Cygnet News

w/e 16.06.23

This week in phonics we are learning to read and write words containing 2 letters making one sound “th” eg this and that. We are learning to read the new sight words there, their and these which all start with a “the” pattern. We listened to the whole of the Surprising Sharks book and thought of questions about sharks we would like answered. The children enjoyed listening to and joining in with Julia Donaldson’s Tiddler. We learned a new song 5 Little Fishes Swimming in the Sea. The children enjoyed investigating the sea theme in dance with Caroline. They moved their bodies making big waves, little waves and ripples. Hugo’s Dad is a geo physicist and he came and talked to the children about his work interpreting images of the sea bed. We learned about oil rigs, computerised robots which take pictures of the sea bed, and that the sea gives us oil, gas and wind power. One of the children guessed that the 3D picture of a ship was the Titanic. We continued our learning about the environment when we went to Hemblington Church for the environmental day. The children enjoyed the bus journey, mini beast hunting, looking at features of the church building, leaf rubbing and planting a sunflower seed. Some of the children had not been on a bus before and therefore particularly enjoyed this. For some children their favourite part was planting a seed because they like growing things. When we got back to school we had our lunch outside on picnic rugs which was fun. We looked for signs of growing and changing in the school environment and saw mini beasts, birds and a rabbit. We have been looking after our seedlings and observing their growth. We learned about the life cycle of a frog, butterfly and seed.

In maths we have been learning about sharing quantities into different groups sometimes 2 or 3 groups. Sometimes the groups have equal amounts, are the same and fair and sometimes they are not equal. We did lots of sharing activities

In PE we are practising ball skills. This week our theme was busy bees and we practised stopping a rolling ball.

We made our own instruments out of recycled materials.

Cygnet News

w/e 09.06.23

In phonics we are learning to read and write words where 2 letters make one sound “th” as in thud and thin. We have been practising saying “th” by sticking our tongues out between our teeth and blowing. It is important that the children say the sound correctly and do not confuse it with “f”.

The children were excited when Mrs Gant brought us an unexpected present. The Special Day child opened it and found a new book Surprising Sharks by Nicola Davies. This is our new focus text for this term as we go off on a new adventure to the sea to learn about sharks. We listened to The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson which is a real Cygnet favourite. We learned the new word “tide” and discussed that it goes in and out twice a day. We talked about the beach, shore and sand. We discussed our own experiences of going to the seaside with our families. The children drew and painted pictures of the sea. Some of the children added textured paper to make collages. They all shared their learning with others by describing their wonderful pictures. Some had calm seas, some stormy seas, some were sunrise or sunset pictures. It is lovely to see the children being so confident to talk in front of the class.

In maths we are learning about doubles. We learned that double means twice as many. We played fun matching games with dot patterns. The children loved painting dots onto butterfly templates and folding them in the middle to double the dots by printing. There were gasps of delight as they unfolded their paper to reveal the doubles.

Leo very kindly looked after the cocoons over the holiday. The children were very excited to see that 3 of the butterflies had emerged. We waited for the 4th one to emerge but unfortunately it did not. This is an important experience for the children to see that the life cycle is not always completed. In our learning about Surprising Sharks we discussed whether all surprises are good. One of the children shared that they felt sad when their caterpillars had died and that was a nasty surprise. On Friday we released that butterflies and the children were thrilled to watch them flying in the environmental garden. The children were also pleased to see that their seedlings are growing. They have been looking after them by watering them daily. The potatoes plants have grown too. The children have worked to put together a garden centre in our role play shed and this has been a popular activity.

We have started practising ball skills in PE using a mini beast theme. We played a fun chasing game of spiders and butterflies to warm up. We practise rolling a ball at a target by bending low and stepping forward and pointing our hands towards the target. The children were all happy to see Caroline for dance. She will be developing the sea theme over the next few weeks. Some of the children were very excited to come to the school disco on Friday night. It was lovely to see them having fun.

Cygnet News

w/e 12.05.23

This week in our phonics we have continued our learning reading and writing words containing 2 letters making ch such as lunch and munch. We also learned that three letters can make one sound “tch” in catch and batch. Some of the children having been pointing out words, wherever they see them, where there are 2 letters making one sound. It is really lovely to see them being so enthusiastic about their learning. We thought of descriptive phrases for the fruits we had at fruit time in our Handa’s surprise learning. Then each colour group worked together to make up their own poem to describe fruits.

