Sutton V.A. Lower School

Sutton Lower School

Life at Sutton V.A. Lower School Life at Sutton V.A. Lower School Life at Sutton V.A. Lower School Life at Sutton V.A. Lower School Life at Sutton V.A. Lower School Life at Sutton V.A. Lower School Life at Sutton V.A. Lower School Life at Sutton V.A. Lower School Life at Sutton V.A. Lower School Life at Sutton V.A. Lower School Life at Sutton V.A. Lower School


Larch Class News 


27th November 2020 

The children enjoyed a Science focus day on Tuesday where they continued learning about different materials. They went on a materials  hunt, finding different objects made out of a variety of ,materials and discussed with a partner how these materials felt.

We then conducted our first Science experiment of the year based on finding the best material for one of the Three Little Pig’s new umbrella. The children shared ideas on how best to test the different materials looking at the equipment available. There is lots of new scientific vocabulary that the children are beginning to understand and use such as predictions, observed results and drew conclusions. We discussed how we could try and make the experiment a fair test, by using the same method to test each material and measuring the same amount water. As we were being Scientist the ‘Why?’ question was used a lot, with discussions about why radiators aren’t made of chocolate and duvets are made from fabric and not wood!





Larch Class absolutely loved their treat: a visit from Widdershans for an afternoon of puppetry and theatre telling the tales of The Magic Porridge Pot and The Gingerbread Man with a Widdershans twist. Thank to FOSS and all those that support them. It was great!



20th November 2020

In ICT the children have been learning about algorithms: the Year Ones have been programming the Beebots to try and reach a specific destination, whilst the Year Twos have been using the ipads to use algorithms to direct a robot and then they had to debug and problems that arose.

In Numeracy the Year Ones have been learning about 2D and 3D shapes. They have been learning the different names and have been sorting them by different criteria. Joshua ended up with lots of 3D shapes that had no vertices (corners).


Over the week we have been thinking about being a good friend and respecting others. Our circle times have included scenarios and stories which have led to discussions about what to do in situations when friendships are tested. The children have a really good understanding of the difference between bullying and falling out with friends. The children have created some great posters reflecting their learning.

Our stars this week!




13th November 2020

On Tuesday Mr Blunt set up a cross country course for the children. He is visiting different schools in the area and is setting the same distance course at the schools and this will enable the children to take part in a virtual competition.


Our Stars of the Week in week 9 were Mylo and Lillie. Lucas and Lara were the first Year 2s to receive a times tables certificate. They know their 10 times table and were able to answer all the questions in 2 minutes!


Larch Class showed their respect on Remembrance Day with a 2 minute silence. We looked at the why people wear poppies and they reflected on this by painting a picture. 

We enjoyed the Autumn sunshine in our outdoor active Maths lesson: the year ones were comparing numbers using greater than, less than or equals symbols whilst year two went on a multiplication trail.

In our DT lessons the first stage on house building has started! Watch this space to see the end products!






Big Build (6th November 2020)

We have started our new topic ‘The Big Build’ with geography lessons. Year Ones have started to look at maps and have been contrasting birds eye and street views. They were given an aerial view of Sutton village and went on to draw their own maps, complete with symbols. Year Twos have been learning about Physical and Human geography and were given a variety of photos, taken of the area, and sorted them in to the two categories. They went on to look at maps, studying a street map of Biggleswade, where they identified different features using the key and planned routes from different locations.

All the children were using compasses to discover which was North and then follow different compass directions.




Year Ones have been practising their addition and subtraction by completing a Number Trail. They worked together and used their resources to calculate a variety of number sentences.




Active Learning 23rd October 2020

Year 2s worked in relay teams and enjoyed using their knowledge of conjunctions to create longer sentences. Year 1s were practising number bonds, finding pairs of numbers that added up to a given number.



We finished off our topic with a Science lesson about our senses. After going on a sensory walk around our Sensory Garden the children shared things that they enjoyed seeing, hearing, smelling touching and tasting and things that they didn’t like. They then tested their sense of smell by completing a blind smelling experiment.





Stars of the Week are Lucas and Nolwenn.

Oscar is our first handwriting hero!



16th October 2020

Year 2s were reminding themselves how to use the laptops in ICT. They logged on and enjoyed using 2 Paint  to draw some pictures. The Year 1s recapped on using the Beebots before heading outside becoming Beebots themselves responding to instructions given by Mrs Tack.



9th October 2020

Larch Class have been learning about Harvest Festival and created some lovely posters to reflect their understanding of the festival. We finished our afternoon in our Class Assembly by watching a film made by Bishop Richard and the St Albans Diocese about the celebration.

In Art we have been learning about portraits. The children did some amazing self- portraits after some close examinations in the mirror of the shape and colour of their faces and different features on their face. They then went on to look at some of Picasso’s abstract portraits and compared them to their ‘realism’ drawings. They enjoyed trying to recreate some portraits in the style of Picasso. 


Star of the Week: Oscar and Elliott

Head Teacher's Award: Lara, Bea and Jessica



2nd October 2020

Larch Class have been enjoying their brain breaks outdoors.


Celebrating our Stars of the Week!




25th September 2020 

Larch Class enjoyed a History day learning about what life would have been like for a school child in 1870 when our school opened. We started the day by looking at a timeline placing some significant events on it and seeing how far back Sutton school opened. We then looked around the school finding evidence of old and new parts and thought of reasons why the school building has been extended. In the afternoon we learnt about the strict Victorian teachers, comparing life then and now, and learnt about of the punishments children received.




In RE the children have been learning about the Jewish faith and some of the items used by Jewish people. Joshua brought in a Kippah and a Mezuzah to share with the class.



