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Year 1- Michelle Obama Class



Welcome to Class 1 at de Vere primary school, our class is taught by Miss Tsoi and supported by Mrs Patterson, Mrs Swanwick and Miss Inkley.

Year 1 is the beginning of our pupils’ journey into the National Curriculum. We ensure there is a smooth transition for our children as they move on from the Reception year into Key Stage 1. During the autumn term we continue to learn through purposeful play and carefully transition into a more structured learning style when the children are ready.

In Year 1 at de Vere, we encompass the schools vision to promote a love of learning to continue throughout the children’s lives. We view each child as individuals and aim to enable them to be skilled communicators, creative and active learners who know and remember more.

Our Learning

At de Vere primary school, we follow a wide-ranging curriculum but most of all, we have lots of fun! We take great pride in providing children with rich learning experiences to compliment our curriculum and will often plan exciting and enriching trips. Learning is carefully considered within our Year 1 classroom and is delivered through; purposeful play, group work and whole class teaching sessions.

Our half-termly topics are:

Autumn 1 – Toys

Autumn 2 – Hedingham Castle

Spring 1 – Enchanted woodland

Spring 2 – The world is our playground

Summer 1 – Decades of Design

Summer 2 – Let’s go on a journey


Our PE lesson is each Friday led by a specialist teacher from Premier Sports. Please ensure your child is dressed in their PE kits on this day. Earrings must be taken out for all PE lessons and long hair must be tied up.

Class Blog

25th May 2023

This week, Obama Class have combined mathematics and computing to learn all about positional language. One of the fundamental concepts explored during this year is understanding directions, particularly left and right. What better way to distinguish between left and right than to dance to the Cha Cha slide! The children impressed me with their dancing!

Obama Class were introduced to the fascinating world of algorithms through the use of Beebots, our educational robots (kindly donated to us by Friends of de Vere). These little robots provide a hands-on experience that sparks curiosity and nurtures early computational thinking skills. The Beebots provide a tangible platform for exploring algorithms, enabling the children to see the direct results of their instructions in the physical movement of the beebots. 

12th May 2023

Step into the world of William Morris, the famous designer and artist! In this exciting project, Year 1 have started to explore the colourful and intricate patterns that Morris is known for. From floral motifs to geometric shapes, we’ve learnt how Morris created beautiful designs that were inspired by nature and the world around him. The children have explored printing with soft and hard materials and delved deeper into Morris designs. The children will have the opportunity to create their own Morris-inspired wallpaper. Join us on a journey through the world of design and discover the magic of William Morris!

In Year 1, kindness is key! Our classroom is a place where we value and encourage helping one another. Through myHappymind, we teach our students to be kind, compassionate, and supportive members of our community. From sharing materials to offering a helping hand, children learn the importance of being there for one another. It has been wonderful to see the children showing their character strengths of kindness and teamwork during their art lesson this week.

28th April 2023

Welcome back Obama Class! This week in maths has been all about arrays. The children have been learning to identify rows and columns and say how many in each of these. We then moved onto writing repeated addition number sentences and finding two ways to describe the arrays. These small steps will help us to learn times tables and division for next year and it has been great to see the children show an interest in the multiplication symbol.

In our history topic, we have been learning about homes in the past. We started by exploring what our homes look like today and then we went on the compare the features of different houses. This week we learnt about Queen’s Victoria’s reign and how the time in which she ruled was called the Victorian era. The children explored items found in a Victorian home and how people lived in that time.

 31st March 2023

It has been a busy two weeks in Obama Class! In PSHE the children completed their unit on Financial Capability where they learnt about real life situations. The children learnt about the different things families need to pay for and how much things cost. The children have wowed me with their understanding of money and can tell you the difference between a debit card and credit card. We finished our unit with a lesson on budgeting. Everyone had 50p to spend at our classroom fayre and once they run out of money it was gone! We had brilliant stall leaders who made sure it ran smoothly too. 

In maths, the children have been learning about capacity and volume. We explored how many cups full would fill a jug and then calculated how many cups would be needed for 2 jugs and 3 jugs. There was so much maths talk happening which is putting us in good stead for our next unit on multiplication and division.

Enjoy your Easter break!

17th March 2023

Obama Class have had a busy two weeks in school with lots of different activities happening. The children enjoyed our trip to the park and it was lovely to see the children playing together and showing positive social and team work skills. Next week we will be writing recounts of our time there, where the children will learn to sequence events, use time adverbials and spell past tense verbs using ‘ed’.

In music we have learnt to play notes D, E, C and F on the glockenspiels. First the children learnt about pitch and how sounds range from low to high. Then the children improvised by making their own scores of music and played them on the glockenspiels!

3rd March 2023

Obama have had a great first two weeks back at school after the half term break. We have been learning and following the ‘de Vere way’ for children to show appreciation and manners, listening, walking and lining up. Our class have been brilliant and we hope to keep it up!

In maths we have moved onto a new unit ‘Place Value to 50’. We started this week by practising to count forwards and backward to 50. The children then explored practical resources to make numbers 20, 30, 40 and 50 and they have been identifying how many tens and ones are in these numbers. The children then progressed onto representing these numbers through drawing and writing.

10th February 2023

Obama Class have had a busy past two weeks! The children started an art unit called ‘colour chaos’. They could remember lots from their learning last year and named primary and secondary colours as well as naming some colour combinations. In one lesson, the children learnt about Jackson Pollock, an American artist who used drip painting. The children learnt that he placed his canvases on the floor to feel close to his work – so we decided to do the same!

