Shirley Community Primary & Preschool

Learning for life

Nuffield Road, Chesterton, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, CB4 1TF

01223 712252




Year 1 BLOG 23-24



We have been looking at our local area in Geography. We have what human and physical geographical features are. We had a go at classifying the features on our school grounds and in our area using digital maps. We have also looked at OS maps to find different types of settlements. Ask us what the difference between a village, town and city is! 


We have been exploring seasonal change in our Science lessons this week! We have been learning about deciduous and evergreen trees as you can see from our artwork. We have also explored how the weather changes across the seasons in the UK and how this affects humans and animals. 

Print making!

We have begun exploring the artwork by Hokusai this term. We will be creating a seascape print for our final print. Before we create this, we had a go at experimenting with printing to create different textures. 

Science Week

This week, we have been planning our very own scientific investigations! We decided on our own research question and then planned how we were going to test the properties of different materials. For example, we tested to see how stretchy and how strong certain materials are.

Robins chose to investigate the best material for a chair and Swifts chose to investigate the best material for a teddy bear. Here are some photos of us conducting our investigations! Please ask us about our findings.

World Book Day!

Today, we have had lots of fun dressed as our favourite book characters and nursery rhyme characters. To add to our costumes, we made World Book Day crowns with all of our favourite book characters on. We have also explored a poem called 'Rhythm of Life' by Michael Rosen. We talked the rhythm of the poem and had a go at performing it with actions. 

Safety Week

This week we have been learning about how to keep ourselves and our identity safe online. On Tuesday, it was Safer Internet day. We explored what changes can happen when using technology and online. We thought about how these changes would make us feel. As you can see, we had different ideas for this! This helped us to have a great discussion about why we might be concerned about some of these changes and that sometimes we need to ask an adult before clicking on something. We have also made our own posters for Safer Internet Day. If anything worries us or if we feel unsure about something, we all know we should speak to a trusted adult straight away. 

At the end of the week, some of us did a fantastic job of sharing our learning to the rest of the school during assembly. Well done, Year 1!

Anti-bullying Week!

The children this week have been making some noise about bullying behaviour! We acted out scenarios and discussed if they were bullying behaviours or not. We thought about who we should speak to if we see or experience any bullying behaviour. We enjoyed wearing odd socks and we decorated our classroom windows to celebrate all the ways we are different. We have enjoyed singing along with the Anti-bulling Week song and are going to carry on making a noise about bulling behaviour!


Our learning this November

We have been very excited in our phonics lessons because we now know what a split digraph is! We have also been thorough mathematicians, working systematically to find number bonds within 10. In Science, we have started learning about animals and how they are classified. We used our fantastic noticing skills to search for animals and identify them!


We have been learning all about our amazing bodies this term. We have investigated our senses with an experiment to explore all of our five senses. Please ask us about our findings from our germ experiment using bread too!

We also had a visit from a guide dog! We learnt how guide dogs help people with limited sight in their day to day life. Our visitors explained how we can spot a guide dog and what we should do if we see a guide dog working.

Love for Landscapes

This half term, we have been exploring artwork by John Constable, Vincent van Gogh and John Ndambo. We have been learning how artists plan their paintings through sketches and we have created our own landscape drawings!

Starting Year 1

We have been enjoying exploring our new classrooms! In English lessons, we are using the book 'The Tiger who Came to Tea' to inspire our writing. We have been developing our understanding of number and place value in maths lessons. We have also got stuck in to our foundation subject topics about our amazing bodies, landscape paintings and weather and climate.

Year 1 BLOG 22-23

Eco Week

This week, the children have been learning what the environment is and how we can look after it. We have explored the problem of plastic with our story 'Someone swallowed Stanley'. In our classes we worked together to make an art project to get everyone thinking about the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling plastic. We also really enjoyed learning about how important bees are for plants, animals and our food. We have made posters and bees to help us spread the word to save our bees! We have been very active listeners this week and have asked lots of thought provoking questions.

International Week - Swifts

This week, we have been learning all about France!

We started off the week with a trip to a Parisian Café. We tried a range of French foods including pain au chocolat, croissants,  camembert, baguette and madeleines. We took a vote as a class and decided that our favourite food was....madeleines!  We also brushed up our knowledge of body parts and practiced singing heads, shoulders, knees and toes in French.

On Tuesday, we conducted research into pointillism and the French artist Georges Seurat. We really enjoyed learning about Georges Seurat and were inspired to create some French flags. We also collaborated to paint the Eiffel Tower!

