Our Journey Begins….

Welcome to Venus class blog 2020.

Welcome to Venus class 2020/21 blog.

I shall be blogging weekly, all about our adventures as we journey through Year 1.

On a Monday, you will be able to log on for the spellings that your child will be tested on. Whilst we won’t be making a big thing of the ‘Test,’ it is important that they try their best and also form their letters correctly. Stickers will be added to your child’s reading diary on Monday for you to see what group your child is in for spellings.

Most of you will have already noticed that your child has x2 reading books, the expectation is that they read each book twice with an adult at home before the books are then changed in school. Please ensure that your child reads at least 3 times a week. Obviously, those children who read daily will naturally have a larger vocabulary bank and will start to make connections with the different texts that they are reading, so I would encourage you to listen to your child as much as possible.

Our focus in Literacy has been based on the book ‘Traction man is here’ by Mini Grey. This book has captured the children’s imagination as he is travelling around the school and next week he will be venturing into different Seasons and places. We have also been learning about compass points in Geography and mapping land use around the Academy.

In Maths, we are focusing on ‘Place value’ and securing our knowledge on ‘One more/less’ than a given number. We have also been looking at how to spell the number 1 to 10.

In PE, we are working with the Sports coach and ‘Ball skills,’ we will alternate a session in the main hall and then the next week a session outside, providing that the weather is kind to us.

In our experience lessons, we have been busy mapping, looking at compass points and creating a maze for Traction man to navigate his way around using Lego.

Home learning – feedback please!

Mrs Evans shared a link with you last week regarding your feedback on home learning.

If you have not already provided feedback on the remote learning offered during the summer term, please click on the link below to share your views.


Friday 25th September

A week of 2 halves. This week Venus class have been exploring the Seasons and the various different weathers associated with that Season. This week has been fun and has proved to be very educational. We started the week with unusually high temperatures for the Season and now we find ourselves plummeting into the cooler temperatures!

As many of you noticed this morning, that should it be a wet start to the day, children will be invited to come straight into class, rather than gathering and waiting for our allotted time to come to school. It is incredibly important that your child brings a coat with them into school on a daily basis.

With regard to PE, children are allowed to wear both shorts and then jogging bottoms over the top, however, they are not allowed to change if they are not wearing their shorts underneath. These are obviously strange times that we find ourselves in and I would kindly request that we follow these basic rules as we are not allowed to have children changing in the classroom. Many thanks in advance for your understanding.

Our learning this week has been based on Place Value and securing children knowledge on ‘Ordinal numbers’ to 10. They loved being outside and jumping on the paving stones to demonstrate the positions of 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc. Please continue to use this language at home, as today they made the link to the calendar and this posed many questions about the date when they were born.

In Literacy we have started to explore ‘Visual coding’ to help the children add interesting “What like?” words to their sentences. When reading with your child you could ask them, ‘who is the who in the story?’ what is the character doing? and where? This will aid their writing skills dramatically.

In our experience lessons we have been mixing colour, the children loved making secondary colours from the primary ones. They have created some lovely ‘Autumnal’ art.

Friday 2nd October

This week Venus class enjoyed the last of the summer sun and created our own masterpieces inspired by the British artist Andy Goldsworthy. Using only natural resources the children created some beautiful pieces of work. As the leaves are changing colour the children have been mesmerised by their natural beauty.

In Literacy, we have continued our ‘Visual coding’ focusing on the Who? Doing? What? The whole class seem to have benefited with these sessions and their sentence writing today has vastly improved. Next week we will start to write our own stories, these will loosely be based on Traction Man by Mini Grey.

In Maths, we have continued on our place value journey and started to look at the Part-Whole model. The children have loved using the concrete resources to aid their understanding and today we have started to look at the number bonds to 10. This will continue into next week as we begin to look at ‘Fact families’.

In our experience lesson we have been focusing on Geography, comparing Flitch Green to Walton on the Naze, and looking at aerial images of the school building considering things that we can see, touch, smell and hear. We have also mapped our journey to school, considering what human and physical features we pass on the way.

