At Harlestone Primary School, the Class 1 teachers are Mrs Lawther and Mrs Thomas. They have two teaching assistants that help in the classroom called Mrs Haines and Miss Sheasby. The Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 children work together in a friendly, hardworking and aspirational environment.
Our classroom is made up of five learning zones, including an art area and an outdoor woodland. The art area is home to our pet African snail, appropriately named McQueen. The children undertake a Forest Explorer’s activity once a fortnight. We pride ourselves on learning about the changing seasons, keeping safe outdoors, caring for nature and having fun in the fresh air.
Each term the class go on an imaginary and exciting learning journey to somewhere in the world, such as ‘Italy’, the ‘Amazon’ and the ‘Polar Regions’. The classroom is transformed at the start of each topic to help the children imagine what is like to visit these different cultures.
We like to make community links to help bring the curriculum to life. Recent examples have included the children handling animals that can be found in the rainforest with the help of a local wildlife expert, a visit from a grandparent who was once an Antarctic explorer and the children taking part in a role-play wedding at St Andrew’s church with the help of the vicar.
Our topics begin with a Stunning Start, which follows with a Marvellous Middle and the grand finale is a Fantastic Finish. This might include a special visitor, a wow day or a school trip. We strive to give the children experiences that will inspire, consolidate and embed learning.
We reward good manners, good attitude, good effort and good progress with merits. The accumulation of merits is rewarded with bronze, silver and gold star badges. We also have a ‘Star of the Week’ and a ‘Handwriting Hero of the Week’.
In Class 1, we want our children to develop a passion for learning, and to equip them with skills for life. Including being able to cope with setbacks and striving to improve strengths and overcome weaknesses. We teach the children that in mixed aged classes everybody has something to learn and something to give.