Wet & Windy

Today was particularly wet and windy so we started our forest school session off kite-making in the classroom. Then, as the weather improved, we were able to take them outside and fly them on the playground.

Class 1 Term 3

Dear Class 1 Parents,

Welcome back! We hope you have all had a wonderful Christmas Holiday and would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a splendid 2018!

As you know our topic for Terms 3 and 4 is ‘Let It Snow; Let It Grow’. We have been blown away by the phenomenal home-learning projects that the children have produced over the holidays. The children have clearly enjoyed creating them and have talked enthusiastically about them during our celebration sessions. We very much appreciate all the time and effort that you have put in in order to support this pre-learning so thank you! In Term 3, we will be focusing our learning on Winter and the Polar Regions. We will be learning about what makes Winter wintery; the similarities and differences between seasons with a particular focus on weather; where, how and why some areas of the world are very hot and others extremely cold; comparing ‘who’ and ‘what’ can survive in these cold regions; as well as taking part in experiments involving melting and freezing ice. The children will also be learning about famous polar explorers such as Shackleton, Scott and Amundsen.


Children will continue to have opportunities to develop their vocabulary through new and exciting themed role-plays, as well as a variety of speaking and listening activities. We will focus on a number of different fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts to base our literacy work on, including:

  • Lost and Found
  • Emperor’s Egg
  • Solo
  • The Storm Whale in Winter;
  • Blue Penguin;
  • Once upon a Northern Night;
  • The Teddy Bear’s Great Expedition;
  • Little Penguin
  • Stopping by the woods on a snowy evening
  • Snow
  • Science of snow
  • Penguins
  • Rainbow bear (Michael Morpurgo)                                …as well as many others!

Our writing focus for Reception is to gain confidence to use their phonics to write simple words and sentences independently. In phonics, Reception will be revisiting Phase 2 sounds and will be introduced to Phase 3. Year 1’s writing focus will be on developing their understanding and use of adjectives to improve description. They will also be encouraged to continue applying their growing Phase 5 phonic knowledge to further support their spelling.


As was stressed in September, in Class 1 we are passionate about reading! Firstly, we would like to thank you for the support you have shown with regard your child’s reading. We do appreciate how busy life can be and know that it can sometimes be a struggle to fit everything in. In school, we will be continuing to read daily with the children. One some days this will be 1:1 but every day your child will be involved in hearing several shared stories.

Please continue to support us by also reading for a minimum of 10-15 minutes every day at home. For YR this reading time could still involve looking at the pictures of a book with your child; encouraging them to make up their own version of the story; or it may be you reading to your child. If your child now has a reading book with words you may need to encourage them to sound out simple decodable words and help them with tricky words. Re-reading the text over a number of days will help them to remember those tricky words and support building their sight vocabulary. For Y1 please support your child to read their book but also remember to discuss it. You could share the meaning of unfamiliar words; ask questions about the characters; get your child to pick out their favourite words; or re-tell the story together. The most important thing to do is to make this reading time fun and enjoyable! Thank you for your support with this area of your child’s learning.

Following the success of our reading book system, we will continue to provide two book banded books and a sharing book each week. Please remember that the idea of this is that the books should be read and re-read for one week. Whilst reading the same book over again can be ‘challenging’ for us as parents, this repetition is very important for early readers as it helps them to gain confidence; familiarity; build their vocabularies; develop an understanding of rhythm and pattern; as well as for developing comprehension skills. Books will be changed on a Thursday so please ensure your child’s books are in school on that day. The yellow reading record is for you to use at home but please ensure that it is kept in your child’s book bag. In the reading record please write one comment for each day that you read. When 6 pages of the yellow book have been completed then a reading certificate will be given to your child during our weekly Thursday assembly. We will also be checking reading records for these certificates on Thursdays so in order to avoid disappointment with delayed certificates please be sure that your child’s reading record is in school.


Through the use of practical maths sessions, in which we will promote the use of a wide range of concrete apparatus, the children will be covering the following objectives:

Reception Objectives


  • Estimates how many objects they can see and checks by counting them.
  • In practical activities and discussion, beginning to use the vocabulary involved in adding and subtracting.
  • Records, using marks that they can interpret and explain.
  • Begins to identify own mathematical problems based on own interests and fascinations.

Shape, Space and Measures

  • Beginning to use mathematical names for ‘solid’ 3D shapes and mathematical terms to describe shapes.
  • Selects a particular named shape.
  • Orders two or three items by length or height.
  • Orders two items by weight or capacity.
  • Uses everyday language related to time.

Year 1 Objectives

Number – Place Value

  • Describe the place value of numbers to 20.
  • Compare and order numbers.

