An Aveley Primary Blog

Having spent some time looking at the story of ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ in literacy, we have now turned to look at an alternative version of the story.

Have you ever wondered what the Wolf’s side of the story might be? Was he really trying to attack Grandma or was it all a big misunderstanding?

Time to think about what the Wolf says really happened!

Once we had looked at the Wolf’s side of the story, Miss Stephenson challenged us to think of different ways to help the Woodcutter say sorry for calling the Wolf a ‘baddie’ and sending him away.

We know that they love cookies and cakes in the story of Little Red Riding Hood. After all, isn’t that what she had packed in her basket for Grandma? So we decided that it would be a nice idea for the Woodcutter to make some cookies to take round to the Wolf. We therefore spent some time making some cookies so that we were really familiar with the ingredients and steps that we would need to tell the Woodcutter to take.





Great job 1S! Due to our fantastic teamwork skills we were able to make some delicious cookies!

We then used our cookery knowledge to write recipes (using our ‘bossy’ or ‘imperative’ verbs) and fabulous phonic knowledge!


You won’t believe what we’ve been up to in literacy the last few weeks! We’ve made some new alien friends who have come to us with some important writing missions. This has meant we have had to take on all sorts of challenges, to help them out as special writing agents to tackle “Operation Rocket Squad”!

Take a look at some of the missions we have completed as we have rocketed through our writing adventure:

Mission 1: Recycling Reminders 

Our friend Fizz sent us a video message in our mission inbox, telling us about the horrible mess he had found by a recycling area. After doing some research on what exactly recycling is and why it is important, we created posters to remind people how to recycle carefully:


Mission 2: Up-cycling art

As well as recycling, we have learnt about how we can upcycle materials. This means that we can reuse different everyday objects that we would normally throw away in our recycling bins (such as milk bottles and egg boxes) creatively, to make artwork. That way, rather than HARMING our environment by throwing them away, we can IMPROVE our environment by using our art as decoration!


Mission 2: Super Spaceships

Fizz’s friend Zag came all the way from Planet Zupton to visit. Now that 1S’s writing agents had helped out by creating some fantastic posters and pieces of upcycled art, it was time for Zag to say goodbye and return home.

But where is his spaceship!?

We got another message from Fizz and Zag asking us for some help! Zag needed 1S to use some recycleable materials to build a spaceship for him to fly home to Planet Zupton.

So 1S quickly got building..


Fantastic building 1S! Zag will definitely get back to Planet Zupton safe and sound!

 As Operation Rocket Squad continues, we have created a display in the Key Stage 2 corridor of our work so far:

This half term, our fiction focus is the story of ‘The Three Little Pigs’. Exploring this text has given us lots of opportunities to develop our writing skills!
In order to extend our understanding of story structure and language, we have recalled the story by acting it out in groups. Not only did we discuss the different characters in the story and how we might show their thoughts and feelings, but we thought about the role of a narrator. Rehearsing some of the language that the narrator might use to narrate the story helped us to remember the importance of different features of stories, such as time connectivesconjunctions and adjectival strings.


As well as recalling the story, we have responded to the text, by writing letters and creating character descriptions.


The Big Bad Wolf is on the loose in Aveley!!

One lunchtime, Miss Stephenson got a phone call from Bob the policeman. He needed some detailed Wanted posters to to put up around Aveley to tell people exactly what the wolf looks like, so that they could keep an eye out!

The perfect job for 1S! 

So we got to work on writing some detailed descriptions of the wolf in the hope that our posters could help in the search..

Not only did we use adjectival strings to create detailed descriptions of the wolf for our posters, but some of us took up chilli challenges and added similes to make our descriptions even more clear!

Take a look at some of our posters:

After such great work, policeman Bob would definitely have been able to find the wolf!!

(Although, of course, we know that the story of ‘The Three Little Pigs’ is FICTION! So, don’t panic: the wolf isn’t really on the loose!)

Turning away from Sunny the meerkat’s adventures in the Kalahari, our non-fiction focus this half term has stuck with the African theme. Turning to explore ‘Lila and the Secret of Rain’ we have been transported to a small Kenyan village, where we have followed the story of a young girl called Lila.

