Class 1: Mrs Rees
Welcome back to school and Happy New Year to you all. I hope you had a healthy and happy holiday and you are looking forward to starting home schooling today.
We will be following the schedule we had before Christmas with a morning meeting at 11.15 for all to attend and then an opportunity for questions at 2pm if you need it. Of course you can email me at any time during the day on ReesK129@hwbcymru.net. I hope to see as many of you as possible online today at 11.15 but appreciate that some of you may find the times difficult some days. Just do the best you can but if you get chance to email in with any absences that would be great. You can still access the resources via Teams in your own time.
It's good to be back in whatever form that takes and I am looking forward to catching up later.
We are in our final few days of term and the children are now at home for the next 3 days.
I will be on Teams at 11.15am each morning. This will be the first time I have run a Teams session so hopefully we won't encounter too many problems. I will also be checking my emails during our usual school hours this week so any queries you have please email me at ReesK129@hwbcymru.net and I'll do my best to answer them. I have uploaded our Christmas video and a class photograph this morning to the Teams Channel. You should find the video in 'Posts'. We used a video we made during a rehearsal last week so that we had more of the children included. I hope you enjoy it!
If I don't see some of you before the end of term, have a restful and happy Christmas. Thank you so much for your kind words and gifts yesterday. It's been a hard term and your support has been very welcome for all the staff in Class 1.
Sadly, Mrs Wilkins left us yesterday after 10 years working in Creigiau Primary School. The children made her a card and she enjoyed ending her day with our class party.
As we have had some new starters this term and some of you may have lost information from last year, I have sent home in an envelope today your child's Hwb and Purple Mash login details. I have also put links below to two documents to help you should we need to move online at any point.
Hopefully we will continue to stay safe and well in Class 1 and none of this will be needed.
The children are beginning to get quite excited about Christmas now and we have been doing Winter and Christmas related activities in class.
We are planning to do our Christmas class recording on Monday 14th December. You don't need to worry about sending anything into school as we have been busy making our own headbands.
This week we decided to have a change and started looking at money. As expected all the children's eyes lit up at the idea we had REAL money in class!
If you get the chance over the next couple of weeks it would be great if you could work on coin recognition with your child. Get a big pile of coins and ask the children to sort them into groups of the same coin. Ask them what they notice about the different coins e.g. size, colour, patterns, numbers, words
See if they can learn the relative value of the coins - that 1p buys them less than 10p which buys less than 50p etc.
They also need to understand the idea of coin exchange - that 2p is the same as 2 pennies, 5p is the same as 5 pennies. This tends to be a really tricky concept for some children to get used to. Help them to set up a shop at home - to write out some price labels and put them against some of their toys, or food. Start with prices to 5p and practise paying in different ways with pennies and 2p coins initially, then introducing the 5p coin.
If your child is already confident in those skills you can work on buying several items and adding up totals, and perhaps working out change.
This week in maths we have been practising addition and also working on our understanding of groups. This last task has proved quite tricky. The aim is for the children to make 'groups of' a given quantity e.g. 3 groups of 2 or 4 groups of 3. I've taken photographs of the way we were learning it in school - drawing around the groups we made so that we could count the number of groups and then count the number of objects within it. If you practise this at home you could use any objects e.g. stones, lego men, sweets, knives and forks etc.
We have also been learning that there are 26 letters in the alphabet and beginning to learn the names of the letters. We used the correct language e.g. lowercase letters and uppercase/capital letters.
In our sentence work it became clear that there is some confusion with the language - letters, words, sentences. We investigated sentences and tried to spot them and count them in text. This involved looking closely for the capital letter at the start and the full stop at the end. We will continue to work on this next week.
Thank you to all of you who took time out of your day to speak to me on Friday about your children. It was lovely to speak to you now that we don't have the opportunity at the end of the day. Your support at home is really appreciated.
My email if you have any queries is
You will have received targets for your children yesterday so I am repeating the links to information that might be included on those targets.
I also wanted to let you know that we have had a change of staffing in Class 1 too. Mrs Wilkins will now be working on Mondays and Tuesdays and we have been joined by Mrs Good on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Mrs Good was previously working in Reception so the children were already used to seeing her.
