Merry Christmas!

We have come to the end of Term 2 and the children are half way through primary 1! They have learnt so much since their first day of school and I am so proud of how far they have come, both academically and socially.

Our topic on Toys has been lots of fun. We have learnt how toys have changed over time, from being mainly made of wood and metal to plastic with lots of lights and noises. Pupils enjoyed bringing in their favourite toy and sharing information about it with their peers. I was really impressed at how well the children managed the questions others wanted to ask; they and were able to pick who was going to ask the questions, listen well to the question and answer it independently. We had a lovely visit from Gran Sheila who showed us toys she used to play with when she was young and allowed us to play with some even older toys that belonged to her mum. We’ve sorted lots of toys into different categories including what makes them ‘go’ (batteries, pull, push, etc.) and how they are played with (role play, construction, imaginary, electronic, etc.).

To complete our toys topic we had a tinkering afternoon where we made our own toys with moveable parts. Pupils had free choice in what to make, how to make it and what to make it with! Children were very creative and learned lots of technology skills e.g. how to use a hole punch, how to make moveable wheels using split pins, scissor skills, joining skills with paper clips, glue and sticky tape. There was a huge range of toys from cars to telescopes, books and puppets.

As always, we have been learning loads during play. For the last few weeks our role-play area has been an igloo set at the North Pole. Pupils have enjoyed writing letters to Santa, pretending to be Arctic animals, exploring non-fiction books about the polar regions and enjoying quiet time inside the igloo under twinkly lights.

Thank you to everyone who came along to the Christmas fair and/or bought the reindeer poo and reindeer food made by p1b. We had a great time measuring out the right amount of oats and glitter, counting out 10 snowflakes for each bag and drizzling melted chocolate over the raisins.  I am sure everyone who came along to the Carol Concert will agree that the children did an amazing job singing their songs on stage and performing the actions. Well done p1B!  Thank you to those parents who were able to help out on the trip to the cinema at Destiny Church. I really appreciate your help keeping the pupils safe and sound on the walk there and back.

All that is left to say is MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR! I wish you all a peaceful and relaxed holiday (if that is at all possible!). Best wishes.


Term 2 – Welcome Back

ART + DESIGN – Term 2 has started with a bang!  We celebrated Bonfire Night by making very sparkly, glittery pictures of fireworks.  In fact, we have been very creative this term and have enjoyed creating lots of different art pieces and exploring lots of different materials.  We showed a lot of patience making Elmer the Elephant because we had to carefully stick tissue paper to milk cartons.  We got a little messy (sorry!) using chalk and blending techniques to make rainbow balloons to complement our story The Blue Balloon – which in turn complimented our sound ‘b’.  I would encourage all parents to allow their child to practise their scissor skills at home, using small metal scissors.  It has so many benefits, not just cutting out but it helps build up hand muscles, helps improve dexterity and the way in which we hold scissors is very similar to a good pencil grip.   

LITERACY – we have been continuing with our letter sounds and we are gaining confidence to read and write short words.  So much so, that some of us are beginning to write sentences!  Mrs Jeffrey is a very proud teacher!  We enjoy learning in many different ways; using magnetic boards, small white boards, words in sand and jelly, using our interactive whiteboard to play phonics games, apps on the iPads and of course writing on paper with a pencil.  All pupils have been given their name home in cursive writing to practise.  Reading is going really well and we enjoy listening to the extended stories on day 1 of our reading book.  This gives us more information and detail than is written in the books so allows for in-depth discussion.  All pupils will be getting key words sent home over the next few weeks and these will continue to be sent home over the course of p1.  Please help your child learn them.  They are sight words, so most cannot be sounded out and must be learnt by just looking at them (the shape of the word, some letters that give us clues, etc.). 

NUMERACY – we have begun to write number sentences, aka sums!  Pupils are gaining an understanding of basic mathematical vocabulary and the symbols that correspond e.g. plus, add, equals.  We have been learning how to use these by adding collections of many objects, all the while developing our fine motor skills e.g. putting bubble gum (pom poms) into the bubble gum machine, making cheerio towers on spaghetti, adding dice patterns to know how many pizza toppings (play doh) we need to add.  We have also been sequencing numbers, improving our numeral formation and learning double numbers. 

OUTDOOR LEARNING + PLAY – we are very lucky to have several outdoor learning spaces and we have been making the most of them before the wet weather really sets in!  In the mud kitchen we have made potions, created sand cities and roll-played families.  Our social skills have improved through this play and we are making new friends.  We had loads of fun on the Trim Trail and developed our balance, travelling skills and supported one another when a tricky bit came up. 

Please click on the link to access our Term Ahead letter. 

P1 Term Ahead – Term 2 2017

Happy Halloween!

We have enjoyed a spooky Halloween here in p1!  The teachers were really impressed with all the scary costumes and effort that went into face painting etc.  Our play activities have had a Halloween focus; ghost letters in the sand, a witches potion in the water trays, pumpkin counting, black cat dot painting, cutting and carving carrots and peppers…just to name a few.  Through this play we have explored capacity, developed our skills in using knives and forks, worked on our fine motor skills and encoded three-letter words.  We continued the Halloween theme in our art activity where we made bat collages using a range of materials. 

But the highlight of Hallowwen was our Tricky Ricky show!  We giggled and laughed constantly for 50 minutes while Ricky wowed us with magic tricks, puppetry and jokes.  After our show we had a mini class party and enjoyed ‘dooking’ for apples.

Settling In

All of us in p1B have settled really well into Balgreen and our school routines.  Mrs Jeffrey is so proud of all the pupils!  We know our way around the parts of the school we use, can get our lunches independently and are getting stuck into our learning!  Thank you to all those who were able to make it along to our curriculum evening, we hope you found it useful. And thank you to those who joined us for an open morning, hopefully you enjoyed spending time in class with your child and learnt a wee bit about how we learn numeracy.  We have done so much already!

NUMERACY – We have been focusing on recognising dice and pairs patterns, making finger patterns, numeral recognition, counting and making collections.  We have enjoyed using a wide range of materials and learning strategies from jelly bags to counting out glittery eggs, from matching numeral pegs to star collections and getting a bit messy with sand and dirt while forming our numbers. 

LITERACY – We are doing lots of pre-writing fine motor development through a variety of activities including threading beads on pipe cleaners, using tweezers to pick up pompoms, scissor skills, tracing lines with glass gems, using pipettes in water, etc.  This will help us in our writing.

We have learnt many letter sounds (t, a, p, r, n, m and h) and are beginning to write these letters.  We are learning to listen to the sounds within words, particularly the first, middle and end sounds in CVC words.  With this knowledge and a wee bit guidance, we are even beginning to read and write some simple words.  Slowly but surely we are learning to crash the sounds together as well as use our fingers to ‘finger spell’ out the sounds. 

Not only this, but we have also been learning to recognise the character names that will appear in our reading books soon.  These are words we just need to know by looking at them, but we can be word detectives and spot some of the sounds we know in them as well.

LEARNING THROUGH PLAY – We do so much of our learning through play in p1.  This can be role play, outdoor play, imaginative play, construction, experimenting, etc.  Our role play corner has so far been an ice cream parlour and is currently a campsite. We have enjoyed a teddy bear’s picnic, exploring water beads, a sensory walk around the garden, underwater scenes, sand play, toy car washing and lots more.  We develop our vocabulary through this play and learn all important social skills.

 Please click on the link to access our Term Ahead letter.

P1 Term Ahead – Term 1 2017