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Penguin Class News

Welcome to Penguin Class page!

We will update this page regularly with the exciting learning your children will be doing this year. 

We had a vistor today come in to talk to us about plants. Hazel's mum is a botanist and ecologist with a wealth of knowledge about plants. She talked to Puffin and Penguin class about seed dispersal using plants we are familiar with like dandelions and sticky weed. We tried raspberries to find the seeds and that animals disperse seeds like that in their poo! We also looked at the amazing carnivorous plants that eat insects and saw videos of this cool process. The children were then able to have a close look at some plants and flowers using magnifying glasses and a microscopic lense that attaches to a phone camera. The children loved it and we are very thankful to Anna for coming in!

PSHE - Outdoor learning

Today the children took part in a Jigsaw outdoors lesson about change. We are learning to recognise that changes are part of our development. 


We began our session by having some Mindful Movement. The children moved around the field as a caterpillar e.g. wriggling, crawling and shuffling before changing to acting like a butterfly e.g. running, skipping, flapping our wings. After we took part in our Calm me and focussed on our breath and exercising calm and quiet. Then in our Tell me section was learning about the butterfly’s lifecycle and relating it to our own lifecycle. The children then explored an orienteering trail, finding lifecycle cards that were hidden in the marsh.

KS1 trip to see The Lion King!

RE - Shabbat

Today we learnt about Shabbat and the traditions that Jewish people have. Children can relate to special meals they have and special traditions we learnt about in Christianity. We also tried the traditional bread Challah.


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Flying our kites

Telling the Time

The last two days we have been looking at time and used clocks to make time to the hour and half past. We used key vocabulary of minute hand, hour hand and o’clock. We know that if the minute hand is pointing to the 12 it is o'clock and if it is pointing to the 6, it is half past. We discussed that the hour hand is between two time as it has gone past that hour.

13.06 - DT - We are kite designers

This week is our assessment week. While some children will be taking tests, the rest of the children are completing our DT project which is 'We are kite designers'. On Monday, the children explored history of kites. We discussed different kites from around the world and the reasons why they were invented.


Today, the children have been given a design brief from Mrs Bayliss to design a kite for her children. They need to think about the design and material of the kite to make sure it is fit for purpose. We discussed how the weather affects the kites material and its ability to fly so to test their materials in weather like conditions, the children tested each material by ripping it, stretching it, blowing on it with a fan, and dunking it in water. The children will share their results and decide what material is most suitable for their kite. 

Describing a seaside setting

Today the children were learning how to describe a seaside setting.

The lesson started by me describing a beach for the children to draw. I described it very poorly to show the importance of including adjectives in our descriptions so that the drawings are accurate. After, the children were put into into pairs and took turns to describe seaside settings to their partner. The children were prompted to use descriptive language to describe the nouns size, location and appearance, their partner then drew a picture of the setting from their partners description. The children learnt that the more descriptive they were, the more accurate their partner's drawing was.

Half of an amount

Today, we have explored how amounts can be split in half through sharing. We have learnt that a whole can be shared into two equal parts, but they must be equal. The children used manipulatives to share into two groups. They used the stem sentence, there are ___altogether so half of __ is __. We also discussed what happens when we share an odd number of items, that there will be an odd one left so it can’t be shared equally or that item might be able to be cut in half to make it equal.

Today the children learnt about compass points. They used a pirate’s treasure map to navigate around the island using compass directions.

Half of a shape

Today, we have explored how shapes and objects can be split in half. We have learnt that a whole can be split into two equal parts, but they must be equal. We explored this using numicon and 2D shapes and seeing the different ways we can split them in half.

Term 6 - 6.6.22 - Measuring the capacity of containers

Today the children were able to go outside with a variety of containers and water to measure capacity. The children had to measure the capacity by counting how many smaller cups take to fill their containers. The children were asked to estimate which container held more, especially if they are taller or wider, and test this to find out. Then we measured out specific volumes of water. The children were encouraged to use the unit of measure 'millilitres'. 

This is a sneek preview of the children painting and designing their tile for the communial mosaic. They have used lovely pastal colours and a handprint that will come together to create a beautiful picture when all put together. 

The Rivalins's Field - Learning about plants and wildlife.