It's been great to have everybody back looking rested after the half term holiday and ready to start work again. Minds were focused on Bonfire Night and even though official displays were cancelled it sounds like most people had a fabulous evening. In school we learnt about the history of Bonfire Night and discussed safety issues. We have also been talking about Remembrance Day (Poppy Day) and learning why we have this special day.
We are continuing to focus on letter sounds, this week r, h and b, thinking about things beginning with those sounds and blending our sounds together to read. In Maths we have been focusing on addition and most children are now tackling the Year 1 Big Maths Learn It test. Please could you take some time each week to practise the addition calculations on this sheet and revise the ones from Reception. It is important for the children to know these calculations and be able to recall them rapidly. I've attached the test sheets again at the end of this thread.
Don't forget, on Friday we will be carrying out our virtual parent's evening by phone. Please make sure you ask any questions you need to or highlight any concerns you may have. Nothing is too small or too 'silly'. It is an important opportunity to make sure we are working together for the wellbeing and development of your children. I look forward to speaking to you then.
Reception and Year 1 Big Maths tests
This week we used a digital workshop from Techniquest as a springboard to activities about our 5 senses.
We have been doing I Spy activities to use our looking skills, following instructions and playing 'Guess the Sound' to develop our listening skills. We have been exploring unseen objects with our hands to think about touch and to try and think of words to describe what we can feel. There were lots of sounds of disgust when the children felt jelly!
Unfortunately we weren't able to do taste or smelling investigations because of the current restrictions but perhaps you could do this at home during the week or half term. It's a good opportunity to encourage children to taste things they might not usually have been willing to try!
We have also continued to practise our counting and our letter recognition and practised our blending skills.
In PE we did relay games and the children were really helpful in thinking of actions to add to our races. Well done Class 1!
This week the children spent time with the school laptops, learning how to switch them on and log into Purple Mash using their username and password. They then used an art package to draw a picture of their face. Most children found it quite tricky, getting used to using a keyboard which has capital letters on, and using the keypad rather than a mouse.
We have been labelling the body and reading about the parts of the body we can see and the parts which lie underneath our skin. We learnt that it takes 20 muscles to smile but 40 to frown!
In Maths the children have become really good at chanting their 2s all the way to 20. They were already good at countig in 10s but now they are also beginning to be able to count backwards in 10s, showing that they can visualise the pattern in their heads. Great work Class 1! Next week we will continue counting out quantities in 2s and 10s to reinforce what we are actually doing when we count in those steps.
We also did some work on 1 more and 1 less, moving on from numbers after and before. We were using number lines counting forwards and backwards to find 1 more and 1 less. Even though we have done a lot of whole class teaching with a number line, many children still found it tricky to use. If you get chance please practise at home using the numberlines I put online last week or you could chalk one on the path, or make one with post its on the table.
On Tuesday we also went out into the school garden to do more clearing work. There are one or two children still without wellies and they were unable to join in. If you haven't yet sent in a pair of wellies please do so.
This week the children spent some time outside helping to maintain our school garden, clearing branches and overgrown areas. Thank you for your hard work Class 1.
In Literacy we revised letter sounds t and p, continued to work on recognising if sounds were at the beginning, in the middle or at the end of words, and added the high frequency words 'I', 'and', 'dad'. We also wrote sentences starting with the opener ' I like ...' and tried to extend our sentences by adding detail.
In Maths we have been practising counting quantities, which has proved more difficult than expected for some. We have been counting forwards and backwards and identifying numbers before, after and between. We have completed our weekly Big Maths Beat That test again. We have been revising the Reception test to try and improve speed and automaticity. I have added a little more information to help you to revise this with your child with your child at home.
We have also been revising counting in 10s and started counting in 2s, understanding why we do this and how to do it.
It is really important that the children are secure in their counting in terms of counting our a number of objects accurately and in being able to picture the number sequence in their heads. The more practical experience they can get in doing these activities the better.
You can count things all day long e.g. counting steps one by one as you go upstairs, counting out the number of conkers they find in the park, counting toys etc.
