In the Cygnet class

Term 1, Week 4

The Cygnets have been busy writing their own versions of 'The Tiger who came for tea' by Judith Kerr. We have had 'The Dog who came for doughnuts', 'The Bunny who came for breakfast' and even 'The Walrus who came for white wine'! The children have planned their writing in sections and have started writing their beginning, middle and endings. They are focusing on using ambitious vocabulary and remembering basic punctuation alongside letter formation...what a lot to remember! Well done Cygnets!

The Cygnets are thoroughly enjoying our new Math's scheme, Can do Maths. Each day we are working through many challenges using apparatus and ensuring each session is hands on with something for everyone. The children are loving this new way of Maths and love the games that follow on completion of the 'Solve it and Challenge it' parts. 

We have also been making roundhouses and discovering lots about the Celts. The children have been taking part in observation drawings, they have been looking at artefacts from the British Museum and asking plenty of questions about this group of people that lived so long ago. 

In RE, the children have been discussing what does God look like and using words to describe our creator. We have spent time talking about God's creation and used all of our senses to walk around the field and discover some of these creations. In Computing, we are continuing to learn how to stay safe online. 

Reading has well and truly recommenced and the Cygnets' word count is increasing hugely. Don't forget to encourage your children to read their Accelerated Reader book, quiz on it (information in the yellow reading record book) and change their book. They may even receive a certificate at Wednesday's assembly. Keep up the excellent work Cygnets, we are so proud at how you have tackled learning this term! 


Term 1 Week 2

Welcome back everybody! It's so great to be back in school after having such a strange year. We have loved welcoming and listening to the children's wonderful tales from the holidays. It has also been delightful to see parents and guardians at drop off and collection times within the school walls! The Reception children have settled beautifully and it is so lovely to see all of their smiling faces despite how exhausted they must be coming to the end of their first full week, well done Reception! 

Our priority this week has been the children's well-being and getting back into a routine however the children have managed a full week's worth of learning. The Cygnets have responded really well to all of the improvements and new zones of learning around the classroom and have been using time after lessons to explore and challenge themselves further, we are already so proud of each of them.

This week, we introduced our Celtic topic – Brave, to the children and are steadily teaching them about who the Celts were and gearing them up for lots of fun exploring different aspects of Celtic life. We have had two hot and sticky PE sessions with the fabulous Mrs Belcher and have worked really well in team games. The very famous picture book, 'The Tiger who came to Tea" by Judith Kerr has become a real hit in the Cygnet classroom this week, the children have not only written tea party invitations, shopping lists full of goodies they would like at a tea party but we have also explored the characters in detail using powerful vocabulary to describe each character. Phonics has resumed and the children loved learning a new sound and reading our Read, Write Inc books aloud and to each other and each child has worked hard on their handwriting. What a fabulous start to the Autumn Term, well done Cygnets!


… and the Nest 

Welcome to all the new Reception children.  You are wonderful!  We have had a fabulous few days. We have been Getting to Know You and spending happy times reading stories, exploring the resources in our special garden and in the classroom and chatting through it all.  This is an especially vociferous, energetic bunch and we are a busy team.  The sun has been kind and we have enjoyed learning in the new Nest with the doors wide open.  It is great to have our own space.

We have read The Ugly Duckling and stuck soft grey feathers to little cygnet outlines, listened to the adventures of Borka, the featherless gosling, and tomorrow we will watch delightful Whistleless, the story of a little bird who has lost her whistle.  In Phonics, we are learning the pictures of each of the letters in preparation for starting on the sounds next week.  We have already been using our new Message Centre for secret symbols.  We have built a house in our garden with milk crates and big blocks and need to present the special marks to get in - writing for purpose.  Forest School today was a new adventure.  We played hide and seek behind the beautiful beech trees and hunted for bugs under logs and leaves. 

Well done to you all.  It has been a big week and you have been amazing.  We can't wait for more!



