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Year 1

Welcome to Year 1!

Picture 1

Welcome to Ladybird class! Thank you for visiting our class page. On this page you will find key information about our curriculum and our classroom. We will also be sharing some of our learning with you so please come back to visit to see what is new!

Staff in Ladybird class


Our class teacher is Mr Hinde.

Our teaching assistant is Mrs Solly.


The team will aim to make the transition into Year 1 as smooth and fun as possible. We will gradually introduce more structure as the childrens' confidence builds in their new environment.

Picture 1 Mr Hinde
Picture 2 Mrs Solly



Our topic for Spring 1 will be a continuation of Dinosaurs and Islands. The children were amazed by our CCTV footage of a dinosaur laying an egg in our classroom!

The children have been very engaged and were especially excited to receive a mysterious letter from Tom who is stuck on a mysterious dinosaur island.....

As part of our new writing scheme (The Write Stuff) we will be focusing on a book called "Grandad's island" and doing lots of fun activities around this with the emphasis on producing some great sentences.

We also have some special workshops this term so will be covering topics such as environmental care (recycling and plastics!) and superheroes.

Watch this space.....



Our Topic for Autumn 2 is Celebrations and dinosaurs!


Our topic for Autumn 1 is All about us. We will be focusing on ourselves and our families. This topic helps the transition into mainstream schooling. It is also the best way to enhance learning when children are discussing their own life experiences.

We will start off with a unit of work around Ladybirds and focus on the book, What the Ladybird heard to help support our transition from Ducklings into Ladybirds!


Please see the Medium term planning for an overview of what things we will be doing this half term (please note that this may be subject to change)







Key Weekly Information


Welcome to Ladybird class.


Things to note:

PE is  on Monday afternoon and Friday morning (starting week commencing 3rd September).

Please make sure your child has a named kit in school that is suitable for all manners of weather. The hall can get chilly and on any given day the children may go out for their session. (Please note that we have a very limited selection of spare kit)


The children are getting more efficient in the transition from outdoor to indoor shoe and we will continue to work on the tidiness aspect!

Can you please ensure that your child has an indoor shoe in school at all times.

Children are allowed in from 8.45am and 8.55am where they can come in independently.

The school day begins at 8.55am.


We politely request that adults support their children in being independent in organising their own belongings and refrain from coming into the classroom to help. (We know it’s tricky!) .

Children will have pegs to put coats on outside of the classroom, then there will be a tray in the classroom to put book bags in and a place to put their water bottles in. As the children come in there will be activities for them to access independently and off course, they can have a quick chat and catch up with their friends!

We will off course be flexible in the initial transition into a new year.

As children get used to routines, I am sure they will be efficient and independent enough to do this confidentally by theirselves without the need for adults to come into the building.


The door to the classroom is opened from 8.40am for parents/ carers to speak to staff to deliver messages such as collections etc.  In line with school policy adults and children should not enter the school before this time.



Homework is to be used as a tool to consolidate learning and tailored to individual requirements. Books will go out on a Friday to be returned by the following Thursday. There will be a list of words and number facts to be learnt ( for a weekly Friday "quiz").


I would very much like you to read with your child whenever the opportunity arises. Reading for pleasure is a fundamental tool in your child's development. It builds confidence, supports cognitive thinking, helps progress in writing, etc.


Please read and share books with your child everyday if possible, just 10 minutes makes all the difference.  I am aiming to have daily guided reading sessions where all children will be heard reading across the week this term. Your child will be prompted to change his/her book after a session and particularly on a Monday and Friday.I appreciate that the children are very young so we will look to build up their confidence to initiate book changes. Please feel free to give your child a gentle reminder in the morning if needed.


I will continue to send (via Class Dojo) a brief breakdown of the things that we have been doing in class

for that week.


My door is always open and please feel free to discuss any matters or questions that you may have. I’m happy to help and if required,make an appointment with you.


Here is a copy of our weekly class timetable. It is subject to change dependent on weekly events.