Friday 9th October

This week Venus class have been busy learning about the human body. We started our lesson with drawing an image of ourselves, these proved to be very insightful and allowed plenty of scope for learning. We then investigated, explored and demonstrated our knowledge of the various body parts and finished the lesson by drawing another image. The comparison between the 2 images was huge.

In Literacy, we have been working incredibly hard on our “Traction man” stories. We have planned and written some beautiful sentences and have made our very own Traction man books, I am so incredibly proud of how hard the class have tried with this piece of work, they have all been given a certificate. I can’t wait to share these with you during the Parent consultations later in Autumn 2.

In Maths, we have continued to secure our understanding of place value and this week have been looking at Part-part-whole models and bar models. From these representations the children have then begun to look at ‘Fact families’. We still have a little more to learn, but the children are progressing nicely.

This week in PE, the children enjoyed learning new skills in Gymnastics. Michael, who is the PE coach, has commented on how well the children seem to be enjoying this new aspect of PE.

Friday 16th October

Half-term Homework (optional)

You may have already noticed that your child has come home today with a plastic wallet with a range of resources in. The pack contains optional activities for you to complete over the holiday period (they can also be used in the second part of the Autumn term at home). Most of the activities are self-explanatory but I just wanted to explain a little more about the maths activities and share some game ideas for learning tricky words..

Maths activities:

  • Numeral and word number matching – ask your child to simply match the numeral to the corresponding word OR play games like SNAP with them when they are more confident.
  • Number bonds to 10 dominoes – cut out the domino shapes and see if your child can match the number bonds to make a total of 10. Make it more fun by hiding them in a room in your house and see if they can find the corresponding number bond.
  • Number bonds to 10 using pipe cleaner and beads – move the beads along the pipe cleaner to represent different number bonds to 10. We have been working on a systematic approach in class which you could try at home and record the number bonds on paper or a whiteboard e.g. starting with 10 beads on the left and 0 on the right to show 10 + 0 = 10, then moving one bead across to show 9 + 1 = 10 and so on. Alternatively, you could write a number bond e.g. 6 + 4 = 10 and see if your child can represent it with the beads. if you feel that they need to go over number bonds to 5 before this then just remove 5 of the beads.

Tricky word games:

  • You have been provided with tricky word mats from the different phases. You will see from the spellings that Butterflies have been focusing on consolidating the reading and spelling of phase 2 tricky words whilst Ladybirds and Beetles have been focusing on Phase 3 tricky words. However, a number of children have shown that they are able to read and spell many of the phase 2 and 3 tricky words so we have provided the phase 4 and 5 tricky word mats as well for you to start working on.
  • There are so many fun games you can play to help your child learn to read and write tricky words. Please have a read of the document below for a range of ideas!


I hope you find the resources useful and have fun playing some educational games at home!

Mrs Smith

What a great start to the year for Venus class! They have had another busy week at school with writing instructions for Traction Man in English, we even made jam sandwiches! Ask to see our actions to help us remember the ‘Bossy verbs!’

In Maths, we have been concentrating on learning the number bonds within and to 10. The children are familiar with the language, part-part-whole and are beginning to link this to writing number sentences.

In Science, we have been exploring and testing our sense of smell as well as learning about the human skeleton by creating pasta skeletons. We have had so much fun using our noses!

Today we celebrated Black History Month by learning about Mary Seacole and creating sculptures out of clay of her. We even took part in our first ‘Virtual assembly’ the children were so excited to see their siblings in the other classrooms.

I hope you have a truly restful and safe half term, I look forward to seeing you all in your Halloween costumes on Monday 2nd November.

Monday 2nd November

Welcome back!

I hope you all had a lovely half term break! It was so lovely to see all your smiling faces again today and so many of you had gorgeous costumes! Hope you enjoyed your first day of our new term?

The new spellings have been uploaded on the ‘homework’ tab so please have a practice of these at home ready for the test next Monday.