2020/2021 Summer term


Term 6, Week 3 and 4

Continuing with our Percy the Park Keeper topic, the children and the teachers received a wonderful delivery of ducklings. Our new little class members have settled well into school life and are ensuring that the Cygnets are keeping on top of their jobs and giving them as much attention as they can get throughout the day. In Science, the children have been learning and writing about the life cycle of a duck and are experiencing this first hand. We are so lucky to be completely surrounded by glorious countryside and on Monday morning we took ourselves across the road to Thyme for a tour of the land. We were met by Charlie, the head chef who took us through the private residence where we met a friendly Mrs Hibbert, some baby chicks, saw the bee hotels, heard all about the barn owl and her six chicks, meandered down the River Leach and met Steve, the head Gardener who talked us through the gardens, the up keep, the cutting gardens and the kitchen gardens. Together Charlie and Steve explained how Thyme grow their food that they serve daily. The children learned lots about different berries, fruits and vegetables and had so many questions. We also got to meet the two rams who were responsible for the birth of forty lambs. As we were leaving Mr Hibbert popped out to say hello and brought two lambs to meet an excited Cygnet class! Thank you to Damian who organised our wonderful trip, we look forward to many more. The children have completed their wonderful information booklets which are packed with illustrations, captions and interesting facts about their chosen subject. They will be focusing on poetry about nature and dabbling with words to write their own. We have had lots of time working with the children over the last week and working out any gaps in their learning to inform our planning and interventions needed over the next year. The children have done an amazing job at staying focused and working through various assessments, well done Cygnets.

Term 6, Week 1 and 2

The children have been exploring the beloved series of Percy the Park Keeper by Nick Butterworth giving us a perfect starting point to explore wildlife and also get outdoors! The children have already visited Southrop park and used simple fieldwork and observational skills to study the geography of our village and simple mapwork to describe routes to and from school. Today we are off to visit Pittville Park, a very different park. Not only will the children be discussing the differences and similarities between Southrop and Pittville but they will also be tree spotting, bird watching, stopping for ice-cream and a play but also discussing ways to improve our village park alongside really getting to know the role of a park keeper.

In English, we are thoroughly enjoying reading about Percy and all of his adventures but we are also delving further and further into non-fiction texts. The children are now experts in what nonfiction texts are and they can tell you the features of a non-fiction text, therefore we thought it would be only fair for all of the Cygnets to produce their own information book based on a park animal, plant, tree or flower. The children have started planning, physically making their books and will be writing and illustrating these books over the next week. It is wonderful to see the children happy, content, engaged and ready to learn!

In Science the children have been using the Percy stories as a starting for an investigation about different materials. At the end of term the children will be designing a waterproof outfit for Percy. Yesterday the children read Badger’s Bath. The badger has spilt a lot of his bath water onto the floor around him, the children had to find the best material to clean up the spill. It was the perfect weather to play with water!

In Mathematics the children have been focused on telling the time. The Year 2 children have made fantastic steps in their learning and can tell the time to 5 minutes quite accurately now. The Year 1s have been looking at the different ways to tell time and are telling the time o’clock and half past. All children would benefit from telling the time regularly on an analogue clock or watch so please keep asking the time at home.

Reception Update

Reception have made the most of the glorious sunshine (until today!) and taken every opportunity to be outside. We are very much enjoying learning about parks with Percy the Park Keeper and are each writing our own non-fiction books on park animals. Our little garden is our Reception Park for this term. We have swept it and weeded, cleared the flower beds, cleaned out the sand and water trays and every day keep it spick and span. We had a park opening party during Golden Time at the end of last week and invited the Cygnets to come and play. The Park looked splendid and the afternoon was all the more fun with Mrs Tipple’s bubble machine and biscuits, cakes and juice. There will be lots of ideas to bring back from our visit to Pittville Park.


Here are some pictures from their very soggy day.

Term 5, Week 5 and 6

The children have been creating their own castles.  They started off learning different skills to make towers, turrets, drawbridges, doors, arrow holes and windows. They then decided who to work with and started designing their castles, quickly moving onto the construction stage where the children put into practise their newly acquired skills.  They finished off the project by taking a photograph and evaluating their building. 

In English all the children have been using the story The Queen’s Knickers.  They have designed their own pair of knickers for the queen, thought about what might happen if she came to visit, written some questions, and a newspaper report.  They also wrote an information poster about castles, making sure they had added a diagram, labels and a fact box.

In Maths there has been a complete focus on fractions.  The children have been finding ¼, ½, 2/4, and 1/3 of shapes and numbers.  The Year 2s have also been thinking about equivalent fractions.  Ask the children to show you their skills with a chocolate bar!

