UOI Update

Dear Parents,

Time sure flies when you are having fun – it’s hard to believe that we have already reached the first school holiday of the year!

Over the past few weeks in Year 1 we have been working hard to complete our learning connected to the ‘Who We Are’ unit of inquiry. Much of our recent work has been aimed at helping the students to strengthen their understanding of the following:

●  Identifying themselves in relation to others (family, peers, school class, etc.)

●  Identifying their feelings and emotions and explain possible causes

The students have written books which explain how they make the people they have relationships with feel at different times. For example, “When I dive well, my dad feels proud.” They have also made concept maps showing how others can make them feel in different situations. For instance, “I feel mad when my brother changes the TV channel I am watching.”

We have completed our summative assessment for this UOI. The students have been exploring different social situations with two puppets called Moe and Zippy. For the final assessment each student was presented with the problem that Moe and Zippy are arguing about who will get to dress up in a space suit and helmet. They were asked how the problem could be solved. The students came up with many ideas such as, taking turns with the costume or sharing the costume so that one character wears the helmet and the other the clothes.

After the October break we will begin our new UOI, Sharing the Planet. Please click here for an overview of this unit.

During the first few weeks after the break, the Year 1 teachers will carry out a thorough reading assessment with each student in their class. These assessments will help us to know what each child has learned already and how best to support them with the next stage on their journey towards becoming fluent readers. These assessments will be the teacher’s main focus during reading lessons. The teaching assistants will support the students during independent reading sessions. Consequently, we will not have a chance to write comments in your child’s reading log during this time.

Wishing you all a safe and enjoyable October break.

Kind regards,

Ms. Gillian

Please enjoy some recent photos from the Y1.2 classroom.

Week 8 in Y1.2

Dear Parents,

On Tuesday, all students participated in Olympics Day. The children had a fantastic time and it was wonderful to see them working together with the older students to complete the games and challenges. These included:

  • Moving around a course with their legs tied to other student’s legs
  • Getting the entire team across the field without stepping on the grass when using only three mats to help
  • Completing an obstacle course while avoiding being hit by balls thrown by the opposing team

These activities provided the students with a great opportunity to apply what they have learned in class about how to collaborate well with others and work as a team.

In Writing this week we have focused on adding labels to the sketches we draw when making books. For example, the students have been writing their own names or ‘me’ above pictures of themselves. They have also been encouraged to label the other objects and characters in their stories, such as ‘mum,’ ‘dad’, the names of their friends or ‘bed’ and ‘toy’.

Our writing program is differentiated so that all students are supported and feel successful at whatever stage of writing they are at. For example, some students are taking a guess at how to write words using random letters they know, some are writing only the first letter of words (such as ‘h’ for house), some are writing all the sounds they can hear (such as ‘str’ for sister), and a few are aiming for sentences and more accurate spelling.

We also spent time this week reviewing all of the letters and sounds that we have studied so far this school year. For example, the children had to match items to their correct initial sound. During reading lessons we have focused on one-to-one correspondence (one spoken word for each written word) and initial sounds to check words. It really helps if the children point at each word as they say it as this makes their reading more thoughtful and accurate.

In Math we have been exploring the order of numbers within the number system. For example, students have been putting number cards in order from the smallest to the largest. They have been playing a game called ‘Top It’ where the partner who draws the highest number card gets to keep both cards and the player with the most cards at the end is the winner. We have also been practicing how to write the numeral 8. It’s a tricky one and you might like to practice this a little more with your child at home.

Our UOI sessions have focused on how the people we have relationships with can make us feel different things depending on the situation. For example, the children said they sometimes feel unhappy when their mum asks them to eat food they don’t like or to go to bed (although we also spoke about how our mothers know what is best for us!). They said how they feel happy when their mum hugs them, reads to them or gives them food they like.

During our Buddy session we made a ‘Friendship Wall’ with the Y5 students. The children worked with their buddies to draw and write about some of the things that good friends do.

Please enjoy some photos from this week.

Kind regards,

Miss Gillian

Hats and Water Bottles

Dear Parents,

Please make sure that your child brings a hat and a water bottle to school every day. Our P.E. lessons are now taking place outside on the field and it is of great importance that all children wear hats for sun protection and bring water bottles to stay hydrated.

