Houghton Primary School

"Working hard to achieve our best"

Wrens (Y1)


Wrens Class are our Year 1 group.

They are taught by Mrs Taylor who is assisted by Miss Furness, Mrs Williams and Ms Hillman.

Summer Term 2020


Wk. beg. 6.7.20

How lovely to have our whole class together once again and have a chance to chat. How you have all grown! We were all so impressed at all the memories you had to share and the number of things you remembered that the grown-ups had forgotten about.  It was so wonderful to see you all and we look forward to welcoming most of Wrens back as Kingfishers. We send our very best wishes to Wrens who are flying  a bit further away and  we look forward to hearing all your news once you are settled in your new home.

Best wishes from all of the Year 1 Team


Wk. beg. 29.6.20

Hello again to all our lovely Wrens,

The start of a new month this week -I know we would be talking about which numbers will change in the days and refreshing our memories about which months only have 30 days. Do you remember the rhyme for this?

We  hope that you have managed to find ways stay cool in the very hot weather we have had. We hope that it won't be quite so warm this week. May be you would like to try some of the sporting activities Mrs Culpin has put on the school home-learning page as well as the things on the page for Wrens? We hope that you have lots of fun whatever you get up to.

Best wishes from all of the Year 1 Team.


Wk.beg. 22.6.20.

Hello Wrens !

Hope you have had a great week and made the most of  the sunny spells and may be even the puddles too. I know that some of you enjoy watching the weather and love a good a storm . It does make you feel nice and cosy when you are safe inside doesn't it? Lots of creatures in our garden were very glad of the rain and I have just been watching a food chain in action as a huge garden snail smashes a snail open. Not my idea of  a nice Friday night tea. I wonder what you are all having today ? I love having a chat  about our weekend plans and hearing what you got up to on Mondays- we really miss not being able to do that but hope that you have some nice things ahead to look forward to.Don't forget to keep reading- that is a nice way of travelling in your imagination . There are some lovely home-learning  activities based on adventures this week .we hope that you will have some fun with those.

Best wishes from all of the Year 1 Team!




Hello again to all of our lovely Wrens - we hope that you are all well.

I know that one or two of you have a birthday coming up very,very soon so a special cheer for you and we all hope that you have a great  birthday- and don't forget to enjoy your Birthday Boxing Day- your first whole day of being six. We'd like to congratulate everyone who has learned to do something new since we last saw you too! We know that lots  of you have acquired new skills -bike riding, throwing and catching and even learning to speak a foreign language to name but a few.I'd heard that the tooth fairy has been incredibly busy so we hope that you are all taking good care of those new teeth.This week we are carrying on our mini-beast topic with lots of ladybird based actvities. I am really hoping that the  rain,followed by warmer weather will be ideal conditions for lots insect eggs to hatch so there should be many creatures around for you to spot! Did you know that mini-beasts,or creepy- crawlies as lots of people call them,are not always popular?  May be you could ask your grown-ups what they think and why this is? You could find out their favourite/least favourite and see if you agree.Take a look at the home-learning pagefor lots of ideas for things to do this coming week- happy hunting!

Finally we'd like to say a huge thanks  once again to all the grown-ups who are doing a splendid job, in many different ways, to make sure that you are all still learning and cared for. We know what lovely people you all are to be with and what a privilege it is to be able do this!

Best wishes from all of the Year 1 Team.

Wk. Beg.8.6.20

A big 'Hello' to all of our Wrens.We hope that you have had a lovely time  this week. Did anyone notice the moon? The trees are in what we call 'full-leaf' now ,which is good for birds who are trying to hide but not so good for birdspotters who are trying to find them!  I wonder what else you have spotted ? You can always send us a postcard to school and practise your writing skills at the same time as sending us some news. I've been for a very wet walk today - I bet there are lots of Wrens who have been out puddle -jumping.

Sending all of your our very best wishes- and don't forget to look onour home- learning page for things to do this week.

Best wishes from the Year 1 Team.