Initially and in the first few weeks, the timetable will be very flexible. The children will have lots of continuous provisions and activities to choose independently alongside focused group activities. The adults will be reading with your child. The sessions will be of a small length and focus on specific aspects in maths, English and phonics.

We will also focus on circle time activities, where children get the opportunity to talk and play in order to boost their confidence and self esteem.


In Spring term there will be a timetable for Show and Tell on Friday afternoons where they can bring in an item from home to share with their friends. I have found this a lovely opportunity for children to talk and express theirselves. Items can be favourite toys, achievements they have, etc. Please refrain from sticks, stones and random McDonalds toys!smiley


Show and tell timetable is below.


What are we learning at the moment?




Maths is taught in blocks as per the school scheme. It is very important that children are hands on and appreciate the concept of number. Use counters, sweets, lego pieces, etc for children to touch and count. This reinforces what the actual number means (i.e That it is representing an amount). 

This term, we will be working on Addition and subtraction within 20 (Weeks 1 to 4) and then we will finish the term with Place value work within 50. We will also focus on practising our 2,5 and 10 time tables while consolidating all previous learning.

Feel free to practice your time tables with your child wherever there is an opportunity!!



This half term our topic is a continuation of Dinosaurs. We will be covering books such as Tom and the island of dinosaurs. While there will still be a strong focus on using TALK FOR WRITING. This is where we discuss, role play, practice words and phrases (IMMERSION). We then INNOVATE to improve writing with our own ideas. The school are following a new scheme called the write stuff. These involves a lot of the principles from Talk for writing where key words are identified, sentence structure is reinforced and we stack sentences to form pieces of writing.

The moto for our writing will always be THINK IT, SAY IT, WRITE IT, READ IT!

In order for a child to write something, they need to be able to say it. Our work will always try to relate to life experiences such as to make it more appealing to your child. They are more likely to write about something that they have done or been involved in then to something they have no experience of.

Please practice writing simple sentences where possible. Maybe you could keep a diary, write a wish list, weekly chores for rewards, etc.

It is still fundamental to have those building blocks of using finger spaces, capital letters and full stops!! These are the foundations for the children as they progress through their school life.



SPAG (Spelling, punctuation and grammar)

The emphasis will be on word and sentence  level. Working on letter formation, finger spaces, capital letters and full stops. We will improve sentences by adding adjectives to give more description and make writing more exciting.



In line with the current school policy, at some stage, we will be introduce pre cursive writing. This is where the children start their letter formation on the line (lead ins) and prepares them for the introduction of joined up writing in Year 2.

There is varying literature as to what is the best approach to handwriting is and we will keep up to date to do the best for your child. We need to ascertain if children are comfortable in letter formation and recognition from Reception first before moving them on. We will be doing daily letter formation alongside fine motor activities to help the transition into pre cursive writing. 


I will give more information and work aids in due course.



This term, we will recap on all sounds learnt so far and make a baseline assessment of all children. Any gaps in phase 3 will be identified and worked on. We follow the Letters and Sounds scheme of work where we work on phase 4 sounds/words then built up to alternative spellings of sounds as we enter phase 5. I will keep you updated as to the sounds and words that we will be learning to identify and spell.


Foundation subjects:

History-Chronological understanding and placing events in order.

Geography- Focus on Geographical skills and fieldwork- Learning about where we live and our school. We will be studying our local area and making/using simple maps.

Science- Materials and properties

PSHE- Rules and responsibilities with some work on friendships.

Art- self portraits and observational drawings using colour, line and tone.

PE- Gym- movements and control


 Please see the medium term plan  above for  what we are covering  in lessons.  Please note that this is subject to change.



Termly news from the  Ladybird classroom:


PLEASE SEE CLASS DOJO for weekly updates of class activity.


January 2018

It has been a busy month in Ladybirds with lots of fun combined with hard work and some great learning.

In Phonics, we have continued to work on Phase 5 alternative sounds while recapping on any gaps in other sounds. As ever, there has been a big push on reading. The children enjoy taking turns leading guided reading sessions and love the control of issuing commands and raffle tickets!

