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Year 1

  • Reveley Lodge

    This week in Year 1 we visited Reveley Lodge which is a Victorian home. We were very excited to find out more about the Victorian era.

    When we arrived we travelled back in time to live like Victorian children. As a part of our English and History topics, we learnt all about the lives of Victorian children.  First the children dressed up in traditional Victorian smock dresses and waistcoats. The boys stood in front of the girls with their hands behind their backs. The girls followed with their hands infront of them.

    We were quickly sent to work washing clothes using a posser, dolly tub and mangle.

    After we did our days work with laundry, the children stepped inside a Victorian classroom, writing their sentences on traditional slate boards. They even had a visit from the  strict school inspector!

    Finally, the children relaxed after their hard work. We enjoyed drinking a warm cup of tea out of a teacup and saucer! We even sampled a slice of  Victoria sponge cake!

    We are looking forward to writing a recount of our trip and to explore Victorian Merry Hill.

    We would like to say a big thank you to the fantastic team at Reveley Lodge and to our parent helpers!

    How you can support at home:

    • Use time words such as first, next and after that to describe your daily routine.
    • Draw what happened at Reveley Lodge in order.
    • Practise retelling what happened at Reveley lodge as you will be writing your recounts after half term.
  • The United Kingdom

    In Geography this half term we have been learning about The United Kingdom. We started the topic by learning which 4 countries are in the UK and where they are located on a map. We also looked at the seas surrounding the UK. We challenged ourselves to correctly label a blank map of the UK without looking at the atlas!

    We have also looked at the flag for the UK and the flags for each of the countries within the UK. We looked carefully to see if we could find any parts of each country’s flag hidden in the UK flag. We also talked about the colours and shapes that had been used in them and talked about their similarities and differences.

    Over the last few weeks we have been learning about each country in the UK individually. We are learning the capital city for each country as well as some famous landmarks that can be seen there and about some of the traditional foods that are eaten.  So far we have learnt about England, Scotland and Wales. Next week we will be learning about Northern Ireland.

    How to support at home:

    • Spend some time looking at maps and atlases with your child. Can you identify any places they have been to? Where would they like to visit?
    • Visit the library and look for books about the countries in the UK. Can you find out any new information?
    • Ask friends and family if they have ever been to Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales. What can they tell you about it?
  • Plants in our local area

    In science this week we looked at the plants in our local area.

    We identified some common wildflowers such as dandelions, daisies and clovers. We also identified some garden plants such as bluebells and daffodils.

    We then explored 4 different areas of our school grounds to try and find out where we can find the most plants. We found out that most wildflowers grow on the field and that most garden plants are found by the pond. We used hula hoops to take small samples of different areas. We enjoyed counting all the daisies on the field- some of us even counted more than 40!

    How you can help at home:

    • Take a small area in your garden or local park and count how many wildflowers/ garden flowers you can see.
    • Complete an observation over time of a wildflower or garden plant – what changes take place?
    • Draw and label the key parts of a plant.
  • Jack and the Beanstalk

    This half term in English and Science our learning has been linked to the traditional tale Jack and the Beanstalk.

    We learnt to tell the story using a story map and actions. We practiced and practiced until we could do it without any help from our teachers!

    We noticed that the story contained sentences that have a ‘who‘ and a ‘what‘ in them and have the correct punctuation. For example ‘Jack climbed up the beanstalk.  We also noticed that some sentences had been joined using the conjunctions ‘and’ and ‘because’.  We had a go at writing our own sentences about Jack that could go in the story.

    We also noticed that the story was written in the past tense. We learnt that verbs in the past tense usually end in ‘ed’, even though they sometimes sound like they end in ‘t’, ‘id’ or ‘d’. We practiced changing sentences into the past tense.

    This week we have been busy working together to change the characters and settings in the story. Panther class’ new story is about Queen Elizabeth and a mysterious book and Lion class’ new story is about Lily and a steep mountain.  Have a look at our wonderful writing.

    In Science we have been growing our own beans. Some of them have already started to grow so we have been very excited to come in each morning and look at them. We are keeping a diary to show how they are changing over time.


    How to support at home

    • Practice spelling the year 1 harder to read and spell words
    • Visit the library to see if you can find any other traditional tales – maybe you could have a go at changing the characters and settings in them
    • Grow your own seeds – how do you think they will look once they have grown? Remember to keep checking back on them.
  • Purple Up Day in Year 1

    Purple Up Day!

    In the morning we had special visitors in our assembly; Padre Nicoll and Lt Col Sawyers. Padre Nicoll reminded us about the different Armed Forces; British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force and we learnt how they help us.  He also told us why it is called Purple Up Day – it is a combination of green from the Army, blue from the Navy and RAF and red from the Marines (part of the Navy).

    We learnt that the official emblem of the military child is the dandelion because its seeds are blown far and wide by the wind but it will plant and blossom anywhere it goes. In the same way, the military child has to move around due to military postings, involving new homes and schools – which can happen as often as every 2 years!  We listened carefully and learnt all about the lives of different military families.

    After this, we had great fun with Lt Col Sawyers experiencing a military themed warm- up and game, plus tug of war which was great fun!

    Finall  y we finished the day making our own medals. We thought about the characteristics that can apply to military children then thought about the characteristics that applied to us all at Merry Hill; ambitious, collaborative, curious and healthy learners. We also thought about characteristics we have been working on personally. We then crafted a medal using card and tin foil.

    Our teachers awarded  us our medals at the end of the day! What a fantastic day!


