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Year 1/2 Class Page

Welcome to the Year 1/2 class page!
Our teachers are Mrs Emberley and Miss Tyrrell.

More pages in this section

Summer 2 – Aspirations

Class Topic – Aspirational Astronauts


This term we will be learning about people who have achieved their dreams of being an astronaut and particularly those who have walked on the moon. We will be thinking about our own aspirations and encouraging the children to achieve their own goals. One of the ways we will do this is through the new ‘Ashbourne Primary Award’ where children work to achieve four goals of their own – Physical, Expedition, Skill and Enterprise. This award encourages children to get active, go outdoors, learn something new and think of others.

We are hoping to have a KS1 & Reception sports day towards the end of the term so look out for a date and fingers crossed for some lovely weather!


We will be looking at space in our history topic this half term and focusing on two famous astronauts. Neil Armstrong, who was the first man to walk on the moon. We will be finding out about his life and achievements and learn all about the Apollo 11 landing. We will also learn about Tim Peake. He is one of only a few British astronauts who have travelled to space. We will be finding out about his time at the International Space Centre.

Finally we will be looking at the different planets in our solar system. We will be learning facts about the different planets and look at different missions that are taking place on them.


Our English will be closely linked to our topic. We will be looking at a story written by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield and write our own space adventure story. We will be thinking about exciting sentence openers and interesting description to grab our reader.

We will also be writing space poetry and having fun with word choices and alliteration. Our fantastic poems will then be performed to the class to give us a chance to practise speaking in front of others.

The knowledge we have learnt in our topic will be put to good use as we create a fact file on planets. We will be able to include technical language and layout our work in sections choosing interesting headings and subheadings to attract the reader.


This half term we will be looking at the importance of exercise, eating the right amounts and different types of foods and hygiene for human beings. We will be looking at the different food groups on the Eatwell Plate and finding out which food groups we should eat a small amount of and which we can eat a larger amount of.

Then we will be looking at how food helps us to grow and how different foods give us fuel to help us have energy for our busy days! Naturally we will be looking at the importance of having 5 fruits or vegetables a day!

At the end of the day we will be looking at the importance of hygiene, which we have all become experts in recently!


In PHSE children will be learning that changes happen to us as we grow and that is ok. We will be thinking about the ways that we have changed since we were born and discussing how boys and girls have different body parts.


This term children will be learning bat and ball skills. We will be developing our catching and fielding skills, hitting a ball with a bat and taking part in team games.

Our other PE session will be circuit training where children will be developing their skills of balance and coordination. They will perform different movements with control and accuracy. Each week they will aspire to improve their own performance and achieve the goals they set themselves to see their fitness grow!

Summer 1 – Creativity

Class Topic – Under the Sea

Our main topic area this half term is called ‘Under The Sea’, and it is through this theme that we will be exploring our whole school topic of Creativity. We are a very creative bunch, and we are looking forward to lots of exciting and arty things going on this half term!


In Literacy, we will be using the story of ‘Sharing A Shell’ to develop our reading and writing skills. The story follows three sea creatures as they navigate their way through sharing their watery home together. We will relate this to our own experiences, thinking about the different ways that we have experienced sharing in our own lives. We will also develop our writing skills, focusing on crafting sentences using capital letters, finger spaces and full stops and using ‘and’ to join sentences. We will also look at other types of punctuation; for example, how to use ! and ? in our writing effectively. We will use these skills in our own story writing, and then finally we will craft our own sea poems, inspired by poems we have read!


In Geography, pupils will develop knowledge about the world, the United Kingdom and their locality. We will learn to name and locate the world’s seven continents and five oceans. We will use world maps, atlases and globes to identify the United Kingdom and its countries, as well as other countries, continents and oceans. We will begin to use simple compass directions (North, South, East and West) and locational and directional language; for example, near, far left and right, to describe the location of features and routes on a map.


In PE, we will be learning an Under The Sea dance to perform at our school’s dance festival! Keep an eye out for the recorded performance! (Friday’s PE). We will also take part in cricket sessions with the Derbyshire Cricket Foundation (Thursday’s PE).