We hope that whatever you got up in the last week in May involved being outside loads in this lovely sunshine! I have just cycled all the way round the fen near my house and heard not one, but two cuckoos, calling in separate places so Summer is almost here. As we couldn't take our tent away, we've camped out anyway in our back garden and enjoyed our first home-grown strawberry for breakfast one morning. I was lucky enough to get there just before the blackbirds discovered them! Look on the Wrens Home learning for some activities to do with foodchains.Mr James has been keeping an eye out for our carrot crop - they have needed watering as it hasn't rained now for ages.  You could look out ,if you are out and about , for other crops that are being irrigated by farmers.

Have fun looking and listening and don't forget to tell someone esle what you have noticed!

Best wishes from all of the Year 1 Team!






Wk. beg. 18.5.20

We have a bit of a lull in Wrens’ birthdays until next month but that got me thinking about how much you have all grown-up since you started in September and about all the things you can do for yourselves now. If you have younger siblings or cousins, you will know just what I mean. It has been lovely to chat to some of you this week and I have caught a few glimpses of one or two Wrens in passing. They all seemed to have got longer legs and sun-tanned faces. I hope that you have all managed to enjoy sometime outside.

I have been lucky enough to spot our first nest of goldfinches fledge this week but we are still waiting for the wrens by our back door.

We’d like Wrens to say a very special thank you this week to all the grown-ups who we know are doing their very best to look after you as usual and help you with your learning. Thanks too to the other friends and relatives who have become part of this process. We really do appreciate your efforts so a big thank you from us too.

Our best wishes,

The Year 1 Team


Wk. beg. 11.5.20

Well ‘Hello’ again! It is hard to believe we are about to start our second whole week of May. I have so enjoyed catching up this week with Wrens and finding out about all the things you have been up to- taking photographs of beautiful Spring flowers, finding out what baby animals are called and, lots and lots of you, drawing yourselves so that we can put you upon the fence!

This week, I have put something special for Tuesday- to write your diary for that day. This project has been mentioned on the school website too. May be you could tell your ‘far away’ family too then, in the future, you will be able to share the record of your day with each other.

Grown-ups -the instructions for this are quite precise but well-explained. If you would like to have a go, is worth having a look before Tuesday 12th. There are some nice examples and it doesn’t have to be perfectly spelt etc.


Little birds tell me that you have been working very hard with reading especially so very well done Wrens .Our sincere thanks to the grown-ups who have been helping you with all of this along with everything else they have to do. Mrs. Williams, Miss Furness and Ms. Hillman and I know what a special job this is!

We send you all very best wishes for this week.


Wk.beg. 4.5.20

We have a very special week ahead! The first whole one in a new month and one with some national celebrations. We have planned  some of our structured learning with this idea in mind and I know that Wrens are already expert flag makers. I know at least two Wrens have birthdays this week, so we send you our very best wishes.

It has been lovely to hear so many of you mention all the lovely things you have noticed happening in the natural world around you. Mrs Grant and I have been very, very excited by the arrival of swifts! She got to see them a few days sooner but that made me watch really carefully.We like to share our 'spots' with each other in the same way that you always tell us about the flowers, trees and trains you have seen!

Swifts are darker and generally fly higher than swallows .They have swept back wings and tend to scream as they fly.  Their babies are called swiflets

That got me thinking...

I know lots of you in the village have been lucky enough to see the swan's nest.Can you remember the name for young swans? It has a very strange spelling. I know that rabbits give birth to kittens but what about hares or bears or whales? May be you could find out and write a list so that you can tell us later. There are some very interesting ones and I can't wait to find out what you discover.

 Happy hunting and best wishes from all of the Year 1 Team !


Wk. beg. 27.4.20

Hello to all of our Wrens!

It was so nice to hear last week how many of you are spending your time. I know lots of you are learning to ride bikes, write letters to people the old-fashioned way and to finding ways of letting your friends know their birthday hasn’t been forgotten even when you can’t get to see them. What kind and lovely people you are growing into! Mrs. Williams, Miss Furness, Ms. Hillman and I often chat about how well you look after each other when you are in school. It is nice to know that you haven’t forgotten to be kind whenever possible!!!