Our lovely RE lessons have continued on the field after PE.  The children have been learning about how they should care for others and the world and why this matters.  They thought about friendship and families, and have learnt about what Christians believe about caring for the world through the story of the Good Samaritan and the Creation story. They learnt how Hindus show they care for their brothers and sisters during the festival of Raksha Bandhan.  They also learnt how Mother Teresa cared for the world. 

The children’s unit on Turrets and Tiaras has concluded with a trip to Sudeley Castle today… we will pop some more photos on the website later of their trip!


Reception Update

Reception have been having so much fun with English.  Continuing with our term topic, Turrets and Tiaras, we have explored everything about the Queen using The Queen’s Knickers, by Nicholas Allan, and information books.  We know the Queen lives in Buckingham Palace and has homes across the British Isles, she enjoys riding, broadcasts to us all at Christmas, has garden parties, walks with her corgis and had happy times aboard the royal yacht, Britannia. We all decorated some knickers especially for the Queen and there is a delightful string across the classroom - some sparkly, some themed and some collaged.  This week we have looked at poems by AA Milne - The King’s Breakfast and Buckingham Palace.  We had lots of fun chanting the lines, know all about Alderney cows and very much enjoyed watching the changing of the guard on the classroom screen.


In Maths we have made lots of addition stories using First, Then and Now.  We are beginning to think about subtraction in the same way too.  We are counting well beyond 20 and using number bonds wherever possible.  We have tussled with tangrams and made pictures using 2D shapes. 


We have finished our castles in DT, ticking off important criteria such as strong construction, doors and windows.  All are very different but each one is super.  Our trip to Sudeley Castle will be a fabulous finale to a great topic and a fun way to mark the half term break.


Term 5, Week 2 and 3

“Another best day ever!” A quote from a child yesterday! The last fortnight has been packed with so much learning and obviously so much fun. Yesterday the children had a STEM morning learning about coding and robots. The children were able to practise their computing, design and maths skills which resulted in a moving and talking robot that could travel across the classroom or along a map.

The children have been thinking about different habitats. They have been using their investigation skills and research skills to discover what lives where and why. They have started to create their posters about these habitats in mixed aged groups. There has been some fantastic work and the Year 2 children have really stood out as fab leaders.

In English the children have been thinking about fairy tales and traditional tales. They have looked at a range of texts, recognising that the stories are not always the same and found other versions of the stories in different settings. Snow White in New York was a favourite. They are now creating their own traditional tale based on The Three Billy Goats Gruff.

In Maths the children have been thinking about pattern, shape and movement. Ask you children the best way to remember clockwise and anticlockwise, or left and right. They have also been practising their sharing and grouping skills.

On top of all this they have also had a hula hooping lesson, swimming, balanceability, PE at the field, ocarina and Numbers Day!

Reception Update

Reception have made the most of our temperate sun and rain. We have been very much enjoying Jack and the Beanstalk, and as well as telling and retelling the story in our Reception garden, we have planted beans and sunflowers (in the photo here) and are eagerly watching and waiting for shoots. We have threaded green pasta tubes onto spaghetti stems, laced golden harps, and rolled a super long stalk pressed with forty leaves from playdough.

Now we are listening to the story of Jim and the Beanstalk, a ‘sequel’ to Jack’s adventures. We have been reflecting on the sad Giant who is toothless, short-sighted and bald but is happily assisted by kind young Jim as he scales up and down the beanstalk visiting the oculist, dentist and wigmaker. We will measure our Giant’s head for glasses, new teeth and a wig and will write a thank you letter to Jim from the delighted, fully restored Giant.

We have had super ‘extra’ activities. We all picked up hula hooping very easily with great guidance and swung the colourful rings in games and challenges. The sun shone on us until the skies opened and we were sent inside by hailstones! Numbers Day was great fun. Having chalked around each other in the playground and measured and compared heights, we marched off to the fields and made shapes with flowers, leaves and twigs. After lunch, the Swans used their capacity learning to mix smoothies in the playground and we counted coins to pay for them. Thursday was coding robots - wow! First, we built a chicken with the clever robot blocks and then programmed it to move and turn and cluck. Next, we used the blocks to make a cat and steered it on a course around a map. It was a lot of fun and a fabulous all-round learning experience.