Today we had the opportunity to go and explore the gardens in our local community. A parent, David Rivalin, very kindy offered to show us around the beautiful gardens he has created. David is a landscape gardener and designer, and he has taken an uninhabited land and turned it into a beautiful ecosystem. There were various trees, plants, fruits, vegetables, pondlife and wildlife, that we were able to explore and identify., The children had a great time. Thank you, David!

Comparing weight

Today the children have been using the balancing scales to weigh items. First they put two different items on either side to determine which was heavier and which was lighter. We know that the heavier item will go down and the lighter will stay up. We then used cubes as a unit of measure to weigh the two items and compare. We could explain that one is heavier because it weighs more cubes.

Art Inspired by Giuseppe Arcimboldo

Planting seeds in Science

Today the children were able to plant their own sunflower seeds. We will observe them grow and add to our plant diary throughout the summer term with observations, predictions and notes of what is happening. We are also making a class experiment where one seed will go into a dark cupboard to see if plants can grow in the dark, one will have no water and one will have no soil. This will help us to see what a plant needs to grow well. At the end of term, the children can take their sunflower home with them to be planted in their gardens. 

In English, we have learnt about verbs and that verbs are doing or being words. The children matched the verb to the picture card. 

Measuring mass

In maths, we have started looking at weight and mass. We have used key vocabulary to compare weight (heaviest and lightest) and looking at what happens on balancing scales. The heavy item goes down and the lighter item goes up. We then had a go at using balance scales ourselves and using cubes as our unit of measure to find out how many cubes the items weighs. 

Geography - Countries of the UK

Our new topic is all about the seaside in the UK and we are going to be learning about the different countries in the UK, their capital cities and the surrounding seas. We started by placing different coloured playdough on the different countries of the UK so the children could see where they are and where they border. 

Measuring using a ruler

Today we have been using our rulers to measure things around the room. We ensured we were using our ruler accurately, starting on 0, and using the units centimetres. 

The Secret of Black Rock

The children have been learning about our new English story, 'The Secret of Black Rock'. We have created a story map and actions to help memorise the story. This will help us to rewrite the story later in the term. 

An old Eynsham Primary school tradition came back today, the May Day Parade around the village! The children loved it and all look so smart in their formal clothes with lovely displays of flowers and hats. Thank you to all those who came to see us and give us a wave. 

Length - non standard units

To begin to measure length and height, we used non standard units of cubes. We discussed that when using non-standard measures (e.g. not a ruler) we need to make sure they are all the same and positioned carefully. We measured different objects around the room and counted how many cubes long they were - we had some measure the length, width and height of tables and other classroom equipment.

We have started to look at length and height this week. To begin with, we have been comparing and put ourselves in height order from tallest to shortest. The children were very good at comparing their height to others and putting themselves in order. 

Today the children are exploring the alphabet. They will be doing a range of activities to learn the difference between a phoneme and a letter name, and alphabetical order. We will then move on to ordering simple words, learning how to order words starting with the same letter.

Celery Investigation

In science, we have created an investigation to see what happens to celery when it is put in coloured water. The children made brilliant predicitions, using great scientific vocabulary to describe what may change, which will be the best or anything that may go wrong - for example, lots of children thought I put too much food colouring in and it may not be able to 'drink' the water very well! We need to leave them for a few days and will observe the results and write a conclusion.

Overnight, some leaves have already started to change colour slightly. 

We have continued to look at 1p, 2p, 5p and 10p coins. The children were given a ‘purse’ of money and they had to count their pocket money. We discussed the best way to do this and decided we could use our knowledge of counting in 2s, 5s, and 10s to group the coins by value and count each group at a time. Some were challenged to then add all the groups together to find the overall total.

The next day, we had a go at make specific amounts to buy specific items. The challenge was to pay in the most efficient way - so using the least amount of coins. 


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The children had a great time trying out the different parts of the drums. We make a great band!

RE - Palm Sunday

Jesus on Palm Sunday

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In RE we are learning about the Easter Story. We have been discussing people who are special to us, why they are special to us and how we would welcome these people. We discussed an example of the Queen and why people would greet her in a particular way. We then role played this greeting with someone playing the Queen and how it feels. This leads onto how people greeted Jesus on Palm Sunday.  

