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Winterbourne EarlsChurch of England Primary School

‘As each one does their part, we grow in love’

Autumn Term 2019

Week ending 6 December

This week we have enjoyed four performances of our Nativity 'I'm Gonna Shine' and each one has been a real success with strong word-perfect songs and lines. Children have been incredibly enthusiastic and all the staff have been really proud.Most of our energy has been focused on making this Nativity as polished as possible and so we haven't had much time for other subjects. 

We have continued our writing looking at pirate weapons and have spent time practising our letter formation and the size of our handwriting. We are revising all our term's phonic patterns and in the last two weeks will be assessing which sounds children know alongside revising our tag  words which will all be tested before Friday 20th.

In Maths we have been embedding our understanding of subtraction and addition within 10, using lots of equipment to support our learning.  

So that FOWES could set up the classrooms for the fete, we went down to The Glebe Hall to watch Shrek III which was enjoyed by everyone. We left bookbags at home on Friday and there will be no homework this week, save our everyday reading and tag word practice.                          


I'm Gonna Shine Y1/2 Nativity

Y1/2 Nativity I'm Gonna Shine

Christmas Jumpers and singing at The Day Care Centre

Week ending 29 November

Another week focused on Nativity rehearsals and each one has been an improvement on the last. Children have always sung well but now are projecting their speaking parts with clarity and expression. We are looking forward to performing to parents next week.

We have extended our Science to identifying leaves and seeds and some enthusiastic class members have been walking round at break and lunch  with identification sheets. Most can now spot a sycamore leaf or a beech nut with ease and we have a collection of leaves in class that we can identify.

In our English we have looked at equipment that pirates used, from grappling hooks to cutlasses and blunderbusses. We have matched pictures with descriptions and written well about the function of each. We have also looked at famous pirates with Mrs Hood.

In maths we have counted so well that we have won our challenge from Miss Arrandale and we were rewarded with her packet of biscuits.  We recognise that counting with our fingers from left thumb to right thumb together in unison is important and we use this method for continual revising of our number bonds to 10.

On Friday, which was Christmas Jumper Day, we were thrilled to find that Mrs Carter had asked our class to sing on behalf of the school at The Day Care Centre. We walked down together and then sang all the songs from The Nativity word perfect from start to finish. Our pirate shanties at the end even got our elderly audience on their feet joining in! Mrs Carter was really proud of us. 

Week ending 22 November 

This week has sped by because we have been spending lots of time rehearsing our Nativity play. The songs sound great and most of us know our lines- we just need to project our voices more so parents will be able to hear!

We are continuing to look at different ways to split numbers under ten and we introduced tens frames as a means of seeing quickly the numbers from 6-10. We are learning our number bonds to ten for our homework and lots of spare time is spent 'growing, showing and throwing' numbers less then 10 using our fingers.

We have finally finished our 'Place in Between' writing and it is now mounted in a special golden magical book and in the library along with our dazzling stars and playing cards. Come in and see out themed library- duck your heads!

This week for our Science we have been following up our Autumn walk in The Glebe Field (after the visit to the Library Bus) with an Autumn Scavenger Hunt in the school grounds. We found leaves of all range of colours and learnt about compound leaves and what dead flower heads look like and as a result did some super focused writing on changes in Autumn. 

As part of a follow on from Anti-Bullying week we also thought about what makes each of us unique and produced a lovely piece of work on this.

Our art with Miss Purchase is focused on weaving and PSHE is continuing with 'What makes us special.'



Autumn walk and scavenger hunt

Singing to The Captain in our Pirate Workshop on board HMS Warrior

Still image for this video

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard Pirate Trip

Week ending 15 November

We have had a great week with the highlight being our fascinating trip to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard on Thursday. We had a tour of HMS Victory- Nelson's flagship and the closest type of ship to a pirate ship that would have been sailing the sea in the 1750s and enjoyed a Pirate workshop on board HMS Warrior (a later ship that had more room aboard). It was exciting to see that HMS Victory was used by the presenters of our region's BBC Children in Need appeal with Pudsey in the captain's quarters along with lots of scurvy pirates! A great trip- it was exciting to see the huge size of the anchors, the height of the rigging (and the top 2/3 of the masts have been dismantled for safety reasons), the cannons, the maggot-infested biscuits and the barrels stowed deep in the depths of the ship. In the workshop we dressed up and sang to the captain, handled flintlock pistols and cutlasses, we did a 'Treasure or Trash' game and sniffed some nasty potions meant to keep a pirate from getting sick on board.

Our maths has been improving and we are becoming more secure with different sorts of equipment to support our number bonds- this week we have focused on bar models, Unifix cubes and Numicon.

