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Margaret Wix Primary School

Excellence, Creativity, Individuality!

Hummingbirds (Year 1)

Welcome to Year 1


Our class is called Hummingbirds.  We are taught by Mrs Watkins (Mon-Weds), Mrs Arnott (Thurs-Fri) and supported by Miss Cattermole.


PE Days

Hummingbirds will have PE on a Tuesday and a Thursday.  Children will need to wear their PE kit to school on this day and will remain in them all day. They will not need uniform to change into.  Please ensure your child has the correct PE kit so they can participate successfully. 


Library Slot

Your child will get an opportunity to visit the school library on Wednesday afternoons. Here they will have the chance to borrow a book that they are interested in: a book they will read for pleasure.  If they wish to take a book home, this will need to be returned on a Wednesday ready to change.


Home Learning

Your child should be reading with an adult at home daily. Please make a note of this in their reading journal. It would also benefit your child to do some weekly practise on numbots (their log in can be found in their home learning book).

Every week each child will bring home their home learning book containing a couple of questions about what the children learnt last week and some new learning from this week. This will be handed out every Friday and should be returned the following Wednesday. Please note, home learning should not take more than 30 minutes. If your child is struggling with this, please make a note for us in their home learning book. 


Autumn 2 update

We can’t believe it is nearly Christmas and we are coming to the end of our first term in year 1!  Hummingbirds have had a fantastic term and we are very proud of how hard they have worked and how far they have come.  

In English, we began the term by reading Christina Rossetti’s wonderful poem, ‘What is pink?’ and using it as inspiration for our own colour poems. We wrote, illustrated and performed our poems to year 5, trying hard to vary our tone and project our voices. We also wrote some wonderful poems about autumn, using some fantastic descriptive language. These beautiful poems form part of Hummingbirds poetry anthology!


‘Mr Big’ by Ed Vere, a wonderful book in which the main character realises his talent for playing jazz music, was a firm favourite of ours. We created artwork inspired by the book, listened to some beautiful jazz music describing how it made us feel and wrote letters to the main character trying hard to extend our sentences.

‘The Spider and the Fly’ by Mary Howitt provided stimulus for our persuasive writing in which we tried to convince a fly not to fall in to the trap of Mr Spider’s web! We created some fantastic wanted posters to try to capture the spider and produced some great character descriptions too.

We have finished the term by reading ‘The Jolly Christmas Postman’ and written our own Christmas wish lists and letters to Father Christmas.

In Maths, we have been using the part whole model to explore the relationship between addition and subtraction.  We have used this model to solve problems, where information is missing and identifying whether we need to add or subtract.

The children have worked hard to count carefully and compare two groups of objects to find the difference.  We have had a number of lessons using the balance scales to show that the = symbol actually means ‘the same as’ or ‘balanced,’ rather than ‘the answer.’  The children have really impressed us with finding lots of different ways to find ‘the same as’ for a given number.

We have also worked on what the children learnt in Reception, about building numbers to 20, and how numbers ten to nineteen are made up by ten and some more.  The children have played lots of matching games, matching digits, dienes and numbers in words to help develop their understanding.

And of course, we have also been practising counting in 2s, 5s and 10s which the children are getting really good at!  Keep on playing Numbots – it really helps J

In Geography, we have been finding out about our local area. We explored a map of the United Kingdom, naming the different countries and the location of St Albans. We looked at our school and the surrounding area on google maps. We were very lucky to explore our local area on foot on a lovely, sunny day, noticing the street signs, road names, different types of houses, shops, church and the woods in New Greens. We labelled pictures of our local area and considered the different human and physical features.

In Art, we have been exploring primary and secondary colours and colour mixing. We have been using different tools to apply paint, producing some very creative pieces of art inspired by Jackson Pollock. In DT, we have been considering where different foods come from, discussing a balanced diet and how fruits and vegetables are healthy. Inspired by winter and the festive season, we decorated some Christmas biscuits.

