Class News

Leeds United Wildcats!

Posted on Tuesday 04 June 2024 by Mr Freeman

Our key stage 2 girls were visited by Leeds United this week to explore and develop routes into football for girls. The morning began with a presentation on current female role models, football backgrounds and some top tips on how to achieve the best you can in all sports.

The children then went outside to take part in some fantastic drills and games run by Leeds. Each and every pupil tried their best and we were super proud of everyone – they were fantastic role models for St James.

We had lots of fantastic talent on show, too! Our visitors left with beaming smiles on their faces, as all of our pupils showed a real interest and desire to take part. Every pupil also used their manners extremely well all morning.

Help at home: There will be some leaflets and information on how our children can continue to be involved with Leeds United. Encourage your children to take up a sport, as they really enjoyed today’s workshop. If you need help getting in touch with any local clubs or events, please let me (Mr Freeman) know and I’ll help!

 

Science – Sustainability (Plastics)

Posted on Monday 03 June 2024 by Mr Nash

We’ve enjoyed learning about sustainability in our most recent science unit.

We’ve been learning about how plastic can be helpful and harmful and some of the things we can do to make sure it’s disposed of sustainably.

sustainable – causing no harm to the environment

What is plastic?

Plastic is a man-made material that can have lots of different properties and can be formed into lots of different shapes. This makes it really useful! The children observed that plastic can be:

  • light
  • flexible
  • strong
  • rigid
  • transparent
  • opaque
  • and many more…

Some of the children were surprised to learn that even some of our clothes are made out of types of plastic like polyester, nylon and acrylic. After some body-contorting label-checking, we concluded that most of our clothes contained at least a small percentage of plastic.

Single-use plastic

We discussed single-use plastic and had a think about some items we encounter on a day to day basis that, once used, are simply thrown away:

  • plastic bags
  • plastic straws
  • yoghurt pots
  • plastic bottles

Plastic lasts a long time in the environment. It doesn’t decompose like paper or wood. The children learnt about how waste is sent away to landfill and some of the problems it poses to the environment, especially when polluted by plastic.

Everyone can help!

After learning of the stark reality of plastic pollution in the environment, we were delighted to learn that everyone can help if we remember to:

reduce
reuse
recycle

Reduce – Use less plastic to cut down on the amount of waste.

Reuse – Use plastic again rather than throwing it away.

Recycle – Dispose of waste responsibly so it can be converted into a material that can be used again.

 

To tie all of our sustainability learning together, we reused some single use plastic bottles in a way that could help the wildlife in our local area. The children really enjoyed making their bird feeders and we hope the birds in the local area are reaping the rewards!

We’d love to share some photos of the bird feeders in situ. Photographic evidence of avian visitors would be particularly welcomed. Please email them to me: ajnash@spherefederation.org

Help at home by discussing plastic waste with your child.

  • What small change could you make to reduce your plastic waste?
  • How could you reuse plastic waste rather than putting it in the bin?
  • How could you tackle plastic pollution in the environment?

Phonics Screening Check

Posted on Monday 03 June 2024 by Mrs Freeman

What is the Year 1 phonics screening check?

The phonics screening check is taken individually by all children in Year 1 in June. It is designed to give teachers and parents information on how your child is progressing in phonics. It will help to identify whether your child needs additional support at this stage so that they do not fall behind in this vital early reading skill.

The check will form part of the assessment, made by your child’s teacher, of how your child is progressing with the important skills of reading and writing. Your child will sit with a teacher he/she knows well and be asked to read 40 words aloud. Some of these words will be familiar to your
child and some will be ‘nonsense words’. All the words will be words that can be read by ‘sounding out’.
Before the end of this term, you will be informed by the school about how your child has performed in the screening check and how
he/she is progressing with phonics.

Help at home by supporting your child to read on a daily basis.
Let your child see you enjoy reading yourself. They are influenced by you and what you do!
Make time for your child to read their school book to you
With all books, encourage your child to ‘sound out’ unfamiliar words and then blend from left to right rather than looking at pictures to guess.

Use the videos below to support your child further.

https://www.youtube.com/@Love2Learn/videos

If you have any questions please ask Mrs Freeman or a member of the Year 1 team.

We are all happy to help.

Farmyard Hullabaloo

Posted on Thursday 23 May 2024 by Emma Kendrew

This week our focus book has been Farmyard Hullabaloo by Giles Andreae and David Wojtowycz.

We have enjoyed learning about what a farm is and the different jobs farmer’s do. We  also have also talked about the different names for farm animals and their young.

“We need farmers to give us food like potatoes and carrots.”

“Farmers collect the eggs from their chickens, milk their cows.”

Our word of the week this was herd the children have really enjoyed using this during their learning.

“I can see a herd of cows.”

“There are lots of sheep in the photo, that means there are a herd of sheep!”