In RE we are looking at people who might not be who they appear to be (like Beauty and The Beast) linking to the fact that baby Jesus was in fact God in human form.

On Odd Socks Day we watched a great video by Andy and The Odd Socks and as a result we looked at the Anti-bullying Week concept of us all being different and how we need to celebrate our uniqueness.   

Week ending 8th November

So pleased to be back to school working with the children and thrilled that they have coped so well with a very different week which started with a bang on Monday morning with a presentation from The Greatest Showman (Mrs Baker) accompanied by jugglers, a magician (John in Year 6) and lots of animals as the start of Literacy Week. We are looking at imaginary worlds prompted by the book 'Leon and The Place In Between'. We have been drawing pictures and creating worlds beyond our own. Look out for a transformation in The Library too!

As joint lead teacher for the new Maths Mastery programme in school, I have been experimenting with a different sort of whole class teaching approach which the children have embraced fully. We have introduced a new image which is really supporting early addition and subtraction skills called 'part-part-whole'. Children now have a visual reference and can move counters from 'the whole' into the two 'parts'. This can then be translated into simple number bond sentences like 8=3+5. Homework has been set on this concept and I am sure that the image is helping build a solid foundation for number bonds which is critical for work further up the school.

Nativity rehearsals have been going really well and Year 1 are singing particularly enthusiastically, so it promises to be a really good performance. The brand new musical has some very catchy songs which will be practising at every available opportunity.

Literacy Week -Leon and The Place In Between

Pirate Day

Week ending 21 October

Pirate Day marks the end of an amazing first term with a very special class. The children have worked together and supported each other so well, becoming a real team and a pleasure to teach. 

We started our Pirate Day with photos- the children have worked so hard to create accessories to support their outfits- lots of cutlasses, treasure maps, telescopes and tricorn hats. Then we had a treasure hunt where in groups of three we all had to follow a map and find the letters on orienteering sticks placed round the school grounds. There were 12 letters to find plus a clue for where the treasure was hidden. The team called 'The Captains' found the clue first which directed them to Captain Kerley. She read out a rhyme which directed the winning team to the poop deck where the chest contained the treasure- gold and silver chocolate coins.  Children also learnt how to play simple card and dice games which would have kept pirates amused on board ship and completed pirate ship jigsaws and built model ships. Captain Kerley also made some simple biscuits which will be decorated in the morning. We finished our busy day singing sea shanties that we have learnt over the term to a huge audience of parents and friends. Thanks to them for all their support! 


Over the term, progress, particularly in writing, has been so encouraging with all children forming letters in the pre-cursive style really accurately. Daily reading at home and learning of tag words has also supported every area in school. 

In Maths we have completed our unit on place value with 1-10, ensuring all basic facts are now embedded. Our science work on weather has ensured all children can talk about climate and weather, although the forecast for the last few weeks hasn't changed from rain and wind. We have continued our work linked to islands with our own treasure islands and have developed our collage work in art.Children are loving PE and are such creative gymnasts!

Pirate Cruncher Role Play

Week ending 11th October

This week we have been extending our weather research by looking at forecasting so that we could best plan when to set sail with our pirate ship. We used the BBC Weather website to predict the weather and then checked whether it was correct. During the torrential downpour at 2:30 pm on Tuesday we were very surprised to find that the BBC had predicted 'light showers' and sunshine!


We have loved reading Jonny Duddle's book Pirate Cruncher and had great fun acting it out in the Pirate ship role play area.We used talking tins to record our action.

Our phonics focus has been the 'ee' sound and we have been looking the different ways of writing this sound (graphemes). Children have been grasping these new sounds well and progress has been good. Handwriting has also moved on considerably especially with those children who have been practising lots at home.

Our Maths focus this week has been 'greater than', 'less than' and 'equal to' with lots of practical equipment used to reinforce this concept. In our writing we have been looking at diaries, drawing and sequencing and then writing about our morning using the first person 'I' and the past tense.

We are planning our Pirate Dress-Up Themed Day on Monday 31st October. Please send your child in a pirate costume- nothing too elaborate- just a tatty pair of shorts or full skirt with a white frilly shirt or stripy T-shirt and scarf will be fine. Next week we will be making some props like eye patches and swords. We will be making some pirate food and going on a treasure hunt with our own map and compass.

Pirate- themed activities

Week ending 4th October

 We have had another busy week which started with Miss Sealey covering Monday and our class treat. The new scooters went down well- they change from scooters to ride on trikes and were popular with all. 

This week we have been extending our weather work with some excellent independent work on describing the weather from symbols and word mats supplied. Handwriting is noticeably better- thanks to all parents who have been supporting this.

