Author: Mrs S Hamilton

Year 1/Reception News

We have had a busy few weeks happily learning together in Year 1/ Reception.

We had a large pile of sticks arrive in our classroom this month and afterwards, we had a lovely class discussion about where the sticks could have come from. Where did they come from? Who left them there? Was it a cheeky elf, Stick Man, a monster, or even some burglars who left them on our carpet but didn’t actually want to steal anything from us? We decided they were magic sticks and the children wrote their own lovely stories about magic sticks, trees or whole forests, and they were so proud to read their stories to their friends afterwards.

The children continue to enjoy their daily ‘Letters and Sounds’ sessions. Every morning the children are split into groups to build their understanding of phonics and reading skills through games and focused spellings with a member of staff. After Christmas, the list of spelling words your child is focusing on that week will be given out every Monday for you to practise together at home.

Our numeracy focus recently has been exploring our counting skills using a number stick. We have counted forwards and backwards from different starting numbers, practised our halving and doubling skills and counting in 2’s, 5’s and 10’s. We have also looked at odd and even numbers from looking at the Numicon shapes together and many children can now read a three-digit number and say whether it is odd or even. Ardderchog!

The story ‘The Snowman’ by Raymond Briggs has been a lovely stimulus to discuss the value of friendship and adventure with someone you trust. The children completed beautiful chalk pictures of a Snowman and discussed where they would like to visit with it. There were some interesting responses to where they would love to go with their new friend too.

Lastly, the children are in the middle of creating a Christmas picture on their Hwb account. The focus has been on children creating and exploring the use of text and images in their digital work. They have also been taught how to have ownership of their creations, by adding their name, date and using a familiar word or phrase as a filename when they save it. We hope you will be able to see their masterpieces soon!

Year Reception/Nursery News

We have enjoyed using stories to help us with our learning this month. We have enjoyed stories by the author Julia Donaldson – Room on the Broom and Stickman. We used Room on the Broom to help us consider friendship. Children created their own broomsticks and talked about who they were friends with in school to join them on their broomstick. We played some fun games in P.E. to help us get to know everyone in the class better like making a giant spider’s web! We have practised retelling the story using stick puppets and role play activities. Reception had to order the pictures from the story and retell it in their own words.










Stickman helped us think about where we live in the world and we enjoyed looking at a globe to find out. We had a discussion to find all of the different ways we can use a stick. Reception used different sized sticks to develop their understanding of measure.

We have worked hard to recognise different numbers and count up to 5 and 10. We like playing different games to help us develop our counting skills. We have lots of maths challenges to complete around the classroom.

In preparation for World Kindness Day on the 13th November, we came up with an act of kindness to do in school each day of the week. We learnt about the story of Diwali and created our own Diva lamps to spread a little light in the world. Reception made their own Rangoli patterns as part of their outdoor learning session.

Year 4/3 News


We have focussed on developing our addition skills in numeracy this month. Indeed, we began by using physical resources to support addition sums. We used dienes, Numicon and Cuisenaire and discussed the advantages and disadvantages of each. The learners decided that the dienes were better for 3, 4 and 5-digit numbers, whereas they preferred the Numicon and Cuisenaire for lower value numbers. Next, we looked at representing worded questions pictorially using the Bar Model method. This required the children to read questions carefully, represent the information in a bar model, and then calculate the sum. Finally, we moved on to a formal written method. The children excelled at using the column method, thanks mainly to the understanding gained from using the physical resources and bar models previously. Many learners were able to complete 5 and even 6-digit addition using the column method, which is a Year 5 skill! Next, we are exploring subtraction, which is the inverse operation to addition. We will follow a similar pattern of physical resources, pictorial representation and finishing with a formal written method. To support your children at home, keep practising those multiplication tables. Also, try to incorporate addition and subtraction sums into conversation.









