Once upon a time in Year 1… We have been learning about traditional tales in English this week! First of all, the children listened to the traditional story ‘Dragon Dinosaur’, and then having chosen their favourite part, discussed it with a friend and then wrote about it.  The children tried hard to s-t-r-e-t-c-h out their sentences using conjunctions like because and and.  The children were then challenged to bring this traditional tale to Hampton Pre-Prep by writing a description of the deadliest, fiercest animal they could think of to defend our school from a T-Rex dinosaur! We also spoke about the different tales we have come across and some of our favourite characters from these. We shall be enjoying a variety of fairy tales in the classroom over the coming weeks.  And they all lived happily ever after…!

In mathematics this week the children have been looking closely at place value within 20 – we have primarily used bead strings to support our learning of this. We have had a few ‘eureka!’ moments in class which has been wonderful to witness; at Hampton Pre-Prep, we do believe so strongly in using practical resources to support mathematical learning.  We also believe in ensuring children go deeper in their learning of number – encouraging them to prove their learning to their friends – Tell us/show us how you knew? is one of our favourite questions in maths!  We also talk regularly about Marvellous Mistakes, and I am so happy to see the children having a go at answering questions, even if they are not quite sure of the answer.  It is these mistakes, and having the confidence to make mistakes in a supportive environment, which helps us to make progress.

Finally, to conclude our week we enjoyed two magic moments in Year 1 – firstly the children excelled in their class assembly. All the teachers watching commented on how well the children had learnt their lines, and the way they spoke clearly to their audience.  Next, we felt so fortunate to welcome Mrs Li (Arthur’s mummy) into our class this morning. Mrs Li first told us the story of how Chinese New Year came about, a story which is over 4000 years old!  She told us of the monster Nian, and how people learned that he was afraid of light, noise and the colour red.  She explained that this is why many people decorate their homes with red, hang lanterns and use firecrackers when celebrating. She spoke to us all about how her family celebrate Chinese New Year; a huge feast with many dishes, including fish, tofu and dumplings – each representing something special. The children also had the opportunity to decorate red paper with special characters meaning happiness, luck and good fortune – if you like you might enjoy hanging these in your window this weekend. Thank you so much Mrs Li for an informative and engaging session – a real treat for us all!

Have a wonderful weekend, and a very Happy Lunar New Year to those celebrating.