Number – Addition and Subtraction

  • Add by counting on.
  • Find and make number bonds.
  • Add by making 10.
  • Subtract (not crossing 10).
  • Subtract (crossing 10).
  • Explore addition and subtraction fact families.
  • Compare number sentences.

Shape, Space and Measure – Time

  • Order the days of the week.
  • Order the months of the year.
  • Length


Your child has a log-in for this online Maths website. Please encourage them to use this as regularly as possible at home to help develop their maths skills. This was very popular last year and the children loved receiving certificates for points earned!

Year 1 spellings

As this is the start of a new long term a new Spice Up Spelling Sheet will be stuck into your child’s spelling book. Each Monday your child will stick that week’s list of words in their spelling book. They are to learn those words by the following Monday using one of the menu choices. We expect the children to complete one activity per week and for it to be signed and dated by an adult. The tasks can be completed in their new spelling books. Please ensure that your child’s spelling book is in school every Monday.


We have two PE sessions a week. These take place on a Tuesday and Thursday. Please ensure your child has their full PE kit (fully named) in school for each session. At Blackboys School we are extremely lucky that the Tuesday morning session is taught by Mark Potter; a qualified sports coach. Whenever possible this session will take place outside so please feel free to also include jogging bottoms, a sweatshirt and trainers for this session to help keep them warm. Please ensure your child’s PE kit is clearly labelled and named.

Forest School

In Class 1 this year we are extremely privileged to be having whole class Forest School sessions every Monday afternoon. These will be run by a qualified forest school leader and Blackboys’ parent; Mrs Lydia Godfrey. She is very skilled in this area and has been delivering Forest School lessons for us for a number of years now. In addition to Mrs Godfrey, Ms Butler (Class 1 TA) and Miss Pavitt (Class 2 TA) will also be attending these sessions. Please be aware that additional parents will also be required in order for these sessions to run. If you are interested in helping please speak to a member of the Class 1 team or write your name on the sign-up sheet (outside area).

For Forest School your child will need the following items. Please ensure that your child brings the following items into school every Monday;

  • Wellington boots
  • Long sleeved top
  • Trousers (not jeans)
  • Waterproof coat
  • Waterproof trousers (if possible)

Please be aware that the children will go out whatever the weather and are likely to get wet and muddy so do not send them with their best clothes.

Parent Voice

Parent voice is extremely important to us and we love to hear what your child is getting up to at home. Please continue to complete ‘Wow’ slips or jot down any achievements that we should know about. The children love sharing their ‘wow’ certificates with one another.


At Blackboys we pride ourselves on making sure that our children take pride in their appearance as well as in their behaviour and learning. Thank you for ensuring that your child is looking clean and smart for school each day. We do ask that you double check that your child’s uniform, including coat/lunch box, is clearly labelled with their name.

Water Bottles

Staying hydrated is very important for learning. The brain needs a considerable amount of water each day to function effectively. Therefore we encourage the children to drink water at regular intervals. To aid us with this please send a named bottle of water for your child to drink in class. Children are able to drink from the water fountain but having a water bottle in the classroom is a lot easier.

9:05-9:20 Monday morning – share a book!!

In order to promote a love of reading our YR children stay in the classroom during assembly time on a Monday for our class ‘share a book’ session. This is a special time for parents to come into the class and read a story to a pair or small group of children. Hearing different people reading is extremely valuable to the children because as adults we all read with different expression, tone and intonation. The children really enjoy these sessions and younger siblings are also invited to join in the fun. This term these sessions began again on Monday 8th January 2018.

9:05-9:20am Thursday Assembly

As a school we like to support local and international charities. Each term a charity is chosen by our school counsel and a collection for that charity takes place each Thursday during our assembly. It would be greatly appreciated if your child brought a small donation (spare change) on this day so they can put money into this collection. Parents are also always welcome to attend this assembly.

Parent Helpers

If you (or a Grandparent) can spare any time each week to come and help in Class 1 we would be extremely appreciative as it is most beneficial to the children’s learning. Please let me know if this is something you would be able to do – we can be flexible with days and times.


With our change in topic and the nature of learning environment evolving as your children grow and develop there are a number of resources that we would find very useful. If you have any of these which you are able to lend or give to us we would be most appreciative. If you would like it returned please label with your child’s name. Many thanks in advance!

  • Winter hats, gloves, scarves
  • Zigzag clothes airer
  • Clothes pegs
  • Baskets
  • Cardboards tubes
  • Bottle lids
  • Large pieces of material
  • Tapes – cellotape, masking tape, brown tape etc

If you have any other resources that aren’t listed but which you think may be of use please speak to Mrs Haverty.