I hope that you will get to look at some of the things on the home–learning page this week. I have heard some amazing things about people’s reading and how good they are getting, so keep practising. I am really looking forward to being able to share a story with you again!

If I didn’t catch up with your family on the telephone last week, I look forward to finding out all your news this week.

Best wishes for a good week from all of the Year 1 Team.



Wk.beg. 20.4.20

Welcome to a new term! I know there are quite a few birthdays coming up in the next few weeks and have been trying hard to remember whose pictures are on the balloons for April and May. We hope that those Wrens have a lovely time and manage to share some fun with their families, even if they can’t all be together.

I hope you have been on the lookout for new and different things appearing outside as the days get longer and warmer. We have had some lovely Orange-tip butterflies in our garden. Did you know that female orange-tips have grey tips, not orange ones at all? We have also had another summer visitor- a bird called a Blackcap. Female blackcaps have brown caps not black ones!



That got me thinking. I wondered if I could find a rainbow of creatures with colours in their name. I started with Red Kite, of course, then an Orange–tip. I wonder if you could finish for me? You could always draw your ideas and keep them safe then we can share these later. (The next thing needs to have yellow in its name. I cheated a bit and just put indigo and violet together and called it purple). It is something you could ask your friends and relatives to help with if you are talking to them on the phone or over the internet.

You could do it with football teams too- Liverpool, Blackpool, Norwich… I am sure that you will be able to think of lots more ways to make rainbows!

I look forward to catching up with mums and dads and may be even some of you on the telephone. It is always lovely to find out what you have been up to.

Have a good week!

Best wishes from all of the Year 1 Team.


Spring Term


Some exciting news for you  all ! The first two swallows have been spotted flying over the meadows near to where I live.I wonder if there are any over Houghton meadow yet and if any of you have been lucky enough to have spotted one?I wonder if you can still remenber where they have been all Winter and how long they will be staying with us now? I wonder if you have noticed how green the trees are looking now -those leaves were only buds when we were last talking together about deciduous and evergreen trees.

I hope that you all some fun over the Easter Bank holiday. I enjoyed finding out what my grandchildren got up to and I hope that you got to have some time in the sunshine too.

It has been lovely to talk to mums and dads (and some of you too) and finding out what you have all been getting up to.There are some activities for over the 'holiday' on the school website so don' t forget to look if you would like some fresh ideas. Looking forward to sharing some new challenges and activities at the end of this week ready for the start of the Summer term.

Best wishes to you all from all the Year1 Team.



A big ‘Hello’ to all our lovely Wrens and especially so if you have had a birthday since we saw you last. May be you are now 6 or about to be really soon? I know that is quite a few of you. Mrs. Grant and I have a big stack of stickers waiting for anyone who has missed out on their moment in assembly. I wonder if you remembered our class tradition of ‘Birthday Eve’ and ‘Birthday Boxing Day’? Don’t worry if not – you can always do that for the next person you know to have a birthday!

We hope that over the next few weeks you are able to enjoy the longer days and some sunshine. I have been watching a pair of wrens who are busily building a nest in the hedge just outside my back door. I know that many of you will have spotted some very busy birds too –keep your eyes open for the first swallows returning from Africa-it seems such a long time since September when we watched them gathering to set out on their journey.

We send you, your family and friends our very best wishes for a lovely Easter break. There are a few ideas on our home learning page for some Spring based activities. If you are stuck for ideas and would like to have a go at any of these, then please do.

Best wishes from all the Year 1 Team.


Hello Wrens! Hope you have had some fun this week wherever you are and that you have been able to enjoy the sunshine. I know how fast you grow just over a weekend so I expect that it will be hard for me to recognise you at all soon. I miss saying hello to you each morning and you all reminding me what it is I haven't done and what I need to do next! 

I wonder who saw the fingernail moon on Friday evening? I know someone would have been telling me about it on Monday so keep a look out and no, you don't have to stay up specially, you can see this at dusk! 

I have been trying to do 'Good Afternoon' everyday after my lunch so that I remember all your names in register order, you could try that too? Don't worry if you can't remember the Makaton sign - I just see a picture of each of your lovely smiles in my head as I do it. 

