Margaret Wix Primary School
Excellence, Creativity, Individuality!
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.
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.
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.
Hummingbirds have had such a busy half term! We are so proud of them all and how much they have achieved this half term.
In English, we read ‘Voices in the Park’ by Anthony Brown and thought about the story from different characters' viewpoints. We thought about our own routine in the morning and what we do to get ready for school. This helped us to sequence the story and re-write it in our own words. The children loved sharing ‘Dogger’ by Shirley Hughes about a beloved cuddly toy that gets lost! We used describing words to write a ‘Missing poster’ to find Dogger and get him home to Dave.
The King’s Coronation provided us with a fantastic opportunity to learn all about this historical event and the children wrote some fantastic fact files about what they had learnt. We then shared the very funny story ‘The King’s Pants’ by Nicholas Allan, where the King loses ALL of his pants! The children had great fun designing their own pants for the King and describing them.
We finished this half term with the heart-warming story of ‘And Tango makes Three’ by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, which tells the story of two penguins that are desperate to have a family of their own. We used this story to think about our own families and write a short description about them using capital letters and full stops.
In maths, we consolidated our learning about money. We have been finding out the values the different coins represent and using different combinations to find different values.
We have also been learning to count in 2s, 5s and 10s and finding out about even and odd numbers. We have been practising the language of multiplication, using terms like ‘repeated addition’, ‘groups of’ and ‘lots of’. We hope you liked the song in our assembly that we sang to help us remember how to count in 2s! We have also been learning to share in to equal and unequal groups and investigating which amounts can be shared without a remainder.
In history, we have been finding out all about the wonderful history of St Albans. We had a fantastic time on our trip to the cathedral and Verulamium Park. We really enjoyed acting out the story of St Alban in the cathedral and finding out about the Roman city of Verulamium
In art, we have been learning how to weave. We tried to create a repeating pattern by weaving using different coloured strips of card. We also experimented with weaving wool around a stick. In DT, we have started to make our own puppets and will continue next half term.
In PSHE, we have been learning about relationships. We talked about families and how they are all different. We discussed friendship and how we can be good friends to one another.
In RE, we have been finding out about Judaism and the different traditions of Shabbat. We discussed what Jewish children might do during Shabbat and why it is so important to them.
In science, we finished our Seasons unit by looking for signs of Spring around the school grounds and learning all about the Sun’s powerful UV rays in the Summer time. We had great fun using UV colour changing beads to test out when the UV rays were at their strongest.
Then we started our last Year 1 topic about Plants by taking a trip to Batchwood Woods to identify some common plants and trees. We were so lucky that it was such a dry day, with only a little bit of mud! The children collected so many flowers and leaves, and when we got back to class they worked really hard to identify them using the ID spotter sheets. Next, we will be planting bean seeds and watching them grow over the next few weeks.
In computing, we started our Digital Writing unit. The children continued to practise logging onto the computers and opening Word. They then explored the keyboard and learnt the functions of lots of different keys that we need in order to write. We learnt: backspace, space bar, full stop, CAPS lock and enter.
The children created a ‘Missing poster’ for Ted and then experimented with the bold, italic and underlining tools, as well as learning how to change the font and the size of the lettering.
Year 1 and Year 2 have also loved coming to Computing club and creating some Spring masterpieces using a free ipad app called Whiteboard.
We have had a wonderful half term teaching Hummingbirds and we really hope they have a lovely rest over the holiday.
However, we are sending home an important phonics homework pack that we really need your support in completing.
Every task that the children complete, they can earn a certificate! There are six to collect and if they complete all the tasks there will also be a special surprise on the return to school.
It really is so important that the children keep up their daily phonics practice over half term, ahead of the phonics screening check so they can achieve their very best.
Thank you so much in advance and we will see you on Tuesday 6th June.
The Hummingbirds Team J
Hummingbirds have had an amazing half term! We are so proud of every member of our class; they have all made such fantastic progress. Well done, Hummingbirds!
In English, we have been studying 'The Day War Came', a poem by Nicola Davies, about a little girl who becomes a refugee after war breaks out. She has to flee from her home and travel to a new country. She initially finds she is not welcomed by her new school but this changes at the end of the poem when a boy brings her a chair to sit on so she can go to school. We used drama to explore the story, acting out different parts to understand how the little girl might have felt. We wrote diary entries as though we were a child trying to attend a new school in a different country and we designed our own chairs for other children, thinking about how we might make them feel welcome and safe. We also enjoyed sharing recommendations for our favourite books, designing bookmarks and sharing stories with year 5.
