River Class News
A great day in Cambridge (30th March 2017)
River enjoyed a super day at Cambridge Botanic Gardens on Thursday, made all the better by being a perfect sunny day. The children got to hold one of the world’s biggest seeds and were amazed at its size. They dissected a bean seed to learn about the different parts of a seed, before making their own pots and planting a seed in it.
We then headed off in to the glass houses and discovered how some cactus plants can survive in areas where it might not rain for 10 years.
Finally the children went on a nature trail, where they were each given a bag to find a selection of items found on the floor of the gardens.
The class had a great day and Mrs Whitfield was very proud of them and their behaviour and listening skills throughout the day.
Potting Shed (22nd March 2017)
The River Classroom has been turned in to a potting shed for our latest topic. The children have been carrying out lots of experiments to see what seeds and plants need to grow. We were amazed at our hydroponic plants and discovered that our bean seeds germinated without soil.
In addition we have planted beans (now taken home) and radish and lettuce which we hope to eat next half term! In addition we grew some pretty amazing cress heads!
Science (10th March 2017)
The children are loving their science and have been delighted to see how their hydroponic plants are growing. They have been planting more seeds this week and are conducting experiments to compare the growth of plants without light or water, compared to those with water and light.
Place Value Outdoors (24th February 2017)
Despite the cold weather, Year 1s enjoyed their outdoor maths this week. They found pebbles with different numbers on them and put them in the correct order up to 100, discussing the value of the tens and units digits.
ICT (3rd February 2017)
Year 2s have enjoyed blogging this week. We used the scenario of a new family moving to the area and couldn’t decide which school they wanted to send their children to, so we were going to tell them about how brilliant Sutton School is!
After a bit of planning, the children took the ipads outside and started to blog! After uploading them we looked at what we liked about the different blogs and ways to make them even better.
Year 1s had great fun with the Beebots. They were using different algorithms to get the Beebots to different locations, unfortunately some of the algorithms were wrong so the children needed to work together to debug and use the correct algorithms.
The Beach comes to River! (27th January 2017)
After looking at the work of transient artist Tony Plant the children had a go at their own creations. Tony Plant works a lot in Cornwall and makes the most of the beautiful beaches, so we had to bring the beach in to the classroom! The children gathered a variety of natural items from the school field and were also able to choose shells and different stones to use in their art.
Understanding Christianity Key Stage One
‘Salvation – Why does Easter matter to Christians?’
As an introduction to their RE topic on Salvation, River Class enjoyed unpacking the Easter Story in this version of pass the parcel. Throughout the unit, we will be exploring the Christian concept of Salvation and how Christian denominations show their beliefs about Jesus’ death and resurrection in church worship at Easter.
History (20th January 2017)
River Class have continued to show such enthusiasm for in their history lessons. The children split in to groups and were given an envelope with lots of jumbled up information about the RNLI. Some focused on the history of boats, some on clothing or the different roles of the RNLI. They then set about talking about how things had changed over time in the RNLI, then produced some super pictures, writing and Years 2s created some great timelines.
It has been lovely to see the various models that some of the children have bought in connected to this topic and I know that many of them are still busy creating models at home.
Hibernation (13th January 2017)
River have been doing some research into hibernation. They have been learning about how some animals prepare for the winter and where they find a good place to sleep. The children imagined being a hibernating animal and wrote their own diaries, some of these will be on display in All Saints Church.
In their PE lesson, they have begun to put together a hibernation dance sequence interpreting different types of music.
The children have been very enthusiastic about their new topic, particulary enjoying learning about Grace Darling. I gather lots of children have been discussing the story with their families, which is great to hear!
Christmas Wishes (16th December 2016)
We hope you enjoy the gifts the children have worked so hard to make, Mrs Whitfield, Mrs Helen and Mrs Warner have been very impressed at the concentration and care the children have used in creating them.
River Class wish you all a Happy Christmas and best wishes for 2017!