Love and best wishes from us all. Mrs Taylor, Miss Furness, Mrs Williams and Ms Hillman x

Week beginning   2.2.20

What a busy beginning we have had to this half-term! We had a wonderful trip to the Shuttleworth Collection last week -thanks for your support. The children were so enthusiastic and asked such amazing questions. The guides were extremely knowledgeable and were very complimentary about the way the children conducted themselves. We all had a great time!

We were lucky to have Mr Gregory, who came in last Friday, to explain all about how Hawker Hurricanes were constructed. It was lovely to be able to follow up our visit back in the classroom and the children have produced some amazing writing about Otto Lilienthal and about the Wright Brothers. We are looking forward to extending our knowledge into more recent developments in aviation as well as looking at how birds are built to do this. We were fascinated to find out too that a piece of fabric from the Wright Brothers’ ‘Flyer’ built in 1903, was taken to the moon in the Apollo 11 in 1969.

We’ve reduced our food waste by turning leftover snack-time carrots (which no longer looked very appetising) into tasty soup. We had great fun peeling, chopping and grating and we are now waiting patiently for our own crop of carrots to germinate and are counting the days -and weeks and months- until we have our own crop. The vegetables at lunchtime have been treated with a little more respect since we have had to prepare our own and wait for ages for our plants to grow.

Week beginning 27.1.20

URGENT APPEAL ! We know everyone is trying to reduce their use, but please save us any clear plastic containers - the deep kind that grapes sometimes come in- we need these for next Wednesday.Thank you!

We have had a very productive couple of weeks working very hard on adding and subtracting, looking at materials all around us and getting ready to share the story of ‘The Bear and the Piano’ with you in our assembly next Friday. Wrens may bring home some words to rehearse for this but they will not need anything special to wear.

We have been talking about the months of the year and their order, the changing seasons and the order in which they come, though the dips in and out of wintery weather have not really been how this is shown in story books! We have talked about this too and have been looking out for signs that the days are becoming longer, noticing the effects this has on the plants and animals in the environment around us.

In reading, we are trying to use not only our phonics skills but our understanding of what we are reading, our knowledge of tricky words and any other clues, e.g. from pictures, to help us become more fluent. Thanks once again for your continued support with this- those snippets in reading diaries and quick chats at the door are invaluable. Our Year 1 team is kept very busy and we can really see the progress Wrens are making as we observe them using their reading skills throughout the day.

Diary dates

Friday 31st Jan. Raptor Centre owls visiting us at school.

Wed. 5th Feb. Open Evening 6-7pm- a chance to pop in the classroom and get a guided tour from your very own Wren!

Friday 7th Feb 9am – Year 1 Sharing assembly.

Tues.25th Feb. Year 1 and 2 visiting the Shuttleworth collection

More details about all of these events have been sent via parent mail.





Week beginning 13.1.20

It has been wonderful to welcome two new Wrens to a new year at Houghton. All the children have settled in really well and have grown in independence as well as height!

Our PE sessions this term will be on Wednesday, inside, and Friday outside – weather permitting. We are lucky to have the expertise of Mrs David, a specialist PE teacher, this term and Wrens have already shown off their listening skills, making a good start to their gymnastics unit. Many thanks for being so great at ensuring kit is always in school- we know this is not a straightforward task! The wind has been quite chilly on occasions and an extra layer, top and bottom, is always useful for outside as are socks for anyone wearing tights.

Details of our visit next half-term have been sent by parent mail. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any queries.

Thanks too for all your support with reading.We appreciate this very much.


Please click here for information on the Year 1 Curriculum Autumn 2019

Autumn 2019

Week beginning 16.12.19

Wrens have worked so hard in between all of the extra learning of songs, words and actions for our Christmas assembly. It was lovely to see them, dressed in all their finery, so proud to share everything they had accomplished. Thank you for all of your support with this and of course for being such a wonderful audience.

We have been getting very good at teens numbers and there will be a poster to bring home in the new year to help us remember which way around to write the tens and ones and also how to spell the words.

