Elm Class

List of Online Education Resources for Home Education | Letters and Sounds for home and school YouTube channel

If you are learning about butterflies this week you may come across caterpillars in your garden or on your walks. Most are completely harmless, but some have hairs which can irritate the skin. It is best to avoid touching them if you are at all uncertain. I hope you enjoy your learning this week!

Essential Knowledge to Support Your Children with This Week’s Learning

Youngest children do not need to know all this, but it can help, if you need to answer questions, to know the following facts!

Many adult insects have compound eyes.  Each individual part is called an ommatidium.  (Plural: ommatidia). Each ommatidium “sees” a small part of what the insect is looking at, and its brain joins the pictures together to make a whole picture, a bit like a jigsaw puzzle.

Compound eyes allow insects to distinguish between colours.

Humans can only see 'white' light and its colours (the colours in a rainbow). Insects can see a different type  of light and a different range of colours.

Humans can see red, which is invisible to insects. However, insects can see ultraviolet light, which is invisible to us.

Flowers have bright colours and patterns that attract insects. This means insects can find the flowers they need to feed off more easily, Flowers need the insects to help pollinate them, so they also use scent and nectar to attract them.

Plants make nectar to attract insects, as it is a great source of energy for them. Insects visit flowers to feed and collect food for their offspring. Nectar has no function for the plant itself.

This week we are learning about butterflies.

There are lots of butterfly related maths and English activities this week, as well as the main science-based learning.

First read the presentation with/to your child and talk about what they have found out.

See how many butterflies you can spot in your garden each day, or on your daily walk .  Sunny days are best! Record your findings using the Guide to British Butterflies. Which butterfly types did you see most frequently?  Which types did you not see at all?  In my garden I this week I have seen the Large White, the Red Admiral and the Common Blue butterflies.

If you can, gently and safely catch one to observe at home. You will need a jar with a lid with holes in it.  Catch your butterfly carefully in the jar, with a piece of the plant you found it on.

You can then observe its body parts, colour and patterns, draw a picture and make notes.  Then release the butterfly so it can carry on with its day.  They do not like being kept in an enclosed space and it is not fair to keep them longer than a few minutes, just long enough to have a good look.

Look at the reading comprehension sheets and decide which one is right for you.

Year 1 and Year 2: read and discuss the sheet you have chosen, with someone else.  Then answer the questions.  Remember to say out loud your sentence first, so you know exactly what you want to write.  Take care when spelling new words: they are on the sheet. Use the word mat I put on the website earlier for other spelling reminders.

Reception children: read sheet one with a grown-up and talk about each stage.  Practise saying new words like “cylindrical”.  Find something that is the same shape as each of the different  butterfly’s eggs.


Complete the Life Cycle workbook.  A word mat is included in this week’s pack.

Y1 and Y2

Use complete sentences, and write as much as you can about each stage in the life-cycle of a butterfly.


Children can  say and “I can see “ sentence for each page and find the letters they need from the sheets I put on the website a while ago.


I can see the eggs.

At this stage, children may not hear all the sounds in words so help them by stretching the word out.  It’s fine if they can only hear initial and final sounds at first.  Get them to copy you stretching out the sounds till they hear enough to write a recognisable word.  Having a go is the most important part of process, not the correct spelling.

You will know if your child might need you to show them “I can see” for the first time, and then ask them to copy for the next sentences.

Your child might write something like this: I can se the egz.


I c s eg

This is brilliant.  Choose one thing that they could make better and help them with that by supporting them to find the word on a word list and improve their spelling.


All children

Choose from the Butterfly Maths activities this week.

Science Y1 and Y2

Do insects prefer bright colours?

You will need

Coloured card or paper cut to the same size
• Pebbles
• Tally chart
• Pencil
• Identification sheet or picture cards


Children find out if insects can tell the difference between colours and if they are attracted to some colours more than others.