Science Experiments 2nd December 2016
River have been conducting experiments using chocolate and ice cubes. After identifying the properties of solids and liquids the children placed the chocolate and ice cubes in various locations around the school. They made predictions and then recorded observations and drew conclusions from their experiments. The Year 2s discussed how we could try to ensure it was a fair test and then we checked to see if the process of turning solid chocolate in to a liquid could be reversed.
24th November 2016
River Class attended the East Beds SSP Key Stage 1 Multi Skills Festival this week. A great time was had by all!
Self Portraits (18th November 2016)
We have been amazed by the self- portraits the children have produced! Mrs Helen broke down each stage of the process and the children then recreated themselves using water colours, pastels and wool.
‘Magic Pens’ (11th November 2016)
The ‘Magic Pens’ were made by the children in order to inspire their creative writing and the pieces of elder twigs were soon transformed in to a ’Magic Pen’ that could be used to draw a new setting where their story character could step in to and begin an adventure!
Engineers of the future? (4th November 2016)
River Class were set a challenge this week to create a bridge made of paper. They were shown the gap they needed to bridge and in groups were given glue, paper and scissors. After lots of designing and testing they came together to test who had built the strongest bridge, by counting out the number of pennies they could place on the bridge before it collapsed.
The children were surprised to see that a simple design that included folding paper made it a lot stronger!
A new member in River Class.
Mojo has arrived in River Class! The children have been watching a series of films about Mojo in order to help them develop a growth mindset. We are learning that your brain is like a muscle and needs exercising by working through challenges. It’s okay to make mistakes as we can learn from them. Mojo is awarded to a child who is really trying even if they find things difficult.
Circuits (14th October 2016)
We are coming to the end of our Big Build topic and have been talking about electricity in our homes: the danger of it and the various power sources. After learning about a continuous circuit the children were giving batteries, wires and a bulb with the only instruction to ‘Light up the bulb’. They worked well together and show great perseverance in their task and were delighted when the bulb lit up.
Getting the measure of River Class (7th October 2016)
We have been spending time measuring a variety of objects this week. Year 2s have been using rulers and decimetre strips to measure themselves, their feet and a variety of stationery around the room. Year 1s did maths outdoors on Friday and after estimating the length of our playground they worked together with metre sticks to see how close their guesses were, they then checked their measuring using a trundle wheel. The children then measured the wiggly path up to the hill, on the field, with the trundle wheel. They concentrated really well and discovered it was 94 metres, before running the length of the path and comparing their running to Usain Bolt in the 100 metres!
A class of Wolves and Pigs!
The children also completed their masks. After selecting their own resources from a large pile of junk and a variety of items from the craft cupboard they set about designing their mask on paper. This was followed by sticking, painting and lots of mess! The results were fantastic!
Handwriting Hero (23rd September 2016)
River Class have their first ‘Handwriting Hero’. Toby put in a lot of effort with his handwriting in Big Writing last week, joining his letters beautifully. He now gets his own pencil case to use in school for the week. A ‘Handwriting Hero’ is someone who really tries their best with their writing: it’s not always the person with the neatest writing, its more about effort!
I’ll huff and I’ll puff……
River have been having fun in Science, when they carried out an experiment to test different materials to see which were best to build a house. Each group was given different materials including sticks, straw, bricks, clay and were ask to make predictions about what would happen to their house when the wolf came and tried to blow it down. We then tested the houses with the wolf huffing and puffing (a hairdryer with a wolf disguise!) The children made observations and the Year 2s drew conclusions.
Swimming (16th September 2016)
The children are loving their lessons! All are in the big pool and even though it’s only week 2 we have seen a big improvement in the confidence of the swimmers in the beginners group.
River Class have also been investigating materials and sorting them into groups.
The New River Class (9th September 2016)
It has been lovely spending time with the new River Class, the Year 1s have settled in really well and are getting used to their routines. They have worked so hard and Mrs Whitfield, Mrs Helen and Mrs Warner have been very impressed at their attitude to their learning, their behaviour and their confidence! The Year 2s seemed to have all grown over the summer and have loved being the oldest in the class, being good role models to our new members.