Please ensure your child always has a full PE kit in school.


Our Music this half term is all about Sun, Sea and Song! In our Music lessons, the children will learn to identify different paces, low and high notes, as well as timbre and texture. We will learn the structure of songs (phrase, chorus, verse). We will also practise our breathing techniques, posture, articulation and sound projection. We will sing songs in unison and in two parts, with clear diction and control of pitch.


Creativity is our topic this half term, so Art is of course important for this! We will be taking part in Arts Week during the last two weeks of term, where we will be finding out all about the work of a particular artist, and one picture in particular. But that’s a secret for now!


This term the children will learn all about the Islamic faith. They will be finding out about what Muslims believe, why the prophet Mohammed is important to Muslims and how their faith impacts their way of life.


Our Science topic this half term is ‘Living thing and Their Habitats’. We will be learning all about what living things do, different habitats creatures can live in and how animals have adapted to their environments. The children will find out about the diets different animals need to survive and what a food chain is. They will also make different food chains for different habitats.


In maths, we will be going over the key objectives for Year 1 in terms of place value, multiplication and division and fractions. We will be doing lots of counting to and from 100, as well as reading and writing numbers in numerals and words. We will also explore how to represent numbers in different ways, ordering and comparing numbers by saying how many tens and ones they have and saying one more and one less than given numbers. We will have lots of opportunities to count in 2s, 5s and 10s, as well as making arrays, equal groups and sharing equally. Finally, we will explore fractions by looking at halves and quarters of shapes and amounts.

Spring 1/2 – Diversity

Class Topic – China

Well, it has been a bit of a strange one again this term, as we are once again back in lockdown. However, we have been making the best of it and whether we were in school or learning from home using Microsoft Teams for our three live lessons a day, we have been getting exactly the same interesting lessons! Our attendance and engagement has been excellent, and I would like to thank the parents at home for all of their hard work and support.

During the Spring term, our whole school topic has been celebrating Diversity. This means we have been exploring all the ways people are different across the world and within our community. We have been focusing on respecting other cultures and beliefs, recognising how people have many similarities as well as differences and how people’s lives can differ from our own.  In our class, we have been looking in particular at China.


In literacy, we have used the story of The Magic Paintbrush by Julia Donaldson to develop our reading and writing skills. We even had chance to watch a performance of the story online! In the story, Shen receives a magic paintbrush and whatever she paints becomes real! We have developed interest in the story, thinking about what we would create using a magic paintbrush, as well as mapping the events of the story to discuss what happens to Shen. We have developed our spelling, grammar and punctuation skills by using ? and !, adding -ed to create past tense verbs and using adjectives to write our own character descriptions. We have also explored Chinese food and written instructions to make some!



Through PSHE this half term we have explored showing kindness and respect when thinking about diversity. We have acknowledged that this is a time when things can be hard for lots of people, so we used the story of Have Your Filled A Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud to think about how we could show kindness to others. We have also explored how people are different, using the story of There’s Room for Everyone by Anahita Teymorian to understand that while people may not look or act in the same way as us, or believe the same things we do, there is room for everybody and all people should be respected. This is what makes our world a wonderful place!


In Geography, we were looking specifically at China but also comparing life in China to life in the UK. We have used maps to locate China, its major cities and the surrounding seas, and discussed what the landscape, culture, agriculture and weather of China is like. We have also looked at life in China, exploring the food and finding out how their school days are different to ours. We have compared London to Beijing and Shanghai and even learnt to count in Mandarin! As our topic developed, we compared China to the UK and thought about similarities and differences. Throughout the topic, children have been encouraged to ask geographical questions– Where is it? What is this place like? How near/far is it? What is the difference?

In the last week of term, we focused on Chinese New Year! 2021 is the year of the Ox. We studied the story of the Jade Emperor’s race which explains the Chinese zodiac. We have listened to and perform Chinese drumming and identified the beat, and also tried some Chinese food!