On Wednesday, we learnt all about the Tour de France! Many of us not heard of the Tour de France so we enjoyed learning about the history of the event. We imagined what it would be like to cycle over 3000km in 3 weeks and loved watching Bradley Wiggins (the first British rider to win the Tour de France) cross the finish line on the Champs Elysees. 

On Thursday, we really enjoyed learning  the names of animals in French and used our super knowledge to help us sing 'Les Animaux'. We read 'A walk in Paris' which transported our class to the French capital city. We greatly enjoyed our 'trip' to Paris and wrote postcards to Mr Cattermole about our adventure!

We marked the end of international week with our class assembly which was all about France! We worked really hard throughout the week to become 'French experts' and confidently showed our super learning to the rest of the school. In the afternoon, we visited pre-school and learnt about Bangladesh. We really enjoyed learning some Bengali words and seeing some traditional outfits!



International Week - Robins

This week we have been learning all about Brazil! Mrs Muffato has been teaching us about life in Brazil and how to speak Portuguese. We have learnt how different places in Brazil celebrate carnivals in different ways. We had a go at making masks and dancing with them on as if we were at a carnival. We also learnt about how important the Amazon Rainforest is. We read a legend about a magical creature, called Curupira, who takes care of the wildlife in Brazil. We thought about what messages we could take away from this folklore story. We enjoyed exploring artwork by Tarsila do Amaral. We were inspired to create our own paintings of rainforests and we created a whole class piece of art, inspired by Tarsila's painting 'Workers'. On one day, we created postcards, imaging we had been on holiday to Brazil this week - it feels like we have! On the last day, we shared our learning with nursery and had a go at being little teachers with our Brazil museum in our classroom. In the afternoon, we even got to taste some Brazilian Carrot, kindly made by Mrs Muffato.

The Beauty of Flowers

This term, the children have been learning about William Morris and the process of print making. We have been discussing his different wallpaper designs, explaining why we like or dislike certain patterns. Like Morris, we drew inspiration from nature and had a go at making our own prints inspired by the wallpaper designs.

Diversity Week

This week, Year 1 have been focusing on British values. We explored the idea of responsibility through the story of The Boy Who cried Wolf and the children were fantastic at explaining what general message they could take from the story. We also discussed the values of liberty, tolerance and respect when hearing the story 'The Only Way is Badger'. The children also made some great links between the five British values and our Shirley School rules.

On the final day of Diversity week, we explored the value of rule of law. We talked about why rules are important in balance with the British value of Liberty. They had a go at creating their own set of rules for playtime. During Golden time, the children also realised they already understood what democracy is as we already vote for certain things in our classrooms. 

Robins Class Assembly

Robins were fantastic at sharing their learning today in assembly. Shirley School were very impressed with how well they performed their songs and said their part so clearly to the audience. Well done Robins!

Story map

Here are Swift's and Robin's story maps! Please use them over the weekend to practice retelling your story.

Science Week

During Science Week, the children have planned an investigation to find out what part of a plant grows first. We all made our own hypothesis and have planted beans this afternoon. We chose transparent cups so we can observe the roots growing, as well as the other parts of the plant. We are going to observe our plants each day and track how the different parts of our bean plants grow!

World Book Day

Today the children enjoyed dressing up and telling each other about their favourite characters. Shirely School enjoyed reading The Wizard of Oz and Year 1 spent time thinking about the power of reading and our imaginations. We also spent the day being very creative, making reading posters and decorating our classroom doors to look like our class' favourite books.

Safety Week

Over the week, we have been learning how to keep ourselves safe online. We looked at a story called 'Hanni and the Magic Window' and discussed who we can go to if something online makes us feel uncomfortable. We also talked about our in person and online identities and learnt about different ways we can stay safe online.

Art inspired by Henri Rousseau's paintings 

We have all been very observant artists this half term! We have explored different patterns, complementary colours and different shapes to create some fantastic jungle collages inspired by Rousseau's paintings.

Fire service visit

The fire service visited Shirley today! Fire fighters showed the children what equipment they use and some of us even got to try it on. We all explored a fire engine and had a go at sitting in the back seat. Year 1 did a fantastic job of listening to our visitors and asked lots of interesting questions.

Alien Crash Landing

Today, Year 1 investigated a space craft that had crash landed in the playground. They used their knowledge of the 5 'W's to ask questions about the mysterious event.

Anti-bullying Week

During the week, the children discussed what bullying is and how we can reach out to stop it. We created our own support networks so we know who we can go to if we need help or someone to talk to.


Trip to Wicken Fen

Today the children went on an incredible trip to Wicken Fen Nature Reserve where they engaged in a range of activities such as pond dipping, classifying animals they found, exploring nature and identifying minibeasts.

