An Aveley Primary Blog

1S transformed into a whole host of different characters this week, as we joined lots of other schools around the country in celebrating World Book Day.

Have a look at us in our costumes. How many characters can you recognise?!



Not only did we take on our favourite characters for the day, and share some our favourite stories, but we also had a very special visit from 5H!

Coming over from KS2 was just the first part of 5H’s journey.. When they arrived, we took them on a reading adventure and together we transported ourselves to the sunny Kalahari.

The Kalahari desert? Sound familiar?.. That’s right – we told 5H the story of ‘Meerkat Mail’, sharing with them Sunny the meerkat’s adventure.

Once we had told the Year 5s the story, we thought about Sunny’s home. As I’m sure you remember, Sunny decides that ‘the grass is always greener on the other side’ and ‘there’s no place like home’. Thinking about this message, led us to discuss the setting of the story.

Looking at lots of African landscapes helped us to think about how we could work with our partner to create a painting of Sunny’s home. Take a look at us working together:

















Ahoy there!!

This week we have been investigating map work. This hasn’t been to join Captain Hook and sail the seven seas, but instead to learn some exciting new computing skills. We have become technology pirates!!

Step 1: Instructions (and direction)

In order to make sure we can make the most of maps to locate different things (like treasure!) we have to know how to move around them – and importantly how to direct people towards the right place clearly.

In order to develop our understanding of instructions, we worked in pairs to guide each other around the room, using instructional language. In order to do so we had to be quite bossy (!) and use our bossy (Imperitive) verbs, such as ‘go’ and ‘move’.

In order to make sure that our partners ended up in the right place and didn’t bump into anything on the way, we had to make sure our instructions were really clear. We did this by adding how many steps they needed to go at a time, and in what direction!

Once we’d thought about all of these different features of instructions, we recorded them in special short hand (F1 = Forward 1 step / TR = Turn Right).

Take a look at us at work using our understanding of position and direction to create instructions:


Step 2: X Marks the Spot

Having spent some time looking at instructions (and using these to programme beebots!) we have created our very own maps of treasure islands.

In order to do this, we had to think about key map features. Making our maps really clear has been especially important so that we can use our programming and instruction skills to guide beebots around them!!

Take a look at us creating some maps.. Can you spot any keys?


 What is a chair made out of? Chair material?..
..Or how about a bench? Bench material?..
..And what on earth is a brick and an old piece of drainpipe doing in our classroom?!

This half term we put our scientist hats on and took on a new learning challenge, addressing the question of:

‘What material should the Three Little Pigs have used to build their house?’


To get us started on this topic, we spent some time exploring some everyday objects. This is where we can now help you answer some of the questions above…

Looking closely at different objects, we discussed the different materials that they are made from. Investigating a variety of different objects has helped us to realise that materials come in many different forms: different shapes, sizes and even colours!

We used lots of everyday objects (including a bit of a drain!) to discuss their appearance and how they feel. We then used this to help us sort the objects based on the material from which they are made:



Having realised that materials can come in many forms we decided we needed to find a way of recognising them, even when they are ‘disguised’ as different objects.

So, in order to recognise what materials different objects are made of, we have experimented with materials to discover their unique properties and characteristics.

As well as helping us to recognise these materials, deciding whether they are hard or soft, strong or weak, flexible or brittle, has helped us to think about why we might use materials for different purposes.

We have been set a whole lot of different challenges (by some of our favourite story characters!), which have required us to investigate the properties of different materials..

CHALLENGE 1: The Three Bears

Following Goldilocks’ visit, the Three Bears are keen to sort their house out! They called upon the help of the science team in 1S to help them to find out what material would be best to make new curtains.

We explored lots of different materials, investigating whether they are opaque or transparent. Once we had decided that, we thought about other properties that curtains might need (such as whether the materials were strong and light). After all, even though wood is opaque, it would be a silly material to use for a curtain!

Why do you think we decided that?

1S decided that fabric would be the best material for the bears, as it has the following properties:

  1. It is opaque so wouldn’t let any light in.
  2. It is light so could hang over our windows easily.
  3. It is soft an flexible so we could open and close the curtains easily.

The three bears were very happy with this decision and now have some lovely new fabric curtains! Well done 1S, great investigation skills!

CHALLENGE 2: Winnie the Pooh

In all of the horrible rainy weather last week, we had a phone call from Winnie the Pooh, who was very sad! He needed a new material to fix a great big hole that Piglet had made in is umbrella! Once again 1S’s scientists were ready to help find the right material to fix it.