Also, any reading and homework at home has a positive impact, thank you.

We have worked hard on our letter formation and have reinforced the fundamentals of a good sentence. These being capital letters, fingers spaces and full stops.We have continued to up level our sentences by adding adjectives and conjunctions (such as 'and' and 'but').

In English, we finished work on Tom and the island of dinosaurs by designing and drawing our own islands. Carrying on the theme, Tom kindly left us a book, Grandpa's island. This has been the focus of our work as we follow our new English scheme (The Write Stuff). We have worked hard on forming good effective sentences and I have been really proud of the children's efforts. Off course, it hasn't all been hard slog and the children have making it even more engaging by acting out being Grandpa, looking at items from his attic, playing musical instruments to represent being on a ship, watching some of the Jungle book while imaging being in the jungle. I think the most memorable part so far has been going on our "hot air balloon" ride around the school grounds to explore and imagine our dinosaur island. We found a "shipwreck" and a huge "dinosaur egg"!.

In maths, we have been hands on with cubes and ten frames to help us with our work on addition and subtraction.It is a great way of showing the process and also helps to reinforce crossing over 10's (eg 13 - 4, 8 + 3, e.t.c). We have also used counting on or back in our heads and have used number lines to help. The children have worked on number bonds to 10 and used these within some of our calculations.

In Geography, our topic is Our School. We have learnt about compass directions, aerial views, made maps of our classroom, made maps of the school and the children particularily liked exploring Sawston on Google Maps and looking for their homes!

In PE, the children have been doing lots of jumping, landing and balancing!

We are looking forward to our Tree Cafe event on the first of February and will let you know all about it.

Keep up the hard work!



NEW SPRING TERM- January 2018

Date for your diary- Our "class assembly" is on Friday 1st February. 14.00pm to 15.00pm (approximately). More information will follow but the school is taking a new approach this year. The focus is on having an interactive session where parents and children work, socialise and have fun together. It will be great to get as many people here as possible to share the experience.

Watch this space (or parent mail!) for more information.


December 2018

Another month has flown by in Ladybird class! The children have enjoyed performing our nativity, going to the Pantomime and meeting our class Scout Elf. Inline with Parliament week, we voted to give him his name and he certainly lives up to the name of Cheeky. He is full of mischievousness and been up to all sorts in our classroom! We have enjoyed writing to Santa and we rewrote the Christmas story to cheer up his friend, Chris, who is currently in Elf hospital! He is on the mend so please don't worry!
In maths, we have worked on number bonds and talked about 2 smaller part amounts making up one whole amount. We used 2 coloured pencils and cubes to make or draw number bonds to 7. If you find the time, see if you can practice any number bonds for a given  number (e.g 10 (9+1,1+9, 8+2, 2 + 8, etc).
In Science, we have learnt about the seasons. We have discussed the different weather that we may get in the differing seasons. We have also done some lovely art work, watch this space....

In Phonics/English, the children have been learning new alternative spellings for sounds and have been doing lots of guided reading sessions. Please continue to find the time to read to or hear your child read. Refer to the phase 3 and phase 5 sound mats that were sent home if required.

I have been really pleased with how all the children have settled into Year 1 life throughout our first term.

Have a wonderful Christmas and I look forward to seeing your child continue to be happy and make progress in the Spring term.

Best wishes.

Mr Hinde.


November 2018

It's been an exciting and busy month in Ladybirds!

We bid  a farewell to Miss Kitchen and Miss Hardege who were very supportive in their time at Icknield. They left us with a lasting memory in the shape of a marvellous, Reading for Pleasure Corner. We had a favourite book morning and the children enjoyed sticking their book reviews on the board!


In Maths, we recapped on 2d and 3d shapes. The children enjoyed going on a shape hunt around the school! We have also, worked on place value and have got hands on with diennes, representing tens and ones. We are now focusing on Addition and subtraction, including number bonds and fact families.

In English, we have focused on hand writing and presentation of work. We continue to follow our Mantra of Think it, Say it, Write it and Read it! We have jumped through hoops to represent sentences and have used "and" to connect ideas/sentences together.