Our literacy focus this month has been the past tense. We focussed on this skill because many of the children write how they talk, which often is not grammatically correct. We began by exploring the rules for changing words into the past tense, for example some words we add the suffix ‘ed’ and some words we replace a ‘y’ with ‘ied’. The children coped well with the different rules and all enjoyed participating in a Who Wants to be a Millionaire style quiz that checked their understanding. Then, the learners initially changed sentences from the present tense into the past tense, building up to changing whole paragraphs.

We focussed on the past tense in our oracy work too, in order to support our writing. The children retold the key events of our class story to a friend from the perspective of Hassan. The children also discussed what they did over the weekend and wrote this in both English and Welsh.








In guided reading sessions, we have been focussing on Empathy. This has required the learners to consider the feelings of Hassan, the main character in our class book, at different parts of the story. The children have blown me and Miss Willimer away with their responses. Moving forward, the children will be writing from the perspective of Hassan, as if telling a friend what happened to him in Somalia.

Health and Well-being

This month we have focussed on developing and understanding Empathy. This fitted in perfectly with Anti-bullying week as we were able to discuss the feelings of children in different scenarios, as well as the feelings of the teachers. We started by discussing what empathy is and why it is important. Then we used stories and characters to help discuss empathy as this is a safe starter for children to discuss feelings, because it is not them in that situation. The hope is, this will lead to children being more open to share their own feelings and have a better understanding of how others feel. In turn, allowing for them to act in a way that respects how others may feel.

As part of our understanding of Empathy, we learned how to sign the alphabet. The children had great joy in learning to sign their names and started to sign more complicated words. This gave the children a glimpse into how Hassan would be feeling going to a country where he didn’t speak the language. The children also thoroughly enjoyed creating their own signs to support a new child in our class who couldn’t speak English.





I try to incorporate digital learning into learning experiences whenever possible.

During Anti-bullying week we discussed cyber-bullying and how we can stay safe online. The learners were able to create their own Top Tips for dealing with cyber-bullying and Anti-bullying posters.

The learners have utilised their Hwb skills, to retrieve work shared with them, complete the task, and then share it with their partner and myself. In order to complete these tasks, the learners have also used their online research skills. We were able to discuss reliable and unreliable sources.

Year 5/4 News

What a great month we’ve all had in Year 5/4!  Lots of developing new skills, reading, problem solving, artwork, dancing, The Gunpowder Plot, Remembrance Day, Anti-bullying week and more!  We continued with our theme of ‘Belong’, with lots of our learning inspired by the book, King of the Sky by Nicola Davis.








I was super impressed with the amazing refugee presentations, delivered with confidence and enthusiasm.  Well done all!  I can see that a lot of research went into this project and we’ve all learnt so much from it.  The weekly Welsh and English guided reading sessions are going very well and we can see lots of progress being made.  Lots of great work on spellings, punctuation and conjunctions.  With the theme of ‘Belonging’ in mind, the children planned and wrote some fabulous stories.  We also studied examples of story starters so that we can become better authors.  In order to thank Mr Evans for taking the time to talk to us about pigeon fancying, we wrote lovely ‘thank you’ letters.








November saw the introduction of Bar Modelling in maths.  A bar model is a pictorial representation of a problem or concept where bars of boxes are used to represent the known and unknown quantities.  Every day we worked on a variety of bar modelling questions.  See our twitter feed for examples – BARVEMBER.  Everyone enjoyed the NRICH problem solving activities too.  The children have been developing their understanding of division.  They have used the inverse operation (multiplication) to work out questions.  They have also used the ‘bus stop’ method (formal method) to work out questions, including those with remainders.  The children have revised multiplication.  They have worked on multiplying by 1 and 0; multiplying three digits; 9 x tables.  They have also enjoyed using Sumdog to practise many mathematical skills.

