Childeric Primary School

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Year 1

In the Autumn Term, our first topic is ‘All About Me’. During this topic the children explore how we grow and change.  The children use their five senses to help them discover things about the world.  Children observe themselves in mirrors to paint self-portraits.  They enjoy singing different songs that help them remember things about themselves, for example ‘Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’, ‘Five Senses’ and ‘Dry Bones’.  In Design and Technology the children use plans to create a room based on one from their own homes.  They learn how to assemble and combine materials to furnish their boxes.  Also, they compare our homes and household objects to those from the past.
Our second topic is ‘Toys’.  This topic builds on the knowledge acquired by the children in the first half term.  We visit the Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood to compare our toys with those children would have played with in the past.  The children observe the different materials used to make older toys and have the opportunity to make their own moving toy in a workshop.  In Music we sing about Pinocchio, adding our own movements and instruments.  In Art we investigate different materials through paper weaving and learn how to dye fabric.

The children enjoy the book ‘Owl Babies’ as an introduction to our first topic of the Spring Term, ‘Day and Night’.  We use the small hall to experience total darkness and both classrooms have an area where the children can explore different light sources, such as torches.  In Art, we learn how to mix primary colours in order to make shades of light and dark.  We use these mixtures to create silhouette pictures on a sunset background.  In Geography the children think about how they use their local environment in the day, drawing their routes to school and discussing the different features of the local area.  The music we used in Dance lessons help to create days of sunshine and fog.
We also use music (particularly rain songs), to introduce our second topic this term, ‘The Secret of Rain’.  Our work is based around the story of Lila who lives in a Kenyan village desperate for rain.  The children explore the sound of rain and create their own ‘soundscapes’, using their bodies and a variety of musical instruments.  Following on from this, we write our own rain songs that are accompanied by actions.  We set up our own versions of Lila’s hut in the classrooms that allow children to role-play aspects of the story and explore the problems faced by Lila and her family.  Our work helps us to discover that all living things need water to survive, including fruit and vegetables.  We walk to Deptford Market to see an amazing variety of fruit and vegetables on the stalls there.  On our return to school, we paint these, and cut them open to explore the insides.  We also enjoy tasting them very much!

Our first topic of the term is ‘It’s Growing!’  We learn what plants need to grow and plant our own beans and sunflowers.  We also watch butterflies and tadpoles grow in the classrooms with great interest.  In Art lessons we draw, paint and sculpt our own ‘Fantasy Gardens’ to tie in with our Science and Literacy work.  Both classes enjoy trips to Greenwich Park to explore the wildlife there and also to extend our knowledge about London.  We learn many different songs about plants and other growing things in Music lessons and greatly enjoy putting all of our knowledge about growing together in our work on ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’.  

The final term of the year is spent studying two topics.  The first of these is ‘Moving’, in which the children learn to observe, describe and compare movements and discuss speed and direction.  In Design and Technology, we make moving pictures which help the children develop an understanding of simple mechanisms.  We are also lucky enough to visit the London Transport Museum as part of our learning.  Singing our favourite transport songs is something we all enjoy also.