Week Two (18th September 2020)

The Year Ones joined Larch Class for the mornings and had their first Numeracy and Literacy lessons in Key Stage One. The focus in Numeracy was place value of numbers, with the Year Ones ordering and comparing numbers. They started the week by counting and collecting natural resources and then creating some artwork outdoors. Following on from this they used a variety of resources to gain confidence comparing numbers to 20. Year Twos have been partitioning 2 digit numbers using Base 10 resources. They have been working together to complete some tricky challenges set by Mrs Whitfield and the children were amazing! They loved the ‘Follow Me’ game which involved good listening and concentration as well as good place value knowledge.

Our Literacy work has been based on the book ‘Here We Are’ and the children have completed a variety of tasks based on our world and the people and animals in it. They have written about themselves, labelled different parts of the human body (internal and external) and discussed the different ways we can try and keep healthy. We ended the week looking at some endangered animals and why they are threatened with extinction. Year 2s did some lovely work based on Louis Armstrong’s ‘Wonderful World’ where they worked in pairs to change some of the lyrics about things in the world important to them and then each pair sung/said the new version. It was truly wonderful!

Year Twos spent Thursday afternoon making bird feeders for the Whispering Willows and then wrote up some instructions.

Class Rules have changed a little this year, so the children shared what they thought should be the rules and why we have them, some then did a ‘freeze frame’ to add some photos to our display.

Issac and Oscar

Lillie and Charlotte

Oscar and Nathan




















Welcome to Larch Bubble

The children have been so excited to be reunited with their friends and are adjusting so well to the new rules. The Year Ones are settling in well and have been enjoyed getting to know their new class mates. It is lovely to see the children reconnecting and enjoying playing and working together.

We have started to look at the book ‘We Are Here’ by Oliver Jeffers, which explores some of the beauty and amazing things about planet Earth. The children have been sharing their thoughts about what they love about their world and going on to draw and write about it.

Our Value this month is Friendship, so we shared the story of Beegu and the children discussed qualities of a good friend. They then drew a picture of a friend for Beegu and wrote about why their character would be a good friend.There was so much excitement in Larch Bubble when the children headed out on Mrs Tack’s treasure hunt. Children read different clues to find a location around the field, where they would find another clue before finally discovering the treasure.







Larch Party! 

Partying on the last day with Larch Bubble. We had a chocolate fountain, mini disco on the field with games including musical bumps and musical statues and then a fun bubble sports day with Mrs Passman. Great fun for what has been a strange but amazing few weeks for staff and children in our very special bubble.





There was so much excitement in Larch Bubble when the children headed out on Mrs Tack’s treasure hunt. Children read different clues to find a location around the field, where they would find another clue before finally discovering the treasure.


See you in September! 

Mrs Whitfield, Mrs Tack and Larch Bubble wish you all a safe and happy summer holidays and look forward to welcoming their new friends in to Larch Bubble in September.








Goodbye Mrs Helen (3rd July 2020)












Look Up Larch! 26th June 2020

Larch Bubble were so excited to see a Red Kite at playtime on Thursday. They squealed with delight as the bird swooped and glided overhead. Mrs Whitfield was very impressed by the knowledge that some children had about the bird. We then decided to find out more information and we were shocked to learn of its huge wingspan (between 175 cms and 195cms). We used metre sticks to measure this. After further fact finding the children chose to either draw or colour their own Red Kites.

Whilst we were busy drawing we also noticed something else rather unusual in the sky!




19th June 2020 

Larch Bubble have been busy making cress heads, practising their 2, 5 and 10 times tables (with the help of bricks and BBC Supermovers) and relaxing by painting by numbers.

We have been enjoying different Go Noodle action songs. The favourites have been

Banana Banana Meatball 

and Run Red Carpet









Larch Bubble (3rd June 2020)

The Year Ones were very excited to be back! The children enjoyed the new set up in the classroom, each child felt very important having their own desk and equipment. They are enjoying the idea of being in their bubble. The new rules were discussed and Mrs Helen taught the ‘bubble’ a new song about toilet hygiene and we know some of the parents and siblings have now also been taught the song! The children adjusted really well to the idea of distancing and checking with their ‘aeroplane arms’.

We conducted a science experiment to highlight the effect of soap on germs and also learnt some interesting facts about sneezing. We enjoyed sharing our highs and lows of lockdown including discussing some new skills that had been learnt.

The theme for the first week has been based on Bubbles and Rainbows. The children were given some bubble mixture and some resources to make a bubble wand, they made different shape wands to test if the bubble would change shape. We watched the bubbles and used adjectives to describe the way they moved.

After sharing the Bible story ‘Noah’s Ark’ we reflected on why we can see so many rainbows in houses at the moment before the children made some amazing 3D rainbows! We also did a Rainbow science experiment using Skittles to create rainbow patterns.










Carnival Time in Larch (13th March 2020)

The Rio carnival has arrived in Larch Class! The children have been getting in to the carnival mood with some super artwork. After watching some footage of the Rio carnival they have created some carnival costumes, complete with feathers and pompoms,  for their dancer. We have been looking at some of the geographical features of the city and after discovering that a cable car is required to get up to Sugarloaf Mountain, we now have a cable car display. On each car the children have written an interesting fact they have found out about Brazil. Carnival masks are being made using scraffito technique, that involves layering up with pastels, then paint before finally scratching away at the paint layer to create a colourful patterned mask.

On Wednesday we continued our topic in our music lessons by forming a Samba band, led by Sara, complete with  Samba whistle! Each group had a selection of instruments and their own rhythm to remember (they used a rhyme to help them remember it). Bringing it all together for a whole class performance was great and the children were amazing at keeping time and not getting confused with other groups rhythms! We were so impressed that we invited Mrs Chapman for a Larch Samba Band performance.




In our Numeracy lessons we have been focusing on capacity and the Year Ones have been practising their two times tables mental maths skills.








Spring is in the air! (11th March 2020)

Spring is in the air this week and the children are excited about our near wonderful tables, which will be used so much as the weather improves. A huge thank you to parents who have helped pay for this fantastic addition to our school!




