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Year 1/2 - Brackendene

Welcome to Year 1/2


Our Teacher is Mrs. Webster-Smith

Our Teaching Assistant is Mrs. Soares

July 21st

As we come to the end of the school year I would like to say what a great pleasure it has been to teach your children. They are all eager to learn and always do their best even when work can be challenging - never failing to impress me with their enthusiasm and love of learning. 

On Wednesday (our last day) the children may bring a toy from home to play with during the morning. Please encourage your child to choose carefully and sensibly!

July 15th

The children are starting to bring home some of the wonderful work they have done this year. A folder containing artwork and other pieces will be sent home later this week.

The Year 2 children will be having their final spelling test on Friday containing some words from the sheet they brought home last week. Please ensure that you keep revisiting them over the holidays. Also, last week was the final times tables tests for the Year 2 children - a record of their achievements will be passed to their next teacher (Mrs Quickenden).

As part of our final topic - 'Where I live' - the children have designed a playground for a park. Any kitchen roll tubes, netting from bags of oranges/onions will be really useful,  as will anything the children can use to create their model.


July 8th 2018

It was lovely to meet with you all this week at Parent Consultations to discuss your child's achievements throughout this year.

I thought the children all did really well at Sports Day this week and I was very proud of the way they all participated and did their best.

Next week will be the last times table test for this year for the Year 2 children. It will take place on Friday due to Move Up Day on being on Thursday.

On Monday, the Year 2 children will be bringing home a list of year 2 common exceptions words. These are words that are used frequently and are not spelt phonetically. The next spelling test will be on Friday 20th July (no test next week to allow extra time for practising). Please continue to practise these spellings with your child over the summer break to help them secure as many as possible ready for starting year 3.


June 23rd

This week the Year 2 children have been busy practising Country Dancing ready for their performance at the Summer Fair next weekend. Thank you to those of you who have returned the slips to say whether or not your child can take part. If you haven't already done so, please send it back on Monday.

On Wednesday, it is our annual Celebration Evening from 6:30pm to 8pm. It is a wonderful opportunity to see the children's work on display throughout the school.

June 16th

This week the children have been creating fantastic pieces of art based on the work of Roy Lichtenstein! You will be able to see the children's artwork on display at our Celebration Evening later this month.

Today, the Year 2 children have brought home a letter about the country dancing performance at the summer fair. Please return the slip as soon as possible to let us know whether your child can take part or not. We will start practising the traditional dances next week.

The PTA would be very grateful for any help you can offer at the summer fair. Please get in touch with Connie or Caron if you are able to help out. Every little helps!

Well done to the Year 1 children who completed their Phonics Screening Check this week. We will be informing you of the results in due course.

June 10th

This week the children have been exploring habitats as part of our new topic, Where I Live. They have been using nets and magnifiers to study and identify a variety of different creatures and discuss the features of the habitats they live in. We went to the school pond to carry out some pond dipping, then explored the hedgerow and meadow areas.

The children have all written a letter  which will be posted to their home address. After receiving and reading the letter, please send it back into school with the envelope. Thank you.

All the year 2 children will soon be starting to practise some traditional country dancing to perform at the summer fair on Sunday 1st July. A letter will be sent home soon asking you to confirm whether your child will be available to take part.

May 31st

Hope you are all enjoying the break - even with the rather erratic weather!

After half term our new topic is called - Where I live. The children will be learning about the local area as well as an in-depth look at habitats in our school grounds. We are lucky to have such a variety of habitats (pond, woods, meadow, hedgerow) without having to leave our school grounds! We will also be investigating which minibeasts live in each habitat and why they are found there.

Part of our work involves children knowing their address and postcode - please help your child to remember theirs and also that the school records are up to date as the children will be writing a letter later this week and it will be posted to their home address.

Year 1 children brought home some real words and nonsense words to practise as we are fast approaching their phonics screening check.

20th May 2018

This week the Year 2 children have started our 'Secret Agent Training' (SATs). So far the children have completed two missions, with two more missions planned for next week!

Scooter training for Year 2 will now be taking place on Thursday morning. Please remember to bring your scooters to school that day. If your child doesn't have a scooter, I'm sure there will be plenty of children that are happy to share.

Next Friday is the year 6 Enterprise Fair. The children will be able to bring some money into school to spend at the fair. Please make sure that the money is in a clearly named purse or envelope as it's very difficult to keep track of loose change. Thank you.