Thank you for your cooperation,

The Year 1 and P.E. Teams

List of Songs from Ms. Betsy

Dear Y1 Parents,

Posted here are the songs we have been singing in music class. Some are in the form of an audio file and some are in the form of a youtube video.
Please have fun at home singing these songs and any more you may know with our year 1 singers!
Also, I will be updating this post periodically as we add songs throughout the year.
Happy Singing!

Kind Regards,
Ms. Betsy
PYP Music Teacher

Make New Friends- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMAxP-95yn4

The Sharing Song- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pu2C4xylXwY

Shalom Chaverim- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRZaop5ZoJA (we sing only the English Version)

I Will Be Your Friend- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3dBeHCQFZ8

The Wheels on the Bus- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ki_R_4FcFK0

Shake my Sillies Out- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yb_2CQmfqoA

Kye Kye Kule-See attached

Hey Yo- See Attached

What a Wonderful World- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddLd0QRf7Vg


Who We Are Update 3

Dear parents,

Over the last couple of weeks, we have been thinking more about the different relationships we have and how these relationships can make us feel. The students thought about all the people that they have relationships with. Their ideas included parents, siblings, friends, teachers, nannies, grandparents and drivers. They then thought about how important each of these relationships is to them and how close they are to the different people. The students used a graphic organizer with concentric circles to record their ideas. They drew themselves in the center and then drew the people they are closest to next to them, and worked outwards to include the people they have less important relationships with. 

We will now begin to focus more on how relationships can make us feel different emotions. For example, when our Mother hugs us we feel safe, when our Mother tells us we did a good job we feel proud and when our Mother reads to us we feel happy. We will also explore how our actions can impact how others feel. For example, when we play nicely with our friends they feel happy, when we don’t share with our friends they feel angry and when we look after our hurt friends they feel cared for.

Student Initiated Action

 One of the essential elements in the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) is Action: how do we want the students to act as a result of their learning? 

 ‘An explicit expectation of the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) is that successful inquiry will lead to responsible action, initiated by the student as a result of the learning process… Action as a result of learning may not be witnessed by the teacher and often happens beyond the classroom.’ (Making the PYP happen, 2009)

 As we head towards the end of our ‘Who We Are’ unit, we are beginning to see the students take some meaningful action as a result of their new learning. For example, some students are now beginning to independently resolve playground or classroom conflicts with their peers. Other students have really understood how important it is to collaborate and work as a team at clean-up time.

 As PYP educators we understand that action can happen anywhere, anytime; this may be in the classroom or at home. For that reason, we would like to request all parents to be active participants in our quest, to notice action revealed by your child at home. This may be in the form of questions/comments that your child makes about an inquiry they have been pursuing at school; it may be a drawing; or wanting/taking action triggered by school inquiries.

If you identify any action that your child has revealed, please write us an email, pop in to share it or ask your child to come and share it with the class. However, remember that it is very important to understand that the action must be student initiated.

 Thank you in advance for your support with this.

 Please enjoy some photos from this week at school.

Week 6 in Y1.2

Dear Parents,

We’ve had a short but very busy week in Year 1, culminating in a wonderful Peace Day today. We began Peace Day in the homeroom by engaging in a variety of art and craft activities all devoted to the theme of peace. The students used paint to decorate plates with the peace sign, they coloured and cut out peace doves and stuck them onto a sky blue background and they made peace flags. We thought about what peace means to each of us and what makes us feel peaceful. All of Year 1 had a special singing class with Ms. Betsy where we sang songs about peace and danced. In the afternoon we marched in the Peace Parade around the school and we attended the Peace Assembly.

In Math this week we have continued working on recognising and writing numerals and one to one correspondence when counting out objects. The students are working hard to form the numerals correctly when they write them, making sure that they start each number at the top. In Language this week we have continued thinking about the letters and the sounds they make. We focused in particular on the letter P. The children practiced writing this letter correctly and they brainstormed items starting with this letter, or even ending with this letter. Some of the students used pastels to do observational ‘pumpkin’ pictures, which was a great opportunity to develop the skill of looking really closely at something. We have continued working hard on reading, especially independent reading, where the students practice reading a selection of books that are at their ‘just right’ level.