We watched a clip of how Jesus was welcomed on Palm Sunday and then we reenacted this as a class. We discussed how Jesus was greeted and why Christians thought Jesus was special. We discussed the symbolism of the palm leaves and why these were used. We created our own to use in our re-enactment and included words that we would say or feel on His arrival. 

Mother's Day Pottery

Miss Warrington ran an after school pottery club and the children who went made some beautiful work to give their mums on Mother's Day! 

We have started learning about money. We are starting by looking at 1ps and the different parts of coins including head, tails, date and where it says what coin it is. We then took it in turns to be the shop keeper as our partners paid for items with 1ps and the shop keepers carefully checked the money. We learnt that 5 one-penny coins has a total value of 5p.

Today we created actions to go with our story map to help us remember it by heart.

Mama Panya's Pancakes - Story Map

Taste testing smoothies

Today the children taste tested three smoothies.

  1. Strawberry and raspberry
  2. Pineapple and mango
  3. Apple and cucumber with spinach

The children guessed what the ingredients were in each smoothie, described them and rated each one out of 5. This will help the children decide what they would like to include in their own smoothie in the next lesson. Would they like it to be smooth and creamy like the strawberry smoothie? Or fresh and juicy like the apple and cucumber smoothie?

28.03 - DT - We are drink designers

Today the children started their DT project ‘We are drink designers’ and by the end of the topic, the children will be designing and making their own nutritious smoothie.

We started by brainstorming how many fruits and vegetables the children knew. We named fruits and vegetables one by one till we ran out of ideas. The children did well with this, listing both common and unusual fruit and vegetables.

After we completed a feely bag activity, where the children had to guess the food in the bag without looking. This led us onto conversations about the characteristics of different foods, describing how we knew they were the different foods. This might be due to size or texture.

We then discussed where our food comes from and learnt whether different fruits and vegetables are grown under or above ground. We learnt that a root vegetable is a vegetable that is grown under the ground.  We worked in small groups to sort foods into their correct section. 

25.03 - Jungle Jonathan's Roadshow

Maths - Counting in 5s

This week, we have been counting in 5s. We have discussed the patterns we see when we count in 5s and make groups of 5s to count how many altogether. We then made these for the specific number sentence. 

21.03 - Our Big Science Event Posters

17.03 - Big Science Event - Can 6 year olds run faster than 5 year olds?

English - Mama Panya's Pancakes

The children have really enjoyed looking at our new book 'Mama Panya's Pancakes'. A story set in Kenya. They have predicted what could happen, put the story in order and acted out the final scene thinking about the dialogue the characters could use, including questions and statements. 

Today, the children could see how counting in 10s can be more efficient than counting in ones. They used concrete materials to make groups of 10s to help them count how many altogether. They then used this knowledge to make specific multiplications by matching the correct groups of 10s to the number calculation. They can then use these groups to help solve a problem.

The children have been counting in 10s this week and here the children went on a hunt around the room looking for items that come in 10s and counting how many altogether. They were challenged to make connections with the 10 times table by asking specific questions, e.g. what is 4 groups of 10. Children could use concrete resources to help them like dienes and numicon.

We had an amazing time at Cotswold Wildlife Park! We got to see lots of African animals and Beth, one of the keepers, talked us through lots of interesting facts about giraffes, lions, zebras and rhinos. 

We were able to look at lots of different types of animals, which linked nicely with our Science topic too. Can you spot some of the camouflaged animals in our pictures? 

In Science, we have been learning about 'Animals including Humans.' We have looked at the different animal classes; reptiles, amphibians, mammals, fish and birds. We spoke about what they eat and the different mouth shapes they have - this led onto why their mouth is like that and if it can tell us if they are a herbivore, carnivore or omnivore. We then went into groups and decided the different ways we could group these animal cards; it could be by diet, class, mouth and we had some original ideas like cold blooded or warm blooded; land or water. 

Instruction writing - How to make pancakes.

To celebrate pancake day and our new English book 'Mama Panya's Pancakes', we have started the term by tasting pancakes and making pancake batter. We spoke about what needed to be done first and how much ingredients we need and the bossy verbs we use to tell people how to make them. After doing it in real life, we wrote the instructions for ourselves. 


