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Denby Free CE VA Primary School

Imagine. Believe. Achieve. Shine.

“Let your light shine” Matthew ch 5 v16

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What Sparrows have been learning?

01.12.23—We thoroughly enjoyed preparing for and then performing our Night Spirit parade to the whole school. The children made streamers and lanterns for this, they painted their own Night Spirits, made posters, wrote invitations, learnt a song and played the music, it was absolutely wonderful.

The classroom is all set up for Christmas now and there will be lots of nativity practise and Christmas activities for the next couple of weeks.

24.11.23—Another magical week in Sparrow class. We have been learning about magical and mystical things based on our book ‘Ning and the Night Spirits.’ The children have been enjoying our unicorn small world, practising their letter and number formation with wands in the glitter, making posters to keep away the night spirits and writing letters to help Ning. We even took a trip up to Bluebell Woods to read more of our story.

In maths we have been finding out more about the numbers 4 and 5 and we have been making cakes with 4 or 5 candles in. The Year 1’s have been solving take away number sentences and learning about materials in science.


17.11.23—We have had a great week learning how to be better friends and making sure we know what bullying is and what to do about it. We have used the stories of Elmer and Rainbow Fish to help us understand. The Year 1’s have been writing friendship recipes and we have been making friendship potions in the mud kitchen and water tray. Inside we have made friendship bracelets, huge paper hugs and kindness postcards for our friends and family.

We have all been learning about circles and triangles and the children have been making pictures with these shapes. The Year 1’s have been adding by counting on and subtracting using objects.


10.11.23— We have had a lovely week back after the break basing our learning on Remembrance and war stories such as ‘Where the poppies now grow’. We have completed lots of poppy crafts and hopefully you have seen some of these displayed in our windows or outside of class. We have been playing soldiers, making trenches, tanks and hideouts, we have made playdough poppies, poppy wreaths, stained glass windows and played armies in the small world. We have made medals for the soldiers and written letters as if we were soldiers writing home from war.


26.10.23 - We have reached the end of term and have been learning all about the Christian Creation story. We have been making books telling the story of creation using pictures, we have been creating art, Lego and playdough models. The children have been appreciating the food we have with some mindful eating and sharing their thoughts of what makes the world beautiful and what would make God sad about the world.

20.10.23—We have been hunting for Naughty Bus this week—if you spot it please let us know. We have been drawing on and under tables, making egg carton buses, learning about numbers 1,2 and 3 with the ducks in the water and in the mud kitchen or inside with the stacking dolls and the bingo game.

The children are doing so well with their phonic sounds and are now segmenting to spell and writing words such as ‘red bus’. We hope you have spotted their posters outside school? Year 1’s are writing sentences with phase 5 sounds in and this week have been writing postcards about their travels with Naughty Bus.


13.10.23—Naughty Bus has been set loose in Sparrow Class this week and caused so much mischief. We have enjoyed basing our learning on the story, we have made story maps, written the rules for Naughty Bus, constructed paper buses, painted a huge bus of our own which the  children have been playing in (we even had a musical bus) and played the ‘filling the bus game’.

We have all been learning about patterns and the Year 1’s have been learning how to partition numbers into two groups.

06.10.23—We have had another wild week in Sparrows. We have been measuring height and length with the sunflowers and cars, measuring capacity with the bottles in the water and measuring mass with the balance scales. We have made the right size box and Lego cages for the animals like in Dear Zoo. We have completed our Wild Things work and have made masks for our own Wild Things and story maps for a new adventure.


29.09.23—We have enjoyed our Harvest themed week which culminated in our performance in church which we hope you loved. We have been scooping out pumpkins, working in our own fruit and vegetable shop, playing with the small world farm, making fruit and vegetable prints and much more.

We have all been enjoying the story of The Enormous Turnip and practising our harvest performance. In maths we have been comparing groups and using the vocabulary more, less and the same. In phonics, Reception have been learning the ‘i, n, m and d’ sounds and Year 1’s have been going over the phase 3 sounds.

22.09.23—We have had a ‘wild’ week in Sparrows this week and the weather decided to join in! A jungle grew over the weekend and then we seem to have been visited by ‘Wild Things’. We have based our learning on the story ‘Where the wild things are’. We have been counting monsters and feeding them pompoms with tweezers, we have sailed boats along tracks, tunnels and chutes and explored our jungle playdough.

In maths we have all been matching socks, sorting and grouping buttons and the Year 1’s have been counting up, down and identifying one more of amounts. We have all started our new phonic sessions and everyone has engaged with these. The sounds Reception have covered are included in a newsletter letting you know how to enunciate the sound and how we form the grapheme. Year 1’s have been recapping Phase 3 sounds and have had their first three reading sessions.


15.09.23 - The children have settled so well it's like they have always been here. This week we have been learning about the story of 'The Good Samaritan' and we have made first aid kits to help those in need. The Year 1's have been consolidating their knowledge of numbers to 10 and we visited the church to look at the flower displays.