Well done to those who read over the half term and tried some of the homework (it was optional so don’t worry! I just wanted to take this opportunity to remind you that we ask that there are at least 3 comments in reading records per week to show your child has read at home. We read every day in school and children are heard 1:1 at least once a week by myself but reading at home is so important to support their progress in decoding as well as their comprehension skills. Some children are beginning to whizz through the reading levels and their confidence is starting to show within the classroom environment too. Keep up the good work!

Friday 13th November

This week has certainly been an actioned packed week! We have launched our new experience “Jumping Jack’s jellybeans,” linked to our unit of Literacy based on the book Jack and the jelly beanstalk by Rachael Mortimer. The children are loving this book based on the traditional tale with a modern twist. We have started to infer how the main character is feeling during the book and next week we will be starting to text map the book. This will allow the children to really get to know the language used in the book and aid their own writing of a fairytale story over the next few weeks.

In Maths, we have started to explore ‘Subtraction,’ and the variety of different language associated with this mathematical concept. Children need to ensure that they are drawing their own pictorial representations to aid this process. We will continue with this next week too.

In our experience lessons, we have begun to explore castles and how they have changed over time. We have drawn and labelled our own Motte and Bailey castles and today we have investigated how and why their designs changed during the decades.

Friday 20th November

This week in Venus class we have been learning more about castles and knights. The children have loved designing and making their own shields using cardboard and can’t wait to use them on Monday. We have investigated how different people have invaded the UK, in particular the Normans, linking to our building knowledge of Motte and Bailey castles.

In Literacy we have text mapped the story of Jack and the jelly beanstalk. This will continue to aid the children when they begin to write their own fairytales over the coming weeks. We have a particular focus on the correct spelling of our previously taught ‘High frequency words,’ this is where we hope to see the hard work paying off from our weekly spelling tests.

In Maths, we have been using a variety of different concrete resources to aid our understanding of addition and subtraction and then comparing 2 different statements using the language, greater than, less than and equal to. It is vitally important that the children are able to draw a representation to aid their reasoning skills. This will continue into next week before we move onto securing our knowledge of ‘Place value.’

Friday 27th November

Wow! What an incredibly busy week Venus class have had. We have been finishing our shields, planting beans as part of our experience lessons, learning different strategies to help us to remain calm and in the “Green” zone and starting to explore different materials in Science.

Today, we headed outside to look at the very changeable weather. This morning, we were certainly greeted with a cold and chilly start to the day, that led itself nicely to some ‘in the moment’ learning about solids, liquids and gases. The frost and ice that had formed within our playground has led to some interesting conversations and it has been lovely to see the children starting to make links to their own knowledge.

In Literacy, we have continued with the story of Jack and the jelly beanstalk. We have been exploring adjectives of size and colour and developing our own character to get ready for writing up our own stories next week.

In Maths, we have continued with addition and subtraction. We have been solving one step problems this week and drawing bar models or part-part-whole models to support this.

In Science, we have been exploring materials. Today we sorted the objects into a Venn diagram.

Friday 4th December

This week we have been incredibly busy in Venus class. We have written our own stories based on the book Jack and the Jelly beanstalk. The children have changed the main character and the bad character. We have even explored ‘Levers’ in DT and the children have drawn their own artwork to accompany their stories. They have loved playing with their levers and making the characters move.

In Science, we have continued exploring materials. This has proven very beneficial when you consider the ‘dusting’ of snow that greeted us this morning. Venus class were certainly very excited to see the rather festive covering.

In Maths, we have continued to investigate place value. We have been using a variety of different resources to aid our understanding. This is making a huge difference to the children, who have simply loved using the dienes, bead strings and counters to make their own pictorial representation of tens and ones. Next week we will begin our end of term assessments to aid planning in the new year.

Friday 11th December

The end is in sight….. This week has been another incredibly busy week in Venus class. We have been completing our end of year assessments in Phonics, Maths and Literacy. Hopefully, the children haven’t been too fazed by the mini quizzes, they seem to have retained much of what has been taught this term, which is lovely to see. An interesting find, is that many children are unaware of how to spell their last name and this has sparked many interesting conversations about if they do or do not have a middle name. If you could talk to your child about their full name and the correct spelling, this would be beneficial going forward.