As well as exploring the many different types of weather that Lila experiences in the story (linking to our Topic work), we have been working hard on our story writing skills.
We have found out that stories are written in a special way – they follow a structure. As we read a story, we go on a ‘journey’. This doesn’t mean we actually get up and leave the classroom (!) or climb a mountain like Lila does in our story, but, as we read, we move through different sections of the story (from the introduction to the middle etc.) which we can map out as we climb a ‘story mountain’.
We recalled the story to create a class story mountain – take a look:

Can you use this to name the different sections of a story structure?

As well as recalling the story, learning about key features of the structure, we have explored the 5Ws of story writing (you can’t tell a story without 5Ws!) and how we can effectively write about these when we create our own ‘Lila and the Secret of Rain’ story maps.

Take a look at this great song that has reminded us of these:

Here are some of the ways we have developed our writing skills around these:
1. WHEN: Time connectives and story openings
Every part of a story starts with a time word. In the introduction this is of course the all important opening: ‘Once upon a time’ and the sections which follow use time connectives (then, next, after that, finally..)
We have used time connectives to move on to each different section of the story:

2.WHO: Character Descriptions
We have spent lots of time working on character descriptions.

We used Beauty and the Beast to remind us how to use nouns and adjectives (and create adjectival strings!) to help us to make our descriptions really clear.

Having described these characters we used what we learnt about descriptive writing to describe the main character of our story: Lila.


Character Feelings
As well as describing how she looked, we have thought about how Lila feels at different points in the story (she goes through a roller coaster of emotions!).
As we recalled the story, we acted out the different feelings:


Wow! What a lot of literacy.

We have now created some fantastic story maps of the story using ALL of these different features of story writing!

As well as exploring the hot environment in Africa in our Literacy and Topic work, this half term 1S has started some Dance!
We have been thinking about how we can use our bodies to represent the different animals that can be found in Africa. From elephants to snakes, rhinos to giraffes, we have had to stretch and scrunch in all sorts of directions to act (and move to the beat!) as these animals.
1S has shown fantastic teamwork skills, working together to create some fantastic African routines. We have had to listen carefully to each other and think about movement and space to show our animals.
Take a look at us in action:

What animals do you think we are?!

Having written some detailed postcards (following Sunny the meerkat’s visit to 1S!) to finish off our work on ‘Meerkat Mail’ (our FICTION focus), in literacy we have turned our attention  to look at some NON-FICTION types of writing.

This has begun with an exciting week of list writing. This has included writing a whole variety of lists; from shopping lists to bedtime routine lists, packing lists to ‘be prepared for learning’ lists.

We were getting so good at including list features that, on Friday, Miss Stephenson let us all bring in a toy from home so that we could write a detailed toy list of all of 1S’s toys.

To help us to write individual toy lists, we used our toys to create a life-size ‘class toy list‘.

In doing so, it was important to include key list features (such as a title and numbers to order our toys). Working together to create our list, we sounded out words as a class, carefully applying our phonics knowledge. To ensure we remembered our finger spaces, we even had ‘finger space monitors‘ come up and ensure that our words were well separated!

We began by writing the title:


Then we wrote our first number (1) ready for our first item…. Beau’s ‘FART GUN’!!


Then, for number 2 on our list… In flew SPIDER MAN!


Take a look at our list with the first 4 toys on:


Looking at our list, we thought about our steps to success. We decided we had done a title, numbers, an item on each new ‘line’, used finger spaces and our phonic knowledge to carefully segment words for spelling… Surely that must be it?!

Not quite… reading our list back to ourselves, we realised that it wasn’t very detailed. Although we could see the items, we discussed that we wouldn’t be able to stick them in our books alongside our words – so we needed to DESCRIBE them!

In order to do so we used our understanding of ADJECTIVAL STRINGS to describe our items and make our list as detailed as possible.

Take a look at us describing Beau’s fart gun! We came up with some fantastic adjectives to create our adjective string:

(In case you can’t see it, we came up with “smelly rude blue fart gun”)

Have a think about the other items you can see on our list so far. What words can you think of to describe them? (Remember an adjectival string needs two or more adjectives/describing words put IN FRONT of the noun/object).

Who would of thought we could work together so well to create a live list of our toys! Well done 1S – teamwork making our dream work again!

1S got an unexpected surprise in their literacy lesson today..

All the way from the sunny Kalahari, we discovered a MEERKAT (or three!) cheekily nestling in our book corner!

Following our hard work in both literacy and topic, looking at Sunny’s world:


Here’s Bailey investigating:


We have read a whole range of different postcards that Sunny sent back home from the places he visited in ‘Meerkat Mail’ – telling his family all about his adventures.