We are started our new topic, the Big Build and have been learning about plans and maps and have been drawing some of our own. In Numeracy the children have shown some great counting skills and some of the Year 2s have been showing their skills with times tables. In Literacy the children have been writing an alternative version of the well- known story ‘The Tiger who came to tea’, there have been crocodiles, elephants, and snakes arriving at houses and causing all sorts of problems!
Pizza Workshop and Move Up Day (15th July 2016)
A delicious smell emulated from River Class when Cambridge Catering came in to spend the day making pizzas with Sutton School. The children kneaded the dough and then chose their favourite toppings. I hope they enjoyed their pizza at teatime!
The new River Class settled in well on Move Up day: birthday cards were made, balloons decorated and we even had some Outdoor Maths. Mrs Whitfield was very impressed with the new Year Ones and Twos, especially with their team work in maths.
Year 1 Values Prize (15th July 2016)
As the Year 1s won the Values prize for July they opted for a dressing up day. There were some fabulous outfits!
Woburn Safari Park and Potton Fire Service (8th July 2016)
It was perfect weather conditions for our trip to Woburn on Monday, warm but not too hot. Initially we drove around the park, getting a great view of the animals. The coach had to stop briefly for a warden to come and encourage a couple of monkeys off our roof! It was the quietest point of the day as the children listened in excited silence to the scampering of feet up and down the roof. After seeing bears, giraffes, lions, rhinos and many more animals we stopped and walked around the rest of the park, before heading to the sea lion display.
There were a few guests for lunch as we were joined by a number of hungry chickens much to the delight of most children. It was then time to head back to school, we’d had a great day out, the children behaved brilliantly and once again the staff were very proud of them.
Potton fire fighters visited the school on Wednesday to teach the children about fire safety. The morning finished with screams of excitement as the children got a complete soaking by the hose pipes. They took it in turns to take charge of the hosepipes and aim it at each other. Luckily the teachers got away with just a just a little sprinkling of water!
Hinduism (1st July 2016)
We were very pleased to welcome Milen’s Mum, Aunt and Cousin into school, when they visited us to help us begin to understand the Hindu faith. Milen showed us photos of the temple and some Hindu Gods and his Aunt retold the story of Sita and Rama, telling us about some of the celebrations that happen at Dwali.
The children were delighted when they had the opportunity to sample different traditional food and try on some saris.
Brazilian Dance (24th June 2016)
Following on from our topic about Brazil, River Class enjoyed a Brazilian dance workshop this week. The children really enjoy the Samba rhythm, so this was perfect for them! They concentrated well and began to really grasp the new routines they were being taught.
Maths Outdoors (17th June 2016)
River Class managed to dodge the showers this week for some Maths Outdoors. The children were having a data handling lesson and each group were given 3 minutes to find as many different items around the field, as long as it fitted into their basket.
Once they’d collected their items, the groups discussed how they could classify the items. Each group went on to create a tally chart and finally we created a pictogram of some of the items found. At each stage the children spent time asking and answering questions about their data.
Post SATS Celebration Party (13th May 2016)
What troopers Year Two are! They faced their SATS this week with great attitudes and were ready to show how much they have learnt. We were so impressed with their spirit during this week, fuelled on by Mrs Whitfield’s Secret SATS Stash of biscuits. By Friday the novelty had worn off a little so we had a small party Friday Morning, to celebrate the end!
Trading Places (5th May 2016)
The children have loved their topic on Brazil. In Geography, they have found out where Brazil is in the world and just how huge it is in comparison to the UK. They were amazed to discover that Brasilia, the capital, was shaped like an aeroplane! In addition, River have made carnival costumes and enjoyed the Samba workshop. In Art, we have looked at the technique of sgraffito and then using wax crayons and oil pastels, we made some great carnival masks.
To finish off the topic, each child became author and illustrator of their own non-fiction book about Brazil. Mrs Whitfield and Mrs Helen were amazed at just how much information River Class had absorbed and included in their books!
Samba Drumming (29th April 2016)
River Class had great fun at a Samba Drumming workshop this week. There were a variety of samba drums and percussion instruments to play. We practised a number of different rhythms, which took a lot of concentration before we put it altogether for the finale. It was loud, lively and River really got in to the Rio Carnival spirit! Even at playtime afterwards the children (and Mrs Whitfield) could be heard chanting and moving to their rhythms!