With many new restrictions due to Covid, it is more important than ever that the children are confident with using Hwb.  Videos have been uploaded; shared files accessed and edited; J2 Office present was used for the refugee presentation; good use of J2 Blast and J2 message.  J2 Office Writer was used to present the comparison studies of Wales and Italy.  It was also used to create anti-bullying posters.

So that we can develop ourselves as independent learners, we’ve been focussing on self-evaluating our work and making corrections and improvements.

Our school values this month were ‘Trust’ and ‘Caring’.  Many of our class assemblies focussed on these values, and inspired interesting class discussions.  We’ve also been thinking about our worries and what we can do to stop ourselves from worrying.  We now have a class song to help with this and never fails to make us smile – Bob Marley, Don’t worry about a thing.

Our new theme of ‘Believe’ has now started.  In response to the children’s suggestions, we are learning about the Hindu festival of Diwali.  They have enjoyed dancing, yoga, listening to the story of Rama and Sita, painting mehndi designs, looking for symmetry in rangoli patterns and made beautiful diva lamps.  We will also be finding out about the Jewish festival of Hanukkah and the true meaning of Christmas.
















Year 6/5 News

This month we have continued with our theme work on Belong.

‘The Celts – Read all about it.’

We have completed a rich task on the Celtic / Roman battle on Watling Street.  We have learnt about the Celtic Queen Boudicca and how she fought against the Romans.  We have learnt about how the Roman invasion changed the lives of Celtic people as well as analysing the battle from both sides.  We have focussed on determining whether evidence is bias and the differences between facts, beliefs and opinions.  We completed our rich task by writing a newspaper report on the battle of Watling Street from our chosen perspective.







World War II

We have been learning about World War II, how it started and how it affected the people of Swansea and Wales.  We have explored the Three Night Blitz and how it destroyed much of Swansea town centre and the affects it had on the residents.  We have drawn charcoal sketches using old photographs of the Swansea Blitz bomb sites and have written poems about what the people would have seen, heard and felt.  We used the ipad app Typedraw to create a multimedia picture using our art work and our poem.


In addition, we have been learning about the use of parachutes in World War II. We have linked this learning to science and have been conducting investigations to determine whether the size of a parachute can affect the time it takes to land – using our understanding of air resistance and surface area. We have been discussing why some groups results did not reflect what the science says.










Maths and Numeracy

We have been learning about negative numbers, how to find temperature differences and how to add and subtract negative numbers on a number line.  We have continued to consolidate our skills during our outdoor learning sessions by carrying out tasks linked to the average temperatures of different countries that the refugee character from our outdoor learning story ‘The boy at the back of the class,’ travelled through to get from Syria to the UK.


We have also been exploring a range of addition and subtraction strategies. We have been developing our quick mental recall of number facts and learning how different strategies can be used for addition and subtraction depending on the numbers. We have been practising drawing number lines, using physical resources, bar modelling and formal column methods to develop our understanding and skills fully.  We have also been using Sumdog to help develop our recall of number facts.




Anti-bullying week

During anti bullying week we explored what bullying means and reasons why people get bullied. We used our class novel ‘Wonder,’ a series of films and the Autism Superheroes story to explore how people would feel when being bullied and how to help and support them.  We have also looked at the different roles associated with bullying and how we can all play our part to Unite against bullying.




Relationships and self-image

We have been exploring community and the importance roles that family and friends play in our lives. We recognised that we can belong to many different communities and can play different roles in each one.  We have created conceptual art linked to community and what it means.


We have looked at the positive roles that others play in our lives and how they can help us with our worries and stress.  In addition, we have been exploring what is good about ourselves.  We have used the story ‘Ruby and the rubbish bin,’ to identify what is good about us from our perspectives and our peers.












We have been working hard to develop our understanding of 1st person descriptions with Mrs Martin, learning how to describe ourselves, our likes and dislikes and to give reasons for our opinions.  We have also been watching the series ‘Y Pod Antur,’ ‘The adventure pod,’ and learning a range of new vocabulary by listening to the adventures that take place.