08.09.23 - The Sparrows new and old have settled in wonderfully. We have been learning about our emotions using the book 'Colour Monster'. The children have loved exploring their surroundings and seemed to have enjoyed themselves. 

21.07.23 - The last week has flown by. We have seen our butterflies emerge and fly off, we have harvested and eaten our potatoes, watched the amazing Aladdin performance and Leaver's Service, tried out our new year groups for September, found out and celebrated Rosh Hashanah and enjoyed some time across at the park.

The children have been amazing this year and we are so proud of each and every one of them. Enjoy the summer break and I will see you all in September.

14.07.23—We have had a snail filled week. The children have been making paper plate snails, drawing snails, handwriting with snail trails, making playdough snails and making homes for them in the construction site. All the children have been writing wonderful fact files about their chosen minibeasts.

We have all been having fun with money and paying for different items with the coins. In phonics the Reception children have been learning to read and write words with lots of syllables and the Year 1’s have been learning about plurals.


07.07.23—This week we have been learning about worms, writing poems about what Superworm can see, making growing tissue worms, measuring worms, skipping with worms, drawing worms and much more.

We have been sharing amounts and the Year 1’s have been comparing two digit numbers. The Year 1’s have completed their photo stories by turning them into a Powerpoint and shared them with the class.


30.06.23—It’s been a wonderful week with the highlight on Monday of Jungle Jo and her wonderful minibeasts. We have been using butterflies to learn about symmetry and doubling this week. We have made tissue paper and Numicon butterflies and counted the butterflies in the jars. We have had the new Reception children visit over the lunchtimes and have been learning to take and edit photographs.

Year 1’s have continued representing numbers between 50 and 100 and have been writing their own stories based on ‘The very hungry caterpillar’. Our own caterpillars are not small anymore either.


23.06.23— We have enjoyed learning about ‘The very hungry caterpillar’ this week. The children have been making their own story maps and then adapting these ready to write their own stories. We have made moving caterpillars, paper chain caterpillars, Lego number sequencing caterpillars, jigsaws and even had our own live caterpillars delivered. The children have been so kind and caring looking out for our new Reception children and we all enjoyed Sport’s Day up until the downpour.

In maths the children have been solving one another’s subtraction stories and the Year 1’s have been representing numbers between 50 and 100.

We have Jungle Jo visiting us on Monday with a selection of minibeasts.


16.06.23—A busy and wonderful week. The children have loved learning the story ‘What the ladybird heard’ and drawing and labelling maps of the farmyard. They have made paper bowl ladybirds and moved tiny ladybirds with the tweezers. The highlight of our week was our visit to Carsington, with the children loving their minibeast hunts in the woods and pond dipping. Huge thanks to the adults who came along and made this visit possible.

Year 1’s have been counting up and back to 100 and we have all been practising our subtraction skills. Year 1’s have done brilliantly completing their Phonics Screening check.

For the next two weeks we are basing our learning on caterpillars and butterflies and the story of ‘The very hungry caterpillar.’


09.06.23—Well that has been a crazy week back after the break?!?The children have started learning about minibeasts and we have focused our week learning about frogs. Outside we have been jumping like frogs, exploring the frog swamp and frogspawn (chia seeds), hunting for and drawing minibeasts. Inside we have been writing riddles, finding out about metamorphosis and the life cycle of frogs, making party blower frogs, fly catching frogs and solving addition lily pad challenges.

The Year 1’s have been preparing for the phonics screening check next week and doing lots of positional and directional work for maths.


26.05.23—Wow what a wonderful end to the term. This week we have been making and testing our rockets, singing superhero theme tunes, riding the balance bikes, writing and reading our own books, enjoyed a Superhero party on the moon, had the best fun on the Tough Runner, danced away at the disco and then celebrated Pentecost. Phew, we are all ready for a rest.



19.05.23—Another busy week. We have been scientists and found the best material to make an astronauts MAG (nappy) from and we have found out about Judaism, about mezuzahs and celebrated a shabbat meal. This is alongside the portraits they have been painting, the hair salon they have been enjoying, the character speech bubbles they have been writing and much more.

We have all been finding out about odd and even numbers and the Year 1’s have been finding quarters of numbers and shapes.

12.05.23—After the Coronation celebrations on Friday and the long weekend we have still managed to fit in lots this week. We have been writing to and receiving letters from Bob, the man on the moon. The children have been flying in box rockets, walking on moon boot stilts, making words in the moon dust and lots more.

In maths we have all been learning about the number 17 and halving and have made food to cut in half along with playdough pizza and cupcakes. In phonics Reception have been recapping some Phase 3 sounds and Year 1’s the ‘wh’ sound. We have all been learning about the materials that objects are made along of with their properties.


05.05.23 - We have had a super week learning about King Charles and the coronation alongside lots more flying things including planes and helicopters. The children have been serving tea from the water tray, coronation food in the mud kitchen, they have made crowns and written about what they would decree if they were the king or queen. We have also been making and flying planes and helicopters.