6th March 2020


This week our music lesson, with Sara, focused on pulse. The children split into groups and practised using the different instruments to keep the beat before Sara accompanied each group on the piano. It took a lot of concentration to keep the steady pulse throughout. After a few practices we put it all together and Larch were fantastic! The groups experimented by finding different ways to play their instruments loudly and then softly. There was a tendency to play faster when the beat was loud, so again, this require concentration and counting and the final performance was great.








On Wednesday we were talking about the importance of washing hands and other ways to reduce the spread of germs. As our germs are invisible, it is a difficult concept for children to understand just how easily they spread so we conducted a short experiment to demonstrate this. The children paired up and one of the pair had some hand cream and glitter to rub in to their hands. They then sat or stood with their partner and held hands and saw how easily they passed the ‘glitter germs’ on. Some children, unknowingly, wiped their hands on their clothes or face… and yes it spread! When the children washed their hands many noticed some of the glitter was still there: a reminder to them that careful washing is important. Two renditions of Happy Birthday is the recommended time for hand washing, so we practised this and all (including teachers) were surprised at how long this was, but we are all going to try and make an effort to be more thorough.

The setting up of the second experiment caused lots of laughter in the class! We were trying to gather germs and grown them to see which environments have more germs. Using gloves, potatoes and plastic bags the children chose various locations and, under close supervision, set about collecting germs from objects including an Ipad, carpet, mud patch, someone’s shoe and even the toilet. They made predictions and the year twos discussed how to make the test fair, before writing and drawing up the experiment. These will be left in a dark cupboard for one week and then the children can carry out observations. We will not be opening the bags!









A delicious learning log

Following on from our learning about shape, Sam made an amazing hexagonal prism cake, which he kindly shared with his friends.



Trip to the Synagogue (28th February 2020)

As part of our RE topic, Larch Class had a very interesting visit to the Synagogue on Edgware Road in London. The children were excited to meet Rabbi Lister, who welcomed them and was able to bring their learning in the class room to real life. He was very impressed at how much the children already knew about the Jewish faith. Rabbi Lister showed the children some objects used in the Synagogue, such as the tallit, tefillin, prayer book (in Hebrew) and talked about Shabbat. The children were looking forward to seeing inside the Ark and there was a gasp as Oliver drew back the curtains to reveal the beautiful Torah Scrolls. We finished our visit with Robbi Lister teaching us a song where we learnt a little bit of Hebrew.

The children were amazing on the trip! We were so proud of the respect they showed in the Jewish holy place, how well the listened and the mature questions they asked Rabbi Lister at the end. Well done Larch Class!








We have been learning about recounts in Literacy so this was a perfect opportunity to write a recount of the trip. The children firstly drew a sequence of pictures to remind them of their trip and then used their plans to independently complete a Big Write. 


In our Numeracy lessons this week we have been learning about 2D and 3D shape. There has been lots of new vocabulary to get to grips with and the children have done so well. Year Ones started the week focusing on 3D shapes and having been comparing the properties of the shapes counting the faces, edges and vertices before moving on to 2D. Year 2s did the opposite and firstly focused on 2D looking at the different properties including symmetry and right angles.



We have started our new topic learning about Brazil looking at the similarities and differences to our country. The first two lessons have been finding out where Brazil is, what continent it is in and an introduction to some of its famous cultural highlights and geographical features. The children have discussed, wrote out some questions they would like to find the answers to over this topic and put them on the whiteboard.


Kite Making (14th February 2020)

It was a very suitable project this week, given the weather, for Larch to make their kites. The children started off by thinking about how they could create their kites, discussing ways to make them stronger and different patterns to make them attractive. It was quite a challenge to measure and cut the card and then stick it to the wooden skewers, but Larch class is now decorated with many brightly coloured kites.





We have finished off our ‘Blown Away’ topic this week with a ‘Topic Trail’. Each child had an answer sheet and had to go and find a variety of questions around the room. It was amazing how much knowledge the children had acquired and the enthusiasm to share their answers.

This week we were reminding ourselves of e-Safety rules on Safer Internet Day, the children shared their knowledge of the rules and looked at the important messages by listening to ‘Buddy’ the dog who taught them a song to help them remember some of the rules.

We also had one of our Global Learning Days this week, this one had a link to our new classroom. Green Modular, who built our classroom, work in Burundi to help provide schools for children. Larch Class learnt a bit about one of the poorest countries in the world and were surprised to see photos of buildings very similar to our own room. They went on to compare life in school in Burundi to that in Sutton and all agreed life was a lot easier in Sutton, for a start nobody has to walk 5 to 10 miles to school! In the afternoon we looked, and tasted, at a variety of fruit and vegetables. The children then set about using their atlases to locate the different countries all the produce came from and plotting them on a map of the world.






Lara shared her amazing learning log about global warming. She had re-created the North Pole out of cotton wool. She then demonstrated how the ice caps are melting and she had even made some  polar bears that were sad because their habitats were disappearing.


7th February 2020

On Tuesday we supported the charity ‘CHUMS’ by taking part in the Shine Bright day and thinking about our mental health. We came to school wearing bright colours and as the theme was ‘#findyourbrave’ this year we focused on what it means to be brave.

During the afternoon, the children were delighted to each receive a message from a child in Hawthorn Class paying them each a compliment, it was a lovely surprise and we discussed how this made them feel. We had some time outside travelling around the playground and when the maraca shook the children found a partner and shared their answers to a variety of questions such as: When did you last laugh? When was the last time you felt sad? How have you been brave recently? etc. 


This day was helping the children to understand it is ok to experience different emotions , but it’s important to talk about them. As it is Mental Health Awareness week, we have been thinking about how to keep our minds healthy. Mrs Tack led a lesson to explain how exercise can keep both the body and mind healthy, with a 5 minute Hiit workout and then some yoga.



Also on Tuesday it was lovely to welcome so many parents and carers to our Book Share and coffee morning: the children loved showing you how hard they are working!