Working individually or in small groups, children place pieces of coloured paper or card outside on the floor on a warm, sunny day. Choose only three colours, red, They sit quietly nearby and observe the paper for an agreed amount of time, counting and recording how many insects land on each colour. Children repeat the test twice during the day to validate their results.


Insects are attracted to and land on bright colours more often than dull or pale colours.

Key vocabulary

  • colour
  • eyes
  • flower
  • habitat
  • insect

Reception - Understanding the World

Go on a minibeast hunt!  Use the chart to record all the animals you see.

  • sit quietly and carefully observe the insects that visit each colour
  • use a tally chart to record how many insects visit each colour
  • identify any insects that they know and write their names next to the colours they visit
  • repeat the recording process for two more tests
  • identify any patterns in the results from their three tests
  • calculate and record the total insect visits to each colour over their three tests
  • display their results using a simple pictogram or bar chart.

Please continue to read with your children daily, talking about their reading and supporting them to use the letters and sounds they know to blend them into words. Try supporting them to sound out (remembering to avoid an 'uh' sound after each letter e.g. "nnn" not "nuh" as demonstrated in the parents' meeting earlier in the year.

There is a wealth of free supportive resources on the internet if you have access. BBC Bitesize phonics phase 2 will remind children of the letters and sounds they have already learned.

Phonics Play Phase 2 for parents offers opportunities for sounding out and blending games. Picture match is great for reading short words and matching them to pictures. Unfortunately, this programme uses Adobe Flash, so if you cannot run this on your device you will not be able to access this site.

In school they would practising using and applying the sounds they have already been taught to reading and writing captions, labels and short sentences with support. A sound mat can be found at the bottom of the class page to support with writing. Your child can say the word they need out loud, stretching it so they can hear each sound. Then they can find the correct letter or letters for each sound if they cannot remember them.

Writing for a purpose about things they are interested in always produces better results. Why not send a letter from their favourite toy or TV character, asking some questions about their day that they can answer if a letter back? At this stage don't expect lots of accurate spelling! Some children may only be able to write initial and final letters to go with the sounds in words, others may be able to do more.

Next week I will send individually tailored activities for your child.

I will miss the time working with your wonderful children, and wish you health and happy learning.

Please check in your child's book bag for reading books, word challenge and a maths booklet - please support your child completing these tasks.

The year 1/2 common exception words are attached and we encourage you to play spelling games with the words to help your child read and spell the words - they can also use the words to construct sentences focusing on the spellings and handwriting.

The children need to write a recount about their visit to Bodiam Castle.

Look at the pictures with your child and encourage them to tell you about the day.

Next, read my example of a recount with your child and spot together where I have used adjectives (describing words) to help my reader imagine what the castle was like. Also, think about the order of events I have described. I have tried to get the sequence right, so it isn’t confusing for my reader.

Then, notice together all the different ways I have started my sentences so that the writing does not become repetitive and boring. Also see if you can spot questions and exclamations, which also add interest for the reader. In addition, you can see that I have tried to finish off my writing with a final comment on the day. This gives the piece a definite ending.

When your child is ready, ask them to write their own recount. They can borrow ideas and words from me and use the word mat to help with word choices and spellings. They will value your encouragement, and sometimes will need to check back with you.

Thank you for supporting your child’s learning in this way.

Ms Korpe, Mrs Andrews, Mrs Aldridge and Mrs Bamber welcome the Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 children to Elm Class.

PE is on Wednesday and Friday so please ensure clothes are all clearly labelled and PE kits are in school.

Term 4 Topic - Towers, Tunnels and Turrets

See the castle ahead? Get ready to invade its mighty walls! Shoot a projectile with an archer’s aim! Head across the drawbridge, over the moat and up to the top of the tower. Meet Rapunzel who lives in a tall, tall tower. Let’s build a brand new one. Whose is the tallest? Can you measure it? Then dig deep, deep down, making burrows and tunnels, just like the animals who live underground. What’s that sound? I hear little hooves going trip, trap, trip, trap, over the rickety bridge. Watch out for the angry troll underneath. He likes to gobble up little girls and boys! Make sure your bridge is sturdy enough to take our weight and get us safely to the other side. And finally, meet three little pigs who need your help to build a strong fortress. Inside its strong walls they’ll be safe from the big, bad wolf! No huffing and puffing will blow your fortress down!