The children were super excited to find footprints in and out of our classroom! We checked our "CCTV" footage and were amazed to see a friendly, looking Dinosaur creep into our classroom and deposit an egg! It inspired us to write posters and newspaper reports to inform the rest of the school. Watch this space for any more updates...



In other areas, the children were excellent role-playing the sinking of the Lusitania, as part of our Remembrance Day. We all enjoyed our Parliament week and got engrossed in learning about Orcas. We await the result of our whole school vote and to see how our class manifesto went! The children also learnt about the voting system and loved designing, describing and finally, voting for their favourite super hero.

In Science, our topic is Materials. We have already been searching around the school for different materials and have been generating a good bank of vocabulary describing properties of different items.

The children continue to enjoy outdoor sports with Mrs Seymour (wrap up warm!) and are revelling in their dance lessons

with Miss Christina.

Keep up the hard work Ladybirds, Christmas is coming!


October 2018

Wow, where did that term go!?
This week the children have been engrossed in animals and devising our own mixed up animals (based on the mixed up chameleon).
In Science, we have finished our unit on human and animals by naming body parts and we have grouped animals according to what they eat. Can you remember the three groups? (Carn.........,Herb...... Omni......). The children enjoyed listening to what group our class animals fell under.
In English, we have enjoyed drawing and describing our animals using lots of great adjectives! The children very much enjoyed listening to Miss Hardege's description and drawing her mixed up animal that we all tried to copy! We had lots of great vocabulary that we used to form sentences at the end of the week. Try not to forget your capital letters and full stops!
Miss Kitchen taught us about what it means to be a friend and we enjoyed explaining how important friendship is.
In Maths, we have been carrying on with our subtraction and thinking of all the strategies we use to help us (fingers,....anymore?).
We have made our own subtraction stories and solved lots of word problems.
In PE we have enjoyed games with Mrs Seymour and enjoyed our gym session with Miss Hardege and Miss Kitchen. (I have been teaching this week, honestly!).
It has been great having the 2 teachers with us and they have  been a brilliant asset with helping with the class. We look forward to their return for 2 weeks from the 5th November and they are going to be making an interesting role play area to encourage reading. Watch this space .....
I have been really impressed with how the children have settled this term and it has been great getting to know them all. It has been lovely seeing them settle and work/play together.
Next term, I will be sending home a weekly update of what we have been doing in class and some activities for you to do with your child. Please don't think that this is an arduous thing but merely a quick consolidation of what we have been up to. Every child works and develops at a different pace and I will be giving out pointers as to how to help your child progress even more.
On that note, you should have received a slip for parents evening today. Please DOJO me if your time is inconvenient.


September 2018


The first month has whizzed by in Ladybirds and it has been wonderful to see all the children settling in so well! They are all aware of the rules, know their carpet spaces and home groups. The children have got used to routines and it is really encouraging seeing them having fun and doing their best!

Whilst Mr Hinde was knee deep in nappies, Mrs Solly did an amazing job teaching our Ladybirds! The children have been practising their sounds in phonics and using sound buttons to blend sounds together whilst reading. Children have been doing lots of fine motor exercises and practising their letter/number formation. Lots of reversals but don't worry, we will get there!

The children have been enjoying daily maths sessions and have done lots of work on counting and place value. They have also worked on the days of the week, 1 more and 1 less and doubles. This week, we have been working on number bonds and addition.

The Ladybirds have also worked on our topic, "All about us" where the children have discussed their families, pets and their favourite books.  All the children have enjoyed our show and tell sessions. It has been great for their language and confidence as they proudly talk to their friends about their chosen item or event.

Next month, we will be doing lots of "talk for writing" where we discuss key events and phrases in books, role play and sequence them, rewrite sections and eventually change certain parts to add our own little spin to them. We will continue to work on letter formation with targets of writing on the line and using finger spaces in our writing.

A great first month Ladybirds. Keep it up!



Alternative pronunciation of graphemes support sheet

Where every child matters and individuals are valued.