Numeracy lessons this week have been very practical with lots of measuring: Year Ones have been weighing whilst Year Twos have been measuring length.




Wednesday morning was very musical! We started off with a drumming workshop with Ian and soon realised just how hard it was to keep the rhythm and coordination when drumming. Following on from this, Sarah gave Larch their second music lesson concentrating the  ‘beat’. The children speeded up and slowed down the beat and Bea made a great conductor when she took control of the pace.


We headed outdoors for our literacy lesson on Thursday when we were learning about commands. We reminded ourselves about verbs by playing Simon says and then using ideas from the book we have been basing our literacy on this week (Shh! We have a plan) the children listened to some very bossy commands to ‘Creep silently’ or ‘Run quickly’ and acted out their movements, identifying the verb and adverb.




Science (31st February 2020)

We have been looking at day and night in Science this week. The children used footballs and torches to simulate the earth’s orbit around the sun. They then investigated which countries would have day time whilst other’s had night time using the globe. There was some great scientific vocabulary when describing what was happening. We were lucky to find a few minutes of sunshine one afternoon so the class could explore shadows and think about how shadows are made. The Year Ones went on to make their own shadow puppets.

We have continued to explore climates in the world and have focused on Antarctica. The children enjoyed trying to find additional facts on the internet using the ipads.

On Friday Larch went to All Saints Church in the morning to see Mrs Kerridge, where they learnt about Holy Communion. We were also treated  to some wonderful singing from Min Min.










Art (24th January 2020) 

We have been studying how different artists paint clouds in their paintings with a focus on John Constable. The children looked at different paintings from the artist and observed the shapes and colours in the clouds. The first stage was to learn how to make a colour wash and then the children chose whether they try and reproduce examples of Constable’s cumulus clouds or cirrus clouds. They used their skills to mix colours to create different tones and then set to painting these on their colour wash. This was a tricky task, but it was obvious from most of their finished painting which cloud type they had chosen.


Computing Theme Day

On Thursday, the whole school enjoyed a computing theme day. A task was set for Year Ones to logon to the laptops and get on to the internet, they then were asked to find a picture of their favourite animal using the search engine. As we have been learning about seasons in our topic, each pair in Year Two were given a season and were asked to use the laptops to search for a picture that reflects that season. They then copied and pasted it in to a Word document before printing it.

Year Ones went on to learn about algorithms and the importance of instructions been given in simple clear steps. They followed simple instructions given by Mrs Helen to try and draw a character called Fluffy. It was soon clear that Mrs Helen’s instructions weren’t very clear, so the children made some improvements.

In the afternoon the Year Ones used the Scratch Jnr app on the ipads. They decided on their character and the setting and went on to use some basic algorithms to make their character move. In the meantime Year Twos were ‘vlogging’. The subject was the new Larch classroom and In groups they planned what they would say, who had what role and where they would film before bringing it altogether using software on the ipads. We watched some of them back reflecting what had worked and some of the problems encountered. 







Music (22nd January 2020) 






Outdoor Numeracy (17th January 2020) 

In Larch Class this week, the children have been developing their story writing skills by planning, and writing, an alternative fairy tale of The Three Little Pigs. They have tried to keep the structure, but have introduced new characters and settings. There have been some wonderful ideas including ‘The Three Little Elephants and the Big Bad Mouse’ and ‘The Three Little Fishes and the Big Bad Shark’. The children’s enjoyment of this topic was reflected by some amazing Big Writing. Big Writing is completely independent writing, with all children having a go at transferring their storyboard plan in to a structured narrative.

In Outdoor Numeracy Year Ones have been demonstrating their understanding of place value by making, and using, ‘greater than’ and ‘less than’ symbols.

Our Geography lessons have continued with the children being given the names of 2 destinations: Baffin Island, Canada and Indonesia. After finding these places on the globe and in atlases they used their geographical knowledge to discuss the climates and make comparisons. After been given a fact sheet about each area they planned what they would pack in their suitcases and wrote a postcard from one of the chosen destinations.






Happy New Year! (10th January 2020)

The children have come back to school with some lovely tales of their Christmas holidays and full of enthusiasm after their rest.

We have started our new topic ‘Blown Away’ which kicked off Geography focusing on climate, which began with a bit of cloud watching. The children are beginning to recognise, and name, a few different types of clouds and the weather that they might bring. They have used various resources to create labelled cloud pictures. Moving on from clouds we have been thinking about climate across the world. Using atlases, and their map reading skills, the children found out lots of information about the climate in different continents.


In our Literacy lesson we are focusing on traditional fairy tales and have been using the story of The Three Little Pigs. Year Ones enjoyed some drama outdoors to retell the story, whilst the Year 2s, along a few brave Year Ones used a play script to re-enact the tale. The children were great at concentrating on following the script and speaking when it was their character’s turn.  

In computing the Year Twos have been writing out algorithms and programming the Beebots to travel to a specific locations. The challenge became tougher when Mrs Whitfield added some Lego swamps that had to be avoided! Year Ones have been practising using the laptops and thinking about e-safety.




Last week of term in Larch (20th December 2019)

The focus of learning in our last week was RE: Christmas. Firstly we looked at the significance of light at Christmas and how Christians use light as a symbol to represent ‘Jesus as the Light of the World’. The children went on to design their own Christmas decoration. We then thought about the importance of Advent and the time of preparation for Christmas. Working in pairs we created some great acrostic poems reflecting this exciting time.

In December in Larch class our Advent calendar has contained part of the Christmas story. To show their understanding of the story the children completed some super storyboards reflecting the key events.   

On Wednesday we all enjoyed our annual trip to the pantomime in Stevenage. Thank you to FOSS for funding this- we had a great time!

Mrs Whitfield, Mrs Helen and Larch class wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.