In PSHE, we have used circle time with Jigsaw Jack to consider our similarities and differences. For NSPCC Speak out Stay safe, we discussed our right to be safe and to speak to a trusted adult if we needed help.  For Just Talk week, we discussed how sometimes we might feel worried or upset about something and what we could do if that were the case. We talked about how we could help our friends and decorated masks to remind us to ‘look beneath the surface’ in case a friend was feeling anxious or unhappy. On Aspirations Day, we had great fun finding out about different careers.

In RE, we have been reflecting on the Christmas story and the reasons for Jesus’ birth. We learnt about the different traditions during advent and even made our own Christingles! We have been thinking about how Jesus’ teachings help Christians to be kind and how we can show love and kindness to one another.

In Science, we recapped our learning about Materials with some fantastic experiments.  The children created waterproof shelters for Incy Wincy Spider using what they had learnt about the properties of different materials.  We learnt about floating and sinking, by experimenting with a satsuma!  Then the children made predictions as to whether a collection of objects would float or sink.  They had great fun testing out their predictions!  We finished our unit by making our own boats out of a choice of materials and seeing if it could support a counting bear.  Hummingbirds are great scientists! 

We also started learning about the Seasons by first thinking about and sorting the different clothes we might need over the year.  We learnt about Autumn with a fantastic investigation into what colours hide in our leaves in the Autumn.  We will learn about the other seasons as the year progresses. 

In Computing, the children have loved using computers to recreate lots of different paintings by some famous artists.  We explored the different tools that offers and thought about which tool to use for each style of painting.  The children have become really confident in using this application and they can explain which tool they used and why.  At the end of the unit we created our very own digital masterpieces using a style called Pointillism and then recreated it with cotton buds and paint.  The children all voted for which effect they liked best and why.

We hope you have a fantastic Christmas holiday and a well-deserved rest. We look forward to seeing you back at school on January 5th.

Mrs Watkins, Mrs Arnott and Miss Cattermole J




Toy Workshop at Hertford Museum - Wednesday 19th October

Autumn 1 update - October 2022


Wow, we are already coming to the end of our first half term in Year One!  Hummingbirds have made such a fantastic start to the year and we have been so impressed by their enthusiasm and thirst for learning.  Here’s a little bit about what we have been up to already in this action-packed half-term.


In English, we began the term by reading the wonderful book, ‘Zeraffa Giraffa,’ written by Dianne Hofmeyr, about a giraffe from Africa who travels to Paris as she has been gifted to the King of France. We found out lots of interesting facts about giraffes. We sequenced the story, using pictures from the book and summarised each part. We pretended to be newspaper reporters, interviewing people in the crowds watching as Zeraffa walked through the streets of Paris and wrote a newspaper report about her arrival.

We really enjoyed reading the story, ‘Plenty of Love to Go Round’ by Julia Donaldson, about a dog who is not very keen on a cat joining his family home! We used our phonics to label a picture of the dog called Plum and we wrote a list of all the things we might need if we were to get a new pet cat.

We have also enjoyed reading ‘Stanley’s Stick’, a beautifully illustrated book about a boy who imagines using his favourite stick for many different things, such as catching fish or stirring his tea. We found our own sticks outside and imagined that they were swords, fishing rods or even wands to cast magic spells!

‘The Gruffalo’s Crumble’, a recipe book, was our final text this half term. We considered the different features of instruction texts and practised following instructions in a recipe by making our own ‘Terrible Tusks’ (fruit kebabs). We also had lots of fun making a delicious meal for the Gruffalo out of leaves, conkers, acorns and sticks and wrote our own recipe for our meal.   


In Maths, we have been revisiting the number work that the children learnt in Reception.  We have been practising counting up to 20, counting back from 20 to 0 and working on our number formation.  The children have been ordering numbers, working out which numbers are greater/smaller and finding out one more and one less.  Cherry models and bar models have been used to represent what they have found and the children are getting very familiar with these pictorial representations. 