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This week, the children have been learning to count in 2s and the link to the 2 times table. They have done a great good of finding pairs of items and counting them in 2s and also grouping items to count in 2s!

World Book Day and Enjoyment for Reading

The children had a great time dressing up for World Book Day! So many children did a brilliant job of sticking to the KS1 theme of Julia Donaldson characters - which characters and books can you spot? 

In KS1, we want to celebrate reading and generate an enjoyment for reading all kinds of books - so we gave the children a chance to explore books and promote the pleasure for reading. Puffin's classroom was the quiet area for independent reading and Penguin's classroom was the chance to share and talk about books with others. They could read under the tables, on pillows and blankets, on the floor, laying down ect! They loved it. 

African Pictures and Lemonade

Maths Scavenger Hunt

Maths - Subtraction

Today, we looked at subtraction number sentences and how to present them in different ways. First, we had to count the pictures to know what to subtract and ensure the biggest number goes first in our number sentence. We then showed this on our tens frame and crossed off the correct amount. We could then show this on a number line and know our number needs to get smaller.

Safer Internet Day

Safer Internet Day

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Tuesday 8th February was Safer Internet Day where we have time in the whole school dedicated to learning and revising how we can stay safe online. In year 1, we had a story about Digiduck and his friends guessing his dads password which meant he could buy extras on his game but Digiduck didn't realise this was actually with real money. We discussed the reason we have passwords and how to make the strong and hard to guess. We discussed what was safe to share with people and what is personal information that should be private and with people they trust like parents. Lastly and most importantly, that is they ever feel uncomfortable and unsafe online they can tell a grown up. 

Squishy Subtraction

We are starting to look at subtraction, so the children carried out the activity ‘Squishy Subtraction’. They made the bigger number with playdough and subtracted the smaller number by squishing the playdough flat. We then began to represent this in a part whole model by understanding the bigger number is our whole – what we first have – then one part is taken away, now how many are left? This also helped some to see the relationship between addition and subtraction.

Add by making 10, with number lines

We had great fun outside learning about number lines and that instead of doing little jumps, we can do big jumps to 10 because we know our bonds so well! 

Handa Surprise Innovation

We are creating our very own verison of Handa's Surprise, but instead of being set in Africa with Africian fruit and animals, it is being set in Britain with British fruit, vegetables and animals. The children are having a great time mapping and planning their story to make it their own. And again, we had a good laugh at my drawings as the class helped me plan 'Mrs Maton's Surprise'. 

We have been looking at the Maasia Tribe, people who live in the countryside of Africa and have their own traditions and culture. They use colours and patterns to express different values relating to their tribe. They also make beaded jewellery and we had a go at designed and making our own necklack. 

African Dancing

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In PE, we have been doing different African dances. We have been looking at the Gumboot Dance, rhythm and beats. These usually include hitting the side of a boot, stamping, clapping, clicking. Here are some of our dances. 

PE - African Dance

English - Non-chronological report about Elephants

Add by making 10

We have been focusing on how to add in different ways and ways that can be quicker. This week we have thought about how it is easier to add with ten so we can make a bond to 10 and add on what is left over. We visualised this on our tens frame to see how we can partition numbers to make a full ten. 

Bonds to 10 and 20

This week we are looking at knowing our bonds to 10 really well and how this can help us in lots of different ways in our maths, because 10 is a nice number to work with! We used our knowledge of bonds to 10 to think about how this can link to our bonds to 20. We explored this with numicon. 

In Maths, we have been counting on. We made sure we start with the biggest number and understand that it is how many more. 

Maths - Shape hunt

We are learning about 2D and 3D shapes in maths, and we started by searching for all the 2D shapes we could find around the room. Some were shape equipment but we were also able to find some shapes in everyday objects!

Today in English, we pretended we were Max and went to see Where The Wild Things Are. We went to the Marsh and explored the setting using all our senses. We described the setting by using adjectives for the nouns that we could see, hear, touch, smell and feel. We even found some Wild Things and the bright moon and stars. The children used brilliant adjectives such as, rough, crunchy, delicate, fierce, scary, sharp claws, tall. 

This week in maths, we have been comparing numbers using the symbols, Greater than >, Less than < and Equal to =. 