In RE we have been learning all about Buddhism – one of the most important religions in China. We have looked at the main aspects of Buddhism, including its signs and symbols, as well as the life of the Buddha himself. Then we explored what Buddhism teaches its followers, and how they worship on a day to day basis by looking at meditation and Buddhist temples. We even had a go at some mindfulness meditation! Finally we looked at how Buddhists celebrate festivals, looking at the festival of Wesak.



In science we have been learning about the four seasons, when they occur and the features of each. We compared our seasons to those in China. We have been particularly focused on the winter season, and have explored different signs of winter whether in school or at home. This half term we were lucky to have a Snow Day – and while our online live lessons still went ahead, we also had time to go out and explore the snow (all in the name of science of course!).

We have explored different scientists, and have learnt that not all scientists are old men in white coats with frizzy hair – they are all sorts of people from all walks of life such as Professor Stephen Hawking, Mae Jemison, APJ Abdul Kalam and Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon. The children had fun becoming scientists themselves, creating a weather station at home measuring rainfall, wind directions and temperature and made measurements and observations over time!



This half term we have been exploring the beat and rhythm through Chinese drumming. We started by listening to lots of different types of music from China, as well as talking about the types of music we like to listen to. We know that different people like different types of music – some of us like dance music, lots of us like pop music and a few of us (including Miss Tyrrell!) like to listen to much louder rock music sometimes! We discussed how different types of music can reflect our different moods and that often, people have very diverse music tastes. We then explored Chinese drumming, thinking about the importance of the beat and keeping a rhythm. We looked at how the dynamics or volume changes in music, as well as the tempo (how fast the piece is). Lastly we had a go at creating our own drum beats based on the Chinese drumming we had listened to.


PE has obviously been a bit different this half term, as most of us are learning from home. We have been creative for our PE this half term though and our activities have ranged from using the Derbyshire and Nottingham Progressive Sports home learning ideas to Joe Wicks, Cosmic Yoga or just getting out and about for a good old walk or bike ride! We understand the importance of keeping active, especially during the lockdown.


Autumn 2 – Communication

Class Topic – Fire, Fire!

In Autumn 2 we have been working on our Communication skills as part of our whole school topic, and in Year 1/2 we have done this through our topic of Fire, Fire! At the heart of this topic has been finding about all the different ways we can communicate effectively, as well as how people have communicated with each other in the past, such as during the time of the Great Fire of London.


In Literacy, we used our senses to write and perform poems about fire works. We learned how to use our voices well to perform our poems thinking about volume, tone, expression and actions. We also took part in a poetry festival on 19th November, with a great performance of ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’!

We used a story about The Great Fire of London in literacy to identify punctuation and focus on using capital letters and full stops in our writing, as well as beginning to explore exclamation marks and question marks. We thought carefully about communicating our ideas and saying our sentences out loud before writing them down. This helped us to remember what we wanted to say, and to use our sounds to help us write our words.

We took part in ‘No Pens Day Wednesday’ on 25th November which was a day of only spoken activities to further develop pupils’ language and communication skills. We enjoyed doing active phonics on this day, as well as showing off our super acting skills by acting out our own stories before writing them up later in the week!


Our PSHE theme was ‘Staying Safe’. As part of this, we took part in Anti-Bullying week. We identified what bullying is, where we could go for help and advice and how we can unite against bullying. We also wore odd socks to celebrate how we are all different! We learned about online communication this half-term in our Online Safety unit. We learned a lot about how to stay safe online, including rules for safe internet use and online communication in a developing online world.


We started the half-term learning about Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot. This coincided with Bonfire Night! Even though we couldn’t celebrate Bonfire Night as we might have liked this year, we had fun talking about the ways we have celebrated in the past and looking forward to doing so again in the future! We are now able to discuss the key events of the Gunpowder Plot and explain why we celebrate on Bonfire Night. In the rest of our History lessons, we learned about The Great Fire of London. We discussed and learned about how the fire started and why it spread so quickly! Thinking about communication once more, we explored how we know so much about the Great Fire and looked at the diarist, Samuel Pepys. We compared present-day London to the London that existed in 1666. We identified what life was like in the 17th Century and compared differences and similarities between ways of today, and we especially enjoyed finding out about the different jobs people had. Do you know what a Gong Farmer is? It certainly made us laugh when we found out!