We had fun with our Year 5 Buddies on Wednesday afternoon. We invited them to our classroom to support us with building models using the various construction equipment we have, including lego, wooden blocks, the marble run and play dough. The Year 1 children really enjoy this special time with their older friends.

Please enjoy these photos from the week.

Kind regards,

Ms. Gillian

Who We Are Update 2

One of the Key Concepts that we are focusing on during our current Unit of Inquiry is ‘Connection.’ In class we have started encouraging the students to think about the people they are connected to. We have introduced the word ‘relationship’ to the children and started talking about what this word means. You could support your child with this at home by talking with them about the various relationships they have, such as with family members, friends, teachers, etc. In the coming weeks the children will record all of the people they are connected to and talk about the different relationships they have.

Please see below for examples of some of the learning and teaching that has taken place over the past two weeks in Year 1.

  • Identify their feelings and emotions and explain possible causes

We have spent some time discussing different feelings and emotions. The students brainstormed all of the feelings that they could think of, such as excited, angry, happy and scared. We then read a book called ‘F is for Feelings’ which provided us with many more different emotions to discuss, such as jealous and proud. The students worked together to create a graph showing how they feel about coming to school.

Social skills: Accepting responsibility, respecting others, cooperating, resolving conflict

The students have continued developing their social skills through different collaborative tasks. For example, they were asked to work in small groups to build a Lego house according to specific criteria. For example, it had to have a blue roof and two yellow windows. The students had to cooperate with each other when deciding what the house would look like and also when building it. Some conflicts arose during this process when there were disagreements about how the houses should look. The children had to try to resolve these conflicts through talking, listening respectfully and coming to an agreement about what to do.

Language: Teachers model shared writing

During writing sessions, the Year 1 teachers have been modelling how to write short true stories using blank three page books. For example, in Y1.2 I have written a story about the day we had the Lockdown Drill and a story about going to the jogathon. The teachers have modelled the process of thinking what to write about, planning the story by touching the pages and telling what they will write, sketching the pictures and then adding the words. The students have then been writing their own three page books following the same process. Some of their stories are from real life and others are imaginative.

Please enjoy the photos of this week in Y1.2.


Week 4 in Y1.2

Dear Parents,

Thank you so much to those of you who came to the Back To School Night presentation on Thursday evening. We really appreciated your time and hope that you found the session informative. For those of you who were not able to attend, please click on this link to see the slideshow the Year 1 team presented.

We’ve had a busy week in Year 1.2! On Wednesday we had our first Buddy Session with Mr. Perico’s Year 5 class. The students spent some time finding out about each other by sharing their interests and the things they enjoy doing. We then played outside in the sand together. As the children get to know each other better and begin to form friendships we will match each Y1.2 student up with a Year 5 buddy.

We have started work learning the letter sounds and names in Year 1. So far we have focused on the ‘m’ and ‘t’ sounds. We have brainstormed items that begin with these letters, hunted for these letters during shared reading sessions and enjoyed craft activities connected to them. For example, some students made tree collages in the shape of a ‘T.’ We have also spent time learning to write these letters correctly by painting giant letters and practicing them in our handwriting books. Next week we will begin work on the letter ‘a.’ We are working hard to reinforce how important a correct pencil grip is and would appreciate your support with this at home.

Our Math work this week has focused on one to one correspondence with numbers. Students have been counting carefully to match up the correct number of objects with given numerals. They have also been playing a game called ‘Grab and Count’ where they grab a handful of math manipulatives, count them and then record what they grabbed. We have continued work on recognizing and writing numerals correctly.

We have continued thinking about different kinds of relationships we have. This week we have focused on friendship. The students listened to and discussed a book called ‘Friendliness.’ They spent time brainstorming all the ways to be a good friend to others. Some of their ideas included:

  • Always say “yes” when somebody asks if they can play with you
  • Always say “yes” when somebody asks if they can sit with you at lunchtime
  • Share
  • Be nice to people
  • Look after people when they are sad

The students role played different friendship scenarios and spoke about what would be a friendly way to behave in each one.

Mr. Dylan came to read the class a story today about a tiger who lost his smile. He spoke with the students about how they should always help anyone around the school if they seem sad or worried.

