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Year 1

African Art

Inspired by our studies of South Africa and our visit to Akamba, we have created African art work. We looked at patterns on African textiles and pottery and saw that many of them were closely linked to nature. We also noticed that very often, earth colours are used. The colours and textures are incredibly rich. We created patterns in clay by printing with clay tools and a variety of everyday items. We created designs based upon African plants and animals and transferred the designs to safe print tiles. We then added printing ink with rollers to print alternating patterns on hessian. We have made a corridor display which we hope gives you a real flavour of Africa!

Clay Tiles

Clay Tiles 1
Clay Tiles 2
Clay Tiles 3
Clay Tiles 4

Printing on Fabric

Printing on Fabric 1
Printing on Fabric 2
Printing on Fabric 3

Our Display

Our Display 1


We have been learning about South Africa for our Geography topic this term. To find out more about African buildings, animals, art and food we went to visit Akamba, an African heritage centre based in Dickens Heath. When we arrived, we saw the "metal zoo" and the lovely garden plants. We used fabric pens to draw African plants and animals onto squares of fabric to make a beautiful wall hanging. At lunchtime we had a taste of Africa- delicious savoury rice. We saw lots of animals from Africa and even got to handle some of them! To end the day we had a happy time playing on the Akamba beach.

Picture 1 Some of the "metal zoo".
Picture 2 A fabric design.
Picture 1 A Royal Python
Picture 2 A Chameleon
Picture 3 A Hissing Cockroach
Picture 4 An African Bullfrog
Picture 5 An Enormous Lizard!
Picture 6 A Hedgehog
Picture 1 A Hand-Reared Bird
Picture 2 Bird Watching
Picture 1 Digging on the Beach
Picture 2 A Sand Angel!

                                 Our Visit to Aston Hall

We went to visit Aston Hall to find out how people lived in the past and to learn what happened during the Great Fire of London. We also met some of the people who were had important jobs to do at the time of the fire- some of them look strangely familiar! We handled artefacts which would have been used to help put out the fire. Thank you to Ruth who told us all about Aston Hall and made our day interesting and exciting.


Picture 1 Aston Hall
Picture 2 The entrance hall
Picture 1 Thomas Farrynor the baker
Picture 2 .......and his maid.
Picture 1 Samuel Pepys the famous diarist
Picture 2 ........and Jane, his maid.
Picture 1 Passing the leather bucket along the lines.
Picture 2 Lifting a fire hook.
Picture 1 King Charles 2nd
Picture 2 Writing with a quill.
Picture 1 Making Jacobean houses
Picture 2 Lady Holt's garden.

                              The Flatpack Festival

Year One went to the MAC on Wednesday 1st March to watch a selection of films from around the world as an introduction to the Flatpack Festival. This festival promotes the arts in venues all over Birmingham and many of them are free. We thought about the ways stories are told by film and looked at the similarities and difference between the films. On Friday 3rd May we returned to the MAC and took part in multi media activities. We drew illustrations for a jungle adventure film, performed as actors pretending to explore the jungle and made music and danced in a sound dome. 


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Welcome to the Summer Term!

It is hard to believe but we are now in our final term of Year One! Please  details of the curriculum this term and a newsletter below.

Our Easter Holidays Home Learning

For an exciting start to our summer theme of "Fire! Fire" we did some research about half timbered houses. This was because we are learning about the Great Fire of London and we need to know why the fire spread so quickly. These houses burnt fast because they were made of wood. We made models of them during the Easter holiday and we hope you are impressed! These houses look just like the real thing! 


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The Easter Parade- our amazing creations!

The Easter Parade- our amazing creations! 1
The Easter Parade- our amazing creations! 2
The Easter Parade- our amazing creations! 3
The Easter Parade- our amazing creations! 4
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              Our sketches and paintings in the style of Lowry

We prepared for our paintings in the style of Lowry by looking carefully at how he portrayed people in matchstick style and how he drew most buildings with straight lines which could have been drawn with a ruler. We carefully drew our own scenes of everyday life and painted them with water colour paints.

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Our Corridor Display

Our Corridor Display 1

Our Visit to Adderley School


Adderley School have also been creating paintings in the style of Lowry and they invited us to visit their amazing exhibition. The Arts Council showed us the paintings and gave us lots of information about how they were painted and what they were about. We also took part in art activities supervised by pupils from Adderley School. We would like to thank the staff and pupils of the school who gave us such an exciting, interesting and memorable afternoon. The perfect hosts!

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                              The Black Country Museum

We have been learning about the ways L.S.Lowry portrayed aspects of the everyday life of  factory workers in Salford but it was difficult for us to imagine what life was like.To find out, we stepped back in time.We visited the Black Country Living Museum where the buildings and the people were exactly as they would have been up to about 150 years ago. We were shocked to find that sometimes 6 brothers and sisters shared the same bed and we might have had to use a toilet outside and share it with our neighbours. The staff at the museum were impressed with our behaviour which was good news for our teachers!

