Beech Grove



 We are a Year 1/2 class and our teacher is Miss Fran Guarraci

Spring 2 2024 Class News

Ducks have had another busy half term and we have really enjoyed our learning.
As artists, we have been exploring oil pastels. We have learnt different techniques like blending and cross-hatching. More recently we have looked at an artist called Jean Michel Basquiat who uses oil pastels to create a bright and bold background before he uses black to draw over the top to create a character. He liked to listen to music when he worked so we listened to 3 different types of music to create our bright backgrounds.
In religious education we have been learning about the Easter story. We have been discussing Palm Sunday and why Jesus was welcomed like a King or celebrity. We then re-enacted the events of Palm Sunday.
We loved it on World Book Day when we were able to share stories with the older children. We also enjoyed being a character from our favourite book or dressing in our comfortable clothes to read in. Miss Guarraci said she wished she could come in her oodie and slippers every day!
We have also been lucky enough to have two visitors come in and read to us in a different way. The first one was Mrs Ellis who read a book to us in German and this week we had Mrs Pitchers come in to read to us along side using 'Makaton' which is where signs and symbols are used to help communicate.

Spring 1 2024 Class News

As historians, we visited Wellington Monument to finish our learning about Arthur Wellesley. We were able to share our history knowledge with the lovely volunteers at the monument and we were even lucky enough to go inside the big green door and walk around the bottom of the three sided obelisk. We couldn't believe how tall it was when you looked up! We were also able to go on a nature walk through the woods which linked really nicely with our science topic on plants.

Autumn 2 2023 Class News

Ducks class have had a fantastic half term and enjoyed lots of different things. One of our highlights has been our art topic where we were experimenting with charcoal. We loved getting messy and making different marks and then using what we had learnt to create an animal sketch. We have also enjoyed being geographers and investigating in and around our school by looking at maps of the school and Wellington and also using compasses. Finally, another highlight was our trip to the church to make our Christingles. We loved building on our knowledge from our religious education lessons by going through the Christmas story and telling the volunteers about what the three wise men's gifts represented.


Autumn 1 2023 Class News

What an exciting first half term! 

We have started the year with our new class story of 'The Three Little Pigs'. One of the pigs visited us in the school hall and gave us a challenge of building a house that even the big bad wolf can't blow down. We used all the construction materials in the classroom to achieve this and 'blew' on the houses to make sure they were sturdy enough. As writers, we are getting accustomed to using handwriting lines, and learning grammar through the use of 'Colourful Semantics'. 

As mathematicians, we have enjoyed the 'Mastering Number' programme, where we all work together to subitise, compose and compare numbers. We used ten frames, rekenreks and Hungarian dice patterns to show our understanding of number bonds and composition of numbers. 

As scientists we are learning about animals, including humans. We looked at the life cycles of various animals, including our teachers, and named the young and the adult creatures. We also completed the first one of our three nature walks. We recorded the weather, including temperature, looked at the types of clouds and changes in the natural world that occur in autumn. We saw stratus clouds covering the whole sky and some of the deciduous trees starting to lose their leaves. 

In history, we looked at toys across the ages. The children explored toys from the past and compared those to the toys they play with today. We noticed the materials used to make play things have changed but rarely the type of toys. We love teddies, puzzles and vehicles just as much now as the children from the past did. We thoroughly enjoyed a visit from Sam, who carried out a toys workshop for us. We had the opportunity to explore toys that we hadn't seen before.

We loved the Alice in Wonderland performance in the school hall. The children were inspired by the colourful, eccentric characters and decided to design their own! We wrote lists and descriptive sentences but most of all, we enjoyed designing extraordinary outfits for our characters. 

In religious education, we have learnt all about 'The Creation Story' and how Christians believe the earth was made.

We can't wait for the next half term!

2022/23 Class News

Summer 2 2023 Class News

We cannot believe we have finished our last term as Ducks class, it has gone so fast! In our Jigsaw lessons, we have been talking about changes, not only in our bodies as we grow, but also in skills and learning. The children are more than ready to enter their new year group and, in the case of Year 2s, their new key stage. 