We have enjoyed our 12 days of Christmas stories very much and we have looked forward, especially on grey and gloomy afternoons, to the lovely warm feeling that sharing a story together gives you! As well as Jesus’ Christmas Party which we now know so well, we found out how Mog and Paddington spend Christmas. We heard of Jonathan Toomey’s Christmas Miracle and also enjoyed a story based on the true happenings in Antarctica, Christmas 1910 when Tom Crean’s rabbit had kittens. Many of these stories can be accessed on-line if you want to find out more.

We hope you enjoy a happy and healthy holiday time wherever you are and we look forward to welcoming back some very grown-up Wrens next year!

Many thanks for all of your kind wishes. Books have come home so keep reading…

The Year 1 Team




Week beginning 25.11.19

What a wonderful display of teamwork we have had this week in lots of different situations! Wrens have been so grown–up in the way that they have worked together in pairs and in small groups, sharing their learning and working collaboratively to produce some amazing weather vanes, tackle some difficult mathematical ideas, make loads of little words from one big word and make a great start on our Christmas assembly.

We have been thinking about what it must be like to be an explorer and to travel to discover things. We had first-hand experience of this when we set out across the meadows on Wednesday afternoon to check the wind direction. Less than 24 hours after having seen a video of a large flock of starlings flying in formation, we were treated to a ‘mini’ murmuration all of our very own-magical! (There are some fabulous film clips on line if you get chance to look). We have discovered that our school playground is rather sheltered and our wind vanes may need a little adjustment – they didn’t always match what the beautiful golden version on the church spire tells us. We are looking forward to trying to match the weather to the wind direction and we now have pretty good ideas about how to work out which direction is which from where the sun rises and sets. Short days aren’t all bad!

We’ve been very exciting too by the arrival of our new outside table so sincere thanks to all for contributing ideas, time and money to enable us to improve our outdoor provision. The children are full of ideas for what should go on the table when we have finished identifying trees by their bark!





Week beginning   11.11.19

Another busy week which has just flown by! Thank you so much for making sure that Wrens have had the right gear for the weather conditions –it has meant that we have been able access fresh air and run off some energy despite the week being so wet.

We have had fun continuing our learning about the unsung recycling heroes of our planet- fungi. The children have come up with lots of amazing questions they’d like to know the answers to. We have made a start on trying to find some answers, discovering some interesting facts along the way. Did you know that fungi include not only some of the smallest but also the largest single living organism which is estimated to cover an area of 3 square miles? We modelled the underground threads or hyphae with some white sewing thread and covered ourselves with edible glitter-the fungal spores- which fell from our cocktail umbrella mushrooms. We have talked about the difference between supermarket mushrooms which are edible and wild fungi which you mustn’t touch as it is always best to assume these are poisonous!

We are back on number based work in maths and have been looking at breaking small numbers-below 10- into two parts and recording our work in a number sentence.

Thanks once again for all the effort which goes into reading at home. We make hundreds of book changes a week and the number hasn’t dropped off even though now books are longer, it can take more than one night to finish one! We really do appreciate how hard this is to squeeze into busy family life but even short bursts make an impact.

Week beginning   28.10.19

We have made the most of the wonderful sunshine this week, getting out to the park to see and collect some of the amazing array of colourful leaves there. The children were fascinated too by the plaque to commemorate the lady who fought to keep this green space way back in the 1930s -we felt very grateful for her determination and foresight. It was a real privilege to have such easy access to a resource described by the author of the book  'Leaf Man’ as one of the 'most beautiful art supplies in the world’.

This story has really captured the children’s imagination and they have been busy this week getting to grips with the geographical language used in the book. They have worked together retelling the story to each other and learning some bits off by heart. We are looking forward to using our pressed leaves in some collage work.

We’ve been developing our language skills in maths as well, learning to describe the features of 3 d shapes and we’ve got quite good at sorting pyramids from prisms and learning the names of some special types of these so expect to have faces, edges and vertices pointed out on juice cartons, bean tins and smartie tubes. (We just said look- you don’t have to buy!)

Thanks again for returning Wrens all kitted out and also for keeping up with reading. It has been fantastic to see how much their skills have developed.We look forwardto catching up at next week's Parent Consultation evenings.