We created an experiment to work out what materials are waterproof or absorbant.

When creating our experiment we thought about the variables we would need to change and what we needed to keep the same to make sure our experiment was a FAIR TEST.

We decided water needed to be kept the same. After all it wouldn’t be fair to pour a bucket on one material and a tiny teardrop on another would it!?

We spent time carefully desgining our experiments, thinking carefully about the methos we would use to test the materials:


Then, we made PREDICTIONS (good guesses of which materials we thought might be waterproof based on what we already know about their physical properties). There can be no right or wrong answer with a prediction, because it is just your guess – how cool is that?!

We recorded these on a table, which we then used to record our actual results during our experiment:


Once we had thought carefully about our experiment, we got investigating. Not only did this require us to carefully observe and ask questions about what had happened to different materials, but we had to use our teamwork skills to work together to make sure everyone got a turn and we were following our steps carefully.

This wasn’t a problem for us in 1S – we are fantastic teamplayers! Take a look at us investigating:

Once we had dried of our hands, we took a look at our results and decided, based on these, which materials are waterproof and which would be suitable for poor Pooh’s umbrella:

Our results led us to conclude that plastic would be the best material for the umbrella, because it is not only waterproof, but also flexible and light (we want Pooh to be able to carry his umbrella easily!).

Just when we thought our experiment was over and we could move on from helping out Pooh, Miss Stephenson told us bout the importance of evaluating our experiment. This meant thinking about which areas of our experiment went well and were fair, and what we could improve next time. We each gave ourselves 2 stars (things that went well) and a wish (something we will do next time) in order to do this.

Another character’s problem solved. 1S are getting very good at science investigations!

So What Materials should the Pigs Use?

Having explored the properties of different materials, we returned to our learning challenge question and decided on what materials we thought the pigs should have used to build their house:


Not only have we been doing all sorts of scientific work for this learning challenge, but we have been busy with our paintbrushes to! We thought about how we could use our hands and paint to create textures to represent different materials.

Some of these are up on our materials display in the KS2 corridor! 

As time has rolled on, and the hands have continued to tick clockwise round our classroom clock (which we can now tell you all about because of our fantastic clock reading skills!), we have begun a new maths topic..

This week, 1S could be heard loudly chanting “2D SHAPES ARE FLAT NOT FAT!” as we began our exploration of 2D shapes.

“Naming 2D shapes? That’s easy!” I can hear you all saying.. But in 1S we are always challenging ourselves to further our learning! This means we haven’t just been naming different shapes but we have also been thinking about their properties

How many sides does the shape have?… Are these sides straight or curved?… Are all of these sides the same length?… How many corners does the shape have?…

We began by sorting some shapes altogether, according to what shape they were and then worked together to record their name and properties.

Take a look:

Counting the sides and corners also gave us some practice on our number ordering, and writing our numbers accurately (making sure they were the right way round!)

Of course, all of our learning is linked, and not only did we need to record our shapes using our number knowledge, but in order to write their names we worked together to segment words and apply our phonics to write these words accurately:

Once we had discussed our shapes together, we went off to our tables to explore our shapes. Look at our fantastic teamwork:


Our fabulous Nativity Performance set the bar very high for the rest of our Christmas fun in the final week of term.

But we have definitely succeeded in kick starting Christmas with all sorts of festive activities.

Firstly, we had a very exciting visit from Santa:


Then, we had a Christmas ‘Pom Pom Party’

If you cast your mind back to one of our very first blog posts you’ll remember our class contract. We decided that, in order to achieve our very best in our learning journey, we must work as a team, helping each other to show our green attitudes collectively. Each time we show especially good teamwork, or put in effort to achieve as a whole class, we get awarded pom poms. Once our special pom pom pot is full we get to have a pom pom party (and Miss Stephenson lets us choose the activities this will involve!).

As I’m sure you’ve noticed from our blog, 1S has been really embracing their learning and have had a fantastic, action packed start to the year. As a result our pom pom pot is jam-packed, and we got to have a very special Christmas pom pom party!

This involved all sorts of activities from dressing up to Christmas craft, reading special books to Christmas ‘I spy’ (we even had some yummy food to keep us fuelled through the party!).


Story Time in Socks

Things just got more and more exciting for 1S through the Christmas week. During our final story time, we all got special presents from Miss Stephenson and Mrs Sillcott (with the help of one of Father Christmas’s visiting Elves!).