Brazil (22nd April 2016)
River are loving their new topic on Brazil. They have absorbed so many facts in the first couple of lessons and these are beginning to be displayed in our very own cable car up to Sugarloaf Mountain! This week, after looking at the Rio Carnival, the children have designed some amazing costumes to dress dancing silhouettes, reflecting the bright colours and elaborate outfits worn. We are looking forward to a Samba drumming workshop next week that will, hopefully, bring that energy and rhythm to life.
A visit to Edgware Synagogue (23rd March 2016)
We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to the Synagogue today where we met Rabbi Lister, who talked to us about the Jewish faith and showed us around. The children were able to build on their knowledge about different features of the Synagogue, as well as gain an insight into Jewish family life. The children loved seeing the Torah Scrolls kept in the Ark and were truly amazed at how beautiful they were. We then enjoyed a picnic lunch provided in the hall. It was lovely to be made so welcome by the Rabbi and was an opportunity to enhance the children's learning in the classroom.
Enjoying Healthy Dips (18th March 2016)
On Wednesday the children enjoyed making a selection of healthy dips. We started off by deciding whether foods were healthy or not and why, Mrs Whitfield was very impressed with the children’s knowledge.
The children decided that a burger and cola dip, whilst probably taste disgusting, would definitely be unhealthy! So they came up with a range of much healthier ingredients.
They created 3 different dips: a beany dip, cucumber dip and fruity salsa dip. The children worked really well in groups to create these tasty treats and then voted on which they thought looked the most appetising, before getting stuck in with some taste testing. They all proved very popular with lots of requests for the recipes, so here they are:
1 x 400g tin chickpeas (no added salt), rinsed, drained and mashed
1 tbsp tahini
½ garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice, plus extra, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
Cucumber yoghurt dip
150ml plain yoghurt
1 tsp lemon juice
Small bunch fresh mint
Fruity salsa dip
10 cherry tomatoes
1-2 spring onions, chopped finely with scissors
½ cucumber, chopped
½ mango (peel removed by an adult) chopped
small bunch herbs, such as mint, coriander chopped
1 tsp olive oil
squeeze lemon juice
Also this week, Toby used his ICT skills to tell us about his experiment. Click here to view his Powerpoint presentation.
Global Learning Day (11th March 2016)
With the help of Pablo the Super Banana, River Class learnt all about Fairtrade produce. They were really interested to see where some of our food comes from and how far it travels to reach our plates! It was lovely to see how much the children care about those farmers thousands of miles away.
Ask your children about Fairtrade, bananas and tea picking. They should be able to give you a little lesson.
In the afternoon River Class became the ‘Tea sipping’ part of the tea process. The children loved the taste test of different teas and the room smelt wonderful. They finished their testing with a nice piece of cake!
Lent (26th February 2016)
Our Prayer Table has now been changed to reflect Lent, with the cloth the Liturgical colour of purple, which represents ‘Getting Ready . The children have been learning about the story of Jesus when he spent 40 days fasting in the desert being tempted by the devil. Our table has a path of pebbles leading from the sand to the cross representing this time of year. We have been talking about how some Christians give up things for Lent, whilst others do something extra. River Class have been discussing ‘turning over a new leaf’, thinking about how they could do something to help their friends and families.
Measuring the Temperature around school (12th February 2016)
River Class have been conducting an experiment to find out the differences in temperatures around the school. Firstly, the children discussed what we mean by ‘temperature’ and what we use to measure it with. They decided on different locations to test and Year 2s discussed what they might do to make the test fair e.g. how to hold the thermometer and how long to stay in each location. Groups went off around school with thermometers, timers and a whiteboard. The experiment was written/drawn up with predictions made, results were recorded and then observations made.
River Class also enjoying their music lessons with Mrs Williams.
Blown Away! (5th February 2016)
This week we continue with our topic ‘Blown Away!’ The children have shown so much enthusiasm and interest in learning about the weather though Geography and Science lessons that we agreed to continue until the end of half term.