Please click on this link to access the Google Folder where I store all the photos that I take of student learning in Y1.2. This will allow you to save and keep any photos of your child that you like. Click Here!

Kind regards,

Ms. Gillian



Unit of Inquiry Information: Who We Are

The Year 1 students have got off to a great start with the first Unit of Inquiry of the year, Who We Are. This is a wonderful unit to start the school year with as the focus is on relationships. The central idea of this unit is: Our relationships with others contribute to our well-being. The unit provides us with the opportunity to guide and support the students as they work on developing relationships with their new classmates and teachers. We will also spend time inquiring into the important relationships the students have outside of school.

Please see below some of the learning and teaching that has happened so far in Year 1.

Social skills: Accepting responsibility, respecting others, cooperating, resolving conflict

The students have been put in teams with classmates to work collaboratively on group projects. For example, students were given a large piece of paper and asked to work in a small group to create a painting together. The task required them to share their own ideas and listen to the ideas of others, being respectful of suggestions that were different to their own. They had to cooperate with each other when deciding what to paint, when doing the painting and when sharing the materials. Afterwards they reflected on this task and thought about what went well and how any conflicts that arose were solved.

Language: Students will write their names with upper and lowercase letters

It is important at this stage in Year 1 that each student learns how to write their name clearly and neatly using an uppercase letter at the beginning and with all other letters written in lowercase. Each lowercase letter starts at the top. We have been practicing this daily in class, for example by asking students to write their name on each piece of work they produce and through more formal handwriting sessions.

Language : Using their own experience as a stimulus when drawing and “writing”

During writing time the students are working on an ‘All About Me Book’. They have included lots of information about themselves, their family members, favourite things and activities they enjoy. Next week we will publish these books and share them with classmates.

Mathematics: Data Handling – Understand that sets can be organised by different attributes

The students have been sorting and organizing a variety of Math manipulatives. For example, they worked in groups to sort 2 dimensional shapes. First they needed to decide how they wanted to sort them, for example by color, shape, number of sides, etc. Then they worked as a team to organize all of the shapes according to these attributes. They shared their work with their classmates, explaining how they had chosen to categorize the shapes.

Mathematics: Data Handling – Understand information about themselves and their surroundings can be obtained in different ways

The class has been working together to collect data about themselves and others. They have then created graphs to show the information they found. For example, they have created a birthday graph and a graph showing the eye colour of everybody in the class.


Please enjoy the photos from this week in Y1.2.

Week 2 in Y1.2

Dear Parents,

This week the students in Y1.2 worked together to decide on the ‘Essential Agreements’ for our classroom. They thought about what they want the classroom to look like, sound like and feel like. The children said that they want it to look tidy and organized and so they agreed to clean up after themselves. They want it to sound peaceful and not too loud and so they agreed to use calm indoor voices and not to shout. They want the classroom to feel happy, peaceful, interesting and exciting and we spoke about how being kind and respectful to our classmates and always trying our best is important. We made a display to show our ideas.

We launched into our first Unit of Inquiry of the year by thinking about different relationships. We looked at a photograph of a family as one example of the relationships people have. The students shared what they could see, what they were thinking and what they were wondering about the photograph. To support us further with our Unit work, please send in a photo of your family or you can email me a a photo and I will print it out. We will need the photos by Thursday 31st August. Thank you in advance for your support with this. 

During our writing sessions this week the students have been working on an ‘All About Me’ book. They started by drawing and labelling some of their family members. We have also continued to work on writing our names really neatly, remembering a capital letter at the beginning.

In Math this week we have been thinking a lot about numbers. The students have been playing counting games involving the numbers 0 to 10. They have also started work on their own counting books. We spent time practicing writing the numerals 0 and 1 and showing these quantities with cubes and pictures. We also continued our work on data handling to make a graph showing the different eye colours of the people in the class. We found that most of the students in Y1.2 have brown eyes.

The children had a great time making play dough with Ms. Junior. It’s great for young children’s fine motor skills to work with play dough, clay and plasticine regularly.

I am really looking forward to getting to know you better and to learning more about your child at the Parent Teacher Connection Meetings next Friday. Thank you to those of you who have already signed up for an appointment.

I hope you enjoy the slideshow showing photos from this week.

Kind regards,

Ms. Gillian