Here we are with our presents.. waiting patiently to open them:

Here is what we got:

That’s right: SOCKS! But not just any socks.. special Christmas socks! Luckily Miss Stephenson got given some special socks too (Thank you Joanne!), so we all put them on and had a special story time in socks!


… And guess what. We kept them on over our uniform all day! Even to assembly to Miss Shadbolt’s surprise!

1S certainly did Christmas in style.. Finishing it off by accessorizing with socks! We hope you all had as much fun as we did with Christmas this year!

1S would like to wish you all a VERY Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

We look forward to welcoming you back in 2016 for more stories of our learning journey!

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?!

Sweets?! It’s not Halloween JUST yet Miss Stephenson! – Yes, but when we’re working hard (and they can help us in our learning) sweets can play an important role in our progress..

1S ended their first half term with the same fabulous enthusiasm that has underpinned all of the learning we have kept you updated on.. While you have accompanied us throughout our literacy and topic learning – all the way from the Kalahari to the North Pole – I’m sure many of you are keen to hear about what we’ve been getting up to in Maths..


Lots of you might be tempted to switch off or stop reading at the mention of the dreaded ‘m’ word.. But stop right there!! Here in 1S we have put any thoughts we used to have about maths (as ‘boring‘ or ‘difficult‘) to the side, and now love looking at numbers!..

Take a look at our ‘maths acrostic‘ (alongside our maths work below) and you’ll soon be persuaded that maths really is marvelous!..

m    MEAN? Sometimes feel like maths can be mean by tricking you with new concepts? Not quite – in 1S we see maths as MAGICAL!

aALONE? Think that maths involves tackling number problems all on your own? not in 1S! In our class we’ve been working ALTOGETHER to develop our number knowledge.

tTESTS? Think maths is full of testing and questions? Wrong again! In 1S we’ve been using our fantastic TEAMWORK to enjoy a range of different TASKS – even involving a bit of acting to help us!

LetterHHARD? Although at times we might think something is hard before we start, we have been using all sorts of pictures, objects, and songs to HELP us to embrace challenges.

s_is_for_snake_poster_460_0SERIOUS? Absolutely not.. Maths is great fun and can even be SILLY.. Even involving fun with SWEETS!!


Now that we’ve shown you what fun we think maths can be I’m sure you’re intrigued to see what we’ve been doing to have such fun with maths this week…

Well, having spent some time getting used to addition, we turned our attention to SUBTRACTION.

This began with us acting, singing and drawing speckled frogs jumping off a log.

We used the speckled frog song to begin our work on subtraction. As we sang this, we took frogs (or compare animals) from a line of 5 (their log) which we shared with our talk partners and made them ‘jump’ into class pond in the middle of our maths circle.

Confused? Take a look at us in action:

“5 little speckled frogs,

Sat on a great big log,

Eating the most delicious bugs (yum yum!)”

Here are the class frogs, about to lose 1. They are next to our ‘class pond’ into which every pair has put their first frog, while singing:

“1 jumped into the pool,

Where it was nice and cool,

Then there were 4 specked frogs”

And so we continued..


…Until we had no (0) frogs left!

This helped us to understand what happens when you subtract (or take away) ONE.

Take a look at the number sentences we wrote to record our activity:




Once we understood the concept of subtracting 1, we moved away from our speckled frogs and on to… jelly beans!!!

We told you maths was fun!

Here is how we used jelly beans to help us create (and work out the answers to) subtraction number sentences:

  • First we wrote the number sentence (e.g. 5 – 2 = )
  • Then we read our number sentence out loud (being careful to interpret the different symbols correctly!)
  • Then we counted out the number of jelly beans the number sentence told us to start with (the first number) and circled these once we had carefully laid them out.
  • After that we ate the number of jelly beans the number sentence told us to take away. Once we had subtracted these (yum yum!), we crossed out the circles that were left behind.

  • Finally, we counted how many were left and wrote this number (our answer) on the other side of the equals sign.

Once we had done this we could read aloud our complete number sentence, and (after a few questions from Miss Stephenson about our calculations!) we ate up the remaining jelly beans. 🙂

Take a look at us doing this sweet subtraction:



I bet you never thought maths could be SUCH fun?!

Have a go at creating your own subtraction number sentences as you tuck in to you Halloween sweeties next weekend! 

How many will you start with? 

How many are you going to eat (take away) at a time?

How many does that leave you with?

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!