Having looked at these in some detail, we decided that Sunny would probably need to write his family a postcard from Aveley (which we’re going to help him out with!).

But first, we thought it would be a good idea to give him a tour of our world..

This meant that (with our help, using adjectives and full sentences to describe the places we showed him) he could take a proper look at our school and see the different areas where we learn (and play!) to write home about..

First, we lined up (smart as soldiers, silent as mice!) ready to venture out into the school to show Sunny and his friends our world:


Then, we showed him the BIG, YELLOW bin:


After that, we showed them the HARD, WOODEN table:



Then, we let the meerkats jump along the trim trail (what fun!):


Next, we headed off towards KS2, to show our meerkat friends the LONG, GREEN grass in the field:


Of course no tour of Aveley would be complete without a trip to the BIG (SMELLY!) dinner hall!:

Finally, we headed back to the classroom, to have a proper look around, and show Sunny our coat pegs and learning walls:





Wow – what an adventure! Lucky meerkats (and 1S of course: for their visit and to have such a great school to be able to show them)!
Did you spot the TIME CONNECTIVES creating this RECOUNT of Sunny’s tour?

How many ADJECTIVAL STRINGS did you spot?

Now that we’ve showed Sunny our learning world, we’re going to help him with some writing!

Don’t you worry, we will keep you updated!

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…

For about an hour a day last week, between 9:00am and 10:00am, the Key Stage 1 building (1S’s classroom to be precise) was filled with the sound of raucous laughter. In fact, anyone who found themselves crossing the playground, including our new Reception classes on their tour of the school, were drawn towards our doors, hoping to catch a glimpse of what learning could possibly be causing such hilarity.

So, on peeking into the classroom, what did they discover?…

Well, this hour, was not any ordinary hour of literacy work – it was ‘Laughing Time’!

At this point, I’m sure many of you are starting to question what on earth this could have to do with our learning, and why we were spending so much of our literacy time laughing?! Let me explain…

This week, the literacy focus across the school has been performance poetry. As well as giving us the opportunity to  spend the week engaging in poetry, we were also given the challenge of developing a performance of our poem in preparation for a ‘performance poetry assembly’ on Friday afternoon.  This meant working collaboratively, exploring words and sounds to bring a poem to life.

Our poem was ‘Laughing Time’ by William Jay Smith.

laughing time


This is a ‘nonsense rhyme’: a humorous poem about animals – from giraffes to donkeys, chimpanzees in gingko trees to waltzing bears – all over the world laughing.. The poem gave us the opportunity to think of different laughing words and ways that we could use our voices and bodies to project these different sounds. This meant that the classroom was filled with tittering, guffawing, chuckling, howling.. The list goes on!

We spent lots of time using our voices to make all sorts of different laughing sounds. This included laughing like Father Christmas – “ho ho ho ho” (this is how the “dancing bear” in the poem laughs), as well as quite “assembly tittering” – “teehee teehee teehee” (this is how the “chimpanzee” laughs in the poem). We also made up many of our own laughing sounds and used our phonic knowledge to write these down.

How many different ways of laughing can you think of?!

After a hilarious time exploring laughter and the poem together, we split into smaller groups to be the different animals in the poem, to rehearse different sections for our assembly performance. Take a look at us practising:

“It was laughing time, and the tall giraffe lifted his head and began to laugh. Hahaaa hahaaa hahaaa”

“And the chimpanzee in the gingko tree swang merrily down with a tehee tehee tehee”

“And the chimpanzee in the gingko tree swang merrily down with a tehee tehee tehee”

“It’s certainly not against the law, croaked Justice Crow with a loud guffaw. Hawhaww hawhaww hawhaww”

“The dancing bear, who could never say no, waltzed up and down on the tip of his toe. Hoho hoho hoho”

“The donkey daintily took his paw, and around he went. Heehaww heehaww”

“The moon had to smile as it started to climb. All over the world it was LAUGHING TIME! Hahaha hehehe hawhawhaw”

“The moon had to smile as it started to climb. All over the world it was LAUGHING TIME! Hahaha hehehe hawhawhaw”

As I’m sure you can imagine from these fabulous pictures of us working together to rehearse our parts of the poem (and creating some fantastic actions alongside our laughter), we wowed the school with an excellent (and very amusing) performance on Friday.

A very jolly laughter-filled way to start the weekend!