Our last term in Ducks class has been full of fantastic events. First of all, we had the terrific trip to Fyne Court, where we practised our geography skills. It is hard to ascertain which of the activities was the most enjoyable: the pond dipping, the sketching, visiting the bug hotel and the sky glade, playing the secret wooden instruments or the butterfly and bug hunt? To be honest, just playing with our friends after lunch, in the beautiful setting was as lovely as the guided tasks. 

The sports day was another enjoyable event this half term. The children showed superb sportsmanship, cheering each other on and setting many PBs (personal bests) to be beaten next year. We are particularly proud of those of our friends who felt nervous about joining in the activities but did so anyway! Well done!

We are very lucky to have had a few sports coaches in lately. This week, the children were taught skills needed to play cricket. What great fun this was!

In art, the children have enjoyed re-visiting their drawing skills, which they will now use to make carbon paper mono prints. We are happy to see that, with practice, the children are less worried about what their final pieces look like and more focused on the skills and exploring of media and tools.

What a terrific year we have had in Ducks class! We will miss it very much but we are looking forward to our new classes after the summer 😄

Summer 1 2023 Class News

Ducks class have had an amazing start to the summer term; we are loving having some sunshine so that we can take some of our learning outside!

In DT, we have designed, made and evaluated our own fruit kebabs. We spent time trying different fruits and a new one to many of us was mango; so many of us loved it! After making our fruit kebabs we sat outside and had a picnic altogether - they were very delicious!

As scientists, we have started learning about plants. In Year 1, we have looked at the different parts of a plant and thought about a plant's life cycle. In Year 2, we have thought more about what plants need to grow into mature plants. Both year groups have planted seeds and even bulbs to see what happens over time.

In writing, we have learnt a warning tale called Kassim and the Greedy Dragon. We have been focusing on our sentence structure so we understand what a sentence needs. We have been successful at this and managed to write some of our own versions of a warning tale. 

As historians, we have been learning about how communication has changed through time. We have learnt about how televisions, phones and computers have changed within living memory. We have been very fortunate to have Mrs Lock to tell us about what communication was like when she was younger. We realise that we are very lucky to have all this amazing technology around us now because it hasn't always been there.

In computing, we have loved programming the bee-bots to follow an algorithm. We have made predictions about where our bee-bot would end up on a map and then programmed it to get to the place on the map. We then saw if our predictions were correct. 

We have shown incredible resilience this term when things have been challenging and all our teachers have been incredibly proud of us! We can't wait for our final term of Ducks class together, to learn more exciting things 😄

Spring 2 2023 Class News

Ducks have had an amazing 6 weeks this half term and it has flown by!

As scientists, we took part in British Science Week where we explored the theme ‘Connections'. We looked at how animals within the same habitat are connected. We discussed how they all work together and rely on one another for the habitat to function. As a school, we took part in a biscuit dunking investigation where we investigated which biscuit was the softest when dunked in warm water. The Year 2s in Ducks class were also lucky enough to go on a trip to New Rendy Solar Farm, where they learnt about renewable energy.

As geographers, we have studied The Gambia. We have learnt lots of new vocabulary such as; continent, ocean, and human/physical features. We have loved learning the continent and ocean songs as it has really helped us to understand the world better. The children have really enjoyed learning about where The Gambia is in relation to the UK and what life is like there. We then finished our unit by comparing The Gambia to our home town of Wellington and the surrounding areas.

As artists, we have been learning about portraiture. This unit was all about capturing facial expressions and drawing faces portraying different emotions. We then linked this to our geography learning, by designing and making an African mask. 

As part of World Book Day, we all came dressed as a book character. We wrote character descriptions of our characters and enjoyed a book swap with Foxes Class. We were very impressed with the children’s outfits. 

In religious education, we have been continuing to learn about Christians and this term looked at why we celebrate Easter. It has been great to understand the true meaning of Easter and we have even had a visit from the vicar at the Methodist Church to discuss and talk about Easter further.

We are already looking forward to the Summer term!

Spring 1 2023 Class News

Ducks have had a great half term. As writers, we have completed our instructions unit in writing and started a great story called 'The Papaya That Spoke.' The children are getting so much better at writing accurate sentences and composing texts for different audiences. 