Feeling Christmassy! (13th December 2019)

With Christmas lunch, Christmas Jumper day and our Carol Concert we are all feeling very Christmassy. However the hard work continues! In Literacy the children watched the John Lewis Christmas advert which inspired some great discussions about the feelings of the characters and we referred back to work we had done with Casey Caterpillar about ‘Acceptance’. The children used some lovely adjectives to describe Edgar’s emotions and used these when they took on the persona of Edgar and wrote a letter of apology to the Villagers.

On Friday morning  the children went down to the church to make their Christingles with Mrs Kerridge and Mr Brooker ready for the Christingle Service in the afternoon.





What is Geography like at Sutton VA Lower School?





What is RE like at Sutton VA Lower School?

Mrs Chapman asked Larch Class to imagine a new child was joining their class and didn’t know what RE was like. Here are some of their ideas.



Magical Whispering Willows (5th December 2019)

The preparation for Christmas has started in Larch Class and the children are enjoying the class Advent calendar that contains a little treat as well as a short instalment of the Nativity story. The tree has been decorated and the children have started the traditional Christmas sewing.



Mrs Whitfield, Mrs Helen and Larch Class have been letting their imaginations run wild this week! We spent some time in the Whispering Willows looking for some magical objects and found many unusual items including a dragons tongue, a witch’s finger nail, a fairy’s hat and an ogre’s rib. We then used some WOW adjectives to describe the object before going on to create a story about how these objects were found in Sutton.





In Geography this week, we have been looking at maps. Using Google Earth we have zoomed in on Sutton and looked at different features from a bird’s eye view comparing them to street view. From this the children have drawn their own maps of Sutton, using symbols and a key. We then went outside to get some experience of using a compass to find north and from this south, east and west. The children have made some great mnemonics to help them remember the positions of the compass points.

On Wednesday we enjoyed a visit from Lara’s mum to teach us about dental health. Lara was an excellent assistant and was able to help the children sort foods that were good and bad for your teeth. Each child was lucky to receive a tooth mirror, dental mask and gloves, along with a chart for oral hygiene which they can complete and return to school.





New Bird Table (28th November 2019) 

Larch Class are really pleased with their new bird table. Ella B and Florence’s dad has done a fantastic job making the table and then next day Ella J kindly donated a huge tub of fat balls to hang from it. The birds are a little shy of it at the moment but the children are ready and waiting with the binoculars to start bird watching!


We were very proud to show off our new classroom to Bishop Richard, the Governors, parents and people involved in designing and building our amazing space when we held the official opening ceremony on Wednesday. Bishop Richard blessed the classroom and the churchwardens from All Saints Church presented us with an oak cross for our library/reflection area.


During the rest of the week we have been focusing on hibernation in our literacy lessons. The children used their comprehension skills to read and recall facts about animals that hibernate in this country. They then used this knowledge to write some poems.

In DT we have been looking at different mechanisms and each child has created a moving picture, some with sliders and some with a lever moving on a pivot point.







Off to Australia! (22nd November 2019)

Larch Class spent our Geography themed day learning about Australia and contrasting it with the UK. The children arrived in the classroom to discover some lost luggage, with a label attached asking them to use their detective skills to work out which country the rucksack was going to so we could put it on the right plane. The children then took it in turns to dip in and find different items, they soon realised it was a hot destination and using their knowledge of the earth’s climates they could soon eliminate some colder area such as Antarctica. The final clue that Declan found was a book about kangaroos which helped the children narrow down the destination to Australia.

We planned routes from the UK to Australia looking at the atlases, discussing different countries they might flow over. Then each child thought about and wrote out a question about Australia that they would like to find the answer to over the day.

In groups the children were given a wide variety of photos and text with information about both the Uk and Australia, but unfortunately Mrs Whitfield had dropped them and so they had got muddled! She asked the children to help sort them out. They decided how to sort the information and did a fantastic job, that involved lots of discussions.

In the afternoon, we focused on Aboriginal art, looking at the techniques before the children had a go at their own artwork.  We finally listened to some of the Dreamtime stories before drawing a variety of Australian animals.

We were lucky to spend time with Luka’s mum who told us about Croatia and Harriet’s mum who shared her wide knowledge about flags of the world. Thank you to both those parents: the children loved it!









ICT (15th November 2019) 

Larch have been enjoying their ICT this week. Year 1s have been considering instructions and have been programming the Beebots.

Year 2s are getting used to the vocabulary used in our ICT lessons, such as algorithms and debugging. In pairs the children were given an ipad, had to find a certain app and then work together to find out how to play the game, complete different levels by using a series of algorithms to instruct a robot to move to pick up an object and place it in another area. This was all without any help from Mrs Whitfield! They did a great job! We then talk about the algorithms they were using, before they were set a challenge: there was a mistake in the series of instructions. Children had to investigate the problem and debug the program.




The Wright Brothers in Larch (14th November 2019)

We have continued with history, recapping on the life of the Wright. In groups, the children were given a variety of picture and action prompts connected to the key events in the brother’s lives. They then worked together to sequence these prompts and then used them to retell the story. It was a challenging task, but with good support from each other they did a great job and some introduced their own prompts and actions to help them with recounts. They then took it in turns to share with the rest of the class.

Following on from this, the children discussed what sort of questions they would like to ask Orville and Wilbur. They then had the opportunity to put their questions to Larch’s ‘Orville and Wilbur’: Mrs Whitfield and Robyn! Ella then took over from Mrs Whitfield and the class continued to ask questions about the brothers’ feelings, their lives and their inventions. We were impressed at the thought that had gone in to these questions.




It’s all been about division this week for the Year 2s. There’s been lots of practical work sharing resources and a problem solving with partners. We have started to look at the relationship between multiplication and division. Year 1s have also been using resources to help them with their understanding of place value for numbers up to 100. They have been representing 2 digit numbers with place value rods and some children have gone on to complete some challenging addition such as 84 + 5. Very impressive at this stage of Year One!





Settling in nicely! (8th November 2019)

The children have settled in and adjusted really well to their new environment and the new routines. As we are further from the office now, Larch have some new post monitors, Sam and Isla, who have been doing an excellent job of collecting and delivering the mail to Mrs Bage. The library area is very popular and seems to be helping children to focus on both their individual reading and when sharing their books with adults.