Photos day on Wednesday meant our day was disrupted but we still managed to get lots of assessments done ready for interventions which will start next week. We have revised all our new phonics with particular emphasis on reading and writing a-ewords like bake, spade, late etc and had a great Pirate Hanging Out the Socks phonics game to finish the week with. It was great but Mrs Carter had not considered that pegging socks and letters on a washing line can be very tricky for little fingers!

In Maths we are consolidating 1-10 facts, writing numbers in numerals and words, ensuring all children can show numbers one less with a range of equipment.

For our art we have been making pirate masks which are being displayed in class.

Thanks to one of our parents, we now have two barrels in our class which have prompted the children to try and make their own barrels to store their food and water on board ship. With different sized circles this proved quite a challenge but the photos show the successes.

Tag words are going well with lots passing every week. Please continue to support daily reading!


Pirate-themed play

Week ending 27 September

This week we have introduced compass directions and have been following directions on pirate maps. We have made our own pirate maps and stained them to look old. Following lots of work on pirate ships, our first assessed piece of written work has been on descriptions of these ships and these are on display on our working wall. Using The Pirate Cruncher book that is our focus text for our Literacy work, we have decided to design and make scary sea monsters out of play dough. This has prompted some exciting descriptive writing and vibrant coloured pictures. Maths has extended to consider 'one more' and 'one less' with lots of practical equipment to support.

Our Year 1 phonics programme has started and we are looking at the ay sound- ay (as in play), ai (as in train) and a-e (as in cake). We will be revising these sounds next week to ensure they are embedded but any work at home to support would be much appreciated. The sound a-e is called a split digraph (as the two letters are split with a consonant) and the children are learning how to read and write words with this phoneme in. Examples : bake, cake, shape, snake, grape, gate, plate, state, stale, pale, came.

In both gymnastics and invasion games sessions, the class has been listening really carefully. The standard of creative gym shapes with both individual and pairs has been outstanding, showing great promise for the future!

Our guided reading on Owl Babies has prompted a flurry of owls to fly into the classroom where they are roosting happily on the owl houses on the interactive whiteboard!

Week ending 20 September

This week we have been extending our range of Pirate activities to include making Pirate ships out of Lego, special building straws and bigger blocks for our outside role play area, reading about ships and naming the parts of a pirate ship. In our writing we have been describing various pirates from our Pirate Cruncher book focusing on saying the sentence before writing it and then ensuring the phonics is correct. In maths we are embedding our 1-10 facts including recognising what the numbers look like in Numicon, dice and dominoes.

The highlight of the week was our Talk like a Pirate Day on Wednesday when we learnt some Pirate words like ' Scurvy Landlubber' and 'scallywags'.  We had a good practice at 'Ooo arrgh' and 'Shiver me Timbers' and our English focused on our Pirate Talk.

In PE we are learning about the skills for invasion games- we learnt about movement in every direction then dribbled with footballs and held relay races.

Each child has had an adult listen to him/her and we have assessed and tested children on their tag words. Test day will be Tuesday each week.

We look forward to seeing all parents at the Parents' Presentation on Tuesday at 2:45 where more detailed information will be given.


Talk Like a Pirate Day

Still image for this video

Talk Like a Pirate Day

Week ending 14 September 

All the children have made a great start to Year 1, settling well into the new routines and adjusting to the greater expectations. This year we have started by having a guided group Monday to Thursday with either a Maths or a writing focus with a carousel of activities linked to the learning objectives. On 'Focus Friday' we will be encouraging the children to either up-level their work or present activities that will enhance or extend their learning form the week.This week we are learning to describe the pirates in our 'Pirate Cruncher' book, name parts of the body and reinforce how we sort items for counting from 1-10. We are following a whole class guided reading scheme but still hope to listen to individual children read at least once a week. We are thrilled how well children have been learning pre-cursive handwriting already!

As you will know our topic is 'Land Ahoy' which is based around Pirates and has a Geography focus. The outside role play area is a Pirate ship but is missing lots of parts! We are sourcing a wooden barrel but if you think you have items that may enhance the role play area, we would love to borrow them eg kitting out the galley- wooden spoons, wooden bowls or plates, large cooking equipment, old (but not valuable tankards), hessian sacks or small woven bags for food storage and sorting/weighing activities and of course any Pirate dressing up items. Later on in the term we'd like to teach the children basic sewing so they can repair the sails and we will be encouraging knot tying so they can tie their own shoe laces!

All the children have been assessed for the correct reading box and have been given new tag words. It is a key year for all children to develop a daily reading routine and we know that this is by far the most important way home can support and enhance what is taught in school. We much appreciate the support given by parents and the partnership we have at Winterbourne and look forward to working alongside everyone this year.