We also enjoyed the text ‘Farmer Duck’ by Martin Waddell. We made stick puppets of the different characters and used them to act out the story. Pretending to be the farmer, we created speech bubbles, using bossy verbs to issue orders to the duck. In another lesson, we wrote a postcard to Auntie Goose as though we were Duck, complaining about all the tasks we had to complete and explaining how we got our own back on the farmer!
We finished the term by finding out lots of information about the Hummingbird Hawk Moth, the moth after which our class is named. We used the internet to research different facts about the Hummingbird Hawk Moth and create mind maps. We then used this information to make our own information leaflets. We were so proud of them that copies have been placed in our book corner so any visitors to the classroom can see our amazing work!
In art, we used our knowledge of the Hummingbird Hawk Moth to create our own beautiful moths. We printed patterns on their wings with cotton buds, taking care to make them symmetrical.
In DT, we have been designing, creating and testing our own windmills. We made a base, body, roof and turbine and then attached the turbine to the body using a plastic straw. We were very pleased with the end result!
In Geography, we have been investigating the weather in the UK and in different areas around the world. We used a rain gauge, anemometer and thermometer to record the weather in the key stage 1 garden. We investigated how the weather changes as the seasons change and used the atlas to locate different deserts around the world, including the Sahara and Antarctica.
In PSHE, we have been considering about how to stay clean, safe and healthy in our topic ‘Healthy Me’. We have discussed the importance of healthy eating, exercise, road safety and medicine safety. We have also celebrated International Women’s Day, discussing the achievements of some truly inspirational women, such as Malala Yousafzai, Greta Thunberg and Marie Curie.
In RE, we have been finding out about how Jesus’s arrival in Jerusalem was celebrated on Palm Sunday. We thought about people in the current day who might receive this kind of welcome. We read the Easter story and discussed how Christians might celebrate Easter.
In Maths, we started the half-term by exploring different ways to make the same total, using the balance scales to test our ideas. The children used problems with + and – to make the same totals.
Then we revised what we knew about the part, whole models; identifying what was missing in different problems. We thought about if we knew that 6 + 4 = 10, then 10 – 6 = 4. The children used the Cuisenaire rods to help show that the parts were equal to the whole. We also used our number bonds to 10 to help us with learning our number bonds to 20.
Applying what we had learnt, we used our part, whole model to solve word problems and also write some of our own. We then ended this half-term with learning about money; finding out the values the coins represent and using different combinations to find values up to 10p. Over the holidays, help your child develop their learning by using coins in shops and asking them if they can tell you their value.
In Science, we finished our topic ‘Animals including Humans’ by going on a ‘Senses hunt’ around school and playing ‘Body Moves Bingo.’ The children also learnt about herbivores, carnivores and omnivores and we sorted animals into the correct categories. Finally we made posters to show what we had learnt about the different types of animals.
We also had an extra topic during Science week, which the children absolutely loved and created some amazing fact files! We learnt all about life under the sea by making a class display, as we found out about all the different animals and plants that live there. We wrote fact files about the sea life, but we also learnt about the threats posed to those everything that lives under the sea. We loved drawing sea creatures and making different plants to add to the display and we can explain how important life under the sea is for the whole world.
We had lots of visitors and to finish this exciting week, we had Mr Milbourn come down to teach us in the ‘Great Teacher swap’ and tell us all about fingerprints which was really exciting.
In Computing, the children have been learning about data handling. We have thought about how we count objects and how it is easier to group them into the same type of objects, giving them an appropriate label. The children then found their own objects in the class and sorted them by different ‘properties.’ Building on this, we thought about how we can group objects in more than one way.
Concluding this topic, the children sorted objects on a computer and used appropriate vocabulary to describe them (more than, less than, most, least etc.) and then we created our own questions to ask each other about them.
Homework over the holidays is to use the pack that we gave out in the Autumn term to work on Phonics and Maths. There are lots of ideas in the homework books coming home on Friday. Remember to also keep reading everyday if possible, so the children can collect many more certificates in assembly!