This week’s topic has continued with History where we have been learning about the Wright Brothers and their lives leading up to the first flight at Kitty Hawk in 1903. The children shared ideas about the different emotions that Wilbur, Orville and the crowd watching might feel, which they then tried to portray in some drama. Following this the year ones sequenced a timeline of their brother’s lives and the year 2s took on the persona of either Wilbur or Orville and wrote a letter sharing their exciting news about the first flight.

In Literacy, the class have continued to look at non-fiction texts: year ones have focused on finding out about rabbits, year twos about koalas. They found the important facts and the created a mini fact file about the animals. 

In Numeracy the year ones headed outside for some sequencing of numbers in their Active Learning. The children worked well together to demonstrate some very good place value knowledge creating their number lines. Mrs Whitfield had made lots of ‘mistakes’ with number sequences on the board inside: there were numbers missing and some of them were in the wrong order, but luckily the year ones were quick to correct the errors.




Times tables is a focus for the whole school this year and one of the favourite ways to help the children learn is with the BBC Supermovers. The combination of dancing and singing is keeping us active as well as helping the children to learn their tables. The year 2s have had a go at their first Club 30 test, to try and gain entry in to the club. Considering it was the first test they were amazing and Mrs Whitfield believes that as the year goes on there will be many Larch Class members.

We have been learning about Climate Change and global warming on our Global Learning Day. We found out the different ways that CO2 is made, the effects this is having on the planet and the small things that we can do to help. The children have created posters and mobiles to reflect their learning.



We’ve moved in! (1st November 2019)

Larch Class have moved in to their amazing classroom! The children and Mrs Whitfield absolutely love their new learning environment. We have so much more space and now have a quiet library/reflection area with amazing views over our grounds. We started our week off by writing some acrostic poems about the new room and there was some lovely descriptive language reflecting feeling about the classroom.

It is great to be able to open the door and go straight on to the playground, which is exactly what we did on Tuesday for our Numeracy lesson, with both year groups using the natural resources to work on multiplication (Year 1 grouping and Year 2 creating arrays). In Literacy we have been looking at non-fiction text and fact finding about different types of fish and the interesting ways that different types of fish carry their eggs.








We have started our new topic ‘Flying High’ with History where the children have been creating timelines. 



Smoothies in River (18th October 2019)

We have been thinking about healthy and unhealthy foods this week. The children enjoyed a fruit taste test where they described a variety of fruit, guessed what it was and then got to taste it and gave it a score depending on their likes and dislikes. It was lovely to see children try new fruit that they had not had before or that they thought they wouldn’t like. The following day they created a recipe for their ideal smoothie and then were able to try a variety of homemade smoothies. As you can see there are a number of Superheroes in the photos!

As a prize for winning the September Values, Year 1s chose to have a non-uniform day.







In Outdoor Numeracy the class were using their place value knowledge to order numbers. As this was an active learning lesson, in addition to lots of number work, there was running, jumping and even some disco dancing!






Learning Logs

We have finished the half term with some amazing learning logs. Lara brought in a great 3D life cycle of a frog and Declan brought in an amazing life size lion to talk about the life cycle of the lion.






Primary Colours (11th October 2019) 

The children in River Class demonstrated great artistic knowledge when they discussed the primary colours. They experimented with which colours could be made from the primary colours. They went on to find out how to make their colours lighter and darker.

We have finished our Science topic for this term by thinking about the human life cycle and the different stages of development we go through from babies to elderly.







Release of the Butterflies (4th October 2019) 

This week we said goodbye to our hatched butterflies and let both of them fly off into the trees.

We have observed them growing from tiny caterpillars, eating their way through the food block provided and growing large enough, ready to pupate and form a chrysalis.

The butterflies hatched from their chrysalis in the early part of the week and were released on 3rd October.  One of them didn’t want to leave us and was happy to rest on Mrs Whitfields finger for a while longer than its friend.

Both butterflies flew off from the Sensory Garden, across the playing field and up into the trees with the children running eagerly after them for one last look.

This has really brought to life our science topic on life cycles and the children seemed enthralled all the way from beginning to completion.








Chrysalises in the classroom (27th September 2019)

The classroom caterpillars have now formed in to chrysalises and the children have been estimating how long it will take for them to transform in to butterflies. We have been learning about the life cycles of different animals in children’s learning logs: Luka made a life cycle of a kangaroo (complete with moving parts) and Ella taught us about the spider and made a wonderful web from pipe cleaners for her spider to sit on. These are really adding to our Topic display board in the classroom.

Whilst the Year Twos were at the Robot workshop the year ones were working hard creating posters about ‘Friendship’ and the qualities needed to be a good friend. The children were really proud of their work and were very excited to share them with when Mrs Whitfield and the Year 2s. Three of the children went to Mrs Chapman to receive a Headteacher Award.

Year Ones enjoyed different active maths games to practise their skills at telling the time. Active learning enables children to get moving to keep healthy and still be working hard!





Mrs Whitfield was really proud of Robyn for being our first Handwriting Hero!



A Great Week in River Class (19th September 2019) 

Our new class are continuing to settle in so well and it has been lovely getting to know the new Year Ones. We have already shared some wonderful learning logs including a wonderful 3D life cycle of a butterfly from Joel and the whole class were treated to some delicious healthy muffins that Isaac had made, whilst Jacob enjoyed sharing his lovely poster about his family, complete with new puppy!

Lara was one of the first children to wear one of our special lanyards and she was very proud! She was awarded this because of the effort she put in to her ideas and writing following on from this week’s story ‘Oscar Got the Blame.’

The children have been busy planning their own stories based on the book. They have been describing an ‘invisible friend’ and then working together to come up with lots of mischievous behaviour their characters might get up to (we have stressed this is made up and not to be repeated!) Next week the children will have a go at their first ‘Big Write’ of the year where they will independently write their own story.