In maths we have been increasing our knowledge of teen numbers and tens and ones and the Year 1's have been learning about arrays and have been practising doubling and how this is the same as multiplying by two. In phonics the Year 1's have been learning the 'oe' and 'ow' sounds and Reception the 'ure' and 'er' sound (spellings are on Spellingshed). We have travelled by plane all the way to Mexico and the village of Tocuaro to compare our lives to theirs.

28.04.23—More aliens this week. We have made aliens from bottles, toilet tubes and paper plates, we have picked eyes out of the alien slime and predicted what would happen next in the story ‘The way back home’. We have also been learning about the constellations in the night sky, copying these with marshmallows and cocktail sticks, by sewing and by treading beads onto pipe cleaners.

In maths we have all been learning about the number 15 and the Year 1’s have been counting in 5’s and making equal groups. Year 1’s have been practising their reading skills and sequenced this week’s story. In phonics Reception have been learning the ‘ear’ and ‘air’ sounds and the Year 1’s the ‘aw’ and ‘au’ sound. We have found out about different animal diets and done lots of drawing of birds and King Charles III. We had a wonderful Wednesday walk where we saw the spectacular Bluebell Wood in full bloom.



21.04.23—It’s great to be back and the children have had a  wonderful week. We have started our new topic of Up, up and Away and this week we have based our learning on aliens and the book ‘Aliens love underpants’. They have made shape aliens, playdough aliens, ordered underpants, flew in the spaceship role play and lots more.

All of the children have been designing their own alien and writing about it. We have all been revisiting the number pairs that make 10, counting in twos and tens. We have learnt how to stay safe online and about the planets in our solar system. Reception have been learning the ‘ow’ and ‘oi’ sounds and Year 1’s the ‘y’ making the ‘ee’ sound and spellings for these sounds are on Spelling Shed.


We really enjoyed our Easter walk and reflecting on the story.

31.03.23—We have had a fab filled Easter week. We have counted eggs, guessed what is inside them, weighed them and watched as they have cracked open and the chicks have hatched. The children have loved having the chicks and we will be sad to see them return to their mum. Many thanks to everyone that was able to make it to our Easter walk and service, we hope you enjoyed it.

All the children have been finding out about all the parts of the Easter story, we have retold it, acted it out, written about it, and sang about it. We have made hot cross buns and chocolate nests. Eloise’s Grandad kindly and cleverly made all the children the most wonderful egg cup which they have decorated and Eloise’s mum popped in the eggs—many, many thanks for your kindness.

Wishing you all a wonderful Easter.


24.03.23—We have been learning all about cars, trucks and tractors this week and the children loved their look around Harry’s Dad’s tractor. We have been washing and fixing cars and trucks outside, tallying the number of cars that drive past, the children have made some fantastic moving vehicles after finding out about axels and wheels and constructing vehicles using Lego and Mobilo.

The Year 1’s have been writing their stories based on Mr Gumpy’s Motor Car and in maths they have been measuring. In phonics Reception have been learning the ‘ar’ and ‘or’ sounds and Year 1’s the ‘ue’ sound. We have all been counting objects and comparing the amounts.


17.03.23—We have had a jam packed week learning about trains and boats using ‘The Train Ride’ story to help and of course our wonderful visit to Belper and Matlock Bath on the bus and train. We have enjoyed catching our pretend train outside and sailing in our boats, building train tracks inside and drawing one on top of the tables.

All of the children have continued building their confidence in telling the time to the hour and some to half past the hour. Year 1’s have been writing a recount of ‘The Train Ride’ journey and Reception drawing and writing about what they saw from the train to Matlock Bath. Reception have been learning the ‘oo’ sounds and Year 1’s the ‘ir’ sound.


10.03.23 - We have 'walked' through another week. We have based our learning on walking, road safety and the book 'Rosie's Walk' this week. The children have been completing obstacle courses and timing themselves as they go under, through, over and around like Rosie the hen. We have been practising crossing the road safely using our own pelican crossing and zebra crossing. We also loved our Wednesday walk to the pond at the back of Dumbles Lane. We have been drawing maps of Rosie's walk, our journeys to school and to treasure. The children have been identifying physical and human features on our walks and our maps.

The Year 1's have been writing instructions to get Rosie safely back to her coop. We have all been learning to tell the time to the hour and timing ourselves doing different activities. 

03.03.23—We’ve all really enjoyed Book Week. We celebrated by decorating our classroom as a jungle, river, desert and ocean so that we could perform ‘Walking through the jungle’. We have shared books with our church partner, had whole school story time and rescued crocodiles from the slime. 

We have continued phonics with Reception learning the ‘ai’ and ‘ee’ sounds and Year 1’s ‘ch’ making the c and sh sounds. In maths we have been measuring using rulers, number lines and cubes and Year 1’s have been doing lots of adding and subtracting.

Next week we will begin our ‘Are we there yet?’ transport based topic. We are learning about road safety and basing our learning around the book Rosie’s Walk.