This term our PE was gymnastics. We performed contrasting movements and balances including star, tuck, front support shapes and balances. We travelled in different ways, changing speed and direction. We learned to control our bodies when jumping and rolling in different ways and link movements to create a sequence.


We have been designing and making felt houses for a display during this half term! We started off by looking at other displays, and thinking about what makes a good one. Then, we started designing what we wanted our display to look like and how we could make our felt houses. Then we made them, cutting fabrics and combining our textiles using glue. After this, we evaluated them to think about what we had done well and what we could improve on next time.



This half term we have been finding out how humans and computers communicate, looking at Coding. We have explored how computers cannot act on their own; they need humans to program them using code. We have become Computer Programmers ourselves, writing code using Scratch Jr to make objects move, get larger and smaller, disappear and reappear and then even creating our own animations!


We also had great fun at forest school this half term, leading our own learning outside and working really well as a team!


Autumn 1 – Wellbeing: Kindness

Class Topic – Knights and Castles

During Autumn 1 we really enjoyed learning about Knights and Castles, as well as focusing on our whole school topic of Wellbeing. For our particular focus we looked at kindness, exploring how to show it to others and ourselves. This whole school topic is threaded through all of our lessons, and we kept the themes of ‘Wellbeing’ and ‘Kindness’ in mind with everything we did this half term.


Our class read a range of Knights and Castle stories this half term including: Knights and Dragons, Unite! and Zog, as well as creating and describing our own dragons! All the stories we looked at had the same theme: kindness always wins! In creating our own dragons, we used what we had learnt from the stories to develop our own writing – using adjectives, using verbs and using our senses in description.


In our PSHE lessons, we looked at Mental Wellbeing, Friendships and Health. We were able to identify our emotions and talk about these. We learnt about how to be a kind friend and look out for one another, as well as exploring how to protect our own wellbeing by being kind to ourselves.


In ART we studied the work of Paul Klee with a particular focus on the picture ‘The castle and the sun.’ We used the style of Paul Klee’s work to inspire and create our own artwork, inspired by his picture. We developed our cutting skills to create shapes and patterns and joined them using glue, as well as drawing round shapes and developing our colouring skills. We used a range of media such as pastel and collage, and explored how we could use art to express our feelings. We found that colouring mindfully meant we did a better job, and also enjoyed it more!

We also had a week dedicated to DT this term. During DT week we designed, made and evaluated our own castle catapults to defend the 1/2ET castle from our opposition in 2DT! First we explored different types of catapults throughout history to get some ideas before designing our own catapults in groups. We worked hard in teams to lead our own learning, and come up with our own ideas, and then we explored different types of materials that we might like to use. All our catapults were different, but effective in their own ways, and we loved working together as a team with our friends. We worked with Miss Lambert to put them together, thinking about any changes we might need to make along the way. Then, the fun bit! We tested them in a mock battle against 2DT! We were thrilled to find out that our catapults won – one of them even sent the ball over 6 metres! As Joshua said, “this was the best thing ever!”. While the other class had to admit defeat, we always kept in mind that the competition was a friendly one, and great fun was had by all!



During our History lessons, we learned about how castles changed over time. We found out about motte and bailey castles and discussed why wooden castles were replaced by stone castles. We identified design features they were built with to help protect the people that lived in them such as: arrow slits, drawbridges, moats, battlements etc. We found out about the different roles in the castle and what life was like, and thought about whether we would have liked to have lived in a castle! What do you think?


In PE this term we developed our Fundamental Skills. We explored how to travel in a range of ways including jumping, hopping and turning. We experimented with a range of balances by using different parts of our bodies, trying to be as imaginative as possible. We improved our accuracy when throwing bean bags, balls and other equipment.


This half term we have also explored different types of information, and how Computers can be used in a modern world to support our wellbeing. For example, we looked at how Computers supported us during the recent lockdown to communicate with others, to work and to learn from home. We sorted information into different types and then worked on presenting our own information in different ways by logging on to the laptops, typing and inserting pictures using Microsoft Word.