In PSHE we have begun to think of different ways to try and be healthy and the year twos discussed wh

at was the most important contribution to maintaining a healthy life when the complete a ‘Diamond 9’ putting the most important at the top and the least at the bottom: thus led to lots of heated debates!




Swimming (13th September 2019)

The children loved their first swimming lesson at Saxon Pool. They were all demonstrating some great skills and those who were a little more apprehensive were very brave and enjoyed their lesson.






This week in River, we have started our new topic ‘What do I need to be me?’ and in Science  the children have started to look at life cycles. They have been deciding on which animals start the process as an egg and which are born as life animals from their female. The year 2s went on to do some further research on the ipads about different animal’s eggs.

In Literacy we finished off the week with Active learning outdoors. The year Ones were in pairs and ran to find words and read them in the pairs and then sequence them to create a question. The children did a fantastic job!




Week One in River Class (16th September 2019)

This week maybe have been a short one, but we have fitted a lot in to our days in River Class. The Year Ones have settled so well in to the class and it is lovely to be met with so many smiling faces in the morning from our new class. Some of our Year Twos have become excellent roles models for the younger members of the class and Joshua was one of our first ‘shining stars’ who has been exceptional.

The children enjoyed sharing news about their summer break and discussed their favourite moments with a partner, it was then time to demonstrate their good listening skills by recounting some of their partner’s news to the rest of the class. Following on from this the Year 2s did some independent writing about the summer and the Year Ones were supported to draw and write sentences about their holiday fun times. In Numeracy Year 2s have already been adding 2 2 digit numbers, using resources, which is very impressive in the first week! They have been playing games to test their mathematical language and in addition they practised their 2 times tables when we watched, and joined in, with a times table song and dance video. We will watch this a few more times, so not only will it help our maths but Mrs Whitfield and the Year Twos can perfect their dance skills! Year Ones have been thinking about their number bonds to ten and then going on to look at teen numbers and thinking about their place value and again Mrs Helen was very impressed with their knowledge!

We have been discussing our class rules and there have been some great contributions from the children and many are already remembering them. In PSHE the children have been thinking carefully about themselves and their friends and recognising that we are all unique. Each child was given a handprint to decorate or use to represent themselves (Mrs Whitfield was impressed at some of the careful artistic skills demonstrated by many Year Ones) and then these were all put together to create a ‘masterpiece’.

Following on from a book ‘Have you filled a bucket today?’ we headed outside to do some drama and it was lovely to see the different year groups work so well together.











Pirate Day (18th July 2019)

Our end of year fun day had the school full of pirates! River Class started their day with a good pirate breakfast: skull and cross bone bread and jam, with fruit and dead mens fingers (mini sausages). After that followed a variety of pirate songs and activities, including pin the eye patch on the pirate. In the afternoon the children split into groups and built a pirate ships that were then tested on the ‘high seas’ to see firstly if they would float and secondly if they could carry 10 ‘golden’ pieces of treasure.












Move Up Day (12th July 2019)

The new River Class settled in really quickly and Mrs Whitfield was very impressed how the new year ones listened to instructions and showed a real enthusiasm with the different activities. We started off with a team building game where the children had a piece of a jigsaw and they had to find a partner with another piece and then find the rest of the jigsaw together.

The children talked about why they were special and what made each one of them a star and then went on to write on their own star for a display. The morning ended with the children beginning to make birthday cards for each other for next year.

It was a lovely morning, full of smiles!




















Athletics Festival (12th July 2019)

On Tuesday, the sun was shining for some of the of year 2 children to enjoy an activities event at  Mark Rutherford School.  The event was set up for some primary schools to attend from the local area.

Each child got to part-take in throwing, running and skill activities led by pupils representing Mark Rutherfords sports leaders.

We had a great time with children trying many things they hadn’t seen before and it was great that many were congratulated by the sports leaders for showing determination, courage, perseverance and team work. 









Adjectives (5th July 2019) 

We have been using our wonderful outdoor a lot this week and the children have completed a variety of activities in Numeracy and Literacy. Both year groups have been using natural resources to help them with their division and year 2s have been working on the inverse.  In Literacy our work has been based on a short film ‘The Clock Tower’ and the children have been doing some excellent drama with Ms Osborne. They have worked on improving their sentences with some active grammar outside, focusing on using WOW adjectives, producing some lovely creative sentences. 

River Class spend a lot of time playing and working outdoors and this week the children were each given a ‘sit mat’ and went and found themselves a quiet place to sit and reflect on their surroundings. Thinking about their different senses, they went on to create some acrostic poems that are going to be displayed in the church.





Magic Pens (28th June 2019)

We headed out in to the Whispering Willows to make Magic Pens to inspire their creative writing. They had listened to a start of a story and then choosing a variety of materials they set about transforming a piece of elder in to a Magic Pen. With their pen they drew a picture of an imaginary world which the characters in their story were leaping into. After some planning and drama this lead to a Big Write (independent writing) and there were some fabulous stories!











PSHE (21st June 2019)

In PSHE we have been thinking about responsibility. One of the areas we have been looking at is Money- where money comes from, how we should look after it and thinking about precious things (some cost a lot of money and some don’t cost much at all). Following on from this, we have started to make piggy banks. The first stage is complete leaving a very gluey classroom!











Sports Themed Day (21st June 2019)

We started the week off with a great PE themed day. We had some interesting visitors that were a real inspiration for the children: Oliver’s mum talked about representing England in 400m hurdles, Lara’s dad talked about his love of sport and about playing county cricket, Florence’s mum brought in her bike and talked about her cycle ride across India and Emma and Hannah talked about their achievements in tennis and gymnastics. The children took part in a Skipathon and took part in a variety of PE activities.

Thank you to all of our visitors for their support!