Topic Letters 2019-20

Useful Downloads

Class News


Bodiam Castle trip.


This term the children’s topic is Castles. The children have learnt that castles come in different shapes and sizes and that they are built out of different materials. The children have developed their vocabulary knowledge and can now name and label different parts of a castle. They have also experimented with printing techniques to create brick patterns. Next week the children will start to create and build their castles. This is in preparation for their class trip to Bodiam Castle.


in Science, Elm class looked at the suitability of materials. They wrapped 'snowmen' in different materials to see which would be the best insulators and keep them from melting. The children correctly predicted that the fluffy fur would be the most suitable. In English the Year 1 and 2 children enjoyed George's Marvellous Medicine and Roald Dahls use of descriptive language creating much fun and laughter in the classroom! The Saplings were matching pictures to initial sounds and counting one more and one less within 20. They are excited about their new role play area which is a garden centre.


Last week Elm Class had lots of fun melting ice cubes. The children in years 1 & 2 made predictions and careful observations during their Science lesson and were surprised to find that the ice made out of washing up liquid melted faster than the water! The ice made out of butter felt so slimy and didn't melt at all! The reception children also worked with the ice to see what happens when you chip away at it and pour warm water on it. In another lesson this week all the children got to enjoy making ice cream to see how milk changes when it is frozen. They certainly enjoyed tasting it!


Elm class have been busy learning their lines for the Christmas Production and the words for the accompanying songs to sing. I have only heard and seen tiny parts of the production so far and what I have seen and heard has been very impressive. I look forward to joining you all next week to watch it in full. Thank you to the Year 2 Parents that were able to come to the Year 2 information meeting this week. We hope you found this meeting useful.


Elm have had a busy couple of weeks in class. First of all, the children and staff were all very excited to welcome two new friends to the class: Shay and Ely. They have settled in really well, and are a fantastic addition to Team Elm! In maths they have been learning about shapes and their properties, so they can describe and sort them. When learning about direction the children drew a map of the school, and can now give directions including quarter and half turns and left and right! It has been great to link this learning to using programmable toys and write short programmes to send them off around the classroom.


The children have been working hard at addition and subtraction, thinking about more, less and equals. They have been learning about the number 7 and finding out about numbers in lots of ways, such as searching for them in the foam tray! In phonics the class have been thinking about applying their knowledge to reading captions and writing short words. The pupils have also been thinking about words which are a bit tricky to read and spell, like ‘the’ and ‘to’. When speaking, the children have been trying to join sentences with ‘and’, ‘but’ or ‘so’ and then using this in our writing.


Elm have been busy trying out their cookery skills. The children got to make pumpkin soup which was delicious. The children also went pond dipping to learn more about pond life and what creatures live there. The horrible weather did not put them off. Elm have also been using their detective skills, looking for clues to help them find out more about the school. They discovered that parts of the school are new, whilst others are very old. They also were able to interview a parent who came to the school in days gone by to find out the differences between our school now and then.


Elm have been very busy retelling stories they have read and then writing their own! The children started by drawing story maps, then used them as a plan for their own stories. The children have learnt how to mix colours and painted a starry night and some bears. Outside Elm have been digging up potatoes and carrots and will be making pumpkin soup soon. The class are now learning how to be street detectives, and finding out about old and new features in the school. Some of the class have been mixing sand and water to make cement, so they can build houses just like the Three Little Pigs!


The Elm children have been settling in nicely. The Reception children have been learning about each member of staff, what they look like and the role that they do within the school. The children in year 1 and 2 have been super role models to the reception children and have taken them all under their wings. It has been wonderful to watch them learning and playing together throughout the day. The class are starting work on a project next week, could anyone help the class by donating some hay bales for Monday morning please?