In Year 1, we are doing 'Seasonal Change' and started by looking at the months of the year and the seasons. We have also been observing and recording weather. This allowed lots of discussions about the influence of humans on our planet and climate. In Year 2, we have started 'Living things and their habitats'. We have looked at whether things are living, non-living or dead and looked at different micro-habitats.

As mathematicians, we enjoyed not only our regular maths lessons but also the 'Super maths' sessions - the mastery maths. The children have explored the composition of numbers, including doubles. They are getting super speedy at solving equations, including missing number problems. 

In computing, we have been exploring Word as an editing programme. We are getting better at typing on the keyboard and exploring the toolbar.

We have loved learning about nurses from the past in History. We thoroughly enjoyed the museum workshop about two of the famous nurses - Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole. The children got a chance to become Victorian medics and examine a range of artefacts. Hearing Florence's voice was a highlight of the session!

We enjoyed our visitors during the enrichment week. A GP talked to us about the importance of keeping healthy and cleaning our hands. But the most amazing visitors were the alpacas! 

We can't wait for next half term!

Autumn 2 2022 Class News

We have had such a busy half term in Ducks Class with so many amazing learning opportunities. 

As scientists, we have been exploring 'materials and their uses'. In Year 2, we have investigated which materials are waterproof, the suitability of wood for a garden fence and which materials let light through. In Year 1, we have been investigating objects and the material they are made from and why, which materials sink and float and what happens when materials are heated and cooled. For each of these investigations the children have had hands-on experiences to support their understanding. 

As writers, the children have been busy writing their 'rags to riches' tales based on the story: 'The Elves and The Shoemaker'. We have been focusing on description using adjectives, similes and alliteration. The children wrote some brilliant innovated stories. To end the term, we have been writing some Christmas themed poems. 

As geographers, we have been learning about 'Our School Grounds'. We have been focusing on geography related skills and fieldwork. During this unit we have used locational and directional language on a trail around the local park and our school. We then extended this learning by introducing compass points and identifying what we could see around our school. We also looked at aerial view photographs and maps which have been taken from above in things like a drone or helicopter. We then saw how map symbols are used to help us know where things are on a map, and made up our own map for our school.

In religious education, we have been focusing on the Christmas story. To support this, we were lucky enough to have a trip to the Methodist Church in Wellington to make Christingles. We found out what each part represented and had a lovely time!

We have been very impressed with the children's engagement this half term and look forward to beginning some new learning in the spring term!

Autumn 1 2022 Class News

What an amazing start to the academic year! Ducks class have settled brilliantly into Year 1 and 2 and are showing fantastic learning behaviours.

As scientists, Year 2 have been learning about 'animals, including humans'. They learnt about animal offspring and had some chick eggs delivered to support their understanding of lifecycles. They were lucky enough to watch them in the incubator and see the chicks after they had hatched. Year 1 have been focusing on naming parts of the human body, understanding our senses and learning about different groups of animals e.g. reptiles and mammals. They have also been looking at what animals eat and understanding whether they are carnivores, herbivores or omnivores. 

In writing, the children learned the story 'Little Charlie' with a focus on setting description. They produced some fantastic innovated stories where their character walked to a range of different settings. We then moved on to look at recounts. To support our writing, we went on a walk around Wellington. We visited the play park, Wellington Park and the Basins. We then wrote about our walk when we returned to school.

As historians, Ducks class have loved learning and understanding about the Great Fire of London. They have started to understand that this happened in the past and the reasons why it spread so quickly and for so long. They have also started to understand how London changed after this significant event.

Finally, in design and technology, our focus was 'wheels and axles'. The children started off exploring different wheeled objects and identified where the wheels, axles and chassis were. We linked our learning to history (The Great Fire of London), where the children made a fire engine with wheels and axles. 


2021/22 Class News

Summer 1 2022 Class News

 As writers, we have learnt the structure of a persuasive text and have written our own persuasive letters to the Queen! We tried to persuade her in lots of different ways, such as: to allow us to visit the palace, to give us an extra day off school and to give us a free school dinner!

As mathematicians, we have focused this half term on multiplication and division. We have continued to work on our 2, 5- and 10- times tables and have completed lots of practical work on making equal groups, arrays and counting columns and rows. We have also been learning to share an amount.