Upcoming trip to Sudeley Castle and Gardens

We will visit Sudeley Castle Gardens on Friday, 28th May. Sudeley Castle and Gardens, is setting the scene for a mighty migration of elephants grazing the grounds. We will get to see all thirty enormous, life-sized elephant sculptures from a trail through the gardens. We will be some of the first people to see the elephants before they mobilise to form a 100-strong herd in London's royal parks this summer. We will enjoy the beautiful gardens and will picnic beside the wonderful adventure playground that stands tall in castle form enhancing our knowledge from this term's topic, Turrets and Tiaras. Please ensure your children have clothes appropriate for the unpredictable weather. Thanking you, Mrs Tipple x


Term 5 Week 2 30/04/21

Our topic is Turrets and Tiaras.  The children are learning about kings and queens through British history and different types of castles.  They will also be focusing on nursery rhyme and fairy tales.  The children will be learning about the different characters in fairy tales, heroes and villains and making sure they add wonderful adjectives to their own versions.

The Year 1 and 2 children have started their swimming lessons.  Although there was some anxiety about this the children have been amazing and the swimming teachers can see some great learning too.  Please be mindful that all the children are doing a lot of sport this term so please make sure they have their water bottles, sun hats and sun cream in school.

In Maths the children will be focusing on in grouping (multiplication) and sharing (division), looking at parts of shapes and number (fractions) and making sure they know their left and right.  Ask them about the special trick!

In science we are thinking about what makes us ‘alive’.  The children have loved the word excretion! The children will be learning about different life processes and habitats.

In RE the children are learning how they are all special and why Christians believe God loves all of his children.

We are hoping to visit Sudeley Castle.  The Kitchen Club started off this topic fabulously with a feast fit for kings and queens.  The children are also be learning to play the ocarina.  


We are having great fun with our fabulous term topic, Turrets and Tiaras.  It is the perfect entry into an exploration of traditional tales.  We have read, re-read, acted, told and written the story of the Princess and the Pea, as well as given it our own twists, and enjoyed a rather tense rendition of Rapunzel at story time.  Now we can sing together again, we are enjoying nursery rhymes and have learned all the verses of Sing a Song of Sixpence.  We have the most beautiful Princess dresses and are playing castles outside in our special garden.  We have made sparkly crowns, playdough pies and pea cakes for the King and are integrating our Maths, counting out twenty at every opportunity.

Next week we will start on Jack and the Beanstalk.  Our castle will become the giant’s home with golden coins, eggs and harp.  We have already explored mixing greens and painted paper sheets ready to cut into beanstalk leaves to grow up to the classroom ceiling.  We will plant our own beans both inside and out in the garden and watch how they develop.

We are getting super active with Forest School, Balanceability and PE lessons up at the field.  We are a very busy, very lucky and very happy team


Pictures of: Southrop Castle -  enjoying a hoola hoop workshop - making castles in the clouds! 

Term 4 Week 1 26/02/21

The topic this term is “We Are Britain”, looking at the geography, traditions and values of our countries. In English we are learning how to write fantasy stories through sharing stories about Dragons. They are enjoying listening to, analysing and reviewing three books, The Dragon Machine, George and the Dragon and The Paper bag Princess. They will be exploring and using descriptive, imaginative language to describe characters, settings and plots. They will create their own fantasy books complete with writing, illustrations and a blurb. 

In Maths Y2 are looking at shape and Y1 number facts to 50.


The children are continuing their phonics work and are now starting to read – how exciting as a whole new world opens up! They are looking at the Stanley’s Stick story and making dens with sticks.

Term 3 Week 1 08/01/21

We all started our Amazing Africa topic with an African day.  The children in school arrived in a range of African animals and we saw some amazing photos of the children at home. The children are sharing this topic in school with the Swans.  They have been making animal and tribal masks, dance moves and drum music, and have been learning about significant African people.  In English the children have been learning about counting books based on Handa’s Surprise, these will be put together into a book when we are all back in school.  Our maths work has been focused on addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, with the reception children thinking about measuring.   It has been wonderful to have Mrs Tipple back and also having Mrs Williams teaching.