May 13th

On Thursday, we enjoyed a wonderful day at Warwick Castle. The highlights were watching the trebuchet being fired, seeing the Flight of the Eagles display and climbing the spiral staircases to walk around the castle walls.

The children have been writing a recount of their visit to the castle and discussing what their favourite part of the day was.

 Year 2 children should have brought home a letter about scooter training next week. This will be taking place on Thursday afternoon on the school playground. 

Over the next couple of weeks the Year 2 children will be taking the end of Key Stage 1 SATs tests. We have decided that we will not do any more spelling or times tables tests until after half term so as not to overload the children. Please continue to read every day with your child, revise any spellings that they have found tricky over the last few weeks and practise quick recall of basic maths facts.

6th May 2018

This week the children have been making shields out of clay. They are now drying out ready to be painted next week.

Next Thursday is our trip to Warwick Castle. The children need to be in school for 8:15 am. Please make sure they bring a small rucksack to carry their lunch, water bottle, sun hat and waterproof jacket. The children need to wear school uniform with sensible shoes (sturdy school shoes or trainers). Please ensure that the children have suncream applied before coming to school.

I hope you all enjoy the long weekend - the weather is looking good!

April 29th

This week the children really enjoyed their first swimming lesson. We were very proud of the way they behaved at the pool!

On Friday, the children designed a shield and wrote a few sentences to explain their choice of design. (Ask them about the symbols they included in their design and their reasons for their choices) Next week, they will be using clay to make the shield they have designed and learning techniques for manipulating and joining the clay. Then they will paint and glaze the shield.

April 21st

This week we introduced our new topic, I'm the King of the Castle. We started our topic by thinking about what we already know about castles and what we would like to find out. 

Next week we will be learning about the jobs that people did in the castle as well as one of our most famous knights - St George as Monday 23rd April is St George's Day.

On Tuesday the children will have their first swimming lesson. Please make sure that all items (towel, swimming costume/trunks, school uniform) are clearly named. 

April 15th

I hope you all had an enjoyable Easter and managed to do lots despite the weather!

Our new topic for the summer term has a history focus - 'I'm the king of the castle!'We have booked a trip to Warwick Castle on Thursday 10th May where the children will be able to see features of castles they have been learning about as well as what life in a castle would have been like. It will be a really great day - the children will be bringing home a letter about this as soon as we return to school.

The spellings for the first week of the summer term for the Year 2 children are now uploaded. The test will take place on Friday 20th April.

Please ensure your child brings their PE kit and a fully stocked pencil case to school with them on the first day back - Thank you!

March 25th

There will be no spelling or times table test next week for the Year 2 children. The children will bring home their next lot of spellings after the Easter break. 

Congratulations to Jake and CJ who were also chosen as the Brackendene  finalists in the MPL Spring Writing Challenge. Both children produced an excellent piece of writing with some wonderful descriptive vocabulary.

Mrs Soares has recently had surgery and will not be returning to school until after the Easter break. The children will be making her a 'Get Well' card this week and I know that I can pass on all good wishes from you all. Her role is being covered by Mrs Chikhlia.

March 16th

The children have made good use of the shoe boxes they brought into school recently - they are busy creating an Arctic scene.

On Sunday evening (March 18th) at 7pm on Channel 4 there is a programme about the polar bear cub born recently at Edinburgh Zoo - the first to be born in the British Isles for 25 years! If that is past their bedtime, then it will be available on catch-up TV to watch at a more suitable time.


March 10th

The weather has settled down a little and it feels almost spring-like!


Mums - hopefully the children have remembered to give you the Mothers Day cards they made in school this week as well as gifts they were able to buy from the PTA Surprises Room.


The children were really engaged this week, looking at huge chunks of ice - shining torches at them and asking lots of great scientific questions. They wondered why water is transparent, but when it freezes into ice it becomes white! They dropped food colouring onto the ice and watched what happened, then they sprinkled salt onto the ice. Ask them about it!

March 4th

Well, the weather last week helped the children to understand how cold it is in the Arctic! Thankfully it is a lot milder now and we are all looking forward to Spring!

The spellings for the children in Year 2 will be carried over from last week and tested on Friday 9th March.

Please ensure that your child has their full P.E. kit to include track suit bottoms for the colder weather as well as a spare pair of socks for the girls who need to change from their tights. Also, all pencil cases should be back in school with HB pencils for writing, a green pen, ruler and pencil sharpener. Coloured pencils and pens can be put in a separate pencil case and kept in their drawer. 