In English, we have been learning about non-fiction texts and will be writing our own information texts. As part of this unit, the children have learnt to be researchers and find key information about four woodland animals. Miss Tsoi hid 4 posters around the school and the children were excited to find each one and collect information! We will be planning and writing our information texts by the end of the week.

Obama Class have had a great half term learning about the ‘enchanted woodland’, in Spring 2 our new topic will be ‘the world is our playground’.

27th January 2023

Obama Class have had a busy two weeks! The children finished their DT project ‘moving pictures’ and we are so pleased with their end results! The children worked through the whole process of investigating, skills task, designing, making and evaluating to make their moving pictures. The children chose a part of the Little Red Riding Hood story and which mechanism to use. Some children chose to use a slider to move their character through the forest. Other children used a wheel to make the wolf look like he’s getting closer. There were also some levers used to move characters and objects within their story settings. The children took a lot of time and care making their pictures and they look brilliant.

13th January 2023

Obama Class have settled back into school life after the Christmas break with their new topic ‘enchanted woodland’. In DT, the children have started their unit on moving pictures. We started this unit by exploring different mechanisms and talking about how different every day objects move. The children have learnt three mechanisms: wheels, sliders and levers. The children were then faced with the task of making these mechanisms using card, scissors and split pins. It was a fiddly task that the children thought would be very tricky! The children spoke about the difficulties they faced and how they overcame them. It has been brilliant to see the children using a NED mindset and persevering when faced with such challenge. Next the children will design and make their own moving picture for the story ‘Little Red Riding Hood’. 

9th December 2022

The children in Obama Class have been learning lots in their RE lessons this half term. We have explored the question: How does a celebration bring a community together? The children first identified different celebrations then we dived deeper into Christian and Islam faiths. We looked at how people celebrate Christmas and Eid and came together as a class to do some traditional activities. Here the children are decorating their glass lights for Eid and they also made Christingles for Christmas. The children have also been decorating gingerbread men and making Christmas themed pictures to decorate our classroom.

25th November 2022

Wow what a busy two weeks we have had! This half term we have started our ‘digital art’ unit in computing. This week the children have been recreating Henri Matisse’s artwork ‘the snail’. The children are learning to name and use the correct tools to create their digital art, so far they know; line and shape tools, spray effect and paint fill.

In maths, the children have been learning to subtract in a variety of ways. We have been using objects, drawing by crossing out and on a number line.

In English, we have been learning the story of ‘Prince Cinders’. In this lesson, you will see the children acting out different scenes in the story

11th November 2022

Obama class have had a great start to our new topic ‘Castle Hedingham’. In history, the children have been learning all about castles, naming different parts of a castle and who may have lived in and around castles in the medieval era. We have learnt new vocabulary: battlement, portcullis, arrow slits, drawbridge, moat and turrets and know how and why these were used. The children took part in a royal banquet where they role played being ‘royals’ and ‘servants and thought about the pros and cons of being in the different roles. We ended our topic with a trip to Hedingham Castle!

7th October 2022

This week in Obama class, we have been continuing our work on comparing numbers within 10 using symbols; < (less than), > (greater than) and = (equal to).  The children have impressed me with their knowledge of these symbols and how they are using them independently in their work! Obama class have used practical resources to help but can also write their own comparison sentences!

In science, Obama class are learning all about materials. So far we have learnt their different names and properties such as bendy, stiff, rough, smooth, transparent and opaque. This week we investigated to see which materials would float and which would sink. There were some lovely ideas and explanations as we considered air pockets, shape and weight of the different objects. The children made their predictions and recorded their results in their books.

23rd September 2022

Obama Class have started off the year with a history topic - ‘History of Toys’. The children have been learning about toys from the past all the way back to the Victorian era up until today. It has been interesting to learn that some toys were made long ago but are still played with now. We investigated the making of ‘crayola crayons’ and identified many similarities between then and now. We wondered who best to ask about toys from the past and of course the perfect people were our grandparents! The children loved our grandparents afternoon, where they shared their learning and asked their most important research questions. Thank you to all those who came along and shared their most special toys with us!


Phonics is a significant part of our learning in key stage 1 and largely supports children’s reading and writing skills with increasing independence and confidence. In Year 1 we follow our impressive phonics scheme ‘Phonics Shed’ and is taught daily for 30 minutes.

In June, the children will sit a statutory Phonics Screening assessment. This is aimed to give teachers and parents information on how children are progressing with their blending skills.



“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.”— Dr. Seuss

Reading with young children regularly is a powerful thing and has many benefits for children; comfort and reassurance, confidence and security, relaxation, happiness and fun. Giving a child time and full attention when reading them a story builds self-esteem, vocabulary, feeds imagination and even improves their sleeping patterns.

As a school, we are keen to promote a love of reading and share a range of different stories together. Your child will take home a phonics book for them to read and apply their phonic knowledge and a sharing book for you to read together. Children can change their reading books after it has been read at least twice or when they wish to.

Reading is a great habit. Like all habits, it needs repetition and regularity to establish itself. Because it needs quiet time, and our lives today are very short of this, parents need to create it for their children. This means consciously making time and we ask that you read with your children at home at least 4 times a week (or more!). Parents are asked to log their reading in reading logs.

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