

February 09, 2020

What a busy term it has been!  Our China topic has been a great success and the children have clearly enjoyed finding out about this fascinating country with its diverse landscapes and rich cultural identity.  We have learned about customs and traditions, including Chinese New Year. We have found out about the geography of China and its location in the world. We have tried some Chinese cooking and Year 2 even whittled their own chopsticks at Forest School and ate some delicious noodles with them.  In maths we have played around with tangrams, an ancient Chinese mathematical puzzle.  This week children will be creating their own willow pattern plate design based on a story of their choosing.

In the last week of term the routines will be more or less as normal with Forest School and PE sessions on Wednesday and Thursday.  Year 2 will be at the Sports hall Athletics event on Tuesday afternoon so please come to school dressed in PE Kits. Friday morning is our Language Festival and children will be enjoying a taste of different languages and cultures form other parts of the world.

I hope we’ll see you at the final assembly next Friday.  Have a good half term break.

The Week Ahead

February 02, 2020

The weeks are racing by and we have another packed week of school ahead of us.


Well done to the Year 1 s who did so well at their football tournament last week.  They were great all afternoon; they coped with all the excitement of the anticipation,  having an early lunch and getting themselves ready with everything they needed.  Mrs Lowe reports that not only did they play well but they behaved superbly all afternoon.  Well done to them.  Look out for report on the Sports News page on the school’s website.

Topic and English

In our China topic and as part of our D&T curriculum, children will be deciding on the ingredients to make Spring Rolls.  They'll be making them at some point in the week (I hope we'll get through all the groups) and in English they’ll be writing instructions for making them.


Maths will include work on time (o’clock, half past and quarter to /past times).  We’ll also find time to have a look at Tangrams (an ancient Chinese mathematical puzzle).

We might even find time to continue with our bamboo inspired art work.  We have discovered that lots of things are made of bamboo.  We have discussed how cups, socks and even underpants (I know because I bought some for my sons last Christmas!) can be made of bamboo.  If you have any more examples please do let us know. 

Have a good week everyone!

The Week Ahead

January 25, 2020

Last week saw the beginning of Chinese New Year.  We had another informative visit from Mrs Tarling who talked to us about how Chinese people celebrate the new lunar year.  Matthew’s mum very kindly brought in some lucky oranges for all of the children in Challenger class which they will have brought home on Friday. 


This week we will continue the theme with some poetry about celebrations.  In English children will be learning sections of a poem about Chinese New Year and performing in groups to the class.


In art towards the end of the week we will be painting pictures of bamboo and trying to replicate particular chinese brush strokes.  Thanks to the McCarthy family for providing the bamboo which has also been home to several toy pandas this week.


In our science lessons we’ll continue work on everyday materials and their properties. This week we’ll be considering such questions as: does everything made of metal stick to a magnet? We’ll also discuss the properties of metal objects and the usefulness of magnets.


Apologies for the delay in giving out maths homework – please look out for it coming home in book bags on Monday.


A few reminders:

  • Children need a fresh water bottle daily.

  • Y1 - PE Kits should be worn on Wednesday (Dance) and Thursday (Football)

  • Y2 – Forest School Clothes brought to school in a separate bag.  Please include several layers and waterproofs.  Hats and gloves are essential.  Spare plastic bags to take muddy clothes home in are a good idea.  Wellington boots or something similar.  PE kit should be worn to school for football on Thursday.

Fruit, Snacks and Milk

All children in KS1 are eligible for free fruit every day.  An increasing number of children are bringing other snacks in and some of these are for the end of the day when the children have after school clubs.  Please make sure that they are a healthy option and please do not send in crisps, sweets or chocolate.

If your child has milk, please have a conversation with them about drinking it all up (or most of it).  Some children regularly say they don’t want to drink it.  Obviously we try to encourage them as best we can.

The Week Ahead

January 19, 2020

English / China Topic

In English children are working on nouns.  Children should understand what a noun is and be able to identify nouns and proper nouns.  The next step is to add in words and phrases to give extra information about the noun (expanded noun phrases).

So far in topic work we have found out about the location and the geography of China,  discovered a little about Buddhism and had ago at writing some Chinese characters.   We will continue our research into this fascinating country and written work this week will include some information writing about China. 


This week’s work will continue with our focus on addition and subtraction.  Later in the  week we will use be solving problems involving money.


Forest School

As the weather gets colder and wetter please make sure that children have suitable footwear and outer wear to keep dry and several layers to keep warm. Hats and gloves are essential.


Please remember:

  • bring book bags everyday

  • keep ocarinas in book bags when not being played

  • bring recorders on Thursdays for music lessons

  • Spare clothes in a bag which can be left on pegs all term (pair of socks, jogging bottoms and a pair of plimsolls)

The Week Ahead

January 12, 2020

In English we’ll hear about Shen’s adventures in Julia Donaldson’s The Magic Paintbrush.  Children will write their own narrative about the things they would paint if they had a magic paintbrush.  I am sure they will decide wisely!

In RE we will find out about Buddhism,  beginning with the story of Buddha.


