Spotlight on: Year 1

Spotlight on: Year 1

Mrs Carol Kew shares stories from Year 1

This term Year 1 pupils have been learning about Antarctica and reading The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear and, this week, presented their work to their parents in a class assembly.

The girls turned the classroom into a museum and invited their parents to visit on Wednesday morning. It was great fun preparing the museum and the girls enjoyed showcasing all of the work they have been doing this term. The museum’s exhibits included the girls’ learning in Science, Art, English, History, Geography, Mandarin and Computer Science.

In presenting their work the girls had to speak audibly and fluently, which they did extremely well, and even more daunting on the day was the fact that no one knew what questions they were going to be asked. The girls were thrilled to wear labels with their names and job titles (curator) printed on them. On the day, the girls explained to the museum visitors that there were four areas to see and that they could wander around and ask as many questions as they wished, and that the curators would do their best to answer them. People from all over the world have visited the museum and so the girls welcomed visitors by singing a welcoming song in Mandarin.

Computer Science

This year Mr Andrew Severy, Junior School Computer Science Co-ordinator, was the guest speaker at the class assembly and he explained, with Kiana and Tilly’s help, the excellent Computer Science work the Year 1 girls have accomplished:

"This half term the girls have been learning how to produce electronic storybooks incorporating images and sound based on their class text, The Owl and the Pussycat. The pages from the original book were scanned as image files and each pupil was recorded using a microphone whilst they read one of the lines from the story. In pairs they then compiled their electronic story, using Microsoft PowerPoint.  The girls learnt how to insert images onto slides in the correct sequence, how to insert sound files to match the images, and how to set them to play automatically at the appropriate moment."


As one of the main characters in The Owl and the Pussycat is an owl one of the museum exhibits was all about owls. Year 1 recently had a visit from the Raptor Foundation and saw four owls (as well as an American hawk). It is so important for the girls to have hands-on experience in this way and to be able to observe birds at close quarters, especially when they fly! The girls have been writing non-fiction books about owls, describing the birds and their habitats, and Alice and Serena dissected pellets and showed everyone the different bones they found inside.


The next exhibit was all about penguins: where they live, what they eat, and their life cycle. There were models of penguins that the girls had made in their Art lessons, showing the penguins in a huddle. In English they had read Jill Tomlinson’s book, The Penguin who wants to find out, about Otto the penguin, and enjoyed writing their own penguin stories. In fact everything you wanted to know about penguins could be found out on this table!

Bong Tree Island

The girls also made papier-mâché versions of the Bong Tree Islands (where the owl and the pussycat sail to, to find the pig with the ring at the end of his nose), and were able to show how a map could be drawn as a bird’s eye view. The girls had taken birds eye view photos of objects in the classroom and visitors were able to guess what they were. The girls also enjoyed reading Julia Donaldson’s The Further Adventures of The Owl and The Pussycat.


The final exhibit centred on the work the girls had done on Antarctica and included an experiment to show how the majority of an iceberg is below the surface of the water. They told the very sad story about Captain Robert Falcon Scott and what happened to him at the South Pole. Through this work they learnt that we find out about the past from a variety of different things that have been left behind, for example, diaries and paintings from the time. Of course, visiting the Scott Polar Museum in Cambridge gave the girls an opportunity to look at objects from the past and talk about what they may have been used for.

The Year 1 class is looking forward to beginning another topic next term, and this time it will be all about clothes and materials; who wore what and when and how materials are made and joined together. Even though it will (hopefully) be lovely summer sunshine, we shall be knitting Eeyore (who lives in the Year 1 classroom) another colourful winter scarf and hat!