With the number sequence we are working on the understanding that as you count forwards, or count on, the number is getting bigger. Numbers are effectively squiggly lines that represent a quantity of objects - so 10 sweets is bigger than or more than 1 sweet. We are also practising identifying which number comes after a given number, before a number, and between two numbers.
I have provided a link to number tracks at different levels below which you could use to practise at home.
Vocabulary we are using includes:
before, after, between
one more than, one less than
count forwards, count backwards
The purpose of the Big Maths Learn Its is to learn 'off by heart' some key number facts or calculations. This will make the children's maths much easier as they progress through school as it will relieve the load on their memory when doing more involved maths problems. They need to be able to answer the calculation read out to them, but also seeing them written down.
You will see that for the Reception test they only have 20 seconds in which to answer, for Year 1 they have 30 seconds.
For this reason it would be a good idea if you could practise number formation with your child at home so that it becomes automatic. In contrast to our letters, all the numbers are formed starting at the top!
I always give additional time in class for the children to finish their test so that they can show off their maths skills and have the satisfaction of being able to get more calculations right.
Thankyou to everyone who responded so promptly to my milk message. If you haven't yet done so could you please just let me know if you want your child to have milk in school by writing me a quick email to
Also you may want to ask your child if they have been cold in school. To make sure we all stay as safe as possible we have maximum ventilation, so doors and windows are left open. Some of the children have been feeling the cold. Now might be the time to move into tights and long trousers. If they have too many clothes on they can always take them off but once they are cold it is a little more difficult to make them confortable.
Please could you let me know if your child drinks school milk. Hopefully we will be starting with milk again in school tomorrow.
Email me at ReesK129@hwbmail.net
Please could you make sure your child has wellies in school. We are trying to spend time in the garden every week and it will be a shame if they are not able to take part in some activities.
Please also make sure your child has a coat in school every day. Some children also need to practise fastening their own coat to develop their independence.
Some parents have been asking how they can support their children at home especially as we are currently not sending reading books home. I thought it might therefore be useful to give you a brief overview about how children develop their reading skills at this early stage. Wherever possible we teach children to learn letter sounds and words in a multi sensory way - that means we look at the sound, say it and make it (or write it), all in the same session
This week we have focused on letter sounds 's' and 'a' and high frequency words a, am, mum, the
1. Learning Letter Sounds
Your child needs to see a letter and be able to say the sound it represents (a, b, c rather than 'ay' 'bee' 'see'). At the same time they should begin learning how to write those letters using the correct formation.
We teach the letters of the alphabet in the following order: s a t p i n m d g o c k e u r h b j v w x y z qu
This is so they can start to learn to blend sounds together to read simple words as soon as possible.
We then practise hearing where sounds are in words - at the beginning, in the middle or at the end.
When looking at words we teach children how to 'sound out' and blend sounds together to say the whole word.
As well as learning individual letter sounds, the children learn to read and write digraphs (when 2 letters make 1 sound) e.g. sh, ch, th and oo, ee, ai. Again they will learn to recognise these and use them when sounding out or blending sounds to read whole words.
4. High frequency words
At the same time as the above three steps we start to teach automatic recognition of words which appear frequently when we are reading and writing. Sometimes these words can be sounded out e.g. mum, dad, and, sometimes they are tricky words which can't be sounded out e.g. the, was, me. They are important to learn by sight, automatically, as they will help children to become fluent readers and will give confidence when reading. It's very hard for the child to process what they are reading if they are having to sound every word out.
5. Fluency and comprehension
Once the children are confident in their reading and reading more words we can begin to work on fluency, using punctuation and expression, talking about vocabulary and understanding what they are reading.
I have provided links below to the first 100 high frequency words we teach, to the font which we use in Creigiau Primary School and to some useful ideas for working on learning letter sounds and high frequency words. You can find many more ideas if you search on the internet.
In addition to our sports activity this week we have been out in the garden making pictures based on the art of Andy Goldsworthy. We first looked at the art he has created using pebbles, leaves, sticks, ice and other things he found in the environment. Then we explored the garden collecting materials and making our own pictures.