As you can see from the photos, we have a team of children assisted by Mrs Saxon who have set up a weather station in the playground. The children will be collecting data over the next week for our science investigation.
We also had lots of fun using DT skills to make our own windmills. Out in the playground the children used the compass to work out which direction the wind was blowing.
Blown Away! (22nd January 2016)
River Class have been studying the sky! We have been learning about the weather in our Blown Away topic & the children are beginning to realise that there are various different types of clouds. We are able to name some of the different clouds and in our Art lessons we have looked at paintings by different artists to see how they paint clouds.
When the children came to do their own cloud artwork, they used a variety of materials to recreate clouds and realised that clouds did not always look like white and fluffy balls of cotton wool!
Maths Mates (8th January 2016)
Maths Mates is a weekly group set up by Mrs Whitfield. It allows Year 2 children more time to discuss their ideas and strategies which helps to deepen their mathematical understanding.
During their first week the group investigated 4 digit numbers, solving a number of challenges.
RE Focus Week (18th December 2015)
The children have been very busy this week making lots of amazing Christmas crafts. As part of our RE focus week, the children have been learning about the symbolism in an Advent Wreath and a Christingle, making a Light Collage, and learning about the important role that Angels played in the Nativity story.
River Class wish you a happy and safe Christmas and look forward to seeing you all in the New Year!
Values Reward (4th December 2015)
As a reward for winning the values, Year 2 got sticky and festive making some melting snowmen biscuits. As you can see, they had a great time!
Visit from Gillian Overitt (27th November 2015)
As part of our literacy focus week we enjoyed a visit from author, Gillian Overitt. River Class have also enjoyed creating ibooks using the school ipads. Working in groups the children discussed characters and a plot for their stories. They then went on to develop their story using story boards. There were some lovely adjectives used to describe a whole range of characters and some super detailed illustrations to go in their books. The children used their IT skills to take photos of their pictures and upload them on to the app before either recording or writing their part of the story. Groups worked really well together to create some lovely stories, which they will share with their friends in class.
Reverend Gill visits River (13th November 2015)
To end our RE topic ‘Special People’ we invited Rev. Gill in to come and talk about her role as a Priest. The children had prepared lots of interesting questions to ask her. They meet Rev. Gill so often, but don’t always get the chance to talk to her, so both Gill and the children enjoyed this opportunity.
Flying High (13th November 2015)
We started our new topic ‘Flying High’ this week and the children have been creating timelines of the history of flight. Mrs Whitfield had jumbled up lots of pictures and information, so the Year 2s then had to become history detectives to piece together a timeline!
Science Week (6th November 2015)
River Class have enjoyed their science week and have been carrying out a number of investigations to answer different questions.
We started off the week by becoming forensic scientists at a Science Workshop. A crime scene scenario had been set up where a burglar had broken into a school and stolen some money. After being disturbed, the burglar fled the scene, leaving a number of clues. The children worked in groups to use these clues to find the criminal from a number of suspects. Clues included foot prints, finger prints and even some DNA to match up to the different suspects. It was a great morning and there was excitement as all the groups had eliminated many suspects. They were left with identical twins who shared the same DNA. Luckily our scientists had learnt about different finger prints and where able to find the burglar. During some role play Judge Blythe listened to her friends about the different punishments that could be given and the criminal played by Avonlea was sentenced to jail!
In the classroom, we have been finding out how the different drinks we might like to drink can affect our teeth. Using eggs instead of teeth, the children planned and set up the experiment: leaving eggs for 2 days in a variety of liquids. The children discussed how to create a fair test and then recorded their observations and conclusions. Toby and Freya then used a toothbrush and toothpaste to clean the eggs, but the cola and orange juice had stained the eggs.
Finally we have been collecting data about eye colour in River Class, to discover which was the most common colour. The children were then able to present this data in the form of either a bar graph or pictogram and then discuss their results.
International Schools Week (23rd October 2015)
The focus for our International Week was Poetry from around the world. The children have enjoyed listening to and learning a variety of poems from Africa, China, the Caribbean, Japan and Italy.
