An Aveley Primary Blog

“Put on your sunglasses and sun hats… Or your bobble hats and scarves… Because we are going to be travelling all over the world. Welcome to our class assembly.”
This will be a blast from the past for those of you who were lucky enough to come and watch 1S’s fantastic Class Assembly a few weeks ago.
We worked so hard – learning words, songs, and even making special masks! – to make a clear and enjoyable performance for our audience. Our hard work certainly payed off (well done 1S!), and our ‘Learning Challenge Lions’ and various groups of Year 1 explorers took the audience on an action-packed exploration of our learning journey so far.
As well as giving ourselves a well-deserved pat on the back, and feeling extremely proud of our hard work, we couldn’t have done this without the help of our Mummys and Daddys – who kindly got us hot/cold coloured t-shirts to wear and helped us with our words! Not only is our teamwork great at school, but it looks like 1S is getting good at taking this learning home too!!
So a big thank you to everyone who came (or those who helped at home but couldn’t make it!).
You might be wondering why we are only posting about this now?! Well we were lucky enough to get our assembly filmed. After a few technical hitches, we have now been able to put this up on the school website, thanks to Mr Scotcher! So, whether you weren’t fortunate enough to make it, or you enjoyed watching and undoubtedly want to have another watch, head to the home page of the school website for the link.
You will notice that this is password protected. All parents will have received a password to this, so check those book bags! If you have any questions, or want the password again, please don’t hesitate to grab Miss Stephenson at the end of the day!

December 9th, 2015 at 2:27 pm and tagged , , ,  | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

This half term in 1S, we have taken on a new learning challenge. This has meant doing all sorts of different Geography and Science work in order to answer the question: ‘Where do the Leaves Go in Winter?

  1. Our Class Calendar

We began this by looking at different types of weather, and created our own class weather chart (with our own weather symbols) to track the weather outside.


As you can see our there are more things than just the weather that we have to update every day on our calendar. Yes – the date is very important! So, we have learnt that the year is broken down into months, which are then broken down into days.


 2. The Seasons

When we thought back to the summer holidays, we realised that the weather outside had changed. It was much warmer outside then and we didn’t have to worry about wearing our warm woolly hats and coats outside..

We discovered the seasons!

These are 4 times which mark the change in weather through the year. Not only does the weather help us to tell what season we’re in, but so do TREES OUTSIDE!!


Having sung our way through ‘The Lion King”s ‘The Circle of Life’ in our exploration of African animals, our singing in topic has now taken a much more frosty turn…

Before you ask, our learning hasn’t stopped in favour of sitting back and watching ‘Frozen’ all week (although we have found time for a little sing of everyone’s favourite ‘Let It Go’ of course!)… Instead, voices in 1S could this week be heard singing ‘The North Pole – that’s Arctic… The South Pole – Antarctic…’ If you don’t think that sounds catchy, check out the song we’ve been singing to begin our learning here:

This catchy tune has has helped us to begin our exploration of the cold environment we have turned our attention to (contrasting the hot Kalahari Desert): the North Pole (or Arctic).

So, as the temperature outside rapidly dropped as we welcome Autumn (something we will be thinking about in next half term’s topic), we turned to look at this new environment to help us to answer our learning challenge question.

Here are some of the things we have done as scientists, geographers and artists to explore the North Pole:

  1. Where in the world are cold places are located?

You might remember our brief mention of the EQUATOR (that invisible line around the center of the earth) when looking at hot environments. Well, to start our Polar adventure, we returned to our globe and located the North Pole and Africa in relation to the equator.

In doing so we created our very own globes:



Can you point out the equator, North Pole, and Africa on our work?

This map work helped us to realise that as you move further away from the equator (towards the Poles and away from Africa and the sunny Kalahari) the temperature drops..

2. What are cold colours?

In order to fully emerse ourselves into this new section of our topic work, it was important for us to have a clear picture in our heads of the environment we were learning about. We therefore looked at, and created, our very own Arctic landscapes.

We discovered that an Arcitc scene looks very different from the African Kalahari Desert and has a number of different features that make it unique. Here are a few:

  1. It FLOATS (on the ocean)! – This makes it different from the Antarctic (South Pole) which is on land.
  2. There are large chunks of ice in the sea called ICEBERGS.
  3. The plant life is sparse (there’s not much and its quite twiggy!).

Who would have thought you could have a floating environment!?

Anyway, having created our Arctic scenes, we put on our artist hats and turned to think about colours. As well as looking at the colours we could see, this involved thinking about and discussing what other colours create a cold mood (and make us feel cold when we look at them).

We then used our (fantastic!) collaging skills to create our own ‘COLD COLLAGED ICEBERGS‘. All 31 were fantastic. The collages helped us to create textured icebergs with a range of cold colours which made Miss Stephenson shiver!

Here are a few (but put on your warmest coat before the colours make you feel cold too!): 








I’m sure you’re all excited to hear about the learning underpinning our interesting display table involving a globe alongside some colourful calendars of Africa… Don’t worry, we won’t make you wait any longer! Here is an insight into our learning challenge that has been driving our topic work…

Our learning challenge question is: ‘Why Can’t Meerkats Live in the North Pole?’

This might seem a rather odd – maybe even slightly random – thing for us to be asking, here at Aveley (where we don’t have any meerkats around us and are based many many miles away from the North Pole!!).

But don’t you worry, despite what it might initially seem, this question is extremely relevant to our learning!

This is because, our new fiction focus is Emily Gravett’s ‘Meerkat Mail’. This gripping story follows the journey of ‘Sunny’ the meerkat, who leaves his home in the Kalahari Desert to discover whether the grass is greener on the other side, by packing his suitcase and exploring a number of other places.

But (spoiler alert!) Sunny realises that there’s no place like home: His home in the Kalahari Desert is the place that suits him best..

This challenge question was therefore something that we are all extremely curious to explore, so that we can discover more about the hot environment that Sunny comes from – and why it is “perfect” for him – but also the contrasting environment of the North Pole and why Sunny might not be able to live there..

In our literacy work, as well as producing some fantastic writing based on the story (which we will share with you later!), we used actions to create a whole-class recall of the story (we didn’t have to look at the book to remind us what happens once!).. While Joanne made a very confident, adventurous Sunny, we all narrated the story together and took turns being different characters that Sunny comes across.

Here we are recalling the story:


We also did some hot-seating to help us explore character thoughts and feelings.. Here are some of us being Sunny:

 While our literacy has been closely following this fictional story, out topic has enabled us to explore some of the FACTS.

We know that Sunny lives in the “Kalahari Desert”, so we began by finding out where this is. Have a guess – where do you think the Kalahari Desert is located? Do you think it is a hot or cold environment?

We discovered that the Kalahari is in South Africa. We even now know that this is a CONTINENT (land which is made up of many different COUNTRIES).

Discovering that this is a HOT environment (even hotter than our summer holidays here!), we have explored this climate as geographers, scientists and artists, by looking at:

1. What clothes we wear in hot environments.


2. What animals can be found in hot environments (helped by several sing-alongs to “The Lion King”‘s ‘Circle of Life’!)

3. What colours create a “hot mood”.

We thought about textures and shapes while we made our own ‘hot Africas’ by colouring, painting and collaging:



4. The difference between an African hut and our own homes in England.

5. Where in the world hot places are located.
This has led us to think about what happens as we move away from the EQUATOR and the temperature starts to drop..

Now we know lots about where meerkats do live.. Time to start exploring the North Pole and why they can’t live there…