In maths, following on from our 1st week of understanding place value, we will be finding 1 more and 1 less than a 2 digit number and also 10, 20 or 30 more than a 2 digit number.  Children will also be working with landmarked number lines and estimating where numbers would be located.  Later in the week, we will turn our attention once again to calculation addition and subtraction. 


Music – ocarinas and recorders

We started our music lessons last week.  Children in Year 1 have brought home an ocarina.  Please encourage them to practise. It is essential that they get used to covering the holes completely; the two at the back should be covered with the thumbs and the four at the front with the index and middle finger of both hands.

Children have been asked to KEEP THE OCARINA IN BOOK BAGS AT ALL TIMES unless they are playing it.  That way they will always be in school when we need them.

We hope the new recorders will have arrived in time for next week’s music lesson for Year 2.

Happy New Year!

January 06, 2020

Happy New Year to everyone!  Firstly, the Challenger team would like to thank you for your kind words and generous Christmas gifts so on behalf of Mrs Lowe, Ms Walsh and myself – THANKYOU!

We are beginning a new topic this term and will be finding out about China.  Topic work this week will focus on the geography of China, looking at its location and physical features.

In English we will spend some of the week writing reports about our Christmas holiday.  We’ll also have a look at a book called Lin Yi’s Lantern, a wonderful tale retold by Brenda Williams with the Legend of the Moon Fairy at its heart.

In maths we’ll be consolidating knowledge of place value in 2 digit numbers and thinking about what each digit in a 2 digit number represents. Children will locate 2 digit numbers on number lines and the 100 square.  They’ll compare numbers which will include using the inequality symbols  < and >.  They will also have a look at rounding numbers to the nearest 10.

Later we’ll be transferring these skills to working with money and using our knowledge of place value to solve problems involving money.  

Please have a look at the attached Curriculum letter and Term 3 newsletter for an overview of this term’s activities and general information – just click on the button at the top of this page.

Final Week

December 16, 2019

The children were amazing in their production of The Princess and the Pea.  The actors were great and the singing was fantastic.  A huge well done to all of them and especially to those who overcame illness and end of term fatigue to pull a superb performance out of the bag. 

The last week of term will be a busy one - with lots of Christmas fun and end of term merriment.  On Monday and Tuesday there'll be plenty of Christmas themed work including Christmas crafts.

On Wednesday morning, Year 2 will have Forest School and should arrive at school dressed for the outdoors.  Year 1 will have Gymnastics in the morning instead of the afternoon.  Wednesday is also Christmas dinner day and in the afternoon we will have class parties.  Children can bring party clothes to change in to.


On Thursday morning children will be able to bring their own board games to play with others if they would like to.  Please do not send electronic games in though.  

Finally I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  See you all in January.

The Week Ahead

December 07, 2019

KS1 will proudly present their version of The Princess and the Pea on Thursday afternoon at 3.45pm.  Rehearsals have been going well despite a lot of absence through illness.  I do hope that all the children are fit and well for Thursday’s performance.  Look out for children’s leaflets advertising their school play.

Please bring costumes on Monday in a named carrier bag.

In maths we’ll be using different strategies for addition: counting on to add 2, 3 and 4 and adding 10s; adding three small numbers by spotting number bonds or pairs of numbers first; counting on in 10s then adding 1s to add 2 digit numbers; adding 9 by adding 10 then taking away 1.

I won’t be setting any more maths homework this term but please keep practising all of those essential skills:

  • Counting forwards and backwards to 100

  • counting in steps of 2, 5 and 10

  • saying 2, 5 and 10 times tables

  • learning number bonds to 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 20

  • Keep up the work on telling the time.    


Outdoor and PE sessions will be as normal on Wednesday and Thursday.  As the weather gets colder and wetter please bear this in mind when choosing Forest School clothes. The children really need to wear 3 layers – a base layer (T shirt or similar), a warm long-sleeved top (a fleece or sweatshirt) and then a coat over the top.  Ideally they should have waterproof trousers to go over leggings.  Jeans are not ideal because they just soak up the water.  Hats and gloves are essential. It is a long afternoon outside and towards the end of the session especially, children are likely to get cold.

With just two weeks left of term the excitement is mounting and we'll be doing plenty of Christmas themed work and some Christmas crafts in the run up to the big day.

The Week Ahead

November 30, 2019

The Tag Rugby festival was a huge success last week.  The children were great and the wet weather almost stayed away for the whole morning.  Many thanks to the parents who helped us out by driving their children to the event.

Maths will begin with consolidation and further practice of last week’s work where we were counting in steps of 2, 5 and 10 and looking at repeated addition and multiplication.   

We discovered that if   5p + 5p + 5p + 5p = 20p

This can also be calculated by multiplying:   5 x 4 = 20  because 4 lots of 5 is 20 and we can check this by counting in 5s like this   5, 10, 15, 20

I also introduced the idea of ‘times tables’ and we chanted the 5 times table.  I explained that ‘knowing’ your times tables is really useful because it saves time if you can recall facts instantly.  Children are not expected to know them by heart at the moment but it is never too early to start practising.  This instant recall of number facts must of course be coupled with a secure understanding of what they have actually worked out.