Poetry Picnic

This week we our poem was The Fox

The fox is smart,

And sly as can be,

And a great big bushy tail has he.

He can run very fast,

And his fur is red,

And he lives in the woods in  his tree trunk bed.

The classroom Challenges this have been

  • to make a home or shelter for a farm animal.
  • to complete a rhyming string, for example, cat, hat, bat.
  • to use the doubling machine and double numbers to 5.
  • to use the colour wheel and find the colours in nature.
  • to cut out the farm animals and place them in the right shelters on the farm.

We had a great time at forest school, the children really enjoyed being ‘the teachers’ showing Mrs Kendrew all the fun things they can do.

Next week our Focus book is My Body Book and we will be naming the different parts of our body and talking about keeping healthy.

 

RE: Welcoming New Life

Posted on Thursday 23 May 2024 by Mrs Freeman

In RE lessons, the children have been learning about how different religions welcome newborn babies. Firstly, we studied the Christian methods and discussed baptisms and christenings. Following this, we looked at the Muslim celebration  Aqiqah and found out that it is tradition to shave a newborn babies head.

Reading with prosody

Posted on Wednesday 22 May 2024 by Mrs Freeman

Throughout the day, the children have many opportunities to read and be read to.  As part of our daily sessions, we focus on using prosody. The children are quite accustomed to this skill now and can confidently add expression, where appropriate, to really bring their reading to life. The class have listened to lots of prosody being modeled by the adults so why not try this at home?

This week’s poem was yet another chance to showcase this important reading skill.

Help at home by listening to the poem being read by Mrs Freeman. Ask your child if they can hear some prosody being used and can they read the poem to you using their own expressive voices?

Prosody is the rhythmic and intonational aspect of speech that manifests as expressive reading. It comprises timing, phrasing and intonation, and helps to convey meaning and add ‘life’ to reading.

Living and Learning: I know that being physically active is physically and mentally healthy.

Posted on Friday 17 May 2024 by Mr Freeman

In our living and learning session this week, years 5 and 6 were learning about the five ways to wellbeing, with a deeper dive into the ‘being active‘ section:

Regular exercise can lift your mood and increase your energy levels. It doesn’t have to be strenuous or sporty to be effective. Pick something you enjoy so you’re more likely to stick with it.

For example:

  •  going for a walk during your day
  • following a workout video
  •  doing some ‘easy exercise’, like stretching, in the morning
    and before you go to bed
  • walking to school once or twice a week (if you live close enough)

Help at home:

What does your child already do to stay active on a daily basis? Is there anything you can add/change to these routines to stay healthy? Perhaps set some achievable goals with your child to be active – this could be daily or just a few times a week!

Living and Learning

Posted on Friday 17 May 2024 by Jamie Kilner

I know that being physically active is mentally and physically healthy.

This week in Living and Learning we have been thinking about being physically active and how that is important for our mental and physical health.

We have had a class discussion about our favourite physical activities: football, gymnastics and our daily Wake Up Shake Up. We talked about how regular physical activity makes us feel better and keeps our body’s strong.
We also looked at how we can make more opportunity for physical activity. This might be walking to school or having one evening a week where we do our favourite sport.

Writing

Posted on Thursday 16 May 2024 by Jamie Kilner

In Year 3 and 4, we have been building up to writing a narrative about the picture book, Flood:

https://justimagine.co.uk/childrens-books-review/flood/

We have been working hard to include speech in our writing. It is difficult to do and there are lots of key things to remember. We have focussed on the spoken word, adverbial clauses and adding extra detail.

Here’s some snippets from the children…

“We need to make a plan,” announced mum.

– Leo S

Mum considered, as she sat down, “We should put sandbags around our house.”

– Valerie

“What are we going to do? This is so serious!” cried Donna with her head in her hands.

– Elara

“We will come back as soon as the storm is over,” cried mum as she fastened her seatbelt.

– Alba

Dan reassured his family, “We could come back when the storm is done.”

– Beau

Preston asked whilst trying not to look, “Can you be less dramatic?”

– Christian

Alex sighed as he held a box, “I don’t want to leave.”

– Kiara

Frankie shouted, banging his hands on the table, “I don’t want to leave!”

– Lily

 

Human and Physical Geography at Forest School

Posted on Wednesday 15 May 2024 by Mrs Freeman

Human and Physical Geography 

In geography this week we have been learning about the difference between human and physical. The children have been identifying both physical and human features within our landscape.

Human Geography

Human features include buildings, roads, street lamps, canals, train tracks etc. Parts of the environment that have created by humans.

Physical Geography

Physical features include hillsides, mountains, coastlines, rivers etc. Parts of the environment that have occurred naturally.

Geography and Forest School

This week the children collected different items from the woods which they then used to create their own environments. This included digging rivers, planting trees and building hills!

The children then identified physical and human features of their own creations.

Some of the children also got stuck in with litter picking and clearing the area to keep it safe.