We listened to Egg Day by Joyce Dunbar and discussed the names for different baby farm animals. We read The Odd Egg by Emily Gravett and we discussed the different types of animals that are born from eggs. The children are enjoying watching the caterpillars in our classroom grow longer and fatter. We read about the caterpillar eggs being different shapes, depending on the type of butterfly, that the eggs are rough and sticky and that the caterpillar eats the egg before emerging. This lead us to talk about camouflage and animal groups: birds, reptiles, insects and mammals. We discussed that information can be found in non-fiction books, such as the Usborne Beginners Caterpillars and Butterflies and also on computers. The children are really enjoying looking at the information books we have in the classroom about caterpillars particularly the pictures of the different types.

In maths we have been learning about first, then, now calculations where we start with a number, add something to it and then end up with a different number. We played dice games racing to see who could get to 10 first and a fun bus game where the number of passengers changed as passengers go on the bus.

During independent learning the children have enjoyed using recycled materials to make their own projects. One of the children was thinking about last week’s learning where we watched the chicks hatching in the incubator and made a bedroom, bed and sitting room for the chicks. Other children were thinking about the coronation celebrations. Some made castles out of recycled materials, small world resources and also from the big wooden bricks. These were all self initiated projects.

In PE we have been learning about rocking and rolling in connection with the story “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”. We learned to do a straight roll and a barrel roll. The children did did the straight roll brilliantly well.

Some of the children have started to do some planting. They planted potatoes which had been chitted. We will continue planting seeds next week.

Cygnet News

w/e 05.05.23

This week in our phonics we have been reading and writing words where 2 letters make one sound “ch” eg in chin and such. We read and illustrated our fruit salad recipes which we made last week.

Our well being was high when we witnessed the miracle of a baby chick hatch in the incubator in the Year 1 classroom. Mrs Goodson set up a camera and we were able to check in periodically and watch a tiny hole on an egg change into a crack and then a chick emerging from the shell. The children were full of awe. The children were very calm around the older chicks as they held them on their laps. We read “Dora’s Eggs” by Julie Sykes and we put together a story box with puppets and props for the children to retell the story. The caterpillars are getting longer and fatter. The children enjoyed listening to and joining in with the Cygnet favourite “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle and adding their observations to the caterpillar diary.

In maths we learned about shapes and played games matching 2 and 3D shapes and models.

In PE we have been learning about jumping and landing safely from a height by bending our knees.

On Friday the children enjoyed learning about the Coronation and had fun making crowns with parents and families. Some of the children stayed to enjoy a picnic tea with their families on the field.

Cygnet News

w/e 28.04.23

In Phonics we have continued our learning reading and writing words where two letters make one sound in words containing “sh” eg shark and blush. Our learning about Handa’s surprise involved using our senses to explore the fruits in the story and build up words describe them. The children predicted what each fruit might look like inside when it was cut in half. The children were all really involved with trying new fruits which was really lovely to see that they are much more open to trying new things. Firstly we had a fruit tasting and then we used our chopping skills to make a fruit salad and lastly we made a pictograph of our favourite fruits. The apple proved to be the Cygnet favourite. We talked about what the fruits might grow on eg bush, tree, plant and what country they might grow in. We realised that Britain is too cold for some of the fruits to grow in. We enjoyed listening to Oliver’s Fruit Salad by Vivian French. Handa’s Surprise is set in Kenya. One of the children told us about his trip to London to watch the London marathon so it was of interest for us to find out that the mens competition was won by Kelvin Kiptum from Kenya. We had our first dance lesson with Caroline and she is going to continue exploring Handa’s Surprise in her lessons.

A big thank you to Wendy for ordering some caterpillars for the class. The children are fascinated by them and we have started a diary so that we can record our observations as they change. It was lovely that Arleigh inspired our learning when he shared his diary of his Easter holiday with us.

In maths this week we have been counting patterns with numbers beyond 10. We played games with numbers 11-20 and a fun number track game. We continued the theme of Jack and the Beanstalk in PE and developing balance and using apparatus safely. In our SCARF lesson we learned about friends and looking after our friends.

Cygnet News


It was really lovely to welcome the children back to school after the Easter Holiday and to see how much they enjoyed being with their friends again.