Useful Class 1 Dates

Here are some dates that you may want to add to your diary:

Friday 12th January Reception Café
Friday 19th January Year 1 Café
Wednesday 28th February Class 1 school trip – Plumpton
Tuesday 6th March Class 1 assembly

Finally, if you ever have any queries or questions please do not hesitate to email me at lhaverty@blackboys.e-sussex.sch.uk

Very Best Wishes,

Mrs Haverty and the Class 1 Team


Throughout terms 1 and 2 Class 4 took part in a new initiative run by the Lions Club. Working in small groups within class, each group had to come up with innovative ideas for the future. The groups had to present their ideas to the whole class and a panel made up of judges Mr Sullivan, Chair of Governors, Katherine Rabson Stark and Miss Cross. The winning group of Fletcher, Thea and Owen were then invited to the finals of ROAR2017 at Wakehurst Place on 7th December. The group of 3 hosted their stall showing people their idea, using designs on the Ipad and posters presenting their idea ‘Trash to Treasure’, a car which ran on recycled materials.

We are delighted to inform you that out of 20 schools taking part and 4500 children, our team won the competition overall. We are super proud of them. Well done! There are further details of this on our school Twitter feed @blackboysschool

Class 3 Term 3

Welcome to 2018! I hope that you all had a really relaxing and enjoyable break. The next two terms are the shortest of the year, but we have lots to fit in! As always, the children have returned to school full of enthusiasm and energy, and I’m looking forward to seeing what they create this term!

Term 3

Our overall topic for this term is ‘Farm to Fork’. We will be studying the way in which food gets from its original source to our plates! At the beginning of term, we will be focusing on geography skills as we look at where the different elements of our food come from. After half term, we will then begin to look at the history of farming, with a particular focus on farming in Ancient Egypt.


Spelling: One activity to be completed from the Spice Up Spelling sheet that will be sent home. This is set and to be handed in on a Monday. Please ensure that spelling activities are put in your child’s spelling folder.

Literacy: A homework menu will be sent home, listing a variety of tasks for children to complete each week.

Maths: This will reflect current classroom learning, giving children the chance to either consolidate or extend their learning. At times this will be set using Mathletics.

Literacy and Maths homework will be set on a Wednesday, and should be handed in on a Monday. If children fail to bring their homework in on time, they will be expected to complete it at lunchtime and will miss part of their golden time on a Friday. Please see me before school or send a note in with your child if there is a problem on a Monday.

Reading: It is expected that children will read to themselves independently each evening. However, Children still need to read with an adult at home at least twice a week. This gives you a chance to ask them questions about their reading, helping them to develop quality reading skills outside of the classroom.

Monday Homework handed in. Spelling activity handed in. New spelling list sent home.

Tuesday PE with Mark Potter.
Wednesday PE with Miss Breeze. Homework given out.

Thursday Forest School

Key Dates


Friday 2nd February Year 3 café
Friday 9th February Year 4 café
Last day of term
Tuesday 20th February Parents Evening
Wednesday 21st February Parents Evening
Thursday 1st March World Book Day
Monday 26th March Easter Service
Thursday 29th March Cup Assembly
Last day of term



This week, we have started looking at the book, ‘Journey’. This is a completely wordless book in which children have to study the images very closely to spot clues and to work out what is happening in the story. This gives us some really great chances for creative writing. After this, we will be reading the classic Dick King Smith story, The Sheep Pig.


We start this term by finishing off our work on multiplication and division. Following on from that, we will spend a short time learning about measurement, before moving on to a longer focus on fractions.


Science this term is about living things. We will be learning about what it means to be ‘alive’, before learning about how animals and plants can be classified in different ways. Then, we will be studying the ways in which environments can change, and the ways in which that can affect the things that live there.


In DT this term, we will be baking our own bread.


In art we will be studying different methods and artwork to do with printing.


In the first part of term, we will be trying to answer the question – How can a synagogue help us to understand the Jewish Faith? After half term, we will be learning about what it is like to follow God.


In PE, we will be developing our skills in games, while also growing as gymnasts. Tuesdays will be taught by Mark Potter and Wednesdays by Zara Breeze.


Going for Goals using the Go Givers resources.


In ICT, children will be learning about internet searching, and how they can tell if a website is trustworthy. We will then learn how to use a simple spreadsheet using Excel.

German, recorders and singing will continue to take place each week.

Class Trip

Class Three will be visiting Bridge Cottage in Uckfield, where we will be learning about food and farming through history. We will then hopefully spend some time in Tesco, learning more about how food gets onto the shelves and into our homes. The date for the trip is still to be confirmed but is expected to be in the first 2 weeks after half term.


We would be delighted for anyone who is involved in any step of the farm to fork process to come into school, whether that be as a farmer, a butcher, a fisherman, a manager or any other role! Please let me know if you would be able to come in and talk to Class 3 either as a whole class or in small groups.