February 24th

The children have worked really hard this week and are really excited about learning about the Arctic - the weather forecast for the coming week will help!

Can you please send in any empty shoe boxes as we will be using them soon to make the Arctic landscape.


WORLD BOOK DAY - this week - Thursday March 1st. I would like the children to bring a favourite book to school that day - fiction or non-fiction. They will be sharing the book with a friend and writing a book review.

February 12th

Last week the children designed and made hand puppets as the conclusion of our Toys topic - they all did really well and you will be able to see them at our Celebration Evening later in the school year.


After half term our topic will be 'Polar Bear, Polar Bear' where we will be learning about the animals and the landscape of the Arctic. The topic will encompass Geography, Science, Art and Design Technology. If you are looking for somewhere to go at half term, a visit to the Natural History Museum in Tring where they have a polar bear is a lovely place to visit.


Enjoy the break!

February 4th 2018

It was lovely to see the children's puppets that were brought in last week. As we reach the end of our Toys topic the children have started to design a hand puppet and they will make it this week. I have lots of bits and pieces (wobbly eyes and sparkly bits) for them to add details to their puppets, but if they would like to bring things from home too, that would be lovely. 

The children will be bringing home their P.E. kits - please check they have all items and that their trainers still fit.

January 27th

The children have been making predictions and carrying out a scientific investigation to decide which material would be best for making an umbrella for Gingerbread Man. Ask your child what they did to ensure it was a fair test and which materials were the most suitable and why.

Next week we will be learning about different types of puppets and starting to design and make our own hand puppets.

If you have any puppets at home, it would be wonderful if you could send them in for us to have a look at in class. Thank you.


Weekly spellings - If your child is absent when the spellings are given on a Monday, these are always uploaded to the section at the bottom of our class page.

January 21st

The children have enjoyed learning more about materials. They have explored our outdoor environment to investigate the material different objects are made from. They have also learned about the different properties of materials and their various uses. At home, encourage them to look around a room and name some different materials they can see and why that material has been used to make that object.

This week the children will be carrying out an investigation to find out which materials are the most waterproof. They will be developing scientific skills to help ensure the investigation is a fair test.

January 14th

On Monday, the children really enjoyed taking part in the Nelly's Toybox workshop where they played with toys from the past, such as a zoetrope, a Jack-in-the-box and spinning top. We talked about the materials the toys were made from and compared them to the toys we have now. 

As part of our writing task on Friday, we compared 3 different teddies and created a time line to show when the bears were made and described the appearance and features of each teddy. The oldest bear we looked at was 66 years old!

Next week we will be learning more about different materials in our Science lessons. At home encourage your children to look for examples of wood, plastic, fabric and glass.

January 7th 2018

The children have really enjoyed the start to our new topic - 'I've got no strings ...' (looking at toys in the past and now) and are looking forward to our museum workshop tomorrow morning. If any parents/grandparents have some toys from when they were young please send them in, or, bring them in and talk to the children about them.

The year 2 children will be taking the 380 Maths test tomorrow, so try to look at Mathletics today to help them.

January 2nd 2018

We hope that you have all had an enjoyable break. A huge thank you for all the wonderful Christmas cards and gifts - it is very kind of you.

Our topic for the first part of the Spring  term is called 'I've got no strings' and the children will be learning about toys from the past and comparing them to the toys we have now. On Friday 5th January the children can bring in a favourite toy from home to help us start our new topic. 

Thank you to those of you that have already sent in the £2.50 donation for the Nelly's Toy Box workshop that is taking place in school on Monday 8th January. If you haven't sent it in yet, please send it in on the first day back. Thank you.

December 17th

We hope you all enjoyed the performances of 'Lights, camel, action!' this week - the children did really well and we are all so proud of them! The children may bring a toy to school on Tuesday morning as it is our last day before we break up for Christmas and they have all worked so hard this term. Our topic for the first part of the Spring  term is 'I've got no strings...' where the children will be learning about toys nowadays and in the past.

Enjoy the break!

 On Friday 5th January the  year 2 children will have a spelling test, using a selection of the words that have been sent home to learn this term. Please look back through your child's diary to help them to revise their spellings. Every week, the spelling lists are uploaded to this page so can be downloaded if you are missing any. 

December 10th

The children have been so busy rehearsing their Christmas production - 'Light, camel. action' and are looking forward to showing it to you! Check the newsletter for the performance times this coming week. 