We have been using objects from all around the classroom, inside and out, to practice our counting and subitising skills (seeing how many instead of counting).  This learning has been extended by finding a given number of objects, matching it with a numeral card, then finding that number on a bead string and showing it on a tens frame. 


The children have had great fun playing with the patterns of numbers by finding different ways of making the same total on a tens frame and showing this as a number sentence.  We have also learnt about ordinal numbers (first, second, third) and using left and right, to describe the position of objects. 


Finally, the children have been learning about the language of addition and subtraction.  We have explored regrouping numbers up to 10, different ways to make 5 and using regrouping to make 5 and some more.  The children have investigated whether addition and subtraction can be done in any order.  Try asking them what they found out!


In our History topic, ‘Toys’, we have been finding out about important events and people from the 1960s. We were fascinated to discover that there were audio cassettes and video tapes but no ipads or Alexas! We sorted pictures of toys from the 1960s and present day and discussed how toys have changed since that period but were also surprised to find out that some, such as monopoly, are still popular today. We had a wonderful trip to a toy workshop at Hertford museum and were able to see and handle different toys from the past.


For Black History month, we have been finding out about Floella Benjamin and her journey from Trinidad to England. We wrote diary entries, considering how she must have felt arriving in a different country as a child and starting at a new school.


In Art, we have been focusing on landscapes and cityscapes painted by Monet. Using different drawing tools, we have created our own drawings of Monet’s beautiful garden in Giverny and the Houses of Parliament in London at sunset.  We have also created self- portraits, looking very carefully at our different features.


In PSHE, we have been using circle time with Jigsaw Jack to discuss how our behaviour affects others. We have also been thinking about when we feel safe and considering how we can help others in our class to learn. For World Mental Health Day we read the fantastic book, The Colour Monster. We thought about the different feelings we experience and created our own colour monster.


In RE, we have been reading and acting out stories from the bible in which people show kindness, such as The Good Samaritan and The Story of the Paralysed Man. We have been considering how we can be kind to others but also discussing how it is difficult to be kind all of the time.          

In Science, we started our Materials unit by exploring the classroom and identifying what the furniture was made from.  The children were challenged to find as many objects in the room made from: metal, plastic, rubber, wood and glass.  They found so many!


Next we looked at the different properties of the materials and identified objects that were bumpy, flat, rough, smooth, sharp and blunt.  The children sorted their objects and found examples for each.  They then asked questions in order to help group them, such as ‘Is it shiny?’ or ‘Is it smooth?’


We ended our unit with a fantastic experiment to help find a material that would be suitable to make a new umbrella for Winnie the Pooh!  The children made their own prediction as to which material they thought would be waterproof and why.  


We conducted our experiment in our outdoor area, making sure we were conducting a fair test by using the same amount of water each time.  The children were fantastic scientists and recorded their findings well.  We then wrote our conclusions and kept a copy of the material that would work best.  Finally we wrote to Winnie the Pooh to let him know which material to use and why!  Well done Hummingbirds J


In Computing, we started off our ‘Technology around us’ unit by thinking about what the word technology means.  The children went on a hunt in the classroom and found lots of examples of technology and could explain what the objects were used for.  The children have learnt the names of the different parts of a desktop or laptop computer and why they are important.


They used their mouse skills to ‘drag and drop’ in a fun puzzle task and they developed their skills further using the programme to draw a picture of themselves.  The children then practised using their typing skills to create a text box and write their name.  We saved our work so we could come back and add to it later on.  The children are doing really well at developing their mouse skills, but lots of them found it quite tricky!  If you have a computer at home, please encourage them to practice using the free web-based programme. 

We ended the unit by thinking about how to stay safe online, using the school rules and by thinking about what information is safe to share online. 


We hope you all have a lovely half-term and these glorious, sunny, Autumnal days continue!  Make sure the children have a well-deserved rest and we will see you back in school on Monday 31st October.


Mrs Watkins, Mrs Arnott and Miss Cattermole J