Week beginning 16.9.19

Welcome to the new term and a special welcome to the Wrens who are new to Houghton!

The children have made such a smooth and splendid start that it is hard to believe that they haven’t been back for much longer than just the few weeks we have spent together. They have already grown up so much and are becoming even more independent as each day passes.

Just a few ‘house-keeping’ notes for your information now that we have a settled routine:

Reading books – please sign when you have read with your child-they can’t always remember even if we do have chance to ask! The children are responsible for putting book folders which need changing in the box first thing in the morning. It is useful if their reading book is in school each day even if hasn’t been read or is not finished – we sometimes use these during the school day.

Thanks for the fantastic response we have already have with this- we know that regular reading makes a huge difference to the progress children make. Please feel free use the diaries to pass on any messages about reading.

PE kits – our PE days this term are Monday and Friday. We will try to make the most of being outside whilst the weather is fine so an extra layer to wear if it is a bit chilly is useful. We will also be building the ‘Daily Mile’ into our routine so the children will need their kit each day. We’ll aim to ensure that these come home on Fridays for washing.

Again, huge thanks for your part the great start we have had with this.

Wellies and coats- there is space on the rack outside our classroom for the children to keep a pair of wellies. They will need these to go out into the woods or onto the playground when it is wet. Children need to have a coat in school every day as we often go out and about and the weather often changes during the day.

Snack boxes- we are encouraging children to keep these in their trays so that they can find them easily without adult assistance. Small, flat boxes fit best if this is possible. Thanks for sending labelled water bottles- we encourage children to have water rather than squash or juice. Fruit is provided in addition to any snacks the children bring. Again, we try to encourage healthy snacks and would ask that these don’t include sweets or anything too chocolatey as this can get in a bit of a mess.

Names –we are encouraging children to become increasingly independent and responsible for sorting out their own things. It is enormously useful and much less stressful for them if they can identify clothing easily from a name label!

Home learning- details of things we are covering will be posted on the home learning site with ideas of how you might be able to support your child’s learning.

Many thanks for all your support-we really appreciate this.


Week beginning 30.9.19

What a busy week ! We have continued our Autumn theme, looking carefully at the changes in the natural environment around us and feeling the change in the weather too. We have been preparing for our Harvest celebration by making a wheatsheaf-shaped loaf- each Wren made a stalk of straw and two ears of wheat and we finished the whole thing off with a harvest mouse.We had some real 'pasta' wheat as a model and now we are trying to sprout some grains just as the farmers are preparing to do.

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We have been comparing numbers in Maths and using the phrases 'greater than','equal to' and 'less than' as well as using symbols for these. look out for the crocodile jaws coming home to you soon!

Once again, a sincere thank you for such a fantastic effort with reading again this week. Please don't worry if some books take more than one session and we know that sometimes children can really benefit from another go at the same story.We look forward to sharing our work with you at Open evening next week.

Week beginning 14.10.19

It was wonderful to see so many parents at our open evening and to see how very proud Wrens were to share their efforts with you. We understand that other commitments may make this difficult sometimes –books will be available to look at during our next parent consultation evening. We have had a very busy few weeks since then, continuing with our Autumn theme collecting and comparing leaves so that we can identify different trees and using these to make our own creatures. We have carried on exploring the pathway of migrating swallows and have thought about the landmarks and features swallows might pass over on their route to Africa. In maths, we have been exploring shape in 2 dimensions, then using these flat shapes to understand how 3-d shapes work. We had great fun making shape skeletons with spaghetti and mini-marshmallows- sticky work but someone has to do it!

We have been so impressed by how hard Wrens are working on their reading. It has been a pleasure to see their confidence in tackling unfamiliar words really improve not only in reading books but across the rest of the curriculum too as the children try to use their reading skills in different situations.

We are looking forward to catching up with you at the parent consultation evening soon after the half-term break. We wish everyone a healthy and restful break and hope that the weather is kind enough for everyone to enjoy some time outside!

Many thanks for all you do to help us support Wrens' learning- it makes a huge difference.



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