The Tiger Who Came to Tea

We have been looking at the book 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea' in our English lessons. We have been doing a fantastic job of retelling the story and even innovating it. The children have been very creative, working together to think of adjectives to describe the tiger. We even had a mischievous tiger visit our classrooms!

Exploring our new classrooms

Year 1 Blog 21-22

Dinosaurs and all that rubbish

We have been looking at a story called "Dinosaurs and all that rubbish". The story is about a man who flies to a different planet because he doesn't like living on Earth but when he returns to Earth, the dinosaurs have transformed it so that the man doesn't even recognise it. We practised writing on different planets and stars. We even wrote on party hats and had a party on the last day when the boy and the dinosaurs made friends.


Anti-bullying Week
During the week of the 15th November, both Year 1 classes spent time during our PSHE sessions thinking about kindness. We shared ideas about how we can be kind to each other in the classroom and playground. We also enjoyed listening to stories about kindness. The children helped put together some posters to go on display about the topic. We also shared our school's anti-bullying charter which the school council had helped to develop.


Lost and Found
This week in English we have been looking at a story called "Lost and Found". It is a story about a little boy who finds a penguin and tries to return him to the South Pole. We practised our writing on paper boats and helped the little boy to find the penguin's home...


History Day!

Today in Year 1 we had a whole day of history! We learned all about Queen Elizabeth II and her coronations. We had the opportunity to design our own crowns and colour in our own Union Jack flags. We looked at the timeline of the Queen's life, learned about her family and drew a picture of her.
Christmas Concert
This week we have been learning new songs for the Christmas Concert. We have been trying really hard to learn the songs and the actions and we are really excited to show our adults soon!
This week we have been doing fun activities to celebrate Christmas. We had a party in our classes with music and games and we designed Christmas crowns ready for our Christmas meal on the last day of school. We really enjoyed our yummy Christmas meal with our friends and then enjoyed watching a film afterwards.

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Today in Year 1 we had a Design and Technology day. Our challenge was to design a bridge for the Three Billy Goats Gruff to cross safely and avoid the troll! We learned about structure, strength and stability. We used different techniques to make our bridges stronger: folding, joining and rolling. Look at the pictures to see our bridges!

Jumping Jacks

In PE this week we were looking at how to jump safely. We learned how to bend our knees before jumping and how to land successfully. We tried jumping in and out of hoops to perfect our techniques and had a lot of fun! 

The Odd Egg

This week in English we have been looking at the story of 'The Odd Egg'. We designed our own eggs using crayons, paint and glitter based on the story then we wrote sentences to describe our eggs! Pictures will be coming soon....


We had lots of fun dressing up as our favourite characters this week for World Book Day. We will show you our costumes in our class assembly!


This week we were celebrating Science Week. We did lots of different activities related to our topic of 'Materials'. We learned about different materials and their properties and we had a go at sorting and describing objects based on their materials.


This week in our Forest School session we were looking at the details on a leaf. We went out into the forest to find some interesting leaves and then imprinted them onto playdough to see the veins.

Equality and Diversity Week

Our last week of this half term presented us with exciting opportunity to learn about Equality and Diversity. In Year 1 we asked the question “What is Diversity?”  and spent the week learning what this truly means in its many different aspects.

We started by exploring the meaning of the word “Diversity” through a great story called “Acceptance is My Superpower.” This rhyming story presented our key message for the week:

“To accept each other’s differences is called DIVERSITY. It means we must treat everyone with respect and courtesy.”

Through stories and activities we spent some time learning about our different physical appearances such as hair, eye, and skin colour.

Then we moved onto exploring the idea that regardless of our differences of gender we should be able to make free choices about, for example, the types of toys, colours, activities, and games we like and play. Anyone can like blue! Anyone can like pink!

We looked at the challenges that disability presents and learnt some sign language.

We also talked about our different cultures and religions.

Having thought about how amazing and diverse our world is we revisited our question of the week, what is Diversity? After a week of exploring this subject, the children were experts on what diversity means and how we should treat everyone with respect and courtesy. A great week!


This week we celebrated the Queen's Platinum Jubilee in school. Did you know she has been Queen for 70 years?

We have spent lots of time this week learning about Queen Elizabeth II and what life was like in the 1950s. We created a timeline of Queen Elizabeth II's life and learned some 1950s playground games.

To celebrate the Jubilee we made our own royal crowns out of paper plates, paint and gemstones. We wore our special crowns to the Jubilee Celebration where we sang a special song to our guests. Then we went outside and ate cake together in celebration.