We have done this by answering addition and subtraction number sentences and then deciding which symbol would go in the middle to compare them. 

Christmas Decoration for 'Light Up Eynsham'

As part of the 'Light up Eynsham' event, happening at the sqaure on Friday 3rd December, each class has been given a part of the song 12 Days of Christmas. Penguin's are creating a christmas decoration for the tree using the 3 french hens. Here is a sneak peak into our creation. 

Please come to the Light Up Eynsham event to see the final result. 

Look at these brilliant moving pictures! The children had a DT project to design and create their own moving pictures based on a scene from our English book, 'Where the Wild Things Are.' They decided which part of their scene would move and why. The children had a variety of mechanisms, such as using a lolly stick as a slider and split pins for things like moving an arm. They enjoyed making the background with collage and seeing their moving picture working.

This week is Anti-Bullying week, focusing on 'One Kind Word', how to be kind to yourself and others. As part of this, we had Odd Socks Day and a Mindfulness workshop where we were given strategies to help us feel calm and be in control of our minds. 

Jam Sandwiches

In English, we are beginning to look at instruction writing and will be writing our own instructions later in the term. To start the topic, what better way to learn about instructions than following them ourselves to make a jam sandwich! We thought about what we needed to do first and the importance of doing things in order to ensure it is successful. We also spoke about the imperative verbs, the verbs which are bossy and tell you what to do, e.g. put, spread. And finally, we could eat them (if we wanted to) as our break time snack. 

Library Visit

The year 1s and 2s have been very lucky to go to visit the library. We were able to explore the library and all the books they have on offer. We saw the different sections of library and how it is organised into information books, picture books, chapter books, etc. We are then able to choose one to take home with us and share with our parents/carers. 


These are due back in December when we can hopefully visit again and choose a new one. 


(This group went during 'break the rules' day) 

Steel Pans

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As part of Black History Month, we had a company come in to show us how to play steel pans. He told us some history of the steel pans, which began in the Caribbean in Trinidad and Tobago when someone found old oil drums washed up on the beach and decided to play it as a drum in a carnival, it then developed in popularity and the instrument was made. We were then able to have a go at playing these and looking for the different notes and size of the notes depended on how it would sound.

Steel Pans

African Dance video

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As part of Black History Month, the children took part in some traditional African Dance and learnt a routine. We were told we had very good coordination and showed our brilliant dance skills!

We all had a brilliant time on our school trip to the Woodstock Museum to see the dinosaurs and fossils! We saw a huge megalosaurus, real fossils left by a megalosaurus millions of years ago and we acted out how this is possible, as the sun dried the footprints, then water and sediment preserved them underneath where they were dug up later for us to see. We were able to handle some fossils and have a look at the activity centre where we could feed some dinosaurs!

Story mapping - Drip's Message

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Here is a video of Penguin Class practising the message from Drip. We have created a story map and actions to go with this. We are learning what a message is and consists of to be able to write a good reply.

Drama - Tyrannosaurus Drip

The children had great fun pretending to be the different characters from our story 'Tyransurus Drip' by Julia Donaldson. They were able to recite some words that the characters say and retell it from the beginning. We had some great facial expressions, body language and tone as they performed their retelling to the class! 

English - Stepping

In English, we are learning a message from Drip off by heart. We created a story map of pictures to help us memorise the words and put actions to these. We then went outside and practised 'stepping' our message so for each picture we take a step to help chunk the story into memorable pieces. Can your children tell you the message from Drip and show you the actions?

Science - Everyday Materials

We have been identifying, grouping and describing the different everyday materials and the objects that they can make. Here the children were finding the objects and putting them into the material they are made from.

We are looking at wood, metal, plastic, glass, rock and fabric.

Today we learnt how to identify ordinal numbers. We ran lots of races and were able to identify the children in 1st, 2nd and 3rd position. We then applied this knowledge to build and describe the order of cubes, stating which colour comes 1st, 2nd, 3rd and last.  

Maths - comparing numbers

We have been comparing numbers in maths and talking about which number is greater, less than or equal to and how we know this. We used the vocabulary and moved onto looking at the symbols which represent this too. 

4 < 5 (less than)

5 > 4 (greater than

5 = 5 (equal to)