  • April – Month of the Military Child

    April is the Month of the Military Child and each year we love taking the time to celebrate our military children here at Merry Hill. Service children can face challenges with parents in the armed forces. Yet these children are also an amazing asset to families, schools and the local community. The Month of the Military Child helps us remember this and helps us celebrate their achievements.


    Did you know the official flower of the military child is the dandelion because its seeds are blown far and wide by the wind but it will always plant roots and blossom wherever it lands?


    The children celebrate ‘Purple Up Day’ every April; purple is a colour used to represent all military services and shows unity with each other. This day is to celebrate the wonderful contributions our military children make to our community, bringing experiences from around the world. We celebrate our military children and thank them for their service.

    Purple Up Day at Merry Hill this year is on Friday 26th April –  Please can all children come to school wearing a purple accessory on this day such as a hair ribbon, socks, cardigan or t-shirt.

  • Money

    This week in maths we have been learning about money.

    We begun the topic by identifying the different coins that we use in England and learning about the value of each coin.

    Then we worked hard to find different ways to make amounts up to 10p. We had to remember to only use the available coins.

    Next week we will be continuing to learn about money. We will be making amounts up to 20p using different coin combinations. We will also be comparing and ordering the values of groups of coins.


    How to help at home

    • Have a look at some real coins -can you order the coins from the smallest value to the largest?  How much do you have altogether? What could you buy at the shop with your coins?
    • Go to the shop and buy something using coins e.g. a loaf of bread.
    • Make equivalent amounts e.g. show £1 as 100p
  • DT- Making puppets

    In DT this half term we have worked hard to explore, design and make our very own animal puppet. Firstly we look our time to explore different kinds of puppets such as :

    • Finger puppets
    • Hand puppets
    • Sock puppets
    • String puppets

    After that we designed our own puppet ad chose the colours of our puppet and thread. We then took two weeks to carefully sew and make our puppets come to life with the help of some lovely parents and carers.

    Lion class:

    Panther class:

    How you can help at home:

    • Can you design, make and evaluate a puppet at home using household objects?
    • Can you create a story about your puppet?
  • Journey Stories

    This half term Year 1 have been learning and writing journey stories.

    We started by learning a story called ‘The Papaya That Spoke’. We drew a story map and added actions to help us remember it. We also used puppets to retell the story. Have a look on Seesaw to see our puppet shows!

    We practised using the conjunctions ‘and’ and ‘because’ to join 2 sentences together so that we could use them in our own story writing.

    Then we worked together in our classes to change the characters and the setting in the story. Panthers changed the story to ‘The Banana That Spoke’ and Lions chose ‘The Watermelon That Spoke’. We worked hard to learn the new story by heart before working hard to write the new story down.

    Finally this week we have been working independently to change the story ourselves. We are trying hard to keep our handwriting neat with clear ascenders (tall letters) and descenders (letters that sit below the line). We have also been thinking carefully about the punctuation we use and our spelling.


    How to Support at Home

    • Ask your child to tell you their new story – you could have them retell alongside the recording on Seesaw
    • When reading stories at home have a go at changing the characters and settings and then retell the story with your new ideas
    • Continue to complete weekly handwriting homework – remember to watch your child to check they are forming each letter correctly
    • Practise spelling the words on your word mats that you have at home
  • Geography- Bushey Rose Gardens

    This week Year 1 took a trip to Bushey Rose Gardens.

    While we were walking we stopped and completed observational drawings of different landmarks which included:

    We walked very sensibly using our listening ears and looking eyes. We walked along the paths and crossed the roads carefully with adults helping us.

    Finally we arrived at Bushey Rose gardens and looked at different features. We know that human features are features that are made by humans and physical features are features that are natural.


    How you can help at home:

    • In your garden or local park can you spot different human or physical features and make a tally chart?
    • Create an observational drawing of a plant- can you label the 4 key parts of a plant (roots, stem, leaf and flower).


  • World Book Day

    Year 1 had a great day celebrating World Book Day. We all wore our pyjamas to school and brought in some of our favourite books.

    We started the day altogether with an assembly. We talked about the different ways you can enjoy books and shared some of our favourite places to read. We thought it was quite funny that some people like to read on the toilet! We loved listening to some of our teachers retelling the story of ‘The Enormous Turnip’.

    Back in our classes we shared our books with our friends – we told our class why we liked the books we had brought in and even had a chance to read some of them.

    Whilst dressed in our pyjamas, we also did some maths and some science. Panthers enjoyed reading the story ‘Poo in the Zoo’ and then investigating some ‘poo’ to find out if it had come from an omnivore, carnivore or herbivore.

    We finished the day with a ‘Surprise Reader’.

    If you would like to volunteer to come in and be a Surprise Reader please do let us know.

    How to help at home 

    • Visit Bushey library – try looking in a different section to the part you usually look at, or choose a book you wouldn’t normally choose.
    • Share your favourite book with some of your family members, maybe an auntie/ uncle, grandparent. Perhaps a younger brother/sister would like to see your favourite book.
    • Make up your own story – where will your story be set? Which characters will you have in your story?
  • Taking away by counting back

    This week in Year 1 we have been learning how to subtract by counting back. We  used the taking away story of first, then and now. For example, first there was 16 birds on a tree, then 8 flew away, now there are 8 birds.

    After this we practically moved counters from the first to then and finally to now when reading different equations.

    We then consolidated our learning by completing missing parts of different taking away stories.

    How to help at home:

    • Use teddies or toys to complete your own taking away stories using the vocabulary first, then and now.
    • Recall the inverse of the number bonds to 10/20 e.g 10-7=3.