Picture 1 A street full of shops.
Picture 2 The Hardware Store
Picture 3 Using the fire to cook.
Picture 1 Oh no! The toilet outside!
Picture 2 The Chemist
Picture 3 The Grocer
Picture 1 A mangle and a dolly tub.
Picture 2 Terraced houses
Picture 3 A steam engine
Picture 1 A strict teacher
Picture 2 A big, red bus
Picture 3 Inside the bus

Science Week

We had an exciting week taking part in science investigations. We also  made cross- curricular links to Maths and English. We went outside to collect natural materials and explore their properties. We chose characters and other resources around our classroom to  create a story plan and shared our stories with our friends.

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World Book Day 2019

World Book Day 2019 1 Harry Potter!
World Book Day 2019 2 We are princesses
Picture 1 Red Riding Hood
Picture 2 The winner-the Hungry Caterpillar
Picture 1 A bit of a swap!
Picture 2 Sharing a book with Year 6


We are "Art Detectives"!

We have been learning about the ways L.S. Lowry portrayed the everyday lives of factory workers in Salford. We looked at his technique of creating "matchstick" people and simple, straight lines to draw buildings. We went to visit Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery to look at Lowry's paintings first hand to find out what they tell us. We also looked at other works of art and completed a quiz to show we understood what the paintings and sculptures were telling us.

"An Industrial Town" by L.S. Lowry

"An Industrial Town" by L.S. Lowry 1
Picture 1 Henry Moore's "The Warrior"
Picture 2 Have we found the answers?

                                 Hosting a Sculpture

We hosted a masterpiece in school and took part in a drawing workshop. "Esther", a bronze statue by Jacob Epstein of his daughter, was visited by the whole school and everyone had a turn at looking at her from different angles, practising mark making with charcoal and chubby graphite pencils then drawing her portrait.

Picture 1 Looking at photos of Esther
Picture 2 The artist-teacher's example sketch
Picture 3 Looking at Esther from all angles
Picture 1 Sketching our portraits
Picture 2 Close up of our drawing

Winter Art

To explore how artists have portrayed winter, we selected paintings by Pissarro and Monet and looked at the colours, textures and subject matter of their paintings. We chose paintings and stuck them in our sketch books, sketching other items which might be included in the picture.


Afterwards, we sketched winter scenes using pastels both grey tones and coloured. We found that are our pictures became very atmospheric when we smudged the pastel.


Finally we painted a winter scene. We stippled the background first then added detail when the paint had dried. We hope you enjoy our display!

Picture 1 Extending a winter scene.
Picture 2 A pastel scene.
Picture 1 A pastel sketch of a winter forest.
Picture 2 Stippling!

Some of our paintings!

Some of our paintings! 1
Some of our paintings! 2
Some of our paintings! 3

Our corridor display

Our corridor display 1

The Selfish Giant

Our key text for the spring term is "The Selfish Giant" by Oscar Wilde. The giant refuses to share his garden with the local children so it becomes winter all the time in his garden. The children manage to climb through a small hole in the wall that the giant had built around the garden to keep them out and the giant realises how selfish he has been when he finds a small boy who is crying because he cannot climb a tree. The first branch is too far away for him to reach.


We wrote about the feelings of the children who were banned from the garden and we drew pictures of them focusing on their expressions. We also wrote about the character of the giant and how he is able to change when he can begin to empathise with the children.


We also linked this to Children's Rights as defined by UNICEF such as Article 12: "You have the right to give your opinion and for adults to listen and take it seriously". Article 31: "You have the right to play and rest".

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Welcome to the Spring Term! Please find links to our curriculum this term and a letter with information all about Year One this term. We look forward to continuing to work in partnership with you. Your support is much appreciated.

The Herbert Museum

We have been learning about sculpture as part of our art work this term. To find out about sculpture, we visited the Herbert Museum in Coventry for a lesson about sculpture in the gallery.We learned that some sculpture is carved from stone and some is cast from metal. Afterwards we took part in a workshop where we made a clay bust. Back at school we painted the busts.

Picture 1 The founder of the museum.
Picture 2 Carved and cast sculpture.
Picture 3 A pupil responds to the class about a sculpture.

We posed like a statue

We posed like a statue 1

Making busts at the clay workshop

Making busts at the clay workshop 1
Making busts at the clay workshop 2

Painting the busts at school

Painting the busts at school 1
Painting the busts at school 2

Our finished busts

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Our finished busts 2
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Churchfield's Farm

We went to visit Churchfield's farm near Droitwich to find out about the characteristics of animals (mammals) to link with our science and to find out how food arrives in the shops ready for us to eat. We were taken around the farm and taught by Julie Warburton from Country Trust who made our visit enjoyable and memorable. We met some cows who were expecting their babies very shortly and the calves in their pods. We learned that cows can produce 150 litres of milk per day so they need to drink lots of water. We visited the ice cream making workshop and at lunchtime we sampled some delicious vanilla ice cream. We visited the milking parlour and learned how the cows are milked. We watched salt being made in heated tunnels. Finally we went to the butter-making disco and brought our butter back to school to sample on bread.