Literacy (13th June 2019)

The children have been retelling the story of ‘The Sand Horse’ by Ann Turnbull using actions to help. Groups had time to recount the story and then work together to perform to the class. There were some great results with some imaginative actions and some super examples of good teamwork.


Weather Watchers 

River Class have picked the perfect week for making rain gauges for their weather reports! As part of their topic ‘Where shall we go?’ they are monitoring the weather for a week including checking the temperature, rainfall and wind direction. The Year 2s have made rain gauges and the year 1s made windsocs which they put around the school grounds. The year 2s have discussed how we can make our tests fair, for example by checking them at the same time each day. On our first day of checking they observed that there was no wind and the temperature was only 13 degrees celsius! When they checked the rainfall, they discovered that they varied depending on where each gauge was and drew conclusions as to why this could be.






Outdoor Maths (7th June 2019) 

River Class have been enjoying active outdoor maths this week. The Year 2s were getting more confident at telling the time in 5 minute intervals, they travelled around the field in a different ways for example running, hopping etc until the whistle went and then they had to seek out a partner with a matching time.  Year 1s were showing some good mental maths skills by adding single digits to a multiple of 10 by throwing bean bags in to hoops labelled with different numbers.




We have started our new topic ‘Where shall we go?’ and have began to look at the different continents and research some facts about them. Over the next few weeks the children will be creating their own non-fiction books containing some of the information they have reasearched.



Outdoor Maths (24th May 2019)

In Outdoor Maths we investigated the height and length of different larger animals. First of all the children had to estimate size of their given animal. They then found out the actual measurements and used metre sticks and trundle wheels show the size and compare this with their estimations.






Sculptures (17th May)

The sculptures are made and painted. The children discussed what they thought had gone well and things that hadn’t gone so well when developing their 2D drawing in to a 3Dsculpture. Some children found that their animal had lost a leg or two, but they shared their reasons and ideas as to why this could have happened and how they could make it even better next time.









Casey (17th May 2019)

River Class were introduced to Casey the Caterpillar this week, when we launched our school initiative working alongside the Mind Map Charity who work to help improve children’s wellbeing and resilience. We have a serious of stories involving Casey that we will use as a basis for gaining an insight in to different emotions and how they feel. We will be using Casey as a calming tool and Casey may make an appearance in our Mindfulness moments.



Outdoor Maths (17th May 2019)

River Class enjoyed some outdoor learning in the sun this week. Year 1s were thinking about the place value of 2 digit numbers and choosing the natural resources to represent tens and units. They then went on to apply this knowledge to add 2 digit numbers.



Innovate Cookery Workshop

Mike, the chef, from Innovate spent time with the class, where the children had the opportunity to make their own rainbow salad and wraps. There was a wide variety of food on offer for them to choose from including couscous, salad, pasta etc. To finish with, the children were able to decorate a cookie. Many children returned to school the next day and said they had really enjoyed eating the food they had prepared. 








SATS week (10th May 2019)

Our year  2s have been hard at work with their SATs this week. They have all concentrated really well and have completed two Maths and two Reading papers. Mrs Whitfield has been really impressed with their attitude and effort!

Other learning

It was lovely to have Joel’s mum visit River Class on Tuesday when she came to talk to us about her job as a vet. The children enjoyed hearing about some of the jobs a vet needs to do  and then  they enjoyed practising their bandaging  skills.

This week we have been thinking about sculptures in Art and the children were set the task of creating their own animal sculpture out of clay. First of all they chose their animal and drew a design, thinking about the different features. Next it was the real challenge: to convert their drawing in to a 3D animal. There were some amazing sculptures! Next week, they will go on to paint their animals.



















Literacy (3rd May 2019) 

This week our literacy lessons have been based on a short film about Gus, a cloud, and Peck, a stork. Following on from watching this the children did some drama and then enjoyed hot seating, where a child steps in to the role of one of the characters and then is interviewed by the rest of the class. The week finished with the children doing some excellent independent writing in the form of a letter, where they again they took on the role of one of the characters and wrote to their mum explaining what was happening in their life and how it was making them feel.


In River Class, the children have continued to enjoy a variety of mindfulness activities. We now have a mindfulness poster up in the classroom where children are adding their name as they learn to listen, reflect, relax in to their mindfulness moments.

Year Ones spent their Numeracy lesson outdoors revising their number bonds to 20 and then going on to develop their fluency in addition by using ‘Truth Tiles’.






Easter Maths Trail (29th March 2019) 

On their return after the Easter break the children spent their Maths lesson outdoors on an Easter Maths Trail, where they worked in pairs to solve problems from all areas of maths we have covered over the year.







Trip to Cambridge Botanic Gardens (5th April 2019)

River Class enjoyed a trip to these lovely gardens as a conclusion to our topic ‘The Potting Shed’.

We spent time with Education Officers from the gardens, who showed the children a variety of seeds, including the largest seed in the world, which before hollowed out, weighed the same amount as a small child! The children made their own pots out of newspaper and planted some nasturtiums, which if cared for should grow in to plants where both leaves and flowers are edible.

We then had a tour of the glasshouse and discovered lots of amazing plants and the different ways plants survive in cold mountains, tropical rainforests and in arid lands.

After a picnic in the garden room, we went on a scavenger hunt around the gardens and were befriended by two ducks who proceeded to follow River Class for some while. This may have been because each child had a brown paper bag to place their garden ‘treasures’ in and the ducks thought it was feeding time!

It was a lovely trip, made all the more enjoyable by the great behaviour and the respect that the children showed for the surroundings and other adults they encountered during their visit.

Following on from our trip the children completed an outdoor quiz based on the Botanic Gardens and including some areas covered in the Potting Shed topic. There was lots of good teamwork and we were amazed at how much they had remembered from their day out. One of the trickier questions asked children to identify the artist who had designed the print on the Botanic Garden Education Officer, Bronwyn’s,  top and the winning team were able to identify it was William Morris. We had looked at work by William Morris earlier in the term but were very impressed that they could recall this!