We also explored colour mixing, to find out what primary colours we could mix together to make secondary colours. We found out that red and yellow makes orange, blue and yellow makes green and blue and red makes purple. We printed with our hands and then cut out the handprints and used them to make Autumn hedgehogs.
In Maths we have been counting out quantities, looking at numbers before and after, one more than and one less than, and understanding that the number represents a group of 'things' that we are counting. We have also been practising counting forwards and backwards from different numbers and understanding bigger and smaller numbers. We collected apples from the garden and used them to start some work on making patterns too.
In Literacy we are revising letter sounds (not names) and high frequency words. The children tend to be better at reading them than writing them, hence our revision. We have started with s and a, (saying sss and a, rather than 'Es' and 'Ay'). We are also revising a, am, mum and the. We have been discussing sentences and used 'I am ...' as a sentence starter to see if the children could make sentences orally and then in writing. Some children were challenged to extend those sentences by using the word 'and' or by including adjectives. In Welsh they have been practising asking 'Sut wyt ti?' - 'How are you?' and have enjoyed using their Welsh outside of the classroom.
We had a lovely afternoon today competing in a beanbag race and a sprint. Well done to everyone for giving maximum effort!
Download a Sports Day Certificate
Termly planning - Autumn 2020
Things are beginning to settle down in Class 1 now as we all become familiar with the changes around school and to our timetable, and as we develop the muscles needed to use the hand sanitiser on entering and leaving class!
The weather has been kind to us so far so we have been able to use the garden and the field to do scavenger hunts, to walk a mile and for outdoor PE. Please remember if you haven't already sent in wellies to try and do so as the outdoor areas soon become wet in the Autumn months.
As part of our topic we have been using our looking skills and mirrors to draw self portraits and to draw pictures of the people who live in our house. With careful thought our artwork was really detailed and the work is now being displayed on the wall. We've been practising measuring using non standard units to measure objects in the classroom and to find out who in our group has the biggest hands.
We have also started to think about the Autumn season and have collected leaves and conkers and used our fingertips to paint autumn trees and falling leaves.
We've also been learning some new songs and practising our counting whilst keeping fit with exercises at the same time.
All in all it's been a busy start to the term!
Over the next few weeks I will post things on this page which I would like the children to practise as a result of the ongoing assessments we are doing. I would also be grateful if you have your child's reading record book at home, if you could send it back into school. If they have been reading lots at home and you want to let me know what they have been reading then you are welcome to add comments in the book.
Please remember, if you have any queries or concerns about your child then please email me. You can use the form below or email to ReesK129@hwbcymru.net
If we need to have a telephone conversation that can then be arranged.
I don't usually update this page daily but at the moment when we are not sending messages home on paper I've decided it might help if I put short messages on as and when they arise. Otherwise I have a tendency to forget!
The children all have their own pencil sharpener and scissors to use in class. It would be helpful if they could practise using both things at home so they are more independent in class. Then they don't have to wait for a teacher to be available to help them out.
Please could you send a pair of wellies into school with your child so that we can make the most of every opportunity to use our outdoor area.
The wellies will need to be in a plastic carrier bag, labelled and they will then stay in school.
It's been lovely to be back in school this week to welcome the new Class 1 children and to start to learn all about them and their families. They have all obviously had a great summer but are happy to be back together with their friends.
The last two days have given the children and the staff in Class 1 the chance to start to learn some new routines and work out how best to adapt to the restrictions we have in place in these strange times. I'm sure there will be lots of tweaking to be done over the next couple of weeks but the children have been fantastic in their willingness to work around any hiccups we encounter.
For your information I teach the class every day, and Mrs Stone covers my PPA session on Friday afternoons. I am supported in class by Mrs Wilkins and we also have Mrs Long and Mr Snell supporting individual pupils. I appreciate it's difficult at the moment to speak to me if you have any queries as we can't linger at the gate, however please use the email form below or phone school if you have anything you need to discuss with me.
There is only one message to impart tonight and that is to let you know that our PE slot is on Tuesday afternoon so could the children please come to school dressed for outdoor PE every Tuesday. I will send a note out to remind you on Monday as I didn't get chance to do so today.
Have a lovely weekend and we will see you again on Monday.