As a school, we are keen to give children the opportunity to see maths in action in the real world. If anyone would like to come into school or host a small group of children in a real life maths setting, please let me know!

If you have any questions, please see me after school or contact me at rboorman@blackboys.e-sussex.sch.uk

Class 2 Terms 3 & 4 – Rainforests Going, Going, Gone!

Dear Parents,

A big welcome back after the holidays –hopefully you all had a relaxing (!) and festive time and are ready to start the New Year with energy and enthusiasm.

Our topic for this term is Rainforests – Going, Going, Gone!  We have lots of exciting activities planned for Class 2. The children have already shown lots of interest in finding out about rainforests and are full of questions and ideas.

We have a good selection of books to study this term, including Rainforest animals by Paul Hess, The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry, “Slowly, slowly, slowly,” said the sloth by Eric Carle and many more.  We will be writing in different genres, including riddles, stories, explanations and poetry.  Handwriting is a big focus this term, and it would be great if you could encourage your child to complete their homework in pencil using a pre-cursive style that they are learning in school.  Year 2s can begin to join up, but need to be making sure they are remembering to form their letters correctly when they do this.

In Maths this term we will be starting with a focus on place value, going up to 50 for Year 1 and 100-200 for Year 2.  We then move on to understanding multiplication and division, so it would be great if the Year 2s could learn their 2, 5 and 10 times tables.  They can all count in these amounts, but they need to be able to recall facts from the tables, eg 5×5=25.  Towards the end of term we will be working on measurement; length, weight, height and capacity.  So a good time to send your children into the garden with buckets of water to get an understanding of the capacity of containers.  Or  to bake cakes to help them to understand the weight/mass of ingredients.  Mr Sullivan continues to teach Maths on a Tuesday morning and will, this term, be focusing on time.  It is of utmost importance that all the children are regularly talking about time, looking at clocks and watches, especially analogue faces.  The Year 1s are expected to know the time to half past and o’clock, and the Year 2s are expected to know it to 15 minutes, with some children going further to know to 5 minutes.  Your help with this topic is vital!

Our topic lessons this term will be focusing on the rainforest, understanding how they are formed, looking at climate and our science lessons will be focusing on the animals and plants that live in this habitat.  We will be creating some artwork based on a book called “Where the river meets the sea” by Jeanie Baker.  Our DT topic in term 4 will be designing and building a rainforest sculpture.


Homework Menu

As usual, there will be a homework menu for the term, with a range of activities to suit all learners.  Please choose one activity a week and hand it in on a Monday morning to be marked.  The children should be starting to take a bit more ownership of their homework, especially remembering to bring their books into the classroom.  Please encourage them to do this.


Every child should be reading for a minimum of 10-15 minutes each day. They could read to you, their siblings, independently or read with you. You can also read to your child and then discuss the book in greater detail. Comprehension is an incredibly important part of reading. You could also ask your child to predict what will happen next, describe what has happened, explain events, describe characters or rate their book. Lots of discussion!

All reading should be recorded on the Reading Record Booklet and then brought to school for a certificate.


Please remember to keep using Mathletics to practise rapid recall skills and to consolidate learning from lessons.


There will be a new spelling menu for term 3.  I have decided to send home a separate book for spellings this term to enable to children to keep practising their words all week.  It needs to be handed in on a Monday to get a new spelling list, and then it will be given back to the children at the end of school on a Monday.  I have also decided to give the children less words each week to help them to be able to remember how to spell each one in their writing.


P.E. kits

Our P.E. lessons are on Gymnastics on Monday afternoons and Games on Tuesday mornings. We ask that girls bring in a pair of socks on both days as tights cannot be worn in PE lessons- these can be left in their PE bags if necessary. Also, during the colder months we would like a pair of jogging bottoms to be brought in on Tuesdays for their games session.


Please check that your child’s uniform is clearly labelled with their name. We are still finding lots of property is mislaid and name labelling helps resolve this! Thank you.

Key Dates

Friday 19th January Year 1 café
Wednesday 24th January Parents’ e-safety workshop 7-8pm
Friday 26th January Year 2 café
Thursday 22nd March Class trip to Wilderness Woods

As always, if there are any problems or concerns with your child, please come in and discuss it with me.

Many thanks,
Mrs Sullivan

Christmas Theme

Due to the extreme weather, we stayed inside for Forest School today.  We played a few games in the barn before heading back to the classroom for a craft activity.

Keeping with a Christmas theme, we filled the room with the scents of oranges and spices as we pressed cloves into the fruit. These were then tied with wool and ribbon and given  a dusting of cinnamon. Pomanders made, the lovely Christmassy aromas could be taken home.