Picture 1 A calf born the previous night.
Picture 2 Making friends with the calves.

The Milking Parlour

The Milking Parlour 1
The Milking Parlour 2

The salt -making tunnels

The salt -making tunnels 1
The salt -making tunnels 2

The butter-making disco!

The butter-making disco! 1
The butter-making disco! 2
Picture 1 Some butter ready to eat.
Picture 2 Shaping butter with wooden paddles.
Picture 3 A wristband to help us remember our lovely day.

Matthew Boulton and Soho House

We have been learning about a famous local person who had an impact on national life. We went to Soho House to learn all about Matthew Boulton, the famous manufacturer and engineer who lived in the eighteenth century. He was a member of the Lunar Society which met at Soho House where lots of engineering and technical feats were discussed. He worked in partnership with James Watt to create stem engines and he established the Soho Mint where coins were made that were uniform in size.

Meet Matthew Boulton!

Meet Matthew Boulton! 1 A portrait of Matthew Boulton in the hall.
Meet Matthew Boulton! 2 Dressing as Matthew Boulton- with a wig!
Picture 1 An amazing 24 hour clock.
Picture 2 "Cartwheel" coins

The dining room where the Lunar Society met.

The dining room where the Lunar Society met. 1
The dining room where the Lunar Society met. 2

Sutton Park

We visited Sutton Park to conduct some Geography field work. We were able to identify geographical features and compare them to our local area. At school we created a key and used it to draw a map of the route we took. We also conducted some scientific research by using pictures of leaves, nuts, fruits, seeds and berries to identify trees. We looked for signs of autumn and made natural collections to bring back to school.

Picture 1 We looked at leaves to identify trees.
Picture 2 We met some of the wildlife!
Picture 1 A geographical feature-a bridge.
Picture 2 We made natural collections.

We made collages with our natural collections.

We made collages with our natural collections. 1
We made collages with our natural collections. 2

Our display about the natural world

Our display about the natural world 1

Birmingham Nature Centre

We are learning all about the physical characteristics of and habits of animals. This will help us to classify them as carnivores, herbivores and omnivores and also as mammals, reptiles, fish, birds, amphibians and minibeasts. We went to Birmingham Nature Centre where there is a wide variety of animals so we could begin to observe their characteristics at first hand.

Picture 1 We helped to feed the pigs.
Picture 2 Two female Kune pigs.
Picture 1 A curious meerkat.
Picture 2 Thirsty wallabies
Picture 1 We relaxed in the play area.
Picture 2 We listened to stories about animals.
Picture 3 We dug for animal fossils.

Where I live

We have been learning all about our local area and finding out that it is part of the city of Birmingham. We learned about famous landmarks and buildings by taking a guided walk led by David Fisher who has written several books about Birmingham. We were lucky enough to bump into a parade. Members of he Armed Forces were carrying books to the Hall of Memory accompanied by the Mayor, members of the City Council and officers from the Armed Forces.

Picture 1 Outside the cathedral
Picture 2 Admiring the beautiful stained glass.
Picture 1 The Council House
Picture 2 The Museum and Art Gallery
Picture 1 Ou mayor and the parade
Picture 2 The viewing gallery, Central Library

Welcome to Year One!


We are looking forward to an exciting and busy year. Our teacher is Mrs Kerr and our Teaching Assistant is Miss Boulton. We are looking forward to building a working partnership between parents, carers, staff and pupils in order for the children to reach their full potential as they travel on their learning journey.


We are building upon the super foundations laid in Reception last year and we aim to create life-long learners. We  believe that children need to become independent in order to achieve this, so we would be grateful if you could support school by ensuring the children are prepared for home learning and are able to find their own clothes and P.E. kits because they are named. Encourage your child to say goodbye to you and come into school promptly as learning takes place the moment they enter the classroom.


There will be a heavy emphasis on the teaching of phonics in preparation for the children to take their statutory test in June. Please support your child by returning all phonics home learning promptly and encourage them to practise their phonic skills when reading to you.


We also wish to promote a love o reading as a keen reader will make good progress! Please share a book with your child on a daily basis for five to ten minutes and visit the library. It would be useful to look for books linked to themes and to begin reading signs and notices in the environment.


P.E. days are Tuesday and Friday. Please label all kit and clothing with your child's name. Remove rings and cover ear rings with tape or remove them altogether on P.E. days to avoid injury.  You may wish to include a pair of jogging bottoms as well as shorts, t -shirt and pumps for colder days.


Staff in Year One are always willing to talk to parents and carers about any concerns or queries. We might have to ask you to make an appointment at busy times but we will try to see you as soon as possible. After school please wait until we have seen children off the premises so we know they are safe. 


Please check out our photographs and videos on this page to find out what we have been doing.


Thank you for your support.