As historians, we have studied events beyond and within living memory, comparing the lives of the significant historical figures, Neil Armstrong and Christopher Columbus. The children have learnt how to place events on a timeline and that some events will be remembered by their grandparents and great-grandparents. Other events can only be explored through examination of historical sources. We learnt a great deal about the moon landing by interviewing a member of staff who was alive when this significant event happened.

As scientists this half term, we have learnt all about everyday materials, including naming their properties. A highlight of this unit was a test that we completed to explore the impact of heat on changing materials.

As designers we have begun our textiles project where we are learning how to join fabric in different ways. Our final product that we are working towards is making a hand puppet for imaginary play. We have investigated a range of puppets so far and have explored some different joining techniques.

In computing we have learnt how to use a new program called 'JIT'. We have learnt to program software to make objects move and how to debug to correct mistakes.

Spring 2 2022 Class News

As writers, the children have been learning the key features of instructional writing and they have all created their own set of instructions. Some children really used their imaginations and wrote sets of instructions for how to grow dinosaurs and magic beans.

As mathematicians, we have enjoyed learning all about measurement. We have been comparing lengths and heights and have learnt how to measure accurately using a ruler. 

As scientists we have loved our topic on plants. We have used science skills such as observing, making predictions and testing. We have also learnt to name a variety of different plants and can say the parts of a plant and its key function. We can also talk about evergreen and deciduous trees. 

As artists, the children have loved our project exploring pastels. They have been learning about different techniques, such as smudging, and have all created some fantastic spiral pictures. 

Last half term, we learnt about the significant achievements of Arthur Wellesley and his legacy. This half term, we went on a fantastic trip to Wellington monument to reinforce this key learning. The monument was erected to celebrate the victory of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, at the 1815 Battle of Waterloo. The children have impressed us all with the knowledge they have retained. 

Spring 1 2022 Class News

As historians, Ducks have been learning all about Arthur Wellesley and his role in the Battle of Waterloo. Arthur Wellesley lead the British army, along with other countries, to defeat Napoleon in 1815. He was then given the title of Duke of Wellington.

To bring the history alive, we acted out the Battle of Waterloo and made Waterloo medals. These were given to all the British that fought in the battle. Ducks class have shown a great interest and enthusiasm in learning about this part of our history.

As designers, we were very excited to start our new project which is all about ‘Free Standing Structures.’ We began with a WOW starter challenge to see who could build the tallest tower with marshmallows and spaghetti, it was great fun! We then explored a range of construction sets to see if the shape and size of the base made a difference to the strength of the structure. We found out that the wider the base, the stronger the structure. 

As scientists we have been exploring plants and begun our unit by exploring how roots suck up water and minerals from the earth. We did this by using a straw and sucking method to try and attach a piece of paper to it. It was harder than it looks!

We then thought about the stem of the plant and created our own plants using blocks as the stem. We added leaves and flowers so we could see how the stem supports these parts of the plant. We also talked about how the stem transports water and nutrients to the leaves.

Next, we explored how the colour and smell of petals attracts pollinating insects to the flower. We smelt paper flowers that had been perfumed and looked at flowers that we had made that were a dull colour and had no scent.

The following week we recorded what we had found out in our science books.   



Autumn 2 2021 Class News

This term in Ducks Class we have been very creative with charcoal. We used it in different ways to create different effects. It was a messy job!



We have also loved our computing lessons. We are able to programme Beebots with an algorithm (set of instructions) to direct it to reach our chosen destination. We are learning to use the laptops to publish our writing. We have made a poster about our school by adding an image and typing information.




Our key stage one children did an amazing job rehearsing and performing their nativity. We hope you enjoy it: 



Autumn 1 2021 Class News

For our 'WOW' starter in Talk for Writing we went to the park where Mrs David got stuck in the mud. The whole class worked as a team to get Mrs David out!

In Science we had a visit from an alien! The alien’s mission on earth is to find out everything that we know about animals including humans. As part of this mission, we also had an exciting visit from one of our parents who is a doctor. He helped us to answer the questions we had at the start of this unit of work.

In Design and Technology, we have begun our new topic where the outcome will be to make a moving picture using sliders and levers. Over the past few weeks we have been investigating how slider and lever mechanisms work by making some of our own. We have really enjoyed this learning.