In topic work children have been working on information posters about Alfred the Great and the Anglo–Saxons where they are drawing on all their knowledge gained this term.


In English lessons we be using different types of conjunctions to add information to their sentences.

Again this week we will be rehearsing hard for our Christmas production.  Please begin to bring costumes in a clearly named carrier bag.  Please ask if there are any questions about costumes.

The Week Ahead

November 23, 2019

Tag Rugby Festival this week

We are looking forward to the festival on Wednesday morning.  Please keep an eye on the weather and make sure the children dress accordingly; they will need warm layers and waterproof coats.  Y2 will also have Forest School in the afternoon, so please remember their change of clothes.  If the weather is forecast to be very wet, Y1 might need a change of PE clothes for when they get back to school.  We will be back in time for lunchtime.

Alfred the Great and the Anglo-Saxons

In our topic work we will continue our exploration of Alfred the Great’s legacy and find out some more about Anglo-Saxon life. 



Children will be working in groups to produce posters about Alfred the Great and the Anglo-Saxons.  They will be using various sources to carry out research, including the internet.



We will continue our unit of work on halves and doubles.  Last week we found out that if you double a whole number you always get an even number as the answer.  This week we’ll be looking at which numbers can be easily halved and why that is.


Christmas Production

Rehearsals are well under way for our production of The Princess and the Pea and the children are doing a fantastic job learning the words of the songs.

Please look out for information about the costumes that children will need to bring in for the school play.  A slip will be coming home this week.


Can you help?

If you have any old fashioned quilts that we could use as props we would be very grateful.  These should be of the kind of dimensions that young stage hands can easily carry. Thanks!

Tag Rugby

The week Ahead

November 18, 2019

In our topic work we will hear one of the most well-known stories about Alfred the Great and find out how such a great leader managed to burn some cakes.  He probably had other things on his mind and Challenger class will look into what that might have been.

In D&T we will follow a recipe that might have been around at the time and make some of those famous cakes.

In English this week we will look at writing instructions and we'll write some clear instructions for making cakes that might have helped Alfred at the time.  Perhaps if he’d followed our instructions carefully, he might not have burnt them!

In maths we will turn our attention to fractions and begin this unit with finding halves and quarters of shapes.

The Week Ahead

November 10, 2019

Inter House Cross Country

Well done Challenger Class! They were superstars last Thursday at the Inter House Cross Country event.  Not only did they run with great courage and determination but they were very supportive of all the other runners as they spectated the other races.  Thanks to all of you for helping to make it a lovely morning.


Remembrance Day

On Monday morning we will be observing the 2 minutes silence along with the rest of the school and we’ll talk about this l commemorative day, discussing why we remember and how we do that.  We want children to understand why they have been donating money and wearing those special poppy symbols.


Topic - Alfred the Great and Anglo-Saxons

In our topic work we’ll find out how artefacts can help historians understand what life was like hundreds of years ago.  Children will be carrying out their own historical enquiry and writing will be based on this.



We ran of time (no pun intended) last week to start work on telling the time but we will begin the week with telling the time on analogue clocks and looking at digital equivalents.  Please help your children at home by encouraging them to look at the clocks you have and talking about the time.  We start with o’clock times, then half past, and then quarter past and quarter to.  There are quite a few different ways of saying what the time is and writing it down.  Children need lots of practice!


Wet weather and spare clothes

We try to have outdoor play, unless it is very heavy rain, as the children really need an outside break and some fresh air during the day.  Playing outside in wet conditions often results in children getting wet and muddy.  Please bring tracksuit bottoms and plimsolls to be left in a bag on their peg all week just in case they need to change.

Term 2 Week 1

November 01, 2019

Welcome back to Term 2.  I hope you have all had a great holiday and are looking forward to the term ahead. 

We are starting a new history topic –Alfred the Great and the Anglo-Saxons. We’ll find out what sort of a king he was and what his legacy has been.  We’ll also take a look at other aspects of Anglo-Saxon life.

In English this week writing will be based on our topic work.  Children will put themselves into the shoes of the only English king ever to be called ‘Great’ and explain who they are and why they were so great.

Maths Objectives:


  • knowing number pairs that make 7 and 8 and 10

  • writing addition number sentences

  • solving missing number problems


  • using number facts to add and subtract. 

  • using knowledge of pairs of numbers that make 10 to find how many more to the next ten.

Y1 and Y2

  • Time o’clock and half past times discussing daily routines and times of the day morning afternoon evening etc.

PE will be on the same days as in Term 1.  Please make sure that children are  wearing the correct kit on PE days. Forest School clothes should be brought in a bag to change in to. 


Y1 – Indoor PE

Y2 – Forest School


Y1 and Y2 - Tag Rugby 

I didn't set new spellings at the end of last term but I will give children a new list on Monday that will be tested on Friday 8th November.

PHONICS pronunciation guides

Please see the two new buttons above that link to pronunciation guides for phonics.  These will show you how to pronounce letters or groups of letters in the correct way to best support your children's phonic knowledge acquisition.  I hope they are useful. They don't take very long!

Last Week of Term

January 01, 2020