As we will be at the pantomime on Thursday the times tables tests for the year 2 children will be on Friday.

December 3rd

Rehearsals are going for our KS1 play, 'Lights, Camel, Action'! Please check the newsletter for the dates and times of the performances to parents. Your child has brought home a slip of paper to let  you which role they are playing and to let you know if they need to bring in a costume. Please ensure that all costumes are sent in (in a clearly named carrier bag) by Wednesday at the latest - thank you.

November 26th

 This week we have been learning about how people from different countries celebrate their birthday, and we have been planning a birthday party for our class favourite, Plop the barn owl.

Thank you to everyone who has helped their child to complete the homework task on celebrations and traditions. I would love to have a piece of work from every child so that we can discuss important events within our own families.

It was lovely to see so many of you at  the Christmas Fair today and hope you bought the Christmas Stocking that your child made in class

As next Friday is an Occasional Day, the spelling test for Year 2 children will take place on Thursday instead. The spellings have been uploaded into the homework section below.

November 19th

The children brought home a sheet about festivals and celebrations in their families - thanks for the responses I have received. Please look at this with your child and help them to complete it.


A huge thanks to Daisy, Brooke and Naite who responded to my appeal for more book for our Reading Area and brought some of their that they had finished with.


With the weather getting colder, please ensure that your child has some jogging bottoms in their P.E. bag and that they wear a long-sleeved top to school that can be used for Outdoor Games sessions.

November 11th

I hope you all enjoyed our class assembly on Friday morning - weren't the children just wonderful! They have worked so hard and were so excited about sharing their learning with you.

How lovely to see so many of you at our Book at Bedtime evening this week and to see how many bedtime stories had been read at home and I've enjoyed hearing the children talking about all the different books.

The Year 2 children have been given their 380 test results. I was very pleased with the results they achieved and it sounds like they have been working hard to practise quick recall of basic maths.

Next week we will be starting a new topic called, Festivals and Celebrations. I always love to hear about how different families celebrate events that are important to them. If your child has any pictures, books or objects that they would like to bring in to school that would be lovely to see and hopefully they will want to talk to the class about important festivals or celebrations for their family.

November 5th

We hope you have enjoyed some firework displays over the weekend - on Friday the children were writing information posters about Firework Safety - ask them what they included.


CLASS ASSEMBLY - this will be in the school hall at 9.15am this coming Friday November 10th - we look forward to seeing you there to show and tell you all about our topic - Magical Wonderlands.

The children, unless you already have done so, need to bring in some clothes to change into for our assembly - something smart - so, no football kits or princess dresses please! Also, some children have some lines to learn so please help them. All children have brought home the words for 2 songs and a poem for our assembly - again please help them to learn them - they know the tunes.


Next week is Book at Bedtime. The children are bringing home a 'cheque book' to record the bedtime stories they have listened to. Please read a bedtime story with your child every night, write the details on one of the cheques, and return to school to be entered into the prize draw.

The main event next week is on Wednesday evening at 6pm. Please come along to listen to some stories with your child and enjoy some delicious hot chocolate! There will be plenty of stories to choose from and the children are welcome to come in their pyjamas. This is always a lovely evening and a wonderful opportunity to share some stories.


October 25th

I hope that you are all enjoying half term - the children have been working so well and have really enjoyed their learning. They particularly enjoyed writing a mnemonic for remembering the names of planets as they are lined up from the sun. We did this one together My Very Easy Method Just Speeds Up Naming Planets - Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto (Pluto is not now officially a planet, but we included it!)


The children have brought home their PE Kits and pencil cases. Please check they still have everything they need and that their trainers fit comfortably. Pencil cases should contain: 2 good quality writing pencils; a green ballpoint pen; a ruler; a pencil sharpener and a glue stick.

The spellings for Year 2 children for the week after half term are already uploaded to this page if you would like to get a head start. There will be another 380 test for the Year 2 children during the first week back so please support and encourage your child to practise over half term. 

October 15th

The children are really enjoying our Magical Wonderlands topic where we are now learning about the magical wonderland above our heads in the sky. We looked at Vincent Van Gogh's painting 'Starry Night' and the children used chalks and pastels to recreate it in their own style. Then, on Friday, we watched the moment that Neil Armstrong set foot on the Moon back on July 20th 1969 - do look online and share this wonderful moment with your children.