We hope you all have a lovely rest over the holidays and look forward to seeing you all when we return on Tuesday 18th April.
Mrs Watkins, Mrs Arnott and Miss Cattermole
Spring 1 update
We are so proud of every member of Hummingbirds; they have all shown so much enthusiasm and such a positive attitude to learning this half term. Well done!
It has been a busy half term. In English, we started the term with a poetry unit based on the free verse poem, ‘One Silver Speck’ by Laura Purdie Salas about a little mouse. We practised performing the poem, focusing on projecting our voices and varying the intonation. We then used this poem as a stimulus to write our own free verse poems about a squirrel.
We really enjoyed the text ‘Here comes Mr Postmouse’ by Marianne Dubac, a wonderful book about a mouse who delivers letters and parcels to all his friends. We wrote our own thank you letters and party invitations and described the different places the animals lived in the book, focusing on using suitable adjectives.
‘Where the Wild Things Are’ by Maurice Sendak provided a stimulus for writing our own fantasy stories. We created our own ‘wild things’ and thought about what we could see, hear and smell when describing the setting for our stories.
In Maths, we started the term by exploring 2D and 3D shapes and reminding ourselves of their names. We then looked at similarities and differences, focusing on the properties of each shape.
We have learnt about how to double and halve numbers up to 20 using Numicon and tens frames. We have also learnt about what odd and even numbers are and how to find out whether a number is odd or even, regardless of how big it is. Give your child a number (as large as you like) and see if they can remember how to tell if it is odd or even!
The children have learnt the ‘Think 10’ strategy, which has been really helpful with addition and subtraction to 20. For example, with the number sentence 8 + 5 =, we thought about how many more we needed to add to 8 to make 10, before adding the remainder. The children have worked really hard using bead strings and tens frames to work out their answers.
In History, we have been investigating the eruption of Vesuvius in AD79 and finding out about life in Pompeii at the time. We have been discussing the difference between primary and secondary evidence and looking at artefacts from this period, discussing their purpose.
In Art, we have been exploring pattern and collage. Inspired by Andy Goldsworthy, we created our own outdoor sculptures on the playground using natural materials. We tried to make our designs symmetrical. We found out about the different traditions of Chinese New Year and collaged our own lanterns. In DT, we decorated our own buckets (based on the book ‘Billy’s Bucket’) and created a simple slider to make a fish jump out of our bucket.
In PSHE, we have been celebrating our achievements in our topic ‘Dreams and Goals’. We have used circle time with Jigsaw Jack to consider how we feel when we face obstacles but also how we can overcome them. We have thought about the skills needed to work with a partner and designed our own pair of wellies together, trying to make our designs identical.
In RE, we have been reading, acting out and recounting different Bible stories, such as the story of Zaccaeus and Jesus stilling the storm, in which Jesus shows friendship to others. We have been considering whether Jesus found is difficult to be a good friend to others all the time. We have been thinking about how we could be a good, kind friend to other children.
In Science, we started our new topic ‘Animals including Humans’ by drawing round each other and labelling the parts of the body. We have learnt about the senses and which body part they relate to. The children have had great fun guessing the smells in different jars, using their sense of taste to try some different foods and they have tested their hearing skills by guessing the hidden sounds.
We then moved onto learning about animals and the different categories: fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. The children grouped these animals using different characteristics and identified similarities and differences. Some of these animals were then brought to life by our amazing visit from ZooLab, where we met Turbo the snail, Rosie the tarantula, Echo the gecko, Michelle the cockroach, Nippy the scorpion and Slinky the snake! We learnt lots of cool facts, like how Sting the scorpion can glow in the dark. See if your child can remember some more!
In Computing, the children have learnt some early programming concepts by using floor robots. We explored the functions of each of the buttons and learnt about how a move was different to a turn. Once the children were confident with all four directions, they created their own programs which they tested on the robots. Where needed, they debugged the program until the robot ended up in the right place. We concluded this unit by learning that there can be more than one way to solve a problem.
Have a lovely, restful half-term and we look forward to seeing you again on Monday 20th February
Mrs Watkins, Mrs Arnott and Miss Cattermole
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 Paintz.app 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
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 Paintz.app 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 www.paintz.app 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