In literacy we started our learning around our new focus text “Handa’s Surprise” by Aileen Browne. It was really interesting to listen to the children’s ideas about what the book might be about and their observations on the first couple of illustrations. It will be interesting to see how the children’s ideas and knowledge develop over the coming weeks. The story is set in Kenya and we have a great selection of information books and stories linked to Kenya, animals, fruits and journeys in our classroom. In Phonics we are learning that two letters can represent one sound and this week we learned to read and write words containing “sh” eg shed, shell and dash. We went outside to observe the signs of late Spring in our school environment. During the week we learned that one of the features of Spring is that it can be sunny but still very cold! The children used their phonics and drawing skills to record the things they found. We started a SCARF new topic about rights and respect and discussed our families and the things we do to help each other.

In maths this week we have been building numbers bigger than 10. We have been building the numbers from 11-20 using number tiles and towers of blocks. We have been starting from a full 10 and then adding numbers so 11 is 10 and 1, 12 is 10 and 2 and 13 is 10 and 3 etc. up to 20 which is 2 tens. We have enjoyed watching some of thNumberblocks Series 3.

We started gymnastics in PE and learned about making strong shapes and balances with our bodies. The theme is Jack and the Beanstalk and we will be exploring the story as we learn new shapes, balances and rolls over the next few weeks.

Cygnet News

w/e 17.03.23

This week in maths we have been learning about 3D shapes and patterns. We investigated shapes that have flat faces and curved faces to decide which would be easiest for us to stack. We sorted shapes into groups of cylinders, cuboids, spheres and cones. We read the Pattern Fish by Trudy Harris and investigated the patterns in the illustrations. We used resources in the classroom to make our own patterns some with repeating colours and some with repeating sizes.

In Phonics we have been continuing our learning to read and write words with the consonant, consonant, vowel, consonant pattern (ccvc) eg trip, twin and dress. We thought about all the wonderful things our Mums do for us. We made cards and wrote our messages in our very best writing.

In Astro Girl we looked at the picture of her bedroom to work out more information about her interests. She has lots of space toys, books and a telescope. We talked about the things that are special to us. We learned about volcanoes from Dr Johnstone. We played a communication game about the roles of people when a volcano erupts eg police, media, government, farmers and fishermen, hospitals and schools and scientists. The children were very engaged as the disaster enfolded. They asked lots of questions about volcanoes and we learned that there are mud, ice and water volcanoes. When we got back to class some of the children were inspired to use their creativity to paint ready to erupt and erupting volcanoes. We learned about Space from Mike. He told us about the Space Race with Russia and America trying to get to the moon first. He told us about starts and meteors. How a meteor came from space and landed on someone’s and broke the front of it. He told us that there is a little bit of gravity on the moon it is not zero gravity. The moon has craters on it because lots of meteorites have crashed onto the moon and left lots of holes. We watched the first moon landing and researched Neil Armstrong the first man to step onto the moon. We worked together to make a poster of the information we learned.

Cygnet News

w/e 10.03.23

This week we have been investigating our focus text Astro Girl further. We started to read some of our new collection of space books in our bookcase. We enjoyed David Walliam’s The First Hippo on the Moon. We looked at the illustrations of rockets in a range of books and these inspired our models using recycled materials. It was lovely to see the children so enthusiastic about their creativity. They concentrated hard, collaborated well and used tools and materials to join the resources together. One of the children chose an information book about about Planet Earth to share. We learned the new word orbit that Earth orbits the sun. We learned that the sun is our special star and that planet Earth is one of the planets that make up the solar system. We reflected on it taking a whole year for the Earth to orbit the sun and that is what we celebrate with our New Year. We also enjoyed listening to the adventure story Mini Grey’s Space Dog. A funny story about enemies Space Dog, Astrocats and Mousetronauts who have to work together to save the Spooniverse and they become friends. In our phonics we have been reading and writing words which follow the pattern consonant, consonant, vowel, consonant (ccvc) crab, grab, plan. We had to listen really carefully to the second consonant when spelling words.

In maths we have been comparing numbers within 10. We counted up to 10 and back from 10 and learned that as we count up the numbers get bigger and as we count back the numbers get smaller. We had lots of fun counting back when singing the song Zoom, Zoom, Zoom We’re Going to the Moon.

We had fun in PE going to the rainforest and playing a tag game where when caught by a poisonous frog we needed to sit out briefly. The children enjoyed this fast paced game and had to move quickly, changing directions and be honest about being caught. In our SCARF lesson we learned about things, such as food, drinks and including medicines, which are safe to put in our bodies. We talked about being safe around medicines and the importance of only taking them with adult supervision.

We met a very cute visitor in assembly who put a smile on everyone’s faces. Maggie is a wellbeing therapy dog who is going to come to school with her owner and the children are going to read to Maggie. She is very calm and the children loved meeting her.