Term 2 Week 5 04/12/20

In Maths we have been using money – recognising coins, adding up the cost of items to buy and calculating change. Cygnets, why not have a go setting up a toy shop at home to reinforce what you have been learning at school? In English we have been continuing our work on the poetry of Edward Lear and writing stories in the style of Mrs Armitage and her bike. In Science with Mr Gordon we have been investigating which materials are waterproof, to make good umbrellas. In PE lessons at the hall with Miss Belcher have been devising a space dance routine. Much of the rest of our time has been taken up with rehearsals for the play.

Miss Davieseception Class

It has been great to be back in the Reception classroom again and learning together.  We are building our confidence with all things 4 and 5 and one more, one fewer in Maths. We have collected sets of items, counted each other on and off the bus and enjoyed well-known number rhymes.  

Reception has continued looking at traditional tales. Following The Three Billy Goats Gruff, the children have been building new homes for The Three Little Pigs and very much enjoyed the construction site outside, kitted with high vis jackets, red and white hazard tape, road traffic cones and new sand. The Three Bears’ cottage has settled cosily beside the book corner this week and been visited by Goldilocks. We have made porridge, mended bowls, designed new duvet covers and will be writing some full sentences with suggestions for how else Goldilocks might make amends.

We have camels, shepherds, an innkeeper and the star as roles in the Cygnets Christmas Play.  Everyone is learning their lines and enjoying rehearsals.  The next couple of weeks will be very busy but lots of fun.

Term 2 Week 1 06/11/20

What an exciting start to the new term, when a whole crew of astronauts arrived in the Cygnets! It has really enthused the pupils about the topic, if not the Smash mashed potato, the food of aliens, which they sampled on Monday! Since then we have been learning about the planets and listening to the Planets Suite by Holst. In Maths we are consolidating number facts. In English we have been writing further adventures for Baby Bear, based on the book Whatever Next by Jill Murphy. Science this term is the study of materials. In RE we are studying Festival Matters Gifts and Giving, studying festivals of giving in the Christian and Muslim faiths.

Term 1 Week 6 09/10/20

The Reception children have been very much enjoying telling us about themselves and their families.  There are super playdough cut outs of each of the groups andw e have all listend to careful explanations of homes, holidays and jobs.  I am pleased to say we all know each other very well now!  We have been matching and sorting in Maths.  How Uesful!  There have been brilliant suggestions for the presetnations of lunchtime cutlery and, at last, it looks like the brushes and pencils will have an easy-to-find system.  I am also very hopeful for a fantastic Friday Tidy.  Next week we will be going on a Bear Hunt and, in preparation, have started to collect Autumn in abudnace.  The classroom is looking especially colourful. 

Mrs Blackburn

It has been another busy week in the Cygnets classroom .... 

We have been having a Maths' focus this week.  The Year 2's concetnrating on place value and oclumn addition, using base ten to ensure they have a really good understadning of exchanging the tens!  The Year 1's have been busy thinking about subtraction using part, part whole models and counting back on number lines. 

The children ahve really enjoyed learning some new Maths games and I'm sure they will be happy to show you how to play greates number wins, roll it, draw it, write it and the snail race!  Learning maths whilst having plenty of fun has definitely been the order of the day! 

We have been lucky that the weather has held out enough for us to get out for PE this week and teh children have been focusing on the accuracy of their throwing skills as well as developing a great sporting attitdue. 

For our topic work this week the Year 1 and Year 2's have been continuing to learn about fossils and this week we had a history focus learning about Mary Anning.  In the afternoons this week we have all been busy recreating our own Literature festival, taking part in some of th eonline draw along with illustrators and enjoying listening to authors talking about some of their new books.  Each of our Claude the Dog illustrations was unique and special in its own way! 

Mrs Dawson

Week 2 10/9/20

What is under your feet?  That is our topic for this term! The children will be thinking about all the wonderful things that they would find if they just dug a little deeper, fossils, bones, insects, mud and lava.  They have made are start by looking at mini beasts, thinking about what is dead and alive.  In RE the children are thinking about God’s creations and what Christians think God is like.  The children have also been reading and writing letters.  In Maths the Year 1 children have been counting up to 100 and remembering how to write their numbers and Year 2 have been counting to 1000 and practising their skip counting in 2, 3, 5, and 10.  Reception children have had their first two days and they have enjoyed the new water tray, painting and number skittles.