Next week, we shall be sending home some sounds that your child needs to focus on for Phonics. This is incredibly important that you try and help your child as their ability to read fluently has a dramatic influence on their ability to write. In Literacy, we have been focusing on writing sentences, including capital letters and full stops. We have been looking at various different images and collecting a wide range of vocabulary linked to this image. The children have loved letting their imagination run wild and this is lovely to see.

In Art, we have painted a fantastic piece inspired by Vincent Van Gogh. The children should be incredibly proud of their work. Next week, you will be seeing their showcased work across the school community, so keep your eyes peeled.

Over the last 2 weeks we have been observing our beans and watching them grow in Science. Whilst we weren’t expecting them to grow much we are beginning to see the shoots start to appear. The children are beginning to use a wide range of scientific vocabulary to aid their observations.

Friday 12th March 2021

Wow! Our first week back in class is over in a blink! It has been lovely to see the whole class back together again. We have certainly seen some tired faces as the week has progressed so I’m sure that everyone is looking forward to the weekend.

We have been familiarising ourselves with the daily school routine and remembering to listen to instructions carefully and I’m sure that this will continue into the coming weeks as we lead to the Easter break.

In Literacy, we are looking at creative writing and have started to think about our sentences carefully. We are all working on the ‘orally rehearsing’ part of our sentences as many of us seem to have forgotten what we want to write when it comes to putting pencil to paper. I’m sure that this skill will evolve as time passes.

In Maths, we are working on our Place Value to 50. We are using the concrete apparatus to help us have a firm understanding of how to start to partition numbers into ‘Tens and ones’.

Today, we have had a Science day as it is British Science week. We have loved watching various clip about the recently space exploration to Mars and this has then allowed us to design our own robots to visit a new planet. The children have come up with some amazing inventions which they are all keen to share with you at home.

In our experience lessons we have re-visited how to be a good friend and being a ‘Bucket filler’ rather than a bucket dipper. The children were all incredibly complimentary about their peers and this was lovely to see their friendships continuing to blossom and develop.

Friday 19th March

Wow! another week has flown by and the children in Venus class are settling into our daily routine. This week we have been concentrating on securing our knowledge of place value to 50 and we are perfecting the game ‘I’m thinking of a number…’ this allows the children to consolidate their learning and use of the language “more than” and “less than”.

In Literacy we have been writing sentences and adding adjectives of size and colour to describe the setting and nouns within our writing. This will continue to be our focus next week as we explore writing creatively.

In our Experience lessons, we have been tasting different fruits, and today we made our own fruit kebabs. The children have loved chopping and peeling various different fruits as part of our D&T lessons. Next week we will be exploring the Christian message behind the Easter story as we run up to the Easter holidays.

Today we have loved taking part in the Comic Relief fundraising event by dressing as our favourite superheroes. The children were so excited and have loved being in class dressed as their own superheroes.

Friday 16th April

This week we launched our experience with a ‘Swinging 60’s’ day. We made tie dye butterflies, rice crispie cakes and made our very own Tic, tac toe game. The children looked amazing in their outfits! We enjoyed dancing to some classic 60s music and it was a lovely way to start thinking about our history focus for this term. Please log onto Google classroom to see the photos!

In Maths, we have been counting in 2s, 5s and 10s and we will continue with this next week before we complete an assessment on our place value knowledge to 50.

In Literacy, we started the week with a cold task and now have moved onto a book called Grandpa by John Burningham. We will be focusing on writing questions and our inference skills as we start to think about what life would have been like in the past (Especially, when our Parents/Grandparents were born)

Please note that we will be starting our spellings quizzes again on Monday’s (Spellings can be found on the tab above) and our Going for Gold, number bonds focus will be on a Wednesday. In addition, we have also set MyMaths and you can log onto Reading eggs at anytime. Have a lovely weekend.

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