Brackendene Class Assembly - this will be on Friday November 10th at 9.15am in the school hall when the children will be telling and showing you all about their recent learning.


As half term approaches just a reminder that P.E. kits will be sent home for a wash and for you to check that your child has not outgrown anything!

October 6th


In Science this week, the children have been learning about the different ways seeds are dispersed by plants. Ask your children about this - how are dandelion seeds dispersed? Why do some seed cases have tiny 'hooks' on them? Why does a plant want to disperse the seeds away from the parent plant?


The year 2 children have brought home a note of their times table choice to learn for the first test on  Thursday. (either x2 or x10 bronze) Please come and see me if they have lost their letter. All details of the testing format can be found at the back of the Home Reading Diary.


Talking of reading - I am really pleased to see the amount of daily reading happening as well as the other books the children are reading in addition to their home reader. I will be awarding a certificate each week to the child who has made a real effort to read every day or as much as possible with other family commitments they may have.

October 2nd

We will be learning about seed dispersal in Science. It would be great if the children could bring in any seeds that they find in the garden or at the park, especially sycamore seeds or seeds with burrs (tiny hooks).


This week the children have designed their own Magical Wonderland and written a description of the setting based on what they could see, smell, hear, taste and feel.


At the end of next week, the Year 2  children will be asked to start learning their first times table. The first times table test will be the following Thursday.


It's wonderful to see all the reading that is happening at home being recorded in the diaries. Remember to record the reading every day, even if they're reading the book for a second time. Also, please record any additional books that the children read at home. Thank you.


September 23rd 2017

What a wonderful day we had for our Autumn walk! The children enjoyed walking around the school grounds looking for signs of seasonal changes. They spotted different coloured leaves, conkers, berries, pine cones and some mushrooms growing in the damp grass.

This week we held our Pupil Council elections. Brooke Simmonds has been elected, by the class, to represent Brackendene on the Pupil Council. Congratulations Brooke!

The children will soon have their Mathletics log-in details which will be stuck inside the front cover of their reading diary. Mathletics is a very useful way of practising for the 380 Test for the Year 2 children. Please encourage your child, whether Year 1 or Year 2 to use the website to practise regularly.

We will be learning about seed dispersal in Science. It would be great if the children could bring in any seeds that they find in the garden or at the park, especially sycamore seeds or seeds with burrs (tiny hooks).


September 17th

The children looked wonderful in their costumes for Roald Dahl Day on Friday! We are reading 'Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator' and our English and Maths that day were linked to the story. The children designed and described a different alien that was coming out of the lift in our English lesson. In Maths we looked at 3D shapes and correctly identified the Great Glass Elevator as a cuboid. The children then designed their own elevators and will then cut out the shape, fold and stick it so that it is a cuboid.

The year children tried really hard with their spelling test on Friday. They will write their scores into their Home Reading Diary tomorrow and stick in the new spellings for this week. (These spellings have been uploaded into the documents section at the bottom of this page.

Autumn Walk - the children will be going on an autumn walk around our school grounds on Friday (September 22nd) where we will be observing seasonal changes.  Please could they bring in some wellies or old trainers in a named carrier bag in case the grounds are muddy.


September 10th

What a lovely start to the new school year - the children have settled really well and are a joy to work with!

The children brought home a letter on Friday asking for photos and details about where their parents or grandparents are from. We want to celebrate our diversity with a display in our classroom showing this information and our links to many different countries of the world.

Roald Dahl Day - as you have seen in the newsletter we are celebrating this wonderful day on Friday 15th September! The children are invited to dress up as a character from one of the many Roald Dahl books ready to show the rest of the school at an assembly. We have activities planned for the day and we ask for a donation for the Roald Dahl Children's Charity which supports sick children and their families.

September 4th 2017

I hope you have all had a lovely summer - I am really looking forward to our new school year starting on Wednesday. Here is a reminder of what the children need to remember to bring to school on our first day:

* P.E. kits with all items labelled and trainers rather than plimsolls

* Plain, named pencil cases with all the necessary items from the lists sent home at the end of last term

Our first topic this term is called 'Magical Wonderlands' - please talk to your children about this and ask them what they think it could be about - all will be revealed when we introduce it on Wednesday afternoon!
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  • Mount Pleasant Lane JMI & Nursery School,
  • Mount Pleasant Lane, Bricket Wood, St.Albans, Herts, AL2 3XA
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  • Telephone: 01923 672729