On Tuesday, Dr Orsi spent time in each classroom working with the children, teaching them an Italian poem. Tomos taught Mrs Whitfield and River Class some Italian, so we could practise each part of the poem and by the end we were all able to join in.
Both Tomos and Toby had written some great poems at home that they could share with the class, Tomos had written in Italian and Toby had written an amazing poem about Africa, inspired by some pictures he had looked at.
All the children have been reading a variety of poems and most have been brave enough to stand up in class and recite their poems, some without the words!
As Thursday was Tomos' last day with us, we had a fun day using technology to create photo memories. We wish Tomos fun and best wishes in his new school.
RE- Special People (16th October 2015)
We have been looking at the story of Moses and what made him a leader. The children discussed how Moses might have felt when God spoke to him from the Burning Bush. The children collected leaves and twigs from the school and recreated a ‘burning’ bush.
Sewing (16th October 2015)
The children have continued with their sewing in Art this week, starting on their neat sampler bookmark. Many of them have commented that they found it really tricky last week, but sewing was easier this week. We have talked about how over coming challenges helps to stretch their 'fantastic elastic brains' helping them to grow and develop. Providing an environment where children are encouraged to have a go and overcome challenges they meet, leads to the development of a growth mind set. Sewing was definitely one of those challenges for some, but the children showed a great attitude!
Algorithms in ICT (9th October 2015)
Year 1s have been drawing maps and then programming the Beebots to visit places on these maps. We have been looking at algorithms and the children loved it when they were able to then use the iPads to instruct the Beebot to move to different locations.
Year 2s have also been using the iPads to navigate a robot in a Lego game on the ipads. This was quite a tricky challenge as Mrs Whitfield didn’t give the children any instructions and they had to work with a partner to establish how to play the game and how to move the robot. Working together, all the children were able to work through some levels of the challenge.
Practising our sewing (9th October 2015)
As part of our new topic , the children have started to make their own samplers. They had to use the value of Patience to practise their stitches.
Waiting for butterflies (2nd October 2015)
In River Class we are eagerly waiting for our chrysalises to transform into butterflies. The children have watched the life cycle from tiny caterpillars, to large fatter caterpillars before becoming chrysalises. It’s now, hopefully, just a matter of days until we see some beautiful butterflies.
River Café Opens (25th September 2015)
In Science this week we have been looking at healthy and unhealthy choices. The children thought about what humans need to survive and actually began to realise that in fact we don’t need chocolate!
We looked at different café and restaurant menus and the children decided what was healthy and unhealthy, then discussed the reasons for their answers. River Class then opened its own café offering a selection of healthy and unhealthy options on the menu. The children took it in turns to visit the café and waiters and waitresses took their orders. They also had an opportunity to practice their maths as each customer had 20p to spend and some of the waitresses were very strict on what customers could afford!
We have been investigating money and time this week, learning the value of different coins and then adding different combinations. Year 2s have been calculating change from 20p, by counting on. With time, the Year 2s have started to compare digital and analogue times and Year 1s enjoyed having their own mini clocks to play a time game.
Table Points (18th September 2015)
Our first winners of the weekly table points were the ‘Brilliant BFGs’. They won the most points over the week for a variety of reasons including tidy tables and baskets, sitting quietly, tucking chairs in etc. Bob, our class Minion sits on the prize winner’s table for the week and the children have the laptops during registration.
Prayer Tree (18th September 2015)
River Class now have their own prayer tree. It was looking a little bare so the children have been busy writing their own prayers on the leaves to decorate the tree.
Settling In (11th September 2015)
The children have settled in really well in River Class and are getting used to their new teachers and daily routines. We have started our new topic ‘What I need to be me?’ by making comparisons between different animals and how they change from babies to adults. In Numeracy lessons, a variety of resources have been used including pasta, numberlines and Year 1s took off their shoes and socks to practising adding toes!
Swimming lessons at Saxon pool have started already for both River and Ocean Class. The children will have weekly lessons up until Easter 2016.